BA PR SKE EV T B IE AL W L
McMASTER UNIVERSITY’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2013 VOL. 84 NO. 12
Campus Store pulls offensive costumes Julia Redmond News Editor
“Sexy Indian Princess” is one of several racially insensitive costumes that were removed from sale at the Campus Store.
The McMaster Campus Store came under criticism this week for controversial choices in costumes available for sale. The store offered Halloween costumes for the first time this year as part of its expanded merchandise. But not all the costumes went over well with McMaster students. The selection of costumes available included racially offensive offerings such as “Sexy Indian Princess” and “Eskimo Cutie,” both designed for women. Photos of the costumes were published in executive editor Jemma Wolfe’s editorial on The Silhouette’s website on Oct. 25, in response to the offerings in the Campus Store and cultural appropriation during Halloween. The images were circulated online, bringing the attention to the wider McMaster community— and provoking a major outcry. Donna Shapiro, director of the Campus Store, explained that the organization had not anticipated such a response. “We didn’t really even suspect this angle as we started down this road,” Shapiro said. “I guess it’s been a long time since I’ve been in a party store to look at what costumes are available.” Upon hearing of the available costumes, fourth-year Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour student Alan Rheaume started a petition asking that the Campus Store immediately remove the costumes, calling them “obscene and offensive towards Indigenous students at McMaster and aborad [sic]” and arguing that they violated the MSU’s Anti-Oppression Policy. “I started the petition…so we could end this offensive business practice that has no place in an institution of higher education,” said Rheaume, who is a member of the McMaster First Nations Students Association. “My goal was not only to get the costumes removed from the bookstore, but also to spread
Student outcry forces bookstore to remove insensitive Halloween stock awareness about the widespread cultural appropriation inherent in Halloween celebrations.” Rheaume’s petition, started on change.com, was established hours after the photos surfaced on Friday, Oct. 25. He was seeking 500 signatures; by the time it closed later in the weekend, 543 people had signed. The Campus Store pulled the racist costumes less than 24 hours after complaints were made, removing them from sale before the store opened on Saturday. Even through the controversy of the selections, observers praised the store’s swift response. “I was happy on that front… for the [Campus Store] listening and being willing to respond like that,” said MSU President David Campbell of the quick remedy. While the removal of the costumes was a welcome response, the problems associated with the sale of the costumes still resonated in the Mac community. “Inappropriate Halloween costumes are not specific to McMaster, however we are concerned when such costumes appear within our own campus community,” wrote the McMaster Indigenous Studies Program and Indigenous Services in a comment to The Silhouette. “[This] has been an embarrassment to the entire McMaster community, and hopefully these events can spark a dialogue on critical thought and informed decision making.” The release referred to a third costume that was also deemed offensive for its endorsement of rape culture. In addition to the racially insensitive costumes, the Campus Store sold a footballthemed costume marketed to women with lettering on the shirt saying, “tackle me.” “The issue of costumes at the McMaster Campus Store extends beyond the problematic representations of Indigenous peoples, and Indigenous women specifically, as there were other costumes that were also offensive to other groups that condoned rape culture.” The costume in question was pulled in the afternoon on Oct. 26, shortly after the original two were removed from sale. The store had pursued Hal-
loween costumes as a way to boost sales in October. “Things slow down in the course materials area [in October], so we have some transitional space,” explained Shapiro. “Halloween was just a good fit because it happened to fit the timeline.” The idea to stock costumes came from Deidre Henne, McMaster’s Chief Financial Officer and Associate Vice-President (Administration), who worked with the Campus Store to help boost revenue. The store has faced declining profits in recent years from decreased textbook sales, seeing a drop of 10 to 20 per cent per year, but is still mandated to contribute its profits, usually roughly $1 million, to the Student Affairs and University Operating budgets. “They would not have sold costumes…had I not suggested it,” said Henne, who described the decision to stock them as “an innocent one.” As proposed by Henne, the Campus Store sought a partnership with Party City, a New Jersey-based retailer. The company traditionally establishes a bunch of “pop-up” stores across North America seasonally for events like Halloween, but used their deal with Mac as an opportunity to pilot selling stock in a campus setting. Party City rented the space from the Campus Store, and stocked the same selection of costumes that is available in their regular locations. “There was nothing in front of that for vetting their costumes,” said Shapiro. Considering the reaction, Henne concluded, “on-campus screening is probably necessary.” “Hindsight is 20/20,” she said. “I think by bringing [these costumes] onto campus, it put a different lens onto it. I think in fairness it’s a good lens to put on it, it’s just about what appropriate actions the Campus Store should take when those things are arranged.” It remains to be seen whether the Campus Store will continue to sell costumes in future years. @juliaeredmond
Mac partners with Chrysler for $18.2M project J J Bardoel Silhouette Intern McMaster University has revealed a new five-year, $18.2 million partnership with Chrysler, along with additional funding from the Canadian government, with the intent to develop new advanced energy efficient electrical vehicles. Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of State for Science and Technology, revealed the agreement Oct. 25 during an event held at the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre. Chrysler will invest $9.25 million to the program, with an additional $8.93 million provided by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, an agency within Automotive Partnership Canada, which supports the initiative of increased industry research at Canadian universities. “Our Government is investing in automotive research and
development to put greener, better-performing vehicles on the road to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians,” said Rickford. “Today’s announcement allows Canada’s knowledge and know-how to be shared with even more people and businesses from around the world and provides us with even greater opportunity for growth.” The agreement follows Chrysler Group’s various endeavours into the electrical market, notably the launch of the 2013 Fiat 500e, a battery-electric vehicle, and extensive research into vehicle-to-grid technologically. All work will be done at McMaster, where 80 graduate and undergraduate engineering students, 20 Chrysler engineers, 16 faculty members and seven McMaster research engineers will team up, having access to Chrys-
ler group laboratories and test vehicles. “This project harnesses the kind of intellectual capital and collaboration required to respond to such challenges,” said Bob Lee, Chrysler Group Vice President and Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering. “The result – superior technology developed from efficient new processes.” The project came about through Chrysler’s push for further advances in energy efficient powertrains (vehicles) in their product line. In order to do so, numerous prototypes will be developed based off of varying concepts of vehicular electrification; power electronics, electric machines, motor control, energy management systems, embedded software and electrified powertrain architecture and optimization Rickford also revealed a
three-year agreement with a $3.9 million investment, with $2 million from NSERC and $1.4 million from four different industrial partners, one of them Chrysler. Remaining funds will come from CANMET, a part of Natural Resources Canada that works with the energy industry. “Proliferating the use of strong, lightweight materials such as aluminum and magnesium is among the most promising avenues to reduce the energy demand on vehicle powertrains. Reductions in energy demand are key contributors to improved fuel economy,” said Tony Mancina, Head of Chrysler Group’s Automotive Research Development Centre. The project looks to research potential ways to incorporate weight-saving alloys. Work will take place predominantly at McMaster, with research support coming from Ryerson University
and University of Trento in Italy. The partnership will also have access to Fiat’s Italian based arm, Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A., for research. A primary goal of the technology being developed between the McMaster and Chrysler partnership is affordability, due to the high production cost often associated with electrical vehicles. Reliability, durability, weight, size and energy storage will also be key focuses during development. Although Chrysler will acquire varying technological advances courtesy of the project, McMaster students involved will gain vital experience in a rapidly growing development in the automotive industry as well as potential job opportunities for graduate students. The five-year plan will be split into three phases, with the final phase set for 2018.
Marriage is not enough
Local venues for vintage threads PAGE B6
Mac continues through playoffs; wins @ Ottawa
REVIEW: THE COUNSELOR PAGE C8
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Editors Julia Redmond & Tyler Welch & Tomi Milos Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone 905.525.9140 x27117
POLICE BEGIN HEAVY PATROLLING OF THESIL.CA AREA AROUND MAC
Mac gets graded The Globe and Mail released its Student Satisfaction Survey results, grading Canadian universities University was also near the top of the list for reputation with employers and quality of teaching and learning. An annual Globe and Mail survey Mac was joined near the top has given McMaster University of most grading categories by The the highest grades in the counUniversity of Western Ontario, ty in some areas and deemed it McGill, University of Alberta and worst in the nation for others. University of Waterloo. The 2013 Canadian UniThe report also shed light versity Report was released by on some obvious areas of student The Globe and Mail on Oct. 23, dissatisfaction. including the annual student McMaster was graded worse satisfaction survey results. than any university, of every size McMaster University pergrouping, when it came to course formed well in most areas and registration. achieved an The locally overall satiswell-known faction grade fact of SOof A, only LAR’s need being eclipsed “McMaster was for change is by Western graded worse than any now nationally University—a recognised. consistent university [in course The school theme throughregistration.]” is also tied for out most of the last, among report. large instiSchools tutions, with are graded York Univerand ranked in sity in terms of city satisfaction, separate groups according to size. while other schools in Toronto This ensures that, for instance, and universities in Montreal and McMaster, with a student body Ottawa received favourable grades approaching 30,000, is not directand comprised of the top six on ly measured against Redeemer the list. University College and its populaYork fared the worst among tion of about 900 students. large universities, acheiving an In the large university categooverall satisfaction grade of C+. ry, McMaster tied for the highest Medium sized University of grade in categories like research Guelph and Queen’s University opportunity, campus atmosphere were given the highest grades in and academic counselling. The Tyler Welch Assistant News Editor
their catagory, while University of Windsor sits at the bottom of the preverbial barrel. Grant MacEwan University and University of New Brunswick- Frederiction faired best and worst for small sized universities. Schools termed “very small” did well for the most part. Every university in that catagory, with the exception of Brandon University, acheived a grade of B+ or highter. The Globe’s report is different from traditional university rankings in that it is not just a ranking system. The Report gives grades to schools, and takes into account opinions for surveyed students. Unlike the QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education Rankings and the Shanghai Rankings, the Globe and Mail Student Satisfaction Survey is more focussed on things like university environment and how students feel their university is doing, in addition to quantitative data on research opportunities and the like. Where the other ranking systems measure things like Nobel Prize winners, endowment account balances and income of graduates, the Satisfaction Survey attempts to grade things that are more difficult to measure. @TylerWelch4
Petition to free women’s products of tax Students petition to add feminine hygiene products to list of tax-free goods Sarah O’Connor Staff Reporter University classes encourage students to think critically and advocate for what they believe in. But for one Mac student, this advocacy continues outside the classroom. Olivia Fasullo, a first-year student, noticed while working at part-time at Fresh Co. that GST was being placed on diapers, formula and feminine hygiene products while ice cream, coffee and other dessert items were tax free. This inspired Fasullo into starting a petition to eliminate the GST from all formula, diapers, and feminine hygiene products, because they are a necessity and right to all women and babies in Canada. Having originally pursued the subject as an independent project in her Women’s Studies class, Fasullo has been hard at work to move her petition beyond the classroom. Her activist group is called
Tax Free Timbits, inspired by the fact that Timbits are tax-free while feminine hygiene products, formula and diapers aren’t. She has contacted numerous MPs and MPPs seeking support, and got Hamilton mayor Bob Bratina to
sign her petition. By Oct. 25, Fasullo had around 150-200 signatures and hopes to expand that to 5,00010,000 signatures. While she has had luck in McMaster community some surprising obstacles have attempted to block her way. “One person tried to make it a class issue saying that ‘maybe for poor women this is an issue
but for rich women I don’t feel bad that they have to pay tax because they can afford it,’” Fasullo explained of one person who refused to sign her petition. “I said that rich men can pay for tax on their coffee, but don’t, so it’s not really a class issue, [but] an issue of dignity and necessity.” Fiona Gordon, another firstyear student helping with the peti-
tion, speculated as to why there was low student support. “Perhaps they don’t understand the further implications of our goals,” she said. “Perhaps they think that our goal is narrow and has negative implications of other aspects of the economy.” On Oct. 19, Fasullo attended the leadership conference hosted by the Hamilton Young Liberals at McMaster and was able to speak with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Fasullo explained the petition to Wynne, who stated that she didn’t think it was appropriate to sign. “The idea to have politicians sign the petition is more difficult than I assumed,” Fasullo said. “I naïvely thought that perhaps this issue was simply overlooked which may not be the case. But some politicians simply don’t want to sign it simply for putting their name on it.” If Fasullo can get up to 5,00010,000 signatures for her petition, it may be read at the House of Commons. @notsarahconnor
CANADIAN CAMPUS NEWS Tomi Milos Features Editor
Students offered a chance to generalize
University of Toronto partners with Ford
Seven Canadian schools in top 150
YorkU online module to develop writing skills
Canadian PS education in need of facelift
In its annual Canadian University Report, The Globe and Mail noted the surge in popularity of generalist programs offered in university. The Canadian daily paper asserted that although these types of interdisciplinary programs have been around for a considerable amount of time, universities are directing their creative energy into creating curricula that “recognize that modern problems require thinkers with a broad wisdom not limited to a single field.” As many McMaster students may already know, programs like Integrated Science, Arts and Science, and Bachelor of Health Sciences programs are interdisciplinary by nature.
