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THE NEWS Mad Pride

THE INSIDE Should Toronto be safer for cyclists?


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Optical illusions

the newspaper Since 1978

VOL XXXIV Issue 11 • November 17, 2011

‘This isn’t a debate, this is a hoax’ Despite opposition, UTSU AGM passes all bylaw amendments

the briefs

see page 2


After three hours of tedious debate and technical difficulties, Tuesday’s UTSU. Annual General Meeting came to a predictable conclusion. While members eventually approved all bylaw changes outlined on the agenda, several vocal students nevertheless raised deep concerns about the potential implications of the amendments, probing beyond UTSU assurances of humble “housekeeping.” A considerable portion of the meeting was dedicated to the discussion of proposed amendments to Bylaw VI, Article 2.b (i), specifically the distinction between “newspaper” and “publication.” “In Bylaw I [Article 6], there’s a specific definition of what a campus paper is, and that it’s either the newspaper or The Varsity,” said Michael Scott, Trin-


by Andrew Walt

Bill Graham (left) listens intently as Omar Samad speculates


“Students showed up, for the most part acted respectfully, and voted on the issues.”- AGM Chair

After McGill riot, UTSU supports Quebec students U of T student union opposes tuition hike in Quebec and police crackdown on protest

This week, the UTSU sent a letter to the Quebec Minister of Education, Line Beauchamp, to show solidarity with Quebec students and to criticize the provincial government’s plan to raise university and CEGEP tuition. In a separate statement, Danielle Sandhu, President of the UTSU, spoke out against the heavy-handed McGill campus security and police response to a protest held at McGill University in Montreal on November 10, at which 14 students and a pro-

fessor were allegedly assaulted. The UTSU letter, written by VP External Shaun Shepherd, said the Quebec government’s decision to increase tuition by $325 per year until 2016 will limit access to higher education. “Education has long been considered the great social equalizer,” Shepherd wrote, “however, low- and middle-income students are increasingly unable to access college and university education as a result of financial barriers.” “In solidarity with the students of Quebec,” he concluded, GEOFFREY VENDEVILLE

by Geoffrey Vendeville

“ we urge you to reject the proposal for tuition fee increase and [to] reaffirm your government’s commitment to affordable, accessible and public education.” Quebec Premier Jean Charest has argued that cash-strapped Quebec universities desperately need more money from tuition. His decision has elicited strong opposition from Quebec students. Last Thursday, 30,000 people staged a demonstration outside Charest’s office in downtown Montreal. Hundreds of protestors moved up McGill

see page 3

No apple on the desk, no class A psychology professor at Sacremento State University in California refused to teach his morning class last Thursday after one of his students did not bring a snack. The prof asks his students to bring a snack to class to encourage them to get to know one another. The course syllabus states: “Not having a snack = no Dr. Parrott or TAs. Now you are responsible for your own lab assignment.” Accordingly, Professor Parrott and his TAs left class last Thursday to have breakfast.


Man threatens to shoot TTC employee “in the face,” gets 45 days in jail A 29 year-old man who threatened the life of a TTC worker last week was given 45 days in jail. The employee had asked the man, who had lit up in a non-smoking area of Finch Station, to put out his cigarette. The man then reached into his backpack and warned the TTC employee: “you have three seconds to get out of my face or I’ll get my gun and shoot you in the face.” The man was later apprehended by police and charged with uttering a death threat. More on page 3

Inside this issue...


Ancient secrets Page 7


The University of Toronto’s Independent Weekly




Sale starts November 15th, 2011. Sale applies to select titles only, while quantities last. The U of T Bookstore reserves the right to end this and other promotions at any time.

St. George Campus Koffler Student Services Building 214 College St • Toronto • ON • M5T 3A1 (416) 640-7900

the newspaper the newspaper is the University of Toronto’s independent weekly paper, published since 1978. VOL XXXIV No. 11

Editor-in-Chief Cara Sabatini

Copy Editor Talia Gordon

News Editor Geoff Vendeville

Arts Editor Vanessa Purdy

Associate News Editor Yukon Damov

Contributors Nana Arbova, Miriam Arbus, Suzie Balabuch, Aberdeen Berry, Bodi Bold, Dan Christensen, Yukon Damov, Talia Gordon, Vanessa Purdy, Geoffrey Vendeville, Andrew Walt.

