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tearing space-time since 1989

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tearing space-time since 1989

VOLUME 24

ISSUE I

OREGON VOICE


editor in chief LUCY OHLSEN publisher BENJAMIN MCPHERSON FICKLIN art director TAYLOR JOHNSTON managing editor JOSEPH DE SOSA multimedia director REBEKAH DORSEY public relations SAIGE KOLPACK contributing editors JACOB DODDS ALYSSA PERSONS russian correspondant BEN STONE cover art TAYLOR JOHNSTON/BMF contibutors ALEC CARRIER, MARISSA MCLAIN, ANNA FAY, EMMA IVIE, C. W. KEATING, THOMAS EDMONDS, TRACE CABOT, KATEY FINLEY, MARY-KATE MORONEY, ARIEL WILLS, JOSH LARSEN, ANDREW HARDT, IMOGEN BANKS, JULIAN EARNEST, JACK WASHER, SAUMON GHAEMI, DEREK CHESNUT, JORDAN CHESNUT, SCHUYLER DURHAM, CONNOR MARTIN, SREANG HOK, COLETTE LEVESQUE, JACOB DODDS, SHERLOCK DOMEZ, GRANDPA board of directors CARA MERENDINO, STEPHEN PERSON, SCOT BRASWELL, SARA BRICKNER, KOREY SCHULTZ, SCOTT E. CARVER, HALEY A. LOVETT, JENNIFER HILL, RYAN BORNHEIMER, RAECHEL M. SIMS, BRIAN A. BOONE, SARAH AICHINGER-MANGERSON, ROBERT K. ELDER, AUTUMN MADRANO, SAM PARKS, MIKE RUSSELL, CLIFF PFENNING

ED-LISHER’S NOTE For humans, life revolves around an ultimate battle for qualification. Forces fight for the authority to authenticate what is moderately mediocre or substantially inconsequential, tasty or despicable, stone truth or malleable fact. In training for the inevitable battle, we perform routine daily exercises: read, spew, lick, giggle, run. We nervously watch the days of struggle approach, flailing in epic proportions to attain all preparations necessary for success. In a few years we’ll all be fully immersed in combat. We’ll be living that so called nightmare of “real life”. But that day is not today. Today, we are free frolickers, bouncing from street corner to corner street, injecting this and that in our veins to feel an extra push from the outside world into our youthful spirits. Today we live by whims, cravings, typed out syllabi, and hourly waged work. At the Oregon Voice, we’re in to crossing borders. Traveling across territory, space, time and dimensions, we greedily peek at the battle that is to come. I invite you to join us in the first issue of many more to come this year, where we delve into that secret realm of life that goes below and beyond campus. The world is at our fingertips, and our fingertips are eager to pass on everything that they touch.

“Because I have never had such a chance, nature here being so extraordinarily beautiful. I cannot paint it as beautifully as that, but it absorbs me so much that I let myself go, never thinking of a single rule.” -Vincent van Gogh letter to his brother Theo. Adhering to typical standards and expectations when producing anything inherently limits what is being created. It places a ceiling on the originality of the work, which is an essential element to creativity, especially for a generation so saturated in art, words, blogs, tumblrs, print and online publications. Restricting yourself to norms puts you in a box with thousands of other products that blend and overlap into a dull collage. Scream your unique soul off of life’s peaks! This year at Oregon Voice we will let ourselves go, and disregard the rules. We’re all going to have a hell-of-alot of fun while we do it too. “There is nothing more truly artistic than to love others.” -Vincent van Gogh letter to his brother Theo.

Oregon Voice loves you very much.

OFFICIAL STUFF

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OREGON VOICE is published as many times as we want per academic year. Any and all official or unofficial or superficial nonsense can be directed to 1228 Erb Memorial Union, Suite 4, Eugene OR 97403 or to publisher@oregonvoice.com. Copyright 2012, all rights reserved by OREGON VOICE. Reproduction without permission is prohibited, but the thought is really flattering! OREGON VOICE is an arts and culture publication that eccentrically expresses the University of Oregon and its relation to the Universe. The program, founded in 1989 and re-established in 2001, provides an opportunity for students to publish works of journalism, art, prose, poetry, and genetic alteration. Administration of the program is handled entirely by students.


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100% NOTHING It’s worthless! 11

DEAR SADFACE

Optimism abounds.

DOUBLE FISTING

contents v

l or ene ON ng! sity hed ose, nts.

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“It’s like, Oregon Voice is weed, and the Commentator is alcohol. And I just really like being crossfaded.”

SEEING RED Russian blood.

¡VIVA CINEPATA! 29

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Trace Cabot on a mission to punch Lars Von Trier at The Guanajuato International Film Festival.

TOGETHER IN DEATH

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Revering life after a president’s death.

WHAT THE FUCK IS PRIVATE EQUITY?

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“Ah, yes, Global Consulting International.”

tearing space-time since 1989

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100%

nothing

Greater Sage-Grouse Displaying Male

Brussels, Belgium: September 14th, 2011. First day of School. At lunchtime a few of my classmates offered to take me out to lunch for what’s called a mitraillette, which translates to “machine gun” in English! Salted meat and French fries in a hoagie, covered with thick sauce, all put inside of me. Walking back, a rush of warm drool gushed into my mouth. I dizzily stumbled into an alley and brought up the barely digested disaster. The vomit kept a watery texture, and the varying colors of the mitraillete made a soft brown. When it’s all said and done, I’m glad I evacuated my lunch, my stomach ache was eased, and only a few people saw.

THE UNIVERSE

as seen by Sherlock Domez

No reason boners stifled by only one mean think of your grandma -Jacob Dodds

Grandpa’s Advice h e key T

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to life is to be hap py wh en you’re d . e ad

Maastricht, Netherlands: April 13th, 2012. 18th Birthday. After smoking a megajoint (1 gram), and eating impossibly unhealthy munchies, I stopped by a park lined with historic military canons. I straddled the sides of a canon and began swinging back and forth. Soon the junk food started to pulse at my stomach lining and I spewed everything I had eaten. The barf flowed out of me like it was under pressure. No gagging, and I did not feel dehydrated afterwards. Possibly being under the influence of cannabis made the discharge more enjoyable. Istanbul, Turkey: March 5th, 2012. Class trip. As a sort of “senior trip,” my Belgian Class and I went to Istanbul for four days. One night we went to a café and immediately started taking shots of tequila. I kept drinking and smoking cigarettes. Before I knew it, I was clumsily pushing my way through the crowd as my cheeks filled up with spew. In the restroom, I projectile vomited all over a mirror. That day I had eaten an array of traditional Turkish foods: baklava, meze, kebabs, etc. Unlike other discharges, I felt no better after release, and the whole thing was a mess. This was a bad upheaval. -Derek Chesnut

The smell of my own fart just made me gag, but I liked it. Does everyone feel this way? Probably not, but who cares. The Mexican food I ate last night is doing work on my stomach lining and my asshole is running on overtime. Seriously, if I had to pay my body for this indefinite abuse I would be broke or in hella debt. But, as society has formed me, I can’t stop with these mindless indulgences. I eat them up. Figuratively. The worst part of all this is knowing what will happen to me. My girlfriend has started to get mad at me but I don’t know how to say no. I almost shit the bed during sex last night so she rolled over, I took a dump, then rubbed out the stiffy in the bathroom and fell asleep. Lame. -Colette Levesque Tree Being Where does a tree keep its mind? Perhaps the very tip where the fixed Trunk can taper into the air; Above pedestrian traffic, Avoiding smiles And exchange of stares. What is it like to be Above all, alone with a silent tree? With each bough scaled, I touch A wrinkled bark brow to Find less and less shared. Tapered into the air;

I take a big whiff It’s a real sad accident Your crotch smells like shit -Jacob Dodds

Up in the branches I Whistle down to you. Left with the back of a crown and what a cigarette blew; I swing in a world Where merely its Metaphors feel true And the hot gold that Fills the gaps in my brain belongs solely to me But, only bows to all of you. -Bekah Dorsey

IMPORTANT: A group of ferrets is called a business!


art IMOGEN BANKS

MS. MANNERS: BIKE ETIQUETTE words LUCY OHLSEN To start off, let me make it clear that I love bikes. They transform human power and prowess into something tangible and useful. They allow you to get from point A to point B without contributing significantly to global warming (unless you just ate a cheesy breakfast and fart a lot). All around, cycles of all sorts are great. What’s not great is the bicycle etiquette that has become commonplace on campus. Whether due to the sudden onset of 4,000 or whatever extra students, or to people finally realizing that gas breaks a budget, the common biker courtesy usually present in Eugene is deteriorating at an alarming rate. This morning, for example, one hour after leaving my little Hard Rock beauty locked tidily to a bike rack, I returned to find it in the rapture of two gargantuan monstrosaurus bicycles. I struggled in a pathetic post8am class daze, thrusting pedals out of my spokes and handlebars off my brakes, only to find myself thoroughly trapped by more bikes falling over. After staring up at the sky for a while, willing some force of something to help me out, a nice young lad finally saved me. But it’s not just this once that I’ve felt so vulnerably unable to find a safe place for my beloved two wheeler. Combating the rudely parked and overcrowded bike racks has become a horrible daily adventure. The deprivation of a healthy biking culture is also exemplified by the fact that somehow, street rules cease to exist after you pass 13th and Alder. A free-for-all, bike-lanes-don’t-exist, I’m-late-so-I’m-first mentality pervades the scene more than ever this fall of 2012, and it doesn’t make our future look too bright. You can be righteous because you bike, but it doesn’t give you the right to cruise down the wrong side of the street and sidestep all general acts of courtesy.

