McMASTER UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWSPAPER
FROM CAMPUS TO YOU AND BACK AGAIN
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011 / VOLUME 81, NO. 16
Servers on strike Mac’s food service workers hold out for better offer from University SAM COLBERT
SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
Getting McMaster’s food workers back on the job won’t be easy. The latest contract, offered to the university’s roughly 170 unionized hospitality and food service employees on the afternoon of Jan. 5, closely resembled one offered, and subsequently rejected, on Dec. 6. “They pretty much admitted across the table that it is substantially the same document,” explained Ted Mansell, Executive Vice-President of SEIU Local 2 Brewery, General, and Professional Worker Union. Ninety per cent of the union voted against the deal on Jan. 6, triggering a strike which began early the following morning. While food service has decreased on campus, Centro, East Meets West Bistro, Tim Hortons in the Student Centre and Williams Café in the Health Sciences Building will remain open and accepting student cards to serve the many students in residence. Establishments not managed by Hospitality Services, including The Phoenix, TwelvEighty and Union Market, will also be open. “McMaster has a moral and ethical obligation to the broader Hamilton community to preserve well-paying jobs, or at least decent- Member of SEIU Local 2 picket paying jobs,” said Mansell. “That’s what this strike is all about.” Mansell explained that “What that says to the satthe SEIU is fighting to prevent its ellite employee, what that says to workers from losing the opportun- the part-time employees is, wait a ity for full-time employment with minute, there’s never going to be a benefits, and protecting them from job here that pays benefits? I’ve got becoming part of Hamilton’s “work- a family and I accepted employment ing poor.” The union’s previous here five, 10, 15 years ago on that contract states that casual employ- understanding,” said Mansell. ees may be hired to fill in for empty The university, meanpositions, but only after unionized while, contends that, when put into employees have been offered their context, its offer is a reasonable full-time and part-time hours. Hos- one. pitality Services’ business has been “We think that the settleso successful, explained Mansell, ment offer presented a good balthat about 180 ance of both of casual workmonetary and ers are on staff. If you look back over a other consideraH o s p i t a l i t y ’s that were longer period of time, tions total staff numin line with McMaster has not had other bers around 350. agreemuch in the way of M c ments that have Master represigned strikes ... The majority been sentatives have at the univerby far of the bargaining sity and market proposed to we do results in success- c o n d i t i o n s , ” remove this requirement, put- ful collective agreements said Andrea ting no limit Farquhar, Mcthat are approved by on the number Master’s public the membership.” of hours that relations direc-Andrea Farquhar tor. This was is can be filled by Mac PR Director in reference to casual workers. The union has the university’s fears that, if this provision is taken cleaning staff, which is also part of out, unionized employees could be SEIU, and recently accepted a similaid off and replaced with cheaper lar-looking deal. casual labour. “The $15.02 [hourly] rate Another contentious ap- for general workers, which under pendix in the previous contract this proposal would go up to $16.25 explains that, of the unionized an hour, is certainly higher than workers, at least one third must be similar jobs would be paying out in employed full-time with benefits, the community,” Farquhar added. while the others may be part-time McMaster’s budgetary or so-called “satellite” workers. documents from the past few years Recent contract offers have omit- have included stern warnings of fited these conditions, according to nancial struggle unless serious cutthe union. All current full-time staff backs are made. But, as Mansell will retain their hours and benefits, pointed out to the Silhouette, Hosbut no one will move into their pos- pitality Services has actually been itions after retirement, meaning that a revenue generator for the school, the mandated ratio would not be rather than a financial burden in maintained. need of attention.
CHRISTOPHER CHANG / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
at the Sterling St. entrance to campus. The union has been on strike since Jan. 7. “There is no moral or ethical or economic justification [for the University] other than greed,” he said. Due in part to negative budgetary projections, labour disputes have been frequent in McMaster’s recent history. Cleaning staff, sessional lecturers and Teaching Assistants have all either gone on strike or come close to doing so in the past year and a half. “I think there’s been a huge and concerning shift in the senior administration of this university,” said Mansell. “They are treating the university more like a corporation than public institution. They are treating it as a profit-making or profit-generating enterprise, as opposed to an institution that should be providing education to society and providing good jobs in the community. It’s very disheartening and ... I think that it’s not by accident, it’s by design.” “There certainly have been additional pressures put on these rounds of bargaining,” said Farquhar in response to those allegations. “I think traditionally, if you look back over a longer period of time, McMaster has not had much in the way of strikes ... The majority by far of the bargaining we do results in successful collective agreements that are approved by the membership.” Farquhar was unable to speculate at how long the strike would last, but noted that McMaster has “been focused on making sure that students with meal cards have access to the meals that they need.” While the union and the university spent some time away from the bargaining table during the earlier portion of the strike, a provincial mediator was to bring the two sides back into talks on the morning of Jan. 13.
Voices from the picket lines
“We’re not asking for more money. We’re not even asking for more wages. All we’re asking for is job security.” Troy Meade - Chef
“I’m here for the students... I don’t want the kids to be angry with me.” Mariana Drunghas - Cashier
“Unfair. They need to come back with a fair and decent contract that they would want to sign themselves.” Debbie Rogers - Satellite Worker
“I think it’s terrible what the university is doing to us... you can’t live life off of part-time hours” Giovanna Aguilar - Supervisor PHOTOS COMPILED BY FARHANG GHAJAR / SILHOUETTE STAFF
[This Week in the Sil] Upset at the Burridge The suddenly surging Mac basketball squad seals an improbable 83-81 win over CIS #6 Windsor. Pg. B3
Silhouette Stock Challenge
The Best of 2010, Part I
Join our second annual Silhouette stock challenge, create your own portfolio and win real prizes. Pg. C9
ANDY releases the first instalment of the best films and albums of 2010. Pg. D6, D7
A2 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
MUSS Replacement Fall Examinations
Why you wrote exams in DBAC
Google to replace MUSS in February One-time decision to move from IWC distracting for students New email system delayed until after reading week FARZEEN FODA
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
Three and a half thousand votes went in, and Google came out the winner of the Google vs. Microsoft email system showdown. On Nov. 4, it was declared after 70 per cent of voters chose Google to be the new email server for McMaster University, replacing MUSS (McMaster Undergraduate Student Server). Students voted in October, choosing between Microsoft and Google; two systems promising exceptional storage capacity and numerous student-centered features. The email system was expected to be available for students and faculty by the beginning of second term with the start of the New Year. The email system issue has certainly not been ignored. Unfortunately, the necessary arrangements and contract negotiations between the University and Google have not been completed within the expected time frame and, as such, the launch of the new email system has been pushed until immediately after reading week, according to Matthew Dillon-Leitch, SRA Commissioner of Student Affairs, after discussing the matter with MSU President, Mary Koziol and John Kearney, Chief Information Officer for McMaster University. It is intended that the Google email system will be implemented during Reading Week in February and by the end of the week, the new email server is expected to be available to McMaster students and faculty. During the implementation period, an email notification will be sent to all MUSS users regarding the change and the email shutdown during that period. A significant number of McMaster students and faculty have expressed a strong interest in remaining with the original system for their email needs. Those who would prefer to stay with MUSS can email UTS (University Technology Services) at the time of the switch. While in the process of settling the choice for the new email system, it was stressed by the University that the option to stay with the original system remains a possibility for those who want it. For those who make the change to the Google product, students and faculty can benefit from a wide range of features aimed at making communication within the University easier and more efficient. The limited storage capacity of MUSS is a key problem that the switch to Google will solve. MUSS currently provides a mere 15MB of storage for undergraduate students, leaving most students constantly reaching the maximum capacity, while Google will provide 7GB of storage. The Google email system will also include the familiar features of Gmail, such as GoogleDocs and a chat capability. Students can also subscribe to calendar subscriptions to stay in tune with events of particular groups or clubs in which they are interested. While many other features will accompany the switch to Google for the new email system, it is anticipated that its usage will evolve, getting university courses integrated into the email network, providing one stop for all university related communication. The further development of the system cannot happen without input from students and faculty. After the substantial voter turn out when choosing between Google and Microsoft, it became clear that the student voice can be a powerful one. While the popular notion remains that students are apathetic and reluctant to get involved in the community, “it is important to find an issue that students really care about,” said Leitch. The voting for the email system is a strong example showing that the right issue will elicit the right response and the University will do what it can to ensure that students get what they voted for.
JON FAIRCLOUGH / ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
Construction in IWC meant many students wrote exams in the newer of the gym complexes, but some experienced problems. JON FALCONE
In the early stages of last term’s exam period, students who were originally slated to write in IWC (Ivor Wynne Centre) were instead scheduled to write in the David Braley Athletic Centre (DBAC), where they faced many distractions while writing their tests. According to Dr. Philip Wood, Associate VP (Student Affairs), the reason for this was that “heavy steel construction was to take place for the new spinal cord research center which shares a wall with Ivor Wynne Center.” Though students were moved to DBAC with the intent of avoiding distractions while writing their exams, they were still faced with various disruptions. As one student, Yekatrina Krivulina said, “During one of my late exams, the lights for the track were turned off…Approximately half-way through my exam I noticed there were people running on the track.” She then went on to explain that this severely disrupted
her exam, as she had to worry about completing the test while being distracted by the two individuals using the track at the time.Yekatrina also added, “I would have preferred to be able to write my exam in silence so I could concentrate instead of watching people running around in circles for the majority of my exam.” “The decision to initially keep the second floor space open in DBAC (running track and performance centre) was made in cooperation with McMaster Athletics and Recreation to be fair to their clients [many of who are students] and have paid memberships,” Ruth Toth, an Associate Registrar of Scheduling and Examinations said. Toth explained how this floor of DBAC was closely monitored to make sure that there would be no disruptions for students writing exams. She also went on to say that, “during the evenings, even with emergency response procedures, there were challenges maintaining a respectful environment for students who were writing their examinations.” This led to the closure of the second floor track in DBAC as
of Dec. 10, 2010, which remained closed until the end of examinations. Mark Alfano, the Facilities and Events Manager of DBAC, provided information which corroborated this. He explained that it was important for the school to keep DBAC up and running as long as possible for the students during the exam period. “This facility is a student funded building,” he said. “And [its] purpose …is for student recreations.” He continued to say that the second floor would only be used if no distractions were being made. Once this happened, Alfano said that many other alternatives were made available to students who wished to participate in recreational activities. Examples include use of the pool and outdoor fields. “The students who needed to relieve their stress, were just looking for an outlet, still had opportunities – which is our priority,” he said. As unfortunate as this event was for the affected groups, the decision for students to be moved from IWC to DBAC wasn’t made overnight. Associate VP
(Academic) Dr. Peter Smith explained that the Registrar noted possible distractions in IWC at the beginning of November. “Following a search of viable alternatives,” says Dr. Smith, “it was decided to relocate the affected exams from the Ivor Wynne Centre to the David Braley Athletic Centre.” It should also be noted that DBAC is not a building used for exams and that such a decision was used as a last resort and this decision was a “one-time-thing” according to Alfano. McMaster Student Union VP (Education) Joe Finkle explained that concerns were raised about the decision to move students to DBAC. He also said that he will be looking into student rights regarding exams and will speak with examiners, “to ensure these rights are better known and more accessible to students.” Finkle added that students should go through the official Appeals Process if they feel that their performance in the exam was affected. “It is of the utmost importance that the writing of exams is fair for all students,” he said.
Interim business OUSA LobbyCon dean appointed ZAINAB FURQAN SILHOUETTE STAFF
Administration will seek to settle conflict before searching for permanent dean SAM COLBERT
SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
The process of recovery for McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business is underway. Robert McNutt has been named interim dean of the business school, which has been dealing with deep ideological rifts among faculty and administration. Paul Bates, who has been at the centre of the controversy, will cede the dean position to McNutt on March 1. Unlike his predecessor, McNutt is stepping into the dean’s role with a long history in academia. In his more than 30 years as a faculty member at McMaster, he spent time teaching in the geology department before becoming dean of science. He then went on to be the principal of the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, formerly known as Erindale College, and then returned to McMaster to serve in a number of roles, including acting chair of modern languages, acting dean of humanities and acting provost. “My hope is that Bob will help us to stabilize the business school, to implement some of the structural changes that have been recommended and to generally set the school back on an even keel, as it were,” said Patrick Deane, McMaster’s president and vice-chancellor. When the human rights office at McMaster filed a report last spring against Bates containing allegations of harassment and bullying, a committee was formed to ad-
dress the matter. The issue, though, wasn’t a new one. A group of faculty tried to block Bates from getting a second term as dean two years ago, but were unsuccessful. Other critiques of Bates were more related to experience. Although the dean had a stellar curriculum vitae in the business world, he had no university degree. His corporate-like management style of the business school did much for its growth and reputation, but spawned antagonism among certain members of his staff. Deane received documents from the human rights investigation on Jan. 7, but their contents will remain confidential during the six weeks he has to make a decision as to a course of action. In the meantime, Bates will remain a McMaster employee once his time as dean concludes, likely working in the executive education area of the new Roy Joyce Centre in Burlington. The satellite business campus was major product of the work done by Bates. Once McNutt helps to settle the conflict, the university will search for a permanent dean. “Whoever takes on the role longterm will need to be very adept at managing some of the challenging, I suppose it’s true to call them ideological differences within the faculty about what the structure of the business education needs to be, but I think the person needs to be creative, bold and eager to move the school out of the current situation and towards higher levels of excellence,” said Deane.
From Nov. 26 to Dec. 1, members of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) met at Queen’s Park in Toronto, and lobbied on behalf of 140,000 undergraduate students from around Ontario. MSU President Mary Koziol and VP (Education) Joe Finkle represented McMaster University at the Lobby Conference hosted by OUSA, an alliance of seven universities that seeks to improve post-secondary education in Ontario. Finkle and Koziol met with politicians, stakeholders and senior civil servants, highlighting the issues affecting post-secondary students and recommending solutions. Finkle considered this to be the most successful lobby conference OUSA has hosted so far, as 70 per cent of the provincial legislature was present at the conference, allowing students to speak directly to a large number of MPPs from different parties. One of the main topics of discussion was the issue of education tax-credits. According to OUSA reports, the Liberal provincial government had promised to transform education tax-credits into up-front grants. These credits, amounting to $330 million last year, can only be claimed after individuals reach a certain income threshold. Currently, spending on such credits benefits high-earners twice as much as lower-earners. OUSA argues that this money would be more useful as grants to students currently in university, making post-secondary more accessible to students from lower-income families. Instead of claiming the money five to ten years after graduation, Finkle explained that students could take fewer loans to meet their needs. Quality of education was
another concern raised at the conference. OUSA is pushing for professors to acquire formal training, by encouraging the government to allot new funding to institutions that mandate formal training for new professors and teaching assistants. As Finkle commented, “Having someone who is schooled in ways of teaching means you are going to have a better educational experience, better quality of education, and your degree is going to mean a lot more to you than just spent tuition.” Another recommendation for improving the quality of education made at the conference was the creation of teaching chairs in order to renew institutional commitment to pedagogy. According to OUSA, the gross inequality between funding for research and funding for teaching encourages professors to spend excessive time on research and inadequate time on improving their teaching methods. Attendees are still awaiting tangible results, but that was expected, Finkle explained. “A lot of what we did was try to influence the budget that will be coming out in February or March.” In the meantime, some successes have been observed. Elizabeth Witmer, PC shadow minister of Education, read a statement in the House about education taxcredits one week after the conference. “There is a lot of follow-up going on to see that the promises that were made are kept,” Finkle asserted. “Without a doubt, this is one of the most influential conferences we attend because OUSA’s name is very well known and respected in the provincial legislature and in almost every single meeting we went to, our points were commended for being very well thought out and not just pointing out problems but pointing out solutions as well.”
THE SILHOUETTE • A3
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
CHRISTOPHER CHANG / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
We love it, we hate it, we need it, and we could certainly do without it. The HSR has been a Hamiltonian staple for 137 years, shaping, moving and embodying the spirit of the city. CHRIS ERL
Electric streetcars were a frightening new invention when they were first introduced in 1892. This particular car is running the Kenilworth route in the 1940’s.
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
Our dark November A deafening silence hung over Hamilton on the morning of Nov. 5, 1906. The strip around Gore Park was empty and increasingly agitated commuters mulled along York Street, waiting for streetcars that would never come. As the people began to assemble in offices and on shop floors, news spread quickly: the men who moved Hamilton had gone on strike. The HSR had stopped moving. Anger over days that lasted from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. in cramped streetcars without heat or benefits was augmented by a starting wage of 16 cents an hour. Frustration boiled over in early 1906, when an ambitious young American named Fred Fay proposed that employees of the HSR form a union to address the pressing issues of workers. John Gibson, the President of the Cataract Power, Light and Traction Company, who had bought the HSR in 1899, was furious and refused to address such a request. Negotiations broke down in late 1906, and by the first week of November, the tired and aggravated workers walked out. It was not long before Gibson employed scabs to break the strike and move Hamilton’s streetcars once more. The situation degenerated quickly, as striking workers clashed with scabs in a gunfight on Nov. 9. Mayor Sanford Biggar announced he would attempt to arbitrate between the groups. This failed miserably, as the police quickly lost control of the city. The citizens of Hamilton began to riot, taking out their frustration with the oppressive nature of the Cataract Company on the scabs and streetcars. By Nov. 21, smallpox swept through the camps where the scabs were being housed and the riots became increasingly vicious. Then, on Nov. 24, the biggest riot in Hamilton’s history erupted, with workers and citizens uniting in a frenzy of destruction aimed at the HSR. Over 1800 soldiers were brought into the city following a reading of the Riot Act. Strike leader Fred Fay was arrested, detained at the American consulate in Toronto and subsequently deported for his union organizing actions. Hamiltonians went wild, smashing the windows of streetcars and businesses that did not support the strikers. Sticks of dynamite were found on HSR tracks, apparently part of a failed plot to bomb the lines, rendering them unusable. A day later, the city was still smoldering and the strike was effectively finished. Their union was recognized, but their pay stayed at 16 cents.
SILHOUETTE FILE PHOTOS
An HSR bus on the King 1 Route in the late 1950’s. These new gasoline powered vehicles replaced the streetcars that once dominated Hamilton.
