January 16, 2012
Finally. Fake It Or Make It: Bear Stew
Why Men Are Terrible And How Women Notice
Arts & Culture: Oscar Predictions
“The definitive source for Osgoode news” Osgoode Hall Law School, 0014G York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 Tel. 416.736.2100 x77527 Fax. 416.736.5736 E-mail. ObiterDicta@osgoode.yorku.ca Website. www.obiter-dicta.ca
“In victory you are served champagne; in defeat, you need it.” - Napoleon Editors-in-Chief: Cassie Burt-Gerrans, Andrew Monkhouse, Jennifer O’Dell Osgoode News Editor: Kyle Rees 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, Thomas Mastoras, Michael Szubelak, Karolina Wisniewski, Marcel Malfitano Layout Editors: Julia Vizzaccaro, Harjot Atwal, Nancy Situ Photography: Harjot Atwal
Articles are due at 2 p.m. on the Wednesday before date of publication. The appropriate maximum length for articles is 1200 words. Please submit articles in Microsoft Word format via e-mail attachment to obiterdicta@osgoode. yorku.ca. Please attach photographs separately; do not include them in your Word document.
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.
The Obiter Dicta is published weekly during the school year, and is printed by Weller Publishing Co. Ltd.
monday - january 16- 2012
Editorial: Bill C-10 This week, our Obiter Dicta features a number of different types of articles. We have the funny. For example, see page 8 for a well-crafted article on Bear Stew. We have the political, thanks to Travis Weagant’s The Biggest Loser. We even have the poetic on page 16 - it’s not Dr. Seuss, it’s a parody; our Rory Wasserman, such a rarity! Finally, we have a debate brought to you by your Legal and Lit President, Comrade Shellz, and Thomas Mastoras. The debate concerns the role of Legal and Lit, particularly in relation to forming a stance against Bill C-10. What side of the coin do you come down on? Should Legal and Lit be able to form an Osgoodian stance on this issue? Or is this way out of Legal and Lit’s mandate? You may find it hard to know what side to take. Well, that’s where this issue comes in. What this issue didn’t have was a primer on Bill C-10… until now. Yes, you could google it and find out all the information you need, but for the ease of our readership, we thought we’d include a few notes in our editorial to let you know what all the fuss is about. Bill C-10 was tabled on September 20, 2011 by the Conservative government. Bill C-10, formally known as the Safe Streets and Communities Act, is an amalgamation of nine smaller bills that were introduced by the Conservatives but not passed. The Bill covers areas such as sexual abuse of children, drug trafficking, violent crime penalties, serious crime penalties, pardons, the transfer of Canadian offenders from foreign countries, and work permits for foreign nationals.
The Bill proposes longer sentences for drug, sex or violent crimes, stricter penalties for drug trafficking and sexual abuse of children, ineligibility or delay of pardons, the removal of house arrest for certain offenses, tougher sentences for youths who commit serious crimes, increased rights for victim participation in the judicial process, and powers to deny work permits for foreign workers at risk. Some proponents of this Bill believe that it will improve the judicial system’s efficiency, crack down on child abuse and drug trafficking and will hold criminals accountable. The Bill is believed to protect the vulnerable, both children and migrant foreign nationals. Some proponents also attest that the Bill will target gangs and organized crime, not everyday citizens. Critics of the Bill have opposed it because they believe it does not address the root causes for crime (such as poverty or inadequate prisoner rehabilitation) and has instead introduced penalties that outweigh the crime committed. Some critics believe that the Bill’s stance on youth will over-incarcerate their generations. Others believe that the Bill victimizes vulnerable members of society (such as Aboriginal people) and that the implementation of this Bill will further clog our justice system. There you have it – a quick, unbiased look at Bill C-10. Now it’s up to you, readers, to form an opinion on this matter and whether Legal & Lit has any role in putting forward a stance on this issue.
Letters To The Editor Editor-in-Chief and Obiter Dicta’s Advertisement Committee, This letter concerns the Davies ad on the back of the last issue where the “D” in Davies is struck through and replaced with a graffitied “SL” rendering the word “Slavies”. It has come to my attention that this is an informal, hyperbolic nickname that some students who have articled there have coined to refer to the workload they experienced during their time with the law firm. In this ad, Davies appears to be re-claiming this reputation and re-positioning it as just part of their story--the other being that they play just as hard and students learn a lot in the process.
I take a real exception to the fact that there are people for whom this joke would even be funny and that this offensive retooling of a name gained enough momentum to take hold in the sub-culture of law students. This is beyond my control and not something that is likely to change until attitudes regarding offensive speech and awareness of its impact change. That Davies saw fit to run an ad invoking the shameful, genocidal, dehumanizing practice of forced, unpaid, lifelong labour and suffering that was essential to the power the Western world now enjoys is despicable. Continued on next page. the OBITERdicta
Letters To The Editor Continued... What is even more offensive is that the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, is still alive and well with regard to disparities in access to employment, education, wealth and justice that the descendants of slaves still suffer. It is beyond distasteful for them to jokingly compare the rarified privilege (however rigorous) of working at a Bay Street lawfirm with this history. It chills me to imagine the decision-making conversation around launching this ad campaign. I imagine either no one voicing an objection to the ad or an objection being met with “we don’t want anyone applying here who can’t take a joke anyway”. So either the potential to offend was not considered or it was dismissed as an acceptable loss. The prospect of either scenario is beneath what I expect from a responsible law firm. What further distressed me was that my school’s student-run newspaper would elect to run such an ad. Imagine the name of the law firm was not “Davies” but instead rhymed with a particular concentration camp and there were students who saw fit to nickname the firm with that camp’s name? Would an ad with that re-tooling be seen as an appropriate message to inflict on the Osgoode community for the sake of ad dollars? I find this ad extremely offensive and will read any subsequent running of it as racial harassment as laid out in the Ontario Human Rights code (the relevant excerpt is attached below). I will be writing a letter to Davies as well and encourage likeminded Osgoode community members to let them know that this ad is offensive and illegal and does not depict Davies as a firm that prioritizes equity.
To the Editors of the Obiter Dicta, I saw that the Obiter Dicta publishes a Davies ad in which the “D” is crossed out and it says Slavies. I get that we need sponsors for the Obiter Dicta, but I really think that the ad is totally inappropriate and ignorant. No one at Davies works for free. In fact, they get paid upwards of $1450 a week for the work they do. I think that this ad does not acknowledge that there are still people in the world that do huge amounts of labour for no pay, AND that there are people in the world, at Osgoode, whose ancestors were slaves. I understand that this ad is meant to poke fun at the work ethic that Davies promotes but it disregards a long and horrible history of forcing others to work for no pay. Samara Secter Osgoode Hall Law Student
To the Editor-in-Chief of the Obiter Dicta, It has come to our attention that the advertisement we recently placed in the Obiter Dicta made some students and faculty believe that we were making light of the very serious subject of slavery. The intent of the advertisement was instead to try to suggest that the nickname students have used for our firm for many, many years should not dissuade students from considering applying to us for summer or articling positions. We were aiming for some selfdeprecating humour. It did not occur to our team that we would be seen as making light of slavery, rather than simply poking fun at ourselves. Obviously it should have. We thank those who brought this to our attention and accept their criticism. We sincerely apologize to those who were offended. We will not run the advertisement again. Frances Mahil Director, Student Affairs Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Join a team where you’ll learn how to work with others, not against them.