So you, with the three U-locks? Stop hogging the bike racks unless you’re actively fighting population growth. And you, with the fucking heavier-than-fuck bike, any amount of hurry you may be in is probably equal to the amount of the person whose bike yours is now violating. Give the next bike a few inches of leeway and be sure yours has a proper stance (vertical), and we’ll all be a lot happier. All in all, this is kind of an excellent problem to have – An excess of people using bikes as transportation can hardly be called excessive. But in a crowded world, even good things can mound up and become a steamy load of doodoo. So don’t pile your bike on mine, and think about your wheels in the relation to the gears of the rest of the world. A few seconds of proper parking will mean loads to the less muscled, easily-discouraged-when-things-are-tangled subset of the population.

THE ARMSTRONG TRAGEDY

words THOMAS EDMONDS

It’s tragic to watch a dynasty crumble, especially one as beautiful and glorious as the Armstrong family’s. For the Past 50 years, the Armstrong’s have been setting the curve in moon landings, bicycle racing, and chart topping pop-punk albums. No one appreciates it any more, but when I was a kid a lot of people TALKED about going to the moon. But no one had guts to do it until lil’ Neil. He’s dead now. In my pre-teens everybody rode bikes but no one gave a fuck until Lance beat the French in the ‘96 Tour, and then a second time and then like a hundred more times. I guess the U.S. is too cynical to let him keep those memories now. In the early 90’s people had class songs but no one really did until Billy Joe put out Good Riddance. He’s in rehab now; apparently rock ‘n roll is against the law. It’s kind of like a Shakespearean tragedy, what’s the one? King Lear, maybe? tearing space-time since 1989

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A MARXIST CRITIQUE OF “THE DARK KNGHT RISES” words C. W. KEATING

Everyone knows Batman is awesome. Ask any little kid or college student who the coolest superhero is, and they inevitably cite Batman. Christopher Nolan has taken this cool factor and twisted it to fit the sleek contours of the psychological action thriller, complete with existential angst and karate chop action. The final installment, “The Dark Knight Rises,” is one of the most critically and commercially successful superhero movies of all time. It’s also an excellent articulation of bourgeois, capitalist propaganda. The plot of “The Dark Knight Rises” is predicated on the audience’s understanding of both current events and class ideology. Bane, the antagonist, represents not only the metaphoric face of the Occupy movement, but any proletarian force that organizes, be it the Socialist Party in the 1920s and 30s, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) throughout the first half of the 20th Century, and their modern descendants, labor unions. Batman, divorced from the “cool factor” of being a beloved comic book icon, represents the forces of order, peace, and morality (he never kills people, he doesn’t use guns, etc.) He also happens to be a wealthy, billionaire playboy with military hardware that would make Donald Rumsfeld cream his pants. This is where the problem starts. Bane wants to “give Gotham back to the people,” and early scenes in the movie indicate his class-conscious guerilla tactics: in the middle of robbing a stock exchange, one trader tells him “There’s no money here to steal,” to which Bane replies, “Then why are you here?” Bane derives his organizational power from an underground sewer lair and the thugs he picks up from the streets, which draws a troublesome parallel between the lower classes and Bane’s “sewer rats.” The middle class, on the other hand, are treated as mindless puppets waiting to be saved. There’s a scene where the disgraced police officers march against Bane’s army results in many of them getting shot, and it’s only Batman’s intervention that saves the police officers from total evisceration. Much the same way Reagan-fondlers believe in a “trickle-down” economic policy that assumes CEOs will distribute wages fairly, Batman quite literally descends from the sky as a laissez-faire deus ex machina that saves the same people he exploited in the first place. Thus capitalism is summoned to squelch the problems it created. Discarding Bane’s “tragic antihero” character arc, the issues he addresses with his “give Gotham back to the people” spiel are real issues that the upper classes don’t want to confront. So they present an “altruistic capitalist” archetype, a superhuman industrialist who uses wealth and military muscle to set things right. It’s classist, it’s insulting, and it assumes that the charity of the upper classes will eventually solve all social, economic, and political problems of the lower and middle classes. So Christopher Nolan: What the fuck?

MR. MANNERS: FUCK IPHONES words ALEC CARRIER

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend the Tegan and Sara/Shins concert. While bobbing my head and enjoying the spectacular live music, something shocking caught my eye. Three I-paid-for-my-ticket-but-am-here-because-my-friends-are bros were on their phones. Not glancing at the time, not snapping a photo, but continually craning their necks down to tap away at the tiny blue rectangle in their pocket. I wonder if they even noticed those people on the stage with instruments and microphones making noise. It is one thing to tape your favorite song, or snap a few photos to show your envious friends. It’s an entirely different thing to remove yourself from your environment to have an ongoing conversation in cyberspace. The minute the bros decided to be on their phones, they left the show. They were no longer surrounded by friends or music. They were in phone land. We see this consumption by technology all the time, and more often than not, we have to admit we are a part of it. We live in an age where this has become the norm. Everyone I know has a cell phone, and most all of them have smart phones. No generation before us has structured their social lives around technology, nor has technology ever been so constant and unavoidable. But what role should this access to information play in our lives? Texting and social media sites were supposed to connect us; they should bring us together and allow us to share experiences with one another. All they seem to have done for us is silence our bus rides, make procrastination an excuse to stalk our friends on Facebook, and ensure that no stranger will approach us so long as our headphones are in. Get the fuck off your phones. Too many times have I witnessed that awkward moment when two people don’t have anything to say to one another, so they pull out their phones and twatter or intergram. We need to value our experiences with one another and use this technology to bring us together instead of using it to create walls between us. 6


DAYGLO: A NEON HAZE OF HORROR words MARISSA MCLAIN In the blur of what was Dayglo, the only thought I can clearly remember running through my mind that night was “What the fuck did I get myself into?” Described by my peers as carefree, and “free-spirited”, I can honestly say that Dayglo, at times, brought out the worst in me, strung by sheer panic as I was forced into the crowd. Where was I before drowning in a crowd of raver children chewing on neon pacifiers? I was running through a field on the way to the Cuthbert Amphitheatre, after a long walk over the river and through the woods. A journey wonderfully reminiscent of my summer days at the Oregon Country Fair. However, upon arriving at Dayglo, my friends and I were shoved into the masses of kids sporting furry boots and underwear that would soon be covered in paint. There were fire dancers and what looked (suspiciously) like a food booth. We entered the festival and ran to where the mass of people had congregated, demonstrating their enthusiasm with fist pumps and the classic bump n’ grind. As soon as we were surrounded by these people we realized that, like falling down the rabbit hole, it would be a long time before we got out of this. As the crowd thickened, I began to see what a fucked up fight for territory Dayglo really was. People were climbing and shoving each other, with looks of frantic terror and sheer madness on their sweaty faces. Getting sucked into the crowd was terrifying. I am normally not an angry person. But there I was, shouting and pushing people out of an honest fear of serious injury. Thankfully, the crowd settled down and everyone was able to relax. I spent the rest of the night rocking out and rolling along, covered in paint and in a drug-induced happiness. Looking back on it now, I wonder, What the fuck? How did something started by the Merry Pranksters end up like this? It’s true, folks. The Merry Pranksters, Ken Kesey’s group of Oregon hippies, inspired Dayglo. There was even a “Further” bus like the one The Merry Pranksters used to fuel their cross-country acid trips back in the 60’s. This event where some people probably die and most of the happiness comes from extremely high levels of dopamine (which makes your mind, brain, and body feel tired and numb afterward) is something I won’t be experiencing again. Adios, Dayglo.

FEED ME, I’M VEGAN

words ANNA FAY

Besides Holy Cow in the EMU, which offers a ton of local veggies and a fully stocked salad bar on top of an entirely organic menu, there aren’t many on-campus options for people like me who don’t eat pesticides or genetically modified foods. Convinced that our famously earthconscious University must have more than a single outlet for organic, GMO-free foods, I went out on a hunt. I was lured into Union Market, on the bottom floor of the EMU, by a large hanging sign declaring: ‘Fresh, Local & Organic,’ and ‘Mom Approved’ --I thought I hit the jackpot. But apparently, the definition of fresh is open to debate. I was disappointed to find a variety of “food” items of questionable origin. The most disconcerting was the ‘freshly made’ sushi stocked by a man who supposedly makes it every morning. What the plastic packages contain is red-dyed farm-raised Atlantic salmon and a long list of ingredients, including a few corn products. As a proud girl of the Pacific Northwest, I know that corn does not belong anywhere near sushi. GMO alert! Also featured in the display were some sad looking bananas and overly-shiny green apples, that likely come from heavily-sprayed industrial farms in the southern hemisphere. Besides the fact that these apples are toxic bombs of little to no nutritional value, they have already witnessed enough trauma to get to this place. The mega-farms on which they’re raised are notorious for the improper treatment of employees. Pesticide poisonings are commonplace, and have led to a high rate of miscarriages and birth defects in children born to farm workers and nearby residents. No telling where that apple has been or what it could do to my chemical-free brain. The only ‘local’ foods I found at Union Market were Nancy’s yogurt and pre-packaged sandwiches from Holy Cow. Which is a pittance considering we live in a fucking breadbasket of delicious, nutritious organic, ethical and local farms and food producers. In conclusion, we are essentially shit out of luck.

