Volume 11, Issue 15 | Feb 15 - Feb. 21, 2017
FEATURES | 3
PHOTO STORY | 5
S&T | 7
OPINIONS | 8
Exploring Feminism at Vagina Monologues and Herstories 2017
Image Courtesy of Alex Gonzalez A. The organizers of Vagina Monologues and Herstories take a final bow at Campbell Hall. B. Improvability comedian Brooke Mackenzie performs “The Flood” from the Vagina Monologues. C. “Not One or the Other,” a Herstory by artist and activist Rose Houska, tackles the gender binary. Jeremy Levine COPY EDITOR
“We were worried about vaginas,” three actresses from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Vagina Monologues and Herstories 2017 cast intoned at the audience for the last line of the show’s opening skit. Thus kicked off a weekend of shows put on by The Women’s Ensemble Theater Troupe at UCSB highlighting female empowerment, solidarity, and artistic vision to fundraise for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. Originally composed from interviews author Eve Ensler had with over 200 women when published in 1996, the Vagina Monologues have become an international event performed across universities. Directed by fourth year black and feminist studies double major Bridget Kyeremateng (Vagina Monologues) and third year theater and religious studies double major Rachel Gregory (Herstories), UCSB’s Women’s Ensemble Theater Troupe
performed the oft-repeated monologues with fresh, powerful delivery, full-body acting, and liberty with the script. Mixed among the original monologues throughout the show were the Herstories skits, which became a part of UCSB’s annual Vagina Monologues performance under the name Vulvaventures four years ago. Herstories allowed the diverse cast of the show to discuss a range of personal topics that UCSB’s Women’s Ensemble Theater Troupe felt were unrepresented in the original monologues, such as suicide, drug addiction, BDSM, race, and immigration. “We’re not trying to include everybody all at once and tell every story in the history of women, but we’re taking a few stories each year and saying ‘this is what our experience as college women is right now, this is who we are’—and that can vary very widely,” graduated theater major and performer Alessandra Albanese told The Bottom Line in a phone interview.
UCSB’s Women’s Ensemble Theater Troupe creatively embraced the vagina theme of the event. Vaginas literally took center stage when vagina-costumed volunteers went onstage to advertise the vagina-frosted cookies, chocolate “pussy-pops,” vagitarian shirts, and vagina stickers for sale. Over 1,800 students, faculty, and community members attended and enthusiastically bought goodies, helping to raise over $20,000 for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, double what they made last year. Kyeremateng delivered one of the funnier monologues, “The Woman Who Loved Making Vaginas Happy,” about a high-powered lawyer turned woman-on-woman only sex worker. She truly made the act her own, describing discovering “how deeply excited I got when other women moaned, when I was responsible for other women moaning” before getting down on the stage to exhibit moans and the sex positions that elicit them such as the doggy moan, the diva moan, and the
college moan (“I should be studying, I should be studying”). Such laugh-out-loud acts threw tragic and shocking ones like the Bosnian refugee/rape victim-inspired “My Vagina Was My Village,” into sharp relief. Third year theater major Katherine Alverado and fourth year sociology major Monique Plummer starkly contrasted the woman’s perception of her sexuality before and after being raped. Lines spoken with an upbeat lilt like “My vagina singing all girl songs, all goat bells ringing songs, all wild autumn field songs, vagina songs, vagina home songs” emphasized the monotone delivery from the other actress of the following line, “Not since the soldiers put a long thick rifle inside me. So cold, the steel rod canceling my heart.” Fourth year film and media studies and psychology double major Leah Bleich performed the heart-wrenching but redemptive “The Little Coochie Snorcher that Could,” an individual woman’s story about being raped as a child and finding love with an older
woman as a teenager. Using an adorable Southern accent, Bleich detailed the character’s childhood of suppressing her sexuality until she had a sexual experience with an older woman. “[It] was my surprising, unexpected and politically incorrect salvation,” Bleich said. “She transformed my sorry-ass Coochi Snorcher and raised it into a kind of heaven.” Third year art and black studies double major Rose Houska reminded the audience that feminism encompasses more than cisgendered women in her story “Not One or the Other.” After losing her ovaries to a cyst, she told the audience “I wonder if my body got rid of my ovaries because it doesn’t give two fucks about the gender binary.” Kyeremateng returned to perform the final Herstory, “Who is Bridget.” She relived the experience of coming “to America and [having] to realize I was black,” struggling with racial identity. Along with several other performers, she called out “our hot Cheeto-ass
president” for threatening the feminist movement, to applause and laughter from the audience. The deeply introspective life story served as a fitting finale for Kyeremateng, who performed in four Vagina Monologues over her career at UCSB. Albanese, who has also been involved in the Vagina Monologues for the past four years, delivered her own story, “Freak Out.” WHen talking about BDSM, Albanese rhetorically asked herself, “how can you, you, you feminist, how can you ask for violence and condemn it in the same breath?” She answered “this is the life I choose.” Fundamentally, the Vagina Monologues and Herstories showcased to the UCSB community that women should be able to live the life they choose, whatever that means to them. “The Vagina Monologues is — pun intended — an opening into feminism and to womanhood in all its actual reality and truth,” Albanese said, ”instead of what we might happen to be taught.”
Race for California Governor Heats Up
Images Courtesy of Wikimedia Chelsea Viola NATIONAL BEAT REPORTER Potential gubernatorial candidates are setting the stage in preparation for the election next November. There are currently 11 possible candidates eyeing a spot on the ballot, but only six have confirmed their running. The leading candidate on Democratic ticket is Gavin Newsom, currently serving his second term as California’s lieutenant governor. Newsom has been campaigning to be governor election
since February 2015. He ran in 2010 but dropped out of the race after the entry of Jerry Brown, who currently serves as Governor. Newsom served as mayor of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011. During his time as mayor he launched the country’s first universal health care initiative and ordered the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As lieutenant governor, Newsom has championed tougher state gun laws and the legalization of recreational marijuana, both of which passed in statewide
initiatives in the 2016 general election. Newsom is not the only blue candidate gearing up for the governor’s race, Democratic rivals John Chiang, Antonio Villaraigosa, and Delaine Eastin are all well-established contenders who should not be underestimated. State Treasurer Chiang announced his bid for governor in May of 2016. Before being elected to treasurer, Chiang served two terms as state controller. As state controller, Chiang refused an order from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to furlough state em-
ployees three days a month during the state budget crisis. Although his actions were overruled in court, Chiang was championed a hero to labor unions. Two years later, Chiang withheld state legislators’ pay because they did not produce a balanced spending plan by the June 15 deadline. Chiang’s maverick tendencies have brought him notoriety in the media and mixed signals from supporters. Last Tuesday, Chiang received the endorsement of California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, one of Cali-
fornia’s most influential politicians. “As your next Governor, I have a blueprint for expanding and renewing the California dream through fixing our crumbling infrastructure, making retirement security our generation’s call to arms, and rebuilding California’s middle class through better jobs and improved educational opportunities,” Chiang said in a statement. UCLA alumnus Antonio Villaraigosa served as Speaker of the State Assembly from 1998 to 2000 and as mayor of Los Angeles from 2005 to 2013. Vil-
laraigosa was elected as L.A.’s first Latino mayor since 1872. As Mayor of L.A., successfully campaigned for Measure R, a $35 billion transportation initiative passed in 2008. This measure implemented a half-cent sales tax countywide and aided the county’s infamously inefficient public transit system.
