Fake It Or Make It: Sossin the Boss
“Division of Powers” in Osgoode’s Law Library
Hashstradamus: 2012 Sports Predictions
“The definitive source for Osgoode news” Osgoode Hall Law School, 0014G York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Editorial: The End is Nigh RORY WASSERMAN Guest Editorial Well, here we are, 2012. If the nut job on the subway is to be believed we have a mere 12 months, give or take, before the world as we know it will end.
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Basically, the Mayan calendar’s “Long count” will end on December 21, 2012, giving crazy people and religious scholars (sometimes the same person) all the reason they need to panic.
“New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.” - Mark Twain Editors-in-Chief: Cassie Burt-Gerrans, Andrew Monkhouse, Jennifer O’Dell Osgoode News Editor: Kyle Rees
Now, I am not one to jump on board the “We’re all going to die!” bandwagon, and I am not too concerned about the world ending this year. Am I a skeptic? Probably. But the truth is I have a much more real “End of Days” to fear. 2012 does indeed mark the end of a significant calendar for many 3rd year students, and the end of the world as we know it. This year marks our final academic term at Osgoode, and the end of the life of being a student.
skim a text book cover to cover the night before an exam. We know how to make a summary that is both complete and practical. We can give a professor’s views back to them and make them seem like our own. Some of us have even been able to balance our lives taking on extracurriculars and finding the time for family and friends. In this, our final term, we are at the peak of academic perfection. School in general, and law school in particular is no longer scary. Repent 3L’s for the end is nigh! In 4 short months we will be expelled from the bubble that we have been living in and thrust into an unforgiving world of billable hours, suits and research memos. It is tempting to focus our thoughts on the great unknown that we will soon be stepping into. Begin the life of a lawyer, with our new
Opinions Editor: Nick Van Duyvenbode Features Editor: Rory Wasserman Arts & Culture Editor: Nancy Situ News Editor: Hassan Ahmad Careers Editor: Sara Jackson Sports Editor: Joe Marcus Staff Writers: Dave Shellnutt, Travis Weagant, RJ Wallia, Jack LeCasse, Harjot Atwal, Eric Marques, Hashim Ghazi Contributors: Joan Christiansen Layout Editors: Julia Vizzaccaro, Harjot Atwal, Nancy Situ Photography: Harjot Atwal
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The Obiter Dicta is the official student newspaper of Osgoode Hall Law School. The opinions expressed in the articles contained herein are not necessarily those of the Obiter staff. The Obiter reserves the right to refuse any submission that is judged to be libelous or defamatory, contains personal attacks, or is discriminatory on the basis of sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Submissions may be edited for length and/or content.
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monday - january 9- 2012
For those who entered law school directly from undergrad this is indeed a scary prospect. While school can be difficult, stressful, boring and tiring, it is also familiar. We have honed our academic abilities and after elementary, junior high, high school, 4 years of undergrad, and 2.5 years of law school we have managed to pick up a few things. We know the tricks, and we have learned what it takes to succeed. We have mastered the ability to both Facebook, email and listen in lecture at the same time. We have perfected the all nighter. We can recognize when a professor is discussing something important (as in, it is on the exam) versus “important.” We know which readings we must do and which we can get by without. We can
lawyer concerns and lawyer problems before we are even handed our diploma, but let us not forget that we still have a term at Osgoode. A term is still plenty of time to continue to learn new things, meet new people, make new friends. More than that, as a 3L you are needed. Our lack of stress and ability to manage our time puts in an ideal position to get involved in the school, act in mock trial, start a club, help out a student. Continue to enjoy all that Osgoode offers and your remaining time as a student. Because, after all, it will be gone before you know it. the OBITERdicta
Legal and Literary Society Changing Of The Guard COMRADE SHELLZ (AKA DAVE SHELLNUTT) Legal & Lit President It’s biting cold up on the tundra that is York University. Icy winds that shoot through each outdoor concrete corridor remind me that the last term is here. For many of my friends and I, this is the last few months we will curse the TTC as it creeps from Yorkdale to Downsview. We are coming to our glorious end at Osgoode. It has been a hell of a ride, that’s for sure. Over the years we have succeeded academically, but we’ve also become leaders of various organizations. We have hosted massive events like the upcoming debate tournaments, International Women’s Day activities, and definitely another bake sale that will make it rain… But wait, don’t check out right yet! There is still much to come. Ok, if you miss that 8:30 am Estates or Securities class once or twice (a week), no worries. If you decide that jogging pants are more appropriate attire, all power to you. I wore exposed long underwear last week, and from the looks I got, I rocked it. If you do anything though, it’s end this year in dramatic fashion by finishing the various tasks we signed on to do. Right now you have more time than you will for let’s face it, eternity! Use some of that time and energy for extracurricular endeavours. Volunteer projects that help your personal and professional development. I for one hope to work with the L&L team to leave some lasting impacts by the end of the term. That JCR will open! We are going guns a-blazin’! It’s also imperative that we pass on the torch. Look to your colleagues in 1L and 2L. Embrace them this term when working on events and do or die organizational tasks. Last year, it was our 1L students who came through most in planning for the organization I was affiliated with. They have the ambition and drive that you sitting there in your flannels need to help you get through this. But that means those who won’t be wearing black robes and those hats this year (do we wear those hats in law school?) need to step up too. We often have problems filling key organizational roles for some of our vital student clubs on campus. You have the hang of things now. This law school business, you have that down; you now know you don’t have to make your own summary or panic at the sight of a 50-page case. Take that extra time and join us to make this last term a great one. It’s not too late to get involved. Search that inbox and find that email from X,Y,Z club that you signed up for ages ago and holler the OBITERdicta
at them. They might just love you for it. I won’t speak for Student Caucus, however the situation was similar for them. We need more representation on Legal and Lit. Our team this year has worked tirelessly and to great effect. Surely an Obiter homage to them will come. But they came from a small pool. We had one contested position. Without them stepping up we would have had vacant seats. This year we want all positions to be contested, by multiple candidates in an engaged and active campaign. We want YOU, YOU and yes, even YOU! Student government should come from every corner of our community. Student government is for all of us, the people that work for you should be you. Does that even make sense? OK, my point is forget what you think student council is. Forget who you think occupies the spots and get your butt out there. I had never been in student government in my life, but I thought, hey I have some unique skills and went for it. You are definitely better than me (long underwear, come on!). I’m looking forward to riding this out with you all. L&L is looking forward to meeting keen students willing to take over important tasks like managing our health plan, the JCR, and our massive clubs system. Many clubs are looking for the same, and for help on actions that will be hugely beneficial to the Osgoode community. I’ll leave you with an update of what’s to come
and I look forward to seeing all students, early morning class skippers, gunners, and the anxious, out and involved. Osgoode Administration and Student Body joint fundraising initiative in honour of Wendy Babcock: Details will be forthcoming but should you have any interest in being involved in preparations please contact Marcel or I (email@example.com). L&L and SC Elections: Yes it’s in March, but you’re already thinking about it now right? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Grand Opening of the JCR followed by Regular Thursdays! Scheduled for Thursday January 12, 2012. (Contact email@example.com for all your JCR room booking needs and we’ll put you in touch with the bar host with the most, Dave Meirovici). Ok, well that’s just a brief heads up of what’s to come. Keep checking your inbox for the latest. It has been a pleasure to work for you. I’ll have something more introspective about my experience in the coming weeks but wanted to kick off this first Obiter column with a call to arms. I would also like some feedback on how we have been doing, positive, negative, anonymous or profane. Holler at me legalandlitprez@ osgoode.yorku.ca
Duty to Warn • Monday, January 9th, 12:30-1:30 PM, Room 3015: Yoga at Osgoode • Wednesday, January 11th, 12:30-1:30 PM, Room 1001: Female Litigators Career Panel • Thursday, January 12, 6:30 - 9:30 PM, Camera Bar on Queen West: Raising the Civil Liberties Bar Event
monday - january 9 - 2012
Osgoode News Post-Exam Period “Division of Powers” in Osgoode’s Law Library HARJOT ATWAL Staff Writer
“Legal information institutes of the world, meeting in Montreal, declare that: [p]ublic legal information from all countries and international institutions is part of the common heritage of humanity. Maximising access to this information promotes justice and the rule of law.” -Montreal Declaration on Free Access to Law (2002) <http://www.canlii.org/en/info/ mtldeclaration.html>. After discussing issues with some of our library staff including Louis Mirando, our Chief Law Librarian, I chose to write this article in an attempt to increase awareness of the reasoning behind Osgoode’s library policies; it does touch on concerns previously raised in Obiter by our L&L President and others this year, but is focused more on disseminating the statistical information used and observations made by library staff in their policy-making decisions. The Division of Powers analogy alluded to in this article’s title is useful to describe the notion that Osgoode students, as the Law Library’s primary client group, really are paramount here to other undergraduate students and members of the community. Throughout the year, the lower library is now reserved exclusively for law students. Recently, the entire library study space was additionally restricted to only Osgoode students during the exam period through the use of the ‘wristband’ policy. However, even during this time, the library still provided access to legal information for undergraduate students and non-students of the local community as long as they could state a purpose for having to use the Osgoode collections (print or digital) or services (e.g., reference or research assistance); this was done not only because Osgoode’s Law Library is also publiclyfunded, but because the library is committed to the principles stated in the above-quoted “Montreal Declaration” in addition to some other Statements and Declarations listed on its website. Thus, during the exam period, the law student body fully enjoyed its paramount privilege to the Law Library’s study space, but access to justice and legal materials was still monday - january 9- 2012
maintained for the public at large. But, now that we have returned back to the less-restrictive library policies regularly enforced during the rest of the term, I find myself curious as to how the law student body will react? Will the usual complaining about ‘SNAILs’ (Student Not Actually in Law) start again? Will the complaining be even louder because some law students became spoiled by the library’s more favourably restrictive exam-period policy? I hope the complaining won’t get any louder, but I’m sure it will always be there to some extent. After all, we law students do pay higher tuition and do deserve to be able to fully use the long-awaited, nicer, and more comfortable library space in Osgoode’s newly renovated building. And yes, even I would get annoyed and likely complain about an undergraduate student taking his socks off on the library’s upper level (which did happen to someone one day in the Fall Term); but, I wouldn’t say it’s only the ‘SNAILS’ who are disruptive.