In light of McMaster’s landmark $24 million partnership with Chrysler, the University of Toronto announced their own $4.9 million partnership with Ford Motor Company. The aim of the initiative is to develop a greener alternative material for car parts using renewable resources extracted from wood pulp. Professor Mohini Sain of Forestry and Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry will take the helm of a team looking to use two ingredients from wood pulp to concoct a durable composite that will lead to a more environmentally-friendly manufacturing process as well as reduce vehicle emissions.
Seven Canadian universities have been recognized in the 2013 Global Employability University Ranking released by Paris’ Emerging human resources consultancy. U of T continues to reign supreme among the seven, vaulting ten spots from last year into the 14th global position. McGill (30), UBC (51), uMontreal/HEC Montreal (59) and McMaster (73) all round out the top 100, while uWaterloo and WesternU rank 114 and 119. In order to devise the rankings, Emerging conducted an online survey of 2,756 recruiters from 20 countries, who were asked to choose from a list local universities that in their eyes produced the best candidates.
York University launched a new online module constructed to help students struggling with academic assignments. The Student Papers and Academic Research Kit modules are organized into 3 categories, “Getting Started”, “Exploring” and “Pulling it Together”, and concentrate on integral academic literacy skills like time management, research strategies, essay structure, essay editing and creating bibliographies. To engage students growing up in a digital age, the module shall include interactive components like interactive components as test-yourknowledge quizzes, videos, and printable worksheets designed to enhance academic literacies.
In a recent National Post op-ed, Western University President Amit Chakma elaborated on how Canada is lagging behind other countries in knowledge creation and adoption and implored the nation to “recognize the value in creating world-class universities, and then find the political will and public support to change how our universities are funded.” In support of his argument and the need for change, Chakma cited multiple 2013 university rankings in which their international compatriots outstripped Canadian schools. He pointed at the “bums-in-seats” model as an archaic barrier to excellence.
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Executive Editor Jemma Wolfe Email email@example.com Phone 905.525.9140 x22052
This MacPride week, learn to be an ally Jemma Wolfe Executive Editor I write this as a cisgender, heterosexual, white woman who has never known what it is like to face hate for what I look like, how I identify and who I love. I acknowledge that I’m writing from a position of privilege, and do not claim to speak for or represent McMaster’s queer community. Recently, I went to my first LGBTQ+ focused event. Never before had I been in an environment where my sexuality was a minority, and where I couldn’t identify with the lived experience of most of the people in the room. I felt awkward about it. I was uncomfortable with occupying queer space. It reminded me that this, in the tiniest possible way, is the daily experience of marginalized queer folk. And I think being reminded of my own privilege in this way was a really healthy thing for a straight white girl. Learning to be an ally to and within the queer community can start with being present and acknowledging and reflecting upon one’s own privileged
awkwardness in order to show support and solidarity. And there’s no better week than next week to start that journey. From Nov. 4-8, 2013, McMaster will be celebrating MacPride, the weeklong celebration of the Mac LGBTQ+ and trans* community put on by the Queer Students Community Centre. Major events include Tuesday’s MacPride March at 2 p.m. outside of Commons, Wednesday’s Steel Cut Queer Movie Night at The Factory Media Centre (228 James St. North) at 7 p.m., and Thursday’s Drag Show (time and place T.B.A.). If you’re a tentative ally, know that you’re encouraged to participate. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend. There are some things you can keep in mind over the course of next week (and beyond), though, in order to be a particularly effective ally. Make a point to consistently check your privilege and be aware of the bias and perspective it gives you. Don’t try and speak for the community you’re advocating for; this week is about celebrating their voice, not yours. Own up
to your mistakes as you make them, and don’t be defensive if others point out your shortcomings. Try your best to create community and support systems by speaking out against oppression when it’s the right time for that, but more often just being quiet and listening to oft-suppressed queer voices. There’s even Ally Training happening on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in MUSC 213 (registration required) to aid in this process. I am not trying to make Pride week about allies. It’s not. It’s about celebrating the LGBTQ+ community at McMaster. Allies can be part of creating space and platforms for LGBTQ+ voices, but they’re not the focus and by outlining positive allyship I’m not trying to make them out to be. I am by no means particularly good at being an ally. I don’t know that anyone would claim to be. Rather, I would say that I am constantly learning, trying, supporting and growing. And really, that’s what I’m encouraging in others. I’ll see you at the march. @jemma_wolfe
LETTER TO THE EDITOR Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative misrepresented in recent article In reply to “Apathy about human trafficking” by Jamie Mudrick, published Oct. 10, 2013 on A11 The Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative (HTAI), a working group of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), was recently covered in your newspaper, in the print issue dated Oct. 10, 2013. Two of our co-founders, Sukhbir Thind and Letizia D’Alimonte were interviewed for this piece and they both felt that they were severely misquoted. Furthermore, facts about human trafficking and information about Canadian laws related to human trafficking were both misrepresented. There have been slight improvements in immigration laws that concern human trafficking, contrary to the
article, which states that there are no laws. The article also states that there is no criminalization of those who are trafficking. This is not true as there have been prosecutions in some cases, and most advocates agree that better laws are needed. According to the article, Letizia stated that “everyone is too busy doing work, they are leaving no time to promote the cause,” in reference to Walk With Me, an organization that aids victims of human trafficking. Letizia affirms that she did not make this statement. Walk With Me is a very prominent organization and a well-known
advocate of the issue. Sukh is a volunteer there and has received immense encouragement and support to start this new initiative. To accuse the organization of not promoting the cause is inaccurate and unacceptable. Lastly, the article was written poorly, and many statements were ambiguous or unclear. The HTAI group cares deeply for this social justice issue and is very thankful to OPIRG for providing them with a platform and support to raise awareness. • Nikhat Bhayani, HTAI writing liaison
to creating change.
to lost mondays.
to campus costumes.
to motown. i hope.
to swedish berry sugar crashes.
to too many monkeys, and the bad touch. to really, really good news. to twitter. to kim crosby. to trick-or-treating with t.w.
to “aged” whisky. to dimensions. to red rose tea. yuck. to low-swinging tails. to my messy desk. to foot cramps.
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Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
“Hey, how are you?” “I’m good, how are you?” “Good.” And it goes on. Ever since my arrival at university last fall, I’ve heard these conversations erupt all around me. At coffee shops, in lecture halls, at the grocery store, no matter where I go I can’t seem to avoid overhearing such painfully (to my ears, at least) mundane conversations that appear to go nowhere. My attempts at such conversations result in an awkward silence with the other person checking their phone and me simply staring off into the distance and shifting nervously from one foot to the other, wishing I was at home in my bed, surrounded by my books and wrapped in the warmth of my enormous blanket. I’m so accustomed to diving into familiar topics with friends and family that I’ve forgotten how to converse with strangers. Or perhaps I wasn’t equipped with such a skill in the first place. And so, my first year at university passed with me connecting with a bare minimum of people, people who I know through friends and housemates and people from my high school who chose to attend the same university. This year would be different, I promised myself. This year I would try and embrace the uncomfortable presence of others. And embrace it I did. The morning of Clubsfest I wandered around campus, signing up for various activities that piqued my interest. When I showed up to my first dance practice, I was extremely nervous. My housemates did not sign up with me so I was on my own. Everyone else seemed to have a friend. I wanted to run back into
Editor Sam Godfrey Email firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 905.525.9140 x27117 Sunshine List
Together is better Shamudi Gunasekera The Silhouette
the safety of my blanket. Instead, I took a deep breath and approached someone. At first, I did encounter many who were as awkward as I was, who didn’t seem interested in making conversation, or who couldn’t get past making polite conversation. But then I encountered the rare gems that were surprisingly easy to talk to. Not too long ago, I decided to attend a board game night held by one of the clubs I am now a part of. It was quite a small gathering of people, and everyone seemed comfortable with each other. I seated myself at the very edge of the couch as I watched everyone play. The person next to me kept asking for my opinion for which cards he should choose for the game of Cards Against Humanity. I was a stranger to him, but I enjoyed the ease at which the conversation started. There was no questioning of what program I was in, nor was there an awkward pause where we knew not what to say. Little by little, I found other such people. I had to endure a number of dull conversations, but I found people who I had things in common with, who didn’t ask the same questions over and over again. And as I kept going to more practices and meetings, I interacted with them more and the more I got to know them, the more I liked them. I enjoy hearing people laugh as they tell me their stories, the corners of their eyes crinkling up, a certain light in their eyes as they go to far off places only they can see. I still have trouble talking to strangers, but once the conversation gets past the monotonous questions that I’ve answered too many times, we actually become friends. Slowly, but surely, I’m getting to the point where I feel comfortable conversing with strangers.
Shamudi Gunasekera gets out of his comfort zone to find community at McMaster, while Inemesit Etokudo talks about the one she’s already got.
Inemesit Etokudo The Silhouette To begin, I want to make sure that the argument of this article is not misconstrued. This article is not seeking to debate the issue of sexism that may have arisen from the original article or even trying to bash a positive article that I agree with over many points. Rather, I am going to try to tackle the incomplete portrayal of Greek Life here on campus as a direct result of the exclusion of sororities from this conversation. Not once did this article say the word “sorority”, or even allude to the fact that they are a real entity on campus fighting for many of the same issues as fraternities. In order to discuss Greek Life, both sides need to be discussed in unison to paint the entire story. To even begin discussing such a controversial issue, both sides of the topic needed to have been explored fully. Negative opinions of Greek Life, and more specifically sororities, stem from lack of knowledge about the deeply embedded tradition and community they inherently posses. The fact that no sororities were so much as mentioned in this article only goes on to perpetuate this fact, providing the general public - who are very unaware of Greek Life here at McMaster and in the Hamilton Area - an incomplete synopsis of the larger issue. This frustration is emanated across members of diverse sororities, as expressed by Brittany Collura, a fourth year Religious Studies and philosophy student and member of Delta Pi who comments that, “We’re a part of Greek Life just as much as the fraternities. We offer the same opportunities and bonding that the boys have and we too suffer from the lack of school recognition. It’d be nice if we were at least seen by
the public as active members of the Greek community.” Yosra Musa, a fourth-year English Literature student and Membership and Recruitment Executive of Nu Omega Zeta, perfectly summed up this fact when she expressed that, “Sororities create safe social spaces, and by excluding them you are excluding the work they do.” The bottom line is this: it is all about fair representation. The original article definitely highlights some very important points about Greek Life here on campus and will undoubtedly go strides in spreading the positivity and richness that Greek Life does in fact bring to a campus; however, these conclusions were reached without consulting an integral part of this system. I want to conclude by saying that as a heavily invested member of McMaster Greek Life, I am not in opposition to this article. The fact that an article about Greek Life has been published is a huge positive and will truly open up the arena for a more in depth discussion to be had, and for that I am beyond ecstatic; however, sororities exist too. It is understood “that when McMaster’s policy was implemented, fraternities were the only form of Greek Life on campus but times have changed and there are quite a few sororities on campus today” – Hilary Chase, a recent graduate of McMaster, and one of the earliest supporters of Greek Life on Campus through her work with Tau Sigma Phi. So here is my ode to my Greek Life sisters here on campus. I appreciate the hard work and dedication you put into breaking the Hollywood-manufactured stereotypes and being an influential part of our community. Your hard work does not go unnoticed and I hope this is just the first part of a discussion that needs to be had.
Members of sorority house Nu Omega Zeta.
EMMA HALE / WERTIGO HAMILTON
FEEDBACK What do you do to unwind?
Cassandra Jeffery looks into what we think about getting away from it all. ESCAPISM, A9 “I watch a lot of T.V.”
Hayley Regis, Sociology/Linguistics III
Erin Traynor, Humanities I
“Put on some vinyls, listen to good music. Hang out with different members of Mac’s community and student services.”
