After more than five years of being thwarted by opposition parties, Stephen Harper will finally get his chance to reshape Canada’s justice system to become meaner, more bloated and less effective. There are, broadly speaking, two approaches to crime. One is to punish offenders for their misdeeds; the other is to rehabilitate them. Canadian courts have long favoured the latter. Yet, the prime minister’s party this week introduced its longawaited bill that will bring us more in line with the failed system of the United States, where increasingly punitive laws have ballooned prison populations and cost taxpayers billions. The introduction of
(lowest increase) Brianna Whitmore
With a Conservative majority, only public outrage can stop Stephen Harper minimum sentences for certain crimes will give judges less leeway to consider the specifics of cases and instead force them to hand down one-size-fits-all punishments. The price of imprisoning more people for longer is a steep one. When the Tories took office in 2006, Canada spent about $1.6 billion per year on its prisons; by 2013-14 that number is expected to almost double to over $3 billion. The reasons for passing stricter criminal laws are emotionally satisfying, of course. People who break the law should be punished. “Hard crime deserves hard time” and the like. But this plays on the commonly held belief that crime is always rising when, in fact, crime is at its lowest point since 1973 and has been steadily declining for the last
Average Graduate Tuition
Tories finally get to pass senseless crime bill
ISHMAEL N. DARO Editor-in-Chief
As Canadian universities try to balance their budgets in the face of a sluggish economy, students have seen their tuitions go up by eight per cent in the last two years. A four per cent increase for the 2010-11 year was followed by another 4.3 per cent hike this year, according to a recently released Statistics Canada study. The Canadian average for undergraduate tuition is now $5,366. Ontario students, who pay $6,640 on average, pay the highest tuition in the country. Nearby, Quebec students enjoy the lowest tuition in the nation, paying an average of $2,411. However, tuition isn’t the only way schools get more money from students. Tuition in Alberta is nominally capped to the Consumer Price Index, meaning it increased by only two per cent for the 2011-12 year. “However, that number is misleading,” said Farid Iskandar, University of Alberta Students’ Union Vice-President External. “Alberta has the highest mandatory noninstructional fees levied on students in the country: they’re $1,399.” Non-instructional fees pay for
such things as athletics programs and maintaining campus infrastructure. While Alberta has the highest fees, students in New Brunswick saw the largest increase over last year’s noninstructional fees for both graduates and undergraduates. That province is just leaving a three-year tuition freeze. Compulsory non-tuition fees went up for undergraduates by 21.5 per cent over last year, though they only jumped to $430. For graduate students in New Brunswick, noninstructional fees went up by 17.6 per cent. The national average for compulsory fees was a 5.5 per cent increase for undergrads. Graduate students in Nova Scotia were the only students in the nation to see a decline in compulsory fees; their fees went down by 7.5 per cent. In addition to compulsory fees, Alberta has instituted “market modifiers,” which allow certain colleges to increase their tuition by more than CPI. For this year Iskandar said the colleges of business, engineering and pharmacy were among the schools to receive approval. “The CPI cap is a good move,” Iskandar said. “But the CPI cap is not reflective of the actual cost of education.”
TANNARA YELLAND Senior News Editor
These fees are another way for cash-strapped schools to close gaping budget holes while still adhering to tuition regulations. But the fees create problems for students, Iskandar said. “Alberta has the lowest participation rate out of all the provinces [for university attendance]. We don’t see things like breaking the tuition cap as helpful to increasing accessibility.” While Canadian undergrads are paying more each year, they are still significantly better off than either their international student counterparts or graduate students. International students, who represent a rapidly growing demographic of the student population, pay an average of $17,571 in tuition. This is up 9.5 per cent from two years ago. “We need to keep the tuition cap” and implement it where it is not already in effect, Iskandar said. “But we also need to regulate noninstructional fees… so students can expect and plan for the cost of education. “Things like academic materials [which have increased in price by 280 per cent in the last 10 years] and rent are harder to plan for when you don’t know exactly what your tuition will be.” Average undergraduate tuition at the University of Saskatchewan is $5,610 per year and increased 3.1 per cent over last year.
Facing economic slowdown, universities struggle to pay bills
Undergraduate tuition goes up eight per cent in two years
The University of Saskatchewan student newspaper since 1912
volume 103 • issue 7 • thesheaf.com
Average Undergraduate Tuition
in this issue
Companies eschew traditional marketing in favour of ‘brand ambassadors’
Proposed oil sands pipeline facing stiff opposition south of the border
Football Harper hates crime, loves Canadian flag lapel pins.
two decades. Even the name of the proposed law, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, suggests that our streets and communities are currently overrun by violent criminals who are only running amok by the grace of our lenient court system. If only someone could lock these people up and throw away the key! Among the most disturbing aspects of the Conservatives’ view of crime is the emphasis
on stricter drug laws. Far from common sense proposals like decriminalizing marijuana and other minor drugs, the Conservatives have been pushing to criminalize even more Canadians by adding the hallucinogenic drug salvia to Schedule 3 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Violators would face up to three years for smoking the intense but harmless plant. Crime Bill cont. on
Underdogs Manitoba Bisons steal a win from the Huskies Page 13
20 years of Pearl Jam Page 14
Ryan Gosling may just be the coolest man alive, and other revelations found in the sleek new Drive
thesheaf.com/news •September 22, 2011 • the sheaf
Bigwigs on campus for vaccine centre PM Stephen Harper, premier Brad Wall, mayor Don Atchison unveil InterVac
DARYL HOFMANN Associate News Editor Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s motorcade of seven Lincoln Town Cars pulled into the University of Saskatchewan campus early Friday, Sept. 16 to mark the official grand opening of the $140 million International Vaccine Centre, or InterVac. Harper was joined by Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, whom he later met with privately. According to the university’s news release, “The state-of-the-art vaccine research centre — one of the largest of its kind in the world — uses the most advanced technologies to develop vaccines against new and re-emerging infectious diseases safely and more quickly than ever before.” Construction of the building lasted nearly three years. It is located just off Preston Avenue on Perimeter Road. InterVac will work to develop vaccines to fight infectious diseases in both humans and animals, and is one of only a handful of highcontainment facilities in the world with an educational mandate. “This new facility will be a centre of excellence, creating jobs for highly skilled researchers, opportunities for training students and building on our international profile as a leader in public health,” Harper said at the
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The Prime Minister wore a power tie just to show everyone who’s boss.
unveiling. U of S President Peter MacKinnon pointed out that InterVac is Canada’s largest investment in vaccine research to date, and thanked all three levels of government for their support and confidence. He said the centre will foster international collaborations and partnerships to help guard against the threat of a global pandemic. Capital funding for the project
included $49 million from the Government of Canada through various agencies, $32.5 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, $57.1 million from the Province of Saskatchewan, $1.2 million from the U of S and $250,000 from the City of Saskatoon. InterVac will be directed by the U of S’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, and is a containment level 3 facility — the second highest
bio-safety level. It is specially designed for scientists to safely conduct research into diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, SARS, influenza and prion diseases such as chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease. Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research, said InterVac will enhance the university’s capabilities to develop tools that will eventually save lives.
“Through collaborative research and a wide array of partnerships, we are at the forefront of integrating human, animal and ecosystem health to address threats to the ‘one health’ we all share,” said Chad. InterVac will begin operations in spring 2012.
The truth about composting Advocacy group teams up with volunteers to spur city NICOLE BARRINGTON On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market played host to a composting exhibition put on by environmental advocacy group the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council. The event included demonstrations meant to encourage city composting. According to Maurija Skansen, one of the demonstrators and an event coordinator for Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council, composting is truly a science. “You’re always experimenting and trying new things,” Skansen said. She cited one basic rule to follow: compost should be “equal parts greens and browns.” This essentially means that the amounts of food scraps, or “greens,” should be equal to the amount of yard waste like leaves and grass clippings, or “browns.” Along with the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council, volunteers from the City of Saskatoon’s Master Composting Program were also present at the event. The volunteers were knowledgeable and trained in advanced composting techniques.
If you’re going to compost don’t be afraid to get down on your knees.
The organizers conducted composting demonstrations and also had a booth set up to pass out information pamphlets. Skansen said the overall goal of the event was to shed some light on what composting is, how it works and why it should be a
mainstream practice similar to recycling. There is a stigma attached to composting. Some view it as strictly for hippies and environmental nerds, and others simply see it as unnecessary. “A lot of people are still
reluctant to do it, although more people [in Saskatoon] are doing backyard composting,” said Skansen.
Composting cont. on
September 22, 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/arts
The commercialization of campus
Student starts site for anonymous venting
Canadian companies hiring student brand ambassadors to push products
ISHMAEL N. DARO Editor-in-Chief
DARYL HOFMANN Associate News Editor Welcome Week festivities are a time-honoured tradition at the University of Saskatchewan, but in recent years a new trend has emerged. A handful of students are now working as “brand ambassadors,” hired by companies to represent their brand, particularly during the first few days of the semester. You can catch them on campus handing out free VitaminWater or Red Bull. Or maybe a “street team” will flag you down and let you know about the hottest new cell phone deal. The attractive and social brand ambassador is one of the hottest strategies in marketing. And for beverage companies, radio stations and cellular providers, campus is the perfect market. “A lot of the major brands target the 18- to 24-year-old demographic. So when you look at places where you can find consumers [between the ages of 18 and 24], one of the highest concentrations of that demographic is university and college students,” said Andrew Au, a partnership manager for Torontobased Campus Intercept. Campus Intercept is an agency with a network of hundreds of students on campuses across Canada. They broker partnerships between students and companies hoping to crack the university market. Au explained that brands have resorted to student ambassadors for two main reasons. First, because of their insight into what’s relevant, and second, as a convenient platform to deliver the marketing to their peers. “If you can get your target
market to advocate for your brand, you don’t get more authentic than that,” said Au. “We also see it as stimulating the student economy because a lot of students are looking for part-time work, and promotional work pays quite well — a lot higher than many part-time jobs.” Au says Campus Intercept will generally hire well-rounded students with large social networks. They look for students in campus groups, societies and sports teams. Mary Hipperson is a marketing major at the Edwards School of Business and fifth-year guard for the Huskies women’s basketball team. She works as a brand ambassador for SaskTel on their street team. They were kept busy working in the Bowl during Welcome Week. “We have a bunch of swag: SaskTel lip balm, SaskTel hand sanitizer, pretty much anything you can think of,” said Hipperson. “We go to local events and do hand-outs, promote the latest deals, give away new BlackBerrys.” Hipperson has worked on the street team for about five years and says it’s all about being social and comfortable striking up a conversation with strangers. She wouldn’t reveal her hourly wage but said it’s “respectable” and “legit,” and that she feels lucky to get paid the amount for cruising around town and checking out events. The street team is managed by Captive Audience, a non-traditional advertising firm from Regina that SaskTel has hired to run their student marketing campaign. This year’s members of the street team were asked to produce Facebook videos promoting SaskTel’s Giant Student Deals
campaign. Anyone with access to Facebook can watch the videos and vote for their favourite. The team members who create the top videos receive a prize and a cash bonus. “Yeah, we can walk around and hit people up with pamphlets for the Giant Student Deals, but I think seeing us talk about it on Facebook is a lot cooler than reading it on paper and then throwing it away,” said Hipperson. Kip Simon is a managing partner at Captive Audience. He originally pitched the street team approach to SaskTel in 2006. He said the main initiative behind the team is to stay in tune with youth culture and trends by being visible on campus and talking with students. Simon also came up with the Giant Student Deals social networking contest. “I thought what better concept than get real, influential students putting together their own viral videos that they are encouraging their peers and other students to watch,” said Simon. Au of Campus Intercept said blending offline with online campaigns is becoming popular across the country, and noted that currently brands are working to stay visible all year, not just during September. “Students are so desensitized to traditional media, you know, what makes a real impression? When you scroll over a banner, does that make you actually want to buy the product, versus actually having a conversation on campus about how the product works?” said Au. “While the reach of [brand ambassadors] is smaller, the impact is greater.”