In my conversations with them, the library staff has been quick to point out that some Osgoode students eat food in the library, which is prohibited, or talk loudly in a disruptive manner. Personally, I’ve seen a number of Osgoode students eating food in the lower library, even though I’m sure some of them know that “cockroaches come for the crumbs, and stay for the glue in the book bindings.” Indeed, many people have recounted tales of seeing a mouse in the library already this year. At the end of the day, I think you’re just as likely to get a couple of jerks in a random sample of the undergraduate population as you are in a similar sample of the Osgoode student body. But, why do those infernal undergraduate students keep coming to our Law Library anyways? Don’t they have somewhere better to go? Well, the answer is ‘no’ (kind of). Consider this fact: the Scott Library was designed to accommodate an undergraduate population of 10,000 students; however, York University currently has 45,000 enrolled students. Indeed, both Scott and Bronfman libraries should likely be twice as large to house their respective faculties, and the Steacie library should likely by four times as large to accommodate the science faculties. With those kinds of discrepancies at York, it’s
impossible not to expect overflow from other faculties to Osgoode’s Law Library. The library staff is well-aware of these numbers and the tendency for overflow, and thus created their policies and procedures after fully contemplating the issues raised by these potential problems. After all, the library staff have statistics on Osgoode students’ usage of library space that dates back a number of years, and this information influenced decisions on how large the library needed to be in the new building. Even during this past exam period, the library staff regularly conducted four ‘head-counts’ each day to determine how many students were using the library at any given time, in order to continue collecting data that will inform future decisions. It was determined that, in the exam period, the Law Library was regularly either twothirds or three-quarters full during peak study hours. In fact, the library staff has indicated Osgoode students are currently using the library in larger numbers than they ever did before. While the library has 250 maximum available seats between study carrels and tables, the number of people in the library has actually reached upwards of 220 or 230 students. Nonetheless, even with the increase in usage by the Osgoode population, we can certainly still say the Law Library is fully capable of accommodating all law students who wish to study there at any time in the year. However, the same positive conclusion cannot be drawn in favour of other libraries at York University. It is not uncommon to walk in Scott Library during the exam period and see a number of undergraduate students sitting on the floor, with books and backpacks sprawled out around them. The reality is that York University simply isn’t providing enough library space for all of the students currently attending the institution. Unfortunately, York University also has no plans to create additional library spaces or to renovate the existing under-sized libraries in the near future. The Steacie Library was actually renovated five years ago and the Bronfman library is newly built, but, as previously mentioned, neither library is large enough to meet the needs of all students of their respective faculties. Continued on next page. the OBITERdicta
“Division of Powers” Continued... If these libraries were bigger, perhaps the ‘SNAIL’ problem would be alleviated to some extent; indeed, this was the experience a few years ago at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law’s Bora Laskin Law Library. U of T Law similarly used to have problems with overflow and accordingly restricted access to its library study space to law students. However, once U of T renovated some of its existing libraries and built additional library spaces for undergraduate students, the overflow problem disappeared. Bora Laskin no longer needs a restrictive access policy in order to accommodate all of the law students enrolled at U of T. So, why can’t York be more like U of T? Beats me. In my humble opinion, York University needs to address this chronic problem associated with its libraries to better fulfill the needs of the entire student population, especially if it is to consider itself a serious academic and research institution. Thankfully, Osgoode’s Law Library has its policies, budget, and priorities determined by the Law School, independent of York’s Office of the University Librarian. Indeed, the Law Library staff first contacted Dean Sossin about the library issues being unofficially bandied about by the administration and Osgoode student body, before discussing the situation with Student Caucus and developing the restricted access policies. the OBITERdicta
In the end, the library staff decided to make a pro-Osgoode decision, rather than an anti-York one. The decision to restrict access was not directed at non-law students, even if those students were inconvenienced during the exam period by the new policy. “Our decision is based on facts and reality, not based on attitude or elitism,” explained Louis Mirando when I asked him about the library staff ’s reasoning. The Chief Law Librarian then went on to state that, if anyone is to blame for the overcrowding woes faced by non-law and law students in regards to their library spaces, it should be York University that is deemed blameworthy rather than Osgoode Hall. Personally, I believe the library staff should be commended for all of the great work they have done in providing an appropriately comfortable space that is conducive to studying. A great library is one where people don’t feel threatened, and Osgoode students amazingly feel very secure and comfortable in the Law Library. This past exam period, the library staff noticed that a number of students had even begun to leave their laptops at their desks when leaving to get a coffee or use the washroom, rather than take their more valuable belongings with them; this is likely because students felt, as I did this past December, that no one was going to steal their stuff with many of their peers sitting right there ready to guard one another’s belongings. Additionally, it wasn’t uncommon to occasionally see
students feeling comfortable enough to sleep on the couches while they took a quick study break. Thus, even though the more favourable ‘wristband’ policy is no longer in effect, I still think the Osgoode student body should not begin complaining more loudly about the ‘SNAIL’ problem now that the library has returned to less restricted access, especially since the library is such a comfortable and accommodating study space. And, if you do feel the need to complain about the overflow of undergraduate students, go take up your issues with York’s Office of the University Librarian. For its part, Osgoode’s Law Library has successfully considered and will continue to consider the needs of law students to be paramount as we are its primary client group, but it has still been able to simultaneously maintain and maximize access to legal “information [that] promotes justice and the rule of law” amongst the rest of the local community. Even though I wish the rest of York University’s libraries would be more like the University of Toronto’s, I definitely would not make the same statement about Osgoode’s Law Library.
