Same Old Lions Culpepper’s arrival fails to spice up offense
Battle of the Bands
Bond is Back
Student Government opens auditions pg 3
GORA A pg 6
Monroe County Community College
November 18, 2008
Vol. 51, Issue 5
Bill in Lansing could allow bachelor’s degree at MCCC
need a plan to accommodate future growth. A proposed Technology BuildA new bill in the Michigan Senate would allow students to pursue ing is currently being considered four-year degrees on the MCCC and will allow for an expansion of programs at MCCC, based on fucampus. The Michigan Community Col- ture technology need. It would be lege Association (MCCA) for years a large, flexible area that could be has been lobbying for four-year Bac- retooled or have equipment changed calaureate degrees, which would in- easily. If student interest permits the clude new programs for the 28 complans, things could be moving formunity colleges across the state. The new bill would adjust the ward in a few years. “This is a reasonable vision in the Community College Act, which was next ten years,” said Nixon. “This established in 1964. Four-year degrees already exist could develop into four-year degrees at MCCC in the form of the exclu- someday.” Four-year degrees could also help sive Nursing program. Students a Nuclear Technology also have the ability program get under to obtain four-year way at MCCC. The degrees from Eastern “This is a college has been apMichigan and Sienna reasonable proached by DTE Heights Universities Energy and could on campus. vision in someday be educating “This would help workers at the Fermi the next ten with students who Nuclear Plant with cannot be moved years. This customized four-year toward a four-year degrees. could degree,” said MCCC “And that could President David Nixdevelop into lead to combination on, referring to studegrees, for example, dents who can’t relofour-year going from Nuclear cate to a university. degrees Tech to Business One of the original Management,” said purposes of the bill someday.” Nixon. was to aid commuNixon also cited the nity colleges such as David Nixon potential for AlternaEscanaba and IronMCCC President tive Energy programs, wood, which do not such as wind energy. have major universities near them beAlthough there has cause of their rural locations. been a lot of buzz about this issue Another was to aid and expand since it was raised during an MCCC facilities of programs that are in Board of Trustees forum hosted by high demand, such as the medical The Agora. But the fact remains the field. Other states have done similar college has yet to see what will come out of the proposed bill, which is not things. “Florida adopted the State College yet approved. “As of right now, the MCCA will Act,” said MCCC Board of Trustee member William Braunlich. “Eight not allow us to grant four-year decommunity colleges there were able grees, but the Michigan Legislature to become state colleges and award could allow us to very soon,” Braunlich said. Baccalaureates based on need.” If the bill, which has been in the But the new bill already is facing opposition from the state’s larger works for about a year, is approved, it would be awhile before new propublic universities. Because community colleges typ- grams and degrees were available. “First, a study would have to be ically have lower tuition rates, many at the university level see such legis- done,” said Nixon. “A business plan lation and expansion of community to show the cost, need, and who is interested would be conducted. And colleges as a threat. “Politically, universities would the faculty would need to be ingo ballistic if community colleges volved.” The college currently owns over were renamed,” said Nixon. “But everything is evolving. It wouldn’t 250 acres - room to expand. be surprising if the new generation “I think the time is right for this,” wanted four-year degrees on a com- said Nixon. “Education is key in our munity college campus.” democracy.” In order for the legislation to be Housing may even play a role in pushed through, a deal needs to be the future on an expanded campus. struck between the universities and “The college would have to look at community colleges. that [housing],” said Nixon. “HousFor a school that has grown sev- ing can be a retention tool to keep en consecutive years, MCCC will students in school.” Casey Cheap Staff
Chris Burlew has met over 35 celebrities including actors, musicians, authors, politician and more. Turn to page 5 and get a glimpse of the ‘Almost Famous’ world of Burlew. Agora photo conceived by Steve Sonoras and Chris Burlew and illustrated by Emily Chandonnet
MCCC Athletics up for debate Andrew Thurlow Staff
The issue of sports at MCCC was raised last month at a candidate forum featuring contestants for the College Board of Trustees. Candidate Linda Lauer, who was one of the three candidates elected to the board, said she thought a sports program would increase community and student support for the college. “MCCC could be giving our athletes the opportunity to further their athletic careers and potentially be recruited later by 4 year universities,” Lauer said. “MCCC athletics would infuse a sense of loyalty and enthusiasm from our community, bring more people onto our great campus and more money in the form of athletic scholarships and gate revenue,” she said. “I know this community and the athletes of Monroe County; the lack of an athletic program at MCCC has been viewed negatively for many years, she said. “The college has not been sensitive to the needs and wishes of the community in this regards”
Before sports were forgotten, MCCC was part of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for intercollegiate sports and scholarships. MCCC competed against dozens of community colleges throughout Michigan and Ohio and was 1977 Eastern Conference champions in basketball. “Sports were cut back due to lack of funding, facilities, and challenge to find good coaching,” said former administrator of athletics, Lonnie Brunswick, who also was coach of the MCCC Huskies from 1974 to 1980. College President David Nixon said Monroe’s sports program also
was affected by the 1972 Title IX law, which prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid. In other words, men and women had to have equal and individual sport and scholarship programs available, in order for them to legally represent the college as a team. This issue eventually caused intercollegiate sports to decrease and resulted in the rise of more club sports throughout Michigan community colleges. “At one time we even encouraged club sports, like basketball,” Dr. Nixon said. “But students didn’t show.” A survey was conducted at Monroe High School and 83 percent of
Voters on Nov. 4 chose Linda Lauer and incumbents William H. Braunlich and Mary K. Thayer for the three open positions on the MCCC Board of Trustees
INSIDE: Editorial...................2 CampusNews .........3 Feature....................4
Feature....................5 Sports......................6 A&E..........................7 Spotlight..................8
Enriching the students across Southeast Michigan
students said no to community college sports at MCCC, Nixon said. However, since then, most community colleges in Michigan (19 out of 28) have adapted to the new law and continue in intercollegiate sports through the MCCAA and the NJCAA, with separate men and women sports organizations and scholarships. “I think it’s up the students, if the resources are available,” President Nixon said. “But state funding has dwindled in the last five years, and we would have to increase student tuition.” Nixon added the quickest way to start up a sports organization affiliated with the college would be to start a club program and build from there. Currently at MCCC, we have volleyball and soccer clubs run by the Director of Admissions, Mark Hall and Dean of Science and Mathematics, Vinne Maltese. However, due to repairs on the community center the volleyball team is only able to practice once a week, with no games.
Fitness Center Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Mon - Thurs: 8 a.m. - 9:30 Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Writing Center Hours:
Book Store Hours:
Monday: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tues - Thurs: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Mon & Tues: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Wed - Fri: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Visit our website at: www.monroeccc.edu
2 THE AGORA
November 18, 2008
Students debate slang terminology Insulting terms should not be accepted
“Gay,” “fag,” “homo,” “dyke,” “queer”—there’s dozens of them, and I am hopefully not the only one who is shocked that such words are accepted today as commonplace insults. What’s more, these terms have been welcomed by modern society as something far greater than casual slander. I happen to be gay, and while I take no offense to such derogatory terms, I hear my fair share of them on a daily basis. From the halls of MCCC to shows at the Magic Stick and queues at McDonald’s, “That’s so gay” and “Dude, you’re a fag” are spoken nearly as frequently as “Good morning, class” or “Care to super size it?” My heterosexual friends even toss these terms around ignorantly (yet relatively harmlessly) at social gatherings. I am aware that these words are not always used literally, though. In fact, they are uttered more often than not to simply direct the behavior of other males. If a guy spends more energy dressing himself than playing football, he’s a “fag.” If he opts to do homework instead of going to the movies, he’s a “queer.” In reality, he is probably neither, and so I am confused that such homophobic slang has become so regularly associated with disapproval. A couple weeks ago, two Agora staff members got into a tiff because one of them called the other “gay.” There were no clenched fists, but the tension was strong enough for me to feel the need to step away and
Editor’s Note After a controversial incident occurred in The Agora, staff members Steve Sonoras and Michael Crossman decided to offer up their perspective on slang terminology and freedom of speech. I apologize to anyone who takes offense to these articles. - Emily Chandonnet
Steve Sonoras Staff
evaluate the situation from afar. Student A called student B “gay.” Student B immediately took offense to the remark. Student A acknowledged the harmlessness in his words and ridiculed B for “not being able to take a joke.” As the argument grew louder and louder, the perceived level of intelligence of both A and B dropped exponentially (in my mind, at least). Why was B so offended by the homophobic remark directed toward him if he is so certain of his sexual preference? Why did A resort to such a base term in the first place, when the English language offers so many choices for such situations? This scenario serves to show that homophobia has entered the larger consciousness with a much wider meaning. “Gay” and “fag” no longer apply simply to homosexuals. These words are no longer even really associated particularly with
sexuality, but rather with behavior in general. In fact, many straight men who use sexual slang on a regular basis say they would never associate those terms with actual homosexuals. As students, I think we need to set an example. We should work to obliterate the use of sexual slander and replace it with something more becoming of an intellectual culture. If you believe an insult is really needed to make a point, don’t simply resort to primal verbal aggression. Instead, consult a thesaurus or even the master of insults, William Shakespeare (we are in college, after all). Remember that the easiest way to hold the high ground in a verbal sparring match is to simply exercise intelligence. “Queer” and “homo” shouldn’t work as insults in any setting, if for no other reason than that there’s nothing medically or physically wrong with anyone based on his or her sexual preference, no matter what certain sects of society tend to believe.