Jordan Campbell just transferred to the University of Saskatchewan from the University of Waterloo, but she hopes to make her mark on campus. The fourth-year geology student just launched OMG SASK, a site that publishes anonymous musings from U of S students. “It’s a venting medium,” she explained. OMG SASK, which is based on a similar site Campbell ran at Waterloo called OMG UW, lets users post about any topic they like and, after some editing for grammar and spelling, it gets posted to omgsask.com where others can rate and comment on the posts. In the last few years, other anonymous sites like this have become popular. On FMyLife, for example, people share embarrassing or frustrating stories. On Group Hug, users confess things anonymously that they would not tell their closest friends. But what makes Campbell’s Waterloo and Saskatchewan sites different is their narrow focus on individual universities. “Its because it’s local,” she said of the popularity of OMG UW, which sees about a 250,000 visitors a month. “It’s soothing that it can relate directly to you. It’s an extension of the community you’re a part of.” Although OMG SASK only launched on Sept. 14, she has already had a handful of submissions from students. The only promotion Campbell did was online advertising and some posters and signs around campus. She says a site like this only becomes popular through word of mouth. “I think Saskatchewan could use something like this,” she said.
“There isn’t a really strong online community here.” There are three types of posts users can submit. The first is an OMG — general kvetching or confessions. The second is a “missed connection,” in which someone describes that beautiful stranger they wish they had talked to but missed their chance. Lastly, users can submit an “I love you” in which they can express their admiration for anything from “getting a blow job before going to my morning classes” to “people with a strong grasp of hallway logistics.” OMG SASK also has a chat feature through which bored students can talk to one another — anonymously, of course. Campbell has plans to expand her OMG network to other campuses in the future, but for now the U of S is her focus. And no matter how popular the site might get, she has no plans to get rich off the project. “I think if I did put up ads, it would only be to cover the costs of the site,” she said. “I’m just worried about it becoming tacky.” Campbell says the earlier site eventually became a source of news for Waterloo students and even led to an engagement after someone responded to a “missed connection” post. The newly launched Saskatchewan version may take some time to generate such a following, but now that the groundwork is laid, it may just be a matter of time. Especially around midterms and finals, traffic at the UW site tends to go up as people look for a study break. The appeal of the site, Campbell says, is in the anonymity. “It gives people more power…. Here you have the ability — for lack of a better way to put it — to talk behind people’s backs without fear of repercussion.”
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thesheaf.com/news • the Sheaf • September 22, 2011
Racism at U de M makes international news Student to file complaint with Quebec Human Rights Commission over blackface incident SARAH DESHAIES CUP Quebec Bureau Chief MONTREAL (CUP) — A McGill law student will file a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission after witnessing and recording the use of blackface at a frosh event on Sept. 15. Anthony Morgan explained he was walking by the Université de Montréal campus when he passed a group of students dressed in Jamaican colours and “rasta” hats who were waving the Jamaican flag, chanting, “More weed, ya mon, ya mon!” Morgan returned to film the incident and posted it on YouTube. He said that when he returned, someone pointed to him, saying, “We’ve got a real black person here.” “I was just stunned. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Morgan, who is of Jamaican descent. “I felt... it was very offensive.” Blackface originated as a form of theatrical makeup in vaudeville to depict black characters, often propagating negative stereotypes. The students were a group from HEC Montréal, the elite business school affiliated with Université de Montréal. According to a student representative, they were paying tribute to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. HEC spokesman Michael Lartigau forwarded an email written by Frank Sciortino, a second-year student and a frosh organizer, to Canadian University Press. Sciortino explained that students had to choose an “ambassador” for an Olympicsthemed activity. The group depicted in Morgan’s video selected Bolt and “decided to costume themselves” as the sprinter. Sciortino wrote it was not a racist act. Morgan does not agree. “That is
the part of it that is the most violently racist,” he said in response. Being black “is not a costume that you put on. “Regardless of what the students intended, that is the problem right there,” Morgan continued. “It is wrong. It is a symbol of hatred and denigration. It should not be used in the way that it was used.” Meanwhile, HEC is looking to turn the incident into a “learning experience.” “The [student association] and HEC Montréal have jointly decided to offer the organizers of the different student activities a chance to participate in a training program on intercultural issues, as a way of ensuring that future student activities respect the different values of our increasingly multicultural world,” stated a release issued by the school, without explaining any further details. “I don’t put the students themselves at fault,” said Morgan. He thinks that education is key to preventing incidents like this from occurring, and he hopes that a dialogue can be begin on what he considers a “large problem.” “This is not just about a few bad apples,” said Morgan. “This is about a greater problem about what we think about, how we value, how we understand, how we discuss — if we discuss — black history, culture and contribution.” Morgan himself worked on a case where a black man was thrown out of amusement park La Ronde for wearing a Bob Marley shirt with marijuana symbols on it. Bruno Moise was told his clothing did not respect the park’s “family values.” The case was mediated with the human rights commission’s involvement. Fo Niemi, director of Montreal’s
Classifieds ANNOUNCEMENTS The University of Saskatchewan Department of Native Studies and University of Manitoba Press invite you to join us as we present: Dr. Kim Anderson as she discusses her new book Life Stages and Native Women Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine Wednesday, September 28, 7pm - 9pm Room 103 Physics Bldg. Bread, wine, and a good meal: You are invited to the Lutheran Campus Centre - at the southeast corner of College and Wiggins – every Tuesday at 5:00 for a service followed by supper. We sing, we pray, we speak and listen, we share communion, and when worship is over we gather for a good warm meal. It’s free, everyone’s welcome, and we’d be glad to see you there! The Multi-Faith Chaplains Association (Aboriginal,
Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim) invites you to join us for an Open House on Tuesday, September 27th in the MultiFaith Centre at Rugby Chapel – the little chapel on College Drive between STM and the Grad Student Commons. Come on by anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for refreshments, a light lunch, and a chance to meet some chaplains and get to know this gathering place for people of all faiths. FREE Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) session. The most popular personality assessment tool around. Administered by Chaplain Nancy Yee, professionally trained with 15 years experience. Make appointment for individual sessions (9668500 or ecum.chap@usask. ca) or, join the group session Wednesday, Sept 28, 10:30 a.m. Length: 2 hours long. Maximum 5 participants in groups. Sessions held in MUB
Université de Montréal: nice campus, terrible racism.
Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations, suggested this type of activity would not be as likely to happen at an English school. “We’re talking basically about two solitudes, in terms of each solitude’s understanding as to why this does or does not represent raciallyoffensive stereotypes,” said Niemi, talking about the difference between the anglophone and francophone communities in Quebec. “In the francophone culture, I don’t think we have the same degree of social or race awareness.” He pointed to recent jokes and sketches in Quebec culture and entertainment as evidence, like the 2008 TV sketches depicting American president Barack Obama. 118 (same building as Louis’ & Browsers’).
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The advocacy group Black Coalition of Quebec has since called for a human rights inquiry into the “hateful incident.” In fall 2010, a management students association at McGill University put a halt to a frosh activity when accusations of cultural insensitivity were raised around its tribal theme. A promotional video showed students in costume and face paint, representing four different tribes: the Zulu, Maasai, Inca and Maori. The incident at HEC has since been covered by news services around the world, including the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
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Composting cont. from
Another myth related to composting is that if you throw food scraps in the garbage they will decompose. Skansen explains, food scraps “won’t decompose in a landfill. The material needs air and the right mixture. It doesn’t have the right conditions in a landfill to decompose.” So how does one create the right conditions for decomposition? How does it work when it’s -38 degrees and any small amount of moisture instantly turns into ice? And how expensive is this all going to be? These are some of the questions an average citizen who hasn’t been exposed to composting is likely to have. It turns out that composting does not require one to buy the ultra fancy black plastic bin, which seems to be the most popular model. The container can be a basic plastic tub or even a large black garbage bin with a lid. Creating the right conditions is only a matter of poking holes, stirring the compost often with a tool to help decomposition take place faster and following the rule of equal greens and browns. Skansen said the mixture should feel “like a sponge.” In the winter, scraps of food may simply be added to a bin. The scraps will freeze, and in spring the mixture will thaw and already be half decomposed. The reward of nutrient-rich soil while reducing overall waste seems to make composting a nobrainer. But some people still may hold out, thinking that it’s unsanitary or smelly. However, there are easy ways to avoid the smell. “Staying away from protein is a good rule. This includes bones, milk products, sauce oils and meats. Because proteins break down through a different process, they can putrefy and attract pests and rodents,” Skansen warned. Another display at the farmers’ market was a tub of newspaper shreds, food waste and wiggling worms — otherwise known as vermicompost. Although it requires a little more attention than regular composting, the worms will yield a more fertile soil and decompose food scraps faster. By adding shreds of vegetable ink-based newspaper to the worms, moisture levels and temperatures will remain correct. The worms must be stored indoors. Vermicomposting “is the best waste reduction management for the household,” said Skansen. A variety of information can be found on composting, vermicomposting, the Master’s Composter Program, events and other methods of waste reduction at SaskWasteReduction.ca.