Kisha Munroe Osgoode Hall Law Student According to the Human Rights Code: Racial harassment can happen when someone: *makes racial slurs or jokes These kinds of behaviour are wrong even when they are not directed towards you, because they hurt people and make them feel uncomfortable. They can make living and working together very difficult. the OBITERdicta
Ogilvy Renault has joined Norton Rose Group 2600 lawyers 5 continents 1 vision thenortonrosedifference.com NROR1119_obiter_dicta_2011_12.indd
monday - january 16 - 2012
Legal and Literary Society Bill C-10 COMRADE SHELLZ (AKA DAVE SHELLNUTT) Legal & Lit President
Article I: OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES OF THE SOCIETY
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” –Nelson Mandela
1. The Society shall provide a united means of expression and administration in order:
In December of 2011 Student Caucus and the Legal and Literary Society were approached by Dalhousie Law School and were asked to join them in their opposition to The Safe Streets and Communities Act, Bill C-10. After some discussion, it was decided that an open forum would be organized immediately, with the dual purpose of gauging student responses to the issue and – if deemed appropriate – releasing a public statement. This task was then assigned to Legal and Lit, as it falls more properly within our mandate than that of Student Caucus. Ok, so as a good litigator, I know where to concede. As your humble servant, I also know when to admit my mistakes. First, I wrote an initial email about this in a somewhat biased tone. That should not have happened. But you all know me, and I never do anything nice and easy. What I do strive to do – as does all of L&L for that matter – is to advocate for you with an almost militant tenacity. Though my email was misleading, you should know that we at L&L would never presume to speak for you without speaking with you. We work tirelessly with you in mind and would never forsake your support. It is also true, as was graciously pointed out, that the initial L&L email could have contained articles in support of Bill C-10. To be accurate, there were only two articles from the CBA and Dalhousie respectively in that email. I also directed students to the Bill, which should presumably speak for itself. While I will cede the above weaknesses in my initial communications, I stand firmly on the belief that Legal and Lit has the constitutional mandate and the duty to take stands that are in the interest of our students or reflections of a majority of their own individual stances. I will make more poetic arguments below, but as a student of the law I always turn to my constitution for guidance: L&L Constitution: www.legalandlit.ca monday - january 16- 2012
a) to promote the welfare and interests of the students of Osgoode Hall Law School and to provide services, activities, publications, and facilities which address student needs or objectives; c) to promote intra-university cooperation and communication and represent the members of the Society in relations with the Law School, University, institutions and community; The L&L constitution permits, in my view expressly, the Society to express and promote your interests to the broader public. It allows us to do this within the law school and the greater Canadian community. Now to think that L&L should stick to managing a dental plan and throwing pub nights misses the point of student government and muzzles a powerful tool that we as students, as future lawyers, and as humans dedicated to rights have in this crazy messedup world. Of course, L&L would not take a position on foreign policy decisions of this or that government. We surely would not side with one economic school of thought over the other. L&L did not come out in support of Occupy Toronto. What we do is stand by you and stand up for issues that are in your interests. This year alone, we have led a campaign to raise money for the elimination of violence against women; we raised funds for Movember; we will support International Women’s Day. That, my friends, is activism. If this were 1990 would L&L be silent as campuses and student governments across the world spoke out to demand the freedom of a lawyer, Nelson Mandela, and an end to the oppressive apartheid system? Would it be wrong for L&L to speak up in support of LGBTQ rights? Are we so naïve as to think that no one in our midst would oppose those issues? Because a minority is opposed does not mean the majority should not speak. Last year a police officer inferred that if Osgoode women would refrain from dressing as sluts, they wouldn’t experience sexual violence. At
that time nothing was said by L&L officially, but in my election campaign I made it clear that I would have pushed for an L&L rebuke had I been in a position to do so. It would be in the student body’s interest in all the above situations to use our elected voice to speak louder than any individual can. We have a unique ability as law students to comment on the law. We do not need to shy away from topics we debate daily. We are not lawyers, nor experts in criminal law, but many of us interact with it on a regular basis. We may not be able to authoritatively assess all the nuances of this Bill as deeply as the CBA has done, but does that mean only an elite few may comment on government legislation? No, we as law students have a unique perspective and will interact with this Bill throughout our legal careers. In the interests of our current clients and community members, as well as our future ones, we have a right and an ethical duty to use our specialized knowledge to speak up. Let me state again, I believe L&L has the mandate to act on this issue. I don’t see it as a political one in the sense that we would not launch this discussion simply because X,Y, or Z party put forth such offensive, absurd and abusive legislation. However, as your elected official, as L&L, we care deeply what the student body has to say. Not a word will be uttered until a decision is made. But a decision will be made, for if Osgoode were to sit in silence as my friend would say, we would be sitting in acquiescence to this Bill. That friends, is worth thinking about. The way forward may not be clear, but with your input it will be. Please contact us to let us know where you stand. It is likely that a survey will be sent out to gauge your support or opposition (even your ambivalence) to Bill C-10. This will be accompanied by a question on whether you want L&L to use its powerful voice to speak for you. The two issues must be addressed and we must not let one be used as smoke to hide the true issues here. The position may be fragmented, it may be a massive majority, whatever it is, whatever you determine it to be will be represented in any statement. Though we were elected, we would never wish to speak for those who would Continued on p. 5. the OBITERdicta
An Open Letter to Legal and Lit: Stay out of Partisan Politics THOMAS MASTORAS Staff Writer
The Legal and Literary Society at Osgoode Hall is a fundamental element of our institution. It is comprised of hard-working, dedicated students who devote significant time to ensuring student concerns are heard and addressed. Recently, L & L announced in an email that it is inclined to consider issuing a statement or policy opposing Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act. The email noted that “as future lawyers, as a student government and as concerned citizens we should seriously consider joining our colleagues at other schools in forming a position on this issue”. In support of its proposal for a “unified approach” – a convenient euphemism for unilateral, homogenized opposition – the email cited a Canadian Bar Association Report coming out against the Bill; a related Toronto Star article opposing the Bill; the Dalhousie Law School student governments’ opposition to the Bill; and Windsor Law School’s student government’s opposition to the Bill. Evidently, L & L neglected to cite the dozen or so other law schools that abstained from taking a position. The email urged: “Let us not lag behind our peers in Windsor and Halifax” in opposing the Bill. It is my view that L & L has absolutely no mandate or legitimacy to enter into the foray of partisan politics at any level of government. Its responsibilities are to the student body as a whole, and the idiosyncratic political convictions of the Executive have no place speaking for Osgoode Hall as a whole, particularly on a salient political issue as divisive as this.
The beauty of Osgoode is its pluralistic, varied political culture. Osgoode is a place where I often casually encounter friends and acquaintances—with differing political views—and have meaningful, stimulating political exchanges, oftentimes lasting hours. There are many students at the school, myself included, who support some parts of this bill. Fundamentally, however, Osgoode does not speak with one political voice, and certainly not on this issue. L & L’s contention that we can “form a position” on this issue presumes that there is one viewpoint at Osgoode, and that it is opposed to this Bill. Apart from the impossibility of unanimity on a piece of legislation, commenting on political matters on behalf of all students is absent from L & L’s mandate. According to its website, L & L “is responsible for coordinating and funding the numerous professional, athletic, social and extracurricular activities at Osgoode Hall Law School. Legal and Lit is the primary student government of the Law School, and works in collaboration with Student Caucus to provide student services to help keep our Law School one of the most prestigious in Canada”. If L & L chooses to paint the entire student body with one broad brush by issuing a unilateral political statement that does not enjoy the support of the entire community, then I suppose we must add “commenting on controversial political issues” to its mandate. Perhaps we can also run candidates for L & L according to partisanship. Truly, this would be an absurd scenario.