Photo Editor Bodi Bold Associate Photo Editor Nana Arbova

Web Editor Andrew Walt the newspaper 1 Spadina Crescent Suite 245 Toronto, ON M5S 1A1

Editorial: 416-593-1552

the newspaper is published by Planet Publications Inc., a nonprofit corporation. All U of T community members, including students, staff and faculty, are encouraged to contribute to the newspaper.

Dear Suzie

November 17, 2011

Young Moneyless

Got a question for Suzie? Submit it anonymously at the in the blue box Dear Suzie, I’m trying to save money but am having such a hard time doing it! Do you have any advice on how to save!? -1 Broke Girl Dear 1 Broke Girl, Saving money, like any other good habit, takes discipline and time, but if you stick to it, you will see results on your bank statement. You have probably heard this advice before, but don’t despair: it’s been repeated for a reason. Start small: try to cut down eating out to two times a week. There are plenty of easy recipes for small budgets out there, and in the internet age, you really have no excuse to not learn how to cook simply and cheaply. Next, use the 24-hour rule when purchasing non-essential items like clothes, gifts, books, whatever you don’t need to actually survive. If you see an item you love, put it down and come back to it in 24 hours. Odds are, you will forget all about it, and that means that you didn’t need it as much as you thought. Lastly, find out if your bank has an automatic savings program for debit purchases. A small amount, say $3, is transferred from your chequing account into a savings account every time you use your debit to make a purchase. It’s not a magic saving solution, but it does some of the thinking for you. Broke girl, I hope this wasn’t too overwhelming. Saving money doesn’t have to be painful. Get creative, don’t shop impulsively, and you will soon have a little nest egg. Sincerely, Suzie

from “hoax” ity representative on the UTSU Board of Directors. “[Campus] publication doesn’t have this definition in Bylaw I, which means that publication could be interpreted rather broadly.” Scott was not alone in this concern. Several other students took to the microphone to plead that the motion amending the bylaw not be passed, claiming that this lack of definition could potentially be abused. For example, UTSU could define “publication” as a pamphlet tucked away on a rack in their office, effectively hiding it from the majority of the student population. “I think that the newspaper and The Varsity are good ways to publicize events that we want U of T students to know about,” Scott said. Curiously, the AGM package only indicated what the bylaws in debate would be amended to read, and did not include the phrasing as it appeared in the original document. With regards to Bylaw VI, Article 2.b (i), the clause in question, “by publication in a campus newspaper,” was to be changed to read, “by campus publication and Union website.” While there is a clear definition of “campus newspaper” in Bylaw I, neither “campus publication” nor “union website” are clearly specified. Despite vocal opposition, the motion carried. In fact, all

motions to enact the proposed amendments to the bylaws were approved. “Collectively, members approved a change to provide notice of elections not only in newspapers such as the newspaper and The Varsity, but in other campus publications as well,” explained UTSU president Danielle Sandhu in a formal response to the newspaper. “[This change is part of] an ongoing effort to increase engagement of our members.” Her full comment can be viewed on www.thenewspaper. ca. Some students in opposition to the motion, such as undergraduate Brent Schmidt, were frustrated by defeat and did not receive the result as amicably. “It seems like we’re getting voted out - like we’re getting stifled out - just because we happen to be against,” he said. “I don’t appre-

ciate being in this atmosphere where if I’m speaking against [the motion], all of a sudden the issue doesn’t matter. I think this is a problem with these meetings and with the union in general. AGM Chair Ashkon Hashemi, however, felt that such outbursts might have been excessive. “There are some areas of the UTSU bylaws that are very unclear or contradictory,” he said. “It seemed to me like the amendments were just designed to make them more transparent and clearer. There were no big changes to them [the bylaws], just housekeeping that was long overdue.” “Students showed up, for the most part acted respectfully, and voted on the issues,” Hashemi concluded. “Whatever the outcome was, at least it was a reflection of the will of the students.”



