Volume 8 Number 19
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.
October 14, 2011
Out of a factory, off-campus housing By Sam Kim
Special to the Hoot
the zides family
photo from internet source
Student’s recovery a challenge after near-fatal crash By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
Before a Jeep Patriot swerved onto the wrong side of an upstate New York highway and collided with a GMC dump truck on a rainy July afternoon, Jordan Zides ’14 was enjoying the typical college summer— working as a counselor at Camp Echo
Lake in Warrensburg before his return to Waltham for classes and soccer in the fall. At 12:25 p.m. on July 25, life changed dramatically for Zides. Traumatic brain injuries sustained in the crash on State Route 9 left Zides unconscious and in critical condition. See ZIDES, page 11
Anita Hill marks 20 years since Thomas hearings By Nathan Koskella Editor
Anita Hill has been named the new associate provost for communications, just as she prepares to keynote a conference in her honor in New York City on Saturday to mark the 20-year anniversary of her infamous testimony accusing the then-nominee of sexual harassment. Hill, the former Senate witness against Justice Clarence Thomas and professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management since 1997, will address “Sex, Power and Speaking Truth: Anita Hill 20 Years Later.” According to the group’s website, the conference “will bring together three generations to witness, respond and analyze present day realities in law, politics, the confluence of race, class and gender, the persistent questioning of women’s credibility, issues of black masculinity and current cases of sexual harassment.” Twenty years ago this week, Anita Hill was summoned before the Senate Judiciary Committee during Thomas’ hearings in 1991. She was the principal face of the allegations of sexual impropriety and inappropriate remarks that threatened to bring down then-Judge Thomas’ chance of joining the high court. Hill’s testimony gripped the nation because of the sheer graphic
nature of the accusations and the questions about them posed to her by the senators, the majority of whom were sympathetic to Republican President George H. W. Bush’s choice of Thomas. She focused not strictly on the law of sexual harrassment--at that time, not as successful in prosecuting offenders--but on the sheerly inappropriate nature of the remarks made by Thomas. Hill’s testimony stepped outside just whether the alleged sexuallycharged remarks were technically illegal--she spoke of the effects of harassment on women, what she called their pervasive nature and frequency across professions and the need for further legal action against a crime that almost always went unreported. By judging them with any and either of moral, professional or decency standards, Hill’s testimony allowed Americans who began watching the trial in earnest to form their own opinions. Polls from October 1991 show that the country was against her. The vast majority of Americans believed Thomas’ innocence and wanted to see him confirmed. Despite Hill’s testimony and the lobbying efforts of a small group of liberal activists and women’s rights groups, Thomas was confirmed by the Senate on Oct. 15 by the narrowest margin for a nominee in the See HILL, page 2
Off-campus housing is getting a makeover. Investors are converting the Waltham Watch Factory on Crescent Street along the Charles River into office space, restaurants and loftstyle apartments, transforming the building that began producing watches in 1854 into a modern cultural hub in downtown Waltham. The renovations will create 96 loftstyle apartments and two potential restaurants or cafes; the space is currently under construction and will be completed by April 2012. Operators for the two restaurants and cafes have not yet been determined. The original phase converted and renovated 160,000 square feet of the factory to office spaces. This phase was completed in the summer of 2009 and currently 87 percent of the office spaces have been leased. Eric Ekman, project manager for Berkeley Investments, said that 98 percent of the space will be leased soon. Two such businesses that have leased office space at the renovated watch factory are Fresh Tilled Soil, a web design and marketing business, as well as the law firm, Cohen and Sales. “The renovations serve to preserve
the historic factory complex for generations to come and adaptively reuse as a vibrant mixed-use development, thus energizing the surrounding community,” Ekman said. Officials are still designing and planning for the third phase, which involves the construction of 67 more loft-style apartments and the conversion of 7,300 more square feet of office space. This stage’s target completion date is for the spring of 2013. The Waltham Watch Factory began producing watches in 1854 and soon after became the first watch business to mass-produce pocket watches using novel interchangeable parts during the time. The mass production of watches led to greater accessibility of watches to the general population, as these watches were affordable. The watch factory eventually went out of business in 1957; however, it has never been deserted, as tenants have lived there in subsequent years. In 2007, the First Republic Corporation of America and Berkeley Investments LLC, two investment firms, teamed up to create Watch City LLC. Since then, the firm has developed a three-stage plan for the watch factory’s renovations. In the meantime, the watch factory is open as a historical exhibit, which
Sukkot: raising the roof
is open from Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibit contains machines that were used to manufacture watches—some of the women’s first watches—and much more. “The watch factory is a cherished landmark for the city of Waltham,” Ekman said. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
photo from internet source
Construction progresses on track By Morgan Gross Editor
photo by albee qian/the hoot decorating the sherman sukkah A Hillel member hangs a decoration at Tuesday’s
sukkah-decorating event, “Extreme Makeover: Sukkah Edition.” For more pictures, turn to page 5.
With work zones marked all across campus, it is hard not to notice the several construction projects, which have been happening all around Brandeis during the first few weeks of the semester. These projects have included regular campus maintenance and upkeep initiatives, along with more high profile ones—including the much-awaited work on the Linsey pool, expected to re-open this spring. The university’s schedule for renovation of the Linsey pool is based on its receipt of a certificate of occupancy on Dec. 23, Associate Vice President for Facilities Services Peter Shields said in an interview with The Hoot. “Once the certificate is received from the City of Waltham, we plan on filling the pool with water and completing any last-minute construction details and punch-list items,” he said. Shields explained that, as the university waits for the certificate, most progress on the project has been focused on abatement work and the demolition of outdated equipment. He said, however, “a new steam pipe for the pool building has been installed, the new HVAC equipment has all been ordered, and we are currently grading an area between Gosman and the pool building to provide an accessible parking area.” The university has a $3 million budget for renovations to the pool See CONSTRUCTION, page 3
2 The Brandeis Hoot
October 14, 2011
Aramark resolves workers’ contract concerns By Connor Novy Staff
Dining service workers and Aramark have resolved the contract negotiations that dragged through the summer and into the new school year. According to Dana Simon, UNITE HERE union representative, the corporation’s final offer was generous and ceded to many of the workers’ demands. A few weeks ago, the negotiations
slowed over health care conflicts with little progress being made to resolve the situation. Aramark attempted to cut the coverage of workers and increase deductibles and co-payments, which were financially prohibitive to many of the dining service workers. The corporation’s final offer was a complete reversal: Co-payments are now lower than they previously were, which is “actually less expensive for Aramark, as well” said Simon. Effective Jan. 1, all Brandeis dining workers will be eligible for the
UNITE HERE Trust Fund Food Service Health Plan. It includes expansion of sick pay, which counts toward doctors’ visits and the percentage of payment that workers are responsible for will decrease over time. Most significantly, guidelines on hiring replacement workers have been codified: Open shifts must be offered first to full-time workers, then part-time and only then to non-contracted employees. Shifts cannot be canceled within five days notice without pay. The language in the contract
has been clarified concerning union representation and to increase “mutual respect” for both parties. The contract ensures regular pay increases starting retroactively from last July, when the contract was supposed to be signed, significantly increasing wages by 2016. Immigrant employees are guaranteed rights to “take time off to deal with the immigration process,” explained Simon, through a piece of “creative language” in the contract. Workers now schedule shifts on se-
niority using an “Aramark-Brandeiswide hire date,” which means that employees take their years of experience with them when changing dining locations on campus. Union workers cite student support as a significant aide during the negotiation process. Aramark representatives Christine Chase and Aaron Bennos declined to comment on any specifics of the negotiations but confirmed an agreement had been reached.
Anita Hill appointed special provost counsel for communication HILL, from page 1
entire 20th century: 52 to 48. In addition to the series of speakers, Hill first among them, the conference will also include artwork curated by Eve Ensler, the creator of “The Vagina Monologues.” The event is sponsored by a division of the City University of New York and VDAY, a global non-governmental organization to end violence against women and girls. Hill has also just published a new book, “Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home,” which takes personal interview-based sociological research and portrays a state of American equality at odds with popular conception. She has been touring for the book, which she launched earlier this month in Cambridge, and the topic is of course relevant to the conference, commemorating what supporters say was a principled
stand against sexually harassing comments. The Hoot previously reported that Hill was hired this month by Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll, a Washington, D.C., law firm, as counsel to their civil rights and employment practice group. Simultaneously, Hill has even been greatly expanding her responsibilities at Brandeis. The Heller School recently named her to their diversity committee, with a “broad mandate to examine all aspects of the school’s enrollment and academic policies for review,” Dean Lisa Lynch said. And in her new role in the provost’s office, Hill will focus on “Brandeis’ image to the outside world” and continue to improve the marketing of Brandeis faculty and student talent, Provost Steve Goldstein announced at this month’s faculty meeting when he introduced the new communications division that Hill will lead under his office.
photo by alan tran/the hoot
October 14, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
IBS finds niche with corporate responsibility curriculum By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
As college students and middleclass Americans, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, join in the spread of protests against corporate greed, the Brandeis International Business School offers its students a different model of the role business can play in society. In line with the university’s longstanding pillar of social justice, professors at the business school teach students how to expand profit at a firm while simultaneously incorporating corporate responsibility and socially responsible business practices. In an ad-hoc survey conducted last spring, more than half of 45 first- and second-year Brandeis IBS students said they were interested in a socially responsible business career, search-
ing for a socially responsible internship or studying for the global green MBA specialization. Faculty and staff said the business school’s commitment to teaching corporate responsibility reflects a generational shift in students who seek successful but also purposeful careers. “It really is a millennial trend,” Katherine Prum, associate director of employer relations, said. “People really want careers that matter and that’s what business is responding to right now.” Prum and her colleagues explained that social justice intersects with business beyond simply non-profit organizations and small start-up firms. “The definition has to be much broader than non-profit. Non-profits aren’t the only companies that are socially engaged,” Prum said. Brandeis IBS recognizes that socially engaged business leaders must
posses both foundational knowledge in fields such as finance or marketing in addition to understanding how to manage a company with social responsible behavior, according to Professor Ben Gomes-Casseres, who directs the school’s global green MBA program. The school offers courses specifically about corporate responsibility and non-market strategies for NGOs. A new global green MBA degree is a specialization within the broader MBA track, and students benefit from exploring job opportunities in green jobs and clean energy and technology sectors growing in Massachusetts. Gomes-Casseres posed the question: “How do these for-profit companies have a positive impact on society?” The school’s efforts to teach and engage in socially responsible business also extend beyond the classroom.
Elissa Leonard MBA ’12 is the president of the environmental and socially-conscious club Net Impact, an organization that has consulted with the State Street corporation, seeking to prove that investment management and environmental protection do not have to be entirely separate tasks. “When you are defining the value of a corporation or company, the answer to that value considers social and environmental impacts in addition to the financial bottom line,” Lenoard said. During the summer, Brandeis IBS awarded six stipends for unpaid internships in fields including economic development, social policy, green tech innovation and social enterprise sectors. The stipends ranged from $1,200 to $5,000, Prum said. Prum explained that as much as the business school tries to promote Brandeis’ emphasis on social justice,
all schools have to adapt to the new social pressures on the business community. “Introducing the concept of sustainability and corporate ethics is fundamental for any business school to remain relevant,” she said. Yet as the business school seeks to advocate corporate ethics for students entering the work force, it must confront a society that still doubts the genuine motivations of business leaders to lead organizations committed to corporate responsibility. “I think it’s still an uphill battle to convince people that businesses have a broader responsibility than creating wealth,” Leonard said. “There is obviously a lot of anger and unease about the role of business in society,” Gomes-Casseres said. “We would love to see our students channel their concern into constructive action.”
Shepard leads research on hunger economics By Connor Novy Staff
photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
Pool construction on-target to open in Jan. CONSTRUCTION, from page 1
and surrounding areas. Much of this budget will be spent on the facility’s basement, where most of the project’s construction is based and where all mechanical systems are being replaced. In addition to the mechanical systems replacement, the university plans to add new life-safety systems, new lighting and improved acoustic treatment to reduce echo in the pool area. Also, this project will include an upgrade to locker rooms and general aesthetic improvements to the facility’s main entrance and lobbies. Brandeis hired Commodore Builders to work on the pool. According to Shields, the firm is doing well and
“applying at Brandeis the experience they gained by renovating the pool at Brown University.” Shields says that, in addition to regular meetings to make sure that the project is on the right track, “the Facilities Department meets weekly to review construction activity on the pool” and, if everything continues on schedule, the pool is expected to open to students Jan. 17—the first day of the spring semester. The pool will also allow for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs to resume for the 2012-13 season, with Mike Kotch as their new head coach. Though the work on the Linsey pool is the most talked about renovation occurring on campus, it is by no means the only project happening. In addition to several other campus
maintenance initiatives—including re-paved walkways across campus— last week, another construction site on campus popped up between the Shapiro Campus Center and Bernstein-Marcus buildings. Though this project is now complete and construction activity is over, this project in Fellows Gardens was related to a leaking steam line. “Brandeis is heated by the power plant on South Street where steam is created for use throughout the campus.” As the pipes used for distribution age, they tend to develop leaks, which allow pressurized steam to escape into the soil, Shields explained. “Once a leak is detected, we hire contractors to excavate and expose the pipe, which then allows us to patch or replace sections of the pipe—hopefully before heating season!”
photo by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot
The United States is not often thought of as a country suffering from hunger but, according to a recent report from the Center for American Progress and Brandeis professor Donald Shepard (HS), 48.8 million Americans live in households without an adequate supply of food. The new report extends and updates a study that was published in 2007 titled “The Economic Cost of Hunger” and includes data from just prior to the recession as well as from last year. It illustrates how significantly the problem of hunger in the United States has grown since 2007. “The problem has grown substantially, 85 percent or so, from the 2005 report to the latest numbers we have for 2010,” Shepard said. The number is of food insecure Americans increased 30 percent since the year before the recession—12 million more people unable to afford food. While the department of agriculture was already aware of the number of people living with food insecurity, the CAP report determined the economic losses that arise from hunger. Professor Shepard and three students, including Elizabeth Setren ’10, performed the initial calculations for the new report, analyzing not only the direct cost of hunger, but the costs in time, wages and opportunity as well, “to put a price tag on a problem,” Shepard said. The study discovered that between medical bills, education and charity, the socio-economic cost of hunger was $167.5 billion, an increase of 33 percent since 2007. Poor educational outcome is a large economic cost of hunger, ringing up at $19.2 billion; hunger contributed $6.4 billion to the cost of special education last year alone. The medical costs of food insecurity includes both the direct bills—food insecure Americans are more often ill than others, and indirectly the cost of lost wages during illness, and cost America $130.5 billion. The final portion of cost—charity—are the funds donated in time or money to food banks or emergency food assistance programs, which amounted to $17.8 billion. To qualify as food insecure, a family had to be in the position of choosing between food and another necessity. Last year, more than half of households that sought emergency food
assistance were at some point forced to choose between heating and food, 40 percent claimed to choose between paying rent and buying food, and more than a third reported choosing between medical bills and food. Many welfare families have trouble providing nutritious food, but those who are food insecure cannot provide food at all, even if they qualify for government assistance. There are problems beyond being unable to buy food. “Those who are food insecure, the food they then eat may not be very healthy,” said Shepard, “especially those who are eating sporadically.” Being food insecure does not take into account the quality of the food. “The numbers underestimate the impact of hunger. We’re only looking at those who are food insecure, who don’t have access to food, but many more don’t have access to proper nutrition,” said Setren. Unemployment is a leading indicator for the rate of hunger. The jobless are not unable to procure food immediately but, when unemployment persists, people often find themselves food insecure the following year. The rates for food insecurity follow behind the percentage unemployed, as reflected in the report’s data. There are no definite solutions offered in the report, just a general call for greater employment and more comprehensive welfare. “Despite an increase in government programs, the problem has grown substantially,” Shepard explained, citing the dramatic increase in the number of American hungry since the last portion of the research; from approximately 36 billion in 2007 to 48.8 billion last year: “Without them it would have been worse.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded their programs and though they do help to mitigate the problems they do not entirely solve it. The aim of the report was not to suggest policy changes but rather to “better understand the problem and the need for solutions,” said Shepard. What the legislature will decide to do with the CAP’s report is a separate issue. Shepard advocates an better safety net for those unemployed, as it is the most efficient and direct way to protect families from falling into hunger. The cost of the program would not be as expensive as forgoing it. Currently, every American pays $542 per annum toward the cost of hunger.