GIRL NEXT DOOR PROBLEMS

words EMMA IVIE

The U of O campus has a seductive appeal. Some dorms look upon luscious fields, others at fertile trees. My view, however, may be likened to a train wreck- In equal parts captivation and horror, I see the nude female form.
 Come with me as I take this rare opportunity to provide insight into a strange creature, the inexperienced freshman—the technical nomenclature being “oblivious freshmanicus”— who has not quite comprehended the concept of closing window blinds. It is a sight to behold. This species provides a jolt of visual stimuli sufficient to snap any student out of a study-induced stupor. 
I appreciate the feminine body “au naturel” in paintings, but without a warning this kind of experience is thoroughly embarrassing—for myself, my neighbor, and any absent-minded passerby unfortunate enough to look through her window. I ask you, who wears their birthday suit in front of an uncovered window? She doesn’t even have the decency to mistakenly leave the blinds open at night; she does it in the unforgiving light of day. 
What’s shocking is that she has not only made this mistake once, but on multiple occasions. It’s like that old saying, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, disrobe and dance naked in front of your neighbors, then it’s a shame you’re not even getting paid for it.” I say this not to be rude or accusatory. I don’t attribute her nudity to defectiveness of character, but a lack of attention to social conventions. I am all for straying from the norm, but only when the acts of opposition are deliberate. Maybe by sharing my experience I can serve two purposes: she can remedy this issue discretely, and I can give other nude neighbors some advice. Our naked bodies can be beautiful, yes, but I’m pretty sure the only thing that wants to see them at 6 am are the blinds of our windows. Then again… tearing space-time since 1989

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 words ANNA FAY

Roseanne Barr is running for President. Yes. The obnoxious, overweight, working-class TV personality of the 90’s is pushing her way into the political arena. The fierce, domestic goddess of yesteryear continues to challenge societal boundaries. These days, Barr owns a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii, flies the Socialist flag, and is a staunch supporter of medical marijuana in her home state of California. She has chosen Cindy Sheehan, the lady that got all up in ole’ G. W.’s britches, to be her vice presidential candidate. In August of this year, the dynamic duo accepted the Peace and Freedom Party nomination (they originally went for the Green nomination, but lost to Jill Stein). They are on the official ballot in Florida, and are campaigning as a write-in for the rest of the country. The Barr/Sheehan ticket supports the protection of the environment, ending the drug war, encouraging Israeli-Palestinian peace, and decriminalizing marijuana. They vow to dismantle the military industrial complex and the “shadow government” it supports. They promise to fix the economy by ending all wars, and invest in a green, resource based economy. Under a Barr-Sheehan administration, we would see something the campaign calls a “loan debt jubilee” (aka student loan debt forgiveness) enacted. In an official presidential speech (available on Youtube), over sips from a goblet of red wine, Barr declares that she is not running to take votes from Obama. She says the choice of the “lesser of two evils” between

for president! A drunk attempt for real change.

two parties that are both owned by bankers who profiteer off the backs of the working people of America is not a choice Americans should keep having to make. From a recliner in what is likely her living room, she denounces all recent presidential administrations for willfully poisoning the American food supply (she’s anti-Monsanto, too!). Voting for either candidate, Republican or Democrat, Barr says, is a vote for the perpetuation of fear, the exploitation of people, and the continued waste of lives and taxpayer money. You can’t really blame Barr for being a little drunk while she spouts out her political rhetoric. It’s a tough race for third parties, when the two mainstream candidates are running on Money Mountain. Over $6 billion is expected to be spent this election on advertising and campaigns, a floodgate opened after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. The ruling that defined money as speech, allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in politics. This is another wrong Barr would right. “If it doesn’t think, breathe, and bleed, it’s not human,” she says. “It’s not even a dog.” She’d tax the rich, end corporate personhood, and remove all money from the electoral process. Barr’s VP candidate Sheehan* is just as serious a candidate as Roaseanne. She attracted international attention during the Bush years, when she camped out in front of the President’s ranch near Crawford, Texas in protest of the Iraq war. When the White House shifted power to President Obama, Cindy Sheehan’s campaign for peace raged on. Obama was not exactly the all-powerful peace broker some hoped for, and though Sheehan is seen very little in today’s mainstream press, she’s powered on into politics. In 2008 she came in second behind incumbent Nancy Pelosi for a national congressional seat. She has been arrested more than 20 times, has several trials pending for her activism, and is being sued by the IRS for refusing to pay taxes that she says directly support the “war machine”. Even if she’s never the veep, we will surely see Sheehan continuing her effort working towards gaining a voice for the voiceless. Barr and Sheehan have some legit messages, and they are showing what a bitch it is to seriously take on the established system. The election commission won’t allow them or any third party candidates to even step foot on a debate stage (Green Party candidate Jill Stein was actually arrested outside of the 2nd 2012 debate). The Barr/Sheehan campaign has been smeared by the media, reduced to a drunken undertaking. (To be fair, she does often appear a little schwasty and jokes permeate her public appearances). But these ladies are so fed up with the status quo that they aren’t going to passively accept the political doldrums of our days anymore. As Roseanne says, “Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.” In case her bid in the US doesn’t pan out and in an act of symbolism in support of the Palestinian people, Roseanne is also running for Prime Minister of Israel. 1 Sheehan has recently somewhat thrown in the towel, upset that the Barr/Sheehan ticket hadn’t made it on more state ballots. Sheehan has shown her support for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Both parties have similar platforms and an overlapping voter base.

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Dear Sadface Dear Sadface, I miss my dog Speckles back home. This is the longest I have been away from the poor pug. I wish my dorm-mate would let me have Speckles around. But she says she is terrified of the dog! How can I convince her that taxidermy isn’t scary!? Help! Desperate for formaldehyde There comes a time, Mister or Miss Formaldehyde, when we all have to come out and acknowledge our fetishes. Some people like being dressed up like an 8 year-old and whipped by a woman who demands to be called Granny Joe, some people like wearing diapers while watching the webcam of a 16 year-old Hungarian girl chain-smoking, and some people take things to a whole new level. My fetish, for example, is being in a loving relationship built on mutual respect and admiration, as out-there as that sounds in our prude era of sexting and My Little Pony fan porn. Don’t be ashamed of your necro-zoophilia; we all have our “kinks” that will likely get us locked in “prison”, but really that’s more of an opportunity than a threat. The US penal system is, more or less, the world’s biggest sex dungeon, and Uncle Sam is your mistress! Follow your dreams, Desperate. And if your roommate can’t accept you for who you are, check their internet history and threaten to email it to their mother. Dear Sadface, I’m very much in love with my girlfriend. Yet, when I look at the universe I am sure there can be no such thing as love in such a horrible place. Should I break up with Sarah? Please give me some advice, Horrified by existence.

Congratulations on turning 5, Horrified, you’re very precocious for your age. If those warnings about suffocating on plastic bags are no longer addressed towards you, however, you’re late to the party. It’s time to pick up some hobbies (if you’re capable of feeling anything other than crippling depression, self-loathing, and a vague sense of ill-will and contempt towards all of mankind). Take alcohol, for instance; many vibrant social clubs called “dive bars” undoubtedly dot your city. Join in and share the misery with unemployed humans trying to dull the pain of their preexisting condition with the help of that universal cure-all, whiskey. See that middle-aged woman in the Tweety Bird and/or American Flag t-shirt and filthy sweatpants? She doesn’t want your love, Horrified, she wants a tryst in a filthy bathroom following a glass of Pabst. Welcome to your new life, Mr. Existence! Forget about intimacy or compassion with Sarah and get used to it. Alternatively, ask yourself why those plastic bag warnings aren’t targeted at adults. Dear Sadface, My father is overwhelming. He calls me every night even though I’m at college. He asks about every class, each friend, meals. He even bothered me about the routes I take to class. Small things interest him, like what kind of flowers are blooming and the precise temperature. I think he is sad. What do I do? I need advice, Ms. Independent Let me just recommend a little advice-pamphlet, presented in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step narrative, titled Oedipus Rex. Follow its instructions, and I can assure you that your problem will (by the end, literally) disappear, all while strengthening the family bond in new and unexpected ways. tearing space-time since 1989

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DOUBLE FISTING

COLIN KEATING ON WHY HIS TWO DEEPEST LOVES, THE OV AND THE OREGON COMMENTATOR, SHOULD COEXIST.

words C.W. KEATING When I mention that I work for both the Oregon Voice and the Oregon Commentator, I usually get one of two reactions:

that basically means it only covers “hip” happenings, only to later shrug them off in a snarky, “ironic” tone when they get popular.

the shady athletic contracts forged in Nike’s sweatshop smithy, and the more universal problems of anti-intellectualism and classism.

A) “That’s so chill! But how can you write for those conservative jagoffs?” Or,

And this is somewhat true: there was a nepotistic, “Let’s excludes others in order to validate our own coolness” kind of attitude surrounding the old OV. This was especially true at the parties, which looked like “Lord of the Flies” set in Williamsburg. But now that the old guard is out and Lucy Ohlsen, Ben Ficklin, and Joseph De Sosa are in, I’m already seeing radical changes to this ostracizing, “too-coolfor-school” attitude. Ficklin and Multimedia Producer Rebekah Dorsey are pushing for more video projects, soundscapes, and interactivity via the OV blog, while Ohlsen’s organizational rigueur has whipped a formerly scattershot writing crew into shape.

But no. Instead, we divide ourselves into little groups and war over the University’s student body like children. I write for both of these publications because I want to put an end to this in-fighting. I want more students to join our preexisting magazines. Hell, I want students to create new magazines that express their voice and their passions! I want more student political groups. I want more attention paid to the ASUO as well as dankass, locally-owned bakeries around Eugene. I want students who care about sustainable farming as well as draconian party ordinances that would fine students for having a good time. In short, I want more discussion, period.