monday - january 9 - 2012
Facebook Pros And Cons
JENNIFER O’DELL Co-Editor-in-Chief Oh, hiii 2012 – didn’t see you there. Maybe that’s because I’m soooo out of touch with ‘reality.’ It’s been 6 months without Facebook, and I’d like to take this opportunity to describe some of the pros and cons I’ve come across during this time. There are just a few things I want to clear up before doing so. Firstly: I’m a self-righteous asshole who generally thinks she’s got a better way to do things than 99% of the population. This is a character flaw, and I’m working on it. But you should know (if you don’t already) my ridiculous convictions about how the world should, or does work, can be unparalleled in their ‘holier than thou’ attitude. Having said that, I am going to do my best to provide some objective insight on getting rid of what most of us have. Secondly: I know I am certainly not the only one without FB at this school. That kind of arrogance is even too much for me. I’m also aware people have been known to give up FB during exam period without thinking about it. In lieu of this, I certainly don’t have some sort of special or unique experience with this endeavour; there are lots of people who have traveled down this road. NBD, right? Ok, so, here we go. Birthdays: As I write this, it happens to be my birthday. This is first year since roughly 2006 that I haven’t received an influx of Facebook emails telling me so-and-so wished me a “HBD!!!” Let me be clear, I never got a ton to begin with. I have friends whose Facebook wall you could watch in real time just to see post after post of “You’re old”, “Happy anniversary of escaping the womb!”, “Does it make you uncomfortable to know your parents were doin’ it approximately nine months ago? No? Happy Birthday!” or “MISSING YOU, Happy birthday my lovely lolz, xoxoxo, lolz.” If I’m being honest: this has been a bit of a bummer. I’ve received a total of seven HBD texts. These are the people who have known me for so long (e.g. elementary school) that early January is marked off in their brain calendars. The rest of world works on Facebook calendars, and because I’m no longer there – this day doesn’t count for much in that kind of world. On the flip side: the texts I have received monday - january 9- 2012
have meant a HELLUVA a lot more than the rando-added-me-think-we-went-to-the-samehigh-school-do-you-have-a-kid-now?-wtfbirthday messages I got annually. And if I’m being honest (again), I always had to wonder why people even bothered to creep my wall once a year with a “HBD!!!” I mean, com’on meow – you’ve been totally MIA the last 8 innings, why come out to bat in the top of the ninth? It generally makes the message sound insincere. Additionally, I have to wonder if these people just left these three letter messages in hopes of receiving reciprocal “all the best on this special day” messages. If so, well, I’m glad not be a part of that game anymore. Overall: I’m actually surprisingly unbothered by the lack of birthday messages. This is likely closely linked to the fact that I generally despise my birthday. In this situation, I count it as a winwin for me. (Note: by reading this you are in NO WAY obliged to wish me a happy belated. In fact, I’d prefer if you didn’t. Thanks in advance). Event Invites: I have to say, I’ve definitely made it harder for people to invite me to random events. They are burdened with not only sending the FB message to everyone, but also remembering to send me a lone email me or text. Annoying, right? I’m not really being facetious here, even though it may sound like that. With all sincerity, I get it. Moreover, after trying to invite folks to an event this year I realized I was missing multiple email addresses and don’t even have everyone’s phone number. Facebook was definitely the most convenient form of mass communication. Overall: This has been a con. Even though I think I appreciate not dealing with the invites from people I barely know, I do think I’ve missed out. ‘Contact’ with People: I had approximately 830 ‘friends’ when I left. I am not, under any circumstances, actually friends with 830 people. I likely don’t have anything against 830 people (though even that’s debatable at times), but we’re not besties. Not even close. Ergo, ‘losing contact’ with a good chunk of these folks has had zero impact on the overall quality of my life. In fact, the absence of a tiresome and tedious Newsfeed has probably upped the quality of my life. I now no longer need to know how much quicker almost everyone has completed their summaries or how early some fuckers are done exams. Indeed, I’m happy to remain in blissful
ignorance of these facts. And, being my bitter self, I have to say it’s a bit of relief to no longer be inundated with wedding photos, baby showers or “look at how awesome my life is” photos. Full disclosure: I was totally one of those dicks who used the Facebook photo uploader-thinger to let the world know how a) witty I thought I was or b) how many uber-cool things I thought I did on a weekly basis (mobile uploads was my worst offence). So, for everyone else’s sake – it’s a good thing I’ve kicked the FB habit. Admittedly, there were a handful of people whom I genuinely cared to know about and still lost total contact with (to clarify: there are a lot of people in my life whom I care about, but I have most of their contact info and can ring them up if I haven’t talked them in awhile. The above referenced handful only applies to the people who I did have a phone number, a current email address or even a mailing address for). These people are/were living in the Middle East, Northern Canada, Australia, Thailand or just generally traveling the world. It took me awhile to track down proper email addresses, but now that I’ve got them, the only thing I really miss is seeing their photos. No one attaches photos to emails anymore. Le sigh. Overall: This aspect has ultimately been a pro of not having FB anymore. News: Let’s face it: Facebook is a major source of up-to-date news. When I pressed that ‘delete’ button in June I thought I’d for sure be at least 48hrs behind major world events, politics, natural disasters, celebrity deaths or the latest memes. Well, I’m here to tell you friends that this prediction never came to fruition. My roommate and I frequently have ‘end of the day’ chats about what’s been going on in the world in the last 24hrs, and I have almost always had the same info he does. In fact, I’ve even had more up-to-date info on a couple of occasions. I think this is likely because I actively seek out sources of news now instead of being a passive consumer of Newsfeed ‘news.’ Overall: Seeking out my own info has been a big time pro of deleting FB. Wasting Time: In reality, if you’re prone to procrastinate, I’m sure you’ll find other ways to waste time even if you do delete FB. However, as Continued on next page. the OBITERdicta
Facebook Pros And Cons continued...
Reborn Law Student Or Osgoode Ghost: Who Will You Be This Semester?
mentioned above, you’ll likely have more time to waste on reading an online newspaper or a favourite blog instead of spending 45mins trolling Facebook before you realize creeping your ex’s new partner is more harmful to your mental health than you had previously thought. Don’t be that person.
NICK VAN DUYVENBODE Opinions Editor
Overall: Super-duper pro to deleting Facebook. So that’s it. I do miss it some days, especially because I had a ton of photos on there from various trips and/or adventures, but as you can glean from this article, overall, I think it’s been a good thing. There are plenty of people who’d disagree with me, but like I said, I’m self-righteous know-it-all, so I’ll happily reject these opinions and substitute my own. Overall: Up yours, FB!
Volunteer with the Obiter! Second semester is not too late to volunteer with the Obiter! We can always use additional writers, layout editors, cartoonists, website gurus, horoscope makers, copy editors and puzzle creators. If interested, e-mail ObiterDicta@osgoode. yorku.ca the OBITERdicta
This week’s edition of the Obiter is loosely themed around reflections, those which come pretty easy with our New Year and new semester starting this week. To be honest, I never really was one for the whole reflecting on the year past, with New Year’s resolutions being committed to for the coming year. I always thought that if you couldn’t bother motivating yourself at any other time, why on earth would anything stick now, solely due to an arbitrary calendar start date. There was probably a fair share of “no one tells me when I should make life changes!” also mixed in with my convictions. I don’t necessarily think that way anymore. Instead, I’ve actually started to acknowledge that on a conscious and certainly sub-conscious level, it’s really helpful to have periods of designated rebirth, revitalization, re-jigging, whatever it may be for one’s life. In addition to a bunch of yearly goals that I’ll start and likely complete “somewhat” by December 31, 2012, I have a more immediate goal to make my last semester at Osgoode count more than all my last five semesters combined...well maybe not combined, but I really would enjoy a strong finish to an interesting 3 years (I don’t really know how else to really describe law school after all this time other than a slow, drawn out...i n t e r e s t i n g). How will I achieve this goal of making this semester count? By obtaining impeccable grades? Clearly not. Rather, I want to present in the Osgoode community in as many facets as I possibly can be. I’ve talked about the incredible array of Osgoode community groups that one can be involved in, in past articles, I plan to continue on with the groups I’ve committed to and expand these further (hopefully) to be even more involved. Why on earth would someone do that, in third year, almost out the door? Well I truly believe that it’s a waste to “sign-off ” from law school, as 3rd year students are often referred to as doing. Don’t get me wrong, schedule your classes to a manageable 2-3 days per week, skip classes, “skim read” the text book, and grab a stellar summary from the year before. These are all still very important. But do not become the “ghost of law school” in 3rd year, especially in the last semester. It’s a disservice to oneself as well as the Osgoode community.