CHRISTOPHER CHANG / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
Ryan McGreal, editor of raisethehammer.org is a passionate advocate for LRT.
on the nature of transit in Hamilton. What Hamiltonians know as the HSR was born in 1874, when service was only available for James and King Streets, no further than Wellington in the east and where Jackson Square is today in the west. “It was a group of downtown businessmen that created the original HSR,” Manson told the Silhouette. He elaborated on the owners of the HSR during the strike of 1906, noting “the Cataract Power and Transmission Company were responsible for the radial lines and the electrification of the HSR and had the electrical monopoly in Hamilton.” Citizens traveled by trams pulled by horses along tracks laid in the road until 1892 when electricity was added to the mix. The introduction of buses in 1927 Beginnings spelled the end of the streetcar era in HamilIt is of little solace to the average frustrated ton, an era Manson says will remain firmly in commuter that one of the most violent epi- the past. “I don’t think streetcars are possible sodes in Hamilton’s history is thanks in part to anymore. They’re terribly inflexible,” he said, the HSR. Regardless of the nature of the past, while noting that this should not dissuade muthere is no more definitive authority on transit nicipal officials from looking into LRT as an history in Hamilton than Bill Manson, a re- option for the future. tired educator who authored Getting Around Hamilton, an account of transit and trans- Transit’s turmoil today portation in Hamilton from its beginnings to modernity. It is his research that provides the The last two decades have not been kind to historical background for the ongoing debates the HSR, with the number of buses being cut
from 272 in 1989 to 217 today. This is despite a distinct increase in the population that is served by the HSR to 475,000 in 2010 from 400,000 20 years earlier. Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 107, the union representing HSR employees, sent President Budh Dhillon to voice this concern to a meeting of city council on Dec. 14, 2010, while raising other apprehensions of transit employees such as the 26 cases of assault directed towards drivers over the past year. MSU Vice President (Administration) John McIntyre attended that meeting to update city council on McMaster’s subsidized bus pass, which is itself an issue of a referendum in February. “This was the first time, when we went to speak to city council in December, that we actually interacted directly with the city councillors on the HSR,” McIntyre said. The current bus pass deal allows undergraduate students eight months of access to the HSR for $121.80, as opposed to the $696.00 it would cost for monthly adult passes for every month school is in session. Since the contract is signed every three years, referendums approving a resigning occur relatively frequently and receive the overwhelming support of students. The 2005 referendum yielded 1766 ‘yes’ votes to 109
opposed and, while the 2008 vote saw less support, the 1684 ballots in favour easily outnumbered the 201 against. While the MSU generally focuses on the subsidized bus pass contract, they do deal with other elements concerning campus transit. “The other relationship is in terms of capital improvements, such as roads and bus shelters. Parking and transit services often works with them to and get improved facilities on campus,” McIntyre noted. Brave new futures Innovation and customer demands force the transit industry to implement sweeping changes every few decades. Buses are practical and efficient, but when looking to move a large number of people very quickly, cities across the world turn to light rail transit. Small passenger train cars operate like subways, moving along in-road rails placed throughout high-traffic corridors. Hamilton’s arrangement sets out a long-term plan targeting the busiest stretches of road in the city. Priority number one is the B-Line route, which would essentially follow the path of its bus counterpart from Eastgate Square to McMaster. Around the same time, an A-Line from the Hamilton Airport in Mount Hope to LIUNA Station on James Street would be constructed to ease congestion on Mountain accesses. Though the initial plan has been slated for completion in the next 15 years, issues over provincial funding and city council’s lack of eagerness about the project has caused speculation over the future of the project. Some of the strongest advocates for an improved transit network in Hamilton congregate around raisethehammer.org, an online magazine for urban activists edited by Ryan McGreal. Transit is integral to their overall mission, as McGreal maintains “our mandate as a citizen’s group is to try an advocate for a more vital, more lively, more dense, more functional city. A city that actually thinks it’s a city and behaves like a city.” He added, “one of the things a city needs is good, high quality transit.” The overall goal for a livable city, McGreal said, is to reduce reliance on the car while planning cities around people to ease environmental strain. The cyclical nature of the issue is difficult to combat, as a heavy emphasis on the car propagates a greater need to plan for the car, which generates a greater reliance on the car, he noted. When it comes to the tangible future of transit in Hamilton, McGreal remains optimistic about the benefits of LRT. “The great thing about (LRT) is that the evidence we have from other cities that have built light rail is abundant and it’s overwhelming and it’s consistent,” McGreal maintained. The coming years will prove to be a challenge for LRT and transit in Hamilton, with increasing demand, shrinking budgets and a multitude of new technologies competing for the hearts and wallets of commuters everywhere. Through highs and lows, tribulations and exultations, changes and permanency, there is something to be said for longevity of the Hamilton Street Railway. 137 years. A venerable life in transit.
JOY SANTIAGO / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
The proposed LRT routes would cross the city in an attempt to ease downtown congestion, with a specific emphasis on serving the McMaster to Eastgate route.
A6 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
EDITORIAL The Silhouette McMaster University’s Student Newspaper
Peter “Buck” Goffin Executive Editor David “Legs” Koots Managing Editor Katherine “Der Now” Marsden Copy Editor
Sam “Footloose” Colbert Senior News Editor
editor’s extension: 22052 letters: email@example.com
The Adventures of Huck Finn in Search of Political Correctness
Chris “We Made the Trains Run on Time” Erl Asst. News Editor
to the uniform: plaid and glasses.
to the term “fat mistake“ as an insult
to imminent departure.
to the jo bros. except the cute one.
to montreal. we assume.
to dear abby. you can’t tell me what to do. you’re not my real dad!
to bagels and smoked meat.
Farzeen “Hard as Fuck” Foda Asst. News Editor
to justin biebey. sooo cute. to bangs.
Cassandwich Jeffery Opinions Editor
to bangs, lester.
Brian “Ass Man” Decker Sports Editor
to the complete buddy holly collection.
Fraser “Ginger Lightening” Caldwell Asst. Sports Editor
to alcoves. to versatile hair.
Dan “Mittens” Hawie ANDY Music Editor
Chariman Christopher Chang Senior Photo Editor Joy “Two-Gun” Santiago Multimedia Editor Jonathon “Pruneface” Fairclough Asst. Photo Editor Simon “Like a Rock” Granat Business Editor Santino “Sonny” Marinucci Asst. Business Editor
Silhouette Staff Kevin Elliott ANDY Sandro Giordano Ad Manager
Contact Us McMaster University Student Centre, Room B110 McMaster University 1280 Main Street West Hamilton, ON L8S 4S4 Fax: (905) 529–3208 E–Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Production Office (905) 525-9140, extension 27117 Advertising (905) 525-9140, extension 27557 10,000 circulation Published by the McMaster Students Union
Legal The Silhouette welcomes letters to the editor in person at MUSC B110, or by email at thesil@thesil. ca. Please include name, address, and telephone number for verification only. We reserve the right to edit, condense, or reject letters and opinion articles. Opinions expressed in The Silhouette are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial board, the publishers, or university officials. The Silhouette is an editorially autonomous newspaper published by the McMaster Students Union. The Silhouette board of publications acts as an intermediary between the editorial board, the McMaster community, and the McMaster Students Union. Grievances regarding The Silhouette may be forwarded in writing to: McMaster Students Union, McMaster University Student Centre, Room 201, L8S 4S4, Attn: The Silhouette Board of Publications. The board will consider all submissions and make recommendations accordingly.
to changing headlines.
to standing, bending, leaning and holding.
Roxanne Hathway-Baxter & the Crickets Senior ANDY Editors
Smyles Herod ANDY Ent. Editor
to missing the fantasy draft.
to abstinence. (not really).
Kaitlin “Greg” Peters Asst. InsideOut Editor
to anal waxing. sorry grandma. to streetcars. you’re the subway’s ugly sister.
Natalie “The Running Man” Timperio InsideOut Editor
to the dwindling funds.
to changing front pages. to change. to bad hair memories.
Section Meeting Times A full 100 years after his death, Mark Twain is in the newspapers again. Yeah, the inventor of the Great American Novel is in trouble, and for all the same reasons as ever. Namely, words. The flap is that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer are being reprinted. Now, there are several editions of those classics, but these editions will be different. Because they will have been purged of the word “nigger”. Discomfort around Huck Finn, which features that epithet 219 times, is not new. For 30 years or so the book has been banned from various schools across North America, its merits debated and re-debated, the viability of that one venomous word debated and re-debated. And I don’t want to talk about it. I have thoughts on the subject. But they aren’t important. As someone who has never hurled, nor been the target of, that word I am not qualified to come out in its defense or vilification. But as an English student I am qualified to make an observation about literary education. Thomas Gribben, the man responsible for the censorship project, has said that the altered version of Huck Finn came about because too many teachers complained that they couldn’t teach the classic read to their students due to its offensive terminology. So in order to teach the book, they had to change it. Why they absolutely had to teach the book is unclear, but I think I know. The censors have a bizarre love-hate relationship with literature. I mean, why go to all the trouble of altering a book just so it can be read? Are there not enough other books to teach in school? Well, I think there probably are. But I also think there is a certain credibility and esteem that accompany Mark Twain, and Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in particular. So Gribben’s teacher friends teach an altered version of Twain, just so they can say they taught Twain. But if they change his words, is it really still Twain? At what point does it cease to be his work? When does it become “Story by Mark Twain, words by the Board of Education”? Is there any reason to study the classics once they aren’t really the original classics anymore? Well what if Twain has good ideas, but they just aren’t presented in a way that is suitable for today’s audiences? If we change one or two words here and there and come out with a nice clean version of the book that everyone can enjoy, no one has lost anything, right? Sounds acceptable. Except that it’s still censorship. And what offends me about censorship, and I mean offends me more than any foul word or idea, is that it undermines the intelligence of the consumer, in this case the reader. If you read Huck Finn, and you recognize and admit that there are wonderful, beautiful, progressive, enlightening ideas presented in that book, how could there possibly be any need to censor any part of it? If it truly is such a powerfully great book, I’d expect it to transcend a single word, no matter how heinous. But censorship stems from the desire to protect simple minds too weak and vulnerable to be exposed to complex subject matter. The motivating fear behind this new edition of Huck Finn is that will prevent the average teenager from absorbing the valuable message. And so, paternally, people like Gribben cut those concepts right out. It’s for the good of the student, supposedly. And yet I can’t see that it does anything but belittle the reader’s ability. Censoring Huck Finn, or any literary work, makes the statement that students cannot fathom more than one concept at a time. After all, how can they possibly ponder the lessons of Huckleberry and Nigger Jim if they also have to think about the inappropriateness of a word? But of course if books exist for any reason it is to push the mind’s boundaries. And if students can’t handle that, then maybe literature isn’t their speed. Might as well take all their books away. They’re lost causes.
• PETER GOFFIN EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.
- Mark Twain
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THE SILHOUETTE • A7
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
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The true meaning of tradition CASSANDRA JEFFERY OPINIONS EDITOR
Tradition is the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, and values from generation to generation. Traditions can attribute meaning to various customs, such as the religiously derived celebration of the birth of Christ to the representation of Santa Claus and westernized traditions of Christmas. A common practice in our society is associating traditional meaning to objects and events. However, these traditional meanings often represent out-dated customs to the point where our society celebrates common traditional practices, not because we truly believe in the historical origin of said traditional practice, but because the tradition has become ingrained in our culture to be universally right—a standard of living. We associate white with marriage and St. Patrick’s Day with drinking massive quantities of beer. Why? Not because white is flattering and the Irish are prone to excessive drinking, but because it’s simply tradition. Tradition can provide a sense of unity, involvement, knowledge on past events, and in some cases, an excuse to drink. However, as a society, we rarely question the origins of tradition. How many people actually know why we decorate a Christmas tree or why a tooth is placed underneath a pillow? We engage in traditions because our grandparents have shown us the ropes and because culture and society have embedded into our minds that “this is the way it goes and you must conform to the norm.” To that, I say why? Why must we continue with age-old traditions that we don’t necessarily understand? A prime example, women who change their surname upon marriage. A significant majority of women tying the knot in today’s modern society change their surname to that of their future husband. My question is why?
The act of a women changing her maiden name upon marriage is just another example of unexplained traditions, followed without question. Most women and men do not have the slightest idea of why we actually engage in such a tradition yet society has constructed us, women especially, to believe accepting a man’s last name as your own is the natural and right thing to do. The illusion of universality has influenced many to believe that the only natural and obvious choice would be to accept another name as your own. Linda Lowen, in her article Keeping your Maiden name after Marriage, suggests with each coming year approximately three million women change their name upon marriage; which represents 90 per cent of women who marry. Okay, three million women change their name, how many agree with the historic value behind this “traditional” practice? How many people are aware of what the traditional origins of women changing their s u r n a m e s represents? According to Laura Dawn Lewis’s article, Why Brides change Last •PLEASE SEE MATRIMONY, A10
JOY SANTIAGO / MULTIMEIDA EDITOR
The new American Beauty defined through age political discourse Physical appearance has nothing on experience CHRIS ERL
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
It is tempting to say that an event which took place last Saturday in Tucson marked the end of civil discourse in the Western world. The allure of such a statement comes from the oft-desired need to proclaim the end of something and, therefore, to help usher in something new. That bright Arizonan January morning, on which Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head while meeting constituents, was merely another ripple in on ever-changing pond of debate, politics and dialogue in America. What Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is accused of is the attempted assassination of a federal official and the murder of six bystanders, children among them. Having met with the congresswoman some years before, he reportedly
remarked to an acquaintance at his high school that he viewed her as “stupid.” He did not say that he disagreed with her viewpoints or those of the Democratic Party, but that she was “stupid”. A woman, a wife, a daughter, a public servant, stripped of all her traits and qualities and reduced, in the unstable mind of a confused and angry young American, to nothing more than a stupid politician. Unable to express his frustration civilly, he lashed out against a world and a nation mired in the midst of a gridlocked conversation, permeating every level of discussion on every topic. His was a single voice crying out for attention, a voice demanding to be heard over the undying noise of American politics. As dialogue has stalled across America, from school boards to state legislatures, all the way to the White House, how many more Jared Lee Loughners there •PLEASE SEE ABANDON, A10
I was told once, at a vain and vulnerable age, and by a very attractive older woman, no less, that I should take heed; that women, as they get older, care less about looks. It felt no better to hear at the time than it sounds now. And what’s worse, the statement isn’t true. Mostly. If it were, wouldn’t older men care less about their appearances? Wouldn’t the aged have let themselves go, completely assured of the fact that the people in their age bracket didn’t care about physical appeal? No, that older woman of my past got it wrong. It isn’t that the people you try to impress necessarily outgrow shallowness. It’s that you, the product in this supply-demand situation, learn better advertising techniques. I, never in my life having
been what our society would deem physically attractive, am only now carving out a rough appeal not unlike handsomeness. It’s a very worn, lived-in look, cultivated over many years. There are some bags
A few scars, a few dents, a bit of a paunch but they all derive from some story, some experience. And they all make me look like I’ve lived. It’s a flattering look.” under the eyes, beneath the dark circles. A few scars, a few dents, a bit of a paunch but they all derive from some story, some experience. And they all make me look like I’ve
lived. It’s a flattering look. And the future has never looked brighter. I am set up now so that I will only become more worn with time, each scuff another point of appeal, not pretty by any means, but grudgingly handsome in the way of an old baseball glove or leather chair. And so too, with age, will I learn self-awareness, learn to consider the other side of conversations, learn to listen. I’ve already learned to try new things, to stockpile experiences, and to take something away from each of them. Most importantly, I have learned to learn. And all of that is terribly attractive. Just that. Education. Consideration. Conversation. Experience. It still might not be as effective as pure physical beauty, but for those of us who never possessed such fortune, it is still not a bad leg up. •PLEASE SEE THERE, A9
[This Week in Opinions] New Years resolution’s With a new year beginning, resolutions are in full swing. But why do we make resolutions in the first place? Pg. A8
Pursue your passion
The arts and sciences
We should always follow our dreams. Success and wealth are not always a top priority when it comes to being happy. Pg. A9
To understand and contribute to humanity, society needs a balance between all academic institutions. Pg. A11
A8 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Media pressures are the main reason why society attempts to lose weight after Christmas JEMMA WOLFE SILHOUETTE STAFF
The beginning of January: a time of holiday food regrets, wide-spread despair at the coming semester’s workload, and the bitter cold and irritating snow made unromantic by the rapid expiration of the I’mdreaming-of-a-white-Christmas kind of spirit. January is also, however, a time of renewed vigor and determination, for in the midst of nursing a New Year’s Day hangover from hell, many people make promises to themselves for self-improvement. New Year’s resolutions are the popular cultural practice of making a commitment to oneself to undergo a lifestyle change for the better. A quick Google search will tell you that, traditionally, the all-time top ten New Year’s resolutions (in no particular order) are as follows: 1. Quit Smoking 2. Get Physically Fit 3. Lose Weight 4. Enjoy Life More 5. Stop Drinking 6. Become Organized 7. Learn Something New 8. Get Out of Debt 9. Spend More Time With Family 10. Help People These resolutions seem to fall into three categories: physical improvement, self-fulfillment, and inter-personal outreach – all of which are noble pursuits. Who doesn’t want to enjoy life, be healthy, and spend time with others? So why is it then, that resolutions are so hard to keep? British psychologist Richard Wiseman’s 2007 survey concluded that 88 per cent of people’s New Year’s resolutions end in failure. Impossible media pressures are what I consider the main culprit. Our society is inundated daily with messages telling us how we should look, think, and behave. Whether
JOY SANTIAGO / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
January first is an incentive to lose weight and quit smoking ... too bad the average success rate is twelve percent. it’s a sculpted body on the cover of a magazine, or a blissfully cohesive and tight-knit family on a TV show, we are subtly told that who we are and what we have, are simply not enough. Weight loss and fitness resolutions are particular evidence of this. Every year welcomes with it a new fad dieting regiment or obsessive fat-bursting exercise guru who will occupy your infomercial channels until eventually being replaced. The “Learn Something New” resolution also contains
echoes of the media-driven idea of inadequacy. While this seems like a harmless proposition, the discontentedness of self, manifested in self-improvement promises to learn a new skill or talent, is not as benign. I also find it sad that some of these resolutions even exist. Take “Enjoy Life More” for example. Is it not troublesome that one should have to resolve to try harder to enjoy their life? It’s strange to think that some people are at the point where they have to force themselves to make a conscious effort to be happy,
which is something that I would have hoped should come naturally. In our North American culture of instant gratification, it is no surprise that New Year’s resolutions have a success rate of only 12 per cent. People expect results instantaneously, and abandon their pursuits if they don’t immediately see improvement. If they’re not 15 pounds slimmer, cigarette-free, and a star guitar player after their very first week of trying, then they give up. There’s also the bizarre mentality people seem to have in which they can eat as much as they
want, drink endlessly, and be lazy and unproductive until December 31st, and then miraculously, as the clock strikes midnight and January 1st heralds the start of a new year, that suddenly everything will change. Reinventing oneself cannot, and should not, happen overnight. We should strive to be content with who we are, and if we decide to make changes happen in our lives, they should be gradual, realistic, and timeline free. My New Year’s resolution? To not have one.
THE SILHOUETTE • A9
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
What’s your opinion on women changing their surname after marriage?
Guidance? Or discouraging advice? Despite external influences, one should always pursue their passion
“It seems to be the traditional thing to do because it’s been ingrained in our society.” Matt Ketcheson
“It’s a personal choice, but you shouldn’t feel pressure to do so because of cultural norms.” Katherine Hudgins
“You should at least use hyphenation to show the bond between both partners.” J.D. Plewak
JOY SANTIAGO / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Always make your own decisions and don’t let people discourage you from following your dreams. JENNA SHAMOON SILHOUETTE STAFF
“It’s traditional, it seems to be the norm.” Brianne Seamans
People have this huge fear of doing the things that they really want. Throughout elementary school and high school, students are basically programmed into a mindset which suggests they need a job that makes money. This kind of attitude makes people afraid to make the decisions that make them happy. In high school, I’ve had the speeches from guidance counsellors and teachers, telling me the kind of job I should strive to get. Become a doctor, lawyer, technician, or perhaps one of those no-name jobs where you sit at a desk for hours on end adding up numbers and figures. Students are put into this framework, and then once they go to university, they realize that they’re doing something that they don’t actually like, and taking classes that they cannot stand. I myself fell into this framework, particularly in my last two years of high school. I wanted to do something that related to visual arts. It was what I was good at and what I really enjoyed. But once I met with my guidance counsellor, my dreams were put on the backburner. I sat in that office, staring at her books on the shelf behind her chair. They were books for different programs in universities and colleges. Seeing those names at the time made me so afraid of the future that I was nauseous. She came into the office and she looked up the courses I had been taking that year. Then came the dreaded question:
“So what are you planning on doing after high school?” I began going on this rant of how I wanted to go to OCAD to study fine arts and to get my Bachelor’s and eventually my Master’s in the Arts. As I was talking, I began to see the smile fade from her face into a confused
Of course you want a job that is secure. Of course you want to be sure that you can support yourself. But that does not mean that you have to dismiss what you love to gain success.” stare. Once I had finished talking, she basically outlined for me why my plan was faulty and was not going to work. Basically, she forced me into thinking that I needed to do something that was more concrete, where I could eventually get a job. I got up and walked out of that office with discontent, like those cartoons where a cloud is hanging over someone’s head when they’re depressed. I followed through with this mindset for the next year and a half, constantly changing my career choices over and over again. One day, I was speaking with my art teacher, who, in a sense, is like a great beacon for amazing advice. I had him as a teacher throughout
high school, so if I needed to talk to him about anything, it was slightly easier. After class one day, he had asked me about university and what I had planned to do. I laid out my plans of how I was going to study History and English. Have you ever had someone give you a face as if something smelled really bad? That’s the exact face my teacher gave me. He knew what an avid art student I was, and how much I had enjoyed the class for the past three years. He questioned me, asking me why I was even going into such subjects. But the crucial question he asked was “Is going into those subjects going to lead to something that is going to make you happy?” I felt as though I was hit with a brick to the forehead. I realized that I had completely dismissed my passion; the only thing in my life that has always been with me. I was right back to where I started, confused and with no direction. That experience has taught me a great lesson. What it taught me is that you don’t have to leave the passion and danger behind when you’re choosing a career path. It’s okay to still do what you love. The thing to do is to not ignore you’re passion, but embrace it. Of course you want a job that is secure. Of course you want to be sure that you can support yourself. But that does not mean that you have to dismiss what you love to gain success. Make the decisions you want to make. It’s your life, isn’t it?
