ISSUE 10 - February 11, 2013 obiter-dicta.ca
Submissions are due at 5 p.m. on February 17, 2013. Please send your articles to: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of a long day of sports when everyone is sore, nothing builds camaraderie like downing a few ice-cold cruisers in the hotel hot tub.
‘The Definitive Source for Osgoode News’
Osgoode isgoode at Law Games (but could be better) ANDREW CYR Sports Editor From January 3-7, 2013, Osgoode sent a contingent of 27 of its boldest and bravest to represent the school at the Canada Student Law Games hosted by Windsor Law. At most law schools, Law Games is an event that needs no introduction. However, the event has waned in popularity in recent years at Osgoode, so it might be helpful to include a brief refresher as to what exactly Law Games is before moving on to discuss how awesome it was.
How about a 1L reading week?
DAVINA FINN Contributor
First semester of first year law school is undoubtedly a difficult transition. In a jam-packed, fast-paced four-month span, students are expected to adapt to a new environment, community, learning style and grading scheme. We are faced with the challenge of balancing new and exciting extracurricular learning opportunities and attempting to establish a new social network, often supplemented by the trials of adjusting to a new city, while at the same time forced to grapple with how to best approach an enormous amount of academic material. Above all else, we are adjusting to the competitive atmosphere that is inherent in the current legal education system, and overcoming the tremendous amount of pressure and anxiety that this competitiveness brings with it. It is no wonder that many first year students report feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, and experience deteriorated mental health over the course of their first semester. Both the administration and students at Osgoode have shown great leadership
and progress in attempting to improve student life by taking mental health seriously. This year we saw the first ever “Mental Health Week” on campus, the implementation of a full time Health and Wellness Counselor, in addition to the recent opening of the Peer Support Centre. These are all great initiatives and will certainly have a positive impact on overall wellness. However, it seems as though we can and should do more.
Law Games initially started out as a one-day hockey tournament between law schools in the mid-1980s, and has evolved to a 5-day annual event including sports, academic competitions, and social events. Today, Canada Student Law Games is the largest gathering of law students in the country. Many schools have long waitlists of students eager to participate in the Games and require students
Student Caucus has launched the investigation as to whether a first-year fall reading week would be beneficial to students and whether or not it would be feasible. In a survey sent out to the student body, there has been an almost unanimous sentiment that a fall reading week would have been beneficial to students in first year in terms of mental health and general wellness, engagement in course material, and exam preparation. It would provide the necessary break to catch up on the initial months of confusion and chaos, step away from the high-pressured environ» continued on pg 8
» continued on pg 5
The Definitive Source for Osgoode News Osgoode Hall Law School, 0014G York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 E-mail. ObiterDicta@osgoode.yorku.ca Website. www.obiter-dicta.ca Twitter. @obiterdictaoz “Rambo isn’t violent. I see Rambo as a philanthropist.” - Sylvester Stallone Senior Editor-in-Chief: Nancy Situ Editors-in-Chief: Thomas Mastoras, Travis Weagant Business Manager: Adam Cepler Features Editor: Cass Da Re News Editor: Nadia Guo Opinions Editor: Karolina Wisniewski Arts & Culture Editor: Maximilian Paterson Sports Editor: Andrew Cyr Staff Writers: Citlally Maciel, Jihee (Marie) Park, Daniel Styler, Angie Sheep, Harjot Atwal, Michael Capitano Crossword: Emily Gray Contributors: Davina Finn, Jenn Aubrey, Tom Wilson, Shawn Knights Layout Editors: Julia Vizzaccaro, Devin Santos, Patricia Wood, Wendy Sun Website Editor: Ricardo Golec Articles are due at 5 p.m. on Feburary 17, 2013. The maximum length is 1200 words. Please submit articles in Microsoft Word format 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 biweekly during the school year, and is printed by Weller Publishing Co. Ltd.
The Obiter Dicta is a member of Canadian University Press.
monday - feb 11 - 2013
Law and politics: battling the ballots What is the relationship between law and politics? Are they synonyms? Is politics a manifestation of law? Or is law a manifestation of politics? I argue that the answer to these questions centres on the idiosyncrasies of the reader. What is seemingly beyond question, however, is the increasing relevance of the law to politics—and the increasing use of the law to serve political ends. That is, litigants, often propounding the nebulous banner of the “public interest”, have brought forward cases seeking to, in effect, challenge electoral outcomes. Indeed, we have seen a string of cases brought to the courts asserting a legal basis for changing democratic outcomes. While several recent examples elucidate this point, two stand out. As one prominent example, private citizen-cum-activist Paul Magder brought an action against Mayor Rob Ford, alleging that he breached a conflict of interest statute, thereby necessarily triggering removal from office. This canard was ultimately unsuccessful on appeal. The successful trial judgment was heralded by many as some sort of necessary application of the law required to uphold the integrity of public office. When Clayton Ruby’s arguments were rejected on appeal, the appellate judgment was characterized by some as justifiable only on the basis of a “technicality.” To the left, it seems, a legal victory against a conservative politician is a vindication of the rule of law – an apolitical application of statute. In contrast, when those same arguments fail, they are a mere technicality. A similar outcome manifested in the failed re-election campaign of former Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj. Having narrowly lost the election in Etobicoke Centre, he sought to challenge the result in court – taking it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, at a reported personal expense of nearly $300,000. After the Supreme Court rejected his arguments, Wrzesnewskyj commented that “The law is outdated. It needs updating,” essentially dismissing the effectiveness of Canadian electoral law, at least insofar as it militated against conferring a second chance to his failed candidacy. The foregoing suggests two troubling things. First, and with respect to Mr. Wrzesnewskyj,
when the law is unfavorable to one’s partisan interests, it is “outdated” and requires reform. With respect to Mr. Madger and Mr. Ruby and their apparent vendetta against Mayor Ford, when an appellate decision refused to accept their submission, it was on the basis of a mere “technicality”. Sadly, both these positions delegitimize the purpose of the law and the role of the courts. The purpose of the law is not to achieve that which you cannot achieve at the ballot box. Certainly, we have an evolving approach to constitutional analysis and Charter jurisprudence to ensure that our individual rights keep pace with societal change. But neither of these cases engaged Charter rights. Rather, both were attempts to circumvent the democratic will to achieve what was otherwise denied by voters. To be sure, independent courts must arbitrate political disputes to ensure a level playing field among candidates and to uphold the integrity of our democratic process. But to the extent that litigants view the courts as an instrument to achieve what was otherwise withheld at the ballot box, courts ought to defer to the will of the people.