People are right to buy into this dichotomy. The Commentator has been a mixed bag of excellent political analysis and tasteless humor, a move that’s garnered more enemies than friends. But due to a shorter publishing deadline and a nationally-acclaimed blog, we’re able to comment on issues and events almost immediately. And under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Ben Schorr, Publisher Nick Ekblad, and yours truly as Managing Editor, we’re refocusing our efforts on campus politics. Don’t worry; we’re still your drunken older brother who makes dirty jokes and won’t shut up about politics. We just cite our sources after the hangover.

These publications are the life force of the University’s intellectual and social community. And, contrary to popular belief, the Voice and the Commentator need each other in order to be effective student publications, much like yin needs yang or Simon needs Garfunkel.

And yes, the Voice and the Commentator will always have their issues with each other. That’s good. That’s what a healthy discourse community does: it poses questions for debate, it knows when to walk away from stubborn ideologies, and it knows how to provoke student thought and discussion.

If the Commentator is the UO’s drunken older brother, the Voice is its younger sibling, the cool one everyone wants to hang out with, the one who tells good stories and can take a bong rip like a champ. The only problem with this hip persona is the same problem that’s plagued “cool” publications for decades: questions of authenticity. Everyone likes to rip on the OV for being too “hipster,” a criticism

The enemy isn’t other publications: the enemies are University forces that seek to shut down avenues of student expression. Instead of bickering over who’s right or who’s cooler or any of that high school bullshit, the Voice and the Commentator should be working together to highlight the ever-present threat of our school’s privatization, the deprivation of our student rights (such as the smoking ban),

B) “Dude, that’s awesome! But how can you write for those fucking hipsters?” Popular opinion would have us believe that the Voice and the Commentator are mortal enemies: one side promotes conservative and libertarian commentary under the guise of dick jokes, while the other side embodies what I’ll for now call “hipster culture,” even though “hipster” is too politicized and, frankly, too stupid of a term to describe the many gifts the OV gives to the campus community.

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The Commentator offers up political commentary. The Voice offers up cultural commentary. These are two spheres that are inevitably interconnected: people are complex and care about a multitude of things. I’m interested in politics and culture, so the arbitrary division between these two publications seems to confuse the point.

The Commentator and the Voice need each other. Besides being good foils, we also have surprising similarities: we both disdain unnecessary police violence. We both care about local businesses and local environmental issues. And we both agree that Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti is a fucking awesome band. So please: go write for a publication. If you have something to say, say it! Don’t regress to the same old locker room politics and petty squabbles over who’s “better.” We’re supposed to have differences. We’re in college, remember? Start acting like it. And start writing like it.

a


art for the people words and photos KATEY FINLEY Even if you’ve never set foot in a Eugene art gallery, you’re probably somewhat acquainted with local artist Kari Johnson’s work. A talented and prolific muralist, her art can be seen on the exterior of New Day Bakery where she beautifully replicated the nature of the Willamette Valley in a colorful painting which wraps around the entire building. Other examples of her work are located on the vacant building on 4th and Monroe, across from Ninkasi on 3rd and van Buren, inside of New Odyssey café, and inside Hummingbird Wholesale – to name a select few. A self-taught artist with no formal training, Johnson made her debut into the Eugene art scene when she won best in show in the 1988 Mayor’s art show for an original canvas painting just a year after drifting into town on a whim. She supported herself by selling jewelry and crafts at the Saturday market while teaching herself to paint, and she soon had a successful show at Café Roma and sold her first paintings. She created her first mural in 1991 at 4th and Monroe, and fell in love with large-scale public art.

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Johnson loves to talk art and is happy to expound her views on the relationship between art, society, and the class system. She is opposed to the gallery world, feeling more at home with quasi-legal graffiti artists than with making luxury products for the upper class. “Galleries feel like segregated ghettos, sterile places where nothing else is happening compared to the street,” Johnson says. She believes that art should be integrated into daily life rather than staying isolated as a cultural product in a gallery or museum. Johnson dreams of having more public art everywhere, and is dismayed by the number of ugly blank walls she still sees throughout her Whiteaker neighborhood and downtown Eugene. “There could be a lot of ways to let the art out. It could be beautiful,” she says. Johnson dreams of a society that encourages its public to carve poetry or piece mosaics into wet sidewalk cement, and to cover blank walls with murals. Johnson usually collaborates with building owners to choose the themes of her murals, but there are some images she shuns. “I don’t paint beautiful women,” the artist says. Listing the feminist art movement as a major source of inspiration, Johnson is tired of seeing women “prostitute themselves and each other out” to sell things. The mural on 4th and Monroe is the only work Johnson was given total free reign to paint whatever she wanted. It depicts (among other images) an elderly female nude with one breast removed, a cancer survivor. “Women are the majority of the world’s population, let’s see an old woman,” Johnson says. The woman isn’t inspired by a particular individual she knows, but rather is born out of her desire to see in art the reality she sees in life. Cancer survivors in the community have told Johnson that her mural inspires them because they can relate to the images in her art. Johnson invited artist friends to collaborate with her on the project several years ago, and since then small pieces of the mural evolve and change periodically. This has left the work in a constant state of flux, which the artist hopes will continue as long as the mural remains up. Johnson’s vivid works are a true asset to our community, coloring and enlivening spaces that would otherwise remain bare and un-stimulating. Next time you find yourself strolling through the Whiteaker, take a moment to stop and appreciate the art.

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DJ CONGO MINT ON THE STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG

words BEN STONE art IMOGEN BANKS

I

f I’ve learned one thing from the West Coast, it’s that you have to represent. To orient yourself in an alien zone, you have to rep your new home with a passion, and you have to own that place’s history and the people in it. When your slang no longer computes, you have to create a dope sort of truth-based cartoon of your area that you can wear on your sleeve. You have to start seeing yourself and the people in your neighborhood as part of the same vague family, and you’ve got to act like you’ve rolled there for all time. So while the area in Saint-Petersburg that I call home isn’t technically called Lomonosovskaya (I’m the only person I’ve heard who calls it that), that’s what it is to me. The Lomonosovskaya (emphasis peaks on the third “o”) metro stop is one of the last on the south end of the green line—past the longest uninterrupted metro stretch, between a

huge railroad yard and the Nieva River. No one else I know lives down here. One time I did meet a guy who said he used to have a girlfriend who lived in Lomonosovskaya. “Kruta!” I said. Niet, he said. Not cool. She was a lunatic. Never going back. And that’s how it goes. The only validation I ever get for my new hood is a shiver. “Ochen opasno! Very dangerous! Kakaya kashmar! What a nightmare!” people say, looking over at my friends like, where in the fuck did you find this kid? And I feel that. At night, when there are bonfires in all the dumpsters and boozy hooded groups that span whole alleyways, I’m a black blur on the sidewalk. Yet, for how much people seem to think they know about Lomonosovskaya, no one seems to know its most notable feature— an artificial lake called Ivanovskii Kor’yer.

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“I used to look down at Ivanovskii Kor’yer and be reminded of where I live in America. Now I live on a mass grave. And now I feel Lomonosovskaya.”

They don’t know how you can watch from the banks as the plumes from countless factory smokestacks that line the sky combine into a massive looming industrial exhale. They haven’t seen the countless fisherman on the east bank, solemnly burning down cigarettes without a tap, waiting for a motion from the fish able to survive the toxins in the water. And probably only a few dedicated heads in this district know the true significance of this trashy slump, or what lies at the bottom of it. My host father is apparently one of these people, and he told me the following over tea one night. This period of history either was never computerized or is cloaked in unknown Cyrillic keywords, and he says his mother-in-law trashed his newspaper clippings of it a while back, so I cannot guarantee this story is true. But this is the story: Ivanovskii Kor’yer is by far the biggest enclosed body of water within city limits, and during the ’90-’96 Mafia wars in Saint-Petersburg mafiosos took note of this. They were murdering a lot of people during this period—often small business owners who refused to pay up—and they needed to maintain as low a profile as possible. So, late into the night after doing business (“so we will be sleeping and can not be able hear ‘AAAAAAAUUUUGH!’” as my host father puts it), the Mafia would pull up and lose the shot-up bodies in the deep-end of Ivanovskii. My host father has lived here for 20 years, and he remembers looking out his window, watching the scuba divers find bodies at the bottom, the cloud of reporters and cameramen who descended on the west bank in the aftermath, and he remembers it when they left, fisherman in rafts and on the banks falling back into place. This is where it becomes a bit different to rep Saint-Petersburg than Eugene. The night after my host father told me about Ivanovskii, I went out late with some Russian and American friends. By five in the morning, we were at a boxy little club south of Nievsky Prospiekt, and our crew was about the only thing left standing in the place. “Hey Ya!” had played out seemingly hours before, and I had hit the wall, head down and swaying to some freaky 2002 R & B singles. All the really snookered dancers had stopped bashing around and were now staring emptily at each other’s hair, and the bartender was resting his head against

the beer tap. For a while I had been half-watching an agitated pair of guys at the bar converse from across the floor, and things were getting heated. After an apparently distasteful comment from the guy in the polo, the other dude stood up, tackled him off the bar stool, and started hitting him in the face. At the time it seemed silly and distant, like a gritty made-for-TV Disney movie. I had never seen a real fight before, and I had always wondered about the physics of punching people, so it was mesmerizing to finally see fists connect with bones and eyes and teeth. After a minute, the red started spraying the floor, which caught the attention of the face control (face control are these huge shady motherfuckers who act as the filter for russian clubs – they’re big meanies). They went over and picked up one of the guys by the neck. For some reason, the bartender flipped off his hat, rounded the bar, sprinted over to the mess in a manic street fighting stance and coldcocked the guy in the temple. The guy screwed his face in shock and put his hands up to the sides of his head as the bartender pulled him outside. We were all laughing. But when we spilled into the alley a few minutes later, things had gotten a bit colder. The bartender had somehow become a central player in the fight and was now bare-fist murking some dude, while some other guys were now grinding each other’s faces into the pavement. “We have to get the fuck out of here,” someone in our group said. The last thing I saw before we rounded the corner and walked away was one dude going limp into a puddle after being drop-kicked in the head. And at that moment, for the first time since I arrived in Russia, all my spectacular dreamy nights faded a little in my mind, and other things came into focus. The feeling of being followed at night, the dark looks I catch on the metro, the sound of a truly scared voice on the street. You can’t always rep a place to fill a void. Sometimes representing means more than a posture. It works the other way, too. It means feeling that place, and sometimes it means feeling the violence. I used to look down at Ivanovskii Kor’yer and be reminded of where I live in America. Now I live on a mass grave. And now I feel Lomonosovskaya. O V

tearing space-time since 1989

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art JULIAN EARNEST tearing space-time since 1989

