Home is where the heart is P. 10
7th heaven Stingers go to 7-0 P. 18
Tug of war, Concordia style
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 Graphic by Katie Brioux
life Anal bleaching: how to brighten your ass-ets P. 6
music Sharon Van Etten gives up control P. 14
opinions SOPA is down but not completely out P. 21
Volume 29 Issue 18
The university’s unions in ‘chronic’ struggle with administration over labour contracts Marilla Steuter-Martin Staff writer
Springtime is often associated with the notion of new beginnings and at Concordia, this year will be no exception. Collective agreements for some of the university’s largest unions are expiring and the time has come to head back to the negotiating table. Union contracts may seem a little dry at first glance, but if history is anything to go by, collective bargaining season is going to be anything but. Concordia’s part-time faculty association (CUPFA) president Maria Peluso calls complicated labour disputes “a chronic pattern at Concordia.” CUPFA will begin negotiating a new contract with the university in August 2012. Last time their agreement expired, it took seven years to finalize a new collective agreement. “The delays are unreasonable to achieve any closure or conclusion […] and the lengthy nature of negotiations speaks to whether there is good faith in such protracted negotiations,” Peluso said. She explained in an email that multiple campus unions complained of similar experiences, such as the univer-
sity cancelling meetings at the last minute and not being properly prepared. Extended negotiations between CUPFA and the administration began in 2002 and lasted six years, leading to a costly arbitration and rotating strikes. The conflict went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and culminated with judges ruling in CUPFA’s favour in the 2008/2009 academic year. “What is the point of negotiating a collective agreement that is not sustainable, gets ignored, and then it costs money just to handle all the conflict and grievances?” said Peluso, referring to the extensive legal fees involved in a court case of this level. Concordia’s full-time faculty association (CUFA) has already begun meeting with administration to develop a new collective agreement. So far things are going smoothly, but union president Lucie Lequin said it hasn’t always been that way. Generally, negotiations last six to eight months—the last time around it took CUFA two-and-a-half years. “[The negotiator for the administration] showed a lack of organization, lack of good will, and lack of efficiency,” said Lequin. She cited the unpreparedness of the administration’s team as the main reason for the process dragging on for so long.
After two years of waiting, CUFA requested a conciliator to help them come to a solution. Now facing another round of bargaining, Lequin said she is not hopeful, but would like to see “a real commitment to see negotiations completed in a timely fashion.” Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota confirmed that CUFA and the administration have already met five times and have a schedule drawn up. “The bottom line is moving forward. The goal is to arrive at a collective agreement as soon as possible,” she said. Mota did not want to address the past difficulties between the union and administration, calling the discussion “not fruitful.” She said the adminis-
trative negotiators are looking to the future. “Everyone is bargaining in good faith, and fully committed,” said Mota. Another negotiation worth keeping an eye on is the United Steelworkers local 9538, which has been without a renewed collective agreement for the past five years. Members of the USW walked out Sept. 7 to show their dissatisfaction with the administration. Concordia VP institutional relations Bram Freedman confirmed in a press release that a conciliator has already been appointed by the Quebec Ministry of Labour. Should both parties fail to come to an agreement, USW does have a strike mandate. The USW could not be reached for comment.
ColleCtive Agreement: the contract made between an employer and a union on behalf of all the employees. gooD fAith: legal obligation in collective bargaining in which both parties must try to reach an agreement. ArbitrAtion: a single arbitrator hears presentations by both sides and then issues a final and binding decision that establishes a new collective agreement. ConCiliAtion: a form of “outside help” which involves the appointment of a government employee known as a conciliation officer who tries to bring the two parties together. grievAnCe: a wrong considered as grounds for complaint launched through official channels.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Got a news tip? firstname.lastname@example.org
City in brief Alyssa Tremblay
Fire (!) at the metro
A small electrical fire at Guy-Concordia metro caused the Société de transport de Montréal to temporarily shut down the Green and Orange metro lines last Wednesday. Commuters were asked through the STM’s intercom to leave the metro station around 6 p.m., closing the downtown-serving Green line from Frontenac to Angrignon and the Orange line between Berri and Snowdon. Smoke was seen blowing into Guy metro, which remained closed until 7 p.m., according to The Gazette. Many frustrated metro users took to Twitter, some complaining that the STM’s Twitter account @stminfo took too long to report the disruption, others worrying that the delay would make them miss the hockey game at the Bell Centre.
CUtV Vs. soPa
CUTV took down their website on Wednesday in solidarity with other online groups protesting the U.S. government’s anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA. In an interview with OpenFile Montreal, CUTV’s web and distribution coordinator Fahim Moussi explained that the station decided to protest the legislation because CUTV relies on the Internet as their main way of sharing content and videos with the public. The two bills, which the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate voted to shelve indefinitely last Friday, proposed heavy fines and jail sentences for anyone uploading copyrighted material to the Internet illegally.
Students and staff at Vanier College went back to school with some hesitation last week after a routine inspection in November discovered mould in the college’s N building’s air ducts. A letter sent out on Dec.13 alerted students and staff to the problem, giving people suffering from respiratory problems the option to change classrooms or offices, CTV Montreal reported. The school plans on tearing out and replacing the building’s 25-year-old ventilation ducts this summer.
FaUlty lamPPost kills dog
Damaged electrical wiring is being blamed after a dog was electrocuted to death by a lamppost in Outremont. Kelly Downs was walking her dog Lily along the sidewalk on Côte-Ste-Catherine last Tuesday, the usual route they take on their walks, when Lily suddenly fell over and began to seize, reported CBC Montreal. Downs’ neighbour claimed that his dog had received a similar but nonfatal shock while passing the same lamppost on the street earlier that evening. The borough of Outremont responded to the incident, saying that the lamppost’s wiring has since been fixed.
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Survey finds ConU not challenging students
Senate discusses survey results, debates allowing cameras into meetings Shereen Ahmed Rafea Staff writer
oncordia University is lagging behind other universities in terms of the level of academic challenge, according to the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) released at last Friday’s Senate meeting. The recent survey compares Concordia to over 700 universities by examining responses from 3,454 random Concordia students. It looked primarily at first- and last-year students in Canada and the United States. “There’s not much improvement there...not a significant change in slope,” said John Molson School of Business faculty senator Gordon Leonard at the meeting. “My interpretation is that we have
to do a lot more than just say we did a good job,” he added. Bradley Tucker, director of the Office of institutional planning, noted at Senate that Concordia’s results in categories other than academic challenge, such as “student faculty interaction” and “supportive campus environment” showed some level of improvement. The NSSE survey, which was first piloted in 1999, gives insight into undergraduate students’ learning activities. The purpose then “was to try and give information to universities drawn from their student population that let them know whether they were engaging in practices that have been shown to have impacts on students’ postuniversity experiences,” said Tucker. He also said the NSSE began in a period of “ranking mania.” Opposing the survey results, President Frederick Lowy said that “despite the turmoil last winter” re-
garding the ousting of his predecessor Judith Woodsworth, “academic activities continue unabated.”
smile for the CAmerA No conclusion was reached on the issue of whether or not journalists should be allowed to broadcast Senate meetings live. “It’s already in the public domain, we don’t need to go any further than that,” said Leonard. Concerns were expressed that cameras in front of the senators’ faces while they are talking could be both intimidating and distracting, and that anyone could attend the meetings instead. “I was indeed one of those who raised concerns, after the November meeting,” said Rae Staseson, an arts and science senator. “I found the presence of roving cameras disturbing and not following journalistic ethical guidelines.”
Staseson said that allowing cameras into Senate could “inhibit very frank discussions and debates” and “enhance a kind of overly exuberant senatorial performance.” However, some senators, mostly student representatives, spoke strongly on behalf of allowing cameras in, as long as those behind the cameras were following proper guidelines. “My opinion is that these meetings ought to be both recorded and broadcast,” said student senator Gene Morrow. “I think that it’s fairly clear that with everything that’s happening here is in the public interest.” The issue was unresolved and sent to Senate’s steering committee for further review. A similar plea for live broadcasts of Board of Governors’ meetings was recently voted down by a majority of governors.
McGill ignores results of student vote Admin refuses to validate CKUT and QPIRG-McGill referendum questions Alyssa Tremblay Interim news editor
Student groups are responding after McGill’s administration announced that it will not be recognizing the results of the Students’ Society of McGill’s (SSMU) fall 2011 referendum because the wording of the questions were “unclear.” The news incited reactions from the independent student groups who posed the questions: McGill’s campus radio station 90.3 FM CKUT and research group QPIRGMcGill. Both QPIRG and CKUT posed similarly-worded questions asking students to confirm whether or not they a) support the continued funding of the independent groups and b) agree that the fee opt-out period should be switched from online to in-person. In both cases the election re-
sults revealed that over 60 per cent of students voted “yes” in the referendum, which saw over 5,000 students coming out to vote between Nov. 4 to Nov. 10. However, after a preliminary meeting with the administration in December, QPIRG and CKUT were notified via email that McGill would not be recognizing the results. Kira Page, a member of QPIRG’s board of directors, says that by not validating the results, the university is refusing to acknowledge the mandate of McGill’s student body. “We had over 700 students sign to say that they understood the question and they believe it should go to referendum,” said Page. “It went through all the democratic processes available to us.” The questions under administrative scrutiny were originally approved by Elections McGill, SSMU’s electoral body. SSMU president Maggie Knight sent a public letter to McGill’s deputy provost (student life and learning) Morton Mendelson asking for an explanation. “The clarity of the question is primarily a debate between CKUT and QPIRG and McGill,” said Knight in an interview, ex-
plaining that the SSMU’s role is to represent its constituents, the undergrad students who voted in the referendum. “When we see that both questions passed with majority vote, this appears to be the will of the student body so it’s our job to stand up for that,” Knight said. However, some are siding with the university. According to the McGill Daily, a public hearing regarding a case filed by two students with SSMU’s judicial board asking for the referendum results to be invalidated due to alleged electoral infractions is set for Jan. 30. McGill requires independent student groups like QPIRG and CKUT to prove that students still back them via “existence questions” in referendums every five years before being able to renew their memorandum of agreement. By invaliding the referendum results, CKUT board of directors student representative Myriam Zaidi says the station is left scrambling. They need to renew their agreement with the university to secure funding, and the lease for their space is up in May. “The McGill administration has a lot of power over us and we feel cornered,” said Zaidi.
Both QPIRG and CKUT have until Feb. 5 to submit new, differently-worded questions to SSMU council in time for the spring referendum.
opt-out A hot issue At mCgill In voting overwhelmingly in favour of CKUT and QPIRG’s referendum questions, students were also agreeing to change the way that the fees that fund these student groups can be refunded. Students have the option of being refunded for these fees during an opt-out period, which lasts for two weeks at the beginning of the fall semester following the deadline to add or drop courses. In 2007, McGill moved the process online, allowing students to opt-out of paying these fees with a click of a button. CKUT and QPIRG oppose the change, saying that online opt-outs do not properly inform students about the groups they’re funding. They also argue that the online opt-out hinders their ability to plan their finances and makes it easier for pro opt-out campaigns to influence students to take back their money. They are pushing for the opt-out process to be moved from online to in-person.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Follow us on Twitter: @TheConcordian politics
The NDP leadership race is coming to ConU University to play host to town hall-style debate on Jan. 25
Nation in brief Sarah Deshaies
We ordered What?
Marilla Steuter-Martin Staff writer
he “orange wave” is making a pit stop at Concordia as the New Democratic Party will be holding a leadership debate at Loyola this week. Organized by Concordia NDP as well as the NDP branches of Pierrefonds-Dollard, Lac-St-Louis, NDG-Lachine and Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, the event is taking place at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Candidates who have confirmed their attendance are Niki Ashton, Nathan Cullen, Peggy Nash, Romeo Saganash, Martin Singh, and Brian Topp. After the debate there will be time to ask questions and interact with the candidates who are all vying to fill the gap left in the party following the death of former NDP leader Jack Layton last August. This same week will see Bob Rae at Concordia. The Political Science Students’ Association and Liberal Concordia have invited the interim Liberal Party of Canada leader to speak at the university on Friday, Jan.27. The Concordian caught up with NDP candidates Nathan Cullen and Peggy Nash for a sneak preview of what to expect in Wednesday’s debate.
In a tough economy and in the shadow of a national deficit, the Conservatives have been cutting costs across the board; however, somehow an order for 20,000 orange stress balls came through the Department of Defence for the end of March. We can rule out the stockpiling of stress balls to pelt at our enemies in the case of war, because the notice posted for the contract said the balls would be a “promotional item.” The CBC, in reporting the item, noted that the “small rubber balls are popular giveaways at trade shows.” Tight-fisted, newlywedded Defence Minister Peter MacKay put the kibosh on the order when he got wind of it.
the sPy that sCreWed me
News has emerged that two staff members of the Russian Embassy left Ottawa a month or more before last week’s arrest of naval officer Jeffrey Paul Delisle. Another two diplomats are reportedly no longer accredited to be in Canada. Experts and sources can’t agree on whether the diplomats were spying. Russia’s foreign minister commented that they were surprised to hear about the Canadian media reports, since the two staffers were scheduled to leave at the end of 2011 as their rotations ended. Delisle was arrested in Halifax on charges that he communicated info that could harm Canadian interests. Sounds like someone at the Department of Defence could use those stress balls now.
Join this JUry
athan Cullen was first elected in 2004 in the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley in B.C., and has been re-elected three times. He serves as chair of the House of Commons’ standing committee on privacy, access to information and ethics.
Marilla Steuter-Martin: What made you decide to run for the leadership?
Marilla Steuter-Martin: What made you decide to run for the leadership?
Nathan Cullen: It was a reflection of what kind of work I was doing in politics, I wanted to do something more generous. We do things a little differently in the community I represent, less partisan, more positive. MSM: What is one of the most important issues in this campaign for you? NC: People need to have their faith restored in voting. We have to give people back a reason to vote. The system is only legitimate if people contribute. They validate our work as politicians. MSM: Do you think it’s important that students get involved? NC: Today’s students are the most
engaged and connected generation in the history of the planet. We have to be better as politicians. Young folks’ dreams for a cleaner environment and a better world, politics are a tool for that. MSM: What sets you apart from other candidates? NC: I think politicians need to learn to cooperate with each other more. I have some pretty revolutionary proposals in my platform. Parties sometimes get in the way. They are means to an end, not the end itself. MSM: Why should someone vote for you? NC: My fantastic Hollywood looks and charm. Honestly, I’m different. I believe in manifest change, not just platitude.
eggy Nash is the MP for Parkdale–High Park in Ontario. A former unions activist and labour official for the Canadian Auto Workers union, Nash served as the finance critic in Jack Layton’s Shadow Cabinet.