See Governor, Page 2
2 | NEWS
TBL | Feb. 15 - Feb. 21, 2017
Students Propose Slashing A.S. Fees
CAMPUS UCPD reported that a UCSB student passed away on campus on Sunday in what appears to be a suicide. Police responded to a call at Santa Cruz Residence Hall in the afternoon and at approximately 8:30 p.m. confirmed that the student had passed away. On Monday, police identified the student as 20-year-old Weiwei Liu, a Chinese international student. No further details have been released as of press time. UCPD and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office are currently conducting an investigation regarding the death. The Isla Vista Party is the newest student political party at UCSB, born from the idea that Associated Students has become an “extracurricular” organization working alongside the university, according to party chair Nawar Nemeh, a former A.S. oncampus senator and third year history of public policy major. “We’d like to refocus A.S.’s work on the issues that the students care the most about, [including] tuition, housing, food security,” Nemeh said. He stated that the party’s name came about from the idea of connecting Isla Vista to campus. The party aims to ensure that A.S. and the new Community Services District keep Isla Vista residents in mind in the upcoming years. ISLA VISTA Santa Barbara Judge Donna Geck ruled on Friday against the owners of the Capri Apartments, who requested that the court case of the Isla Vista shooting of May 23, 2014, be dismissed. The first three victims of the Isla Vista tragedy—UCSB students George Chen, Chen Yuan “James” Hong, and Weihan “David” Wang— were killed by SBCC student Elliot Rodger at the Capri Apartments on Seville Road. The victims’ families’ attorney David Angeloff claimed that both Capri’s management and Santa Barbara authorities had previous knowledge of Rodger’s mental instability and therefore put Hong’s and Wang’s lives at risk when assigning Rodger as their roommate, according to KEYT. A trial date will be set when the case returns to court on April 7. COUNTY Santa Barbara county is currently pursuing a $3 million grant—utilized through Prop. 47, which reclassifies a range of felonies as misdemeanors— to divert criminals with mental illnesses to alternative programs. The pilot program would aim to reduce incarceration by diverting individuals with substance abuse disorders or severe mental illnesses to community-based services rather than serving time in jail, according to a county press release. The state would distribute the grant over the course of roughly three years if it is given to the county, starting in June and ending in 2020. Santa Barbara resident Kathryn Thomas was sentenced to three years probation last week after pleading guilty last month to housing 23 dogs in her home, the Santa Barbara Independent reports. Local authorities discovered Thomas breeding Australian shepherds and Jack Russell terriers in April after paramedics reported smelling fecal odor from the sidewalk outside the home. They found that several of the dogs were malnourished, their water bowls were dirty, and the house was a mess. Thomas stated in police interviews that she owned and co-owned most of the dogs and displayed the rest on dog shows. The dogs were rescued shortly after. NATIONAL Storm damage to California’s Oroville Dam—the nation’s tallest dam, which provides drinking water, hydroelectricity, and flood control— caused the evacuation of nearly 200,000 residents on Sunday. Gov. Jerry Brown issued an emergency order late Sunday. Although officials stated that the immediate threat has passed, the dam’s capacity to hold and discharge water will continue to be tested during these next two months of the rainy season, and repairs to the dam cannot begin until after the area dries in late spring. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates the federal aid request to be $162 million and is currently working on finding additional shelters for evacuees who are unable to return to their homes for the time being.
Photo by Frances Castellón | Marketing Director Madeleine Lee CAMPUS BEAT REPORTER Despite differing landscapes — cliff lined coastline compared to sprawling farmland — University of California, Santa Barbara and UC Davis are two of the more similar UC campuses. Undergraduate students on both campuses place emphasis on environmental concerns, weave their way through an impressive maze of bike paths, and are highly active in campus life. The key difference between the two leading campuses is in large part due to one factor — the manner in which the budget of campus life organizations are managed. For each of the approximately 17,200 students enrolled each quarter, the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Associated Students is set to collect $200.22
per student per quarter (1.5 percent of quarterly tuition totals) for the 20162017 academic year. UC Davis undergraduate students — totaling a population of over 28,000 — shell out only $50 every ten weeks. Though the number at the bottom of each BARC account may be similar, the key to saving money is in the details, according to AS Chief Financial Officer Jerel Constantino, whose proposal for the future of UCSB’s AS budget hopes to take inspiration from the Aggies 400 miles north. At Wednesday’s AS Senate meeting in the University Center’s Flying A Room, Constantino presented senators with the pivotal difference in UC Davis’ approach to building Associated Students into an economically efficient organization: creating entities that generate revenue. “If you look at their budget, I think
what’s striking is that most of their units have revenue,” said Constantino. “This means that students don’t just get charged for a tax that doesn’t make them any money back.” Though UCSB’s AS provides students with a myriad of services including student government, a law making body, and 34 entities that cover everything from the AS Food Bank to campus bike safety, its services rely solely on student fees for funding. At UC Davis, AS places more emphasis on revenue creating services that aid in the organization’s self-sustainability. Its flagship program includes CoHo South and Bike Barn, among others, whose combined profits were just shy of $150,000 at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year. “It’s definitely been hard to keep the student fees low since wages and other things have increased drastically, while
the fees have remained almost the same for over 40 years, I believe,” said UC Davis AS Finance and Business Committee Chair David Heifitz in a statement to The Bottom Line. “But this is why we try to have our commercial units bring in income for the association, so that those funds can be distributed to nonprofit units like OASR.” Groups like OASR, a campus lobbying group, along with programs like thrift shop Aggie Threads and the campus food pantry, are subsidized by both student fees and AS profits. Heifitz stated that in the majority of cases, the AS at UC Davis encourages independent campus organizations not affiliated with AS to find funding elsewhere. In addition to the lack of revenue creating methods, Constantino on Wednesday criticized UCSB’s lack of services, citing that students tend to get “less value for
their dollar.” “They run a shuttle from Davis to Sacramento every time there’s a holiday,” said Constantino, referring to UC Davis’s holiday shuttle service. “We can’t even get people to the Goleta train station. While the UCSB campus residence halls offer shuttles for on-campus residents, Constantino spoke to the difficulty of the bus system in general, especially for off-campus students. Although subsidized by UCSB and expanded with an additional line that runs between off-campus university apartments Sierra Madre and Henley Gate, the transit system is still run by the Santa Barbara Metropolitan District. At Davis, Associated Students and the City of Davis are equally responsible in managing bus routes and fees, creating both revenue and student jobs. “If we really want to make a difference and make college more affordable, we can do it ourselves,” said Constantino, whose ultimate goal is to slash the AS budget across the board, including all lock-in fees, by 20 percent. In the coming months, Constantino hopes to push senators to introduce and approve costcutting legislation that could be affirmed by students in the coming spring election. On the same note, College of Letters and Sciences Senator Alex Giolito made an informal proposition to senators on Wednesday to increase funding to the AS Investment Advisory Committee, one existing AS entity that posts net positive revenues. Giolito proposed that the over $200,000 in unallocated funds (an account that sits primarily untouched throughout the year) be added to the already existing IAC funds. At the end of 2016, IAC funds were valued at $106,172, up from $92,234 the previous year, according to IAC budget reports. “IAC has shown steady returns, 17.7 percent since the last fiscal year, and that money could be both reinvested and ultimately go back into senate unallocated as a sort of revenue,” said Giolito. Profits, estimated to be in the tens of thousands, would most likely be put into AS reserves for two years prior to their transfer back to unallocated funds. IAC is open to all students interested, with members adhering to policies that require funds to be invested in ethically based companies.
GOVERNOR, continued When Villaraigosa announced his bid in November of last year, he said his campaign would focus on education, poverty, and “Californians left behind in the new economy.” “I want to help rebuild the middle class by investing in our schools and repairing our state’s infrastructure,” said Villaraigosa. Delaine Eastin is the only female Democratic candidate. Eastin served in the Assembly from 1986 to 1994 and as California superintendent of public instruction from 1995 to 2003, being the only woman in California history to be elected to that position. Eastin currently serves as chairwoman for two advocacy entities, Educate Our State, an advocacy organization focused on California public schools, and CloseTheGapCA, a political group aimed to get more women elected in California Legislature. “I want people in Sacramento who are going to put the children first again,” Eastin said. Democratic quasi-candidates include L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, former Farallon Capital Management hedge fund controller Tom Steyer, and former state controller Steve Wesley. There are a heavy handful of possible Republican candidates rumored to enter the gubernatorial race, but only two have announced their running. Republican Rosey Grier, a retired professional football player, announced he was running for governor last month, but has not followed through with any campaign fundraising. In the 1960s, Grier was a defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams, part of the notorious “Fearsome Four” linemen. After his professional sports career, Grier went on to become a minister, actor, and social activist. Grier has not held elected office before. As a Republican, Grier publicly endorsed Donald Trump, stating, “Time is running out, we need a leader that’s go-
ing to change this country. We need to be great again.” Attorney John Cox is the second confirmed Republican candidate jumping in on the race, stating he is “almost certain” he will run. In 2003, Cox unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senator of Illinois against Barack Obama. Cox plans to front his campaign with $1 million of his own cash, but does not plan on succeeding Jerry Brown on his bid. The main proponents of Cox’s platform is “neighborhood legislature,” which revolves around a proposition that would add 12,000 new “citizen legislators” elected in respective neighborhoods to 80 assembly members and 40 senators that comprise the California Legislature. “This campaign is going to be about the neighborhood legislature,” he said. “To take our government back from the funders, the cronies and the corrupt.” The remaining handful of candidates who are teetering on the brim of campaigning are from both the Democrat and Republican side. Republican mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer, has expressed interest in running but without confirmation, as well as former Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin. The top two vote-earning candidates in the primary election go forward in the general election, regardless of political party, although historically it has been a candidate from the Democrat-Republican dichotomy. The race for campaign funding has only just begun. Newsom has reportedly raised $2.7 million in campaign funds, with competitor Villaraigosa matching roughly the same amount. Chiang reports that he raised $1.93 million during the latter half of 2016. Although November 2018 is still far down the road, the race for governor isn’t.