Errata Issue #9, Jan 28 Last issue, the article entitled “SALSA hosts Osgoode solidarity event for Damini” was credited to Rahim Jamal. In fact, the article was produced with contributions from multiple members of the South Asian Law Students’ Association. In addition, the photographs accompanying the article should have been credited to Harjot Atwal. Oops. We’ll do better next time. the OBITERdicta
A hot topic – 1 184 025 paper cups in the bin JIHEE (MARIE) PARK Staff Writer A great number of Canadians wake up to coffee, and before the day ends will have had several more cups of something hot. As a society that spends so much time on the move, the impracticality of carrying around a standard ceramic mug has long been presumed by much of the public, especially so for the busy, thirsty students of Ontario’s universities. Thousands of students buy drinks en route to class, for meals, and to study. Hot drinks are as much a part of Canadian culture as the cold climate, but can we remain ignorant about the impacts the use of singleuse paper cups have on our environment? To give some perspective and scope, here are some statistics from a 2009 study released by McMaster University: each day, a net of 1.2 million cups and lids are generated in Toronto and sent to landfills; the estimated weight of this material being 5006 tonnes every year. Frequent coffee buyers account for 4505 tonnes per year, or 900,000 cups per day. As a comparative statistic, waste generated by plastic bags in Toronto is estimated through a municipally funded audit at just over half of the coffee cup waste, at 2746 tonnes per year. If stacked one on top of each other, these 1.2 million cups would be the height of 216 CN Towers. Clearly, the paper cup is not a problem to be thrown in the bin, as we habitually do so often. Waste reduction is always the preferred method over recycling, and this is certainly
true of coffee cups. This is because, for various reasons, coffee cups are not recyclable. The City of Toronto has studied potential options, from single stream recycling to green bins, but, simply stated, reducing the production of disposed coffee cups better solves the problem. The paper cup deceptively looks like it is simply made of paper, but in order to hold hot liquids and keep its shape; it is lined with a layer of plastic coating. This makes it difficult to recycle, and precludes composting. A standard paper coffee cup placed in a green bin for a year leaves the plastic lining almost fully intact. Coffee cups in blue or green bins are problematic for other reasons; it disrupts the proper sorting of wastes, contaminating otherwise recyclable collections just like garbage does. Other disposable alternatives to paper cups have come up over the years, like biodegradable versions of the familiar cup. These are paper cups lined with a different
Public Interest Day 2013
"The Interface between Mental Health and Access to Justice"
11th Annual Public Interest Day Event
Osgoode Hall Law School and The University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, would like to invite you to participate in the eleventh annual Public Interest Day (PID) on Friday March 1st from 9:30a.m. -12:30 p.m. The event will be held in downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This is an excellent opportunity to explore your own career path by participating in discussions with lawyers who practice in many different sectors of public interest law (clinics, government, NGO’s, and social justice private practice). The agenda for the day is as follows: 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. 10:30 – 10:45 a.m. 10:45 – 12:30 p.m.
FRIDAY MARCH 1, 2013 Metro Toronto Convention Centre 255 Front Street West, North Building, Room 107 www.publicinterestday.ca
Visit the Public Interest Day website at www.publicinterestday.ca for more information. If you have any questions, please contact Asphine Husainy at (416) 736-5617 or by email at email@example.com .
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 15TH
Visit the website for a list of participating offices and organizations attending the fair.
Kim Bonnar Manager, Career Development Office Osgoode Hall Law School 416-736-5802 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration Panel Discussion Break Information Networking Fair
SPINLAW CONFERENCE March 16, 2013
Join Law students, lawyers, and activists across Canada at the annual SPINLAW conference: 30 Years Under the Living Tree: Reflections on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms! Thanks to the Law Foundation of Ontario, a limited number of travel bursaries are available for students travelling from outside Toronto. Visit www.spinlaw.ca for more information.
Leanne Shafir Acting Director, Career Development Office University of Toronto, Faculty of Law 416-946-3033 Email: email@example.com
material that is plant-based, and in theory is capable of decomposing along with the paper component of the cup. However, biodegradation of these cups requires specific conditions (high heat and humidity) not met at the composting facilities in the Toronto system. Biodegradable packaging has seen an emergence in usage, and pushed by marketing moves to promote their environmentally friendly characteristics. But this “buying green” trope is often limited in helpfulness, as it removes much of the guilt factor in using a disposable item. This mentality could potentially blind users to the rising problem of garbage, as a misplaced sense of do-good in using a “green” product could reduce the desire to cultivate waste-reducing habits. A very Canadian comment in this issue is the popularity of the “Roll-up-the-rim” contest, held annually by the icon of Canadian franchises, Tim Horton’s. The contest encourages the purchase of hot drinks in paper cups, and even rewards one in eight for doing so. The idea may be an amusing and enjoyable take on the lottery, but it is disheartening to know that even a small prospect of a win is enough to perpetuate an environmentally hazardous habit. This year, when the contest comes rolling around, it would be a good opportunity to self-reflect on what is more important – a prize for personal gain, or creating impetus for change for the good of the environment by refusing to use paper cups as an example. Osgoode clearly has good reason to support sustainability initiatives, as much as other educational institutions. As places of learning and personal development, schools need to give students of all disciplines and ages awareness about the most pressing issues in the community. monday - feb 11 - 2013
Promoting a “Dean’s Recorder” program to increase the number of lectures consistently recorded and to improve Osgoode’s level of accommodation of students with disabilities HARJOT ATWAL Staff Writer “The benefits of the social model approach are that it shifts attention from individuals and their physical or mental deficits to the ways in which society includes or excludes them. The social model is social constructionist or, as Michael Oliver (1990) prefers, social creationist, rather than reductionist or biologically determinist. Rather than essentialising disability, it signals that the experience of disabled people is dependent on social context, and differs in different cultures and at different times. Rather than disability being inescapable, it becomes a product of social arrangements, and can thus be reduced, or possibly even eliminated.” –Tom Shakespeare, “Critiquing the social model” in Disability Rights and Wrongs (2006). “He is a sociologist. He has achondroplasia. Shakespeare was educated at Radley and Pembroke College, Cambridge, and gained a MPhil degree from King’s College, Cambridge in 1991.” While in my “Disability and the Law” class, a student giving a presentation read aloud this quote and it really stuck out to me. I have previously written an article assessing the Osgoode’s “Audio Recording Policy” (the “Policy”) in terms of Moore v BC (Education), and I am also a writing a research paper for Prof. Mykitiuk on the same topic. Furthermore, she recently hired me to be her Research Assistant (RA) on her project about the “Principle of Respect for Difference in the context of Reproductive DecisionMaking.” In researching this principle, I have examined the level of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and I am going to apply this type of analysis to the Policy in order to justify implementing a “Dean’s Recorder” policy. Now, many people don’t naturally understand the “Social” model of disability, largely because it is counter-intuitive to their way of thinking. For example, as I have previously quoted Prof. MacGregor in this newspaper, “[p]eople can be impaired by their legs not working…but they are disabled by staircase building designs.” When I presented this argument to a good friend of mine in Osgoode’s cafeteria while discussing religion, he indicated to me that he did not understand and said something like: monday - feb 11 - 2013
“No, they are disabled because they are in a wheelchair.” While I don’t blame my good friend for thinking this way at all, I find the example to be very demonstrative. You see, his comment is the perfect example to illustrate why the “Charity” and “Medical” models of disability are problematic. Ultimately, rather than viewing disability as a “personal failing” as these models suggest, disability should instead be viewed as “social creationist, rather than reductionist or biologically determinist.” It is not even the staircase that disables someone per se; instead, it is the lack of access to a ramp or elevator. In the end, disability is really all about lack of “access to services” and the legal duty to “accommodate up to undue hardship;” additionally, this is also the essence of the principle of “Respect for Difference.” As Chief Justice McLachlin recently wrote in 2007, after describing how Voltaire’s England involved thirty different religions, living in peace and harmony: “Canada is like Voltaire’s England in this respect. It is composed of many different groups, holding many different views. It is founded not on a demand for conformity, but on a respect for difference. The Charter reminds us to respect that difference. And respecting that difference is important. As Will Kymlicka notes, “if there is a viable way to promote a sense of solidarity and common purpose” in a diverse country like Canada, “it will involve accommodating, rather than subordinating,” different groups with different conceptions of the good. Members of these groups “will only share an allegiance to the larger polity if they see it as the context within which [their differences are] nurtured, rather than subordinated.” Thus, Canada’s multicultural society should be all about respecting differences in the context of accommodating disability, instead of promoting a “demand for conformity.” For example, while many provisions of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRA) were declared invalid, it is nonetheless still prohibited to “pre-select or increase the probability that an embryo will be a particular sex (except to prevent a sex-linked genetic condition).” Nonetheless, in Canadian society, cer-