Peggy Nash: I believe strongly in Jack Layton’s vision in uniting progressives across Canada. I want to build our party so that we can continue Jack Layton’s work and win the next federal election. MSM: What is one of the most important issues in this campaign for you? PN: Canada has lost hundreds of jobs, we’re seeing an increasing number of raw materials being shipped out, and we’re turning our back on our environmental promises. We need to start investing in green technology and sustainability. MSM: Do you think it’s important that students get involved? PN: Absolutely, they are the future. I met some really interesting ones through the Occupy movement; people who care
about environment, education, and who are worried about having a bleaker life than their parents had. I want to connect people with this passion, through politics. MSM: You have a French language degree, how important is bilingualism for you? PN: It’s a serious priority. I’ve worked very hard to maintain my fluency all my life. We have an opportunity to build our social democratic movement and this means respect for French language and culture. MSM: Why should someone vote for you? PN: I have the economic experience, a proven track record and the ability to bring people together. I know what it takes to build our party; someone who is tenacious and is a strong leader.
London, Ont. Superior Court Justice Kelly Gorman, needing just one more person to complete a jury, called in the cops to help, in her words, “wrangle up” her remaining juror. Local police found 20 people who happened to be near the courthouse last Tuesday morning, and one woman was selected. More than 130 potential jurors were originally screened in the trial of three men charged with assault, threats and forcible confinement. Gorman told one jury candidate, “I’m sure this was quite a shock.” Her reply: “It was.” What a way to start your day.
the adVentUres oF Wonder Vag, Pt. 2
Because life in London, Ont. isn’t exciting enough, health officials there are launching the second chapter of a controversial online sex-ed game. The first chapter of Adventures in Sex City featured the infected Sperminator, which fired sperm with its penis-shaped arms at characters like Wonder Vag, a virginal “Barbie-like” hero. The city’s Catholic school board banned it because it ran against its official policy of abstinence. Now Wonder Vag has been captured by her evil twin, Bloody Mary, and placed in a cage in a bar. Unless heroes like the Sperminator, now cured, can rescue her, she will be forced to drink alcohol. Players are asked questions related to sex and risky behaviour. You can learn about safe sex at http://bit. ly/kQYcp, where the new game will be launched on Valentine’s Day.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
World in brief Fighting for the right to learn lecture
annals oF the internet
Much of the Internet went dark on Wednesday to protest SOPA and PIPA, proposed American bills to combat online piracy and infringement, to the detriment of people doing homework. Millions participated to highlight the risk of censorship, leading legislators to suspend action on the bills on Friday. That same day, four men were arrested in connection to charges that online file storage giant Megaupload. com is a huge money launderer responsible for criminal copyright infringement. Hactivists responded by hacking the U.S. justice department’s website. Meanwhile, Kim Dotcom, the quirky, porky German multimillionaire and co-founder of Megaupload, was arrested in a raid at his Auckland mansion on Friday, brandishing a sawed-off shotgun in a safe room.
yoU’ll need to google yoUr desserts
Fortune has named Google as the Best Place to Work for a record third time in a row. Google has long been famous for offering employees perks like free food and massages, but co-founder and CEO Larry Page showed he wasn’t afraid to be the disciplinarian of his high-tech family by keeping sweet things out of reach. “We started putting the desserts around a wall, just around the corner, to keep minions healthy,” he told reporter Adam Lashinsky in a Q&A. Just guessing, Larry - if your pampered, genius employees crave something sweet, they will likely track it down, regardless of where you stash the cheesecake.
saddam onCe again the BUtt oF Jokes
Because apparently there’s a market for this sort of thing, Trebletap is a company directed by Jim Thorpe that transforms war memorabilia into works of art. Thorpe was arrested on suspicion of illegally holding onto a piece of a statue of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein taken down in central Baghdad at the end of his reign. In 2003, company founder Nigel Ely used a sledgehammer and chisel to snag a two-foot piece of Hussein’s bronze buttock. The Iraqi government complained to British officials last week, and Thorpe was questioned under a UN order that forces anyone holding on to Iraqi cultural property to hand it over to the police.
a nail to the head ain’t nothing to FUCk With
Dante Autullo didn’t notice he had shot a 8.25 cm nail in his skull in his suburban Chicago workshop on Tuesday, but he did feel nauseous the next day. It was only when his fiancee Gail Glaenzer persuaded him to go to the hospital that doctors discovered that a nail gun had indeed fired into his head, missing the area of the brain that controls motor function by millimetres. The 34-year-old’s sense of humour remains totally intact.
Canadian premiere of human rights documentary takes place at Concordia Alyssa Tremblay Interim news editor Tuition might be rising, but Quebec university students should count themselves lucky. At this moment in Iran, hundreds of young adults are meeting in secret, travelling long distances and crowding in living rooms or kitchens—all for the chance to get a university degree. These are the students of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education, a volunteer-based underground university running out of private residences and the subject of the documentary Education on Fire that had its first Canadian screening at Concordia last Friday evening. The screening took place in the Hall building as part of a free twoday event organized by Concordia and McGill’s Associations of Bahá’í Students. “One of the main principles of the Bahá’í faith is the unification of mankind and the equality of all its peoples,” said Nasim Sharafi, one of Concordia’s Association of Bahá’í Students executives. “When we see human rights abuse we really want to take action.” Co-sponsored by Amnesty International and directed by Jeff Kaufman, the film addresses the persecution Bahá’ís face in Iran as a religious minority, including the denial of access to higher education. The Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education was
created as a response to this in 1987. In May 2011, the homes and facilities that housed the university were raided by Iranian police, destroying photocopiers and equipment and arresting its members. The violence spawned awareness campaigns around the world, including Education Under Fire. “Even though I was part of the organizing team, I hadn’t seen [the film] myself. It was very powerful, very moving,” said Greg Newing of Concordia’s Association of Bahá’í Students. The documentary has already been frAnk ChAlk teAChes history At ConCorDiA. photo by ClArA hAskell screened in schools across the U.S., including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute In addition to the documentary Khanjani told the audience, explainof Technology (MIT) where many ad- screening, a panel on the current hu- ing the reality of what attending BIHE ministrations have responded to the man rights situation in Iran was held is like for Iranian Bahá’ís. “You go to film by accrediting BIHE degrees at last Thursday. An audience of just university but there is no name for their universities. Newing hopes for over one hundred people gathered it, no one has heard of it. You have the same to happen at Concordia. to hear lectures from three speakers: to keep it a secret from all of your “It’s really good when universi- McGill professor and president of the friends.” ties accept these degrees,” he said, Iran Human Rights Documentation A letter from Nobel Peace Prize explaining that it makes it easier Centre Payam Akhavan; Concordia laureates Archbishop Desmond for Bahá’ís to find work in other history professor and director of the Tutu and East Timor President Jose countries. Concordia’s Association Montreal Institute for Genocide and Ramos-Horta and a petition asking of Bahá’í Students, representing Human Rights Studies Frank Chalk Iranian officials to end discrimination Concordia’s small but active Bahá’í and Nika Khanjani, a former lan- in Iran were available for people to community, plans to start a petition guages teacher at BIHE. sign in support at the doors. Both the asking the university to accept BIHE “Imagine you finish high school letter and the petition can be found degrees here as well. and you want to go to university,” online at educationunderfire.com.
Panties and dildos and fishnets, oh my!
in A flurry of feAther boAs AnD strobe lights, sAlon De l’Amour et De lA séDuCtion (or everything to Do With sex shoW) set up shop At plACe bonAventure lAst friDAy. the three-DAy event CAtereD to the sexuAlly Curious, offering boDy pAinting, boDy CAsting, mAssAges, seminArs on sexuAl topiCs, AnD tAble After tAble of venDors selling sex toys AnD lingerie. those feeling less vAnillA CoulD Also CheCk out the Whips AnD bonDAge over in the Dungeon AreA AnD
“erotiC bonDAge for lovemAking” to “Art of sensuAl spAnking.” over At the mAin stAge, this yeAr’s entertAinment inCluDeD performAnCes from “Queen of burlesQue” roxi D’lite, mAle exotiC DAnCer AssAssin AnD spiDey the hypnotist AnD mAgiCiAn. photos by sArAh hoWell WAtCh DemonstrAtions on topiCs vArying from
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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Quebec students set to strike March 22 FEUQ, FECQ confirm date, but associations still need to vote on a general strike day Sarah Deshaies Quebec bureau chief MONTREAL (CUP) — After a day-long meeting on Jan. 21 in Quebec City, the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) and the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) have reaffirmed the intention to strike on March 22 to protest rising university tuition fees. But first, the individual member groups need to seek approval from their constituents. “We have the mandate to ask our associations to go on strike, but first they need to ask their members if they want to, and then we will be able to say the FEUQ is on strike,” said president Martine Desjardins, who made the announcement with FECQ president Léo Bureau-Blouin in Montreal on Jan. 23. The date was chosen earlier in December to coincide with the timing of the release of the finance minister’s budget. Desjardins said that FEUQ, the student lobby group that is often a government negotiator, has not been invited to sit in on the pre-budget consultation meetings that are now taking place. After walking out of the same meetings in December 2010, she said their calls have not been answered by the finance department: “We asked them to talk with us. But they won’t do it.” Several associations are planning longer strikes at different times,
feuQ presiDent mArtine DesjArDins
feCQ presiDent léo bureAu-blouin reAffirmeD the intent to strike on mArCh 22. photo by nAvneet pAll
confirmed Desjardins. “We talked a little about the different waves of strikes that are going to be happening,” said Chad Walcott, VP external for the Concordia Student Union, which is a FEUQ member. “Whereas some schools are going to strike earlier in February, and others later in March, [there’s] a wave of pressure that’s moving toward March 22 and the end of the academic year for that last push.” On its own, the CSU is planning a school strike for March 26 to 29, a citywide Montreal protest on March 1 and a
sleep-in at one of Concordia University’s 24-hour libraries in February. “I don’t think anyone’s officially ready to go on strike, but some departments are starting to talk about it,” said Walcott, who is working on a booklet for Concordia students who are considering strike action. Desjardins added that a protest is also planned for Feb. 14, when the National Assembly returns from a break, and stunts will be staged at different campuses on a weekly basis up until March 22.
“There [are] a few things that we have to do, and it won’t be easy, and we know that,” said Desjardins. “But people are willing to do this and are very optimistic. “We can make history [with this]. We held the second-biggest protest [in Quebec] on the 10th of November,” she added, recalling last semester’s day of action, when about 20,000 students marched to Premier Jean Charest’s downtown Montreal office. The day culminated with a handful of arrests and a confrontation between riot police and
students on McGill University’s campus. Charest has said the government will go through with gradual tuition hikes, beginning in fall 2012, to culminate in a total rise of $1,625. Quebec permanent residents currently pay the lowest tuition fees in Canada, but FEUQ and FECQ, which represent about 200,000 students in universities and CÉGEPs across the province, assert that further tuition hikes could harm students’ finances. The education ministry could not be reached for comment.
is looking to hire a team of advertising representatives to generate advertisements for the printed and online editions of our weekly newspaper. The team is expected to target local businesses and clients that will be of interest to the Concordia community. They will be working with the advertising manager and earning commission on the external ads they bring in. Applicants must be self-motivated as the positions involve cold-calling and emailing, going door-to-door and promoting the newspaper by advertising, postering and attending university and community events. This is a great opportunity to get involved at Concordia while also applying knowledge learned in class out in the real world (and make some extra money on the side.) Interested candidates must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of their resume and a brief description of their personal background, as well as which neighbourhood they would like to focus on (Loyola or SGW).
