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NYU’s Daily Student Newspaper

WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS Vol. 42, No. 36

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014

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UK’s Brown encourages worldwide education By RAHUL KRISHNAMOORTHY

Fish-borne infection infiltrates boroughs

As the international community grapples with a rapidly escalating refugee crisis in areas including Syria, Afghanistan and the litany of ailing states in the post-Arab Spring world, the humanitarian fight for the right of education for the world’s most vulnerable children has come into the spotlight. Gordon Brown, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, spoke at NYU on April 8 at a discussion titled “Education Without Borders: Global Infrastructure for Aid and Delivery of Education in Conflict Situations.” Brown is also the U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education and NYU’s inaugural Distinguished Leader in Residence. Brown began on a note of solemnity, referencing the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide earlier this week and the lessons it engendered in an international community still struggling with the question of how to best deal with the plight of the world’s children in moments of humanitarian crises. Recalling the chilling anecdote of

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that a skin infection is spreading through raw fish contaminated with Mycobacterium marinum in Chinatowns across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Thirty cases of the infection were reported in March. Since April 2, that number has risen to 66. The health department warned that the bacterium enters through wounds in the skin and that those who handle fish in Chinatown should wear gloves to prevent infection. However, no risk is associated with eating the fish. “Symptoms of M. marinum include red, tender swelling under the skin of the hands and arms, hand or arm pain and difficulty moving fingers,” the press release said. If left untreated, the infection can require surgery to be cured. Environmental studies professor Jennifer Jacquet, who researches fisheries and marine conservation, said she suspects irresponsible fish farming is the cause. “It’s another one of a long series of problems in [seafood] imports from Asia,” Jacquet said.

BROWN continued on PG. 3

By CLAIRE SCIMECA

FELIPE DE LA HOZ/WSN

Fish markets in Chinatowns throughout New York City may sell contaminated fish.

INFECTION continued on PG. 3

Broadway musical Firth, Kidman shine in ‘Railway Man’ finishes on sour note By J.R. HAMMERER

By ADDY BAIRD

Idina Menzel is back on Broadway. Viewed as the childhood idol of so many young theatergoers thanks to her role as Elphaba in the original cast of Broadway showstopper “Wicked,” Menzel returns to the Great White Way in the musical “If/Then.” The same young girls who were so inspired by Menzel’s Elphaba can relate to Menzel’s new character Elizabeth, a recent divorcee who moves from Phoenix to New York City to reinvent herself. Here, the storyline splits, playing out the answer to the question “What if ?” One storyline follows Liz, who wears glasses and finds love after going a certain way in the park one afternoon, and the other follows her counterpart Beth, who finds success in her

career after going the other way that same day. The storylines of Liz and Beth are not difficult to follow. They are woven together well with parallel life experiences like pregnancies and weddings. However, the music, which plays throughout and weaves together the two storylines, is unfortunately forgettable. While Menzel has her moments of musical power that showcase her incredible talent — particularly a big belting number at the end — they are not the sort of musical numbers the audience would quietly hum while leaving the theater. The design of the show is colorful and clean-cut, topped with a mirror overlooking the stage that appropriately adds new viewpoints of Elizabeth’s story.

IF/THEN continued on PG. 5

“The Railway Man” is three different movies bolted together with overtures toward a fourth tacked on at the beginning. There is potential in its premise — a former World War II prisoner of war attempts to track down his tormentor and find peace — and there are isolated moments when the movie works. Yet, director Jonathan Teplitzky smothers his proceedings with a blandly pretty style and an annoyingly overblown score. It is impossible to be drawn into this film, which hits audiences with its message as aggressively as the Japanese torture it so dotingly depicts. The script, credited to “Millions” writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and the film’s producer Andy Paterson, strands its characters, forcing them to talk about the story and its themes instead of dramatizing it and adding subtext.

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Firth and Kidman star in the film as Eric and Patti. At the very least, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are good sports. As an older Eric Lomax and Patti, who comes to love him, they have enough chemistry to make viewers wish the couple had better material to work with. An early scene of the lovers

meeting on a train could have been plucked out from one of Firth’s warm romance films. But soon, Firth begins exhibiting post-traumatic stress disorder and does nothing beyond brooding silently, walking on the beach and surrendering to sudden bursts of violence. Kidman puts her all into the material, proving again that she can be good in absolutely anything, but her character does not do much besides simply asking Lomax’s friends what happened. Jeremy Irvine, the talented lead of “War Horse,” also does quite well for himself and adapts many of Firth’s mannerisms as a younger version of his character. Teplitzky presents scattered, brutal moments of Lomax’s time as a POW, leading up to Firth’s character being accused of aiding the enemy, when the sequences get even uglier. The issue with this plot is that the

RAILWAY continued on PG. 5


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TODAY ON CAMPUS Awards The Silver School of Social Work will be holding an awards ceremony to honor student achievements. The ceremony will be at the Kimmel Center for University Life at 5 p.m.