I’ll try use a small analogy at this point. Like any good battleground, the most experienced service people that have been in the trenches for some time now should be around to give advice, guidance, substantial knowledge transfer, etc, to those in 1st and yes, 2nd year. Also, what kind of further ground can be taken, when 1/3 of your student legal battalion bails on the remaining folks still deep in the trenches? Yes, even in 3rd year, we are still in the trenches; friends, don’t leave your fellow students behind, just yet. And yes, if there’s any confusion, we are fighting together, not against each other. In the grand picture, I also very adamantly believe that we are part of shaping the future culture (shift) in the legal profession, as we enter the ground level of lawyer-dom. The legal field’s currently very limited ability to utilize collaborative working models as a method of leveraging the true potential of trained legal minds is staggering. Yes, we do work in teams (sometimes), but I challenge you to think of many professions that are so self-autonomous. I don’t particularly want to be in a go-it-alone profession, that it so ardently autonomist in its structure. Teams are where human nature often, if not always, strives for excellence. So, when we bail on being involved in Osgoode community groups, we arguably exacerbate the “in it for ourselves” and “signed-off when it doesn’t help me” attitude. I do not want to be part of continuing this, so please join me, and many others at Osgoode that plan to eschew plans of being “ghosts of Osgoode.” If you’re not convinced yet, I would also argue that the clear “signing-off ” undercuts your own identity as a legal professional in a relatively small community. No one wants to work with someone, and no one respects a peer who clearly only prioritizes around their interests, with no evidence of any community obligation built into their moral fabric. And people don’t forget this either, we are building our reputation right now. Also, I’ll include a last plea, that I do not want Osgoode to descend back into its recent past, where community feeling was so emaciated that paper-thin would be an understatement. The school has just recently been revitalized and it’s all of our responsibility to drive Osgoode towards excellence in this area, because no one else is going to do this. We have traditions, celebrations and milestones to continue and (re) build - you just have to be a part of it! monday - january 9 - 2012
Sports Hashstradamus: 2012 Predictions in the Wonderful World of Sports HASHIM GHAZI - @THISISWHYIMHASH Staff Writer First off, Happy New Year (Yay! It’s a Celebration, B*tches! Let’s get Smashed!) and Welcome Back to School (Boo! I’m Depressed Now! Let’s Get Smashed!). I am not going to lie, I, for one, am pretty happy 2011 is done with, and look forward to new beginnings and success in the new year. Also, I’d like to apologize to all three of my readers (and my editors) for my lack of new content last term. As I mentioned, 2011 was a hectic year for me, and unfortunately I could not be as involved with the Obiter as I would have liked. However, I hope to be a bigger part of your lives this year - get excited. Okay, I’ll stop with the sentimental B.S. because this is starting to sound like a Drake record. With a new year comes new predictions in sports, and below I set out who I think will win trophies (both the championship of the respective league and the booty...err, beauty of Kim Kardashian) in the NFL, NBA and MLB this year. Let’s get to it. NFL The Superbowl – New Orleans Saints Over New England Patriots In the “Year of the QB,” it is only fitting that we have a showdown between two of the best QBs of the last few years. Tom Brady has all the Gs a man could ask for – Glory (3 Previous SuperBowls), Gift (One of the greatest QBs I’ve seen play in the clutch), Gs (stacks on stacks on stacks – the guy is the most marketable star the NFL has had in years, and he gets paid rather handsomely for it), Gisele (yes, THAT Gisele), good looks and great hair. On the other hand, people tend to forget how good, both on and off the field, Drew Brees is. This is a guy that just broke Dan Marino’s single-season passing record just two years after he came within 15 yards of it. However, Brees dedicated it to his teammates. In a league that prides itself on cockiness and narcissism, it’s nice to see some humility from one of the good guys in the L. I think the Saints will win in a shootout (both defences are garbage), with N’Awlins prevailing because that offense is unstoppable. I see the Saints winning 35-27, with Brees taking home the MVP, and at least one rumour of Tom Brady actually playing injured throughout the entire SB (the guy has an amazing PR team). Although the sexy pick is Green Bay, I just don’t see it. Yes, they were unstoppable during the regular season, but I just do not see the monday - january 9- 2012
defence stopping teams when they have to. They have the benefit of playing at Lambeau throughout the playoffs, I still wouldn’t bet on them repeating. Their lack of a running game really hurts them, as teams can play the pass and limit Rodger’s arsenal. The Booty: Reggie Bush “The Bush and the Tush” was a huge hit for non-NFL fans, so it only makes sense for them to hook up again. With Reggie in Miami, this works perfectly for “Kim and Kourtney take Miami...AGAIN!!!” NBA The Larry O’Brien Trophy – Miami Heat Over Los Angeles Lakers Is it me, or is this NBA season the best/worst one in years? It’s amazing because there are marquee match-ups literally every night given the condensed schedule, but at the same time, it is SUCH bad basketball because everyone is out of shape, exhausted, or a member of the Toronto Raptors. This year’s intense scheduling is going to lead to healthy scratches a la baseball, because teams will have to rest their star players to make sure they still have gas in the tank come playoffs. With apologies to star-studded teams like Chicago, OKC, LOB City, and the Mavs, the finals will be between the Lakers and the Heat. Given that David Stern evidently does whatever the hell he wants, he’ll use his authority to get these two media giants pitted against each other for the title. Unless the Lakers get Dwight Howard, I don’t see them stopping THE Miami Heat. Lebron is taking it old school with an incredible post-up game, and Dwyane Wade looks to be the man come crunch time. Throw in the defensive savvy of Shane “Wrinklehead” Battier, and a healthy Mike Miller, and it seems obvious that the Heat will show up to play these Finals. I see the Heat winning in six, with Dwyane Wade taking home the MVP and Chris Bosh crying at least three times...each game. A lot of people are going nuts over the Thunder, and rightfully so. They have one of the best players in the league, Kevin Durant, a great coach, a great team dynamic and solid interior defence. However, I can’t see them winning unless they show Russell Westbrook the door. Don’t get me wrong, Westbrook can ball for days, but he doesn’t get that Kevin Durant is better than him. If I was Sam Presti (GM of the Thunder), I’d offer Westbrook, Ibaka and a pick to the Magic for Dwight Howard and Jameer
Nelson. The Magic get two youngsters who have a great future, plus a pick in a loaded draft class, while the Thunder get to suit up Howard, Durant and James “the Beard” Harden in their ugly uniforms every game. It’s a win-win. The Booty: Kobe Bryant Come on, who else could it be? Kobe loves throwing salt in people’s wounds, and bagging a hotter version of his ex-wife is SO Kobe it’s not even funny. Plus, this works perfectly for “Kim moves back to LA...AGAIN!!!” MLB The World Series: Philadelphia Phillies Over Tampa Bay Rays I know I sound like a broken record, but have you SEEN the Phils’ starting rotation? They are deep from 1 through five, and when you throw in Utley, Rollins and Howard, I can’t see them not winning. I understand they had virtually the same team last year, but they are too good not to win it. Also, the Rays get the nod over the Yanks and the BoSox because they have a well balanced team that can score runs and hold leads. The Yankees will overspend and face injuries to their core players, and the BoSox have karma against them with the way they treated Terry Francona. I see the Phillies winning in five, with Doc pitching the first and fifth game and finally getting his much-deserved first postseason MVP and World Series. With the major signing of Pujols and pitcher C.J. Wilson, I can see the Angels competing, but not taking it all the way. Pujols may have a monster year with the opportunity of him to DH some games, but I don’t know if the rest of the roster is up to par with other teams in the league. Lastly, although they may not get any trophies to show for it, I think it’ll be an exciting year of Blue Jays baseball. The new uniforms are sick, a healthy pitching rotation is sicker, and a full season of Brett Lawrie is the sickest. Also, I highly suggest you all take at least one trip to the SkyDome (not the Rogers Centre, the SkyDome) this year. A Sunday afternoon at the dome is a cheap, relaxing and entertaining thing to do with the fam or friends. Also, if you’re up for it, try to get seats behind the catcher...you’ll really understand how much strategy goes into every pitch, and it’s one of the few sporting venues in Toronto where it is actually economically feasible to get the best seats in the house. Continued on p. 10. the OBITERdicta
Joe’s Not-Overly-Informed NFL Playoff Picks: Wild Card Weekend (Week 1) JOE MARCUS Sports Editor
If some stupid old octopus named Paul was able to accurately predict the entire 2010 World Cup, surely I can take a stab at predicting how the 2012 NFL playoffs will pan out. As a Canadian sports fan, I am fully aware that I should probably be writing about hockey right now—about the Senators being a bunch of softies or about concussions ruining the NHL or about the Canadian Juniors getting worked by Russia—but lets face it, the NFL is where it’s at this time of year. Plus, I’ve been lying on my couch watching the NFL Network (and eating Wheat Thins) for the past two hours, and I am starting to feel like an NFL insider.
straight; and yes, the Texans beat the Bengals a few weeks ago, but that was only by one point. As I see it, the playoffs are about pedigree, about big stars making big plays—and the reality is that T.J. Yates is a bum, a low-pedigree dude. He is a third string quarterback, drafted in the millionth round, who really should not be starting in the NFL. Plus, his shoulder is apparently kind of busted. For the Bengals, you’ve got Andy Dalton, a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate tossing darts to fellow rookie A.J. Green, who was picked 4th overall in last year’s draft. What Cincy lacks in experience, it makes up for in pedigree. Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints:
Okay, so my plan is to publish my predictions each game-week. If I get off to a good start, I will probably gloat quite a bit, and continue dropping prophetic bombs on ya’ll. If for some weird reason my Wild Card Weekend picks turn out to be incorrect, I will most likely loose interest in this whole thing. I must stress the fact that I am writing this article on January 4th for games that will be played on January 7th and 8th. So if something crazy happens to Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees in the next two days, I will be giving myself a mulligan. Also, by the time you read this article, these games will have already been played—which means that you’ll either be thinking to yourself “this guy’s a dumbo” or “this guy’s a lucky dumbo.” I’m hoping for the latter. Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans:
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos:
Pick: Saints. This is kind of a no-brainer, you know? You’ve got to give Detroit credit; they’ve got a young stud of a quarterback in Matthew Stafford, and a freakish all-purpose athlete in Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. It almost seems unfair, don’t you think, that they would have to go up against the Saints in a Wild Card game. I mean honestly, the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009 with the same number of wins that they had this season. And now they have Jimmy Graham, who is uber bad-ass, and Drew Brees, who had a career year (which is saying something), breaking Dan Marino’s alltime single-season passing record. Yeah, their defence is poop, but so is Detroit’s. This game will be a shoot-out, no doubt, but it’s hard to imagine that the Saints will not rise above. Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants:
Pick: Bengals. I have been a Cincinnati fan ever since I found a sweet Bengals cap in the New Era store’s Sale Bin about six years ago. As such, even if logic were not on my side, I would still be picking Cincy to win this game. The thing is, logic is my side. Sure, the Texans have a better record, but they’ve lost three the OBITERdicta
Pick: Giants. For me, this is the toughest game to call. Atlanta has had a wicked season, but for some reason they don’t get taken seriously. Maybe it is the fact that they were the number one seed last season, and got crushed by Green Bay. We didn’t know then what we know now, though, that this Green Bay squad may be one of the best football teams of all time. Even Matt Ryan, who has done nothing but win since he hit the NFL four years ago, has a lot riding on this game. Atlanta may be a talented team with something to prove, but New York is a talented team with a head of steam. They’ve got guys like Manning and Jacobs and Cruz and Pierre-Paul, all playing out of their minds right now; okay that might be an exaggeration, but they are going into the playoffs hot, having just beaten the Cowboys in a do-or-die battle. These guys are battle-tested, and I see them rolling through the desperate Falcons.
