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[Summer Issue] “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” ~Sam Keen
I recently moved into a cave. My cave is dark, warm, and lends itself perfectly to sleeping. See, I was brought up in an environment where sleeping past the hour of 8 a.m. was almost unheard of due to my mother’s 18 year constant remodel of our house. Most of the time I was awakened by slamming hammers and floor striping devices; but no more. For the first time in my life I finally realize how important a true summer can be for people. I mean I always got the whole beach thing and BBQ’ing with friends, but I never understood people that slept in till noon. So when I came across noted philosopher and author Sam Keen’s quote on summer it finally made sense to me. Summer is the only time of the year when being lazy can become a pastime and not a vice. Summer is given to us (yes, given to us) by the educational system for this exact reason. And lets face it people, once you leave this place summer losses its bravado and just becomes a collection of uncomfortably hot days that make wearing a suit even more unenjoyable. So you have 57 days left. 57 days to look responsibility in the face and say, «not today.» I know, I know, some of you are saying that you still have responsibilities to deal with even during summer; but what I’m saying is that it’s ok to hit that snooze button once more, have that one extra beer, or play that third game of shuffle board. Do it not to be irresponsible, but to reach out and give summer a big fat hug (if your boss doesn’t like your tardiness just blame it on me). As far as the issue, well, I guess you could call it the Union’s ode to summer. And just as you might imagine, if you’ve ever picked up the paper, it’s a little different than what you may have in mind.
When I came back from Hawaii with thirddegree burns covering my entire body I figured it was time to get the hell out of Mr. Sun’s striking distance for a while. Then it dawned on me; I could probably deal with the rest of the summer inside this new cave I live in. I mean, honestly, with all the technology and entertainment options we have today, who needs the outside anyways? We dare you to try it (see pg. 6). While a few of us decided that leaving our front doors wasn’t such a good idea, a brave few threw caution to the wind and went to some great shows in the last few weeks, and on pages 10-12 you can see which ones, as well as lap-up three reviews of this summer’s most anticipated albums. After a much deserved respite, it was decided that Random Reviews should once again grace the pages of the Union, and on page 13 you can read an account of the 4th from the harbors of Newport to the littered streets of LB’s «Horny Corner.» On a side note; have you ever been in a conversation when one of your uppity chums makes an obscure reference to a modern classic novel? Well look foolish no more sir; the Union has produced a cliff note collection of six classic novels that everyone should read before the age of 30. So the next time your buddy asks you the name of the mountain that Ray Smith and Japhy Ryder spent a winter on in The Dharma Bums, you can reply with, «Isolation, Bitch, now make me another dirty martini.» So whether you spend the rest of summer basking in the sun, or withering away in front of a flat screen TV, just promise us that you’ll have 57 great days, because after all, before long, summer will hold no meaning, and you’ll be sad you never realized what a gift it really was.
–Ryan Kobane Editor-In-Chief
Taurus -A Sun sextile Mars provides opportunities for financial gain with family. Take care when doing business with loved ones (make them sign contracts that hand over their right to an attorney to you, just in case). Gemini -As the sun transitions from Gemini to Cancer, feelings of being on top of the world may come to a halt. A friend may surprise you with meaningful words (somebody is pregnant). Cancer -Intense longing may come to surface as a secret admirer will reveal themself to you, if you know what to look for. (But first, you’re gonna have to stop telling your life story to everybody you meet). Leo -Venus joins Saturn in Leo for the first half of this month. You’ve been spending money again Leo, and you don’t have much left. (That’s okay, Cancer has loads of it, just let them do all the talking, and you’ll sweep them off their feet. When you want to call it off, tell them their cooking sucks, and their pets are ugly). Virgo -With a trine to this month’s Mars, and a sextile to this month’s Sun, your recent prosperity has come with a cost. Unfortunately, your presence will not help the situation (feed your pets, children, or even yourself before you leave home). Libra -This month, your sophisticated worldview will be challenged by a new friend (and you will be surprised to learn that ugly people have an opinion too).
By Jason Bonzon
Scorpio -As the Sun trines Pluto this month, no other sign feels this aspect harder than you, Scorpio. You will forgive loved ones (or as you like to call them, ‘the idiots and hypocrites that got your back’).
Ryan Kobane Editor-in-Chief Erin Hickey Managing Editor Michael Pallotta Matt Dupree Associate Editors Ryan Kobane Business Manager
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Vincent Girimonte News Director Kathy Miranda Michaël Veremans Opinion Editors Ryan ZumMallen Sports Editor Victor Camba Comics Editor Katie Reinman Creative Arts Editor Savage Gones Grunion Editor
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Philip Vargas Literature Editor & PR Michael Pallotta Entertainment Editor Sean Boulger Music Editor & PR Ryan Kobane Photography Editor
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Philip Vargas Illustration Editor Erin Hickey Ryan ZumMallen Brandi Perez Copy Editors Ryan Kobane Advertising Representatives Steven Carrey Graphic Design Dylan Little Internet Caregiver
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Sagittarius -This sign quincunx Mars, to form a conflicting aspect between ideals and work. The archer is torn between his noble duties to family, to others, and to himself (you will reflect on this and hope these problems solve themselves before the end of the month…coward).
Dominic McDonald, Chris Barrett, Katy Thomas, Andrew Wilson, Jesse Blake, Christine Hodinh, Pete Olsen, James Kislingbury, Derek Crossley, Darren Davis, Jimmy Dinh, Drew Evans, David Faulk, Christopher Troutman, Marcus Bockman, Jared Kenelm Collins, Annalisa Brizuela, Adrienne Newell, Cecilia Orozco, Charlene Galicia, Benjamin Zitney, Jennifer Schwartz
Capricorn -Strike while the iron is hot! You could greatly benefit from favourable aspects this month in work, love, and health (but you don’t believe astrology works, so no horoscope for you, asshole).
Disclaimer and Publication Information
Aquarius -Your views on love are catching up with you, as those closest to you are attempting to understand you with sincere interest, an opportunity for growth will present itself this month for you to steer the direction of the relation-ship (keep in mind, the film Titanic was not a romantic comedy). Pisces -A failed life test has thrown you into a quagmire of despair. The only choice you will have to make this month, is the decision to break old habits and ways of thinking, and realize the strength of your soul (if you can stop boozing long enough to think for yourself). Aries -With the Sun in Cancer, now is the time to improve family affairs. You will have an opportunity to mend broken relationships (which were probably your fault) and to start new ones (if you can avoid picking a fight with them first).
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
The Union Weekly is published using ad money and partial funding provided by the Associated Students, Inc. All Editorials are the opinions of the writer, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Union Weekly, the ASI, or of CSULB. All students are welcome and encouraged to be a part of the Union Weekly staff. All letters to the editor will be considered for publication. However, CSULB students will have precedence. All outside submissions are due by Thursday, 5 PM to be considered for publishing the following week and become property of the Union Weekly. Please include name, major, class standing, and phone number for all submissions. They are subject to editing and will not be returned. Letters will be edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and length. The Union Weekly will publish anonymous letters, articles, editorials and illustrations, but they must have your name and information attached for our records. Letters to the editor should be no longer than 500 words. The Union Weekly assumes no responsibility, nor is it liable, for claims of its advertisers. Grievance procedures are available in the Associated Students business office.
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9 July 2007
Quote O’ Da Week “Yeah guys, I’ll totally be in the office all week. I mean, I am the News Director~ Union Staffer Vincent Girimonte, fibbing his ass off soooooooooooooooooo hard. Vince may be contacted at vince@lbunion. for further berating
CSULB’s Most Interesting, Newsworthy Events of 06/07
CSULB Students Skip Class, Win Prizes It’s not like college students need a really good reason to skip class anyway. It could be a chilly 59 degrees out, or the parking sucks, or you simply didn’t have any clean underwear; all valid reasons not to show up for class. But for a free Mac laptop? Come on. The event took place on Tuesday morning at the Friendship Walk, bright and early at 9:30 a.m. Twenty-two lucky CSULB students were assigned to one of eight 20” iMacs, and were told to lock lips with its shiny corners. Contestants were not allowed to touch the table on which the computers rested, and were told not to distract other contestants in
Photos By Ryan Kobane
any way. This didn’t stop some students from being just down-right gross, though, commented one contestant. “So fucked up,” said JC Acance, 21, after being eliminated at 4:05 p.m. “They won’t even explain to me why I was disqualified. I’m just pissed.” But not all of the contestants were so bummed at the end of the day; well, at least one wasn’t. At 5:30 p.m. eventual winner Caroline Jensen, a Communications Major, took home the grand prize, a Macbook laptop, donated by Apple and the Student Bookstore. She was stoked!
- Ryan Kobane
Clothesline Project Some were explicit, while others expressed forgiveness. Messages splashed across bright, color-coded t-shirts hung from clotheslines on CSULB’s Friendship Walk. The shirts were meant to represent the inner struggles of rape victims, out in the open. A brown t-shirt read, “I didn’t deserve to be beaten black and blue!” A red t-shirt read, “Even though I didn’t say NO! I didn’t consent! I was passed out!” Painted by the hands of victims, the coastto-coast Clothesline Project aims to promote healing within the community of sexual and
gender-based violence victims. Surviving victims are encouraged to design a t-shirt expressing their feelings about their violation, while family and friends of victims that died as a result of sexual and gender-based crimes are encouraged to create t-shirts in honor of the victims. Sandra Bardaa, 23, Internal Chair of the Clothesline Project here at CSULB summed up the project by saying, “I am involved because I think that all women’s issues need to be brought to the forefront. I want to start with the one [issue] people want to talk about the least.”
National High-Five Day Makes CSULB Smile
Only minutes after waking up, I knew it was going to be one of those days. My entire night previous was spent fruitlessly studying/reading backlogged articles about the war in Iraq. I was saturated with bad mojo from all the horrible things I read, and the images my mind had created lingered all the way into the morning. While I sat inside the Union Weekly’s office “studying” all alone, our EIC walked in the door all smiles. This kinda pissed me off. “You excited? It’s National High Five day.” And with that, I was given what would be my first high five of hundreds; this instantly turned my day around. As I walked into the Student Union
- Marcus Bockman
and through the sliding glass doors, I saw two men, James Boo, and Darryl, anxiously waiting for someone to stoke out. Boom! I was given two high fives simultaneously. This made me smile for the first time all morning. I then decided that studying would now take a backseat to happiness, and instead, I spent some time watching these two men go to work on the glum and apathetic students of CSULB. During the twenty or so minutes I spent taking pictures and observing their style I learned one thing: only really lame people don’t smile and gladly accept a random high five from a stranger wearing an orange shirt.