TBL 2016-2017 STAFF Executive Managing Editor | Shomik Mukherjee Executive Content Editor | Gwendolyn Wu Copy Editor | Jeremy Levine Copy Editor | Kamran Yunus Photo Editor | Veronica Arvizo Marketing Director | Frances Castellón
Arts & Entertainment Editor | Kyle Roe Science & Tech Editor | Quincy Lee Opinions Editor | Dhiraj Nallapaneni Campus Beat Reporter | Madeleine Lee National Beat Reporter | Chelsea Viola Video Editor | Julia Nguyen
Senior Layout Editor | Thea Cabrera Montejo Layout Editor | Cindy Chang Layout Editor | Tyler Rogers Layout Editor | Darya Behroozi Web Editor | Joanne Rhee Web Director | Conor O’Brien
Opinions expressed in TBL do not necessarily represent those of the staff or UCSB. All submissions, questions or comments may be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 | FEATURES
TBL | Feb. 15 - Feb. 21, 2017
International Students on Politics: An Uncertain Future?
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Ethan Jones In recent months, crowds of sign wielding protesters gathering and chanting around Storke Plaza and in other parts of campus has become a fa-
miliar sight. Whether it be demanding the UC divest from DAPL, marching against the immigration ban, or being in general disdain of the new president, the frequent protesting has become a spectacle to few and business
UCSB Students Turn to Rideshares to Get Home Linus Li STAFF WRITER
As University of California, Santa Barbara students realize the approach of Presidents’ Day weekend, many are thinking about going home to visit friends and family, or maybe going someplace else to catch a break post-midterm. While options to take the charter buses or the train exist, many students opt for ridesharing as an alternative to save money and time. Chances are, you and your neighbor are probably part of Facebook’s many UCSB ridesharing groups that serve students from different areas in California. The official UCSB Ridesharing Group currently has over 12,000 members and it is constantly increasing in size. Nicole Subosheva, one of the group admins, has been both a rider and driver for students. “I used to get riders from the rideshare group and I found it very helpful when I got rides … people also help you pay for gas which is always helpful,” said Subosheva, a third year global studies major who lives in Riverside, Calif. She likes that ridesharing provides a platform for UCSB students to get home easily and without the hassle of paying extra money to be on public transportation for multiple hours. Subosheva said ridesharing makes it “much easier” for her while traveling long distances. But she has also had experiences which she described as “embarrassing.” Her boyfriend lives in Merced, and during one rideshare with another passenger, things got strange. “We got lost and my car does not have a heater and it was 40 degrees out,” she said. “We were all freezing and I felt bad for the guy in the back row because I could tell he was freezing … We made a stop at In-N-Out just so we could get some food and try to stay warm.” For riders, getting in the car with another student driver can be problematic. First year history student Isaiah You mentioned an incident where he considered “spending $60 on Amtrak instead of rideshare.” “[The driver] was swerving and honking and swearing at people even though 90 percent of the time it was my driver’s fault,” You said. “The music was super loud … I forced myself to sleep to make things bearable.” In fact, it is not uncommon for UCSB students to have negative experiences. Second year psychological and brain science Student Alaina Haynes took a ride to Orange County which she described as “dangerous” and left her “uncomfortable”.
“He [the driver] was on his phone the entire time, texting, Instagram, his girlfriend was texting him a lot, and then there was stop and go traffic,” Haynes said. ”I was being a little bit passive aggressive to him. I think he knew I was a little uncomfortable because he was always on his phone but he just ignored me.” Haynes made a post on the Facebook page following the incident. “Drivers: please don’t use your phones while driving a car full of other students,” the post reads. “I’ve had many drivers use snapchat, text, instagram, [sic] etc. and it is not unreasonable for us to ask you to stop … no matter how well you multitask, it’s very unsafe.” For drivers, few have never been let down by riders cancelling their rides. “I could get frustrated and also mad to an extent when people bail on me … because I could have given the spot to someone else in need,” Subosheva said. On the contrary, there are also drivers who have always been able to fill up their vehicles to capacity prior to leaving. Third year psychology student Lauren Cano shares her car during her commute to the Bay Area. She admitted that she has had riders who cancelled on her but it’s “no big deal” considering she has “always been able to fill the spot.” Cano said that there are likely more people trying to get rides than there are drivers and seats. “I’ve gotten as many as 10 people message me within a couple hours of posting on the Rideshare page, so it’s really not hard to find someone else desperate for a ride,” said Cano. UCSB classifies itself as a campus “about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles,” but going home for any of the Gauchos usually involves a long drive. For drivers, that means staying awake and aware for however long the drive lasts. “I appreciate it when the riders and drivers have conservation because it makes a long drive go by so much quicker,” Subosheva said. Haynes mentioned that drivers should be “communicative, [explaining] how much they want their riders to pay, where do they need to go, and drop off locations.” However, rideshare is still the preferred choice for many students looking to get home for weekends and breaks. “It isn’t run for profit or by a company or any sort of platform, drivers are able to make pretty good money and riders are able to get home at a fraction of the cost of a train, bus, or plane ticket,” Cano said. “Everyone wins.”
as usual to most. But what are the opinions of those still new to the country? What are their impressions of current politics and the response by the UCSB student body?
“If I’m in France and I wanna go to Italy, I’d just fucking drive,” said third year Communication major Marc Savoureux, an international student from France. “Trump says he wants to build the wall, and it’s not the
right thing.” Savoureux explained further that he felt his impact in the manner in which students protest at UCSB wouldn’t create anything lasting. Like Savoureux, other international students have strong opinions on the current administration, as well as UCSB’s political approach. The lack of effectiveness of UCSB protests was echoed by his other colleagues. Third year Chih-hsuan Tsai, an international Film and Media studies student from Taiwan, admitted that he normally doesn’t feel too involved in politics or protesting because he’s international, but felt uneasy of the future. “After I graduate, can I get a job?” he said. “If it’s even possible for me to stay here and keep working?” Tsai noted a shared sentiment of uncertainty among him and his friends about their future as students, and how they felt their education was threatened. When it came to taking action he was just as unsure. “I don’t know if protesting on campus really works, cause America’s such big country, does anyone really care?” Tsai went on to explain that though he didn’t condone the actions at Berkeley, it still created media attention. “Make it bigger,” he said, “if you want it to be seen.” The “bigger is better” protest philosophy wasn’t shared by all, as fourth year Economics student from Hong Kong, James Chiu gave his opinions. “I feel like the liberal side is getting crazy right now,” Chiu said in regards to the Berkeley protest. “They’re not
letting people express their opinion and I think that that’s totally wrong.” He clarified that though he didn’t support President Donald Trump, but he felt like this wasn’t the way to approach the political situation. Chiu drew comparisons to the complicated political climate of Hong Kong, describing how the Chinese government suppresses self expression and activism, and how the actions taken in Berkeley underline the same censoring philosophy. “I think that if you want to have a real diverse society you have to have both left and right talk to each other, but not like breaking down doors and provoking police,” he said. Though the opinions may have differed on whether the protests should be more effective or constructive, there was a tone of distrust about the current administration. The Office of International Students and Scholars echoed the same sentiment on their website, urging students not to travel and keeping up on the process of Trump’s executive decisions. President Janet Napolitano and the Chancellors of the University of California released a statement regarding Trump’s executive order on immigration, stating, “It is critical that the United States continues to welcome the best students, scholars, scientists, and engineers of all backgrounds and nationalities. We are committed to supporting all members of the UC community who are impacted by this executive action.”