The Brandeis Hoot
October 14, 2011
Police still investigating Sept. robbery By Emily Belowich Special to the Hoot
Public Safety is still investigating the robbery that occurred on campus at approximately midnight on Sept. 25 in the men’s restroom by Levin Ballroom in Usdan. “The victim said an object was pressed against his back and money and other items were taken from his wallet,” read an e-mail sent to the Brandeis community, from Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan. The identities of the individuals involved in the robbery, including the victim, have not yet been released. The night of the robbery attracted many people from off campus because of a Student Events sponsored concert with the band Guster as well as a dance sponsored by AHORA!, a photo by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot
Texting while driving still pervasive, despite ban By Debby Brodsky Editor
Massachusetts banned texting while driving last September; yet, law enforcement officials have struggled to enforce the new law during the past year, with police in the state issuing one texting citation for every 200 speeding tickets, The Boston Globe reported this week. The law banned cell phone usage while driving for drivers younger than 18 and, at the same time, it also restricted cell phone usage to calls only for drivers aged 18 and older. “Driving is a big responsibility,” director of public safety Ed Callahan said. “It is something that requires a driver’s full attention. While texting, you have to use at least one hand. That takes away from the whole premise of driving a car.” On campus, students, faculty, escort drivers and police officers comprise a community of drivers who all own and operate cell phones. “It’s very intense driving a car,” Callahan said. “Traffic moves quickly and there are many obstacles. People don’t realize that a car can be a weapon. Driving is nothing to be cavalier about.” According to Callahan, escort driv-
ers are not allowed to text on the job. “If escort drivers are stopped or parked and texting, they can accrue three points. If they accrue five points, they are terminated from service,” he said. Callahan added that, in addition, police officers are not permitted to use their cell phones while operating cruisers. “We don’t let officers smoke in the cruisers, it’s against rules. Cell phone use is no different. It’s something that should not be done,” Callahan said. Walter Cuenin, Catholic Chaplain and coordinator of the interfaith chaplaincy, noted, however, that it is extremely commonplace for drivers to be distracted behind the wheel. “Everyone has a cell phone. When I’m stuck on South Street waiting to get onto campus, I’m on the phone. Opening the top of a cup of coffee is a distraction, too,” Cuenin said. Whether on short or long trips, many drivers find it impossible to avoid distractions. Eating food, texting, changing the radio station and taking phone calls are all constant distractions from the road. It is commonplace for drivers to multitask on the road and, at the same time, it is a tremendous challenge for police officers to recognize and prevent it.
Both Callahan and Cuenin noted that texting is more prevalent for young people, especially young drivers. “The younger generation lives with cell phones. Everything is instant,” Callahan said. Callahan continued to say it is unrealistic to expect young people to stop texting while driving, even if there is a state law prohibiting it. “If you are safety prone, you’ll adhere to regulations. If you live on the edge, you’ll text. Unfortunately, a lot of people take unnecessary chances,” he said. Callahan also noted that texting pedestrians can pose safety hazards to drivers who are paying attention to the road. Calling it a “two-way street,” Callahan said many people text walking with their heads down and do not pay attention to oncoming traffic. “It is dangerous to text while driving,” Cuenin said. “Having said that, I do eat and use my cell phone while driving. Having cell phones in cars can be tremendously helpful for safety, if you need to call for help.” Cuenin reiterated the importance of responsible driving by citing a sign he saw outside a local Protestant church. “Honk if you love Jesus,” he said. “If you want to meet him, text while driving.”
Hispanic/Latino awareness group. Callahan said that additional Public Safety staff were on duty at both the concert and the Usdan dance event. “Concert security requirements are reviewed similar to other social events and usually require additional staffing and other support requirements,” he said. The Department of Public Safety is still evaluating the event and the impact it may have to any policies in the future. “Each event which occurs on campus is reviewed for security requirements. We provide an optimum level of security at events and supplement with additional staff as necessary,” he said in an interview with The Hoot. “Concerts may pose concerns due to the number of guests and the fact that they may be open to outside guests.”
Brandeis takes vegan challenge By Nathan Koskella Editor
Brandeis is once again in the running to be named Most VeganFriendly College Campus in a competition run by a group known as PETA2, the college student wing of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the nationally recognized animal rights group. In 2010, Brandeis won third place in the competition, losing only to Brown University, the eventual national champion. This year Brandeis hopes to match or even beat that record. Brandeis is again competing in the small school category, as it has fewer than 10,000 undergraduates. First place is awarded by a combination of student votes, available at PETA2’s website, and analysis by PETA2 of other factors including actual menu
options. PETA2 was founded nine years ago and promotes the parent group’s definitions of animal rights at high schools and colleges. The group is active on Facebook and Twitter, and maintains a popular blog. While PETA or PETA2 do not officially sanction affiliate chapters, student groups can log on to be sent materials supporting ethical behavior concerning animals, be they pamphlets, stickers or policy guides, and receive guidance on vegan food or bringing guest speakers to their campuses. The organizations campaign for animals to be accorded rights of liberty and especially safety from human use, according to the main website, “on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories and in the entertainment industry,” and holds that just about any killing, consumption and caging of animals is immoral.
Alumni association post vacant again By Nathan Koskella Editor
The Student Union will be holding yet another election for the post of representative to the Alumni Association this month, as the winner of the election last month has belatedly decided not to accept the position. Jenny Lau ’14 will not be assuming her role and a fresh election will be held Monday, Oct. 24. “This will allow us to gather more candidates, give people more time to
campaign, and allow us to look deeper into our current election system with Big-Pulse,” a statement by Union Secretary Todd Kirkland ’13 made available to The Hoot late Thursday said. The alumni representative position took several elections to find its current representative, the junior post, last spring as well. In the race for senior representative to the Alumni Association, sophomore Jenny Lau won. Rosen argued that the junior and senior seats reflect time spent on the Union, not one’s junior or senior class year.
Boston Globe: Upper Crust under immigration investigation By Connor Novy Staff
Upper Crust Pizzeria, which owns a location on Moody Street in Waltham, has come under federal scrutiny after allegations arose concerning the exploitation of its immigrant workers. According to the Boston Globe earlier this year, the Department of Labor began investigating the company again after it began to rescind the payments it was compelled to give workers after a previous lawsuit. Testimony will be heard on the issue of reneged payments by a federal grand jury this week. The charges to be considered by the jury are still unclear, and the Department of Labor refuses to confirm or deny that any investigation is taking place. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is a subdivision of the Department of Homeland Security, have been investigating the possibility that Upper Crust Pizza exploited the illegal workers that the company had brought from abroad multiple times. The pizza chain has had numerous suits brought against it by for-
mer employees for maltreatment of their immigrant workers, who largely originate from Marilac, an impoverished town in Brazil. It has been using under-paid illegal labor to deliver pizza and staff the kitchens of its expanding operations during the past decade. Luciano Botelho, former head kitchen manager who left earlier this summer while the investigation was in progress, was responsible for establishing connections with the village of Marilac. According to the company, he left of his own accord but Upper Crust refused to elaborate further. The workers were brought to the United States with the promise of jobs at Upper Crust, and the company seems to have some part in their emigration from Brazil, providing housing near the pizzerias. The original lawsuit was brought by four former employees to seek compensation for underpayment during long hours; the company had not increased overtime payment when employees worked more than 40 hours. Upper Crust Pizza was compelled by the Department of Labor to pay employees $341,000. Last year another civil suit was brought by a number
of former employees of the company who claimed that thousands of dollars were withheld from their paychecks so the company could regain what the Department of Labor had already made the company pay to illegal workers. Many employees were changed from hourly to salaried staff so as to avoid overtime payment. Employees worked between 70 and 80 hours on a regular basis. According to a former manager of Upper Crust, the employees were told they would have to take a pay cut to indirectly reimburse the company for the court-awarded amount, or quit. Workers claimed that after Upper Crust had recovered its money they were fired. Managers were made to work double shifts, to avoid overtime costs to the company. Those who reported wrongdoings to government officials claimed they were mistreated by the company or terminated. The labor allegations had reduced business last winter; according to a number of former managers, sales had dropped by 20 percent. During the investigation, boycotts by student organizations and immigration
the upper crust
activists have taken place outside their store. Food review websites like Chowhound.com may have contributed to the drop in sales when users post news of the worker exploitation lawsuits.
photo from internet source
The company has previously admitted mistakes in overtime payment but claims that the issues have been resolved. It denies any wrongdoing in the current allegations.
October 14, 2011
VIEWS OF THE WEEK
The Brandeis Hoot 5
Students decorate the sukkah
photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
crackdown A new speed meter monitors traffic on the portion of the Loop Road near The Rose Art Museum.
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot
on health Professor Stuart Altman (Heller) speaks at Heller about health care.
photos by albee qian/the hoot
sukkot Members of the Hillel umbrella groups come together to decorate the Hillel
sukkah, attached to Sherman Dining Hall. At top, Dori Stern â€™12 hangs a crepe paper disco ball to brighten up the sukkah. At center, students paint signs to be hung on the walls. At bottom, Hillel president Jess Goldberg â€™13 watches over preparations.
photo by alex patch/the hoot save the boobs Students table for breast cancer awareness, asking students to sign a petition to bring greater attention to cancer
prevention and research.
6 The Brandeis Hoot
October 14, 2011
The Katzwer’s Out of the Bag
Community break-fast: a nice idea but poorly executed
graphic by steven wong/the hoot
By Yael Katzwer Editor
One day last week, as I left the Shapiro Campus Center late in the evening, I saw the oddest thing: A group of students were running about the
By Rick Alterbaum Columnist
If I could give a title to 2011, it would be the Year of the Protest. From Wall Street to Tahrir Square, Tunis to Tel Aviv, Athens to Tripoli, Madison to Madrid—people around the world are rising up, advocating for change and taking political matters into their own hands. There are many ideological disparities that separate the demonstrations. Clearly the participants in the Arab uprisings, who were demanding an end to corrupt, authoritarian rulers, differ from, say, those protesting against austerity measures in European capitals. The colorful crowd that composes the Occupy Wall Street movement could not be further apart in terms of temperament, goals and political alignments from the Tea Party movement. Nonetheless, there are certain similarities that unite the grievances of protesters from the Middle East to New York City. In particular, the core message that motivates the objections of the demonstrators internationally is that the institutions holding the most national influence have, in some fashion, failed the greater public. Whether the target of the protests is supposedly unaccountable corporations, repressive regimes or an excessively large government, the recurring underlying theme is that the current power structure in society is inequitable and untenable. Domineering organizations are mo-
Great Lawn with balloons tied to their legs. What were they doing? I don’t know; I didn’t ask. But President Frederick Lawrence did. As I made my way past, watching them out of the corner of my eye, no longer shocked by anything I observe students doing at Brandeis, I saw President Lawrence approach them
and question them. Now this shocked me. In my first three years here at Brandeis I saw President Jehuda Reinharz a total of two times: during orientation and when he passed the baton to Lawrence. Reinharz never would have stopped to ask a group of students about their shenanigans—he
would have hurried to his next destination, too busy and too superior to care. In the past two and a half semesters, I have seen Lawrence dozens of times and, in nearly all of those instances, he was conversing with students. It seems as if he honestly cares about us, our opinions and our well-
being. It is refreshing. My opinion of him was only heightened when he led Kol Nidre, the nighttime services for Yom Kippur, which fell last Friday night. Not only did he lead services for the second year in a row but he interacted with those assembled, discussing the holy day and its significance to him, us and Jews in general. My opinion plummeted the following night, however, at the Fred ’n’ Kathy-hosted break-fast. Don’t get me wrong—it was a very nice gesture. One of the reasons I love Brandeis is its inclusive and welcoming community. It was nice for everyone to come together and the string quartet didn’t hurt either. This event, however, was planned shoddily and left me and others resenting community rather than embracing it. When I first entered the Shapiro Campus Center, I was overwhelmed by the crowd and by the noise. I was too overwhelmed. I, like many of my fellow Jews, had just fasted for the past 25 hours. I was hungry and shaky. I admit that I do not fast well; by the end of Yom Kippur, I am usually near fainting (I did faint once and will never hear the end of it) and am looking for a plate of food and a place to sit. For too long I did not get either of those things. The food lines were too long and I did not have the strength to fight through the crowd. Additionally, there were very few places to sit—those places having already See BREAK-FAST, page 13
A call for pragmatism in today’s protests nopolizing the levers of control in the state in a way that alienates and marginalizes the average person politically, socially and economically. Something is simply wrong with the present condition of the social compact. Out of this sentiment grows a sense of desperation. Traditional forms of political participation, such as voting and basic forms of lobbying, seem insufficient and futile in terms of fundamentally altering the status quo. Interest groups and factions that have become so entrenched in the current political arrangement can only be challenged in unconventional and even revolutionary ways. Mass mobilization is required even to garner the attention of what appears to be an otherwise neglectful elite class. This urgency and frustration is only amplified by poor economic conditions. And thus the world witnesses the myriad rallies, campaigns and demonstrations. This mindset may be understandable. Nevertheless, as someone who generally values stability and order, I am skeptical about grand, sweeping narratives of transforming society in an effort to correct perceived injustices. Yes, there are problems associated with the way political systems operate, both in the United States and especially in places like the Middle East. Protesters have to be mindful, however, of the alternatives to the existing state of affairs and they must remain level-headed in their assessments of the situation they are seeking to confront. The idealism and Utopianism that is fueling these demonstrations should
graphic by steven wong/the hoot
be moderated by a firm dose of pragmatism. Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, for instance, should resist calls to alter radically the financial sector and the market system that have fueled so much economic growth and prosperity. Instead, they should advocate for more sensible, realistic and constructive policies that can level the playing field to an extent while
maintaining the fundamentals of the economy. This seems like a dubious prospect though, considering the lack of intellectual sophistication witnessed in the protesters so far. Similar words of caution can be directed to groups like the Tea Party, whose views toward government can be interpreted by some as extreme. Even protesters in places like the Middle East and Europe ought
to be mindful of the alternatives to their own ideological visions as well the potential undesirable consequences of success. The complaints that are fueling this international turbulence are arguably legitimate. For the sake of stability and moderation, however, the participants in these demonstrations should consider advocating for more incremental and less dramatic reforms.