tain ethnic groups that prefer to birth male heirs (such as Chinese-Canadian and Indian-Canadian communities) are nevertheless able to find ways around that AHRA provision. For example, there is no rule prohibiting doctors from disclosing the sex of the baby to pregnant mothers during routine ultrasounds and check-ups. However, once the pregnant mother knows, she can go to an abortion clinic at any time before going into labour and abort the fetus; this argument is important in relation to my RA project. Now, while the fetus is not a person, people with disabilities are; thus, we need to find a way for Osgoode to increase its level of accommodation for students, so that it respects the principles enumerated in the CRPD including “Respect for Difference.” Even though the CRPD was only ratified in 2010 and has not yet been implemented in Canada because there is no existing legislation that explicitly implements it, it is nonetheless useful to keep the following argument in mind (from an article by Jacquelyn Shaw about section 7 Charter implications on organ donation/transplantation guidelines for the neurological determination of death): “Since Canada has only recently ratified the treaty there is no existing legislation which already explicitly implements the treaty. Canada’s ratification statement thus suggests that implementation does not need to be achieved exclusively through explicit implementing legislation. Since existing mechanisms may already adequately implement the treaty, courts ought not to interpret a current lack of conspicuously labeled legislation (perhaps entitled “The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Implementation Act”) to mean that the convention is unimplemented. Existing legislation should thus be reviewed for its adequacy in implementing the CRPD within Canadian law.” The Audio Recording Policy is an example of an “existing mechanism” which must then be “reviewed for its adequacy in implementing the CRPD within Canadian law”. Currently, it is disputed how many lectures are actually recorded and how many still go unrecorded, either due to human error on the part of the pro» continued on next page the OBITERdicta
Osgoode isgoode at Law Games (but could be better) » continued from page 1
to fill out comprehensive applications in order to attend. At Osgoode, however, we managed to fill a delegation of only 27. Luckily, however, the 27 delegates we sent were among the best our school has to offer. Despite our limited numbers, we managed to put up a strong showing across a variety of events. Notably, our floor hockey and basketball teams each made it to the tournament finals. The flag football team made it to the semi-finals before succumbing to host Windsor. The dodgeball and water polo teams also put forth strong performances, qualifying for the playoffs in each event. To state that Law Games is about sporting events, however, would only begin to scratch the surface of what makes the event so great. The social events are truly what Law Games is all about. At the
end of a long day of sports when everyone is sore, nothing builds camaraderie like downing a few ice-cold cruisers in the hotel hot tub. Law Games is a great opportunity to meet students from your own school and across the country. This includes the rowdy law undergrads from Québec civil law programs who give common law students a glimpse of how ridiculous they must have looked in their first and second years of undergrad. Despite being the largest common law school in the country, Osgoode’s representation at Law Games pales in comparison to many other schools. The 27 students sent this year were barely over half the allotment initially given Osgoode by the hosts, yet was a vast improvement over the delegations in the two previous years, where the events were hosted by UBC and University of Laval. Rather
than assuming that Osgoode largely attracts students that are allergic to fun, I would like to assume that the limited number of attendees is a result of the general lack of hype surrounding the games. Hopefully, the increased attendance this year will be the start of a trend that allows more students to take advantage of the opportunity that Law Games offers. In my opinion, a law school education is not complete without it.
Promoting a “Dean’s Recorder” program » continued from last page
to a number of professors in person (eg. Ryder, Farrow, Gilmour, Mykitiuk, Hutchinson) and proposed my plan for a “Dean’s Recorder” program, and all have agreed it seems like a great solution. Instead of paying $7 million to upgrade our technology, we should instead promote a cooperative solution where professors and students work together. Similar to the Dean’s Scribe program, students would volunteer to help set up the equipment for the professor 10 minutes before the beginning of class.
the equipment in my Legal Drafting class for Prof. Benda. Let me tell you: the technology is certainly not easy to use. There are a lot of steps, and I still haven’t figured it out. But, with some short training, I would have no problem being a Dean’s Recorder now that I feel well enough to attend class. At the end of the day, when thinking about the Living Tree doctrine, and considering the stigma and discrimination that often plagues individuals on the basis of one or multiple enumerated
and analogous grounds protected by s.15 equality rights… I always think back to the following quote: “Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” –Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French Romantic poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and writer.
Such a cooperative solution would be consistent with the principles underlying the current Dean’s Scribe program, decrease the likelihood that professors will forget to record the lecture by mistake, and create a means of accountability. After all, a number of professors have mentioned that even though they feel proficient in using the technology, many still experience difficulties getting everything set up – pulling down the screen, opening PowerPoint slides, answering students’ questions – before class, just because of too many things happening at once and human error. Indeed, shortly before writing this article, I went to get help from IT to set up the OBITERdicta
monday - feb 11 - 2013
(Dis)ability and audio recording at Osgoode JENN AUBREY Contributor How many times have you been sitting in class waiting for the lecture to begin while the professor attempts to turn on the electronic recording equipment at the front of the room? I imagine we’ve all been there. Although some of us may be happy for the chance to grab food or to have avoided the embarrassment of showing up late, the experience is certainly f rustrating for well-intentioned professors, and may have very negative consequences for accommodated students whose access to the classroom depends on the successful recording of that lecture. We all learn in different ways. If you’ve attended a first year Dean’s Fellow session or if you’ve read someone else’s summary you probably know how stressful these differences can be. Now imagine that the difference isn’t the type that you can overcome by seeking out a student who has your learning style or by looking at a different summary or text. What if the barrier is so strong that, despite the awesome intelligence that got you this far, you just aren’t able to learn as much as you need to by sitting through a lecture once and doing readings on your own? Should you be denied the opportunity to learn about the law simply because you learn differently?
Both of these approaches have strengths and weaknesses that are being considered by your Student Caucus and Academic Planning and Policy Committee. Our goal at this point is to evaluate these, and any other potential alternatives in order to provide the Osgoode administration with recommendations regarding the lecture recording policy for accommodated students. If you have any suggestions regarding ways to improve the current Audio Recording policy or suggestions regarding alternative ways to record lectures for accommodated students, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with me in person anytime. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this issue and would like to emphasize one point that I keep coming back to. The Audio Recording policy isn’t only an issue for accommodated students and the administration. It is a community concern that we ought to think about in a collective way. Rather than framing disability in terms of the individual, I would like us to consider the ways that the environment at Osgoode disables people. By “the envi-
ronment,” I mean the accumulation of all of the ways we interact with each other as those interactions are shaped by the procedures or structures at Osgoode, such as the teaching and grading mechanisms. Individuals are not disabled in some presocial sense: environments disable certain people and enable others. For those of us who benefit from the current structure, I believe there exists a responsibility to always seek ways to expand and alter this context: to make it more accessible and open to difference. In this sense, accommodation is the responsibility of the community as a whole. One way we may be able to make the current Audio Recording policy more effective is by having student volunteers in each class who can assist professors in setting up the audio recording equipment. Operating similarly to the Dean’s Scribe program, this idea would require widespread student support and is just one example of the way we can work together to build a more accessible Osgoode community. Please give these ideas some thought. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thankfully, the answer is no. When a student faces these barriers, the Osgoode and York administration seek to accommodate their learning style in order to account for the fact that the teaching methods used at the school do not work for everyone. Students receive accommodation after a complex evaluation process that also determines the specific support they receive. Sometimes another student in the class will take notes for them; other times they will receive audio recordings of the lectures. Concerns regarding the high failure rates of the Audio Recording program prompted the Osgoode administration to make some recent changes. At this point, there are two systems in place to record lectures for accommodated students. Osgoode staff continue their best efforts to make the traditional audio recording equipment work and minimize the failure rate of this approach. Additionally, accommodated students have now been given permission to record the lectures themselves or to find someone else to do so on their behalf. monday - feb 11 - 2013
© 2012–2013 Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. All rights reserved. | 416 869 5300
Cassels Brock 2012/2013 season
Obiter Dicta student ad “Yellow - Coffee” 4B Prestige, b&w
Contact: Heather Murray email@example.com 416 869 5782 - fax 416 642 7137
Please PRINT a hard copy of the ﬁle and either FAX it or SCAN and EMAIL it back to me, thanks!
