Editorial Board Editor in Chief Andrew Wiktor Managing Editors David Sanchirico, senior Luke Hammill Amanda Woods Editorial Editor Jeff Pelzek News Editors Lauren Nostro, senior. Brendon Bochacki, asst. Amanda Jonas, asst. David Weidenborner, asst. Arts Editors James Twigg, senior Jameson Butler Vanessa Frith, asst. John Hugar, asst. Nicolas Pino, asst. Life Editors Jennifer Harb, senior. Katie Allen, senior. John Connelly, asst. Steve Neilans, asst. Sports Editors Matt Parrino, senior Jacob Laurenti Chris Rahn Brian Josephs, asst. Photo Editors Clinton Hodnett, senior Renee Huo Megan Kinsley. Karen Larkin, asst. Sam Zakalik, asst.
Zach Galifianakis blows smoke rings in the face of ignorance Bold television statement makes a valid point Not many will be surprised to hear that actor/ comedian Zach Galifianakis recently guest starred on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Fewer will be surprised that the young actor decided to light up a marijuana cigarette on the air. The theme of Maher’s show was the legalization of marijuana, a topic that Galifianakis said is contentious only because of a fixed taboo against the drug and a popular mythology about the effects on the smoker. In order to demonstrate the stigma, Galifianakis pulled out a joint from his inside pocket and lit it nonchalantly. To the apparent surprise of the audience and to the other panelists on the show, the young actor dragged from the joint in indifference to the cheers and gasps. The other panelists, now uncomfortable, avoided contact with the little white cylinder, clearly horrified for their careers if they were to follow the lead of Galifianakis. He jokingly screamed out in horror at several dragons, hoping to demonstrate the ridiculousness of the perceived effects of the drug and poking fun at propaganda that continues to support the prohibition of a manageable drug. Galifianakis’ point was to show that people’s misconceptions about marijuana are based on myth and that such ignorance still has an effect on people that know the truth about the drug’s mild temperament. The experiment went quite well; the other panelists reacted just the way that he wanted, and it proved his point.
In many ways, it is a good thing to make the issue a public spectacle, and a celebrity’s attention and opinions about controversy are always met with a considerable allowance of credibility. Though typically dedicated to making jokes, Galifianakis made a valid and intelligent point and proved its worth with a simple controlled experiment. Indeed, those that are afraid of pulling the same stunt on television advocate such a move to break the ice. Perhaps people will now be bolder off the air and will wake from propaganda-fueled disillusionment. But in other ways, it was not the best move for Galifianakis to make in support of California’s Proposition 19. For those that are opposed to the plan and to the drug, it seems like his actions will turn few heads. One can only take a comedian as seriously as one can take his jokes. It seems, to some, that this was just another one of his actions in character, not to be taken as seriously as the political current for the proposition, which takes a more hard-hitting stance on how much money marijuana regulation can make for a financially suffering state. Many will condemn Galifianakis for his audacious behavior, but it seems that such a bold move could only help the cause, as the discord against his actions only adds credence to his argument. We salute Mr. Galifianakis for his boldness, and we hope that this anti-hero’s point is taken well by the less-than-accommodating media.
Web Editor Adam Cole
Police delay supplements Buffalo Police scrutiny
Copy Editor Meghan Farrell
BPD owes students an apology for its reaction
Graphics Designer Aline Kobayashi
Professional Staff Business Manager Debbie Smith Administrative Assistant Helene Polley Advertising Manager Marissa Giarraputo Advertising Designer Christopher Lonzi Creative Directors Jeannette Wiley Chris Caporlingua, interim The views expressed — both written and graphic — in the Feedback, Opinion, and Perspectives sections of The Spectrum do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board. Submit contributions for these pages to The Spectrum office at Suite 132 Student Union or email@example.com. The Spectrum reserves the right to edit these pieces for style or length. If a letter is not meant for publication, please mark it clearly as such. All submissions must include the author’s name, daytime phone number and e-mail address.
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NOVEMBER 3, 2010 VOLUME 60 NUMBER 27 CIRCULATION: 10,000 The Spectrum is represented for national advertising by 360 Youth. The Spectrum offices are located in 132 Student Union, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 14260-2100. Telephone: (716) 645-2468. Fax: (716) 645-2766. Copyright 2010 Buffalo, N.Y. The Spectrum is printed by Buffalo Newspress PO Box 648, Buffalo, NY 14240-0648.
It is becoming an exhausting conversation: the topic of whether or not the Buffalo Police Department can handle its job. Doubts about its leadership all the way down to its passenger seat officers are frequently discussed in and around the University Heights. After the recent events on Lisbon Avenue, students are concerned about their safety on South Campus, not so much because of crime, but because they feel their police do not effectively protect and serve. To briefly recap, a number of students were gangassaulted at 211 Lisbon Ave. on a weekend night. It took the police 30 minutes to arrive at the scene, having changed the call’s priority three times. In a recent meeting at the Gloria J. Parks Community Center, police spokesmen took turns denying the late reaction time and assigned blame to the students for the incident. They held fast to their argument, which basically stated that the students should not have had a house party and that the crime was brought upon themselves as a result of their irresponsibility. But it is a heinous crime in itself to blame a victim for a wrong done unto him just so that BPD can feel justified in their sluggish punctuality. That would be like blaming a rape victim for wearing a skirt, as one of the parents at the community meeting stated. Granted, there may have been other things in the Heights that required attention over a priority-three call for a fistfight. Police claimed that there was a stabbing off of South Campus that had priority over the Lisbon complaint.