Jason Wolwowicz, Honours Political Science and French IV ELIZA POPE / ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
There’s more to equality than “I do” Ana Qarri Staff Reporter Last March, many of my Facebook friends changed their profile pictures to red equal signs, showing their support for marriage equality in the United States. A while later, the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Section 3 didn’t allow the extension of full federal rights to same-sex couples whose marriage was recognized in their state, essentially invalidating same-sex marriages federally. The hype that was created by the Human Rights Campaign – a group “working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights” to promote marriage equality - significantly died down after this decision, so much that I rarely see any posts about marriage equality on my newsfeed anymore. They only come up when same-sex marriage gets legalized somewhere. It comes as no surprise that more people will show their support for a cause when all it requires of them is a profile picture change, and leaves me wondering whether any of my friends who jumped on the equal sign bandwagon have ever really spent more than 10 seconds thinking about same-sex marriage and human rights in the US. Don’t get me wrong, I ap-
preciate the sentiment. I love knowing that so many of my friends who themselves identify as heterosexual think that it’s only logical to extend full rights to LGBTQ+ people. However, what I don’t love as much is knowing that the fight to strike down one section of DOMA and the larger fight for marriage equality has overshadowed so many other aspects of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in Canada, the US and internationally. Campaigns for marriage equality in the US have taken up disproportionate amounts of media coverage compared to other issues that queer people face. The reality is that a signed bill doesn’t make our societies inclusive and accepting, which is what we should be aiming for. Violence against queer and trans individuals continues at high rates. Up to 40 per cent of homeless Canadians are self-identified as LGBTQ+. High numbers of mental health issues, addiction and attempted suicides are also consistent problems in the community that are often related to their struggles as a queer or trans* (or both) person. Not only does marriage equality not magically fix the existing social constructs and prejudices surrounding the queer community, but it also takes away from attempts to focus on
Open letter to the Senate Executive Committee and Undergrads of McMaster
intersectionality within the “Gay” rights movement. Shockingly, 70 per cent of all anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes target Queer People of Colour. And in 2012 alone, there were 256 recorded murders of trans* individuals. When Bill C-279 (which included gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination) was up for debate this year, it got nowhere near as much coverage as the strike of DOMA’s section did. People argue that while marriage equality isn’t the ultimate solution, it is a step forward. While I agree, I think focusing all our efforts on a single issue that is definitely not the largest shared struggle of queer people is taking away from the potential of the movement. Marriage equality has become sensationalized in Western media, its achievement being made to seem like the final frontier of gay rights. The reality is that a lot of us are far from done, and some of us have just started to find each other. So while we’re changing our profile pictures and liking photos of middle- and upper-class same-sex couples getting married in City Halls, it’s important to remember who we’re forgetting. @anaqarri
Ken Seville The Silhouette Next week, you, members of the Senate Executive Committee will make a decision on whether to ratify the results of the recent University Planning and Budget Committee election. With under four per cent of eligible voters casting their ballot, you have to make a choice between ratifying the results and welcoming a warm body for quorum, or choosing to run another election in which a democratically significant percentage of students clearly select a representative. This decision will be very revealing as to how the Senate views student representation. To accept a result of four per cent turnout indicates that the Senate believes it takes no special skill to be an effective representative for the over 20,000 undergraduate students. I argue that this belief is incorrect. This position requires the candidate to integrate the diverse interests of undergraduates and apply them when considering major decisions that affect all university stakeholders, including deliberating on a nearly one
billion dollar budget. Does that sound like a job that just anyone can do effectively? As previously stated, this decision will be very revealing. As for possible solutions, I believe that running the university-wide elections concurrently with the MSU presidential election in February will increase undergraduate participation to a similar level of approximately 2025 per cent of eligible voters. In a two-pronged attack on voter apathy, McMaster University should share in the responsibility, along with student organizations, student leaders, and students themselves (the electorate) of raising awareness of the positions to which student leaders are elected and the decisions made by those in said positions. If university-wide decision-making bodies want true representation and not just a warm body, we must reject minimum participation in elections and actively foster an environment where an informed electorate makes democratically significant choices for their representatives.
“Under four percent of eligible voters casting their ballot.”
STUDENT ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES NOTIFICATION TO STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES FOR DECEMBER 2013 FINAL EXAM ACCOMMODATIONS All newly identified or returning students with a disability MUST attend an appointment with a Disability Coordinator before November 22, 2013 in order to receive final exam accommodations for December 2013. For more information, please contact STUDENT ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES (SAS) by phone: 905-525-9140 x 20302; or, in person at: MUSC (Student Centre) B-107; or by email at: email@example.com
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Moving forward from midterms Karen Piper The Silhouette Every year I listen to fellow students ramble on about how stressful midterms can be and the burden they have to bear of earning a reasonably ‘good’ grade on these seemingly purposeful academic assessments. Well, with Fall 2013 being my first term at McMaster, I generally had a positive attitude towards midterms and vowed my best to study hard and perform exceptionally well. Of course, that is in a fairytale world where Thanksgiving break does not exist right before most midterms, where there are no group assignments due during the same period and one where you actually have no other life besides school. Needless to say, every one of us has multiple responsibilities, some more paramount than
others. However, should we blame our poor performance on midterm examinations on the fact that we have other commitments? Now, please do not misinterpret this previous statement, I am well aware of the fact that many students do work tirelessly and subsequently do achieve exceptionally good grades. Nonetheless, every time I hear a conversation about midterms, it mainly has negative connotations. Why is this so? Are we ashamed to admit that we do not have proper time management skills or that we failed to attend many of our classes during the first half of the term? In Organizational Behavior (Commerce 2BA3), there is a unit called ‘Self
Serving Bias’ which states that one generally has the propensity to take full credit for successful outcomes and deny responsibility for failures. Therefore, if we receive a good grade on one midterm, we accept all the praise and recognition associated with that outcome. On the other hand, if our grade is disappointing, we tend to blame this outcome on the ‘poor teaching strategies’ of the professor, confusing terminology on the exam and so forth. As a student myself, after receiving a few midterm grades last week which were less than outstanding, I decided to do some self-reflection; for once I stopped blaming external factors for my “average” performance and decided that I needed to take full responsibility for my below par performance. I suggest that we all do the same. It is true that midterms are unfortunately always around the Thanksgiving period. During this time, we would rather forget about our academic responsibilities and spend quality time with our family and loved ones. And who can blame us? However, maybe if we developed an efficient study-schedule that commenced at least a week or two before Thanksgiving, we wouldn’t be tangled in a dichotomy between studying and turkey. Ample use of plenty idle time during the first few weeks of the term can save students from a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety come mid-October. In other words, procrastination is our biggest downfall. Our saving grace should be learning from our past midterm experiences and developing a plan to perform better each year by strategizing how we are going to manage our study time. Having said this, many midterms are now over! Whew! It is almost pointless to agitate over what we could have done better. Now is the time to enforce new, productive habits that will lead to a better performance in the final examinations. I will leave you with a quote that has great meaning to me and is quite relevant to university life: “It is not about how many times you fail, but how many times you strive to succeed after failure.”
A shady Sunshine List Christina Vietinghoff The Silhouette Among the most highly paid at McMaster, men dominate. The No. 88 ranked university in the world presents an interesting example of the gendered wage gap amongst faculty and staff. Pay equity seems to be a problem of the past. However, women earn on average 72 cents for every dollar by a man; a figure which doesn’t even account for the racial disparity in pay, considering black men earn less than white women, and Aboriginal women earn on average 34 cents on the dollar. The provincial government created a pay equity commission to address the (gender) wage gap in 1987. Though this difference has decreased by 8 per cent, the problem persists. McMaster is an interesting example of this income disparity. Of the 967 McMaster staff on the 2012 Sunshine List (the list published by the Ontario Government of all government employees that earn over $100,000), 637 of the 967 listed are male. 65 per cent of Mac’s top-paid staff are men. In the 25 highest earners at Mac, only six are women. So what does this mean? Based on the
assumption people earn income according to their importance, it seems as though there are fewer women in the most important positions at McMaster. The Canadian Association of University Teachers presents data that seems to indicate this wage gap amongst academics persists throughout other Canadian universities as well. Women have been achieving university degrees for decades, but why have they yet to be represented in the higher positions of our institutions? It is difficult, if not impossible, to establish causality for these troubling statistics. Some hypothesize maternity leave may interrupt the traditional “progress through the ranks” system. Others argue women are discriminated against in hiring practices. CAUT presents further data showing there continues to be a significant gap between the amount of men and women who are assigned tenure. McMaster, like all institutions, still has a lot of room to improve gender equality. Until we start recognizing the gendered nature of our university and stop pretending that women have achieved equal status, nothing will change.
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
An escapist’s obsession Cassandra Jeffery The Silhouette I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. Reflecting on my four-year term here at McMaster. Reflecting on the countless part-time jobs I’ve held since the prime of my teenage youth. Reflecting on the joys and pitfalls my young life has been exposed to; the stress and temptations that hinder my ability to get any productive studying done. Amidst all of my reflection, I realized that I indulge in a certain level of escapism whenever I find myself at the breaking point of full-fledged hysteria, which unfortunately, seems to be more often than not. For example, one of my biggest vices has to be television. I could escape with a good drama or rom-com for hours. Granted I’m not always allotted such a large time frame of TV enjoyment, I’ll be the first to admit that perhaps I indulge just a tad too much in the soothing sounds of laugh tracks and witty dialogue. I’ll use my favourite show as background noise while I study. I’ll take multiple “snack breaks” just to have an excuse to pop on an episode of something involving vampires. In fact, Gilmore Girls is periodically distracting me right now as I type away. The point is, TV is in my life for better or worse and as much I would like to teeter away from my
bad habit of turning my educated brain to mush, I just can’t help it. There’s a lot to be said for escapism. In an academic and social sense it’s mostly rejected as a legitimate concept that discourages critical thinking and educational development. However, I don’t believe that my avid TV connoisseur lifestyle is a means for intervention. TV as a form of escapism allows me to shut down and forget everything going on in my life at least for just a little while. Otherwise, I’m stuck reflecting (more like overanalyzing) every thought that comes to mind—cue hysterical fit of tears and frustration. I’m not suggesting that this escapism is necessarily the best choice though, as it certainly impacts my time management skills when I decide to watch two hours of television instead of working through my readings for class the next day. However, in light of everything, I try to view TV as a culturally defining factor in my life. Yes, I understand that we live in a privileged North American, middle class world where we’ve legitimized the socially beloved concept of “me-time.” A concept that exploited sweatshop workers in Bangladesh simply could not fathom as a legitimate use of time. I get it. I could be using my valuable time much more constructively. What can I say? I’m a
product of the time. But in all seriousness, right now TV trumps reading one hundred pages of a philosophy text. Maybe as I ripen with age I’ll reflect on this moment and change my TV viewing habits forever. Now that to me is a legitimate excuse to keep on escaping with How I Met Your Mother. I’m confident when I say that I’m not the only avid TV watcher out there because media, television specifically, is so ingrained in our society (a term coined pop culture) that it becomes difficult to escape from escapism. However, what is there to be said on other forms of escapism that are most likely widely used although not as culturally accepted as television in the form of escapism? For example, critics are more likely to jump down the throat of a heroin addict than someone who watches one-too-many Seinfeld re-runs. Although it may be difficult to refrain from harsh judgement at the use of heroin as a form of escapism, I believe it’s important to understand that individual’s cultural context. Engaging in a drug such as heroin isn’t a good choice for anyone but for someone who is using the drug it probably has become the most accessible, most logical and most culturally contextual form of escaping from their everyday. Instead of
instantly explaining to a heroin user that what they are engaging in is wrong, it’s best to take a step back and talk to the person, get to the root of the problem. Why are they in fact using heroin as a form of escape? Now I can’t say that a TV watching addiction is on the same level as a heroin addiction but it helps to understand that both scenarios are derived from two different individuals who share different world experiences and different reasons as to why they need “escaping.” Furthermore, through understanding cultural context and alleviating judgment we can begin to slowly alter forms of escapism to encompass a more positive outcome. The heroin user might gradually lower the dosage or switch to a less “harmful” substance. And I might be able to gradually lower my television intake. Despite the severity of escapism, we all take part in this process in some form or another and I believe escapism can be used both negatively and positively. What I believe to be most important, though, is understand why someone engages in a form of escapism in the first place and then reflecting on your individual interaction with escapism in order to decide what’s best for you.