Beyonce at the Super Bowl: I’m crazy in love! KAROLINA WISNIEWSKI Opinions Editor As this issue goes to press, we’re (I’m?) still trying to compose ourselves after Queen B reduced us all to incapacitated, drooling, incontinent shells of our former selves just a few hours earlier. Scarcely a day has passed since the Super Bowl halftime show to end all Super Bowl halftime shows, and the Interweb has already inundated me with astute and perceptive critiques that all basically say “WOW Beyoncé literally blew the lights out #electrifying” and invariably make me go ugggggggggggggggggh. Although Beyoncé went absolutely H.A.M., I’m wondering whether we, and initially, I, are too quick to praise. Is this like the time Britney Spears had her comeback and the only song that radio stations were allowed to play (by law) was “Womanizer” for something like a month, until we all realized that a) it wasn’t really that good (at least, it would never measure up to “Baby One More Time”), and b) Britney Spears was seriously mentally ill – shouldn’t she not be doing this right now? In the name of hard-hitting journalism, I am going to put on my detective hat and get to the bottom of the conundrum that mercilessly keeps you up at night: how good was Beyoncé’s Halftime show – really? The methodology I propose is the scientifically indisputable and invariably accurate pro-con list. Pros: • Beyoncé is not Lady Gaga;
• My MS Word corrects Beyoncé every time I type it to include the accent over the “e” – ergo, she is more of a social and cultural fixture than Nietzsche, which my computer doesn’t understand; • She performed the excellent and underrated “End of Time”; • Strobe lights; • Fire; • Flashing the HOV sign (side note: whoever thinks that was an Illuminati gesture – I can’t talk to you anymore); • The dancing. All of the dancing; • The general “haters to the left” atmosphere of the performance; • The return of the “Crazy in Love” strut; • The fact that this precipitates the annoucement of the Mrs. Carter world tour; • Performing “Single Ladies” with an army of backup dancers; • The fact that #SuperbOwl was trending on Twitter, which, admittedly, is only tangentially related to Beyoncé’s performance, but which was so brilliant and allowed me to spend some time pursuing the sorely underrated pastime of perusing Google images of owls; • Blue Ivy exists (I realize this portion of
my data gathering is veering slightly off-course, so lets turn to the cons…). Cons: • The painfully forced “smoldering eyes” she periodically directed at the camera; • The horribly awkward “entry” of Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams; • The performance of “Bootylicious.” This was unacceptable. They moderately redeemed themselves by performing “Independent Women,” but I was looking forward to something more akin to “Say My Name”; • The awkward outline of Beyoncé in flame that opened the whole performance; • When, instead of singing the lyrics contained within the song, Beyoncé yelled “HALOOOOOO!!!!!” for approximately two minutes; • The head-banging, done to the soundtrack of “Halo,” which made me really uncomfortable; • Neglecting to perform “Crazy in Love” with Jay-Z – I would probably give up a kidney to see that; • Neglecting to perform “Countdown” (Who let this happen? I want names.); • The digital Beyoncés (can you imagine watching that back 10 years from now? Embarrassing.); • Shoo-ing Kelly and Michelle off the stage like “Ok thanks but leave now.” Verdict: Compiling this list (and re-watching the show) has made it inescapably clear what I knew all along: it’s Beyoncé’s world and we’re just living in it. Additional evidence in support of this: Ashley Simpson lipsyncs on SNL and her “career” is over; Beyoncé lip-syncs at the PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION and we all talk about how passionately she ripped her earpiece out – she obviously has so much artistic integrity even when she is lying to us. Also, instead of criticizing her, Republicans across America took this opportunity to suggest that maybe Obama lip-synced his oath, thus invalidating his second term. Lesson to be learned: when Beyoncé screws up, Obama takes the heat. World domination: secured.
monday - feb 11 - 2013
Happiness Project: 40 ways to battle the winter blues CASS DA RE Features Editor Overheard at Osgoode: Person A: How are you? Person B: Tired. So tired. Person A: The weather can do that to you. Okay, I confess. I was Person B. I’m tired, glum, blah, annoyed, dispirited, surly, petulant, sleepy, and cold – always cold. Nevertheless, you will recognize that Person A (who will remain unnamed) was entirely correct. In addition to being tired, I am apparently an epic complainer, chock full of thesaurus-worthy strings of adjectives to describe a single phenomenon: the winter blues. Normally, as your Happiness Guru, I would provide you with positive, healthy, and thoroughly researched advice. I would root through psychology and sociology articles for inspiration and academic support for my proclamations. But not this week. This week, even I am fighting the uphill struggle against the indescribable and inevitable ennui that comes with February. When pathetic fallacy is no longer something we learned in Grade 10 English class, but an actual state of being. There is no scientific cure to dreary days, and in the absence of science, I suggest ridiculousness. In the spirit of absolute absurdity, I have compiled the most creative ways the Internet or I have come up with to beat the blues. 1) Watch videos of cute animals on YouTube and/or look at adorable photos of kittens for hours. 2) Dance in the rain, while everyone is watching. You will be forced to laugh at yourself, and will unavoidably make someone else smile as well. 3) Jazzercise. Need I say more? I don’t, but I will throw in this iconic image to get you inspired: Richard Simmons and short shorts. 4) Draw “things” on snow covered or frosted windows. 5) Wear yellow. 6) Take pictures of yourself with a tropical background. 7) Play flip cup. 8) Treat yourself to absolutely whatever you like. monday - feb 11 - 2013
9) Keep all the lights on in the house. 10) Make it a habit to smell your coffee. Not to be confused with smelling your coffee server, which would be weird.
wheat bread, which can also produce serotonin. 38) Google “serotonin.”
11) Rub orange peels on your wrists.
39) Watch less news, particularly to avoid the weather forecast.
12) Take Vitamin D drops while wearing sunglasses and a bathing suit.
40) Wear a grass skirt around the house; it’s both breezy and festive.
