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THE LAST LAUGH Mission Improvable says goodbye to their seniors in a hilarious final performance. SCENE page 5

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NEWS LOOSE LIPS Daniel Ellsberg talks about Pentagon Papers, government lies page 2

EDITORIAL

THE FINAL WORD Alex Knepper explains why he will not re-apply to be a columnist next year

Women’s Initiative takes $1,000 cut in funds

Senate debated for hours

By SARAH PARNASS

By ALLIE MOONEY

Eagle Staff Writer The Undergraduate Senate approved a budget Sunday afternoon for the 2011 fiscal year that would decrease Women’s Initiative’s budget by $1,000. By a vote of 21-3, the budget approved for Women’s Initiative was $22,000. In the Student Government budget for 20092010, the organization received $23,000. On Wednesday, the Senate Budget Committee had voted unanimously to approve a budget that would have put the organization’s budget at $17,000, which was $6,000 less than this year, according to Class of 2010 Senator Steve Dalton. The meeting began with this version of the budget and ended four and a half hours and nine amendments later. The meeting Ten students spoke to oppose the Women’s Initiative budget cuts during the public com-

ment section of the meeting and none spoke in favor of the cuts. Among the speakers was Quinn Pregliasco, a junior in the School of Public Affairs and director of employment and economic security for Women’s Initiative. Pregliasco has been nominated to serve as next year’s director of Women’s Initiative but has not yet been confirmed. Pregliasco used visuals to demonstrate the breakdown of costs to Women’s Initiative. She said that when the per-person cost for each individual attending the Vagina Monologues compared with the per-person earnings, the profit was $6.86 per attendee. This money was then donated to D.C. organizations against sexual assault and violence. Women’s Initiative’s cost effectiveness emerged several times throughout the meeting as a reason against cutting the budget. When the proposal to cut Women’s Initiative’s budget by an extra $500 was on the table, Class

of 2012 Senator Forrest Young equated that sum to the cost of the chocolate vaginas purchased for the “Vagina Monologues” production. Taylor Yeates, freshman in the School of Public Affairs and acting proxy for Kogod School of Business Senator Jenny Kim, then stood up in protest. “My chocolate vagina tasted really good,” Yeates said. Those who spoke in favor of matching or increasing Women’s Initiative’s past funding during the session included the organization’s Deputy Director Jenny Keating, Kennedy Political Union Director Will Hubbard, SG President Andy MacCracken, Senator-at-Large for the Class of 2013 Adam Daniel-Wayman, freshman in the School of Public Affairs and Proxy for Senator for the Class of 2013 Megan Shea and Senator for the Class of 2013 Hannah Murphy. “I don’t know how many of n

see WOMEN’S INITIATIVE on page 4

MATH ON MARS Alt-rock band MUTEMATH tells The Eagle about their new tour

Eagle Staff Writer

SPORTS SENIOR SEND-OFF

Pulling Theodore for Varlamov proved to be the right move for Caps page 8

TODAY’S WEATHER

HI 64° LO 43° Sunny with light northwest winds TUESDAY HI 67° n LO 44°

DAN ALT / THE EAGLE

A CROSS TO BEAR — Activists pose for a picture during Friday’s rally outside the Brazilian Consulate to honor Sister Dorothy Stang who was murdered for defending farmers’ land rights.

Students honor victims of Brazilian land conflicts By ANNA SCALAMOGNA Eagle Staff Writer Red flags sliced the air and cries of “Dorothy, Dorothy, this one is for you” and “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” echoed in the streets outside the Brazilian Consulate Friday afternoon. Rally organizer and AU graduate student Lyndsay Hughes waved flags for the Brazil’s Landless Work-

WEDNESDAY

the EAGLE 252 Mary Graydon Center 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016 Newsroom: 202-885-1402 Advertising: 202-885-1414, x3 Fax: 202-885-1428 E-mail: editor@theeagleonline.com Classifieds: adbox@theeagleonline.com

ers’ Movement with approximately 20 AU and Trinity University students to commemorate the murder of Sister Dorothy Stang, a sister of Notre Dame de Namur. Stang worked to defend poor farmers’ land rights and to protect the Amazon from land-grabbing ranchers and loggers in the area. In 2005, ranchers killed her with six gunshots fired at point blank for her views. Eve Bratman, a professor in the

School of International Service, attended the rally on Friday. Bratman served as a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil from 2006 to 2007 where she worked on her doctoral field research in the Amazon. “Dorothy’s message of environmental justice and sustainability go hand in hand,” Bratman said. Hughes has been working as SIS Professor Miguel Carter’s research n

see BRAZIL on page 2

Editorial questions former AU professor’s loyalty to the U.S. By MEG FOWLER Eagle Staff Writer

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In a prolonged debate Sunday, the Undergraduate Senate voted 21-3 to pass a budget that was revised at least nine times during the session. The budget, which was formulated by the Senate Budget Committee, allocates $590,400 across 25 organizations and initiatives run by the Student Government. This is the same amount the SG was granted for last year’s budget. Steve Dalton, senator for the class of 2010 and chair of the Budget Committee, shared his thoughts on the allocation process in an interview. “It was my hope that we would get to allocate more based on enrollment,” Dalton said. “However, Student Activities said they wanted us to budget just the $590,400, and that’s what we did.” After listening to the budget

By STEFANIE DAZIO

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CAPITAL IDEA

Eagle Staff Writer

proposals from all the organizations, Forrest Young, Class of 2012 Senator and member of the Budget Committee, explained how the committee makes decisions about who gets what. “Every person on the budget committee comes to the meeting with what we see as a being a priority,” Young said. “I think even more important than that is that we sit through so many sessions, and we hear so many people’s opinions on different issues, and we develop a feeling for what the campus thinks.” However, not everyone was happy with the proposed budget. The topic of greatest debate was Women’s Initiative funding. A number of students attended the meeting in support of more funding for Women’s Initiative. Other representatives spoke during public comment to express their concerns for organizations such as class councils. “I am here to pose a question: n

see SG BUDGET on page 4

Evaluations of faculty affect salary increases

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VOLUME 84 n ISSUE 48

SG Senate passes the budget

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Lacrosse seniors cap home careers with victory over Davidson

APRIL 19, 2010

A recent editorial published on TribLive brought into question whether the words and actions of AU Professor Emeritus Hamid Mowlana were treasonous. Mowlana holds dual citizenship in the United States and Iran and is currently an adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was the founder of the School of International Service’s International Communications program in 1967, according to the AU Web site. TribLive is a Web site affiliated with Trib Total Media, a multimedia network of daily and weekly news-

papers and other publications for the area of Pittsburgh, Pa. The editorial, less than 200 words in length and entitled “Mowlana’s treason,” relies on an article published in March on Iran’s Press TV Web site to form the basis of its question. On its Web site, Press TV is described as “the first Iranian international news network” based in Tehran with bureaus around the world. Mowlana reportedly encouraged Iran to “improve its ‘soft warfare’ capabilities against the United States.” Press TV reported that Mowlana is an adviser to Ahmadinejad and that he spoke at a “conference on ‘soft warfare’” in Tehran, where he “advised Iranian officials to take ‘clear’

measures to counter Western tactics against Iran,” according to Press TV. The Claim The TribLive editorial says, “Iran remains one of the most active sponsors of terrorism in the world. An American citizen [Mowlana] not only is advising its president but urging steps to blunt U.S. efforts to counter Iran. Why is this not treason?” Dean of SIS Louis Goodman said he has not had contact with Mowlana for two years and does not know the degree of accuracy of the things that were reported by either news organization. “What is reported is certainly not views that the school or the university n

see MOWLANA on page 2

Sophomore Taryn Marcorelle never knew that the Scantron-like forms that she fills out at the end of every course can directly affect her professors’ pay raises. The forms, called the Student Evaluations of Teaching, grade professors’ performance and, with other factors, can directly affect faculty merit pay, which in turn affects faculty pay increases. The SETs have a greater impact than some students realize. Marcorelle, a student in the School of Public Affairs, said she had “no idea” the SETs have an impact on a professor’s pay. “That’s a good thing,” she said. “It’s a reward.” However, Marcorelle said she’s still going to rate her professors the same way. “I don’t think it would have changed how I voted,” she said. Cynthia Bair Van Dam, a college writing instructor, said the SETs are an objective way — similar to standardized tests — to distinguish professors’ performances because it is difficult to compare assignments between professors. “In some ways, this is great because it does put a good deal of power in the hands of students,” Bair Van Dam said. “So they have a strong say in the quality of their faculty and who gets rewarded ... which is wonderful.” However, Bair Van Dam added that these ratings can be detrimental to a professor if the students do not exercise this responsibility properly and treat the bubble sheets like the university’s version of the Web site “RateMyProfessors.” The pay for AU’s faculty rose 2.9 percent in 2009. Each professor’s raise was higher or lower than that 2.9 percent rate as a result of his or her SET results. Faculty become increasingly worried as the end of the semester nears and when the SETs are handed out, Bair Van Dam said. Winning over those last two students who don’t like you is important because they could affect if a professor received a raise above or below the 2.9 percent, she said. These scores, in addition to several other factors, can also affect a professor’s chances of receiving tenure. Different departments place different weights for each factor, according to Interim Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs Kay

Mussell. A recent study found that faculty pay rose 1.2 percent nationwide in 2009 — the lowest annual increase in the 50-year history of the study, according to the American Association of University Professors. This is below the national 2.7 percent inflation rate, according to The Washington Post. The Board of Trustees determines the pay raise percentage in every twoyear budget cycle. AU’s 2009 increase of 2.9 percent is above the national pay raise average and is a relatively high pay raise for a time of economic problems, Mussell said. Mussell does not consider the pay raise to be low and said that in the last two years it has been in the range of three percent. “We’re doing very well,” Mussell said of the faculty raise. After the 2.9 percent raise, the average full AU professor salary became $146,500 for this academic year, according to the study. However, some professors see this raise as low. Bair Van Dam said she continues to receive e-mails that say how well AU is doing financially compared to other schools, but she wonders why the raise was only 2.9 percent. “It feels as if most of the raises that we get here are really sort of costof-living adjustments and not even raises,” she said, adding that many of her colleagues have taken on second jobs in bartending, editing and grading Advanced Placement tests over the summer. Other D.C. schools’ pay raises differed from the pay raise at AU. The average salaries for full AU professors are higher than that of the average George Washington University professor but lower than for the average Georgetown University professor, according to the Post. A full professor salary at George Washington University is currently $142,900 on average — $3,600 less than AU professors’ salaries. But GWU continuing faculty received a 5.1 percent pay increase from last year’s salary, 2.2 percent more than AU’s rate of pay increase. An average salary at Georgetown University is currently $155,500. Georgetown faculty pay declined by 0.1 percent from last year’s pay, according to the Post. You can reach this staff writer at sdazio@theeagleonline.com.


the EAGLE

APRIL 19, 2010

PHILLIP OCHS / THE EAGLE

HUSH HUSH— Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who worked for the RAND Corporation, spoke Wednesday night about his decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, a study of the United States’ military involvement in the Vietnam War.