September 22, 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/news
in brief NDP announces environmental policies at U of S
Saskatchewan NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter and Saskatoon-Greystone candidate Peter Prebble have announced two environmental policies an NDP government would enact after the November provincial election. Lingenfelter, Prebble and several other Saskatoon candidates came to Browsers on the University of Saskatchewan campus Sept. 16 to introduce the Renewable Energy Act, a proposal that would boost renewable energy production to provide half of the province’s power by 2025. Currently, renewables only comprise 20 per cent of the province’s energy production. “We don’t want Saskatchewan lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to renewable energy,” said Prebble, who holds a masters degree in sustainable environmental management. He was previously a member of the legislative assembly but did not run in 2007, when the seat went to the Saskatchewan Party’s Rob Norris, current minister for advanced education. Lingenfelter added that an NDP government would be opposed to nuclear energy or storing nuclear waste materials in the province, although uranium mining would continue. The second environmental policy unveiled was increased municipal recycling funding: a $20 million boost over four years. Asked how much the party’s
environmental policies would cost, the NDP leader said all the numbers would be in the party platform, which has yet to be released. The Sask. Party has not released its platform either. Media were notified of the event the previous day but it was not otherwise publicized. The few students who were at Browsers at the time were mostly there coincidentally. “I’m not really paying attention,” said one student while Lingenfelter was speaking in the background. “I like the pamphlets though,” she added.
Harper has also said Canada would vote against the Palestinians’ second-best option, a motion to become a non-member state. This would put Canada in the minority; 127 of the UN’s 193 member states have signalled that they would vote in favour of this motion. A recent BBC poll across 19 countries found support for a Palestinian state at 49 per cent, while only 21 per cent opposed the proposal to be put before the UN. In Canada, the poll found support and opposition at 46 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively.
Canada will oppose Palestinian statehood bid
Oil company funded anti-climate change PR effort
On Sept. 24, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will address the United Nations General Assembly. He is expected to launch a controversial bid for full membership in the United Nations at that time, which would mean recognition as a state. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already indicated that he will vote against the motion, along with longtime Israel ally the United States. Harper called the action “unilateral” and said it would not be “helpful in terms of establishing a long-run peace in the Middle East.” Palestinian territory, which is divided into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, has been occupied by Israel for decades. At the UN it holds the status of “observer entity.” If the bid for full membership were accepted, the Palestinians feel they would be able to use this leverage during negotiations with Israel. They would also be able to bring human rights complaints to the International Criminal Court, among other benefits.
Canadian oil and gas company Talisman Energy gave the University of Calgary $175,000 in 2004 to fund a public relations campaign intended to discredit the link between human activity and climate change, Postmedia News recently reported. The university ultimately received a total of almost $600,000 from a number of donors, though Talisman was the largest single donor. The campaign funding was put into a pair of bank accounts opened by U of C professor Barry Cooper at the request of a group known as the Friends of Science. Friends of Science was founded by a number of former oil industry insiders as well as scientists skeptical of the research done on climate change. While most of the money was spent on public relations, thousands of dollars were also spent on trips and hotel rooms for the Friends of Science. In 2007 the U of C shut down the accounts after auditing them. Talisman Energy initially attempted to keep its donation hidden from the public.
When asked why, Talisman spokesperson Phoebe Buckland claimed it was because the previous president of the company, who had approved the donation, had “different views of climate change.”
U of S alum donates $6.5 million
towards graduate student housing
On Sept. 19, the same day the University of Saskatchewan celebrated the grand opening of the new undergraduate residences at College Quarter, it also received a $6.5 million donation that will help complete construction of the adjacent graduate residences. The donation is from U of S alum Russell Morrison and his wife, Katherine Morrison. The undergraduate residences are now home to 360 students, and once complete there will be room for 400. The graduate residences currently under construction will house roughly 250 students, and is expected to be complete by 2013. “We are pleased to open new housing for students, welcoming them to campus not only to study, but also to experience all that university life has to offer,” said U of S President Peter MacKinnon. Currently only about eight per cent of students enrolled at the U of S live on campus, and according to MacKinnon, the long term goal is to see that number reach 15 per cent. The average for Canadian universities of similar size is about 12 per cent.
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O pinions 6• Everything is bad or getting worse
thesheaf.com/opinions • September 22, 2011 • the sheaf
Part two of “Everything is good or getting better” MICHAEL CUTHBERTSON Opinions Editor Are you the kind of person who wants the bitter truth? The cold, traumatizing facts that keep you tossing and turning at night? Then this article is for you! When considering the planet today, I feel the glass is half empty. A glass once filled with culture and wildlife has been drained. I see music stores, bookshops and postal services all going out of business. It makes me feel like a grumpy old man. I used to work at McNally Robinson Booksellers, which had to shut down several locations to avoid bankruptcy. In recent years, they lost a lot of business to online stores — which can easily undercut bookstore prices. Bookstores took another blow with the advent of the Kindle and other e-book readers. One day, a coworker told me McNally’s slogan should be “Now your biggest source of kindle.” As in, we don’t have digital books, but you can buy our paper ones and use them for fuel. Mcnally Robinson was changing its inventory when I left. Baby toys were in and kids’ books were out. I guess that’s business though: you can’t sell books if nobody’s buying. Still, this stuff kills me. This was the place I bought my first books (The Hardy Boys series). Hell, if I grew up without bookstores, I probably wouldn’t even be writing this. Sadly, the same story is unfolding in other industries. Nowadays, people buy their music off the Internet. Sorry, did I say buy? I meant steal. Ditto with movies. And recently, the U.S. postal service began shutting thousands of offices as demand for “snail mail” declines. It’s a crying shame. Anyone who has ever written letters to a friend (or lover, perhaps) knows what a deep, heartfelt thing handwritten mail is. You pour your heart out, you mail it and you wait — often a very long
time — to hear back from that person. But that’s so inefficient, right? I mean, I need to know “r u goin to teh kegger?” right this fucking second. So it’s fine and dandy to say “literacy rates are higher than ever.” But what are we doing with our ability to read and write? According to a 2008 poll by International Data Corp., people spend eight times as many hours using the Internet than reading newspapers. As a result, we’re far more educated about what our friends (and frenemies) did last night than we are about, say, the current environmental crisis. I recently read that tigers may be
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extinct by the end of our century. A hundred years ago, about 100,000 of these cool cats lived in the wild. Today only some 3,000 tigers remain in nature, thanks to logging and poaching industries. Depressing? I’m just getting warmed up. About 25 per cent of the earth’s mammals are endangered. Granted, a lot of these animals are ugly and pesky. But any biologist will tell you that losing so many species would collapse our entire ecosystem. Today Amazon.com thrives, shipping us all kinds of goodies. Meanwhile the real Amazon has never looked so rough. “Almost 60
per cent of the region’s forests could be wiped out or severely damaged by 2030,” says a recent World Wildlife Fund report. But maybe I’m too focused on the negatives of an environmental holocaust. All I see is “conquest, war, famine and death.” But optimists, they see opportunity. When I heard the poles were melting, I panicked like a sissy girl, worrying that all the polar bears would die. But optimists were not so foolhardy. They said, “Great. Now we can send cargo ships up north!” “But, what about the polar bears?” I asked.
“Psshhh. Fuck the polar bears!” Indeed this is the policy of companies like Canada’s Arctic Co-operative. In 2008, they began exploiting our changing climate for monetary gain. They can now send cargo ships through waters that once were impassable. So go ahead and cheer that “Canada’s GDP has grown 225 per cent since 1969!” Canada is only making money because it allows corporations to do whatever the hell they please. We sit by as companies take over the world. In 2000, the World Bank reported that 51 of the world’s 100 richest economic powers were companies — not nations. This is a big deal considering companies don’t really answer to democracy. The only people who control companies are shareholders. And they only care about one thing: The Almighty Dollar. To me, Wal-Mart is the worst of these juggernauts. As of 2009, WalMart was the 22nd largest economic power in the world. They make more cash than oil-rich Saudia Arabia. Of course, Wally-World will probably never become a country or run an army. Rather, Wal-Mart will spread through society like a bad Venereal Disease, infecting more and more populations. It won’t stop till every city has Mall-Warts. More than ever, people need to realize that “man’s reach exceeds his grasp.” Our reach is capable of creating things like Wal-Mart and the Internet. Our reach lets us hack down forests and wipe out species. But do we really grasp the impact of all this? I guess this is why I’m such an old-timer — or “luddite” as my coworkers say. I believe the modern world only offers a brief ecstasy that we inevitably will come down from. Yep, the world’s going to hell in a handbasket. On the plus side, it’s a totally hip handbasket we bought online.
Do you have something to say? Send your opinions pieces to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions should be 500-900 words in length. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Sundays. Please, no racist stuff.
September 22, 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/opinions
A novel idea: paying for our entertainment Kickstarter.com helped resurrect my favourite podcast THILINA BANDARA
Crime Bill cont. from
And it is the nonsensical War on Drugs that has, more than anything, turned Americans into the world’s most prolific jailers. About one in 100 Americans are behind bars due to this “war” and other tough-on-crime measures. Canada’s future looks grim if politicians refuse to heed the grim example set by our neighbours to the south. Canadian politics was, for the last several years, more of a spectator sport than it had been for a long time. Now with a majority in place, the Conservatives are likely to take more chances on unpopular or unwise laws, hoping that the public either ignores or forgets their passage before the next election in 2015. Meanwhile, a reduced Liberal Party and leaderless NDP will not be able to stop Harper as they did in years past. Numerous groups have already spoken out against the new crime bill, including the Canadian Bar Association, which represents about 37,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers and law students from across the country. This government hasn’t been known to listen to evidence and experts in the past — think climate change policy and last year’s cancellation of the long-form census — and the proposed crime laws are another step in this direction. When a government minister was asked last year about the need for stricter laws amid falling crime, he pointed to the rise in
Kickstarter.com funds art projects entirely by user donations
which processes the payments. Since 2009, Kickstarter has funded over 10,000 projects with a 44 per cent success rate. The number of interesting projects funded through the site is staggering, and there appears to be a lot of goodwill going around. Though there is some skepticism of Kickstarter’s fees and filtering process, their crowd-funded model is generally a neat idea.
It is already happening in many big sectors, from video games to movies, and it will be interesting to see its impact in the future. Through funding The Comedy Button on Kickstarter, I not only get a small token of appreciation with my pledge, but I also feel like I helped create something meaningful for fellow fans. Ultimately, it encouraged me to pay deserving people to entertain me.
“unreported crime” as reason to get tough. Of course, how one prosecutes criminals for unreported crime is an open question, but it proves that reason will not stop the Conservatives in their pledge to reshape Canada’s functional justice system in their own image, all to appease their narrow base of supporters. Only vocal public outrage can put the brakes on the government’s crime agenda. Unfortunately, it looks like the Conservatives have found a messaging strategy that will always win over evidence. After all, who doesn’t want safer streets and communities?
So I urge you to go find an artist worth funding, be it through Kickstarter or by some other means. Many podcasts accept donations or sell merchandise. It might help you stay mindful about what it takes to keep you entertained.