Sweet Alley Takes a Sweet Turn Toward Hong Kong Dessert Cafes Jeremy Levine COPY EDITOR Sweet Alley, the only location that has sold frozen yogurt in Isla Vista over the past six years, has quietly changed owners. After a month of unexplained closure, the unassuming frozen yogurt and bulk candy store threw a grand reopening Feb. 3 to announce Sweet Alley is back in business. The sun had just broken through the fog of a dreary morning — prime frozen yogurt weather — when I went to investigate if Sweet Alley has undergone any major changes under new ownership. My photographer and I approached, excited for a frozen yogurt treat. Except for a very unexciting grand opening sign, the storefront looked unchanged from the previous ownership. The inside also remained the same as it had been after the store’s remodel last year, with bleached wood and slick tile giving the place a modern, hipster vibe. A wall of bulk candy still sits across from the frozen yogurt dispensers. The only new additions to Sweet Alley’s adornment were several pages displayed at the front counter picturing exotic new menu items. These items included various combinations of cubed mango, mango soup, sticky black rice, mochi balls, vanilla ice cream “snow,” and the Southeast Asian fruit durian, the last of which any curious student could ask to sample. Intrigued by the new menu items and otherwise seemingly unchanged store aesthetic, I sat down with new owner Glady Shu for a brief interview. She told The Bottom Line the only significant change to Sweet Alley, besides ownership, is the new dessert offerings, which hail from Hong Kong. “Asian students like the desserts, but Americans don’t,” Shu said, unconcerned. “Americans have [been trying them], and they like them then, but they’re not usually trying them. They’re coming here for yogurt.” My photographer and I are Americans who went to Sweet Alley for yogurt. We got yogurt. I obviously had to first taste all eight available flavors. Although the vanilla, chocolate, yellow cake, and Italian tart were tasty, none of them stood out beyond other yogurt establishments. We opted for some of Sweet Alley’s more unusual offerings, crafting two bowls, one combining the chai and salted caramel flavors, one combining the acai berry and pineapple Dole flavors. The pineapple Dole yogurt resembles
Photo by Quincy Lee | Science & Tech Editor
Sweet Alley’s unique, delicious yogurt flavors and large topping selection reaffirm it as the go-to frozen yogurt place in Isla Vista. Dole Whip ice cream, taking me back to memories of hot days wandering around Disneyland with a refreshing Dole Whip. When blended together and topped with fruit plus sour stix, the acai and pineapple yogurts became a tangy tapestry of flavors. Chai and salted caramel mixed to taste like a caramel chai latte, but perfect for a sunny day rather than a rainy one. The chai stood out on its own as a unique flavor in comparison to the forgettable salted caramel. Unfortunately, the chai and salted caramel yogurts began visibly melting immediately after being poured. The berry flavors remained frozen remarkably well, maintaining their icy texture until it could be eaten and enjoyed, but by the time we sat down to eat, a thick layer of yogurt-y slush covered the top of the chai-caramel combo. Even when partially melted, the yogurt quenched my photographer’s and
my cravings. To top the treat off the manager brought us a taste of durian, a signature ingredient in some of the Hong Kongese desserts. Before giving us the sample, she described durian as “a very special fruit, so when people like it they really like it, but when people don’t they can’t even smell it … it’s double sided — controversial.” As she handed us two cups with sizeable blobs of durian mush inside, a powerful smell of rotten-fruity sulfur wafted to me. Undisturbed by the off-putting stench, I took a bite. Unlike the smell, the durian had a sweet, creamy flavor, like a mix of dried mango and avocado with a slight smokiness. Although my taste buds are not used to this particular flavor, I can see why many consider it a delicacy. Shu told The Bottom Line that she has “lots of Asian customers that come for it,” so there is obviously demand. The durian taste piqued my curiosity
so much I had to return the next day to try a different Hong Kongese dessert. I chose a safe-looking, durian-less option: the mango addiction. Composed of crunchy vanilla ice cream, a chewy ball of sweet sticky black rice, and succulent mango cubes, the mango addiction combined simple ingredients for a pleasantly unfamiliar flavor and texture. At $6.99, the mango addiction is a bit pricey, but it is more than enough dessert for two people. Although mostly unchanged after its grand reopening, Sweet Alley’s unique, delicious yogurt flavors and large topping selection reaffirm it as the go-to frozen yogurt place in Isla Vista. Though the yogurt is expensive, at 49 cents per ounce, bulk candy is cheap at the same price. Only adventurous students should order a Hong-Kongese dessert with durian, but the other exotic offerings will satisfy anyone looking for an unusual treat.
TBL | Feb. 15 - Feb. 21, 2017
4 | PHOTO
Photos By Jack Betz | Staff Photographer The Six Sevens, with Bobby Weiss, guitar/vocals, Clay Wilson, guitar/vocals, and Jordan Crosby, keyboard, won the battle of the bands.
Battle of the Bands On the night of Thursday, February 9th, five local bands battled against each other at the Hub in the UCSB University Center. Each musical group had a twenty minutes set to differentiate themselves, work up the crowd, and impress judges from FUNZONE, KCRW, and the New Noise Music Festival. While all five bands played greatly, The Six Sevens rose above the competition to take first place. They will preform live on KCSB. The broadcasting session will be filmed.
Michael Lin STAFF WRITER A showdown of drum hits, guitar strums, and passionate voices came to a climax this Thursday at the Hub during A.S. Program Board’s annual Battle of the Bands. This year, the battle was between The Nitwits, Posterchild, The Six Sevens, Walter Lewin’s Dotted Lines, and The Violent Delights. The Nitwits started out the night with a brash, dashing, and debonair style. Lead singer Bryson Rawn made unique choices on delivering the lyrics that gave their songs an extra playfulness which distinguished them from the others. Even among the large crowd, Rawn flirted with every single one of the audience members with his frisky delivery of each line. The bass
guitarist, which often gets put in the background, also was given a powerful, crowd-pleasing solo. Even with only three players on the stage, making them the smallest of all the participating bands, the Nitwits put up just as strong a fight as the other bands. Among all the finalists, Posterchild has got to be one of the most visually satisfying bands to watch live. The musicians twirled, twisted, and swirled about themselves, inviting the audience to move with them as well. The combination of lead singer Julia Feldman’s moves and guitarist Moh Dalloul’s ability to play his guitar while carrying it on his back led to a fantastic visual feast. The crowd seemed to agree as well, as people hollered, pushed, pulled, and crazily hopped in place in response to Posterchild’s theatrics.
Andres Montiel drums for Walter Lewin’s Dotted Lines.
The Six Sevens also had a unique way to make you smile, while keyboardist Jordan Crosby (the only one in the competition) also provided a breath of fresh air. After rocking out to heavy electric guitar for more than an hour, the refreshing chime of piano soothed my thumping ear drums. At the end of the night, lead singer Clay Wilson’s voice was the one that stayed stuck inside my head. The Six Sevens’s music and vocals had an extra layer of genuine quality that cut through the roar of the crowd right into your dopamine receptors. Their willingness to make direct eye contact with the audience while playing their original song “Friend” created a unique sensation. You’d find yourself singing along because it’s just too difficult to reject the overwhelm-
ing friendliness. Their performance, when you are immersed in it, does not feel like a performance. Instead, it feels more like an extraordinary friend-date on a Friday night, as if they were your closest companions, and they want to do everything to make sure you know how much they appreciate you. Walter Lewin’s Dotted Lines was perhaps the most instrumental-heavy band of the night. The use of an electric synthesizer also added many things to their instrumentals. Sometimes it was a string of flares, a resounding crackle, or a uplifting detonation. In their last show before their name change to This Is Napoleon?, WLDL infused a harsh melancholy tone into all of their songs, regardless of genre. Instead of using words from their lead singer, the entire band functioned together to convey
Sanlis performs his self-made songs.
their message. The inconstant beat of drums blended with gentle punches of guitar to pour out the bottled emotions of the band members. When The Violent Delights came onstage, the most differentiating feature had got to be the glistening trumpet among the guitars and basses. The trumpet bursted through the night as the featured instrument that set the Violent Delights apart from other competitors. The bright resonance of trumpet sends trembles down your body that made it difficult to not sway along. Although the trumpet didn’t feature in every song, the band maintained a jazz/rock hybrid theme throughout. They beautifully incorporated the trumpet’s majestic blows into backstreet, swingy sounds. The lead singer also had the strong, deep voice
of a rocker, which injected life and passion into each song. Fortunately, as the crowd got passionate, no violence was done, only delight. The mesmerizing night ended with the prize placement: Posterchild took third place, The Violent Delights took second, and The Six Sevens emerged victorious in first place. Fans of all the bands will not be disappointed, as this is definitely not the last time they will perform this year. Just head into Isla Vista and you’ll likely hear some of them practicing around the corner. If you’re unsatisfied listening to just 20 minutes of The Six Sevens, head to their SoundCloud with your “Friends.”