Ellsberg denounces government secrecy Says officials cannot always be trusted By ALEXANDER GRABOWSKI Eagle Contributing Writer The American people should never completely trust what the government tells them, Daniel Ellsberg said at an event on Wednesday in the Wechsler Theater. Ellsberg screened and answered questions about the documentary “Most Dangerous Man in America.” The film tells the story of Ellsberg’s decision to leak the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. The Pentagon Papers exposed top-secret military history of the United States’ involvement in Vietnam. “People have to be vigilant and use all the capability they have to pursue a question,” Ellsberg said. “What government officials say should never be the last word.” Following the screening, James Thurber, director of AU’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, moderated a question-and-answer session with Ellsberg. Media coverage of the Vietnam War was more revealing than coverage of the Iraq War, Ellsberg said. During the Vietnam War, American citizens at home could watch wartime operations every night. The Pentagon Papers were a

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supports, but I don’t know what actually was done or said,” Goodman said. “I have not had contact with [Mowlana] for some time.” On Press TV, Mowlana is reported as saying, “Iranian officials and organizations do not have enough knowledge about the soft warfare tactics used by the West and especially the United States.” The TribLive editorial defines “soft warfare” as “efforts to influence clerics, professors, students, journalists, businessmen and managers of big companies.” The Press TV Web site to which it refers has an almost identical line, reading, “The US has been trying to ‘infiltrate’ into Iran by influencing clerics, professors, students, journalists, businessmen, managers of big companies and others, [Mowlana] said.” Akbar Ahmed, an SIS professor and AU’s Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies said he does not fully know the facts of the situation reported in Press TV and editorialized on in TribLive. He said he had not seen Mowlana on campus for years. “This accusation of treason is a very serious charge,” Ahmed said. “And if it is true, then obviously the authorities have to act on it.” He said Mowlana’s expertise and familiarity with both the U.S. and Iran could have put him in a position to “build bridges ... between America and Iran because of the situation you have with the tension between the two countries.” Ahmed was saddened that if inaccurate facts were reported, it could lead to a misunderstanding that could negate Mowlana’s potentially peaceful role, he said. “We should be very clear about our facts whenever we accuse people of things,” Ahmed said. “If the facts are right, it should

wonderful aberration that really showed institutional courage, Ellsberg said. “It was such a phenomenon of institutional opposition to the war in any country,” he said. “Publisher after publisher of 19 newspapers sought the papers and published the information. We hadn’t seen this [phenomenon] before and haven’t seen [it] since.” At one point during the discussion, Thurber questioned Ellsberg about his thoughts on the government. Thurber asked Ellsberg how the government calculated lies. “If you are trying to evaluate information, you should take into account the possibility that people are deliberately misleading you,” Ellsberg said. “And, I want to say that I don’t mean to exaggerate when I say that virtually everything that our government officials say to an audience is misleading in the sense that it holds information that he or she knows is relevant to that audience.” The government persists in its secrecy and violation of the Constitution, he said. “I’ve been saying for years that we had an executive coup in this country against the Constitution,” Ellsberg said. “In fact, I think Bush and Cheney were domestic enemies of our Constitution.” When asked by one student if Obama has diverged from this trend of secrecy, Ellsberg said that Obama has not, and he has not fulfilled his promise of transparency either. There has not been a president who has forgone pow-

ers that had been handed down to him by his predecessors, according to Ellsberg. Ellsberg discouraged students in the audience from considering a job in the Secret Service or the executive branch. He explained that those who take these jobs do not take the oath to the Constitution seriously enough. “I’ve taken that oath a number of times, but I violated it along with all of my colleagues,” he said. “If you go in, you really can make a private commitment to the Constitution and have occasions to hold enormous power to save lives. That career would give you a chance to stop a war — but you have to ask yourself, am I the exceptional person?” A student followed up by asking Ellsberg what drives a person to make those tough decisions. Ellsberg said that in his case, he did not really know. It may have been his escape from death at a very young age or how he risked his life in Vietnam and no longer had any fear, he said. “Ordinary people can show extraordinary physical strength and courage on the battlefield,” Ellsberg said. “What is unusual is moral or civil courage, which risks ostracism, estrangement and loss of respect. These risks are why very few people really do the right thing.”

be followed up. If not, then these charges shouldn’t be made because they simply muddy the waters. We’ve already had so much misunderstanding between these two [countries].” Inaccurate Facts The TribLive opinions piece gets an important detail wrong. The first line of the editorial identifies Mowlana as a current AU professor, however, he has not been a member of AU’s faculty for two or three years. “By day, Hamid Mowlana is a senior professor of international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. By night, Mr. Mowlana is an adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” the editorial said. The Press TV article also gets its facts wrong, saying, “Mowlana, who is a professor of International Relations in the School of International Service (SIS) of the American University in Washington, advised Iranian officials to take ‘clear’ measure to counter Western tactics against Iran.” While Mowlana is not a current member of the faculty, he was on the faculty for a “long time” — at least since the 1960s — and is now a professor emeritus, according to Goodman. To be a professor emeritus means that a professor has retired but may continue to teach or draws a percentage of his or her last salary as pension. “I think it’s lamentable that this newspaper in Pittsburgh or that any other organization said he’s a member of our faculty when he’s not,” Goodman said. “I would like them to check facts, I would like for us to check facts ... The truth is that he’s not a member of our faculty and we’re not supportive of these views. People can and do draw strange conclusions about things.” The last time Goodman saw

Mowlana was when he came to AU to pick up books from his former office two years ago. “He gave no indication that he was playing any role like is said he is playing here, so I don’t know what is going on with this individual,” Goodman said. Senior Director of AU’s University Communications Camille Lepre said that saying Mowlana is a professor at AU is incorrect and that the things he is reported as saying are not reflective of AU. “AU does not support the points of view expressed in the article,” Lepre said in an e-mail. “AU had no direct knowledge of the events that were reported, or the accuracy of the statements.” In the article on Press TV, Mowlana is never directly quoted suggesting that Iran should implement soft warfare tactics on the U.S. Goodman said he has heard from one person regarding the publication of TribLive’s editorial. An alumnus e-mailed the dean to say that it was “outrageous” that one of the faculty in SIS would say the things that were declared on TribLive, he said. After Goodman clarified that Mowlana was no longer a member of AU’s faculty, the alumnus thanked Goodman and “went on to talk about how proud he was of SIS and how he hoped to attend the building dedication,” Goodman said. “So that was an example of someone unfortunately being exposed to this information, and once he heard the truth being able to dismiss it.” Editors from TribLive have not yet responded to requests for comment. Mowlana could not be reached for comment.

You can reach this writer at news@theeagleonline.com.

You can reach this staff writer at mfowler@theeagleonline.com.

news 2

MON 19

TUES 20 THU 27

WED 21

“Knowledge is Power: What You Need to Know about Dating and Domestic Violence” 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. WHERE: McKinley 202 INFO: Becky Lee of Becky’s Fund, an organization that strives to prevent domestic violence, will speak about domestic and dating violence. She will discuss the Dater’s Bill of Rights, cycle of violence and signs of an abusive relationship. CONTACT: For more information, e-mail the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program at leadership@ american.edu.

Author Event: Dane Smith 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. WHERE: Ward 113 INFO: Ambassador and International Peace and Conflict Resolution Professor Dane Smith will discuss his new book: “U.S. Peacefare: Organizing U.S. Peacebuilding Operations.” CONTACT: For more information, e-mail Rebecca Davis at peace@ american.edu.

Deloitte Consulting’s “Jump Start Your Job Search” 4:00 - 6:30 p.m. WHERE: Main Quad INFO: Deloitte Consulting on the Quad provides the opportunity to learn valuable tips that will help students land a full-time job after graduation. Deloitte Consulting professionals will review resumes and provide tips on how to ace a job interview. CONTACT: Call Blair Ufer at 202885-1814 or e-mail ufer@american. edu to RSVP.

THURS 22

FRI 23

SAT 24

Speaker: Lester Brown 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. WHERE: Ward 1 INFO: The Kennedy Political Union hosts Lester Brown, an American environmentalist, founder of the Worldwatch Institute and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a non-profit research organization based in D.C. CONTACT: For more information, e-mail kpu@ausg.org or call 202885-6416.

Celebrating Green Teaching at AU 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. WHERE: Amphitheater INFO: The success of the Green Teaching Program will be celebrated in the Amphitheater. The program has certified over 120 AU professors this year and given green teachers and AU community members the opportunity to exchange ideas with each other as well as with students. CONTACT: For more information, email to aolsson@american.edu or call 202-885-6077.

Gallery Talk with Don Kimes 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. WHERE: Katzen AU Museum INFO: The AU Museum will host a gallery talk with artist Don Kimes on his new exhibition, “Pentimenti: After the Flood.” CONTACT: For more information, call 202-885-ARTS.

demanding access to land. Stang’s great niece Brenna Daugherty, 19, a student at Trinity University, also attended the rally to show support for her great aunt’s work. Daugherty marched and chanted with the group and led a prayer in her great aunt’s honor. “She lived simply and would have been proud of us being here today,” Daugherty told the crowd. The activists paused for a short candle lighting in honor of the victims of the past decade’s land disputes. Fewer than 100 cases have gone to court out of the thousands of killings of other activists, small farmers, judges, priests and other rural workers who have been killed in land disputes in the

past decade, according to the event’s press release. About 80 convicted suspects were hired gunmen for powerful ranchers and loggers seeking to expand their lands, the release said. Bratman said AU students also rallied outside the Brazilian embassy in 2005 right after the death of Stang. Though this year’s rally did not receive as much attention, the 2005 rally made Brazilian news, according to Bratman. “They would be moved to tears in Brazil to know there’s solidarity with their struggle here in D.C.,” Carter said.

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assistant since August. Carter introduced Hughes to Bratman. When Bratman and SIS Professor Miguel Carter told Hughes about the land reform injustices, Hughes “couldn’t stand by and do nothing,” she said. One of Stang’s accused murderers was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier last week. The activists celebrated this conviction and called for other cases to receive the same attention. The rally also coincided with International Day of Peasants’ Struggle on April 17, a day that commemorates 19 landless Brazilian peasants who were killed by military police in 1996 while

You can reach this staff writer ascalamogna@theeagleonline.com.


EDITORIAL

APRIL 19, 2010

JOE WENNER n Editorial Page Editor EdPage@TheEagleOnline.com

CHARLIE SZOLD n Editor in Chief Editor@TheEagleOnline.com

America’s cultural protectionism UNSOLICITED ADVICE

ALEX PRIEST Last Thursday Sarah Palin asked, via Facebook, if perhaps President Barack Obama had a lack of faith in “American exceptionalism.” Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich seems to think Obama is leading “a secular socialist movement ... that represents essentially a European socialism.” Meanwhile Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., led the charge to condemn the idea – just the idea, not even the reality – of a European style value-added tax. In his words, it’s a “massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income.” So let’s get this straight. According to the Republicans, America is better than everyone else by default, and our president is a radical socialist with an outrageous European-style agenda. But while we’re racking up massive budget deficits and an unsustainable debt burden, the Republicans are steadfast against the only fair, proven and reliable means of increasing government revenue to cover that debt. Marvelous. This, my last column for the year, is for the Republicans. All of you. Dear U.S. Republicans, This cultural protectionism has to stop. Don’t understand what I mean by cultural protectionism? Let me explain. By cultural protectionism, I mean you’re terrified by the idea that us “progressives” might take away all the things that, in your opinion, make America America. So you’ve resorted to a hefty dose of crazy — in the form of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and the tea parties — to protect that. I think you’re afraid that if we don’t have the most nuclear weapons — which we don’t, by the way — we won’t be the big, strong America that we’ve all grown up with. I think you’re afraid that if the government provides health care to those in need then they’re undermining that whole philosophy

of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and the “self-made man.” I think you’re afraid that if we – God forbid – adopt a European idea, we’ll just blend together with the European Union and America as we know it will cease to exist. I love this country too. But you couldn’t be farther from the truth. America isn’t about us having the largest military or the most nuclear weapons. As the world’s largest superpower we have a responsibility to lead on the issue of nuclear disarmament and to make the world a safer, more peaceful place. America isn’t about us forcing needy Americans to “work hard” to survive. American motivation and productivity aren’t going to stop just because people have access to affordable health care. It just means they can worry more about helping their families live comfortably and less about just being able to live. And America isn’t about throwing away good ideas just because we didn’t think of them first. We were founded on ideas straight out of Europe, and you know, they turned out all right. A VAT tax could bring a new era of prosperity to the United States and prevent our economy from debt-induced financial disaster. And while it might not be politically popular, most of the important changes in our history have been pretty controversial. America is about us. It’s about the people, and the variety of opinions, and the progress that we constantly push our country toward. Right now, you’re holding us back. You’re afraid to move forward and you have no alternatives. So you resort to this crazy rhetoric – Obama’s a “socialist.” He’s got a “radical agenda.” You’re going to “repeal the [health] bill.” None of that is true, and you know it. Cultural protectionism won’t move us forward. Stop fighting progress. Don’t fear change and don’t reject ideas just because they weren’t your ideas first. That’s definitely not what America is about. Alex Priest is a junior in the School of Communication and Kogod School of Business and a liberal columnist for The Eagle. You can reach him at edpage@theeagleonline.com.