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Write to the editor: email@example.com anal bleaching
s u n a n A
r o f e y d to
Graphic by Phil Waheed
What you should know about this bizarre new butt trend William D. Pelletier Contributor
Bleaching your anus is slowly but surely becoming a staple of beauty trends in Western countries. This new procedure has been gaining much media attention. Major publications such as Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan have already talked about it, and jokes were even made about anal bleaching in the epic movie Bridesmaids when Kristen Wiig’s character tries to insult rival bridesmaid Helen for getting her anus bleached. But what is anal bleaching anyway? Well, the area surrounding your anus is usually more pigmented and consequently darker compared to the rest of your skin. Right after waxing your anus, you apply an acid (bleach) or a whitening agent on that darker area that you slowly rub in. After a few applications, the skin around your anus will blend in perfectly with the rest of your booty. Many choices are available to you if ever you were interested in having a pink anus. You can go visit a spa that will wax you, apply the bleach on your skin, and give you the bleach to take home. You then need to apply it approximately two times a week for the following eight weeks. The spa visit lasts approximately
20 minutes and costs around $100 to $150. You can also try over-the-counter bleaches and do it in the comfort of your own home. It is important to say that we aren’t talking about your typical hair bleaching products. These are creams that contain a usually small percentage of hydroquinone, an organic compound used as a topical application that lightens your skin. These creams (sometimes gels) usually retail between $40 and $60. Now where did this peculiar trend originate? From porn stars. Many noticed the darker hue of their anuses after waxing and wanted them bleached. The beauty secret spread throughout the business like wildfire and is now reaching us normal citizens. Anal sex has also become increasingly more mainstream and less taboo, leading people to be that much more keen on bleaching their anal area. But applying harsh chemicals on your derrière can’t be harmless, right? “The skin around your anus is extremely fragile,” said Dr. Michèle Ohayon, a dermatologist. “The problem with these whitening agents is that they irritate the skin. Since the skin in the genital region is already that much more fragile than your regular skin, the possible side-effects outweigh the benefits of whitening the anal area. It could even lead to eczema [an inflammation of the epidermis.]” What’s even scarier is that your genital skin can darken even after bleaching it. “Postinflammatory hyper pigmentation of the skin can be a result of the irritation caused by the whitening agent,” said Ohayon. “This hyper
pigmentation can even be permanent. It can eventually lighten over the years, but that’s not assured.” On top of that, your anus will start regaining its natural colour after a certain period of time. You will have to reinvest in creams and subject yourself to more painfully irritating days. But that’s enough for the technical information. I decided to take it to the streets and ask Concordia students their opinions on the subject. I noted that most of the students interviewed were very open-minded, even when it comes to unusual practices and kindly answered my questions about it. “I don’t find anal bleaching too extreme,” said communications student Kayla Denardi. “I would never do it because I don’t really feel the need to. If the colour of my skin in that area made me feel self-conscious though, then I would do it.” “I do find it a bit ridiculous,” said engineering student Aleksa Piecaitis. “But if it’s going to make you feel better about yourself, then do it.” “Your partner may notice when you’re having sex, but I don’t think that it makes that much of a difference, it’s hardly ever seen,” added Piecaitis. “Unless if you’re modeling or have a reason where the colour of your anus might have a direct impact on your life.” Two Concordia guys shared the same thoughts on the matter. “Personally I wouldn’t do it—I don’t see the necessity, but if someone I am with really likes to have their anus
bleached I wouldn’t complain,” said Adam Delfino, studying software engineering. “It’s ridiculous,” said civil engineering student Phillip Shishini. “We are humans, it is normal for us to have a tinted anus.” Accounting student Jeremi Calderon said that he would be curious try it. “I think it looks sexy and cleaner,” he said. To my surprise, the ones less open to talking about anal bleaching were the spas. I called many of them asking if they offered the service. All said no and quickly hung up. I even called medical spas where more extreme beauty and health services are offered, but all I got in return was a chuckle and an obnoxious denial to answer my questions. So if you’re looking to invest in your booty’s complexion, then call dermatologists who are specialized in aesthetic procedures or even the aesthetician who waxes you and ask if they offer the services independently. It is important to get informed concerning the risks of the procedures. Has your aesthetician or dermatologist ever done it before? Can you follow up with other clients who have already received the service and ask them if there were any complications? Also, conduct your research on the products you will be using. Some studies have shown that hydroquinone might cause cancer and was consequently banned in some countries. There you have it folks, and just remember that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive down there, but be smart about it and take care of your booty before your beauty.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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Doesn’t fit? Take it to your tailor Why making clothes fit you is sew easy Erica Commisso Staff writer
t’s happened to the best of us—we look in a fitting room mirror, and our shoulders sink, our facial expressions become sullen, and we focus less on the garment adorning our bodies and more on our bodies themselves. Why doesn’t it fit? If only the waist wasn’t so loose, if only my shoulders weren’t so broad, then I could buy this. I personally have this problem a lot and I struggle trying to dress myself. I’ll cut out pictures in magazines of outfits I like on celebrities I adore, and try to copy what they wear. Then, when I find something that meets my inexplicably high standards, it just doesn’t fit. Why does it feel like every garment I’ve ever liked is made for celebrities, and not for normal people like me? Contrary to my belief, which I’d like to think is popular, celebrities aren’t genetically composed to wear clothes better than the average person. Clothes don’t magically work for them because they have more money to buy expensive items. They just have a tailor to make what they love work for them. Tailoring is a clothes connoisseur’s secret weapon. That pair of pants that fits your behind but not your waist can be adjusted to fit you like a glove. Buying a shirt to fit your shoulders and adding darts to fit the rest of your frame is perfectly viable. And it can even be affordable if you look for the right people. “I’ve used a tailor before, jeans are always too long for me,” says Nathan Hartill, a political science student. “They usually just take off a couple inches, and the jeans are too baggy where the jeans meet the shoes. “And, after I get them hemmed, I really like my jeans,” he said, affirming my original notion about tailoring. “I usually pay no more than $15 for hemming. I won’t let something like length stop me from buying jeans I like.” Another approach is much cheaper than finding a tailor. “I don’t use a tailor, because I just fix the clothes myself. I alter about 10 per cent of my clothes,” said Manuela Serje, a first-year art student. “It’s easy for me and I can do it, so I might as well. I’m short so a lot of things need to be shortened and sometimes tightened. It only takes about half an hour, so I might as well do it myself.” Not armed with the skills to do it myself, I still decided to test the magic of tailoring for myself. So, I headed to Forever 21, bought a pair of jeans that fit me in length and around my behind, but were huge on my waist. I then carted my purchase off to a tailor in Westmount—the closest one to my apartment to be exact—and asked him to do what he does best. He instructed me to put on my jeans, and then proceeded to tug at the denim until I told him to stop. After repeatedly asking me if I was “sure they won’t be too tight,” and my constant reassurance that breathing is not necessary when putting on jeans, he set my jeans in a garment bag, and said I’d have them back two days from then. I asked how long the process actually took, and his response kind of surprised me. “Oh not long, a few hours. The only reason it’ll take until Friday is because I have a bunch of alterations to do before yours.” Apparently everyone in Westmount has discovered the beauty of a tailor. Except for me, that is. I then decided that this mission extends far
Tailoring is a clothes connoisseur’s secret weapon. That pair of pants that fits your behind but not your waist can be adjusted to fit you like a glove. Buying a shirt to fit your shoulders and adding darts to fit the rest of your frame is perfectly viable.
beyond the borders of Montreal. Taking to my home city of Toronto, I talked to a tailor named Severino Stillo at the Yorkville Holt Renfrew who has worked there for many years, and who is also my uncle. He’s tailored suits for actors—the likes of celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and Sean Penn have both entrusted their suits into his precise hands.
“It really doesn’t take much to alter something to fit people. I’ve altered things for your cousins in the same day,” explained Severino to me, in a thick Italian accent. My cousins, might I point out, have vastly different body types. One is short and biggerboned, and her younger sister taller and curvaceous. Yet now, both have clothes that fit them
perfectly. And, when I returned to Montreal to pick up my jeans from the tailor I had enlisted, my jeans fit, too. For the small price of $11.95, I really did have a fairy godmother—or should I say fairy godfather in this case—in my arsenal. Head to your nearest tailor and discover the magic for yourself!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Getting hot and pricey at Devi Succulent Indian cuisine comes at a hefty price Katrina Tortorici Contributor
he authentic Indian experience began at the front door, where a kind Hindu host graciously greeted his newly arrived guests. At 7 p.m. on a Monday night, only one other table in the small restaurant was occupied – a couple sat near the wide bay window looking out onto the bright lights of Montreal’s Crescent Street. Overall, the ambiance was romantic; the place was dimly-lit by glass lanterns that hung from the high ceiling, providing a warm, golden glow, while soft Indian background music tastefully filled the colourful interior; carved wood mouldings complemented the pale wallpaper and tangerine carpet, altogether brilliantly emphasizing the elegant and exotic atmosphere. But the cherry on top was without a doubt the giant Buddha near the bar. Our party was lead to a quaint section of the room near the back wall, against which a dark wooden bench adorned with comfortable purple fabric pillows was fixed. Once seated, the waiter’s concern with whether our party of five was going to require separate bills became irritating, not to mention his pointing to each of us and rudely identifying us as numbers one to five. I was number four. It would have also been greatly appreciated if he had filled our glasses with water (which was much needed) without having to be begged constantly. However, aside from the irritating
ViVid colourful décor and delightful spices make deVi worth your while. photo by sophia loffreda
service, the experience was a good one. There was a long list of appetizers, each more seemingly exquisite than the next: different marinades of chicken and lamb skewers (kebab), shrimp and crab cakes, fresh mushrooms, potato-stuffed patties, chutney and chickpeas, and a “must try” section presenting the chef’s unpronounceable Indian specialties (achari paneer tikka, Manchurian cauliflower, and kararee bhindi). Finally, a small medley of soup, salad, plain rice dishes, and breads con-
cludes the appetizers. The naan garlic bread is a must. In fact, it would be wise to order it before choosing your main dish– it leaves you less delirious with hunger, and its pita topped with hot, melted cheese and garlic is utterly satisfying. One basket of naan includes three large triangular slices. The larger appetizers (i.e. lamb and chicken skewers, shrimp, etc.) range from $6 to $12 and the smaller dishes of rice, breads, soups and salads are an average of $5 each. However, the
vegetarian lamb/chicken biryanis (spicy, ricebased mixtures) cost between $14 and $19. A heavenly choice for a solid appetizer is seekh kebab, otherwise known as minced lamb kebab, flavoured with spices. None too spicy (just enough), its tender meat is cooked to perfection. The appetizer’s portions, however, are quite disappointing. The entrées consist of an assortment of lamb, chicken, vegetable, fish, and seafood dishes cooked in either a tandoori oven or with
Continued on P. 9
Les Deux Pierrots will have you stomping for more When French folk music and a fun energetic ambiance unite Madelon Kirov Contributor You grab your buddies and decide to hit the bar tonight when suddenly, a dilemma hits you. Should you go out on a limb and try out a French Québécois bar for the first time or stick to the same old Irish-style pubs? If you are an adventurer, then along with the thirst for an ice-cold beer, you will also have a thirst to try something other than your typical bars and will accept the challenge. This is how it happened with my friends and I. The first bar I ever went to, situated in the heart of picturesque Old Montreal, was Les Deux Pierrots. And honestly, I’ve never experienced anything like it before. 2P is a loud and vibrant scene. This type of bar is known as a “boîte à chansons” or “chansonnier,” in English, a coffee house or song bar. The majority of the patrons are French-speaking Quebecers who come together to enjoy their Friday and Saturday nights, so some knowledge of French would come in handy. Here, you can find a wide demographic from eighteen- to fifty-year-olds. I noticed that the most common age group was the early twenties. My friends and I got a great taste of genuine Québécois culture as we walked down the narrow, cobble-stoned St-Paul Street and entered the tavern-like building.
We payed a cover fee of $7 and coat check was optional. A very warm, cozy, and exciting atmosphere welcomed us as we grabbed a table. Dim lights and brick walls gave the place a rustic ambiance. Thankfully, there were plenty of staff members so we were served within five minutes of our arrival. The bar consists of two floors, the first with a stage and dance floor in the middle and surrounding tables and chairs. Two sets of stairs lead to the second floor which is basically a large wooden balcony running around the perimeter of the ground floor supported by large wooden beams. An empty middle allows guests to look down at the stage and dance floor. The top floor also has its own bar and plenty of tables and space for dancing. We were greeted with traditional Québécois music: French folk rock (drums, acoustic guitar, violin, harmonica, tambourine), songs that any born and raised French-speaking Quebecer could easily sing to by heart. Seeing as we were not used to this type of music, it was a bit awkward for us at first, but eventually we really got into it and danced along; you can’t help but tap your foot to the traditional beats. Later on, the bands played classic and modern rock song covers in English and alternated between the two languages. My only complaint is that the music was perhaps a bit too loud and my ears were still ringing when I got home. On the stage are popular, local francophone artists such as Osmoze, Éric Masson Trio, and Karl Millette. The emcee and the bands performed in a very laid-back manner and interacted with the audience constantly. Everyone was encouraged to sing along and dance and by the time midnight ar-
don’t eVer expect a dull moment at les deux pierrots, where liVe bands make for an energetic an
rived and the alcohol was spilling, the entire bar became one giant mass of, in the best description, dancing, clapping happiness. The vibe was electric. For attire, dressing fancy and sparkly as if you were going to a club will make you stick out like a sore thumb. Simple jeans and a t-shirt or maybe a slightly fancy top will suffice. At 2P, beers range from $4 to $6 and a 48oz pitcher will cost $13. Shooters are $2.50. Drinks
cost less on Friday’s as opposed to Saturdays. Is it worth trying out? Well, with a French Québécois bar like this, you will either love it or hate it. People might not enjoy it because of a language barrier, culture shock, and music. Then again, if you like trying new things and discovering other cultures, this might be just for you. If you’re looking for a quiet night out at a lounge then look elsewhere. However, if your curiosity leads you here, the evening won’t disappoint.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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Devi, continued from P. 8
a selection of exotic Indian sauces and spices. For the less intrepid customer, there are also more conventional seasonings: cream and yogurt sauces, garlic and coconut flavours, onion sautés, tomato flavours, ginger and paprika spicing, and the simple and always reliable gravy. Our table ordered four different types of dishes: butter chicken, korma, kadai chicken, and lamb saagwala. Each choice of meal arrives in a small bowl filled with pieces of the selected meat, enough to go around. The entrée platters are pricey considering they exclude any sides; a bowl of the selected meat or fish will range from $18 to $25. The butter chicken was drowned in a delicious creamy tomato sauce, lightly spiced compared to the much too hot kadai chicken – which was like swallowing a jar of bell peppers. Korma was the night’s favourite, the slices of moist chicken refreshing in its mild cream sauce, and also a pleasant break from the rest of the fiery foods. Lastly, the lamb saagwala sautéed with spinach and spices was succulent and superb, it should be underneath the menu’s “must have” section. The choice of wines is minimal and the price is exaggerated. It is also truthfully a terrible combination with such flavourful foods. Devi ended up being a pricey choice for a casual dining experience; once the bread, rice, drinks, appetizers and entrées have been selected, the average price per person can reach approximately $50. However, in all, it is a restaurant worthy of a night spent, perhaps to celebrate a special occasion. Devi promises a relaxed evening, luxurious tasting foods, and certainly an authentic taste of Indian culture. Devi is located on 1450 Crescent St. between de Maisonneuve and Ste-Catherine.
New study analyzes brain activity involved in dreaming Ian T. Thomson The Manitoban (University of Manitoba)
nd fun ambiance.
photo by sophia loffreda
If you plan on giving this bar a shot, make sure to venture out with an open mind because it is a whole different music and dance culture. Overall, Les Deux Pierrots is a great way to spend your Friday or Saturday evening with friends bouncing along to the fiddle and folk music that will have you feeling très Québécois. Les Deux Pierrots is located at 104 St-Paul St. E. in Old Montreal.