I find it admirable that our representatives at Osgoode have strong political convictions. Healthy debate is an integral element of our legal training. But to superimpose one’s own political views upon the entire student body, and to issue a political judgment on behalf of that student body, notwithstanding considerable internal disagreement, is abusive. It homogenizes the Osgoode community and is antithetical to our institutional values of constructive debate and holistic consideration of diverse views. Were L & L to issue a policy statement regarding the use of force in Libya, we would consider it absurd. Were L & L to speak with one voice on behalf of the student body regarding the appropriate level of federal taxation, we would consider it absurd. Why is Bill C-10 any different? That this legislation implicates criminal justice changes nothing; it is a political judgment that, rightly or not, is well outside the scope of L & L’s mandate. Simply, members of L & L were not elected to take partisan positions on your behalf. In closing, there are numerous alternatives the individuals comprising L & L can employ in voicing their opposition to the Bill. Principally, they can speak as individuals. They can write editorials; they can write their Members of Parliament; they can protest. What they cannot do, is proclaim to enter a political judgment on your behalf. They were not elected to do that. It is downright offensive. It is abusive.
Bill C-10 Continued... Continued from p. 4.
rather remain silent. We will represent you and be representative of all of you.
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Note: Agreeing for L&L to issue a statement does not mean L&L can speak on all issues for you. The very fact that we are having a discussion about this and a survey to determine support means that cannot be the case. There is no way that L&L would be endorsing political candidates; any slope we may be on with this initiative is rather flat and definitely not slippery. What we will ask to do is comment on the law, as law students, and nothing more.
MONTRÉAL OTTAWA TORONTO CALGARY VANCOUVER NEW YORK CHICAGO LONDON BAHRAIN AL-KHOBAR* BEIJING SHANGHAI* joinblakes.com *Associated Office Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
monday - january 16 - 2012
Graduation Debt (And Other Things They Never Mentioned In The Law School Brochures) MARCEL MALFITANO Staff Writer Debt after graduation is a terrifying prospect for most law students. The reality of law school is that tuition fees are exceedingly high and most students are unable to work throughout the school-year to defray their financial obligations. Consequently, students increasingly rely on bursaries, OSAP and lines of credit to help pay for the costs of legal education. I am not surprised to hear that the prospect of high debt upon graduation influences some students to pursue specific career paths where the remuneration is typically higher than it would be in other areas of legal practice. The idea of graduation debt is prone to produce significant levels of anxiety among law students, especially those who have been unable to secure an articling position by their third year. In response to growing awareness of this important financial issue, Dean Sossin contacted me (in my capacity as the Chair of Student Caucus) and a few members of the administration during the summer with a proposal for a new working group. A Debt Relief Advisory Group was formed soon after, co-chaired by myself and Assistant Dean Mya Bulwa. The group was formed with a mandate to explore whether any reform to Osgoode’s system of student financial support is justified in light of the growing burden of debt many students incur by virtue of attending law school. This working group was tasked with considering possible changes to the manner in which the school allocates debt relief funds. The idea was that we would proceed on a revenue-neutral model (therefore, we would not assume new funds were available to support any new back-end debt relief proposals). In the fall semester, our early focus was spent on examining the idea of back-end debt relief – one of the ways in which law schools can address student debt. One example of back-end debt relief is a loan repayment assistance program (LRAP), some examples of which have been instituted by some American law schools to address the problem of graduation debt. Other measures to assist students with debt relief are also being considered by the Advisory Group. Part of the Debt Relief Advisory Group’s mandate is to engage the Osgoode community, to solicit ideas and input more broadly. We are tasked with generating a report for Faculty Council (Osgoode’s governing body) by March 2012. To that end, we have created a short anonymous survey that we hope will provide us with valuable data that we can use to assess how Osgoode monday - january 16- 2012
students feel about graduation debt. An email will be sent out by Student Caucus providing a link to the survey, which will take less time to complete than the time it took to read this paragraph. The information you provide to the Debt Relief Advisory Group will be enormously helpful in our discussions. I strongly urge everyone to take the survey. As I stated above, graduation debt is a growing issue. It may be particularly relevant in the context of law students who are planning to pursue a social justice-oriented career where the remuneration is typically lower than it would be in corporate and commercial work. This is not meant to make any value judgments of the work involved, but rather to point out that it may be more difficult for students to pay for their studies and cover the cost of graduation debt (coupled with interest rates on loans) in certain types of legal careers. Of course, many factors affect an individual’s debt load, not least of which is the amount of debt that the individual had before they entered law school. Undergraduate debt is also increasing as a result of higher tuition fees and reduced institutional support.
To put it colloquially, law school is not cheap. That being said, graduation debt is no longer the proverbial pink elephant in the room that everyone sees, but nobody talks about. More attention is being paid to this live issue. In order to create a sustainable legal profession that is able to provide society with a wide array of legal services, we must ensure that career choices are not unduly affected by graduation debt. On a parting note, I would again encourage everyone who reads this to participate in the survey. Tell your friends who may not read the Obiter Dicta. It is essential that we have as many people participating as possible so that our results are as accurately reflective of student opinion. If you have any additional comments, questions, or concerns, I would also invite and encourage you to email email@example.com. The survey will close on January 30, 2012. A collective response to the issue of graduation debt will enable student government and the Osgoode administration to effectively meet the financial challenges that lie ahead.
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Ramblings About a New Year in Soccer MICHAEL SZUBELAK Staff Writer
As they say, with a new year comes a chance for renewal - a new beginning. In the soccer world, the new year, specifically January, is a time for soccer’s dealmakers to barter and vie for player services.
With all the money floating around, there has been little else worth reporting with respect to transfers in the European market. Aside from Anelka’s move to China, coaches and management have been doing more talking and less trading as the rumour mill continues to spin out transfer gossip concerning big names like Carlos Tevez, Kaka and Neymar Santos.
The winter transfer period is when teams belonging to the English Premier League - the top professional soccer league in the world have an opportunity to revive their hopes of title glory by purchasing new game-changing talent. Some teams opt to shed excess weight by selling off players that simply did not meet expectations or did not fit into a team’s mould. By doing so, a team can make a little extra cash to sign a new prospect or save up for a bigger purchase during the summer transfer period. Some players will try to pen more lucrative deals with more lucrative clubs. Those who have spent too much time on the bench might ask to be traded to a less prominent club to gain more playing time - thereby increasing their opportunity to display their talents on the big stage. Perhaps the most visible transaction during this transfer period occurred in a soccer market hidden in the shadow of its Western neighbours. Charles Anelka, a French international with an arsenal of titles and awards under his belt, was traded from top-flight English side, Chelsea FC, to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua for a rumoured 9.425 million (EUR) per year. This deal is somewhat representative of a recurring trend in soccer transfers. Soccer clubs have become sources of play and pride for billionaire backers. In 2008, Sheik Mansour zin Bayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates purchased Manchester City FC, which had at one point in time been a publicly listed company - a model that is all but extinct in North American professional sports (with the curious exception of the community-owned Green Bay Packers). Chelsea is owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Portsmouth is funded largely by Qatari oil money, while Queens Park Rangers is supported by a wealthy Indian and Malaysian, Lakshmi Mittal and Tony Fernandes. Elsewhere in Europe, teams struggling financially have been bailed out by big money. In Spain, CF Malaga is owned by Sheik Abdullah bin Nasser of Qatar and in France, another Qatari businessman, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, backs FC Paris Saint-Germain (“PSG”) while Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev owns AS the OBITERdicta
Across the pond, Major League Soccer has succeeded in staving off the advances of PSG for L.A. Galaxy’s David Beckham, whose services, both on and off the field, helped bring the Galaxy a third MLS Cup win. As many MLS players rest in wait of the 2012 season, some of the more prominent names have been sent to Europe on loan. In Europe, players are generally loaned out for two reasons: (1) to gain on-field experience they are not obtaining with their home club; and (2) to transfer the burden of paying a player’s base salary from the home club to the target club for the period of the loan. The motives for loaning an MLS player to a European team are slightly more cunning. First, a loan move carries with it credibility implying that the MLS is developing a breeding pool of serious talent and, as such, is a league that should be taken seriously. Second, every loan to Europe raises the profile of the MLS at home and abroad. The message: not only should the MLS be taken seriously by other clubs, it’s time that North American sports enthusiasts take notice as well. Unfortunately, the only MLS players that were loaned to Europe this year are not young emerging talents, but two famous old reliables Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry. Donovan is back with his former club, the currently struggling Everton, while Henry returns to the club that represents his glory days, Arsenal FC. The new year presents an ideal opportunity for young MLS talent to get their hands dirty in some of the most competitive leagues in the world. With the end of the MLS season behind them and the new season months away, players have time on their hands to gain real soccer experience in real soccer markets. With the exception of some short training spells with some top European clubs (which are more of a PR strategy than a true attempt at professional development), MLS talent must remain content with joining their respective teams at training camp in some southern US state.