UTSU President Danielle Sandhu responds to students’ concerns




from “UTSU supports”

McGill student, November 11, 2011

College Ave. and gathered outside the McGill administration building. Fourteen students entered the building and staged a sit-in in the office of university principal, Heather MunroeBlum, until they were forced out by campus security. Police on bicycles soon arrived at the scene and tried to break up the protest. They were pelted with sticks and water bottles and quickly forced to retreat. Riot police were then called in and, according to The McGill Daily, used “pepper spray, tear gas, and physical force” to disperse the protestors. Philosophy professor, Greg Mikelson, was observing the protest when he was clubbed with a baton and pepper sprayed by police. “I had just stopped to watch what was going on,” he told CBC, “and the police just walked up to me and attacked me.” Principal Munro-Blum has asked the dean of the faculty of law to lead an investigation into the incident. In an open letter to students, the dean said that the purpose of the investigation is “to allow McGill to learn from the events of November 10, 2011, and to take steps that would reduce the likelihood of

a recurrence.” President of the UTSU, Danielle Sandhu, sent The Newspaper a statement concerning the riot at McGill University: “We offer solidarity to students at McGill University, fighting to ensure that education remains accessible in Quebec. As students displaced from our own campus by riot police in June of 2010, we are concerned about the repression of political dissent and use of aggression at McGill.” The McGill student union, the Students’ Society of McGill University, welcomed support from U of T and other Canadian universities. “I think that can only be positive. It’s been very difficult to get this story out in the major news media,” McGill’s VP External, Joël Pedneault, said about the outpouring of support. “I feel very strongly that if no one other than McGill denounces what happened [the police’s forceful handling of the protest], if that becomes a situation that becomes acceptable in Canada and Quebec, then we’re heading for very, very difficult times ahead.” “I think it’s important that student unions draw the line in Canada and say that it’s unacceptable that police were used to use force against student protestors,” Pednault said.

Prostate cancer linked to pill, study finds A study conducted by doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto reports a significant link between rates of prostate cancer and usage of the birth control pill. The study claims that urine excreted by women on the pill contains un-degraded compounds of the oral contraceptive that are acting as endocrine-disturbing compounds (EDCs). The resulting hormonal interference may cause cancer. The study examined the linkages in 87 countries between the rates of women using various forms of contraceptives, and mortality rates as a result of prostate cancer. U of T student awarded Ph D posthumously After Sara Al-Bader, a postdoctoral candidate at U of T, died last November, her colleagues finished her thesis on health innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. U of T has now awarded Al-Badar a Ph.D posthumously. “She had put so much work into her thesis and she was so passionate about understanding how innovation can work in different countries to improve health, to reduce inequity and poverty,” said Halla Thorsteinsdóttir, an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Students talk mad culture

‘We’re not just a formal group of people who engage in advocacy . . . we’re a community.’ - Elizabeth of Mad Student Society by Talia Gordon The Mad Students Society (MSS) had their monthly meeting last Saturday, November 12, at an unnamed location in downtown Toronto. In an effort to create a safe and supportive space for members, the location of their meetings is kept secret from the general public. Group membership is limited to self-identified ‘mad’ students, with the dual purpose of attracting an intimate group of like-minded individuals, and creating a sense of community that supports and celebrates ‘mad’ culture. In their information pamphlet, the group is advertised as a “Peer Advocacy Group for Students who Experience the Psychiatric System.” Since its inception in 2005, the society has sought to represent and support those who “are currently, or have in the past experienced the psychiatric system.” This self-description is merely the tip of the iceberg to understanding the multiple functions, roles and

voices of the organization. Though advocacy is an important component of MSS, the society is often erroneously pigeonholed as a campus group dedicated to ‘mental health’ issues. MSS member Elizabeth explained, “We’re not just a formal group of people who engage in peer-support and advocacy, we’re also a community.” Together, group members work to foster this community in order to empower students in a number of different ways, within and beyond the walls of the university. Group member Alisa explained why the group has chosen the word ‘mad’ rather than ‘mentally ill’ or other common psychiatric terms. “The first big difference is what language we choose ourselves and what language we are labeled with. Most people have been told what their label is, and it’s usually medical.” said Alisa. Like many marginalized groups who have positively re-adopted formerly oppressive language, the MSS pre-