5 | PHOTO
TBL | Feb. 15 - Feb. 21, 2017
The Nitwits guitarist and lead vocalist introduces the band.
Posterchild guitarist Moh Dalloul continues the song with his guitar behind his head.
The beats are distributed thoroughly as Posterchildâ€™s drummer maintains his rhythm.
Local Isla Vista band Posterchild plays the second set.
The Violent Delights plays fourth in the night.
Bobby Weiss, guitar/vocals, and Jordan Crosby, keyboard, excite the judges.
6 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
TBL | Feb. 15 - Feb. 21, 2017
After Samurai Jack, What Other Cartoon Network Shows Could Use an Adult Swim Reboot? “Adult Swim is an odd channel, but compared to other channels, it’s more likely to preserve the unique and peculiar tone the old Cartoon Network shows had.”
Jennica Martin STAFF WRITER
The late 2000s was a dark time for Cartoon Network. During these years, the channel cancelled many of its iconic cartoon shows and tried to replace them with forgettable live-action reality shows that no one asked for. It has managed to redeem itself with some genuinely good cartoons, but sometimes I still find myself missing the shows I used to watch as a child. Thankfully, Cartoon Network’s mature counterpart Adult Swim has given us the opportunity to relive our childhood days by renewing the iconic show “Samurai Jack.” This show is about a time-traveling samurai who constantly fights futuristic villains with the ultimate goal of defeating the evil god Aku and returning back to his time. It was a dark show with some intense PG violence and heavy themes, which is what made it so memorable.
Adult Swim has always been known for its weird, mature content, thus making “Samurai Jack” a perfect match. I’m hoping that this trend of renewing old classic cartoons continues, so here are a few Cartoon Network shows I’d like to see once more on Adult Swim. Adult Swim is an odd channel, but compared to other channels, it’s more likely to preserve the unique and peculiar tone the old Cartoon Network shows had. Codename: Kids Next Door
I realize the irony in rebooting a show titled “Kids Next Door” on Adult Swim, but I think it could be incredibly fun to watch. This would be a little trickier to adapt because the show was about kid spies, but I’d imagine the reboot would focus on these former kid spies as adults trying to dismantle the evil Grown-Up System from the inside.
All of the characters we knew and loved would have normal, boring jobs by day, but would work as spies by night. I want to see these characters try to balance their jobs, marriages, and families while also trying to save the world. In one minute, they’re trying to attend their kids’ soccer game and in another, they’re trying to stop an evil scientist from taking over the world. They would of course still have the crazy inventions and sophisticated headquarters, but with a few more upgrades from the resources they have. Ed, Edd n Eddy “Ed, Edd n Eddy” was notably one of the most disturbing shows on Cartoon Network — not because it was creepy or scary, but because of how odd it was. The jawbreakers were the size of basketballs, Ed once swallowed an entire mattress, at some point they travel to another dimension; that’s only the
beginning of a long list of odd things that happened on this show. It would be hilarious and equally disturbing to see these kids grown up and still trying to scheme their way through life. The “Eds” were all very different personality-wise so they probably grew apart as they grew up, but the ringleader Eddy would undoubtedly try to lasso back Ed and Edd for one final scam. The scam would naturally fail, but at that point, they would all realize how much fun they have together, so they’d continue scheming. They’d continue wearing ridiculous disguises and building outrageous theme parks just so they could make a couple extra bucks. Foster’s Friends
As a child, “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” taught me to embrace my imagination, so it would only be fair if I imagined what a new season would be like. I’d imagine that a new season would focus on some of the original characters but also an entirely new set of characters to keep it refreshing. The main character Mac would probably be too old to need an imaginary friend, so the focus would be on his former imaginary friend Bloo and the latter’s attempts to get adopted. Bloo would still be a troublemaker of course, so he’d somehow manage
to trick his way into getting adopted, only to end up in a mess and returned to Foster’s Home. It would be entertaining to see Bloo’s shenanigans again, and even more entertaining to see what other imaginary friends could exist. I’d like to see all of the other friends that come and go, how the orphanage gradually changed over the years, and the world outside of Foster’s Home. This show has so many possibilities when it comes to new characters, and I wish I could see more of it. Teen Titans “Teen Titans” is arguably one of the greatest cartoons ever created. This action-packed TV show was centered on the iconic teenage superhero team from DC Comics. This was not actually produced by Cartoon Network, but it was such an amazing show I think it deserves another season. It most certainly does not deserve a disappointing satirical remake titled “Teen Titans Go!” (which most fans of the original series have vehemently ignored). There are a lot of DC animated shows in circulation already, but “Teen Titans” had a more distinct, quirkier sense of humor compared to those others, making it a great fit for Adult Swim. It would be nice to revisit these characters and finally get some resolution after the cliffhanger finale. We’d finally get to see what happened to
the earth manipulator Terra after she’d been brainwashed. We’d see more of the team’s family members, especially Raven’s and Starfire’s families. We’d also probably see Batman, because he’s such a key figure in the DC universe and also, why not? Most importantly, we’d see more evil, demented villains that would test the Titans even further. This show never shied away from switching between dark themes to silly humor, so we would definitely see more of that. Courage the Cowardly Dog Return the slaaab! Return the slaaab! That simple line single-handedly traumatized an entire generation of children, which is why I think it’d be perfect on Adult Swim. “Courage the Cowardly Dog” was a supernatural horror show about a dog constantly trying to save his owners from monsters, creatures, unhinged barbers, and so much more. It was a perfect combination of slapstick comedy, dry humor, and straight-up horror and it was a shame that it was cancelled so early. If it were to be renewed on Adult Swim, I hardly doubt there would be any changes, which is why it should be next on the reboot list.
John Wick is Back and Kicking Ass Again Jennica Martin STAFF WRITER After pleasantly surprising everyone with “John Wick,” Keanu Reeves is once again kicking ass and raising puppies in “John Wick: Chapter 2.” In this sequel, John Wick finds himself back in the assassin business to fulfill a debt, which results in him becoming a target for assassins across the globe. The premise seems silly and simple, as most action films are, but it was executed beautifully. “John Wick” is known for its cinematography and choreography. It received a lot of praise for its amazingly
shot club scene, in which John Wick fights dozens of people in a crowded club. Thankfully, this sequel managed to live up to its predecessor with its own wild fight scene that takes place in a hall of mirrors. It was an absolute delight to watch smoothly-edited, beautifully-lit fight scenes between John Wick and the criminals he encounters. With its impressive camera tricks and great lighting, this film has turned ridiculously violent scenes into works of art. The choreography was a beautiful work of art by itself. It’s no surprise that it was so impressive, considering that the director was a former stunt double
for Reeves, and being a former stunt man likely gave the director a better eye for filming choreographed fight scenes. It was, however, surprising to see Keanu Reeves still being able to play such a badass character in his 50s. The amount of effort he put into becoming John Wick was made obvious by the endless barrage of intense fight scenes. The film begins right away with a high-speed car chase, followed by an intense shootout and another car chase. At some point in the film, John Wick kills two people with a pencil — a pencil! — and that’s only the tip of the action-packed iceberg.
Among all of the action and the violence, Reeves has managed to bring John Wick to life. That alone makes him one of the best action stars of all time. Despite the action, violence, and gore, there were actually some comedic moments. Oddly enough, some of the funniest moments came up when John Wick was fighting a fellow assassin named Cassian, played by the rapperturned-actor Common. Whether it was throwing each other down several flights of stairs, crashing through hotel windows, or trying to secretly shoot each other at a train station, these two managed to bring about some of the
most hilarious fight scenes. The dialogue itself was hilarious too, although for entirely different reasons. Reeves did a great job playing a badass assassin, but many of his lines were cheesy enough to garner an eye roll. However, these silly lines still worked well in the film, especially when lightening up the mood after a blood-soaked, action-heavy fight scene. The film did lag a bit during the more exposition-heavy scenes, but it allowed the audience to learn more about the characters and the secret world of international assassins in which they’re entangled. The first film gave the audience
a taste of what this world was like, but this film delved in further into its rules and customs. They weren’t an essential part of the film, and in fact might be the cause for some of the slower scenes, but they were interesting nonetheless. This film is not a film for everyone. It would be an understatement to call it violent and it would be a lie to say that it wasn’t cheesy and predictable. But it was fun, well-made, and perfect for those who just want to enjoy John Wick killing a lot of bad guys while neon lights flash and electronic music plays in the background.
