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the newspaper The University of Toronto’s Independent Weekly
VOL XXXIV Issue 15 • January 12, 2012
The future of the Chosen Un
U of T panel of experts debate what’s to come in North Korea after Kim Jong Il
Ronald Pruessen (left), William Hurst and Ito Peng discuss repercussions of Un’s succession
Liberals launch Ontario tuition grant
North Korea, to borrow Winston Churchill’s phrase, is “an enigma wrapped in a mystery.” For 17 years, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il—a.k.a. the Guiding Sun Ray, the Invincible and Evertriumphant General, and possessor of 40 other similarly grandiloquent titles—kept a veil of secrecy over affairs in North Korea. Since his death on December 17 and his son Kim Jong Un’s succession, the situation there has by no means become any clearer to outside observers. On Tuesday, U of T professors William Hurst, Ron Pruessen and Ito Peng met at the Munk School to discuss the change in North Korean leadership and speculate about its consequences. Experts in separate fields of international relations, the panelists each brought a different
perspective to the table. However, they arrived at a similar conclusion: one should continue to expect the unexpected from North Korea—perhaps even disaster. Hurst, a specialist on China, and Peng, whose areas of expertise are South Korea and Japan, pointed out that these countries have vested interests in preserving the status quo in North Korea. None of its neighbours want the current regime in Pyongyang to collapse and produce a wide-scale humanitarian crisis that would drive throngs of refugees across the border. For China, Hurst said, North Korea represents an important “buffer zone” against American intervention in the Asia-Pacific region. Although Chinese-Korean relations are strong relative to Pyongyang’s relations with
see page 2
Inside this issue...
Andrew Walt Starting this month, many undergraduate students pursuing post-secondary education in Ontario can look forward to a 30 per cent tuition rebate. The new program, a core component of the Liberal campaign platform and spearheaded by “education premier” Dalton McGuinty, will be available to roughly half of the province’s undergraduates. “This is permanent,” said Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, in a teleconference to student media groups province-
wide this past Friday. “As long as you’re a student, you’re in the program.” Those eligible for the tuition rebate must be within four years of having completed high school, enrolled in full-time programs, and from households with a gross income of less than $160,000 annually. Part-time, graduate, and international students, however, will not be receiving the grant, exclusions which have caused some backlash. The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario has claimed that the $423-million funding
the rebate could have been better spent slashing tuition fees for all. “They (CFS-Ontario) have taken a very different approach than any of the other student associations, and they change their mind all the time,” Murray said in response to criticisms from Canada’s largest student organization. “During the election it was a (tuition) freeze, after the election it was a 12 per cent cut. Every time we’ve turned around and done something, the glass is always half empty for them, and they
see page 3
Half of Ontario’s undergraduates eligible to receive 30% tuition rebate
Remembering Josef Skvorecky Page 2
January 12, 2012
Skvorecky: A man of two worlds Czech writer, former U of T prof dies at 87 Yukon Damov
Master of Management & Professional Accounting
• Designed primarily for non-business undergraduates • For careers in Management, Finance and Accounting • Extremely high co-op and permanent placement To learn more about the MMPA Program, attend our information session: Thursday, January 26, 2012 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Room WB 219, Wallberg Building, University of Toronto
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the newspaper the newspaper is the University of Toronto’s independent weekly paper, published since 1978. VOL XXXIV No. 15
Editor-in-Chief Cara Sabatini
Design Editor Samantha Chiusolo
News Editor Geoff Vendeville
Copy Editor Talia Gordon
Associate News Editor Yukon Damov
Arts Editor Vanessa Purdy
Photo Editor Bodi Bold
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Web Editor Andrew Walt the newspaper 1 Spadina Crescent Suite 245 Toronto, ON M5S 1A1
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A voice from behind the Iron Curtain, Josef Skvorecky was a literary figure who spent the latter half of his life in Canada and taught at the University of Toronto. In Czechoslovakia, he became a popular author with a fervent dissident voice alongside the likes of Vaclav Havel, playwright and eventual Czech president. Although he lived in Canada since 1968, he nevertheless continued to look back to his homeland, generating a hub of dissident literary activity. Since his childhood when his father gave him his first jazz record, Skvorecky had been fascinated by the West. In the years following the Second World War he moved among the intellectual circles of the Czechoslovak democracy that lasted until 1948. In these formative years, Skvorecky made a name for himself as a poet, scriptwriter, critic, editor, translator, and novelist. In the following years, Skvorecky’s worked at a state publishing house where he translated Faulkner, Hemingway and Raymond Chandler.