- Ryan Kobane
Our Boys Take The Big West, Tournament
Long Beach State’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1995 wasn’t official when they sealed the Big West regular season title. It wasn’t official when they earned an automatic bye into the conference tournament semifinals, or when they defeated UC Irvine to advance to the championship game. It wasn’t even official when the buzzer sounded on the 49ers’ 94-83 victory over Cal Poly SLO in Saturday’s tournament finale. One by one, each member of the team
ascended a ladder to cut off individual pieces of the net, and Aaron Nixon held his tournament MVP trophy in one hand and the Big West championship in the other. When senior Kevin Houston clutched the title trophy, staring into the giant golden basketball at his own reflection, the culmination of a fouryear career that saw him go 6-21 as a freshman 49er, then it was official.
- Ryan ZumMallen
Mon. 9th Tues. 10th Wed. 11th Thur. 12th Fri. 13th Your Weekend Hi 75° Lo 66° Hi 76° Lo 66° Hi 78° Lo 65° Hi 81° Lo 66° Hi 82° Lo 68° Partly Sunny Partly Sunny Sunny Sunny Sunny 9 july 2007
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
Hi 80° Lo 68° Beautiful, boom. 3
Rudy Giuliani Is A Bad Choice Giuliani testified to the 9/11 commission, it was the yells of FDNY family that halted the hearings, not political enemies, protesting his city’s management of the rescue mission. Things such as faulty t seems unlikely that any GOP candidate would have enough radios, drills, and unprepared staff were presented, and eventually political credibility to scale the mountains of shit President glossed over. In the face of all this, he marches on, probably in his Bush has left them to deal with: the war in Iraq, the inability own heroic world. to capture Osama bin Laden while he taunts you via youtube, and But can you blame Rudy? Absolutely not. After all, if there has New Orleans, which is still a place in dire need of help. Regardless been one consistent theme threaded through our post 9/11 political of what the White House says, or doesn’t say, he’s not exactly a guy agenda, it has been to tap into our collective paranoia and squeeze you want in your corner, even if he is catching your spit. the extra inch of power from our hands, doing so the name of It is under this set of circumstances freedom, of all things. Rudy Giuliani that I’m offended—not as a Democrat, is doing the same: getting the most but as an American—over recent polls of his meager and questionable list putting former New York mayor Rudy of qualifications, squeezing out every Giuliani in the lead for the Republican last drop of 9/11. He does not humbly presidential nomination. It offends shy away from the media’s fascination me, as a person who sat in front of his with his 9/11 legend, but blows it up, television in his bath towel, wondering likely reminding everybody of his why those tall buildings were on fire. location on that day, which happened Rudy Giuliani’s campaign for the to be, in New York, you know, when White House in ‘08 should offend he was mayor? “As a person who lived everybody. through it,” he often says, presumably The numbers that speak to me telling us he is a human, and he is still are 36 and 79, the approval ratings alive. of Mayor Giuliani pre and post 9/11, It’s not so much that I hate Rudy respectively. That’s a jump of 43%, Giuliani, because I don’t. I reserve mirroring another approval inflation my hatred for those close to me, in the White House. He was leaving whose lives I’m forced to accept on a office with a good riddance, with daily basis. Thus I cannot hate Rudy (more) marital troubles, and probably Giuliani, as a matter of code, but I can destined to be, at best, a somewhat still hate the idea of Rudy. He is truly memorable New York figure. the product of what we, the people, With 9/11, he literally became have haphazardly thrown together “America’s Mayor” overnight. Images in hopes of creating a binding figure, of him stomping through the streets and nothing more. What he is doing is were undoubtedly moving at the truly anti-American—using tragedy time, but such was the nation’s fragile Rudy Giuliani (above) says, “Fuck Vince! Where was he on 9/11?” as a foundation to build power and state. Crossfire became ceasefire, and fortune upon. You know what, I retract nobody was speaking ill of any public the previous statement. Nothing has authority, out of fear, or loyalty, and worse yet, patriotism. been more American over the last six years. But now, we have retrospect and cool heads to dissect our In truth, 9/11 has made Rudy Giuliani less qualified for the oval leaders. The 9/11 commission is over and done with, and it’s no office. He is a man completely willing to use our fears to strengthen secret that Osama Bin Laden pulled a Babe Ruth, calling his shot his image. Should we learn a quick history lesson, and study towards New York city’s destruction. But what about Giuliani? the many injustices engineered by a terror-preoccupied public, Surely if there was one display of pure and competent leadership, it hopefully we can all agree that Giuliani is a step backwards—a vote lay under his name, right? to prolong our manipulation. Questions? Comments? Surprisingly, no. More surprisingly, some of the people who Vince Girimonte can be reached at: vince@ lbunion.com Or comment online at www.lbunion.com called about his errors: the New York City Fire Department. When
By Vincent Girimonte
Home Schooling By Derek Crossley Union Staffer Here we are again, the end of another semester. This is my twelfth semester if my math is right and it should be said that I got 104% in some math class, at some point. I love education, learning, reading, but I have a big issue with school. Here I go on another ego-maniacal rant, but I just don’t get much out of it. I’m happy I was forced to take what I did during high school, but at this point, it takes a little more to get my synapses firing. The problem I have with school is that I’m too busy studying, or going to class, or reading a textbook, or writing a five-hundred word essay on some boring, useless bullshit. Tell me to write what I want, and I’ll lay ten thousand words on you. Tell me to read five books in a week, and it’s done. Don’t tell me what books to read. I’m too busy learning other, more important things to waste my time on what they are trying to teach me. Does that sound harsh? It is. I started out as a Fashion Design Major. I hated English Majors and I wanted nothing to do with them. In my opinion, studying what you love is the perfect way to kill it. And I’m a bit of a metro-sexual anyway, I wear expensive jeans, perfume (yes, perfume), obnoxious sunglasses, and love to pair denim with denim. So, I spent my early collegiate years sewing, making patterns, and being annoyed by ditzy blondes and brunettes of all nationalities. And to top it all off, no offense to the Fashion Department, but they also weren’t all exactly the Super Models I was hoping they were going to be. So, alas, I finally sucked it up and threw my hat in the ring of the Creative Writing Department. How has it been? Okay. I love to write, I love to put down ideas on paper. I have a very bad memory, thanks in no small part to watching too much Nickelodeon as a child. So, the written word, on smashed and dried wood pulp, is where I store my life. But when I’m forced to take a class that does not involve any “creative writing,” I’m silent, and my “soul” shrinks up like a sodium-satiated slug. I’m no good at regurgitating and I’m no good at telling people what they want to hear. What I am good at, though, is doing what I want, making the most of every experience and writing something down that is worth reading. That isn’t why we go to school, though. We go to get a piece of paper. But, fuck, I can get a whole ream of paper for, like, eight bucks. And I can write whatever I want on it. So I’ll graduate when I’m ready and I’ll give myself a diploma on my death bed. Because I’ll never stop learning. Questions? Comments? Derek Crossley can be reached at: derek@ lbunion.com Or comment online at www.lbunion.com
English Language Accepted Worldwide By Michaël Veremans Opinions Editor Travel around the known world a thousand years ago and Latin would be the language of choice. Two hundred years ago, you would be hearing French as the common language, the language of business, culture and of travelers, hence the modern term Lingua Franca (French language in Latin). But since the growth of Hollywood and World War II, English has become the popular world language, the one agreed middle for the various cultures and countries around the world to communicate with the most learned language, and also the dominant language of business, media, and popular culture. Because of the wide acceptance of English as the common language, many foreign languages, particularly European languages, have imported words and phrases from English and particularly from America. It doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, English phrases being used in other languages, but what do other cultures learn from us through our language at a glance, and what exactly do they take from English into their own tongue?
When French was the dominant language of international communication, various words and phrases made their way into other languages, including English, such as rendez-vous, respondez s’il vous plait (RSVP), and nouveau riche. The terms taken from French apply to matters of haute couture (which is also French) and other matters of je ne sais quoi. Even less widely-spoken Western languages have found their way into our speak: most classic music terms come from Italian and various words like gemutlich or zeitgeist have migrated from German. These import words that are used throughout Europe and definitely in English, express complex ideas or matters of culture which we can’t properly convey in our own language. It makes you wonder then, what great phrases does English offer as the new world common language, what expressions do other languages lack that we have supplied? The first English phrase I ran into during my time in Germany is probably not that surprising to most of us. It was on a large sign outside of a restaurant, advertising their lunch buffet: All-you-can-eat. Now,
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
of course you could say something to that effect in German, but the owner of the restaurant wanted to conjure images of American sized meals. Other related phrases that are used in modern German include take-away and non-stop for places that stay open 24/7. You have to be able to laugh at yourself to understand that the international image of America includes over-eating and constant convenience. Despite the focus on more base features of American culture, there are many words that apply to modern music and culture that are used; the media language of Germany is a veritable mixing pot of English, French, and German terms. The scope of English words in foreign languages indicates that we are a very practical language and culture, with slightly hedonistic leanings, the kings of pop-culture and easy going on the ears. Even though many of the import terms may not be flattering, their use alone shows that we are welcomed as the lingua franca and that English will be accepted anywhere Visa is. Questions? Comments? Questions can be directed to: info@ lbunion.com Or comment online at www.lbunion.com
9 July 2007
Hipsters Take Over LA Nightlife
By Kathy Miranda
eather boots, skinny jeans, gold necklaces and Indie music; tell me, what do you see? Growing up in Los Angeles offered me great experiences and loads of opportunity, not to mention a weather forecast of “sunny” almost everyday, but a trademark of the Los Angeles nightlife (and a group I am unfortunately too often associated with) has forced me to question my love for the city I grew up in. Yeah, you guessed it; I’m talking about the hipsters, about the way they look, the way they talk and yes, the way they dance. I won’t lie, I’ve been seen with them, I’ve taken pictures with them, shit, you can even say I dress like one of them, but after six months of indulging in a weekly routine of trendy clubs and parties that include notalent 20-somethings hungry for fame, I am so fucking over it. Banana Split Sundaes at club LAX, Dim Mak Tuesdays at Cinespace, Dance Right Thursdays at La Cita Bar and Mark the Cobrasnake snapping photos of the festivities all through the week—this reflects the week for your average L.A. hipster. Initially, I thought it was awesome; on any given Thursday I could go see Shepard Fairey, the founder of Obey Giant, spin at La Cita in Downtown, or on Sundays I could find celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and drunk dancing on a table at Club LAX. It’s incredible how easy it is for anyone to become a part of the commotion. But it wasn’t long until I realized how lame these parties can be and how uninteresting these people really are. L.A.’s shallow, superficial, fame-hungry mindset is a stereotype about this city I was never willing to accept, but unfortunately, that’s exactly what I have come to find out about this town. These are the people who spend hours getting ready every night, to attend an event
On USC Moms:
Illustration by Erin Hickey