As for our beloved Canadian teams, the 2011 MLS season saw the introduction of the Vancouver Whitecaps and a total reorganization of the Toronto FC. While the Whitecaps ended the season in a chilling manner at the bottom of the MLS table, Toronto FC left 2011 behind with honest-to-goodness hope backed by actual results. The second half of the TFC season brought more non-losses then losses and painted a picture of an organized and cohesive team, a rarity for a Toronto-based team. Most importantly, the TFC progressed to the knockout stages of the North American Champions League (the baby cousin of the European Champions League). Perhaps the biggest Canadian soccer news in 2012 will be the introduction of yet another Canadian franchise to Major League Soccer. The Montreal Impact began wheeling and dealing at the beginning of October 2011 in an attempt to build a competitive team. During the MLS Expansion Draft process, they turned a few heads by calling the bluff of the Houston Dynamo and drafting star player, Brian Ching, left unprotected due to his I’d-rather-retirethen-move-to-Canada attitude. Now the Impact are either waiting for a bag of money from the Texan team or left with a very experienced and talented striker. A clear win-win situation. Further MLS expansion into Canada may yet be on the horizon, albeit a distant one. For one, FC Edmonton is a fully functioning soccer team competing in the North American Soccer League, a second division soccer league in Canada and the United States. However, Edmonton’s climate is a clear obstacle and its subversive, but growing soccer culture needs invigoration. In Ottawa, Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Senators, has expressed interest in funding a pro-soccer team, but his ambitions are hampered by the city’s lack of a soccer-specific stadium. What is clear, however, is that Canadian soccer is growing and slowly gathering momentum. The new year carries with it the potential for Canada to introduce the game of soccer to a wider audience and begin entrenching the idea of a national soccer culture and identity.
monday - january 16 - 2012
Features Fake It Or Make It: Bear Stew KYLE REES News Editor
tially seemed odd...actually it still seems odd... we decided that we’d brave this new endeavor as we have always done (no, not Kyle’s cooking), and give this a whirl.
RABJEET WALLIA Staff Writer Kyle and I are part of a group of 3rd years that meets weekly to get together, share a home cooked meal, have a bottle or 7 of wine (Chateau Monkhouse strikes again!) and then stumble home. Typically these consist of various different soups, salads, pastas, meats, casseroles, baked goods, pastries, desserts and treats. Some individuals decide to go above and beyond the call of duty (thanks mainly to having nothing better to do), and decide that they want to leave an impression with the group regarding their own culinary creativity and prowess. The first dinner club of this semester was brought to you by Mr. Kyle Rees, hailing from the mythical land of Newfoundland (which, if you’re unsure, is smack dab in the middle of nowhere). As such, and in keeping in line with one of the few who tries to make an impression, myself included, Kyle had a unique main ingredient he wanted to highlight. He made bear stew.
The question was, how was he going to prepare it. The thought of bear roast sprung to mind and as quickly was rejected. Perhaps he can make a bear stroganoff or perhaps breaded bear cutlet sandwiches. The possibilities were endless. Ultimately, Kyle decided to go for a more rustic approach and make a bear stew. Unfortunately, Kyle didn’t have a recipe on hand and wasn’t sure if the internet would be able to provide. Fortunately, the Obiter Dicta came to the rescue.
* Osgoode Hall Law School was established by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1889 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osgoode_Hall_ Law_School> 2. Once the ground has been prepared and the seeds have been planted, till the soil using the merchant’s horse. You will need to indenture your second child in order to afford the horse rental, so make sure to have at least 2 children before attempting this recipe. Wait 5 months for the vegetables to grow. While waiting, pray to God for a good harvest, and try not to die of dysentery.
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monday - -january 16- 2012 Cassels Brock 2011/2012 season
1. Get a plot of land. It you do not currently have any land, you may need to ‘find’ some beyond the borders of town. Once you have acquired said land, plant your vegetables. You will need to buy seeds from the local merchant such as carrot, potato, parsnip, turnip and celery. These seeds will cost you a fortune because of the merchant’s monopoly on food, so you will probably need to indenture your first born to his service. You’re on your way! Try not to die of dysentery.
Grasped from editions of antiquity and brought back for you, Kyle and I have unearthed an article from an 18th century edition of the Obiter in which there is a recipe specifically for bear stew. It is this edition, written in 1759*, that we share with you today.
Yep. Winnie, Smokie, Balloo, the Care variety, Kyle brought bear meat. Now while this ini-
Ye Olde Beare Stew
Please PRINT a hard copy of the 1/5/2012 1:37:48 PM file and either FAX it or SCAN and EMAIL it back to me, thanks!
3. The next step is to acquire the bear meat. Bears being plentiful in the Year of Our Lord 1759, should be easy to find. The trick is killing it. If you have a gun, shooting it should be easy enough. Just make sure not to miss, because restuffing the musket with shot and powder takes about 2 minutes, and the bear will be snacking on you before you even have the muzzle cleaned! But rifles being scarce, your best bet is to lead it into a trap. I recommend taking your 5th or 6th youngest child, smearing her with beef gravy, and tying her to a tree. This should attract a bear in no time. While the bear is attempting to eat your child, you can sneak up behind it and bludgeon it to death with a log or large rock (I prefer granite). This may take a few minutes, so be sure to dodge the pointiest parts of the bear (claws, teeth) while doing so. Continued on p. 10.
JCR Inauguaration - January 12, 2012
monday - january 16 - 2012
Bear Stew Continued... Continued from p. 8. 4. Congratulations! You have killed our food chain’s highest predator! Now you need to butcher it. This requires either a really sharp knife, or a family member with all of their teeth and a lot of time on their hands. Bears are very active animals, and thus have lots of connective tissue. Avoid using this meat for your stew, as it is very tough and doesn’t slow cook as nice. Cut the meat into small cubes. Be sure to pick out the lead shot from the meat. This isn’t so much to avoid lead poisoning as it is to save the shot for re-use the next time you need to kill something.
is best for your kitchen fire, as it produces less smoke and more heat than the inferior spruce branches, amirite! Send your eldest son to gather the fire-wood. If he dies of dysentery, send your second-eldest. 7. Once everything has boiled in the pot for 3 hours, mix flour, water, salt and spices in a
5. The next steps involve cooking a bear. The best way to do this is to find/purchase a wife from England or France. These are great time-savers, and can even produce children to sell into indentured slavery at the same time as preparing the stew! Talk about multitasking! Make sure neither of you die of dysentery. 6. The vegetables should be cut up into small cubes and boiled in a pot for 3 hours, along with the already cooked bear meat. Birch wood
separate pan to make a gravy. Slowly add this mixture to the stew to thicken it up. If you suddenly feel weak and dizzy during this process, it
means you have caught cholera, and only have a couple a weeks left. Just enough time to enjoy your stew! 8. Serve this stew to your family, which by this point has probably gained 3 new children to replace those who have died from disease and predation. Serve with red wine and thick bread. You survived long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labour! Party like its 1799! That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make a fine bear stew. I have no doubt that armed with this knowledge, you too shall expand your culinary horizons to the more obscure end of the food chain. Perhaps you will even find yourself having the opportunity to utilize this recipe. Surely it is obvious that this is certainly feasible and quite practical in today’s modern times. One can only imagine the foresight the original author had in knowing that not only would we be eating bear meat today, but that we would need a quick and efficient way of preparing it. We therefore end this article by wishing you bon appétit and reminding you that, should Kyle ever invite you over for dinner, insist on a potluck.