Ford restricts teen drivers with new parental control devices
Kristin Stepinski Staff
People shouldn’t be so ultra-sensitive
Our mothers always told us that sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will never hurt us. Growing up in Downriver I’ve dealt with my fair share of meat heads, freaks, and silver spoons. It never seemed to amaze me though how we all spoke to/about one another. Slang is the way that we communicate with our peers. From the birth of “what’s up,” to the use of profanity on a regular basis, our generation speaks in ways our grandparents would never approve. That is until this new generation came along in which anything that anyone says can and will be used against them. Society, as we know it now, has become more accepting of all the different personas our youths have assumed. From being an alternative to the norm, covered in tattoos, or someone just liking the way that leather trench coat makes them look like a killer, we can all agree that these aren’t the good ‘ol
In 2010, Ford Motor Company will roll out the latest invention in parental controls. Called MyKey, the device restricts the maximum speed of the vehicle and sets a ceiling on stereo volume. Seatbelt reminders, earlier low-fuel warnings and permanent traction control are some of the other features included in the electronic gadget. First there were parental controls for television channels. Now adults can alter the number of text messages and phone calls that their child can make with a few clicks of a computer mouse. MyKey is just the latest step towards increasing the restrictions placed on teens. The question that comes to mind is, how much control should parents have? When is enough, enough? I understand the need for parental controls on the TV. For families with young children, it’s completely necessary. MyKey is another technological ad-
Michael Crossman Staff
days anymore. But I’m not talking about trench coats or tattoos. I’m talking about how society labels homosexuals and the words used to brand them. Homosexuality is something that our generation has become more accustomed to seeing. Gays are more common on MTV now than music videos. As well as all the style networks, makeover shows, and popular television sitcoms, gays have been “coming out” in the entertainment world for a while now. I’m sure that most of you have heard derogatory terms used in branding homosexuals. These are words that can be heard in an everyday conversation between two heterosexual people, with no intended homophobic meaning. So it is not always the intended purpose of the user to offend anyone who may be listening.
vance that is completely necessary. Statistics come out year after year and stat that teenage drivers get into more accidents than their adult counterparts. Parents can try to enforce rules as often as possible but when vehicles come into the picture, unless Mom or Dad is in the car, the kids are going to do what they want to do. Imagine that you’re sixteen, just got your license and are ready to get behind the wheel all alone. Are you really going to be thinking of Dad and all of his warnings about increasing your stopping distance during a rainstorm? Or are you going to be thinking about which friends to pick up first and the new Justin Timberlake single playing on the radio. Young drivers don’t seem to understand what could happen on the road if you even get the least bit reckless. All MyKey really does is look out for the benefit of the driver. There is always going to be a speed limit, so MyKey prevents you from get-
Now my beef isn’t with the users of these slurs, it is with the people who are offended tremendously by hearing someone use them. I mean why is everyone always worried about what the next person is going to say? Acceptance is a psychological device that people use loosely. If everything in our world was accepted, then what would’ve happened with the widespread war on drugs, the lackluster relief efforts in New Orleans, and the Civil Rights movement? Is there anything that I can say that’s going to make you change the way you feel or live? I would hope not. I hope that when Johnny told Timmy that he throws the ball like a girl, Timmy really didn’t believe his sex was going to change. We are living in a society now that preaches all about our first amendment rights until something directly insults a specific group of people, and then it is deemed harmful and disrespectful. If you hear someone leaving class and saying, “Man that test was gay as hell,” don’t read into it. You should have the common sense to decipher when someone is attacking you, and when it is just slang. Stop trying to always throw the offensive flag every time you hear something you don’t agree with. Because it is those actions that speak louder than any words.
ting a ticket by restricting your speed. Noise ordinances are in place all over Michigan, MyKey keeps the driver from getting fined by limiting the stereo volume. Statistics prove that seatbelts save lives, MyKey will chime every six seconds until you buckle up. The electronic key can also be set up so that the low-fuel light comes on earlier than the standard 50 miles until empty rule. If you think about the safety features that could be put to good use with this electronic device, the potential to save lives is there. Does it mean parents have too much control? Maybe, but we’re talking lives here. Not cell phone minutes or text messages. As far as I know, no one has ever died from lack of text messaging. Adults and teens die every day because of reckless drivers.
Campus News Babysitting opportunity
Special Lunch Performance
Responsible babysitter needed in LaSalle home 2-3 days a week, 24 hour shifts. Call to set up interview: 734-735-3897
FREE STUDENT ADVERTISING! Need to sell your books, looking for a roommate, or want to teach music lessons but don’t know how to get the word out? Send your Ad to agora@ monroecc. or drop it off at room L 202. You can design it or we can, just give us the info and we will put it in an Agora issue. Questions? Call 384-4186 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Daniels will be performing in the Dinning Room 11:30 - 1 p.m. Dec. 3
The Agora Staff Members Editor-in-Chief Emily Chandonnet Assistant Editor Jennifer Niswender Adviser Dan Shaw
Staff Michael Crossman Casey Cheap Cassie Kane Miranda Panik Steven Sonoras Kristin Stepinski Andrew Thurlow
The Agora Editorial Policy The Agora is published by the students of Monroe County Community College, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI, 48161. The editorial office is located in 202 of the Life Sciences Bldg., (734) 3844186. email@example.com. Editorial policy: Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of The Agora staff. Signed columns represent the opinion of the writer. All letters to the editor must include a signature, address and phone number for verification purposes. The Agora reserves the
right to edit for clarity, accuracy, length and libel. The Agora is a student-managed newspaper that supports a free student press and is a member of the Michigan Community College Press Association, the Michigan Collegiate Press Association, the Michigan Press Association, the Community College Journalism Association, College Media Advisers, Associated Collegiate Press and the Student Press Law Center. Story suggestions are welcome. Let us know what you’d like to see
November 18, 2008
Greenhouse class helps MCISD transition students Miranda Panik Staff
Students with special needs are getting a chance to learn greenhouse skills through a partnership between MCCC and the Monroe County Intermediate School District. The Introduction to Greenhouse Operations class is being offered three days a week in the Life Sciences building, according to Barry Kinsey, MCCC director of workforce development. “The point of this class is to offer students a skill that will help them in the future to gain employment in local greenhouses and further themselves,” Kinsey said. “We’re hoping to of-
fer more programs like this in the future.” The purpose of the class is for special needs students to be able to gain trade experience and seek employment. The class is taught by biology instructor Melody Carmichael, as well as a certified teacher supplied by the Monroe County ISD. It is a non-credit class taught Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30-11:00 a.m. Students are being taught through textbook operations learned from the Junior Master Gardener, as well as hands on experience. The students have worked in the greenhouse on campus and at Saint Isadore Farm located on Albain Rd. They were taught how to plant
simple gardens and create compost. One of their more visible ventures included landscaping on MCCC’s campus by the L Building. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they head over to the North Monroe Greenhouse and work. One of the perks ISD students get from taking this class is that they have all the benefits of being a college student. They are supplied with student ID’s, get their lunch in our cafeteria, and have free reign to use the fitness center. Some of the people from MCCC responsible for this class besides Kingsey are Mark Hall, Vinnie Maltese and John Joy, as well as Doug Allard, Bill Hite, and Kukulski from the ISD.