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words TRACE CABOT art ANDREW HARDT

I

arrived in Guanajuato, the Mexican city and state capitol that began as a mining town and now perfectly fits the image of “Old Mexico” ingrained in the American popular consciousness, as a detour from my travels in the rest of the nation. The Guanajuato International Film Festival, billed by its promoters as Mexicannes, had drawn me to the tranquil city. I had more than my own relaxation on my mind, though. I was a man on a mission: to find one of the celebrities visiting the festival, and somehow trap them into giving me an exclusive interview.

I had only been in the city for an hour, however, when my original plan fell apart. Lars Von Trier, the only target on my radar, simply wasn’t there. The Danish director often appears in the media for his outrageous public persona, most recently for identifying with Hitler during the promotion of his 2011 film Melancholia, a film chronicling the final days before the complete destruction of Earth as it collides with another planet.1 Von Trier’s absence removed my well-thought out angle for getting my big-name interview (by punching him in the face as hard as I can). While I have no doubt that I’d be immediately acquainted with the man’s knuckles2 , I can’t imagine my punch-drunk declaration of purpose wouldn’t have lead us to the most dangerous bar in the city for a no-holds-barred interview, probably ending when he passes out halfway through a rant about how anti-natalism doesn’t go far enough. That’s just the kind of guy Lars is.

I hurried off to the city center in desperation, browsing the largely unlabeled and incoherent English-language program, when I saw the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life. Park Chan-Wook, the critic-turned-director who has become the international champion of the Korean Wave, the most vibrant national cinema in the contemporary world, was at the festival, speaking before his films.3 I raced through the program to check the times, and that moment of pure delight quickly transformed into something that more-or-less proves Von Trier’s worldview. He had spoken before four of his films… On the day before I arrived at the festival. 18


e s e

h m y y y t

l t d …

I rushed into the lobby of what locals had described to me as the fanciest hotel in town, armed with an iPhone displaying the Google translation of “Have you seen a Korean man with long hair?”, accompanied by “I’m his assistant” and “Please, I will bribe you. What is the going rate for bribes here?” in the apps’ equivalent of speed-dial. For the next four hours I was met with confused stares, polite attempts to correct my pronunciation of “cohechar”, and the nagging suspicion that my new plan had met the same fate as the last. Desperate to salvage the trip, I decided I only had one option left; guess Park Chan-Wook’s choice in film and just hope to catch him in the crowd. It was a toss-up between the two late-night features; the first, a horror showing, screened in a graveyard famous for mummifying the bodies therein, and the second, an erotic film, quite appropriately playing at the Tunnel Theater. I settled on the former option, the prospect of staring intently at a crowd during a porn screening turning me off the possibility of a trip down the Tunnel. I arrived at the graveyard only to be greeted by a line stretching around the block. I took my place, ready to just accept the unthinkable and attend the festival like a normal schmoe. It was at this point that I met the two men who would be my companions for the rest of the night, Noé Lara Resondis and Simon Kolbert Madera. Dressed in leather jackets and sipping beers, our first conversation was born out of the natural solidarity felt by everyone whose first reaction to standing in a film queue is to chain-smoke to steady ourselves against two or more hours without nicotine. Both men were service engineers at a nearby Volkswagon plant, relaxing for the evening. The line began to move only to abruptly stop with only twenty people ahead of us. The announcement that the cemetery had reached its full was the final cherry of failure on the melted sundae of my plans. I shared the news of my failure to my similarly disappointed companions, lamenting my failure to deliver any real content for the Oregon Voice. “Wait, you’re a writer?” I looked at Simon, a German-Mexican raised in Europe whose fluency in English doomed him to serving as my translator for the night, and immediately realized the reason that hope seemed to creep into his words. After a quick conversation between my two companionsturned-conspirators, we rushed towards the gate, the pair charging ahead of me and speaking to the festival’s organizer. After a particularly heated exchange in Spanish, the organizer turned to me and began speaking in English. “I’m sorry, but we just turned away the family that owns the cemetery, it’s impossible for us to let you in.”

Already anticipating that the international press credibility of the Oregon Voice wouldn’t be enough to convince anyone to grant me restricted access, I told him that I understood. Looking at me in abject shock at my passive acceptance of the predicament, presumably versus a cavalcade of insults that seems to be the defining speech pattern of the American abroad, he almost seemed disappointed. With a sigh, he asked me what magazine I worked for. Now truly hopeless, I issued our fine publication’s name alongside my own. He typed it into the tablet, and the next thing I know me and my new crew were walking through the cemetery gate. The Wolfman, the classic 1941 Universal Pictures monster film, was projected against the cemetery walls, backlit by dozens of red stage lights strategically hidden in the ruins of catacombs. The film ended and we piled into Simon’s car, determined to catch our next film at the Tunnel Theater (I was then emboldened by my posse to bite the bullet and risk meeting someone’s eyes during a particularly passionate moan as I scanned the crowd for my highly esteemed Korean filmmaker). Guanajuato is criss-crossed with miles of tunnels, many large enough to fit several lanes of traffic. They harken back to the town’s origins as a mining community. It turns out that The Tunnel Theater was quite literally one such tunnel. After stopping for directions and pulling into a parking garage, we hurried to our target, the distinct echo of cinematic audio guiding us on the last leg of our rushed trip. Upon arriving, however, the erotic film clearly left something to be desired. The documentary on sex workers and human trafficking in Amsterdam, if it was intended to arouse, failed somewhat miserably. Rather than hover at the back of the packed theater watching a film that seemed built around the crushing of the human spirit, we decided to return to “La Diabla”, the bar that had given us directions to the Tunnel in the first place. “La Diabla” was something out of Disneyland by way of Hunter Thompson, a depressing caricature of any number of American sports bars mixed with something distinctly out-of-place. Framed baseball cards hung next to violas painted with the colors of the Mexican flag. Old men sat sleeping upright in front of empty glasses, and the music was a bizarre pastiche of Huey Lewis and mariachi favorites. It was here that my companions opened my eyes to a new world. Populated by revolutionaries and their villainous American impostors, by surrealist auteurs and Marxist agitators tapping into a different Mexico than the land explored by John Wayne and a mustachioed Marlon Brando, I entered the world of classic Mexican Cinema.O V “¡Viva Cinepata! doesn’t end here; visit the OV film blog for the transformation of Zapata into an American with a Mustache, the tigers of Santa Julia, dog fights, and class struggle.

[1] Unlike the existentialist overtures of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which similarly deals with the inevitability of mankind’s destruction, if not with man-made apocalypse than the heat death of the universe, Von Trier’s film posits nihilistic despair and apathy as the only reasonable way of coping with our collective doom. Melancholia followed up on 2009’s Antichrist, a film that entered the news cycle following the revelation that he had brought a “misogyny consultant” onto the project, which, boiled down to its thematic core, ultimately concludes that nihilism’s problem is that it doesn’t go far enough; the universe does have a purpose, and that purpose is to torture mankind for reasons we can scarcely conceive. [2] Tattooed with the word “FUCK”. [3] Park is most famous in the United States for Oldboy, the second film in a thematically-linked trilogy that started with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, one of my personal favorite films of all-time, and concluded with the also-stunning Lady Vengeance. The trilogy mixes extreme violence, as stylized as it is brutal, with darkly humorous wit, bringing some of the most adventurous aesthetics in modern film-making into complex commentaries on capitalist modernity, the trauma of the decades-long military dictatorship in South Korea, and the darkest expressions of sexual desire, to only scratch the surface (really, the surface of the surface) of his films. tearing space-time since 1989