with people they’ll barely ever know, dance to music from a band they’ve never even heard of, drink themselves unconscious to ultimately take pictures with people who are only kind of famous, thus convincing themselves that, they too, are kind of famous. These are the people who look forward to saying, “Yeah, I partied with Lindsay Lohan last night. Yeah, we’re friends. Kinda. Sorta.” I’m not putting down the promoters, or the few exceptionally gifted DJs or even the horrible, unforgivable dancing (alright maybe I am putting down the dancing), I’m dissing the groupies, the wannabes, the pseudo-intellectuals, the scenesters, the teeny boppers, and every other kind of person that makes L.A. a lame place to party. And when I say “hipster”, I’m talking to the ones who have taken over all the coffee shops with their V-necks and tight pants and opinions about high fashion and art. Trust me, you are not
underground, you are not street, you are not that fucking cool, and you’re fueling a stereotype that this city doesn’t deserve. Among all the fake personalities, the socalled fashion statements and that precious 15 minutes of fame, I know deep down that this city sure as hell has a lot more to offer than guys in tight pants convulsing to The Rapture, or wearing sunglasses at night, or even dancing next to Hollywood socialites. In this city, there are people who know what they’re listening to, people who dance and spin tracks like they were born to do it, girls with style only they could rock, and parties that are about so much more than looking “cool”. As for the others, they’re just duplicates, copy-catters, and wannabes with nothing better to do but make me want to stay home. Do me a favor, get out of L.A.! Questions? Comments? Kathy Miranda can be reached at: kathy@ lbunion.com Or comment online at www.lbunion.com
Contributor I don’t really think I’m a true barista. To be honest, most people aren’t. They work in a coffee shop as a job on the side while going to school until they get their ridiculously hard earned degree to move to better and bigger things. Some people see the advantage of moving up in the coffee shop business as a way to learn how to build their own coffee shop someday. We all know that Starbucks has capitalized on making crappy coffee, and although I’m partial to Coffee Bean, someone needs to fight for the smaller businesses. In smaller businesses, you tend to really
know your customers; you try to make nice with these people. After all, their purchases are paying your bills. We baristas (my buddies and I), have to deal with the extreme crazy people. Nothing is worse than when you’re closing at midnight and a guy who is tripping out on acid locks himself in the bathroom because he believes someone is following him. One time, a car crashed into the front of our shop just before I was supposed to take the trash out— like I said, crazy things happen in small coffee shops. But a benefit of the extreme crazy people is the oh so sweet freedom of talking shit back. I love the fact that I can threaten a banned customer by saying if he ever comes into our store again, I will personally jump over the espresso
Union Staffer “1st Thursday’s” in San Pedro used to be a monthly artist event that everyone in the Long Beach and surrounding communities knew about. Tiny galleries that lined 7th street in San Pedro would open their doors, people would snack on cheese and crackers, drink wine and sometimes, live bands would play. It was an event not to miss. I went to take part in the festivities and found that the dozens of galleries had dwindled down to about four. The streets were dark and empty and while one gallery did have a plate of apples (which had gone brown from sitting out too long), it was just sad. Meanwhile, on the other side of the art world, I had a conversation with a local Long
9 July 2007
Beach artist who works for a design company, (both of which shall remain anonymous), in which he said “Yeah, if I design something on the computer and we don’t think it’s going to sell, it pretty much gets thrown out.” When I asked him what shows and galleries he had been featured in, he told me how his success as an artist was more accurately measured in sales and merchandise. Yikes! The only question I have is how many like-minded “artists” of this type are out there? This particular fellow, like so many artists, especially of our generation, primarily works off of design programs. But does pointing, clicking and exercising a deep knowledge of a design program really make someone an artist? Like many other creative avenues, technology seems to have blurred the lines again. And it’s not just graphic art
On Fourth of July:
There comes a remotely traumatizing sense of shock when your parents, having spent your first five birthdays convincing you that the Fourth of July fireworks were in celebration of your birth, reveal one year that they are, in fact, celebrating the birth of something slightly more significant. Perhaps I was a gullible child, or more likely, my little toddler brain had not yet grasped the concept of irony nor the existence of the Declaration of Independence. But what child wouldn’t love to believe that their neighbors, their entire city, and all the happy people on the television were drinking and laughing and exploding things in honor of their existence?
On Making Plans:
bar and dropkick him in the face. That right there is much more than freedom, it’s fun too. Being a local working at my coffee shop, it’s a revelation that through our personal, home or school problems, we can still come in and make drinks, talk to people, and gossip about what’s been going on in the neighborhood. So when you debate about whether or not to go to Starbucks or that small shady looking coffee shop, visit the shady looking coffee shop. You never know. Through the really bad sign above their door, you could find the comfiest sofas, free wireless internet, and well, great coffee. Questions? Comments? Questions can be directed to: info@ lbunion.com Or comment online at www.lbunion.com
Fine Art Succumbs to Point and Click By Cynthia Romanowski
Respect Your Local Coffee Shops By Charlene Galicia
It is not often that I’m surprised by customers behaving rudely towards the hired help. Insulting my place of study, however, does not fall into a category that I can easily ignore. You asked me where I went to college, out of courtesy, after which you informed me that your son was attending USC and doing quite well for himself. I don’t know your son, and I assume he is a spineless runt, but had he seen you brag so tastelessly, I’m willing to bet he would have slapped you on the nose. But the kicker: your son is taking summer classes at CSULB, and you complain of poor teaching and lazy professors. How ironic.
take that’s made creative labels confusing. Take, for instance, bloggers, should they be considered journalists? What’s next we consider kids that do iMovies filmmakers? My point is, community colleges like Golden West are offering myriads of design certificates and all their programs have one thing in common; the first course that every student has to take is titled “The Bussiness of Art”, rather than “Introduction to Design”, rendering or illustration. I can’t help but wonder, what happened to those romanticized ideas of the struggling artist and the starving artist? Well, I guess they all live in San Pedro.
Alright, I know everyone hates flakes, and I know it’s a virtue to be punctual and stick to your word, but honestly, things change! And I’m talking about plans that are made while doing something else more important like brushing your teeth, or reading, or even fucking sleeping! When you put me on the spot while I’m doing any one of these things, you can’t really expect me to come up with a reliable answer. We’re allowed to change our minds you know, we are fucking human. I try my best not to live my life based on plans made while I was trying to get some sleep. So the next time I make plans, expect me to break a leg or something, just so you won’t get so fucking offended. Thanks.
On Sunburns: You walk out to the beach and feel the cool relaxing breeze wash over your face. Lying on the warm sun baked sand you drift off into a nice relaxing deep sleep. The next thing you know, you wake up and look down at your bright red body. At first, it doesn’t feel too bad, until the a few hours pass by. That’s when you start cursing the heavens and commence wailing in pain. Every morning, you wake up to an inflamed hell. The forecast says you’re in for a blizzard of flaking dead skin. Fuck sunburns.
-Philip Vargas Questions? Comments? Questions can be directed to: info@ lbunion.com Or comment online at www.lbunion.com
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
Upset About Something? Tell the world (or at least a few thousand students). Send your one hundred-word rants to: erin@ lbunion. com and see ‘em in print...next year possibly.
Start off by isolating yourself in your apartment, then follow that up by making sure you get no company. So if anyone calls or comes by, tell them to fuck off. Now that you’ve broken all ties to the outside world, move onto the “little kid in a grown-up’s body” stage and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do but never could: sleep in ‘til noon, eat ice cream while on the toilet, build a Lego city and crush it, give yourself Wolverine-hair, and just be an all-around slacker. Once you’ve done all that, then you’ve properly conditioned yourself for the long road ahead. And since you’ve already distanced your-
the last 57 days of your summer. It’s now time to quit your job, cash in your student loans, and tell mom and dad your plans so they don’t think you are dead. Isolation can really do some crazy shit to a person, so by no means are we saying you should do this, but if things go horribly wrong, just reference the emergency numbers at the bottom of page 7. Just have fun and be safe. Oh yeah, if anyone actually does this, please send in your journal; we will print it.
You need more. The Xbox seems like an old Sega now that you’ve mastered every game in your collection, reminding you to pull out your old Sega, but that doesn’t work either. The books have been read, magazines browsed and collaged, puzzles de-puzzled, and masturbation, your one true love, has become a pain in the ass. You do some quick math, and
* Three pairs of short shorts. * Bright tank tops of various colors. * Arm bands, leg bands, head bands. * Some type of foot protection. * Underwear, if you’re into that.
WEEK 1 WEEK 1
self from the realms of reality, you might as well take it a step further and pick up those sticks. You can go with either Xbox or Wii, either one is more fun than a PS3 anyway.
Super Serial Checklist
Build a serious fort Grow a serious beard Watch a serious porn all the way through without climaxing and get some serious blue balls Beat every video game you have, again, seriously Brew your own moonshine/get seriously sick Listen to Sirius radio while eating Charles Manson’s serial killer brand serious cereal. calculate that your walls are ideal for a makeshift half-pipe. Incidentally, you’re wrong, and laying on the floor bleeding. While picking yourself up, you notice that your family picture is kind of creepy, so you get high, and conclude that you have a remarkably ugly family. Like you for another two months, this summer is going nowhere, rather slowly. You return to masturbation, this time deciding to throw in a twist. You pick up your imaginary phone
* Lots and lots of pasta. * Stock up on canned veggies / fruit. * Protein shake mix is a good idea. * Here’s an idea: Buy a chicken, live off the eggs, then eat the chicken.
When we were young, summers meant lots of things: video games, sleeping in, junk food, and the occasional minute spent outside walking Scruffy. Whatever happened to this? Now we are forced to work, go to even more school, or simply put, we are forced to be productive. We say “F” that! But be warned, an inside summer isn’t for everyone. In fact, it probably isn’t for anyone, but we think it can be done. What is laid out on these pages is our guide to how you can salvage
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
and dial up your ex, asking her somewhat rudely for phone sex. She agrees, and acts a little enthused towards the idea. After the two of you awkwardly reacquaint yourselves, the emotion sets in. I mean, she is really into it, her breath is almost palpable against your skin. But then you hear another voice, a familiar sort of voice. It’s your friend Rex, working over your girl. Disgusted, you slam your imaginary phone against the wall, breaking your wrist in the process.
* At least one DVD player. * Instrument of your choice—kazoo? * A Netflix subscription. * The latest of every gaming system. * LSD. Not really, but really. 9 july 2007
(At this point in your adventure, you should resemble Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now.) While lying in the prone position, and situated in the deepest corner of your fort, you hear a whisper coming from what used to be your bedroom. At first you are apprehensive about answering the calls, but once the voice starts reading your journal out loud (laughing), you are forced to investigate. Searching through the rubble that is now knee-deep in your bedroom, you find a stuffed seagull, holding your journal, shaking his head in disgust. “You really have lost it man. How about we play some cards? Oh, my name is Douglas.”
* Pink Dot Delivery: 562.123.1234 * Poison Control: 800.222.1222 * Mental Health Line: 800.969.6642 * Suicide Prevention: 888.784.2433 * 911, seriously.