from “North Korea” the rest of the world, they are far from rosy. “China seems fundamentally unnerved by the continuing instability in the Korean Peninsula,” Hurst explained. “[China and North Korea] need each other still but they don’t necessarily always like each other very much,” he concluded. South Korea and Japan are as committed as China “to ensuring a smooth transition of power” in North Korea, said Ito Peng. Neither country is likely to reorient its policy toward Pyongyang radically in the near future, although the succession of Kim Jong Un may be “a unique opportunity to change the relationship between North and South,” said Peng. Still reeling from last year’s tsunami and in the midst of political instability of its own, Japan is unprepared to handle a refugee crisis in its backyard. As innocuous an event as it may seem in world-historical terms, the death of Kim Jong Il could have dire consequences, Ron Pruessen warned. “There are any number of historical counterparts,” he said, “to talking about the way in which
He published his first novel, The Cowards, in 1958. The Cowards brought him immediate renown both domestically and abroad, but was banned in Czechoslovakia soon thereafter. It was, according to The New York Times, “the first great underground classic of postwar Czechoslovakia.” Dealing with subjects such as adolescence, everyday life during the war, and jazz musicians, The Cowards was “quite unique for its time,” said Michal Schonberg, retired U of T professor and close friend of Skvorecky. After tanks rolled into his hometown during the Prague Spring in 1968, Skvorecky moved to Toronto with his wife, Zdena. He was offered a position at the English Department at U of T, where he taught American literature and creative writing until 1990. In Canada, he remained active in the Czech dissident network. Rather than detach himself from the problems of his homeland, he immersed himself in them. In 1971, he and Zdena established Sixty-Eight Publishers, a lifeline and quasi-underground operation for Czech writers including Milan
Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. SixtyEight contributed to Czechoslovak dissident intellectual life and introduced Czech writing to an international audience. Skvorecky published the works of Czech writers, any literature written in Czech, and any story based in Czechoslovakia. Subversive Czech manuscripts were smuggled out of Czechoslovakia, printed in Toronto, and smuggled back in. “They became a kind of conscience of the resistance,” said Schonberg. Most of Skvorecky’s major novels were written in Toronto, but nearly all of his output met Sixty-Eight’s criteria. He won the Governor General’s Award in 1984 for his novel, The Engineer of Human Souls, the term which Stalin used to praise writers. “Josef was a very modest man--and quiet. Whatever he needed to express, he did it in literature,” said Schonberg. What Skvorecky expressed was a deep sense of justice and human freedom, ideals that transcend the boundaries of East and West.
matches are sometimes lit near tinderboxes. It is not impossible to imagine a North Korean match being lit in international relations at this moment.” Armed with nuclear weapons, North Korea is a particularly explosive tinderbox. In Pruessen’s opinion, it is rather naïve to hope for any entirely positive, assertive American response to recent events in North Korea. “There are some truly nightmare scenarios easy to conjure up if we think about
political discourse in the United States in 2011-2012,” he said. “Imagine a Rick Perry, or a Sarah Palin, or a Michele Bachmann in charge of American foreign policy and thinking through how to respond to events on the Korean Peninsula—whew!” “North Korea and East Asia After Kim Jong Il: a Roundtable” was the first in a planned series of lectures on North Korea to be held at the Munk School of Global Affairs this semester.