WINNIPEG (CUP) — Dreams are a peculiar aspect of the human mind, and the scientific study of dreaming — oneirology — seeks to illuminate this phenomena. Reported in the Nov. 8 issue of Current Biology, a recent experiment from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, with assistance from Charité Hospital in Berlin, has been able to reveal dream content by analyzing brain activity of a select few individuals with a unique ability to objectively control their dreaming — known as lucid dreaming. This will help us better understand the neurophysiologic processes that occur while we are sleeping. Lucid dreaming is when you become aware you are dreaming, and have the ability to then control your dream’s environment. This lucidity usually occurs mid-dream when the sleeper becomes conscious that the physical reality in which they are present is not real. This may be
Graphic by Ben Clarkson/The Manitoban
triggered by the peculiarity of the scenario in which the dreamers find themselves. According to lead author Martin Dresler, “about half of people have had a lucid dream,” though “very few have them on a regular basis.” Although some people have the innate ability to have lucid dreams, this ability can be taught and developed in a way similar to learning another language. The capacity to lucid dream was one of the main tools used in the study. Researchers took six practiced lucid dreamers and told them specifically how to control their dream. While sleeping, the dreamers gave the experimenters a “ready” signal by moving their eyes back and forth during REM sleep. This allowed the experimenters to then run the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, which would view the activity of the areas of the brain. Once in place, the dreamer within the dream was told to squeeze their right and left hands alternatively for 10 seconds to show the activity that occurs during the brain at this time. Although only one of the six lucid dreamers was able to complete the task, the test proved helpful. The experimenters were able to deduce that there was increased activity in the sensorimotor cortex region of the brain, an area im-
portant for planning and controlling voluntary motor functions. As the dreamer squeezed his right hand, the left side of the sensory motor cortex increased in activity and as the dreamer squeezed his left hand, the right side of the sensory motor cortex increased in activity. The advantage of studying a lucid dreamer as opposed to just a normal dreamer is their ability of control within the dream. The patterns of brain activity in a normal, uncontrolled dream as shown through the use of fMRI may be rather chaotic, lacking consistency, and thus too difficult to place. Experimenting on a lucid dreamer is comparatively easy, as the study was able to analyze specific brain activities that occur during dreaming. Although this recent study opens up possibilities for other fMRI dream testing, its work regarding dream content analysis is still very much preliminary. Because this data comes from only one participant on a single set task, we are still in the dark when it comes to revealing dream content by fMRI when people are self-generating and altering their own dreams. As study co-author Michael Czisch of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry puts it: “To get real insight into a complete dream plot is a bit science fiction.”
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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Vol Spécial shows the limbo that deported individuals face before going back to their countries of origin.
Cinema Politica shows the ugly side of deportation with Vol Spécial Brandon Judd Staff writer
llegal immigration: an issue for Arizona or Texas, right? The presence of ‘aliens’—the dehumanizing term is another discussion—in the United States is a ubiquitous news item, especially with Arizona’s rightsstripping senate bill 1070 immigration law. Though our current government has avoided the Draconian approach of the Grand Canyon state, the Conservatives have nonetheless adopted a similar mandate: get illegal immigrants out. It’s sometimes difficult to argue against because, despite the emotional and economic effects of deporting illegal immigrants, the laws are fairly clear. It gets murky, however, when refugee status enters the picture. In Switzerland, deportation has become a science. Illegals, as they call them, are outed
in such routine manners as a traffic stop. After a short stint in regular prison, they are sent to what amounts to a processing facility for the soon-to-be departed. This is the setting for Vol Spécial, a documentary with enough emotional trauma to fell even the most thickskinned among us. Director Fernand Melgar introduces us to rejected asylum-seekers: Jeton, a Roma whose ethnicity makes him a target in Kosovo; Geordry, the son of an assassinated Cameroonian opposition leader; and Alain, a unionist who fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These men fear for their lives back in their native countries, yet they will all be deported and left to their own devices. Before they are sent packing, they await the decision of their appeals in a comfortable facility near Geneva. The facility’s cheerful name, Frambois, is a fitting description: it seems sweet and enjoyable but, on closer inspection, is not what it sounds like. The men are given as much food as they request, access to a games room and organized sports, and seem to have genuine friendships with their keepers. Everyday activities at Frambois seem joyful, but everyone will be locked in their cells by 9 p.m. They will have their dignity dam-
aged by regular strip and cavity searches, and will only see their families in the wisps that are visitation hours. While the guards show affection for their wards, the lawmakers who make intermittent appearances have a cold detachment that is a much closer fit for the endgame. The most common exchange in the film is of a refugee explaining their inability to return home to their caseworker, who responds with a platitude about previous inmates who returned to, for example, Kosovo without persecution. Watching a man struggle to explain the danger he faces in returning, not to mention the pain of leaving his family, and be told that he should be happy to leave a free man and has no need to worry is, to be blunt, horrifying. Almost every refugee in the film is offered a ‘regular flight’ home: the chance to board a plane without handcuffs or police escort, and return to their country indistinguishable from his fellow passengers. Without fail, all refuse this option. They seem incapable of abandoning their families and Switzerland which, for some, has been their home for decades. This has particular significance due to what looms in the future: the ‘special flight’ gives the film its name. A chartered flight in which the men
spend hours chained to their seat—in diapers, no less—waiting for the plane’s circuitous route to find its way to their country. No other European country takes these types of restrictive measures in their deportation. For the men who’ve spent the previous months or years at Frambois, however, it’s just the final blow in their systematic degradation by the state. Everyone can recognize the ugliness of deportation, but Vol Spécial shows an unseen side, glossed over with placations, in a country that receives little attention for its practices. How much responsibility a state has in ensuring those denied asylum aren’t returned to their death is a crucial question today. On Alain’s return to the DRC, he was robbed of his luggage and money by police forces, and lives in poverty with no ability to contact his daughter, who remains in Switzerland. Geordry suffered a serious knee injury from being tied too tightly during his special flight. This practice of ignoring human rights gives a sort of credence to the term ‘alien.’ Vol Spécial strives to balance the scales. Vol Spécial is playing Monday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. in H-110. For more information, go to www.cinemapolitica.org
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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TRAFFICking ideas through time Concordia exhibit shows Montreal conceptual art of the ‘60s and ‘70s Rebecca Ugolini Staff writer
The card read: “Art’s only claim is for art. Art is the definition of art.” Typed on simple paper and arranged in a glass display case alongside photographs and handwritten notes, the quote by Ad Reinhardt commanded my attention. The statement by the New York Abstract painter seemed a perfect expression of my thoughts regarding the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery’s newest exhibit TRAFFIC: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980. Curated by individuals across Canada and continuing its successful nation-wide tour, TRAFFIC’s mission is to expose Canadians to the “development, influence and diversity of conceptual art in works produced across the country,” a rich history often glossed over in exhibitions in favour of an emphasis on the American conceptual art scene. But before we begin our review, you might ask: What is conceptual art? If Reinhardt wrote that “art is the definition of art,” As I left the vernissage, I asked myself how I could describe conceptual art to readers unfamiliar with the term. Whether or not Reinhardt’s statement is to be taken at face value, mine certainly is: conceptual art is just that—art with a concept, driven by an idea, taking many forms, encompassing many techniques and media.
TRaFFic showcases conceptual art chosen by curators across canada.
TRAFFIC corroborates my statement: it showcases photo manipulation, images of clay experimentation, creation or alteration of objects, and working with the found poem. The diversity of media, artists, and perspectives particular to the Montreal scene of the ‘60s and ’70s is something Montreal curator Michèle Thériault was eager to showcase as she led me across the exhibit. “For TRAFFIC, a number of curators came together across Canada to look into the different ways which conceptual art was taking
place in their locations,” Thériault said. Pieces from the exhibit testify to the Montreal-specific nature of the collection, and speak to Montreal’s history as an artisticallyvibrant and politically-fraught city as much as they do to its architecture and style. One of my favourite pieces, Françoise Sullivan’s series of photographs Walk between the Musée d’art contemporain and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts invites readers to explore the streets of downtown Montreal in the 1970s as Sullivan charts her walk to the then primarily anglophone-supported
Museum of Fine Arts to the more commonly francophone-frequented Musée d’art contemporain. Like the rest of TRAFFIC, Sullivan’s pieces draw inspiration from Montreal’s political, social and arts-oriented history without being specifically about either one. Although conceptual art in Montreal took place alongside the Quiet Revolution, conceptual art most importantly manifested itself as a creation of artist-run spaces, galleries and workshops, which Thériault credits with giving artists more space, both literal and figurative, in which to be creative. “Here they’re pouring clay onto the floor,” she says, showing me one of the pictures in the exhibit demonstrating the textures, cracks and shapes created by the drying of the clay on the floor of a small studio apartment. “You can’t do that in a museum.” TRAFFIC is interesting for several reasons: its art is innovative and its concepts are clever, its space is beautifully arranged and a delight to explore, and it is a testament to a kind of Montreal history which is too seldom explored by even native Montrealers interested in the arts. According to Thériault, such an interest is long overdue. “It occurred to a number of people, in the face of this ignorance of Canadian conceptual activities and of what happened here in the ’60s, that [this art] needed to be documented and shown.” TRAFFIC runs at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery until Feb. 25. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Uncovering the layers of a queer film classic Montreal critic retrieves Death in Venice for an Arsenal Pulp Press series Amanda Dafniotis Contributor Legendary 20th century director Luchino Visconti had a monumental appetite for the arts. Based on Thomas Mann’s novella, Visconti’s Death in Venice is perhaps one of his most controversial films. So how does Montreal critic, novelist and Dawson College cinema teacher Will Aitken come about writing a book based on a queer film classic? It certainly wasn’t his first choice. Though a huge Visconti fan, Death in Venice was by no means Aitken’s favourite. “I didn’t want to write about it,” said Aitken, who first saw the film in 1973. “Originally I was going to write about an earlier Visconti film called Senso, but in the writing, Death in Venice completely took over and I decided not to write about Senso at all.” Death in Venice chronicles an unexpected love affair. The protagonist, an older man, goes to Venice to recharge his batteries, and ends up meeting a young boy. In Mann’s account, the boy was about 10 years old, but in Visconti’s version, the boy was about 14. The man becomes transfixed and falls madly in love, despite never speaking to the boy. As a result of his obsession, the man decides to stay in Venice, where a plague of cholera hits, and he dies. Taking on such a well-known film by an influential director was not an easy task. “I tried to look at the book and the film in a fresh way, and
to show how Visconti ‘improved’ on Mann in that the film isn’t laboured with the homophobia that Mann exhibits in the book,” said Aitken. Aitken’s voice is present in his book as he talks about how the film affected him as a spectator the first time he saw it, and how his experience differed decades later. In 150 pages, he chronicles the extravagant life of Visconti, analyzes Mann’s novella, and takes a closer look at the film version. Classic gay and lesbian directors immensely contributed to the LGBT community but also to the film community as a whole. “When it came out, not so long after gay liberation, as it was called then, came about, lesbians and gays were hungry—desperate—for films that reminded the world that their form of passion existed,” said Aitken. “It was a very big deal at the time—a bigbudget international film of exceptional quality that was popular with gay and straight audiences alike.” Similarly to Visconti’s film, Aitken’s book does not strictly target the LGBT community; it aims to be accessible, informative and lively. Death in Venice: A Queer Film Classic is one of 22 in a series for Arsenal Pulp Press, celebrating the work of gay and lesbian directors. The series is being edited by Concordia professors Tom Waugh and Matthew Hays. “It’s kind of a historical, retrieval project, since these directors and their films also represent how homosexual love has been pictured over the years, and how much has changed, and how much is left to be done,” said Aitken. Death in Venice launches on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. at Royal Phoenix (5788 St-Laurent). For more information, visit www.arsenalpulp.com.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Welcome to the American wasteland New documentary series kicks off with the awardwinning Bombay Beach Elysha Del Giusto-Enos Staff writer If the United States had a caste system, the residents of Bombay Beach would be its Untouchables. Less than 300 people live in this longabandoned California resort, escaping violence, living like nomads, or stuck there because of the poverty that comes from a criminal record where a high school diploma should be. The Montreal Documentary Film Festival (RIDM) has chosen Bombay Beach to be the first screening in their monthly series, Docville. “Bombay Beach is part of a trend in the United States where most of the film is shot with a Canon camera,” said Roxanne Sayegh, executive director of RIDM. “It’s very organic—sometimes it has aspects of a music video—it tries to film the post-American dream America.” With its desert location and rusted trailers, the film often looks more post-apocalyptic than just post-American dream. In one scene, a man with a broken arm is lying motionless on the ground and keeps telling passersby to leave him there. Trying to convince him to go to the hospital, a woman warns that if there’s internal bleeding he could die. His answer: “Good.” American-Israeli filmmaker Alma Har’el adds a poetic quality to Bombay Beach by filming deeply personal moments in the lives of these people. Once she’s established their bleak reality, the most surprising thing becomes their sense of hope. Films that will appear in Docville are going to be Montreal premieres and are chosen only a few weeks before the next scheduled screen-
BomBay Beach takes a look at one of america’s bleakest locations.
ing. Bombay Beach is the exception, as RIDM has been wanting to show it to Montreal audiences since last year. Sayegh said, “We want films that are getting attention—good press coverage, awards, and recognition. There has to be a reason why we’ll put a film in the series—is it a film that’s ‘urgent?’” Bombay Beach is being co-presented with Pop Montreal and features music by Bob Dylan and Beirut. After the screening, the film’s director will
be there via Skype to speak with the audience. The film is being shown at the Excentris, and Sayegh said she’s curious to see if Concordia students will venture to an off-campus location to get their indie film fix. Starting Jan. 26, a total of eight movies will be shown on the last Thursday of each month until September, with the exception of July. A membership card that costs $50 will give one access to every film in the series. For those who take the leap-of-faith and purchase the budgetfriendly movie card, Sayegh promises that the
titles will all push the genre of documentaries and no two will be alike. “We feel an obligation towards the community in Montreal,” Sayegh said. “We want to make it an experience, and Bombay Beach is a good film for that.” Bombay Beach plays at 7 p.m. on Jan. 26 at Excentris Cinema (3536 St-Laurent Blvd.) Student tickets are $8.50. For more information, go to www.ridm.qc.ca.