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“Reign of Error” Steinhardt professor Diane Ravitch will host a discussion about her book, “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools.” The event, which will include a book signing and reception, will be in the Grand Hall of the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life at 3:30 p.m.

Hacknight

A Brazilian protester holds a sign as tires burn.

PHOTO BY FELIPE DE LA HOZ

The Polytechnic School of Engineering will hold a hacknight to discuss a three-year initiative to make recommendations for community development, environmental stewardship and transportation projects in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region. The event will take place at 137 Varick St. from 7 to 10 p.m. TODAY’S EVENTS ARE FREE FOR NYU STUDENTS.

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About WSN: Washington Square News (ISSN 15499389) is the student newspaper of New York University. WSN is published Monday through Thursday during NYU’s academic year, except for university holidays, vacations and exam periods. Corrections: WSN is committed to accurate reporting. When we make errors, we do our best to correct them as quickly as possible. If you believe we have erred, contact managing editor Michael Domanico at managing@nyunews.com or at 212.998.4302.

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NYUNEWS.COM | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014 | WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS

Students, professors delve into Syrian crisis By JOHN AMBROSIO

With the Syrian crisis in its fourth year, students and professors gathered at the Kimmel Center for University Life on April 8 to discuss the implications of the conflict. Zachary Lockman, professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies and history, was critical of the international response to the crisis during his presentation at the event. “[The Syrian Civil War] is a huge humanitarian disaster and one which the international community has not been effective in facing,” Lockman said. Lockman discussed the background of the Syrian conflict and the history of the modern Syrian state. After his presentation, he answered questions from the audience and discussed the possible outcomes of the war. The United States could probably not play a large role in ending the crisis, Lockman said. “[The United States] can give more aid to the rebels, but that’s only going to raise the level of bloodshed, I suspect, and the United States is not about to send in the marines, and that would be a disaster anyway,” Lockman said. “There doesn’t seem to be a military solution here on any side it seems to me that the first priority is to find a way to address this humanitarian catastrophe.” The event, which was co-sponsored by the Muslim Student Associations of NYU and the Polytechnic School of Engineering, was part of the annual Shuruq theme month, which aims to educate students about Muslim life, culture and politics. CAS junior and volunteer event coordinator Zohaib Anwar said this event was meant to increase awareness of the ongoing crisis in Syria and the humanitarian issues it poses. “We want to have an awareness of the world around us and we want to know what’s going on,” Anwar said. “In general, Islam is about helping people. We have to keep track of everything that’s going wrong in the world and see what we can do about it.” Hunter College senior Iram Ali, who attended the event, agreed about the importance of the issue and said that it merits discussion, even for non-Muslims. “I don’t see the Syrian issue as necessarily a Muslim one,” Ali said. “It’s a humanitarian issue and people should know about it because of the millions of people being displaced or killed.” Later this month, the Shuruq group plans to have a number of other events, including the Muslim-Christian dialogue today and the Muslim Palette food tasting on April 14. John Ambrosio is a staff writer. Email him at news@nyunews.com.

INFECTION continued from PG. 1

BROWN continued from PG. 1

Former UK prime minister promotes schooling

a young boy who lost his life in the genocide’s violence, Brown spoke on the failure of the United Nations and the international community at large to protect the young man’s life. He mentioned a photo of the victim at the Rwandan Children’s Museum that struck him. “Under his portrait it says his name, David,” Brown said. “Then it says ‘Ambition: to be a doctor,’ ‘Favorite Sport: football,’ ‘Favorite Pastime: making people laugh,’ ‘Death: by mutilation,’ ‘Last Words: the United Nations are coming to save us.’” Drawing a parallel between the Rwandan Genocide and the growing refugee and welfare crisis of 2 million children caught in the middle of the Syrian Civil War, Brown narrowed in on the crux of his talk — the right to an education for every child around the world. Education, intimately related to the prosperity and success of a society, is beset by a multitude of challenges in developing nations and humanitarian hotspots around the globe, Brown said. Brown spoke on the emergence of a new principle in international relations — the expansion of the obligations of international stakeholders to the world’s youth beyond the traditional venues of lifesustaining aid. “Not only do we [the international community] have a duty to provide food and shelter, but also, we have a duty to provide education,” Brown said. The inability of the inter-

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Brown speaks about the importance of global education. national community to make good on the promise of a universal right to education in an interdependent world could prove disastrous, Brown said. As the 57 million children currently unable to attend school worldwide begin to reach maturity, their demands for an equitable education will pose substantial problems. CAS junior Daniel Sedgh

said he was surprised at the shortage of funds available for educational aid. “It’s good to know that someone like [Brown] is going around, even to small events like this to inform us,” Sedgh said. “It makes an impact.” Rahul Krishnamoorthy is a staff writer. Email him at news@nyunews.com.