KAREN WANG / GRAPHICS EDITOR
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Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
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YOSEIF HADDAD / PHOTO EDITOR
Alexandra Reilly Assistant Sports Editor Looking back at the 2011 or 2012 McMaster football seasons, it would be pretty hard to imagine a football game with anything less than a sold out crowd cheering in the stands. For the 2013 McMaster football team, that thought became a reality. With the playoffs being questioned for most of Mac’s 2013 season it is hard to imagine the thought of a near empty Ron Joyce Stadium for a game like the quarterfinals. McMaster was taking on the statistically matched Ottawa Gee-Gees. It was almost a guarantee that Marauder fans would cash in to buy tickets to come out and watch their Maroon and Grey pummel that very same team the same way they did back at their home-opener in August. Sadly, the scene on Oct. 26 was in fact the exact opposite. Although weather certainly played a major role in the less than impressive
attendance on Saturday’s game, the folks that did decide to attend were all dresses accordingly, not letting the lower than normal temperatures and the rain put a damper on their Marauder spirit. Fifth-year player Michael DiCroce knows what it is like to play for a sold out at Ron Joyce Stadium and knows that this past weekend’s attendance was definitely something they were not expecting. “The past couple years when we have been on top and winning, asking for support was simple but now that we haven’t been on top and we are doing things differently it has shown through lack of support,” said DiCroce “Its unfortunate to think that they only want to be around when we are successful, because our true fans are out there for any game in any condition.” Assistant coach Jon Behie said the weather was definitely to blame but the low attendance was understandable.
“We typically haven’t had big crowds for quarterfinal games, but as we get further down the line in the playoffs that’s usually when we see higher attendance numbers,” Behie said. “We weren’t overly surprised but certainly the weather played a big factor with attendance being as low as it was, and it’s disappointing but certainly understandable under the circumstances.” Despite a quieter than normal Ron Joyce Stadium, the Marauders and the coaching staff did not let that get in the way of their mission to defeat the Gee-Gees in order to continue on in the playoffs. McMaster dominated with commending efforts from Wayne Moore who had 140 rushing yards in the game and Steven Ventresca who picked up a touchdown off an interception of Ottawa quarterback Aaron Colbon. McMaster was able to come out on top holding the Gee-Gees to a mere seven
points with the final score reading 41-7 for the men in Maroon. With the quarterfinals easily grasped, it’s now onto the semi-finals for the Marauders. Due to a Gryphons win over the Windsor Lancers, McMaster is matched up once again with their OUA rivals the Western Mustangs. With top guns Matt Sewell and Joey Cupido all healthy and back in the roster, this Western game should certainly be a much different one for the McMaster Marauders. Mike DiCroce was also another key player who was out of the line-up the last time the Marauders laced up to face Western. With him and others back in, the Marauders are definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with. “This week will be something else,” DiCroce said. “It is always a full tilt battle when we play Western and being playoffs just adds to it.” Looking back on previous seasons, knowing that the Marauders have previously taken out
the Mustangs before puts some assurance back into their preparations for Saturday’s match. “Knowing we have taken them out the past couple years in the big games has also added to the rivalry,” added DiCroce. “It’s going to come down to how deep we can dig within ourselves to battle and win the effort war throughout the game.” With TD Stadium expected to house more purple than maroon on Saturday it will all come down to McMaster’s integrity. It almost felt as though McMaster played an away game this past weekend, so being on the road in London, Ont. this weekend shouldn’t be a problem for the confident Marauders. The semifinal game kicks off at 4:30 p.m. at the home of the Purple Ponies. @Miss_AReilly
Men’s soccer suffers heartbreak Sarah O’Connor Staff Reporter After an amazing winning-streak and defeating the top ranked York Lions numerous times this season, the Marauders were defeated in overtime over the weekend by the Windsor Lancers. The loss on Oct. 26 puts an end to the team’s hope of clinching a third straight OUA title. Both the McMaster keeper Angelo Cavalluzzo and Windsor keeper Dejo Olagbegi made fantastic saves during the firsthalf. In the 60th minute, the Lancers that took the lead from a free kick 25 yards in front of the Marauder net scored by Lancer player Chris Mayorga. Trying their hardest, it wasn’t until 75 minutes in that Marauder David Serafini tied the game at
1-1 with a penalty kick. Serafini took a dangerous run at Olagbegi resulting in the keeper taking Serafini down a bit too hard in the box. After 90 minutes and still tied, the game went into overtime and both keepers continued to put on a show between the posts. Seven minutes before penalty kick time, Windsor’s Michael Pio sped past the McMaster defense and scored the winning goal. The Marauders tried to even up the score but were time was not on Mac’s side. McMaster keeper Angelo Cavalluzzo was disappointed with the loss but knows that the Marauders can expect great things to come in the future. “The loss was definitely disappointing but the team played really well today,” said Cavalluzzo.
“A lot of our team, including myself, haven’t experienced losing this early in the season but I believe this will be a good learning experience going forward into next season and give us a real drive next to do well. I’m really proud of the effort the whole team put in today, and I’m already looking forward to the great things we’ll do next year.” With the men’s soccer season now over, the Marauders can use the loss as a stepping stone for their improvement for future seasons to come. The Windsor Lancers will now be playing in the OUA East in next week’s final-four matchup. @notsarahconnor
The men’s soccer season came to an abrupt end with a loss to the Windsor Lancers on Oct. 26, ending their run for a third straight OUA title. C/O ROBERT DA SILVA
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
NEXT STOP: NATIONALS MEN
Taylor Black led the team in rebounding last year while putting up a 25.8 PER.
Transfer Leon Alexander has had an instant impact on the team, giving Mac a slashing option on the wing. Scott Hastie Managing Editor The tip-off of the 2013-14 OUA season marks 2,786 days since the McMaster Marauders last saw the CIS Final 8 tournament. That’s seven years, seven months, and 15 days. The only drought that was longer was from 1970 to 1985. This year is looking like the one where that all ends. With a roster so deep that some reserves would be starting on other OUA teams, McMaster has a shot to get back to the national tournament. Head coach Amos Connolly insists that this is the goal, but not because of the drought. “We want to get to nationals because we’re fed up of watching it. We feel that this is the level we should be playing at. History is not the motivator,” said Connolly. The 2012-13 OUA Rookie of the Year will be a key to the success of Mac’s season.
PHOTOS C/O RICHARD ZAZULAK
New year, same mantra: it’s all about the process. After seeing Danielle Boiago and Hailey Milligan put the OUA notice with simultaneous breakout seasons, McMaster finished fourth in the conference after losing to Ottawa in the bronze medal match. With those players back in the lineup and having another strong offseason according to head coach Theresa Burns, McMaster needs to pay extra attention to detail in order to take the next step. This is familiar territory, as last year the team did just that. Mac stumbled out of the gate, going 3-4 in interlock play, but recovered in the second half to make their way to the bronze medal game. That bounce-back didn’t surprise Burns. As the team followed the process and the young bench began to round into form, McMas-
Adam Presutti will look to bounce back after an injuryriddled 2012-13 season.
Aaron Redpath is the team’s X-factor. “As he goes, we go,” says coach Connolly.
Entering his fourth year as the bench boss for the Marauders, Connolly truly owns the program now. While in past years there has been hold over from the Joe Raso era, there is only Nathan Pelech remaining from that period. Pelech is a team leader and one of the players Connolly says he has the best relationship with. It’s been a turbulent four years, but there is a palpable optimism surrounding the team this year. What has fostered that optimism has been the team’s decision to move towards building a culture of family and accountability. Through pre-season road trips to Laval, Que. and the University of Calgary, Connolly says he sees an increased intensity in the team. The core of the team is experienced now; Adam Presutti, Joe Rocca, Nathan McCarthy and
Aaron Redpath all have two years under their belt, Taylor Black made the leap to being a top player in country in his third year and Pelech is providing the veteran mentorship that a national contender needs (see: 2013 Lakehead Thunderwolves, who had six fifthyear players and grabbed a CIS silver medal finish.) “There’s a maturity there now. You can see it in the way the guys communicate with each other and with the young guys,” said Connolly of that 2011 rookie class. While those players have stepped into leadership roles, Black has also taken on the responsibility of leading this team to nationals. In 2012-13, Black finished fourth in the country in Player Efficiency Rating, a sabermetric that boils every statistic down to one number to gauge a player’s
effectiveness. The players ahead of him? Phil Scrubb, Tyson Hinz and Clinton Springer-Williams – all starting players for the CIS champion Carleton Ravens. The Stoney Creek, Ont. native also rebounded at an impressive clip, grabbing 22 per cent of Mac’s defensive rebounds. All of the on-court pieces are in place for Black, but for this team to reach its potential, it will need Black to get more out of his teammates. “You can see it now. You can see the way he commands himself in practice and the way our guys trust him. This is a break-out for him and we’re just working on him simplifying his game,” Connolly said of the Marauder’s lead power forward. The path to nationals runs through arguably the toughest conference in the CIS. With the
Vanessa Bonomo has the ability to carry the McMaster offence with her play-making skill.
Rachael Holmes will be a major contributor off the bench after a strong 2013 showing. ter thrashed teams like Laurier and Brock who had beat them earlier in the year. “This year, we need to get to a peak quicker and maintain it through November. Then we need to get to a higher peak in the second half,” said Burns. Getting to that peak earlier in the season is going to be very difficult, as the Marauders are without two key members of the rotation. Isabel Ormond had shoulder surgery over the summer. The jack-of-all-trades wing player suffered a shoulder injury in a game against Carleton in November 2012, popped it back in and played through discomfort all season. Burns says there were multiple times after that where Ormond would have to pop the shoulder back in throughout the season. The timeline for her recov-
ery is to get “Izzy” back on court in January. The anticipated debut of top-recruit Jelena Mamic is going to be delayed for a year, as she tore her ACL before even graduating high school. Burns will rely on Vanessa Bonomo, Boiago and Milligan as the “engine” of the squad, and if any of them have an off night, McMaster could struggle. Last year, Mac had deep rotation, with nine players averaging double-digit minutes per game. Expect the same this year, as the coach looks to employ a unique strategy. “We don’t want players to pace themselves. We want them to burn out, grab a second on the bench, and then go back out and burn out again,” said Burns. In order to do this though, players need to adhere to the
Mac’s basketball teams are ready to take on the 2013-2014 season
LEFT AND RIGHT:
C/O RICHARD ZAZULAK
CENTRE PHOTOS: YOSEIF HADDAD / PHOTO EDITOR
Oct. 29 CIS top-ten rankings having four of the top six teams hailing from Ontario, Mac cannot afford a slow start. Last year, McMaster finished the interlock portion of the season 2-5. If the team wants to make a serious run this year, they’ll need to do a much better job against their OUA East counterparts. That’s a tall order, as Carleton, Ottawa and Ryerson are No. 1, 3 and 4 in the CIS rankings respectively. With Windsor hosting this year’s CIS basketball championships, they receive an automatic berth. That means three teams are coming out of the OUA. McMaster should no doubt be a team competing for that spot and end the Final 8 drought.
2013 saw Hailey Milligan take the OUA by storm. If she can continue that play, watch out. process put in place. They have to trust their teammates to do patchwork while the starters rest. Burns is confident in the strategy, and points to the preseason gold medal game against the University of Saskatchewan for proof. “In the Saskatchewan game, in the second half, we had five people on the court who absolutely went bananas and gave it everything they had and were absolutely gassed. But they brought a ten-point deficit back and tied the game,” said Burns. “Then, we put fresh legs in and they went for about a minute and we went back to the ones that had turned it around, and they were recovered.” Burns admits that it’s tough to condition players to ask for substitutions, but believes that the group will change their mind once the results are there.