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TOGETHER IN

DEATH

WHEN THE GHANAIAN PRESIDENT DIED THIS SUMMER, THE NORMAL DIVISIVE POLITICAL SCENE TOOK A BACK SEAT TO GIANT PARTIES. words and photos SCHUYLER DURHAM “Obroni!” croak a dozen musicians advancing toward me. Their voices, worn from hours of call and response chanting, barely reach out from behind the wall of sound created in the park. I somehow manage to hear them and step aside. The musicians’ voices meld with the dozens of choruses echoing across the park. Their bodies weave through the crowd’s massive flow of red and black, carving out a new path for foot traffic. Drums are beat high in the air and flutes arch to the sky. Their instruments dance and swim like fish through a swaying sea of red and black. In the center of the gathering, military men fire customary rounds into the clouds above. A state-sponsored drum line uses microphones to battle the dozens of bands circling the festivities. As an American, this party seemed like an odd response to a national tragedy. Less than a week after my arrival in Ghana this summer, Ghana’s President John Atta Fifi Mills died. When I showed up in the newsroom of the Ghanaian Public Agenda newspaper, (shout out to Leslie Steeves and the J-school for this dope opportunity) Mills’ death was the only thing on anyone’s mind. I jumped at the opportunity to cover the celebration marking a week after the passing of the president. The general culture shock of travel meshed with a complete unawareness of how to handle such a culturally sensitive issue. I wondered what kinds of condolences I could offer to strangers on the street. I worried about coming off as an ignorant tourist. Quickly, I learned that there is no wrong way to mourn in Ghana. Dance any way that seems right, laugh as loud as your voice desires, and drum as loud as your hands can handle. Funerals are one of the few events Ghanaians will strenuously plan out. A death in the family means that a party has to be thrown, big enough to host all of the deceased’s loved ones and anybody chilling in the general vicinity. Flyers and signs 20


N

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NT AL OK S.

eir ely k. I

es he th ch gh g, A he

a na

blic ol ng he nt.

te ue. ers st.

in ur

sly be es ns

posted at street corners point to nearby houses, inviting passing foot traffic to join in “remembering” the deceased. Funeral attendees show their respects with festivities and dances that last until the sun rises. Dancers shake and laugh and turn circles, the movements like a cross between a hawaiian and an interpretive dance. To the western mind, a better term for “a Ghanaian funeral” is “a celebration of life.” A loss is not being mourned – a great person is being remembered. President Mills was the first in Ghana to die in office. To make the situation even stickier, he died in the middle of an election year. Andrew Ampofo, a local Ghanaian I met when I was out reporting, told me that the immediate focus was not on the sadness, the tragedy, or the politics. “The celebration has to be bigger than anything before,” he said. And that is just what happened on Tuesday, July 31. Thousands of Ghanaians left their usual work week obligations to participate in the “Week of Mourning Celebration.” Though I attended the party as a journalist, I couldn’t help but be infected with the energy swimming in the park. Though the crowd was varied in background, everyone was equal at the celebration. Politicians put aside fine suits in order to sport red and black t-shirts alongside common workers. Social activists gave leaflets a rest and tied red cloth around their wrists and necks. And everyone danced. Bands wound through, each setting a new tempo, a new chorus, a new set of dance moves. The drums beat steady, layered rhythms that made it impossible to stand still. Hundreds of singing voices reverberated through the area, and a few wooden flutes occasionally squeaked over the growl of the drums. They punctuated the air with high pitched, syncopated squeals of energy. It sounded like the student section of a football game left Autzen to go join drum circles at the Saturday Market. Old women sat around the outsides of crowds, grabbed at my hand and complimented my funeral attire.

carpeted room. Red rope forced visitors into a single line through the room – the public was invited to visit the body for a brief viewing – and the line of mourning citizens stretched and wound its way for blocks. The state television station aired continuous live feed of the mourners filing past the body. Citizens came from all around to cry or stand stoically beside their president for a final time. In the days before Mills’ death, political debates saturated nearly all casual conversation. The bartender would go on an endless NDC rant (NDC is one of the major political parties), just like the taxi driver would fill you in on his take on things as he drove you home. But after Mills died, political rhetoric softened, and those not wearing red and black, the Ghanaian colors of mourning, were watched with a wary eye. In a taxi coming home from the beach, the driver told me, “Here in Ghana we love democracy. We argue and fight, but when the election is done there is a winner, and we stand behind him. Mills has died and he was our leader, so everyone is sad.” When I was interviewing Ampofo at the Week of Mourning Celebration, reveling in the togetherness at the giant party, a middleaged man named Nicholas Rocky grabbed my hand for attention. He told me he wished the peace would continue even as the country nears elections in December. “People need to see that the next election is not a fight,” Rocky pleaded. “We need to give the one who wins the chance to peacefully rule.” As I listened to Rocky urge Ghanaians towards peace, I thought of politics back home and the election season we’re currently engulfed in. It seems to me that Ghanaian and American democracies are hung up on the same issues. Political seasons cultivate a political dialogue that divides the country

and lingers past Election Day. Party members demonize opponents as liars and failures. As the reality of the death sunk underneath public consciousness and funeral events became a memory, the harsh political environment began to resurface. I witnessed two co-workers battle over whether Mills’ legacy was overstated due to the tragic nature of his death. Their shouts filled the newsroom, and everyone shut their laptops, turning away from work to watch the battle. The conversation began reasonably, but soon devolved into epic, questionable yet passionate claims of corruption within the opposite party. I thought about how odd it would have been to witness the same scene during the height of the funeral festivities. I remembered the time spent in the newsroom gathered around the TV. I remembered the days spent shirking work to discuss the concept of a larger family that includes all Ghanaians, and how earnestly my co-workers wished to share their sense of togetherness with me. I remembered the peace that dominated political conversation during those first few weeks and I wondered what would have to happen for that to be the case again. Death can’t be the only thing that unites people. Ghanaian funerals bring entire communities together. Extended family, friends, and neighbors travel from all around to join in honoring lost loved ones. But unlike the average family reunion, any attendee at these gatherings is sure to go home with sore legs and a smile. The death of John Atta Fifi Mills was the ultimate example of this, and I have the sore legs to prove it. Within Ghanaian funerals is the heart of the Ghanaian spirit – making the absolute most out of all life offers you. Death isn’t something worth getting sad about, but a great life is worth celebrating forever. O V

The Week of Mourning Celebration was only the beginning. For a week and a half after that, Ghana was in an “official” state of mourning. All government workers added a strip of black to their uniforms. Red and black became the standard attire, and the colors punctuated every street and doorway. Hawkers in the street held up presidential paraphernalia, and Mills’ still face stared serenely at his people in this life from every TV screen and street pole. The week eventually culminated in a threeday burial and funeral. At the funeral, the body of the late president was displayed in a coffin in the middle of a red tearing space-time since 1989

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Imagined

limitations

An industrial vent spins hot air out of a warehouse. Lying in an alley, Thomas looks up at the building. He puffs a cigarette wet with sweat from his fingers and watches the vent fan span.

He ponders existing in 1913, living in a small white lighthouse that shines as the only human structure along an expanse of 2,000-foot cliffs. He would sit and think through the dark night, next to the spinning light, until dawn breaks on the sepia coast. The California bluffs supporting the lighthouse would be dry and isolated. His companions would be the moon and hundreds of black swifts that flock the sky at dawn. As the massive light spins he thinks about the many places in the revolving world he could exist.

Tom could live in Ireland, perhaps in the lavish Ashford Castle. He would wander the grounds through unending hedge mazes that led to still pools, rose-covered archways, falconries, and fountains. Too lost to keep walking, he sits by the fountain, listens to the water percolate, and imagines. The vent fan spins.

He could exist at the birth of the 1800’s and travel the unending North American plains in pursuit of Bison with his fellow Oglala. He would see through a window of existence that knows humans came from the Earth, soon to be invaded by people who believe Earth’s purpose is to be dominated by man. Time would not be mechanized. He sits atop a mountain and asks thunder-beings about South America.

“One needs no specific place to exist other than their feeble frame.” Says his friend who sits in the same hot alley, plucking a guitar and hanging his legs out of a picture frame. Tom considers this while watching the vent fan spin.    The tropical town of Macondo exists the most wondrously. Abundant with Labyrinths containing forking paths, parrots killing doctors, and perpetually blooming yellow flowers. He sits on the skeleton of a landlocked galleon and watches butterflies swarm in the humid air, while thinking about infinite concrete.

He could keep sitting amongst the pavement and empty cars of Oakland. The tobacco and heat placate his roving mind. His imagination pauses and Tom is forced to be present. He finds contentment only in the imminent alley. He listens to his friend pluck wobbly gypsy jazz.

...and the vent fan spins. August 28th, 2012. Oakland, California.

photograph & words Benjamin McPherson Ficklin

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WHAT THE FUCK

IS PRIVATE EQUITY? words JOSEPH DE SOSA

$ $$

With Mitt Romney’s time heading the private equity firm Bain Capital a hot topic of debate, we at the Oregon Voice decided to figure out what a private equity firm is and what the fuck it is that they do.

A private equity firm is a financial firm that pools large sums of money together to be used for investing in companies. For the most part, private equity firms engage in two types of investments, venture capital investments and leveraged buyouts (LBOs).