Make writing for the newspaper your resolution for the New Year. Warning: highly addictive Open meetings Thursdays at 6 p.m.
from “the Liberal Party” change their position from month to month.” When asked about the reasons behind these exclusions, Murray cited the immediate pressures of the rising number of students entering colleges and universities year after year. “We had 100,000 more students go to college and university this past academic year than we did the year before,” he said. “That’s more entering the system than during the double cohort year (which occurred in 2003 when the province eliminated grade 13 and thereby dramatically increased the graduating secondary school students that year).” Murray went on to explain how the grant was designed to help students with their first four years of university, and how a post-secondary education is necessary to prevent being at a disadvantage in the future. “70 per cent of jobs out there require college or university education,”
Murray claimed. Opponents from PC and NDP camps similarly malign the grant for its limited benefit to only some 310,000 of an estimated 600,000 – 700,000 students, the $423-million hit to a province attempting to balance a $16-billion deficit, and the elimination of other funding initiatives. Both the Queen Elizabeth II Award and The Ontario Textbook and Technology Grant are being phased out to accommodate the tuition rebate, leading to accusations of a mere ‘bait and switch.’ “There was a ‘bait and switch’ here: we’re switching a minnow for a whale!” Murray joked. “We’re phasing out very small programs that were very expensive to administer, and we’re taking those same staff to administer the new, much larger programs. You’ve got to keep retooling government to make sure that, as you improve programs, you’re getting rid of ones that are no longer effective.”
THE NEWS Undergraduates receiving OSAP are automatically considered and will receive a direct deposit if eligible. All other undergraduates must apply online and reconfirm for every year in which they qualify for the grant. University students will receive $800 this semester while college students will receive $365. Come September, the respective rebates will be $1,600 and $730 annually, and students will continue to receive the grant until their fourth year of study. Though Murray playfully trusts the “brilliant, editorial, journalistic genius of student newspapers” to get the message out, he promises the province will advertise the rebate “by absolutely every way possible,” including on campus representation and social media outreach.
For more information and to apply for your rebate, visit www.ousa.ca/ tuitiongrant.
Strains and sprains may affect brains
U of T research finds non-head related injury may produce cognitive impairment In the world of sports medicine, the concussion was long considered the common cold of athletes: easy to shake off and benign in the long-term. However, research over the past few years has demonstrated that particularly in the short-term, athletes with concussions display symptoms that point to reduced cognitive functioning. While it has become clear that head-related trauma affects cognition, a recent study conducted by a team of University of Toronto researchers has found that musculoskeletal (non-head related) injury may also produce a degree of cognitive impairment. Led by Michael Hutchison, a post-doctoral fellow at U of T’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, the study compared the performance of 72 Varsity Blues athletes on standard neuropsychological tests often given to concussed patients. Sports doctors typically use these tests to measure whether athletes are fit to return to play after suffering a head injury. Within this group, half of the players were uninjured, 18 had suffered a concussion within 72 hours of being given the test, and the remaining 18 had a recent orthopedic or musculoskeletal injury. “Most studies in this area
have looked at a comparison between concussion and healthy controls,” Hutchison explained. Unlike previous studies, Hutchison’s team included a crucial third group in their investigation: 18 athletes with musculoskeletal injuries. “The purpose of this project was to examine acute results following various injury types, such as sprained ankle or hurt shoulder, that caused athletes to be removed from play,” said Hutchison. In order to be eligible for the study, players had to have experienced a recent injury, and been removed from play for a minimum of 24 hours with a recovery period of no longer than 3 or 4 weeks. Hutchison explained that the eligibility criteria for athletes with musculoskeletal injuries were designed to reflect the majority of common concussions. Hutchison’s team found that while concussed patients performed significantly worse overall on the cognitive tests, the athletes with musculoskeletal injuries also performed more poorly than the healthy participants. According to Hutchison, athletes with musculoskeletal injuries fell between the concussion and control groups in test performance. “We’re not saying that orthopedic injuries are the same as concussions,” emphasized Hutchison. “However, we need to look at this group a lit-
tle bit more closely.” His findings have opened up questions as to what other factors may come into play in determining cognitive outcomes for injured athletes. Hutchison suggested two possible explanations for why a non-head injury would produce cognitive impairment. “If you don’t feel good, you’re probably not going to do well on these tests, because they require you to be alert, accurate and fast. Discomfort or pain may affect your performance.” Beyond the physical effects of musculoskeletal injury, Hutchison pointed to the role of psychology in explaining poor test performance. “If you’re unhappy or if you’re upset because you can’t play your
favourite sport, that could possibly influence your moods during these tests. Emotional dispositions are also very important.” he added. Hutchison emphasized that the findings of his study do not diminish the utility of neuropsychological testing in concussion management. He suggested however, that clinical judgments about both concussions and musculoskeletal injuries must take contextual environments into account. “What [clinical judgments] require is a firm understanding of the patient and of the fact that there are multiple factors that can influence one’s performance,” he explained. When asked about the implications of his findings,
Hutchison responded with modesty, “We are just starting to add to the pile of things that could potentially influence outcomes. It makes sense – I don’t think it should be earthshattering.”