McMaster is in a tough conference again, as the Windsor Lancers opened the season as the No.1 ranked team in the CIS. The Lancers returned all of their major contributors from last season and are a lock for a medal finish at the CIS championships. But since the Lancers are hosting the Final 8 tournament this year, there is another berth on the line. If McMaster finishes anywhere in the top-three in the OUA playoffs, they will earn a Final 8 bid – something that a team with three fifth-year players will be eager to do. It’ll take a top to bottom effort over the long season, with little margin for error. But with a solid system in place, a trip to nationals is within grasp. @Scott1Hastie
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Mac rugby wins bronze Women’s rugby fought through the mud and rain to come out with a victory against Western Laura Sinclair Sports Editor The Marauders women’s rugby team was able to pull off a win against the Western Mustangs to score an OUA bronze medal in miserable weather conditions. The weather posed a challenge for both teams, as the combination of torrential downpour and rugby cleats made the ground very muddy, which increased the number of errors throughout the game. “There were increased handling errors which is never ideal and the ground was not very solid at all. I know that the forwards, especially the front row had a difficult time adjusting to the adverse conditions. But eventually we were able to modify our game and play more our style,” said Marauder captain, Cindy Nelles. Although the weather was bad, Nelles was able to find some positives that put them at an advantage in the game. “I think that the conditions, although adverse, did play out to our advantage because we are a team that can execute fancy plays but can also break it down to the nitty gritty rucks and mauls type of game that a rainy muddy field provides.” The Marauders executed a number of those fancy plays to get to a score of 26-5 over the Mustangs, a win that brought Mac to its second bronze medal in a row. This was Nelles’ first bronze medal, however, as she was injured for the bronze medal match last season. Although the medal did not match up with her season goals, she believes that they proved themselves in their game and outplayed the Western team. “It was not our ideal outcome seeing as how we had our hopes set on going to nationals, but we made the most of being in the bronze medal match against Western and we were able to physically dominate them, so as far as our performance in the game, I’m pleased,” said Nelles. As captain of the team, Nelles felt as though she had a great season as well, and did better than last year. “Individually I am proud of my season, being one of the leaders on the team was a bit of an adjustment but I feel that I was able to balance that with making my return to Mac Rugby after having a rough season last year.” Now, the captain will
ELIZA POPE / ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
continue to train hard in order to make the national senior women’s team. “I really want to make it to that level and think that with the support here at McMaster, and all the training and guidance that athletes are provided here, it can really help me along that journey.” As for the rest of the team, they will be gearing up to compete in a couple of indoor tournaments, and they will also be training for a tournament in British Columbia in March. “There are a few sevens tournaments scattered throughout the winter and I know we will be looking to assemble some players to attend those tournaments,”
said Nelles. The team will look ahead to the winter season to train hard, and hopefully qualify for the CIS Championships next year. @Lsinkky
WOMEN’S W | L | PTS
NEXT UP IN MARAUDER-LAND..... WOMEN’S BASKETBALL vs. TORONTO VARSITY BLUES MEN’S BASKETBALL vs. TORONTO VARSITY BLUES WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL vs. TORONTO VARSITY BLUES MEN’S VOLLEYBALL vs. TORONTO VARSITY BLUES
FOOTBALL vs. WESTERN MUSTANGS
CROSS COUNTRY at WESTERN
NOV 01 | 6 PM
YORK WATERLOO RYERSON GUELPH MCMASTER TORONTO WESTERN QUEEN’S RMC NIPISSING WINDSOR
3 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 0 0
1 1 1 2 0 2 1 0 1 4 2
6 6 4 4 4 2 2 2 0 0 0
CROSS COUNTRY NOV 01 | 8 PM
NOV 02 | 12 PM
NOV 02 | 2 PM
WOMEN’S CIS RANKINGS #1 GUELPH #2 WESTERN #3 TORONTO #4 QUEEN’S #5 VICTORIA #6 TRINITY WESTERN #7 DALHOUSIE #8 MCMASTER #9 MCGILL #10 WINDSOR
W | L | PTS YORK RYERSON OTTAWA LAKEHEAD GUELPH WATERLOO WINDSOR TORONTO BROCK MCMASTER QUEEN’S RMC WESTERN NIPISSING
4 3 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
0 1 0 0 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 3 4
8 6 4 4 4 4 4 2 2 2 2 0 0 0
CROSS COUNTRY MEN’S CIS RANKINGS #1 GUELPH #2 LAVAL #3 MCMASTER #4 WINDSOR #5 VICTORIA #6 QUEEN’S #7 ALBERTA #8 TORONTO #9 LAKEHEAD #10 TRINITY WESTERN
NOV 02 |4:30 PM
NOV 09 |11 AM
QUEEN’S VS. GUELPH
NOV 02 |1 P.M.
MCMASTER VS. NOV 02 |4:30 P.M. WESTERN
#1 CARLETON #2 UBC #3 ACADIA #4 FRASER VALLEY #5 LAKEHEAD #6 MCGILL #7 SASKATCHEWAN #8 CAPE BRETON #9 WATERLOO #10 WINDSOR ALBERTA
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Men’s team captures silver at OUAs
C/O RICHARD ZAZULAK
Laura Sinclair Sports Editor The wind, rain and mud were not enough to hold back the Marauders cross country team on Oct. 26. At Chedoke golf course here in Hamilton. In these awful conditions, the men’s team was able to finish second overall, a finish that has improved their CIS ranking from sixth place overall to second. The women’s team finished sixth overall, which was a finish that head coach Rory Sneyd did not see coming. “Toronto is a bit better than I thought. I thought our women might be able to give them a run but we are not quite there yet,” said Sneyd. In the women’s race, the Toronto Varsity Blues finished third overall, the Queen’s Gaels finished fourth overall and the Windsor Lancers finished fifth overall, which brought the Marauders in sixth spot. “It was disappointing that Windsor nipped our women for that 5th place spot.” I thought our third, fourth and fifth runners ran well – Kierstin Myers, Emily Nowak, Raquel Burgess. Unfortunately, we did
not have the low sticks we typically do. We expect this to change at the CIS Championships” said Sneyd. The low sticks that were missing for this race were Maddy McDonald, and Courtney Patterson, two runners that typically finish within the top 15, or 20 at OUA’s, but this year finished within the top 30. Although the team finished in sixth, which was a finish they want to improve on, they still have their eyes on the prize at CIS Championships, and all of the top seven runners can pull out a great race under pressure as they have done several times throughout their running careers. The men’s team managed to surprise a lot of the other teams at the championships, finishing second overall, and beating out strong teams like the Queen’s Gaels, and the Windsor Lancers to get there. This has been the men’s team’s best finish in the OUA championship in several years, and the surprising finish labeled head coach Rory Sneyd as the men’s cross country coach of the year. Leading the pack for the men was captain Blair Morgan, who
had an excellent race, finishing in sixth place overall, which was a major improvement from last year’s 36th place finish. “I think the main difference between this season and any other was the amount of base training I got in at the end of the summer, up around 120km a week this year,” said Morgan. Morgan was surprised with his result, and felt as though his team ran faster than he could have ever thought. “Coming into the race, I had figured that the team had a really good shot at bronze, and if we ran well we could potentially take down Windsor for the silver.” Individually, Morgan was thinking he could finish well too—but not as well as how he ran in the race. “I was thinking top 20, maybe second team All-Star if it was a great day. I definitely exceeded all my goals for that race by far, as we were significantly ahead of Windsor in the team race and I was way further up than I could have imagined,” said Morgan. He accredits his strong finish to not letting people ahead of him in the race get too far away. “I decided I wasn’t going to let anyone in the pack get away
from me, and after somewhere between 3 and 4k it was just me and Taylor Reid left from our team,” said Morgan. Reid finished right behind Morgan, not even a second off of his time, and finished in 7th place. In 13th place was Connor Darlington, who raced while sick and still finished as an OUA AllStar, and right behind him was Lionel Sanders in 14th, who fell during the race and still finished strong. Not too far behind Sanders was Taylor Forbes in 16th spot, and finishing up the scoring for the Marauders was Gabe Ghiglione in 36th place, and rookie Paul Rochus in 78th. These notable finishes was encouraging for Coach Sneyd, as he found the team worked very well together to work their way up in the pack. “What I liked the most was that the men got after it and worked really well with their teammates to maintain their positions.” Coach Sneyd thinks that the team can carry their confidence from this second place OUA finish to the CIS Championships, and can prove that the top finish was no fluke.
“On the men’s side, I knew they could be second. I was just surprised that our men were a convincing second despite the fact that our potential 1-2 punch was our 3-4 guys in the race. This bodes well for doing even better in London. The guys are motivated to prove that the OUA race was no fluke and they want to be on that CIS podium” The men will attempt to reach the OUA podium on Nov. 9, in London Ont. at Thames Valley Golf Course, while the women will attempt to prove themselves, and race to their potential, and finish within the top five in the country. @Lsinkky
Marauders survive Mustang comeback
YOSEIF HADDAD / PHOTO EDITOR
Laura Sinclair Sports Editor When the Marauders stepped into Alumni Hall in London, Ont. they knew that they would be facing a difficult team, under difficult circumstances. “I knew it was going to be a battle. Rarely, do you go into London and come out with an easy victory. I’ve been in this game for 20 years and I do not think it has ever happened,” said head coach Dave Preston. Although McMaster was able to get off to a quick lead early, leading the match 2-0, the team found themselves struggling in the third and fourth set, when the Mustangs began to make a comeback to tie the match, 2-2. “The first two sets, we played really well, but we let up a little in the third,” said Preston. In the third and fourth set of the match, the Marauders began to not play to their potential, which gave the Mustangs some added confidence. “The third and fourth set we just didn’t look like we were
paying attention to the details as much. We weren’t as engaged in the match. We were playing, but we weren’t completely on top of things and it cost us.” Preston believes that the Marauders serving got a little out of control, which the Mustangs capitalized on and took advantage of in the third and fourth sets. “Our serving pressure got a little loose. We started to miss some and the ones that we were putting in, weren’t putting them under any strain.” “Because we weren’t putting them under as much serving pressure, their offence began to get smoother,” added Preston. Although most would be panicked in a comeback situation, against a team that is on their home court, and feeling confident, Preston and his team were cool, calm and collected going into the fifth set, which is exactly what ended up bringing them to the win. “I really like how we handle ourselves in those situations; we don’t panic. It is composure and confidence,” Preston said.
“A lot of teams want it and coaches know that it is a necessary ingredient, but our [players] know how to play games on a line. We don’t panic, we stick together,” said Preston. The Marauders have proven their ability to keep their composure in pressured situations. In the past six games they have played (preseason included), they have gone to five sets four times. Out of those four times, they have been able to come out on the other end victorious for all of them. In their victory against Western, Preston made sure to credit outside hitter Jori Mantha in the win. “Jori Mantha was ridiculous. Stephen Maar and Jayson McCarthy got some kills and stuff, but a portion of that is the attention that Jori is drawing…Jayson and Stephen played very well. Our middles did as well, but Jori was really good. He was very efficient, very calculated and a go-to guy the whole time.” Besides the individual efforts, it is clear that the entire team has the confidence, and faith in themselves to pull off a big win, and Preston has the same amount of confidence and faith in his team as well. “I have 100% faith. You get the right kids, who are here for the right reasons, you got faith… Panic of ‘will this person do what is required’, not at all. I trust them. When it comes down to that, these [players] get it.” This game is in the past now, and crossed off the list. Preston takes each game, and dissects it as not just a building block, but also a process to where they would like to be in the peak of their season – which will be at the OUA, and CIS Championships. But before they think too far ahead, they will need to try and beat the Toronto Varsity Blues, a team that will try to take down
the Marauders early on so they do not get over-confident “Getting two wins in a row was important to us, but they are over. We got to move on and Toronto is coming in trying to knock us off, we know that. We are prepared for that. We are focused still on our side of the net.”
The Marauders will bring this focus into the game against the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. in the Burridge Gym. @Lsinkky
Mac's Fall Break set for October 31 November 2 Lecture halls are going to be very quiet come Halloween, as McMaster's schedule incorporates a three-day break from classes and midterms for the first time ever, thanks to the McMaster Students Union. In the 2012-2013 school year, the MSU advocated for a fall break based on overwhelming student demand. Fall break will included a two day break from classes - October 31 and November 1 - along with an assingment / test ban on Saturday, November 2. “October is a stressful time on campus. Students need an opportunity to rest, reflect, and refocus,” said David Campbell, MSU President. “The MSU was successful in lobbying the university to respond to these needs. The result has been a significant change to how the university functions.” Recent studies show that almost 90 percent of Canadian university students feel overwhelmed by their academic responsibilities, and almost one in ten students give serious consideration to taking their own life. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in young Canadians, second only to car accidents. "Students can't be expected to realize the full value of their education while constantly suffering from high levels of stress," said Spencer Graham, MSU VP (Education). "The fall break will allow students to take a step back from the details of our coursework and focus on the bigger picture - our direction and pathways.” The Fall Break was approved by the Senate of McMaster University in February as a two-year pilot project following lengthy discussions and negotiations between the
McMaster Students Union and University administrators. The joint solution that was reached means that all students from all faculties will receive the same break and there will be no negative impact to the accreditation requirements of any academic program on campus.