fers ‘mad’ as an identity-label. “We’re reclaiming the word ‘mad,’ which has been used throughout history to identify our community,” Alisa explained. “For me, using the word ‘mad’ is a kind of form of pride. Most importantly, it’s a way of participating in a social movement. . .rather than focusing on a language that has been used against me.” The language of madness expresses a non-medical paradigm of understanding and engagement when it comes to advocacy and support for self-identified (and unidentified) mad students. The society emphasizes a shift from “mental illness awareness,” to encourage alternative understandings of madness and other idioms of distress. In the same vein, the society advocates for the creation of environments and spaces to celebrate rather than to treat or confine the expression of madness. In describing the advocacy work of the MSS, Elizabeth shared her own experience

of being a mad student in the academic milieu. “What I was dealing with in university was extreme isolation, the rigid structure of courses and campus itself, and the lack of community . . . [within] structures that didn’t encourage socialization.” Elizabeth explained how experiences of distress produced by university structures become individualized, rather than examined as a broader community issue. “It becomes about identifying people ‘at risk’ and about individual intervention. But offering treatment isn’t going to take away someone’s isolation and loneliness,” she added. Even community-oriented approaches to improving understandings of madness can be misdirected and at worst, oppressive. Elizabeth explained, “Often when we’re invited into a public space to talk about mental health, wellness and alternatives, there are already structures in place that expect discovery illness narratives and recovery stories. We want to resist

that.” Alisa added, “Or we get tokenized as the ‘spokesperson for the community,’ and that’s not useful either.” Instead, the group members suggested that in community education, a good place to start is language. “People use a lot of intellectual disability language . . . like ‘crazy,’ and ‘insane,’ and often in very negative ways that reinforce the idea that craziness is bad,” explained Alisa. Beyond language, what are more useful and efficacious approaches to supporting mad students on campus? Above all, Elizabeth explained, the university should not act as a pseudo health care provider. “The university should be concerned with providing education that is accessible and accommodative, rather than handing out checklists of criteria for things you might be experiencing if you might be crazy. If they handed out a checklist of things that indicated you might need accommodation, that would be helpful.”




Butting heads on bikes

The Pro

If there's one thing both cyclists and drivers have in common, it's their propensity to lambaste one another at any given opportunity. It is hoped that the people who occupy both seats have the kind of empathy. that makes for safe cycling and driving.



Motion: The city of Toronto has the responsibility to make roads safer for cyclists.

The Con by Andrew Walt The recent death of Jenna Morrison has galvanized the ongoing feud between drivers and cyclists, prompting the cycling community to demand upgrades to the safety regulations which govern the shared streets of the province. But while Toronto should surely be made safer for cyclists (as Toronto should be made safer for everyone), it must be asked whether or not cyclists are deserving of a safer city. The answer to that question is perhaps less certain, and certainly more contentious. If there’s one thing both cyclists and drivers have in common, it’s their propensity to lambaste one another at any opportunity. Bad drivers are often berated by cyclists for their ignorance and unawareness, whereas bad cyclists are often criticized by drivers for their carelessness and unpredictability. But consider for a moment how cars and bicycles are equal under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, the final word on vehicular laws in the province. Drivers are aware that it’s illegal to speed through red lights and stop


The history of the automobile is filled with safety innovations, most of them infrastructural: paved roads, lane markings, traffic lights, highway lane dividers. But altogether, this preponderance of car-oriented changes to our roads has come at the expense of the safety of cyclists, who are forced to share the road with fast, heavy, deadly vehicles. In light of this imbalance, the City of Toronto must work to improve safety for cyclists. It is already difficult to get more road space designated for cyclists. And in the form of painted lanes, the officially relegated space provides little assurance for a cyclist’s safety. There are the usual complaints that cyclists are erratic and ride illegally, running through stop signs and red lights. Bicycles, which don’t fit into the current road scheme where there aren’t bike lanes, throw traffic into a kind of chaos for every road user. And for the individual cyclist, part of the problem when mixing with traffic is that the cyclist seems unexpected and unseen, constantly vying for limited space.