9 july 2007
(and cost-effective!) sunless tan. Don’t be afraid to get creative. You should be nearing your breaking point by now, so it won’t be too difficult. Give into your less-thansane impulses. It doesn’t matter how idiotic your exercise methods are, since no one’s around to make fun of you. Well, no one aside from the CIA. There are bugs and cameras all over the place, man. Might as well burn off a few calories searching for them.
2 WEEK 5 Hours go by without Doug saying another word. Then, without notice, he yells out, “CANASTA!” This startles you for two reasons, the first being that the two of you are playing gin rummy, and secondly because he hasn’t even looked at his hand yet (he did have canasta). During the next few days, Doug and yourself become inseparable. While both of you are happy to have the other around, you find that there is one, huge, problem with your newly anointed BFF: he has an insatiable appetite for toaster strudels. Seven days into your relationship, things go sour quickly. Doug refuses to play cards or help you finger paint without the promise of more strudels. A fight ensues; you are badly wounded, yet Doug is left unscathed. You begin to sleep with your dull samurai sword in fear that Doug is a superior adversary. Douglas, as fickle as ever, has turned his back on you over the appropriation of an old toaster strudel found in between the oven and the fridge. The argument was a heated one, but you win the prize using the argument that your stuffed bird-friend lacks any sort of digestive track, and therefore would not be able to fully enjoy the stale pastry. As you might imagine, feelings were hurt, and you wake up one morning to find a note (written in your own handwriting and with your own feces) strewn across your living room wall. It reads: “Why are you weeping? Did you imagine that I was immortal?” Now truly friendless, you take to punishing yourself daily for being such a sass-mouth to old Doug. Using the electrical outlet you re-wired with the interior components of your now sad, dilapidated fridge, you construct a sort
* Disregard for sanity * Complete disregard for hygiene * Ability to make friends with inanimate objects. * Whatever. It doesn’t matter.
So you’ve been indoors for about four weeks now, and life’s really starting to catch up with you. You’ve grown pastier and flabbier than most British McDonalds employees, and you just feel flat out shitty. Don’t despair! There are plenty of ways for you to look and feel like you’ve been outdoors all summer without actually having to, you know, go outdoors. For starters, you can run around your apartment in circles until you collapse. You could also ride a bike around your apartment until you collapse, skateboard around your apartment until you collapse, or even walk around your apartment until you collapse. The options are limitless! As far as sunlight goes, you don’t want to be the whitest kid in school, come September. I suggest collecting all of the lamps, flashlights, book lights, and glow sticks you can find and setting up a makeshift tanning salon in your living room. If that doesn’t work, hunt through your fridge and cupboards for brownish foods and pastes (think steak sauce, chocolate syrup, ramen flavoring, that months-old cottage cheese you don’t remember buying). Rub them all over your skin for an effortless
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Absolutely no sun. You’ve already harmed your body enough, it’s time to give your skin a break; plus, pale is the new tan. Absolutely no human contact. Friends let you down, and strangers rob your house when you are gone. Don’t trust anyone!
3 4 5
Change your living arran gements. Stick stars on the ceiling, paint a serene beach view on a wall; it’s up to you now. Learn. This can mean you learn about how you deal with isolation, or that you read books, or you learn to play an instrument. a journal. It wouldn’t Keep be fun if you couldn’t look back and see how truly fucked up things got. Do this on a typewriter. a great time! For Have once in your life you can throw responsibility out the window and realize how cool you really are.
of iron maiden that pumps you with ungodly amounts of electricity every time you say a word that starts or ends with the letter “D”. Somewhere in late August, on a day you’ve re-named Tiger Stadium, your friends burst through the door in full Hazmat suits, finding you naked, spread-eagle, and peppered with oozing electrical burns. You fight them off at first, mistaking them for the Guards from Legends of The Hidden Temple, but they overcome you quite easily, seeing as you’ve eaten nothing but your own dead skin shards for the past week. After a few hot seltzer water baths, you regain enough sanity to request a fatty steak and register for your Fall classes. No regrets.
* A potted plant / piece of nature. * UV-producing sun lamps. * Candles, incense, good smell spray. * Assorted alcohols and mixers. * Lubricants, whipped cream.
[Sports] Dirtbags Clean Up For Pan-Am Games By Ryan ZumMallen
If you weren’t aware, Long Beach State athletics rocked the shit last year. A couple teams ended their season near or after the end of the semester, so here’s a recap in case you slept on them. If ya didn’t know, now ya know…
magine taking a two-month road trip with a couple dozen people that you’re programmed to hate. You’re given minimal practice time, and face intense criticism if you come back with anything less than utter domination. A daunting task to be sure, but a Dirtbag is never one to shy away from a challenge. CSULB baseball head coach Mike Weathers and junior-to-be shortstop Danny Espinosa are spending the summer battling the world’s best competition as members of the U.S. National Team, made up of the best collegiate freshmen and sophomores in the nation. Despite a rocky start, both have been enjoying the opportunity. Weathers was an assistant on the 2003 team, and this year he accepted the role of head coach. “It’s been up and down,” he said in a phone interview from Durham, NC, where the team spent the week in a series against Japan. “Everything’s on your shoulders [as head coach], but that’s why I wanted this job.” Those shoulders have already endured a lot of weight, from his team’s lack of practice time — “the team was really thrown together in a short amount of time” — to the varying styles of play from other countries — “Chinese-Taipei and Japan don’t have a lot of strength, so they play very fast ball.” Espinosa has learned about the differences in the international game the hard way, starting the summer off hitless through his first twenty at-bats. “It’s been a struggle, hitting-wise,” he said. “The pitchers have different windups and timing. Their style of baseball is a lot quicker, they’re real fast.” Despite struggles at the plate, Espinosa has played very well in the field while sharing time with Oklahoma State shortstop Jordy Mercer. Weathers is pleased with Espinosa’s defense, but says he is still waiting for his star to find his swing against tough international pitching. The competition isn’t the only challenge for Weathers and the players, who have essentially been playing a marathon season after joining the team, immediately following the collegiate season. “We don’t stay at a place for more than one day,” Espinosa says. “Practice every day, game every night. You learn to get comfortable and fall asleep on busses.” Weathers notes that the wear and tear affects pitchers the most, who fatigue quickly and lose throwing velocity. “But all of these guys will be professionals one day, so they’re going to have to get used to it eventually.”
Quite frankly, we’ve been laying the smackdown on the Big West for the last few years. As long as we’ve got Hannah Grady, it doesn’t look like that’ll change. The sophomore led the 49ers to their fourth straight conference title and a 17-9 overall record, finishing the year ranked #40 in the nation. Grady nabbed her second conference Player of the Year award, while Katy Williams and Stephanie Bengson joined her on the All-First Team. Grady will also represent her native Great Britain in the World University Games in Bangkok this August.
The Dirtbags really weren’t expected to make much of an impact in the conference this season, but the young squad excelled to a 39-20 overall record and made it to the NCAA Regionals before falling to UCLA. A 15-6 Big West record was good enough for second place in the conference, and the Dirtbags earned three All-First Teamers (Travis Howell, Shane Peterson, Robert Perry). Six players were drafted into the major leagues for the cherry on top of a surprisingly successful season. Dirtbags, Danny Espinosa (left) and Coach Mike Weathers (right), clean up for the Pan-Am Games. Despite the tough competition, Team USA has improved quickly while gearing up for the Pan-American Games, to be held in Brazil, July 14-19. And while both Weathers and Espinosa are focused on their national duties, the Dirtbags are never far from their minds. Weathers remains in daily contact with his assistants. “It’s like working two full-time jobs,” he says. Espinosa insists he isn’t thinking about next season too much, instead focusing on his current play. But he also can’t wait to return to Long Beach to begin gearing up for next season, one that he hopes will be more successful than this year’s NCAA Regional appearance. “I just thought we could’ve gone farther,” he says. He’ll be as determined as ever after having to suffer while watching rivals Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine play in the hallowed College World Series. “It was great to have the conference represented with two teams there,” Espinosa says, “But it sucks.”
For now though, the two continue their quest to bring Pan-American gold back to the states. They will play in a loaded pool, which includes host country Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua — who defeated the U.S. in 2003. Weathers will have to guide his squad to two wins in those three games to advance to the semifinals. It won’t be easy, but he’s been encouraged lately. “They’re coming together as a team really well,” Weathers says. With such a short amount of time with the team, he’ll avoid trying to change the players to fit his strategy. “You don’t want to make them overthink things, so you try to just let their natural ability take over.” Far from home, both Dirtbags look forward to representing their program and country while relishing the opportunity they’ve been given. “It’s been a lot of fun,” Espinosa says. “I’m getting to play against the best talent in the world.” A scary thought for anyone facing Long Beach next season.
Thanks For the Laughs, NFL Europe (1991-2007) By Andrew Veis Contributor NFL Europe, 16, the National Football League’s attempt at an overseas developmental league, died due to complications from lack of interest on June 29, in Frankfurt, Germany, according to Commissioner Roger Goodell. NFL Europe was created under the watchful eye of former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue back in the early 90s in an effort to globalize American football and create a farm system for professional teams. During its 16-year run, the league underwent two name changes, cost the NFL $30 million a season, and
was successful enough to be featured as the “cupcake” teams in Madden. The League, formally known as Europa, leaves behind three NFL sons: Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner, Carolina redneck Jake Delhomme, and Adam “I won four Super Bowls by myself ” Vinatieri. In the World Bowl — Europe’s second greatest sporting event behind some sport called “soccer” — the Hamburg Sea Devils beat the Frankfurt Galaxy, 37-28. “I’m sad to see it go,” said Europa fan, Warner. “Now what will I watch on the NFL Network late at night?” Said Goodell, “[The league] had become as popular in Europe as soccer has
in America, which is to say that it was not popular at all. It is time for us to shift our efforts on establishing a team in Asia. Yao Ming would be a great wideout.” Perhaps NFL Europe’s shining moment came in the form of a marketing ploy. To increase the reach of the league to include the entire continent, NFL Europe changed its name to NFL Europa. The extent of the name change can be seen today, as less than a year later, Europa is to be buried in a private ceremony. Donations can be made to the Cincinnati Bengals’ Scared Straight program in lieu of flowers.
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
The story of the 49ers’ softball season should begin and end with freshman sensation Bridgette Pagano, whose nasty stats – 20 wins, 100 K’s, 1.65 ERA — earned her the conference’s Freshman Pitcher of the Year award and an All-First Team selection. Jessica Beaver and Lacy Tyler were named to the Second Team as the club finished 28-25 and narrowly missed their fifth straight NCAA Regional Tournament berth. An 11-7 conference record was good for third, and the team will look to improve on that next year after graduating only two seniors.