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The top 5 campus jobs
January 12, 2012
All the generosity towards loved ones this holiday season likely left students’ pockets too light for that mid-morning caffeine jolt. If you’re not eligible for a rebate on your university tuition (see page 1), you may need a little extra cash to stay afloat--and caffeinated. To keep you from sinking, the newspaper sought the top five jobs on campus (rated by current employees). Geoffrey Vendeville 1. Hart House Athletics Desk attendant
Rating: 8/10 Description: What’s in a normal day’s work at the Hart House Athletics Desk? “Swiping Tcards and saving lives,” said Henry Wong, an attendant for the past two years. In his opinion, working at the desk is without doubt one of the best student jobs around. “Good environment, good people, and the job’s pretty easy to do,” he said. His responsibilities consist of checking T-cards or gym memberships, setting up equipment for classes, and flirting with the babes who use the gym (mandatory). Best Work Story: “Once a guy had a heart attack in the Arbor Room and our manager had to rush over there to defibrillate him.” Salary: $13.52/hr, starting Qualifications: CPR-C Standard and First Aid certification. Must be a paragon of physical fitness. How to Apply: Hart House accepts applications at the beginning of the summer.
2. Hart House lobby receptionist
Rating: 9/10 Description: Duties include “anything from giving people directions to dealing with memberships,” said Nichelle Farrel, a Pharmacology major and receptionist at Hart House. The best part of her job, she said, is the opportunity to meet new and interesting people, such as inebriated pirates. Best Work Story: “One time, two Halloweens ago, I was working kind of late and a guy, totally drunk, came to the desk dressed up as Jack Sparrow and asked me a lot of random questions.” Salary: roughly $15/hr Qualifications: Experience in customer service and knowledge of Pirates of the Caribbean trivia. How to Apply: Vacancies posted on the U of T Career Centre website. Resumé and cover letter required.
3. Residence Porter (Sir Daniel Wilson res, University College)
Rating: 9/10 Description: For students living in residence, nothing could be easier than working as a porter. The porter’s office is a stone’s throw away from your dorm room; the hours are flexible; and you have exclusive access to the master key. The drawback, according to porter Lauren Davis of University College, is the grinding monotony of the night shift. Best Work Story: As told through a dialogue between Lauren and her friend Henry Lee. Henry: “Has anything interesting ever happened here?” Lauren: “Well, one time this drunk frosh came into the office and fell asleep on the floor.” Henry: “Wasn’t that me?” Lauren: “Yeah.” Salary: $12/hr day shift, $12.75/hr night shift Qualifications: Have to be in second year or above and living in residence. Must have infinite patience.
How to Apply: Submit your resumé to your porter’s office at beginning of the semester.
4. Barista at Diablo’s Café
Rating: 10/10 Description: A barista at Diablo’s must know how to multi-task: serve coffee, do homework, and chat with friends at the same time. They should also know how to handle irritable, wired students come exam time. For Margot Thomaidis, the best part about working at Diablo’s is the environment. “My coworkers are so awesome. The managers are students and they’re really easy to get along with,” she said. Best Work Story: “People freaking out about the dildos hanging above the cash (donated by the U of T Sex Ed Centre). Some people who have been coming here for years are like, ‘Oh I didn’t realize you have dildos hanging in front of your face.’” Salary: Minimum wage ($10.25/hr) plus tips Qualifications: Some serving experience is an asset. No aversion to sex toys. How to Apply: Diablo’s puts up posters in the Junior Common Room (UC) when hiring.