Pick: Steelers. There is obviously something sexy about picking the Broncos here, as Tim Tebow may very well be the second coming of Jesus Christ. (As the story goes, his mother was advised to abort him to save her life, but she didn’t and she lived and now he is a freaking super hero). He is a miracle child, and a miracle quarterback; the miracle, of course, being that he wins games despite not being able to throw. If you’ve watched a Denver game this year, however, you know that the only thing miraculous about the Broncos is their defence. But can their defence stop the banged-up Big Ben? Possibly, but there is no way that Tebow pierces the steel curtain. I mean, it is so effing obvious who wins this game…unless Tebow defies the odds, which is oddly likely.
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News Is The American Century Already Over? HASSAN AHMAD News Editor In 1829, only approximately three decades after Napolean Bonaparte’s army had handily defeated the Egyptians, the Pasha of Egypt commissioned a brilliant young Imam (Islamic religious leader) named Rifaa Al-Tahtawi to travel to France. His mission was to better understand how and why the Europeans had become so powerful in that time and easily able to dominate Middle Eastern nations that had been powerful not long before. Al-Tahtawi, in the diary of his trip entitled The Gold of Paris, wrote how he quickly came to understand the pronounced disparity in political and economic power between the Middle East and their European counterparts. At the book’s outset he described the Marseille Café by recounting, “[h]ow astonished I was that in Marseille, a waiter came to me and asked for my order without my looking for him.” When it came to settle the bill for his meal, Al-Tahtawi was astounded at the fact that haggling was impermissible. He wrote, “I look for the day when the Cairo cafés will follow the same predictable rules as the Marseille cafés.” It is not a new phenomenon for defeated nations to study and imitate more powerful ones in hopes of reaping similar successes. Nor is it novel to be able to understand the state of a nation simply by observing social phenomena within its ordinary institutions and within the habits and mannerisms of its citizens. This was precisely my objective during our recent holidays when my partner and I traveled to The Land of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Apart from the obvious mandatory visits to west Philly to see just why the Fresh Prince had to move to Belair, as well as running up the stairs of the Art Museum of Philadelphia to imitate Rocky Balboa (the museum also houses collections of paintings from Van Gogh, Picasso, and Pollack that are worth seeing), I wanted to see where the American revolution had begun and where the great forefathers of independence had signed perhaps the two most important documents of our modern democracy—the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Philadelphia, undoubtedly, is a city built on its renowned history, of which its citizens are aptly proud (and by all means should be). But many would argue that the great Union that the forefathers had worked so hard to build is crumbling before our very eyes. The 2008 collapse of the stock market, two debilitating wars, and a highly partisan Capitol Hill (not to mention the rising BRIC nations) has left many people with the
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question of when, not if, America will fall from its pedestal as the world’s sole superpower. I thought of Al-Tahtawi while in Philadelphia and endeavoured to engage in a similar analysis to understand why the US was no longer—and may never again be—the great bastion of hope for all that come to its shores. Many analysts have taken great pains to analyze the current issues facing the US economy and in much greater detail than I could ever imagine. But in my short time down south I quickly realized that Americans have lost, generally speaking, the lofty values upon which their Union is built. The uncanny work ethic, forward-looking tolerance, and vision for a better future that characterized the United States have been replaced with gross lethargy, intolerance, and paranoia. I witnessed the last aspect first hand when I was unable to exchange money at a local bank (or any bank for that matter) simply because my name is similar to a wanted terrorist. In addition, it seems impossible, at least to me, that America can perpetuate a debt-based consumerist economy in which people spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need. Lastly, anyone who has traveled to technologically advanced Eastern cities such as Dubai or even European cities such as Berlin or Paris, will notice the gross inefficiencies in the American model. No longer can our American friends (or us Canadians for that matter) brag that they have the most advanced modes of transportation or electronic devices. Systematic inefficiencies continue to plague the US with innumerable low-paid, unskilled jobs still present in the economy that could easily be replaced by machines. The simplest example of this is the innumerable toll booths on US highways where an attendant does nothing other than sit and disburse tickets in exchange for money. For a country that despises personal taxation, the US would be much better off by taxing its citizens higher and doing away with such inefficient methods of raising revenue for public goods. American paranoia after 9/11 has placed police officers on ordinary street corners when such individuals would be more useful to the economy by learning a technology-based trade to build an America of the 21st century. Americans’ lack of interest or results in education pale in comparison to their Korean, Indian, or Chinese counterparts whose economies are growing at sometimes more than three times the rate of the American economy. In the end, as historians correctly note, the
rise and fall of nations is a natural occurrence in the vicissitudes of times. But as we learn, history repeats itself and the same factors that led to Egypt’s demise to the French in the late 18th century are the same factors that are leading to America’s current demise—lacking vision, order, unity, drive, and hope among others. Mr. Obama came to the Oval Office on the precise message of hope and I look forward to whether he can fulfill that message in his second term as American president to restore America’s leadership role in the world (let’s be honest folks, do we really think that Romney or Gingrich will be the next US president?).
2012 Sports Predictions Continued... Continued from p. 8. The Booty: Derek Jeter Another very obvious pick. I don’t even have to explain this one. Plus, this works perfectly for “Kourtney and Kim take New York....AGAIN!!!” Other Predictions EPL Top Four – Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham – I just can’t put my beloved Gunners behind the Spurs. Champions League – Real Madrid – Barcelona finally looks slightly more beatable, and Jose Mourinho always fairs well in his second year. College Basketball – Kentucky Wildcats – Finally Coach John Calipari puts it together and gets a championship for the Big Blue. The team has too much talent. Best Golfer – Tiger Tiger Woods Y’All – He’s baaaaaaaaaaaack. NHL – Toronto Maple Leafs – obviously. Summer Olympics – The US will dominate in the events they usually do, Germany will have the most medals, USA Basketball will be dubbed better than the Original Dream Team and Usain Bolt will break yet another world record. Oh, and Canada will disappoint, unless they can freeze the pool to make it an ice rink.