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Since the advent of peer-to-peer sharing, what we used to qualify as consumer goods are now free, and the status quo of paying for things is slowly disappearing. Everything entertaining is free: free music, free games and free videos of cats falling asleep. I never considered what free entertainment meant to me until my favourite podcast came to an end, and I was left questioning if I would ever forgive this cruel world. The GameSpy Debriefings, a hilarious podcast from Gamespy.com about everything but video games, was being cancelled. Through hundreds of hours of free comedic tomfoolery, I unconsciously developed a sickening sense of bitter entitlement — for something I never really contributed to. Never again would I be treated to another hilarious story about losing bowel control at a college football game. The hosts did not give up though; they took their comedic stylings elsewhere, away from any corporate oversight, and asked their fans to fund their new podcast, The Comedy Button. They immediately began pitching their new entertainment venture on Kickstarter.com. Kickstarter is a platform for artists to pitch their ideas and fundraise for projects that need capital investment. Artists who simply can’t afford to create their own art rely on fan generosity. The artists may be musicians, painters, performance artists, podcasters or even inventors. “Backers” can pledge a minimum of $1 or as much as they want to donate. With every level of donation, backers receive more valuable incentives. The projects must reach 100 per cent of their donation goal before anybody’s credit card is charged. Once the projects get the green light, Kickstarter takes a five per cent cut of the total amount on top of the two per cent that goes to Amazon.com,
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thesheaf.com/opinions • the Sheaf • September 22, 2011
Up with people, down with RadFem
Radical feminists don’t have beautiful smiles like these people.
MATTHEW STEFANSON Production Manager “Don’t hit girls, unless they won’t stop hitting you.” That’s the advice my mother gave me when I was getting ready for my first day of school. “Or if they’re your sisters and they deserve it.” That’s the way I was raised by a mother who — sorry, Dad — dominated the household. My education in the politics of gender started early. I was the only boy among four kids, and also the youngest. I grew up in a small town and my grade at school had an almost perfect 3:1 ratio of girls to boys. I learned very early on that a girl can hurt you physically, and that they’ll probably beat you at most things. In short, I learned that the only difference between men and women was a matter of anatomy, that equality was a reality and that it was something I should respect and promote. My further education would take a few years, until shortly after I graduated high school. It was then that I was informed by a helpful group of radical feminists that I was a cancer upon the earth. In one of my many ill-advised career moves, I wrote a relationship
column for a third-rate lifestyle website that pimped my columns out to MSN and paid me not one cent extra. Shortly after filing an article with an innocuous title like “five things he likes in bed” or “three ways to keep him interested,” my inbox was filled with responses from members of a militant feminist forum. The more colourful items included death threats, but most simply highlighted my involvement in the patriarchy and how I was personally contributing to rape in the Middle East. It’s an interesting theory, but as far as I could tell, I was a college student making $25 an article and living in my parents’ basement, hardly a titan of industry. I didn’t remember a trip to the Gaza Strip, but what with the Internet and all, I guess I could have been involved without knowing it. Those clever modern feminists had smoked me out. This continued for a few weeks until I set up an email filter to catch anything containing the words “pig,” “asshole” and “chauvinist” — a surprisingly reliable combination of watchwords. Of course, I know that it’s a good thing for women to get the vote, and I believe in wage equality. I say maternity leave for everyone
with a set of ovaries. Hell, buy a cat and I’ll vote to give you three months off with pay. I say hooray for natural beauty campaigns and, much like Sir Mix-A-Lot, when it comes to females, Cosmo ain’t got nothing to do with my selection. I also understand that feminism has a proud history of campaigners, organizers, protesters and militants. Without extremists the movement could never have accomplished so much. I know that Nellie McClung was a stand-up lady, and she did good work, but I have news for all of the wymyn (sic) out there; Nellie McClung would spit in your mouth if she met you. The problem I have isn’t with the movement, or even its members, for the most part. The cause is ongoing and there are definitely atrocities happening both around the world and in North America. It’s an important cause, made into a farce by its worst members. Like any form of radicalism, radical feminists not only devalue the entire cause, but they turn a meaningful pursuit of basic human rights into a witch hunt, the target of which is anything with a penis.
letters Dear Sheaf, In my current iteration as the General Manager for the USSU I have overall administrative responsibility for all of our services, including the Women’s Centre. In a former iteration I taught history, including that of women, at the U of S, and in an iteration before that, did graduate work in women’s history. And so, it was a huge disappointment to read Tannara Yelland’s article on feminism [“Lighten up, feminists!” Sept. 8, 2011] and an even bigger disappointment to see how, yet again, the wearing (or not) of make-up and shaving (or not) of legs and armpits (something devised to bolster post World War One sales of razors in the wake of 8 million dead young men) was the focus of discussion — or even worth mentioning at all. Frankly, I fail to see that leg shaving or mascara wearing has any relevance to the underlying issues for which feminism originated in the first instance. The article argues that women have “come closer and closer” to achieving equality. Surely “closer and closer” isn’t good enough since it clearly implies women are not, in fact, equal and I’m pretty certain that the ability to use lipstick doesn’t actually compensate for that. It is exceptionally disheartening that, at least some young
women think it is OK to take “advantage” of what Ms. Yelland calls “near equal” status. What could possibly be more condemnatory of a system that has persuaded Ms. Yelland that almost there is good enough? Rather than harping on grooming methods, surely it would be of much greater consequence to concentrate attention on things of importance — an end to sexual violence; providing sufficient child care spaces so that mothers can work or pursue educational goals; ensuring that women in the Third World aren’t sexually mutilated — as just a very few examples. Or how about protecting what has already been won? — the vote, the right to an education, the right to keep one’s own earnings in the event of marriage breakdown, the right to custody of children, the right to work after marriage, the right not to be beaten. Sadly, many people appear to think that these rights have always been part of the landscape for women. Surely these are much more important concerns than being emotionally comfortable wearing mascara. There is no inherent contradiction between grooming and feminism. It is truly too bad that so many of the ill-informed choose to make one. Caroline Cottrell General Manager, USSU
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September 22, 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/opinions
Without renewables, oil pipeline still the best option
Unemployed hippies in their element.
MARTIN WIGHTMAN The Argosy (Mount Allison University) SACKVILLE, N.B. (CUP) — As any selfrespecting plumber will tell you, pipes are complicated. There’s hardly a pipe in the world that is currently as plugged up with problems as TransCanada’s Keystone XL: a 36-inch wide, 2,700-km long, $7-billion pipeline project that, if built, would span from Alberta to Texas, eventually taking heavy bitumen crude oil from the Canadian oil sands to the refining heartland of the Gulf Coast. TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline system became operational last year by converting an old natural gas pipeline to carry crude oil. This second pipeline, the XL, would double the capacity of the Keystone system to 1.1 million barrels of crude per day. It’s hardly the first oil pipeline in North America. In fact, pipelines are generally one of the safer means of moving oil from one location to another. Still, the pipeline has been slammed
with a myriad of environmental complaints. First, there is the possibility of leaks, possibly into significant water sources such as the Yellowstone River or the Ogallala Aquifer in the American Midwest. Second, there’s the source of the oil itself: the Canadian oil sands are mined rather than pumped, and are widely considered one of the more environmentally destructive sources of oil globally. Third, there’s the statement it makes about America’s continuing addiction to petroleum rather than climate-friendly alternatives. There are other concerns, too. Because there is already significant pipeline infrastructure between Canada and the U.S., Keystone XL may run at less than full capacity. Local communities may not receive fair remuneration (granted, it’s a vague complaint, but often true). And on our side of the border, some believe this project provides little benefit to Canada — only the possibility of a few more oil sands jobs. Pipeline cont. on
I’ll think of a headline later The importance of procrastination JUDE PINEDA Most people have gone to the fields of procrastination at least once in their academic lives. Some do it because they have to catch the latest episode of Fringe, others put off their math homework just to capture the enemy nexus using their godly Level 30 champion. Most people do it every once in a while. Others incorporate it into their everyday lives and consider it a massively useful talent. They have the art of procrastination down to a science. You might call these people, high functioning procrastinators. I am one of those people. My brain functions better under pressure. Being in the honours class pretty much all my elementary years, I got used to the stress of multiple tasks at hand. I usually put off my todo list until it fills half a page. Getting tasks done is an impulsive process in me. My brain has a switch that toggles between “slack off” and “work hard.” For instance, I have never found studying while listening to music effective; I either turn off my iPod and actually read the book, absorbing all information, or I throw away the book and rock hard to the beats of my playlist (which reminds me, I should really clean up my iTunes library). Don’t even get me started on study techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, the supposedly effective method of taking a 5-minute break after 25-minute work periods. All that did was give me an excuse to sleep in with a half-finished essay and a half-eaten bowl of ramen. And when I awoke, the ramen was cold and the laptop was hot. Frustrated, partly because of the cold bowl
of ramen that I should have finished hours ago, I opened my planner and crossed out the Pomodoro Technique as a method of time management. So I tried a different approach and made a timetable to organize my daily tasks. The timetable thing was an utter failure. But I started to convince myself that “I am the master of the written word and no planner can command what I do with my life.” It’s not that easy to change the time management methods a person uses, especially when their brain is hard-wired for either spontaneous cognitive work or spontaneous tomfoolery. The negative connotations that come with the word procrastination is not applicable to everyone. People like me put things off that should be done at an earlier time, but we still get the job done in time. For me, being under time pressure works. And most of the time, it is under time pressure that I come up with my good ideas, like this article (if this is published, then you know I’ve done an acceptable job). In the end, the effectiveness of procrastination varies from person to person. For me, it’s not about how much time you have left after a job is done; it’s all about getting the job done. A rubbish piece of work that is done 5 days before the deadline is much less acceptable than something done well and just at the right time. Procrastination is in the eye of the beholder. To self-help authors who make money off it, procrastination is a deadly disease that needs to be avoided. To me, it’s all about listing and organizing all your options, and tackling the urgent tasks first. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to work on my iTunes library.
thesheaf.com/opinions • the Sheaf • September 15, 2011
People watching: a great way to pass the time
But there are arguments in favour: pipeline leaks are usually small and unlikely to cause excessive ecological damage, at least compared with tanker accidents such as the Exxon Valdez. And this particular project may have very little impact on greenhouse gas emissions: TransCanada has argued that the oil will be mined either way and shipped elsewhere (read: China) if not to the U.S. There are an estimated 13,000 jobs available for Americans should the project proceed; an attractive proposition when the unemployment rate hovers close to 10 per cent. The pipeline would increase the Canadian percentage of America’s oil imports, easing America’s dependence on undemocratic nations that have less-than-stellar human rights and environmental records. It’s an ugly project, to be sure, but for all the dystopian misery of the oil sands, it’s not clear that there are accessible alternatives — other than conversely utopian environmentalist narratives that require investment and infrastructure shifts on an unrealistic timeline. The pipeline has cleared most regulatory hurdles but isn’t out of the woods yet due to the conflicting goals of the American government. The U.S. Department of State and President Obama now face the dilemma of deciding whether the pipeline is in the national interest. Approval would create “shovelready” American jobs, but would alienate Obama’s supporters in the environmental movement and undermine his commitment to clean energy. Is Obama against jobs for Americans, or does Obama hate the Earth? I don’t envy his job right now. A final decision is expected by late November, and approval now appears to be likely, as the pipeline has passed an environmental assessment by the State Department. It seems, in the face of massive economic and geopolitical realities, that the goal of making America a clean energy superstar is, at least for now, a pipe dream.