You’re pretty good looking, for a play Ars Poetica delivers on setting, but lacks punch Amanda L. Shore Contributor “Isn’t this supposed to be funny?” Well, yes, yes it is. Ars Poetica, written by Arthur Holden, is indeed meant to be funny. It’s supposed to be a comedy about a failing English poetry magazine in Montreal. The lines standing by themselves were funny, but they were presented without the punch one usually expects from a comedy. This would seem to have been the choice of director Guy Sprung, who went for a more realistic than farcical take on Holden’s work—a decision that didn’t seem to sit well with the cast as they tried to keep their character’s comedic personalities under sway. Nonetheless, they should be commended for squeezing realism out of their characters and putting on a decent, if somewhat bland, performance. The one character that was allowed any colour at all, it seems, was Diane Langlois, the Canada Council representative, played by Danielle Desormeaux. Desormeaux’s Quebec English accent and eccentric nature was a bright spot among the toned-down nature of the other characters. Paula Jean Hixson as Julia Layton, the editor of Ars Poetica, was vivid in her portrayal as the hard-working and long-suffering editor. However, it was somewhat odd that in
for a comedy, aRS poeTica is short on the laughs.
the entire cast of characters, Julia was the sole character without a real flaw. Other than a misguided act of arson in her youth, Julia is pretty much perfect. If this were played as a comedy, it would make sense to have a straight character to rein in the craziness, but as everything was under control in this realistic portrayal, she seemed like a nun among strippers. Ars Poetica revolves around sexual miscon-
duct and business misconduct, which is the hinge that the magazine depends on for survival. The audience, however, really isn’t given much of a reason to care about whether the magazine survives or not. If you’re an anglophone in Quebec with literary affections, you might be a bit concerned that the only English poetry magazine in Montreal is going down “la toilette,” but otherwise there isn’t enough at
stake for us to care what happens to the magazine. Instead, we worry that the illegal activities of Hugh Rose (Howard Rosenstein) or George Buckner (Noel Burton) might be revealed. However, in the end, everything ends happily, which is not the case in real life but would be plausible in a comedy. The most enjoyable part of the production is the set and setting. Infinitheatre is located in the old Bain St-Michel; in fact, the audience and the stage are in the pool itself, which is quite a neat theatre-going experience. The set, designed by Veronica Classen, sets the drab and dreary tone of the offices of Ars Poetica and we can relate to how the characters might feel working in such a place. The expert lighting done by David-Alexandre Chabot made the set appear realistic and allowed the audience to forget that it was sitting in an old pool. Concordia students will be pleased to know that theatre program graduate Elana Dunkelman stars as Naomi Rose, making Ars Poetica her first union show. Also from the halls of Concordia hails stage manager Michael Panich. For students familiar with the work of Concordia’s creative writing professors, poetry from Jon Paul Fiorentino and Mary di Michele is not only featured but recited by members of the cast. Ars Poetica is on now and runs until Feb. 12 at Infinitheatre (5300 St-Dominique). Student tickets are $15. Visit www.infinitheatre. com for more information.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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Digging deeper into the past Writers Read opens the lid on one of Canadian history’s dark secrets Sofia Gay Arts editor History may look fairly solid on textbooks and slideshows in lecture rooms, but once in a while there comes along another discovery proving that, much like other disciplines, there is room for change. Such is the case with Canada’s involvement in the making of the atomic bombs that landed on Japan in 1945. The fact that a mine near Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories provided the uranium to make the bombs was obscured by a lack of documentation and research, leading it to be virtually nonexistent in history. This week, two professors who delved into the subject, Julie Salverson, who teaches at Queen’s University and wrote a clown opera about the atomic bomb, and Concordia’s own Peter C. van Wyck, who penned The Highway of the Atom, will do a reading as part of the English department’s Writers Read series. “The Dene of Great Bear Lake never really realized what they were up to in their dealings with the white miners (from 1930-1960),”
wrote van Wyck in an email. “[..] It wasn’t until much, much later that the Dene came to realize that the project they had become involved in was killing them, and had culminated in the massacre of over 227,000 Japanese civilians and 30,000 or so Korean labourers [...]” Having encountered the subject after watching Peter Blow’s Village of Widows (which sees the men who worked in the mine suffering from cancer caused by radiation), van Wyck began to do research on the subject—at least, as much as possible given the scant documents on the subject. “After seeing this film, I realized that this was the next thing I needed to do. In a way, it is the Canadian back-story to what is otherwise a kind of proprietorially American story of the bomb,” he said. ”So I started to poke around a bit, to see what there was, to see what the state of the archive was. I quickly came to realize that it was secret! And within a very short time, I was able to see that the hermeneutic circle of citation really began and ended with the work of one scholar, who was hired to write a corporate biography of Eldorado, and had been given access to the company papers. His story didn’t have Indians in it either. Or apologies.” With the government’s help, van Wyck and Salverson traveled to find out more,
reaching many places, from Great Bear Lake itself to Inuvik. In the end, van Wyck had material for his book, and Salverson for her opera, which will premiere later this year. “It was almost my first response to this story, that it was so huge it needed to be an opera. And so absurd, it needed to be done through clown. I’d already written a play about land mines for the Canadian Red Cross, and that script was developed through work with Vancouver clown artist Steve Hill of Leaky Heaven Circus,” said Salverson. “[...] I am drawn to the absurd and the comedic as forms for telling huge stories, in particular stories of violence. It is my desire to avoid a kind of sentimentally tragic approach that can awe but also paralyze an audience or a reader [...]” While history may not be up some students’ alleys, van Wyck and Salverson believe this is a story Canadians should be aware of. “When I visited Japan in 2010 I was very aware that my country had played a role in developing the bomb. I was also aware that it was important to visit Hiroshima and see the vitality and life of the city, not just its tragic past. I feel this way about how Canadians learn this story of Great Bear Lake,” said Salverson. “There is a community of Sahtugot’ine Dene people who are known for their pioneer-
ing self-governance and who have undertaken a number of initiatives like land stewardship, community radio. It matters that Canadians know about the richness of this community and others like them. And that there was a uranium mine on Great Bear Lake.” Canada and the Making of the Atomic Bomb is taking place Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the York Amphitheatre (EV 1.605).
Can’t picture being anything but show people WISTA takes you back to the ’80s with original production Sofia Gay Arts editor Musical theatre plays a small role in most people’s lives, popping up here or there, maybe at the end of a long day on a trip to New York after being sandwiched next to fellow tourists all day, or when you find out your best friend knows all the words to Grease, too. But for a group of young people, ages 17 to 29 to be exact, who are part of the West Island Student Theatre Association, musical theatre is something they live and breathe every day. This year, the group is coming at full force by tackling an original production called Show People. Set in ’80s-era New York, the show follows the auditions for a new Broadway show. The spotlights are set and lines are memorized, until the show’s star abandons her role. Faced with a production missing its biggest cast member, they turn to a producer’s ex-lover to fill the role. However, she immediately clashes with an ingénue chorus girl, leaving room for drama and more than a few dance numbers. “I’ve been working with WISTA for a long time, so I knew there was a bunch of stuff I wanted to do with them,” said Trevor Barrette, who wrote the script and is choreographing the show. “The plot came after I found a few of the main songs that I wanted do with WISTA, that I want to take forward [...] and the story came out of that.” Calling itself a jukebox musical, Show People will feature songs from some of the most famous musicals through time, from A Chorus Line to Chicago, basically “songs that I’d always pushed for, that I’d always wanted to do with the group,” explained Barrette. Putting on an original production will also allow members
to show off their talents. “Part of what makes WISTA special is that it’s largely student-run, student-produced, student-performed, and I think student-written is just another thing that we’ve taken on before with the Cirque d’Orandour, and that we wanted to highlight again because it’s so much fun to see what everyone can do,” said Stephanie Zidel, who plays the role of Nancy the stage manager. “It’s our chance to show us at our best, instead of following a script that was made by someone that we don’t know, something that’s already been done,” agreed Megan Magisano, who plays Betty, a chorus girl. “This is our way to really make it ours, and make it WISTA’s.” Another advantage of putting on Show People is that it allows for a bigger cast. With WISTA’s growing numbers, it would seem that more really is merrier. “We started off with seven members. We currently have 45 members, whether they be performing or non-performing—so that’s directing, choreographing, helping with costumes,” said Marie Alexiou, WISTA membership representative, who plays bar patron Jen. “[..] This year WISTA is celebrating its fifth year. So in five years we went from seven to 45—that’s huge.” New York will be created on stage with the help of five set-ups and iconic images from the city, while the wardrobe will range from the classic ’80s dichotomy of Jane Fonda (leg warmers and headbands galore) and Madonna (tulle skirts), with a retro look at ’70s suits for the cast members portraying the management team. With the entertainment industry cocktail of rivalry, backstabbing and jealousy being a staple of many stories, what will make WISTA’s production unique? “I think it’s gonna be the fact that, if you look at us, we’re the only type of theatre company that’s student-run,” said cast member Craig Dalley, who plays Steven, the director.
“You look at any of the other ones—yeah, there might be students involved, but if you look at our cast, we’re all completely students.” “Everyone really wants to be doing what we’re doing,” added Zidel. “Otherwise, it wouldn’t work.” At the end of the day, spectators will get to see what WISTA is all about—a group of dedicated young people who are doing what they love. Alexiou said people can expect “a good time. A professional-looking and -feeling show, a quality show [..] If they’ve never heard of WISTA before, I think their minds will be blown, and they’ll become just as addicted as we are.” “I want the people walking out of the show
to say, ‘damn, these kids are the real deal,’ and not just some teenage high school show put together,” added Dalley. “We have amazing performers, some great dancing, some beautiful singing,” said Barrette. “And it’s hopefully a show that will attract a lot of different people who enjoy musical theatre, who are new to musical theatre. I hope people are entertained, in the end.” Show People is being performed on Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., at Beaubois Theatre (4901 du Collège-Beaubois, Pierrefonds). Student tickets are $13 and can be bought online at www.wista.ca/tickets or by phone at 514-998-7229. For more information, check out www.wista.ca.
wista has been rehearsing for this show since september.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Write to the editor: email@example.com interview
Third time’s a charm for Sharon Van Etten New Jersey native opens up more than ever on her latest album
Van etten’s upcoming tour will support her thirD album Tramp, set for release feb. 7, 2012. Tramp is the follow-up to her 2010 album, Epic.
Allie Mason Music editor
mic sessions in nessee.
coVereD there, she was constantly hiDing her music anD her talent from her then
who toureD in an
banD anD DiDn’t
relate to, or appreciate, her intimate folk anD country-infuseD songwriting.
Now, three albums, four continents and one appearance on Jimmy Fallon later, Van Etten still maintains her humility, but remains anything but hidden. “It’s been absolutely overwhelming,” she said when asked about her transformation since those days in Tennessee that seem so long ago. “I’m still in shock.” On first listen, Tramp (2012) oozes with soft, unassuming vocals, personal yet relatable lyrics, and an uncomplicated musicianship that leaves you feeling like Van Etten must have snuck into your room, read your diary and wrote the album just for you.
In “Give Out” you can feel her insecu- Wasner from Wye Oak, and The Walkmen’s rity, her loyalty and her heartbreak, making Matt Barrick. you wonder where her inspiration comes The evolution of Van Etten’s sound has from, since that ex-boyfriend of hers is no guest vocals and a full band backing her longer in the picture. this time around. Not a complete separation “I still write about experiences that hap- from her earlier works, Tramp is still simple pened years ago, or my friends’ experiences, in its composition, yet the album’s style is or I get ideas from movies,” she admitted. distinctly different; it’s heavier, more “rock“Inspiration can come from almost any- ing,” and despite having more external inwhere.” fluence than ever As she has let before, Van Etten more musicians says it’s her most into her creative personal album “It’s kind of like in a process, she has yet. noticed that in“I’m really relationship. When you let spiration comes proud of it,” people into your life you more easily. she said, in her become vulnerable, but the quiet, humble “It’s kind of end result can be so much like in a relationvoice. “I really more than if you were to ship,” she exopened up and plained. “When showed more have just done it all on your you let people sides of myself own.” into your life you on [Tramp]. It - Sharon Van Etten become vulnermeans a lot to able, but the end me.” result can be so much more than if you were Always writing, Van Etten has enough to have just done it all on your own.” material to put out a few EPs, but she Since her debut solo album Because doesn’t plan to release anything until she I Was In Love (2009), Van Etten has fully has enough for a cohesive album. So in the embraced her vulnerability, collaborating meantime, she’s going to be touring—and on Tramp with The National’s Aaron and hard. Bryce Dressner, Beirut’s Zach Condon, Jenn Van Etten and her band are booked
throughout the United States, Canada, Belgium, France, the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands, straight up until May 2012. But she’s not stopping there. Van Etten plans to book even more shows, touring for at least a year and leaving no part of the world unseen. “Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe—I want to see it all,” she exclaimed, adding that touring is a very different lifestyle than recording and being in the studio, one she can’t wait to be a part of again. And while touring is tough, she says the hardest thing she deals with is waiting to find out what people think of her new tracks. “Some days I just laugh about it,” she said with a nervous laugh, “others I try not to think about it.” Among a tsunami-like wave of musical talent coming from her home state of New Jersey, Van Etten says part of her drive to constantly improve may come from a deeply rooted geographical rivalry. “It’s something about being an underdog. [New Jersey] is like New York’s stepbrother, getting dragged out kicking and screaming,” she joked. “And there might be something toxic in the water.” Catch Sharon Van Etten on Feb. 22 at Il Motore.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Follow us on Twitter: @TheConcordian
This is one Real Estate bubble that hasn’t popped
Andrew Guilbert Staff writer
All we can do is cry
Etta James, one of the pioneers of early R&B, gospel and soul music, passed away in a Riverside, Calif. hospital last week after a year-long struggle with leukaemia. “This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world,” said long-time friend and manager Lupe De Leon. “She was a true original who could sing it all—her music defied category. I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always.” James, who would have been 74 this Wednesday, had a history of health problems, suffering from dementia and hepatitis C, as well as weight issues in the latter part of her career. Despite this, the Grammy Award-winning singer managed to stay actively involved in music, releasing her final album, The Dreamer, last November.
Jay-Z still plans on bitching
Contrary to a flurry of reports coming out on the subject, Jay-Z did not in any way, shape or form promise to stop using the word “bitch” in his lyrics after the birth of his daughter earlier this month. The story originated on W.E.N.N, who claimed that they’d obtained a poem attributed to the rapper, that read in part: “Before I got in the game, made a change and got rich/I didn’t think hard about using the word bitch/I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it/Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it.” TMZ’s Harvey Levin managed to set the record straight, however, tweeting, “We just spoke with Jay Z’s rep...the story that he wont use the word bitches anymore since having the baby is B.S. He never said that.”
Perry gives fans chance to lock her in house, burn it all down
If you’re a fan of Katy Perry and a fan of The Sims, you’ll be delighted to hear that the “California Gurls” singer is teaming up with Electronic Arts to create a Perry-themed collector’s edition of The Sims 3 Showtime. “I love how you’re able to play out different stories through your Sims characters,” said Perry. “It’s cool to see the Sims’ stage performances in The Sims 3 Showtime decked out just like my California Dreams Tour, even my cotton candy video screens are in there! I always like to think of myself as a cartoon and now I’m a Sim!” EA’s Steve Schnur said that the singer had been a long-time fan of the games and that her Sims language version of “Hot N Cold,” featured in the Sims 2, was one of the most popular “Simlish” music videos to date. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Katy and bring her distinctive talents, style and personality to the franchise’s global fan base,” said Schnur. “No performer could better represent the humor and fun of The Sims brand.”