Features The Unreasonable Man Ruins 2012 For Everyone TRAVIS WEAGANT Staff Writer This weekend, I watched The Dark Knight with some friends, one of whom had never seen the film before. I subsequently ruined the experience for her by letting slip that Maggie Gyllenhaal (who plays Katie Holmes… I think) dies. And now, because I get my jollies from doing that sort of thing, I am going to ruin five separate surprises from the upcoming year. Here goes: 1. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Demise Celebrities always die in threes. I can only assume the same goes for prominent members of the Axis of Evil. With the recent departures of Colonel Gadhafi and Dear Leader, I can only imagine that everyone’s favourite Iranian is watching his back more closely these days. Of course, I suppose that Hugo Chávez could also be a marked man. However, Mr. Chávez is not the one tempting fate by firing rocket-propelled ordnance willy-nilly about the Persian Gulf before New Yorkers had even finished singing Auld Lang Syne. Plus, the Iranian President has this perpetual look of cocky self-satisfaction that really irritates me. A few bad oysters in the Presidential buffet would wipe that off in a hurry. 2. The Queen Gets Older; Charles Gets Impatient Her Majesty turns 86 this year, and February marks the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne. While her consort, the alwaysracially-sensitive Prince Philip, enters 2012 fresh from an emergency angioplasty, Elizabeth
remains in a state of health comparable to that of the Energizer bunny. Yes, it has occurred to me that she may be a robot, but longevity is also in her blood: the Queen Mother lived to the age of 101 and died a great-grandmother. Rumor has it that Elizabeth, having similar goals, gave her newlywed grandson, William, a Barry White CD and a box of votive candles for Christmas. Naturally, his mother’s seeming immortality means that Prince Charles spends his days in the English countryside, dancing in choreographed numbers with the local fauna, with music and lyrics by Sir Elton about how Charles just can’t wait to be King. He also dreams of a day when his overprotective parents will allow him to visit the dark country to the north where strange and dangerous separatists live. 3. The Toronto Maple Leafs finish 9th in the East Full disclosure: I despise the Toronto Maple Leafs. Given the choice between attending a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game for free and attending a live studio taping of a four-hour polka television special for $60, I would attend the taping. The only things in the world worse than the Toronto Maple Leafs are racism and the Dallas Cowboys. And probably Sambuca. That being said, I feel somewhat justified in my feelings. I don’t think it would come as much of a surprise to anyone if the Leafs’ unique blend of poor management and mediocre performance resulted in them missing out on both the playoffs and the best draft picks once again. In fact, just 10 short years from now, when the
Leafs finally surpass the New York Rangers as the franchise with the longest Stanley Cup drought in history, I don’t foresee anyone being particularly surprised at all. So perhaps I’m not ruining anything here. 4. The Arab Summer It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a whole year since someone coined this wholly inappropriate metaphor. For one thing, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt are all very temperate destinations where spring is a transition from mild “winters” to summers that can melt certain precious metals. Second, I really don’t think that “best get all your reforming done now; it’s going to be winter again in six months” was the message of encouragement and hope Arab activists were looking for. All this to say that the military junta that has ruled Egypt since Hosni Mubarak stepped down has yet to relinquish power to an elected government. Likewise, the fine folks who brought you the extrajudicial execution of Colonel Gadhafi have a few more months before their presence at Libya’s helm is officially considered “lingering”. I hereby predict that before January 1, 2013, someone will notice. 5. The End of the World I took a quick poll in my class this morning and it turns out that the prevailing belief among Ozzies is that the end of the Mayan calendar this December will indeed coincide with Armageddon (the poll is accurate plus or minus 100 percentage points). Based on this advice, I have Continued on p. 14.
Won’t You Be My Neighbour? JOAN CHRISTIANSEN Contributor
While we have our man Prof. Allan Young fighting the good fight, arguing for courts to strike down the criminal laws that prevent “communicating for the purposes of prostitution, living off the avails of prostitution and keeping a common bawdy house,” I would like to give a shout out from the front lines. High atop a residential tower in downtown Toronto, it would seem that my new neighbour is keeping a so-called “bawdy house.” It started innocently enough. A few creepy old men would hang around, and even do her the courtesy of walking her dog. Nothing too strange there. the OBITERdicta
But then business really seemed to take off. Riding up the elevator with furtive “businessmen” over lunch hours and lonely souls on weekend nights became the norm. And to confess, I take a certain amount of pleasure in the voyeurism – “oh him again, it’s been a while since he’s come around,” “hmm wedding ring,” “wow, he’s surprisingly young and attractive.” I still haven’t determined the proper etiquette for those rides up, by the way. Do I strike up a friendly neighbourly chat, as I would with most other residents in the building? (“What website is she from anyway?”). Then there’s the walk down the hallway together, only to turn away at the last minute to different apart-
ment doors. Or sometimes not. We’ve had our fair share of mistaken knocks (must have been a typo on the ad that day). All in all though, I’ve got my girl’s back. She has a right to work in safety, and I don’t mean the pimp who hangs around to “protect” her (no, he doesn’t have a cane). And trust me, living next to her is better than her predecessor, an astoundingly horrible Bay street banker…. but that’s for another week. From the top of the top of the tower… over & out!
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Fake It Or Make It: Sossin The Boss KYLE REES News Editor RABJEET WALLIA Staff Writer When I think of dinner parties, it conjures images of Wildeian occasions with candelabras and cigarette holders, with witty banter being traded between guests across long tables gilded with metal flatware and topped off with ornate ice sculptures. So when we decided to hold such a dinner party in Osgoode Chambers, the student apartment with a semi-functional heating system and occasionally hot water, I was sceptical. Could we pull off such a feat, using only Correl dishes, and a few sticks of Ikea furniture? The answer is yes, you can, because people are just happy to get a free hot meal and have someone to talk to. Which is why knowing how to put together a proper dinner party is an important skill to have as a lawyer-to-be. The application to real-life career situations should be obvious (if you can work up the nerve to invite a managing partner to dinner), but being able to adequately host a dinner is important for one’s social life as well. It’s a good way to get a bunch of people together, and get them talking. Especially if you have 4 or 5 bottles of Monkhouse’s wine on the go (or ‘Chateau Monkhouse’ as it’s come to be called). So, with those goals in mind, a few of us living in Passy have been cooking dinner for each other for the past two and a half years. But for this article, we realized we needed to raise the stakes (steaks?) a little bit. So we invited Dean Sossin over for dinner. As with most things we try without much forethought or adequate planning, there were some things that worked, and others that were less than ideal. We present you with our experience, so that you might learn from it. One of the most important things you can do is properly plan out the event. This is one of those occasions where the adage “you only get one chance to make a first impression” truly takes hold. We’re not saying that your entire career can rest on this one meal here, but let’s just say giving your boss an allergic reaction isn’t necessarily going to get you that corner office you’ve always dreamed about. Before all this, however, it is always a good idea to plan out how you are going to invite your boss over. You want to make sure that you don’t sound self-serving in your intentions (especially if you are). Typically, this can be done by broaching the subject casually in a more informal setting and then slipping in the invitation when you get an appropriate chance. Tact and finesse are what is required here. monday - january 9- 2012
For this particular situation, having met the Dean informally before, I approached it a little differently...in that I basically told him about this article and he accepted. So, with a bit of juggling regarding our various schedules, a lunch time appointment was set for late November. One of the first things to figure out is what on earth you are going to serve. You want to take into account a variety of factors. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, what are the plans for the evening, etc. Sometimes it’s better to serve a lighter meal over others, especially if you’re going out somewhere else after. Another large concern is dietary restrictions. The aforementioned allergic reaction is obviously a no brainer, but what about religious restrictions? It was this situation we found ourselves in with this meal. We had decided that we were going to show the Soss the level of culinary talent that exists within the Osgoode student body. As such, a pot luck seemed the best way to do so. A variety of dishes were thought of until someone had the foresight to ask whether or not the Dean preferred kosher food. This not only led to a discussion about what exactly made a meal kosher, but also how to approach the Dean with this question. Apparently there was some awkwardness amongst the group about asking him at all. In the end, we decided simply to proceed with preparing a kosher meal. This was an interesting change of pace for us as the meal became primarily vegetarian. However, if you are faced with this situation, there is a simple solution that is easy to implement. Theoretically, your senior or managing partner is going to have an assistant. Simply ask them. They are used to fielding RSVP’s for their boss on dinners and will know their dietary restrictions. You avoid having to necessarily ask the guest themselves and you will be quite thoughtful and considerate of their needs. This is also an excellent opportunity to find out if they have a specific beverage they prefer, so you can make sure to stock up well in advance. In this case, we neglected to do that, and the Dean had no choice but to sample some Chateau Monkhouse and some Johnnie Walker Blue Label (I know, such sacrifice on his part). So, you’ve got the date set, the guest coming, the meal ready to be prepared and the drinks are being kept on ice. All that’s left is to execute this properly and you’re on your way to that raise and expense account. So with 6 of us milling around the kitchen, we waited for the Soss Boss to show up. The appointed hour arrived, so we opened a bottle of wine, and sipped it while we waited. We all had another glass. By the time the Dean showed