Why I’m leaving The Eagle ON THE OTHER HAND

ALEX KNEPPER I’ve been writing for The Eagle for two years, longer than any other columnist. I applied at the beginning of my freshman year and was hired by Charlie Szold, now The Eagle’s editor in chief. Since that time, through the tenures of Graham Vyse and current Editorial Page Editor Joe Wenner, there has been a fairly laissez-faire policy toward columnists’ submissions. Save for grammatical errors and statements whose truth was dubious, columns were typically printed as is. I think that this has been good policy. The job of a columnist is to say what’s on his mind, and editors should ideally act only as referees, correcting for obvious fouls. This has served my own tendencies well: I write because I enjoy writing. I love the world that I live in, and I enjoy contributing my ideas to it. My writing is not a gift to the community. That is: I am not an altruist. I am, however, a proud moral absolutist: if at any time I cease to enjoy writing for a publication, I’m not one to stay on board for the sake of “loyalty,” or for resume-padding. The Eagle’s revised editorial policies are to include a ban on columnists commenting online, in addition to a stricter filter for columns that are “inflammatory” (that is: the only ones worth reading — and writing, for that matter). In other words: my columns are to be neutered, and I will no longer be allowed to engage with my readers. Because of these changes — which the editors ludicrously assert are long overdue — I am not willing to write for The Eagle any longer. If I cannot write what’s on my mind without the need to self-censor, why should I write? If I cannot en-

gage my readers, what’s the point? The Eagle’s new policies reflect a moral failing. We now have unequivocal proof that if a pressure group on campus makes enough noise, it will be granted a veto stamp over the rest of the campus’ behavior. Moral fortitude demands that bullies be resisted, not appeased. But what we have here is the latter. I cannot morally sanction this; therefore, I must leave. My resignation has nothing to do with any of the following fantasies: a secret deal cut with the editors, internal politics, second thoughts about my previous column, buckling under media pressure, or an admission that I truly do not reflect “community standards.” If The Eagle’s policies were not changing, I would be attempting, as with every previous semester, to remain on board. But they are, and I’m not. My advice to incoming columnists is this: know your audience. Nobody read anything I wrote until I started writing about campus issues. Nobody cares one whit about what a 20 year old in the Eagle thinks about the president’s nuclear policies. But there’s only one place where people can read about AU’s campus culture, and that’s The Eagle. If you want to rant about President Barack Obama, do it on a blog about national politics. That’s what I do: fans (and detractors) can continue to follow my writings at David Frum’s FrumForum.com and David Horowitz’ NewsRealBlog.com. It’s fantastic to be engaged in national policies. But in The Eagle, for God’s sake, please write about something relevant to campus issues. And with that, I bid thee farewell! Alex Knepper is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs and a classical liberal columnist for The Eagle. You can reach him at edpage@theeagleonline.com.

Courtesy of MCT CAMPUS

Grade not, lest ye be evaluated Student evaluations need to be overhauled if merit pay is to be effectively allocated. In light of the release of data concerning AU professor’s salaries, it is important to comment on the process behind determining these various increases or decreases in pay. To be sure, using salaries as a teaching incentive through merit pay is a wise move on the administration’s part. But to be effective, it must produce the intended consequences. One of the most important steps in the determination of merit pay is the Student Evaluation of Teaching. Those infamous bubble sheets that reappear without fail at the end of the semester are much more than an excuse to stop lectures early. As The Eagle reports this issue, these forms play a critical role as departments decide

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR When I reflect on my four years at AU, I think the most formative and educational experiences I have had happened outside of the classroom. The better part of my college education has taken place in MGC 252, behind the doors of The Eagle office. In that room, I learned exactly how much work goes into putting together a newspaper twice a week, which goes far beyond editing, staff management and writing headlines. During my three years on staff, I have had experiences that completely changed my worldview. My beliefs and convictions have been challenged in ways I could have never imagined, and it has been remarkably fulfilling. Education is supposed to be a taxing, uncomfortable and intense experience. College should be a place where one’s beliefs can learn to bend and reshape, and students should rediscover themselves and “think outside the box.” Anyone who can go four years without experiencing or learning something completely life-changing is probably doing it wrong. I cannot help but leave here slightly jaded by a learning environment that claims to be open-minded but sometimes proves otherwise. However, I also leave feeling rather hopeful. For

the EAGLE American University’s Independent Student Voice MISSION The Eagle, a student-run newspaper at the American University, serves the student readership by reporting news involving the campus community and surrounding areas. The Eagle strives to be impartial in its reporting and believes firmly in its First Amendment rights. SUBMISSION AND EDITORIAL POLICIES • Send letters and guest columns to: Editorial Page Editor, The Eagle, 252 Mary Graydon Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C., 20016 or EdPage@TheEagleOnline.com. Letters and guest columns must be received by 7 p.m. on the Thursday before the Monday publication, should be typed and must include the writer's name, year, school and telephone number. • All submissions become the property of The Eagle. Unsigned letters will not be published. The Eagle reserves the right to edit letters and guest columns for length and clarity. Letters will be limited to 300 words. • The Staff Editorial represents the majority of the Editorial Board, which is composed of the Editor in Chief, the managing editors for content, a representative from the Campus News, Metro News and National News desks and at

various alterations in professors’ salaries. Certainly, it is encouraging to see how much credence student evaluations hold in the allocation of merit pay. As long as AU’s goal is to educate, its students must have sufficient input within the process of establishing performance incentives. Still, there remain several obstacles that likely prevent evaluations from being a completely accurate representation of student views. Few students realize that their individual assessment may affect the level of their professor’s pay raise. All too often, our classmates perfunctorily fill in a straight line of bubbles down the front of the sheet. The actual questions being asked receive

little thought, if they are even read. Of course there is a significant portion of students that recognize the weight of our words — rather bubbles — and give evaluations the thorough reflection they deserve. But to ensure that every student does this, the administration must make students aware of how important teacher evaluations really are. Even before this happens however, the evaluation itself needs an overhaul. Few students, if any, can remember the professor evaluations different from their current form. As they stand, the questions only reveal a limited scope of student opinion — as much as can be understood through a numerical rating between one and seven.

Departments should put more importance on the written portion of the evaluations. If these surveys are truly intended to reflect the wide variety of possible opinions about a professor, administrators must at least consider the written portion. Without these changes, the distribution of merit pay could defeat its own purpose. AU cannot put too much effort into ensuring that its best professors are rewarded, while ones lacking in skills are let go. Some may say that the system is good enough as is. But when one or two students potentially control thousands of dollars of a professor’s pay, the survey must accurately reflect student views. If not, evaluations become less helpful than harmful.

all the struggles that have come with this experience, I believe that there are others out there who are willing to have their beliefs challenged — and I hope that willingness is contagious. In the coming years, I hope The Eagle continues to serve as an important source of information for this community. Through well-reported articles and thoughtful opinion pieces, this newspaper should be an important addition to the conversation that takes place on this campus. I could not think of a better person to help lead this dialogue than my successor, Charlie Szold. In his two years as editorial page editor and managing editor for news, Charlie has shown his tireless dedication to The Eagle. His commitment has been an inspiration for the entire staff. I know that he values discussion and conversation, and he is passionate about accuracy and good journalism. I have complete faith in his abilities, and I am confident The Eagle will get the AU community talking about important issues under his guidance. I wish the best of luck to Charlie and The Eagle staff next year, and I cannot even put into words how grateful I am for all the extraordinary people I have met while working here. As for the AU community, I urge you to be open-minded and have your beliefs challenged from time to time. And, as

I said in my letter at the beginning of the year, keep making news.

per year in direct military and economic aid that the United States gives Israel that the occupation could not be sustained. It is clear that if the United States did not consistently use its veto at the United Nations to shield Israel of the responsibility and necessity to abide by Security Council Resolutions and other international laws, then Israel would have to present genuine concessions towards peace. We cannot allow our humane resistance against such oppression to be marginalized and eventually silenced by those who insist that our actions and words ‘polarize’ the debate. Human dignity is not debatable and the unjustifiable can never be justified.

least three elected staff members. All members of the Editorial Board have the same weight during Editorial Board meetings each Sunday and Wednesday. Letters and guest columns are the opinion of the writer. • The Eagle has a commitment to accuracy and clarity and will print any corrections or clarifications. To report a mistake, call the Editor in Chief at (202) 885-1402 or e-mail Editor@TheEagleOnline.com. • The Eagle is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press, which syndicates to a national audience, and McClatchy-Tribune wire service. • One copy of The Eagle is free per student. For additional copies please contact The Eagle in 252 Mary Graydon Center.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR Ambassador Michael Oren can’t justify Israel’s actions As many may be aware, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, will be speaking on the U.S.-Israeli relationship at AU on April 22. The realities of Israel’s apartheid, ethnic cleansing and systematic violence against the Palestinian people, and the scope to which Israel, Israel’s lobbies and Zionists in the U.S. and right here at AU go to shift peoples attitudes towards the conflict speaks poorly to the 20th and 21st centuries. When Michael Oren attempts to legitimize these actions and speaks to the U.S.-Israeli relationship, we should not be comforted by the fact that the relationship currently seems ‘strained’. The United States has and continues to be Israel’s most steadfast ally who guarantees the continued oppression, occupation and injustice towards Palestinians and humanity as a whole. It is clear that without the over $3 billion

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Sepideah Mohsenian Senior, School of International Service and College of Arts and Sciences CORRECTION In “New study raises questions on legality of unpaid internships,” published April 15, Francine Blume was misidentified as the director of Experimental Education at the AU Career Center. Blume is actually director of Experiential Education. The Eagle regrets this error.