Junior Kay Hoey began the season making headlines and kept up the effort through the NCAA Finals, where she shot +17 and tied for 46th after tying for 10th in the West Regionals. Hoey earned her second conference Player of the Year award, won the Big West individual title and led the 49ers to a 2nd place Big West finish with 920 overall points. She topped off the year by adding her second AllAmerican Second Team honor to her canon.
It was an up-and-down season for the golf team, notching a fifth-place finish at the Big West Tournament. Senior Brett Lederer impressed, however, and came away with the overall individual title. The team scored fifth at several other tournaments as well, but was inconsistent throughout and had several lapses. Freshman Michael Drake was a bright spot, named conference Co-Golfer of the Month in February. The team looks to improve next season with several high-profile recruits and a spankin’-new practice facility to open in August.
9 july 2007
Defending Barry Bonds: Point / Counter-point
Defending Barry Bonds is no easy task, and it’s something I’ve been doing for the better part of my life. At first, it was that he was an asshole — a very good player, but an asshole. Now it’s a little more serious: he’s a very good player who used steroids, and is an asshole. I’m still trying to decide which title he’ll be remembered for most. I’ll cut to the chase: Bonds probably used steroids at some point in his career. I’m willing to swallow that. But what I refuse to accept is that he should feel remorse for doing so. After all, Bonds’ case does have precedent. You know, a star slugger chasing a record while using steroids — how about Mark McGuire? Sammy Sosa? You might remember them as the duo that saved baseball, brought it back to the masses. Yeah, they did so while juicing out of their minds, but we had no problem with it, and neither did baseball commissioner Bud Selig. And here lies my biggest gripe: it was a business decision to let steroids slide by. And now, after the fact, we all seem to care. It makes me ill in my stomach to think about the hypocrisy. That doesn’t change the fact that he probably did it though, right? Of course not, but I’m not saying we should erase that as a possibility. What I want is a public acknowledgement from baseball, saying that steroids have been a major factor in the game for at least the past twenty years. Put an asterisk next to twenty years of baseball. And you, the fans, are fucking idiots. Heckle Bonds for being an asshole, or wha-
tever, but booing him for using steroids makes you a fucking idiot. The only true justice would be if your team picked up Barry next season, and you were forced to swallow your heckling, and buy a Bonds’ jersey with “lover of Barry” stitched above the numbers. And don’t think for one minute your teams wouldn’t sign Bonds. For the right price, they’d sign him in a heartbeat. So what are we all booing for, anyway? One man’s scandalous career? Sure, but why are we booing just Bonds? At this point, no fan should be naïve enough to believe that Bonds’ situation is an anomaly, or even slightly uncommon. We are punishing Barry for previous convictions, for being an asshole long before steroids were ever mentioned. It’s a grudge, and has nothing to do with our moral objection to performance enhancing drugs. It shouldn’t, anyway. Because really, how can you watch sports these days if you actually care whether they juice or not? You just can’t. Truth be told, we have no idea what these guys are putting into their bodies, and yet when one is caught, or accused, we jump in bed with the media, and point our fingers directly at the player instead of the system. It goes beyond people not liking Bonds: people have lost respect for him. Fans are throwing objects at the best player of all time. It’s a surreal situation. Is it wrong that Barry is going to break the record? Absolutely not. Could there be better circumstances? Of course, but we only have ourselves to blame. Everybody loves the long ball. -By Vince Girimonte
Booing him for using steroids makes you a fucking idiot
A friend of mine once told me a story about the time he met Barry Bonds at a pizza parlor in Temecula. This friend, who was ten years old at the time, had just finished a little league baseball game and was eating with his dad when he spotted Bonds sitting at a table with an older man. As would be expected, my friend’s dad jumped at the opportunity to introduce his son, an avid baseball fan, to one of his sports idols. He approached the table, kindly apologized for the interruption and explained to Bonds that his son was a big fan and it would mean a lot if he could meet the Giants’ slugger. As the story goes, Bonds then scoffed and held out his hand to my friend, as if instructing the nervous ten year old boy (in his full baseball uniform, mind you) to kiss one of his many rings, royalty style. This is our soon to be home run king. At the moment, Bonds is sitting on 751 home runs, 4 away from Hank Aaron’s thirty year old record. And when he hits 756, most likely sometime in late July/early August, the baseball community will mourn. Why? Because over the past two decades Barry Bonds has been working hard to become the most alienating, self-loving, generally unpleasant person to ever pick up a bat, hockey stick, basketball, or tennis racket for that matter. In short, he does not meet up with the expectations we as sports fans, nay, we as Americans, set for our sports heroes and he will go down in history as one of the only record breakers to garner almost zero sup-
port outside of his home crowd — crowd whose team has been so consistently bad the past few years that they masturbate their only attention-getting athlete as desperate means to remain significant in the major leagues. Sure, hitting 756 career home runs is no small feat and Bonds deserves a tip of the hat for remaining such a pain in the ass for pitchers, even in his ailing 40s. But baseball aficionados, analysts, and everyday sports fans will never, ever, be able to speak of the home run king without whispers of controversy. More so than any other active player, Bonds is the poster boy for 90s baseball, the steroids era. Did he juice? Probably. Will we ever find out for sure? Probably not. But who cares? When the boys in Cooperstown or the MLB commissioner or whoever is musing about putting an asterisk next to Bonds’ name in the record books to signify that perhaps he didn’t reach his benchmark using the same home-grown effort as his predecessors, the damage has already been done, regardless of whether or not an actual asterisk is used. But despite all this I am not as livid as many other baseball fans undoubtably are. Mostly because Big Barry’s inevitable reign as the homerun king will be a short lived one. Just like Mark McGuire before him, Barry Bonds will be erased in the next decade or so by someone else, most likely a younger and more all-around talented (if not overpaid) slugger. And good riddance. -By Darren Davis
The Anatomy of a New School Record By Magnolia Howell
Contributor, CSULB Record Holder Last month, I ended my collegiate track career at the NCAA track championship in Sacramento, CA running a 4 x 100 relay. All year we had been running this relay starting with me as first leg, junior Jessica Branker as second leg, third leg senior Jasmine Winfield and fourth leg junior Patrice White. Between the 100, 200, 400, the 4 x 100 relay and 4 x 400 relay, all four of us had been running up to four events the entire year. This year and the year before, the four of us were all running despite coming off of injuries. This year our coach, Ivonne Scott Williams, struggled with us to transfer our individual hard work on the track into our relay. Running a relay is about timing and cohesiveness. Although we had all been working hard during our practices, it had not been reflecting during our meets. The entire year we were hitting mid forty-five
second times in our relay, but still managed to make it past conference to Regionals. We came to Eugene, Oregon at the NCAA West Regional Track meet, ranked seventh. That day the frustration from our inability to manifest our skills into a great performance turned out the fastest time any of us had ever run in a relay. With a second-place time of 44.86, not only did we break the school record, we became the first relay in the history of Cal State Long Beach to ever make it to NCAA Championships. For many watching, the fight to win began that day. For us, though, it had been a long journey of hard work, discipline and pain. I have been running track and field since I was in the fourth grade. My father, raised in Trinidad and Tobago, ran at nearly every track I stepped on for the past four years. He ran at Chapman Col-
Running a relay is about timing and cohesiveness
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9 july 2007
lege back in the day and was All-American in two events. My dad taught me not to fear, but to welcome pain and gave me his recipe for success as an athlete and in life: willpower, hard work, mental toughness, pure guts and patience. He liked to call it “stick-to-itiveness.” I grew up with him saying, “When you fall down, what you do, you get up. And if you keep falling down, you keep getting back up and let falling down get tired of you.” At my high school in Nebraska, I worked out six days a week during the school year, and during the summers I would work out twice a day with my private coach. My junior and senior year, after much hard work, I was All-class state champion. Since coming to college, I have maintained my hardwork ethic but the results, in my eyes, were not reflecting that. For the past four years
I have been running the 100, 200, 400 and both the 4x 100 and the 4x 400 and struggling against my own mind to hit the times that my body is capable of hitting. That day at the NCAA West Regional was one of the most satisfying releases of an accomplishment I have ever experienced. For the four of us girls running that day, the performance was the result of an arduous and worthwhile process of “stick-to-itiveness.” Muhammad Ali summed up the makings of a champion in the quote, “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” What track has taught me thus far is that just as in life, it is the process that makes champions, instills character and builds self-empowerment. The end result is just the icing on the cake.
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OZMA By Sean Boulger Who: Tokyo Police Club
Troubadour, West Hollywood
day, July 25th (8pm $12) these Canadian bastards put out one of the best CDs of last year—and it was only sixteen minutes long. If you want to get your face rocked off (for no more than twelve dollars, at that), you’d better get your ass on Ticketmaster soon, because this show’s bound to sell out.
Photo By Sean Boulger
Boulger Gets Really Excited About Another Show
W Who: Femi Kuti Where: The House of Blues, Sunset Strip
July 20th (8pm $25)
Why: If you’ve
ever listened to Afrobeat, you know exactly why. The eldest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, Femi brings his Nigerian jams about political strife and religion to Los Angeles. Get your groove on. Also as a side note, if you do go see this show we would love to see a review.
hen great bands fall off the radar, it’s a bummer. When I was a sophomore in high school, my friend took me to see a band called Ozma at the Troubadour. It was the first rock concert I had ever been to, and it was epic for me. Right after the release of their third—and, for all intents and purposes, breakout— album, Spending Time on the Borderline, the band was on fire. Sure, at the time, I thought they sounded like Weezer to a degree that was almost distracting, but I’ll never forget how awestruck I was as I sat on the balcony of the tiny little Troubadour, watching the band rip through songs like “Domino Effect,” “Spending Time,” and “Bad Dogs.” So, needless to say, not too long after that show, when I found out that Ozma had broken up, I was a little crestfallen. Sure, a couple of the guys joined some of the gentlemen from Arlo (another incredible power-pop band of the same ilk as Ozma) to form the unfortunately-named Yes, Dear, it was cool—but they definitely weren’t Ozma. Then, about a year ago, when I heard that Ozma
Star Wick also finds herself with a bit more responsibility on this record: “Heartache vs. Heartbreak” opens with her on solo vocal duty, her voice shines, sounding every bit as beautiful as Emily Haines or Amy Milan. Live, the band boasts every bit of power I remember from when I saw them at the Troubadour all those years ago. Playing a couple months ago at Anaheim’s closet-sized Chain Reaction (I was unable to attend their Troubadour performance the next night), Ozma whipped the crowd into a frenzy like they were taking out the garbage. Their set was polished, and the riffs were a-rockin. Guitar necks sliced the air as veteran Ozma fans delighted in the fact that one of the most fun bands ever to come out of Pasadena have returned, albeit without much of a splash, as evidenced by the availability of tickets at the box office. They might not be returning amidst trumpets, fanfares, and tickertape parades, but Ozma is definitely back, and it’s a very good thing indeed.