The roles of cyclist and driver are not always mutually exclusive. It is hoped that the people who occupy both seats have the kind of empathy that makes for safe cycling and driving. If the City cannot provide the physical infrastructure necessary to improve cyclists’ safety, it still bears responsibility for ensuring safe road conditions. With minimal protection, cyclists are much more vulnerable to dangerous and sometimes fatal accidents, often involving cars or trucks on the road. However, the heightened risks for cyclists have not been considered in municipal planning decision-making. The most effective, and least costly way for the City to increase road-safety would be to encourage defensive driving tactics and more respectful cycling habits within the general population. The City can responsibly educate its citizens about road safety. It can influence road culture and driving/cycling habits. Toronto must help people understand that cyclists and drivers have a mutual responsibility to each other to share the road in a respectful, safe, and consistent manner. GEOFFREY VENDEVILLE

by Yukon Damov

November 17, 2011

Tell us which side you’re on at

signs, yet most cyclists seem oblivious to the fact. How many times have you seen cyclists disregard traffic signals and signs, an infraction which carries an $85 fine? You’ll surely never see a car drive on the sidewalk, so why do cyclists seem to think they can get away with doing just that? All too often, cyclists bike in the wrong direction, neglect to signal turns, and fail to yield to pedestrians. When so few cyclists can be bothered to obey the rules devised for common safety, why should the city make efforts to accommodate their needs? If I’ve upset you with this piece, dear cyclists, then prove me wrong. Prove to me that you deserve special consideration in the changing traffic infrastructure of our city. Not by throwing a tantrum every time some prick in a Porsche cuts you off, but by being a model of the virtues you claim to embody through your alternative transportation choice. Because while there are a great deal of bad drivers out there, there are far more bad cyclists.








Photographs of holograms at UTAC lounge: “You really just have to see for yourself.”

Student works shine in Next Dimension UTAC and the Institute for Optical Sciences explore the potential of holography, a convergence of art and science by Miriam Arbus

The new exhibit at the University of Toronto Art Centre is an interdisciplinary convergence of the fine arts and the sciences. The Next Dimension: Holograms for Optical Sciences in conjunction with the Institute for Optical Sciences, features the work of undergraduate students who have taken U of T’s Holography course since its inception in 2008. The Next Dimension is a delightful, but challenging, aesthetic experience. Located in the UTAC lounge, The Next Dimension aims to inform visitors of the research and development produced by the Holography course, and also offers a challenge to current understandings of the potentials offered by this medium. A selection of screen-like holographic plates are displayed, each of which are intentionally illuminated by individual lamps. Each plate was designed by undergraduate students, and displays individual three dimensional images or sequences. Professor and coordinator

of the Holography course and exhibition, Emanuel Istrate, elaborated on the method of exhibition. He explained that the boxes and stands were created purposefully, intended as medium-specific displays that would both attract the viewer and help situate the holographic plate as artwork in the gallery setting. Holographic renderings such as those displayed in this exhibition are created in a similar process to the photograph, where light is used to capture the image of objects. In the holography studio, objects are placed in front of the holographic plate, and laser-light rays are directed at the scene. The holographic plate captures the way the light scatters upon illuminating the object. The result is a recording of all the involved perspectives – therefore creating multi-dimensionality. Though holography was discovered (developed?) in 1947, public knowledge concerning this scientific medium is fairly limited. Most associate holography with its prevalence in science fiction

movies. The lack of awareness is due to the intricate technology required for producing holograms, and the associated high costs. Istrate described the Holography course as a practical, hands-on method for understanding the mechanisms and applications of holographic research. Multi-disciplinarity is essential; Istrate explained that his teaching methodology is intended to challenge students from varying academic backgrounds to acquire new abilities. Taught collaboratively by Istrate and a fine-arts professor from OCAD U, this course offers an alternative, interdisciplinary method for comprehending scientific theories and equations. Istrate explained that in the sciences, students must approach complex methodologies and theories starting with the equations. By way of first learning how to create holograms, Istrate hopes to provide a unique method for understanding scientific equations, and for advancing the development of students’