13) Re-decorate using happy colours. 14) Only use happy-coloured highlighters. 15) Get soft serve ice cream. 16) First, find someone who has a fireplace. Second, make a fire. 17) Have hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream, AND sprinkles, just because. 18) Wear red and green plaid while it’s still seasonally acceptable. Who doesn’t love plaid? 19) Try hot yoga. Alternatively, bring your mat to school for a mid-day break. 20) Make Mexican food and margaritas. 21) Stay in bed. 22) Go skating while you still can. 23) Chop firewood. Then go back to #16. 24) Eat expensive chocolate. 25) Build an igloo. 26) Try ice fishing. 27) Laugh. Stop by a comedy club for help. 28) Leave your house at least once a day. 29) Make a snow angel (no religious connotation intended). 30) Invest in a wall-size TV. Then, buy a DVD that simulates the sun rising. Play this clip on an endless loop. 31) Bake pies. 32) Help the homeless; maybe give them pie. 33) In all seriousness, donate winter clothes. 34) Make up a dance every time you take some Vitamin B (also, take Vitamin B). 35) Watch the movie Cool Runnings. 36) Eat cheddar and swiss cheese, which can release serotonin. 37) Eat the aforementioned with whole
How about a 1L reading week? » continued from pg 1
ment, and allow students to apply themselves more in the remaining weeks of first semester. When students advocated for an upper-year reading week only a couple of years ago, some of the main arguments in favour of the implementation were on similar lines of student health and wellness, and academic/extracurricular engagement. These features are imperative in advancing the overall educational experience Osgoode can offer. The implementation of the upperyear fall reading week is still fresh, yet already students and faculty can observe a substantial benefit and improvement in many areas of students’ academic, professional and personal lives. This process stemmed from the feelings and thoughts expressed among members of the current first-year class, indicating there is a demand for greater support and assistance for students at the beginning of their legal education. We are still in the initial stages of this “1L fall reading week investigation” process and no definitive routes of action have been determined. Members of Student Caucus will be reviewing results from the student input survey, meeting with multiple faculty members, in addition to administrative staff and the Student Success and Wellness Counselor at Osgoode. We will then be compiling these thoughts, opinions, and ideas in order to work towards possible changes to enhance the first-year experience. While nothing is certain, this investigative process has begun an important dialogue of what first years need in order to get the most out of their education. Excellent and diverse ideas have already been raised, and I very much look forward to seeing where this conversation goes. I’m excited to see what we can do collaboratively to help improve the Osgoode experience. the OBITERdicta
MTB rocks the JCR pub TOM WILSON Contributor In its 195,000 years, homo sapiens has witnessed some incredible musical moments. Who can forget GRAWR SMASHES TWO ROCKS TOGETHER IN A CAVE or the bloody ’91 Hamilton riots when Sharon, Lois and Bram refused to take the stage at Copps? I’ll tell you who can forget these moments. Me. Because I was there when the Mock Trial Band played the JCR Pub on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013. The 7-piece set (consisting of Erica Lewin, Tom Wilson, Mike Sheps, Jon Ungaro, Jesse Cohen, Zorn Pink, and Roger MacIntosh) laid it down for just over three hours. During the show, members of the audience were brought on stage to play along with their favourite MTB hit. No matter how big they get, MTB always seems to find time for their legions of fans. Zorn Pink, official band spokesperson, has confirmed that the musical collective will make an appearance at the Osgoode Drag Show in March. If you manage to get a ticket, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Seeing MTB live is like watching a golden swan give birth to a unicorn that dreams of infinity while sipping on the sweetest of ambrosias. I say “like” because, really, it’s so much better than that. The highlight of my night? Getting tattooed while shooting tequila with a camel backstage as the band broke into its iconic cover of Layla. The result speaks for itself. MTB 4 LIFE! Tom Wilson, totally unbiased band member and superfan
monday - feb 11 - 2013
Sweet things and Valentine’s Day MICHAEL CAPITANO Staff Writer Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. That means this week is traditionally either a happy one for lovey-dovey couples or depressing if you haven’t met a special someone. There are also those of us who are indifferent to it and assert that it’s just another day of the year. Whatever Valentine’s Day means to you, it still can be used as a sweet reminder of spreading joy in the world. There’s the cynical claim that it is just another “Hallmark holiday” existing for the sole purpose of draining our pockets so that we can prove to the world that we love our significant others. Yet there is nothing wrong per se about this materialistic presentation of love; it’s always nice to be showered with gifts. In my opinion, it becomes a problem when it transforms into an expectation or a monetary value gets attached to it. I’m not against overspending on a gift. For me, though, the sweet thought always precedes what materializes from it. If it ends up costing a lot of money, so be it. But I think it’s the wrong way to go about gift-giving in general when we look for a gift that fits how much we deemed we would spend. We can take this further though. Being sweet doesn’t cost very much at all! Especially when you’re looking to do something nice for the people you engage with every day. All it takes is a reminder of why you care about them in the first place. It’s as easy as a compliment or a simple gesture; anything that says “I’ve been thinking of you.” For example, in my section (Section B represent), one very lovely lady suggested that we play a cute game to commemorate Valentine’s Day—LoveNotes. It’s simple: take a post-it note, write something sweet and innocent on it, and sneakily drop it off so that when the person finds it, he or she will be pleasantly surprised with a nice message. The moral behind this, though, is that we don’t need to wait for a day to express our love or give someone a nice compliment. All we need to do is bring a little more positivity with us wherever we move so that the worlds we enter into can shine a little brighter. That’s part of what makes something a home. Yet, there’s a downside to human psychology. Our brains are wired slightly towards the negative. We’re attuned not to all the things that make life great, that make us enjoy each other’s company, but to things that can potentially cause us harm. We focus on anything that disrupts our current state of being and initially claim it is no good. We’re afraid of change, afraid of monday - feb 11 - 2013
being hurt, afraid of being alone. There is nothing wrong with this behaviour. It’s an important response with respect to getting out of harmful situations. But it’s easy to get caught in this cycle. Especially with all the stress in our lives and all the forces tugging on us, we sometimes feel like it would be better just to give up and go back to our old lives. The most confusing part is that we made these choices because we wanted to make our lives better. At the same time, we feel nostalgia for the ostensible constancy of the past. We need to remember, though, that we came here to make a difference, to change people’s lives, to improve our own. It’s a difficult road. In life, in love, in everything, making ourselves vulnerable is scary and uncomfortable. We’re more comfortable being alone, only having to worry about our own lives, our own troubles; we don’t need to worry about what others think of us. We sink into our own solitude and separate ourselves from the rest of the world. We tend to think that no one else is feeling how we feel. In our loneliness, we become isolated and disconnected. There’s a better alternative though: let’s all work together by setting an example this Valentine’s Day for how we should endeavour to be every day of the year. Not grumpy, but sweet; not closed off, but open and kind. So when you give a gift to anyone this holiday, make it thoughtful—show that person that your worlds are connected or tell them how he or she makes you feel. Deep down, we all just want to be loved, to feel like we belong, to feel like we make a contribution to someone else’s life. Just tell them! Express how you feel. When someone moves or inspires you, let them know. If you have feelings for someone, confess to them! What do you have to lose? Even if they don’t return the sentiments, they will probably feel good about your kind thoughts. Make them sweets, give them a card or write them a song. Do something they will appreciate and remember. Valentine’s Day is a day that pushes us to the edge, but it’s up to us to take that next step. Or else you might end up like this character in a story I wrote:
that golden stream of emotions all the way to her dressing room. And then it stopped. I stood outside, frozen, like I was in a vacuum and my soul had been sucked away. I stood there until the door opened and, in a panic, I quickly hid myself behind a corner as I watched her walk away. What I heard, it continued to bounce around majestically in my mind, but my feelings got stuck when they reached my lips. I couldn’t speak. And so I was left with the sad melody of her footsteps as she left the performance hall.” Take that step forward instead of hiding behind a wall, even if it’s embarrassing. Because it’s embarrassing, it’s all the sweeter. And so here’s my loving gesture to the special someone in my life for Valentine’s Day: Ti amo, mia piccola ballerina: dance upon that magical
stream of whimsy. Caress the world with the precious gold
touch of your grace. Mia bella principessa, every time you move, you do
la danza dell’amore. Every time you come near, I get the chance to breathe
sweeter breaths. Sei una cascata di ispirazione that erodes the
roughness of my heart. Come sei bella! That’s how beautiful you are.