Skin infection strikes city

Asia has a long history of exporting contaminated seafood. Examples include fish contaminated with formaldehyde or flame retardants. Some fish farms even overlap with sites of human waste disposal. Steinhardt sophomore Alejandra Bandler, who studies global public health, said she was surprised by the lack of concern about the infection. “I find it alarming that the number of cases has doubled over the course of a month,” Bandler said. “It makes one question the measures the [Food and Drug Administration] and other public health agencies are taking to address the problem. It seems as if this outbreak isn’t a top priority when it should be.” Steinhardt sophomore Calvin Lord lives in Lafayette residence hall and shops at a nearby supermarket in Chinatown. “I hate to generalize, but I rarely see good health practices where I shop, and it’s concerning to hear about how this could spread,” Lord said. “I’m certainly going to see how the story evolves before making another trip.” Jacquet said more measures need to be taken for health and safety. “This speaks to the need for more seafood testing,” Jacquet said. “Less than 1 percent of seafood imports are tested [in the United States], compared to Europe where they test 20 to 40 percent.” Jacquet takes a broader approach to her environmental and health concerns over seafood. To her, the outbreak sends a clear message. “This is why you shouldn’t eat seafood,” Jacquet said. Claire Scimeca is a staff writer. Email her at news@nyunews.com.

Town hall provides details on student life, services

By VALENTINA DUQUE BOJANINI

The NYU Inter-Residence Hall Council held a town hall meeting on April 8 to answer questions concerning student life and services. The town hall allowed students to speak with representatives from residential life, sustainability, public safety and dining, among other departments. Panelists were given three minutes to respond to specific questions students submitted prior to the town hall meeting. Randy Stephan, vice president of Global Security, answered questions concerning Public Safety’s plans to navigate the merger between NYU and the Polytechnic School of Engineering, as well as the addition of the Affinia Hotels. “We’ve added transportation services to run a route directly [from] the School of Engineering to Washington Square,” Stephan said. “We’ve also provided additional security resources to the School of Engineering.” Stephan went on to say SafeRide

is available at any NYU building and will expand to include the Affinia Hotels this fall. “As long as there are students inside [Affinia] ... we will provide SafeRide during the same hours for those students,” Stephan said. Neil Hanrahan, senior director of Housing Services, addressed the renovation of Hayden residence hall. Hanrahan explained that the unmet demand for freshman housing created by the closure will be offset by the addition of University residence hall as a freshman-only dorm. Kitty Bridges, associate vice president and deputy chief of Information Technology officer, answered questions about NYU’s Information Technology services. Bridges said class registration would undergo changes in the coming months as Albert will be going mobile in the fall. Ozgem Ornektekin, the director of the Office of Sustainability, responded to a question regarding the rules of NYU’s recycling process. “Everything except food, liq-

uid and styrofoam goes into the recycling bin,” Ornektekin said. “At NYU we do not have styrofoam anywhere. I have to applaud NYU Dining and Aramark for convincing Dunkin’ Donuts not to have Styrofoam.” This means that leftover liquids must be emptied prior to placing bottles in the recycling bins. In dining halls, the same rules apply. Almost all of the dining halls except for Palladium food court have composting. Ornektekin said all foods and organic materials like paper and napkins can be composted. Owen Moore, assistant vice president of Operations and Business Development, sent a statement regarding NYU Dining’s plan to handle the closure of Hayden’s dining hall. Palladium food court will once more be open for breakfast and lunch starting in the fall. Production of Hayden’s famous cookies will continue on the second floor of the Kimmel Center for University Life. CAS senior Alyssa Cosentino said she was pleased to

FELIPE DE LA HOZ/WSN

Members of IRHC discuss several new propositions. see how receptive NYU’s staff members were to responding to questions. “It’s so great that all these NYU staff members could come to town hall, answer our questions and be very open and transparent,” Cosentino said. “I’m very excited about the things that are going to be happening here.” Valentina Duque Bojanini is a deputy news editor. Email her at vbojanini@nyunews.com.