research abilities. This interdisciplinary environment brings fine-arts and science students together in a distinctively co-operative learning environment. Holographic research has potential in a variety of fields. Holograms allow for the study of minute details of an imaged object. The multifaceted perspectives that result from the recording of scattered light allow a closer look at minuscule discrepancies in such objects as damaged jet engine turbines, or a malfunctioning car’s wheel bearings. Microscopic holograms can distinguish between transparent substances, making it possible to view cells or chemical substances. The future of holography promises the capacity for large scale information and data storage. One holographic plate has the potential to hold an unfathomable amount of data, explained Istrate, but because of the costliness of such endeavours, the mass use of holograms is a long way away. The holograms displayed in

The Next Dimension engage the viewer both aesthetically and intellectually as perceptions are challenged by the seemingly impossible 3D existence on a 2D plane. The ethereal quality of the images transform from two to three dimensions upon one’s own movement around the holographic plate, which produces the full perspective of the imaged object. Istrate explained that photographic documentation of holograms jeopardizes the captivating three-dimensional quality, and suggested that, “you really just have to come and see them for yourself.” The Next Dimension: Holograms for Optical Sciences can be found at the UTAC Lounge, 15 King’s College Circle, from November 8 – December 2, 2011. For more information on Holography courses visit academic/undergraduate/holography



November 17, 2011

Economic, Political and Artistic Union The European Union Film Festival is growing (unlike its currency) “Last year, we had one about an [immigrant] heart surgeon who ends up working in the subway in Stockholm,” Henriksson recalled. This kind of common experience can resonate with Canadian viewers, many of whom are immigrants themselves. Henriksson added that responding to the immigrant experience is a con-

crete example of where intercultural dialogue is beneficial. Henriksson commented that in this regard, “Canada is a generation or so ahead of a country like Sweden.” While some films are about current issues, others have touched upon modern history. “Some countries have used their films as starting points


Since 2005, the annual European Union Film Festival in Toronto has screened an increasing number of films, with the intention to promote cultural dialogue. Given the results of Environics’ recent survey, which revealed that the majority of Canadians think immigrants ought to adopt the nation’s values as a condition of admittance into the country, the continued effort to inspire this cultural dialogue and exchange is a pertinent endeavor. The EU film fest began as a collaboration between various EU governments and cultural institutes. “We started with Germany, France, Sweden and others, and then it expanded over the years,” said Lars Henriksson, Sweden’s Honorary Consul in Toronto, and co-founder of the festival. The festival was originally hosted on consul premises, but this limited space could only accommodate 100 audience members and attendance soon exceeded capacity. The festival’s growing attendance made it necessary to move

screenings to the Royal Theatre on College Street, which can house about 600 people. Even in this larger venue, many screenings sell out. Henriksson explained why the idea of a film festival was appealing to him. “This is something most countries can participate in. With few exceptions, every country has produced films.” Each country in the EU is invited to submit a film. Because the festival also aims to support independent filmmakers, priority is given to films that have not yet been screened in Toronto. This is also pragmatic: “One of the reasons we do this,” Henriksson noted, “is that the more broadly released films are already scheduled for commercial showings, and they are more difficult to get a hold of.” Henriksson explained that, “We want to show both to ourselves and to Canadian audiences what is happening in Europe today.” With this in mind, immigration is a major topic addressed throughout the festival. While these films have range from comedy to drama, they all touch on serious social issues.

for discussions. Last year…we had a German-Polish film that dealt with the situation in Poland during the [Second World] War…then we had a seminar discussion with historians,” says Henriksson, who hopes that the festival will continue to be used as an educational opportunity. Henriksson has great expectations for the festival’s prospects. “There are over a hundred film festivals in Toronto every year, and we are in the top ten,” he enthused. Admission to the event is free, which is a crucial aspect of its success and remains important to the festival organizers. This sense of mission is evident in Henriksson’s objective: “We want to showcase Europe and the European Union, and make people aware that there are other things going on in Europe besides problems with the Euro.” This year’s European Union Film Festival runs from the 17th-30th at the Royal Cinema on 608 College Street, and all admission is free.