All the people you’ll see on campus FAYE ANDERSON Most students spend a lot of their time studying and reading, but one of my favourite pastimes is people watching: noticing all the different quirks of the people around me and the way they interact with their environment. It’s not judging, just observing and, at times, admiring. It is best done with at least one other person. This way you can share your observations and know of the people coming from the other direction. A sidekick prevents you from missing any rare specimens. It also helps to disguise your people watching. When you and your friend are people watching together, it looks like you’re just hanging out on campus — not there for the purpose of staring at people around you. You appear to be less creepy. People watching must be done discreetly, without drawing attention to oneself. Do not change your position abruptly to catch a glimpse of somebody. Rather, pretend to be looking for something from your bag. When you’re trying to look at somebody behind you, try scratching your chin with your shoulder. Quick movements can startle people and attract unwanted attention, and then you become the one being watched. Pick a location that has a steady flow of people coming from various directions. Prime time for people watching is towards the middle of the day, when the campus population is at its peak, and between classes. Here is a list of my favourite people to spot on campus. The numbered ones correspond to the bingo board.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Long beard, long hair: “You know what they say about men with long beards?” Full beard, bald head: “It migrated!”
Moustaches: these have lost their irony Trimmed beard, styled hair: An all-time classic. The unintentional facial hair: common around essay
N G O
season and finals; teenstaches also fall under this category.
The person who walks into something or somebody while texting.
Pregnant women: these can be very rare depending on the season; your best chance of spotting one is around spring.
Girl who wears heels every day, even in the winter.
8. 9. 10. 11.
Children on campus: they’re so unexpected! People who are way too overdressed.
People who are way too underdressed.
That guy with dreads — you know the one I’m talking about.
• That person you see around all the time. You don’t actually know them but it seems as though you should. • The avoidance of a collision and the awkward dance that follows.
• That person you know from high school. You know who they are and they know who you are but you don’t acknowledge each other.
• The awkward run: who knows where they want to go or why they are in such a rush but hopefully they get there in time. And my all time favourite that can be found around the city: • Children on leashes: it seems like the parents are treating their child like a dog, but at least they know where their kid is without having to look at them! So they next time you have 20 minutes to kill until your bus comes, don’t study, people watch!
• That person you wave at but they don’t see you.
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September 15 , 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/arts
U of S first school in Canada to join ally campaign Athlete Allies pledge to support gender and sexual diversity in sport KEEGAN EPP The University of Saskatchewan will take a positive step this fall in terms of celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights within sport. It will be the first school in Canada to take part in the international Athlete Ally campaign. Athlete Ally is a pledge that encourages members of the athletic community to support diversity in sport. Anyone who signs the pledge becomes an athlete ally, which, according to the campaign’s website, is “any person — regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity — who takes a stand against homophobia and transphobia in sports and brings the message of respect, inclusion and equality to their athletic community.” By displaying an Athlete Ally button on their jackets, travel bags or in their lockers, athletes, coaches, fans and trainers can show that they are accepting of diversity. The campaign was started earlier this year by then-NCAA wrestler Hudson Taylor. In his senior year competing for the University of Maryland, Taylor wore a Human Rights Campaign sticker on his headgear to show his solidarity for LGBT rights. As one of the top wrestlers in his weight class at the division one level, he found that when he brought up his passion for LGBT rights it made many people in the athletic community uncomfortable. He created Athlete Ally to eliminate that stigma. Sport and diversity have a contentious history. Sport often reflects and maintains social norms, which traditionally have limited diversity. For example, the modern Olympics has a history of refusing and limiting the athletic participation of women. Yet sport has also been a battleground for human rights. African American Jesse Owens winning gold in Nazi Germany, Jackie Robinson breaking into the all-white domain of professional baseball, or Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in a “Black Power” salute on the podium at the 1968 Olympics all show the prominent role the politics of race and human rights have played in the sports world. While Taylor’s campaign may not be the direct cause of the changing tide in the world of sports surrounding LGBT issues, it is part of the
larger movement to promote diversity within the athletic community. For example, Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 earlier this year for using a homophobic slur during a game — the largest financial penalty ever issued in professional sport for a homophobic slur. Rick Welts, the CEO of the Phoenix Suns, came out after years of working in the NBA as a closeted gay man, and New York Ranger Sean Avery spoke publicly in support of marriage equality. Also, eight MLB teams, including the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox, contributed videos to the popular It Gets Better campaign over the summer. For many athletes, it is the perception that sport is an unsafe space unless they fit heterosexist norms that leads to early retirements or a negative sporting experience. Athlete Ally works to break the perception that athletics is not an accepting place by
giving those who are accepting an opportunity to say so. The USSU Pride Centre will welcome Athlete Ally to campus at the end of September by hosting a series of events.
The first Annual Pride Games will run from Sept. 26 to 28 at 12:30 p.m. in the Bowl. Each day, a different event will allow teams to compete and show their support for diversity in athletics. So Homo — a milk-chugging competition — will take place on Sept. 26. Participants will compete against the clock to swallow a litre of milk. On Sept. 27, a classic egg toss will test handeye coordination and participants’ throwing abilities. The grand finale will be the Drag Race, a foot race around the Bowl with participants encouraged to don high heels, wigs, fake moustaches, skirts and the like. To register a team or compete as an individual, stop by the Pride Centre (right above Louis’) or email email@example.com. Keegan Epp is the USSU Pride Centre coordinator.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30 7 PM GRIFFITHS STADIUM POTASHCORP PARK U OF S HUSKIES VS UBC THUNDERBIRDS Show your pride by wearing green and white.
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thesheaf.com/sports • the Sheaf • September 22, 2011
Luke Thiel likely out for season Huskies’ defensive duo takes hit KEVIN MENZ Sports Editor The Huskies’ all-star defensive duo of Peter and Luke Thiel suffered a major blow Sept. 17 in the Huskies’ loss to the Manitoba Bisons. Luke broke his arm. Luke, the younger of the two brothers — perhaps better known for his highlight kick returns — had quickly been establishing himself alongside his brother as one of the most dominant defensive players in the Canada West. “[His injury] hurts us in two spots: He was having a great year [as a defensive back] and he’s also a Canada West all-star kick returner,” said Huskies head coach Brian Towriss. “I don’t expect him to return until after Thanksgiving, if at all.” Luke, a third-year player, said it was his older brother’s performance as a Huskie that pushed him to improve on the defensive side of the ball. Peter, a linebacker, had 31 tackles and one sack in six games last year and was named a Canada West allstar. He signed a contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders over the summer but was released prior to the CFL’s regular season. He is now in his fourth year with the Dogs. “Seeing the way [my older brother] put in the work... to
earn his starting spot was a lot of motivation for me to do the same,” said Luke on Sept. 9 after the Huskies’ victory over the Regina Rams. “I came in and played a little bit of special teams my first year and just worked hard and tried to mimic my brother and earn that spot.” Luke had been on track for his best year yet. He was the only player in the conference to have scored a punt return touchdown so far, and he had recorded one interception and one broken pass in three games. “It’s pretty cool being on the field at the same time,” said Peter after the Dogs’ game on Sept. 9 when asked what it’s like to play with his brother. “I find whenever we’re around each other, we’re always thinking the same thing; we’re on the same page.” The brothers have combined for 21.5 tackles so far this season. Both Peter and Luke decided to join the Huskies because of the program’s strong history. They grew up in Regina and could have chosen to play with the Regina Rams. “When I was recruited, [the Huskies] had just been to four of the last five Vanier Cups, so that was a big thing for me when I got the offer,” said Peter. “The history here and the atmosphere [at Griffiths Stadium]
on a Friday night, you can’t beat it,” added the younger Thiel. When Luke came to the program after high school, he had experience playing both offence and defence but said Towriss wanted him to follow in his brother’s footsteps.
“He was having a great year.” Brian Towriss Huskies head coach
“I played a little bit of offence in high school but... coach saw me as a defensive player,” said Luke. “I like defence way better anyway.” Peter, on the other hand, admits to having no offensive skills whatsoever. “I can’t catch a football and I’m not very fast,” he joked. “I enjoy hitting people.” Hopefully for the Huskies, Peter continues to beat up offences even without his brother to help him.
Peter and Luke Thiel after the Huskies’ victory Sept. 9
September 22, 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/sports
Dogs suffer first loss to Bisons Huskies can’t handle Manitoba weather
Canada West Standings FOOTBALL Standings 1. Calgary 2. Manitoba 3. Saskatchewan 4. UBC 5. Alberta 6. Regina
3-0 2-1 2-1 2-1 0-3 0-3
Rushing 1. Steven Lumbala - CGY 2. Adrian Charles - REG 3. Dave Boyd - UBC
GP 3 3 3
Att. 54 54 47
Yards 424 338 266
Long 29 30 25
GP Com-Att-Int Yards 3 65-96-0 867 2. K. Williams - MAN 3 50-95-3 781 3. Gilbert-Knorren - SASK 3 40-77-4 573 1. Billy Greene - UBC
Receiving 1. Jordan Grieve - UBC 2. Chris Dobko - CGY 3. Jake Harty - CGY
GP 3 3 3
Rec. 12 16 14
Yards 268 229 204
TD 4 0 1
The wind got the best of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Sept. 17 as the Manitoba Bisons handed them their first loss of the season. While gusts up to 35 km/h made things difficult for both teams, they cost Saskatchewan its lead early in the fourth quarter. Mishandling a Manitoba punt, Huskies returner Jerit Lambert fumbled the ball into his own end zone where Grayson Wells of the Bisons pounced on it to give Manitoba a 19-16 lead. The Bisons defence was then able to keep the Dogs off the scoreboard for the rest of the game, sealing a 26-16 Bisons victory in what was Manitoba’s second win of the season. “Manitoba was solid,” said Huskies head coach Brian Towriss. “They did a better job because they play in the wind all the time.” The Huskies had a 12-0 lead after the first quarter, but were unable to keep the momentum going for all 60 minutes of play. “We regressed in all aspects of our game — offence, defence,
The Huskies will be on the road again Sept. 23 to face the undefeated Calgary Dinos.