“Resident Evil 7”: A Successful Refresh to a Classic Masterpiece Matthew Lee GAMES REPORTER The Resident Evil series is a lengthy video game storyline that has been around since 1996, with the games receiving mixed reviews throughout the years. The series held through for two decades because of its unique take on the horror genre, complex storyline, and colorful cast of characters. After a struggle in recent years with disappointments like “Resident Evil 5” and “6”, Capcom finally hit the bullseye with “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.” As the newest installment in the series, “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” deviated quite a bit from the traditional gameplay, mechanics, and storyline that was familiar with “Resident Evil” fans, but offered a completely new perspective as a survival-horror type of game rather than an action RPG with zombies. When Capcom previewed “Resident Evil 7” in a demo titled “Beginning Hour,” many longtime fans, including myself, were skeptical for the future of the game. Some complained that Capcom had “rebooted ‘Resident Evil’” by ridding it of its established format as a third-person shooter RPG, stripping away key elements such as explosively powerful weapons, disgusting boss transformations, and the classic unpredictable element of the undead. It seemed like a fairly different Resident Evil game to me and most everyone else. However, everyone knows it’s foolish to judge a book by its cover, and Capcom gave us a big, fat “I told you so” with the actual game. Yes, “Resident Evil 7” is a completely new gaming experience, and many were thrown off by the changes when they played “Beginning Hour.” But this change proved to be the kickstart that the series needed after receiving so much criticism for the last two titles. Capcom nailed the survivor-horror element of the game in both the gameplay and aesthetics. Gameplay-wise, it’s not too deviant from the time-tested style of a thirdperson shooter. “Resident Evil 7” ended up being a first-person shooter, but it did keep some old, common aspects
Image Courtesy of Vimeocdn.com of the previous games, such as inventory, potions, and the ability to combine items. Differences that came with this game included more of an emphasis on puzzles and survival, where in the previous games players were encouraged to shoot down obstacles and enemies rather than stealthily maneuver through them or outsmart them. This contention is further supported by the lack of actual enemies in the game compared to the previous games. “Resident Evil 7” includes the classic mutant animals and undead human-
oids that everyone knows and loves, but not around every corner. Rather, the game is about progressing the storyline through the choices you make and the information you obtain. However, don’t be disappointed if you’re a big fan of large artillery and want to blow the brains out of undead dogs and zombies, because there are a handful of parts where you will be forced to use other weapons to power through the area. As expected, the aesthetic and artistic style are almost completely dif-
ferent from past games. In “Resident Evil 7,” every stage is dark and there is not much light besides your flashlight guiding the way. The game restricts your vision to a point where you must actually be wary of your surroundings and blind spots, a challenge that previous games did not offer because of the third-person aspect and resolution. However, with darkness comes the element of stealth for both yourself and the enemy. Be prepared for unpredictable situations and classic jump-scares that come with any good horror game.
In terms of the bosses of the Resident Evil series, I did not particularly enjoy the transformations that resulted in humans becoming ‘zombified’ animals such as a dinosaur, fly, or squid. In contrast, I enjoyed the transformations of Deborah Harper in “Resident Evil 6” and most of the transformations of bosses in “Resident Evil 4,” particularly Saddler and Mendez. Harper, Saddler, and Mendez all mutated from normal humans into humanoid-like figures with additional appendages and elongated limbs, which
made players reluctant to put them down due to the human aspect that lingered in their bodies. In Harper’s case, her mutation was unwanted, as it had been the result of forced human experiments. “Resident Evil 7’s” boss transformations were just okay compared to the previous titles. Considering the fact that this game had fewer major bosses than previous titles, the few transformations I experienced weren’t anything out of the ordinary and fairly predictable. Because the game was attempting to reboot the franchise, I was let down to see the washed-up concept of boss transformations not be refreshed, unlike other aspects of the game. However, this opinion might not be popular, as some fans liked the fact that Capcom stayed true to their roots and offered a handful of major bosses that paid homage to classic enemies like the wormlike Uroboros. As a whole, “Resident Evil 7” is a fantastic game. There aren’t many aspects that require a large amount of criticism, but rather a few minor inconveniences and nitpicky complaints. The only semi-major complaint, and a common opinion amongst “Resident Evil” fans, is that the storyline of “Resident Evil 7” is tangential to the main storyline with “Umbrella.” The game manages to clear this up by poorly connecting this ‘spin-off ’ to the main story, but I feel like it isn’t a solid connection. The main concern here is that if “Resident Evil 7’s” storyline has no impact on the series’s main storyline, it will feel like an un-impactful, sidestory type of game, even if the game itself is deemed a success. However, that doesn’t take too much away from the content itself. I would recommend this game if you are either a Resident Evil fan, survival-horror enthusiast, or a gamer interested in playing a solid, storylinebased title that will offer you a good time. “Resident Evil 7” will definitely be packed with a lot of depth in terms of storyline and content, especially with the downloadable content available and on the way.
TBL | Feb. 15 - Feb. 21, 2017
7 | SCIENCE & TECH
House Science Committee’s Climate Change Denial is a Red Flag
Tanner Walker STAFF WRITER The United States Committee on Science, Space, and Technology continued the current presidential administration’s denial of climate change last Sunday when it issued a press release stating that scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had fabricated data showing evidence of global warming. A day later, the White House reposted a headline from the Daily Mail, a British tabloid recently written off by Wikipedia as an unreliable source. “Exposed: How World Leaders were Duped into Investing Over Manipulated Global Warming Data” was used as evidence for the press release, according to Committee spokesperson Thea McDonalds. Unfortunately, the Daily Mail and the House Committee both misinterpreted and hyperbolized the evidence used to support the claim that data had been falsified. The Daily Mail’s article misunderstood an allegation made by former NOAA scientist John Bates that a 2015 NOAA study “relied on preliminary alpha versions of the data which was never approved or verified” to mean “relied on false data.” Both the Daily Mail and the House Committee hail Bates as a “whistleblower” and “thank [him] for courageously stepping forward to tell the truth about NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion.” However, both groups fail to real-
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia ize that Bates did not claim the data was constructed or suggest climate change was not occurring. He only stated that proper vetting and cataloging of data sets had not taken place
before the study was released, which has no implication on the validity of the data. In fact, since the study was made public, “the new NOAA results have
UC’s Flagship Food Publication Marks Its Second Anniversary
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Gwendolyn Wu EXECUTIVE CONTENT EDITOR While student publications around California extensively cover student food insecurity, agricultural innovation, and food reviews, no one does it as religiously as the UC Food Observer does. The self-described “daily serving of must-read news from the world of food” draws attention to research and policy throughout the UC system that concerns how students, faculty, and staff eat. The UC Food Observer’s website is flush with articles about anything and everything agriculture and nutrition related, from sustainability to recipes. Editor Rose Hayden-Smith finds that having a curated space for food and only food makes it easier for the community to get involved. “We’re all seeing increasing engagement by students around food systems issues. Students ’get’ the way that food intersects with major social issues,” Hayden-Smith wrote in an email to The Bottom Line. “They are engaging with these issues at different places and from a range of perspectives and approaches. That’s incredibly heartening and I think it bodes well for the future of the food system and our democracy.” With over 800 articles written over its two-year span, thousands of
been validated by independent data from satellites, buoys and Argo floats and many other independent groups,” and “there is strong independent evidence that NOAA’s new record may
be the most accurate one over the last two decades,” according to a fact check done by Carbon Brief. Worried that a government agency published such a bold, polarizing
statement based on questionable evidence, climatologists are uneasy with the House Science Committee’s statement. It seems hard to believe that with all the resources available, the United States government uses a British tabloid popular for headlines like “Are YOU a ‘Netflix cheater’?”, “46% of couples around the word admit they have committed streaming infidelity”, and “How will the world end? From killer robots to biohacking, here are the 10 biggest threats to humanity”. More concerning, though, is the idea that the government supports and publicizes sources attempting to discredit one of the most important and widely acknowledged ecological issues. Focusing public discourse so heavily on “global warming” also creates a polarized discussion and shifts the attention away from other consequences of man-made climate change like ocean acidification, rising sea levels, and water shortages. There was no justification provided for debating whether or not climate change is happening. There is barely any reason to discuss whether or not humans are causing it. Politicizing a scientific issue and tweeting misinformation about scientific facts turns climate change from an issue of efficacy into an issue of beliefs. The only debate or contention surrounding climate change should be about how much we can realistically stop it and how that can be accomplished. Suggesting global warming is a hoax only perpetuates the ignorance that lead to the current crisis.