by Aberdeen Berry


J. Edgar could use less armoir, more bureau on screen Eastwood does few favours for Hoover’s legacy by Dan Christensen It’s difficult to imagine a film that begs for an Academy Award as desperately, and as fruitlessly, as J. Edgar. You know just from the trailer that this is Oscar bait, even before you discover that it was penned by Dustin Lance Black, who picked up the best original screenplay Oscar for Milk at the 2009 ceremony, and that it was directed by Clint Eastwood, the Academy’s most-nominated director. Not to mention being populated by the likes of Leo, Naomi Watts, and Armie Hammer – all part of the pretty-people-with-acting-chops family. So, naturally, you’re left with one question when the screening’s over: where did all the talent go? We’re aided (or, more often, impeded) by a woefully executed time-jumping contrivance that has old man Hoover dictating his life’s story to

various young, attractive male typists while the bad prosthetics-free version of DiCaprio whisks us through a smattering of poorly connected biographical highs and lows. We observe him cantankerously forming the FBI, appearing in comic books, and apprehending the Lindbergh kidnapper, though the largest component of this clumsy personal narrative is taken by Hoover’s relationship with his “companion” Clyde Tolson, Armie Hammer’s tender and delicate performance of whom turns out to be the film’s highest point. Sadly, despite Hammer and DiCaprio’s chemistry as chaste lovers (both physically and verbally), the film’s investigation into their relationship, and Hoover’s sexuality in general, has difficulty moving beyond the blunt fact of Hoover’s apparent denial. Indeed, for the film, it seems that the Freudian reac-

tionary tendencies stemming from Hoover’s private life are a preoccupation to the detriment of clarity in the story of his public life. This seems something of a waste, as in the former case we get the point well enough by twenty minutes in. Though Hoover’s crusade against privacy (and, of course, Communists) in the name of protecting Americans with modern forensic science does provoke some comparisons to the current sociopolitical climate (esp. with Harper’s internet spying bill still fresh on our minds), such thoughts still can’t distract us from the embarrassingly lazy visuals. Between the conspicuously tale and repetitive camera placement and the ineffective muted lighting, we start to worry that maybe old Squint Eastwood has finally succumbed to some eye damage after all these years. Then, when a hideous score-

truly, the audible groans in the theatre would have been preferable–from Eastwood is piled on the aforementioned stilted storytelling and and sorry cinematography, the 132 minute running time becomes a true marathon. Suffice it to say, if you’re not familiar with this giant

of 20th century American political history, this is probably not the place to start, and if you are familiar, rest assured that it doesn’t crack open any of Hoover’s secret files. It does, however, feature Leonardo DiCaprio in a dress. So there’s that.

J. Edgar Hoover looking out for America



ROM exhibit excavates an enigma

the mixtape Here's what the staff has on rotation at the newspaper office this week. Visit to listen. Andrew – Sloan, “Take the Bench” Aberdeen -- Wolf Parade, “What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had To Go This Way) Bodi – Total Slacker, “Psychic Mesa” Cara – Cat Power, “Song To Bobby” Geoff -- Talking Heads, “Love --> Building on Fire” Talia – Braids, “Plath Hearts” Vanessa – Cat Stevens, “Wild World” Yukon – Nick Lowe, “I Trained Her To Love Me”


Maya exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum, not one for the ages