of the 2009
Think your band is rocking enough to compete? Email The Student Government at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will email back where to drop off a CD or DVD of your songs. All audition material will be due Jan. 21, 2009. If they like your stuff they will contact you to perform in the Battle of the Bands competition on Feb. 21, 2009. Questions? Contact: battleofbandsmccc@ gmail.com
Agora Chorale Concert - with speical guest -
Monday, Dec. 2 7:30 p.m. General Admission: Free
Poetry Winner MCCC student Jonathan Schaffer is the winner of the Writing Fellows Poetry Contest. On Thursday Oct. 30 at their Bi-Annual Poetry Night the Writing Fellows accepted original poetry entries. Schaffer was one of the nine poems entered and won a Writing Center t-shirt and a gift certificate to the book store.
whispering beneath window sills
by Jonathan Schaffer
In more recent, determined years we’ve strung out a string a tin can for each side
In a language you don’t speak I refuse to romanticize our mutual ocean
MCCC Student Government Presents:
which is simply a scar spilling over with salt and dangerous fates In the days before days counted our continents were contiguous our language, communal but the bread was broken the loaf had split and we drifted on different heels In the following rupture we forgot one another and our mutual tongue giving names to the void expanding between us the unchallenged Atlantic In a century since passed we cheated her waves with pinecraft and oars to find one another like past curfew kids
Yet the louder we speak less yet is understood and we babble desperately In a coordinated rebellion we’ll rally once more awaken Pangea with telephone lines and fiber optic wire we’ll suture the continents closing up and healing the scars In a deafening collision we’ll smash shores together leaving only white ribbons of desert Sand-dollars and fish bones our children will collect near Virginia and Portugal In a language we don’t yet speak our descendants will converse endlessly understood while your sons and my daughters slowly resemble each other as we all become olive
Last Day to Drop Classes is Nov. 19 Three Men and a Tenor Friday, Dec. 12 7:30 p.m. La-Z-Boy Center, Meyer Theater Reserved Seating: $17 VIP Seating: $25
4 THE AGORA
November 18, 2008
Military Incentives give new life to officer Michael Crossman Staff
The United States Armed Forces has multiple opportunities that often are overlooked by new college graduates of MCCC. Enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces can be a beneficial investment, when you consider the money it can put in your pockets. After you earn a 4-year degree, you are eligible to become an officer in the armed forces. Simply, this means you make a lot more money than your buddy turning wrenches. “As a Marine Officer, you’ll have a career path of limitless potential. From the day you are commissioned to the day you retire, you’ll
have the opportunity to grow personally and professionally” SSGT Mathewson, USMC southeastern Michigan recruiter, said. “The skills you learn as a Marine Officer will be the catalyst for success in all future endeavors in life,” he said. “Enlistment numbers are lower now because of everyone’s concerns about the war,” he added. The boot camp is something that often comes up in an enlistment interview. The course is up to 10 weeks, and the program is tri-annually conducted in the delegated city per branch of service. It is organized in the same format as active duty enlistees, but with more emphasis on leadership.
Benefits of Enlisting • Rewarding job with regular promotions and career broadening opportunities. • Full medical and dental coverage for service-members and their families. • Starting salary that is competitive with "Corporate America" plus 30 days paid leave. • Income pay raise each year, longevity pay increases. • Extra Aviator Pay for pilots. • Valuable job experience in any of 25 occupational specialties. • No-cost 20-year retirement with medical benefits.
• Base housing with NO cost for utilities or rent - a major savings. • On-base military grocery and department store, with 20 percent savings plus sales tax exemption. • Membership privileges in service-related organizations for additional savings (e.g. auto insurance, athletics, day care). • Low-cost life insurance up to $400,000 ($18 per month). The Armed Forces Recruiting Center locally can be found at 15555 S. Telegraph, for any of the branches of service. Call (734) 241-0293, with any questions.
Local paranormal Cassie Kane Staff
Photo courtesy of www.wisebread.com
Black Friday approaches
Jennifer Niswender Assistant Editor
Black Friday. Employees cringe hearing those words while shoppers just can’t wait till the day is finally here. Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and is considered to be one of the biggest shopping days of the year. It also marks the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. On this day many retailers open as early as 4 a.m. if not earlier. In many cities it is not uncommon to see shoppers lined up hours before the store even opens. Once inside, the shoppers often rush and grab anything they can. Most retailers will have discounted items and door buster offers for the earliest shoppers. The scene can get quite crazy with shoppers yelling and grabbing items ranging from toys to electronics. Traditionally, Black Friday sales were intended for those shopping for Christmas gifts. But for some particularly popular items, some people shop at these sales in order
to get deep discounts on items they can then resell, typically online. But why is it called Black Friday? The earliest uses of “Black Friday” came from Philadelphia, referring to the heavy traffic and comparing it to the extremely stressful and chaotic experience of Black Tuesday in 1929 during the stock-market crash. More recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers are in the black or turning a profit. While Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, the Monday after is as well. Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, which unofficially marks the beginning of the Christmas online shopping season. In recent years, Cyber Monday has become a busy day for online retailers, with some sites offering low prices and other promotions on that day. Black Friday is quickly approaching, with employees dreading a long, busy day of work, and many shoppers anxious to start their Christmas shopping.
Every town has a history, and most towns have legends, but not every town has its ghosts. Monroe is one city with its share of paranormal activity. Among the places mentioned by Monroe Paranormal, a nonprofit group that investigates local haunting, are the River Raisin Canoe Livery, the River Raisin Battlefield, Hellenburg Park/ Sterling Island, and Kauslers Island (better known as Dog Lady Island). Local cemeteries are also known to have paranormal resonance. Dog Lady Island, located off of E. Dunbar Road, was once a party haven/lover’s lane for teens in the 1960s. The island has been identified with one disturbing legend, which has been circulating since the mid-1970s. Local business owner Jim Terrasi remembers the story well. “The story goes that an old woman lived alone on the island with a number of Dobermans,” Terrasi said. “The dogs ended up attacking her, ripping out her tongue and leaving her partly blind. “She didn’t like people coming onto the island, and supposedly she would jump on the cars of people who would park on the island. Sometime later, she was killed by members of the Iron Coffins biker gang. It is said that her body is kept in a coffin somewhere on the island.” Of course, not everyone believes the story, and Frank Gryzwacki, the present owner of the island, is one of them. “I’ve been working out there since ’79 and I have never run
into any paranormal activity,” said Gryzwacki. “Personally, I don’t believe in all that hocus-pocus.” The River Raisin Battlefield is also a place mentioned by Monroe Paranormal. Pictures taken at night reveal orbs, which signify the presence of a paranormal being. An eerie feeling comes over those who walk across the plain patch of earth. Hundreds were killed, and the massacre of wounded, unarmed soldiers sparked a war cry that rallied troops throughout the War of 1812. Near the battlefield there is another active place. The old paper mill, which has been abandoned for some time, has been torn down to further the preservation of the area due to its involvement in the War of 1812. The old buildings also were active, according to Monroe Paranormal. Another island known for paranormal activity is Sterling Island (Hellenburg Park) located off of E. Front Street. The island is where many soldiers perished during the war of 1812 from starvation and freezing to death. There have been reports of voices being heard in whispers on the island, or the sound of footsteps along the bridge connecting the island to the park. The island itself is spooky at night, populated by dense patches of trees and barely visible paths. The River Raisin Canoe Livery also is a place of interest. The Monroe Paranormal group recently visited the area and conducted an investigation. Numerous EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon), which are recorded on special devices, were collected from the site. One interesting EVP, which can be heard on the group’s website, reveals the sound of a horse trotting in the background and the sound of a wooden chair being moved across
Above is a picture submitted to the Monroe Country Paranormal website. They say that the spot might be a bug but they think it is something else. Photo courtesy by monroeparanormal.com
a wooden floor. Tim Rehahn is one of the cofounders of Monroe Paranormal and reaffirmed that the canoe livery is very active and is a good place to pick up paranormal activity. “There are a lot of places in Monroe that have quite a bit of activity,” Rehahn said. “The whole Monroe area is a very haunted place.” Local cemeteries such as St. Joseph, on N. Monroe Street; Rath Cemetery, just outside of Monroe; and St. Charles Cemetery on N. Di-
xie Highway in Newport, also are mentioned. Many pictures taken by groups such as Monroe Paranormal and by other individuals have featured orbs, rays of light and unexplained blurs. EVPs also have been captured, revealing unexplained whispers and noises. There are other places where people have speculated that paranormal activity is taking place. Navarre Field, the cabins on N. Custer Road, and the Sawyer House on E. Front Street are among them.