Charity Ball 2014 Pre-Sale Tickets
For more information, please contact:
Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:00AM until Dec. 06, 2013 at 11:59PM
David Campbell President firstname.lastname@example.org 905-525-9140 ext. 23885
Blood Donor Clinic
- Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013
Attend a blood donor clinic on: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 Time: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Location: McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC), CIBC Hall, 3rd Floor To book your life saving appointment go on-line to https://donatenow.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE. Walk-ins are welcome. The McMaster Students Union saves lives through the Partners for Life program with Canadian Blood Services. To ensure your donations count toward the MSU Partners for Life goal you must register as a member of your organization. 1. go to www.blood.ca/partnersforlife 2. click on "Join Partners for Life", than click on "Member" 3. click on "Sign me up to donate with my team!" 4. fill out the secure form and click "Submit" Your Partner ID is: MCMA011297 For more information, please contact Katie Ferguson at email@example.com
Pre-sale tickets are now available online and at Compass for $30 + HST from November 4th.
Where: Online Where will the proceeds be going this year? Micah House has provided shortterm shelter and settlement assistance to nearly 600 refugee claimants since beginning work in 2006. Refugee claimants are a marginalized and misunderstood part of Hamilton’s demographic and Micah House fills a unique role in the city by providing services and programming exclusively for them. Whether its beds, transportation, counsel, interpretation or friendship, Micah House is well established and prepared to work with individuals and families who have the needs our expertise can assist Micah House is proud to work alongside these vulnerable yet hardworking people as they establish themselves within their new context – our community. Thank you for joining us in welcoming people to Hamilton from all over the world. Thank you for helping us spread the word by supporting this evening of fun and celebration. Additionally, if you would like to work it in. Micah House relies on the assistance and interaction of generous volunteers. Without the 300+ people every year who donate their time and energy toward Micah House programming, Micah House would not be successful. If
you have an interest in learning more about Micah House, refugee claimants or would like to explore our volunteer opportunities please call our office and we’ll show you around.
The Pandemic Next Door: Complexities of a Global Outbreak Response
Nov. 04, 2013 at 5:00PM Room 1A1, Health Sciences Centre, McMaster University It’s only a matter of time before the next outbreak of infectious disease strikes. Scientists predict the next influenza pandemic could affect 1.5 billion people, cause up to 150 million deaths and leave $3 trillion in economic damages. The McMaster Health Forum invites you to a public panel discussion entitled: The Pandemic Next Door: Complexities of a Global Outbreak Response Three senior public health officials from Canada, the United States and Mexico will share their insights on how governments need to prepare to respond to the next pandemic, whether it occurs at home or in a country on the other side of the world. Details are included in the poster attached, and at www.mcmasterhealthforum.org We hope you can join us! For the latest updates on our events, please follow us on Facebook at McMaster Health Forum and on Twitter at @MacHealthForum.
ENJOY YOUR BREAK!
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Editors Amanda Watkins & Miranda Babbitt
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 905.525.9140 x27117 PUBMac
HAMILTON Embrace second-hand shopping in the steel city. Twice the wear, twice the style. that clothing can be acquired and made ready for sale. “I’ve been collecting for probably 10 years,” added Erickson when asked where her supply comes from. ”I’ve inherited some of the pieces from family and friends, purchased some from estate sales, and have thrifted many of the pieces.” Consignment stores are also a popular choice for vintage shopping. They sell second-hand clothes from a starter price point, and as time goes by and the item is not sold, the price is gradually reduced. Although boutique-style stores tend to be the more popular choice for second-hand and vintage shopping, there’s something to be said for thrift stores a la Value Village and Talize. With time and patience, filtering through racks can result in a rewarding shopping experience. “If you’re going to shop vintage, make sure you have time,” recommended Erickson. “It can be a lot of fun, but you have to factor in time for trying on items and looking through all of the options.” Shopping vintage is a lot like
Where to shop
constantly finding great deals on sale. It can be a thrilling experience, especially when you find a unique buy. Some pieces are actually better purchased twiceloved, such as outerwear and party dresses. “You’ll never have to worry about someone having the same dress as you,” said Erickson in reference to shopping vintage. Purchasing vintage clothing is easy and accessible, especially in Hamilton. And contrary to popular belief, it is available and appropriate for everyone, and not just certain sects of society. “Vintage isn’t just for hipsters. Everyone can wear vintage,” said Erickson. Shopping vintage can be a fun and beneficial experience. Looking up to icons of the past, and alternative stars of the present, you may be setting the trends of the future. And if you look past the common misconceptions surrounding it, you may just be the next Zooey Deschanel.
“Vintage isn’t just for hipsters. Everyone can wear vintage” Lauren Erickson, Owner of La Bichette
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If you are a normal, living, breathing human being, either male or female, it is likely that at one point of time in your life or another, you have wanted to be Zooey Deschanel. It’s a huge generalization, but that does not make it any less true. Many “alternative” and “hip” celebrities, like Deschanel, sport a style that is uniquely their own and often reminiscent of eras past. And often, when we long for the style of another, we ask ourselves, how do they manage to look that way, all the time? I’ll let you in on a little secret – many of these alternative and hip celebrities shop vintage. Vintage clothing and styles have been popular since the early two thousands when thickrimmed glasses made a comeback and Mad Men took flight with ratings. Old was new again, and styles long forgotten were resurrected by high fashion designers and street style pros alike. Wearing vintage clothing tends to have yuppie-ish connotations that are both inaccessible
and untrue. Second-hand styles are easy to find and can be worn by all. Buying twice-loved clothing is a sustainable and cost-effective alternative that allows for a unique and exciting shopping experience. Hamilton is lucky to have several vintage fashion stores within the area that offer selections for both men and women. Lauren Erickson, owner of La Bichette, a vintage and contemporary store located off of James St. N. and Barton, started selling second-hand fashions in June of this year when her store first opened. “A lot of people think that because something isn’t new, the quality isn’t as high. But it’s actually quite the opposite,” said Erickson. Older clothing will often be handmade and feature higher quality fabric that can’t be found in today’s mass-produced goods. Detailing with buttons, stitching, and extended seams are also common traits that make for easy alterations, fittings, and unique styles. When gathering goods to market at a vintage boutique, there are several different ways
Girl on th e
Amanda Watkins LifeStyle Editor
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Get that paper.
Financial advice from the students, for the students. Karen Piper The Silhouette
There is no rule of thumb for managing finances because each individual’s financial position is unique. Here are 10 easy steps to find your way to successful saving, and I hope you find a few of these helpful.
MAKE A PRACTICAL BUDGET To start, a good idea would be to go around and investigate the prices of the items that you will be spending that money on. For example, check the prices of your textbooks so your allocation for books may be somewhat realistic. This may result in a slight modification in your spending limit, but it’s better to know in advance!
HAVE A TOTAL FIGURE This simply means setting a figure on which you agree will be your spending limit for the year or for one term. I personally prefer making a total budget for one term, because life is unpredictable and a lot can change in a year. Chances are if you write down a total or spending limit, you’ll try to stick to it. It’s almost like a written agreement.
MAKE A LIST I know this is probably something associated with old people and grocery stores, but hey, who cares? Let’s have a reality check: making a list actually works when you go out to purchase those items on your budget, because it keeps you on track. Whether it be a drugstore shopping-list or a bookstore items list, following that paper saves you paper! Chances are that you won’t pick up unnecessary items, make it trendy if you have to, put it down on your tablet or phonejust write the list!
TRACK YOUR CHANGES Now that you are well into the semester and have already purchased books, room supplies, gym membership, etc, it is not a bad idea to keep tabs on what you have spent in order to determine if you are sticking to your budget. Let’s be realistic, there is so much to do during the semester (studying, socializing, laundry, meetings, the list goes on) you cannot possibly worry about money issues every single day. Hence, set up a system whereby every week or two weeks, you re-track your spending, whether it is through online banking, purchase receipts or check copies.
This is really hard to do! Life is very unpredictable and no one lives in a vacuum. It could be Friday night, after a hard long week and a friend asks to go to a club or a bar. You may already be over on your spending, because let’s face it, we’re not perfect. What do you do? I try to remind myself of my long-term goal and sometimes I may suggest doing something that involves spending less. For instance, downloading an exciting new movie at home and just getting some popcorn. Having fun doesn’t need to cost a lot.
WORK WORK WORK WORK It does not hurt to get some extra cash! Some of you may have taken some hefty loans to finance your education, while some of you may have received a sponsor. Whatever your situation, it might not be such a bad idea to source a job to help with your expenses, providing that it does not interfere with your studies. There are many work opportunities available on and around campus. Check out OscarPlus or the MSU website for more info.
WATCH WASTAGE A key reason why we always have to be spending money on seemingly important items is because we waste! We are all guilty of it. We buy food and can’t eat all, and we simply throw away the rest. We are quite wasteful because we have a psychological premonition that we will always have the means to find the next dollar. How wasteful are you, and how can you put an end to it?
BUY QUALITY This is a tricky one. One aspect of life in Canada is the dreaded winter. Speaking from experience, I have been one to buy the cheapest winter coats, jackets and boots in an effort to stick to a budget, but all to no avail. Within a couple of weeks, the zippers would wreck on boots, buttons pop off on jackets and it can be a monetary nightmare. There are certain items you just can’t skimp on financially. Determining what to generously spend on and what not to is a fundamental key to financial success.
SUCKS? BINDING DOESN’T HAVE TO
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ALL NOVEMBER LONG ONLY AT UNDERGROUND MEDIA + DESIGN
ACCOUNT FOR SURPRISES You will notice that I keep reiterating the fact that life is unpredictable. As a result, one has to also plan financially for surprises and unplanned events. Some of these include a medical emergency, replacing a valuable lost item or the sudden inflation in the price of an item you regularly purchase. Try to always account for unexpected events. Put aside money in case of emergency.
ASK FOR HELP So you’ve probably followed all of these tips as best as you can and you are still having financial difficulty. Nothing is easy and no handbook or set of rules can solve all problems. Don’t be afraid to get financial assistance as soon as you detect a problem. You can get help from a financial advisor at your local bank, a parent or a friend. Maybe you may even want to attend a financial management workshop to get more useful information. Look out for these workshops on campus throughout the year. Remain proactive!
SEXandthe STEELCITY Tobi Abdul Staff Reporter I’m not the kind of person who particularly enjoys navigating my way through sweaty crowds in order to have a conversation consisting of yelling into each other’s ears, struggling to be heard over the music. Despite this, it seems that the majority of my mating rituals, as a semi-new lesbian, have been reduced to exactly this. Since realizing that women are more my speed, I’ve had to sacrifice the cute romantic hypotheticals that never seemed too impossible in the “straight” world. I bump into someone at the grocery store and proceed to have a conversation about our favourite snacks. Is she smiling at me because she likes me or because she thinks she’s made a new friend? “Yeah, I’m really into baking. I
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
I have been fortunate enough to work with my father in further developing his business around the world, doing ‘techie’ jobs and some simple contract-based work. He is a renowned motivational speaker and life coach who has helped many successful corporations increase their performance. Recently, we got a lead through a connection in Malaysia. The largest life insurance company in the country was restructuring their Research & Development department and my dad’s name was thrown around to develop one of the many programs required in this multi-million dollar project. Their VP, whom my father has watched grow into the position, contacted their facilitator and asked her to ask my father to get involved. She asked if he could forward them a proposal, which he did, but unfortunately he wasn’t fully
Straight isn’t the only direction Finding the best way to venture into the dating world, lesbian style bake for my boyfriend all the time.” And there it is. Flirting becomes this tentative game of “Is She, Isn’t She?” where I try to guess a girl’s sexuality by these unquantifiable characteristics that allows one to give off a gay “vibe”. Chance encounters become set-ups and profile stalking, while spontaneity becomes uncertainty. You may not have a funny story to tell your kids about how you met and you may have to risk a lot of “sorry, I’m not gay” before you hear “sure, I’d love to go out sometime” but this isn’t to say that the girl you bump into in the grocery store won’t bat for your team or that you should be wary of approaching a girl for fear that she isn’t into girls. But in my opinion, dating as a lesbian is a lot harder than dating as a heterosexual. Tired of trying to craft the perfect message on PlentyOfFish
or OKCupid, I sought out this year to meet someone in the real world, outside of sweaty nightclubs. It was then that I realized I had absolutely zero queer friends and that if I was going to meet any romantic interests on campus, I had to make some queer or queer-friendly friends. The first place I thought to start was McMaster Queer Students Community Center, located on the 2nd floor of the Student Center. My advice to all you newly out queer folk is to get involved with the QSCC. They have a lot of events, are very welcoming and you can meet lots of new queer friends and allies. Their annual Pride Week, which is happening this year on Nov. 4-8, is a great way to meet other people. Go out to the drag show and perform, or sing along to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Once you’ve found your new
confessions of a Rick Kanary The Silhouette
aware of the scope of the project and the evolved training techniques that were expected. The company asked for a revision, which he did, but not to their satisfaction. Frustrated and confused, he asked me to help. I contacted the facilitator and their lead project developer, in order to get a better understanding of their expectations. Confident that I understood, I created a proposal, which was accepted with some minor revisions, and the ball began to roll. My dad gave me the lead hand on the deal, asking me to write the training manuals. The project turned into a long and arduous series of revisions, but the end resulted in a 12-day session where my father trained their leaders on how to implement this experiential, competency-based program into their corporate infrastructure. The end result is one-thousand or so pages of material. He’s heading over to Malaysia today and, because I am the only one
friends, you could ask them to set you up. Just be wary of the traps that can happen if your friends are straight. My friends mean well, but once in a while I get the “oh my goodness, you two would totally hit it off ” while talking about a girl that I have nothing in common with. Sometimes friends fail to remember that liking the same sex doesn’t make you a match. For the shy and socially awkward, online dating might actually be your preferred source of dating. It gives you a chance to construct the perfect message, backspacing and proofreading until you have the perfect amount of nonchalant while still taking an interest. PlentyOfFish and OKCupid are the two biggest dating sites out there for our age group. If all else fails, try a LGBTQ* club/bar, or one that hosts lesbian nights. It may not be an ideal
place to meet someone and make genuine connections but there’s something comforting about knowing that the majority of people with you, are gay too. Like any relationship, finding someone takes patience and confidence. Join things that interest you and maybe along the way, you’ll find the right someone. It may be slightly harder, but it’s not impossible. Try not to give up on those romantic ideas that you may have. The girl next door may be bisexual, that girl at the coffee shop may have a girlfriend, and the girl in your class may be lesbian and interested, but the most important thing is to put yourself out there.