October 14, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
And they almost got away with it: lessons learned from a Netflix reversal
graphic by steven wong/the hoot
By Alex Schneider Editor
There’s something sinister about the recent Netflix decision to abandon Qwikster, a decision that, upon its face, appeared to be a gesture that consumers were right after all. It’s a lesson that Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan would do well to heed. It’s a lesson that applies quite well to Mayor Setti Warren of Newton, Mass. It’s a lesson well learned by administrators who oversaw the Rose debacle at Brandeis. But consumers aren’t buying the Netflix apology. And that’s why Netflix’s ploy will ultimately fail. — If you are like most Americans, you probably let out a sigh of relief last week when Netflix announced it was abandoning plans to split its service
in two, with streaming to remain part of Netflix and DVD shipments to be re-designated as Qwikster. I certainly did. Signing his blog entry from Oct. 10 simply as “Reed,” the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, wrote, “It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs. This means no change: one website, one account, one password … in other words, no Qwikster.” Score one for consumers, right? Well, not exactly. On Sept. 18, Hastings apologized for something completely different, a price increase of up to 60 percent by charging separately for streaming and the DVD service. Hastings wrote: “In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success. … But now
I see that given the huge changes we have been recently making, I should have personally given a full justification to our members of why we are separating DVD and streaming, and charging for both. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.” But in another hasty decision, Hastings then announced an even larger change, two separate Netflix entities, and without much justification, attempted to convince consumers that they would be required to pay for the services separately and sign in separately. What was so clever about the Netflix announcement was that the aim was to confuse, plain and simple, and confused consumers are exactly what any corporation wants. “Want a refund, you’ll have to call Qwikster—
here at Netflix, we can’t help you.” And, of course, any future price increases would have been independently announced, so if Netflix had raised its prices followed by Qwikster the month after, the ensuing outrage would have been diluted. Netflix customers were up in arms. The blog post that Hastings framed as an apology was filled with nasty comments from customers canceling their subscriptions and switching to—well, they never really said. Because, as we know, Blockbuster’s offerings are lackluster compared with Netflix and who really wants to use those silly supermarket “red boxes” anyways? A few weeks passed. Then the surprising announcement on the AP news feed: Qwikster plan abandoned. But the summer price hike? No reversal on that one. Not by one cent. Now there’s nothing set in stone with
Netflix right now, that’s for sure. And consumers have been voting with their feet, with Netflix’s subscriber base falling steadily during the last month. But Netflix has continued to apologize while threatening to make consumers lives miserable and the end result has been no actual changes. Consumers should be outraged. — CEOs, on the other hand, should be paying careful attention. Bank of America during the last year has raised its fees for checking and savings accounts across the board, angering consumers. But in the last month, they announced a $60 per year fee for debit card transactions, which has caused a number of customers to announce they’ll be switching banks. Here’s the hypothetical: Bank of America says “sorry” and drops the debit card fee; they would appease consumers and help improve their brand name. But the fees for standard accounts remain, even though they were once free. Thus the question: Would consumers ever accept an apology in such a circumstance? — Another, slightly different, example: Mayor Setti Warren from the great city of Newton, Mass., announced a number of months back that he would run for senator, despite a notable lack of experience in politics. In 2009, when he was elected, Warren won the election in Newton by an incredibly thin margin, highlighting his inability to draw a wide group of voters especially when held up against a See NETFLIX, page 13
Occupy Wall Street gets it right ... on a few issues By Sam Allen Columnist
During the past few weeks the Occupy Wall Street protests have spread from Zuccotti Park in New York City to all across the country. The protesters express frustration and anger at Wall Street and the federal government over issues such as income inequality, the influence of money in politics and the fact that the top 1 percent of the country has seemingly benefited at the expense of the other 99 percent. As a result, the protesters have started calling themselves the “99 percent.” Recently the protesters have gotten the attention of politicians in Washington, who have split mostly along partisan lines in their reactions to the protests. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House Minority Leader, has said she supports their message and President Obama has said he understands their frustration. Republicans, however, have largely condemned the protesters, as Eric Cantor did when he called them a “growing mob.” Presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have been especially forceful in their attacks on protesters. Newt Gingrich said the protests have “a strain of hostility to classic America.” Herman Cain said the protesters should “blame themselves” for their problems and that the protesters are un-American. Understandably, Republicans don’t like the protesters because of their disagreements regarding policies of welfare for the rich and large cor-
porations. The protesters are onto something, however, when they point out that income inequality is a major problem in this country. In fact, the last time income inequality was this high was in the 1920s, a decade that ended with a market crash on Wall Street and economic calamity. The influence of money in politics is another area in which the protesters are right on the money. Lobbyists have had far too much power in Washington, D.C., for decades and the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowed even more money to seep into our political system. Politicians today are held captive to their campaign donors because of the enormous costs of running effective political campaigns. Various corporate or union interests stifle their ability to legislate effectively because they are always looking out for their “constituents,” a.k.a. the people who write them checks. The protesters have also correctly identified that, during the past few decades, the top 1 percent and especially the top 0.1 percent have done well financially at the expense of middle- and working-class Americans. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic made this point especially well when he showed which percentage of income Americans in various tax brackets pay. People in the middle and fourth quintile, who compose the middle and upper-middle classes, pay 14.7 and 20.5 percent, respectively, of their income in taxes. Workingclass Americans, who are mostly in the second quintile, are paying about 9.3 percent of their income in taxes.
Meanwhile the top 1 percent pays only 13.9 percent and, incredibly, the top 0.1 percent pays only 9 percent of their income in taxes. It is disgusting that we currently have a system where mega-millionaires and billionaires are paying less of their income in taxes than working class families. When Republicans cry “class warfare” at attempts to make people with a yearly income of more than one million dollars pay more of their income in taxes, one cannot
help but laugh. Warren Buffett had it right when he said he and his billionaire friends have been coddled for too long. It is high time politicians in Washington took his advice and ended the current system in which we redistribute money to the super-rich. It is my hope that the Occupy Wall Street protests can focus on these issues, instead of crazy ideas, like totally open borders and the overthrow of the government. The United States needs a movement from within to fix
graphic by steven wong/the hoot
these pressing problems, not a revolution that destroys a governmental system that, for all its problems, still remains one of the best in the world.
The Brandeis Hoot
October 14, 2011
What Israel affirmed by accepting Hamas’ offer By Morgan Gross Editor
graphic by steven wong/the hoot
Sony subverts consumer rights By Gordy Stillman Editor
Back in April the Playstation Network went offline for more than a month due to the actions of hackers—allegedly the group Lulzsec. Class action lawsuits ensued when Sony admitted weeks later that vast amounts of personal data had been stolen. Back in 2010, similar lawsuits were drawn up when Sony removed a feature that allowed users to install Linux on their Playstation 3s. It was removed through a software update from consoles that had been sold and advertised with that functionality. In 2009, class action suits were filed after a system update rendered some systems inoperable. In April the Supreme Court upheld the legality of AT&T putting clauses in employment contracts barring employees from filing class action suits. It seems that Sony—taking a move from AT&T—decided to take away consumers’ rights to file class action lawsuits. While both cases seem ridiculous by barring people from exercising a right, AT&T’s situation makes more sense because it only affects people who choose to work and collect a paycheck or salary from AT&T. Back when I spent a summer working in the video games department of my local Toys “R” Us store, I was informed that, while I worked there, I was not to list Toys “R” Us as my employer on Facebook; if I had a problem with it, I could have found a job somewhere else. Last month Sony updated its
terms of service, a contract that any user must agree to in order to use any online functions, such as watching Netflix, playing games, or even downloading software updates and patches. Furthermore, new games come with updates on the disc. If a customer doesn’t agree to the new terms and install updates, the customer is unable to play new games. It takes around five seconds to skim to the bottom of the terms and click “accept” when you want to download an update or watch a movie. It takes significantly longer to read the terms fully and, if you oppose, go through the process of opting out. What makes this situation fundamentally different from the AT&T scenario is that consumers pay anywhere from $250 to $350 (up to $600 if they bought an older edition) just to own the console. Netflix, if you have a membership, and online game-play are available at no additional cost. Through advertisements of these features the PS3 was sold to consumers with these features as part of the value at $250, making the system worth less than its retail price without these features. Additionally, unlike with AT&T, where the employee has to sign the contract once, Sony requires users to continue signing the contract whenever they amend it in order to maintain the full use of their PS3. This puts users in a major bind because either they accept terms that limit their rights and remove functions from their systems or they lose out on some of the other major selling points
of the system based on Internet connectivity. By forcing consumers to give up their right to file lawsuits with class-action status, Sony also forces consumers to give Sony the advantage in individual legal disputes. Instead of class-action lawsuits, in which Sony could be, theoretically, ordered to pay million-dollar settlements to thousands of people, Sony gets to address each grievance on an individual basis. Sony’s displayed preference for arbitration out of courts is further to the detriment of consumers. Arbitration, an out-of-court settlement procedure, is a process where both sides split the cost of an arbiter, to the tune of a few hundred dollars per hour, unlike court costs, which are often paid by the losing side. This process is clearly unappealing to the average consumer, who would have an easier time just buying an Xbox 360 or Wii for less than the cost of an arbiter. Sony’s online service may be free to use but that doesn’t give Sony the right to take away advertised features or repeatedly ask customers to give up more and more rights in order to use the service. I could even accept this new contract for new customers, who would buy the system after the change was implemented, but for customers who bought PS3s before September, it is wrong for Sony to demand that customers either give up features or stop playing new games. Sony would do well to implement a grandfather clause, where the customer is held to the contract that was in place at the start of their use of the service.
“Israel Considering Proposed Deal to Free Soldier Held by Hamas.” When these words flashed across my blackberry in a New York Times breaking news brief, my heart skipped a beat. A quick trip to the paper’s website confirmed my suspicion: The “Soldier Held by Hamas” was none other than Gilad Shalit. The man who has been held as a prisoner of war by Hamas since 2006—the man who’s name I have worn on a bracelet since I attended a rally for him in the 10th grade. My immediate reaction can most accurately be described as a hot mix of shock, excitement, disbelief and relief. I was struck with the urge to sing and yell and scream and cry—though I did none of these things. Instead, I turned back to my computer and—in an attempt to gain more insight into what was happening—consulted all relevant media sources. The explosion of Facebook and Twitter updates I found, immediately following the breaking news update, confirmed its message. My friends shouted with exclamation points, capital letters and grand statements: This is the day that we had been waiting for. Finally, Gilad will be returned to his family, his home and his homeland. It is nothing short of a miracle. After five years of countless protests, prayers, Facebook events and failed negotiations, Gilad Shalit is coming back to Israel. Naturally, there will be costs—specifically, the release of some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners being held captive by Israel—but the deal has been signed and the rest is up to history. It is hard to disagree with the chorus of voices critiquing Israel’s deal for being uneven, fueled by emotion as opposed to strategy and—not only a negotiation with, but also—a surrender to terrorists. I can’t help but feel, however, as though this decision comes as neither a surprise nor a disappointment. This decision was born, not out of strategy, but out of ideology and an intense Israeli devotion to national solidarity at any cost. Israel stands behind its soldiers because almost all Israelis are soldiers. This type of decision is hard to understand out of context and without a real understanding of the relationship between Israeli culture and Gilad Shalit—and, more broadly, the
conflict as a whole. It is an understatement to say that Israel’s relationship with the conflict is complicated. Much of this complexity can be attributed to Israel’s size. Both geographically and in terms of population, the State of Israel is comparable to the size of New Jersey. This smallness means that any violence within the state’s borders poses a potential physical threat to the entirety of the country. Since aggression is almost a constant presence within the state, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) need to employ more soldiers than could be produced voluntarily and is forced to rely on a policy of compulsory military service for all citizens. Since all Israeli citizens are drafted into the IDF—and 80 percent of drafted citizens fulfill their service—the experience of serving in the military is inseparable from the experience of being Israeli; and, while not all positions within the IDF are focused on conflict, even if they did not see battle, every Israeli citizen has had a sister, uncle, cousin, childhood friend or elementary school teacher who served in combat. Because the Israeli experience is so defined by this closeness to battle, the experience of losing a loved one in combat is a constant fear that plagues the lives of all Israeli families. In such a small community, and one so defined by military action, prisoners of war are not able to be disassociated and simplified into numbers on a television screen—able to be processed and discussed without emotion—but are forced to remain individual, very real people (with all of the difficult emotion that accompanies that). In this way, Gilad Shalit is not just a prisoner of war, he is a lost member of the Israeli community. Gilad’s is a ubiquitous presence all across Israel; every citizen knows his name and face. He is the son of every mother who has had a child and his return to Israel means the reunion of the Israeli family. While I can’t say that I am without anxiety about the trade—it is almost too scary to think about all of the looming questions, which haven’t been addressed (In what condition will he be returned? What have these years done to him?)—I know that if nothing else, I can take comfort in the message this trade sends. No matter how this exchange turns out, it serves as a reminder that it will always be in Israel’s ideology to preserve and perpetuate Israeli solidarity at any and all costs. Now, I can only join in celebration with the rest of the world’s Jewish community and hope that our boy gets home safely.
photo from internet source
October 14, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Recovering what’s lost in American news
graphics from internet source
By Connor Novy Staff
I’ve begun to listen to the news again. It’s been a while. There was a long spell of completely ignoring what was going on in the world beyond the parameters of my desk during midterms and the tiny insulated bubble that is social life, and when I suddenly tried to listen to American news, I discovered that it physically hurt. My tolerance for inanity had diminished in the time away, leaving me vulnerable to every hit, unable to filter out the asinine bias. I had to ferret out a BBC World Service broadcast from the depths of the Internet, which was depressing in so many different ways. Even though BBC has recently suffered a journalists’ strike, which disrupted much of its programming, it still manages to have better coverage than most popular American programming. It’s state-controlled, there is some level of
government censorship, whether it’s direct and aggressive or just in vague influence and, again, even so it’s better than the American channels combined. The United States has forgotten what news is … or should be. What are facts? What is truth? What is valid news? (Answer: No one cares, no one knows and this adorable seal can sing “Ave Maria!”) Everyone younger than 30 and left of center is quick to bombast NPR as the saving grace of American journalism. I don’t like NPR. Or, rather, I like “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” and “Car Talk” because I’m a huge nerd, but I can’t whole-heartedly support such blatantly softcore news. They do have a liberal bias, which it seems everyone does if they are not staunchly Republican, and while I am uncomfortable with any partisanship in reporting, that’s not NPR’s biggest issue. By listening to both NPR and BBC intermittently throughout the day, I finally grasped what
FWB: friends with boys By Mariah Voronoff Special to the Hoot
No, it’s not what you think. There are no “benefits” of a more risque nature to be written about, this is simply about girls being friends with boys and vice versa. Now, if you’re rolling your eyes at this and thinking, “What is there even to write about?” then it’s a good thing that I’m the writer in this scenario because I do have something to say. Growing up, I always had friends. I’m not going to think back with disillusioned nostalgia and say that I was popular but I had friends nonetheless. Part of these handfuls of friends were boys. For those of you naysayers still wondering what on earth I’m going to write about to make this interesting, please bear with me through my preamble. I always had a close guy friend throughout my life. In childhood, it made sense that I got along with boys because I liked to play sports, rough-house and explore places I wasn’t supposed to. Even at summer camp, I got along better with the boys than I did with the girls; it just sort of fit together that way. So, what’s the problem, you might ask? This whole having-a-best-friend-who’s-a-guy works all fine and dandy until about the age of 13. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the beginning of my perpetual bad habits. Since the age of 13, I’ve had about four distinctive male relationships. These relationships were not started on the premise of something romantic but were completely platonic. There is something to say about having a best friend who’s male: They provide something that you don’t get from girlfriends. This is not to say that I don’t cherish the female relationships I do have but there is something you get only from male friends. Let me establish what I mean when I say guy friends. These are not the guys you hang out with in a group of people, a guy with which you have one or two inside jokes. A guy who, if it came down to asking someone to just hang out with you on a Friday night when you don’t feel like going out, you would ask. I’m talking about the guy friend whom you don’t think twice about calling when you’re frustrated about something, the person who likes the same music as you, the person with whom you can sit for an inane amount of
time and just talk about, for lack of a better term, stupid shit. The problem with the scenario listed above is that you come to let your guard down with these guy friends after months or even years of just chilling and talking about everything from guitars to competing to see who has more plaid shirts in their closets—sidebar, I own a lot of plaid. The point that I’m trying to make is that two people who spend this much time together can’t avoid falling privy to the thought of something beyond friendship. It is a personal theory, after experiencing this phenomenon of co-ed friendship, that one or both members of this relationship has to ask themselves if they want something more. If you’re still reading this and shaking your head at what I’m saying, then I hate to say it, but you haven’t experienced what I have. On the other hand, if you are reading this and feeling as if I’m describing your life, please don’t be alarmed. I’m writing for you. Back to what I was saying. When two people become close enough to one another and know all their secrets, pet peeves, guilty pleasures, weaknesses and just the thing that tickles their funny bone, it is inevitable for feelings to arise. So what happens next? In the past, when one person expresses their feelings, they end up getting hurt. I’m not saying that some of the best relationships don’t spring from friendships, because they do. For me, however, it has never been the right time. I never wanted to forgo the friendship and risk losing the person in my life. So here’s the kicker: There’s a reason why I’ve had about four of these types of relationships, the ones that come before but are no longer in my life for that exact reason. I’m not saying that I’ve stopped caring about them, because I always will. So why keep on letting myself become involved in these types of friendships and become attached when I know in the back of my mind that there comes a time when we have to figure out what we want? Because there is something to be said for a guy who is going to call you on your bullshit, who knows the little thing you do to get your way and who knows just by looking at you that you’re upset. It’s nice to be cared about and noticed in the simplest way. So I’m going to end this here and let you, only if you need to, reflect and examine what it is you want from that guy friend in your life.