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WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014 | NYUNEWS.COM

BEAUTY & STYLE

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Boutique provides bra advice By MAGGIE O’NEILL

There is a popular belief among French people that one should dress from the inside out, meaning one’s lingerie should be a top priority when getting dressed, coming before the other garments of one’s outfit. The truth is that a solid, well-fitting bra can do wonders for the rest of the ensemble. Making sure a bra fits can be a complicated process, but women should prioritize their own comfort and confidence. While chain lingerie stores tend to have step-by-step processes to discover the customer’s bra size, more intimate local shops, such as La Petite Coquette, which is on University Place and 10th Street, can be better for receiving more individual assistance. After ensuring their comfort level, the saleswoman will physically adjust the customer in order to visually assess which size bra is appropriate. Saleswoman at La Petite Coquette, Maria Torres said she never uses measuring tapes because the customer will not receive a correct reading. “It’s never accurate because [measuring tapes] tell you one thing and you end up spilling out,” Torres said. Torres said different styles of bras constitute different sizes. In other words, a woman who is traditionally a 34D in a push-up bra may be a 32C in a T-shirt bra. In order to avoid this confusion, it is best to approach each bra differently, being fitted for each style without a preconceived size in mind. After an employee decides which size the customer needs,

Trends transform from runway to every day By HELEN OWOLABI

The 2014 Spring/Summer collections featured many glamorous, inventive and enviable beauty looks. Many of these hair and makeup styles are difficult to sport for an everyday look. Instead of mimicking the trends exactly, try these wearable, translated looks for spring.

Gold Hair Accessories

FELIPE DE LA HOZ/WSN

Sales associates at La Petite Coquette help customers find bras. she brings a basic bra and advises the customer about which hook to use. Next, the sales associate instructs the customer to pull her breasts forward and pull the underwire backward into the armpit area. One rule to keep in mind is that one should wear a new bra on the loosest hook for a period of time before using the middle hook and finally the tightest hook. As the bra expands through the wearand-tear process, it will feel brand new for a longer time if one adjusts the hook this way. The back of the bra, where the hooks are located, should support 90 percent of the weight the bra is

supporting, and the strap should support only 10 percent. Make sure to avoid what is known as the seesaw effect, which occurs when one is wearing the wrong bra size and and tries to adjust the bra by tightening the straps, only making the back of the bra ride up. Remember that a good bra should look and feel the same when one puts it on in the morning and when they take it off at night. Nothing should have shifted or moved during the day. Finding a good, reliable bra can elongate a torso and portray a confident, lifted look. Maggie O’Neill is a staff writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com.

In the Lela Rose Spring/Summer 2014 collection, models looked like sun goddesses with their gilded updo hair adorned with shimmering gold flakes. To recreate this look, try wearing sparkly headbands and hair ties or golden hair clips and pins. Anthropologie’s various hair accessories, such as the Bijoux Bobby Set ($24), Covalence Hair Tie ($8) or Illumine Headband ($32), can help you achieve this look.

Sleek and Straight Locks Get ready to break out the flat iron to try out this runway beauty look. All the models at the Chloé Spring/Summer 2014 show rocked super-straight hair to top off their mod and edgy looks. For an off-therunway look, simply straighten out your locks and give your hair a modest side or middle part.

Black Bold Bands Possibly the easiest trend to replicate off the runway, bold black headbands were used by designers like Vera Wang and Victoria

Beckham to give their models a sleek and polished look for their Spring/Summer collections. Stores like American Apparel sell similar black headbands, like the Cotton Spandex Jersey Headband ($5).

Orange Lips Orange was definitely the new black for 2014 Spring/Summer runway collections. From Prabal Gurung and DKNY to rag & bone and Altuzarra, many models wore bold orange lipstick. Usually paired with simple eye makeup, this beauty look is easy to incorporate in your daily style off the runway.

Raw Beauty Another beauty trend that can be effortlessly recreated is the minimalist-makeup look, which was seen at multiple runway shows this year. Designers such as Alexander Wang and Michael Kors created chic, raw-beauty looks that can be worn by anyone who likes this understated trend.

Bold Eyeliner Perhaps the most familiar trend seen on the runway for 2014 Spring/Summer collections was bold black eyeliner. At Stella McCartney, Rodarte and Missoni models were seen sporting felinelike black liner, a striking and daring makeup trend that can be reworked easily. Helen Owolabi is a staff writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com.

Tips to help makeup, hair stay flawless By REBECCA RIDDLE

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April showers may bring May flowers, but they can also bring about a slew of beauty-related frustrations such as frizzy hair, oily skin and smudged makeup. Though nothing can be done about the weather, there are products and tricks to help you look your best even when nature is at its worst. The humidity that comes along with rainy weather can cause a bad hair day. Hair is made up of keratin proteins and, when it rains, the keratin soaks up extra moisture and expands, causing hair to become unmanageable and frizzy. Luckily, there are many products specially formulated to combat frizz. Garnier Fructis’ Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk is an affordable option that tames your hair without leaving it greasy or weigheddown ($3.50). In addition to using the right products, wearing your hair in weather-appropriate styles can help keep your locks under control.