There’s something great about being aged • CONT’D FROM A7 Taken in combination, the appearance of a life well-lived and the skill of conversation make me the closest thing to a catch that I’ll ever be: a viable option. I suppose what I’m saying is that time and use have afforded me attractiveness. I think it’s quite possibly true of us all. No one in high school is particularly handsome. Kids might be cute, or neatly nice-looking in a way that makes mothers coo when looking at class photos, but handsome
is a very age-affiliated quality. Dignified. Earned. Attractive faces are the ones with a story, the ones with something behind them. And attractive people are the ones who know how to tell that story. That backhanded compliment of so many years ago was only half right. It is not true that surface appeal becomes less important with age. That shallow vanity is a universal quality. But what do change over time are the looks by which we are judged. Our physical appearance becomes
far more representative of our personalities and experiences, especially if we can learn how to link the two. The longer we’ve been out of the shop, the more our lives wear on our bodies, the more badges we rack up. Badges that denote each trip, each glory, each success, each failure, each experience. Each story. You may well find that interestingness, both physical and personal, is appealing beyond anything else you may have. Who wants to be a pretty-boy anyway?
A10 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
An abandonment of all reason
Congresswoman Giffords (D-AZ) was the target of an assassination attempt. • CONT’D FROM A7
evil!” shouts MSNBC, as Fox rebuts with “MSNBC is evil!” must be. Sensationalism demeans educated A breakdown in open and free discussion is inextricably linked to the discussion and free thought, and goes far abandonment of reason in society, as our beyond such nonsensical and mystical concepts as good and evil. Sarah civil discourse degenerates Palin’s website used a graphic into the supernatural. of a rifle viewfinder to denote Popularized by former Sensationalism the regions her Tea Party group President George W. Bush whilst referring to the demeans educated was targeting in the midterm ever-Orwellian War on discussion and free elections of 2010 and former Democratic Congressman Alan Terror, “Good” became thought goes far Grayson of Florida called a the word used to describe member of the Federal Reserve what we believe are the beyond such a “whore” for trying to explain positive characteristics of nonsensical and the budget to him. our society. “Evil” was the Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 catchword employed to mystical concepts as in Tucson is another glaring denote a so-called enemy. good and evil.” example of just how toxic the An “other.” political climate in America We now use has become. To abandon these words with multiple meanings. Generally, because of their civility, to cast off discussion and debate, prevalence in national dialogue, many to surrender rationality to impulse simply commentators have adopted such words in because discourse has slipped away from the the same vein as an adolescent using “like” people and the nation. The brave new world with obsessive frequency. “Fox News is of American politics.
Matrimony based on partnership, not ownership • CONT’D FROM A7 Names, the three historic reasons why women change their maiden name upon marriage are as follows: protection of family and wealth, designation of a new life direction, acknowledgment of God’s presence in and endorsement of the marriage. Historically, women would change their name on the basis of protecting her new family’s assets. Without a will, documenting where and how the wealth was distributed upon death of the male (head of household), the assets were given to the next male, or in some cases female, in the family linage. Name change would offer women protection and status and furthermore the idea of marriage and name changing was a traditional Christian ceremony for a predominantly religious era. With a society influenced heavily on traditional religious practices, it’s no wonder women blindly accepted a new name; it was ethically right and natural for the time. However, we’ve evolved, women’s rights have been established and yeah for us, we can now independently own land! Furthermore, in today’s multicultural society, not everyone is devoutly Christian or even religious. Considering that the tradition of altering your maiden name post marriage historically represents the essential ownership of a women to a man, the changing of identity, and the “protection of status,” why do we still accept the traditional cultural custom that has so blatantly consumed generations of women? Lowen suggests that “tradition is the only reason why
American women have taken their spouses’ surnames.” Currently, there are no laws implicating that a woman must take a males surname, and vice versa for men, although for women, the assumption still exists that we must conform to tradition. Of course there’s always the idea of hyphenation, some say to symbolically join both partners upon matrimony. Think about it for a second. Women are hyphenating their name. Women are incorporating both their name and their husband’s name. What are men doing? I have yet to see a man take on a hyphenated name. Does it seem fair that we are symbolically joining with our partner, but their name remains untouched? As a woman with my own unique identity, I would not assume a man’s surname simply because it’s tradition, just as I would not expect a man to change his surname to match mine. We are two distinct people who have equally decided to celebrate love through marriage; why would we have to alter our names to do so? There are a number of reasons why women would change their surname upon marriage: it makes having kids easier or perhaps they like the sound of their first name with their husband’s surname. Whichever reason, women should remember that blindly changing their last name because they believe “it’s tradition” is not acceptable. Change your name if you wish, but do it for the right reasons. After all, if men are not culturally implicated to assume our surname upon marriage, why should we follow “tradition” and assume theirs. Besides, I like the sound of my name.
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THE SILHOUETTE • A11
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
The lull of learning languages ANDREW TEREFENKO
twenty-six, I would say. An easier way to analogize this would be that if the Latin English vocabulary had Twenty-Six. That is the amount of a different letter for every syllable, letters we had to learn as children instead of every letter, and putting in order to fully comprehend multiple syllables together could the English alphabet, and thus form a new word entirely, you start forming the words we so would be left with a crude mirror to desperately needed, to leave the the language that is spoken on the “cry until diaper is changed” era other side of the world. If you can’t of our lives. The moment I could recite, off heart, the entire A-B-C So here I am, four song to the blatantly unoriginal months into an ripped-off tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I felt one part glorious intensive achievement and equal part artisancompression of the like wordsmithtitude. It was the first language’s study, step in a long staircase of higher learning, and one I would not put and I can’t honestly lightly. Fast-forward sixteen years, say that I know more where I am now expected to climb an entirely new staircase, with a than a one-year-old first step twenty metres high. This child would, native has been my experience learning to that language.” Mandarin Chinese. Those twenty-six letters I had so cherished meant nothing imagine how they could devise more anymore, as now I had the task of than ten thousand unique sounds to memorizing upwards of four to five constitute the need for that many thousand distinct characters, and characters, many of them are almost that was only for common use! The identical, but are said in a different upwards of five thousand figure is inflection to indicate a different only what a regular Chinese college word, such as rising, falling or graduate is expected to read and both. So here I am, four months write, but in reality there are more into an intensive compression of than ten thousand different Hànzì the language’s study, and I can’t (Chinese characters) in the modern honestly say that I know more than dictionary. Certainly more than a one-year-old child would, native SILHOUETTE STAFF
to that language. If I was born in Beijing today with the knowledge I have now, I would have to cry to get my diaper changed, as asking for it would prove far too difficult. This isn’t meant to be read as a summary of the language’s quips and quirks, as one can easily gather that information from a variety of sources. This is meant as a dire warning, to all those foolish enough to follow in my footsteps. Do not attempt to learn a new language, any language, without being prepared to give to it the dedication that one might expect from a graduate student to a single cause. You will probably not learn a language by merely showing up to class and patiently adhering to “repeat after me” exercises. You have to (I’m sorry to say this) devote time to the study outside of class. Put off those Thursday-night keggers to practice your Korean and Kanji, and forsake your weekend sleep-until-noon rituals in favour of fine-tuning your French. If you can’t devote that kind of commitment to the cause, then you are better off buying a tourist’s phrase book and getting by with “how do you do?” until the funny looks stop. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m off to look up the words for “diaper” “change” and “oh #^$% not again” in my Chinese dictionary. Just in case.
SILHOUETTE FILE PHOTO
Arts and Sciences work together Today’s war on terror To understand humanity we must consider all academic perspectives SHAWN FAZEL OPINION
Since when have the arts and the sciences been so separated? Think of every great thinker you’ve ever studied, and ask yourself whether they would have been great thinkers if they had limited themselves to nothing but their fields, or whether their creativity, social conscience or understanding of humanity would have been the same. Would they be as great if they hadn’t understood the fundamentals of humanity itself? Would Socrates have been as good a teacher? Would Einstein have foreseen the implications of his nuclear research? Would Galileo have kept his mouth shut? The dichotomy between arts, sciences and engineering courses is a trend evolving in western universities. I think it will ultimately lead to each specialized worker knowing nothing outside their field, ultimately allowing them to be exploited for their work by those who do have a greater understanding of humanity as the crossroads of all disciplines. Art, just as much as science, is the result of man’s natural tendency for discovery of truth and further truth. Our curiosity has allowed us to build bridges, establish government, develop philosophies. And although each filed is continuously growing, universities today are missing the point, in that all these fields of knowledge all stem and revolve around humans.
Be it healthcare for example, an engineer can be a greater effect upon a population’s health than any physician. Why? Sanitation can stop the spread of diseases, as it did with tuberculosis in the 1950s. The combination of higher living standards after WWII (economics) and the development of streptomycin and PAS (pharmacology) allowed for tuberculosis treatment to take place at home, outside of the sanatoria that once houses hundred of TB patents at a time. But who was paying for these sanatoria (Political Science, history and economics)? How ethical was the forced transport of Inuits infected with TB to sanatoria in cities (philosophy and bioethics)? Our society as a whole is beginning to lose its sense of history. History is no longer as important as it used to be. How can we understand where we are going, when we don’t know where we come from? A closer look at history can also help us tackle the problems of today. For example, the energy transition we are facing, from petroleum based energy sources to greener and more sustainable technologies, can be closely related to the energy transitions of the past, such as from coal to petroleum. What was the initial reaction of society to a new energy? How did the new energy technology surpass the old one? What energy infrastructure needed to be adjusted or became wholly useless during the transition? What was the cost to society?
In the next few decades, we are going to be the main players in a changing world, and all of the problems we will have to face together will need to be tackled from an interdisciplinary approach. No single field of knowledge will be able to solve all our problems correctly. We need to have a fuller understanding of us as humans, the society and technologies we have designed and put in place, in order to adequately best remodel our future for the even further future. New fields for new problems will emerge, such as bioethics or bioengineering, but the overall goals remain the same, bettering humanity. How can we even begin to understand humanity without at least a glimpse of the perspective each academic field takes on humanity? I encourage all of you to take a course in something new next term. We are lucky enough to attend a well-funded, recognized and solid university in a country that takes education seriously. It would be a shame to pass up an opportunity to learn something completely new. It is just as natural for humans to study art as it is to study sciences. Almost every major science school throughout history was not limited to any one subject, and students were obliged to take a wide array of courses to expand their depth of thinking. Without a broad understanding of humanity from a variety of perspectives, how can you ever contribute to humanity?
SASHA MANOHAR OPINION
The War on Terror has made the headlines for some decent years now, almost a decade, actually. In fact, ever since the day the twin towers fell, such a term was even coined. Terrorism now crawls and breeds upon the media’s headlines daily, a bomb blast or IED (Improvised Explosive Device) causing famines and pharmaceutical issues to fill the gaps. But what’s the War on Terror now? The Taliban was crushed under the international coalition led by the United States, the splinter remnants forced into hiding. Brute force, shock and awe, proved effective. Terrorism should have ended then and there. The enemy was defeated. Or were they? Terrorism, an almost ever-present blight, remains as high as it ever was. Instances of terrorism pre-9/11 include the Tokyo subway attacks of ’95. The world lives in fear, security tightened to the point at which people are prejudiced against because of the colour of their skin. Does that not hearken back a couple decades? Civil rights? Anti-racism? Of course it does. If the War on Terrorism was fought, and the enemy was defeated, why does the fight persist? The after-effects trickle further into possible linkages to Iraq, an adversary only made two years later. The answer lies within the very nature of the terrorism the world faces. Terrorism never was, and never will exhibit a clear-cut
enemy. Never will terrorism possess a face to demonize, a country to bomb, an area to invade. Terrorism’s source is not a ruthless dictator or ruthless monarch. No, its source is an ideal. And to quote a favourite movie of mine, V for Vendetta: “Ideas are bulletproof.” You can’t shoot an idea. You can’t strangle it, bomb it, assassinate it, or cover it up. Once unleashed, an idea (which is sufficiently acceptable and appeals to the masses) is impossible to stifle completely. 9/11 achieved this purpose. It showed to the masses that superpowers could be messed with. And they definitely have been messed with Now, in my opinion, I find the idea of terrorism and all sorts of extremist philosophies to be dangerous and I definitely don’t advocate them. However, by giving them the attention they wanted, and through shock and awe tactics, the United States have done more harm than benefit to the situation. Obama plans to inject more troops into Afghanistan. To do what exactly? Shoot more insurgents? For every one who falls, five more will replace him. Consolidation and defence would be a much more sound tactic. The war’s effects have percolated into society, and its mark is seldom hidden; countries cry out for stronger anti-immigrant policies, and nations partially exist in a condition of moral absolutes. If you aren’t with them, you’re against them. It’s a Pandora’s box, and it was unleashed. The most we can do now is try and make amends and prepare for whatever lies ahead.
A12 • THE SILHOUETTE
SpeculatoR The Hamilton
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
INSIDE THE SPECULATOR F10: Cocks and peacocks G3: Asses and harasses E43: My Fair Labia, starring Aubrey Rugburn
Thursday, January 13, 2011 F The higher authority.
Your father didn’t sext...
Speculator sells out BUCK HOROWITZ SPECULATOR
Due to growing pressure to turn a profit, and dwindling faith in our own editorial staff, the Hamilton Speculator sold the entirety of this week’s page to advertisers. In fact even this very article, explaining the presence of all these ads is, itself, an ad. I was paid to write this by General Electric. Personally I don’t think they got their money’s worth. But they paid me in advance, so what do I care. I can do whatever I want. Like this...
See that? I just skipped three lines, all on GE’s dime. Suck it, corporate suits!
... he had to do it in person ATTENTION LIVING STUDENTS Are you looking for an eternal home? Are you in need of a good rest?
RYE Damn right your father drank it
Are you dead tired of student housing?
Move all your earthly posessions into the Main Street Mortuary. student residence
Pretentious artpiece of the week This piece, entitled “Walking At Midnight Down a Steeltown Boulevard” protrays a lonely spectrous figure in the throes of selfidentification. The Blue Dot, symbolizing God’ cold indifference to man, sits against a white field. It is encircled by a wandering red ribbon representing humanity’s cicuitous route to eternal happiness that leads only to nothingness and despair. These sentiments are reflected in the invisible tiger stripes painted down the left and side, and the mustard stain left in the upper right-hand corner. Now accepting offers. Bidding starts at $5,000.
FEATURING: -Industrial ovens -A walk-in fridge -Flower arrangements -Bibles -Large meeting room -Six-foot dumb waiter -In-house pipe organ
Main Street Mortuary Student Residence: The last home you’ll ever need. “What Did You Learn This Week, Timmy?”
“I learned that I’ve got a real pretty mouth.”
Disclaimer: Stories printed in The Hamilton Speculator are fact. Any resemblance to persons real or dead is likely intentional and done out of spite. Opinions expressed are those of The Speculator and if you disagree with them you are wrong. And stupid. Possibly ugly as well.
THE SILHOUETTE • B1
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
SPORTS Men’s Basketball
Battle at the Burridge: Mac beats no. 6 Windsor on last-second dunk
Coates wins Canadian Junior Championship FRASER CALDWELL
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
JEFF TAM / SILHOUETTE STAFF
Scott Brittain scores a game-winning dunk against Windsor on Wednesay. See B3 for more.
Roughriders call on Mac lineman Glover BRIAN DECKER
Master holding the Yates Cup and walking off the field with class and dignity. VICTOR PEK What he didn’t envision SILHOUETTE STAFF was being carted off of the field in his final game, concussed and in a 2010 was always supposed to be the neck brace while his team played year for Justin Glover. For his fifth on, trying to reach that Yates Cup and final year with the Marauders, game on a last-gasp drive without the All-Canadian centre envisioned their heart-and-soul leader. It would closing his football career with Mc- have been a terrible way to end his SPORTS EDITOR
football career. Fortunately for Glover, that won’t be the case. Last month, the Hamilton native signed a threeyear contract with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders and will have a chance to continue his shining – and somewhat unlikely – football career. Nothing’s set in stone yet – • PLEASE SEE GLOVER, B5
A month after an impressive fourth placed finish at the CIS National Championship meet in October, McMaster’s Victoria Coates reached an entirely new plateau to close out her cross-country season. The sophomore runner revisited the Guelph Arboretum course that had played host to the CIS meet, running this time in the Canadian National Cross Country Championships. Facing the best competitors in Canada under the age of 20, Coates bettered her CIS showing by leaving the field in her wake and claiming the first meet win of her young career. Fellow Marauder Sara Giovanetti also enjoyed a strong performance in Guelph, as the third-year McMaster veteran raced to a 19th placed finish in the senior division. On the men’s side, the most successful of the Marauders sporting a Y chromosome was rookie Jordan Bierema, who mustered an encouraging finish of 23rd in the junior men’s event. For her part, Coates believes that the club championship represents a new high point in her performance, unparalleled by the success at the CIS Championships. “Coming fourth at the CIS was really exciting for me. I never imagined that I would be an AllCanadian. Winning National’s was a bit different because it was an Under-20 [event], and I’ve never won a cross-country race before. It was nice to have that national title.” The sophomore star indicated that her experience at the university level was instrumental in lending her the confidence needed to secure the season-ending championship. “[The CIS Championship]
definitely gave me some confidence. I knew that I could run with the really fast girls. I just went with that and I worked my way up slowly because I felt the confidence to do that,” said Coates. Having run the Guelph Arboretum course on several occasions as an OUA competitor, Coates admitted that she had the advantage of familiarity leading into the race. “It was nice knowing the course. Nationals had been held there the past few years before that too, so I knew the course pretty well. You know when to make your move, and where there’s a big hill. And that’s one of my strong points, the hills.” However, even while the course was identical to that which Coates had run in late October, the added month brought with it entirely different weather conditions. “The only thing about running at Guelph that day was that it was snowing,” said Coates. “It definitely changes [the race], makes it a bit more difficult. The footing is not as good, and the cold weather affects some people.” The snowy course offered a radically different challenge for Coates and her fellow Marauders, who had been mired in the mud a month earlier at the CIS Championships. However, the McMaster sophomore managed to deal with the on-course hazards effectively, on route to an event win which proves once again that her star continues to rise. When asked where she set her sights for next season, Coates was adamant that her squad is aiming for nothing less than CIS gold. In the meantime, she and several other Marauders will ply their trade on the track, looking for even more accolades to add to their already illustrious program.
Spotless start to the new year FRASER CALDWELL
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
The McMaster women’s volleyball team could not have asked for a better reintroduction to conference play. Returning to the OUA campaign trail after a holiday stint in Toronto, the Marauders made short work of a two game road trip to Kitchener-Waterloo this past weekend. The McMaster squad emerged from the journey without having lost a single set, sweeping the Laurier Golden Hawks on Friday night (25-21, 26-24, 25-19) before repeating the feat against the Waterloo Warriors the following evening (25-21, 25-23, 25-21). The wins improve McMaster’s record to 9-1 on the season, keeping them tied atop the OUA West standings with the Guelph Gryphons, but with a game in hand. The weekend once again demonstrated the scrappy style of play that has come to define the
Marauders this season. Predicated on strong all-court defence and a penchant for long rallies, McMaster continued their trend of winning tight sets with consistency. Against the Golden Hawks, the Marauders ground out a win despite having only one player reach double digits in scoring. The difference, as it often has, lay in McMaster’s defensive efforts and relatively error-free approach. The Marauders accumulated 15 total blocks to the Golden Hawks’ 11, and committed only 17 hitting errors on the night. By comparison, the home side coughed up 26 points on wayward swings. The following day brought with it a similar result against the Waterloo Warriors, one in which the visitors achieved victory through a balanced offensive attack. Despite not boasting the match’s top scorer, the Marauders outscored their opponents by nine points and spread their total of 46 among five different players. JEFF TAM / SILHOUETTE STAFF
• PLEASE SEE MAC, B4
Lauren Skelly and the Marauders swept the Warriors in straight sets on Saturday night.