made such a difference in quality. On BBC, there was an interview with a white farmer from Zimbabwe who had tried to fight the re-appropriation of his farm by the government. On NPR, an influential conservative was being questioned about the debt crisis. Even though the BBC was airing what was more “human interest,” the interviewer was grilling the guy. He brought up hard issues, questioned motives, made the subject prove what he was saying. The journalist on NPR allowed his subject to talk at length and without interruption for a number of minutes, without making him justify anything he said, even when he gave wellknown half-truths or misrepresented facts about the Reagan era, which even my vague, disused knowledge of American history was able to catch. There is something lacking in American journalists today. Whether it is born of a lack of aggression or biased funding, even the best Ameri-
can news agencies have become … nice. The British are beating us at being tough. Otherwise responsible news agencies, perhaps for fear of succumbing to screaming matches like we see on some television broadcasts, have become painfully polite. It’s unclear whether they are confusing nonpartisanship with complacency or cower for fear offending a listener, but they don’t take very hard jabs at anyone. No one can find the balance between the two extremes. Either we have talking heads shrieking nonsensically or we have warm fuzzy readings of Facebook comments from listeners who bring up the relevant points, after the subject has hung up, that the reporter should have asked. It’s not nostalgia, a desire to go back to those hard-boiled reporters with a pencil behind one ear and a cigarette behind the other, because they rarely, if ever, existed outside of fiction. It’s a rare hope that American journalism one day can balance ethics and still perform its obligation to the American public.
10 The Brandeis Hoot
October 14, 2011
This Week Student groups lending a hand in coming weeks in History Kindness Day expands in second year Brandeis
2006 Administrators an-
nounced that Ridgewood Quad will be destroyed in 2007 to make space for the new Ridgewood.
2010 Heller Professor
James J. Callahan dies after slipping onto an MBTA commuter rail train in West Newton.
1797 The USS Constitu-
tion is launched from Boston Harbor, where it is now the oldest ship still afloat.
1999 Margaret Marshall
becomes the first woman appointed Chief Justice of the state Supreme Judicial Court.
1931 Al Capone, one of
the most notorious criminals of the 1920s is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.
1964 Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistence to racial prejudice.
In efforts to show appreciation throughout the community, Brandeis has expanded last year’s Kindness day into a Kindness Week. It is concurrent with the national week of Kindness, which runs from Nov. 7 through 11. The week aims to lift the students’ spirits on campus and encourage them to show their thanks to those who impact their daily lives. This year the planning committee has arranged two community service projects accessible to faculty, staff and students.
The project is partnering with More than Words and Cradles to Crayons, both of which are located in Waltham. On Nov. 10, up to 25 participants will be volunteering at More than Words and, on Nov. 11, up to 50 community members will be volunteering at Cradles to Crayons. Free transportation will be given to those who participate. In addition to the service opportunities, Kindness Week will continue to offer free postcards in Usdan to students to send through
campus mail to friends, staff and professors. Students will also be able to fill out flyers to persuade people to engage in random acts of kindness. With Thanksgiving approaching, the timing for Kindness Week made perfect sense, said a member of the original committee, Professor Wendy Cadge (SOC) last year. Such a devotion to kindness would logically prompt feelings of gratitude. —Anita Palmer, Staff
Halloween for the Hungry back for 25th year
Although the minds of Brandeisians are usually overwhelmed with demands, such as deciphering the intricate sonnets of Shakespeare, memorizing the structures of amino acids or understanding the multifaceted relations between warring nations, it is important to put the books down and recognize the real-world demands that overwhelm those who neighbor our 235-acre campus. Hunger and Homelessness facilitates students’ ability to help lessen such burdensome demands. Hunger and Homelessness, part of Waltham Group, is running their 25th annual Halloween for the Hungry Food Drive. To run the drive successfully, which collected 2,500 items of nonperishable food last year, volunteers are needed to assist in trick-or-treating for these nonperishable food items. Hunger and Homelessness co-coordinator
Liz Stoker ’13 said, “the need for food in local shelters is greater than ever” due to a recent cut in state funding for food stamps. Stockpiles of food are running dangerously low “especially with winter ahead,” Stoker said. Look out for the coordinators and members of Hunger and Homelessness, who will be tabling in Usdan and outside Sherman during the weeks leading up to Halloween. Alternatively, an e-mail indicating interest in volunteering can be sent to Tina Zhang at firstname.lastname@example.org or Caroline Ahn at cahn@ brandeis.edu. As for the actual drive, volunteers can expect to be trick-or-treating from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Halloween night. The drive is sure to be a fun experience and all food collected will greatly benefit Waltham residents in need. —Jacklyn Gil, Special to the Hoot
photo by leah Margaret Goldberg ’12 collectd food finkelman/the hoot last year.
Three clubs unite to raise awareness for Somali famine
Everyday the world is becoming more connected. The explosion of social media has equipped any valid e-mail address owner with an interactive tool not only to learn about issues of international crisis through clicking on links posted by friends, but also to have their voice heard on the issue—transforming from student to activist with the click of a button. While technology has allowed people to see into once obscure corners of the world, they must not forget that knowledge of a crisis is simply the first step in being able to help. Additionally, it is important to remember that with activism, there is tremendous power in numbers. Riding on this ideology, members of Positive Foundations, Girl Effect and the Justice League
will be holding a 24-Hour Famine on Oct. 15 in the Shapiro Campus Center atrium in remembrance of those who have died from famines in Somalia. During the last three months more than 30,000 children have died from starvation and, without immediate assistance, more than 160,000 more children will likely die. Friday night at 6 p.m. keynote speaker Will Fenten from Oxfam International, an organization focused on ending poverty and injustice, will speak about the famine. Fenten will be followed by an advocacy workshop, led by Cynthia Tschampl from RESULTS, a grassroots non-profit organization also focused on poverty relief. In addition, there will be 24-hour famine tshirt designing contest, a $3 henna sale through
Henna for Humanity and a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims. Saturday will consist of team-building activities, case studies of previous international famines and, at 4:30 p.m., a panel discussion facilitated by Brandeis professors. At 6 p.m. Saturday there will be a post-famine feast supplied by Mango Thai and a reflection of the whole event. Monetary donations will be accepted, as well as non-perishable food items collected throughout the 24-hour period. Canned foods will be donated to the Waltham Food Pantry, while money will go to MADRE, an organization working to provide meals directly to Somalian families in need. —Jacklyn Gil, Special to the Hoot
YMA Fashion Scholarship at Brandeis: my internship at Ross By Abi Katznelson Special to the Hoot
1469 Ferdinand of Ara-
gon marries Isabella of Castile, uniting Spain and readying it to become a dominant world power.
1962 The Cuban Mis-
sile Crisis begins, bringing the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear conflict.
photo by alan tran/the hoot yma fsf winners Abi Katznelson B.A. ’11, M.A. ’12, Ji Yun Lee ’11 and Danielle Schivek ’11, the 2011 fashion
Last year, as a senior, I applied for the newly announced YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) at Brandeis. The YMA FSF’s mission is to recruit and cultivate the best students so they become the next generation of leaders in the fashion industry. Not only did I win a $5,000 scholarship but, most importantly, I made business contacts that I would never have had the chance to make before my internship this past summer at Ross Stores, an off-price clothing retailer. I never expected to end up as a buying intern at Ross this summer; we just sort of found each other. I’m not a keen believer in love at first sight but, I have to admit, there was an instant deep attraction to the things that make Ross Stores different from any other company for which I’ve worked. Let’s start with the fact that I met my division’s general vice president at a gala honoring scholarship recipients (including me) in the previous winter. I told her I’d love to work as an intern for Ross but I never expected she would help me set up not one but seven separate interviews to help me get a better idea of what I’d like to be doing during the summer. I’m an economics major but I’m also a professional photocopier, coffee runner and head nodder. I don’t know what most GVP’s do in most of the companies for which I’ve worked because I’ve never even met them. Ross may be the first place where someone finally got that cartoonish light bulb above their head and realized: Interns See FASHION, page 11
October 14, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Student recovering from severe car accident
You Know We’re Right
Strippergram violates roomie relations and Rights and Responsibilities Dear Leah and Morgan, Now, I am not the type of girl to seek out situations with naked men. Therefore you can understand my shock and horror when my friends hired me a strippergram for my birthday. I quite hastily slammed my door on the man and insisted he go away, even after he argued that he had already been paid. In retrospect, I fear I may have been hasty and hurt his feelings. Please help me! What is the proper etiquette for sending away a strippergram without making him feel lousy? Thanks, Still Blushing
Zides, right, in his role as a camp counselor this summer.
ZIDES, from page 1
Speaking replaced blue-book exams as the challenging learning activity of the day. And walking in hospital hallways replaced running on the turf before the start of preseason. “All the things you do and you take for granted every morning, he had to learn again,” Jordan’s mother, Donna Zides, said in a phone interview from the family’s Lynbrook, NY, home Thursday evening. Jordan Zides’ progress amounts to a miracle, his father Bruce said. Doctors who at first said he would never be able to speak or walk again are now shocked at his progress. “Two days after the accident I went to Albany to visit Jordan in the hospital to pray with his family,” Catholic Chaplain Walter Cuenin said. “At that time I thought Jordan was going to die. It was a very painful time.” The challenge for Zides now is a shortterm memory deficit, his parents said, explaining that his body has no marks from
injuries and he is physically stable. The Zides said they were amazed by the response of the Brandeis community, including Cuenin’s visit in the hospital to offer prayers of healing. President Fred Lawrence also sent hand written notes to the family and men’s soccer coach Michael Coven still calls Jordan’s father, Bruce Zides, on his cell phone nearly every day to check on his player. The car accident is under investigation by the Warren County Sherriff ’s Office; Major Shawn Lamouree, who responded to the scene of the crash in July, said he could not comment on the specifics of the accident. “There was an indication there was a distraction but not from a cell phone,” Lamouree said. Donna Zides too explained that she could not discuss the details of the crash. “I can’t go into specifics,” Zides said. “It’s still being considered a criminal investigation.” She said the accident has only reinforced what all parents tell their kids about
photo from internet source
safe driving, but added an extra element of caution. “That yellow light, I used to go through it,” she said. “I’m not going [now].” Following the accident, the 20-year-old New Jersey woman driving the Jeep was transported to Glen Falls Hospital with the 50-year-old man driving the dump truck, the other passenger in the Jeep and Zides. Both the Jeep driver and Zides were later transferred to the Albany Medical Center for serious injuries. Updates on Zides’ condition are posted by his family on a website, CaringBridge. org, which has already received 65,000 hits. “As we all have witnessed the miracle of Jordan’s continuing recovery in the past almost three months, it gives us time to be thankful for his strength and determination in making things appear as normal as possible,” Bruce Zides wrote in a blog post last weekend. “Again, while we all witnessed a miracle at miracle speeds, we sometimes need to be reminded that this is a long term affair.”
Katznelson B.A. ’11, M.A. ’12 reflects on fashion scholarship and internship FASHION, from page 10
are people too! As a matter of fact, we can be very useful people to a company (not to mention we can be persuaded to work for free …). Everyone at Ross seemed to have that idea, although I’m happy to say I was not asked to work sans pay. My first day I received an hourby-hour schedule for the next nine weeks, explaining which training I’d be taking and when. I compared with a new assistant buyer in my division: We had basically the same schedule! From the first day at Ross, I was being tested on my progress, challenged to take on more responsibility each week and cultivated to become a Ross employee. Sounds fun, right? It was! My days were never the same; I would leave the office each day for various market appointments and spend time interacting with my fellow interns (65 of us total) as mandated by some very charming group bonding activities. I was my boss’ shadow and, everything she saw, I saw too. Throughout the internship, the scholarship program that had led me to Ross sponsored a series called “Breakfast with the Boss,” allowing me to sneak out of the office every now and then to meet nearly one-on-one with a CEO or senior manager of a major company. Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to meet with Ross’s CEO, Michael Balmuth. By the end of my nine weeks, I was working in sync with assistant buyers and sharing the department workload where I could. Unfortunately, just when I got the hang of it, they gently reminded me the internship was over. I had no retail experience when I started my internship but I left with a clear understanding of what it would be like to work full-time as a buyer. What have I learned? Well, I’ve learned how to work with systems like Retek and RDW and how to read a sales ladder. But you don’t care about that. I never expected to end up at Ross this summer but I’ve learned that even abstract expectations can be exceeded. Sometimes the best fit can find you.
photo courtesy of hiatt career center
Katznelson speaks at Hiatt’s Business, Consulting & Finance Forum in September.
Dear Blushing, To be perfectly honest, neither of us have ever dealt with a situation quite like this, so we can’t empathize, but we certainly sympathize. We understand the complexity of this issue and we’re sorry you had to deal with it! Shock and Awe The first problem you faced was your surprise when he came to your door. When confronted with a new situation with no time to prepare or compose yourself, you understandably didn’t know how to react. It’s doubtful that he was expecting you to immediately throw yourself at him, so he probably wasn’t hurt or upset by your initial reaction. Following up Once you recovered from the initial shock, however, you probably could have responded more positively. Slamming the door in his face might not have been your most mature option and it may have been easier to say that you simply weren’t interested. What was he thinking? While there’s no way to know for sure, we can hazard a guess. As a male stripper, he’s likely used to social stigmas. If he doesn’t go into every job expecting customers to have expectations or preconceived notions, he’s crazy. He’s surely dealt with hesitant customers but, that said, he was probably surprised by your abrupt response. We doubt he was confused by it though. He may have been offended but he should have gone into the job knowing the possible reactions. What should you have done? (Or what to do next time ...) Turns out you did the right thing! According to section 10.10 of the Rights and Responsibilities handbook, “Visitors and guests are permitted in the residence halls, provided that consideration is given to the rights of all licensees. Should a roommate, suite-mate, or apartment mate have any objection to any guest’s proposed visit to the multiple-occupancy assignment, those objections must first be mediated before the guest may be welcomed.” You clearly weren’t warned, much less comfortable with the so-called guest. There’s nothing wrong with that! Opening the door and finding a naked man would be startling to anyone. If you’re concerned about the stripper’s feelings, you probably shouldn’t report him … which would be difficult anyway since you don’t know his name. You don’t have to report your suitemates to Director of Student Rights and Community Standards Dean Gendron, but you might want to make it clear that he wasn’t exactly your cup of tea. Better luck next time! Peace, Love and Great Advice, Leah and Morgan Have questions that you want answered by the lovely ladies of The Hoot? Submit your questions to email@example.com or at formspring. me/leahandmorgan! They will be answered by Leah Finkelman ’13, Features Editor, and Morgan Gross ’14, Impressions Editor. We’re so excited to hear your questions!