Lidded bowl depicting iguana-jaguar slaying humans (naturally) by Vanessa Purdy A civilization with more mystery than known history, the Maya finally get their due in the ROM’s latest collection, Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World, opening to the public this Friday. The exhibit is a joint effort of the ROM, the National Institute of Anthropology and History, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It boasts almost 250 artifacts, aimed at shining a light on the delicate dynamics between the Maya ruling class and the rest of its society through items that would have permeated the daily rituals and customs of the culture. The ROM is really going all out for this featured

exhibit; creating a special Maya-inspired menu at c5 and their food studio space. The museum has also organized a monthly lecture series (cost is $23 per lecture), sure to be of interest for those truly invested in new discoveries of a Maya nature. The exhibit itself is presented in a very sanitized, perhaps overly generic way, despite the hype around new artifacts from the lost city of Palenque. Some mock stone walls and often dim lighting, intended to create the ambience of being in a Mayan temple (I assume), don’t really do much for effect. Some videos of lush landscapes were projected on the walls, including an interesting Maya countdown calendar,

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but all in all, that component is lackluster. However, if the Maya prediction of our doomsday is really fast approaching on December 21st, 2012, I would not plan to spend too much of my free time in this exhibition. A huge space for what felt like relatively few pieces, let alone pieces of visual interest, the secrets of this ancient world are not as exciting as one would have hoped, at least not in the way they were presented. Few pieces stand out as engaging, independently of a detailed pre-knowledge of the history of the subject matter, as the descriptions of the artifacts are too bland to really inspire new interest.

We eat deadlines for breakfast. uoftnewspaper



The Crossword Across 1. Interrogative pronoun 4. Gently knocks 8. Eternal city 12. Lower abdominal bones 14. Length times width 15. Man-made water channel

16. Notion 17. Entertainers 19. Bird bench 21. Super sandwich 22. Behold 23. Japanese alcoholic beverage 24. Special discounts

25. Weary 27. Indian instrument 32. Snowboard alternative 35. Codes of conduct 36. Identity 37. Not outside 39. Power generators 42. Poker player’s pitfall

November 17, 2011

43. Informal Italian salutation 44. Wager 45. Sows 47. Actor ___ Beatty 49. Suddenly get married 51. Volcanic output 54. Picnic pest 57. Unsightly growth 58. Glances over, as a book 60. “The happiest place on earth” theme park 64. Great lake 65. Live, as radio or television 66. Is killed 67. Fictional FBI agent ___ Scully 68. Slavic person 69. Mucus 70. Place to park

26. Corn unit 28. Emerald Isle army 29. Grave 30. Soothing ingredient 31. Relaxation 32. Enjoys a chair 33. Leg joint 34. Lazy 38. Aged 39. Desperate 40. Pirate’s grunt of assent 41. Gallagher and Edmonds 43. Ship’s pilot 46. Waste tunnel 47. Planets

48. Nude 50. Establish; ___ a foundation 52. Wildly popular clip; ___ video 53. Some yogurts contain these acids 54. Delays 55. One before ten 56. Slavic monarch 59. Bench 61. Mini Twizzler 62. Matrix protagonist 63. Time changing anachronism

by Andrew Walt



Down 1. “___ it” (Devo song) 2. Conceals 3. Verdi work 4. Dance genre 5. “Who do you think you ___?” 6. Maybe 7. With caution 8. Aries animal 9. Singles 10. Female horse 11. Ultimatum word 13. Potato pouches 15. Intersection 18. Raw mineral 20. Greeting word 24. Mends, as a garment

the campus comment

In a recent Leger Marketing poll Toronto was voted the “least liked” city in Canada. the newspaper asked: What do you like about Toronto?


Edelyn Rotman, 1st year “The fact that you can go out every night and find something new to do.”

Josue Marketing, 1st year “The city lights, like at Yonge & Dundas Square.”

Edwin Mathematics, 2nd year “I’’m from Vancouver, but Toronto is definitely more urban. It’s also more connected to the rest of the world.”

Naomi Computer Science, 2nd year “I like it when various bands are touring the world and Toronto will always be one of the stops. It’s a very cosmopolitan city but it’s liveable at the same time.”

Rabi Chemical Engineering, 4th year “It’s my home and I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’m hardheaded like that.”


Quan Hospitality, 2nd year “The food. All those random restaurants in Chinatown and K-town. My favorite is Korean Grill House. ”

Issue 11 - November 17 2011  

Issue 11 of the newspaper, U of T's independent weekly, published November 17 2011