Ford MyKey leaves parents in control Miranda Panik Staff
Ford has come out with some innovative new technology for parents of teens with lead feet. The new MyKey is a programmable key that parents can set to their desired preferences for their teen drivers. It will come standard in most 2010 models, specifically the Ford Focus. MyKey’s main focus is speed control. The National Teen Driving Statistics estimate that nearly 16 percent of police-reported car crashes involve drivers ages 15-20. A survey done by the All-
state Foundation reported that 69 percent of teens speed to keep up with traffic. For this reason, MyKey allows you to program the speed in the car to max out at 80 mph. If the parent chooses, they also can have a chime sound if the child goes over 45, 55, and 65 mph. Another option for parents is to set a volume limit on the radio, cutting off the radio’s maximum output at just 44 percent. Also, there can be a persistent chime if everyone in the car doesn’t have their seat belt on, and the radio will mute until they buckle up. Blogs on websites such as
www.engadget.com are filled with mixed responses from parents and teens alike. One of the many worries is that the chimes will distract the driver, making an accident even more likely. Everything about the MyKey is optional though, so if there is something disagreeable, it is easily disabled. Something not easily disabled is hatred of this idea by teens. Ford’s market research shows 67 percent of teen drivers disagree with this idea. This same research shows that parents are more likely to give their teens the car for the night with this system put in place, and
when it gets them the car more often, the number of objecting teens decreases by nearly half. Heather Carter, a 17-year-old senior from Huron High School, had mixed feelings about MyKey. “I think it’s a good idea because there are a lot of idiotic people on the roads, but I would hate it if my parents had that much control over my driving. Kids need to be able to make some of their own mistakes,” Heather said. Though the idea of controlling teens’ driving habits seems a little hasty, Ford is simply trying to put control back into the parent’s hands through their car keys.
Photo courtesy of www.nydailynews.com
Low on Gas $$ In this issue of The Agora we are five (MCCC symbols). Your objective is to locate all five, write them down in the blanks below and drop them off in the mailbox outside The Agora room (L 202). If you have all five we will put your name in a drawing for:
$100 GAS CARD
that we will reward at the end of the semester. Each issue we will have more thinkgs to look for. You can enter each issue to better your chances. Happy hunting!
November 18, 2008
Direct Right: Burlew Squeegees Dumb and Dumber’s Jeff Daniels. Top Right: Chris Burlew plays his clarinet on stage with Weezer. Middle: American rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor and producer Joan Jett with Burlew. Photos courtesy of Chris Burlew
Above: Burlew stand next to American singer songwriter, spoken word artist, stand-up comedian, actor and producer Henry Rollins. Below: Burlew stands with 1970’s English Punk Rock Band Buzzcocks.
Almost Famous A Fanboy’s Extraordinary Exploits Chris’s Hit List Phantom Planet (April 11, 2004) Bowling For Soup (Aug. 15, 2004, Feb. 3, 2005, August 1, 2005, July 6, 2006, October 23, 2006) American Hi-Fi (Feburary 3, 2005) New York Dolls (July 2, 2005) Morgan Spurlock (November 9, 2005) John McCain (December 7, 2005) Al Franken (December 8, 2005) Jamie Cullum (March 22, 2006) Mae (April 9, 2006) Jeff Daniels (June 1, 2006) Richard Thompson (June 10, 2006) Maddox (June 27, 2006) The Buzzcocks (July 14, 2006) Less Than Jake (July 29, 2006) Ben Lee and Say Anything (August 4, 2006) Quietdrive (Sept. 25, 2006, Nov. 15, 2007, October 28, 2008) The Pink Spiders (Janurary 5, 2007) Everclear (Feburary 9,2007, June 28, 2008) Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach (Feburary 16 2007) Ryan Adams (June 20, 2007) Joan Jett (June 24, 2007) Dog the Bounty Hunter (August 5, 2007) Sum 41 (September 23, 2007) Henry Rollins (October 13, 2007) Tayshaun Prince of the Detroit Pistons (December 8, 2007) Senator Joe Lieberman (Janurary 15, 2008) Fred Mascherino of the Color Fred (ex-Taking Back Sunday) (Feburary 23, 2008 and July 17, 2008) Yellowcard and the Spill Canvas (March 13, 2008) The Starting Line (March 20, 2008) Vice-President Joe Biden (September 15, 2008) Michael Moore (September 15, 2008)
Steve Sonoras Staff
Chris Burlew is just finishing urinating in Ann Arbor’s famous painted alley off East Liberty Street as actor Jeff Daniels hurries out of the Michigan Theater to make a quick getaway. Chris, who had attended a Q&A session featuring Mr. Daniels, zips up and rushes to grab Daniels’ attention. The sweaty and exhausted actor, flushed with annoyance, hesitates, and then walks over to Chris. “What do you want me to sign?” he barks quickly, expecting to be asked to scribble his signature on an old VHS copy of “Dumb and Dumber.” Chris refuses to give Daniels an ordinary experience, instead asking him to autograph a photo of Bruce Springsteen. And to Daniels’ annoyance, Burlew also asked to grab a photo of himself squeegeeing the famed actor’s sweaty chest. “All right,” Daniels says. “But if you go below the belt, I’ll kick your ass.” This is but one of MCCC student Chris Burlew’s many unusual brushes with fame. His infatuation with celebrity began when he was just 8-years-old. “I was at a Harlem Globetrotters game, and I was sitting three rows from former Detroit Piston, Bill Laimbeer,” Burlew remembers. “I went down, asked him for his autograph, and he handed me his extra ticket so I would throw it away for him.” The experience didn’t leave much of an impression on Chris, and it certainly wasn’t very unusual, but it was a beginning nonetheless. “It wasn’t much like how it was in the ‘tween’ years,” Burlew joked. Fast forward thirteen years and Burlew has since squeegeed John McCain, Al Franken, and Morgan Spurlock, even getting McCain to sign Michael Moore’s “Dude, Where’s My Country” –and Michael Moore to sign a John McCain’s “Faith of Our Fathers.” He has had a voicemail recorded on his phone by David Johansson of the New York Dolls, his chest has been signed by punk rock icon Joan Jett, and he has met several of his heroes, including Ryan Adams and Alex Greenwald of Phantom Planet. Burlew has even shared the spotlight with several celebrities—he recently rapped onstage with Sugar Ray and performed a clarinet solo with Weezer at their show at The Palace of Auburn Hills last month. These stories beg the question, “How does he do it?” or even more perplexing, “Why?” “A lot of it is not dumb luck,” Burlew ad-
mitted. “There have been some instances in which I have been lucky, though.” On July 13, 2006, Burlew was very lucky. “I sat on the bus with the Buzzcocks because the leader of their opening band used me as a sort of prop during the show. He apologized afterwards and asked if I wanted to go backstage. I ended up talking to their bassist for about ten minutes.” According to Burlew, there’s no real strategy for grabbing the attention of an artist. “I just go with the flow of the show. Different things work for different people. I’m just lucky.” Before Chris was invited to rap to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” with Sugar Ray, he caught Mark McGrath’s attention with his glowing, albeit ironic, enthusiasm. “I knew the words to every song,” Burlew said. “I just looked very happy and it apparently made Mark McGrath very happy.” Burlew’s enthusiasm only grew when he reached the stage to participate in the rap battle.
“I was singing the real words, and then I realized that I had come in too early. I just started jumping around and hyping up the crowd.” Many of his encounters with the esteemed occur during open-invitation situations like book signings or post-show meetand-greets. Before he ended up rocking with Weezer at The Palace, Chris entered a competition on 89X FM’s website. Even when he is able to meet stars with ease, Burlew manages to shake things up. “I do it for the stories,” Burlew said. “I’m known as the guy who meets everybody. These stories are good fodder for conversation. It’s just something I can hold onto.” Burlew has a couple of rules to keep himself in control when exercising his unusual hobby, though. “I never do anything to get me in trouble. I also never talk to a band before a show. That period of time is like a zoo: you can look, but you can’t touch.” He has broken his rules once or twice, however. One particular instance found him meeting one of his biggest heroes— and feeling pretty guilty about it.