LS freshman Lily Remmert wears baseball hats and ponytails when the weather is dreary, which she said helps keep her hair dry on windy days. “I know nothing about hair products and hats are a good way to protect your hair from foul weather, especially if it’s cold or rainy,” Remmert said. Simple braids or buns are stylish options that will not be ruined as soon as you walk out the door. Oily skin is another rain-related nuisance, especially for people who already have oilprone skin. Tisch freshman Claire Lilley said she typically switches from foundation to BB cream on rainy days. BB cream weighs less than regular foundation, and is therefore less likely to clog pores and encourage oiliness. Another step that can be taken to keep your skin shinefree is to carry oil-absorbing papers to refresh your skin throughout the day. Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets ($5)

are a staple that will revitalize your skin while leaving your makeup fully intact. Setting your makeup with an antishine powder, such as Rimmel’s Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($5), can also help your skin win the battle against weather. No one wants to show up to class with smeared makeup, but having to walk to class when it is pouring can make keeping makeup smudge-free a challenging task. CAS freshman Vanessa Haughton has a go-to lip product for rainy days. “I use Revlon’s Matte Lip Crayons because they don’t come off in a torrential downpour,” Haughton said. Revlon’s ColorBurst Matte Balm ($9) is long-lasting and retractable, so no sharpening is required. It is moisturizing because the formula contains mango, shea and coconut butter. With spring well on its way, try a light and girly shade such as coral or light pink to remind you that the drizzly weather is only tempo-

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Wearing your hair in a braid protects it from bad weather. rary. Waterproof eyeliner and mascara are also rainy day essentials, especially on days when the wind is strong and your umbrella cannot keep the water our of your face. Rebecca Riddle is a staff writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com.


NYUNEWS.COM | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014 | WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS

ARTS

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‘Salad Days’ exposes DeMarco’s mature side By ALEX BERNER-COE

On the opening track of his new release “Salad Days,” 23-year-old singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco croons, “Always feeling tired, smiling when required/Write another year off and kindly resign.” Fans of the goofy, perhaps toorelaxed guitarist might be thrown off by this sentiment, which seems out of place among his past lyrical references to unemployment, leaving town and his favorite brand of cigarettes. The bizarre jokester, who has a reputation for obscene onstage antics and a crude, self-deprecating sense of humor, rarely expressed his mounting fatigue on his 2012 releases “2” and “Rock and Roll Nightclub,” where he relied on opaque references to his most personal thoughts. Crucial moments of acute self-awareness and mature honesty are ubiquitous throughout “Salad Days.” Indie rock’s rebellious and slightly twisted version of Prince Charming has perhaps always been this weary and wise underneath his carefree persona, but, up until now, he had yet to offer more than thinly veiled metaphors. DeMarco’s multifaceted nature is what makes him such a fascinating character. The air of bemused detachment that sur-

rounds his gap-toothed smirk hints that he could not care less, yet his love ballads, including the most recent “Let My Baby Stay,” ring with sincerity and tenderness. DeMarco recorded the entirety of “Salad Days” at a studio located inside his Brooklyn apartment, playing every instrument himself. Through “Salad Days’” sleepy, wobbling guitar melodies and catchy rhythms, DeMarco offers some guidance with a welcoming voice. “Blue Boy,” a dreamy, ambling track urges listeners to “calm down, sweetheart, grow up,” while the warm and weathered “Brother,” asks them to “take it slowly, brother, let it go now.” On the achingly lonely and exploratory “Chamber of Reflection” — which rapper Tyler, The Creator has called DeMarco’s best song to date — DeMarco tells audiences to “spend some time alone.” Yet DeMarco seems to be grappling with his own advice on the album’s lead single “Passing Out Pieces,” again expressing discomfort with his newfound fame. “Can’t shake concern,” he sings. “Seems that every time that I turn I’m passing out pieces of me/Don’t you know nothing comes free?” The troubled penultimate track “Go Easy” finally moves into the album’s conclusion, an entrancing and slightly discordant instru-

IF/THEN continued from PG. 1

Menzel’s latest Broadway stint proves good yet forgettable

The supporting cast is just as talented as Menzel, despite receiving far less attention. Anthony Rapp, who plays Elizabeth’s best friend, is solid throughout both storylines. James Snyder, who plays Liz’s love interest, is incredibly charming, though his vocal range does not mesh well with Menzel’s. Snyder shines in solo ballads, as does LaChanze as Liz’s neighbor Kate, a spirited lesbian kindergarten teacher. The rest of the cast, however, neither fits with the show nor forges genuine connections among themselves, making the entire ensemble fall short. In general, “If/Then” relies too much on Menzel’s stardom. With her in the lead role, seats will sell, but it seems unlikely that the production will be capable of standing on its own when she inevitably leaves. The show, while interesting and original, is not the kind of musical that audiences can fall in love with and see time and time again. Though featuring a talented and passionate cast, “If/Then” misses

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Menzel returns to Broadway in the role of Elizabeth. the bar that recent Broadway shows have set. “If/Then” is playing an open run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th St. Addy Baird is a contributing writer. Email her at theater@nyunews.com.