Who: Wilco Where: The
Greek Theatre, Los Angeles
When: Wednesday, August 29th (7.30pm $35-40)
Why: Why not?
Wilco pretty much have yet to put out an album that isn’t adored by everyone, and if their live album Kicking Television is any testament to what their performances are like, we’re guessing this one isn’t to be missed. Sure the Greek is a little big, and it’s tough to be as close as you’d like, but you should probably go see this band before they start playing the Forum or some shit like that.
childhood, time, love, and loss are more powerful than ever. Despite the fact that two of the songs are re-recordings of songs found on previous albums (“No One Needs to Know” and “Eponine”), Greg Doyle and Billy Burke’s production is crisp, clear, and innovative: Ozma have clearly been placed in the care of true professionals capable of pushing them in new directions. Also helpful is the addition of Kenn Shane, former all-around genius of Los Angeles power-pop demigods Addison. His drumming is thunderous, yet tasteful and refined; he brings a much-needed degree of finesse and gloss to a band with a very direct approach to rock ‘n roll. Keyboardist and all-around cutie pie
were back together again, I was floored. The possibility of a new album excited me, and several small(ish) reunion shows later, myself and all the other Ozma fans out there have had our wishes granted. Ozma have returned with Pasadena, what is easily the band’s most sonically daring record yet. Lead singer and lyricist Daniel Brummel is back, and his songs about
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
9 july 2007
Albums To Keep You Rockin’ Indoors
It isn’t so much that I enjoy droning, as it’s that when Paul Banks does it, droning somehow comes out sounding so fucking cool. Mix in some bass, and more than enough dark and brooding atmosphere, and it almost seems that after the first listen, Interpol hasn’t evolved on their latest release, A Love to Admire. But that’s the thing about Interpol; there’s always something hidden beneath the surface. If their intentions were to scare the shit out of the listener on the opening track, “Pioneer to the Falls,” then succeed they did. Banks and company hold the listener prisoner inside a tale of twisted love, underneath layers and layers of misleading Polyvinyl Records bass and jagged guitar rifts that lead nowhere. I can imagine that not one smile was shed during the entire recording process of A Love to Admire—the whole thing just feels cold. Interpol doesn’t make fun or happy music, nor do they want to, but it often comes out with a certain air of optimism that lends itself perfectly to the “vacuous indie head-bob,” and lets be honest; what more could you want from an Interpol album? The next three songs, “No I in Threesome,” “The Scale,” and the first single released off the
To be honest, I expected the wait for Icky Thump to feel a lot longer than it did. I was chomping at the bit while they recorded Get Behind Me Satan, but somehow I couldn’t muster that same earth-shattering anticipation for this release. Don’t get me wrong; I’m as big a Stripes fan as they come. If the White Stripes aren’t my favorite band of all time, they’re definitely in my top three. But in all fairness, after the heartbreakingly mediocre Raconteurs, I doubt any fan can blame me for being more than a little apprehensive about Icky Thump. Alright, so here comes the part where I eat my own words. Icky Thump is definitely great. It’s no White Blood Cells, but few albums are, and it more than makes up for Jack’s somewhat misguided 2006 side project. The album’s title track boasts blistering one-liners like, “Why don’t you kick yourself out/ You’re an immigrant too.” The second song, “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” sounds the most like classic White Stripes, and is my personal favorite, though “Conquest” is arguably the album’s standout. The most accurate (and the least eloquent) way to explain the effect that the song, “Conquest,” has on those who hear it, is to say that it gets you really fucking pumped. In fact, I’ve yet to be at a party,
in a car, or at a record store where everyone in the room hasn’t dropped what they’re doing immediately to sing along when it’s played. If the Stripes became a little more instrumentally adventurous with Get Behind Me Satan, breaking away from the strictly guitar and drums lineup of their earlier recordings, they’ve gone instrumental bungee jumping on this album. “Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn” and “St. Andrew” both feature bagpipes, which work surprisingly well in the context of the songs, and flamenco horns are used on the aforementioned, “Conquest.” Though the use of bagpipes in popular music is usually more gimmicky than artistic, I assure you, the White Stripes execute the use of this particular instrument with far more finesse than Korn could ever dream of. What I like best about this album is that it’s got a little bit of everything. “Little Cream Soda” is reminiscent of their 2000 single, “Hand Springs,” and “Bone Broke” would fit in quite comfortably on Elephant. Honestly, Icky Thump, like most White Stripes albums, can’t be accurately described. Just listen to it for yourself, because it’s simply impossible to do justice to a band as phenomenal as they are in a review. I can’t say they’ve outdone themselves, but I can say that they’ve produced yet another genuinely great, solid album. Stripes, I’m sorry I doubted you.
When Marilyn Manson last fell off the mainstream’s radar he had just been wed to burlesque model Dita von Teese and aspired to raise a family. Last May saw the release of a video for his new single “Heart Shaped Glasses” which featured him fucking his nineteen year-old girlfriend, actress Evan Rachel Wood, in a shower of blood. Eat Me Drink Me, Manson’s first album in five years, is named in reference to a German who last year answered a personals ad to be killed and eaten, an incident which might seem an obvious inspiration for a Marilyn Manson album about love. “Although I can’t relate to the relationship those two had, I found the story very compelling in a romantic way.” Like The Golden Age of Grotesque, this new album remains inescapably gloomy and bears melodies nearly as catchy, but for the most part, the new album represents a departure toward more traditional music making. Signature shock antics aside, Manson has released this album relatively gimmick-free. With no dazzling new wardrobe or past eras to revive, we find a Manson laid bare. His anger finds a more personal focus making the album more introspective and filled with songs of pain and love lost, likely a result of his
tumultuous divorce from Teese. He does briefly sing of new love, but does so with precaution and even menace. It might be appropriate to consider Eat Me Drink Me to be a break up album, but only of a variety that Manson could deliver. The bass and drums operate in tandem and stay creative enough for effective hooks and the keyboards keep the mood somber in the background, occasionally jumping forward with whiny but alluring interjections that keep the songs memorable. The guitar grinds heavily in perfect pace to Manson’s lamenting croaks and coos with riffs meant to saw your heart in half. More so than records past, the guitarist, still Tim Sköld from Grotesque, is given plenty of breathing room, allowing for complicated and sometimes lengthy solos that are uncharacteristic but not unwanted. Marilyn Manson’s new unfiltered, no-frills sound lends itself well to any individual track but is spread so evenly over the entire album that the songs seem formulaic and grow even tedious. This banality becomes cleanly apparent in two tracks toward the second half of the album with choruses that chant senseless obscenities that don’t speak well of his growth as a lyricist. The album’s certainly good enough for Manson fans, but lacks the spontaneity and ingenuity that might make it a classic.
9 july 2007
album, “The Heinrich Maneuver,” all follow the same deeply sinister path that was blazed on the first track. Each song gives the listener a more complete look into each individual artist; showcasing Daniel Kessler’s choppy guitar on “The Scale,” and emphasizing Sam Fogarino’s superb drum skills on the others. Then, once the listener has decided that Interpol was out to do nothing but bum them out, “Mammoth” hits, bringing a breath of fresh air, and possibly a completely new direction. “Mammoth” is not only a perfect song to chose for the bridge between beginning and end of this album, it may be Interpol’s most complete and satisfying track. Followed by what sounds like a brief revisit to Antics, “Pace is the Trick” and “All Fired Up” are upbeat and off pace, with more than enough signature Banks vocals. I still can’t decided whether I like “Wrecking Ball” more as the final track, or “Lighthouse,” A Love to Admire’s true finale. Either way, these songs create a perfect bookend for the album. Third efforts tend to be tricky for this genre (i.e. The Strokes), especially after signing on a major label (Capital), but what Interpol has created is truly unique, and that sir is very refreshing! –By Ryan Kobane
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
–By Erin Hickey
–By Matthew Linzmeier
Arcade Fire By Drew Evans
So What, It’s Like Our 79th Arcade Fire Review; They Rock!
learned a few things going to see Arcade Fire play at the Greek the other night—some important life lessons if you will. I learned that you never leave direction checking up to someone else—always take the extra fifteen seconds to Google Maps it yourself lest you end up halfway to Santa Barbara while Electrelane begins their set. I learned that Cheetos Puffs, though disgusting in concept, are actually a perfect meal substitute for a post-concert drive home. I learned that my editor is a master parking lot escape artist, and also has a slightly disturbing infatuation with Rose from Lost. But most of all, I learned that the Greek is a pretty nice place to see a show. A while back, when the behemoth that is modern-day Los Angeles was just a gleam in old Harry Chandler’s eye, myriad plans were proposed that would give the City of Angels what she seemed doomed to have to live without: some wide open spaces. If their advocates had won, Angelenos would have a few more spots like Griffith Park to retreat to, and a Nor-Cal transplant like myself would be breathing a little easier among the city’s hustle and bustle. But of course, history is written by the real-estate developers, etcetera etcetera, you know the rest. The Greek, if you haven’t been there before, is built right into the hills and forests
of Griffith Park, and is just about the perfect place to see an early-summer show (I know, it’s still spring, but you know what I mean). The air is cool but just barely not cold. It’s dark, secluded, peaceful, and a lot of other things the majority of LA very glaringly isn’t. It’s the ideal place to sit back and enjoy a breezy act like Belle and Sebastian, or maybe a seasoned veteran like Neil Young, masters of the anthem like U2 or the Frames, or (I can only imagine), a driving, pulsing band like openers Electrelane. Unfortunately, the Greek is not the kind of venue that benefits an act like the Arcade Fire. For a band that made its name on the grimy, working-man intensity of their live shows, a spacious, seated venue like the Greek only serves to put more distance between band and audience. I can imagine these songs sound amazing at the Troubadour, or a similarly-sized venue, but when you’re thirty rows up, and the stage is fucking huge, and Regine Chassagne is smashing tambourines
during complete anti-climaxes, and the preteen girls next to you are giggling throughout, and the audience seems comprised more of dot commers and dilettantes than rock connoisseurs, the intensity just isn’t as intense as it should be. Beyond the sweaty energy, the band’s much-touted live show promised plenty of theatrics, but these felt terribly half-baked. Most of the spectacle revolved around tired rehashings of the band’s Neon Bible motifs. At one point, Win Butler placed a faceless cardboard cutout of himself in front of his microphone, then stepped aside as a video of his face was projected onto the cutout to sing “My Body is a Cage.” Not only was this not very cool to look at, but Win was standing maybe ten feet away as it happened, making it more of a wtf moment than a wow moment. And when the histrionics are obstructed or fall flat outright, you’re left with only the songs. Arcade Fire write sweeping, anthemic songs, and in this context the songs from Neon Bible sounded anything but. Butler’s diatribes against America and Christianity sounded more like exercises in cliché and catchword than the anthems they aspire to be. Still, the band managed to give goosebumps with unstoppable songs like “Intervention” or many of the songs off their debut
Funeral, songs where the band toes the line gracefully between the personal and the sweeping. That’s what the Arcade Fire do best. And once they learn that, and become comfortable and confident in doing so, the Greek will be the kind of venue where Arcade Fire shine.