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monday - january 16- 2012
Flask ANDREW MONKHOUSE Co-Editor-In-Chief Flasks have been around as long as alcohol. A flask is, at its most basic, a carrying case specifically designed for toting alcohol. The original purpose for flasks was to carry around hard liqour in order to add some to your drinking water in order to sterilize it. Alcohol is a magnificent sterilizer as it is effectively poison or ‘anti-life’ which kills bacteria and other terrible things. For this reason, those living pre-20th cenutry went around significantly tippered most of the time. This explains a lot of history. Although sanitation has improved (in developed countries such as Canada at least) to move past the point of needing a flask to sanitize your water, the purpose of flasks have evolved over time. From prohibition to drinks in concerts or bars being exponentially more costly than the already costly LCBO, flasks have always had their purpose as both a collectors item as well as a practical tool for the alcohol limited.
bottle’ as the modern day flask, it is as classless as it is efficient. Drinking a strangely coloured liquid out of a water bottle is not subtle. Both types of flask tend to come in general sizes ranging from around 250ml to 750ml. There are also many other types of flasks that can be tried out by a flask enthusiast once the basics have been mastered. One example is the ‘wine rack’ which is a bra containing 750ml of alcohol, or an entire bottle of wine. The Beer Belly is the male equivalent, although without the attractiveness boosting potential. The best flask for men (and suit-wearing women) would be a suit with plastic compartments in it which could be filled, similar to the ‘wine rack’ with the ability to dispense a large quantity of alcohol from dispensers in the sleeves at will. Such a suit, which could easily hold 3-4 litres of alcohol, is the stuff dreams are made of. Patent pending by Andrew Monkhouse, stop stealing my ideas.
Flasks in appearance: flasks take many different shapes, forms, and sizes. From the metal flasks we all know so well to new age plastic flasks or even the wine skins carried by cowboys, these, like the purpose of the flask, have evolved through the ages. The most common flasks today are in metal or plastic variety.
On the other hand Plastic flasks, or ‘alcohol bladders’ have the advantage of automatically conforming to your body shape or the location they are (inside a purse, etc). They are also less solid and so are less obvious on visual or physical inspection. Plastic flasks also tend to be easier to clean since their necks are not generally as thin as metal flasks. As for availability you can get a ‘basic’ plastic flask from the York Bookstore in the form of an environmentally friendly plastic water bottle. It has York on it, but is around $2-3. While many persons resort to the ‘plastic water the OBITERdicta
Now that we have discussed the basics of flasking it is important to cover why you would use a flask. There are many reasons to carry a flask around and I will now be covering some of them. 1) Saves Money As law students we all suffer from crushing student debt. Alcohol, in moderation, is a good way of releasing pressure after all of the stress of law school and being in so much debt. However trying to purchase that alcohol ends up putting us poor law students even more in debt. Alcohol is not cheap at the LCBO, but at a concert or a club it is downright equivalent to highway robbery. The price arbitrage (difference) of alcohol greatly changes based on the location where the alcohol is being served. Yet drinking alcohol at home alone is seen as being a sign of alcoholism to be avoided, even where such avoidance is financially difficult. This is where flasks come in. They allow for bridging of the price arbitrage in order to have a more cost effective time out on the town. If even one less law student stops whining about ‘being forced’ to take a Bay Street job because they saved money from using a flask this article will be worth it. 2) Drink the alcohol you like
Metal vs. Plastic flasks: A typical metal flask consists of a canister with a screw top on it that is permanently attached through metal. The sides of the canister are bent slightly inwards in order to allow the container to fit better against your leg if in a pants pocket or your chest if in a suit pocket. The advantages of a metal flask is that they are more solid and so are less likely to spill from being squeezed, they are generally easier to pour and also more ‘classic’ and cool looking. You just cannot get the same look of pulling out a flask and spiking your own drink with a plastic bladder. While there are many different metal flasks in the world you can easily pick up a 250ml or 500ml ‘classic’ flask from the dollar store near you for around $2.
Why bring a flask:
How to wear your flask: Although often referred to as ‘hip flasks’ it is often fairly obvious when flasks are worn inside pants pockets. This is especially true for women who wear form-fitting pants and also for men, who should not be wearing too baggy of pants anyway (and if your pants are almost falling off then 500ml of liquid will NOT help). For men the best location of wearing a flask is inside the jacket pocket. This location is far away from the waist line that is often checked by security for weapons. For women I would have to defer to someone who knows better but hidden within a purse seems to work best. If you are hard-core you can hide flasks inside your garter belt.
Who knows what type of rum is in that rum and coke? Is it your favourite, and just how much is in there? These are major things that any alcohol connoisseur finds very important. Why be forced to drink inferior quality alcohol at prices beyond that of exceptional alcohol? A flask allows you to have your grey goose and cook it too. And by cook I mean mix into other beverages at the club. All while, as noted, saving a lot of money. As budding lawyers we are all constantly striving to live the high life on a shoe-string budget, and flasks can help you get from A to B in a classy and efficient manner. 3) When you want it/Allows you to regulate your consumption better Bartenders tend to be very slow (I swear I tip, even if I hate it). However if you have a flask then you can get alcohol on your own schedule. The actual advantage of this is that it allows you to measure your own alcohol over the course of your drinking. This means that you are less likely to binge pre-drink or binge drink at the beginning of the evening when you can get alcohol/when the bar is open. Continued on p. 12. monday - january 16 - 2012
Flask Continued... Continued from p. 11. You can also decide how much you want to have in your drink as opposed to having someone else pour an arbitrary amount of alcohol into your cup, which is very useful for those who are seeking the fine balance between ‘good time’ and ‘too much’. 4) Awesome So first of all a lot of flasks look cool. Secondly providing alcohol makes you popular as a general rule. So flasks are awesome and that is an advantage to them. Suggestions for those using flasks: -Don’t buy a costly flask, you will be wary of taking it anywhere for fear of confiscation. If in doubt have two, one from the dollar store and one that looks nice. -Have the highest alcoholic content possible for maximum size consumption. 40% Rum is
60% water! Myself I prefer 94% alcool (only able to be purchased in Quebec) as it is the most efficient. A 250ml flask of 94% can hold 235ml of alcohol which is about the same amount of alcohol in 14 beers. -Mix the alcohol to make any drink you have delicious. Single into double or triple? Awesome. Nothing into a lot? Even better. Works great when the soft-drinks are free but alcohol costs a lot. -If confronted, just give up the flask and apologize. It is a game, and you lost, admit defeat and move on. Flask Etiquette: A) Bringing a flask to an open bar: Entirely appropriate B) Bringing a flask to class: Entirely appropriate C) During Debate Tournaments/other conventions: Entirely appropriate C) Bringing a flask to a dry party: Entirely appropriate (Freedom of expression)
D) Bringing a flask to family events: : Entirely appropriate unless counts as E) E) Bringing a flask to an alcoholics anonymous event: Inappropriate Practice safe drinking: Ok, let’s be serious for a moment. Drinking is a major problem and law students have shown a particular susceptibility to addiction in the past caused by stress. So it is important to drink responsibility. As mentioned earlier flasks are actually often advantageous as they allow people to measure their own alcohol and space out their drinking. It is entirely possible to use flasks in this way as opposed to as a method of facilitating binge drinking and the author of this article would encourage you to do so. Alcoholism, and generally substance abuse can be a major issue. The Obiter Dicta encourages all students who believe they might have an issue to seek assistance with York Student Services.