12 The Brandeis Hoot
"To acquire wisdom, one must observe." Editor-in-Chief Alex Schneider Managing Editors Destiny D. Aquino Sean Fabery Yael Katzwer Jon Ostrowsky Senior News Editor Nathan Koskella News Editor Debby Brodsky News Editor Leah Finkelman Features Editor Morgan Gross Impressions Editor Gordy Stillman Sports Editor Candice Bautista Arts, Etc. Editor Alana Blum Hoot Scoops Editor Savannah Pearlman Copy Editor Steven Wong Graphics Editor Nafiz “Fizz” Ahmed Photography Editor Ingrid Schulte Photography Editor Leah Finkelman Production Editor Emily Stott Layout Editor Brian Tabakin Deputy Sports Editor Suzanna Yu Deputy Copy Editor
Volume 8 • Issue 19 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma
Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman
Mission As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.
SUBMISSION POLICIES The Brandeis Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the community. Preference is given to current or former community members and The Hoot reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The deadline for submitting letters is Wednesday at noon. Please submit letters to letters@ thebrandeishoot.com along with your contact information. Letters should not exceed 500 words. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.
STAFF Rick Alterbaum, Louis Berger, Alex Bernstein, Emily Breitbart, Adam Cohen, Haley Fine, Jeremy Goodman, Edwin Gonzalez, Paula Hoekstra, Adam Hughes, Gabby Katz, Josh Kelly, Christina Kolokotroni, Ariel Madway, Estie Martin, Adam Marx, Connor Novy, Anita Palmer, Alex Patch, Lien Phung, Andrew Rauner, Betty Revah, Alexandra Zelle Rettman, Ricky Rosen, Nate Rosenbloom, Imara Roychowdhury, Aaron Sadowsky, Jessica Sashihara, Alex Self, Ryan Tierney, Alan Tran, Dana Trismen and Ariel Wittenberg
connect phone • (781) 330 - 0051 e-mail • firstname.lastname@example.org online • thebrandeishoot.com twitter • twitter.com/thebrandeishoot facebook • facebook.com/thebrandeishoot
Give a Hoot, Join The Hoot! For more information, contact us at email@example.com
October 14, 2011
Holiday dining closures unnecessary
randeis holiday schedules have become part of the fabric of the university we all love and attend. Students especially love the days off regardless of whether they are celebrating them as Jewish holidays or simply taking a much-needed break from classes. The dining schedules that accompany them, however, are an example of the very worst of Brandeis. On Thursday, the first day of Sukkot, Einsteins closed at midnight instead of its regular 2 a.m. Ostensibly this was because it was a holiday—never mind that the holiday, with its famous sukkahs at mealtimes, has nothing to do with the late-night hours of a coffee shop. Upper Usdan was closed for late breakfast, lunch and all afternoon, opening only for dinner. But of course the vast majority of students did not eat any of their food before dinner inside the sukkah and would have filled the main dining halls in Usdan the same as any other day. And the V-store and the Stein were closed entirely. What about Sukkot and what about a day off of school would mean students would be in the Village or Ridgewood area less often to go to
the V-store? And if anything, having a day off of school would make students more free to go out to the Stein Thursday night! If anything, Columbus Day, which was this past Monday, would be a more reasonable day to restrict the operating hours of our eateries. Of course it is expected and reasonable that classes should be canceled on Thursday, not Monday, when there is a Jewish holiday. But for dining purposes, the reverse can be true. Not only is it true that most dining workers at the V-store, Usdan and the Stein would probably much rather take off on Columbus Day, a collective holiday they can spend with family and friends, than Sukkot. But the numbers drawn away from those locations because of Sukkot are not enough to be worth their closing. And the arbitrary dining hours don’t just include holidays, with their exaggerated sense of necessity for the accommodation of observers. Einsteins closes ridiculously early on Friday, as if students begin their Friday night activities the minute classes end. Saturday hours are very few and don’t include much of the afternoons.
Students are usually studying Sundays when they’d like the student center coffee shop to be open—before 5 p.m. If Brandeis can’t have the dining services open for more hours, they should reallocate hours to some of these times. And the closings of other locations beside Einsteins—Lower Usdan, the Stein or the V-store—cannot even be justified. No Jewish holiday requires only one part of Usdan to be open at the expense of another and few holidays would ever affect the numbers of students at the Stein or the V-store to any substantial level. The fact remains that class cancelations are welcome and even necessary to respect both Brandeis’ heritage and the large Jewish community on campus. But the economics of food sales and the logic of customer support dictate a different attitude toward the dining halls. Just as Sukkot does not “redirect” nearly enough traffic to justify closing part of Usdan, the Stein and the V-store Thursday night, the number of students drawn away by most class holidays don’t merit a complete lack of options in student dining, of which Thursday night was just the latest example.
Vegan vote flawed, nothing but publicity stunt
his editorial board approves of any outside positive publicity for Brandeis. Really—if they have an award ceremony somewhere for Most Peppy Admissions Counselors or if there can be a national headline celebrating Brandeis as the single best of all the schools in the nation with liberal, inaugural Jewish Supreme Court justices as namesakes—that would be welcomed. So Brandeis’ competing once again in the Most Vegan-Friendly campus contest is just fine by us. Conducted by PETA2, the college arm of the nation’s preeminent animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the poll named Brandeis the thirdplace winner in last year’s contest. We lost to the winners, those hippies at
Brown. Yet while this serves our general interest in accruing accolades and raising our national profile, it does very little to advance the cause of the pro-vegan, animal-saving Utopia to which PETA aspires. Now this may be a very good thing, depending on one’s viewpoint. But in case one did happen to be suddenly struck by the strange desire to enact this agenda, an “American Idol”style, mass media, Facebook “Like” poll is not the way to do it. On PETA2’s website, any Web surfer may click any school and any number of schools to increase it’s chance of advancing to the next round to claim the title. The contest does not determine which school has the largest or most
varied selection of vegan foods. The poll does not take into account any rigorous comparison of animal rights activism. On a basic level, students at one university cannot judge how their school’s veganism compares to that of another school. The poll also lacks any statistical basis—the school with the most votes wins, regardless both of school size within the category (there are two, one each for big and small schools) or even of the passion of students (anyone can vote). PETA’s contest, then, sounds a lot like the board’s happiness for Brandeis: It is meant merely for positive publicity. But don’t we all know that PETA has had more effective and much more alluring publicity stunts than a push-poll?
Sound off! Take The Hoot’s student health survey as part of a news team project on mental health at Brandeis. http://thebrandeishoot.com/survey
October 14, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Leave Tom Cook alone—some things are private By Alan Tran Staff
Coming out can be a wonderful experience for people who are both empowered to do so and surrounded by loving and understanding people who wish them well. But, even so, it’s important to recognize that it’s equally valid not to come out, or to come out selectively or slowly, and that the decision is different for every individual. Tim Cook was COO of Apple in April when Out Magazine put him at the top of their fifth annual Power 50 list, marking him as the most influential member of the LGBT community. When Steve Jobs resigned in August, he became Apple’s new CEO, and Jobs’ recent death has only cemented his position as leader of one of the world’s most powerful companies. Now he’s being heralded as the most powerful gay man in the world—despite the fact that Cook has never publicly come out as gay. Apparently, it’s a similar situation to the one that has flummoxed fans of Anderson Cooper for years. While anonymous sources have supposedly confirmed what everyone suspects, he has no intention of confirming or denying the news himself. But with great power comes great responsibility—or so gay rights ad-
vocacy groups say. The president of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Justin Nelson, was quoted by the Washington Blade as saying, “What an enormous thing it would be to have an openly LGBT person leading … a Fortune 50 company. … I think this would send a very serious message that LGBT people should be at that table, they should be in those board rooms.” So what does it mean that the person assumed to be the world’s most powerful gay man is not out of the closet? Is it empowering or a sign that social norms can still challenge a man at the helm of a company that has made a permanent mark on society with its inventions? Some might speculate that he chooses not to come out in order to avoid having a negative effect on Apple’s image. If this is the case, what message does that send to ordinary LGBT people who are thinking of whether or not to take that same step? The idea that Cook is unwilling to come out in order to preserve Apple’s image doesn’t seem as likely considering Apple is already considered one of the most gay-friendly brands. The man, described in a profile with Gawker as a “voracious” workaholic with a relatively withdrawn social demeanor, seems
more likely to choose not to come out in his professional world because the matter is so personal. But whatever the reason may be, to disclose his sexual orientation— gay, straight or otherwise—is ultimately a personal choice for Cook to make, however and whenever he chooses to do so. Gay rights advocacy groups may lament the opportunity for a potential role model to shine but, regardless of social and economic class, this does not change the fact that coming out is a milestone that is different for each person. Even if his coming out would have a positive effect on other people’s lives, if that choice were one he would regret, it wouldn’t be the right choice to make. Coming out is not about everyone opening up about their personal lives to the general public. It’s not about knowing everybody’s secrets. It’s about having the freedom to be yourself and express yourself in any way you choose, to whomever you choose, the ones you love or the ones you hate or people you don’t even know. It’s not a mandate, it’s not something to feel pressure over, it’s not even a suggestion. Ideally it can be an opportunity for growth and connection for everyone. But if that’s not for you, you can be proud of that too.
The perils of undermining the consumer
photo from internet source
Too hungry to embrace nice gesture BREAK-FAST, from page 6
photo from internet source
NETFLIX, from page 7
political insider, State Representative Ruth Balser. Newton was furious. Having just elected Warren after years under the David Cohen regime—years no one in Newton would want to repeat—the mayor seemingly abandoned his city. That is, until another candidate with a similar name, Elizabeth Warren, announced her candidacy. Within just a few weeks, Setti Warren withdrew from the race. He apologized he asked us to move on. But he did so knowing very well that he had no chance at winning. The key question now is whether constituents will forgive and forget. —
The Netflix apology strategy is a good one but let me emphasize: It will not prevail. Setti Warren will one day need to answer to the people of Newton. Bank of America will lose consumers if they continue to raise fees on services we all used to receive for free. And Netflix’s CEO will soon be out of a job. Why? Because, while apologies work in the short term, consumers never forget. And half-hearted apologies, such as the one Netflix has offered, just aren’t good enough. At Brandeis, we had our own lesson in the utility of apologies three years ago. The Rose Art Museum debacle proved that although apologizing helps, major decisions that anger consumers—in our case, students, alumni and donors—have far-reach-
ing consequences. The resignation of former President Jehuda Reinharz was only the start of a cascade of changes that resulted from the ill-fated decision. Although our board of directors has remained largely unchanged, the decisions that resulted after the Rose Museum announcement represent a complete shift in priorities and goals, all of which are more aligned with the expectations of the community. The future of Netflix is guaranteed as long as they continue to produce a product that is better than the competition—and they do. But that doesn’t mean that they can ignore consumers in the process. After all, it is consumers—not executive officers—who ultimately pave the way for the successes and failures of corporations.
been claimed by those who arrived early (a.k.a. people who were not at services). I know it sounds like I’m just complaining about all the non-fasting non-Jews eating my food. That’s not it … entirely. I have experienced Brandeis community in the past at its best and I feel that, had those nonfasters been reminded that this event, while containing free food, was the first food that many people had eaten in 25 hours, they would have stepped aside and let the fasters raise their blood sugar a bit. But no announcement was made. No reminder was given. A simple sign would have done the trick. It has been my experience that most Brandeis students are decent people and, had they been reminded that, while they had eaten a few hours previously, we had not, they would have moved aside. Another solution would be two lines: one for fasters and one for non-fasters. Again, I do not believe that the other students would have switched lines and knowingly deprived fasters of food. This was simply poor execution. The counter-argument would be that there was enough food for everyone and it was, at most, only a 15-minute wait. But, when you have already been fasting for 25 hours, 15 minutes is a big deal and can make the difference between health and collapse. Another sign that this event was poorly planned was the confusion in regards to the expected Sherman break-fast. Every year Sherman breaks the fast with much of the same food that we had in the Shapiro Campus Center—the pizza bagels are expected and there would be riots if ever they were not provided.
In the week leading up to Yom Kippur, the Lawrence break-fast was marketed as an alternative break-fast that one could attend in the SCC as opposed to Sherman. Those of us who wished to partake in the Sherman break-fast were urged to sign up ahead of time, giving up one of our meal-plan meals. I did not find out that Sherman was not holding the break-fast until I, along with two other confused and hungry girls, arrived at Sherman Saturday night to see it empty and closed. We dazedly stumbled to the SCC. At the time, my blood sugar was just a little too low for me to realize that I had wasted my meal. While it was marketed to non-fasters as a free meal to build community, it was marketed to the fasters as a meal that would cost us. For people who are on limited meal plans, this is really frustrating. A friend of mine has five meals per week and basically just lost a meal. That forced her to use points for lunch the next day, rather than that meal. The free break-fast cost some of us money. Again, I think that it was a really nice idea but I am saddened that the idea was so poorly planned and executed. Rather than feeling the embrace of community, I felt like I was taken advantage of and shunted to the side—that is not how I wanted to end my Yom Kippur. If this communal break-fast does become a university tradition, as the invitation implied, I hope the planners will have read this column and will fix the flaws in the system. This was my last Yom Kippur here at Brandeis University, so I will not see how it is orchestrated next year; I can only hope that next year’s break-fast will meet the thoughtful and sensitive standards I have come to expect from this university.
14 The Brandeis Hoot
October 14, 2011
Judges fall to Case Western in second UAA match
UAA standings and over-all records Men’s soccer Team
10 – 1
Box Scores @Case Western
Women’s soccer Team
11 – 2
Box Scores @Babson
photo by paula hoekstra/the hoot
By Brian Tabakin Editor
Case Western Reserve defeated the visiting Judges 2-0 this past Sunday behind a pair of goals from senior Vinny Bell. The two goals made Bell the all-time scoring leader in the history of Case Western. With the win, the Case Western Spartans improved to 9-3 (1-1 UAA) while the Brandeis Judges fell to 7-3-1 (0-1-1 UAA). Brandeis goalie Blake Minchoff ’13 made six saves in the match. Bell, however, scored in the closing minutes of each half to propel the Spartans to victory. With just four minutes remaining in the first half, Bell intercepted a ball near
midfield, off of a Judges turnover, and dribbled to the box, burying the shot for his 36th career goal. In the second half, with just two minutes remaining in the contest, Spartans’ rookie Patrick O’Day and senior Michael Ihsan both assisted Bell with spectacular footwork to allow Bell to score his second goal of he afternoon. The two goals that Minchoff allowed were only his fifth and six goals allowed this season. Four of those six have been scored by 2010 AllAmericans such as Babson’s Eric Anderson. Despite the goals Minchoff gave up, he still leads the UAA in saves with 49 and in save percentage at .892, and he is second with a .53 goals against average.