[This Week in Sports] For the Wynne Our Sports Editorial looks at Tuesday’s decision to rebuild Ivor Wynne Stadium for the 2015 Pan Am Games and as a long-term TiCat home. Pg. B2
Down on their Luck
Mac meets their Waterloo
With five players out for the season and sicknesses running rampant, women’s hoops is struggling just to field a full team. Pg. B4
Men’s volleyball struggles to start the new year, managing to defeat Laurier but falling to lowly Waterloo in four sets. Pg. B5
B2 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
What You Need To Know This Week In Sports Sports Editorial
Male Performance of the Week
Ivor Wynne questions remain BRIAN DECKER SPORTS EDITOR
It’s being called a Wynne-win situation. For the city of Hamilton, they get to keep their beloved football team. For the TiCats, they get a new stadium to host their up-and-coming but financially floundering team. I’m talking, of course, about the announcement Tuesday that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the City of Hamilton, led by Mayor Bob Bratina, have agreed to build the 2015 Pan-Am Games stadium and new home for the CFL team at a rebuilt Ivor Wynne Stadium, while the TiCats will play there for the next 20 seasons. It’s also a win for those tired of the stadium debate that started in 2009, dominated the media in 2010 and (presumably) has come to an end in 2011. The chess game that saw the City Council insist on redeveloping the downtown core while the TiCats looked for a more economically viable home is over, and many have lauded the two sides for ending what has been a bitter debate. But now that the dust has begun to settle, there are some questions emerging that make one wonder if either side has found a better solution at all. What about Bob Young, the TiCats’ owner, insisting on building a stadium near a major highway for visibility and accessibility? In September, Young told then-Mayor Fred Eisenberger a stadium in downtown Hamilton was not suitable for a pro sports franchise. Suddenly, it’s a place the team will be happy to call home for 20 years. What about the revitalization of the West Harbour or the rest of downtown? Sure, Eisenberger’s gone and that idea was his baby, but all 11 city council members who approved it are still in their seats. Are we supposed to think that some new cushy seats and a fresh coat of paint is going to make the area around Barton and Gage a vibrant, attractive district? And what about the future of the TiCats as an economically successful team? Even their recent resurgence and return to the playoffs hasn’t kept them from losing money, something Young has been adamant about changing. The word is that sponsors Molson Coors, Tim Hortons and Primus all stepped up their funding to keep the team at Ivor Wynne. But without the attention of this stadium debate or even with the (very realistic) possibility of the TiCats returning to mediocrity, will the corporate community be willing to fork over the dough? Of course, this whole debacle has been a sticky situation and both sides deserve credit for finding a solution, especially as the deadline to keep Hamilton as a part of the 2015 Games (and the government cash that comes with it) looms. Could the city have lost a valuable community member because of bickering over a building site? Yes, the TiCats were all but ready to move to Burlington or somewhere else, and it would have been a heartbreaking loss for Hamilton’s resilient and passionate fanbase. It would have been a dangerous embarking for the football team as well, as heading to Quebec City, Moncton, Burlington or somewhere else had uncertainty written all over it. But the fact remains that the agreement to rebuild Ivor Wynne smells of a compromise in the face of exhaustion; exhaustion from the politics, the discord and the fighting about something that was supposed to help all parties involved in the first place. It’s a deal that looks like a touchdown right now, but has serious potential to make it seem like Bratina, Young and everyone else fumbled the whole thing right from the get-go. Young, most of all, appears to have turned to denial of his formerly strong stance about moving the TiCats to a new home. Despite his previously stated misgivings about the success of the team in the heart of the steel city, he now says it’s a home the team will always embrace. “True Hamiltonians embrace our blue-collar brand in this city. I don’t know any Hamiltonians who have ever expressed concerns about the neighbourhood,” he said in a live chat with the National Post’s Mark Masters on Tuesday. That’s fine if the TiCats are content with trying to fill Ivor Wynne’s seats with their small, albeit enthusiastic, hardcore base. But ask anyone from Brantford, Burlington, Milton or Oakville where Ivor Wynne is, and they’ll be hard-pressed to give you the right answer, much less an indication that they want to see a game there. So for the time being, this is a nice feather in the cap of everyone involved in the stadium debacle. We’ll see if that’s still the case in 2015 and after the next 20 seasons of Ti-Cat football.
Scott Brittain - Men’s Basketball In a tie game with the Lancers holding the ball and eight seconds on the clock, Scott Brittain stole the ball near midcourt and raced to the rim for a thunderous slam that gave Mac an 83-81 win. Brittain led the Marauders with 14 points and eight rebounds in the win, their third in a row to kick off 2011.
PHOTO C/O ANDREW HO
Female Performance of the Week
Sarah Kiernan - Women’s Volleyball With the women’s volleyball squad looking to extend their six-game winning streak in Waterloo, Sarah Kiernan once again stepped up her game. The fourth-year middle hit efficiently to notch six kills on 14 attempts against Laurier, before leading the team with 12 points in Saturday’s win over the Waterloo Warriors.
Photo of the Week
CHRISTOPHER CHANG / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
Top 5 Leafs Plugs/ Dusters of the 2000s 5. Robert Reichel 4. Cory Cross 3. Jeff Finger 2. Jyrki Lumme / Aki Berg PHOTO C/O RICHARD ZAZULAK
Marauders Kenan Etale (left) and Jordan Tew (right) congratulate Victor Raso (centre) after Mac completed a 72-64 win over the Laurier Golden Hawks last Wednesday. The game was the first since the passing of Raso’s grandmother and former coach Joe Raso’s mother-in-law, Mary Condich, who was a lifelong fan and attended every home game.
1. Andrew Raycroft
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THE SILHOUETTE • B3
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Tough times for Chiarot, Marauders BRIAN DECKER SPORTS EDITOR
When Taylor Chiarot came to McMaster, she joined one of the greatest teams in school history. Loaded with players like Chiara Rocca, Lindsay DeGroot and Taylor Smith, Mac was a hoops powerhouse that cruised to the OUA Championship and won the bronze medal at the CIS Final 8. Now in her fourth year, she’s the most senior player and undoubted leader of the team. But far from contention for a national medal, the Marauders have fallen on hard times that are completely unfamiliar to Chiarot, along with the rest of her team. “It’s been the hardest year of basketball that I’ve every played,” said Chiarot at practice earlier this week. The year she speaks of has seen McMaster lose five players for the season to injury and fall to 3-7 in conference play. It’s been such a struggle to compete – even to field a full team – that the Marauders were forced to postpone their game with the no. 2 Windsor Lancers last night after a couple of their players came down with injuries. 2010-11 has been a spectacular fall for McMaster, but it’s hard to find any blame in such a freak season of injuries. Their leading scorer in preseason play, Nicole Rosenkranz, went down with a torn ACL, and Hailey Milligan, Rebecca Rewi and Emily Leger, all key contributors to last year’s 13-9 team, are all done for the year. Now with most of the season still left to be played, the Marauders are left to try and make do with what’s left and wonder: what happened? “We worked really hard in the offseason and we were really pleased coming into September with the work we had done and the development of the team. I don’t think any competitive athlete or coach is gonna find this anything less than hugely frustrating,” said Mac coach Theresa Burns after the Marauders fell 89-39 to the Western Mustangs on Saturday. Like Chiarot, Burns is used to winning. An 18-year veteran coach, she’s won multiple OUA titles and a handful of coaching awards. But the circumstances of this bizarre season, coupled with the graduation
CHRISTOPHER CHANG / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
Taylor Chiarot’s Marauders have fallen on hard times with a plethora of untimely injuries and illnesses. of legendary talent in Rocca, DeGroot and Smith, have made a perfect storm of struggles. “We’re not coming into any game and just throwing it away by any means. But you have to be realistic about what you can accomplish with that few bodies,” said Burns. While the injuries are brutal and the schedule unforgiving, the fact remains that there is still a season to be played. And to Chiarot and her teammates, giving in simply isn’t an option.
“It’s really important to remind each other to stay together, stay positive, keep working hard, put our heads down and just push through,” said Chiarot, who said she’s taking pride in being a mentor to some of her younger teammates. “It’s been hard being on amazing teams with amazing players [in the past], but I’m also on a team with amazing players this year… it’s just unfortunate what’s happened to us. You have to learn to adapt to every situation.”
For Chiarot, Burns and the Marauders, there’s still plenty of positives left to take from the rest of the season. Young players will have a chance to develop, and with their next three games at home, a few wins are by no means out of the equation. But it’s without a doubt an unfamiliar challenge. And for Chiarot, unfortunately, it’s simply a part of the deal. “We just play the cards that are dealt to us and you can’t do much else other than keep working hard.”
McMaster beats Windsor in dramatic fashion Brittain’s dunk caps wild finish BRIAN DECKER
homecourt victory. “That’s the biggest game of my career, and the biggest win of my career,” said With eight seconds left and the ball suddenly Mac coach Amos Connolly, whose team has in his hands, Scott Brittain was thinking one been a major benefactor of Brittain’s recent thing. return from sitting out the first semester with “I saw it was wide open and just concussion-like symptoms. knew I was gonna dunk it.” “Obviously he’s a difference maker, He did, and the Marauders pulled but the thing is … what [Brittain has] brought off the biggest win of their season, defeat- to some of the other guys is some confidence. ing the CIS no. 6 Windsor Lancers 83-81 on That’s what he brings – a sense that we can Brittain’s steal and breakaway dunk with five be okay and handle every situation,” said the seconds left. coach. The win caps what has been a Mac has won their past three over sudden surge in McMaster’s season, a surge Laurier, Western and now Windsor – nothing that has seen them go from being tied for last to sniff at – and now stand at 6-5 and right in in their division to looking the thick of the crowded OUA like a team ready to go on a West division. And much as tear after opening the semesThat’s the biggest he tries to be humble, Brittain ter with a three-game win been right at the centre of game of my career, has streak. McMaster’s resurgence. and this is the big- That streak looked “I feel like my in doubt a number of times role on the team is kind of like gest win of my during Wednesday’s game, an energizer. I try and pump career. ” as the Lancers lit it up from guys up as much as I can. And - Mac coach Amos the excitement of the team has beyond the arc in the second half. Connolly, on beat- been going up in the last three The biggest of those games for sure,” said Britthree pointers came from ing Windsor 83-81.” tain, who scored 14 points and guard Monty Hardware, who grabbed eight rebounds in the knocked down his third triple win. of the night to give Windsor Even before Wedan 81-78 lead with two minutes left in the nesday’s dramatic win, it’s been obvious that contest. the 6’8” centre makes a huge difference for But Mac’s Victor Raso answered the entire team. As a deadly scoring option right back with a three of his own, tying up in the post, he not only punishes opposing the score and setting up a wild final minute. teams, but opens up the offence for the rest of The Marauders missed two layups his teammates. and Lancer Isaac Kuon missed a three before Against Western last weekend, BritBrittain fumbled the ball off his hands with tain scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds eight seconds left, giving Windsor a chance in just 20 minutes, while Cam Michaud domto win the game. inated the decisive second half and added 22 That’s when the unexpected hap- points of his own on the way to a 95-80 Mac pened, as Brittain surged up from the key to win. poke the ball loose and found himself wide The Marauders will take on the open on a breakaway for a thunderous slam. Brock Badgers, who are fresh off a 91-72 win In a flurry, Hardware’s last-second over Western and are tied with Mac at 6-5 look from beyond the arc bounced off the rim, on the season, this weekend at the Burridge and McMaster found itself celebrating a huge Gym. SPORTS EDITOR
B4 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Marauders fall to Warriors in four Mac rolling ahead of
key Western clash
• CONT’D FROM B1
CHRISTOPHER CHANG / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
Injuries forced Josh Lichty to shift position in the Marauders’ Saturday loss to Waterloo. FRASER CALDWELL
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
To say that the opening to the second half of the Marauders’ season this past weekend failed to go according to plan would be quite the understatement. After a sparkling run of form saw the Mac squad enter the Christmas break on an eight game winning streak, the party came to an abrupt and worrying end this past weekend. Travelling to KitchenerWaterloo to open the second half of their OUA campaign, the Marauders eked out a shaky five-set win against the Laurier Golden Hawks on Friday night (23-25, 26-24, 13-25, 25-14, 15-8), before stooping much further the following evening. Paying a visit to the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday, the maroon and grey were thoroughly outplayed on route to a dispiriting four set loss (25-23, 20-25, 21-25, 22-25). The defeat drops McMaster’s record to 9-3 on the year, moving them into a tie for third in the OUA standings with the Guelph Gryphons. Perhaps more worrying for the Marauders, the weekend exposed to great effect the lack of depth the team enjoys at the libero position. Forced to move standout defensive specialist Josh Lichty to the left side after a hamstring injury sidelined star hitter Kevin Stevens, McMaster struggled to mount any form of backcourt defence against the Warriors. Stevens had ventured to play through his muscle pull on Friday night against the Golden Hawks, but languished on the left side of the Marauder offence, where he posted only six points on the night. Instead, it was a heroic 20point outburst from the ever-more important rookie Jori Mantha that sealed the razor-thin decision for the visiting Marauders. But such a game-changing performance was not to be had on Saturday.
Rather, with Stevens relegated to the sidelines out of precaution – and in full knowledge that McMaster faced a pair of pivotal home contests in only a week’s time – McMaster struggled mightily against the Warriors. Lacking any coherence in defence, the Marauders were outgunned for much of the first set, but managed to steal the frame in its dying stages on the strength of some inspired play from third-year middle Michael Sjonnesen. Working in typical platoon fashion with McMaster’s stalwart central presence, Tyler Santoni, Sjonnesen gave the visiting Marauders a critical late lead with consecutive solo blocks with the score locked at 22. After the Warriors clawed back a point, a wayward block from the hosts improbably clinched the first set in McMaster’s favour. However, Waterloo would not show such a lack of killer instinct in the following sets. With the Warriors’ star outside Fiodar Kazhamiaka catching fire alongside middle Jordan Dyck, the hosts pulled ahead in each of the next three sets, and showed no sign of relinquishing a lead for a second time. Easily dispatched in the second and third frames, McMaster put up a spirited fight in the late stages of the fourth. The visitors notched four consecutive points to come within one of the Warriors at 21-22. But Waterloo buckled down to close out the contest by claiming three of the next four tallies and confirming a devastating loss for the Marauders. Perhaps the only positive for the maroon and grey was the encouraging performance of Michael Sjonnesen in a losing cause. The middle hitter was the most consistent player on the floor for the Marauders on Saturday night, and garnered a team high of 15 points for his efforts. The third-year player acknowledged that Saturday’s loss
While it does not necessarily make for the most attractive score sheets, McMaster’s practice of offensive distribution has allowed them to quietly climb to the summit of the OUA West rankings, with only a single loss to their name at this point. Veteran libero Meagan Nederveen made her competitive return to the lineup in the weekend sweep, and the third-year defender reported that she was back to full fitness. “I was cleared [to play] the second week of exams,” said Nederveen. “Since then I’ve just been doing a bit of training, and we had Christmas training in Toronto this year. We played a number of teams and I got a couple touches in there. It was nice to step back in again.” When asked about her team’s style of play, Nederveen suggested that the Marauders’ approach is often a response to the conditions of a particular game, rather than a set strategy. “As for scrappiness, sometimes you play teams that are scrappy and you have to be able to return that. I think what really showed that we were into the game was the fact that we didn’t drop a set.” “When we had a couple of really hard-fought sets towards the end – despite being up two sets – we didn’t give up that third one.”
The Marauders will face a steep test this weekend, when they welcome the Western Mustangs to the Burridge Gym on Saturday. Despite being only midtable in the OUA West rankings, the Mustangs sport an impressive 7-2 record, and remain the only team to defeat the Marauders thus far this season. However, Nederveen insists that the team’s success has bred considerable optimism among its members, and that they do not fear a rematch against Western. “Our last game against Western we lost, but we’ve made a lot of changes since then; both to how we play the game, as well as evolving as a team throughout the year.” “Western has never been a team to scare us. If anything they make us want to play better and raise our intensity.” “Like any one of our game plans we’re going to serve tough, try to hold up a good defence and serve-receive, and see where we can go from there.” The Marauders will have the opportunity to avenge their opening week loss in a few days’ time. They open their home weekend against the bottom-dwelling Windsor Lancers on Friday night, before the critical tilt against the Mustangs follows on Saturday. Both games are slated to begin at 6 p.m. in the Burridge Gym.
marked one of his best individual outputs of the season, but was quick to defer the praise. “Austin [Campion-Smith] was setting really nicely, and I was able to hit wherever I wanted,” said Sjonnesen. He added that Saturday just happened to be “the right night.” On the topic of the Marauders’ attitudes following the weekend letdown, the middle hitter indicated that the overwhelming feeling was one of disappointment. “As a team, we didn’t show up and we paid for it. We didn’t play our game. We couldn’t do what we wanted to do. Of course there’s disappointment. If we were able to play the way that we know we’re capable of playing, we would have come away with the win.” While he admitted that the loss of Stevens on the left side was a considerable one, Sjonnesen insisted that the team was capable of winning in his absence. “Of course it’s going to be big [losing Stevens], he’s a Junior National Team player. It’s hard to replace him, but at the same time, every single guy on that team is capable of coming in and playing up to that standard,” said Sjonnesen. Unfortunately, Saturday’s result seems to suggest otherwise. Coach Dave Preston will undoubtedly be anxious to reinsert Stevens into the lineup this weekend, as the Marauders are faced with vital home matches against the Windsor Lancers and Western Mustangs. Both teams bested the maroon and grey earlier this season on their home turf, and the Mustangs in particular represent an imposing threat as the unbeaten pacesetters of the OUA. One thing is certain: McMaster will need to field its strong- The Marauders have much to celebrate at this juncture. est possible team if they are to challenge the London outfit. The contest against the Lancers opens the weekend at Burridge on Friday night, while the Mustangs pay a visit the following evening. Both games are set to begin at 8 p.m.
JEFF TAM / SILHOUETTE STAFF
THE SILHOUETTE • B5
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Glover off to prairies, will continue playing career • CONT’D FROM B1 he still has to make it through training camp cuts and prove he’s CFL-ready – but instead of being the year football ended, it turns out 2010 is the year Glover got a chance to continue playing the sport he loves. For the time being, Glover says he’s happy to have a chance at the next level, especially since that opportunity seemed so unlikely just months ago. The 6’2” lineman was passed over in the spring 2010 draft, and assumed his final season at Mac would be his last on the field. “After last year’s draft, I assumed that this past season at McMaster was my last year playing football. Making it to the league was always in the back of my mind, but during the season nothing was more important to me than winning as many games as possible with Mac,” said Glover, who has been named a first team All-Canadian each of the last two years. Fortunately for Glover, Saskatchewan’s player personnel director contacted him after the season and asked how he felt about transitioning from his maroon jersey to one that was prairie green. Things were also looking doubtful for Glover playing more football after this year’s OUA semi-final, a 34-28 loss to the Western Mustangs that saw Glover carted off the field as the Marauders were trying to come up with a game-winning score. Glover was making a fairly routine block on the play, but “just did not go in at the right angle.” It would have been a pretty poor last memory of his illustrious CIS career – except that he doesn’t remember it at all. “I actually have no recollection of what happened on the field. Last thing I really remember was being in the hospital,” said Glover, who suffered a concussion on the play but has since made a full recovery. Despite its scary nature, the injury hasn’t changed the outlook of the burly Hamilton native, who insists he won’t be slowed down. “I play aggressive and I will always play aggressive. To even think about the injury would mean that it would change the
type of player that I am” While the draft snub and the concussion were bumps in the road, Glover’s beginnings with Marauder football make his rise to becoming one of the best offensive linemen seem altogether unlikely. As a freshman with the Marauders in 2006, the Delta Secondary School graduate was outstanding as a lineman, but on the other side of the ball as a defensive tackle. After switching to offensive tackle in his second year, then to offensive guard and finally to centre last year, Glover has proven he’s as versatile a lineman as they come. “He’s played almost every position you can play at the line of scrimmage, and he’s played them all very, very well,” said McMaster head coach Stefan Ptaszek, who turned to Glover when he needed some help with his front five in 2007, and later shifted him to centre to make way for rookie right guard Matt Sewell in 2009. “He’s a very smart young man, and he’s a very competitive young man, and he wants to do whatever he can to make the football team reach their full potential.” Glover is hoping that same versatility gives him a good shot at the pro level. “Hopefully [being versatile] has some value in the CFL. I know that my body type suits [playing guard and centre], so I am glad that I’ve had the opportunity to get lots of experience here at Mac at those positions,” said Glover. As he moves on in his career, the man affectionately known around the CIS as ‘Juice’ says he’s not taking anything for granted, especially when it comes to the past five years. “Over my career I have received a couple of individual awards. I would trade those all in to preserve my memories of the locker room with the rest of the guys. There is nothing that can compare to being part of an exclusive brotherhood, and get to hang out with your best friends everyday,” said Glover, adding, “I still have to work to get where I want to be.” If the past is any indication, that will be right wherever he needs to be to succeed, regardless of how he gets there.