Through my iPad gently sweeps a new app
Fans of “the quiet Beatle” will be excited to hear of a new app that will put George Harrison’s guitar collection at the tip of their fingers. “The Guitar Collection: George Harrison” iPad app will showcase the Beatle’s immense collection through detailed descriptions, photographs and audio and video recordings, allowing fans to examine every string and strap of Harrison’s assortment of guitars. Along with Harrison himself, other presenters found in the video section include Ben Harper, Josh Homme, Mike Campbell and Dhani Harrison. The app goes on sale Feb. 23 and will cost roughly $11 Cdn.
real estate playeD to a solD-out crowD at la sala rossa on Jan. 18. photo by allie mason
Montrealers who braved frigid temperatures were rewarded with a hot performance Audrey Folliot Staff writer
ndie-rock band Real Estate played La Sala Rossa on Jan. 18 and rocked it! The fans there were thrilled to catch one of the rare Canadian dates of this Brooklyn-based, New Jersey-native band. Through the wave of plaid shirts and black thick-rimmed glasses, anyone but a hipster might feel out of their element, but the ambiance at La Sala has the ability to make anyone feel comfortable; the indie rockers in attendance were like a big family who were looking for more members. The atmosphere was calm, like nothing mattered but the music. People were singing along, clapping and cheering after each song. The small size of the venue, having only a 230person maximum capacity, allowed for more intimate interaction between the fans and the band members, and fans took advantage, asking the band to play their favourite songs. With two albums on the market, the band successfully managed to fill up an hour of performance, but the crowd kept asking for more. The boys played some crowd favourites from their self-titled first album, but focused
One loyal fan was ecstatic when he had the chance to meet guitarist Matthew Mondanile and shake his hand; the fan fell to his seat in shock with his head in his hands as Mondanile walked backstage.
mostly on songs from their latest release Days (2011). They also played some B-sides that the crowd really enjoyed. Should fans expect a new album in 2013? “We want to tour off this album for a while, maybe for over a year,” said multi-talented keyboardist and back-up guitarist Jonah Maurer. “We love touring this material, it’s always a lot of fun, but we still love trying out new songs to see how the crowd reacts to them.” But fans shouldn’t be too disappointed, though; the band hasn’t crossed out the possibility of releasing an EP in the meantime. Their debut album received harsh criticism back in 2009, but things have gotten better for the Brooklynites. Their sophomore album received an 8.7 rating and made “best new music” by Pitchfork in October 2011, and Marc Masters from the site said the new album was definitely a step forward. The guys are gathering more and more fans as they tour around North America. On Wednesday, one loyal fan was ecstatic when
he had the chance to meet guitarist Matthew Mondanile and shake his hand; the fan fell to his seat in shock with his head in his hands as Mondanile walked backstage. Others danced the night away in their own little world, as if the crowd surrounding them was merely an illusion. After stopping in Canada for a set of four shows, including the one in Montreal on Jan. 18, Real Estate is back to touring in the US and the UK. With their Feb. 20 show at Sebright Arms in London, England already sold out, the band has a lot to be excited about. But the biggest news for this year has got to be that they are set to play two shows at Coachella, one of the largest music and arts festivals in North America, in California alongside big names Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, La Roux, Calvin Harris, Beirut, Justice, Florence and the Machine, and many more. Indie music is a state of mind, and Real Estate definitely knows how to share that with their audience.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Fans fall for Leif Vollebekk Montreal’s own Icelandic artiste brings fans Inland at Il Motore Cora Ballou Contributor (Full disclosure: I went to the same artsy high school as Leif Vollebekk. Though he had graduated by the time I arrived, I still grew up hearing his name as one of the admittedly few alumni who actually pursued their art instead of settling down to a life of paper pushing or commune living out West.)
iased or not, fans came out in droves for Vollebekk’s performance, something I quickly realized as I found myself waiting outside in the January cold at the end of a long line of people trying to get into the venue. By the time I got inside, Vollebekk was already on stage strumming the first notes of the night. Backed by a double bass and a drummer, Vollebekk blew through a short nine-song set from his debut album Inland; a record of love and loss, sung in his characteristically soulful voice. Forming a semi-circle around the stage, the packed audience of women, boyfriends and glasses-wearing intellectual types watched in rapt attention, shushing anyone who dared make a sound. An ‘artiste’ through and through, Vollebekk approached every song with an intense fervour, grimacing through his words and sway-
Vollebekk romanceD his hometown crowD with songs from his internationally-composeD Debut album.
ing to the melody. As the audience watched him, it became clear that Vollebekk’s appeal lies in his representing an approachable Bob Dylan. Though he may sometimes sway dangerously close to romantic Chris Martin-esque territory, Vollebekk is a storyteller, one who you can relate to. His music is accessible, but not corny,
making him a musician that intellectuals, music snobs and mothers can appreciate. It is this blend of sentimentality and authenticity that saves him from John Mayer or Joshua Radin comparisons. For though they may all share an affinity for romantic escapades, Vollebekk somehow retains an edge in both his music and lyrics that keeps him acceptably cool.
And so, even with my hard journalistic exterior, by the end of the set as he readied a violin loop for his final song, I found myself imagining him in the hallways of my high school, instrument in hand, a part of the sophisticated music crowd. For those few seconds I, like everyone else, thought I knew him. Safe to say, I fell hard. Damn it.
Matthew Dear - Headcage (Ghostly; 2012)
Hands & Teeth - Hunting Season (New Rose; 2012)
Rick Ross - Rich Forever (Maybach Music Group; 2012)
Spoons - Arias & Symphonies (Ready; 1982)
With only four songs, I expected this EP to have more bang for its buck. The Texas-born electronic DJ, producer and “avant-pop artist” released Headcage in advance of his forthcoming full-length album Beams, set for release later this year. But if you ask me, he shouldn’t have even bothered. The project starts out promisingly, with the rhythmic, pulsing breaths, vocals, drums and synth that Dear lovers have an affinity for. Dear’s deep half-speak, half-singing voice provides a trance-y introduction to his complicated yet minimalistic approach to electronic music. But immediately after the title track, the EP begins to nosedive. Halfway through “In the Middle (I Met You There),” you think the record is going to make a recovery, then by the third song you realize the whole project lacks audio cohesion and you lose interest altogether. The final track, “Around a Fountain,” is a perfect closer—just not for this EP.
While the title Hunting Season conjures the same images of flannel shirts, taxidermy foxes, and wallmounted antlers that have served countless other indie bands in the past few years, Toronto’s Hands & Teeth have produced something far beyond your common antler rock. From the moment you hear “The skin on my bones/I feel, is hardly my own” on the opening track, a thrilling sense of uncanniness overtakes the listener. This feeling comes from the dynamic balance between the five H&T members and their diverse songwriting styles. Both sophisticated and listenable, the music on Hunting Season offers everything from the operatic eruptions of Muse to the playful subtleties of Wilco. Some songs seduce the ear immediately, while other tracks might require multiple listens. With its pouncey bass, jangly guitars, and charismatic vocals, Hunting Season is a strong addition to Canada’s mind-bogglingly rich indie scene.
Rick Ross is back to his usual shenanigans in Rich Forever, released Jan. 6. Continuing a longstanding tradition of basing his lyrics around money, women and smoking, Ross fails to depart from a formula that has given him a relative amount of success in the past few years. Rich Forever contains more of the typical Ross drawl (because labelling him as a singer or rapper would be too much of a compliment). Misogyny and racism permeate his lyrics: “Back to these bitches following my timeline/Back to these crackers following my timeline” while solid beats provided by A-list producers (Lex Luger, Mike Will, Beat Billionaire) keep this boat barely afloat. Catchy beats found in Teflon Don are few and far in between here. Ross has satiated his fan base ahead of the upcoming album God Forgives, I Don’t, but you can expect more of the same when that is released.
Canadian New Wave band Spoons released their sophomore album Arias & Symphonies in 1982. The 11 catchy New Wave tunes will get you moving and give you a good idea about where a lot of bands today drew their influences. The chart topping tracks “Nova Heart,” “Arias & Symphonies,” and the unabashedly Canadian “Smiling In Winter” exude the success Spoons achieved at creating beautifully layered songs. The title track acts as a centerpiece halfway through the album, while the driving beat, picture-perfect New Wave lyrics and vocals are everything one desires from this genre. Driving guitar and bass, wailing guitar solos, a drum beat that doesn’t quit, and of course, synth goodness. “No More Growing Up” also deserves mention, because more and more we find ourselves wondering just when we will have to. This album has just the right amount of production and glam without falling into gimmickry.
Trial track: “Headcage”
Trial track: “Parallel States”
Trial track: “Holy Ghost”
Trial track: “Arias & Symphonies”
- Allie Mason
- Phil Glennie
- Myles Dolphin
- Julien Strasfeld
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Write to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org fandom
Where’s the spirit?
Graphic by Katie Brioux
Concordia athletics feel lack of support Julian Mei Sports editor
University athletics and school spirit have long had a symbiotic relationship. A winning team can often drum up support and heighten school spirit, creating a sense of mutual pride between athletes and students. An example of a perfect relationship is Laval Rouge et Or football. The team is well funded (albeit by a corporation) and largely successful on the field. The on-field success gets fans’ attention and as a result, the team is playing in front of larger crowds than some CFL teams. The relationship works because both fans and the teams are willing to give. If the team wasn’t successful on the field would people want to go watch? Unless you’re running an NHL team in Montreal or Toronto, losing doesn’t usually fill the seats. On the other hand, would anyone want to invest the same amount of resources in a football program that plays its games in front of 1,000 people? Probably not. It’s like a good marriage. And if Laval is the example of a good marriage, Concordia is the couple who bickers endlessly, only has sex on Valentine’s Day and is one bad game of Scrabble away from
getting divorced. Many Concordia teams have trouble sustaining success and the teams who are successful on the field-of-play often receive minimal attention from their student peers anyway. Football coach Gerry McGrath would like to see more people in the stands for home games, but he is aware it can often be tough for a school like Concordia. “It’s difficult because a lot of our alumni are from out of province,” he said. “I think Laval is an exception in the country. It’s a separate situation. They are not competing against the Canadiens, the Alouettes or anyone else, they’re the only show in town.” The Stingers’ director of media and communications, Catherine Grace, has been involved with the Stingers for over a decade, and acknowledged some of the difficulties in competing for people’s time and money. “Any city school, like us or Toronto, is going to have less attendance. I mean, take somewhere like Lennoxville (home of Bishop’s University), there is nothing to do. You’re either going to the corner bar or going to watch the game,” she said. She does believe, though, that students are proud of their teams. “I think a lot of students have big hearts and are verbally supportive, but I’ve noticed less of them being physically supportive [and attending games].” Grace has noticed an improvement from when she started working at the school when many students would be shocked to find out Concordia even had varsity sports.
It could also be argued that because the Stingers play in NDG and not downtown, where more students live, their attendance takes a hit, but Grace sees an advantage in playing outside of the downtown core. “What we lose in students, we gain in families. People who might want to take their kids to the game and not worry about parking and all that are more likely to come. Even when we look at Laval or Montréal at their football crowds, it’s not students, it’s older men,” she said. Ultimately, though, as Grace and everyone else in the athletics department are aware, people want to come to games to see winning teams and have a good time. With hockey and football in a rebuilding cycle, there is really only one sport at Concordia that is competing for championships year in and year out: basketball. The men’s team is undefeated through seven games and the women only have one loss. They play in an old, worn-down gymnasium that actually offers a great fan experience. Fans are so close to the action that the solid red out-of-bounds line gets stained white in the winter from the salt on people’s shoes. The building has a seating capacity of about 700 if everyone sits on each others’ laps. As Grace said, “every high school in the city has a nicer gym than us, but there is something special about ours.” McGill men’s coach Dave DeAveiro really enjoys playing on the road against Concordia, even though it is more difficult for his team. “It’s great. It’s got some history to it and I just
love playing in old gyms.” With a fun atmosphere and a winning team, it seems like at least basketball has conjured up the right formula to garner strong attendance and fan support. Yet the players still feel like students aren’t taking notice of what’s happening or getting involved. Kyle Desmarais, star guard for the Stingers, feels like students are “not at all aware as they should be.” “Today we had a good crowd,” he said about the Saturday game against McGill, “but it’s not always like that. If we could pack this place every night it would be impossible for teams to win here,” he said. “Playing in that gym when it’s packed is the best thing, but when it’s not it’s just kind of dead.” Desmarais has been unsatisfied with the support the team has been getting. “I think being the number one team in the conference, being undefeated, I feel like it would be nice if the school was more aware of that. We’re their team and we’re representing them so it would be nice if they could get behind us, and I don’t think right now [the amount of support] is satisfactory.” Concordia’s basketball poster boy believes it might help to see, well, more posters. “I think the marketing has to be a lot better. I go around the school and I don’t see a lot of posters or anything showing what we’re doing.” It is an uphill battle for the marketing and athletics departments. They can only hope, as they try to build successful programs, that if the stadiums start filling up with banners, they will start filling up with people too.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Winning ugly is still winning
Decee Krah (4) anD the StingerS Dug Deep anD DiD juSt enough to remain unDefeateD on SaturDay againSt the mcgill reDmen. photo by julian mei
Stingers win 69-61 to stay perfect Julian Mei Sports editor A fired up McGill team came closer than any other Quebec school has in putting a smudge of imperfection on the Concordia Stingers’ undefeated season. Coming off a win in Ste-Foy over Laval the night before, Concordia came out looking sluggish and unmotivated on its home court against the team’s biggest rival on Saturday
afternoon. As a result, McGill was able to amass an early 10-point lead, the largest deficit Concordia had faced after one quarter so far this season. Concordia showed more life in the second quarter and managed to cut the deficit to six. Still, there were many areas of concern for Concordia at halftime. The Stingers were outrebounded in the first half by an embarrassing margin, 33-15 as McGill picked up almost as many offensive boards, 14, as Concordia did in total. “Our forwards just didn’t do their jobs tonight,” said coach John Dore.