Marissa Wilford stuns opposition Huskies keeper helps Dogs go 2-0 on weekend Kevin Menz Sports Editor The Huskies women’s soccer team were a perfect 2-0 on the road this past weekend to move to 3-1 and a tie for third spot in the Canada West. They defeated both the Fraser Valley Cascades and the Victoria Vikes 2-1 on Sept. 17 and 18, respectively, in what were the second and third wins of a three-game winning streak. In the first game against the Cascades, it was Huskies keeper Marissa Wilford who secured the win for the Dogs. She made eight saves on the nine shots that Fraser Valley put on target. The Cascades had a
total of 13 shots. Fraser Valley’s keeper Chantelle Biagioni had three saves in the game on the Huskies’ seven total shots. The game’s first half was quiet and it wasn’t until the second half that Megan Webster of the Cascades was able to open the scoring. Her goal in the 65th minute put Fraser Valley up 1-0. Saskatchewan was able to come back for the victory, however, after Megan Schenher tied it up in the 85th minute and Elizabeth Hudon buried the winner during stoppage time. Against Victoria, it was once again Wilford who stole the show. The Vikes had 22 shots in the game, 12 of which were on target. Wilford
stopped 11 of those shots. Vikes keeper Stephanie Parker made six saves on Saskatchewan’s eight shots on net. Hudon opened the scoring in the sixth minute after tipping in Kasya Naidu’s cross. The Vikes evened it up just before half after Jacqueline Harrison scored in the 44th minute. In the 57th minute, the Huskies striker Lindsay Manz was able to deke past Parker in what would prove to be the game winner.
GP 3 3 3
Solo 27 14 17
Ast. 11 16 9
Total 32.5 22.0 21.5
Long 63 90 101
GP 3 Cory Roboch - CGY 3 Serge Kaminsky - UBC 3
Solo 3 3 3
Ast. 0 0 0
Total 3.0 3.0 3.0
Long 63 40 25
No. 2 2 1
Yards 58 0 0
3. Duncan Morris - AB
TD 8 4 3
TD 3 4 2
3-1 3-1 2-1-1 2-0-1 1-1-1 1-2-1 1-3 0-4
1. Duncan Morris - AB
Interceptions 1. Thomas Hall - MAN 2. Brent Krawchuk - AB T3. Mitch Friesen - SASK
GP 3 3 2
Long 53 0 0
Pts. 32 30 24
TD 0 0 0
WOMen’s Soccer 1. Alberta 2. UBC 3. Calgary 4. Saskatchewan 5. TWU 6. UFV 7. Victoria 8. Regina 9. Lethbridge 10. Manitoba
with a field goal but were swiftly answered by Wells’s touchdown fumble recovery off Lambert’s botched punt return. Two more field goals and a single-pointer by Nick Boyd put the finishing touches on the Bison’s win. After the final whistle, Manitoba had topped Saskatchewan in almost every team statistic. Williams, the Bisons’ quarterback, had 280 yards passing and no interceptions. Huskies quarterback Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren completed only 9 of 23 pass attempts, was picked off twice and was sacked three times. He was even kept on the sidelines for some of the third quarter in exchange for back-up Trent Peterson. Manitoba also led in turnover ratios, receiving yards, time of possession, first downs and total offence.
XPT 7 13 0
1. Calgary 2. Saskatchewan 3. Alberta 4. UBC 5. TWU 6. Victoria 7. UFV 8. Lethbridge
special teams,” said Towriss. “We didn’t play as well as we should have.” Saskatchewan’s defence started the scoring when defensive lineman David Rybinski recovered a fumble and brought it back 68 yards for the touchdown. After the following kick-off, the defence held the Bisons offence deep in their own territory and forced Manitoba head coach Brian Dobie to take the safety rather than punt the ball into the heavy wind. Huskies kicker Denton Kolodzinski added a field goal to end the quarter. A slow second quarter from the Huskies gave Manitoba some life, however, as the Bisons put up five special teams points to get back into the game. Manitoba tied the game midway through the third quarter by being the first offence to score a touchdown on Saskatchewan’s defence this season. They managed to move the ball 90 yards downfield and capped the drive with a 15yard touchdown pass from Khaleal Williams to Tyson Takasaki. The Huskies regained the lead
FG 8 5 0
2. Sam Hurl - CGY
TD 0 0 4
1. J. Hetherington - AB
Curtis Bouvier/The Manitoban
GP 3 2. Johnny Mark - CGY 3 T3. Steven Lumbala - CGY 3 1. Nick Boyd - MAN
Jerit Lambert’s untimely fumble helped Manitoba defeat Saskatchewan 26-16.
Points 1. J. B-Hamilton - SASK 2. Navid Mashinchi - UBC Cameron Schmidt - AB
GP 4 3 4
Goals 5 2 2
Ast. 4 2 2
Goals 1. J. B-Hamilton - SASK 2. Marco Visintin - UBC Sasa Plavsic - UFV
GP 4 3 3
No. 5 3 3
Avg. 1.25 1.00 1.00
Assists 1. J. B-Hamilton - SASK 2. Navid Mashinchi - UBC T3. Milan Timotijevic - AB
GP 4 3 4
No. 4 2 2
Avg. 1.00 0.67 0.50
Saves 1. Colin Pattison - LETH Mark Diakiw - SASK 3. Colin Hasick - CGY
GP 4 4 3
No. 26 26 20
Avg. 6.50 6.50 6.67
Total 9 4 4
4-0 3-0 3-1 3-1 2-1 2-2 1-2-1 0-3-1 0-4 0-4
League Leaders Points 1. D. Fuenzalida - SASK Heather Lund - AB T3. E. Hudon - SASK
GP 4 4 4
Goals 3 5 3
Goals 1. Heather Lund - AB 2. Janine Frazao - UBC Rachel Sawer - UBC
GP 4 3 3
No. 5 3 3
Avg. 1.25 1.00 1.00
Assists 1. Jenna Di Nunzio - TWU Kayla Michaels - AB 3. D. Fuenzalida - SASK
GP 3 4 4
No. 4 4 3
Avg. 1.33 1.00 0.75
Saves 1. M. Wilford - SASK 2. M. Anderson - REG S. Parker - UVIC
GP 4 3 4
No. 24 20 20
Avg. 6.00 6.67 5.00
Ast. 3 1 2
Total 6 6 5
Huskies men’s soccer no longer undefeated Three-game winning streak ends KEVIN MENZ Sports Editor The Huskies men’s soccer team saw their three-game winning streak ended in their final match of this past weekend. The Dogs played two games on the road Sept. 17 and 18 against the University of Fraser Valley Cascades and the University of Victoria Vikes. They defeated the Cascades 4-1 in the first game but were upset 2-1 by the Vikes the following day. Against the Cascades, one goal from Jordian Farahani and three from Jerson Barandica-Hamilton, all in the first half, guaranteed the Huskies’ victory. Sasa Plavsic scored Fraser Valley’s only goal of the game. It was the Huskies’ third win of the season. Against the Vikes, the Dogs got off to a quick lead after Eoin McFadden buried BarandicaHamilton’s corner kick past Victoria’s keeper. They led 1-0 at halftime but two goals from freshman Craig Gorman allowed the Vikes to steal the victory.
Gorman’s goals, his first in the CIS, were both assisted by Thomas Mallette. In the final minutes, Saskatchewan pushed hard to even the score by placing every player — including keeper Mark Diakiw — on the attack. The Vikes defence, however, proved too strong and shut down the Huskies’ comeback attempt. The Huskies, who are ranked No. 7 in Canadian Interuniversity Sport and tied for first place in the Canada West, had been undefeated prior to the loss. Victoria are unranked nationally and are tied for sixth in the Canada West. The victory was their first win of the season.
Huskies men’s and women’s soccer teams play at home Sept. 24 and 25 against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the Trinity Western University Spartans.
thesheaf.com/arts • the sheaf •September 22, 2011
It’s only rock ’n’ roll but we like it Celebrating 20 years of Pearl Jam and the grunge music scene JASON STOCKFISH As I prepared to cover my first “big arena” show, Pearl Jam, on Sept. 19 at the Credit Union Centre, I was overwhelmed with memories from the last 20-odd years. Triggering these memories, and aiding me in my pursuit to write an article that would do justice to a band that profoundly affected me in my youth, was the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s new documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty. Crowe’s aptly-titled film looks back at Pearl Jam’s first two decades as a band. Twenty years after the release of their first album Ten, few of their peers can claim the longevity or the diverse repertoire of Pearl Jam. While I was wisely taught by my esteemed professors at the U of S to refrain from relying on Wikipedia as a source, I was curious as to how the online encyclopedia classified each of Pearl Jam’s nine studio albums. I came across terms such as “grunge,” “experimental rock,” “alternative,” “post-grunge,” “psychedelic rock,” “folk rock” and “new wave-inspired” — descriptors too numerous to list. After having shared the bill with the likes of Ministry and Rage Against the Machine early in their
careers, and Neil Young and Tom Petty a few years later (not to mention their collaborative efforts with Cypress Hill on the Judgment Night soundtrack, a stellar album that also saw Mudhoney and Sir Mix-A-Lot join forces), it is an exercise in futility to try and apply such labels. Let’s be honest: it’s only rock ’n’ roll but we like it. When Ten was released on Aug. 27, 1991, the so-called grunge scene had yet to make a mainstream impact — that is, a beautifully angry cultural force by the name of Nirvana had only just released Nevermind. It was not their first album but it was the first of their masterpieces to be heard by those unfamiliar with the burgeoning scene in Seattle, Wash. I clearly remember the night Kurt Cobain’s angst-riddled growl first pierced the air that I breathed. I was taping the video to “Don’t Cry” by Guns N’ Roses on my parents’ VCR and, as Axl Rose and Co. wrapped up their classic ballad, I was about to stop recording when the first few notes of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” unleashed themselves upon my unsuspecting ears. I let the tape roll. I wish I still had that tape because on it I could claim to have captured the very moment that my foundations were forever shaken by a musical
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder raises the roof at CUC on Sept. 19.
revolution comparable to few in history. One day G n’ f n’ R, Mötley Crüe and Skid Row were among my most overplayed cassette tapes and, seemingly overnight, that all changed. Suddenly I was listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Unfortunately, one of the bands that never made it into my musical rotation in my younger years was Mudhoney, the opening act to Pearl Jam on their current tour across Canada. While Mudhoney had a significant impact on the Seattle scene, they were not embraced by the mainstream. If a band wasn’t getting heavy airplay on MuchMusic, MTV or commercial radio, their music rarely emerged from “the underground.” Some things never change. Ironically, Mudhoney’s lead singer Mark Arm has been credited as the individual who first coined the term “grunge.” He deflects the attention, saying that he obviously heard it elsewhere first. Mudhoney was seemingly left out of the list of acts that defined a genre they had been so instrumental in creating.