up, we had a bottle gone. It is important, especially when inviting guests with busy schedules, to have something for everyone to do besides drink while waiting to start dinner, apparently. In any case, the Dean arrived, offered his apologies for his lateness (‘A Dean is never late, nor is he early, he arrives exactly when he means to’), and we started in. As should be the case at a dinner party, the food was easily forgettable. Not that it wasn’t good. I remember people saying that it was. We all brought something different, and there was plenty to go around. But the point is the conversation. While we spoke far too much about Osgoode and Law School, such conversation would have been hard to avoid since it was the reason we were all there in the first place. We even managed to get a photo of the dean with a bottle of Jonnie Walker and a box of Kraft dinner, which was, we assured him, what we usually ate. Kyle: Three interesting things the Dean said during dinner: First, he thinks law schools should get rid of conventional examinations entirely. Instead, students should be able to write exams in a place of their choosing at whatever time they wish. Second, professors occasionally sleep in Hart House (that little house located next to Osgoode—I say we drop in on Hutch for a surprise visit sometime) And third, he likes The Empire Strikes Back better than Return of the Jedi (even the Great Sossin has flaws, apparently). RJ: After the Soss gave us his glorious verdict regarding a bitter dispute between Mr. Rees and I (which Kyle agreed beforehand would be the final word on the subject! So suck it Rees!) we discussed how the event was a success and the challenges we could work on. We agreed that next time, be quicker about finding out dietary restrictions and do not feel awkward about asking. It’s expected and is looked upon favourably. Find out what they like to drink; it adds to the event. Be prepared to not discuss work, so have some anecdotes that will keep a conversation going. Dean Sossin is a professional at this and managed to keep the event going effortlessly. We both wanted to thank him very much for attending and helping us out with the article. On a more personal note, I appreciate his dislike of the Ewoks. Kyle: On a separate note, RJ and I are looking for volunteers for a super-secret Fake It or Make It project happening next week. We need people who have clothing with York or Osgoode labels and are willing to do some light acting to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It will totally be worth it, I promise! the OBITERdicta
War On Nature: Squid are Cannibalistic Backstabbers KYLE REES News Editor
Most people are familiar with squid as Calamari, the little rings of deep fried batter that you order in a pub when you are half-drunk because you thought they were onion rings. And you may have thought ‘Gee, squid aren’t too intimidating. After all, they are on my plate, so we’ve already proven our supremacy over them, right?’ Wrong. Squid are cannibalistic man-eaters that can grow to monstrous sizes and kill you in ways you can’t imagine. Allowing us to eat them is only a calculated ruse to draw us into complacency. Most squid encountered by humans are under a foot long, and travel in school of a few hundred. They are shaped like a penis, with tentacles coming out the back end. This alone should be enough to encourage their universal revilement among all creatures in the animal kingdom. Squid are really stupid, and will try to eat anything shiny. Which makes them easy to catch with a fishing hook: you don’t even need bait. But what they lack in intelligence, they make up for in pure malice. Once hooked, a squid will start changing colour, flashing angry reds and purples to tell you it is pissed. If you pull it out of the water, it will take the opportunity to spray you will a really terrible-smelling liquid, so the best tactic is to bob it around in the water for a little while until it gets tired. This is only something you can do for a little while, though, because as soon as the other squid in the school sees one of their buddies in trouble, they immediately render their assistance by EATING HIM ALIVE. Now, law students shouldn’t be strangers to the concept of cannibalizing a colleague in distress, so this may not come as a shock to most of you. But what often happens is that you hook a few of these snacking squid in the process, which in turn attracts more cannibals, which in turn hooks more of them, and eventually you have a ball of squirming squid on the end of your hook which are eating squid and being eaten by other squid in turn. If this is difficult to picture, just imagine the lawyers at a medium-sized firm before they get acquired by Fasken-Martineau. Once you pull them out of the water, they don’t give up without a fight. It is important when removing them from the hook to wear very, very think gloves, because these mothertruckers will entangle you in their suckered tentacles and attempt to bite you with their horned beaks even a few hours after being the OBITERdicta
caught and kept in a bucket, all the while staring at you with that glassy eye and flashing a color pattern in Morse code that says something about your mother’s nocturnal activities. But these are just the little squid. In a few places in the world, there are species of squid that measure 6 feet in length, and travel in schools of 40 or so. They are just as dumb as the little ones, and have similar appetites, which makes them really easy to catch, and good for using as bait, since they are so large. So fishermen in these parts of the world regularly catch these squid, gut them, and throw the spare bits overboard, which attracts even more of them to the area, generating the kind of vicious cycle described above. But recently, these fishermen have been wary, and for good reason. There have been reports of these squid jumping out of the water, latching onto people’s faces like the creature from Alien, and knocking them overboard where they are summarily devoured by pissed off squid in the middle of a feeding frenzy. Nature documentarists wishing to film such feeding frenzies have to dive into the water wearing medieval chainmail to avoid having their flesh picked from their bones by squid beaks. Also, their suckers have spikes in them for no other reason than sheer badassery. But not all squid need to leap out of the water to feast on scared fishermen, some are large enough to pull the entire boat under the water, and eat a person in one bite. The Giant Squid and the Colossal Squid are two distinct species formed when Cthulhu and medusa have drunken, angry sex. They can grow 13 metres, weigh 500 Kilos, and their favourite activities include eating human-sized fish, and getting washed up on beaches to rot, which is how we know they exist. In fact, except for one instance, a giant squid has never been documented in nature. This means scientists have no way of estimating their numbers, their habitat ranges, or whether they have already infiltrated the White House. I for one don’t trust any species that is larger than a car, yet manages to elude observation for so long. Not much is known about why squid hate humans so much, and I feel this article only goes halfway to describing the problem. But knowing is half the battle-- unless a squid leaps out of the water and attaches itself to your skull and eats out the part of your brain where this knowledge is stored, which is entirely possible.
What’s In A Modern Family? JOAN CHRISTIANSEN Contributor
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching Modern Family as much as the next person. But tell me what’s so “modern” about their Modern Family? The fact that there is a gay couple? That the wealthy old guy married a busty young Latina? Amongst the female characters at least, I see nothing about the women that is overly provocative, or shows how modern women challenge traditional stereotypes. To start with: there’s Claire, the nagging stay-at-home mom. Enough said. Then bombastic Gloria… a fiery and emotional woman whose good looks can get her through almost any scrap. Let’s not forget pretty-but-stupid Haley, who cares more about clothes and boys’ attention than school or “spending time with her family” (the ultimate sin). And Alex. She makes sense because everyone knows that a girl can’t be smart without being a loser. Even feminine Cam prefers taking care of Lily than having a job, and like a “mafia wife” he enjoys spending the money Mitch earns without caring where it comes from. There are two episodes where Claire really reflects on her choice to be a full time parent. The first is when her former co-worker, played by Minnie Driver, comes to visit. Minnie is now an executive who is unmarried and promiscuous (with lovers in all continents), thus proving to Claire that the career sacrifices she made were worth the caring and grounded family she now has. The second is where Claire considers running in the city council office. Basically she decides that the crap she would have to face in the work environment is not worth the time it would take away from supporting her family. Both of these issues speak to the challenges that most real modern families face, where competing demands on parents makes it difficult to juggle the expectations placed on them. Modern Family…. woman up!
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Cooking Kyle’s Cod ERIC MARQUES Staff Writer Welcome back! Last time I wrote about cod, the Portuguese and Newfoundland, I spoke in generalities and of history. Since this column is rooted in Kyle and cod, I thought it fitting that this issue bring it a little closer to home. I mentioned that the Portuguese have a profound fondness for fishing both cod and Newfie women. Having already much personal experience with cod, I thought it would be in the interests of journalistic integrity to explore the other half of traditional Portuguese fishing endeavours. So I went on a date with Kyle’s fiancé! She was in town visiting him from Newfoundland. I couldn’t ask for a better catch! I think you can imagine how thrilled Kyle was about this. How thrilled he would have been-- that is-- had he known. Kyle was actually stuck in class when I serendipitously ran into his fiancé on the subway. It was her last night in the “Big City”and she wanted to make it special by embracing her heritage and indulging in some Portuguese lovin’. She aggressively persuaded me to tag along with her under the rouse of going alone to the Mumford & Sons concert. That’s right folks, Kyle went to class on his fiancé’s last night in town-- and left her to go to a concert by herself!-- classic Newfie error! Keep in mind that, being from Newfoundland, going to a non-Great Big Sea concert was a rare and magical experience for this particular young lady. It’s this kind of sheltered existence that makes Newfie women such easy targets for the Portuguese; they’re as easy to catch as cod was in the Part of Our Heritage commercial. Such plentiful supplies! As goes the saying in Portuguese, Fish to your heart’s content! F*ck the Newfies! ...And especially their wives!* * This is not an actual saying
Anyway, back to the story. It didn’t take much of her pleading before I agreed to join in the fun. I managed to get an excellent last minute ticket 7 rows from the stage. We grabbed a couple drinks inside and I convinced her to abandon her seat in the 300’s and join me. We held hands, danced romantically and sang along to the bands passionate (faux) folk. We then recreated an experience common amongst Portuguese fisherman and Newfie wives of olde. They would get lonely while their less-skilled fisherman husbands were off at sea. And in the most private corners of the Portuguese fishing boats, they would find solace in a warm embrace...** **Romance and sex may have been slightly exaggerated to maximize insult to Kyle.