Soda Fizzles Out:
Water Bottle Consumption Surpasses Soda Bottles
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia their followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have found the UC Office of the President-funded blog useful. As an arm of the UC Global Food Initiative, which studies how to eliminate hunger around the world, the UC Food Observer functions as a megaphone for what UC researchers are working on. To Hayden-Smith, the UC Food Observer filled a niche where readers could connect the dots between what’s on their plate and the UC community behind it. In a post commemorating its first anniversary in 2016, she thanked the public for following along with efforts to “start conversations” about food. “The food system is a large and diverse space, not only in terms of the physical landscapes the work occupies, but in terms of the social space it claims,” she wrote in a blog post. “We’re glad to be here.” As a Ph.D. student in history at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010, Hayden-Smith published a dissertation titled “Sowing the Seeds of Victory: National Wartime Gardening Programs in the United States During World War I.” She continued to work in both the public and private sectors in technology, sustainability, and food access. Hayden-Smith has returned to her alma mater in writing, featuring and interviewing UCSB food pioneers like the UCSB Soup Guys and campus ef-
forts to eat healthier. “Closer to home, as an alum of UCSB and a food systems practitioner, I’m excited to see all the food work being done at UCSB and the remarkable leadership around that work,” Hayden-Smith wrote. “It’s impressive.” As for what’s next, Hayden-Smith and assistant editor Teresa O’Connor want to continue to chart the accomplishments of UC researchers. Over the next few years, they will discuss how national issues could play a key role in shaping the conversation around eating. “We are in an uncertain time right now, with a new administration that will likely take a different course on food and agriculture,” Hayden-Smith wrote. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but we are already seeing changes in terms of some public information being censored.” However, this has yet to stop the two-person UC Food Observer team from covering one of the things the UC does best: research. “I’m also constantly amazed by the local to global impact of the research being done at UC,” Hayden-Smith wrote. “That work involves projects and knowledge being generated in the heart of California communities… and across the globe. The science and research at UC has global implications.”
Quincy Lee SCIENCE & TECH EDITOR Consumer trends reflect the priorities of the population. With purchasing power, people have been electing for healthier items in their diets and on their shelves. One example of this in 2017 is that United States consumers increasingly opt for bottles of water over those sugar-infested soft drinks. According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report put out by the Center for Disease Control, Americans’ consumption of single use water bottles has, for the first time, surpassed the consumption of single use soda bottles. Continuous public health announcements have been discouraging excessive sugar intake, and behavior has followed. This health trend has been steadily gaining ground, while soda companies are struggling to compete. The Beverage Market Corp. released statistics detailing water bottles’ success in the past six years. “Bottled water accounted for 20.5 percent of the overall U.S. beverage market last year, up from 15.2 percent in 2011,” it stated. “Carbonated soft drinks held a 19.8-percent share, down from 22.7 percent in 2011.” The decline in soda consumption goes hand in hand with attempts to decline sugar consumption. Due to the large prevalence of obesity and diet related diseases, the American Heart As-
sociation recommended that children consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar, or 100 calories, per day. That’s less than the amount of sugar in one soda bottle. However, this country has a culture of soft drink consumption where animals like polar bears are even represented in Coke commercials as avid soda drinkers. The sweet delight of sugar encapsulated, as these commercials boasted, the phrase “open happiness” to refer to the beverage. In 2000, each American was drinking 53.7 gallons of carbonated soda a year, according to National Geographic. To put that into perspective, each person in the United States was drinking, on average, 11 soda bottles a week. The sweet taste of sugar brought a bitter aftertaste. “Because of their high amounts of rapidly absorbable carbohydrates, such as various forms of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar-sweetened beverages lead to inflammation, insulin resistance, and impaired ß-cell function,” wrote the Department of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. In discussion of this research, experts estimated that even a 20 percent reduction in intake of these sugarsweetened beverages could save up to $23 billion in health care costs over a 10-year period. With Obamacare a main political point in discussion nowadays, the increase consumption
of water bottles could save a substantial amount of federal funding. In addition to the onslaught of public health announcements discouraging sugar use, city governments, such as the in Berkeley, have levied a soda tax. Known as a “sin tax,” such as those on cigarettes and liquor, the extra cost is aimed at reducing the consumption of a potentially harmful product. Although controversial, this tax is following the trend of decreasing the use of products that impact the population’s health. Public pressure is pushing the arrow towards a healthier society, with increasing water purchases as opposed to sugary sodas exemplifying this trend. Due to the increased advocacy of health measures, the general population is becoming increasingly educated on the impacts of sugar intakes and choosing water as a substitute. “Water bottle consumption levels increased 8.5 percent last year, the continuation of a years-long trend that also saw carbonated soft drink volume fall by 1.7 percent in 2016,” according to Gary Hemphill, managing director and chief operating officer at Beverage Marketing Corp. The choices consumers in this country make are their votes for the products they want to see on the shelves. And in 2017, the election results show water bottles as the most popular candidate, running on the platform of increased public health and reduced medical spending.
TBL | Feb. 15 - Feb. 21, 2017
8 | OPINIONS
Where Sanders-Cruz Debate Offers Violence and Spectacle, But No Solutions Liberation Come Together Jack Alegre STAFF WRITER
Illustration by Robert Perez | The Bottom Line
“Because of the immersion in violence on the part of the more oppressive aspects of the establishment, violence is the only thing that they will recognize.” Jack Alegre STAFF WRITER It was not enough that the University of California, Berkeley’s College Republicans organization invitation to the controversial Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the campus flared tensions; the real indignation came after violent protests and damage at Berkeley forced the Breitbart technology editor to scurry away. However, the campus’ outrage should not be directed towards the selfproclaimed anarchists for their use of obstructionist and frightful tactics. Instead, the student body should be mad at the black-masked figures for stealing the call to violence from them. There’s a conception in our society that a peaceful protests is the best way to attract attention to a cause. Through non-violent actions you reverse the dynamics of oppression and leave your opponent for what they truly are: an aggressor. This approach only works well in some cases. In order for a peaceful protest to truly work, there needs to be enough voices in positions of power not only to listen to the will of the protesters, but to actually act. By not heeding the will of the students to not extend a hand of welcome to Yiannopoulos, the university has already shown itself not only unwilling to join as an ally against oppression but unwilling to even listen to the students in the first place. It’s not about protecting a liberal bubble, oh no. If we are to truly progress as a society, free speech and difference of opinion must be tolerated. What should not be tolerated now, however, are views that are explicitly harmful and contemptuous of large swathes of humanity — and the people who blatantly proclaim these views. Inviting someone proud of their hatred makes the university a collaborator. While it may have been the campus’ College Republicans who orchestrated Yiannopoulos’ appearance, it was the University that ignored the concerns of the majority of its student body and allowed him to speak in the first place. Now the idea of violence being used as a means of opening up discourse between the two parties is not a new one, but it finds itself best grounded in the “Wretched of the Earth,” an analysis of the relationship of subject and ruler by the anticolonial author Frantz Fanon. Born in colonized Martinique, Fanon’s experiences in World War II and the Algerian War helped him to understand the relationship between the oppressed and their colonial over-
lords. Noting the ingrained disdain that the colonial authorities held for their subjects, there was no place else to go but violence. If they could not be seen as people, why be bound by the rules of people? Only through violence can their will be transmitted. It is violence and terror that the master used to keep the slave in line and it is violence and terror that is being transplanted onto not just the American populace, but the globe. Because of the immersion in violence on the part of the more oppressive aspects of the establishment, violence is the only thing that they will recognize. Fear not retribution, for you are taking your fate into your hands once more. You need to force those in charge to listen to you now, not at their leisure. Perhaps saying that the students have a right to violence is a bit absurd. After all, there are too many ways in which they can use an ideology of resistance to draw others into the crossfire. Instead, they should have the right to destruction. In Fanon’s time he was facing the nigh unstoppable juggernaut of the imperial machine. Students don’t have the odds quite so stacked against them. However, what they do have is a university that allows a platform to speakers who promote the very same missions and agendas of intolerance that Fanon struggled hard against. Destruction is emotion made manifest, is the catharsis of resentment towards an uncaring and immovable overlord. The confusion and obstruction that comes afterwards is important because it’s tangible. It’s there and in your face, and it really forces you to ask what exactly the motive is. It’s only when people unrelated to the event are hurt by it that the idea of a “violent” protest becomes an issue at all. Violent protest is and always will be a controversial subject. While many do prefer the idea of a peaceful resistance, it is too passive and too divorced from the relationships of power between authority and ruled. From a country born of violence it is ironic that we now condemn it for being “repugnant” and “beneath us.” People may decry more aggressive forms of resistance as they normalize the idea of a disruptive and harmful struggle. What is more harmful, however, is not bothering to employ the judgement necessary to separate the desperation of the oppressed from the depredations of the repressive. Only through concrete physical actions including destruction can we truly gain the recognition we need.