B6 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2010
THE SILHOUETTE • C1
INSIDEOUT THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
production office extension: 27117 firstname.lastname@example.org
A trip of magic and mayhem A look into the wonderful world of Harry Potter Land
ASSISTANT INSIDEOUT EDITOR
If you weren’t merrily roasting chestnuts by an open fire this winter break, then maybe you were sunning yourself in a more tropical clime. Personally, I headed down to Florida with my family where the main objective was a trip to Harry Potter Land in Universal Studios. If you’ve read the books and have held a special place for Harry and his friends in •PLEASE SEE POTTER, C4
ThreadCount Parisa Vafaei
Third Year Political Science and Sociology
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Jacket: Costa - $50
Favourite artist: P!nk Favourite quote: “History shows us that the people who end up changing the world - the great political,social,scientific, technological,artistic, even sports revolutionaries - are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses.” -John Eliot
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[This Week in InsideOut] Hope for the homeless As homelessness persists in the Hamilton area, initiatives to help the less fortunate through fundraising take the stage at Mac. Pg. C3
Dare to swear?
A student journeys across Germany and Poland for a solemn experience.
#$%! can be the most useful way to relieve the pain of a stubbed toe, and more. But what are the social implications? Pg. C5
C2 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2010
THE SILHOUETTE • C3
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Change for Hamilton’s homeless Raising funds for those who face the day without a home or food STEPHANIE HAUCK SILHOUETTE STAFF
Today, most of us woke up with a roof over our heads in a warm bed, followed by a wholesome breakfast. Today, most of us regularly ate, and had access to drinkable water. Today, most of us likely had clothes to wear, along with suitable outdoor clothing to withstand the cold winter weather. Today, most of us likely shared a laugh with friends, called our parents and received guidance, support and love from some source in our lives. Today, most of us had the luxury of attending university or college. For most of us, these are the simple pleasures we often take for granted. These are the things we rarely imagine being without. However, the reality is there are thousands of men, women and children who lack these very basic needs every single day that often marginalizes them from receiving benefits, guidance, education, and other opportunities. This is especially true for children and youth, who are more vulnerable. According to an Indicators Report conducted by the City of Hamilton, there were 5,171 individuals and families on the social housing waiting list as of March 31, 2010. Another finding was that 2,847 individuals stayed at one of the seven emergency shelters in 2009, with 839 of these individuals being under the age of 29. Issues of homelessness are not the only problems associated with the daily lives of many people living in Hamilton. In fact, there are also issues of violence, substance abuse, poverty, unemployment and hunger. It is unfortunate that the very things we take for granted, many wish for every single day. If you could make change in five days, would you? In 2005, a group of students at the University of Alberta’s School of Business believed it was possible, and so developed the Five
TYLER HAYWARD / SILHOUETTE STAFF
The life of a homeless man in the downtown area illustrates the severity of impoverishment. Days for the Homeless campaign. During the five-day campaign, university students live “homeless” on their campus to raise money and awareness for a local charity. Since 2005 the campaign has spread to 17 universities, and here at McMaster it is run through the DeGroote School of Business. At McMaster, the five-day program “targets youth at risk, who may have no physical property they call home,” said Steve Raymond, Executive Coordinator of Five Days
Remembrance in Germany RASHA MANSOOR THE SILHOUETTE
As you walk into Majdanek concentration camp, the atmosphere of death is still unmistakeable. As each of the members of the March of Remembrance and Hope huddle around Pinchas Gutter, one of the remaining survivors of this camp, he slowly starts to recount his painful memories here. After fleeing from his hometown in Lodz, Poland to the Warsaw Ghetto, he was deported to this camp as a young boy. Here he lost many members of his family, including his twin sister whose face remains just a blur in his memories now. The March of Remembrance and Hope is a nine day educational journey that recruits 60 young, aspiring leaders of different ethnic and religious backgrounds from colleges and universities all across Canada. The purpose is to provide them with a deeper, more intensive understanding of the Holocaust through visiting concentration camps and memorial sites in Germany and Poland, gaining historical insight as provided by an accompanying scholar-in-residence, educational tour guides, and listening to accounts of experiences in the camps given by two Holocaust survivors. My entry into this program happened quite by chance. I wasn’t even sure if I would get in. When I did think more deliberately about my reasons for taking part in this mentally and physically exhausting journey, I felt even more hesitant about my involvement. On the one hand, I did want to learn more about the Holocaust, especially its impact on its last remaining survivors. And as a student of Political Science, I saw this as an opportunity to widen my understanding of human rights issues and genocide studies. On the other hand, I had no direct connection to the Holocaust since none of my family members were affected by it. And considering
it had been 65 years since the Holocaust, I questioned the relevance of this event to the kinds of atrocities happening in our world today. Having had plenty of time to reflect on my experience, I can confidently say that I stand corrected on what I was most doubtful about prior to starting the program. What I value most was the decision to open my mind and discover something on relatively unfamiliar terrain. It was not just about learning more about a colossal historical event, it was about experiencing the more human side of it. This was done by listening to the feelings of the survivors who went through such traumatic experiences as young children, holding vigils and reciting prayers for those lost when visiting the crematorium sites, and also by celebrating life through song and the building of new and everlasting friendships. I am most grateful for the lesson this journey taught me about sometimes putting aside the technical and political aspects of anyworld tragedy, and transcending time, space and geography to recognize the tragedy as first a human one, thus affecting us all. It was really after going through the March of Remembrance and Hope journey when I realized what true leadership is about: it’s about collaboration, empathy, being proactive, and willing to stand up for what’s right even if it may be of no direct concern to you. This journey was certainly one you would call “truth-seeking” as it highlighted the importance of celebrating the differences that make each of us unique, while remembering the common humanity that binds us all together. And on the way, you do end up making some everlasting memories and lifelong friendships. Applications for this year’s March of Remembrance and Hope program are available on the Canadian Centre for Diversity website at www.centrefordiversity.ca and are due on Jan. 14.
for the Homeless. “[Many], of the children have been born into lives of poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, broken homes or any other type of marginalization that has prevented them from receiving benefits, guidance, education, and opportunities.” Five Days for the Homeless is an opportunity for McMaster students, faculty and staff to give back to the community by supporting the Notre Dame House, a youthcentred sector of The Good Shepherd of Hamilton.
“Given the chance, some generosity, care and education, someone headed for a life of drug use and despair on the street can become a healthy, contributing member of society,” continued Raymond. Last year the campaign raised just under $6,000, with a nationwide total of $182,789. This year, McMaster’s goal is to raise $10,000. The event is scheduled to begin on March 13. “It is a very emotional
experience, and makes you want to help [as well as] stress the importance of awareness,” said Sara Berces, a participant from last year’s campaign. “I encourage everyone to help out because you are providing relief to people in a less fortunate situation, a situation you could have very easily been in had you had difference circumstances.” Today, most of us likely did not wake up with the intent of making a difference. Maybe tomorrow we will!
Fulfill your new year’s resolution of becoming a literary genius and write for InsideOut! Email us at email@example.com or come to our section meeting every Monday at 2 p.m.
C4 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Potter pandemonium, please • CONT’D FROM C1 your heart then the idea of the scenes from Rowling’s books being brought to life might be cause for excitement. After wandering through Whoville — which happened to be my favourite part of Universal Studios — the shingled and very noticeably crooked roofs of a collection of snow-capped buildings rises in front of you. To those in the know, this could only be Hogsmeade and thus begins one ordinary muggle’s adventure into the world of magic and mayhem. After entering through a giant stone archway, an old fashioned and slightly smoking train that must transport Harry and his schoolmates to Hogwarts every year appeared before me. Apart from the train, the first thing I noticed about Potter Land was just how many people had managed to fill the little village of Hogsmeade. Truly, I couldn’t step one foot in any direction without colliding into someone. The most accurate comparison I could draw would be boarding the B-line from McMaster during peak hours (aka hardly enough room to draw breath). My favourite part of Potter Land was Honeydukes, which is a candy store modelled after the shop appearing in Rowling’s books. After waiting in line to just enter the store, your eyes are immediately assaulted with a cacophony of rainbow striped walls and tubes filled with every shade of candy imaginable. I was surprised just how many sweets from the books had been recreated by the park; everything from fizzing Whizzbees to Hagrid’s notorious rock cakes was available for purchase. The prices were to be expected with nothing worth buying costing less than $10. I saw some people toting baskets that must have held at least $300 worth of Potterinspired chocolates. The town of Hogsmeade
SILHOUETTE FILE PHOTO
Just one of the many fantastic attractions at Harry Potter Land. itself was amazing and it was obvious how much time and skill went into making an accurate recreation of what readers would envision Hogsmeade to be. Dark shingled houses that pointed up to the sky at odd and obviously engineered angles was reminiscent of the movie, and the false snow that capped the roofs of every building reminded me of a snowy day in the English countryside sans that large crowd and sunny Florida sky. The butter beer was another must have. Supposedly given the thumbs-up by JK herself, the drink is a great and super sweet treat. If I had to compare it to anything I would say it was like root beer with a strong undercurrent of butterscotch with fizzy marshmallow
foam on top. In addition to butter beer and chocolate frogs, the avid fan could also scoop up other Potter paraphernalia such as a Gryffindor scarf or even a robe. You would be surprised at how many forty-year old men were walking around fully robed, wrapped in a scarlet scarf while clutching a pitcher of butter beer. The general atmosphere and scenery of Harry Potter Land was the main attraction, but there were also four rides built specifically for that area of the park that were worth checking out too. Of course, the lines were astronomically large for each one, but Universal Studios displayed a clever amount of foresight and
It’s not too late to sign up as a model for this year’s Sex & the Steel City magazine. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!
seemed to have anticipated just how Potter-crazed things would become. The most popular ride, The Forbidden Journey, was designed to serve numerous tourists at once in an almost conveyer belt-like fashion. Though we waited around an hour in line for this particular ride, we were constantly moving forward. The ride took place in a moving chair like in a 3D simulation movie, where the viewer followed Harry around Hogwarts on a whirlwind adventure that was a mix of real and virtual reality. It was impressive, but also left me a little dizzy from going back and forth between real and virtual while bouncing around on a moving chair. From what I’ve heard from others, The Forbidden Jour-
ney is the best ride in Potter Land. There’s also a smaller rollercoaster, which would be great for children or squeamish adults like myself, and a larger coaster complete with loops and other scary factors that I was too much of a wuss to try out. In reality though, I would say the main attraction of Harry Potter land is experiencing the recreation of the magical scenes from the books. It wasn’t the coasters people were coming for, it was the shops such as Dervish and Banges and well known restaurants like the Hogs Head that allowed people to temporarily place themselves in the shoes of Harry. The park put a lot of work into creating an authentic experience where everything could be potentially marketed and sold. But the blatant marketing of everything Potter didn’t really bother me because the experience was so authentic. While other areas of the park featured burgers and fries as their main fare, we enjoyed roast chicken and corn with the husk still attached while an electronic boar occasionally made grunting noises above our heads. I would say for the Harry Potter crazed, this park is a must see. Though smaller than you would probably expect, the atmosphere was still captivating. On the other hand, if you’re just merely curious then I would avoid this area of the park. Not only do you have to pay an additional fee to get into this area of the park, but when you do enter, the place is absolutely teeming with people. In addition, most people come to Universal Studios to experience the attractions, and not merely to admire the scenery. But when it comes to Harry Potter Land, the scenery is the main draw and if you don’t consider yourself a crazed fan then I wouldn’t shell out extra money to try out three lacklustre rides surrounded by a small army of fanatical fans.
THE SILHOUETTE • C5
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
What’s with all this profanity insanity?
CHRISTOPHER CHANG / SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
Though swearing can relieve pain, the effect is reduced for real “potty mouths.” So try and cut back on everyday swearing. your toe or being cut off in traffic. Cursing is one of those nasty habits that is publicly It seems almost automatic, the way frowned upon, but which everyone you just can’t help letting loose an secretly partakes in. Some of us are expletive after painfully stubbing situational swearers, attempting to not curse in everyday speech and saving it for special occasions. In contrast, everyday cursers have no qualms about bringing out the big guns in the course of conversation with everyone excepting possibly their mother. Of course you might lie somewhere between the two, swearing more than a situational but less than an everyday. Nevertheless, cursing is still one of our modern society’s dirty — though not that secret — secrets. And just to be clear about what is considered profane, it’s any word, expression, gesture, or social behavior which is socially constructed or interpreted as insulting, rude, vulgar, or showing disrespect. Maybe you personally have remarkable self-control and haven’t cursed since that time KAITLIN PETERS
ASSISTANT INSIDEOUT EDITOR
you shot yourself in the foot with possibly due to the fact that it may that nail gun, but most of us don’t be the most flexible word in the possess such restraint. entire English language. Indeed, tape-recorded It can be manipulated to conversations find that roughly take on any role the speaker requires, 80-90 spoken words each day are be it a noun, verb, or adjective. swear words, with people varying “Fuck you, you fucking fuck” still from 0.5-3.4 per cent of their makes a lot of sense despite a lack spoken speech being composed of of clear sense and meaning. In expletives. addition to profanity To help being universal and But the more freground how much multi-purpose, it swearing this quent swearing is for also seems to be a actually is, personal reliever. you, the less potent pain plural pronouns A scientific such as we, us, and swearing becomes. study published our make up one Neuroreport So for the sake of in percent of spoken measured how long future injuries, try to college words. Shocking students limit swearing from could keep their no? From a everyday speech.” hands immersed in linguistic point cold water. of view, cursing During the chilly is an interesting phenomenon. It exercise, they could repeat an manages to avoid most attempts expletive of their choice or chant a at classification and grammatical neutral word. When swearing, the structuring. Think about “fuck 67 student volunteers reported less you”; does the actual meaning of pain and on average endured about this phrase completely stump you? 40 seconds longer. But one of the reasons But the more frequent people love the f-word so much is swearing is for you, the less potent
swearing becomes. So for the sake of future injuries, try to limit swearing from everyday speech. But just because yelling your favourite profanity numbs the pain, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any hesitation about swearing in front of everyone at any time. No one is naïve enough to think that future employers or current professors are going to be overly impressed when you casually remark your past employer or colleague was a “mother fucking asshole” and hence won’t be a good reference. Even if it’s true. Let’s face it, an abundance of swearing comes off as seeming uneducated and impolite. In the past it’s been found that individuals who are proud of their education tend to use obscene words just as often as bad grammar. So if you want to make it seem halfway believable that the diploma on your wall isn’t actually a forgery, try to limit your swearing for special occasions such as experiencing dismemberment and while watching any hockey games featuring the Leafs.
Word of the Week “Glomp” Definition: Not sexual, it is the action of one person lovingly and dramatically attacking another with a hug. It often lies bewteen a caring embrace and a flying leap to tackle someone. The term is often used in anime culture because many anime characters do this often. Used in a sentence: “Janice glomped Bill most passionately. And Bill was happy to glomp Janice in return.”
PRESIDENT’S PAGE Nick Shorten VP (Finance)
Mary Koziol President
Joe Finkle VP (Education)
John McIntyre VP (Administration)
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
LABOUR DISPUTE ON CAMPUS
In an effort to remain transparent to its membership, the MSU releases a thorough document and hosts Q&A session
Strikes on campus affect everyone. Learn about the rights and responsibilities that you have as a student
Mary Koziol President email@example.com ext. 23885
I would like to cordially invite you to the MSU’s State of the Union (SotU), which will be held on January 21st, 2011 between 12-2pm in the MUSC Atrium. I will give a short summary of the State of the Union document, followed by a question & answer period where anyone can ask any question they please to myself, along with my three Vice Presidents. All are welcome to attend and no registration is required. So what is the State of the Union? If you have ever wondered what exactly the McMaster Students Union does, or more accurately, what it is your student government does with your money, then I strongly recommend you obtain a copy of the State of the Union 2010/2011. It was prepared by the MSU Board of Directors, with input from numerous volunteers and staff members, in an attempt to see more comprehensive long-term planning within the organization. The SotU is a document that summarizes the year thus far, in order to chart the progress of the organization and ensure that we continue to build upon past work as we move forward. The timing of the SotU is of particular importance; with a number of referenda approaching (to be held concurrently with the MSU Presidential election on February 2nd and 3rd), as well as the election of the remaining 2011/2012 Board of Directors (conducted by the SRA later in the semester), it is crucial that students have the necessary information available to them in order to make informed choices. The SotU is divided into ‘2010/2011: A Year in Review’ and ‘Moving Forward’, in order to outline what has been accomplished, which priorities have been outlined and the future steps needed to continue to advance the MSU according to what we
perceive as the priorities of students. The document is prefaced with an overview of the organization and a review of the larger context of McMaster University in 2010/2011. Given the transient nature of our organization and the ever-rotating base of our membership, the specific priorities of the McMaster Students Union are bound to change with time. As such, the SotU will serve as a general guideline and should be published annually by the incumbent President. In addition to serving as a foundation for long-term planning, the SotU is an important piece of institutional memory, summarizing the priorities and events of that particular year. I encourage you to attend my address on January 21st and to peruse the document thoroughly as it is a comprehensive look at where the MSU sits as of January 2011, in addition to being an outline of where the organization is heading in future years. It will be available in hard copy in the MSU main office (MUSC room 201) as well electronically through our website. Keep in mind, one of the things that makes the MSU such a unique and dynamic organization is that the needs of our membership are constantly evolving, resulting in a perpetual search for feedback and student opinion. We would love to hear your thoughts on the SotU, to help us in reaching our goal of creating a meaningful document. Moreover, the addition of student feedback will aid us in the creation of a document that accurately reflects the priorities of the McMaster undergraduate population. Please fill out a feedback form by visiting our website (www.msu.mcmaster.ca). We will be revisiting the document before the end of our term on April 30th, 2011 to update it with relevant points from the four months to come and to incorporate points from the feedback we receive from you. Join us in the MUSC Atrium on January 21st, 2011 from 12-2pm for the State of the Union address.
other special arrangements as may be appropriate.” Arrangements must be discussed beforehand with your firstname.lastname@example.org instructor. The Senate document ext. 24017 governing these rights is available at As I am sure many of you www.msumcmaster.ca/labourrelations. noticed, McMaster University is in Conversely, every student has the the midsts of a labour dispute. On right to cross the picket line should Wednesday morning, members of they wish to do so. Picketers are the Service Employees International allowed to speak with people and ask Union (SEIU) Local 2 [representing you to join the picket lines, they may Hospitality Services employees] hand out information, but picketers are established picket lines on campus. It not permitted to prevent your access to is important to fully understand the campus, or interfere in any way with rights and responsibilities of students students wishing to enter the area. during a labour dispute. Picketers may not coerce or intimidate Students have the right to know, students attending regularly scheduled in a timely manner, if tests, exams, classes, tests and/or meetings. assignments or deadlines have been Accessing campus has become cancelled or moved. Students who much more difficult for students; HSR believe the disruption has unreasonably buses will not cross the picket lines and affected his/her grade in a course, may therefore will not be coming on campus. appeal the grade in accordance with the This is the same for GO, Greyhound procedures described in the Student and Coach Canada buses. Bus services Appeal Procedures. for all carriers will not cease, but most Each student has the right to not will not come onto campus during cross the picket lines. The MSU has a labour dispute. HSR will drop-off spoken with University administration patrons along King Street and Main regarding what this right entails Street and run down Dalewood and exactly. To be clear, the right to not up Haddon. Also, buses will pick-up/ cross a picket line cannot be used as drop-off at Main Street and Emerson. an excuse to not The main complete course role of the MSU requirements. during a labour If you choose dispute is to keep TELL US YOUR not to cross the students informed. picket line, you To do this, we have must contact created an MSU How has the strike affected you? Contact Mary at email@example.com your professor(s) Labour Relations to determine Information page. alternative arrangements for course This page will seek to keep the student work. This will be handed on a casepopulation informed of the current by-case basis between the student negotiations between the University and the professor. Essentially, the and SEIU Local 2. It will contain only circumstance is treated as an illness. official communications from both Should there be a dispute between sides and will not include any opinion you and your professor, you can speak or commentary from the MSU. As with your Associate Dean’s office. well as checking the MSU webpage, According to the document outlining I would highly recommend that you student rights and responsibilities, contact your members on the Student “Students, therefore, have a right to Representative Assembly (SRA) for extended deadlines, make-up tests and further information. If you have any assignments, reasonable alternative questions, please do not hesitate to access to course materials, and/or contact me. Joe Finkle VP (Education)
THE MSU IS HIRING part-time managers for the 2011-2012 academic year.
visit msumcmaster.ca/jobs The President’s Page is sponsored by the McMaster Students Union. It is a space used to communicate with the student body about the projects, goals and agenda of the MSU Board of Directors.