Being understaffed is an understatement. Also, Buffalo Police precincts are shoddily placed: jurisdictions in the Heights are split down the middle via Main Street. But redistricting seems like the obvious solution that the city has not yet addressed. Despite their having felt attacked by bad press, the Buffalo Police should not have said that the students were “victimizing themselves,” or made allusions to how house parties are the cause of the problem. That defies basic logic and takes a headlong plunge into the absurd. These fully-grown police spokesmen attempted to irresponsibly direct blame away from BPD. But pointing fingers after the event is rather fruitless. It is easy to blame and to think about what could have happened if things had gone a little differently. The main thing is, even if the police had shown up within five minutes of the attack, most of the damage would have been done anyway. Several house parties occur each weekend in the heights; you also can’t blame the students because trouble found their one party. We think that the Buffalo Police made a huge error in the heat of the moment when they blamed innocent students for a crime that happened to them. Though it may have been an unavoidable delay that stopped them from arriving at the scene directly, it would have been more responsible of the police to own up to their tardiness than to throw it back in the bruised faces of assault victims.
THE WORD AROUND CAMPUS Although not quite as raunchy as Generation’s personals once were, these are voices of UB students who have something to say. If you want to be heard, too, write us a blurb online at ubspectrum.com. Some of the wittiest remarks will appear in the paper in no particular order. (Edited for grammar.)
> “Parody is what makes the Sunday spectacle
more interesting to me this year.” Your writers’ lack of a high school level vocabulary makes The Spectrum a parody of an actual newspaper.
> I love when some of the money I put toward this school goes toward new TVs to display the food I eat. I do not want to watch food; I’d rather eat it!
> Patriarch of up-and-coming religion seeks altar girl.
Senior Life Editor
Buffalo needs a splash Untapped potential, underdeveloped land and numerous possibilities are all phrases that can be used to describe the current situation of Buffalo’s waterfront. Recently, Buffalo City Councilwoman Bonnie E. Russell of the University District urged lawmakers to entertain a new idea for the Queen City’s inner harbor: a “world-class aquarium.” I think this is a great idea and could lead to great things for Buffalo. The idea to build a new aquarium is stemming from the National Aquarium, located on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The National Aquarium is one of Baltimore’s premier attractions for both residents and tourists, drawing about 1.6 million visitors each year. Every time I visit the aquarium, it is always booming with visitors, and it offers exhibits that educate and entertain. Russell is envisioning a Great Lakes-themed Inner Harbor Aquarium at the Memorial Auditorium site. She is lobbying for it to become one of Buffalo’s premier attractions and believes it will jumpstart the revitalization of the entire waterfront. Buffalo can benefit greatly from an aquarium, but it can’t solely focus on the Great Lakes. It needs to feature ecosystems, plants and animal life from around the globe. The Georgia Aquarium, located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, has drawn more than three million visitors every year since it opened in 2006. The Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium, and Buffalo doesn’t have the funds, sponsorship or room to top Atlanta’s aquarium. But it would be wise for the Common Council to realize that Georgia’s is so successful because of the variety of animals it holds. I do agree that it is important for Buffalonians and visitors from around the globe to learn about the Great Lakes, but as an ocean and water enthusiast, it is my belief that people will want to see more than the freshwater fish that inhabit the murky waters of lakes. Vice Chairman Larry Quinn of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. wonders how effective a prospective inner harbor aquarium might be with the Aquarium of Niagara already in Niagara Falls. Having previously volunteered at the Aquarium of Niagara, I believe that the facility is run down and in need of extreme updating and better habitats for its animals. Squirt, the most popular sea lion at the Aquarium of Niagara, was euthanized just last month because of a deteriorating health condition. Perhaps with a better facility, better veterinary care could be provided for the animals. Having worked at premier marine park facilities such as SeaWorld and Gulf World Marine Park, I can assure that if the aquarium is done right, people will visit and pay for a place where learning can be educational and fun for the whole family. The Aquarium of Niagara is a joke; it’s small and old, and it doesn’t excite Western New York residents to revisit year after year. I agree with Quinn that it doesn’t make sense to have two aquariums in a small region, but the current one is less than acceptable. Building a premier site on the waterfront would solve a lot of problems. Mayor Byron Brown says Niagara Falls doesn’t want to lose its aquarium, but the city isn’t expanding it and doesn’t have the funding to complete necessary updates, which is unacceptable. Brown believes that people would travel to differentiated fish-related attractions, but he couldn’t be more wrong. Russell is spot on with her belief that a state-of-the-art aquarium with both fresh water and salt water would attract visitors. Buffalo’s aquarium would have a specific niche catering toward the Great Lakes, but it should also house many others in smaller exhibits. An inner harbor aquarium would also spur the development of hotels, restaurants, and new retail complimenting the existing inner harbor attractions. City Council members need to wake up, stick with a plan, start development and realize that an aquarium will provide the splash of success this city really needs to get back on the map of great tourist destinations. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Spectrum, an independent student publication of the university at buffalo. November 3, 2010