Top 5 Encounters
The Buzzcocks: Senator John McCain: If I had ever wanted to go see He is the only person that I a punk show from the late was at a loss for words when 70’s this was an excellent I met. I did not vote for him interpretation of this. And in the recent election, but being able to sit on their bus hearing the man speak and after the show and hear their talking to him was great. It stories from back in the day was nice to meet a politician was an amazing rock-n-roll who didn’t take himself serihistory lesson. ously and could make jokes with me and the crowd.
Ryan Adams: One of my music idols. The story is now common folklore.
Henry Rollins: The man is my hero. So meeting the man whose words and beliefs have shaped my life inspired me.
Vice-President Elect Joe Biden: As I earlier stated about John McCain, meeting a man that close to the White House was a thrill, and hearing this man speak gave me a chill down my spine.
Chris had lofty expectations when he went to see Ryan Adams on June 20, 2007. “I expected more than a handshake because I had a lot of time to get excited,” Burlew said. After the stagehands left the doorway outside the venue, Chris snuck inside. “I was not going to accept defeat,” Burlew admitted. Turning a corner backstage, he saw two women accompanying a pair of cowboy boots behind a door that could only have belonged to Adams himself. “I couldn’t turn around, they saw me,” Burlew said. “My excuse was, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m just looking for a bathroom.’” Adams invited him into the room and pointed him to the restroom. Chris waited outside to apologize to him once more. Adams was impressed by Burlew’s humility. “Look, I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Adams said. “I’ve met a lot of people, and they wouldn’t have handled the situation the way you did.” Chris continues to strike intimate connections with all manner of celebrities, though with a higher level of respect for his idols than he held before the Ryan Adams incident. He has yet, however, to achieve his dream of meeting Green Day, the first band he ever fell in love with. “I don’t think I would say much of anything to them,” Burlew said. “I’ve been a fan for so long and I would just rather hear them talk.” As for being in the limelight himself one day, Chris isn’t so sure. “I hope I don’t become the person who’s famous for meeting everybody. I do not see myself becoming famous.” If he did manage to become an idol one day, Burlew admits he would have difficulty receiving the kind of attention he gives his heroes. “I could see myself being caught up in the nostalgia, taking the child aside, and trying to one-up him. Or I just might have my bodyguards throw him out,” Burlew joked. “I would be annoyed by that attention because I portray myself as a loud person, but for the most part I’m a pretty quiet person. I just like to go about my ways. I kind of like my space.” And what of the infamous squeegee? Burlew has put it into retirement. “Most of the outlandish things I did when I was a kid—I’m not an 18-year-old anymore and I would rather just spark conversation.”
6 THE AGORA
Northwestern hands Michigan a place in history
Andrew Thurlow Staff
In a game featuring bad weather, blocked kicks and missed tackles, the Michigan Wolverines dropped to 3-8 after losing to the Northwestern Wildcats Saturday. In the 129 years of Michigan football history, no team has lost
Big Ten Conference
Iowa 22, Purdue 17: Shonn Greene ran for 211 yards and two scores for Iowa, and Purdue’s Hail Mary pass with 5 seconds remaining sailed long to preserve the Hawkeyes’ 2217 victory on Saturday. Ohio State 30, Illinois 20: No way, Jim Tressel figured, would 10th-ranked Ohio State win by throwing the ball. So on a gray, windy Big Ten kind of day, the Ohio State coach put the game in the hands of Beanie Wells -always a good place to put it for the Buckeyes this season. Penn State 34, Indiana 7: Derrick Williams ran for one score and caught a touchdown pass, Clark threw for 240 yards and two scores in an uneven outing, and the defense held Indiana to six first downs in the Nittany Lions’ 34-7 victory Saturday. Wisconsin 35, Minnesota 32: Wisconsin capped a second-half rally with a pair of safeties and a touchdown off a Minnesota turnover in the fourth quarter, beating the mistakeprone Golden Gophers 35-32 at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday
Michigan safety Stevie Brown walks away after Northwestern wide receiver Ross Lane goes into the end zone in the third quarter.
Photo courtesy of The Detroit Free Press
Courtesy of Big Ten Network
November 18, 2008 more than 7 games until yesterday. As the rain and snow fell harder in the 4th quarter, a gloom of shattered defeat could be seen on the faces of Michigan fans, who packed up early and left before their team became part of a distasteful record in their college football history. “Besides our (Michigan) inability to actually tackle, this game was lost in the 4th quarter by Rich Rodriguez,” said U of M student Dan Hert. “With just under 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter, we (Michigan) had the ball on NW’s 40-yard line and instead of trying for first downs and working the game play by play, we threw an incomplete slant pass and went deep for three consecutive plays,” he said. “We turned the ball over too quickly, if we would have just slowed down and played fundamental football, we’d be celebrating instead of drinking ourselves into oppression.” Recap Two minutes into the first quarter Northwestern QB C.J. Bacher threw a third-down pass into the hands of Michigan safety Stevie Brown, who returned it to the Northwestern 8. However, Michigan failed to capitalize and their 23-yard field goal attempt was blocked. Northwestern failed to score on their next possession as well, but recovered their own punt, after the ball struck a Michigan player, inside the U of M 40. Three plays later, tailback Stephen Simmons ran 21 yards up the middle, breaking two tackles for a touchdown and putting The Wildcats up by 7. Late in the first quarter, the Wolverine offense finally showed up. Running back Carlos Brown gained good field position, setting up a short touchdown run from QB Nick Sheridan. In the second quarter, Michigan walk-on receiver Ricky Reyes,
playing in his second game of the year, picked up a blocked punt near the goal line and dove in for a touchdown, giving Michigan its first lead of the game. In the third quarter, Michigan kicker Zoltan Mesko’s punt was partially blocked, which gave Northwestern great field position at the U-M 42. The next play, Ross Lane caught a 20-yard reception pass, and later caught a 17-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal. Michigan 14, Northwestern 14. However, two minutes later QB Bacher hit Eric Peterman with a 53-yard touchdown pass, putting Northwestern back up by 7. In the start of the fourth quarter U-M’s Donovan Warren intercepted a tipped pass and appeared to run it back for a touchdown, but a flag was thrown during the return, and Warren was said to have stepped out-of-bounds, though replays show differently. On 3rd and 12, Threet threw an interception in the end-zone and the Wildcats took over at their own 20 with the lead. Both teams shared possessions in the 4th quarter but it wasn’t enough for the Wolverines, who failed to score on numerous plays and ultimately lost the game 21-14. Northwestern’s QB C.J Bacher was 17-of-29 for 198 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Ross Lane had seven receptions for 77 yards and a TD while Eric Peterman caught five passes for 79 yards, including a 53-yard score. Michigan’s Nick Sheridan was 8-for-29 for 61 yards and ran for a score. Steven Threet replaced him in the second half, but left the game with an injury late in the fourth quarter after completing 4 of 7 passes for 22 yards and an interception. Carlos Brown had a season-high 115 yards rushing for the Wolverines.