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APRIL 19, 2010 n

from WOMEN’S INITIATIVE on page 1

you have actually been to Women’s Initiative events, but to me those are so much more important to me than Founders’ Day,” Murphy said, naming one of the causes competing for a larger share of the budget. “I don’t know if you know of any women who’ve been affected by domestic abuse or sexual assault, but I think that’s way more important than a party at the end of the year,” she said. Dalton, who also serves as chair of the Senate Budget Committee, defended the cuts in the original SG budget, stating that the university’s funds for a new Women’s Resource Center would cover the gap between this year’s and last year’s funding of Women’s Initiative. The Debate The administration plans to establish the Resource Center in the fall, The Eagle previously reported. Dalton argued that the purpose of that center would be to take over some of the responsibilities that currently fall to Women’s Initiative. The relationship between Queers and Allies and the GLB-

n

from SG BUDGET on page 1

how are class councils supposed to do their jobs if they keep getting budget cuts year after year?” Class of 2012 Vice Presidentelect David Wolkowicz said. Comments such as these and the debate over the Women’s Initiative budget put the SG into a two-hour debate in which tempers flared and senators repeatedly asked to close debate on the budget. “We’re not just here for two hours,” Class of 2013 Senator Avi Bublick said at one point during the meeting. “It’s however long it takes to get the job done.” Major changes to the budget included a shift in funding for many organizations, including Kennedy Political Union, SG General, Women’s Initiative and AUTO.

news 4

TA Resource Center should serve as a model for Women’s Initiative and the Resource Center, according to Dalton. But Women’s Initiative Director Sarah Brown said the organization would not be as sufficient as a club, even after the Resource Center opens. “Even when [the Resource Center staff ] are full time and fully funded, it’s vital that students have a voice in these issues because students are the ones that know about sexual assault on campus,” Brown said. “Students are the ones that know the sorts of events their peers would like to see held.” Dalton emphasized that the budget cuts brought to the table were not a punishment or “a decision made in haste.” “This is not necessarily a bad thing,” Dalton said before Sunday’s meeting. “This could be a great thing, that the university will finally be able to step up. And everyone who I’ve laid [the budget plans] out to that way has seemed to been like, ‘Oh, I understand now.’” In addition to the $23,000 originally allotted to them for

the 2010 fiscal year, Women’s Initiative had an extra $7,000 for programming this year. Therefore, the cuts in the budget proposed on Wednesday would have meant a 44 percent decrease from the total funding the organization received for 2009-2010, according to Brown. Women’s Initiative circulated petitions with 395 signatures of students against the budget cuts and letters of support from students during the meeting. One of those letters came from Chairwoman of the SG Judicial Board Erika Zois. The leaders of Women’s Initiative used e-mails and Facebook messages to encourage those on their listserv to come to the meeting and write to their senators, urging them to vote against the proposed budget cuts. Co-Directors of AU Students for Choice Amanda Pelletier and Emily Creveling also sent out e-mails urging members to support Women’s Initiative. The Outcome Women’s Initiative requested more than $50,000 in their budget proposal to the SG this spring, according to Keating.

Brown said the increase reflected their growth as an organization. “All of the money that we’ve raised to donate to charity groups has gone up,” Brown said. “The attendance at all of our events has gone up. We’ve planned more events and bigger events, and Women’s Initiative is growing. And we need a budget to grow with us.” Keating said the cuts would likely prevent Women’s Initiative from growing in the next year but that she and Brown were happy to receive $22,000 as opposed to the $17,000 allotted in Wednesday’s budget. “This is not a success by any means,” Keating said. “Our budget was still cut and we received nowhere near what we requested. But it is much better. I am leaving here much happier than I arrived and I’m glad that there are so many people who fought for hours for us to receive the extra [$5,000].”

To address the ongoing debate about Women’s Initiative, KPU Director Will Hubbard said, “In solidarity with the outstanding programming of Women’s Initiative, I would propose that the budgets of the larger organizations bare the allocations of last year to recognize the hard work that Women’s Initiative has done over the past year.” This led to a $500 decrease in KPU’s budget for next year, which in turn was given to Women’s Initiative. The issue of funding for class councils was also addressed during the meeting. The class council of 2012 received a $500 increase and the class council of 2013 received a $250 increase. The final budgets for AUTO and the Special Programming Events Commission decreased from the version proposed Wednesday. AUTO’s budget fell

from $11,000 to $8,500 from Wednesday to Sunday because questions were raised as to whether AUTO needed such a large budget. Dalton said during the debate that the Budget Committee foresees that AUTO will grow in the future and wanted to encourage growth through financial support. “The original allocation came with the belief that AUTO needed to purchase a new van,” said Taylor Yeates, programming director of AUTO. But AUTO is set up so that its funds can roll over to the next year, according to Yeates. There are actually funds of about $20,000 available for next year, he said. Additionally, the Special Programming Events Commission’s budget — previously known as

Eagle Nights — increase fell from Wednesday’s proposal because it is able to incorporate re-allocated SG money later in the year, said Adam Daniel-Wayman, senator-at-large. This allowed more money to go to other organizations such as Women’s Initiative. The revisions of the 20102011 SG budget were achieved through long hours of debate. “The Budget Committee takes everyone’s voice into account, and it’s a detriment when people come into it with closed minds and decisions already made,” Dalton said. “I think the students benefit if we have strong opinions and open minds.”

Bill 09-10-048: A Bill for the Fiscal Year 201011 Budget of the American University Student Government Whereas, Article XII, Section i, Subsection 7 of the By-Laws calls for the Chair of the Special Committee on the Budget to “present the budget to the Senate, where it shall be dealt with as a standard bill,” within two weeks of the final budget hearing; now therefore be it Enacted, that the $590,400.00 of the American University Student Government for FY 2011 be enacted as follows: I. OFFICE of the PRESIDENT a. SG General shall receive $16,500.00 b. Student Advocacy Center shall receive $2,000.00 c. Women’s Initiative shall receive $22,000.00 d. Travel Subsidy shall receive $6,000.00

II. OFFICE of the VICE PRESIDENT a. VP General shall receive $8,500.00 b. Student Union Board shall receive $175,000.00 c. Kennedy Political Union shall receive $174,500.00 d. Special Programming Events Commission shall receive $5,000.00 e. Founder’s Day shall receive $40,000.00 f. Events shall receive $10,000.00 III. OFFICE of the COMPTROLLER a. American University Transportation Organization (AUTO) General shall receive $8,500.00 b. American University Transportation Organization (AUTO) Restricted shall receive $5,000.00 c. Bike Lending shall receive $3,000.00 IV. OFFICE of the SECRETARY a. Department of Publicity and Recruitment (DOPAR) shall receive $15,250.00

You can reach this staff writer at sparnass@theeagleonline. com.

SAMMY regains charter after 7 years By SARAH RUDNICK Eagle Staff Writer AU fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu was re-chartered on Saturday, according to SAMMY President Chase Freeman. SAMMY originally lost its charter in 2003 for administrative noncompliance and alcohol violations after a period of probation by AU, The Eagle previously reported. SAMMY’s national headquarters suspended its national charter during the 2002-2003 academic year. Even without campus legitimacy, the group continued operating successfully as an unofficial fraternity for the past seven years. After regaining campus and national recognition as a colony, SAMMY was able to fulfill its requirements and quickly regain fullfledged chapter status. In order to receive charter, a colony must fulfill requirements laid out by AU, the Inter-Fraternity Council and its national headquarters, according to IFC Public Relations Chair Adam Tager. The process, which usually takes about two years, happened quickly for SAMMY because they have continued to be a functioning organization, albeit an unsanctioned one, he said. However, the IFC welcomes SAMMY

back onto campus. “We are always happy to welcome more greeks onto campus as official [organizations],” Tager stated. A ceremony, involving members of SAMMY’s national headquarters and SAMMY alumni, reestablished the organization as an official fraternity chapter, Freeman said. SAMMY pledges were also initiated as brothers. “It was an honor to bring it back on campus and be a part of the national organization,” he said. “Everyone was really excited.” Now that SAMMY has received its charter, it will focus on expansion, but will be selective about future brothers, Freeman said. “We want to get some new quality guys,” he explained. “Quality over quantity. We want to grow, but only if it’s going to benefit our fraternity.” The brothers are looking forward to being able to being more involved in the greek community and in participating in alumni, D.C. and campus events. Freeman said SAMMY didn’t do anything out-of-the ordinary to celebrate receiving its second charter. “Just had a good time, as always,” he said. You can reach this staff writer at srudnick@theeagleonline.com.

Smoothies & Frappuccinoes

You can reach this staff writer at amooney@theeagleonline. com.

V. SCHOOL COUNCILS a. College of Arts and Sciences shall receive $150.00 b. School of International Service shall receive $2,000.00 c. School of Public Affairs shall receive $750.00 d. School of Communications shall receive $1,000.00 e. Undergraduate Business Association shall receive $2,000.00 VI. CLASS COUNCILS a. Class of 2011 shall receive $11,000.00 b. Class of 2012 shall receive $1,000.00 c. Class of 2013 shall receive $750.00 d. Class of 2014 shall receive $500.00

50 OFF 50 OFF c

c

With purchase of any drink With this coupon. Not valid with other offers. Expires 4-16-2010.

VII. MISCELLANEOUS a. SG Payroll shall receive $74,000.00 b. Capital Maintenance shall receive $6,000.00

With purchase of any drink With this coupon. Not valid with other offers. Expires 4-30-2010.

Megabytes Café

Thousands protest at Tea Party rally

AARON BERKOVICH / THE EAGLE

DEATH BY TAXES — Protestors take a few minutes to rest at the National Mall during Thursday’s Tax Day Tea Party rally. AU College Republicans were among the thousands of people gathered near the Washington Monument.

By JOSEPH KELLY Eagle Contributing Writer Several AU students were among a crowd of a few thousand Thursday when, for the second year in a row, the National Tea Party held a rally on Tax Day to protest what they see as a growing federal government and its bad economic decisions. The AU College Republicans, among other students, gathered between the White House and the Wash-

ington Monument to join the protesters in waving various flags including both traditional American flags and politically-charged flags. Protesters waved the Gadsden “Don’t Tread On Me” flag — a yellow flag with a rattlesnake design named for Revolutionary War Colonel Christopher Gadsden that served as one of the U.S. Marine Corps’ early flags — and the “New American Revolution” flag, a thirteen-star flag with the Roman numeral “II” in the middle. “The main reason we’re here is that

Congress is spending money that we don’t have and refuses to acknowledge that fact,” said Paul Bencivenga, a freshman in the School of International Service and a member of the College Republicans. Other protesters included former members of the military, supporters of people running for office on the Tea Party platform and even a man dressed up in a tar-and-feathers body suit and an elaborate mask combining features of President Barack Obama, the Joker and Fidel Castro. College Republicans President Michael Monrroy, a junior in the School of Public Affairs, said he was concerned with what he saw as an overextended and irresponsible federal government. Monrroy said he believes there is a trend that the government is not listening to the people. He cited the recent health care debate as evidence. “If people don’t speak out against it, it’s just going to continue to hurt our country,” he said. Monrroy also said the government should return to the Constitution’s basic fundamentals. “The Constitution was written by our founding fathers,” he said. “I think they had the best interests of this country for the future at that time, and if we go back to those principles ... our country can get back on the right track.” Stephen Palubinsky, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences came to the protest for both personal and professional reasons, he said. Palubinsky is an intern for the Libertarian Party. “I’m here simply because I believe we need to limit government,” he said. “This isn’t just about taxation; it’s about large government spending, and that’s just going to happen when you have a big government.” Palubinsky said he attended a Ron Paul speech on Tax Day in 2008 — before there was ever a Tea Party. “I saw Ron Paul address a crowd of one to two hundred in 2008, and today I saw him address a crowd of several thousand,” he said. You can reach this writer at news@ theeagleonline.com.