The Spartans outshot the Judges 8-4 in the first half. The Judges offense, however, picked up the pace matching the Spartans with eight shots in the second half. Unfortunately the Judges were unable to get any of their shots past Case Western senior goalie Ben Yabrow, who stopped all five shots that Brandeis had on goal. Brandeis midfielder Joe Eisenbies ’13 led the team with two shots on goal for the match. Midfielder Sam Ocel ’13 and forward Lee Russo ’13 each had three shots with one coming on goal. Brandeis returns to UAA action Friday evening when they host University of Chicago at 4 p.m.
21 – 0
24 – 2
12 – 7
15 – 7
14 – 8
7 – 11
Box Scores @Emerson
Heartbreaker defeat to CWR after victory at Babson By Alex Bernstein Staff
Three days after defeating the seventhranked team in New England, the Brandeis women’s soccer team lost in a sad turn of events on Sunday, falling to 5-7. Last Thursday, the Judges defeated Babson College 2-1 in a hard-fought match in which Brandeis scored two first-half goals but, on Sunday, the Judges lost 1-0 on an 88th-minute goal scored by host Case Western Reserve University. The Babson Beavers, who were ranked seventh in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), had won eight games in a row before the Judges defeated them on their own field. Just under a minute and a half into the game, midfielder Mimi Theodore ’12 came up with the ball on the right side of the field and nailed a shot into the back of the net from about 12 yards out. The goal was Babson senior captain Lisa Wojnar’s first allowed since Sept. 24. Looking to add onto their fast start, the Judges scored again 15 minutes later when tri-captain Alanna Torre ’12 scored on a deflected corner kick by Alex Spivack ’15. The goal was Torre’s second of the season. Going into the half, the Judges were confident, having outshot the Beavers 10-3. In the second half, Babson had some better
chances to score. After having a shot blocked on a nice save by Brandeis goalie Michelle Savuto ’15, the Beavers capitalized in the 65th minute when junior Ashley Tourso scored her first goal of the season for Babson. Savuto made the game-saving stop in the 89th minute and the Beavers did not get another shot off for the few remaining minutes thereafter. Trying to win a second straight game, the Judges traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to face Case Western in their second UAA match of the season. The Spartans (9-1-2) had won two straight coming into the contest, with four of their last five matches being decided by one goal. The Judges came out firing early on, with three shots on goal in the first 15 minutes. Forward Hilary Andrews ’14 got two looks on goal but could not get the ball through the net. Brandeis only got two more shots on goal in the remainder of the half, ending up outshooting the Spartans 5-4, but remaining without a goal. Coming out more aggressively in the second half, the Spartans outshot the Judges 103. Savuto made four saves in the half but, in the 88th minute, a bit of bad luck struck when Spartan forward Laura Levey’s shot deflected off of a Judge defender and into the net. The loss was a tough one for the Judges, who are now 0-2 in the UAA.
Judge forward Maddy Stein ’14 expressed discontent with the way the Judges’ season has turned out, emphasizing the lack of shots that the team has come up with. “We’re just not taking a lot of shots, because we’re not connecting well. We haven’t been able to come up with a formation that works for us; we’re still trying to adjust.” She noted that part of the problem is also that the Judges are trying to score by making one long pass rather than multiple short passes. “We need to play smarter, playing by feet, rather than forcing long balls forward, which we can’t finish.” Stein did, however, seem optimistic that the Judges can continue improving and turn things around with the one month remaining in the season. “Going forward, we’re going to have to use our mistakes to get better and look at our wins and try to build on the good things we did.” She also noted that the team is a very tight-knit group. “Our team chemistry is amazing—we can criticize each other knowing that we’ll leave it all on the field. The captains, also, are really close to the entire team. They’re approachable and we can talk to them about anything.” The Judges return to action Friday night at 6:30 p.m. when they will host UAA opponent University of Chicago.
October 14, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Influential former athletic director passes away: remembering Rodis By Connor Novy Staff
Nick Rodis, former director of athletics at Brandeis University, died at Newton-Wellesley Hospital on Oct. 7, leaving behind not only a devoted family, but many Brandeisians who were influenced by Rodis as well. He was 87. Born in 1924, Rodis attended Nashua High School, where he is now remembered in its Hall of Fame. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II from 1943 to 1945 and played on the third Air Force Football Team as an offensive guard. A graduate of Harvard University’s class of 1949, he was an All-American honorable mention in both football and baseball, where he played both offensive and defensive line and center fielder respectively. In 1948 he played in the Harvard Blue-Gray All-Star game and was the only athlete to play twice for different universities, the first time being in 1944 for the University of New Hampshire. Despite offers to join professional teams, Rodis went on to bring renown to Brandeis’ athletic pronick rodis
grams. Prior to his time at Brandeis, Rodis was the first American vice president of the International University Sports Federation, coaching basketball in Greece, where he wrote the first Greek-language book on basketball. He was instrumental in involving the United States in the World University Games, second only to the Olympics, during his time as executive director of the United States Collegiate Sports Council. He also served under presidents Kennedy and Johnson from 1962 until his time at Brandeis as the special assistant for the Athletic Program in the State Department Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. In 1967 he joined Brandeis as the Director of Athletics and under his guidance the university won the only two NCAA Division III championships in the school’s history: the 1976 men’s soccer crown and the 1985 men’s cross country. During his 17 years as athletics director, seven women’s intercollegiate sports were introduced and the university won many regional championships. Even after his retirement from athletics director, Rodis was in-
volved in the university. He was key in obtaining fundraising for the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, which is now one of the largest multi-purpose athletic centers in the eastern half of the United States. He was responsible for hiring many of Brandeis’ current coaches, including Mike Coven and Denise Dallamora, men and women’s soccer coaches, respectively; fencing coach Bill Shipman; baseball coach Pete Varney; and those already inducted into the Hall of Fame, like basketball coach Bob Brannum and baseball coach Tom O’Connell. In 2000 Rodis himself was inducted into the Brandeis Hall of Fame, to rest with those he had mentored. Last year he received the Eastern College Athletic Conference James Lynah Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the athletic world during the past 50 years. Rodis was a role model and mentor to hundreds of athletes during his tenure at Brandeis and will be remembered fondly. He personally illustrated the university’s commitment to international social dialogue through his work overseas and has been a mentor to thousands of athletes, in the United States and elsewhere.
photo courtesy of brandeis athletics
Al Davis: a legacy beyond football By Brian Tabakin Editor
Gordy’s game guesses, week six
photo from internet source
Throughout his illustrious NFL career, Al Davis gained a reputation as a renegade owner. The face of the Oakland Raiders for the past 50 years, he was best known for coining the term: “Just win, baby.” He died Oct. 8; he was 82. Immediately following his death, the Raiders released a statement, which read: “The Oakland Raiders are deeply saddened by the passing of Al Davis. Al Davis was unique, a maverick, a giant among giants, a true legend among legends, the brightest star among stars, a hero, a mentor, a friend.” The argument can be made that Al Davis is the single most important figure in the modern era of football. As the commissioner of the AFL (American Football League) in 1966 Davis presided over the merger of the AFL and NFL. Though Davis was vehemently against the merger, his aggressive pursuit of players and talent from the NFL helped spur the eventual merger that made the sport into what it is today. Davis did things his own way. In addition to being the owner of the Raiders, he was also the de-facto general manager. Under his tenure, the Raiders became one of the most successful teams in professional sports, winning an AFL championship, three Super Bowls and 13 division titles, and they made 15 playoff appearances in the 18-year span from 1967 to 1985. The success the Raiders had under Davis, however, does not fully portray his influence. Davis pioneered civil rights in sports. When the Raiders were scheduled to play a preseason game in Mobile, Ala., in 1963, Davis refused to let the Raiders play there in protest of the segregation laws and successfully had the game moved to Oakland. Furthermore, in 1965, the
San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals Buffalo Bills at New York Giants Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
AFL planned to host its All-Star game in New Orleans; however, Davis once again protested because of the numerous racial barriers and inequalities in New Orleans at the time. His protests were instrumental in causing the game to be moved to Houston. In 1988, Davis hired Art Shell to be the head coach of the Raiders; Shell was the first black head coach in the modern era of football. Years earlier, Davis also hired Tom Flores to be head coach, Flores was just the second Hispanic head coach in the history of the NFL. Lastly, Davis broke the gender barrier when he hired Amy Trask to be the chief executive of the Raiders organization. While Davis’ Raiders embodied winning, the last nine years have not been kind to them. Following their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2002 Super Bowl, the Raiders have had one of the worst records in football. The Raiders have been led by five different head coaches in the past nine years. Despite this though, Davis’ commitment did not change: He lived to return the Raiders to their winning ways. For a man who had ultimate control over most things in his life, disease and illness were always things that bugged him. In 2008 Davis said, “Disease is the one thing—boy, I tell you, it’s tough to lick.” Just a few years earlier Davis also remarked, “I can control most things, but I don’t seem to be able to control death.” Though Davis had been subject to criticism during the Raiders decline during the past nine years, his infallible loyalty to his players and officials never wavered: Once a Raider, you were a Raider for life. Davis will be remembered for many things, among them transforming the NFL into what it is today—the most popular sport in America— and trailblazing for civil rights in sports.
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Miami Dolphins at New York Jets Byes: Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks Last week’s record: 11-2 2011 season record: 39-22
16 The Brandeis Hoot
October 14 , 2011
Boris’ Kitchen shows more than the same ‘Old Shit’ By Arielle Levine special to the hoot
Last Thursday night, hundreds of people gathered together in solidarity to celebrate Boris’ Kitchen’s “Old Shit Show.” (If only the Alumni Lounge could fit that many people!) People slowly trickled in, filling in the floor and the few chairs lining the room. The audience was comprised of students and parents, as well as former Boris’ Kitchen members. It was clear that Brandeis’ only sketch comedy troupe has quite a loyal following. The show’s director, Briana Bensenouci ’12, came onstage first. She introduced herself as Talya Gale and welcomed us to the “the Old Shit Show, where we provide you with the shittiest shit possible.” Bensenouci directed the show and also serves as president of the troupe; the name “Talya Gale” plays on the names of Paul Gale ’12, vice president of Boris’ Kitchen, and Talya Davidoff ’12, the secretary. All of the sketches performed were “old shit” that had been performed in previous Boris’ Kitchen shows in the group’s 22-year history, with the oldest sketch performed that night being from 1987. This is in contrast to their regular shows throughout the year that feature only original material and involve more costumes and set designs. The “Old Shit Show” is the blackbox version of a Boris’ Kitchen show. Besides some costuming (or lack thereof during certain sketches) for comedic effect, the actors wore their iconic jeans and black Boris’ Kitchen t-shirts. This, coupled with the Alumni Lounge’s size, gave an especially intimate setting. It felt like Boris’ Kitchen was performing to a room
of their friends instead of an audience of strangers. The only tech came in the form of Nora Mitnick ’12 and Cathy Messier ’12 who were in charge of music and lighting. The “Old Shit Show” felt like the audience was being given a sneak peak into the final rehearsal. The first sketch of the evening was alliteratively titled “Sexually Speaking with Dr. Seuss.” Actors sat in the audience wearing costumes that mimicked the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss, played by Ben Setel ’13, sat at the front and received “calls” from the actors in the audience. Their calls detailed unfortunate sexual troubles in rhyme. It is clear that a lot of thought went into each and every show, and this sketch is a prime example of that. Another of the extremely well-received sketches was “Make it Snappy” which featured Bensenouci, Davidoff, Rachel Benjamin ’14 and Peter Charland ’14. Even before a word was said, the audience began erupting into laughter. There were four people on stage in skirts, one of whom just happened to be a man wearing a wig in order to fit a company of mean girls. Some of the most well-received sketches were those that played on stereotypes. Whether they were stereotypes about Brandeis or other parts of the world, having the known comparison helped bring out the laughter. One example of this was “Tax Tips with Vinnie and Rocko,” featuring Yoni Bronstein ’13 and Charland, with a guest appearance by Gale. They played on the Brooklyn stereotype by speaking with a heavy New York accent, with loud screaming, mob connections and threats of brutality playing in the background. “Pregnancy Test” showed several Brandeis students going to the health center to see Nurse Ryland, their mal-
adies ranging from sprained ankles and bad coughs to asthma. For boys and girls alike, the nurse thought it evident that the problem was pregnancy. It wasn’t until a student came in who was likely pregnant that the nurse changed her tune and said it was something else. Since the troupe is universitybased, several sketches revolved around life in the classroom. One portrayed an organic chemistry student as being offered “life or death.” A grading mistake sends a student off to the back room. Another sketch shows a math class taught by Shakespeare, played by Christopher Knight ’14. In the math course, Shakespeare gives a hypothetical question about two trains about to collide that is unsolvable. When one of the students fails to complete the question and takes it a little too far, she ends up killing herself. Both of these sketches end with death, an unsubtle metaphor for the constant stress that so many students feel on a day-to-day basis. One of the main reasons for putting on the “Old Shit Show” is to show off the new members (or “newbies,” as the Boris’ Kitchen members call them). Michelle Wexler ’15, Michael Frederikse ’15 and Karen Lengler ’15 stole the show in “Limbo and Limbo.” While the sketch wasn’t the funniest of the bunch, the acting was impeccable. They are securing the strong future of Boris’ Kitchen. Of course, the show benefited from seniors like Davidoff and Bensenouci. In addition to her secretarial role, Davidoff acted as the assistant director. “This was my first time directing,” Davidoff said. “I really loved this new venue for my creative input. I loved working with Bri[ana] and the cast.” Davidoff says that she intends to continue directing in the future as it
photo by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot
‘old shit show’
is her “new passion(fruit) in life.” For Bensenouci, the immense time and energy commitment was all worth it. “Sometimes you wonder ‘Wow, we just spent 20 minutes figuring out the
logistics of making this kick to the balls look realistic, does it even matter?’ But then, when that kick in the balls happens and the audience get a kick out of it you realize, yeah, that 20 minutes did matter.”