5. Robarts Library printing station attendant
Rating: 8/10 Description: While many students complain about having to spend so much time cooped up in the library, most would jump at the chance to work there. The $16/hr starting salary is fair compensation for working in the dreariest building in the city. “The hours and location are really good,” said Eleni Taye, who has worked at Robarts since September. Best Work Story: “One Saturday, someone broke into the vault in the Thomas Fischer Rare Book Library and stole a Babylonian cuneiform tablet (c. 1789 BC). Cops - who were already on hand to enforce late fees – sealed the exits, chased the thief up to the 13th floor, and shot him.” Just kidding. She couldn’t think of any. Salary: $16.68/hr, starting; up to $19/hr Qualifications: Mastery of Microsoft Office and unshakable courage. How to Apply: Look for postings on the U of T Libraries website (under “Students” - “Student Services” - “Student library jobs”).
Runner-up 6. Server at Howard Ferguson Dining Hall (University College cafeteria)
Rating: 7.5/10 Description: Not the most glamorous job on campus, but it certainly has its perks. Employees get a 60% discount, have a reliable and relatively flexible work schedule, and learn to whip up a mean stir-fry. Although the hungry dinnertime mob can be intimidating, it makes the hours go by quickly. Salary: $10.25/hr; $12/hr after first year, and up to $15/hr after two years. Qualifications: None, other than a diploma from the Cordon Bleu Paris. Best Work Story: “It’s fun to impress people by making big flames with the stir-fry burner.” How to Apply: Look for a now-hiring poster at the end of the semester.
Cabaret is dressed to the neins Latest Hart House musical promises provocative performance
watch, it’s very moving. Adam is making it really relevant,” added Lamanna. One of two assistant stage managers for the production, recent University of Toronto graduate Victoria Wang, is excited for the less conventional tone the production will take on from a technical perspective. “It’s not one of those shows where you have a billion props and quick changes. The way Adam’s approached all that stuff is much more creative,” Wang said. As for Lamanna’s turn as the alternately unstoppable and insecure Sally, one can only speculate what her spin on the character will be, but it will certainly be her own. Humble, candid, and petite in person, Lamanna assessed the biggest challenge to portraying the larger-than-life character with a healthy dose of self-deprecation. “I guess what’s been the biggest struggle is believing that someone would cast me in this part. It’s such a big, enormous, intimidating role, and it’s so coveted; it’s hard to get over that,” she said. With a talented lead, Brazier’s audacious vision, and a standout cast comprised largely of Toronto talent, it seems there may be an encore in store for this Cabaret. Playing January 13-25, Hart House Theatre Student Tickets $15, $10 Wednesday nights
Newmarket native Courtney Lamanna anticipates her upcoming role as Cabaret’s Sally Bowles
WearAbouts Bodi Bold brings you U of T’s stylish side
The first week back from break, students keep their necks warm and heads cool.