Venture capital investments can best be described using the analogy of parents’ investments in their children’s lemonade stands. Assuming your parents do not work on Wall Street (I.e. that your parents love you), you probably ran a lemonade stand, or at least hung out with the neighborhood kids whose parents helped them start one up. Your/their parents provided the capital (lemons, the pitcher, the table, paper for the sign, etc.) so that you could make and sell your lemonade. Once you had made the lemonade, you sat there while adults came and bought your (presumably crappy) lemonade at 50-75 cents a Dixie cup. You got to keep the money while your parents (unless you’re a spoiled Wall Street brat) made you wash everything up. They provided capital to start your business, and you returned

the favor by washing the dishes and maybe giving them a half-filled Dixie cup or two. In banking, washing the dishes is normally replaced with “Give me a huge percentage of what you made”. But still, this seems pretty chill right? Like something investment firms should be doing. And this is what Bain Capital did. At first. But, by the late 80’s they were (almost) exclusively on the LBO tip. Now, let’s say that your (presumably crappy) lemonade became so popular around the neighborhood that you open up a permanent stand. You hire some of the neighborhood kids, start getting a nice cash flow, and start selling shares on the stock market. Cue the aforementioned rich kid (let’s call him ‘Richie’) with unloving parents. Since Richie’s parents showered him with dollar bills instead of kisses and hugs, the only friend he has is his money. And every little kid wants more friends. So he goes to his parents (or a bank) and takes on massive debt to buy the lemonade stand, using the stand as the collateral to get the loan in the first place. In the process, the company goes from a publicly traded

company (i.e. anyone could buy stocks) to a privately owned company. The goal of any LBO, like Richie’s, is to increase the market value of the company as quickly as possible by lowering costs and raising profits to then resell the company on the public market for a massive profit. Richie does this by firing the highly skilled higherpaid neighborhood kids, lowering wages, selling off lemon squeezers, selling the corporate jets, buying cheap frozen lemonade-concentrate, raising the price per Dixie cup, and generally streamlining the company to be a shortterm profit machine. Which is great for the shareholders and Richie, who get to take the company public. Unfortunately for the average worker, who doesn’t own stock or have access to billions of dollars in credit, gutting a company’s infrastructure isn’t so great. It kills the long-term sustainability of the company providing the money for families’ food, healthcare, and housing. But then again, who even drinks lemonade these days?

tearing space-time since 1989

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Humanimalism words MARY-KATE MORONEY art JACK WASHER

I am human. Yet somehow, as I breeze down 13th Street at solar noon, I find myself more on par with the squirrels, birds, and trees that typically go unnoticed by calloused generations that plague the name of my race. I am an animal; a modern day Tarzan, if the humanimal is too radical an idea to accept. I live, breathe, work, play, eat, and understand through and for the Earth that birthed me. For this reason, I am a “freak of nature.” Society is a jester in that way. The UO campus in the fall is truly a sight to behold – giant sequoias, pines, and cedars sing fragrance into the air, while old maples and oaks spit stories spiraling towards the concrete in the shape of chloro-filled leaves. Squirrels and other small weasels scurry about collecting food for the winter, establishing a dining space within the walnut graveyard at the base of a tree. The soil celebrates sloppily as the life-bringing northwest rains rage on. The human beings jog in a glass box on an endless sheet of rubber, going nowhere. Ahh, but the progress we’re making! I often wonder about chihuahuas; If these small rodent-like animals are dogs, that makes the chihuahua an evolutionary descendant of the wolf. I ask you, what is left of Old Man Wolf in this weak and brainless rat-dog? Domestication is one thing, but the chihuahua has experienced extreme genetic, intellectual, and environmental modification, making it virtually unrecognizable from its canidae ancestors. The human being has devolved in a similar way to the wolf, every new generation more out of touch than the next; not brainless, but programmed. Programmed to think, act, dress, and behave in a certain way within a certain setting; programmed to believe that progress is a result of building up – away from our primal instincts. It is now 1pm, and I’m not feeling any better about my silent banishment. I am standing on all fours; perched and prowling on the sidelines of the human-chihuahua parade, and I’m not exactly cheering, and you’re not exactly tossing the candy that I like. Hundreds of academics and “elite intellectuals” make up the procession, and to one of my peers I pose the simple question: Which way is the wind blowing today? He laughs, glues his eyes back to Our iPhone, Who Art In Heaven, and walks on down the bustling road. I wonder if he Googled it. Everywhere I go I am struck by how similar humans are to one another, in all important respects. There are only superficial differences, but these things can be so impressive that we pay too much attention to them, and end up treating each other as if we are from different species. It’s as if we are in a car moving 100mph at a brick wall and everyone is fighting about where they want to sit. Wake up! We are in this together. Let us tear down the walls of the Knight Library and pull the headphones out of every man, woman, and child with glazed-over eyes and type II diabetes! We are not the animals we were born as, dumb and dried out by the machines we’ve created. When these machines, these robots, finally run out of juice, what will you have to teach; what skills will you have to offer? In a society so structured around mass impulses, what is there to minister to the silent zones of man as an individual?* After an absence of over half a century, the wolves have slowly returned to the northwest in small packs, with sharp teeth and a vengeance. They are back to claim the land that they love, and It’s only a matter of time before I join them. Run with the wolves, all you people! You are human. You are an animal. *Tom Robbins asked it first. 24


R O S S E F O R P

Z™ D R A K G TRADIN

In 50 years, these will be worth more than you can imagine. Cut out the Kard z™, slip ‘em in pr and sell them fo otective sleeves r millions when , your college de gree fails you!

OREGON VOICE

OREGON VOICE

Michel Waller anthropology

Suzi Steffen journalism

Adapted Kids Fiction

words THOMAS EDMONDS art SAUMON GHAEMI

*Thomas is a campus recycling employee. Though his job entails reaching into the depths of your banana-peel, ketchup-soaked rot, sometimes he comes across real treasures. What follows is an excerpt from an abandoned work of fiction Thomas saved from a potentially catastrophic end. One evening A Hamster left for Mars. He was quite humble but not very courageous though many people mistook him for being so. He was curt in his speech not because he didn’t enjoy conversation, but because he was one of those “time is money” types. He had idealized sacrifice since childhood, Joan of arc, Christ, and the rest of the lot. He would often dream of giving up the thing most precious to him for something greater than himself, sadly he really had nothing precious to give. So when the higher ups decided they needed a lowly fall man to rise to the occasion, he was the first in line. There were celebrations and speeches and handshakes and brunches and though it was all very trite and superficial he couldn’t help but believe that he was doing something worthy of praise. The money soon began to dwindle and the flood of praise became a mere trickle of a “good on ya” every now and then, still he persisted. Once alone in the cockpit he quickly began to realize his infatuation with glory and respect would be quite meaningless in the infinite vastness of space. He gave them up rather quickly. “Who are all those people anyway? Always trying to block my shine? Always with their petty small talk about the rise and fall of the price of butter. Earth is so corny and everybody there is way way too corny bruh. Might as well dip before they try to make me as lame as they are”. It was these thoughts that occupied the hamster while he blasted off, not in his stupid hamster brain but in his stupid hamster belly. Once he snapped through Earth’s atmosphere he unbuckled his frustratingly designed rocket seat belt and began to float. He hovered toward the window to take one final look at his birthplace, “Naw fuck that planet full of haters, and may all of their wildest dreams come true”. With that he decided to return to his seat and let the spaceship hover silently towards Mars. tearing space-time since 1989

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MICHEL WALLER

DEPARTMENT: Journalism

DEPARTMENT: Anthropology

WHAT TURNS YOU ON? Intelligence combined with emotional openness and a passion for social justice.

WHAT TURNS YOU ON? Behavioral ecology

IF THERE WAS UNLIMITED FUNDING FOR YOUR CLASSES, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? We would spend out time in cities all over the world and write brilliantly about all of it. CHILDHOOD DREAM JOB? A vet for a while. Then I thought about cutting up doggies and kitties, and it was back to writer for good. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE? We live forever as molecules on this planet or in space.

IF THERE WAS UNLIMITED FUNDING FOR YOUR CLASSES, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? I’d love to take students to the Congo to study Bonobos. CHILDHOOD DREAM JOB? Professional hockey player. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE? We go back to the place we were before we were born. LEAST FAVORITE HABIT OF STUDENTS? Not taking advantage of the opportunities here at UO.

OV

EA ERH

LEAST FAVORITE HABIT OF STUDENTS? Anytime students exhibit a distinct lack of intellectual curiosity.

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SUZI STEFFEN

RDS: Our crotches have

Z™ D R A K NG I D A R T OR S S E F O PR

Coal trains

NO RESPECT RESPECT NO

Haters.

Agate Hall’s gross insane aslyum bathrooms.

The EU is really peaceful or something Teenage Turtles.

E C RREE SS PP E C Mutant Turtles. Coffee is more expensive now than 37 seconds ago.

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J.K. Rowling writes The Casual Vacancy and Harry Potter isn’t in it.

Univertsy of Oregon bans smoking to look good and accomplish little.

The Ducks play football.

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JOSH LARSEN MAKES COMICS!

BeyoncĂŠ is performing at the superbowl!!

Mutant Ninjas.

Pussy Riot!

Haters.

MAD MADRESPECT RESPECT

C C TT RR UUMM 7 billion human beings exist.

The Bijou plans to open a four thearte cimaplex downtown.

Voting!

Pakistani Teenage Mutant girl Malala Ninja Turtles. wants to go to school

tearing space-time since 1989

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art/words ARIEL WILLS

THAT CAMPUS HOTTIE SOUP: Chicken Noodle IS THERE A GOD: Yes FRIENDS CHARACTER: Rachel(Jennifer Aniston) MUSIC: Hip Hop/Country, tracks mostly HERO: Tyra Banks FULL NAME: Andrea Elizabeth Bauer AGE: 19 years old HOME TOWN: Portland, Oregon MAJOR: Public Relations FAVORITE BOOK: Anatomy of a Boyfriend FAVORITE CEREAL: Special K TURN OFFS: Over sensitive, no manners, talk too much TURN ONS: Muscular, hats, tall, good style, preferably plays a sport, attractive WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D MOST LIKE TO CHANGE ABOUT THE WORLD: 1. End war 2. Legalize weed

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Andrea Bauer has a brooding intensity about her. Though only in her second year of school I couldn’t help but compare her contemplative presence to that of a young Maya Angelou or Judy Garland. An enterprising young woman, she hopes to one day procure a career that would allow her to maintain her creative sense of self expression. During the interview she would often speak in a simple prose style that would make conversations have an undeniable sense of weightlessness. Unlike most women who possess a trademark classical style of beauty, Andrea has a genuine humanity that gives her character a depth of understanding that is rare to come by. Ultimately Andrea is a modern day embodiment of the old world charm and elegance that continues to inspire hotties to reach for the unattainable.

words THOMAS EDMONDS


REVIEWS TACO BELL BREAKFAST words THOMAS EDMONDS Because meals two through four weren’t enough, Taco Bell has continued to spread its dominance in order to control the most sacred of all meals: breakfast. Typically, a breakfast consists of one poached egg, a banana, and some cereal that is either based off a popular candy or cookie. Taco Bell had none of these things, and why would they? They’re the largest chain of “Mexican inspired” fast food in North America.