202-291-7867 Convenient Location to AMERICAN UNIVERSITY

5909 Blair Rd. NW, Washington DC 20011 9 AM - 6 PM Mon. thru Sat. I 10 AM - 4 PM Sunday

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APRIL 19, 2010

THE EAGLE'S ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SECTION

Middle East opens eyes to unknown By WILLIAM F. ZEMAN

CROSS-CULTURAL DISPATCH

CAIRO, EGYPT

Courtesy of BROOKES MAY

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED — AU’s comedy troupe Mission Improvable said goodbye to 10 graduating senior members at a fun-filled show in the Tavern last Thursday. The group touched on everything from ‘Jersey Shore’ and gay dolphin sharks to Beanie Babies and Chewbacca.

Seniors laugh off farewells Tavern show sends off funny grads By LINDA BARNHART Eagle Contributing Writer “Seniors, best of luck and blah blah blah” was the farewell message to Mission Improvable’s graduating members at their last appearance Thursday night in the Tavern. At Mission Improvable’s final show of the semester and send-off of their 10 departing seniors, the atmosphere was more “blah blah blah” than bittersweet goodbye. Known as the “premier improv group at AU” — last semester, 45 people auditioned for just three spots — the troupe drew a sizeable crowd, having to add chairs to accommodate their audience. Nothing less than their best would be a fitting farewell, and they pulled out all the stops to make their audience (many sparing precious library time to come to the show) laugh

out loud. The enthusiasm of the crowd was evident as the cheering began during the senior photo slideshow and carried through the night. The consistency was unsurprising given the variety of subjects broached during the show, from Beanie Babies and pedophiles to terrorists and Muppets. Television shows, classic fairy tales, even their own cast members — nothing was spared from Mission Improvable’s interpretation and ridicule. The show started late, but quickly made up for lost time as the skits began immediately following the slideshow. With minor breaks for transitions, time seemed to fly by as laughter abounded in the Tavern. Despite the lateness of the hour (the show didn’t begin until after 11 p.m.), a large audience remained throughout the show, taking in all the jokes Mission Improvable threw their way. Audience support was enlisted in choosing topics for each of the games performed, resulting in sometimes outlandish but always entertaining moments. Kevin Spacey growing out of someone’s shoulder, a person turning into a

Beanie Baby, another being chased by Chewbacca at a party and a gay dolphin shark solving a toilet paper crisis were among the audience’s contributions to the night’s hilarity. The troupe came up with some good wisecracks of their own, combining anime, film noir and “Jersey Shore” into a film for the first time and “retelling” the classic tale of “Little Red Riding Skank”. AU-specific jokes also made their appearance in the show, with multiple references to the Alex Knepper controversy. Mission Improvable was able to do the impossible and make light of the situation while not further fanning the flames. Also subject to jokes were the members of the troupe themselves, with one of the personalities impersonated during “Dating Game” being Mission Improvable’s very own JonRobert “Tat” Tartaglione. The spotlight of the show was the seniors as they performed their favorite improv games for the last time. “Good Cop, Bad Cop”, “Director’s Cut” and “Dating Game” were amongst those featuring the seniors in their farewell AU appearance. The show ended with a

spirited rendition of “Rock Paper Anything” — a take on Rock, Paper, Scissors where the players came up with their own “trump card” move — which pitted the seniors against the younger members of the troupe. Despite the air of competition, it was evident throughout the show and with the farewell presents given by some of the younger members at the end that there was nothing but love within the group. “It’s an escape from everything else on campus — it’s just fun,” sophomore member and Student Government president-elect Nate Bronstein said. “We’re some of the loudest people from all across campus, and we all do this thing we mutually enjoy.” When most students are stressing over papers and exams and seniors are reminiscing over their times at AU while trying to figure out what to do next, Mission Improvable shared in some of their “escape” by cracking jokes and relieving stress while commending their seniors who will surely be missed. You can reach this writer at thescene@theeagleonline.com.

‘Fiddler’ stays true to tradition By BEN SCHWARTZ Eagle Contributing Writer When playing a part as beloved, well-known and demanding as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” there are definite dos and don’ts. It is important not to subtract from the character that has given it universal appeal. Tevye is such a cultural icon that it is of paramount importance that he remain recognizable. On the other hand, a large part of what makes Tevye so beloved in the first place is that those who have played him (Topol and Zero Mostel) have imbued the character with so much of themselves. It is important that the part be distinct and reflect the actor, with neither the role nor the player overwhelming the other. Harvey Fierstein’s Tevye strikes a perfect balance between these two contradicting necessities. Fierstein is a theatrical institution, and gets what turns out to be a well-deserved first billing. Having played Teyve numerous times in various cities through the years, Fierstein is able to simultaneously inhabit both his legendary role and his oversized stage personality. He adds a lot of himself to the character, enhancing Tevye rather than suffocating him. In his comedic scenes, Fierstein leaves room for improvisation. Much of the time he moves and talks calmly, slowly teasing the laughs out of the audience with a look or gesture. Sometimes, however, he explodes with energy, delighting the crowd. By the end of the first scene, the audience was eating out of Fierstein’s hand. There was no

eyebrow raise or ironic aside incapable of getting a thunderous peal of laughter. Every so often, Fierstein would throw in a wink-wink, “Hey, it’s me Harvey!” moment where he would jump out of character with an unmistakable falsetto kvetch. He would then leap back into character before anyone watching could realize what had happened, leaving the audience with the merest flash of recognition that he was acknowledging their appreciation. The dramatic scenes posed more of a challenge than the comedic ones. It’s hard for Fierstein to make the audience feel his paternal authority, but it’s excusable because Tevye’s loss of that authority is a theme within the play. At the moment where it’s most crucial for him to project gravitas — when the Constable (played well by Stephen Lee Anderson) comes to Tevye’s house to inform him and the rest of the village of Anatevka that they must leave their homes within three days — Fierstein is able. During this climactic confrontation, he intelligently opts for a low rumble over his high-pitched squawk (which the audience knew from watching his attempts to control his daughters for the previous two hours is not going to make anyone do anything). If there is a complaint to be had with this play, it’s that it doesn’t make the most of its opportunities for sentiment. While “Fiddler” is remembered for its exuberance and humor, some of its best scenes and songs are unapologetic tearjerkers (“Far From the Home I Love” and n

see FIDDLER on page 7

JOAN MARCUS / NATIONAL THEATRE

THE ROOF IS ON FIERSTEIN — Broadway star Harvey Fierstein is bringing his experience and prestige to D.C.’s National Theatre in his role as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” The musical runs through May 9.

Dear Reader, This is my last abroad column. I’ve been abroad since last June, and have been writing this column since August. I’ve submitted a lot of articles to be published — most of them terrible, but hopefully a passable one or two managed to slip in. I maintain no illusions about my readership. I’ve only ever received two comments — one when I misspelled “Frankfurt,” and a response from AU Abroad when I revealed some less than estimable actions taken by a study-abroad provider. (I apologize for misspelling Frankfurt. Not sure how I missed that.) I imagine that you, dear reader, have come across this column the same way I did - waiting for someone at the University Center, skimming the tattered remains of a Scene section, looking for some hilariously uninformed pseudo-intellectual posturing you can mock when your friend arrives. That’s fine. I’ll take what I can get. But, if I can be horribly self-indulgent for a few more paragraphs, I want to pitch you something. Since you’re reading this, you’re likely an AU student — one with

a rare moment of free time. That means you’re probably planning to go abroad. It also means your ultimate destination is probably Europe or Australia. I want you to reconsider. How about the Middle East? Not that there’s anything wrong with England, Australia, France, Spain, spending a semester on a boat or the like. There isn’t. An essayist once wrote her time in England taught her “to appreciate the subtle nuances in difference so key to any form of cultural understanding.” I have friends who have done Europe and Australia programs. Based on their blogs — incidentally, every study abroad student seems obligated to have one these days — all of them are having a grand time. Their universities are top-notch. Their experiences are positive. Truth be told, the same isn’t always true here. I’ve taken classes that wouldn’t have passed muster at a second-rate high school. Not everyone’s experience is positive. At the moment, I’m studying with a group of Americans. Most of the girls can’t wait to get back to a society where men don’t hiss and catcall on the street. One of my roommates hates it here. He says Cairo is “culturally dead” and wishes he were in Italy instead. That’s fine. No one says an abroad experience has to be all puppies, kittens and booze-soaked golden sunshine. Negative experiences can impact your growth just as much, if not more. Besides, time usually puts things in a better light. Ten years from now, my roommate may have a much different impression of his time in Cairo. n

see ABROAD on page 7

MUTEMATH pops bubbles, breaks rock ‘n’ roll mold By MAGGIE HOLLANDER Eagle Staff Writer The Grammy-nominated alternative rock band MUTEMATH have their own style and their own groove. Even the band members themselves have difficulty defining what makes them so unique. The band’s tour with 30 Seconds to Mars will bring them to AU’s Bender Arena April 23. They are also just beginning to record their third album. In an interview with The Eagle, lead singer and keyboardist Paul Meany discussed recording, touring and their music of the past, present and future. After an almost disastrous first night on tour, Meany, who is “stoked” to come to AU at the end of the week, knows this is going to be a great tour. “[30 Seconds to Mars] ran into some border problems, I’m not really sure why — someone was giving them a hard time at the border of New Mexico,” he said. “It was a blurry night, went really fast. And it always makes for an exciting show when you’re flying by the seat of your pants, no one is prepared, trusses are still being flown and the opening band’s going. If everything’s perfect the first night, you’re on a bad tour.” Although they are currently on the road, the recording process has already begun according to Meany. “We’ve got our portable studio in the back of the bus and [are] getting back into the swing of things,” he said. “You play a show, and then on your off day you’re on the bus writing, trying to better or further the next recording. We’re pretty dead set on wanting to record our new record this year. We just don’t wanna take as long as we did on the last one.” MUTEMATH have good reason to want to speed up the process — the gap between their first and second albums was three years long. But in that time, the band developed “Armistice,” which they

feel may be their best album yet. “‘Armistice,’ if you listened to it casually and it didn’t grip you, it’s that kind of record,” Meany said. “I really believe, in about five years, if you go back and listen to our albums, I think ‘Armistice’ will be a favorite over even the first ones. It’s not an immediate record, but it’s more dense.” The single “Backfire” allows Meany’s voice to stand out on the verses while layering instrumentals for the chorus, creating an almost eerie-sounding, catchy tune. The band show their range on the LP from the softer “The Clippings,” which highlights piano and string instruments to the highenergy, anxious sounding “The Nerve” that chants “set it on fire” over and over again. It is difficult to pick standout tracks because “Armistice” as a whole is one of those cohesive albums that just works so well when listened to in its entirety. However, Meany fears that the album as we know it may be dying out. “The one thing I hope that does not happen, but it seems like it’s inevitable, is the medium of the album kinda going away,” he said. “That’s one thing, I think for the first time, that’s really at the forefront of our mind as we go in to this next album, and how that might affect it — just the whole importance of an album anyway. Hopefully we can make our peace with the changing tide and find a way to balance it all, still make stuff that feels important to us.” The changes the band went through while recording “Armistice” are evident in the music. The difference, according to Meany, is in the amount of “spring-back.” “When I listen to the first record, I feel like I’m jumping on a trampoline,” he said. “When I listen to the second record it feels like I’m jumping on bubble wrap. The second record, to me, has got more snap to it; it makes more noise when you jump around, but it’s not n

see MUTEMATH on page 7


the EAGLE

APRIL 19, 2010

the scene 6

HBO series keeps music alive in post-Katrina NOLA WEEKLY BOOB TUBE

MAISIE HOOPER

GENE PAGE / ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES — Director Derrick Borte’s new film features Demi Moore and David Duchovny as the perfect family in ‘The Joneses.’ The film tackles consumer culture and stereotypes about the family unit as Moore and Duchovny try to sell the idea of a supposed American Dream. The film is now playing in select theaters.