Hossa brings new Lions sign Culpepper to 2-year deal change to Wings Casey Cheap Staff
Kristin Stepinski Staff
History proves that winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships is no easy task. The Anaheim Ducks lost to Dallas in the first round last season, Vincent Lecavalier and the Tampa Bay Lightning had the lockout to endure and went out in the quarterfinals in ’06, and the Carolina Hurricanes missed the playoffs altogether after their championship season. Champions have to endure an extra two months of playoff hockey. That’s two months of battling injuries and playing through the pain. Eight weeks of mental fatigue and fighting the overwhelming feelings of exhaustion. The physical and mental toll that playing for a championship takes on a player’s body is like nothing else. It’s no surprise that reigning champs tend to have a bit of trouble the following season. Teams get stale; players get tired and coaches run out of ideas. Suddenly there’s a target on your back and 29 other teams are gunning for you, eager to wipe your fingerprints off of that silver chalice and replace them with their own. Stale doesn’t work in Detroit. The city is nicknamed Hockeytown for a reason and around these parts, we’re used to the back-toback championships. Anything less would simply be a disappointment. Enter Marian Hossa, the Red Wings’ remedy for a tired old veteran team like Detroit. Since the season opener, Hossa has been consistently bringing energy and excitement to the line-up. Not to mention his incredible size, speed and raw skill at both ends of the rink. On July 2, the offers poured in. A massive deal from the Edmonton Oilers was rumored to offer $9 or $10 million per season, for ten
years. Pittsburgh had a five-year deal at $7 million a season waiting to be signed, but Hossa wanted to wear that winged wheel. He signed a one-year deal for $7.45 million and packed his bags for Michigan. “We think him coming here is a reflection on how good a team we have here,” goalie Chris Osgood said. “Guys know what teams are like based on how they are in the dressing room, and ours has always been good and I think that’s known around the league.” After just one month of playing time, Hossa is making general manager, Ken Holland look like the genius that he is. Thirteen games in, Hossa has ten goals and 23 points. He finished third in the NHL for total points in the month of October. Already he is on pace for a 100point season and fans are dreaming of a long-term deal. It probably won’t happen, but at least we can have our fairytale hopes. With Zetterberg and Franzen needing to be signed before they hit free agency, all three players would have to take some considerable pay cuts to stick around. “We can’t keep them all,” Holland said. “I’ve done the math. Unless they all take less than they should, there’s no chance.” After bouncing around the league for the past few years, Hossa is looking for something more permanent as well. “Next year, I want to settle down and sign for a long, long time,” Hossa said. There’s a sign above the locker room at Joe Louis Arena that reads, “To whom much is given, much is expected”. Next year Hossa will have to decide if all that he is given here in Detroit, a guaranteed playoff team, all-star players in every position and a legitimate shot at winning the Cup year after year, is worth the millions he could bring in with a different team.
The miserable 0-10 Detroit Lions had a lot of hopes riding on newly acquired Quarterback, Daunte Culpepper. But those hopes quickly turned sour after Culpepper’s debut, a home loss at Ford Field to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 38-14. Culpepper, 31, came out of retirement to join the only winless team in the NFL, in their postMatt Millen era. From the looks of things, nothing can help the Lions, even a guy who was a three-time Pro Bowl selection with the Minnesota Vikings. Their Nov. 9 game against the Jaguars got off to a rocky start, with Culpepper starting the first quarter with an incompletion and interception. He ran into his Running Back in the second quarter, and got three snaps in the third quarter. He was benched in the forth, ending his hopes of a good first start with Detroit, and allowing Drew Stanton to take his place. “I expect to win,” said Culpepper, when asked what he thought of the game, the Detroit Free Press reported. Just one week after his debut,
Culpepper and the Lions fell yet again to the Carolina Panthers (82) on the road, at Bank of America Stadium in a 31-22 loss on Nov.16. Although the Lions were only trailing by a touchdown in the forth quarter, a series of questionable calls by Lion’s Head Coach, Rod Marinelli to punt instead of attempting a field goal seemingly shot the team in the foot. Carolina was allowed to rack up 264 yard on the ground, setting a new franchise record. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart averaged 8.3 yards per carry and became the first Panthers duo to rush over 100 yards in a game. “You have to be a pro,” Culpepper told the Free press. “That’s what we are first. We’re pros. We’ve got to come in with the attitude to work and get better — even after a tough loss. I think we made some steps in the right direction (Sunday) and we just have to take a couple more steps in the right direction next week and maybe that will result in a win.” Culpepper made his debut in the NFL with the Vikings in 1999. He played with Minnesota until 2005, until he was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2006 then the Oakland Raiders in 2007. As of the time he was traded to the Lions, he has 142 career touchdowns and 22,422 passing yards in the NFL.
In his early years, Culpepper played football at the University of Central Florida. He rewrote most of the school’s quarterback records, over 30 in all. His single season NCAA completion record is 73.6 percent, which beat a 15-year old record set by Steve Young. During his professional span, Culpepper began to struggle in 2005, posting six touchdowns, twelve interceptions, and five fumbles in just seven games. In the seventh game of the season, he suffered a devastating knee injury in a 38-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Throughout 2008, a frustrated Culpepper visited the Green Bay Packers before eventually turning down a one-year deal. He worked out with the Pittsburgh Steelers in August before the Steelers signed Byron Leftwich. Before announcing his retirement Sept. 4 he was also pondering a possible future with the Kansas City Chiefs. Although the Lions had showed interest in signing Culpepper in July, they made no offer earlier in the year. He was not officially signed until Nov. 3.
Daunte Culpepper Stats Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Team MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIA OAK
Passing Yards 0 3937 2612 3853 3479 4717 1564 969 1331
TD 0 33 14 18 25 39 6 2 5
INT 0 16 13 23 11 11 12 3 5
Rating ... 98.0 83.3 75.3 96.4 110.9 72.0 77.0 78.0
A.I. brings his game to Detroit Michael Crossman Staff
Iverson’s New Image, New Attitude, New Goals. “Practice, u wanna talk about practice? Not the game, not the game, but practice?” Yes, Allen Iverson is now a Detroit Piston and No, we’re not talking about practice. In Detroit we talk about playoffs. In a surprisingly last minute move, Detroit shipped A.I. to the Motor City and sent Mr. Big Shot Chauncey Billups with Antonio McDyess packing to the Rocky’s. A lot of Piston fans seemed hurt by the move. “This is crap. Chauncey was my favorite player on the team,” Justin Peters, MCCC student said. “Now all we got is a ball hog. I hope what the news said was right and he’s here to win a championship because that’s what Detroit basketball is all about” he said. Iverson said he was excited to be coming to Detroit because he understood this is his best chance to win a championship. So now, looking at the starting
lineup, Iverson adds something that Chauncey could not, the ability to create his own shot. Piston fans were crushed falling short in the Conference Finals for the last two seasons. Some blamed Rasheed, but others blamed Chauncey. Iverson’s job is to change that. “I’m glad to see him go back home (Denver) where he wanted to be,” Jason McGuire, MCCC student, said. “We needed a point guard that can make his own magic happen, and that was something he lacked. A lot of 4th quarter turnovers and bad decision-making had cost us close games in the recent playoffs,” he said. “I will miss him though, as
well as McDyess.” In his first few games in Piston blue, Iverson has averaged 21.3 PPG, 6.3 APG, and around 32 minutes per game. He’s also shooting 45% from the field, and 81% from the line. With the absence of Stuckey in the past game against Sacramento, in which the Pistons inched a close victory, Iverson played close to 40 minutes and gave a good 30-point, 9-assist game. Iverson said in a recent postgame interview that he feels like the chemistry between his teammates and he is starting to get better. “We just have to work it all out in practice” he said.
Allen Iverson, above, joined the Pistons Nov. 4; at left he’s shown with Piston’s General Manager Joe Dumars.
November 18, 2008
Writer’s on the River Book Fair
Above: On Oct. 9 authors and illustrators gather at the Ellis Library for a book fair which was a part of that week’s Writer’s on the River. The parking lot was packed and so was inside; there were tons that showed up for this special event. Far Left: Author Mark Janowiecki reads his book “Mommy What does the Tooth Fairy Do with My Tooth?” to his daughter Isabel and wife, Brenda, who is the illustrator of the book. Above Left: Deborah Diesen signs a copy of her book, “The Pout-Pout Fish.” Direct Left: Karen E. Karr, the author of “The Tiny Fairy” and one of the Young Authors Winners, Kayla Hodges.
Broadway invades Fisher Theatre Kristin Stepinski Staff
A few of New York’s most recognizable Broadway shows are headed for the Motor City. Nederlander Detroit, the management company for Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, is putting on one of the biggest Broadway in Detroit seasons yet. In May, the news was announced that the Fisher Theatre would undergo multi-million dollar renovations in preparation for this year’s Broadway season. All of the work was completed just in time for the curtain to rise on Avenue Q, the
2004 Tony Award winning Best Musical. “The 2008-09 Broadway in Detroit season is one of our strongest ever,” said Fisher Theatre Executive Director Alan Lichtenstein. “We’ve got the hottest new shows and biggest stars, along with some of Detroit’s old favorites.” Avenue Q starts the season off in November. The comical show is about trying to make it in New York City with nothing but a handful of cash and a few sizeable dreams. Chazz Palminteri comes to Detroit in late November and early December to star in A Bronx Tale.