A Late Reminder That Fiest Played the Wiltern
ontrary to what you might expect a Feist show to look like, on what seemed to be the perfect summer’s night, the charming songstress surprised a sold out crowd at the Wiltern Theater with a performance that not only captured the beauty of that unforgettable voice, but showcased Feist’s ability to rock out in ways you’ve never imagined. I’ve always thought of Leslie Feist’s music as mellow and easygoing, which is why my expectations of the show were along the lines of calm and relaxing. But the second she got up on that stage, her presence was exhilarating. The moment her voice hit that microphone, the audience quickly broke out into one of the loudest ovations I’ve ever heard. And with only a minute into the opening song, I knew this had to be the best show I’ve seen in a very long time. Christmas lights and bird songs filled the room throughout the night, a playful setting that harmonized well with Feist’s
latest album The Reminder, which presents an array of sounds that include jazzy overtones, R&B beats, catchy folk tunes and unique vocal melodies. An album that reflects both Feists’ upbeat and soft qualities, The Reminder may well be her best effort to date. After opening song “Honey Honey” from her latest album, the lights dim down only to shock the crowd with a stunning performance of “When I Was A Young Girl,” off Feist’s album Let It Die. It was at this moment that I realized the brilliance of Feist as a performer. With a background in punk rock music, Feist used her rock n’ roll attitude to stimulate the crowd, who immediately got up off their seats for the rock princess herself. She threw fists and played her guitar like no one was watching, and although I have much love for her warm and gentle ballads, her rocking performance only proved her reputation as a superior performer and sure as hell left
me wanting more. And it wasn’t only her persona on stage that impressed me. The line of musicians that stood behind her was astounding. Her band consisted of a trumpet player, a saxophonist, an incredible electric guitarist and guest bandmate Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene. Each instrument played impeccably with the partner of Feist’s smooth, husky voice, only to further liven up everyone’s mood after one of Feist’s signature ballads. Though the setting of the venue was dark and mystifying, Feist’s voice was undoubtedly always center stage. And with that amiable voice, she initiated the crowd, whom she dubbed “The Choir of Strangers,” to synchronize their voices, to ultimately set up the sincere and heartfelt ballad “So Sorry.” There were a number of other amusing add-ons to the show, including a live tap dancer during a folk rendition of “Now At Last,” Feist’s adorable hand
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
gestures which corresponded to her lyrics, and a number of instrumental solos by her electric guitarist and trumpet player. However, the encore was quite possibly the highlight of the show, in which Feist transformed the theater into a room of dancing fans while playing a Nina Simone jazz-inspired track called “Sea Lion Woman.” And then there was the tearjerker--Broken Social Scene bandmate Kevin Drew, joined Feist, who, by the way, stood on top of the piano to perform, in a memorable duet of “Lover’s Spit,” an optimistic piano ballad about lust and growing up. As I left the Wiltern, I found myself speechless. An article consisting of a couple outstanding reviews and positive adjectives can not do this show any justice. As a long-time Feist listener and a die-hard fan, I suggest you go see her for yourself. Not only is it worth it, but it will, by the words of Garden State, “change your life.” –By Kathy Miranda
9 july 2007
When discussing possible covers for this issue the general idea settled on was a disheveled guy in a poorly lit apartment, surrounded by props from the Friendless Summer article, one of which was a house of cards. That night I saw that Rite-Aid had a special on Pinochle decks and Elmer’s glue, so I slapped down $3.85 and got one of each. When it comes to building a house of cards, Elmer’s glue is not the way to go. It’s too runny to control and it just ends up soaking into the cards, curling and ruining their edges. But the absolute worst part about this experience was how long the glue took to dry. Why would anyone even bother making glue that takes more than a minute to dry anymore? It’s inexcusable. Long story short, I didn’t finish the house of cards in time for the shoot. I give the experience t wo furlongs out of a kilometer.
[Random Reviews] Long Beach 4th of July Reviewed by Ryan Ko-bane of my existence My 4th started off in the parking lot of a liquor store, steaming inside a dead Volkswagen Golf. I shook this minor setback off, and chalked it up to, “Shit Happens.” The rest of the day went a little something like this: Half way through our first BBQ session the propane ran out. After an hour search, Lowes saved the day and things were back on track. Drinks were drunken, food was eaten, and laughs were… chuckled? It was decided that Belmont Shores’ infamous “horny corner” would be the next destination; drinks were purchased, footballs were thrown, and laughs were… chuckled? Then it happened: an ever-so innocent little boy dressed as Honest Abe himself walked up to our almost completely incoherent group of hooligans and began to recite the Declaration of Independence; tips were handed out, drinks were guzzled, and laughs were… chuckled. After Abe left the scene, my single favorite 4th of July experience took place. In an over-pouring act of American spirit, we started a 200-person rendition of the National Anthem. People sang loudly, and with a sense of pride so rare it almost brought me to tears; fireworks were watched, drinks were consumed, and that was that. I love Long Beach!
Building Something Out of Nothing (sort of)
Reviewed by Chris “I’ve never read an entire fucking book” Barrett
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The End of an Era
9 july 2007
Reviewed by Erin “Nah, that joke’s way too easy” Hickey
Oh Hole Mole, why have you let me down? You’ve always been my Mexican eatery of choice—even with newer, more gimmicky restaurants springing up, I’ve stayed faithful. I haven’t let the Chronic Tacos of the world lead me astray. Alright, there was that one time I went to Casa Sanchez, but I was drunk, and they’ve got five foot burritos—FIVE FEET! I mean, we all make mistakes; you’re not so perfect yourself. Overall, I think I’ve been pretty fair to you, and even when you treat me badly, I keep coming back. That’s partly my fault; maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. Honestly though, I expected more from you. We’ve had some great times. You used to boast consistently great food and service, but things have changed in the past couple of weeks. You’re just not satisfying me anymore. I mean, last week I found a carrot in my burrito, and yesterday you charged me for avocado, but gave me none. Look, all I’m saying is...I’m willing to work it out if you are, but you need to put a little effort in. I can’t keep doing all the work. Well, you know, let me know what you decide to do. Either way, we had a really great run. Maybe we can stay friends?
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yo e4 do Go h o n t h f o r t h e r ich s i t ate t o g i ve n s at n igh t. 0, c a e B t r ot a pp e ’t h e d 8:3 Ne w p o u r b re a s t s, n h o wo n t f o r w h at h r ie n d s a ro u n e s t w s o p y o g f igg por the c g radi n t o Ne w s i t w i t h a f e w s ome o f t h e b a re o t f or o n g d u n o a Y e op le g of f gun . o t to f uc k , wate r a n d fin d a s p l l age s s e t t i n t h at t h e s e p e n d o n a g n i a d sp t is h av t h e s a n s e e p e o p le o f Th e b e s t p a r ch mo ne y t o t t h e o t n o l t u o . l ou gh yo u’ p o s s i bl y s e e s w i t h t o o m e s? Th e y’ve g u r-f ac e . u o n e o u ld soon m i l ie ig o n n-yo s yo u c r ich f a o t ge t t h e b e r r i f y i ng l y i k t r s o rk, t r y u j w o e e w n t ’r e fir y r y d h e fi n n on u re , w -s i ze d z i ng a u rs . Th am ate s a n d t h e y fig n s ue s i s am a s s i ve ro c k e t s p o t l igh t do w e s a e k go a fire wo r h e sh o w t h at le a ro u n d a m h e ad sh i n i ng n igh t s k y, i t y. dd er he .T am i l mo ne y r u n u p a n d h u o pp e r flie s o v ie s o f f i n t o t n t i re f e n a fl h f n c so or k C h i ldre t i t w h i le a h e f ac e w. e fire w t h t f h f n g o i e l g h i ng t o e m , t h e n w t h e sh o bur nin h t c s t o a lm h w t nd le a top o f re e a ng t o s i t b ac k a g e d 0 t at a 3 hi le , yo u ge w Al l t h e
L aw e h t From
un R e h T ng O n Reviewed by Sean “Thinks with his” Boulger
There’s really nothing worse than getting chased by the cops while bicycling drunk. Mere hours ago, whilst my friends and I were attending a party at which a considerable amount of alcohol was being consumed, the police showed up. My compatriots and I decided that booking it would be a good idea, so we grabbed our bicycles and headed out to the back exit. We peddled along merrily for a few moments, until the four of us noticed a police car following closely behind us. My friend took off around the corner, the police in close pursuit. Following the advice of my older cohort, I decided it was a good idea to get the fuck out of there. During my flight, I passed a cop car with a gentleman and his bike on the curb, and I definitely heard the ratchet of handcuffs. It didn’t look like my friend had made it. So not only was my evening ruined by a brief, but frightening police pursuit, but about three quarters of the way home, my sweatshirt got stuck in the brake pad of the bike, and the chain came off the sprocket, so I had to walk the fucking thing back to my friend’s house. On a scale of one to ten (ten being enjoyable, one being shitty), I give getting chased by the cops while bicycling drunk a negative four.
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
Die Hard 4: Die Hardererer
Review of Live Free or Die Hard By Sean Boulger
At least he doesn’t say Yippee-Ki-Yay, Major Falcon.