“It was the first time music made me cry. With the way her piano resonated in the canals of my skull, I knew what I was hearing was not ordinary. I wanted to meet the woman who was able to play such an eccentric Chopin. It started slowly, like she was winding me up, and then, at once, starting at the tips of my fingers and toes, my whole body began to tingle as I listened to a sound that was energetic, but controlled. I found myself spirited away, riding on musical notes into another person’s life. I rode the OBITERdicta
Why should I care about Black History Month? SHAWN KNIGHTS Contributor Since its inception, there has been an ongoing debate about whether or not Black History Month should exist. Some argue that the annual celebration only serves to create divisions and others argue that it is an important part of nurturing a sense of pride within the Black community. This debate stems from the fact that many people don’t think about or care about the legacy that their ancestors provided for them. However, as a Black male, I have come to learn first-hand the importance of personally knowing your history. My personal journey of learning my history began shortly after I was racially profiled for the first time. This experience was preceded by a long history of dealing with racism at my school, at my job, in my volunteer activities and in what I had begun to accept as my life. Being the victim of discrimination and unjust treatment tipped me over the edge. I was angry, hurt, and I wanted answers. Why bother trying to be a good person when I was just going to end up being treated like a criminal anyway? In my search for answers, I began reading historical accounts of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the political writings of people like Frantz Fanon. However, this was unsatisfying because, although I related to many of the experiences in these writings, I was going through something different. I was going through the Canadian edition of racism. Then it hit me… I didn’t know my personal history. In our personal lives, history gives us a head start to overcome challenges and to reach higher than our ancestors did. As future lawyers, our children will never doubt whether or not they can go to university or become a lawyer – because they know that it has been done. Our children will enjoy the privilege of knowing that all things are possible if they just believe. There is power in knowing your history and wherever I go, I make an effort to know the history of that place in order to ensure that I have the right outlook. For example, as future members of the Law Society of Upper Canada and as future Osgoode alumni, we have a very inspiring history. Former Chief Justice William Osgoode (sound familiar?) was an important abolitionist and was instrumental with others like Lieutenant Governor John Simcoe Graves in an assault against slavery laws in British North America. Their efforts stemmed the spread of slavery in Canada in preparation for its abolition in the mid-1830s. This is, of course, included in most official Canathe OBITERdicta
dian historical accounts. However, people of African descent have also been an integral part of Canada’s legal history and their contribution should not be forgotten. Robert Sutherland was born in Jamaica in 1830, and later became the first known Black person to become a lawyer and graduate from a university in Canada. Sutherland graduated from Queen’s University in 1852 with honours in Classics and Mathematics. He had an extraordinarily successful academic career during which he won 14 academic prizes; he was elected Treasurer of the student government, and was known as an excellent debater. To understand the significance of Sutherland’s contribution, it is important to remember that slavery did not legally end in Canada until 1834 (only 4 years after Sutherland was born) and the institution of slavery was still thriving in the United States, which were still more than two decades away from entering the Civil War. Sutherland became British North America’s first Black lawyer in 1855 and practiced law in what is now Walkerton, Ontario for more than 20 years. During this time he served as the Town Reeve and was connected to the Underground Railroad. Sutherland died unmarried and without children, but left a lasting philanthropic legacy after his death in 1878. At the time, Queen’s University was in serious financial trouble and was about to be annexed to the University of Toronto. However, just before his death, Sutherland saved the university from being annexed by leaving Queen’s University his entire estate, which was equivalent to the university’s annual budget. There are many others, such as Delos Davis, who was born into slavery in Maryland, but later escaped with his family through the Underground Railroad and grew up in what is now Windsor, Ontario. He became a teacher and a notary public, and he studied law. However, he was unable to become a lawyer because there were no lawyers in Ontario that were willing to let him article due to prevailing racist attitudes. So Davis convinced his MPP, William Balfour, to introduce a special Private Bill that allowed him to become a lawyer with the Law Society of Upper Canada if he passed the bar. He did pass and became a solicitor in 1885 and a barrister in 1886 after years of fighting to have the law changed. He was likely the first Black person to be appointed as a King’s Counsel in Canada as well. However, that is not the end of Davis’ story. If you look closely at the Osgoode graduation pictures hanging up near Gowlings Hall, you will see in the top right hand corner of the year 1900 graduation collage, a picture of Delos Davis’ son Fred H.A. Davis, who
was one of Osgoode’s earliest graduates and who became a prominent lawyer along with his father. There are many others, such as Ethelbert Lionel Cross, the first Black lawyer to practice in Toronto, who acted as a spokesman for those who normally had no access to justice, such as Blacks, Jewish people and the trade union communities in the 1930s. He spoke out against attempts to expand the Ku Klux Klan in places like Oakville, Ontario, and successfully pressured the Attorney General of Ontario to prosecute local KKK leaders. Myrtle Blackwood Smith, who graduated from Osgoode in 1959, was the first known Black female lawyer in Ontario. Leonard Braithwaite graduated from Osgoode Hall in 1958 at the top of his class and was the first Black president of Osgoode’s Legal and Literary Society. In addition to becoming a lawyer, he also became Ontario’s first black MPP. As an MPP, he successfully lobbied the Ontario Government of the day to end segregated schools in Ontario and introduce female pages into the legislature. Black Canadian history is not something that belongs to a certain segment of society. It is an often forgotten legacy that is integral to Canadian history and the foundations of how the law has developed in Canada. Our notions of fundamental freedoms such as equality are inextricably linked to the experiences and contributions of many AfricanCanadians. For me, Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unyielding nature of hope. The legacy of African peoples in North America says that you can be born into slavery and end up as a lawyer, a Reeve, and an inspiration. This legacy says that even if an unjust state law is against you, that you can change it, because nothing is impossible for those who maintain their faith and hope. Black History Month is a celebration of people that have overcome obstacles and it is about reconnecting and learning about a history that goes back to the beginning of humanity. I’m not trying to romanticize the experiences and history of people of African descent in Canada. However, I don’t want to minimize what the legacy of African-Canadians represents. It changed my life when I came to understand that I am the descendant of ancestors who endured one of the most horrific and evil experiences ever unleashed upon our earth – and yet I am still here, and thriving. It is a testimony of hope for the world. So for every African society that thrived » continued on page 13 monday - feb 11 - 2013
Betting on Tiger DANIEL STYLER Contributor I made a comically large bet with a co-worker this past summer that Tiger Woods wouldn’t break Jack Nicklaus’ record for major wins. Tiger’s fourteen victories are four short of Jack’s eighteen, his last was in 2008, and I felt really good about my chances of winning. Then this past weekend happened, where he easily won the Farmers Insurance Open by four strokes. I thought about my bet, but I also thought about the fact that golf is so much more fun when Tiger is good. I don’t think it’s particularly easy to like Tiger anymore; not after Rachel Uchitel, the Denny’s waitress, and all the rest. But it’s impossible not to be captivated by him. More than any other athlete in any other sport, he dominates golf coverage. We see every Tiger shot, even when he’s ten strokes back. It never seems like he is fully out of the running, and CBS wouldn’t dare miss the opportunity to allow Jim Nantz to gleefully proclaim that “Tiger is in the hunt/ on the prowl/some other tiger-related variant” after he sinks a long birdie putt to trim the lead to nine. When Tiger was at his best, either 1999-2002 or 2005-2007, watching him play felt like a privilege, like you were watching someone so good at something that you almost resented him for being so remarkable (the same feeling soccer fans, which I’m not, probably get when they watch Lionel Messi play). Sundays were
monday - feb 11 - 2013
his days; always wearing red, he walked from hole to hole like he owned the course, and he never seemed to shy away from pressure, even knowing that everyone was watching his every move. Not liking Tiger was impossible. He made golf, a sport that I typically associate with old, overly tanned white guys with terrible swings, cool. And then in November 2009, reports started surfacing that he had been involved in an affair. A couple of days later, he crashed his Cadillac Escalade on his street in an incident that wasn’t really fully explained, though we did here about his wife Elin “rescuing” him from the SUV by using a golf club to shatter a window. A few days after that, a voicemail message was released – left by Tiger for a mistress – and he finally had to start explaining some things. He admitted “transgressions,” made some apologies, and the amount of continued reports made it seem like Tiger had an affair with every woman in America. In the months that followed, quite a few sponsors dropped him, and he made a stone-faced televised statement, using words like “entitled” to describe himself: “I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me.” He took a break from golf, returning in April 2010 at the Masters. But something was different. For the first time, we had seen a crack in his previously picture-perfect reputation. It’s impossible to quantify the impact that this had on his game, but it couldn’t have helped.