of us with a full understanding of the program, he’s paid for my flight and I’m leaving Monday morning to assist him in the process. I was faced with a difficult decision and needed to prioritize. At first, he asked me to leave three days earlier, and I was concerned at how this would conflict with my schooling and my family time, as I only get to see my boys on the weekends and leaving any earlier would mean that I would miss two full weekends with them. Thanks to McMaster’s e-learning mechanisms, I will be able to keep up with my schoolwork online while I am away. One point for ‘going’. I was completely unwilling to sacrifice two straight weekends with my family. One point for ‘not going’. I told my dad he would have to fumble through his first days, that I would catch up with him, and that I would have to leave earlier than expected. He was disappointed, and made that known. I was unwavering in my
commitment to my family. He relented and we booked a flight that would allow me to miss only one weekend. One more point for ‘going’. Thus, Monday morning at 1:00 a.m. my flight will leave for the other side of the world. I will be ‘attending’ Mac while in Malaysia, missing my fiancée, her daughter, and my two boys. Hopefully it will be a great bonding experience for my father and me. I’m doing everything in my power to keep my eyes focused on the potential benefits of this
distraction from my current momentum. Thankfully, there is a good amount of money in it for us and, while that certainly helps candy-coat it, it certainly doesn’t make up for the potential time I lose focused on my studies or cuddling with my kids. There really are some things that money just can’t buy, and while it is influential in my decision to go, I find that helping my father perform his self-proclaimed ‘swan song’ is a much more worthy motivator.
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Students for Project Umbrella Burma Amanda Watkins LifeStyle Editor With the rush of school, work and everything in between, sometimes at the end of the day, taking on a new cause may seem like a heavy task. Students for Project Umbrella Burma McMaster, or PUBMac, are determined to promote awareness for their worthy and reliable cause by hosting relaxing and informative events that will make the end of your day feel both calm and aware. “We work under the larger organization, Project Umbrella Burma,” says third-year Communications and Multimedia student and PUBMac’s Media Coordinator, Rebecca Annibale. Project Umbrella Burma is an international non-profit organization centered around providing care and education for young people and medical clinics, and to serve victims of ethnic cleansing and cultural destruction in Bur-
ma, now modern-day Myanmar. Since Sept. 2012, when the club first started, PUBMac’s ultimate goal has been to raise funds for the Kaw Tha Blay College, an alternative high school education system provided for victims of hate crime in Burma. It is one of many institutions and assistance programs supported by the larger infrastructure of PUB. “The goal for the club is to mainly raise awareness,” adds Annibale. “Last year we were able to reach our funding goal for the organization, and it would be awesome to do that again.” With awareness as their key selling point, PUBMac has planned a series of low-key events that will help students get a better understanding of the social and political unrest in Burma. Coming up on Nov. 6, the club will be hosting their first public event for the year, a movie screening of The Lady a film by Luc Besson. The Lady is a documentary about Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese politician who was put
under house arrest for expressing oppositional ideas. PUBMac wants to ensure that their events are accessible to all students and can promote awareness to all those interested and concerned. “Entrance into the screening is free,” says Annibale. “And there will be free popcorn as well!” After their first event, the club looks forward to hosting coffee houses, and allergy-friendly bake sales to work towards their financial goal for the year. All of the funds raised will go directly towards helping students and young adults complete their high school education in Burma. Getting informed about a worthy cause doesn’t have to be an additional stress in your life. With the help of initiatives like PUBMac, becoming aware can be as simple as sitting down for a movie. @whatthekins
C/O PROJECT UMBRELLA BURMA
Top: Students at the Kaw Tha Blay college; Bottom: A still from The Lady.
Recipe: Almond butter froyo bites Miranda Babbitt Assistant LifeStyle Editor Ever have that snacking urge? I feel you. Has anyone ever called you a snacking machine? I feel you. But what happens when you start to reminisce over the days of trick or treating and suddenly you find yourself half way to the local candy store with a pillowcase toted behind you? Well, you make these babies instead. Quick, healthy and so delicious.
• • • • • •
1. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or high-powered blender.
¾ cup Greek yogurt ¼ cup almond butter 1 tbsp organic cane sugar ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp vanilla
YIELD Approximately 70 bites.
2. Spoon bite sized pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet. You can try a piping bag at your own risk! 3. Freeze for 30 minutes then transfer the pieces to a Ziploc bag and store in the freezer.
C/O THE HONOUR SYSTEM (THEHONOURSYSTEM.COM)
Weekly Shuttle Bus Starting Sept. 18th
Wednesdays 6:00pm | 6:30pm | 7:00pm Last pick-up from Fortinos at 8:00pm Pick-up From Mary Keyes Residence At The Cootes Dr. Entrance
Look for the Big Yellow School Bus
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Veronica Federovich Second-year Life Sciences
WHAT SHE’S WEARING Shoes: Keds Pants: American Eagle Blouse: American Eagle Button-Up: Levis Scarf: Roots What’s the craziest Halloween costume you’ve heard of so far? Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke. Which candy would you choose to fill a pillowcase with? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! Where do you think is the spookiest place on campus? University Hall.
YOSEIF HADDAD / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
ANDY E-mail: email@example.com
Senior Editor: Bahar Orang
Meeting Time: Tuesdays @ 5:30 p.m.
Assistant Editor: Cooper Long
Phone: (905)•525•9140 ext 27117
Contributors: Jemma Wolfe, Tomi Milos, Lene Trunjer-Petersen
coming up in the hammer the casbah •nov 1 •nov 2 •nov 6 •nov 1
blacklist manifesto sons of revelry wildlife REWIND
Cover: Bahar Orang
joining the 27 club
C3 C4 C5
homegrown hamilton •nov 1 •nov 1 •nov 2
the blue demons the greasemarks ophelia syndrome
this ain't hollywood •oct 30 kashka •nov 1 ken park
Inside Pixar C6 C7 alexander
art gallery of hamilton •nov 6 the attack •nov 16 the act of killing
carnegie gallery •oct 31 art walk •nov 1 carnegie craft •nov 2 artist talk-public
THE COVER STORY Last year when I was on assignment for ANDY in a small town in China, I biked by none other than renowned contemporary artist and political activist Ai Weiwei. A strange look crossed his face and he stroked his beard knowingly. Several months later, Ai's installation Forever Bicycles appeared at nuit blanche in Toronto.
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
joining the 27 club this Halloween Bahar Orang ANDY Editor This Halloween I’m dressing up as Amy Winehouse. I experimented for a long time before finally mastering the hair. I tried several different techniques and experimented with several different household objects before settling on a loofah, which I will shove beneath a thick lump of hair. I also plan to don the thick black eyeliner drawn from tear duct to hairline. I’ll complete the look with her many tattoos drawn all over my body. When people ask me what my costume is, I’ll respond with very, very bad renditions of “Valerie” or “Back to Black.” It will all be part of a larger costume - the 27 club - musicians who died at a startlingly young age. There will be a Kurt Cobain - with shaggy hair and an oversized 90’s plaid shirt. There will be a Joplin complete with fuzzy locks, hippie pants and large round glasses. And there will be a Jimi Hendrix - with a fake guitar and a brightly coloured vest hanging from his
torso. One particularly crude friend insisted that we add a second layer to our costumes, which shows how each musician died. She got really creative and (in very poor taste) suggested that my Amy Winehouse interpretation include white make-up powder somewhere on my face. We decided against it. As we brainstormed more possibilities for our costume, we started realizing how utterly strange it was that all of these fantastic, ground-breaking musicians all died at the same age - at a young, awfully specific, but still very random age. When I imagine myself at 27 - I imagine that it’ll be at the peak of my life - I will be a fully formed human, an inspiring artist, I will have mastered things, I will have loved and lost, I’ll be as good-looking as I’ll ever be. I don’t imagine that I’ll be on a stairway to heaven. I’ll reach that age in a few short years - to imagine dying at 27 is terrifying, unjust, surreal. And these musicians - all of them brave, beautiful, and tal-
ented, makes it even more scary and unfair. It’s also decidedly spooky. My friends and I have only covered a few of the club’s members. The club’s Wikipedia page includes quite a long list of musicians who died at 27 - from Chuck Berry to Brian Jones. The artists span many generations and musical genres. And all of them were supposedly found with white lighters in their pockets - just three years shy of 30. It’s weird. Perhaps some higher power is calling it to our attention - perhaps someone or something is saying - look at what’s happening! Take notice! Open your eyes to these problems - problems of drug abuse, suicide, and celebrity culture - look at what you’re doing. You silly humans! We have responded with a group Halloween costume. I will sport an orange loofah in Amy’s honour. @baharoh
tickle best age to enjoy Halloween? YOSEIF HADDAD / PHOTO EDITOR JJ BARDOEL / SILHOUETTE INTERN
Brittany D. “7.”
Samantha C. “13.”
Ting-Yang L. “Under 16.”
Jainil P. “Ranges from 8-14.”
Al L. “All ages.”
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
Allison Rutland spent her time at McMaster’s campus as many do: she lived in Hedden Hall in first year, submitted comics to Incite Magazine, went frequently to the Downstairs John - the TwelvEighty of yesteryear - and made “a lot of fun memories just hanging out with people from my class.” But the career she pursued after graduation is rather extraordinary. Allison Rutland is a character animator at Pixar’s animation studios in Emeryville, California. After graduating with a bachelor’s in fine arts and multimedia in 2002, Rutland went on to Sheridan College to pursue a diploma in animation. It wasn’t long after that Rutland found a home first at a studio in Toronto, and then made the leap across the pond to a studio in London. There, she worked on visual effects for such wellknown films as Where the Wild Things Are and The Tale of Despereaux. But Pixar had always been at the back of her mind. “A couple of friends of mine had got in [during Ratatouille], and they’d been at Pixar for about two years, and I thought, ‘Ah, you know what, I think I wanna try’ and applied,” Rutland said from her California office. She then flew from London to San Francisco to compete in an intensive interview process.
the dream machine A Mac alumnus takes us through the stressful step-by-step of getting a prestigious position at Pixar Studios, and turns our favourite blue monster inside out
“It was very intimidating. It was like a full day thing,” she said. “You meet with several different people - I think there are five or six mini interviews. Each one’s a half an hour, and it’s with four or so people from the animation department, some real animation suits, and some just animation guys, or animation directors and stuff. Everyone was really nice, but it was just kind of a very intimidating process.” It paid off in the end, though, and Rutland made the move from English rain to California sun to begin work in April of 2009. Since then, her life has been any aspiring animator’s dream come true. As a character animator, she has worked on Toy Story 3 (she animated Woody and Buzz), Brave and most recently, Monster’s University (which was released on DVD earlier this week).