Palminteri was featured in The Usual Suspects and Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway for which he earned an Academy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category. A Bronx Tale just finished up a successful run on Broadway. The show brings Palminteri to tell a story about a young boy’s difficult childhood growing up in Bronx, NY. The coming of age tale is about following your heart and reaching your potential. After the New Year, A Chorus Line kicks and sings its way to the Fisher Theatre. The Pulitzer Prize
winning show is the longest running American Broadway musical in history. Sweeney Todd comes to town in March 2009. The musical recently inspired the Tim Burton directed film adaptation, starring Johnny Depp. Depp picked up a Golden Globe and Academy Award Best Actor nod for the role. This demon barber and his neighbor Mrs. Lovett pair up, and together they wreak havoc on Todd’s wealthy customers. Along the way, expect venturous humor and chilling excitement. Watch Danny and Sandy fall in
Rachel Getting Married Steven Sonoras Staff
Director Jonathan Demme has had a long and varied career. He’s helmed nakedly honest dramas (Philadelphia, Beloved), high-concept concert films (Stop Making Sense, Storefront Hitchcock), and
expertly crafted documentaries (The Agronomist, Jimmy Carter Man From Plains). His latest swipe at fiction, the brutally candid Rachel Getting Married, perfectly weds the diverse expertise Demme has exhibited in his previous efforts. The story follows Kym (Anne Hathaway), a former drug addict who returns home from the clinic for her sister Rachel’s (Rosemarie DeWitt) wedding. She finds that Rachel and the rest of the family are not quite willing to forgive her for her wild past, and her frustration develops into an emotional hurricane as she struggles for attention and redemption amidst the eve of the weekend’s momentous celebration. Demme captures the film’s taut rollercoaster of drama, unexpected comedy, and raw emotion realistically. The film feels like a documentary, as though a wedding videographer was on hand to capture the unusual family’s painstaking tragedy unfold. The performances accent the faux cinema verite perfectly;
Hathaway delivers a tour de force performance of subtle splendor and Bill Irwin (of Sesame Street fame) turns heads as Kym and Rachel’s neurotic father. Like every great Demme film, the music is lush as well. Garage rock, hip-hop, and tropical artists provide an eclectic and engaging soundtrack to the film’s wild mood swings. Veteran Demme film star Robyn Hitchcock performs stripped down versions of his 80’s classic “America” and “Up to Our Nex,” which he wrote for the film, while Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio) takes a turn as Rachel’s finance and delivers a powerful a cappella version of Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend.” If the film’s writing, direction, and acting don’t rake in Oscars, the soundtrack certainly stands a sturdy chance. Rachel Getting Married, much like real life, is at once heartbreaking, hilarious, shocking, and sweet—but it’s always immeasurably engaging.
Pollard’s Boston Spaceships Take Lift-Off Steven Sonoras Staff
During Robert Pollard’s most recent gig at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, a fan grabbed the mic and shouted, “F*** GBV! Boston Spaceships rule!” Under any other situation, the fanatic Pollard crowd would have considered such a statement complete blasphemy. They would have tarred and feathered the heretic before throwing him to the wolves. In this particular instance, though, the crowd shockingly agreed. Few thought the prolific career of Guided By Voices leader Bob Pollard would ever return to the stag-
gering potency of his old band’s material, but he’s finally done it. With a pile of scattershot solo LP’s and over a dozen side projects under his belt, not to mention his vast GBV repertoire, many fans began to wonder why the world needs another Robert Pollard album. Brown Submarine is the answer. The record finds Dayton, OH’s beer-slamming pop king sifting through a toy chest of psychedelic guitar hooks, chugging power chords, swaggering vocal trapeze acts, and mind-altering verbal wit. Chris Slusarenko (Takeovers) and John Moen (Jicks, Elliot Smith, Decemberists) flank Pollard on either side to fill out the disc’s palette with some truly rocking instrumentation. Brown Submarine, as the title seems to suggests, sounds like an off-color Beatles record. It’s the sort of thing the Fab Four would have recorded if they had resorted to drinking Bud Light instead of smoking pot. Submarine’s highs and lows are as unpredictable as they are exciting. From jarring prog-rock (“Winston’s Atomic Bird”) to eerie paisley drone (“Brown Submarine”)
to spastic hard rock (“PsychThreat”), Bob and his Spaceships seem poised to penetrate every corner of the psyche. While many of the tunes on this batch merely equal the better material on Pollard’s previous efforts, there are a few standouts that rank among his best. A couple even rise above the mesmeric tone of the rest of the record entirely. The charming power-popper “You Satisfy Me” is one such example, featuring the 51 yearold man-child in a rare candid moment, employing his emotive vocal aptitude to proclaim, “I don’t want your lips licking lies all around her.” “Andy Playboy” channels Cheap Trick and “Go for the Exit” sounds like an Alien Lanes outtake. Both help smooth out Brown Submarine’s rigid edges (“Rat Trap,” “Still in Rome”) with their blend of blissful melodies with concise instrumentation. Brown Submarine sprawls all over the sonic map like a drunken bass player passed out on a shag rug—it’s classic Pollard.
love all over again this summer. Grease is back, complete with the poodle skirts and drive-ins to prove it. In June 2009, the Pink Ladies and T-birds will take the stage at Fisher Theatre, bringing everyone’s favorite soundtrack along with them. The 2008-09 season wraps up this time next year with Jersey Boys. Winner of a Tony for Best Musical in 2006, Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The musical brings Grammy Award winning hits such as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry,” and “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.”
In addition to the shows at the Fisher Theatre, other subscription shows will take place at other venues throughout the year. Wicked comes back to Detroit in December after a record breaking stint in 2006. Two girls meet in Oz, before Dorothy came to town, and the story tells of how the girls evolve into the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. Other shows include: Stomp, Annie, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Rent, and Fiddler on the Roof. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster locations or online at www. ticketmaster.com.
Role Models Casey Cheap Staff
Role Models is a delightfully funny comedy, one that puts best friends played by Paul Rudd (Knocked Up) and Seann William Scott (American Pie) in many hilarious but seemingly realistic situations. Both characters get in trouble with the law when Rudd is just having one of those days, and he loses his temper to the point that leads to him getting arrested. Although both Rudd and Scott are initially forced to do community service, there is a predictable turn of events about half way through the film. Both are forced to spend time with troubled kids who were signed up in a program that parallels Big Brothers Big Sisters. The film is rated R for very good
reasons, mainly for language and the diverse vocabulary of a tenyear-old boy. They eventually find their new job as mentors something to like; they even become protective and stand up for the kids they once hated, or found to be weird. The film delivers this kind of feel-good story without ever compromising on laughs. But the end leads the viewer to an overly dramatic “fight” scene; one that seems to go on long after the viewer gets the idea. One is also left wondering what happens with Scott and Rudd’s sentencing, an issue never resolved. But at heart, Role Models is a relatively short comedy, one that is meant to provide hilarity, and not to be taken seriously.
Quantum of Solace Cassie Kane Staff
The newest Bond film proves to be an exciting addition to Ian Fleming’s 007 series, which Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman began in 1962. Bond’s newest adventure, Quantum of Solace, has been terrifically produced by MGM Studios and Sony Pictures. Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Archangel) plays James Bond once again. The latest “Bond girl” is Olga Kurylenko, who has starred in other films such as Max Payne and Hitman. Judi Dench (Casino Royale, Pride & Prejudice) returns as “M” – the director of MI6 agents. A French actor, Mathieu Amalric, stars as the villain, Dominic Greene. The movie was directed by Marc Forster (Stanger than Fiction, Stay) who only accepted the offer to direct after watching Casino Royale. Quantum of Solace takes you around the world, as most Bond films do, to Haiti, London, Austria, Russia, Bolivia, and Italy. The movie is jam-packed with visual goodies and spectacular special effects. The opening credits are an ode to the original Bond movies, using retro designs and silhouettes along with a great musical score. The
soundtrack for this film is a mustbuy. The movie begins with action, action … and more action. Daniel Craig proves to be the most athletic, agile, and acrobatic Bond ever - still performing his own stunts. He furthers the notion that Bond can drive anything, anywhere. Olga Kurylenko plays a half-way decent Bond girl, and Judi Dench plays an incredible part as “M.” Dench proves to be every bit as a good of an actress as her acting experience suggests. Mathieu Amalric, honestly, does not do a great job of fulfilling the Bond villain persona. In Quantum of Solace, agent 007 is on a mission fueled by vengeance and dry martinis. He is mixed up in a dangerous game where no one can be trusted, and double agents are popping up everywhere. Bond is trying to solve the mystery of the organization responsible for turning the woman he fell in love with, Vespa (from Casino Royale), against him and killing her. His new found partner, Camille (Kurlyenko), who was once attached to Greene, has her own demons to diminish. Bond shows he can be human in the film, and proves the old saying that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. The fight scenes and chase scenes will take you for a thrill-ride, boast-
ing some great choreography. Music or no music, each scene was written to a “t.” The use of sound was a great addition to the film. Kudos to David Arnold for continuing his involvement in the Bond films. The only disappointment was the destruction of a beautiful Aston Martin DBS V12 during the film. It is great that the later bond films have included the Aston Martin – the original Bond car. Quantum of Solace is sure to turn heads at the box-office and please Bond fans the world over. In all sincerity, this is the best Bond film to be produced since License to Kill. Kudos to Daniel Craig and the rest of the cast for their stunning performances.