THE SILHOUETTE • C7
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
production office extension: 27117 firstname.lastname@example.org
Diving into the Pita Pit Looking at the money behind Westdale’s top eatery
Irony wins in Arizona
Glock pistol sales have surged after the shooting of Democratic Representative Gabrielle Gifford’s along with 14 others in Tucson, Arizona. Apparently this tragedy has led to one-day sales of handguns in Arizona jumping 60 per cent to 263 on Jan. 10 compared with 164 the corresponding Monday a year ago, the second biggest increase of any state in the country. Only in America.
President of Toyota buys a Ford
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp has traded in his Toyota Tacoma for a brand spanking new Ford F-150 after 17 years of owning Toyota vehicles. This comes as a surprise as Toyoda was at the helm of the Toyota recall debacle that saw over 8 million Toyota cars recalled. Needless to say, bad PR move on your part, Mr. President; it’s called brand loyalty for a reason.
Myspace is downsizing
Former social networking giant Myspace has fallen on some more hard times and had laid off half of its worldwide staff totaling 500 employees. It is reported that the reasoning behind the layoffs is a restructuring effort to better align priorities and goals for the future of the company. However this may just be another nail in the coffin for the aging media network and is just a prolonging of an inevitable collapse.
Club sandwiches, not seals
According to the Canadian Fisheries Minister, China will begin to import seal meat and oil back to their country. Apparently seal is big on the menu over in China and this will benefit the seal hunters in Canada who have fallen on hard times, given bans on seal imports in the European Union. This new deal will also include seal pelts as well as meat, which will almost definitely increase the seal hunts.
Canadian manufacturing to get 99,000 jobs The Pita Pit prides itself on being a student-friendly establishment that caters to the needs of every student. SANTINO MARINUCCI
ASSISTANT BUSINESS EDITOR
Westdale is a tightly knit community of students, various small businesses, and services that are vital for every person in the area. Many of these businesses are not corporations or large enterprises, but small businesses, run by people who believe in the product and service they are providing. Many of the businesses in Westdale are familiar to students at McMaster, but I think that one that always strikes a familiar tone is The Pita Pit. This company although not originating in Hamilton, has a very interesting story about how it came around and how the Westdale location is dedicated to serving starving students. The Pita Pit chain was created in Kingston, Ontario by two Queen’s University students in 1995. This highly successful pita chain, which now boasts over 300
locations in Canada, the United States, and even internationally. In 1998, just 3 years after the original launch of The Pita Pit in Kingston, plans were in the works to set up a franchise in the small suburb of Westdale. When I entered the Westdale location I immediately felt welcome and the atmosphere was very student-centric. I also had the opportunity to speak with the owner of the location, Stephanie Watson, who gave me a history of the location and how and why it was established. She explained that “[her] business partner went the University of Waterloo and frequented the Pita Pit there and he came into Westdale and thought that it would be a great idea for the students at McMaster and this was at the end of 1998, beginning of 1999.” Along with this, I inquired about the level of business that their location sees on a regular basis.
“I would say probably half of our business is students, and September through April our business is booming, especially when the weather is good. In the summer business slows down a bit – I mean it does not go down to half the business because of the students working and doing summer school”. I also wondered how the Pita Pit managed to retain much of its business in such a volatile student market for such a long time. This is mainly because of the level of turnover that has been present in the Westdale community in terms of small business start-ups over the years. Stephanie explained that it is mainly due to word of mouth and brand loyalty that is passed on to the students over the years. “Well we have been in Westdale a long time and we have been here year after year. Also the franchise itself is recognized because students from other cities and
SILHOUETTE STOCK PHOTO
towns may see that there is Pita Pit and in turn this gives us business.” One of the last things Stephanie emphasized about the Pita Pit location was its focus on the students and providing the best service possible for their best customers. This is done by mainly hiring student staff; giving them jobs during school. This puts them on the same level as their customers, which enhances the experience for all who eat there. Along with this, as we all know Pita Pit is open late, so you can crawl into the store after a fun night and always know that you will not go home hungry. The Pita Pit is a testament to a fantastically-run business that has stood the test of time and managed to keep their number one customers happy for 13 years and counting. You know what? All this writing has made me hungry. I think I’ll get a pita.
New corporate tax cuts will have businesses in the manufacturing sector jumping for joy. The latest tax cut will take the corporate rate from 18 per cent to 15 per cent and create over 99,000 jobs across Canada. This controversial tax cut will benefit the government in that it will increase the pool of tax revenue. These tax cuts are controversial because corporate profits are already high and the Liberal and NDP are wary of the decision.
Is Spain going bankrupt?
Spain may be in some serious trouble as their banks have reported 30 billion Euros in debt, coming due in the next four months, and have no way to pay it off. This has raised concerns within the country about whether Spain can actually reduce the deficit and avoid a European bailout. This situation does not seem like it will resolve itself anytime soon as the European Union many not have the resources to help Spain out of this mess.
[This Week in Business] Student Housing
Learn how to not get hosed from a seasoned veteran of the student housing scene.
How the loss of professionals in third world countries can turn into a good thing.
Learn the in’s of your outstanding student loans and stay in the black this year.
C8 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
The next generation of executives
The next generation of executives will unboubdtedly be much different than the ones in the workforce today. SIMON GRANAT BUSINESS EDITOR
Do you dread wearing a suit? Do you feel at home wearing a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers? Does the thought of wearing a collared shirt tucked in to a pair of slacks for the rest of your working life give you nightmares? Wouldn’t it be great if you could show up to work wearing what you want and acting how you want? Enter Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old CEO whose name is almost as popular as his creation, Facebook. But just as Facebook has revolutionized how people network with one another, Mark Zuckerberg is just one example of a new generation of young CEOs who are revolutionizing what the CEO looks like, and how he dresses and presents
himself. Hang up your suit grandpa, this young generation of CEOs are putting the suit out of fashion, just to drive business. There are numerous studies that show that productivity is affected by how a person dresses in the workplace. One survey conducted by DNR, a men’s magazine for retailers, found that 54 per cent of men felt Classical belief holds that a suit and tie prevent sloppiness, and increase polite behaviour. The idea that a CEO should wear a suit and tie are based on the idea that doing so produces a professional image for the corporation. In Zuckerberg’s case, jeans and a tie may help drive the business in the opposite direction. His clothes and the way he dresses may even help sell Facebook. His casual demeanour extends beyond his
clothes, and is just a part of a growing movement of showing your CEO. It’s something that Richard Branson and Bill Gates have been doing for years. Branson and Gates are notorious for being at the forefront of their businesses, not just hidden away in corner offices. This helps to sell the product, putting a face to the name, and bringing consumers closer to their business. Google is another company who is famous for providing a dressed down workplace. Employees virtually work off the clock, allowed paid free time each day. Google’s management structure is designed to foster creativity, but also has the fortunate side effect of branding the company as down to earth and cool. But Zuckerberg has upped
the ante. Some people are saying that he is representative of a younger business generation. This is because not only is he a face to the company, but the way he dresses makes him cool, relatable and, despite earning billions of dollars a year, just like the average Joe. And as a direct result, he has helped to brand Facebook. However, some students at McMaster still remain sceptical that our generation will take up Zuckerberg’s mantle when they enter the workforce. “I wouldn’t say anytime soon. Maybe 20 to 30 years down the road. You look at how the business world was 20 years ago, with people wearing suits. Now they’re wearing sort of mixed and matched blazers, shirt and tie,” said commerce student Graham Locke.
MICHELLE NG / SILHOUETTE STAFF
But maybe that’s the point. The suit may not die but just fade away. “It seems like we’re just generally becoming less formal. I guess we don’t feel it necessary to dress up all the time,” Locke said. Instead, more personal CEOs, casual clothes and unkempt hair are just a new way to brand your product. This tactic may work for younger, hipper industries that make their money by staying fresh in an everchanging world. However, it’s still unlikely that the business world will turn over at the drop of a hat. In a world where the increasing pace of technology means that your product may be used almost constantly, these companies may just have to portray themselves less as door-to-door salesmen. Instead, they may start having to dress and act more like you.
THE SILHOUETTE • C9
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Business lessons from Haiti Gimme Shelter SANTINO MARINUCCI
ASSISTANT BUSINESS EDITOR
It has been a whole year since the devastating earthquake that decimated Port-au-Prince, Haiti last year made headlines across the world. It has also been making news recently due to the shaky landscape that Canadian financial institutions have been experiencing through the tumultuous rebuilding of the island nation. The slow rebuilding of the country has been hindering many Canadian enterprises that were beginning to take off and has been worrying institutions like Scotiabank, MasterCard, Desjardins, and others who currently have a stake in the country. Now, I do not want to come off as cold, but I have always questioned how much aid Canada and the United States have contributed to Haiti. This is not because I’m against giving to a good cause, which this clearly was, but other major disasters have happened in other countries, and have received little to no attention in terms of being recognized by Canada and the U.S. This got me thinking, is it partly because of the large financial
stake that both countries have within Haiti? Are we really that cold? Well, apparently Canada’s financial sector has a large stake in Port-au-Prince and has been expanding there for quite some time. As it currently stands, Scotiabank has four branches in Portau-Prince while Desjardins has over 50 throughout the city. Scotiabank and Desjardins have maintained branches throughout the city in hopes to set up a micro-financing and micro-lending network, helping to establish a modernized banking system within Haiti. The Canadian banking institutions will have considerable difficulty reaping any benefits from their expansion efforts if recovery does not happen soon. Haiti, which sat at around 70 per cent unemployment, pre-quake, will have stagnant growth until the rebuilding process increases and individuals begin using financial and banking services. So what does this have to do with aid? Well the rebuilding of the country is dependent on foreign aid from Canada and the U.S. and without a properly functioning infrastructure and business, the economy cannot revive itself. This in turn will directly
impact the Canadian financial services in Haiti. When I took off my rosecoloured glasses, looking at why so much more aid was flowing into the country than we usually give and it became clear, as it usually is when a country has an invested interest in things. We could actually get burned if we do not help. Not to say that we do not care about the tragedy in Haiti for humanitarian reasons, but let’s be honest here, have we really rallied together as a nation for other disasters like tsunamis and cyclones that have hit East Asian countries? Or the horrific humanitarian crises in Sudan and the Congo, where millions of people have died? It just makes more sense to believe that because we have such a large invested business interest through our financial institutions within the country that we would provide more aid to Haiti. While the devastation in Haiti was large, I believe there was a component of Canadian aid that was in the interest of foreign investment. Furthermore, I feel that it is important to note the level of donation by Canada in the wake of the Haiti disaster compared to disasters of similar nature in other countries.
Finding your first student house, the right way
The Silhouette Stock Challenge Is back Win Gift Certificates and bragging rights Visit thesil.ca/business for rules, regulations and how to join
JOY SANTIAGO / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Do not get hosed when you are house hunting this semester. SANTINO MARINUCCI BUSINESS EDITOR
Contest runs February 1 to March 11
So it’s that time of year again, the one that all students in first year look forward to and the one that upper year students would rather not have to deal with. Yes, this is the task of finding adequate student housing close to campus, and for a good price. As somewhat of a veteran of the student housing scene, being in my fourth year at McMaster, I would like to extend some advice to first year students looking for their first real taste of independence outside of residence and upper year students who have to deal with leases and house changes. Alright, so first year residence was fun but you are ready to take your first baby steps toward true independence and you want to share a house with all of your new friends who you met in your first year. Now this is all fine and dandy, but the first thing you need to remember before anything else is that you should properly choose a roommate or roommates for the year ahead. Now I know what you are thinking: “all of my friends are fine, they are not messy and they are not loud, I know this because we have been friends a while and I know them.” Well, having been around the block a few times, I know that this is a total lie in most cases. You will never know how compatible you are with your friends until you live with them. With that said, pick very wisely because no matter what, you will eventually get on each other’s nerves, so minimizing this as much as possible from the get-go is vital. Another very important aspect of finding a place to live is the price of rent and utilities. Many off campus housing companies can and will charge obscene amounts of rent to students who do not know better. This is why it is important to do your research by comparing different off campus housing companies and their rent prices so you can get the best deal and a pretty kicking pad. With that said, it is important to find a house with your utilities included; this reduces the level of stress on you and your bank account when collecting hydro, gas, and cable from everyone in your
house each month. Finding a place with utilities included is ideal because you do not have to worry about people coming short with utility money each month and you can focus on other things like finishing that essay last minute. The next important step in finding a student house is to make sure you capitalize on the services provided by McMaster. Many first year students are unaware of the beneficial services that are at their disposal which make finding a student house easier. The Off-Campus Resource Centre (OCRC), which can be found in the basement of the McMaster Student Centre, provides the essential tools and services for off campus housing, such as tips on how to sign lease agreements and what to look out for in a house in terms of its structural integrity, location, and whether your landlord is following the Tenant Act. Signing onto a lease is probably the biggest step you can take when taking the plunge into off campus housing. When signing a lease always make sure that there is a proper contract, notarized by a lawyer in conjunction with your Tenant Act laws. Another important aspect of signing a lease, which extends to upper year students, is the amount of time you should commit to. It is common to have either eight- or 12-month leases. This is significant for upper year students because if you do not know where you are going to be when you graduate and you commit to a lengthy lease, you may get stuck with paying rent for an apartment you are not going to be using. Thus, it is highly recommended that you know what you are doing for the next year, because if you commit to a 12-month lease and find out you did not get into to graduate school (or second year), then you will be stuck paying rent. When finding yourself a student house there are many components to consider as you make your transition from residence to your first house, or when you’re changing houses or signing new leases. As long as you educate yourself, research and get a little lucky you can find yourself a great place for you and your friends without any problems.
C10 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Turning a loss into a win Brain drain could benefit the third world SIAVOSH MOSHIRI SILOUETTE STAFF
The supposed evils of brain drain are thought to be many. When young professionals, seeking a better life, leave their homeland, they take with them their knowledge and expertise. Often times the countries they are leaving are already racked by corruption, racial tensions and poorly functioning economies. Politicians and newspapers all across the developing world have railed against brain drain, with many pushing for restrictive emigration measures as a way to combat the trend. A recently published report in the Associated Press details the recent mass emigration of graduates that is occurring in Malaysia. Tired of the lack of jobs and corruption that seeps into government affairs, students are setting their sights on places with more opportunity. Some go to nearby South Korea while others travel as far as The US and Canada. This mass movement of skilled workers is nothing new or localized; from Iran in the Middle East to Argentina in South America, brain drain is a worldwide trend. But is it as bad as one would think? The press generally thinks so. In 2005, The Globe and Mail went as far as to call it the ‘new’ slave trade; the best and the brightest of the third world leave their countries attracted by the high salaries of foreign companies, which leads to their native lands staying forever in a state of economic stagnation. Proposed solutions to this problem are just as seemingly absurd as the aforementioned slave comparison. Economists at the World Bank argued that countries affected by brain drain should push for lower educational standards. Others have argued that certain people with vital jobs, such as doctors, should be banned from emi-
grating; consequently, the workers seem less attractive to the world abroad. While this may seem like a heavy-handed response, they are the only tools that governments have to combat brain drain. However there is a burgeoning school of thought in economics that actually sees this as a boost for countries, not a loss. One of the biggest promoters of this argument is William Easterly, professor of Economics at New York University. In a 2008 paper, he looks at African brain drain. Using regression analysis, Easterly showed that brain drain has a negligible effect on the growth of a country’s GDP. Further tests show that an increase in brain drain is correlated with an increase in the amount of skilled domestic workers, not a decrease that politicians fear. The theory behind this is based around an incentive effect. People who live in a third world country and want to leave will have to make themselves as attractive as possible to the developed world. This usually means studying and schooling. Not all of these people are chosen. All first world countries have certain requirements and quotas for immigration which means many will not be picked. The large majority of those trained individuals are then left in their native country to work. Economists who back this point of view believe that lowering of education standards or highly restrictive immigration requirements only leads to social tensions – a major cause of brain drain itself. This new theory makes some interesting points but the results from the Easterly study cannot be considered conclusive on a world wide scale. The data used only looks at Africa, and only emigration concerning first world and third world. To sway the minds of the press and governments that are affected, more research may need to be done.
Do your part for the economic recovery Writers, analysts and fortune tellers wanted. Meet us Tuesdays at noon for our volunteer meeting. MUSC B110.
Bull Airbus Private Corporation Airbus is flying high after what is being called the biggest jet order in commercial aviation history. The Aircraft manufacturer has landed a $15.6billion deal to sell 180 airplanes to Indian budget airline IndiGo. The upshot of this deal is that it’s a sign that the world economy could be on the mend. Either that or India’s tourist industry is about to see a boom. By the way, can I offer you a timeshare?
Bear Cyberplex Inc. (TSE:C-XT) Do you know who Cyberplex is? If you don’t, chances are you’re one of those people fortunate enough to never have owned shares in the online marketing company. Shares in the company plummeted more than 53 per cent, or 22.5 cents, with a massive volume of 45.3 million shares for the day. The loss came shortly after the announcement that Q4 earnings would be dreadfully low. Look for this share to continue into the new year on a low note.
THE SILHOUETTE • C11
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
How to battle the OSAP blues Tips to help make sure that OSAP doesn’t get the best of you SIMON GRANAT BUSINESS EDITOR
‘Tis the time of year for OSAP. Last week I spoke to a student who had just been let down by OSAP. Last semester OSAP gave him $6000. Come second semester he went to go get more money but there wasn’t any, at least not for him. What he failed to realize was that OSAP gave him his payment in one large lump payment at the beginning of the school year. With bills to pay and a mouth to feed this student now has to make ends meet. OSAP can be considered one of the most important loans of your life. For many students, it is their first loan and probably their only loan for the next few years. But with great money comes great responsibility. It is important for every student using the program to pay attention to the terms and conditions of your loan. That way you are less likely to be burned by OSAP. Basically, OSAP is a student loan
that determines full or partial aid based on a number of factors, not the least of which are your income, your family’s income, and disability. Both the provincial and federal governments loan you money under the banner ‘OSAP’. Normally OSAP contributes a set amount toward your tuition, but in exceptional circumstances such as family breakdowns or disability, other costs may be taken into account. The interest rates on OSAP are floating rates that are currently expected to fall somewhere between prime + 2.5 per cent on the money the federal government doles out and prime + 1.0 per cent on the province’s share. The government also gives you a six month grace period after the time you graduate before you have to repay your loan. However, these are just cliff notes on how OSAP works. Below are a few tips to help you steer clear of any OSAP mishap.
The Personal Injury Lawyers
Our Team... On Your Side. STEPHANIE WERNER
Operating an Uninsured Car: If a driver suffers injuries in an accident in which he knowingly was driving a car that was not insured under a liability policy, he cannot sue anyone for recovery of his personal injury damages. That driver would also be excluded from recovering important No-Fault Benefits, including, if he was working, Income Replacement Benefits. All this would be in addition to penalties and fines for violations of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act.
CAR ACCIDENTS & OTHER INJURIES
TRUTH • JUSTICE • SAFETY
Read the fine print This goes for just about everything, not just OSAP. Although in reality, not many people read through the user agreement before they download iTunes. It’s important to understand the importance OSAP can have on your credit rating, financial future, and your ability to pay for and attend University. It may seem boring but if you take a few minutes to read the terms of the loan you will be better familiarized with what rights you have, don’t have, terms of payment, payout and any other provisions. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is If OSAP gives you $6000 at one time, and your tuition is $8000 there may be a problem. Assuming of course that OSAP has agreed to cover the full amount of your tuition, chances are that they won’t pay $2000 for your second semester. If they were to give you two payments, they would probably do it as an equal,
split payment. Stop, and think. It if doesn’t make sense to you, chances are that you don’t have a firm grasp of the terms of the loan. If you don’t know, ask This may sound like a pretty obvious suggestion, but it bears repeating. OSAP deals with a large sum of money that is yours now and someone else’s later. There’s a staff of people at McMaster who can answer your questions or if you’d rather give the internet a go you can check out the government’s website, osap. gov.on.ca. Get a Job The most important thing with any loan is to be able to pay it back. OSAP requires repayment of the loan six months after you graduate. Many of us won’t have that dream job right out of school. However, having some income will help you pay it back as quick as possible.