Arts & Culture Oscar Predictions
KAROLINA WISNIEWSKI Staff Writer
February 26th, the day of the 84th Academy Awards is nearly here. Around this time each year, I begin to feel the excitement in anticipation of another round of Oscars. Why? It’s not because I purport to be particularly well positioned to judge the merits of films (I’m certainly no expert), or because I’m dying to see who will wear what as they walk the red carpet. It’s because each time I watch the Academy Awards, I get the feeling that I’m witnessing a small part of cinematic history in the making. I know the caliber of the average Hollywood film is less than impressive, and I’m acutely aware of the fact that the obsession with celebrity culture is something of a sickness our society is afflicted with. I can imagine indie film connoisseurs tearing themselves away from Reservoir Dogs long enough to berate me for daring to say that the Academy Awards are “cinema’s biggest night”. But shortcomings of the Oscars aside, the films chosen to be honoured by the Academy are films that stay with us for decades, and much of the time, they are films our generation is associated with. As such, I can’t help but speculate as to who will be honoured with which nominations and awards this year. And although I’ve noted that there are those in better positions to judge the merits of each film, in the proceeding paragraphs, I will indulge my inner film critic ever so slightly and present my take on this year’s contenders. monday - january 16- 2012
Before turning to my predictions for the upcoming Oscars, I’d like to cast a look back to this time last year, when there was the palpable sense that audiences and critics had a clear sense of where the 2011 Oscars were going. Amidst a bevy of excellent films, three emerged as forerunners – The King’s Speech, The Social Network and Black Swan. Arguably, these stood head and shoulders above all others, with the possible exception of Inception. But the 2011 Oscars were not without their surprises: to begin with, Black Swan only took home one award, that of Best Actress. The King’s Speech nabbing wins in all major categories shouldn’t be a surprise, but I was hoping, perhaps naively, that The Social Network would be able to claim the honor of being called Best Picture. The King’s Speech was extremely impressive, but audiences are no strangers to the historical epic/biopic genre. What’s more, the trauma and emotional resonance of the storyline did half the work itself; given a competent cast and crew, it was relatively easy to produce a profound and harrowing film. The genius of The Social Network was that it took something mundane and esoteric (perhaps not to us law students, but certainly to a majority of audiences) and made it exciting and edgy, largely thanks to the brilliance of Sorkin’s screenplay. But enough of my unresolved grudges; lets to turn to some of the year’s most exciting films. The Artist: A clear favorite, though I mist admit, I’m not entirely sure why. There seems
something forced or put-on about its aesthetic. It pays lip service to the silent-film era, rather than seeming like a genuine tribute to it. Despite claiming to give new and daring films a chance, the Academy are traditionalists at heart, which is why it’s no surprise this film is getting a healthy dose of Oscar buzz. Expect it to emerge as a serious contender (if not victor) in most major categories. The Descendants: If there’s one thing I have little tolerance for, it’s a film that unashamedly and aggressively seeks to manipulate audiences into crying by gratuitously laying on melodramatic and melancholic scenes. This film has the bizarre combination of doing so, while awkwardly treating a wife and mother’s imminent death in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Though clearly not to my taste, it’s a definite contender for Best Picture, as well as for Best Adapted Screenplay, being based on the novel of the same name. Hugo: This heart-warming film about a young orphan’s adventures in Paris shortly after his father’s death is at once imaginative, widelyappealing and very well executed. But the Academy may be weary to award a children’s film the Best Picture award, so it’s mostly likely that Scorsese will get a nod for his directorial talents, though it may do well in the technical and artistic categories. Continued on next page. the OBITERdicta
Oscar Predictions Continued... The Help: A clear favorite with critics, The Help grappled with a controversial and uncomfortable subject matter in a sensitive and optimistic way. Not to mention, it featured a slew of excellent performances. It may be too lighthearted to win Best Picture or Best Director, but Viola Davis is a strong contender for Best Actress. It also may give The Descendants a run for its money when it comes to the category of Best Adapted Screenplay. Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen proves once again that he hasn’t lost his touch. Despite my impartiality to the film (I adored it), I fear that McAdams and Wilson’s strong but not aweinspiring performances, coupled with Allen’s perpetual quirkiness that sometimes renders him misunderstood, will cost this film some well-deserved nominations. Moneyball: Like The Artist, I completely missed the boat on this film. Dragging along and featuring stilted dialogue (is Sorkin a one-trick pony?), I found this completely underwhelming. I thought Pitt’s performance was laughable, and its story of hopeless-turned-almost-unbeatable baseball team is just like every other sports film I’ve ever seen. Having said that, Jonah Hill deserves a nod for Best Supporting Actor, his performance being one of the few things that made this film watchable. War Horse: This film bears a sense of sweeping grandiosity largely missing from this year’s pool, no doubt thanks to its director Spielberg. I anticipate it will do well in technical categories and will almost certainly be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, but will fall short of the ultimate honor. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: For all the hype surrounding this movie, I must admit, it delivered. Though thoroughly disturbing and full of plot twists, it effectively provided an intimate look at the protagonist played by Rooney Mara. She should receive a Best Actress nomination, but I can’t see the stodgy Academy handing the award to her. It’s getting crowded in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this film joined the nominees. Tree of Life: This film may have been little too ambitious and lofty in its aspirations. A semi-autobiography by way of a history of the universe. Short of Stephen Hawking, I don’t think it’s wise for anyone to attempt such a thing. Nonetheless, its cinematography is nigh unbeatable. The only challenger for that award is The Artist, but the Academy may want to avoid a clean sweep, thus deferring to Tree of Life in that category. the OBITERdicta
Ides of March: A solid film, but not a standout. It may earn Gosling a second nomination for Best Actor, but the more interesting race will be between it and Moneyball for Best Original Screenplay. I don’t see either of these as adequately filling the shoes of last year’s winner, The Social Network, but they seem to be getting lots of love from critics, so it’s likely that one of them will win. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: File in the same category as The Descendants. Something of a Hugo-themed film, except without the earnestness or heart that made the former so endearing. Bullock’s statements about banking on a Best Actress win were irritating and in poor taste. This will surely earn some nominations, but I’m hoping the Academy will stop short of rewarding this weepy mess. Shame: Almost certainly too controversial and explicit to win Best Picture, but if there’s any justice, Michael Fassbender will take home the Best Actor award. He had the most challenging role of this year’s pool of potential nominees, and he executed it as close to perfection as an actor can. It’s entirely possible, however, that other awards ceremonies like BAFTA or SAG will be more willing to recognize his performance.
Shame, this film combines the right amounts of history, drama and directorial skill. It may surprise us all and do quite well. Martha Marcy May Marlene: The Academy may nominate this film only to demonstrate that it is “in tune” with the indie film scene. It has the same problem as Shame: too edgy, too difficult and will almost certainly be misunderstood. Melancholia: We all know Kirsten Dunst isn’t the most talented actress of our generation, but at least she doesn’t hinder our enjoyment of this otherwise provocative and daring film. Melancholia should figure significantly in categories of Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. *** The field is more fragmented this year than last. There are not two or three all-around powerhouses, but rather, the potential nominees this year each bear unique strengths. The Artist may upset this vision and dominate the Oscars, but it may also be too one-dimensional for such an undertaking. With announcement of nominees just around the corner on January 24th, we’ll soon find out how my predictions fare.