8 THE AGORA
Spotlight In Search of Memory: A Hidden Child in Poland During the Holocaust.
History - of Miriam Winter Miriam Winter (Maria Orlowski), was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1933. She and her family were in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, then in Ozarow 1940-1941. Young Miriam, age 8, was given by her parents to a Jewish woman from Lubicz, Cesia, who, in a chance meeting on a train, handed her over to a Polish woman, Maryla. Miriam spent the war with Maryla as a hidden child. She changed her name to Maria, became a Catholic and a Pole. After the war, she stayed for a time with Maryla, and then was in an orphanage. She immigrated to the United States in 1969. Maria Orlowski has a Ph.D. in theatre from Michigan State University, (1992), and is a graduate of the Leon Schiller’s Advanced State School for Theatre in Lodz, Poland. She taught acting at Michigan State University and is currently teaching at Jackson Community College, where she also directed antigone, ondine, and peer gyny. Her own most recent performance was in the Michigan Radio Theatre production of remnants.
November 18, 2008
Thursday, Nov. 20: 7-8:30 p.m. Whitman Center #6 Miriam Winter (Maria Orlowski) is one of the hidden children of the Holocaust. She will be speaking at the Whitman Center on Thursday, Nov. 20 from 7-8:30 p.m. in room 6. She will be discussing her experience in the Holocaust and how she was able to be one of the few survivors. She survived the horror of concentration camps by assuming a false identity as a young child and was passed from family to family. She is the author of “Trains: A Memoir of a Hidden Childhood During and After World War II,” which details her experiences and will talk about sections from her book.
1. The Holocaust was the attempt by the Germans to get rid of all “inferior races” 2. Hitler came to power in 1933 - the Holocaust continued until 1945 3. There were about 5 million non-Jewish victims 4. There were thousands of Nazi concentration camps and sub-camps during the Holocaust 5. When WWII started, Jewish people were forced to wear a yellow Star of David with the word ‘Jude’ written on it so that Nazis and other could identify them as Jewish 6. Jewish businesses and Jewish cemeteries were set on fire or destroyed 7. The first victims of the Holocaust were people with disabilities 8. The Holocaust was hidden from the allied powers until the end of the war 9. 5,000 Jewish communities were wiped out during the Holocaust 10. There were different kinds of camps - ghettos, concentration camps, forced labor camps, extermination camps 11. 1.5 million children were killed during the Holocaust 12. There are some people who don’t believe that the Holocaust existed 13. “Holocaust” is derived from the Greek words “completely burnt” 14. Germans used Jewish people to perform medical experiments during the Holocaust 15. More than 250,000 Jewish people were labeled as “Displaced Persons” after WWII ended and from 1945-1952 they lived in camps and centers in Germany, Austria, and Italy while trying to find their families 16. Prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp were given tattoos with a number so that they could be identified 17. Initial Jewish Population: 9,508,340, Estimated % Killed: 63%, Estimated Killed: 5,962,129, Number of Survivors: 3,546,211
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
The Devil’s Arithmetic
No Pretty Pictures
Stones in Water
Tunes For Bears To Dance To
The Book Thief
Silent Screams of a Survivor
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is based off the book by John Boyne. Set in WWII, the story centers around the view point of a nine-year-old boy about the war and the Holocaust. The nine-year old boy, Bruno, played by new comer Asa Butterfield, is son of the commandant at a concentration camp. He is moved out of his big house away from all his friends and family to live alone with his parents and older siblings away from the rest of the world. While exploring the yard Bruno discovers a huge fence where a boy in stripped pajamas sits. This stripped paja-
mas wearing by is Leon, played by Zac Mattoon O’Brien. He is a child in the concentration camp that Bruno’s father runs. Neither of the boys really understands what is going in the world around them and why both have to live a far different life than they are use to. Neither are suppose to see each other but create a friendship that they can only have with a fence standing between them, two lives separated by war and hate. Their friendship causes consequences for both of them which are startling and unexpected. This movie is meant to open the eyes of everyone and ex-
perience the world of the Holocaust through a child’s perspective. Bruno’s parents are played by Vera Farmiga (Running Scared, Iron Jawed Angels) and David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Timeline) This movie is only playing in selected theaters. The closest theater playing is at the Maple Art Theatre in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Exploring the Holocaust through literature MCCC’s professor of Children’s Literature, Cheryl Johnston, each year assigns a themed project to her class. This year the theme of the Holocaust found her. She attends various conventions throughout the year and the blaze and abundance of Holocaust books made it irresistible not to pick. However signs that she should do this theme didn’t stop there. When hearing about Miriam Winter, a Holocaust survivor, coming to the Whitman Center to speak, Johnston knew it was an obvious choice. Now with two movies coming out during the semester on the Holocaust, it opened resources even more to the project. The Holocaust is one of those topics that sometimes get passed by in curriculum because of the sensitivity of the topic. “We as teachers might be hesitant to dive into topics like this,” Johnston said. “But there is always a different way of looking at each topic. It is our responsibility as teachers to make young people more aware, so that is what I am doing.” How do you teach young children about a topic so graphic and horrible? In the Children’s Literature class, that is the main objective. Johnston is giving materials, activities and resources for all age groups to her students, who are mostly future teachers. “There is such a vast amount of books out there in the Holocaust for all ages. The idea of the freedom can be talked about as early as fourth grade. The book
Terrible Things by Eve Bunting may not speak exactly about the Holocaust, but it does discuss the idea that in an instant freedom can be taken away from people,” Johnston said. Another book Johnston mentions is called Six Million Paperclips: The Making of a Children’s Holocaust Memorial by Peter W. Schroeder. This book is about a collection of six million paper clips that are put into a train cart from the Holocaust. It is to show that we as humans can’t comprehend the number six million, therefore can’t put a true meaning behind the fact that over six million people were killed in the Holocaust. “Age appropriate is all a teacher has to look for in his/her resources. In the past few years the amount of stories about children in the Holocaust has increased significantly,” Johnston said. Before, most Holocaust material was from adult points of view. But now that the children of the Holocaust have grown up, they are publishing their experiences. Because of their perspectives, it opens the doors to young people who need to hear about the Holocaust, and to teachers who have been hesitant about the topic because not enough age appropriate material was available. “Unfortunately we are going to lose the survivors soon and won’t have these opportunities much longer. The most impacting teaching is one that has personal experiences,” Johnston said.
Winter’s visit to the Whitman Center is a personal experience Johnston doesn’t want her students to miss. She is encouraging them to go and is even offering extra credit. Above are the books that Johnston’s Children’s literature class had the opportunity to read. Three students were assigned to each book. Three students from Mary Steinhauser’s ninth grade English class at Saint Mary’s Catholic Central (SMCC) were assigned to the same selection of books. The two classes met twice. The first time was at SMCC, where they met each other, got acquainted with the book and then assigned a job to have ready for their Reading Circles, which would take place in the Lay-Z-Boy Center two weeks later. The groups met On Oct. 23, enjoyed snacks and the ninth graders showed off their commercials they made promoting their book. This part of the Holocaust project was to do two things. The first was to subject Johnston’s students to teaching experiences and see the response of young people. The second was to promote team teaching. Johnston and Steinhauser have done Reading Circles with their other classes and found that teachers helping each other and connecting other classes, topics and students improves the students’ learning. Johnston plans to continue the Holocaust theme into the Winter Semester Children’s Literature classes.
“This a story about a nine-yearold boy, but this is not a story for nine-year-old boys.” ‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ book Page by Emily Chandonnet