With a waggle of the hips, Matt Nathanson charms By Dana Trismen Staff
Matt Nathanson—born March 28, 1973 (which makes him 38 and unfortunately too old for me)—is an American singer-songwriter who has toured with Sugarland, Train and currently Vanessa Carlton. He is San Franciscobased and has built up a pretty avid following during his years and years of touring. His songs have been played on hit television shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.” For those who have never heard of him, he wrote “Come On Get Higher,” a platinum-selling song that is one of those songs you hear without knowing when you first heard it. Other than that one song, however, Nathanson has managed to fly mostly under the radar when he deserves to be constantly thrust into the spotlight. I am an avid Matt Nathanson fan. I own every song he’s ever written, which totals in at about 83, some written in the year I was born (I wouldn’t recommend buying those old songs though—they’re mainly moaning with some guitar playing). I started listening to Nathanson in high school, when his deep lyrics seemed to connect ever so well to my not-so-complicated high school relationships. Now, I love Nathanson for his collection of songs so complete I can listen to them in whatever mood I’m feeling. The result of all this adoration resulted in my father and me taking a trip last Saturday to the House of Blues in Boston to see Nathanson. Despite the slight awkwardness of being in a bar with
my father, I completely enjoyed the concert. Nathanson is currently touring his “Modern Love” album. According to Nathanson, from both the concert and his online blog, it seems to have been mostly inspired by a friend’s relationship problems with love in the modern age. Nathanson is concerned with “Where does love live in the future?” and answers this with his songs
photo from internet source
“Room @ the End of the World” and “Bottom of the Sea.” Other songs came from less philosophical questions: “Queen of (K)nots,” for example, is an angry answer to an ex-girlfriend. What amazed me was the difference between Nathanson’s live rendition of “Modern Love” and the album. The songs on the record sound poppy, almost as if they try too hard, whereas the live performance actually played
very well onstage. Indeed, “Faster,” the single from the album, which I believe, sorry Matt, was written simply to get radio time, was quite uplifting live. What also amused me about his live playing was the sheer amount of guitars he used. In setting up his stage, he displayed approximately 12 different guitars, all of which he proceeded to use throughout the show. The members of Nathanson’s band must
not be ignored; he has another guitar player, a bass player, a drummer and a keyboard player. The other guitar player especially also sings back-up vocals and possesses a very soothing voice. He and Nathanson did a lovely cover of a Simon and Garfunkel song that actually gave me goosebumps. Nathanson is from Lexington, Mass., which made his comments about Boston all the more truthful. Usually I dislike it when artists constantly shout “WHAT UP BOSTON!” but in this case I could see the concert actually hit home for him. Another thing to note about Nathanson is that his songs are very sensitive, usually dealing with innermost thoughts that normally one would not reveal to another person. This contrasts very strangely but amusingly with Nathanson as a stage performer. He is actually very funny, making sly crude jokes and waggling his hips around before singing his sincere songs. In this particular instance I could have done without some of the sex jokes (concert with my dad, yeah) but overall the contrast only made him a more interesting person and performer. Nathanson closed the night with his encore of “Suspended,” a reflective song, to which the crowd sang along. I personally was very pleased with this because I had voted online for this song to be his encore; kudos to Facebook and the Internet. In general, Nathanson is as funny as he is sincere, just as his music can be both haunting and uplifting. If all you’ve heard is “Come On Get Higher,” you are missing out.
October 14, 2011
ARTS, ETC. 17
The Brandeis Hoot
‘(500) Days’ and ‘Pretty Woman’ feature quirky femmes By Candice Bautista Editor
We are in the midst of midterms. There is always work that should be done or work that should have been done already looming overhead. Although this stresses me out as much as it does anyone else, I find that this is the optimal time to watch movies non-stop. And that is what I’ve been doing; I have watched six movies in the past week: A strange mix ranging from “Pocahantas” to “Titanic,” “Gattaca” to “The Kids Are All Right.” One pair of movies that I can’t get out of my head, though, is “Pretty Woman” and “(500) Days of Summer.” The premises of these movies could not be any more different. “Pretty Woman,” the 1990 romantic com-
edy, is about Quirky Prostitute (Julia Roberts), who is picked up by Rich Millionaire (Richard Gere) to play as his date, and then some, for a week. During this week, in the fashion of all rom-coms, they slowly but surely fall in love once you realize that, one, Julia Roberts is a girl who needs some money while figuring her life out (she moved to L.A. to follow her boyfriend!) and, two, Richard Gere has commitment issues (his dad didn’t love him!). Your heart melts, spoiler alert, when Richard Gere overcomes his (what?) fear of heights to meet Julia Roberts at the top of her fire escape. “(500) Days of Summer” is also a romantic comedy, albeit the indie film brand of rom-com. The movie, released in 2009, describes itself as being “not a love story” due to the fact the movie is about Girl That
photo from internet source
Wears Retro Dresses (Zooey Deschanel) and Oh So Sensitive Cardigan Boy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)’s deteriorated relationship, depicted by various anachronistic scenes in said relationship. This movie appeals to our generation by how young and hip the former couple is (they had their first date at IKEA!), as well as how appealing Girl That Etc. is to OSSCB (she first kissed him at the office!). You hurt when Zooey Deschanel breaks up with OSSCB (i.e. you) and can’t help but glare at every commercial for “New Girl” for a couple of days after seeing the movie. Although the movies are not similar at all, they are both successful romantic comedies and there is much to say about the leading femmes. In fact, Quirky Prostitute and Girl That Wears Retro Dresses, both the romantic interests, have too many traits in common. Perhaps this is the secret to the archetypal femme in a successful rom-com? The role that QP and GTWRD play in the men’s lives is not the same old damsel-in-distress role. In a way, QP and GTWRD are there to “save” the man in question. For example, Quirky Prostitute is introduced to Rich Millionaire who, all his life, has been forced either to work hard or deal with the consequences. As a result, he doesn’t really trust people and treats relationships as thought they’re business deals. When RM meets Quirky Prostitute, it is an actual business deal and thus he feels entitled to get anything he can from her (which, of course, means—dun dun dun—love!). Instead of seeing the business deal as what it was, Rich Millionaire sees this as a way to treat Quirky Prostitute so nicely, she can squeal and freak out about how nice everything he owns is. RM is stuck in a mundane life; Quirky Prostitute is there to save him from
photo from internet source
that! Zooey Deschanel plays a similar role in Oh So Sensitive Cardigan Boy’s boring life. “(500) Days of Summer” appeals to viewers because, unlike Rich Millionaire’s struggle, OSSCB’s life is relatable. When the movie begins, OSSCB has given up his architect dreams and settles for a 9-to-5 cardwriting job. GTWRD is a distraction for him, similar to how these movies serve as distractions for the viewers, and gives him a purpose in life. Granted, GTWRD does not have much of a personality in the movie other than being a girl who plays hard to get and WRD. This, however, proves to be enough. Though at first OSSCB’s purpose was to court her, once they’re in a relationship, Zooey Deschanel in effect gives him a purpose to “live.” This is seen by how much better at his
job he becomes and how he becomes more pleasant to be around. Thus, when Zooey Deschanel, with all her quirks and unpredictableness breaks up with him and OSSCB cries to the Smiths, it is still a victory for him. He has survived it, has gotten stronger and the last scene ends with him applying for an architect job (albeit while meeting another potential romantic pursuit). “Pretty Woman” and “(500) Days of Summer” both are appealing romcoms because of how atypical they seem; although both involve girls “falling in love,” they defy the typical ideal of “damsel in distress, prince saves the day.” The archetype of “quirky girl helps man understand life is worth living” is the up-and-coming trope that leads to the new successful rom-com.
‘Law & Order: SVU’ finds stability without Stabler By Yael Katzwer Editor
I am an admitted “Law & Order” junkie. I enjoy all of the franchise’s incarnations and will flip through the television channels, trying to find an episode—any episode—of “Law & Order.” I am usually not disappointed. Many channels air “Law & Order” at numerous times throughout the day. My most difficult 7 p.m. decision is usually trying to decide whether to watch “Law & Order” or “Law & Order: SVU.” I often choose “Law & Order” because it is different and does not reuse character plots again and again. “Law & Order: SVU” became very predictable—you always tuned in expecting some sort of sexual depravity, a snarky comment from Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer), a near-crying jag from Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and an overly-aggressive response from Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). This is no longer the case. After 12 years of catching and attacking sadistic creeps, Detective Stabler has turned in his badge and gun. Meloni did not renew his contract with NBC and did not return to the show at the beginning of the 13th season, which aired Sept. 21. When I first heard that Meloni would not be returning to “SVU,” I was worried about how the show would fare. He had been starring as the central detective for 12 years and his freak-outs, while predict-
able, were always fun. By far his best moment occurred in season four’s episode “Resilience,” in which he confronted a mother who had, along with her husband, forcibly impregnated their teenage daughter (It’s “Special Victims Unit,” what were you expecting?). After being accused of that incorrigible behavior, the mother responds, “That’s disgusting.” Getting right up in her face, Stabler, face beet-red with the large vein in his forehead throbbing, screamed, with some spittle flying from his mouth, “YOU’RE DISGUSTING!” Great scene. This was more or less what the viewers came to expect from Stabler for the next eight seasons—and we were not disappointed. During the summer, I had hypothesized how Angry Elliot would be booted from the show. Finally, after much thought, I announced to my family that the only conceivable way to evict Meloni’s character from the show, while remaining true to his character, was to have him kill someone and have the Bureau of Internal Affairs fire him. Watching “Scorched Earth,” the first episode of this new season, I was shocked to see how close I was. As Meloni had not renewed his contract, he did not appear on the episode, but the others referred to his absence often. We found out secondhand that he quit his job—I know, I know, I thought he would get fired—after—get this—he shot a girl and killed her. Too funny. I was hesitant to accept “Law & Order: SVU” without Stabler, but I
quickly realized how refreshing it was not to be waiting for Stabler’s interrogation-room explosion. The show has replaced Stabler by bringing in new blood: Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins and Danny Pino as Detective Nick Amaro. While I am not entirely happy with these additions, I do believe they add something much needed— fresh blood. While neither character is developed enough to be their own person—Rollins reminds viewers of Connie Nielsen’s Detective Dani Beck in season eight and Amaro reminds viewers of Ice-T’s Detective Fin Tutuola in his earlier years on the show—both have the capacity to become something more. One reason these additions upset me, however, was that I always want more Munch and Fin. With these new characters, Munch and Fin are still only minor characters, which, to viewers who love their quick wit and sarcasm, is a sad thing. I am clearly not the only Munch fan— Richard Belzer has appeared playing the same character on more shows than anyone else; he even appeared on some shows owned by different stations, such as FOX’s “Arrested Development.” The new blood has also made me realize, however, that perhaps it is time to retire Mariska Hargitay’s Detective Olivia Benson. This is her 13th year on the show and her character has not grown much in that time. She is still an emotional photo from internet source
farewell Christopher Meloni (left) starred on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for
See MELONI, page 19
12 seasons as Detective Elliot Stabler. Mariska Hargitay (right), who plays Stabler’s partner, remains with the show.
18 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
October 14, 2011
First Born’s ‘Evilution’ actually fit to survive By Adam Marx Staff
Two weeks ago, I read an article in The Hoot about raw metal band First Born and their most recent recording effort, “Evilution.” What I read not only irked but also frustrated me. Like many other students around campus, I found the First Born album sitting in stacks on the benches in the student center—most likely through the efforts of a street-team organization—and, on a whim, grabbed a copy. The first thing that struck me was the artwork of the cover. Perhaps it’s a point of contention among modern music journalists, but I personally love the classic metal artwork used on First Born’s “Evilution.” Aside from a clever title alluding to the musical sway of the album (which, let’s face it, many albums lack these days), First Born decorated “Evilution” with a series of three skulls, each progressively more symbolic than the last. The first, most likely belonging to a Neanderthal, symbolizes where we’ve been. The middle, a simple human skull, symbolizes our now. But First Born’s cleverness becomes cemented in my head when I look at the third skull, the one closest to me in the picture.
photo from internet source
With widened eye sockets and grotesque teeth, this can only be the skull of a demon or goblin, symbolizing our descent into darkness and evil. Perhaps this all is a little far-fetched and not what the First Born members had intended, but that doesn’t detract at all from the great artwork of the album cover, reminiscent of Slayer’s
“Reign in Blood,” Megadeth’s “Peace Sells … but Who’s Buying?” or Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast.” Yet my description of the simple attributes of the album cover are where my agreements with the previous First Born article in The Hoot stop. From the start, I was irked by the terminology used to describe First Born
as a band. Comparing the album to other “laughable death metal albums” is a complete erosion of what the album is about. Perhaps death metal is a little outside the reach of the mainstream, but that doesn’t stop it from attracting legions of followers worldwide. As was explored in the rockumentary “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey,” death metal, with its roots in New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), speed metal, and classic hard rock. Death metal also has offshoots in the realms of thrash metal, black metal and power metal; it is a genre all its own not to be confused with the sounds of the other genres. To mix and match these terms completely derides the subtle but important differences between them and in such a way patronizes the bands that make the distinction. If the confusion of musical terminology wasn’t enough to frustrate me, I was completely put off by the patronizing way the music itself was described. Calling the album nothing that “hadn’t [been] heard before,” the author derides the album’s vocalist for “want[ing] to sound like Bruce Dickinson [the lead vocalist for Iron Maiden] but [not] hav[ing] the pipes for it.” What the focus here seems to miss, however, is that the lead singer does in fact possess the falsetto talents
to create an interesting combination of high-pitched wails alongside raw, guttural growls. To me, the sound seems like an interesting mix of Pantera and Judas Priest, with the latter showing influence in the falsetto vocals. Rob Halford—the lead vocalist for Judas Priest and the possessor of an eight-octave range—is clearly a strong influence here, along with the aforementioned Bruce Dickinson. Yet it’s not just the vocals that are pushed aside without any real analysis. The guitar work, too, seems to slip below the radar of the article, causing us to suffer greatly in missing out on some great metal chords and note progressions. With clear influences like Dimebag Darrell Abbot (Pantera), Glen Tipton (Judas Priest), Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden), Steve Clark (Def Leppard) and Kirk Hammett (Metallica), I am more than a little impressed by the screaming guitar notes on the album. Songs like “Dimensional Traveler in Time” and “Feed the Insane” demonstrate some of the best attributes of speed metal: fast guitars, rumbling bass and drums, and blasting vocals laced over
See FIRST BORN, page 19
Five contemporary horror movies to scream about By Yael Katzwer Editor
When people think of good horror movies—as opposed to the cliched schlock that is thrown at us so often— they think of such classics as 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs” and 1973’s “The Exorcist,” a movie that will prevent me from sleeping if I think about it too close to bedtime. These days, most “horror” movies are either just gross, like the “Saw” franchise, or just stupid, like the “Saw” franchise. There have been, however, some truly terrifying and superb horror movies in the past 10 years. Here are five. “The Others” is probably going to be the best movie on this list. The 2001 film from director Alejandro Amenábar was stylish and understated. The movie, set in Jersey toward the end of World War II, follows Grace, played perfectly by Nicole Kidman (before she got that atrocious plastic surgery), as she struggles to maintain the manor house with her husband away at war while caring for her two children, who suffer from photosensitivity, a deadly allergy to the sun. Just as Grace hires three new servants to replace those that abandoned her, odd things begin to happen. It appears that her home is haunted and these ghosts are not friendly. We do not see the ghosts; there is no gore. We hear loud noises off-screen and listen as characters recount their paranormal experiences. This only adds to the suspense though and it brings a stylish classiness to the film that many films today are lacking. The best part of this movie, however, is not the talented Kidman but the young actress who plays her daughter. Alakina Mann, who was only 10 years old during filming, shines as Anne, the rebellious child who interacts with the ghosts most often. Often children in films—especially horror films—are painful to watch. They tend to be poor actors whose main job is to whine and cry. Mann does not do this. Plain and simple, she is eerie; she is precocious, yet not overly
precocious. Also, the ending of this movie is to die for. It is truly a must-see. “The Descent,” a British movie, is director Neil Marshall’s 2005 all-out horror-fest and probably used all of the unused gore from “The Others.” The movie follows a group of adventurous young women as they go spelunking in a cave system that also inhabits—don’t freak out—subterranean man-eating creatures. It sounds stupid but is actually terrifying and very well done. Admittedly, the first 20 minutes of the film are painfully slow as they attempt to set up camaraderie between the women. Upon first seeing this movie, I was scared the entire movie would resemble a chick flick. I was quickly reassured when they descended. The mixture of the natural horrors of spelunking—lowering yourself into the darkness and squeezing through holes barely larger than you—with the supernatural menace leave the audience with a rapid heart rate and the unfortunate affliction of jumping at every noise. Perhaps the true brilliance of this movie is that the murderous cavedwellers are never explained. We never find out what they are, what they want, etc. It is the mystery that truly terrifies us. Unfortunately, 2006’s “Silent Hill,” from director Christophe Gans, did not follow this formula. Its rushed explanation of the odd happenings in the destroyed town of “Silent Hill” hurt the movie’s ambiance. That said, “Silent Hill” is still a great movie and is truly enjoyable, despite being based on a video game. It follows a woman as she searches an abandoned mining town for her lost daughter. This is the film for those artsy people out there. The scenery and the special effects are simultaneously terrifying and breathtaking. As the scenes change from the eerie, white-washed dream-world that most of the movie occupies into a hellish, dark pit of fright at periodic times throughout the movie, one has to admire Gans’ mastery. While the movie is not believ-
photo from internet source
scary spelunking Saskia Mulder and MyAnna Buring star in the 2005 film “The Descent,” in which a group of women are attacked by
humanoid, man-eating creatures while spelunking. The film is among five of the best horror movies of the last 10 years.