The Iron Lady: Highly anticipated but thoroughly panned by critics, even Meryl Streep may not be able to save this allegedly mediocre film. J. Edgar: Ditto The Iron Lady. Expectations were sky high but it failed to live up to almost any of them. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: This was something of an obligatory mention. Although universally acclaimed, do we really expect the Academy to hand out any statuettes to a Harry Potter film? A Dangerous Method: It’s too early to tell whether critics will warm to this one, which is usually a good indication for how the Academy will take to a film. Though Fassbender’s performance here is not as groundbreaking as in monday - january 16 - 2012
Why Men are Terrible and How Women Notice RJ WALLIA Staff Writer
I have to begin this article by pointing out that this is merely my opinion and that the main purpose of this article is to be humorous. I am not an expert in gender issues, or really anything regarding the power imbalance or dynamics between men and women. In short, I’m not an expert, I’m merely just stating my opinion and observations. Well, now that that’s out of the way, I want to talk about why I’m writing this article. Recently, an article came out in Vancouver Magazine entitled “Do Vancouver Men Suck” http://www. vanmag.com/News_and_Features/Do_Vancouver_Men_Suck. This article goes on to interview various women from Vancouver who speak about the failings of the men they seem to find around the city. I have included the link because I cannot go into all of the details they speak of, but suffice it to say, this is how it can be summed up. Vancouver men consist of overgrown boys who dress like they’re chilling in their parents basement, who cannot hold a decent and stimulating conversation with a woman. They are unchivalrous, unimaginative, and believe that the most romantic date you can go on is doing the Grouse Grind (for those wonder, the Grouse Grind is a colossal stairway path up a mountain). They speak of the lamentable and near comical abilities of men who try to flirt with women who invariably fail and how these women are forced to look elsewhere in Canada and even around the World for their ideal mate, or even one who meets one of their criteria. It wasn’t long before a male reader decided to write a response. To be fair, he wasn’t disagreeing with what the original article said, but he did highlight some characteristics that can be attributed to women. The article can be found here, http://www.vanmag.com/News_and_Features/ Do_Vancouver_Women_Suck_A_Readers_ Response. The article goes on to talk about how Vancouver women are very unapproachable in all but one setting, non-corporate chain coffee shops (this is very true!), and continuously act either openly hostile to men or generally unresponsive to men who are outside of their social circle. Indeed, the author goes on to speak about how women seem to be afraid the minute a man even tries to start a conversation. Thus, Vancouver women seem to be assisting in their issues with men and that perhaps some blame can be spread around. Being from Vancouver, I found myself agreeing with most of the points in both articles. monday - january 16- 2012
What precipitated me to write an article was not, however, the substance and topics discussed, but the reactions that I observed. When I saw these articles on Facebook, I found that, in general, men appeared to get extremely defensive. Some argued about how women expect so much of men and that with women being considered equal to men in all respect, women should not expect to get any special treatment. Moreover, some spoke about how there was a typical agenda by women in order to somehow emasculate the men around them and confound them into giving up hearth and home, eventually leaving the innocent male victim despondent and penniless. It clearly became a soap box for the “horrific” conditions that men face in trying to date women which inevitably turned into an opportunity for simple women bashing. The women were less vitriolic in their commentary. Most agreed with both articles, albeit more did agree with the first over the second. However, there was a general consensus that there was dissatisfaction with the male prospects in various different cities and that the only hope was to leave our continent or somehow try to find the one remaining diamond amongst the horde of horrible men. This topic is not a new one. It has been debated and discussed for years. Yet something about this specific topic strikes a chord in men and women alike. One would think that this topic had been hacked and hashed out to some finality, but, in fact, all we are seeing is that the argument continues to grow and the level of frustration is increasing. I have seen this topic discussed ad nauseum through social media; it even became a topic during a group meeting I had with Amanda Lo Cicero and Alex Chang. What is it about dating that makes men and women continuously react the way they do and have the same complaints year after year? Why Men Suck: Men, I’m sorry to have to say this, but the article was right. In almost every respect, we are terrible when it comes to attracting women. We don’t do it on purpose, we don’t even know what we’re doing wrong half the time, but unfortunately, we’re our own worst enemy in this regard. I do have a theory as to why this is, however. Men are extremely good at focusing on one task. We bring all of our efficiency and skill into completing that one task as well as we can before moving on to the next one. Imagine an instruction manual for building something. It involves a step by step process that, if followed fully, will lead to a successful result. In regards to the first article, when the women describe the various
situations that they are finding the miscreant men, they are invariably looking at situations in which the man is primarily focused on something else. If a guy is going to a bar, he’s going to a bar. He’s going to go meet friends, or grab a beer after the game, or whatever reason that has little or nothing to do with attracting women. As such, when women find these men who are busy focusing on other things, they cannot help but notice that it seems that the man did almost nothing to even look slightly desirable, much less act so. It’s because when guys want to attract women, that is their sole objective. That is when you see men pull out all the stops. They dress well, smell good, groom themselves and even mentally prepare for flirting with women. They’ll have some witty repartee ready to go and be ready to impress you with every move they make. Women in relationships already can attest to the fact that when their partners decide to focus on doing something for their girlfriends, they have no problem doing it. They may not do it all the time, but they will get the job done. This all ties down to the fact that men are incapable of focusing on multiple issues at once and, as such, will initially and automatically attempt to continue their path of only focusing on the task at hand in front of them. If it’s watching the Canucks (or Leafs *shudder*) with the guys, then that’s what they are doing. If they want to pick up women however, then they will bring their A game. What this doesn’t answer, however, is how women, within small amounts of time are able to interpret and analyze a man to determine if he is worthy of a conversation or pursuit. How Women Notice that Men Suck: As good as men are at focusing their efficiency at one task, where women excel is in their ability to focus on multiple issues at once, in a broad spectrum. This they not only do well, but exceed the speed and efficiency at which their male counterparts would ever be able to accomplish the same level of tasks. Essentially, women are better able to look at a broader picture than men. As a result, they are able to see more into various situations by relying on an amazing memory recall and some form of primal or genetic clairevoyance regarding men. Taking the same example of a woman going out with her friends, her objective is not merely focused on going out. It encompasses more and as such, requires more time to execute. This comes down Continued on next page. the OBITERdicta
Men Are Terrible Continued... to dressing how one feels is appropriate, getting ready, perhaps running errands before, deciding what other activities may follow after and being prepared. With all of this acknowledgement of circumstances that go beyond just simply meeting someone for dinner or drinks, it is natural then that women would also be more inclined to be watchful for many other attributes when a man decides he’s going to “do the lady the honour” of buying her a drink or starting a lame attempt at a conversation. Most of my frustration during this entire process has been with the utter childishness of the men who have made comments about how terrible women are to men. It gets infuriating when men talk about how chivalry is against the feminist movement and that the question of “why should I be chivalrous if it’s just going to cost me money and I get nothing in return?” is even given legitimacy boggles my mind. Guys, you have to figure out that being nice is not your end of a transaction. You cannot buy a woman’s affection nor can you demand payment or com-