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Mac DeMarco’s latest album is slightly more personal. mental titled “Johnny’s Odyssey,” which is a slight departure from DeMarco’s previous work. But just as listeners start to think that everyone’s favorite mischief-maker has grown up — that “Salad Days” is in fact a departure from the endearing shenanigans of his 2012 projects — DeMarco’s speaking voice interrupts the silence after the last chord

of the album fades away. “Hi guys, this is Mac,” he says. “Thank you for joining me, see you again soon. Buh-bye.” The artist’s growth is unmistakable, but DeMarco’s ​youthful, warped sense of humor is not going anywhere. Alex Berner-Coe is a staff writer. Email her at music@nyunews.com.

RAILWAY continued from PG. 1

Acting saves ‘Railway Man’s’ muddled plot

beatings, hot boxing and waterboarding are depicted so hysterically that they start canceling each other out. It is torture porn posing as Oscar bait. It is not until Lomax discovers his torturer is alive and sets off to find him that the biggest shock of “The Railway Man” is revealed — that hiding throughout all of this was half of a good movie. The film’s second hour, despite containing more brutal flashbacks, is when Teplitzky starts hitting the right notes. It helps that Lomax’s switch to avenging angel adds a disturbing shade to Firth’s weary inscrutability, turning that awkward leading man into a poker-faced tormentor. It also helps that his target is played by the great Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada, whose screen presence is more than capable of matching Firth’s. Once the two actors approach each other, “The Railway Man” suddenly becomes both riveting and thoughtful, with interesting ideas about revenge, empathy and the odd bond between enemies. Unfortunately, this engaging story is muddled by a lackluster first half. J.R. Hammerer is a staff writer. Email him at film@nyunews.com.

Colbert criticism crosses line By BOB TEOH

Stephen Colbert and his satiric late night show “The Colbert Report” came under fire on March 27, when the show’s official Twitter account tweeted a punch line out of context. The tweet made the announcement that Colbert was launching the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” which was meant to lampoon the Washington Redskins’ Original Americans Foundation. However, with only 140 characters, the line was published out of context and sparked a firestorm of outrage on the Internet. #CancelColbert is the brainchild of Suey Park, the 23-yearold activist who started #NotYourAsianSidekick. In her latest campaign in hashtag activism, she sought to hold Colbert accountable for the racist comment. Just because “The Colbert Report” is a satiric show, Park argued, does not mean that Colbert can say whatever he wants. The ensuing debate surrounding #CancelColbert had Park’s followers attacking Colbert while Colbert’s fans fired back. However, the subject matter is so frivolous that it does not warrant a debate. Satire has al-

ways been a strong form of social critique. It is never caught up in its own message because it never takes itself seriously and therefore is not passing serious judgment. Satire exists to push the boundaries and make the public think about what is right and wrong, pointing out the blatantly immoral. In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote “A Modest Proposal,” a satirical article supporting cannibalism of Irish babies, but clearly he did not advocate such a practice. Colbert plays a caricature of himself on television — a character created by him to satirize right-wing pundits. To take the show seriously is to completely miss the point. As Colbert said in his first show after the #CancelColbert controversy, nobody was offended when he claimed Rosa Parks was overrated or when he praised Adolf Hitler for having some great ideas because people knew they were jokes. So why should the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation” be any different? With satire, the line between joke and truth becomes blurred, and some people will undoubtedly be offended. The recent controversy demonstrates that it is dangerous to play with fire. Criticizing comedians for

COURTESY OF COMEDY CENTRAL

Colbert’s jokes should not be taken seriously. their sarcastic material distracts viewers from their real meaning — underneath the hilarity, Colbert has a message we should listen to. Instead of launching another Internet war when comedians speak, viewers should listen with an open mind. Bob Teoh is entertainment editor. Email him at bteoh@nyunews.com.