Director debut knocks consumer obsession By BRYAN KOENIG Eagle Staff Writer THE JONESES

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Modern American society is a consumer culture where everything is bought and sold in a never entirely truthful relationship between buyer and seller. “The Joneses” takes that culture to the next logical conclusion in an emotional, funny and eye-opening movie about the blurred lines between customer and salesmen. David Duchovny and Demi Moore star as the attractive and very happy Steve and Kate Jones — at least, that’s what they tell everyone their names are. In reality, they and their children, Mic and Sarah (played by Ben Hollingsworth and Amber Heard) are selling a faux version of the American fantasy. They did not earn or inherit anything, but have been provided with the best cars, the best shoes, the hottest video games and most powerful golf clubs, all so that they can be seen and beloved by a community eager to share in their success. Beneath the glamour is a family that isn’t a family at all. The Joneses are really salesmen hired to portray a family unit, the members of which aren’t really related in any way. Loving, devoted and long-married “Mom” and “Dad” only met a few months ago, and “Mom” has only been working with her “children” for a few years. The Joneses have been hired to sell the beautiful American family with all the beautiful American toys that money can buy. It’s a beauty skin deep, but thoroughly magnetic — just a credit card slip away from being

yours. In this American fantasy, if you want a taste of the beauty and success of the Joneses, you just have to pay. However, once their perfect lie of a life slowly comes to light, no one is prepared for the consequences. The audience buys into the energy of this made-up family hook, line and sinker. We are fascinated by their energy and drawn in by the absurdities of their non-family unit that afford many laughs. The audience is always interested and never bored as strong humor and carefully crafted exploration of what it all means meld into a 90-minute sales pitch. Derrick Borte’s directorial debut is deeply resonant and very funny to modern American consumer culture on a variety of levels. We see the pressure of the sale and the power of the product. We feel the need to stand out by buying into the allure of the perfect dining set and mind-blowing new gizmos. Shot in a lightning-fast 31 days, “Joneses” is expertly paced and empowered by a spot-on cast. In particular, Duchovny and Moore display a superb chemistry that is always uncomfortable, but perpetually hinting at possibilities their contract and their unit cannot abide. In a question and answer session with the audience after a D.C. screening of the film, Borte revealed that while most of the products displayed are real, none are paid product placement — many were donated by their respective companies. The movie was filmed in a gated Georgia community full of what Borte called “McMansions.” According to Borte, in “Joneses,” the idea of the strange relationships bred in reality TV households where complete

strangers are tossed into a house together “was what I wanted to focus on with the background of stealth marketing.” Stealth product placement at its most clever and invasive, “The Joneses” never feels pressured to devolve in needless exposition or explanation. Our fully-realized understanding of the plot comes out naturally from the characters and the house of cards they are living in. Ever ready to teeter over, the deception of perfection hides people not nearly so perfect, but perfectly happy as they would have you believe. We see in “The Joneses” a taste of celebrity culture where everyone thinks all it took to make the actress the ultimate sex object was the amazing dress she wore, and therefore buying that dress can do the same for them. We begin to understand how easy it is to plummet down the rabbit hole of spending — promised by the American dream and enabled by the American credit card — to the superficial happiness we’ve been told is our entitlement. Tragic, funny and poignant, “The Joneses” deftly handles modern American consumer culture. We see in these characters — on both ends of the sale — more than a little bit of our own American fantasy. As Borte said, when the screen fades, regardless of what has happened in the film, “the machine rolls on.” But with “The Joneses,” there is an excellent chance we have learned something along the way and an even better chance that we enjoyed the lesson. “The Joneses” is now playing in select D.C. theaters.

The new HBO drama “Treme” follows the residents of a small New Orleans neighborhood three months after Hurricane Katrina. The pilot of the series, “Do You Know What it Means,” opens as locals prepare for the first second– line parade, a New Orleans tradition, since the storm. Musicians warm up as others dress themselves in feathers and prepare to walk. Many of the city’s residents have not returned, but those who have are determined to continue in the character that New Orleans is known for. Creators David Simon and Eric Overmeyer, also known for the HBO series “The Wire,” have strung together a band of characters that represent the varied responses to Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Peters (Albert Lambreaux) is a Mardi Gras Indian Chief who lost his house during the storm. As his daughter drives him over the bridge into the lower Ninth Ward he tells her to drop him off, to which she responds, “Drop you where exactly, Daddy?” As Peters looks at what was once his living room, grief washes over his face. As he walks through the remains of his home, pieces of carpet rip up with every step. Peter says to his daughter, almost to reassure himself, “when the insurance settles” before trailing off, acknowledging a sense of defeat. Peters is the an-

ger and silent pride of “Treme,” he is determined to rebuild his home piece by piece, even if it requires squatting in a bar in the meantime. Not so silent is John Goodman’s character Creighton Bernette, a professor and out-of-work novelist who voices his dissatisfaction with government neglect. The first time we see Bernette, he is being interviewed by a British journalist near the canal. Bernette says

“Many criminals left the area as a result of Katrina, but the music remained.” that Katrina was a “man-made disaster, a federal fuck-up of epic proportions.” When the journalist accuses Bernette’s city of having mediocre music and bland American food, Bernette defends New Orleans, describing it as “a city that lives in the imagination of the world.” Goodman’s character then throws the reporter’s microphone into the water and lunges after the camera, using the comedic Lebowski violence we love him for. Bernette’s wife Toni (Melissa Leo) is a civil-rights lawyer trying to locate a man who went missing from police custody during the storm. The Bernettes represent the active bodies that act on the frustrations of the more passive locals like Mr. Peters.

Another tenement to the spirit of Treme is Davis McAlary (Steve Zahn), an alternative disc jockey who is upset that the storm has driven out much of the musical voice of Treme. However, when McAlary is woken by the sounds of trumpets and drums, his faith is reaffirmed. As he sprints outside, someone tosses McAlary a beer and he joins in the second-line. Zahn’s character is determined to uphold the identity New Orleans had before the storm. In one scene, McAlary sets his speakers on the windowsill and blasts a mixture of jazz and rap into his genteel neighbors’ yard. The neighbors respond by blasting classical music out of their own speakers. McAlary reacts by lighting a joint and then leaving the house with the music playing loudly in his absence. The neighborhood of Treme is known for its music, festivities and crime. Many criminals left the area as a result of Katrina, but the music remained. In the background of each scene, we hear soft trumpets and saxophones, as if to remind us that the resilience of New Orleans has not vanished. At first, McAlary is surprised by the amount of people who have turned out for the parade. It is clear that locals still find glory in enjoying wine and music, and no storm will change their reliance on good company. The series focuses not on the destruction of the New Orleans, but of the rebirth — one reason why it takes place in the aftermath of Katrina. “Treme” is another gem from Simon and Overmeyer that embellishes the many treats of the South, but most of all, its music. You can reach this columnist at scene@theeagleonline.com.

PHIL BRAY / SCREEN GEMS

GRAVE REMAKE — The remake of the popular 2007 British movie ‘Death at a Funeral’ features a wide array of comedic actors, such as Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan. The film puts a brand new spin on the original, but stays true to the plot of the first despite a new director. The film is now out in theaters everywhere.

You can reach this staff writer at bkoenig@theeagleonline.com.

Dead jokes hold back Family-focused art exhibition ‘Funeral’ from laughs transforms trash into treasure

By YOHANA DESTA Eagle Staff Writer

By STEPHAN CHO Eagle Staff Writer Before you even make your way to the entrance of the Hillyer Art Space, you’re greeted with what artist Clarke Bedford likes to call an “art car” — a mangled family van cluttered with chicken wire and scrapheap protrusions. Everything is made of metal, but nothing is welded together in order to preserve the original finish of each appendage. Bedford claims that this is the only kind of car he owns, and he doesn’t even have a garage. Such is the style of “Wundergarten: Sa[l]vaging the Family Archive,” a solo exhibition open until May 29 at the Hillyer Court. Modeled after a Wunderkammer, or “cabinet of curiosities,” the pieces catalog relics of a forgotten family in the form of garden furniture. Curator Laura Rolet said that Bedford collected most of the pieces from a woman who was forced to throw away an old friend’s keepsakes, including family photos, albums, diaries and other mementos. Bedford was fascinated by how personal these items were and wanted to give them new poignancy by “exploiting” that very aspect. And it’s indicative in both the name and nature of the exhibit just how rightfully personal and sometimes creepy the pieces can be. The garden-exhibition follows the Groff family from the black-

and-white World War I generation to the sepia-toned era of the ‘80s. Each wall of the exhibit holds a different place in time as well as their accompanying themes. An instamatic is placed atop a picture of a young, frumpily dressed woman tending to her flower patch; a Polaroid is surrounded by faded snapshots of men in uniform. Bedford not only contextualizes each photo by neighboring them with artifacts of the time, but also fleshes them out in creative and disturbing ways. A rusty fan-blade becomes a Christmas tree and its trimmings are Polaroids of the Groff family celebrating the yuletide season. Vacuum cleaners, martini glasses and gardening equipment are just some of the fixtures he uses as picture frames. A globe wearing a gas mask and an army uniform stands next to a skull in a bridal shawl, with pictures of a newly married couple under each display. This is how Bedford viewed the Groff family. With the progression of time instilled in each photo, there’s an unsettling sense of foreboding that works on you slowly but surely. In each picture, the family is stoic and unsmiling, a rather fitting expression with the exhibit’s recurring themes of war. Bedford’s art transcends the gap of generation, as people of all ages are sure to grasp the sense of fragile humanity with even a simple once-over.

Possibly the most illuminating part of the exhibit is in the far left corner. A small couch is appended with spigots and pipes, sitting in front of a coffee table with a photo album centerpiece. Scattered amid the album are receipts, newspaper clippings, ration tickets and matchboxes, all tinged with discoloration from age. Bedford invites observers to be invasive — to sit down and peruse these gems as if they were our own. The album has personal memos from family members that detail the events behind each photo. A fleeting nostalgia takes over, as if we’re reflecting on our own memories. Through the use of shocking and topical imagery, Bedford makes the Groff family a commonplace miracle by exploiting their extensively documented history. In observing these prototypical suburbanites in their youth, we feel remorseful for their apparent lack of vivacity and the rough-and-tumble travails of war. Bedford’s idiosyncratic style works to make the irony of this observation all the more visually obvious. Although Rolet said it isn’t the main objective, Bedford is also hoping to find anyone who may have known the family through the exhibit’s popularity. In any case, it’s a family worth immortalizing. You can reach this staff writer at scho@theeagleonline.com.