The Biggest Loser TRAVIS WEAGANT Staff Writer The Republican primaries are the political junkie’s catnip right now, and everyone has something to say about them. Of course, Mitt’s the favourite, and will likely be the GOP’s choice to take on the President in November. But the most important candidate, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t Mr. Romney. Last night, while I was simultaneously preparing this article, working on an Ethical Lawyering assignment, and taking in the New Hampshire primary results, I spotted an article on the CNN homepage entitled “New Hampshire’s biggest loser”. The glib title referred to former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. A thoroughly well qualified character (arguably much better qualified than a certain Democrat was four years ago), Huntsman came in third in New Hampshire, which the article argued was a booming death knell for his campaign. There were other big losers as well. Newt Gingrich, pork-barreller extraordinaire, overcame the earlier scandal regarding his marital infidelity to finish a lacklustre fourth. Rick Santorum, of Urban Dictionary fame, a close fifth. And let’s not forget Rick Perry, who got desperate and cartoonishly exaggerated his homophobia on national television, thus torpedoing any chance he had of running on his stellar record as Governor of Texas. But who was really the biggest loser? Yes, you know of whom I speak. I stumbled upon Ron Paul during the last presidential election. That attempt at the Republican
pensation when you’ve done “your bit”. And please, stop with this conspiracy theory that women are all out to get you and that all they want to do is find you, yes specifically you, and take all of your money and self respect. You are out of your mind. You’ve taken what should be an interesting and quite fun activity, dating, and turned into this maniacal excuse for your own slovenly behaviour and a way to continue to expand upon your self esteem issues. Grow up guys, it’s time to move on from this crap. Women are not to be left unscathed in my commentary either. I think people who know me well, know that I have a lot of friends who are women. With that, I hear a lot about their perspective on the dating game and how difficult it can be to find the right person. While I completely agree with that point, I also remind them that they may also be partially to blame for what is going on. Women who I have spoken to and listened to seem to be taking dating way too seriously for what it is. Dating should be a light hearted experience where you go with an open mind and get to know someone new. At worst, it can be an excruciating experience to be sure, and at it’s best it can be an amazing time. nomination was decidedly less successful, but his name appeared on the news ticker nonetheless, and I Googled him out of curiosity. Born in Pennsylvania, Paul was trained as a physician and served as a flight surgeon in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War. When he returned, he became an obstetrician-gynecologist, and settled in Texas. He was first elected to Congress in 1976, and has served three separate tenures as a US Representative for a total of 22 years. For a politician, this is not an unusual career path, and these mundane facts are not what piqued my interest. What interested me – shocked me, even – was how different he was from any other politician I’d ever seen or studied. Slowly, I began to pay attention to his doings: speeches, books, the 2010 Congressional election. At first, I thought he was fascinating because I agreed with him. The government is spending too much money. American misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan are killing young men and women and the United States doesn’t appear to be getting any safer. The Federal Reserve system is fishy, to say the least. But these things are all debatable, and I soon realized that Dr. Paul has an appeal beyond things so meaningless as fiscal and foreign policy. This is a man who speaks candidly and says the same things consistently. I never get the impression that he is “dumbing down” his policy speeches for his audience. He has taken a principled position when voting in Congress. So principled, in fact, that he has been the single dissenting vote in his caucus or in the entire House of Representatives often enough to earn him the nickname “Dr. No”. But surely, you say, all Representatives and Senators must be corruptible for campaign con-
More often than not, there is polite conversation, some disappointment and a decent meal. I understand that it can then feel that you’ve been wasting your time. But you cannot expect that the date will lead you to find the perfect man of your dreams right away. You cannot even expect that the man across from you, who is probably as nervous as you are, is coming across fully. Treat dating for what it is, and I promise you, you’re going to have more fun with it. Trust me, you’ll start to find yourself enjoying it more and you’ll want to go on more dates. So there you have it, another chapter in the age-old debate of men versus women. I don’t know if this will help or hurt anyone. It’s not my intention. My goal was to bring to light (and vent) about the frustrations people are facing and how we can quickly go from well-intentioned debate to unnecessary meanness in the blink of an eye. I encourage you to read the two articles I’ve given the links for; they are worth the read. If I can pass on some advice to both parties here, to modify an existing metaphor, you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover but the cover does a lot in selling the book.
tributions from the wealthy and influential? Dr. No strikes again. According to information from National Public Radio and the Huffington Post, Dr. Paul had about 100,000 individual donors in 2011, only 7% of whom contributed the maximum allowable $2,500. By contrast, Mitt Romney had 55,000 donors, over half of whom maxed out their donations. Everyday folks – the 99%, if you’ll permit me a colloquialism that Dr. Paul himself would find distasteful – fund the good doctor’s campaign dollar by dollar, without the promise of anything in return, yet he still holds the GOP’s single-day fundraising record. In 2008, the buzzword of the Presidential election was “hope”. This time around, Americans aren’t looking for hope; they’re looking for relief. I don’t mean debt relief or tax relief. I mean that in a country where Congressional votes can be bought and sold with borrowed money and the population is genuinely afraid that they are stuck with the politicians that they have, it must truly be a relief to see someone with integrity plugging away on the campaign trail with a few thousand votes to show for it. So if all this is true, why have I implied that he’s such a big loser? Well, Dr. Paul has lost two elections for the US House of Representatives, one election for the US Senate, and, come November, he’ll have lost three Presidential elections. He loses all the time. But Americans don’t need him to win. They just need him to be bigger than his opponents. In physical terms, he doesn’t stand much of a chance of intimidating them, given that he’s a 76-year-old gynecologist and economics nerd with bad posture and a goofy smile. But in moral terms, he is a bigger person, showing integrity and principle where others refuse. Even if you have nothing else nice to say about Ron Paul this year, I’d bet that you can’t help but join me in admitting that he is, in fact, America’s biggest loser.
monday - january 16 - 2012
RORY WASSERMAN Features Editor Congratulations! Today is your day! You’ve been accepted to Osgoode! You’re well on your way!
Moots to be mooted, CLASP clients to aid, Bar nights to unwind, new friends to be made!
You can relax now, there is nothing to fear. Getting in was the hard part, its smooth sailing from here. You have brains in your head; you know your own goal You will be successful in any course you enroll.
You’ll be happy and settled, and know you belong, And when OCIs roll around you’ll be confident and strong! You’ll be shuffled around, from one firm to the next, Trying to answer “why do you want to work for Firm X?” You’ll be polite and professional, and the best of them all! No one would overlook you, and on call day they’ll call!
Oh! The cases you’ll know! You’ll be the best of the best, the smartest of the bright! You’ll have an answer for every question, and mostly be right! You will engage with the prof, and with your classmates, discuss You’ll fly through the exam, and you’ll get an A plus! Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t. I hate to say it, but trust me, it’s true. When marked on a curve, there’s always someone brighter than you. As much as you study, try as you might, Some courses you’ll get and others… not quite. You’ll read a case for hours, with uncertainty and doubt, Wondering what in the hell Lord Denning is talking about. By the end of week one you’ll be three weeks behind, Readings will pile up and summaries will be on your mind. You’ll be depressed and sad, you’ll cry and you’ll pout It will take all of your effort not to drop out. And, when marks are released at the end of the year, You’ll see a low grade and wonder why you’re still here. But don’t be disheartened. You are far too smart! It’s a brand new term, a chance for a fresh start! Oh, the cases you’ll know! There are ratios to learn, Debates to be debated, course prizes to earn!
monday - january 16- 2012
Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t. I’m afraid that rejection is something you’ll face, You may have no summer job, no articling place. You’ll apply to any posting, whether you like it or no, Motivated solely, by the money you owe. You’ll become distracted, your effort will drop, It will seem near impossible to get back to the top. But on you will go, though you may lack the heart, What else can you do, with a Bachelor of Art? Because law school’s not easy, but no one said it would be swell, There’s highs and lows and a month per term, sheer hell. And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (Of course, legally, that’s not guaranteed) If you keep trying and stick to the trail, You’ll be just fine, it’s near impossible to fail. Always remember whether you get A’s or C’s, In the end, we’ll all be lawyers, with the exact same degrees! * Original poem: Oh, the Places you’ll go! By Dr. Seuss