C12 • THE SILHOUETTE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2010
HAMILTON & DISTRICT EXTEND-A-FAMILY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES “SHARE A SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP!”
B U D DY P ROGRAM We have over one hundred children and teens with special needs waiting to spend time with a volunteer buddy. Matched buddies spend eight hours a month pursuing a hobby, playing sports, or enjoying other activities in the community. Gain volunteer experience, have fun, and share a special friendship with a young person with special needs and gifts!
FRIENDSHIP CLUB We offer a minimum of six recreation events each month, providing respite and opportunities for fun and friendship in the community. We bowl, play laser-tag, go rock-climbing, and challenge each other in all sorts of fun ways. We have a great bunch of volunteers who assist at these events and are always happy to welcome more!
I N T E R E S T E D? VISIT OUR WEB-SITE, FIND US ON FACEBOOK OR CONTACT US! w w w. e x t e n dafamilyhamilton.on.ca • 905-383-2885 e a f @execulink.com (Buddy Program) re c . e email@example.com (Friendship Club)
best of 2010 vo.1 black swan • diy digression • golden globes • barney’s version
D2 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine
thursday, november 18,11, 2010 thursday, november 2010
Senior Editor: Roxanne Hathway-Baxter Entertainment Editor: Myles Herod Music Editor: Dan Hawie Contributors: Ariel Fisher, Michael Hewak, Josh Parsons, Alex Boudreau, Justin Baird, Chris Hoy, Colin Leggett, John Budinsky, Victor Pek
Cover: Christopher Chang
in the hammer jan.13
Saint Alvia The Casbah 8:00 p.m.
The Battlecat Absinthe 8:30 p.m.
Crooked Hill Hamilton Place Studio 8:00 p.m.
Michou Absinthe 9:00 p.m.
The Sadies The Casbah 9:00 p.m.
Nash The Slash This Ain’t Hollywood 8:00 p.m.
Finger Eleven Hamilton Place Studio 7:30 p.m.
The Golden Dogs The Casbah 8:00 p.m.
Das Racist This Ain’t Hollywood 9:00 p.m.
and you thought you had gotten rid of us you were wrong write for andy
meetings are held on mondays at 2:00pm in musc b110
The Green Hornet The Dilemma Barney’s Version
come write for andy we’re looking for volunteers for 2011 musc b110.
andy’s ticks now
the old days, pretty necklaces, montreal smoked meat montreal bagel sandwiches, jerkz, ramblin’ men, suitcase record player, pall malls, the king is dead, immalleable persians, the pretentious chris pearl, the kinder surprise woman, visentin: shame of a nation, james reimer, being after meat, the days of old, videogame, bar wine?
e-mail your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
thursday, january 13, 2011
the visit from my cousins, aged three and six, I got together the things I assumed children like. Kids like candy and puzzles, right? I assumed editorial column roxanne hathway-baxter they’d be wild, running around the house like little hurricanes, tearing The holidays have come and gone. ornaments off the Christmas tree The over-eating was absurd. I’m and pulling my dog’s tail. Maybe more or less certain that I ate more I’m not around kids enough, but stuffing than my entire family com- what I saw them do was a shock to bined as they looked on in horror. me. Those kids planted themThe presents were welcomed be- cause I wasn’t sure how I was plan- selves on the couch and played with ning to survive the winter without electronics, one with his new Nintendo DS and the other with his faboots of some sort. Then, of course, there was ther’s iTouch. Never have I felt older the beautiful, sometimes stifling than when I leaned over the threefamily togetherness. I can only an- year-old and said, “Are you playing swer the question about how I plan Mario on that Gameboy, kiddo?” to get a job related to my major so The tyke schooled me about video many times before I get a little bit games, and he’s not even in school! testy. But it was still good. I got to (I’m here all year, folks.) The six-year-old is already see family that I hadn’t seen in a long time, including two of my little asking Santa for his own iTouch for next year because his nine-year-old cousins. Now, I’ll be the first to friend had one waiting for her unadmit that I’m not good with chil- der the tree. When did kids get so dren. I don’t know what to talk to tech savvy? The three-year-old can’t them about, I don’t know how to even read and he was flying through entertain them. They’re truly a mys- levels on his DS, even though his tery to me. So, in preparation for older brother assured me that he
the silhouette’s art & culture magazine • D3
had helped him quite a bit. The kids never even touched the educational puzzles that I’d laid out for them. I cannot imagine giving a child something with a touch screen. It rattles my nerves just watching them drink from a cup of juice on the couch. I remember the first piece of quasi-electronics that I got was a child’s toy computer that had a black and white screen and spat out indecipherable spelling questions. The keys were probably encrusted with pudding, even more so than the laptop I am using right now. The faux-laptop of my childhood was no iTouch, but I thought it was the future. It made me feel grown up. I felt that if a person saw me typing on my little blue and red computer they would probably assume that I was the youngest member of NASA or some kind of government agency. I was a weird kid, get over it. I don’t mind that these kids were glued to their electronics during their visit to my house. They’re little darlings, but I don’t have much to say to them. I even found myself was sneaking off to my room to check my phone, which
the big tickle
I kept safely out of their littlefingered reaches. My touch screen phone already has enough scratches inflicted on it from the hands of a 21-year-old, let alone a child whose manual dexterity is something to be desired. I guess the visit just made me realize yet again how insanely dependent our society is on technology. I just never realized that toddlers were now part of this all-tooreal dependency. The world is fast careening towards a point at which everyone in it is adept at both the new and ubiquitous technologies. Although these tykes might not be driving the train towards absolute technological dependence, they’re certainly in the front seat. At the ripe-old age of 21 I’m already pining for the days when, at Christmas, children asked for Tonka trucks and those dolls that wet themselves. These delicate technologies should be left in the hands of responsible quasi-adults, or at the very least people who have already gone through puberty. Children, please be children and leave the iTouch to university students so they can check their Facebook pages during lecture.
1. Don’t Carry It All The Decemberists 2. Cloudberries Super Furry Animals 3. Steel Rail Blues Gordon Lightfoot 4. Ramblin’ Man The Allman Brothers 5. Meet Me In The Bathroom The Strokes 6. Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second Starfucker 7. Easy/Lucky/Free Bright Eyes
what was your first piece of technology when you were a kid?
compiled by christopher chang & roxanne hathway-baxter
“tamagotchi” mark walsh
“nintendo” adrienne lam
“some videogame” abid hassan
D4 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, january 13, 2011
let’s get back to basics andy looks at the digression of current music from its do-it-yourself roots The beginning of a new year often signifies a chance for change and renewal. A chance to wipe those dirty hands clean, and maybe even drop a bad habit or two. But to be frank, I have little faith that the executives sitting atop the music industry are keen to this opportunity. The music industry has been excreting a foul odour for the better part of the last decade, like grated parmesan left open on the countertop for a week. It’s stale and often a rehash. The vast majority of artists masquerading as “original” are merely music enthusiasts whose sound is heavily indebted to an obscure collection of artists who released music throughout the ‘80s, ‘70s and even ‘60s. And although these artists would be the first to admit their sources of inspiration, contemporary listeners seem unaware of the deep pool of musical history that the industry rests upon. But the crisis that popular music is facing does not end with the record executives. There has been growing trend of elitist mentality amongst “indie” publications led by the paradigmatic Pitchfork Media; web publications that cater primarily to a legion of city dwelling, trust-fund toting Buddy Holly look-a-likes. By no means should the popularity of a band be based on their proximity to Montreal or that pencil-thin moustache. The music industry is in serious need of some democratization. To embody the problem in a single individual I must cite the appalling personality of Kanye West. Oscar Wilde once wrote, “To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.” Despite the possible criticisms of the quote itself, I am juxtaposing it with the persona of Mr. West to demonstrate exactly what he isn’t doing. Kanye West is the single most egotistical and self-aggrandizing persona to grace the music industry in the past few years. His music is not art, but merely an audible extension of his materialistic and fame-obsessed personality. Recently, he tweeted “lol suits are an expensive addiction,” and many laughed with him. Why don’t more people find that disgusting? And give me a break. That new album cover is supposed to be controversial? Ever heard of GG Allin? Google at your own discretion. So the age-old philosophical question must be asked: What is to be done? At least twice in the past several decades revolu-
Although artists would be the first to admit their sources of inspiration, contemporary listeners seem unaware of the deep pool of musical history that the industry rests upon.” tions have been staged by jean-clad youngsters equipped with an auxiliary of distorted guitars. But what the punk and grunge movements demonstrated was the fact that the music industry merely shifts to incorporate these previously revolutionary attitudes. This is epitomized in the legacy of Nirvana, culminating in the unnecessary and untimely death of the now martyred Kurt Cobain. Thus, the only way that the music industry can be democratized is a collective and large-scale grassroots reversion to the do-it-yourself ethic. Those who play music, and play it with true passion, should not do so with any hope of capital gain or sense of fame. They should be playing music because they’ve looked deep down into their own soul and realized that there is nothing else they could be doing. They are possessed by and obsessed with music. The fact of the matter is that we all can and should be making our own music. Don’t be hung up on the notion that music requires “talent” or some sort of propensity from birth. Music is part of the collective human conscience and thus belongs to each one of us. We are all permanently tied to the interlacing rhythms of the universe, from the beating of our hearts to the cycle of night and day. So while the spirit of the New Year is in full swing, my challenge to you is to start your own band. Hell, if you are already in a band start another, or make some music on your own. And make sure to share it. Help bring music back down to earth by demolishing the dichotomy between musician and listener. Only then will greedy morons like Kanye West become obsolete. •
thursday, january 13, 2011
the silhouette’s art + culture magazine • D5
a life brought to screen
Barney’s Version Directed by: Richard J. Lewis Starring: Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman
HHHHH Barney Panofsky is an average Joe who happens to have led a remarkable life. Beginning in his mid-sixties, Barney’s Version, based on the beloved final novel by Canadian author Mordecai Richler, traces four decades in the life of this remarkable everyman. We first meet Barney (Paul Giamatti), a lacklustre television producer, working for his tax-dodging production company Totally Unnecessary Productions. Saddled with attitude, a drinking problem, and steadily worsening Alzheimer’s, Barney starts his trip down memory lane after the publication of a book by a detective who once accused him of murdering his drug-addled best friend Boogie (Scott Speedman). Through the haze of questionable memory, he takes us back, first to his time spent in Rome in the late 1960s and his first wife, played perfunctorily by local talent Rachelle Lefevre. While the film begins rela-
tively lighthearted, it frequently zig-zags into darker territory. “You only go around once, my friend,” muses Boogie with some regularity, a means of glamorizing his chemical dependency, and underachieving lifestyle. Indulging in Boogie’s whims and recovering from the unfortunate outcome of his first marriage, Barney takes off for Montreal, where he proceeds to establish a life for himself. Starting work at his uncle’s production company (where he would come to work the rest of his life), Barney is set up with the crass and shrill soon-to-be Mrs. P (Minnie Driver). It isn’t until the day of their wedding, as the newlywed couple is being hoisted into the air during the Hora, that Barney has a moment of sheer dread, an epiphany that he cannot stand this woman. Mere hours later, Barney stumbles upon the lovely Miriam Grant (Rosamund Pike), and instantly he is smitten. Though charming and witty in his besotted pursuit, his actions are crass, and his behaviour undignified. Thus as his shortlived marriage to the second Mrs. P disintegrates, we begin to see Barney in a light that makes him as difficult to love as he is to hate. From this point forward he becomes the reluctant hero, simultaneously charming and
clever, as well as insensitive and oblivious. As the bits and pieces of his life’s story fall into place, who Barney Panofsky really is becomes that much clearer, and the audience is left watching a flawed man’s life play before your eyes. Paul Giamatti gives a remarkable performance as Barney, with his resonant, husky voice, embodying so much of the experience the character has endured. Unflinching in his conviction, Giamatti takes a weathered old man who appears to be little more than an amusing curmudgeon, and gives him surprising depth. Giamatti’s dedication to the role is clear throughout the film, and his portrayal of a man whose life is built on memories slowly slipping into the grip of Alzheimer’s is truly touching. Rosamund Pike gives a stoic performance that at times borders on cold, yet shows maturity beyond that of any performance she’s given to date. Her chemistry with Giamatti on screen is scintillating, so much so that their adoration of one another seems all too natural. Dustin Hoffman, as the doting father Izzy Panofsky, gives one of his best performances in years. Hopelessly bemused in social situations, he is as difficult to adore as his son, given his utterly crass and inappro-
priate behavior. Hoffman and Giamatti pass for a believable duo, although their relationship often borders simply on friendship, rather than father and son. In spite of this, there are moments in the film where the two truly shine, and Barney’s love for his father is all too evident. Transitioning from the passionate backdrop of Rome, to the colder, more sheltered Montreal and the romance of New York, the tone of the film shifts with its varying countries. Montreal serves as the perfect backdrop for Barney’s transition into old age, and the isolation implied by his progressing Alzheimer’s. Though it is rendered rather unfortunately as a cold, isolated place, the city becomes almost a part of Barney’s character, and mirrors his mental state. It is difficult to imagine the progression into Alzheimer’s, especially for a person whose entire life is based so heavily on their memories. Paul Giamatti’s portrayal of an aging man’s last attempt to recapture the past before it is gone is exceptional, and a truly moving memoir of a life. Barney’s Version is a refreshing change in a sea of literary adaptations. • Ariel Fisher
D6 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine
thursday, january 13, 2011 • D7
Welcome to the first week of ANDY’s top 10 of 2010, where the selected list of music and films represent our arduous journey through the cultural dregs to present you with the best. While some may call these choices brilliant, others may find them unjust or curious. We like to think that we are right in the middle. Don’t be hating if you don’t see your favourites here though. Remember that next week we will reveal the coveted top five spots, including some heavy hitters and notable surprises. Until then, bask in the eclectic diversity of our ten to six picks of 2010. We thank you for your time and dedication as an ANDY reader.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Broken Social Scene
The Gaslight Anthem
10. Barney’s Version
9. Black Swan
8. Winter’s Bone
7. True Grit
6. The King’s Speech
10. Before Today
9. Forgiveness Rock Record
8. American Slang
6. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Richard J. Lewis’ rendition of Mordecai Richler’s final novel is a beautifully crafted ode to an everyman. Playing the reluctant hero, Paul Giamatti delivers his best performance to date, turning the account of an old man’s life, stricken with Alzheimer’s, into a touching tale of his colourful past. Tracing through Barney Panofsky’s history from his late twenties spent in Rome, to his start as a hack television producer, his journey is measured in the landmarks of spouses. The female powerhouses in this film showcase the major influences in Barney’s arch, although none speaks as profoundly as Rosamund Pike’s Miriam Grant. With beautiful cityscapes of Europe, New York, and Montreal, the mood of the film shifts elegantly with each location. Barney’s Version is an affecting story of remembering the past before it is gone. The superb performances alongside a well-crafted adapted screenplay make this a welcome adaptation, and a rewarding experience you will likely not forget anytime soon. • Ariel Fisher
The dizzying descent into insanity is as brilliantly executed in Black Swan as the choreography of a wellpracticed dance. The film centers around the perfectionist ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman) who is given the role of the Swan Queen in her ballet house’s performance of Swan Lake. She battles with her rival Lily (Mila Kunis), who represents everything that Nina isn’t. This conflict drags Nina into a world of confusion and selfdestruction. The stunning visuals of the film are punctuated by surrealist aspects that leave the viewer wondering whether they are in Nina’s reality or fantasy world. The journey to dance the dichotomy of good and evil that is required in her performance is masterful, with moments of heartwarming emotion and utter psychological disturbance. The film is a nightmare that illustrates the power of desire and the lengths that people are willing to go in order to attain it. • Roxanne Hathway-Baxter
Debra Granik’s mediation on family is one of the quietest and most powerful films I’ve seen in years. It is dark, tense, and moving without resorting to the usual sound and fury present in mainstream thrillers. Shot on location, the film uses Ozark, Missouri’s beautiful landscapes and natural greyish colours to provide an immerse world for the characters to populate. The characters themselves are involved in so many complicated familial relationships that it’s one of the movie’s greatest strengths that we as an audience are able to navigate so clearly through the family lines, and yet have enough space and time to gather our feelings about each one. The simple story of a young woman, played in one of the year’s most compelling and understated performances by Jennifer Lawrence, in search of her missing father manages to delve deep into the heart of how families function in dire times. • Derek Hung
Evoking the darker, grungier feel of Deadwood more so than the classic Westerns of the ’50s and ’60s, True Grit tells the story of fast-talking, headstrong 14-year-old Mattie Ross (played by scene-stealing newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) who enlists the help of US Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to help her avenge her father’s unlawful killing at the hands of the coward Tom Cheney. Cogburn, a sardonic loose cannon, is a man said to have “true grit”. But as Mattie soon finds out, Cogburn is, as he himself puts it, just an “old man sleeping on a rope bed behind a Chinese grocery”. Bolstered by a fantastic script, smooth direction, and palpable atmosphere, the engrossing character dynamic that exists between Cogburn and Mattie proves to be the highlight of the film. Mattie’s purposeful and determined nature serves as the perfect foil to Cogburn’s rambling cynicism, and their often comical repartee amounts to one of the best on-screen partnership of the year. • Michael Hewak
As much as The King’s Speech is a narrative of the unlikely friendship between nobility and commonality, it is just as much a story of one man’s battle against his own failings as the world looked for calm amid the gathering storm of war. The multilayered nature of director Tom Hooper’s intensely accurate historical drama heightens the impact of the film, allowing the viewers to take in different aspects of regal life at the time. A growing respect between King George VI, played by Colin Firth, and Geoffrey Rush’s hilariously persistent Lionel Logue is set atop the Windsor family saga that plunged the entire monarchy into disarray ahead of World War II, which itself comprises the final layer of the film. Swift dialogue and a distinct emphasis on the harsh, dull world of pre-war Britain all add a certain touch that is both comforting and unsettling. The broad, sweeping panorama of all that is idolized about English resistance during the war is the hallmark of The King’s Speech. • Chris Erl
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti is the sound of nostalgia. With Before Today, you are invited on an odyssey of AM sounds that filter through a thick cloud of synths and burning guitar solos. This isn’t a mere pastiche of bygone admiration though; it’s an escape into the world of an eccentric whose love for the ‘70s and ‘80s aid his idiosyncratic molding of music. With a wideranging palette, Pink’s analogue arsenal shifts from the infectious groove of “Round and Round” and eerily breezy “Fright Night” to the gender bending “Menopause Man” and the late night yacht rock of “You Can’t Here my Eyes” – all weaving into an alluring haze of offbeat glamour. Theoretically, exhuming pop credentials wouldn’t instantly dignify accolades, but in the case of Before Today it’s captivating, as long as you are willing to view its sonic prowess in association with its Californian influences. Sure, you can pass this off as ‘chillwave’, but then you’d be restricting its ingenuity. This is a seductive piece of pop perfection.
After a five-year hiatus consisting of numerous sub-projects, side-releases, and every bit of incestual overlap associated with the ubiquitous nature of Broken Social Scene, the Toronto collective surprised fans with a more commercialized release in the form of Forgiveness Rock Record. Though earlier works of lo-fi meddling and excessive instrumentation often came across as a group effort in committing some sort of smug studio intercourse, the band took initiative through the structuresavvy of acclaimed Tortoise producer, John McEntire. And thankfully so. From the melodic crescendo of social anthem “World Sick,” to the snappy horn arrangements of “Meet Me in The Basement,” the album cleverly maintains the band’s technical bravado with just enough breathing room to earn any critic’s admiration; a Polaris short-list nod being one indication. A footing in the film industry and a growing voice in social activism may have rounded out the band’s appeal last decade, but Forgiveness Rock Record truly resonates as definitive to some of Canada’s hardest working musicians.