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WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014 | NYUNEWS.COM

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THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD & DAILY SUDOKU Crossword ACROSS 1 Beret-sporting rebel, familiarly 4 Nutrition label units 9 Town with an eponymous derby 14 Bottom line? 15 Cuban salsa singer Cruz 16 Wide receiver’s pattern 17 Assent on the Hill 18 20 More than a lot 22 eHarmony users’ hopes 23 Graph marking 24 28 Act the sore loser, say 29 “Ciao, amigo!” 30 Move like the Blob 31 Render unreadable, in a way 33 Prefix with mural 34 Many a noble element

37 40 Bummed out 41 Money spent 43 Avoid, as a tag 45 Siouan tribesman 46 Flying machines, quaintly 48 Letter starter 52 54 Terra ___ 55 Like “Goosebumps” tales 56 High-flying socialites 57 Phrase that defines (and describes) 18-, 24-, 37- and 52-Across 61 Create some drama 62 Reference work next to Bartlett’s, maybe 63 Flip 64 Not just “a” 65 Nancy Drew creator Carolyn 66 Aquaria

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67 Last letter in “Boz” DOWN 1 Trophy winners 2 “Psst!” 3 “Kick it up a notch” TV chef 4 Popular instantmessaging app 5 One of two in an English horn 6 What a gimel means on a dreidel 7 “Cool” amount 8 Dictated, as a parent might 9 Aria title that means “It was you” 10 Late 1990s fad 11 They have umbras and penumbras 12 Ear-related prefix 13 Sound from an Abyssinian 19 Domino often played? 21 Tattoo parlor supply 24 It may be bounced off someone 25 Like half of all congressional elections 26 Cornell of Cornell University 27 Out of juice 29 Word often abbreviated to its middle letter, in texts 32 “Game of Thrones” network 33 Roadside bomb, briefly 34 Tasty

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35 Prefix with pilot 36 Fred and Barney’s time 38 Plum relative 39 Conservatory student’s maj. 42 Exact revenge 44 Mark one’s words? 46 Words clarifying a spelling

47 Barely make 49 Like Splenda vis-à-vis sugar 50 Don of “Trading Places” 51 Squealed on, with “out”

56 Kind of mail or bond 57 Rub the wrong way 58 Furrow maker

53 Glacial ridge

59 Pro that may be replaced by TurboTax

54 Satellite broadcasts

60 “Total Recall” director Wiseman

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NYUNEWS.COM | WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014 | WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS

OPINION

EDITED BY PETER KEFFER OPINION@NYUNEWS.COM

FREE SPEECH

Eich’s resignation against liberal values By KENNY KYUNGHOON LEE

Mozilla’s newly appointed CEO Brendan Eich resigned amid mounting public outrage over the fact that he supported the ban on same-sex marriage in California. His resignation, however, is hardly a breakthrough in the marriage equality movement. It is rather a poignant reminder of our society’s lack of tolerance for diversity of opinion, which directly contradicts the ideals that liberals hold for American society. Our society is moving toward a general support for marriage equality, but it should not force its members to acquiesce to this trend. Andrew Sullivan, a prominent blogger, notes that despite Eich’s unpopular view, society is never justified in bullying him into giving up what may well be his sincere conviction. Every individual has the basic right to his or her personal opinions and society should respect that. Proponents of the marriage equality movement should understand that threatening their opponents to coerce them into renouncing their view will make it harder for them to justify the LGBTQ cause.

Eich’s resignation is rooted in his support for the 2008 California Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment that infringed on LGBTQ members’ right to marry. Yet, the recent outcry against Eich is not so much about progress in marriage equality as it is about online lynching. William Saletan, a writer for Slate Magazine, questioned the rationale behind removing Eich. Through a list prepared by the Los Angeles Times, Saletan found that many other donors who work for major American companies — including Apple and Google — donated to the Proposition 8 campaign. If Eich is unfit for his job, so are the rest on the list. Saletan correctly pointed out that if the critics are serious about enforcing the new standard, all other donors must be punished. Mozilla should not have given into

the online witch hunt by allowing Eich to leave. His departure will not remedy the situation, but will undermine the values Mozilla upholds. Mitchell Baker, a chairperson of Mozilla, stated that her organization prizes diversity and inclusiveness and welcomes contributions from everyone, regardless of personal beliefs or ideas. To maintain this corporate identity, it may have seemed necessary for Eich to resign. Yet, his resignation demonstrates that hoarding a non-mainstream belief might actually cost someone his or her job. This incident will impede open discussions about gay rights — a chilling reminder that individuals should not express true convictions in public lest they become the subject of public humiliation and social exclusion. The implications of this episode are grim. What is the point of achieving marriage equality in the first place if it is done through the use of coercion? This incident is not liberalism, but tyranny of the masses that has gone out of control. Kenny Kyunghoon Lee is a contributing writer. Email him at opinion@nyunews.com.