DEATH AT A FUNERAL

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The new “Death at a Funeral” film is the perfect example of America taking wry British humor and royally screwing it up. While it’s not the worst comedy of the year, “Death” was a remake that had no business being created in the first place, and what’s worse is that the script was written by the man who created the original, Dean Craig. The film is an ensemble piece centering around the story of one man, Aaron (Chris Rock). After Aaron’s father passes away, friends and family gather at his home for the funeral. Aaron’s younger brother Ryan (Martin Lawrence) flies in from New York to pay his condolences, much to Aaron’s aggravation. Ryan was always the gifted child, a talented writer and an irresponsible younger brother — something that Aaron cannot quite get over. In addition, Aaron keeps getting into trouble with his wife Michelle (Regina Hall) because his mother is always pressuring her to have children. For Aaron, the stress piles on when he decides to give the eulogy, but is discouraged because everyone would rather have Ryan do it. While this is going on, Aaron’s cousins Jeff (Columbus Short) and Elaine (Zoe Saldana) are on their way to the funeral as well. Elaine and her boyfriend Oscar (James Marsden) stop by to pick Jeff up from his home. But Oscar is worried about meeting

Elaine’s parents, to the point where he’s hyperventilating. In an act to relieve his stress, Elaine takes some Valium pills from Jeff in order to calm Oscar down. Much to her surprise, the pills are actually powerful hallucinogens whipped up by Jeff as an experiment. Also attending the funeral are friends of the family, Derek (Luke Wilson) and Norman (Tracy Morgan). Derek has a thing for Elaine and ditches Norman early on to pursue her. Meanwhile, Norman has to take care of the irritable and wheelchairbound Uncle Russell (Danny Glover) who only heightens Norman’s paranoia and hypochondriac tendencies. In the midst of all the grief and stress is Frank (Peter Dinklage). No one at the funeral knows him, but Frank soon makes it clear to Aaron why he’s there — blackmail. Frank was Aaron’s father’s lover, and after being left out of the will, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Unless Aaron and Ryan give him $30,000, Frank threatens to tell everyone who he is, in addition to revealing incriminating pictures of the father. All of the interconnected stories work well together to make the film’s plotline interesting enough. However, not everyone is on top of their comedy game. Rock’s acting is fantastic as the grieving older brother who is merely trying to cope with the madness around him. But the one-liners and cheesy jokes he delivers fall flat, the sarcasm not melding well with his over-the-top comedic style. Morgan also reeled it in for the role, playing Norman to a tee. Only once or twice did he let his personality burst through, letting audiences know that

Tracy Morgan is still there, underneath the persona of Norman, the paranoid loser. Even though Lawrence is a seasoned comedian, his role is by far the least funny of the film. There are one or two moments of shining brilliance, but other than that, Lawrence is entirely unconvincing as a suave, arrogant and New York City-bred writer. The performance that provides most of the laughs for the film is Marsden’s, who is tripping on hallucinogenics throughout the entirety of the movie. His antics, like talking to statues, randomly singing “Amazing Grace” and the distorted expressions he makes are hilarious and add to the frenzied nature of the film. Danny Glover’s character is also a stitch as the insensitive, sexist and grumpy uncle who strikes fear into all of his nieces and nephews. It is his brutally honest and sometimes evil comments that give a crude tone to the film, but keep the audiences rolling with laughter. In addition, Kevin Hart’s small appearance on screen at the beginning of the film as the blundering, but confident funeral director is the high point, as nearly everything he says is uproariously funny. But even with all the hoopla and the magnificent cast, this far-fetched comedy is mediocre at best. The cheesy jokes and poorly delivered one-liners keep the film from achieving its potential. This is one remake that really should have stayed in the grave. “Death at a Funeral” is in theaters now. You can reach this staff writer at ydesta@theeagleonline.com.


CLASSIFIEDS

APRIL 19, 2010

KUSHAN DOSHI n Business Manager 202.885.3593

CLASSIFIEDS CHINESE COURSES Business Chinese-8 credits, Chinese Business Law-5 credits. Summer Program Beijing. www.studyabroad-china.org

SITTERS WANTED Sitters Wanted. $12 or more per hour. Register free for jobs near campus or home. http://www.student-sitters.com.

Hot August Night/NYC Neil Diamond Columbia Records HOT AUGUST NIGHT/NYC

Come What Will Patrick Park Badman Recording Company

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COME WHAT WILL

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Sounds like: Billy Joel with a Johnny Cash attitude

Sounds like: A lovesick Oasis

Age is no factor to a veritable codger of a musician like Neil Diamond. After nearly half a century of belting out classic rock ballads, the Brooklyn native still lives up to his storied reputation in his live double-disc release performed at Madison Square Garden. If you — or maybe more appropriately, your dad — want to revisit the classics of the Jewish Elvis and have never attended one of his live performances, you’re sure to be satisfied and maybe even blissfully nostalgic. Amid the din of a cheering, adoring crowd, Diamond starts with several toe-tappers like “Holly Holy” and “Street Life” from his chart-topping albums of the ‘70s. His vivacious personality is almost palpable when listening in on one of these performances, as he panders to the crowd by invoking the shameless overconfidence of his youthful era. He makes sarcastic remarks between songs, such as “Did you actually pay for these seats?” In fact, this boldness of his early career becomes a recurring theme of the album, as he very rarely plays more recent titles like “Hell Yeah.” Still, he spares no expense in production and gives his oldies new life, playing each song with a pitchperfect grace and a bad-boy flair that’s both uncharacteristic and highly becoming for his old age. The second disc also features live performances from his concerts in Philadelphia, London, Fresno, Rotterdam and Columbus. Diamond maintains a steely brilliance throughout it all, never tiring or even pausing for a breath, as if the stage is his life calling. Give this album a listen — if not for enjoyment, then for inspiration. — STEPHAN CHO

Like most budding musicians with an acoustic guitar and a MySpace page, Patrick Park lives on the periphery of making it big. He’s been writing songs since he was a teenager while working a number of odd jobs around the country to support himself. He received some national exposure when his “Life is a Song” was featured as the closer for the series finale of “The O.C.,” but that’s about it. And with the release of his latest album, it’s both a shame and a mystery why he’s been living in obscurity in the 10 years he’s been active. As its name might suggest, the album has recurring themes of learning to appreciate life for what it is. “You’re Enough” and “You’ll Get Over” are country ballads about being thankful for the people that matter. Sure, they’re cloyingly sentimental with their minimal lyrics and mawkish melody, but it’s Park’s voice that really makes everything come together; it has an almost ominous quality about it. “The Long Night” and “Silence and Storm” are somber dirges compared to the rest of the album, evoking feelings of inadequacy and burden. Here, Park’s voice takes a noticeable shift in pitch that is beautifully understated. His ability to project emotions is heightened by his infectious tunes. After his momentary successes in television soundtracks, perhaps Park would like to distance himself and become more of a stand-alone artist in the eyes of the public. And while this album isn’t much of a departure from that style, he’s certainly a humbled singer with a talent for songwriting. If life really is a song, then Patrick Park has done an excellent job of journaling his. — S.C.

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from FIDDLER on page 5

“Chavala” are the two best examples). Many of these secondary numbers felt rushed or cursory, including, unfortunately, “Now I Have Everything” and “Miracle of Miracles.” And while most of the supporting cast and ensemble was excellent, the first two husbands, Motel (played by Zal Owen) and Perchick (Colby Foytik) were unremarkable. In contrast to Fierstein, they didn’t invest anything of themselves in the role, letting the audiences’ memories and associations with the part fill in the

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from MUTEMATH on page 5

as spring-back-y.” But in a world where “it becomes more and more difficult to get heard,” MUTEMATH’s plan for the next album is just to go with their collective gut. “You know, after doing two re-

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from ABROAD on page 5

So, even though the reviews may not be great, and even though your parents may object, I think you should come here anyway. The possibilities are vast. Since you’re reading this, I assume you’re fluent in English. Over here, that means you’re automatically qualified for a wide range of positions. One friend of mine is helping lead a new political party in Ankara, her only previous experience being a degree in IR. I got an internship at The Daily News Egypt/International Herald Tribune with a smattering of nonsensical clips from The Eagle. I can’t tell you the number of ex-pats I met in Istanbul who showed up with no certificates, no experience, no work visa, no qualifications except their passport and were teaching English within a month. You also learn languages — Arabic being the prime example. Also, we’re not talking the stilted, formal

Shame, Shame Dr. Dog Anti- Records SHAME, SHAME

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Sounds like: The Beach Boys gone hi-fi Lately bands seem so tied down by the idea of innovation that they try to revoke the classics, as if blandness were the issue. Philadelphia band Dr. Dog on the other hand seems to fully embrace the undertones of the Beach Boys and the Beatles in every song they sing and their new album “Shame, Shame” is no exception. Lacking the effortless transitions that propelled their album “Fate,” this album instead gains momentum from the distinctive harmonies, steady beats and expressive lyrics. The album presents all the qualities of an old friendship tied with the hope that it will last. Songs like “Jackie Wants a Black Eye” establish an intentionally saccharine manner with lines like “Could say that we’re alone, but we’re lonely together” that bring a lightness to the album. Dr. Dog also displays a sincerity that begins with the opening lines of “Twenty years of schooling/I just never learned the math” off “Stranger,” and continues with the melancholy of “Someday.” They boldly present a sound that’s hifi and raw with lyrics that deliver clear intentions. Still each song is different. While “Mirror, Mirror” is full of images and musing, “I Only Wear Blue” uses pieces of conversations and random assertions. The rhythm and emotion of “Later” goes through the turmoil to finally decide “to sit around and wait for you.” The lyrics are honest and unapologetic. Dr. Dog shows in this album that they want to hold onto the things that came before this moment both in music and in life, and because of that, the album is an intriguing mix of old and new that’s sure to draw listeners. — JILL WHEELER

gaps in their performance. Nevertheless, Fydka, with the smallest part amongst the trio of suitors, managed to distinguish himself, adding character to the role. The parts of the daughters were also all well performed, if not as memorable as that of Susan Cella’s as Golde. It is often said that the show belongs to Tevye, but a strong Golde is an essential counterweight for an exceptional, or even adequate, show. Cella’s Golde transcends the role of foil for her husband and becomes a compelling character in her own right. The ensemble came together

stupendously and the play was supported by a powerful and accommodating pit conducted by David Andrew Rodgers to create a tremendous show. The most crucial dancing scenes, “To Life” and “The Bottle Dance,” were two of the highlights of the show. It very rarely got tiresome (an exception was the gratuitous wedding scene). And, importantly, for a show with a reputation for family-friendliness, the entire audience was on board.

cords and touring, we feel like we’ve learned a lot about how this band works, what we do best,” Meany said. “And I think now this next record is about driving that home, what we’ve learned over the past two records, being on the road, and to completely indulge that on the next record.”

Catch MUTEMATH opening for 30 Seconds to Mars at Bender Arena this Friday. Tickets are $20 and are currently being sold at Student Activities in Mary Graydon Center and online at Ticketmaster.com.

Arabic you learn at AU. Nobody speaks that. I’m referring to Colloquial — the language of the people, the language you can joke and laugh and make friends with. Also, since AU has decided to stick a kebab knife through the Turkish program, I know you haven’t studied the language spoken by the most powerful economy in the whole Middle East. Where better to learn Turkish than Turkey? There are other perks too. People are surprisingly friendly, especially if you like Obama. Food is cheap and plentiful, and your stomach problems should subside in a month or so. Cultural values are vastly different, both in enlightening and frightening ways. You’ll learn patience — the kind that only comes with a three-hour traffic jam or your sixth visit to the foreigner’s police to get a stamp. You’ll become comfortable seeing heavily-armed police on a daily basis. I’ve done homesteads, programs

with Americans and direct enrollment in foreign universities. I’d recommend homesteads above the other two, but anything is fine. I’m too out of the AU loop to know if AU Abroad’s deadline already passed, but there’s no reason you have to go through them. (Though I did, and it’s worked out fine.) In fact, there’s no reason you need a program or plan at all. You just need a plane ticket and a couch to crash on. Pick up a copy of Lonely Planet if it makes you feel better. Buy a return ticket if it will make your parents more comfortable. But make sure you can change the return flight’s date. Once you get here, there’s no telling what will happen. I hope you’ll consider it. Thanks for reading. With best wishes, Will Zeman

You can reach this writer at thescene@theeagleonline.com.

You can reach this staff writer at mhollander@theeagleonline.com.