Tiger was and still is a very private person. All we really knew about him was that he loved his Dad, was sad when his Dad died, and that he was really good at golf. That had certainly changed. He’s also a perfectionist, never happy with anything but first place; it would make sense, then, that it would bother him to no longer be portrayed as perfectly as he had crafted his image in the years leading up to the reports of his affairs. There was also something different about watching him play. I still cheered for him, but it didn’t feel as natural as it used to; it felt dirty. He was also injured, playing in only nine events in 2011. And while he was still good (and better than almost everyone else), he wasn’t the same. He had no wins in 2010 or 2011, and three in 2012. And there were no majors added during that time. Seeing Tiger win this past weekend in his first start of the year was refreshing, if only because it reminded me of how great he can be. I have always thought that sports are at their best when there is a dominant team or athlete involved. Parity is kind of boring and forgettable. Dominance is memorable. And there was no one as dominant as Tiger. Because of this, part of me wants to lose this bet. I want Tiger to be not just good, or great. I want him to be dominant again, and show Rory McIlroy what it really means to be “The Best Golfer in the World.”
arts & culture
Online fraud - what the Facebook?! MAXIMILIAN PATERSON Arts and Culture Editor While lounging on the brand new couch in the Obiter office I glanced down at my phone and found that I had a missed call and a new voicemail message. The message was from my sister, and it turned out that she had some very strange information for me. “Hey,” she started, “this guy with your name is trying to add me on Facebook.” Odd, I thought, but someone with the same name as me on Facebook is not news; I’m sure there are a handful of Max Patersons and one of them must have added my sister by accident. “The weird thing is,” my sister continued, “this guy is also adding all of your friends.”
had also updated his status 5 times. The strange thing was that the status updates were just strings of letters; they were things like “hjnmkjm” and “km,hjk.” At first glance these updates seem like gibberish, however if you look at the string of letters and then at the standard keyboard you will realize that these phrases are made by mashing keys in one specific area of the keyboard with the right hand. Fake Max wasn’t a web crawler or bot; there was a human behind this!
Facebook may not accept the complaint based on the fact that the pictures and interests are not completely the same as mine. An alternative theory is that this could be a ploy for Facebook to get me to disclose more information about myself. In order for me to log a report on Fake Max, Facebook requires me to disclose my telephone number and more personal information about myself. My final theory is that someone could be trying to Talented Mr. Ripley me. In which case I will be on the lookout for Matt Damon trying to hit me with an oar and steal my girlfriend (who, sadly, is not Gwyneth Paltrow). Either way, this has proved to be a bizarre afternoon. Despite the small amount of flattery that comes with someone trying to impersonate me, I am most concerned that my friends have actually started to accept Fake Max’s friend requests. What the hell guys? I would never take a selfieshot of my nonexistent abs in the bathroom mirror! Come on!
This last statement caught me off guard. This wasn’t just a case of a mistaken “friend add,” this was now in the territory of identity fraud. Why would anyone be doing this? After sharing this news with my fellow Obiter writers, and contacting my sister for more information on this strange fraudster, I finally tracked down the fake Max Paterson’s profile [hereinafter known as Fake Max]. The whole thing didn’t add up though; why would someone make a fake account, post weird tweeny pictures, say they worked at a surf shop in Brisbane, Australia, “like” things that were written in Arabic, and then try to add all my friends? The best explanation I could find was that this tactic (although a little different) is called spear-phishing. It turns out that Fake Max had just joined Facebook 8 hours prior to me creeping his page. He already had 10 friends, 5 of these friends were poached from me, and the other 5 were people who I was tangentially connected to. After a further creep of his profile I noticed that Fake Max started ‘following’ things that were loosely related to me, such as friends’ bands, get well groups for people I went to high school with, and Zach Ryder the WWE wrestler. Then he started “liking” things that I am completely indifferent on, such as Zac Efron, Beats By Dre, a local business in Alexandria, Egypt, and ABK (the juggalo rapper also known as AnyBody Killa). This was slowly moving from fraud to full on character assassination! Having never heard of Zach Ryder or ABK I decided to creep a little harder and this was where things started to get really odd. In the 8 hours that Fake Max had been “alive” he had uploaded 4 pictures (all of them were Justin Bieber-esque selfies that didn’t look anything like me) and he the OBITERdicta
Spear-phishing is a more personalized version of the spamming tactic of phishing. Phishing is where a blanket email is sent out to millions of people proclaiming to be some sort of official looking organization to lure people to fake websites in order to gain personal information. Examples of phishing are receiving an email from Fake FedEx asking you to click a link and disclose your credit card info so they can deliver a package, or receiving an email from your Fake Bank asking you to log in to your account via the link in the email, thus providing access to your account. Spear-phishing acts in a very similar way, however it uses more personalized information such as your name or a friend’s name in order to make the scam more believable. My hypothesis is that someone has created this account to add my friends and deliver fraudulent links and scams to them personally in their timeline. Furthermore, the profile is just different enough that if I were to report the account as trying to impersonate me,
Black History Month » continued from page 11
from the beginning of humanity and produced a rich and unique culture that continues to exist today, for every person that made it across the great divide, for every enslaved person in the United States who escaped the evils of slavery, for every pastor that led their congregation across the border to freedom, for every African person that endured slavery in Canada, for every person who took a stand for their Civil Rights and for every Black person who, in spite of racism, unfair circumstances, and the odds, made it, I wish you a very happy Black History Month and hope that you will take the time to learn more – not about “my” history, but about “our” history.
monday - feb 11 - 2013
arts & culture
A Little Sheep Told Me: 2013 trend alert ANGIE SHEEP Staff Writer With a shiny New Year comes shiny new clothes, and this year is no different. Runaways and fashion magazines everywhere have revealed the new looks of 2013 and distinguished the absolute must-have items amongst them. Don’t worry though, this does not mean you’ll have to eviscerate your current wardrobe. Some of the simple and classic items of 2012 have also persevered through the winter examinations (as did all of us). The New Year, nevertheless, brings with it a nuanced outrageousness as well as elegance, so if you’re lacking direction on what to add to the closet this year, these top trends may point you in the right direction. 1. Stripes We saw the emergences of stripes in late 2012, but the ones today are a little different. While thick navy horizontals dominated last year, 2013 is seeing a variety in color, orientation, and width. The photo
collage demonstrates the most “in” ways to incorporate the stripes trend this year. Designers like Jean Paul Gaultier (photo: bottom row, middle), have expanded the notion of stripe to include an Aztec element. However, be sure to make these horizontals your own and complementary to your unique body type. Trial and perfection Ozzies! 2. Studs and Spikes This is a trend that stays quite consistent every year but nevertheless deserves a mention because it is one of my favorites. Studded or spiked heels are a great way to dress up any outfit, including the one you’ll be wearing to your fancy summer job. This year, the trend has permeated into the field of flats, so for all those who cannot bear elevation, these are a great substitute. The one in the picture is from London Rebel at divinetrash.co.uk and is on sale for just under $30!