Whether or not the late travel night on Friday had an effect on the Stingers’ play, their coach wasn’t giving the benefit of the doubt to a team that has been starting games slow lately. “There’s no excuses,” said Dore. “You’ve got to come out and play. Both teams have 40 minutes to play and we don’t make excuses.” After building some late second quarter momentum, Concordia came out of the half looking sluggish yet again, and quickly found themselves back down by 11 points. Finally, though, the Stingers awoke from their slumber and closed the
all season. As is often the case in university sports, experience prevailed over youth as a Stingers team stocked with veterans was able to force six turnovers in the final 90 seconds of the game and closed out the afternoon on a 9-0 run, securing the team’s seventh RSEQ win of the season. Afterwards, the team was happy with the win but not the effort. “We won and that’s what matters, but it’s the same story,” said Stingers fifth-year guard Decee Krah who finished the game with 14 points. “We won every quarter after the first but we had to battle back the entire game. We won by eight but we [wanted to win] by 20 or 30.” Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the weekend for Concordia was the fact the team failed to “send a message” by blowing out teams in its weak conference, something many players have said is a priority. “We know how good the competition is out east and out west,” said guard Kyle Desmarais. “We lost by 16 to St. F-X (who is ranked fourth in the CIS). We have no delusions about being a top three team right now. We are very far from that but we believe we have the capabilities.” Ironically, the losing team may have come away feeling more like winners. “I’m very proud of my team,” said McGill coach Dave DeAveiro. “When you play on the road against a good team like Concordia you need to almost be perfect to win. We did a lot of good things but there are still things we need to improve on.”
quarter on an 18-6 run, which ended with Decee Krah making a three-point shot as time expired in the quarter, firing up his team and the packed gymnasium, and giving Concordia a three-point lead going into the game’s final quarter. The Redmen deserve credit though, as they were unwilling to simply play the role of red carpet on the Stingers’ march to perfection. Redmen point Vincent Dufort hit two free throws to give McGill a one-point lead with only 1:44 Concordia’s next game is on the to play in the game—the latest road against Bishop’s, Friday Jan. Concordia had trailed in a game 27 at 8 p.m.
Stingers introduce newest members to the hive Concordia still faces difficult recruitment battle Julian Mei Sports editor Stingers stars, past and present, were in attendance last Friday afternoon as football coach Gerry McGrath introduced a group of young men he hopes will lead Concordia in the future. Liam Mahoney of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (pictured on the right), and Cory Watson of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (left), among other former Stingers now in the CFL were on hand to welcome the 18 newest recruits to the Concordia Stingers football program at a luncheon at the Perform Centre. The recruits certainly have a local flavour to them; 17 of the 18 have experience playing in the CÉGEP system. Coach McGrath believes that players coming out of CÉGEP can be more valuable than out-of-province recruits, as often times the players are ready to step into important roles immediately. “The best players in Quebec are in the CÉGEP system,” said McGrath. “[Players from Ontario] are usually a year or two behind. You expect a kid from Ontario to have an important role in his third year, but the CÉGEP kids can
come in right away.” While the atmosphere around the event was optimistic and upbeat, McGrath did speak about some of the difficulties Concordia faces in the recruitment process, further explaining his comments from last year about the unfair financial advantage Laval has. “We can compete, but there are obstacles that make it difficult,” he said. “As I look at my five losses from last year, two of them are to Laval and a third in the playoffs. What I’d like to see is everyone in the country have a minimum and a maximum [budget] so that every team at the top of their cycle [of players] has a chance to win a national championship. I think every great league has that type of [balance]. I think it’s important that the CIS gets to that point.” As it presently stands, Laval gets private funding from a corporation whereas the Stingers rely solely on funding from Concordia. Finances isn’t the only uphill battle McGrath and his staff face when recruiting. Language and the program’s reputation are also factors in the decision of recruits. McGrath, though, thinks Concordia does have some advantages over schools such as Laval and Sherbrooke. “Well first of all [a team] can only dress 48 players, so you have to ask yourself [as a recruit going to a premier program] are you going to be one of those 48?” he said. “Second of all, the school plays a large role in it. Finishing school and being bilingual is a great asset for
StingerS alumni in the cfl are helping with conu’S recruitment DifficultieS. photo by julian mei
any young man.” While Concordia has had success producing great individual talents, such as the CFL players on hand, and most recently Max Caron, winner of the defensive player of the year award, the school is hoping to take the next step: competing for national championships.
“We send as many people to the pros as any school,” said McGrath. “We now need to get to the point where we develop 40 or 50 great players so we can have the depth that Laval or Montréal has.” A full list of the recruits can be found on the Stingers’ website.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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Slumping Stingers can’t hold leads Veronica lang (18) trieS to DefenD a carabinS forwarD in the firSt of concorDia’S two loSSeS on the weeKenD. the StingerS are now in laSt place in the rSeQ. photo by naVneet pall
ConU loses sixth and seventh straight games Daniel J. Rowe Staff writer The Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team knew it had to win games against teams it had beaten in the past if it was to climb out of the basement of the standings. The women could handle a 4-0 defeat two weeks ago to run-away leaders McGill, but the other games
would have to be capitalized on. The losses last Friday and Saturday thus came as a hard pill to swallow as the Stingers remain at the bottom of the league. Though Concordia scored first in both games, the Stingers were unable to hold onto leads against the Montréal Carabins and the Ottawa Gee-Gees. In the Friday night game at Montréal, Audrey Gariepy scored first, but the Carabins came back with five straight goals. Second place Montréal is a team the Stingers had beat once and lost to twice in the first
half of the season. It is a team that coach Les Lawton knows his team can and needed to beat if they are to challenge for second place. If Friday night’s loss was a tough pill to swallow, Saturday’s was a shot of gasoline. Ottawa and Concordia were tied in points going into the game, but Ottawa topped Concordia 4-2, further dismantling the team’s ambition of moving up in the standings. The Stingers scored first when Emilie Bocchia converted a first period power-play goal, her second in as many games. Ottawa tied it up, but Concordia came out in the second pe-
riod blazing. Catherine Rancourt put one in 52 seconds into the second period retaking the lead. It was all Ottawa from then on, however, as the Gee-Gees scored three straight goals to win the game. The women now sit at the bottom of the standings with six points, two back of Ottawa, though the Stingers have a game in hand. The Stingers’ next game will be at home against Ottawa on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m.
Stingers lose ground in battle for playoff spot
Concordia clinging to eighth seed in conference Erica Commisso Staff writer
Concordia’s men’s hockey team played its fifth game in eight days on Saturday which didn’t end in the Stingers’ favour, losing 5-4 to the Carleton Ravens. “We’re in a race for the playoffs, we needed those two points,” said captain Eric Begin. “We played good, but not good enough, I guess.” Begin scored a goal and added two assists and is leading the country in points by a defenceman. The first period brought solid defensive play by Carleton, along with two quick goals. After some strong physical play from Begin, Concordia responded with a goal of its own, from the hands of budding star Etienne Archambault. “[Archambault] has come in here, and he’s worked as hard as I can ask him to work,” said coach Kevin Figsby. “He’s got [six points in five games] and that to me bodes well for the future.” Carleton also opened the second period scoring, but Concordia yet again responded quickly, adding an-
other goal a minute and a half later. Michael Stinziani, leading scorer in the CIS, took the comeback into his own hands, skating down the right side of the ice with tremendous speed, and sending the puck into the top corner of the net making it a 3-2 game. Charles-Antoine Messier tied the game for Concordia on a power play. The tie was short lived, though, as Matt Stanisz scored to put Carleton back in front. The Ravens also scored with 15 seconds left in the period, to head into intermission with a two goal lead. The third period brought more solid effort by the Stingers, and outstanding goaltending from first-year Peter Karvouniaris. He stopped several sure goals on a Carleton five-onthree, allowing Concordia to score a fourth goal on a two-man advantage of its own. But, despite a hard-fought third, the home team just couldn’t get the tying goal past Ravens goalie Matthew Dopud. “I’m really proud of our team today,” said Figsby. “That’s our fifth game in eight days, and we’ve got nine injured players right now. For us to stay on the game plan the way we did for 60 minutes today and battle as hard as we did, I’m proud. We’re upset we lost, we’re going to be upset any time we lose, but I’m proud of every kid in that dressing room for the effort they put in.”
peter KarVouniariS anD the StingerS are Sitting in the final playoff Spot in the rSeQ. photo by naVneet pall
The last few games will also test Concordia’s strength, as they are slated to take on Ottawa, UQTR, second-ranked McGill twice, and Carleton again.
Begin is confident in the talent of the team, and says this will bring them success. He also suggested the return of key players to the lineup, a welcome change that could poten-
tially come as early as Wednesday. The Stingers’ next game is Wednesday, Jan. 25 on the road against UQTR at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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Think about the other unions Maybe you don’t want to strike, but keep in mind those who feel they have to
ed up with the government’s looming tuition hikes and with its general disregard for student concerns, the concordia student union is set to hold a vote on a potential general strike that could happen by the end of march.
On the professors’ side, the full-time faculty association is presently in negotiations over a collective agreement with the administration, while the part-time association is gearing up for similar talks later this year. The United Steel Workers, whose members provide services so crucial to this university, are still seeing their negotiations with
the big ConU bosses lag. What all these groups have in common is not only a general sense of frustration, but also an institution that they can all claim as the source of their frustration: Concordia University. So as students prepare for a possible strike, one that they may or may not want to take part in, they should also keep in mind that there are other organizations at this university that find themselves in a similar boat and merit solidarity. For months, if not years, Concordia students have called for an increase in transparency at this university, especially after former president Judith Woodsworth was so unceremoniously ousted from office by the Board of Governors and sent packing with a $700,000 severance package. It’s important
that students remember that faculty members and staff have, for the most part, always stood alongside students in their quest for better governance at Concordia. They have also written letters to the editors of newspapers expressing their discontent, and they have also spoken out at Senate against Concordia’s sometimes questionable administrative practices. With exams, social lives, part-time jobs, and potential bad weather to balance, it wouldn’t be that surprising if a majority of students decided against a general strike. Certainly, a protest of that magnitude would send a message to the Charest government, but whether or not it would be effective (remember Nov. 10, anyone?) remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it would not hurt for students to keep in mind that the professors, librarians, plumbers, and electricians who also contribute to the fabric of this univer-
sity are at times teetering on the edge of a potential strike themselves. The USW workers have already walked out before, and a general strike among their members has not been completely ruled out. The facts are there: the USW members at Concordia are among the lowest paid in their field in Quebec, while the part-time faculty association had to wrestle for seven long years with the university the last time a collective agreement was in the works. People’s jobs and benefits are at stake, and a strike for some of them may be the last resort. Will the university listen, or turn a blind eye the same way the Charest government has done repeatedly to students? Whatever the result, solidarity will remain crucial throughout this year. Strength through numbers could be the deciding factor in whether or not students, faculty, and staff get what they want from their university and from their government.
ciations to promote the pro-increase agenda. As if by shoving it down our throats, this fee hike would suddenly become acceptable. We know better: their plan will add to the massive financial burden students carry, promote individual and family debt, and will do absolutely nothing to resolve the real problems of university mismanagement! Following the massive demonstrations this fall, proposals for student strikes are gaining incredible momentum on campuses. Already many associations are planning to consult their members directly on the question, knowing it is perhaps the only way to make the government back down. We urge you to participate in these debates, express your ideas and opinions so that this campaign faithfully reflects your wishes and values. It is not lightheartedly that we plan a Quebec student strike this winter. No student wants to voluntarily interrupt the course of their studies, but it may be the only option—especially compared to the government doing it by force through this massive increase. Unfortunately, the Charest government has refused to listen. We have taken every reasonable step to prove the devastating consequences of this increase in black and white, supported by clear data and research. Nevertheless, this government has essentially denied reality and
chosen to ignore the inconvenient facts. Are we willing to deny our younger siblings, our friends and allies, and future generations access to the education we’ve been privileged enough to have, simply because they won’t be able to afford it? Is this really what we want for Quebec society? We knew from the start what we were dealing with—an arrogant government, stubborn and obstinate, which has never had the well-being of students or their families at heart, blinded by neoliberal ideology and a failing “user pays” mentality. It’s the same blindness they had in 2004, when they attacked the poorest students and tried to cut $103 million in student aid—but we fought against it, united, and won. So get involved! Join the movement! No matter how you participate, we need to send the message to Jean Charest that this hike will not pass, that students will fight to defend accessibility to university studies, that they will not let the Liberals burden us with more debt or shut us out of classrooms. Students, rise up! Let us be united, work in solidarity, and together, we will win! Let us make 2012 the year of youth!