What good is sitting alone in your dorm? The Hart House Theatre is starting the New Year with the production of one of the most popular and political musicals of the last century. Cabaret follows performers at the seedy Kit Kat Club in 1931 Berlin, during the beginning of the rise of the Nazis. The musical explores the growing political unrest and hostility towards Jewish people, with a bit of sex and drag to boot. In Hart House’s re-imagined production, directed by prominent Canadian theatre actor Adam Brazier, the iconic character of Sally Bowles (most recognizably portrayed by Liza Minelli in the 1972 film version) will be played by Newmarket native Courtney Lamanna. A recent Randolph Academy graduate, Lamanna has always had a passion for the arts. She knew her home was on the stage since starting music theatre classes at the age of seven. “I always knew I’d be doing something creative. I toyed with journalism for a bit; but when it came time to make my career choice, I really couldn’t see myself doing anything else [than theatre]. And I still can’t, really,” Lamanna said. With the way things are going, she won’t have to imagine another career. Having wrapped up her leading role in the Lower Ossington Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening, Lamanna is grateful for her luck in casting so soon after leaving school. “I feel very fortunate to a) have had two jobs right out of school, and b) to be working--especially as a lead--with Adam [Brazier]; someone who is on the edge of everything that’s happening in Toronto. He’s a great mentor.” Director Adam Brazier has never seen the film version of the musical. He aims to bring audiences a fresh perspective on a classic that could otherwise become as easy to caricature as Liza’s eyelashes. “When it was written it was very shocking and risqué at the time, but to our sensibility now, it isn’t necessarily. So I think his aim is to make it have that same effect, to be able to affect people in the same way that was intended, but for today’s audience,” Lamanna said. This means there could be some surprises for those expecting a run-of-the-mill production. Lamanna explained that the production has “amped up a lot of the sex and violence,” but assures us that it is tasteful and effective. “There are some things that are just so hard to
who >> Simone, 4th year Health Studies student what >> Layers all around with a vintage wool-lined denim jacket and a Gap circle scarf where >> Sid Smith
who >> Sky, publications coordinator at the Hart House Justina M. Barnicke Gallery what >> Fur-collar winter coat from Kensington Market’s Bungalow, paired with a cobalt blue dress and tights where >> UC courtyard
January 12, 2012
Vancouver band beelines to Toronto Vanessa Purdy Chances are, you’ve yet to hear the buzz about beekeeper (sic). But the Vancouver “post-pop power trio” is ready to fly from their West coast indie hive and take on the other side of the country. On January 19, the band will play their second Toronto gig, but as their guitarist and vocalist Devon Lougheed put it, they’ve “made the jump to an upstairs room” at the ever-edgy Sneaky Dee’s. “I love the music community in Toronto. It seems really strong, and we get a great welcome when we come,” said Lougheed, who also belongs to another Vancouver indie rock band, Hey Ocean. When asked to expand upon a Toronto landmark he’d like to visit while here, Lougheed revealed the darker side of touring: laundry. “The last time I was in Toron-
to, with Hey Ocean, we hadn’t done laundry for a while...so we went to Honest Ed’s and I bought four new shirts, and wore them pretty much the rest of the tour,” he said. With harmonies like honey and a sound both dissonant and danceable, beekeeper’s lyrics convey a familiarity with the sting of heartbreak. Like many indie bands with a similar style, they manage to turn stories of loss into either catchy hooks or mellow melodies--with a twist. Their first album, Be Kept, released in September 2010, told the tale of a heartbroken ex-pat with a taste for vengeance. Their upcoming release aims to “push at the extremes” of their past work. This time around, their concert will serve an extra purpose: “We want to ‘road test’ the songs, and really hone them, then
record them,” Lougheed said. “Things change when you play live a lot, and usually for the better. There’s a certain energy with a live show, and we want to capture that life, and put it on the record,” he added. When it comes to live shows, beekeeper tends toward the theatrical. With a background in stand-up comedy, Lougheed is hyper-aware of the audience’s interactive potential, and plays up the interpersonal aspect of the concert-goer’s experience. “After shows, people often tell us that they feel like they were in the band,” he said. “Also, we demand solos from everybody,” he joked. beekeeper’s other members, Brandy Sidoryk (bass and vocals), and Luke Cyca (drummer and vocals), each bring their own flair to the project. Sidoryk was trained as an opera singer, and Lougheed touts
Indie rock ensemble beekeeper ‘road tests’ songs for new album
Cyca as the “mathematical brain” of the bunch. So how does this fit together? It’s not always clear. “One of the most exciting things about beekeeper is that, our style is pieces of hundreds of different styles that somehow seem to make up a whole; against all reason. We shouldn’t be able to make eleven style changes in one song, and make it work, without seeming pretentious, but we do,” Lougheed explained.
While conceptually ambitious and certainly not short on chops, with only three instruments at play in most songs, the musicality is at times sparse. Overall, one gets the impression that depth of sound is sacrificed for the sake of the esoteric. That said, with an affable frontman like Lougheed plus energy and talent, beekeeper is sure to put on an entertaining and unpredictable performance.