3. Seeing Emerald Green The statement color of 2013 for both day and night, emerald green conveys elegance, style, and a little mystery. The darker shade is a nice change from the bright colors that have dominated last year and provides a fitting juxtaposition for the dreary cold winter. For a classier, professional look, try an emerald green blazer, tie, or necklace. This is also a great color for your eyeshadow and makes all eyes pop. 4. Iridescent Finishes 2013 is about looking to the bright future and the clothes that accompany it are no different. An evolution of the metallic 2012, iridescent materials have been the focus of modern designers like Stella McCartney. This design, however, can be trickier to incorporate as too much will make one look like Tinman from Oz or worse, wrapping paper. So accessories are a great place to start: sunglasses rims, nail polish, handbags, earrings, etc.
» continued on next page monday - feb 11 - 2013
arts & culture » continued from last page
5. Cuffs Who doesn’t love cuffs? And no, not that kind; get your heads out of the gutter! I’m talking about luxurious, eye-catching cuffs that instantly “class”-ify any outfit. This great trend has also always been around, but I find people don’t take much advantage of it. So with the emphasis of cuffs in the New Year, hopefully you’ll come to discover the flexibility and wonder of this accessory. Cuffs of 2013 also differ from that of the past in their more decorative design details. Fashion gurus have relished in ones that are decorated with funky studs, jewels, and fabrics.
6. Florals One simply cannot live through a spring and summer without the company of floral prints; this year is no different. The prints of 2013, however, are brighter and more outrageous than the pastels of seasons past. The designers thiyear also seem to prefer smaller, more delicate details (as opposed to large, overpowering prints), which is great news because they better complement all body types. 7. You! The biggest focus of all is you and what you are going to bring into the streets this
year. All these trends fall flat without you making them come alive by incorporating your own unique style. So pay attention to the focuses highlighted in this article when you’re shopping but never forget the essential element of a comfortable, glowing, and happy you. There you have it Ozzies, the most coveted items and trends of this brand-spankingnew year. I hope I have given you some direction and ideas for your next shopping spree and perhaps saved you some time as well. Because unfortunately, we don’t seem to have the luxury of spending an entire weekend browsing from store to store anymore.
The Darkness rise again at the Phoenix TRAVIS WEAGANT Editor-In-Chief In Grade 10 I heard The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” for the first time on the radio, and I was instantly intrigued by the sound of what I termed “proper rock and roll.” It being the early days of online file sharing (note to the piracy police: I have since purchased multiple formats of all of The Darkness’ albums at full retail price), I scoured Kazaa for every track from their debut album Permission to Land. While the band’s glorious glam and decided self-mockery were a bit much for many listeners, I was hooked, and have been ever since. In 2006, The Darkness split up following front man Justin Hawkins’ admission of serious health problems (the powdery bit of which is documented in the title track from 2007’s One Way Ticket to Hell… and Back), before I ever had the chance to see them perform. When they reformed in 2011, I immediately began to watch their website intently for signs of a tour. In February 2012, I saw their only Canadian show at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Sherbourne Avenue. It…was…face melting. In July 2012, I made arrangements to see them at a festival in Amnéville, France. While this excursion involved a great deal of excitement, geographical misinformation resulted in my absence from the show. The next month, the release of The Darkness’ third album, Hot Cakes, left me waiting with bated breath for their next tour. On January 21, 2013 The Darkness returned to the Phoenix. I was there. The sound of ABBA’s “Arrival” belied the band’s imminent rise to the stage, and soon bassist Frankie Poullain’s trademark the OBITERdicta
LOOK AT THAT MOUSTACHE... THAT AFRO... THAT SCOWL.
white guy Afro appeared in the shadows. The set kicked off with “Every Inch of You,” a track from Hot Cakes in which the front man describes himself as “an Englishman with a very high voice.” The set list thereafter alternated between the old and the new while mostly avoiding tracks from One Way Ticket – an album only a fan could love. But it wasn’t just the music that made the show amazing. Yes, the Hawkins brothers’ delicious riffs and Justin’s incomparable falsetto make great rock and roll, but I can hear those at home (though the group seems more cohesive after a year of recording and rehearsing). Nay, it was the theatrics that made the concert memorable. Not three songs into the set, Justin mounted a small balcony over the concert hall’s entrance and the sphinx sitting thereupon, and declared the creature to be his. Later, he had a Phoenix employee carry him and his guitar to the back of the venue, where he disembarked, climbed yet another balcony, and dove from it into the crowd. Climbing once again atop the
good-humoured gentleman from earlier, Hawkins was borne back to the stage where he continued to perform acrobatic feats. His reported abstention from alcohol and drugs appears to be serving him well. The band ended their set with “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” and returned for a three-song encore, capping the 90-minute show with knock-down dragout 10-minute epic solo-fest “Love on the Rocks with No Ice.” Seeing The Darkness wasn’t a religious experience. Only when lifelong fans see musical giants like Elton John, Paul McCartney, or the Rolling Stones perform a threehour marathon show spanning material from their entire career in the front row of a small, intimate venue does concertgoing ascend to such heights (unless you take hallucinogens). But seeing such ballsto-the-wall old-fashioned ‘proper rock and roll’ played as loud as possible needs no intoxicants. To quote Justin Hawkins: “We’re The Darkness. We’re from the UK. And we’re here on fucking business.” monday - feb 11 - 2013
crossword BY: EMILY GRAY Across 1. Bile or bitterness 5. Hammer, for example 9. Uncool or Cheesy 13. Type of orchid 14. Irk 15. Tramp’s partner 16. Chew 17. M*A*S*H star Alan 18. Vegas numbers 19. Not hard 20. Only women suffer from this 22. Big British Bank 24. Goop for paving streets 25. Spooky 28. Lennon of the Beatles 31. Takes another look 33. AKA LSD 36. Winter sport 37. Singer known for collaboration with The Velvet Underground 38. Bird’s home 39. Sports org. during the Third Reich 40. Zombie yearning 44. Against 46. Mouth part 49. Creature after Buttercup and Westley 50. Lustful skunk of cartoons 52. Expression of cheer 53. “____ to be wild” 54. Staff on a boat 55. Korean pop star of the moment 56. ASAP, in the ER 57. Rowboat necessity 58. “Help!”
monday - feb 11 - 2013
Down 1.Across Challenge, to a knight 2. Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” 1. Bile or bitterness 3. Cruz and Knight, for example 5. Hammer, for example 4.9. Shakespeare’s suggestion, “kill all Uncool or Cheesy the_____” 13. Type of orchid 5.14. Partners Irk of la-las 6.15. It doesn’t mixpartner with water Tramp's 7.16. Practised worker Chew 8.17. Meadows M*A*S*H star Alan 9.18. Little Vegas numbers 19. Nota sum hard 10. FInd 20. Only women from 11. Type of bump yousuffer may talk to this a 22. Big British Bank doctor about 24. for paving streets 12. 12Goop months 25. Spooky 15. Crazy, en español 28. Lennon of the Beatles 20. Sprite 31. Takes another look 21. Conotes 33. AKA LSD 36. Winter sport
23. “Toxic” singer (initials) Down 26. Exclamation of shock 27. Tools for steering a horse 1. Challenge, to a knight 29. Fictional Cannibal 2. Kendrick of "Pitch Perfect" 30. Popular crime show 3. Cruz and Knight, for example 32. Bosses, for 4. Shakespeare's short suggestion, "kill all 34. Historic Canadian railway the_____" 35. Smallof amounts 5. Partners la-las 40. Goodbyes textwater 6. It doesn't mixin with 41. Plant base 7. Practised worker 42. Impression or atmosphere 8. Meadows 9. Little 43. “_____ it funny?” 10. 44. FInd a sum Copycat 11. 45. Type of fodder bump you may talk to a CNN doctor about 47. “____ facto” 12. 48. 12 Gives months wages 15. 50. Crazy, en español Department of the cabinet 20. Sprite 51. Period of time 21. Conotes 23. "Toxic" singer (initials) 26. Exclamation of shock