able—and I am not talking about the hell monsters so much as the policewoman who wears tight leather and sunglasses at night—it is enjoyable and will get your heart beating. Also, this is again a case where a young actress, Jodelle Ferland, does a phenomenal job and steals all her scenes rather than merely irritate the audience. “The Mist,” a 2007 movie directed by Frank Darabont about giant creatures emerging from the mist and forcing the few survivors of this one town to take refuge in a supermarket, is surprisingly good for a movie based off of a Stephen King short story. Admittedly, as genius as Stephen King is, a lot of his better sheer horror novels and short stories do not translate into movies well—cough, cough, “Firestarter.” “The Mist” capitalizes on many of King’s favorite tropes, such as the father-son relationship, the crazy religious lady and the mind-numbingly terrifying creature(s) slowly killing off the characters. But there is a rea-
son that King uses these themes over and over again—they work! Marcia Gay Harden is spectacular as the crazy religious lady. Her southern twang mixed with her stellar acting talent make her wholly believable. As she gains supporters and rants about how sacrifices must be made to appease God, she becomes more terrifying than the monsters outside the supermarket. This movie nearly made the mistake of over-explaining that “Silent Hill” made but, at the last moment, a scene explaining all about where the monsters came from was cut. Thank you. The ambiguity keeps the audience from becoming bogged down by details and lets them instead focus on the terror. Over-explanation seems to be a big problem for horror movies and it is certainly an error that 2008’s “Pontypool” made. This Canadian film from director Bruce McDonald falls victim to that by coming up with the most ridiculous explanation in the history
of explanations to tell us why zombies have popped up and are attacking. The first half of the movie, however, before the explanation begins, is heart-stoppingly scary. The movie follows some radio journalists as they slowly begin to hear reports from their outside reporter that people— not even identified as zombies—are behaving oddly. Slowly the tension builds as more and more reports come in. “Pontypool,” like “The Others,” gives us a lot of terror off-screen. For people who have been deluged by the in-your-face horror that many of today’s movies favor, this is welcome. As I said, the second half of this movie falls down flat, dragged down by a bogus explanation, but the amazing first half makes it all worthwhile. The classic horror movie is not dead, or even undead, although it has changed a great deal. There are still quality horror movies being made. Of course, your safest bet is probably just to go and watch “The Silence of the Lambs” or “The Exorcist.”
October 14, 2011
ARTS, ETC. 19
The Brandeis Hoot
Healthy choices from the Cafe Ridgewood cookbook
Arts Recommends film
photo from internet source
‘Soul Kitchen’ by Fatih Akin photo from internet source
By Gabby Katz Staff
The ambient scent of Bubbi Ethel’s house permeates the building of Ridgewood A on a daily basis, as my suite has begun a baking crusade this semester. It began simply enough with chocolate-chip cookies, a reasonably addictive treat that can be easily consumed every night. We only noticed our baking spiraling quickly out of control as we packed away our second 24-lb bag of flour neatly into Tupperware. Antiquing—throwing a handful of flour in somebody’s face—has become an Olympic sport here and thoughts of opening a Ridgewood bake stand have been popping up in our minds. So far, we’ve mastered every type of cookie and muffin known to man: lemon squares, apple cake, berry crisp, banana bread, carrot cake, the list goes on and on. We may not be trained bakers but, through the pursuits of our stomachs, I can safely say we are culinary extraordinaires and have discovered new healthy alternative recipes that can entice any lover of baked goods without packing on the pounds. Here are some baking tips we’ve created that will make your desserts decadent, delicious and diet-friendly!
–Substitute eggs with any fruit with a high pectin content—think bananas, applesauce or blended fruits like smushed mango—to decrease the amount of fat and cholesterol. –Substitute oil and butter with a non-dairy “fake” butter like Earth Balance in order to make cookies have a lower fat content. This will also make them parave. –Split flour into half white flour and half whole-wheat flour to increase the fiber content and decrease the amount of chemicallyenhanced ingredients. –Opt for a darker chocolate or dried fruit when putting chocolate chips in your baked goods. This increases anti-oxidants and provides added benefits. –Invite friends over. More people eating the final product means less eating for you, saving you from lots of calories and making the experience more enjoyable!
“Soul Kitchen” is everything you’d want a foreign movie to be: nonsensical, hilarious and full of unwelcome, random nudity. “Soul Kitchen,” a German film released in 2009, centers around Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos), a man who owns a restaurant that’s struggling to stay afloat. This, coupled with the fact his girlfriend is moving away to Shanghai for work, is the sole basis of the film. Although in summary the movie sounds rather dull, it’s the non-sequiturs that move the plot along and make the movie unforgettable. Whether it is Zinos’ brother getting out of jail, Zinos breaking his back or Zinos’ new chef attempting to murder someone, the film is full of strange, but hilarious, occurrences. The film’s hilarity is amplified by the fact that everyone is yelling in German—foreign languages are just plain funny! In short, “Soul Kitchen” is one of those ineffable films that keeps you giggling for days after.
candice bautista, editor
We made these discoveries as we were trying to justify our Ridgewood gluttony but they’ve actually turned out to be helpful not only for our hungry tummies but also for our fellow bakers. We wish you the best of luck in your baking pursuits and, if you don’t have an oven, feel free to smell your way to our suite and have a bite!
Watching ‘SVU’ after Meloni
Don’t sacrifice First Born
MELONI, from page 17
FIRST BORN, from page 18
with a semi-creepy obsession with her former partner, Stabler, and a compulsive desire to discuss her mother’s rape every five episodes. So far this season, she has been an emotional roller coaster because she misses Stabler so much—it is tiring. One of the things that made the original “Law & Order” so great was the nearconstant rotating door of characters. Some you loved—Jerry Orbach’s Detective Lennie Briscoe—and some you hated—Benjamin Bratt’s Detective Rey Curtis—but all of them were there too briefly to become cliched. The focus was always on the case, not the interchangeable detectives. Additionally, Tamara Tunie and B.D. Wong have been dropped from the lineup of “Law & Order: SVU.” We’ll still see them but hopefully not every episode and not in improbable situations (ahem, Tunie, I’m talking to you). These changes have the potential to revitalize what has been a flagging show. And, if I ever feel the need see Stabler flip out and attack someone, there are always reruns.
everything. With solos bordering on influences like the Scorpions and Motörhead, First Born achieves their clear goal: to make a heavy metal album reminiscent of the golden age of metal with all the frills and bells attached. As for the lyrical themes of the album, no, they’re not anything special or existential but that doesn’t mean they’re terrible either. The typical heavy metal topics apply: relationships, anger, disdain, philosophy, death, despair and redemption. Yet these are the topics that buoyed such classic albums such as Scorpions’ “Love at First Sting,” Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” and Anthrax’s “Spreading the Disease.” I’m reminded of a more classic form of Disturbed’s sound, trading in the alternative metal aspect for the thrash metal exterior. I would highly suggest listening to this album. If you’re a metalhead, I suggest it even more. Here I’ve found a modern band that brings me back to my first discoveries of Metallica and Iron Maiden. It gives me a giddy hope that real thrash metal isn’t dead and that there are new bands out there making new albums every day that could be the next “Ride the Lightning” or “Bomber.” That’s a good thought to help me sleep at night.
photo from internet source
‘Chronic City’ by Jonathan Lethem Critics have dubbed Jonathan Lethem a “genre bender,” and with good reason—his works have included dystopian nightmares and superhero fantasies. His most recent novel, 2009’s “Chronic City,” doesn’t deviate from that standard—it’s a paranoid detective novel set in a funhouse mirror version of New York City circa 2004. Chase Insteadman is a former child star who lives off television residuals and is invited to all the city’s galas, primarily so he can fill a seat and offer his hosts tidbits about his astronaut girlfriend, permanently stuck on a space station. His life changes when he encounters Perkus Tooth, a former rock critic who notices strange patterns in the world around him—and what a strange world it is. Manhattan’s being terrorized by an invisible tiger, while the financial district has been consumed by a strange fog … This is a novel concerned with corruption, both of the public and private varieties—city hall plays a big role. Lethem also peppers the novel with pop culture references, with copious allusions to Marlon Brando and Werner Herzog. It’s very much interested in the relationship between high and low culture; at one point, Perkus reveals that each week he types up articles from The New Yorker on his computer, as he believes its cultural prowess lies in its iconic font. At times, “Chronic City” reads like something by Thomas Pynchon—specifically “The Crying of Lot 49”—but with a bit more heart. It never veers into excessive sentiment, however, you do root for Chase and Perkus as their respective worlds unravel.
sean fabery, editor
October 14, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot 20
Library celebrates the 50th anniversary By Alana Blum Editor
In 1961, Joseph Heller published an anti-war novel that both provided America with a satirical way of looking at war and even a new-catch phrase. That novel—“Catch-22”—has since sold more than 10 million copies and has become an icon of the anti-war movement. Brandeis has the original hand-written manuscript of this influential novel. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the novel’s publication, the Archives and Special Collections Department at Brandeis has created an entire exhibit displaying the manuscript, planning materials, revisions, and letters of praise and even criticism of the novel. The exhibit was put together by Katherine Morley, a first-year anthropology graduate student at Brandeis. Brandeis received the first portion of the Joseph Heller collection in 1964. Two additional gifts were sent to Brandeis in subsequent years. Along with the material for “Catch-22,” Brandeis’ Joseph Heller collection also includes Heller’s manuscripts for the television show “McHale’s Navy” and his play “We Bombed in New Haven.” When asked in an interview why he chose to give away “Catch-22” in general, Heller joked to the interviewer that it was for a tax break. The university, however, can only speculate as to why Heller decided to donate the manuscript to Brandeis in particular. According to Sarah Shoemaker, the director for university archives at Brandeis, Heller had formally presented the manuscript in October 1964 to Leo Jaffe, who was both a member of the Brandeis board of fellows and president of Columbia Pictures. Meanwhile, Columbia Pictures held the film rights to “Catch-22” until 1969. The film was actually made by Paramount Pictures in 1970, and Leo Jaffe’s son, Stanley Jaffe, was by then the president of Paramount. It’s speculation of course, but it is a clue as to why Heller might have chosen Brandeis. One of the most interesting aspects to the “Catch-22” exhibit is that it shows every inch of planning and re-
photo from internet source
photo from internet source
“Catch-22” takes place during World War II. The protagonist, Yossarian, is a bombardier who has to fly a certain number of missions. If a soldier continuously flies missions without concern for his safety, he can be declared insane and he can therefore be grounded. But there is a catch. In order to be declared insane, all the soldier would have to do is ask. But if he knows to ask, then it means he is not insane and he must continue flying missions. This catch was called Catch-22.
what’s the catch?
vision that went into the creation of the novel. Heller had written the original manuscript in long-hand on yellow legal-pad. His editing process involved literally cutting and pasting pages of the draft together, as well as cross-outs and rewrites throughout the manuscript. Furthermore, the amount of planning that took place even before Heller began writing the novel is also visible to the viewer. Heller had created index cards as well
as an entire chart, which contains the names of the characters along the top of the chart, the chronology of the novel along one side, and the chronology of World War II along the other side. While Shoemaker expressed that the chart is interesting because it shows how deliberately chaotic “Catch-22” was meant to be, she also felt that the amount of visible editing is an important feature to the “Catch-22” manuscript.
graphic by katherine morley/robert d. farber univeristy archives & special collections department, brandeis university
highlights from the joseph heller exhibit The “Catch-22” exhibit includes photographs, the original manuscript written in long-hand
on yellow legal-pad, planning materials and correspondences between Heller and fans. Pictured here is a page from the original manuscript. The cross-outs demonstrate how much editing Heller put into the novel.
“Great novels don’t emerge fully formed from your brain,” Shoemaker said. “This takes a lot of work—writing and re-writing—which is why this collection is useful for students in particular to see what kind of editorial process is really involved in a novel.” A unique feature of the novel is that it coined the widely-used phrase “Catch-22,” rather than the other way around. Interestingly, “Catch-22” was not the original title intended for the novel. Heller had originally planned on calling the novel “Catch-18” but Leon Uris’ novel “Mila-18” was just about to debut and Heller did not want any confusion. Brandeis’ Joseph Heller collection also includes Heller’s correspondence with his editor, Robert Gottlieb, about this matter as they tried to come up with a new number. “We could all be going around saying Catch-18 rather than Catch-22,” Shoemaker joked. With “Catch-22,” Heller was able to capture a psychological phenomenon that people had previously had difficulty describing. A medical researcher from the Palo Alto Medical Research Foundation in California even sent Heller a letter claiming that he and his colleagues had been working on a psychological theory known as “the double bind.” In the letter, the medical researcher explained that the catch in “Catch-22” exemplified this double-bind situation and inquired as to how Heller had individually arrived at this psychological phenomenon. As Morley put together the exhibit she had to decide how to display effectively the manuscript and planning materials, as well as the correspondences—such as the one from the medical center. “It was really interesting because I hadn’t read the novel, so I came at it from a collections-based standpoint,” Morley explained. Before Morley had the chance to read “Catch-22,” she explored it in an academic light. She researched Heller’s experience in the war to see how it had influenced the novel. She read
through the fan letters, learned about the novel’s impact on American society and analyzed the planning materials. After Morley was able to read the novel, she felt more familiarized with the plot and characters. Morley even watched the film version of “Catch-22” in order to visualize the book better. Although the film hadn’t done well, Morley felt that it still added a lot to the experience since it enabled her to picture details, such as World War II air crafts, better. Morley therefore decided to use more pictures in the exhibit as well. One cannot read “Catch-22” without noticing Heller’s satirical approach to war. He does not make Yossarian, the protagonist, out to be a heroic soldier. Instead, he highlights Yossarian’s absurd behavior and his desire to stop flying missions. Yossarian’s comical experiences throughout the novel manage to make him more relatable. “I think he resonates with my sense of humor,” Morley said while discussing Heller’s satirical approach. “To quote a fan letter from someone who had served in World War II, [Heller] made the war understandable. [War is] such a bizarre situation, comedy is sometimes the only way you can effectively talk about it.” The “Catch-22” exhibit is currently accessible in the Goldfarb Library and it will be available through next semester. Interested students will be able to see the extensive amount of planning and revision that went into the creation of the novel, as well as Heller’s correspondences with other famous authors such as John Steinbeck. As Heller revised “Catch-22,” he cut and pasted portions of the novel with actual scissors and tape. With modern technology, cut and paste has become automatic, and it is therefore difficult to see how much work goes into writing a novel today. The fact that Brandeis has this manuscript—written in long-hand on yellow legal pad, cut and pasted—will help Brandeis students appreciate the process involved in creating a bestselling novel.
The Brandeis Hoot - Oct 14 2011