It’s time to strike Although the CSU’s plan to hold a general meeting on March 7 for a potential strike from March 26 to 29 is great, it comes a little late. All across Quebec, students from other universities and colleges are already organizing and mobilizing for a general strike. The first student unions will go on strike around mid-February, more than one month before us. This means we have to act before the end of March. The student movement in Quebec has a strong history of strikes. Since ‘68, eight general student strikes have taken place, the latest being in ‘05. On Nov. 10 we were 30,000 in the streets. When politicians do not listen to the people, it’s time to strike harder. Concordia departmental associations do not have a strong history of political activities. However, in most Quebec universities, the fight against tuition fees and the strike starts from the bottom and not from the top. Departmental student associations have the advantage of often being closer to their members than the CSU. They can hold general meetings on a regular basis in order to listen to students and to take action. They can be the basis of a broad, democratic and mobilized student movement. If we do not strike, next fall, the tuition increase will come into effect. If we do not strike,
thousands of people, mostly from precarious socio-economic backgrounds, will be prevented from going to university. If we do not strike, universities will be a little closer to being run like corporations and a little less like what they are supposed to be: learning places as emancipatory as possible. Hugo Bonin Women’s studies
In the face of government arrogance: we organize This year, we will make history. Together, we can force the Charest government to back down and reverse their $1,625 tuition fee hike, and ensure accessible, quality education for future generations. On Nov. 10, we filled the streets of Montreal with over 30,000 people to denounce the Quebec Liberal Party’s unjustifiable fee hike. This winter, we can do even more. In autumn, despite students’ determination, the government remained obstinate. Not only did they try to minimize the solidarity that gives life to our movement, but were so petty that they tried to buy Google keywords for student asso-
Martine Desjardins President of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec
What did you think of this issue? Send us your letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday at 4 p.m. The Concordian reserves the right to edit your letters for length, clarity, taste and style. Letters are limited to 400 words.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
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SOPA: the long arm of U.S. anti-piracy law will affect you
Graphic by Alessandra McGovern
Legislation would stifle creativity and freedom of speech online Myles Dolphin Opinions editor
Wikipedia’s blackout last Wednesday forced you to discover either the Vanier or Webster libraries for the first time, you were affected by the protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as SOPA. Let it be known that I’m not a law student, an expert on intellectual property or even 100 per cent sure about the inner workings of SOPA, but I am an avid Internet user and I know that I should fear the bill’s repercussions, should it become a law. The controversial bill was proposed by U.S. Representative Lamar Smith and 12 co-sponsors on Oct. 26 last year. In a nutshell, SOPA is designed to pull the plug on any foreign websites that harbour copyrighted material. It’s a good idea in theory: the American government wants to protect the entertainment industry from piracy. But Homer Simpson reminded us that “In theory, communism works. In theory.” The backlash against SOPA reached its peak
last week: websites such as Wikipedia, Reddit, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Mozilla, Yahoo and eBay, among others, all voiced opposition to the bill and took part in “Dark Wednesday”. More than 115,000 websites participated in what is being hailed as the biggest protest in Internet history. The numbers speak for themselves: Wikipedia claims that 162 million people viewed its blackout page. In comparison, the 2011 Super Bowl had 111 million viewers. The blackout worked. On Jan. 20, Smith backed down from his hard-line stance: “The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution,” he said in a statement. The bill is down, but not out. If it pulls through, will Canada be spared? Of course not. Because domain names that end with .com, .net and .org are considered American under U.S. law, they would have jurisdiction over many foreign websites. “The American Registry for Internet Numbers allocates IP addresses for Canada [...]. However, under SOPA, the IP addresses it allocates would be considered “domestic,” i.e., U.S. IP addresses,” said Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa to CBC. I truly believe in rewarding artists for their work, but SOPA will not prevent piracy, it will only fan the flames. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 was designed to punish those who circumvented measures that
control access to copyrighted material: hackers figured out how to copy DVDs, jailbreak cell phones, you name it. When the first file-sharing sites were shut down, torrents popped up. Because American law enforcement doesn’t have the same tools to fight piracy abroad as they do domestically, they aren’t realizing how powerful their legislation is. Internet policing isn’t the United States’ mandate. SOPA will destroy innovation, hinder free expression and severely compromise the Internet’s security. Using social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter invariably means sharing some copyrighted material, and you could be punished for that, making you liable for damages and legal costs. The bill’s wording is extremely vague: users can be penalized for unknowingly being associated with “rogue websites.” Even if a website is legitimate and one user posts an illegal link, the entire site could be shut down. Think any site that operates on user-generated content: YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, etc. They would shut the site down first and ask questions later. If you thought censorship was bad in Fahrenheit 451 that is nothing compared to this. Why are 70-year-old men implementing laws that are aimed at punishing a fraction of Internet users, but will end up affecting all of us? While SOPA is being pushed through the House of Reps., PIPA, a similarly controversial bill, is being pushed through Senate, where older politicians have no idea about the ramifica-
tions for Internet users. “The techno-ignorance of Congress was on full display. Member after member admitted that they really didn’t have any idea what impact SOPA’s regulatory provisions would have on the DNS, online security, or much of anything else,” said Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center after the Nov. 16 House Judiciary Committee hearing. The recording industry has been suing people left and right for the past decade in an attempt to stop piracy. File sharing hasn’t stopped and no piece of legislation can do so. Piracy is a part of the Internet that comes with doing business and we have to accept that, just like we accept that shoplifting is a part of owning a shop. Artists now have more ways than ever before to distribute their content; it’s up to them to get creative and beat the pirates at their own game. Killing YouTube won’t put more money in the pockets of your favourite artists; when Megaupload, one of the most popular filesharing sites in the world, was shut down last week, musicians and movie studios whose content was being stolen didn’t suddenly get any richer. The MPAA and RIAA need to revamp their business models and find better ways of getting content to us. You can’t eliminate piracy, but you can mitigate it by increasing availability and decreasing costs, just like iTunes and Netflix have proven.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Dear Nickelback You’re about to go on tour; I’m about to blow my lid Brendan Kergin The Omega (Thompson Rivers University) KAMLOOPS, B.C. (CUP) — I’ve been able to bottle it up until now. It has been boiling in the background, but I put a lid on it and let it be. But now — now you’ve done it. You have, once again, ended up (almost) at the top of U.S. record sales. Sure, other Canadians have joined you in the Top 10 album sales spotlight — Buble, Drake and Bieber to be specific. Buble: Great guy, sap music; he’s a wash to me. Drake: Don’t know him, and that’s enough. Bieber? Inauthentic bubble-gum crap, but at least we know it. But you, sirs, of the “our name is the gram-
matically incorrect way to give change to a customer” tribe, I take issue with. It’s not just that I dislike the music. It’s that the music is almost literally illegal. It’s so similar, the only reason it’s not plagiarizing is that you’re not willing to sue yourselves. It has all the sonic creativity of a muffler. But okay — so you don’t intend to revolutionize the way music is played. No one is comparing you to, well, any worthwhile musician. The lyrics I find more offensive. They’re the WWE of poetry. Half are sappiness repackaged for testosterone-based life forms. The other half seem to be based on a half-dozen KISS songs. Playing Scrabble against you would be a joy, but would likely lack the mental stimulation of washing dishes.
Photo courtesy of Shayne Kaye via Flickr Creative Commons
But the thing that bothers me the most is that you exist. You are proof that marketing is more powerful than culture or taste. You project an idea of masculinity that is not only unhealthy for the individual, but also for society. You’re practically creating an army of unthinking clones who look at your lifestyle and agree that, “Sure, getting drunk off cheap corporate beer and watching guys fight on TV is probably what I want to achieve in my life.” You are seemingly run by marketing executives so morally bankrupt I bet tobacco lobbyists meet up with them to hear tales of the dark side. And that’s where my anger lies. Not with
the man-children up on stage, reliving fantasies of junior high. It’s the Nickelback that exists in the boardroom. Adding insult to injury, you just booked a massive, 39-city North American tour for this spring and summer. You are still apparently relevant, what, 10 years after your only real hit? Since then it’s been a constant Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V on album after album. So where does that leave us? I’m not sure about you, but I’m going to go listen to a threeyear-old bang on a pot. Sure, it may not be produced to someone’s idea of sonic perfection, but at least it’s authentic.
Monster and Red Bull are not the only caffeine culprits New extra-large Tim Hortons cup also warrants some type of government regulation Catlin Spencer Contributor For caffeine junkies, it’s a dream. Tim Hortons’ newest addition, the extra-large cup, which became available on Jan. 23, can contain an incredible 24 ounces (710 ml) of coffee. Such a large coffee cup means a large amount of caffeine. According to Tim Hortons’ website, a medium-sized cup of coffee in Canada contains around 100 mg of caffeine, while the extra-large cup contains closer to 200 mg of caffeine. But experts say caffeine content can vary wildly from cup to cup, and some say it’s possible that a 24-ounce cup can contain up to 525 mg of caffeine. A 16-ounce can of Monster energy drink has 160 mg of caffeine in it, and yet an expert panel convened by Health Canada in 2010 wanted the amount of caffeine in energy drinks reduced to 80 mg. The federal government eventually capped the amount of caffeine at 180 mg last October. If the caffeine content of energy drinks is such an issue, then why is Tim Hortons’ massive 24-ounce caffeine injection being tolerated? Caffeine is, as we know, actually a drug. It is a stimulant, not as intense as illegal drugs, but it still has the ability to cause adverse effects in large amounts. As health educa-
tor Owen Moran from Concordia University Health Services explains, “Caffeine speeds up your heart rate, and can make it difficult to fall asleep,” he said. “There are people who should not be consuming that much caffeine in a day: pregnant women, people who have sleep difficulties, and people who suffer from anxiety, because that increased heart rate is very stimulating and can exasperate anxiety.” On top of that, overindulging in caffeine can also stimulate your respiratory system and central nervous system, raise blood pressure and affect the length and quality of sleep. Heavy caffeine users suffer from sleep deprivation because their nervous systems are too stimulated to allow a deep, restful or prolonged sleep. Last year, Health Canada’s expert panel urged tougher rules and warnings on energy drinks because of concerns that the “caffeineloaded beverages are being overconsumed by teens and tweens who don’t understand the potential side effects,” according to the Huffington Post. Furthermore, “energy drinks are formulated for adults and are not recommended for children and teens, but youthful marketing campaigns and event sponsorships have helped attract young people to the brands,” according to the National Post. Tim Hortons’ cup sizes should be regulated as well. Teens and tweens have just as much access to coffee as they do to energy drinks, but the Timmy cups don’t come with warnings or labels that identify their caffeine content. This perceived preferential treatment does not seem to mesh well with Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s wishes to classify energy drinks as drugs instead of food.
Graphic by Katie Brioux
The new cup size is undoubtedly related to customer demand and an attempt to keep up with rivals Starbucks and Second Cup, which offer similarly-sized cups. This raises another important question: why do we adopt the “bigger is better” mentality like our southern neighbours do? Who needs 24 ounces of coffee? Health Canada recommends capping your daily caffeine intake at 400 mg, or three eightounce cups. The problem is, the “all men are created equal” quote certainly does not equate
to “all coffees are created equal.” Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Second Cup coffees contain different amounts of caffeine. Depending on what size of coffee people order, some who think they’re drinking only two or three cups of coffee a day may actually be drinking far more. Factor in sugar and cream and it’s even worse for your health. Health Canada should regulate coffees, too, if they’re going to be so tough on energy drinks.
The Etcetera Page across
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012
1- Equal; 5- Victor’s cry; 9- Feudal lord; 14- Arthur Ashe’s alma mater; 15- All there; 16- Conductor Dorati; 17- Jutting rock; 18- Astounding; 20- Chinese martial art; 22- Gal of song; 23- As to; 24- Part of Q.E.D.; 26- Protracted; 28- Like some ulcers; 32- Must; 36- Young ___; 37- Acclaim; 39- Chews; 40- Vessel; 42- Causing goose bumps; 44- Very, in Versailles; 45- Layers; 47- Fragment; 49- Wreath of flowers; 50Move apart; 52- Waver; 54- Smoke deposit; 56- Sand hill by the sea; 57- Italian wine city; 60- Marry; 62Lunatic; 66- Oppressively heavy; 69- Dresden’s river; 70- Angler’s basket; 71- Incline; 72- Bound; 73Sows; 74- Kind of prof.; 75- Fill to surfeit;
Vol. 29 issue 18 Jacques Gallant
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On Jan. 18, major websites such as Wikipedia and Reddit were blacked out in protest of a controversial anti-piracy bill currently awaiting a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives that would seriously affect Internet users worldwide: SOPA.The backlash resulted in the bill’s author, Lamar Smith, pulling the bill “until there is wider agreement on a solution.”
gone black... does that mean they won’t go back? @jmabell: End Piracy? Great all this economy
needs is more unemployed pirates.
@NickadooLA: “Lets talk about safe IPs. Let’s
talk about piracy. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things on your PC.” - Salt n’ PIPA @everythingsjake: SOPA and PIPA
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The Concordian would like to welcome its newest staff members +MUSIC - Echo Kalypso - 18h00 - La Sala Rossa +EVENT - CSU, ASFA & IEAC presents Multi-Cultural Night! (8$ or 7$ with a mug!) - 19h00 - The Hive, Loyola Campus + ORIENTATION - CSU & ASFA present: Outdoors Day - 12h00-16h00 Loyola Quad +STORY SLAM - Smut Slam 2 - 19h15 - Mainline Theatre +MUSIC - JJ Grey & Mofro - 20h00 - l’Astral +MUSIC - Daniel Isaiah + Grand Chevy - 20h30 - Casa Del Popolo +MUSIC - Les Sofilanthropes - 20h00 - La Sala Rossa +ORIENTATION - Clubs Fair and “Many Tastes of Concordia” & QPIRG’s Social Justice Day- 10h00-17h00 - The Hive +BOOK LAUNCH - Death in Venice - 18h00 - Royal Phoenix +FILM - Bombay Beach - 19h00 - Excentris Cinema +FORUM - Art + activism - 18h00 - Le Cagibi +TOUR - Radical walking tour of Concordia - 13h00 - QPIRG +LECTURE - Hennessy Youngman - 18h00 - EV 6.720 +MUSIC - Igloofest feat. Diplo - 18h30 - Quai Jacques-Cartier +MUSIC - Cass McCombs + Frank Fairfield - 20h00 - Il Motore +MUSIC - Kimberly and the Dreamtime - 21h00 - Piranha Bar +MUSIC - Hisser Haut - 20h00 - Le National +MUSIC - David&The Woods + Messieurs Dames - 20h30 - Casa D.P. +MUSIC - Figaro de Montmartre - 20h30 - La Sala Rossa +ORIENTATION - Drink Deals @ Reggies (Hall Bldg) for THIRSTY THURSDAY & Discount Igloofest Tickets @ CSU Office, H-711 +LECTURE - Canada & the Making of the A-Bomb - 19h30 - EV 1.605 +THEATRE - Show People - 20h00 - Beaubois Theatre +MUSIC - Machine Head - 19h00 - Métropolis +MUSIC - Katy B - 22h00 - Le Belmont +BREAKFAST - Hangover Breakfast! 12h00-15h00 - Reggies +MUSIC - Igloofest feat. Green Velvet - 18h30 - Quai Jacques-Cartier +MUSIC - Toykult - 21h00 - Piranha Bar +MUSIC - Above & Beyond - 19h00 - New City Gas +MUSIC - The Bright Road + Lizzy & The Orca - 20h30 - Il Motore +EVENT - IEAC: Cultural Expressions Show (7$) - 18h00 - D.B. Clarke +THEATRE - Show People - 14h00 and 20h00 - Beaubois Theatre +MUSIC - Smith Westerns - 20h00 - Il Motore +MUSIC - the Arkells - 20h00 - Petit Campus +MUSIC - Igloofest feat. Marcel Dettmann - 18h30 - Quai Jacques-C +MUSIC - Charlie Winston - 20h00 - Theatre Corona +MUSIC - Black Metal Mayhem IV - 19h30 - Les Katacombes +MUSIC - Kestrels - 21h00 - Le Cagibi +MUSIC - David Kristian & Marie Davidson - 20h30 - Casa Del Popolo +MUSIC - The Goods - 22h30 - La Sala Rossa +STINGERS- Women’s basketball - Concordia @ McGill - 18h00 McGill campus gym +STINGERS- Men’s basketball- Concordia @ McGill - 20h00McGill campus gym +PARTY - IEAC Presents: Cultebration! Intercultural Party! (10$) 22h30 - Empire Night Club, 2150 Bishop +MUSIC - Great Aunt Ida + Snailhouse - 20h30 - Casa Del Popolo +STINGERS- Women’s hockey- Concordia vs. Ottawa- 15h00Ed Meagher Arena +CINEMA POLITICA - Vol Spécial - 19h00 - H-110 +MUSIC - Beaver Sheppard + Clara Engel - 20h30 - Casa Del Popolo
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Published on Jan 24, 2012