Last Tuesday, Senators Bernie Sanders (Independent, VT) and Ted Cruz (R, TX) appeared on national television to debate over the impending Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. With Sanders defending Obamacare and Cruz attacking it, the CNN-hosted debate was sure to generate controversy and inspire citizens who watched the broadcast of their own. But who really won? Sanders was very blunt and to the point, saying “the United States is the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a right. I believe we should move in that direction.” Cruz, for his part, opened by replying that health care was best thought of as an internal affair, and that government oversight would only harm its citizens’ health. He also recalled President Barack Obama’s statement that “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” framing it as an oft-repeated promise that the president had neglected to keep. From the opening statements listeners had a sense of where these two senators stand and their future patterns of attacks. In addition to constantly repeating the idea that health care was an inalienable right, Sanders described an imperfect but workable system that was sabotaged through inter-party conflict. Cruz, on the other hand, deflected attention by bringing up other accusations over Obama’s “broken promises” and the ACA depriving people of choice. For example, when one woman expressed her concern over how extending health care to her employees would eat into her profit, Sanders was immovable, and turned her concerns on their head, saying “maybe somebody else in Fort Worth, who is providing decent health insurance to
Illustration by Robert Perez | The Bottom Line their employees… is in unfair competition with you.” Cruz’s rejoinder was a weakhearted attempt at blaming Democrats for putting too many restrictions on small-business owners, preventing them from making money. This was despite the fact that Sanders was questioning whether or not health care is an important part of an employee’s well-being. However, Cruz’s attempts to frame Obamacare as oppressive and overbearing backfired. After talking about how the woman’s freedoms were impeded by the inability to purchase health care programs outside of Texas, Sanders retorted that “Access doesn’t mean a damn thing. What it means is whether people can afford it, can get the health care that they need.” Cruz sidestepped the issue and tried to make it appear that lack of provisions for health care were the result of the private sector not being allowed to intervene. Throughout the debate, Sanders made several overt gestures towards Cruz, proffering his hand and telling
him that he was willing and wanted to work with him. Accepting Sanders’ proposal to work together would simultaneously raise questions as to why Cruz had opposed such legislation in the past if he agreed on its premises and delegitimize him in the eyes of his constituency for going against his own party’s ideals. In contrast, Cruz played right into Sanders’ hands through his rather obvious desire to appear in control. At one point, as Sanders went off the stage to address a concerned audience member, Cruz quickly followed him down. This showed a lack of confidence on the part of Cruz. He was so unconvinced of his own standpoint that he had to reassert authority by magnifying his presence and visibility to the audience. Interestingly, both senators agreed that Obamacare was deeply flawed and broken. Equally interesting is that neither senator really seemed to offer any tangible solutions. The only concrete things in the debate were their mutual misgivings over Obamacare and their enmity towards each other.
Therefore, the most disappointing part of the debate is that both candidates were passionately arguing over a load of nothing. Sanders wanted to keep Obamacare but could offer no cohesive example as to how they could not only maintain but improve the ACA. Cruz could only say that Obamacare disempowered the people, brushing aside Sanders’ constant reminders that Obamacare had ultimately helped more people than it hurt. Beyond criticizing Obamacare and suggesting more market friendly plans, Cruz offered nothing remotely obtainable. Sanders was the superior debater in that he was able to stick to his positions as well as dismantle Cruz’s more pointed barbs. The quickness of Sanders’ rebuttals left Cruz on the defense for the majority of the debate, and thus at a disadvantage. Ultimately, while Sanders displayed more control and presence than Cruz in the debate, neither senator can really be considered the winner when neither of them was able to offer any viable solutions.
Fake News Harms Faith in Any News Michael Lin STAFF WRITER Truth in the media industry seems to come into question more and more. Mistrust of reporters is strong as ever with accusations of “fake news” being tossed across the political spectrum. Recently, though, France took the truth issue to a whole new level. As of this week, Facebook in France has collaborated with eight large media companies to put filters on news appearing on Facebook. Users can now report news articles as faulty, and the media companies will be required to fact-check its articles or be marked as disputed, potentially false news. An example of fake news in the United States happened earlier this month when celebrity news site TMZ published an article stating that president Donald Trump changed “Black History Month” into “National African American History Month” because the president felt the former was outdated. TMZ used this as an attack on the president’s ability to recognize all black Americans. However, the same phrase was used by many other American presidents, including Barack Obama, as a way to pinpoint the attention of historical significance. The writer had no evidence or basis to infer what Trump believed, but only assumed Trump’s intentions. It was fixed in a later apologetic article after public backlash. In the end, professional newsreporting is a paying job, and the motive behind reporting fake news is somewhat understandable. In a way, they function like clickbait on YouTube—they show you what you want to see, but with no guarantee of it being true. Although faulty news could do wonders to increase views, they jeopardize truth. If there really existed a reliable way to made sure all the information we receive from the me-
Illustration by Robert Perez | The Bottom Line dia is truthful, then aggression that stemmed from miscommunication and misinformation can be entirely eliminated (which, I would argue, is most of the conflicts in this world). All this is well and good until one sits down and start thinking of the ramifications of such a move. First and foremost—is this going solve the current hysteria over fake news in mainstream media? Well, that depends on how much truth we are talking about. If all it takes for an article to be perceived as truthful is a few reporters making sure their colleagues didn’t type up the wrong notes, then distrust in the media is only going to get worse. Even if we are talking about getting fact-checkers to work, problems still remain. In this day and age, when the White House can use the Daily Mail, a highly controversial unsupported tabloid, as evidence to accuse NOAA’s data and “debunk” global warming, fact-checking doesn’t seem to be the most reliable route to go.
Imagine just how far one would need to check to be absolutely sure? ‘Grasses are green,’ writes one reporter. ‘That’s not true! Grasses are brown where I live! This is fake news,’ a passionate reader says. ‘We have studies of data showing most grasses reflect green-range wavelength thus making most grasses appear green, responded a fact checker. ‘Well, it’s wrong because that’s a hoax made up by another foreign force to undermine our country,’ replies another mistrusting reader… As you can see, it’s difficult to assess. To check a fact, a company would have to use fact checkers. Yet, since all persons are biased in some way, how can we be sure of the credibility of the fact checkers? In checking the credibility of the fact checkers, the companies would then need additional people to check, who would also need approval of the company for credibility. Then, who’s to say that the media companies have the benefit of the
doubt? What reasons do we have to believe the credibility of the large media companies, if they can’t sufficiently prove their truthfulness every second? Even well-known media companies make mistakes. For example, The Huffington Post, on a 2013 article recommending places for travel, indicated that “the Berlin Wall was built by Nazi Germany.” In a later correction, it said that “it was built by the Communists during the Cold War.” Hopefully, you will see the problem with this chain of distrust. In the end, there is no reason to believe anything at all, unless you yourself have written the article. I think of reading news as an investment into other potentially brilliant minds. It’s generally good to assume that people writing news have a similar intelligence as oneself, just with different social, economical, cultural background and political views. Then again, there is no good reason for you to believe anything I’ve mentioned, is there?