Chaos makes Carnage in the parlour Director Roman Polanski’s latest comedy is a living room battle royale Alan (Christophe Waltz) is a lawyer in the midst of protecting a pharmaceutical company from covered up drug side effects, and Nancy (Kate Winslet), a character with a level head but an upset stomach, is trying to keep her husband from leaving. But why are they there? After fifty minutes, they might ask you the same question, though ostensibly they have convened to discuss the fallout of a fight between their sons: little Mr. Cowan knocked two teeth from the mouth of little Mr. Longstreet. The four remind each other countless times that their meeting is in the spirit of reconciliation. However, we begin to wonder what such a spirit might consist in, as the two parties involved are so stubborn in their respective points of view.
Dan Christensen Four characters begin in a room together, and despite their best efforts, never leave for the film’s 80-minute running time. Could it be that this film was based on a play? In fact, as the practicality of this scenario might suggest, Carnage was indeed based on a Tony winning play by Yasmin Reza, who worked with the film’s director Roman Polanski to adapt it for the screen. By the looks of it, not many adjustments were necessary. The first in our pair of Manhattan couples are the Longstreets. Penelope (Jodie Foster) is a passive aggressive art obsessive who is writing a book about the tragedy in Darfur, and her husband Michael (John C. Reilly) is an easy-going bathroom fixture salesman. Opposite are the Cowans:
Right off the bat, we are tempted to label this a modern comedy of manners. The limits of politeness are tested as each of the characters struggle to act reasonably, while a seething rage lingers just below the surface. Reza plays with our expectations of this comedic genre. After a particularly intense (yet forgivable) outburst from Nancy about half-way through the film (one which you won’t soon forget), the social masks begin to slip. From here on, the proceedings swiftly devolve into a no holds barred cage match between the four characters, as the ties bonding the couples as teammates break apart. Accusations fly every which way on topics such as masculinity, marital trust, social responsibility and charitable pride. The characters probe
very deeply into none of these topics, and the superficial glancing is done to great comic effect. The fast pace of the dialogue and frustrating amount of subtext requires some serious acrobatics on the parts of the actors. Waltz in particular does an impressive job of making his smugly detached character sickeningly realistic.
The camera constrains the dynamism of the characters, which makes watching the scenes unravel outside of their original stage context a slightly wanting experience. It is a shame to miss out on each of the characters reactions to every delicious line of Reza’s dialogue. While the ability to relate to the situation may be limited
The Crossword Across 1. In itself, ___ se 4. Double agent 7. Not cold 10. Street division 11. Unwelcome garden growths 14. State of wonder 15. Verbs and nouns 16. Before 1
17. Motel 18. Play a part 19. Give a scathing review 21. Alternatives to apples 23. Wild blue yonder 24. Ovum 25. Act upon a closed door 26. Frozen water 27. Lowest parts
55 60 64
46. Wager 47. Fewer, as a quality 48. Soundstage 49. Give money in exchange for labour 52. Fashion 54. Tennis foul 55. Raw mineral 56. Also 57. Thick 60. Objects 62. Came out on top 63. Slithery creature 64. Goal areas in many sports 65. Single 66. Hole in the ground 67. Petrol Down
30. Common contraction 33. Excitable 35. Paddle 37. Drench 38. Every 39. Largest continent 40. Possess 41. Altogether 43. Spelled often misspelled 44. Explain the limits
1. Social gathering 2. Terminus 3. A form of recognition 4. Enjoyed a swing set 5. Writing utensil 6. Still 7. Natural head adornment 8. Dominates, slangly 9. Sawbuck 10. Key counterpart 12. Immersed, as in water 13. Weary 15. Existed 20. Time of life 22. Industrious insect 25. Eerily 26. Fluid in 5. down 28. Garden connection
between tap and lawn sprinkler 29. Naturally powered type of boat 30. The Wednesday beginning Lent 31. Pathway 32. Convenience, ___ of access 33. Powerful winds 34. Under the weather 36. Rodent 39. Suitable 41. Meadows 42. Invisible 43. Context