Prior to the formation of Pearl Jam, the band’s two founding members, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament, performed as Green River with Arm and Mudhoney’s lead guitarist, Steve Turner. They went their separate ways in 1987, but these individuals were among the pioneers of a scene that forever changed rock music. While I didn’t have any vivid memories to recount while I watched Mudhoney perform on Monday night, I did have the satisfaction of knowing that future memories were being captured somewhere in my subconscious. As for Pearl Jam’s two-and-a-halfhour set, what is there to say? They blew the roof off the joint. The highlight, to be sure, was their rendition of “Running Back to Saskatoon” by the Guess Who. While Eddie Vedder forgot almost all the lyrics the first time through, with a little help from an audience member, the six of them, along with the thousands of electric fans, did justice to that prairie tune. In the same strange way that the scent of an air freshener can put people back into the driver’s seat of their first vehicle, when hearing
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Finally the greatest films ever made are available in high definition. George Lucas’s edits be damned, the Star Wars saga has meant more to people than any other films ever made and the chance to see them in pristine digital HD is an opportunity not to be missed. As well, a wealth of special features including dozens of deleted scenes from the original trilogy is only more enticement. The six films alone would make this collection worth the money. Film fans and sci-fi geeks — or just about anyone alive — owe it to themselves to purchase this box set.
those songs that make up the soundtracks to our lives, the music triggers memories and — whether we welcome them or not — the emotions that accompany them. For me that vehicle was a Dodge “K” car, the scent was the pizza I was delivering and the sound was that of Pearl Jam. The emotions that accompany these memories are certainly not mine alone. Love, heartbreak, rebellion, teenage angst — through a musicallyinspired journey we are returned to another time and, sometimes it would seem, another lifetime. This is one of the many reasons I cherish music more than any of my other passions. Not only does music possess the ability to act as a companion when we are alone or share with us the bliss of life and love, perhaps music provides humanity with the only method of time travel we will ever know.
Editor’s Pick of the Week Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray
September 22, 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/arts
Awolnation arrives in Saskatoon Eclectic L.A. group plays Louis’ later this month KENDRA SCHREINER Having played with Under the Influence of Giants and Hometown Hero with little success, Los Angeles musician Aaron Bruno decided it was time to write the songs he was meant to write. Bruno began a solo-project, Awolnation, and in March the band released their first full-length album, Megalithic Symphony. The album has already met with plenty of success as its first single, “Sail,” reached No. 1 on the charts of Canadian Modern Rock radio. Since the debut of Megalithic Symphony, Awolnation has been on tour throughout the U.S. and England. The Canadian leg of the tour starts on Sept. 23 and a stop in Saskatoon is planned for Sept. 26. Bruno's project started after Red Bull Records approached him and offered him the use of their recording studio in Los Angeles. The band’s name, Awolnation, comes from Bruno whose nickname has been “Awol” since high school. He got the name because when leaving a party, Bruno would just walk away rather than say goodbye to everyone. “It was easier for me and I was very insecure and shy when I was younger; I had my first sip of alcohol when I was 22,” he explained in an interview with LA Music Blog. In 2010, Awolnation released a fivetrack EP, Back From Earth. Although he consulted a group of close family and friends for occasional advice, Bruno wrote the entire album himself. Now, Awolnation has four more members: White Shark, Yellow Assassin, Rhino and Sweet Tea. Bruno still does most of the writing himself. Except for three songs, the 14-track Megalithic Symphony was written entirely by Bruno. The album includes four songs from Back From Earth; only “MF” did not make it onto the full-length record. Bruno said he didn't feel the song fit with Megalithic Symphony.
Awolnation’s Aaron Bruno is a singing, songwriting man of mystery.
Sometimes when you ask people what genre of music they like, they reply, “I listen to a bit of everything.” Although that's rarely true, Megalithic Symphony might just be the perfect mix for those people. Featuring indie and pop beats, driving rock, and hip-hop and rap songs, it's an album that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. This wide range of sounds is what makes Awolnation so addictive. The music is unique and not tied down to stereotypical styles, which is the way Bruno wants it. Bruno has loved music ever since his father taught him to play “La Bamba” at six years old. “Music has always been the pulse and soundtrack to my life. Without it, I’m not sure if I would be here still.” Bruno’s love of mysteries goes beyond his
lyrics. He seems obsessed with the spaceman that adorns the cover of the band’s EP and has even organized an online contest for fans to create videos featuring the band’s strange symbol. He says the spaceman represents that the “...record is out of this world, for better or for worse.” One song in particular is a bit out-there, if not out of this world. “Some Sort of Creature,” a 39-second spoken track, is a story about Bruno seeing a weird creature held by a gypsy. When asked for an explanation, he just answered, “All I can tell you is that it is true.” Although he is partial to L.A., Bruno clearly thrives on touring and meeting his fans. At one show, the band even let a girl come on stage and propose to her boyfriend.
Thankfully, the boyfriend said yes, avoiding a horribly embarrassing moment. Bruno says that he has no favourite city to play in but that one day he would like to play on the moon. Awolnation has no specific plans for the future, merely to take things as they come. Until his dream of playing in outer-space becomes a reality, Aaron Bruno will just have to keep writing songs.
Awolnation play Louis’ Pub on Sept. 26.
De La Soul member hits up Saskatoon Chatting with hip-hop icon Vincent Mason a.k.a. DJ Maseo ASHLEY HYSHKA When you hear the words “De La Soul,” what comes to mind? If you say one of hiphop’s most famous musical groups, you’re correct. Formed in Long Island, New York in the mid-1980s, De La Soul is a hip-hop phenomenon consisting of Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur and Vincent Mason. I was fortunate enough to interview Vincent Mason, one of the iconic band’s members who is better known to the music world as DJ Maseo. Where did the name De La Soul come from? Mason said that when their first record deal was being discussed, they didn’t even have a name for their band yet. They were “just three friends working on some music.” However, the lack of a name held up the recording process, so someone threw out the phrase “from the soul.” Riffing on this, Jolicoeur suggested the French phrase “de la” which means “from the” — and De La Soul was born. When asked to discuss the inspiration for the band’s emotional lyrics, Mason
described himself as “a b-boy to my heart.” The inspiration the group shares comes from their life experiences like having lived in the projects, or what’s going on in the world at the moment they’re writing. He also says that inspiration came to him from living in a struggling community. With any group of people, tension can form, and these guys are no different. Mason said that even though De La Soul may occasionally fight or argue, they manage to work through it. “Human beings are human beings [but] when it’s on, it’s on,” he said. The energy in their work, the belief in what they’re doing and the influence of hiphop predecessors serve as the forces that keep De La Soul going. “It’s a magic that you can’t really describe,” Mason said. Mason feels like it’s the right time for him to explore a solo project. After years in the music business, he finally has the confidence to stand on his own. Regarding his upcoming show in Saskatoon, DJ Mason thought that his stay in the city was just going to be another stop
De La Soul dominates the crowd at this past summer’s Jazz Festival.
on the road. However, Mason’s thoughts about the city changed when De La Soul played at the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival this past summer. He said that he “had a great time” and enjoyed himself, and that his experience here was “unexpected.” Music and family are the most important things in DJ Maseo’s life. “My hobby is my profession. I’m a DJ in its truest form,” he explained.
The meaning embedded in his lyrics and the energy with which he speaks about his work clearly show that music has had an extraordinary effect on this DJ of 35 years.
DJ Maseo plays Scratch nightclub Sept. 22.
thesheaf.com/arts • the Sheaf • September 22, 2011
Drive is overwhelmingly cool Ryan Gosling’s latest action film is a complex exercise in style AREN BERGSTROM Arts Editor
Drive is not your typical Hollywood action movie in that its sole purpose is not to entertain you. The latest film by Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive is a slow, minimalistic, stylized and overwhelmingly cool action film that is immaculately crafted in every aspect. Every performance, every line of dialogue and most noticeably every shot is meticulous — sometimes so much so that the film seems inorganic. However, Drive is not a case of style over substance. Behind all the perfectly-lit shots and pulsing synthesizer beats is a complex film that is borne out of an intimate knowledge of film history. Drive tells the story of the Driver (Ryan Gosling), a nameless wheelman working in Los Angeles. During the day he is a stunt driver for Hollywood movies and during the evening he works as a getaway driver for heists. His friend and mechanic/ manager Shannon (Bryan Cranston) arranges both jobs and splits the cash with him. One day Driver befriends his next-door neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio. However, before his pseudo-romance with Irene is able to go anywhere, Irene’s convict husband Standard
Ryan Gosling pondering who to beat down next in Drive.
(Oscar Isaac) is released from prison. Standard isn’t a thug himself but he’s involved with some bad people, owing protection money to some mobsters. In an effort to protect Irene and Benicio, Driver offers to help Standard get the money and as a result, upsets some local mob bosses, Bernie Ross (Albert Brooks) and Nino (Ron Perlman), who resolve to have Driver killed. Gosling’s Driver is a hero straight
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out of cinema history. Like Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name or Toshiro Mifune’s Sanjuro, Driver is a mystery man defined solely by his actions — thus, his name reflects only what he does. Gosling has been building a respectable name for himself over the years with films like Lars and the Real Girl and Blue Valentine, but this year his popularity has really exploded. While Drive may not be the most obvious film for an up-and-coming A-lister to star in, the decision speaks to how Gosling is first and foremost concerned with making good movies. Driver is not a role any actor could pull off. It calls for restraint, which is something most big Hollywood actors are physically incapable of. Luckily, with Gosling every subtle facial expression speaks volumes. Driver is a stoic enigma of a man and Gosling’s placid face and icy stare can read as menace or affection — or
suppressed rage just waiting to be unleashed on a villain in an elevator. Refn surrounds Gosling with an equally accomplished cast. Bryan Cranston and Carey Mulligan again prove that they can do no wrong, filling out their supporting parts with confidence. However, it’s Albert Brooks who really steals the show as the seemingly comical but truly disturbing Bernie Rose. Brooks is terrifying during some shocking scenes of violence amidst a film that already has many shocking scenes of violence. And Drive is a violent film. In compact scenes later in the film, the screen explodes with grisly violence that shocks and disgusts more than it thrills. This lack of revelling in the violence is due to Refn’s desire to resist sensationalism, but it’s also due in part to the film legacy that Drive is riffing on. In many ways it’s a samurai movie like Akira Kurosawa’s
Yojimbo. Just like the hero of Yojimbo, Driver is a man of mystery and the film offers no information about his past or his identity outside the events of the film. However, beyond the characters just being similar archetypes, Drive is an action film like the samurai film that spends most of its time establishing the rules of its own confined world. Once the characters’ allegiances are established, the film bursts in little violent episodes where characters are eliminated one by one, leading to an ambiguous but satisfying conclusion. It almost goes without saying that Drive is a stylish movie. From the brilliant pre-credits scene where Driver deftly navigates his getaway car to safety after a heist, Refn’s visual bravado is fully on display. Every shot seems ripe for a magazine spread and even the scenes of ultraviolence are exquisitely handled. The synth-heavy score by Cliff Martinez adds to the film’s overwhelming coolness. Unfortunately Refn’s style occasionally overwhelms the story. In a few scenes, you’re left with the feeling that you have just witnessed a music video inserted into a genre film. Luckily, these stylistic embellishments mostly add to instead of detract from the overall picture. Drive isn’t just a retro action film or the latest in a series of pretenders to Quentin Tarantino’s throne. It’s a lean, mean genre picture that has style in spades. It may leave some viewers feeling cold, but Drive builds on a great film tradition and is a rare treat of a film that will leave you thinking that Ryan Gosling may just be the coolest man alive. Drive is currently playing at Galaxy Cinemas.