CIVIL RIGHTS

Racism taints push for progress in Miss. By DAN MORITZ-RABSON

Mississippi held a groundbreaking ceremony for the United States’ first state-funded civil rights museum last October. While the construction of the museum signifies a step forward in the recognition of Mississippi’s history of racial inequality, the gesture fails to erase the state’s brutal past or remedy its current racism. Supporters who believe the museum represents a milestone in ending the state’s tradition of prejudice should consider the scope of the museum’s impact on furthering equality in Mississippi — a state where the Ku Klux Klan still holds a prominent role; a state with a Confederate symbol on its flag; and a state where, less than 60 years ago, the murderers of Emmett Till went unpunished. Building a museum cannot significantly diminish prejudice in a place that presents a severely antiquated view of racial equality and ratified the Thirteenth Amendment only last year. While universities often cultivate progressive thinking and strive to improve each student’s

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ability to succeed after college, racism is continuously apparent at the University of Mississippi, indicating the depth of the state’s discrimination. In 1962, when James Meredith, a black man, attempted to enroll in the university, riots prompted the involvement of 31,000 federal troops. A statue now stands on campus to commemorate Meredith’s impact on the school’s desegregation. However, the progress catalyzed by Meredith threatens white supremacists, who attached a noose around the neck of Meredith’s statue and hung a Confederate flag on it in February. The university, which has a monument commemorating Confederate soldiers, receives media attention relatively often for the instances of racism that plague its image. During President Barack Obama’s re-

election, around 400 students gathered to protest while yelling racial slurs and burning campaign signs. The university serves as a microcosm for much of the state, where more hate crimes and demonstrations of racism occur. One of these recent events caused the death of an innocent black man. In 2011, seven teens attacked the unsuspecting James Craig Anderson before one of the perpetrators ran him over with a truck. The perpetrators’ actions and the events on the university campus are indicative of the racism that is deeply rooted in parts of Mississippi. This intolerance affects all generations, not just individuals who grew up when laws explicitly promoted segregation. Clearly, racial prejudices still exist. The persistence of racial biases taints American efforts to promote equality. The racist factions in Mississippi must stop living in the Civil War era and join in the promotion of equality. Dan Moritz-Rabson is a contributing columnist. Email him at opinion@nyunews.com.

STAFF EDITORIAL

Universities fail to meet student athletes’ needs

Although Monday may have marked the end of this year’s March Madness, the debate surrounding the toxic relationship between universities and student athletes has likely just begun. In the past few months, several controversies have come to light, including declining academic standards, potential unionization and the compensation of student athletes. The business of college sports is extremely lucrative, earning $11 billion in annual revenues, while 50 colleges report annual revenues that surpass $50 million. Student athletes, however, rarely reap substantive financial or educational benefits. Universities must prioritize the academic standards that players are held to rather than perpetuating a system that leaves many student athletes unprepared for post-collegiate life. With the exception of baseball, only 2 percent of NCAA players become professional athletes in the United States. When looking specifically at basketball, only 1.3 percent of men and 1 percent of women will actually make it to the NBA or WNBA. For the large percentage of student athletes who do not make the cut, it can be difficult to adapt to life without sports, especially when college players lack the skillset to be competitive off the court. Many student athletes are not prepared to compete for a job in the real world. When universities permit players to graduate without a solid mastery of academics, they run the risk of limiting student athletes’ skills to sports alone. This limitation can seriously affect players’ ability to function in the job market once their athletic career ends. While most colleges with competitive athletic programs offer some sort of tutoring service to compensate for the class time student athletes miss, these programs often perpetuate a system that fails to prepare athletes for life after college. Instead of teaching college players to complete work independently, these tutors often overcompensate for the writing, critical thinking and logic skills that some student athletes lack. Rather than teaching the students to function self-sufficiently, the tutors at many schools complete the work for the athletes. As a result, the athletes obtain passing grades while doing less work than students not involved in collegiate sports. Such habits amount to the prioritization of athletic programs more than education and fail to aid the development of skills that will help students after college. Universities should not be regarded as a stepping stone between high school and a professional career by athletes. Students with an interest in athletics should be held to the same standards as their classmates. The conclusion of this year’s March Madness should prompt athletic universities to take responsibility for all of their students.

Email the WSN Editorial Board at editboard@nyunews.com. EDITORIAL BOARD: Peter Keffer (Chair), Christina Coleburn (Co-chair), Omar Etman (Co-chair), Nina Golshan (Co-chair)

Send mail to: 838 Broadway, Fifth Floor New York, N.Y. 10003 or email: opinion@nyunews.com WSN welcomes letters to the editor, opinion pieces and articles relevant to the NYU community, or in response to articles. Letters should be less than 450 words. All submissions must be typed or emailed and must include the author’s name, address and phone number. Members of the NYU community must include a year and school or job title.

WSN does not print unsigned letters or editorials. WSN reserves the right to reject any submission and edit accepted submissions in any and all ways. With the exception of the staff editorial, opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.


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