I then metaphorically sailed off in the distance as she returned to her simple lonely life in Newfoundland - her man absent. He’s busy working hard to eventually get lucky enough to put food
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on the table. As she dreams of that magical night with the Portuguese, she struggles to satisfy her lustful appetite with... Bacalhau a Bras! Quite easily my favourite cod dish, this delicious main course is made with simple ingredients for a taste that is nothing short of addictive. Convert Ingredients 1 pound dried salt cod (buy it) 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 6 cups) 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1 bay leaf 8 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided 18 oil-cured black olives Directions 1. Rinse the fish and place it in a bowl. Add enough cold water to cover. Chill overnight, changing the water several times. 2. The next day, drain the fish and transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until the fish flakes easily, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Flake the fish, discarding any bones. 3. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes in batches and saute until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain. 4. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the same skillet. Add the onion and bay leaf and saute until golden, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the onion slices in the skillet. Mix in the fish and potatoes. Whisk the eggs, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl to blend. Add the egg mixture and 3 tablespoons of the parsley to the fish mixture in the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the eggs are softly set, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a platter. Garnish with the olives and the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.
Unreasonable Continued... Continued from p. 11. decided to get the remainder of my student line of credit in cash and go to Monaco. I have been unable to ascertain exactly how the world is going to end. Hollywood has been decidedly unhelpful in this regard. You see, in apocalyptic films, the world never actually ends (2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Sunshine, The Core, etc.), since there would subsequently be no characters left. I thus have no choice but to conclude that the Rapture will be exactly how Johnny Cash described it in “When the Man Comes Around”, and I certainly hope that a Death Star-esque explosion will follow. I’m not worried about the end of the human race. What really disappoints me is that I’ll never get to see the Toronto Maple Leafs officially become the worst hockey franchise in NHL history. And there you have it: 5 things from 2012 that won’t surprise you. This is valuable knowledge – use it well. the OBITERdicta
Burning Love JACK LECASSE Staff Writer
A Patient Art A little while ago, I was lying to a girl on the street about some fucking thing or another. I don’t remember what. I never remember what, and that makes for a poor liar. It had been raining for three straight days and I hardly noticed the smell of ozone and crushed worms anymore. She had the empty frustration of a driver out of gas on the side of the highway, head on the wheel. Utterly miserable. She wore a disappointed yellow jacket, and stood there, for quite a while, with her eyes closed. I am two parts indifference, one part shame. But all that was about to change. I begin to hear the distant clacking of hooves on pavement over the rain patter. As the sound approaches my blood pressure drops, and I feel a strange sickness coming on. It intensifies as the animal draws near, culminating in an awful retch. I can’t look – in a cold sweat masked in rain, I search the ground for a glassy reflection to find a mounted cop, pacing towards us. She slows and stops. I am always anxious around horses, as they are around me, for reasons you will know shortly. But this sickness… this extraordinary sickness. Latent in my blood all these years, is dormant no more. I knew this day would come.
I needn’t even look at the mare to develop a slight tremor. But her, she needed to see me to get spooked. I prayed a quick and desperate prayer but it was too late, she turned to look right at me. The mare recoiled like a worm to the hook, kicking up an awkward fuss before the cop had her trot it out. A harmless little incident, soon forgotten by all. But me, I am slain. And so it is that I now find myself, early in thi s New Year, afflicted with the family sorrow. You see, I am born into a long line of horse thieves, long after horse thievery - as a living, as an art - is dead. “A patient man’s art”, my grandpa called it, being the first of us to suffer the soul burn of our dated earthly purpose. He was tenderly afflicted, and found a working remedy in fishing. My father’s catharsis was more aggressive. To this day, we dine out once a week and he steals the cutlery. On bad weeks, we go more. My experience is the most virulent, to the concern of my family. I am an angry, sullen mess. I am not eating, I am not sleeping. And I am aimed to fail out of my last year of law school because all I want to do is steal a motherfucking horse. And then another. I pace my apartment. I plan elaborate equine robbery. A furious misery boils in my head, on anachronistic drive, on wasted aptitude. It is a madness like no other. My mouth is foul and golden, my fingernails gnawed to the pink. I need help.
My grandpa cracks the ales and we drink them on packed snow. “What is it I always say, son?” “’Fuck with your face and fight with your feet’, Grandpa.” “Do you understand that?” “I always thought you meant it literally.” “Fuckin Jesus Christ, son. No. Well not always. Really?” “I’m a dying man, Grandpa! I need a remedy!” “Easy now. Why do you exist, son?” “To steal horses.” “Then you’ll be forever defined by what you don’t do. But what makes you think my father had it better? Because he fed the beast red meat, he was at peace? You are cursed, son. As am I. As was he. But cursed as we are, what do we remain?” “Horse Thieves.” “Patient artists, son. Don’t reduce yourself. The shit you hate don’t make you special. It never will. Gotta find something to love. And something to steal.”
Arts & Culture
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
NANCY SITU Arts & Culture Editor
I had thought that The Wackness (2008) was the last time I would willingly pay for a movie with an Olsen sister, and if someone had told me that one of them would be in a cult-themed independent film three years later, I would have brushed it off to be an overproduced piece of garbage complete with a cheesy soundtrack and eye roll-worthy cameos. But the ace up the family’s sleeve (at least, in terms of talent) is the twins’ younger sister, Elizabeth Olsen, star of director Sean Durkin’s debut feature length film, Martha Marcy May Marlene. The story’s setting moves between Martha’s (Elizabeth Olsen) time with a cult in the the OBITERdicta
Catskill Mountains led by the gaunt but charismatic Patrick (John Hawkes) and her present day recovery at her sister, Lucy’s (Sarah Paulson) lake house. The seams between these transitions are crafted to be disturbing parallels between her interpretation of social cues at Lucy’s home and the trauma she experienced in Patrick’s cult. Psychological thrillers run rampant in our theatres these days but it’s only once in a while that the film allows the audience to be more than observers. Martha Marcy May Marlene provides the opportunity for a sympathetic reaction rather than merely pity or worse, indifference. Most of the criticism I have encountered centres around the film being “difficult to
watch” – both because of the relatively slow pacing at times, and scenes of violence and sexual abuse. I have little concern for these kinds of complaints, however, since just like a good book, ease of consumption is not a prerequisite for excellence. It would be absurd for Durkin to omit the most wounding aspects of cult life; the scenes were completely necessary. And those who are prone to checking their watches past the 90-minute mark ought to consider challenging themselves more. Though to be honest, at 102 minutes long, Martha Marcy May Marlene does not drag on at all. Rating: Watch it , Rent it, Skip it
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Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde (October 18, 2011 – January 15, 2012 at the Art Gallery of Ontario) NANCY SITU Arts & Culture Editor
Marc Chagall - Blue Circus (1950)
The Chagall exhibit is as much a history lesson as it is an artworks display. As our accidental tour guide explained, much of the tendencies of the Russian avant-garde movement (which occurred roughly between 1890 and 1930 with the generally agreed upon peak during the Russian Revolution of 1917) were dictated by Stalin’s rule. The government would not support works that were not consistent with the Communist ideals of technology, science, and innovation. This is evident in the geometric nature of suprematism, architectural forms in constructivism, and the explicit technological themes in futurism. Even neo-primitivism, an area where most of Marc Chagall’s works fall under, was appropriately socialist realist, containing elements of cubism and futurism. Picasso once remarked that “[w]hen Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is.” Indeed, his later paintings, for which he is famed, are surreal and fantastical, with many resembling abstract circus tableaus bordering on the absurd. His early work frequently featured Vitebsk, the town where he was born and raised. He appeared to be both respectful and rebellious of his Hasidic parents, depicting human forms (which is forbidden in Orthodox Judaism) but also fiddlers, and fish motifs, in honour of his father who worked as a fishmonger.
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of early documentary film. Kandinsky’s paintings are striking at first glance but become even more fascinating considering his approach. He likened visual art to music, calling his more planned out works “compositions” and others “improvisations”. The structure of his paintings flow like musical pieces, with semblances of a staff and notes, and a general melody. Our tour guide suggested that he may have been a synesthesiac. Vertov’s 1929 experimental documentary, the appropriately named Man With A Movie Camera, was available for viewing at the exhibit. The film portrays Soviet citizens at work and play with a wide range of groundbreaking (for its time) cinematic techniques such as double exposure, fast and slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, extreme closeups, tracking shots, stop motion, footage played backwards, and Dutch angles. Unconventional angles was a feature of Russian surrealism, showing up in many of Rodchenko’s photographs as well.
The exhibit featured 17 other Russian surrealists, most notably: Vasily Kandinsky, who was interestingly a law and economics professor before enrolling in art school at the age of 30, Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, who were husband and wife, Alexander Rodchenko, a multi-talented artist most known for his photomontages, and Dziga Vertov, a pioneer
Though Chagall and his contemporaries were restricted by Communist ideologies (many of them eventually left Russia, including Chagall who moved to Paris), their works nevertheless exhibited great creativity and innovation. Furthermore, they provide an incredible historical commentary and insight to Soviet life.