Dead Midnight: a confined potboiler HOLLY CULP Copy Editor
Cabin fever takes on a whole new meaning in the latest Persephone production, Dead Midnight. This past Friday night marked the world premiere of Geoffrey Ursell’s newest play at the Remai Arts Centre. The thriller, set in Northern Saskatchewan, revolves around a man named Dane, his wife Carly and her sister Doris. The action of the play serves as a kind of countdown to midnight, during which Dane insists he has to finish a mysterious project before the clock strikes 12. Dane is a very interesting character. At first you find him likable and caring toward his wife. Later on, however, the audience becomes more aware of the true nature of his relationship with Carly. Initially, I found the actress playing Carly to be consistently missing the point. She did everything lightly, her movements were not deliberate and every line she delivered seemed too measured. She gave the constant impression of walking on eggshells. However, you soon learn that this effect was, in fact,
highly intentional. As the play progresses, Dane reveals himself to be a fanatical environmentalist obsessed with “peace and balance.” He forbids music, television and film in his home, claiming that such media keep his family under the influence and control of the evil “World Order.” Throughout the play we are reminded of the dangers of the world outside the small cabin wherein the entire play takes place. A harsh blizzard, wolves, bears and other threats are just waiting to ruin the perfect life Dane has built for himself and Carly. There is no bigger threat to this bliss than Carly’s sister, Doris. Or, as Dane likes to call her, “Poison Woman.” Doris’s role in the play serves as both comedic relief and rude awakening. Without her arrival in the dead of night, the audience would not come to the realization of how deranged Dane really is. It soon becomes apparent that the true threat is not outside at all, but within the walls of the cabin. After Doris shows up, the action of the play gets increasingly more intense as the characters begin to turn on each other and startling secrets are
revealed. It becomes starkly evident that someone is not going to live through the night. The rest of the play is dedicated to finding out who that unlucky soul will be. There are parts of the play that are legitimately frightening. It deals with a cornucopia of social problems ranging from domestic abuse to nuclear power to poaching. However, one thing that frustrated me was the audience. There were certainly humorous parts in the play that warranted a few chuckles. I wasn’t sure, however, that a thriller that dealt with serious issues like abuse and murder warranted such uproarious laughter from the crowd. Perhaps that was the intention and I have no sense of humour, but I found it extremely off-putting. Dead Midnight is both wellstructured and frightening with a satisfying conclusion. Had it not been for my aversion to the audience, my enjoyment of the play would have been totally unhindered. Dead Midnight runs until Sept. 28th at Persephone Theatre.
September 22, 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/arts
Page One and the future of news
New York Times documentary lifts the veil on the most important newspaper in the world ISHMAEL N. DARO Editor-in-Chief
The New York Times is the single most important news outlet in America. It still breaks big stories on a regular basis and has weathered the rise of tabloids, cable news and the Internet to remain one of the most respected institutions in journalism. Not bad for a paper that just celebrated its 160th birthday. For years, it was a sure bet that what ended up on the front page of the Times would lead the nightly newscasts of the big three American networks. But that front page has lost some of its lustre in the last decade and the paper is now heavily in debt as it tries to find new revenues amid declining readership. Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times lets audiences see firsthand how this newspaper of record is changing and adapting to a new world of media. Director Andrew Rossi couldn’t have chosen a better year to spend at the Times. He witnesses the internal debates about Wikileaks, the winding down of combat operations in Iraq and the introduction of monetary charges for online news. Throughout it all, one gets a sense that the Times really deserves its nickname, the Gray Lady. The company specializes in intensive and expensive reporting, the sort of “boring” news that matters. It is the ultimate expression of substance over style. Others in the news business — like Nick Denton, owner of the Gawker blog empire — may scoff at the occasionally stuffy tone of the Times but there is no denying that people at the paper still think of themselves as public servants. They feed the masses their vegetables when most others are offering junk food.
The main newsroom of the New York Times.
Of all the reporters and editors featured in the film, two stand out. The first is Brian Stelter, a blogger extraordinaire who joined the Times at only 21. He regularly has two computers in front of him and is clearly the sort of pluggedin news junkie the paper will need to survive online. The second, and undoubtedly the star of the film, is the grizzled David Carr, a no-nonsense veteran reporter and former crack addict. Both Stelter and Carr, although separated by age and experience, share the news instincts that make them worthy of working at the Times. In the most memorable part of the film, Carr visits the offices of Vice after the hip magazine strikes a deal with CNN. Vice co-
founder Shane Smith brags that his company’s video series exposed the real horrors of places like Liberia. “Everyone talked to me about cannibalism! That’s fucking crazy!” Smith tells Carr. “And the New York Times, meanwhile, is writing about surfing, and I’m sitting there going like, ‘You know what? I’m not going to talk about surfing, I’m going to talk about cannibalism, because that fucks me up.’” The gravel-voiced Carr interrupts this diatribe to stand up for his paper. “Before you ever went there, we’ve had reporters there reporting on genocide after genocide,” he reminds Smith. “Just because you put on a fucking safari helmet and looked at some poop doesn’t give you the right to insult what we do.
So continue.” This exchange really encapsulates where the Gray Lady finds herself in the 21st century. The paper still has the resources and know-how to do serious, thorough journalism. At the same time, it competes in a landscape where anyone with a camcorder and a blog has the potential to shape the news. The Times is by no means a perfect institution. Controversies like the reporting on weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq War and the years-long plagiarism of Times reporter Jayson Blair are covered in the film, but so are exemplary moments of journalism such as the publication of the Pentagon Papers at the height of the Vietnam War. The New York
Times has more influence and reach than almost any other news organization in the world, and when they screw up, it matters. But when they provide the solid journalism they are known for, it enlightens the public, champions accountability and forces others to be better. Page One is not the most important documentary one could watch, and the sometimes esoteric world of media and publishing could leave some scratching their heads, but for news junkies it is a must-see. Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times opens at the Roxy Theatre on Sept. 23. For a chance to win a ticket to see Page One, like the Sheaf on Facebook
Arcade Fire take home the Polaris Prize and $30,000 EMMA GODMERE CUP National Bureau Chief TORONTO (CUP) — If they somehow didn’t have the indie cred before, one of this year’s most successful bands has certainly solidified their top standing in the Canadian music world now. Montreal’s Arcade Fire were announced as the winners of the 2011 Polaris Music Prize for their album The Suburbs at the annual gala held at the Masonic Temple in downtown Toronto on Sept. 19. “Since the beginning of our career, we’ve been trying to get paid in an oversized novelty cheque and it’s never happened till now, so — thanks, Polaris,” multiinstrumentalist Richard Reed Parry told the packed crowd as the band accepted their prize. The indie rockers can now place that giant $30,000 novelty cheque beside the Grammy, Juno and Brit award trophies they’ve already scooped up this year. But Steve Jordan, founder and executive director of the Polaris
Music Prize, doesn’t think the band’s previous wins will have an effect on this particular endeavour. “There’s no doubt that this is the biggest selling band that’s ever won Polaris and certainly that’s going to extend our reach. But it’s not our objective to have that kind of reach,” he told journalists after the event, emphasizing the prize’s goal of celebrating artistic merit above general popularity. “What we’re trying to create — it’s not as much about picking a winner at the end of the whole contest as it is about the conversation that happens about music,” Jordan explained. In terms of putting that cash prize to good use, the band suggested upon ascending the stage that they would invest the winnings into their recording studio. “To be honest, we hadn’t really thought about it much because we didn’t expect to win,” frontman Win Butler admitted after the gala. “But we started a studio outside of Montreal after our first record, and whenever we haven’t been
Arcade Fire fulfills their dream of receiving a large novelty check.
using it, we’ve let bands go in there and record for pretty cheap,” he said, noting that fellow shortlisters Timber Timbre and Colin Stetson
have stopped in before. “We’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to have a wealth of resources at our disposal,” said
Parry. “And as artists, that’s the greatest luxury in life — to have resources and time to just work on the art.”
thesheaf.com• the Sheaf • September 22, 2011
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September 22, 2011 • the sheaf • thesheaf.com/opinions
What is the strangest place you have ever thrown up?
“A gym bag in my buddy’s car.”
“The Value Village parking lot.”
Fake News of the Week Hugo Chavez is a gift God: Venezuelans
A recently conducted poll shows that Venezuelan citizens overwhelmingly approve of President Hugo Chavez’ performance. “Chavez is the best thing to have ever happened to us,” said Miguel Camacho, a street vendor in Caracas. “I only wish there were more hours in a day for us to praise the president,” he said while a soldier gently prodded him in the ribs with his rifle. The survey found that despite Chavez’s authoritarian tendencies over the last decade, 128 per cent of the country views him favorably. Asked whether they would consider supporting another politician in the 2012 presidential election, most Venezuelans answered, “Dear God, why would you ask me that? I have a wife and kids!”
trips on stairs , crowd
holds back laughter
Last Thursday, at 11:42 a.m., a crowd watched as some bro tumbled down the stairs of the Arts tunnel. Janie Stevens, who witnessed the comedy, said, “Yeah, I wanted to laugh, but I just grinned and kept walking.” Kyle Stevens, another bystander recalls the event: “It made me feel a little better about my day. I’m not a sadist, but it’s great when it’s not you, you know?” Moments after he fell, Chad “Champ” Stevens spoke to reporters. “I played it pretty cool. Good thing none of
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my bros saw it. They’d give me shit for sure.” But hours later, Stevens was crestfallen to see the event posted on YouTube. Within days, several auto-tune remixes of “Bro biffs hard” were already circulating on the web. “I had to break up with Chad,” Stevens’ girlfriend Brittany later said. “He’s a loser now.” Stevens says the event really opened his
“ALL over the bathroom.”
“The kitchen sink.”
eyes. “I used to think people who tripped in public turned out just fine. But, it ruined my life.
tries to eat silently
Earlier this week, Charles Thompson, a second-year kineseology student, failed to “eat silently” on the third floor of the Murray Library. According to Thompson, “I pulled out all the stops. I brought a sandwich, cause that’s a nice quiet food. I picked an empty corner. I even chewed with my mouth closed!”
But Thompson was shaken when he heard a guy behind him “sighing loudly.” “I knew what he was trying to say,” said Thompson. “Something like ‘I’m here to get my diploma. And you’re here for what? The sandwiches? Why don’t you eat in the food court like a normal person. You sick, twisted pervert.’ ” Thompson, having only two bites of his sandwich remaining, packed up and left with his tail between his legs. Moments later, the guy behind him opened a bag of Sun Chips and started texting his buddy.
thesheaf.com/arts • the Sheaf • September 22, 2011