The Gaslight Anthem manage to combine powerful instrumentals and heartfelt lyrics with an effortless ease in American Slang, an album that is best served with whiskey and cigarettes. The band, who are heavily indebted to Bruce Springsteen, have released three albums to date, but their latest endeavor shines out above their already golden prior records. American Slang can only be described as good, old-fashioned rock and roll. The New Jersey foursome sing generally upbeat and catchy stories of beautiful girls and lost evenings in dark bars with an incredibly raw honesty that just screams youthful abandon. Brian Fallon’s vocals have an aura of tenderness that are mixed with an undeniable strength, showing both hurt and resilience. As the title tracks states, “You told me fortunes in American Slang.”
Essential track: “Round and Round” • Myles Herod
If the substance behind Holy Fuck’s own moniker isn’t enough of an attention grabber then the Toronto quartet’s latest instalment is chalkfull of enough feral energy to get any naysayer hooked. Crafted by DIY multi-instrumentalists Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh, Latin transcends soundscapes through a nine-track clatterbang of gorgeous instrumentation that flexes the band’s melodic roots alongside a synthy array of different styles. Beginning with the kaleidoscopic hum of “1MD,” the album instantly drops into the stripped down, bass-meetspercussion funk of “Red Lights,” and continues its path of rhythmic vigour with each track’s progression. Holy Fuck’s original goal of creating live techno-heavy music through the impromptu use of unconventional trinkets (toy phaser guns included) has come a long way since their selftitled debut. Latin’s more refined approach of placing danceable beats under a multi-stylistic lens has both established a firm footing for the band, and set the proverbial bar into a whole new stratosphere, leaving the music of Holy Fuck unlaptopped.
Essential track: “Art House Director” • Dan Hawie
Well here it is. After years of impudent braggadocio, media grandstanding, and flat-out embarrassing himself, Kanye West has finally crafted his masterpiece. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is not a hip-hop album. It isn’t even a pop album. It’s something beyond it. Equal parts dancefloorready beats, deft wordsmithing, and gargantuan hooks, Fantasy is a kaleidoscope that flawlessly melds and transcends every genre you could imagine, offering easily the most diverse and surprising listen of the year. Fantasy acts as an autobiographical concept album, in which West pleads for atonement by expressing selfawareness toward his brash and outlandish past behaviour. With each track he takes his game miles above the competition, narrating an unexpectedly earnest tour of his own humble beginnings, aspirations of greatness, rise to fame, and fall from grace. The level of experimentation found on the record could have easily resulted in a self-indulgent mess, but West miraculously holds it together, the end result nothing less than compelling.
Essential Track: “Red Lights” • Dan Hawie
Essential track: “All of the Lights” • Michael Hewak
Essential track: “The Diamond Street Church Choir” • Roxanne Hathway-Baxter
D8 • the silhouette’s art & culture magazine
thursday, january 13, 2011
andy examines the nominees for the 68th annual golden globes It’s not quite an Oscar, it’s slightly better than an Emmy, and it’s about as useless as a Grammy. That’s right, it’s time once again for the Golden Globes. Every year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) chooses the “best of the best” to be nominated for the “coveted” and “prestigious” award. Entertainment reporters like to use the Golden Globes as a divining rod for the Oscars, which occur only about a month after, but if history has taught us anything it’s that the Golden Globes could not be more off the mark when it comes to their choices for nominations in certain categories. That’s not to say that the Golden Globes are always completely wrong. For example, this year’s nominees for Best Picture – Drama are some pretty solid choices. The King’s Speech, Inception, Black Swan, and The Fighter are all up for the Globe, but it will most likely go to The Social Network. This was a film that wowed critics and silenced those who asked “Who the hell would go see a Facebook movie?” David Fincher’s tight direction and Aaron Sorkin’s ingenious screenplay made characters out of real people while staying true to the source material, Sorkin working from the real courtroom transcripts when
writing the film. As much as the other films may deserve it, The Social Network is probably a lock. As for the other dramatic awards, it’s a complete toss-up. Each category is populated by some of the most talented people working in Hollywood today, and it’s an eclectic mix as well. Inception should take best screenplay, if only for its originality, although The King’s Speech was expertly written, and ditto for The Social Network. As for actors and actresses, there are some great choices and familiar names. James Franco has received a lot of praise for 127 Hours, but Colin Firth brought a great amount of humanity to the monarchy in The King’s Speech. As for the Actress category, it’s another crapshoot of great performances. Drama is where the HFPA gets it right, but when it comes to comedy, it’s apparent that they couldn’t tell a laugh from the gentle sobbing of someone who would have actually sat through all of the Best Picture – Comedy or Musical nominees. At no point during its advertising run did The Tourist strike anyone as a comedy. Burlesque is thrown into the mix. Though generally panned by critics, it is a musical, so, there’s that. The final two films nominated are
Red and Alice in Wonderland. Okay, these films were funny in a way. But that was because of how generally disliked they were. If the HFPA is going to look back far enough in the year to nominate Alice in Wonderland, why not Youth in Revolt? Get Him to the Greek? Scott Pilgrim vs. The World? Does the HFPA honestly think that Red is a better comedy than say, It’s Kind of a Funny Story? The director, actor, and actress awards are no better, though it is quite obvious that the HFPA gets hard for anything involving Johnny Depp, who is nominated for two awards in the Best Actor – Comedy or Musical category. The actress category is not much better. Angelina Jolie? Oh yeah, she’s a laugh riot. The Golden Globes are supposed to lend some credibility to comedy. This year it seems they just forgot about the first three quarters of the year and just picked movies from October forward, save for Alice. It’s impossible to predict a win for any of these categories, seeing as how there’s apparently no real way to judge the comedic quality of a film. In terms of television categories, the HFPA seem to have their heads in the right place. There’s a lot of familiarity with shows
like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Glee, 30 Rock, and Dexter. Bryan Cranston should take home a Globe for his portrayal of Walter White in Breaking Bad, a role that could not be further from his days as Hal in Malcolm in the Middle. Alec Baldwin should also walk away with an award for his role on 30 Rock. As for actresses, it would be nice to see Tina Fey win a Globe for not only playing but essentially being Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, but it will most likely go to either Toni Collette for United States of Tara or Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie. In terms of drama, it’s a toss-up with no real standouts, but Elisabeth Moss could take it for her role on Mad Men. Overall, the picks don’t really matter all that much, since the Golden Globes essentially just serve as a reminder that a more important awards show is coming up. Though really, the importance of awards shows is generally overblown. Either way, the Golden Globes could be good for a night of entertainment, especially if you’re entertained by awarding mediocrity. Oh, and Toy Story 3 will win Best Animated Feature. •
under the radar
thursday, january 13, 2011
off the web
Etsy is a website devoted to selling the adorable and the vintage. Regretsy is a site devoted to selling items that you don’t need and will ultimately regret purchasing. The products that you find range from bizarre paintings, dear blank please blank to hideous clothing, to the category simply lawww.dearblankpleaseblank.com beled as “bullshit.” Sure, you don’t need the The site is filled with anonymous one-liners stuff on Regretsy, but it’s fun to look anyways. to no one in particular, such as “Dear America, You produced Miley Cyrus. Bieber is • Roxanne Hathway-Baxter your punishment. Sincerely, Canada.” You’ll chuckle at the statements and marvel at the wit of an internet community that is just looking for someone to talk to. •
the silhouette’s art & culture magazine • D9
passive aggressive notes www.passiveaggressivenotes.com
hipster run-off www.hipsterrunoff.com
Everyone has had those moments of blinding rage where someone has provoked you to the point of explosion, but you just can’t bring yourself to physically fight them like Mike Tyson lusting after fresh ear. Passive Aggressive Notes is a perfect outlet for those bashful rage-oholics who want to get their point across without actually needing the required skill of face-to-face combat, just a pen, paper and passive aggression.
Charles achieves his/her sense of existential self-worth through the conveyance of important alternative music-related news. Notably, HR has reported that Best Coast likes to blaze some dank with African American dudes, and provides frequent reminders that MIA totally suxxx (now), among other bloggable anecdotes. Although the target market is hipsters and altbros, the site is also read by tweens, lamestreamers and self-referential altbrohipsters, as well as people who hate all of the above demographics. One of the site’s defining elements is the characteristic list of thought-provoking questions that follow each post, intended to inspire the “FIRST” comments.
the beat get your scene points!
road to perdition Begin to familiarize with the soon-to-be accolades of MC “Chet Haze,” also known as Chester Hanks, son of actor Tom Hanks. As a student of LA’s Northwestern University, rapper Haze describes his academic agenda as one full of “chilling with his boys, attending class, and taking care of business.” We’re guessing that “business” refers to “hittin’ blunts after hittin’ books” given the colloquial perfection of his debut single, “White and Purple.” With the declining career of shiteous brother Colin, keep your eyes peeled for the rise of Chet in the coming months.
this is it!
die another day?
the vinyl train continues
According to a leaked internal memo courtesy of the newly crowned “Queen of Gossip” Wikileaks, garage-rock quartet The Strokes’ long awaited fourth album is set for release on March 22. Despite no confirmation on an album cover or tracklist, an earlier interview last month with bassist Nikolai Fraiture revealed that the album is already in its mixing stages. For now, we’ll keep it in our pants and spin the band’s discography for some serious foreplay.
Despite a number of studio-related speed bumps, officials from MGM announced this week that the next James Bond installment is set for release just weeks before the Mayanpredicted end of the world on November 9, 2012. Rumours are circulating on a potential afterparty taking place in John Cusack’s bomb shelter. Petitions are also spreading in hopes of coining the film’s release date as “DDay” to honour current star Daniel Craig.
In the midst of one hell of a vinyl revival, Neilsen Soundscan has recently put out their yearly figures for top-selling albums, indicating that vinyl sales grew immensely in 2010 compared to declining CD figures. This past year also marked the company’s highest sales since they began tracking them in 1991. Top five spots include The Beatles’ Abbey Road leading the pack, with Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs and The Black Keys’ Brothers close behind.
michael douglas kicks cancer’s ass
festivals: how do they work?
d’oh baby, d’ohn’t stop
The 66-year-old star, who announced in August that he had advanced stages of throat cancer, has now said in an interview that the tumour is gone. Congratulations Michael! The world anxiously awaits many more of your psycho-sexual thrillers.
Great news Thuggalos: The annual “Gathering of the Juggalos” is slated to return this coming August with even more feces-throwing, magnet pondering Insane Clown Posse superfans than last year’s Tila Tequila brawl. Credible sources from the hip hop duo’s label note that the event is sure to “knock your fuckin’ wigs off,” so be sure to ring up the ol’ gang and book that essential Illinois road trip.
An XXX parody of The Simpsons is being released that follows Marge and Homer as they make a sex tape. Now you don’t have to feel guilty about being sexually attracted to cartoon characters. • Dan Hawie & Roxanne Hathway-Baxter
D10 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, january 13, 2011
a legacy for the ages daft punk’s latest soundtrack release shows their versatility
Daft Punk Tron: Legacy
HHHH A half-decade after their last full-length album, the electronic music duo that is Daft Punk once again donned their robot helmets to score Disney’s recent film Tron: Legacy. The soundtrack is the duo’s first major release since 2005’s Human After All, and it is important to note that it is very much a film score. Fans hoping for a synthy, beat-filled collection of tracks to dance to won’t find them on the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack. Instead, Daft Punk show their artistic versatility with an album that is loaded with highquality, atmospheric tunes that will both surprise and impress you. The score is very orchestral, but still has Daft Punk’s fingerprints all over it in the form of strong electronic elements. The first few songs on the album sound like what you would expect from a serious film score: ominous tones, string instruments, and deep bass. But as you make your way through the track list, some distinct Daft Punk characteristics can be detected. The album’s sixth song, “Arena,” really makes the ears perk with a captivating sound that meshes the established symphonic style with a faster electronic beat.
GRAPHIC C/O MIKE KEVAN
Just before the soundtrack’s halfway mark, it feels a bit like Daft Punk is teasing you with sprinkles of their distinct style interspersed throughout the tracks, but it isn’t quite enough to satisfy the thirst that fans have been harbouring since 2005. After the midpoint, however, this feeling begins to change. The album’s twelfth song, “End of the Line,” warms you up with an older style sound reminiscent of electronic music and sound effects from the ’80s and ’90s. A slower pace, distant echoing sounds, and videogamey bleep-bloops will remind older fans of the days when the original Tron film was still in theatres. While you’re still treading through nostalgic memories, the next track will snap you back to the present. “Derezzed” doesn’t waste any time getting into a fast, energetic, purely electronic beat that will make you realize that Daft Punk still has the groove that you remember. Unfortunately, the song clocks in at shockingly short 1:45, not enough time to let your head-bobbing get into second gear. The soundtrack continues to deliver impressive pieces right up to the end. It culminates with some very orchestral songs containing aggressive string instrumentation along with overlaying electronic melodies. The climactic songs are very impressive and feature tempo and power similar to the recent scores of Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight, Inception). Other notable tracks on the album are “Armory,” which exhibits a heavy, low synth accompanied by more traditional components, and “The Game has Changed.” The latter features smashing drums over an enthusiastic array of synth and string, creating a style that might be heard if Philip Glass composed electronic music. One song that stands out is “Rectifier.” This is an incredible song that is sure to impress you if the rest of the album hasn’t already. The song is so dominant and menacing that it forces you to listen to it all the way through, until it quietly fades out, leaving you wondering if what you heard was composed by Daft Punk or by John Williams. The soundtrack is a creative integration of grand orchestral sounds and pulsating electronic melodies, resulting in a unique score that captures the film’s atmosphere perfectly. It is a testament to the musicians’ versatility and talent, a truly logical step in their careers. Daft Punk is known for their use of visual components to accompany their music, and the futuristic world of the grid in Tron: Legacy provides an outstanding backdrop for their score. •
thursday, january 13, 2011
the silhouette’s art + culture magazine • D11
featured review Vampire Weekend iTunes Session EP
HHHHH Since 2010, Vampire Weekend have become polished pros, plain and simple. Becoming Grammy-nominated artists, and topping many year-end “best of” lists, the success of their second studio album Contra has undoubtedly solidified VW as one of the most polarizing bands in indie-pop music. With the release of their iTunes Session EP, they’ve created a more textured sound, that, when paired with some of their more ambitious arrangements, only fully reveals the true talent in the band’s ability to completely reinvent a song. Bruce Springsteen cover “I’m Going Down” takes a very subtle yet soulful approach to the original tune, which proves to be fitting. As fresh and invigorating as their tunes may be, the upbeat arrangements prove to be completely flawless. Vampire Weekend has brilliantly managed to maintain their afro-pop, light, sounds while introducing the added element of horns and percussion instruments to their already clean, and multi-instrumental music. •
Gold Panda Lucky Shiner
This past year introduced a whole variety of new electronic music, and I love it. Gold Panda is a 28 year-old, Londonresiding Derwin. (“Derwin Panda for now”). His debut LP Lucky Shiner consists of all the synth leads, samples, and electronic drum loops you’d expect, but this album has something others like it do not, which is character. The first track “You” consists of a repeated vocal sample saying what sounds like “You and Me,” which is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard all year. Others like “I’m With You But I’m Lonely” contain layers of sounds added and subtracted resulting in a really nicely cluttered rhythm. The last song, also called “You,” you really just have to hear. This is an album anyone can appreciate. I mean, unless you’re only into metal, or some shit.
The first recording without former drummer and clean vocalist, Aaron Gillespie, Underoath unleash their most focused effort to date. The greatest improvement here is Spencer Chamberlain taking over clean vocals, providing a decidedly darker and rawer sound and removing the dichotomy between the band’s singing and screaming moments. The album breathes naturally, flowing seamlessly from crushing riffs to haunting ambience, narrating a harrowing descent into madness. Definitely the heaviest and most visceral album of their career, this sounds like the music Underoath always wanted to write but just wasn’t possible with Gillespie in the dynamic. Disambiguation may polarize old fans, but Underoath have certainly proven that after all these years, they truly belong among the elite of not only their genre, but all of modern metal.
With the overwhelming quantity of electronic music being released lately, the familiar lo-fi sound of Weekend’s Sports is refreshing. The barely decipherable vocals are soaked with reverb, creating a distant echo often just used as another layer of sound rather than actual vocals. The balance of catchy bass lines, walls of distortion and ambient vocals produce an album of catchy lo-fi tunage. Tracks like “End Times” begin with a modest introduction, kicking into an extremely catchy upbeat bassline that’s guaranteed to be stuck in your head. Others like “Monday Morning” also slow it down a bit, sounding very similar to a personal favourite, Grouper. Aside from the vocals, nothing really strikes as original; but Sports is still a tried and true sound, and I’m A-okay with that.
D12 • the silhouette’s art + culture magazine
thursday, january 13, 2011
the price of perfection Black Swan Directed by: Darren Aronofsky Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel
HHHH With Darren Aronofsky’s latest effort, the phrase, “It’s the journey, not the destination” registers fittingly, showcasing a fragmented soul at the heart of the story’s descent. Black Swan, while imperfect, resonates stronger than most pictures of 2010 through its distinct bravura. Perhaps some may be inclined to even call it a horror film. Gliding with technical grace, musical crescendos, and a dose of feral competiveness, it achieves heights that can only be described as operatic, evoking a scope only Francis Ford Coppola or Bob Fosse would have dared. Since his start, Aronofsky has been remarkably successful with actors. From Ellen Burstyn, Mickey Rourke and now Natalie Portman, the ability to elevate accomplished performers to the pinnacle of their art has been his irrefutable strong suit. Under-valued really. In Black Swan, Portman’s Nina Sayers is a painfully shy dancer within
New York’s Lincoln Center; unspoken in her discipline and driven to perfection. Inside, command is defiantly held by company director, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel), whose reimaging of Swan Lake has subsequently led him to fire his aging lead and former lover, Beth Macintyre (Winona Ryder). In a quick turn-around, Nina is selected to head the new ballet, fulfilling her wildest dreams in a truly emotional instance of tears and euphoria. Good news is momentary, however, as competition arrives with a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), who, despite being an uncanny doppelganger of Nina, is everything she’s not: liberated, fearless, and sexual. At the same time, pressure at home reaches unsettling tensions with Nina’s domineering mother, Erica, while advancements from Thomas push the young dancer onto an uncharted path of delusional extremes. Dripping with an expressive gush of melodrama and symbolism, it’s easy to see that Black Swan isn’t subtle. Shades of black and white are constantly contrasted, while conscious framing and compositional lines divide Nina’s world, lending visual context to her psychological state. There isn’t much to guess here,
only to observe, as Aronofsky plays everything he’s got. Where his previous film, The Wrestler, separated itself from the testosterone-fueled showmanship of the ring to probe a deflated post-career, Black Swan goes head first into its world. I truly admire the way the film initially plays with a documentary style, focusing on ballet’s minutia of preparation and practice as the camera captures a sense of class in session. The narrative does become more singular as it moves; touching moments of body-horror as Nina gruesomely peels back skin and feathers to reveal a gradual animalistic transformation. It can’t be real though, can it? Portman, as the film’s lead, is quite startling, riffing-off the director’s demented vision to equal limits. Not only is she willing to go all the way emotionally, but as a psychical presence, her drastic weight of a frail 90-odd-pounds naturally creates authenticity. Both Portman and Kunis’ purported regimen of ballet practice prior to filming is legitimately clear. Mila Kunis does surpassingly well, representing a raucous counterpoint to Nina’s virginal condition. The same can be said for Barbara Hershey, whose abrasive turn as Mother Sayers gets uncomfortably
under the viewer’s skin. Portman’s role wouldn’t be nearly as effective though if it wasn’t for the crucial force of Vincent Cassel’s Thomas. Sleazy, yet charismatic, his complexities insert the film with an aura of pronounced esteem, remarkably penetrating Nina’s fluctuating psyche with his touch and foresight. He’s simply electrifying, and when a point comes in the film where power is shifted from him to her with a passionate gesture, Nina’s perfection is realized. Aside from the excellent performances, Aronofsky’s line between reality and fantasy is often blurred too erratically, resulting in moments of confusion and, on one occasion, a dramatic cop-out after one of the film’s most dazzlingly set pieces. Unapologetic and boldly executed, Aronofsky may deter tastes looking for something more akin to his past works. They’ll be missing the point though. Strip away the all-star cast and award accolades and Black Swan is ultimately a high gloss B-movie, oozing with blood, excess, and glimpses of CGI. There’s nothing wrong with that though. This is a wild ride. •