You can reach this columnist at thescene@theeagleonline.com.

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SPORTS

APRIL 19, 2010

SAM LINDAUER n Sports Editor sports@theeagleonline.com

Eagles tame Wildcats in final home game Schaaf paces AU win on Senior Day By KATE GREUBEL Eagle Staff Writer The AU women’s lacrosse team beat the Davidson College Wildcats 10-4 on Sunday, a victory that marked the final home game of the team’s regular season. It was also the final game that the team’s five seniors would play at Jacobs Field. Honored at the start of the game were seniors Maeve Koch, Amanda Makoid, Alyssa Romano, Lisa Schaaf and Frankie Solomon. The players left their mark on Jacobs Field with a combined four goals, six points and seven saves from Solomon. The team’s underclassmen also contributed to the win, with freshman Samantha Marshall collecting two assists and sophomore Emily Burton scoring three goals for a total of four points in the game. From the start, AU seniors set the tone of the match. Both teams came out strong on the defensive end, drawing turnovers and fouls as they used their sticks to knock the ball loose from the opposition. Seven minutes into the first half, patience and sound passing by the Eagles netted the first goal of the match by Schaaf. “[Schaaf ] really controls the attack,” said Schaaf ’s teammate and roommate Solomon. “Today she was able to combine that control of attack and letting people know what’s up, and really having that senior presence with a stellar shot.” Schaaf ’s goal unleashed AU’s offensive potential and paved the way for the next four goals of the half. Off a pass from fellow senior Makoid, Koch placed the ball crisply into the back of the net seconds after Schaaf ’s goal. Three minutes later, Schaaf scored her second goal of the game, increasing the Eagles’ lead to 3-0. An unassisted goal by Makoid less than a minute later further increased Davidson’s deficit. The Wildcats scored their lone

PHILLIP OCHS / THE EAGLE

BATTLING FOR POSSESSION— Freshman midfielder Samantha Marshall is swarmed by the Davidson defense during Sunday’s game at Jacobs Field. Marshall tallied two assists en route to AU’s 10-4 victory over the Wildcats. The Senior Day win improves the Eagle’s overall record to 6-9 on the season. AU will travel to Holy Cross to face the Crusaders for their final game. goal of the half with 13 minutes left to play, a goal that scratched an otherwise spotless performance by Solomon in the cage. AU’s Burton retaliated with the final goal of the half off a penalty shot. At the end of the period, the score 5-1, both teams retreated to their respective benches to prepare for another physical 30 minutes of play. Schaaf scored 30 seconds into the second half, once again setting the momentum of the match in

AU’s favor. Like dominoes, Burton and sophomore Emily Stankiewicz made consecutive goals shortly after, pulling their team further ahead to 8-1. AU freshman Chiara Speziale contributed an unassisted goal of her own For the remainder of the half, AU was forced to turn its attention to defense as Davidson clawed back into the game. The Wildcats physical attack generated two AU yellow cards and resulted in three

unanswered goals in less than four minutes. Despite the sudden change in play, AU Head Coach Katie Woods did not call a timeout, knowing her team would come together and remind themselves of the “basics of what we are trying to do,” she said. With five minutes to play in the match and a score of 9-4, AU regained possession of the ball. Cheering her teammates on from

the net, Solomon deprived the Wildcats of further goals because “she read the ball well,” Woods said. The Eagles’ put their final point on the board with 1:25 left to play in the match. Off a pass from sophomore Lauren Schoenberger, Burton laid the ball deep into the back of the net to seal the 10-4 victory. AU outshot Davidson 28-13, attacking the goal almost twice

as many times as the Wildcats in both periods. The win brings the team’s season record to 6-9 overall and the 2010 senior class has now led the Eagles to 26 wins during their time at AU. The Eagles will play Holy Cross in their final conference match of the season on Saturday, April 24. You can reach this staff writer at kgreubel@theeagleonline.com.

Smart draft picks essential to Theodore takes seat as save borderline NFL franchises Varlamov steps up in goal By TYLER TOMEA Eagle Staff Writer The 2010 NFL Draft is three days away, and here are three teams worth keeping an eye on come draft time. St. Louis Rams The NFL Draft is always of utmost importance for the team holding the first overall pick. The Rams simply can’t afford to strike out on their selection, especially if it’s a quarterback. The Oakland Raiders made JaMarcus Russell the top pick in 2007, and the franchise has turned into one

“The problem with the Redskins is that they don’t value the draft enough...” of the most dysfunctional in the league as Russell has shown to be completely incompetent. All signs point to the Rams making University of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford the face of the franchise this Thursday. St. Louis needs help in a lot of areas, but quarterback is the most pressing need. After seeing Kyle Boller, Marc Bulger and Keith Null under center last season, Rams fans know they need a quarterback to build around. The Rams front office sees Bradford as that guy, and they need to be right because the future of the team will largely depend on his NFL success or failure. Not only does St. Louis need to score a touchdown with their first pick, but they also have to stockpile impact players. The Rams have not dealt any of their draft picks, which means they will

select first in each of the draft’s seven rounds. Any potential franchise quarterback is going to need weapons, and the Rams are severely lacking at the wide receiver position. If a highly rated receiving target is available with the 33rd pick, the Rams should pair Bradford with a playmaker. St. Louis needs a lot of help, and their rebuilding process starts on Thursday and continues through Saturday. Washington Redskins With the Donovan McNabb trade still fresh in the minds of Redskins fans, it is easy to forget just how inept this team was last year. Washington went 4-12, embarrassed itself on Monday Night Football with a trick play against the New York Giants and became the first team to lose to the Detroit Lions since 2007. The problem with the Redskins is that they don’t value the draft enough, opting instead to sign expensive free agents and trade away their picks. The New York Jets are a perfect example of the success a team can have when they draft well and bring in key players. The Redskins need to find this balance. Washington will have one pick in the first three rounds, highlighting the magnitude of their fourth overall selection. Choosing Brian Orakpo last year was a solid pick, and the Redskins need to continue to plug holes through the draft. The main weakness in Washington is the offensive line, which was a complete disaster and ended up allowing the fourth most sacks in the league last season. Chris Samuels’ retirement means the left tackle position is open for a cornerstone lineman. For Washington, the decision will come down to University of Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams and Oklahoma State University tackle Russell Okung. This selection needs to be the first step towards repairing the mess that is

the offensive line. San Francisco 49ers This is a team that is ready to make “the jump.” When Head Coach Mike Singletary took over in the middle of the 2008 season, he inherited a squad that had not recorded a winning season since 2002. Singletary significantly changed the culture in San Francisco, leading the team to a 5-4 record in its final nine games of 2008 and an 8-8 mark in 2009. With the Arizona Cardinals undergoing many changes this offseason, the NFC West is completely up for grabs. San Francisco needs to go out and seize the opportunity. The 49ers swapped a fifth round pick for wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and hold the 13th and 17th overall picks in the draft. In all probability, University of Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen will not slide past the Buffalo Bills, who hold the ninth pick. But if he does, San Francisco would need to take Clausen. Alex Smith is serviceable, but a quarterback upgrade will eventually be needed. With two picks in the middle of the first round, the team will have a lot of options come Thursday. Should they stay put? Should they package one of their first round picks with a later pick and move up the draft board? Three of the 49ers’ most recent first round picks (Patrick Willis, Joe Staley and Michael Crabtree) have panned out, and the team will need to continue to make the right decisions as they prepare for a run within the division. As the NFL Draft nears, can the Rams accelerate their rebuilding process? Will the Redskins fix a glaring weakness? Can the 49ers begin to set themselves up for a successful 2010? These three teams, like the rest of the league, are now on the clock. You can reach this staff writer at ttomea@theeagleonline.com.

CAPITALS SPOTLIGHT

ANDREW TOMLINSON Just under eight minutes into the first period, Andrei Kostitsyn fired a wrist shot past Jose Theodore to put the Washington Capitals down 2-0 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Instead of a chorus of boos raining down, there was a low rumble of cheers. It wasn’t Montreal Canadiens fans cheering; instead it was the Capitals faithful cheering on rookie netminder Semyon Varlamov, who was replacing Theodore in net. The switch seemed almost inevitable, as Theodore started Game 2 flat. He looked like the JT of old and didn’t resemble the dominant goalie that carried the Capitals down the stretch. In just eight minutes, he had changed from the team’s number one goalie to someone who probably won’t see the ice again this season. One cannot fault Head Coach Bruce Boudreau with his decision to pull Theodore. The team was already down 1-0 in the seven game series and was on the verge of dropping Game 2 for the second time in two years. This was a must win and Boudreau was clearly not going to risk letting the game get any further out of hand. The move ended up paying off as just minutes later, a fired up Eric Fehr cut Washington’s deficit to just one with a breakaway goal. It was his fifth goal in the last six games against the Canadiens and suddenly the Capitals were right back in the game and series. Boudreau said the goal was essentially what he wanted to have come from pulling Theodore.

“[The goals were] more of a deflating thing on the bench [and] I thought we needed the change. I don’t know if [in reality] Theo had much chance on either one of them, but I know we had expended an awful lot of energy in the first eight minutes of the game and we were down two - nothing,” Boudreau said. “I thought it would be a lift for the crowd and a lift for the bench.” What was more encouraging than Varly’s play in net was the way Theodore reacted to the change. He had worked all season to get to the playoffs and he wanted to show the hockey world that he could succeed. When it was clear he would be unable to do that, he didn’t throw a temper tantrum on the ice or blame Varly. In fact he did much of the opposite. As the two passed each other on the ice, Theodore went out of his way to make sure that he gave the rookie a high five and a word of encouragement. His good attitude didn’t stop there either. In between periods, JT continued to mentor and help Varlamov. “[Theodore] approached me and offered some support,” Varlamov said. “It is a difficult situation to step in during the first period and he helped me a lot.” Whatever Theodore said to Varly certainly helped. The young Russian had struggled down the stretch in the regular season and seemed to have been “figured out” but he looked spectacular during the two and a half periods of play Saturday night. The three shots Varlamov let in were not his fault and could do very little. Varlamov’s saves were more important than the goals he let in. The playoff veteran, who started all but one of Washington’s postseason games last year, put his team in a position to win. Team captain Alex Ovechkin had nothing but good things to say about Varlamov’s performance. Ovechkin said that

he tried to keep Varly focused between periods and gave him words of encouragement. “I just told him it was OK, we will win this game. I said just make some saves, keep us in the game and we will win,” Ovechkin said. “Jose didn’t play well and Varly stepped up and played unbelievably.” One down side of Varlamov’s performance is that Theodore will most likely never take the ice in a Washington Capitals uniform again. It is not just because Varlamov looks like a goalie that can carry a team to the Stanley Cup Finals, but also because Theo cannot mentally handle being pulled. Theo is a competent goalie, but his confidence is gone. He was unable to rebound from things like being pulled earlier in his career and Boudreau cannot take the chance on whether he can in the playoffs. The NHL playoffs are win-orgo-home and there is no longer any time for testing the waters or experimenting, especially not when a series is knotted up at 11. As a result, don’t be surprised if JT is never heard from again. While it is not the way Theodore, the Capitals and many fans wanted the playoffs to go, there is nothing that can be done now. Varly is the number one goalie. With that said, Theodore has shown he is still a valuable member of the team. If he keeps his positive demeanor and continues to help Varlamov then he will inevitably still help the team win. Washington has been picked to go deep into the playoffs and it will take an entire team effort, even from the guys on the bench like Theo. You can reach this writer at atomlinson@theeagleonline. com.


The Eagle -- 4-19-10