The best thing on the menu is A.M. Mountain Dew. Get this shit – it’s half Mountain Dew and half orange and it is some seriously some fucked up business. You know how when you put oil into water and the liquids stay separate? Turns out orange juice and Mountain Dew do the same thing. All in all, the breakfast made me feel hungover, though I didn’t drink the night before. It also made the roof of my mouth burn, which is kind of neat. I think it cost around seven bucks, which is pretty steep for taco bell. So yeah, I guess they’re blowin’ it. Rating : Two beautiful vomits out of three 40oz.

So no, you won’t be getting any bagels, or scones, or muffins, because they don’t serve pastries. What do they serve? From my experience, Taco Bell’s breakfast cuisine uses a simple formula. They take popular items from the lunch and dinner menu and make them more breakfast-y. I ordered something that looks like a crunchwrap supreme. If you’re one of those normal people who eat only real food from the ground and stuff, let me say that it’s essentially a soft taco disk with a crunchy taco in the middle and a bunch of other taco belly shit. But now, instead of having nasty tomato and paper lettuce it had nasty egg, bacon bits, and something that slightly resembled a hash brown. It tasted like pure science! The egg was an egg color, but it tasted like dehydrated egg powder that had been mixed with too much water. It was also in the shape of a rectangle. The bacon tasted as if had been inspired by real bacon, kind of like a gourmet beggin strip. I also ordered a skillet burrito. I asked the cashier if they actually used a skillet and she said they didn’t, so it’s more of a burrito inspired by the idea of a skillet. It had essentially the same contents as the crunchwrap, except it had trademark nasty tomatoes in one half of the burrito.

POETIC VISIONS words KATEY FINLEY If you’ve ever experienced a vision, distressed over the problem of evil in the world, or yearned to confront language in a tactile way, artist Lesley Dill knows how you feel. Weaving together text with photography, sculpture, performance, drawings, and prints, Dill’s art grapples with words, which she considers “warm, intimate things.” It was the artist’s shyness during childhood that fueled her interest in combining text with visual art. In her artist’s lecture preceding the exhibit opening, Dill recalled that she used to fantasize about wearing a dress with words printed on it so that the outfit could speak on her behalf. This fantasy has manifested itself many times over in the artist’s work, to brilliant effect, in her installation “Sister Gertrude Morgan,” which makes up half of the exhibit “Poetic Visions,” on display now in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. “Morgan” features two mannequins, one wears black religious robes emblazoned with the word “Hell” in white, fiery red, and orange. The other wears a white wedding veil and gown, embellished with words like “Glory” and “Jesus” in large, brightly colored letters. White fabric trains adorned with text fan out from the dress and climb up the walls, enveloping the viewer in the strange and wonderful vision. The installation is inspired by the legendary Sister Gertrude Morgan, who left her family for the order after experiencing a vision that she was meant to be “a bride of Christ.” Dill was drawn to the character because she too experienced a vision in her youth wherein she became “all eye,” with no physical body. She floated above the earth

and saw both the beauty of the world but also the horrible magnitude of evil and suffering in it. Throughout the vision, Dill claimed she felt as though she were “bathed in ecstasy.” Echoes of Dill’s vision surface again and again in the “Sister Gertrude Morgan” installation, with images of eyes recurring again and again – on the dresses, in the accompanying illustrated tapestries that cover the walls of the room, and hovering on the walls above and around the tapestries. It is Dill’s treatment of text in this installation that makes it so memorable and unique. In an eye-catching jumble of fonts, giant letters adorn the walls spelling out words both pleasing (“ecstasy” is a recurring motif ) and troubling (“Hell,” “evil,” “pestilence”). In addition to the large-scale installation, a second gallery displays additional striking work, including the not-to-be-missed sculpture “Shimmer.” Taking up nearly the entire length of the gallery wall, “Shimmer” is described by the artist as “a waterfall of wire.” It is constructed out of dozens of different types of wire in a variety of colors, grouped and hung in an arrangement that is reminiscent of both a waterfall and locks of curling hair—a metallic, anthropomorphic visual feast. One of the most arresting and breathtaking exhibits to grace the JSMA in some time, Lesley Dill’s “Poetic Visions” is on view now through December 9th. Rating : Ten floating eyes out of evil pestilence. tearing space-time since 1989

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REVIEWS same, especially if you are a first-timer to the big leagues of sushi. It’s a way for your palate to explore what’s fresh and on Taro’s “favorites list” for the evening. The chef, who refers to himself as “Sushi Monkey,” fills the plate with an arrangement of nigiri, a delicately cut piece of raw fish atop a perfectly packed little brick of Japanese sushi rice. It is a masterpiece of flavor, art, and taste. It was my friend’s first time having real sushi, so I asked Taro to give us a bit of a sampler. It started with a deep maroon slice of bigeye tuna, and a salmon slab topped with flying fish eggs, thinly sliced lemon, and green onion. Next up, albacore belly. Need I say more? Its buttery softness was complemented by the following piece of flattened shrimp, sweet and firm, which tasted lovely with a dab of wasabi and a dip of soy sauce. The row was finished with a piece of lightly smoked yellowtail jack topped with finely cut onion and crossed with a ginger X. The presentation and quality is unmatched, and I can confidently say that this is the best sushi in the area. The crème de la crème of our order was a special little piece that Taro calls the doughnut, a rice ball looped in big eye tuna topped with a slice of avocado and sweetly basted freshwater eel.

MAME words and photo ANNA FAY

Disclaimer : Do not order a california roll.

There is a little restaurant called Mame’s in the Whiteaker across the street from PRI. You won’t see a flashy neon sign, just a few lonely picnic tables and a window sign that reads “Yes, We’re Open.” Walking in through the green door, my friend and I were immediately greeted by Rose. With a friendly smile she says, “Welcome back,” and seats us at the bar. The small room seats about fifteen, and the atmosphere gives a similar feeling to visiting a dear friend for a treasured meal. Taro, the sushi chef, wipes a knife clean behind the tall counter with an inch-thick slab of stone sitting on top. He asks the people at the table behind us how they have been and what they thought of their sushi. You can hardly tell the difference between a regular customer and a lifelong friend. Rose drops us off a starter of spicy bean sprouts. Taro asks what we’d be having. “The $20 chef’s special,” we agreed. I highly suggest doing the

When we had finished our meal, Rose invited my guest to try the house dessert: a red bean cheesecake with a snickerdoodle crust, and drizzled with your choice of rose-chocolate syrup or caramel. I suggested she get it “Homer Simpson style,” meaning dipped in tempura batter and deepfried. I can best describe the taste as flying off of a mountaintop on skis at full speed. It is the Holy Grail of desserts, a heart attack on a plate, and something that would make even the most pretentious vegan crave a bite. Or two. Overall, Mame’s is a blast. The ambiance of the hardworking yet upbeat three-person team is both ethereal and personal. They make you feel welcome and encourage visitors to open up to new sights, smells, and flavors. It is a laid back yet classy establishment. It’s always fresh and local, and is a great place to teach newbies what real fish should taste like. I give five stars to Mame’s; it’s a little place with a lot of heart. Where the Pacific Northwest meets fine dining without breaking the bank. Rating : Thirteen freshwater eels out of a tuna can.

THE BROKEN ORCHESTRA SHIBUI words CONNOR MARTIN

The Broken Orchestra is made up of UK-based producers Pat Dooner and Carl Conway-Davis. On their debut album, “Shibui”, the duo attempt to synthesize the tried and true chill-out R&B popular in the late ‘90s and early 2000’s. The second and third tracks on “Shibui” stand out over the rest of the songs on the album. “Over & Over” employs a pleasing mixture of down tempo grooves with intricately layered vocals, subtle horns, and finely constructed harmonies. The bare compositions and sultry vocals make The Broken Orchestra appealing to all sorts of listeners. Unfortunately, after the first few songs on “Shibui”, a smattering of production mishaps are presented, asking too much of the listener by producing basic errors, track after track. The most apparent mistake being the revolving door of vocalists. Instead of letting the listener get comfortable with a new vocalist, The Broken Orchestra switches artists on every song-- dashing any hope of emotional investment and making “Shibui” sound closer to one of your friend’s mixtapes than a debut LP. From the beginning, Dooner and Davis seem hooked on a recording of piano or guitar played backwards. In small doses, a quiet sample of some reversed piano or guitar can provide a light nudge and give a song motion. Their problem is that they use this sample at the beginning of nearly every song on the album. Similarly, Dooner and Davis seem to bounce every percussion take straight from recording to the finished mix, rendering the album uncomfortably sharp. Thrown into a casual listening mix, the second and third tracks will perform. That simple fact should give listeners some hope for the future. But the rest of the album simply won’t hold up. So for now, keep those songs in your mix, forgive the rest of the album, and wait for the next release. 30

Rating : Wet butt out of wet burrito.


tearing space-time since 1989

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you’re officially high!

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O V

The FIRST Issue  
The FIRST Issue  

Oregon Voice Magazine Fall 2012

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