45. Easy catch in baseball 46. Spelling contest 48. Rain and snow combined 49. Virgil, Shakespeare, Bukowski 50. Weapons 51. Affirmative answer 52. Momentarily 53. Musical quality 56. Pair 58. Siesta 59. Snowboard alternative 61. Breakfast beverage
by Andrew Walt
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January 12, 2012
Breaking up is hard to do Dear Suzie, I’ve been friends with “Molly” for years. Our friendship used to be great, starting out in our awkward high school years and stretching through most of university. In the past year, though, our friendship has deteriorated to the point that we barely see each other. We used to spend time together regularly, go out for coffee, go to the movies, and I could trust her with any problem or secret. I used to love spending time with her because she was one of the funniest, craziest people I knew. We’ve never had a disagreement of any type, but now it’s gotten to the point that we barely speak. Not to be an asshole, but I think it’s mostly her fault. Molly has consistently failed to show up to casual get-togethers and important events like my birthday, graduation party and farewell party, each time giving a really shitty excuse. I’m tired of being stood up and let down by her, and find myself thinking about “breaking up” with her and focusing on the friends who treat me better. What should I do?
The 2012 Apocalypse hits: what’s playing at the newspaper office? Visit thenewspaper.ca to listen.
Andrew - The Black Keys, “Same Old Thing” Bodi - Joy Division, “Interzone” Cara - The Brian Jonestown Massacre, “Mansion In The Sky” Dan - Broken Social Scene, “Dreams Of Pavement (A Better Day)” Nick - Wintersleep, “Drunk On Aluminium” Sam - Nas feat. Lauren Hill, “If I Ruled The World” Suzie - The Flaming Lips, “Do You Realize” Vanessa - David Bowie, “Starman” Yukon - Emir Kusturica and the No Smoking Orchestra, “Dejo Dance”
Signed, Friend Indeed Dear Friend, I’m all for dumping people who don’t deserve to be in your life. We’re given a short time on Earth, and it doesn’t make sense to waste it on so-called friends who don’t bring anything positive to the table. From the sounds of it, however, Molly is important to you, and although her behaviour is reproachable, cutting the cord right now might hurt you more than you realize. Try talking to Molly before you resort to ignoring her calls and texts. Something might have happened to make her change her behaviour toward you. It sounds like you are doing well in life and are celebrating it, which makes me wonder whether Molly is just flat out jealous of you and your success. Whatever the reason behind this sad decline in your friendship, the both of you owe it to each other to talk about it, no matter how uncomfortable it is. What I said before about having a short time on this planet is undeniable, and when your time is up, you don’t want to have any regrets. Sincerely, Suzie
Want to ask Suzie a question? Email Suzie at email@example.com, or submit (anonymously, of course!) at www.thenewspaper.ca, in the blue box on the lower left.
the campus comment
the newspaper asked: If the world were to end in 2012, what would you do this year?
CHONG Actuarial Science, 3rd year “Go to France, especially Paris and see the rest of Europe.”
ALEXANDRA Political Science, Ancient Greek studies, 2nd year “Have the best time with family and friends and make a new friend at school because I’m such a loner. Also, go to Paris.”
LIZ Classics HANNAH East Asian studies, Cinema studies CHERNO Philosophy and English L: “I would go to Petra, Jordan, to see the temple. Plus, it’s suuny and warm.” H: “I would probably live exactly as I am living right now.” C: “Go to Coachella!!!!!!! And get my Ph.D. - at Coachella.”
BRIAN UTM Commerce, 4th year “Stop focusing on school and enjoy my life by spending time with family and friends with no worries.... And eat a lot.”
ROSHNIE Political Science and Sociology, 4th year
CLIFFORD ORWIN Political Science Professor “I would continue to study Plato and the Bible.”
“Dedicate my time to volunteering as much as I can and travel to somewhere in Indochina.”
Issue 15 of the newspaper, U of T's independent weekly, published January 12, 2012