Character animation is no walk in the and Monsters University as in the original park. In this role, Rutland is responsible movies. for every aspect of a character’s movement After her research is complete, Rutland during a scene. “Before I start a shot, there’s can get down to her detail-oriented work. like whole day of research,” she said. “I’ll get a shot where the audio’s already For the sequels she worked on, much recorded and some layout is already there, of Rutland’s prep-work was in the form of which means that the camera’s already set reviewing older material. “I had the DVDs up and stuff,” she said. “I’ll open that shot at home [of Toy Story and Monster’s Inc.] up, and basically, I get to design all the and I would just watch them over and movement.” over again,” she said. Rutland Storyboards, the prewould make extensive recorded character audio “I think viewing notes and file and daily meetings animation’s one of would study framewith the director to by-frame what her go over his vision those things that you don’t predecessors had guide Rutland ever really feel like you’ve totally done in order for the shot mastered it.” to maintain or scene that the same style she’s working ALLISON RUTLAND, CHARACTER ANIMATOR @ PIXAR in Toy Story 3 on. Her day
involves acting, studying movements and imagining herself into different – often impossible – kinds of bodies to better design how they might move if they actually existed. For Monster’s University, Rutland was the primary character animator for Sulley, the huge blue and purple monster voiced by John Goodman. “I did a couple of shots at the beginning of the show that the animation directors liked, so they kind of kept giving me Sulley animation, so I ended up with a big chunk of Sulley’s shots,” Rutland said. “There’s something kind of fun about his body style, because he’s big and heavy. His attitude’s pretty clear, and the director’s words and recordings were really good, so there was a lot of really fun stuff that I could do with him.”
For a character as central and intricate in his design as Sulley, this means that Rutland spent a lot of time at her desk, getting every tiny movement just right. “It depends on the complexity, but each shot can take a while,” she explained. “[I] generally do, I don’t know, maybe, three or four shots a week.” And with each shot lasting only a second or two, that amounts to only about one second’s worth of footage being completed each day. It’s painstaking work, but Rutland still had encouraging words to offer for those looking to get into the animation business. “You have to be willing to be constantly learning,” she said. “I think animation’s one of those things that you don’t ever really feel like you’ve totally mastered it. You kind of have to be humble about your work, and just be willing to always be critiqued on it, and always be learning. I think that’s part of it.” Allison Rutland’s work as a character animator can next be seen in Pixar’s forthcoming feature Inside Out, due for release in spring 2015. @jemma_wolfe IMAGES C/O PIXAR
Jemma Wolfe Executive Editor
C4 & C5
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
what’s in store for Hamilton ANDY speaks to Donna Reid of Hamilton HIStory + HERitage on James Street North Lene Trunjer-Petersen The Silhouette On Saturday, I travelled down to Hamilton HIStory + HERitage at 165 James Street North. Since 2007, Graham Crawford has used the space as a multimedia exhibition centre that celebrates Hamilton’s history and its people. Over the years, 25,000 people have visited the spot. Beginning Nov. 1, Donna Reid will be running HIStory + HERitage as a retail store, combined with different multimedia exhibitions. It promises to be a great place to shop for Hamiltonians, as well as for everyone else who wants to buy products made in Hamilton. I spoke to Reid about why it was important to celebrate Hamilton and learn more about its history. According to Reid, there is a lot of interest in Hamilton’s past, especially among young people. “Part of it is because we have a lot of buildings that date back to an earlier time and century,” she said. Reid added that the HIStory + HERitage building was formerly a candy store and later a Portuguese bakery. For Reid, “history is more about the people and how they lived and what life was like, than it is memorizing dates and when things happened. It is more of a cultural history. It is just different lifestyles and dif“I want ferent to sell way of products doing that thing,” celebrate she Hamilton.” said. Yet, these older customs remain
important and influential today. “We are a very young country,” Reid said, “and so I think in some way it is worth searching for roots.” Reid has ambitious plans for HIStory + HERitage’s retail store format. “I want to sell products that celebrate Hamilton, and take the Hamilton name into other places so that people recognize the city and the community,” she said. “In the retail store there will be an educational component and an opportunity to learn and view images of Hamilton and of the past, as well as gifts, books and other vintage items for sale.” Eventually, Reid also hopes to curate a speaker’s series, along with other programming. “It has not been finalized yet, but a couple of very well known Hamilton historians have already offered to do a presentation to small groups,” she said. “I’m also hoping to host various evening events in the space to make use of the video screen, and also to bring new people into the retail space itself. And there is a plan to have walking tours around the neighborhood that will leave from the store on a regular basis,” she said. When I asked Reid about the one thing McMaster students should see in Hamilton, she shouted, “get out of campus!” Then she smiled. But she did recommend the waterfront, and her friend Barbara, who had been listening, mentioned Sam Lawrence Park on the mountain. Apparently, on a clear day that spot offers a panoramic view of the city. So take Reid’s advice, get out of campus, and explore. HIStory + HERitage is one great place to start.
“History is more about the people and how they lived and what life was like.”
PHOTO C/O HAMILTON HISTORY + HERITAGE
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
andy writes on writer Alexander Maksik tomi milos catches up with IFOA writer Tomi Milos Features Editor
When I stepped into Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle Hotel on Oct 25, I was relieved to have found what Bob Dylan would have called “shelter from the storm” that was ominously brewing outside. I was meeting renowned writer Alexander Maksik for an interview while he was in town for the International Festival of Authors. I checked my watch and realized I had arrived early, so I took a seat at the bar, but I didn’t have to wait long for Maksik to join me. Clad in a white dress shirt, grey V-neck sweater and jeans, Maksik had a sharp aura about him that matched his lean prose. Upon closer inspection, I noticed his boots were made by reputable New England shoemakers Alden and we nerded out over #menswear for a little before getting down to business. He was in town for his latest novel, A Marker To Measure Drift, which is a stunning glimpse into the world of a Liberian refugee, who upon escaping the terror that gripped Charles Taylor’s reign, is left to fend for herself on the Greek island of Santorini. Maksik’s Paris-set debut You Deserve Nothing was one of the most praised in recent years, but there was some backlash when the fact that the plot was based on controversial events from his past as a teacher was discovered. In a year that the IFOA boasted an all-star lineup of literary stars such as Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Stephen King, Maksik said he was simply excited to connect with old friend Anthony Marra and to hear Rachel Kushner talk about her work. Though “lucky to have the opportunity” to attend such events through the support of others, Maksik spoke excitedly of his impending Nov. 4 departure to Hawaii where he will be able
to focus on writing alone. When I asked why he chose such an exotic setting for his second major work of fiction, Maksik said, “I started writing You Deserve Nothing while living there and it’s a place I’ve always loved.” He said that its beauty had been created through physical destruction and was always on the precipice of being destroyed [Editor’s note: there is an active volcano on Santorini] made it an interesting place to send an equally volatile character: “I like the undercurrent of rage, the potential to explode that the setting holds”. Maksik admitted he had difficulty writing a novel when he had no personal experience to draw upon, but he said, “writing is always difficult”. After approaching writing Jacqueline from a variety of directions, Maksik discovered a voice that felt natural. “I fell in love with this character and that was something that I had never really felt, a true affection for a fictional character. I didn’t really treat her as a woman or as an African, but as a particular character who happened to be those things.” Having gone through twelve drafts of his first novel, Maksik said it had been a similar number with A Marker To Measure Drift but he has come to enjoy the editing process. He spoke about how he initially scrapped 40,000 words of another novel when a friend who he’d been reading it aloud to suddenly told him that she didn’t care about the protagonists. While at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop, he came to notice that it sometimes “takes making that kind of mistake to write a book. It’s starting to occur to me that with the book I’m working on now that all of these first pages may end up being just for my own benefit, to get me to the place where the story begins.” Though reluctant to reveal any more details on his
third novel, Maksik said that it’d be a love-story set in the Pacific Northwest. In a bid to cut out distractions, Maksik says he now adopts an almost religious routine that he abides by when writing. “When I’m writing, I wake up at a certain time and usually go for a run or exercise in some way before having breakfast and then I will work. I try to write 1000 words a day and I keep a journal of the novel I am working on.” With a laugh, Maksik said his regimen is not very interesting but “if I do those things everyday, I feel like a healthy human being.” When I pressed him for any advice he’d give to young writers who are entering a rapidly shifting commercial landscape, Maksik said, “You should want to do it more than anything else. You have to be ready to be rejected over and over again. Like anything, the most important thing is love. If you really love it, then that’s what you should do.” This was not so clear to Maksik himself, who admitted that he made a mistake in buying into the romantic notion that writers lived a certain lifestyle that most people associate with Hemingway’s debauchery — smoking cigarettes, drinking a lot, living in Paris. “I did all these stupid things, but in the end I was never writing and it took me a long time to figure out that I had to sit down at a table and just do it. All of the rest is just affectation.” Looking to end on a less serious note, Maksik wisecracked, “If you wanna be a football player, you can’t just throw on some shoulder pads; you have to learn to play football really well. It’s simple advice, but you just have to write.”
“It took me a long time to figure out that I had to sit down at a table and just do it. All of the rest is just affectation.”
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
no country for A-listers
All these perfectly symmetrical faces can’t save The Counselor
Cooper Long Assistant ANDY Editor
The Counselor Director: Ridley Scott I first grew concerned on Wednesday. The Counselor was only a couple days from wide release and not a single professional review had surfaced online. Studios regularly forgo critics’ screenings or embargo reviews for their leastpromising films in order to prevent bad word of mouth. Yet, this hush-hush treatment did not seem apt for a project with so much high-profile talent on both sides of the camera. How bad could any film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Cormac McCarthy, and starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Pénelope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz possibly be? To quote Pitt’s character, “I’d say pretty bad. And then multiply it by 10.” The studio was probably right to try and cover up this plodding, suspenseless story about a botched drug deal that threatens
an unnamed lawyer (Fassbender) and his criminal associates, played by Bardem and Pitt. Cruz has little more than a cameo role as the counselor’s guileless wife. Meanwhile, Diaz plays a villainess who does things to a sports car that give new meaning to the word “autoerotic.” If a Cormac McCarthy-derived crime thriller set in the American southwest and starring Javier Bardem on a bad hair day seems familiar, it should. These were also ingredients of No Country for Old Men (2007), the Coen Brothers’ riveting adaptation of the McCarthy novel of the same name. Unfortunately for The Counselor, comparisons to that Best Picture-winner are both unavoidable and unflattering. The dialogue in No Country for Old Men often had a philosophical bent, but McCarthy’s script for The Counselor takes this literary language to the extreme. Profundities like “I believe truth has no temperature” are swapped over cocktails. Similar to the desert vistas onscreen, such dialogue is grand, but ultimately empty. Fassbender’s counselor is also a disappointing substitute for Llewellyn Moss, the ordinary Texan in No Country for Old Men who became similarly mixed-up
with drugs and deviants. While Moss was resourceful and tenacious, the counselor is much less active, and consequently less compelling. Early in the film, Fassbender’s character is warned that he will “eventually come to moral decisions that will take [him] completely by surprise.” Yet, this premonition goes unfulfilled. After agreeing to the initial ill-fated drug deal, Fassbender’s character takes little – if any – decisive action. For a counselor, he sure spends a lot of the movie desperately calling others for advice. Perhaps the counselor’s frustrating passivity is some kind of comment on the helplessness of mankind in the face of implacable evil. Other parts of the film seem to speak to this same theme. A tanker full of drugs rumbles north throughout the movie, for example, while drug cartels use a weapon that slowly constricts an unbreakable wire loop. Yet, these ideas and images don’t come together in an intelligible way. The film’s most resonant moments occur near its end, when violence spills into the posh streets of London. As business-suited onlookers watch the blood spray, Scott provocatively juxtaposes
sophistication and brutality. The shock and surprise of the London crowd also makes for an interesting counterpoint to earlier scenes in Ciudad Juárez, where the counselor wanders into a demonstration against rampant killings. Nevertheless, The Counselor demonstrates Ridley Scott’s frustrating inconsistency as a filmmaker. He secured his reputation with the science-fiction landmarks Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) and he has helmed several other largescale blockbusters since. Indeed, Scott is so successful that he seemingly has his pick of actors and projects. Yet, his films frequently feel like less than the sum of their promising parts. Like The Counselor, Scott’s previous two offerings, Robin Hood (2010) and Prometheus (2012), also used megawatt stars and noteworthy source material to mostly middling effect. The plot of The Counselor seems to suggest that no matter how thoroughly one may plan, catastrophe can still catch up with a person once certain mistakes are made. The movie itself illustrates the same principle. Despite the best intentions of all the talented people in the credits, I have to diagnose The Counselor a mess. @coop_long