When I was but a young lad, I convinced my dad—after a strenuous half-hour of negotiating—to let me see Die Hard, which was playing on one of the movie channels we got with our digital cable. My father was apprehensive about allowing me to potentially witness filmed sexuality, so he made me sit out of the room for a few minutes while he watched the beginning, hoping he would catch any nudity before I could see it. After a few minutes, he decided that any possible danger had passed, and I was allowed in the room. You can imagine his chagrin when a woman was dragged topless out of a room by one of Hans Gruber’s henchmen, and you can imagine my glee when her bare breasts were exposed on our 35-inch TV screen. Ever since that moment, I have been completely obsessed not only with the
Rata-review-ille Review of Ratatouille
Everyone has a dream but very few realize what that dream is until it is too late. In a world of chaos there are a few who are lucky enough to know what they are destined to become and even fewer who take the risk to pursue their dreams. Pixar’s Ratatouille is one of these tales. The plot of the movie revolves around a struggling cook who rises out of the most unlikely of places, the sewer. That’s right, Remy, a rat gifted with a unique sense of taste and smell, finds himself compelled to venture into the culinary arts after hearing the inspirational words, “anyone can cook,” uttered by world renowned Chef Gusteau. In pursuit of his dream, Remy soon finds himself scared and alone as he becomes separated from his family. With a little encouragement from a figment of his imagination, in the form of a little Chef Gusteau, Remy finds himself in the heart of Paris, scurrying around Gusteau’s former kitchen. Fate draws Remy towards a pathetic dishwasher named Linguini, who finds himself in the extraordinary position of receiving aid from a rat that can cook. The symbiotic relationship that develops between the two flourishes as they find themselves pulling Gusteau’s restaurant out of the funk that it has found itself in after the death Gusteau. With fame comes a price, as the world seems to come crashing down around Remy and Linguini as they each face their own unique demons before the end of this wonderful tale. One of the film’s crowning achievements is the colorful cast that Pixar
Die Hard franchise, but with Bruce Willis and everything he stands for. As far as I’m concerned, Bruce Willis is John McClane. No matter what movie I see him in, be it Disney’s The Kid or 16 Blocks. Understandably, when I learned of a fourth Die Hard being made, I crapped in my pants. Understandably, every time I saw the trailer for LFODH I softly said “Oh my god” over and over again. Understandably, when I found out LFODH was going to be rated PG-13, I jumped out of my chair and punted my cat across the room. I didn’t care that Live Free or Die Hard is quite possibly the stupidest title they could have picked for another sequel (with the exception of something like Die Hardest or Die Hard: YEAH!). I didn’t care that it’s been twelve years since Die Hard with a Vengeance. But seriously, without an R-rating, I knew there was no way that anyone was going to actually make a real Die Hard movie. And I was right. Don’t get me wrong, LFODH is kickass. I don’t have any more elevated way of describing the film. It’s a fun, rollicking action movie that happens to have Bruce Willis and no cussing. Despite the fact that, like I said earlier, Bruce Willis is John McClane in any movie he’s in, this is not a Die Hard movie. It’s as simple as one four-letter word. Bruce Willis never says, “fuck.” He never says, “fucked,” he never says, “fucking,” he never calls a group of people “fucks,” and he never actually says, “motherfucker.” The word “fuck” is the only thing that keeps LFODH from being a Die Hard movie. Did I love it? Of course. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Did I feel the way I felt when Bruce Willis looked at Alan Rickman and the two started laughing hysterically? Absolutely not. Go see LFODH. It’s a fantastically entertaining action movie, and I had a great time watching it. I’d see it again without hesitation. But don’t expect anywhere near the amount of charm, charisma, and attitude that any of the real Die Hard movies have. The only thing missing is that fourletter word, and it’s incredible to see what an effect it’s had on this franchise. Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker. has created yet again for their latest motion picture. Every character has their own unique aura but none so much as the villains that grace the screen in this flick. There is no greater adversary to the chef than the food critic. In this case, the critic is Anton Ego (voiced by Peter O’Toole). With merely the pen in his hand, Ego can raise a restaurant to new heights or cast it down to the depths of mere fast food. Just as menacing as any evildoer before him is the vertically challenged Chef Skinner, who has run the restaurant into the ground with his frozen food empire carrying the Gusteau name. Each one of these characters is portrayed in such a way that, before you even know who they are, you know that they will be among the few that you will love to hate. Of course, hidden throughout the movie are those little subtleties that seep into your consciousness with only the slightest bit of awareness. The little bits of encouragement scattered throughout the film such as, “strive to become what you want to be no matter where you come from,” and “never give up,” can be cute but just a little annoying after you’ve heard them referenced for the twelfth time. The recurring themes are the only problem that some may have with the film but fortunately, they aren’t overdrawn to the point where you feel like you’re being brainwashed while you sit back and enjoy a visual culinary delight. Ratatouille is hands down one of the best films out in theatres this summer. The visuals and storyline, the two obstacles that any animated movie has to overcome, are amazing. Each frame is seamlessly animated and flawlessly flows from one minute to the next. The movie is just a lot of fun and ideal for viewers of all ages that are looking for a great summer escape.
–By Philip Vargas
Review of Eagle Vs. Shark Eagle vs. Shark is a charming and hilarious new indie film about two misfits who find love after a night of romance at a dress-as-your-favorite-animal-party. Directed by Academy Award nominee (for the short, Two Car On Night), Taika Waititi of New Zealand, EvS tells the tale of Lily (Loren Horsley), a shy fast-food cashier and her crush, Jarrod (Jemaine Clement, one half of Flight of the Conchords), an electronics store clerk. After hooking up at the party, the real journey begins when Lily and Jarrod travel to his quiet hometown to stay with his family of eccentrics, while he trains for a fight in which he’ll finally be able to get revenge on his high school nemesis. “It was kind of a mix between Little Miss Sunshine and Napoleon Dynamite,” said Sarah Mudgway, a foreign exchange student from New Zealand at CSULB, “The humor in it is different than your typical American humor like American Pie or Old School; in those movies it’s more obvious where you’re supposed to laugh. In this film, it’s more subtle.” The critics all seem to agree, it’s nearly imEagle and Shark taking time to explore eachother’s “lovely bits.” possible to find a review that doesn’t draw a comparison to Napoleon. However they do seem to leave out the fact that EvS is a much more adult version and that the story and characters are much more developed than in Napoleon. Especially the lead female role; Lily’s crooked smile and unconditional devotion to Jarrod is truly heart-warming. Don’t write this off as a fuzzy romantic comedy though, there are pieces of dialogue and comedic timing that are near genius (which is probably due to the fact that the director is a stand-up comic). “Life,” says Lily in one of her more insightful moments of the film, “is full of hard bits, but in between them is some lovely bits.” EvS offers tons of “lovely bits” so do see it before it disappears. –By Cynthia Romanowski
Review of Transformers
Transformers, based on the Hasbro toys that brought a generation of kids to its knees, brings the Autobots and Decepticons to Earth in search of the all-spark, which is somehow vaguely connected to that which gives the Transformers life. Honestly, plot is not a big issue here. Let’s just establish that the Decepticons (bad guys, led by Megatron) want the all-spark for their evil purposes, and the Autobots (good guys, led by Optimus Prime) want to destroy the all-spark for the betterment of us all. Throw in Shia LaBeouf as a hapless teenager with an essential clue to the all-spark’s location, boneable Megan Fox as the way-out-ofhis-league-but-somehow-susceptible-to- Shia takes the Decepticons’ cube in order to get “even stevens.” his-geeky-charms girl at his high school, Jon Voight as the Sec-Def, and a completely unnecessary subplot about U.S. soldiers protecting the Army’s computers from being alienhacked, and you have all the disposable parts of the 140-plusminute movie. In all honesty, though, it’s worth it to see the Transformers in action. It’s so fucking worth it. Megatron (Hugo Weaving) transforms into some crazy Xwing fighter-style plane. It’s so cool. Holy cow. And Optimus Prime, voiced by the timeless Peter Cullen of yore, is just a semi-truck of badassitude. I can’t really get into it. Don’t go looking for plot (didn’t The Island teach you anything?), but enjoy the decent Jablonsky score and the epic sound mixing and the mind-blowing special effects. They destroy downtown LA! –By Christine Hodinh
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
9 July 2007
Review of Man vs. Wild Man vs. Wild easily has to be one of the craziest shows airing on TV this summer. The show revolves around a man by the name of Bear Grylls who puts himself in the kinds of situations that you pray you never find yourself in. The man is by far a man’s man. He has served with the British Special Forces, climbed to the summit of Everest, crossed the frozen waters of the Arctic, and, on top of everything else, has survived through some of the worst case scenarios imaginable. Every week Bear takes on a new challenge to survive in a situation that hundreds of people find themselves in every year. Left with only the bare minimum of supplies, which typically consists of a knife, a canteen, a piece of flint, and the clothes on his back, he shows you how to make due with what little you might have in the wild. With little at hand he does what few can do when they are prepared: build a fire, construct a rudimentary shelter, and hunt those delicious goodies that nature has to offer such as scorpions and maggots. That’s just another day for Bear. Some may call him a mad TV host wondering how he’s going to get out of literal river of shit. man when he willingly puts himself in situations that call for him to cross an icy glacier or traverse a solidified lava field. But he’s just a man on a mission. At times he does things that some would call crazy, like jumping into quicksand or leaping into a frozen lake, just so that he can show you how to escape a situation that he knows, if not handled properly, could kill. Most would call this stupid while others would call it courageous, knowing that something could kill you but going ahead and doing it anyways. So if you’re up for watching fifty minutes of adrenaline pumping excitement check out Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel this summer. If you want to get caught up on past episodes your best bet is to go to YouTube.com and type in Man vs. Wild. You won’t regret it because it just might save your life.
Review of Rescue Me
–By Philip Vargas
The show focuses in on New York City’s Engine 62 and the men who make it what it is. The main character, Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary), a veteran firefighter, struggles with work and life as he balances problems with his family, his alcohol addiction, and inner turmoil amidst the firehouse. Jimmy isn’t the only one with skeletons in the closet as throughout the season we look into the lives of the other men of the house and glance upon the struggles that they face in their everyday lives. Denis Leary is brilliant, bringing a touch of authenticity to the show that reveals the drama that revolves around the life of a firefighter while at the same time being funny as hell. The cast is brilliant as they bring about a performance that will leave you crying in laughter at one moment and shocked in awe the next. You never know what to expect with every new episode and the fourth season is sure to turn over We figured you know what Denis Leary looks like, so here’s James McCaffrey. some rocks that may have been better left untouched. You can’t help but feel for these guys as you see the men behind the FDNY in the lives that they lead when they’re not busy pulling people out of burning buildings. Every week the problems of the men are in constant flux. As one problem meets a resolution another rears its ugly head making life harder for the men we call heroes. No matter what they deal with at home, when the bell goes off so are they, running towards the fire that everyone else is running away from. The question is, while they’re out saving everyone else, who’s saving them when they find everything coming down around them in the fire that they can’t put out on their own? –By Philip Vargas
9 July 2007
Inner City Pressure Review of Flight of the Conchords By Jessica Williams
who move from New Zealand to New York City in order to make their band, Flight of the Conchords, famous. Their journey to fame and fortune brings them in touch with a few quirky characters. There’s a moonlighting manager who secretly holds band meetings at his nine to five, and the band’s only fan is an obsessive, weird, and smothering married woman who insists on dragging her husband along whenever she wants to express her love for the band (which is all of the time). The plot is basic enough and easy to follow, but there are a few things that makes Flight worth watching. The unique format of combining storylines and music In exchange for his life, Jemaine (left) offers up his inconvenient camera/phone that Bret (right) made for him to a 2-man gang. videos is refreshing and very enterith all good things come the bad. It’s the natural taining. The music composition is catchy and unique. It is a order of life. With the tasty neapolitan ice cream, simple and terrific blend of folk, rap, soul, and even a touch there is always strawberry. With starburst, there of disco (technically called “digi-folk”). The humor of the is always the yellow flavor that everybody throws away. With show is delivered in a way that reveals the character’s indifhip-hop, there is always P. Diddy. But now I’m just getting ference to the world around them. Bret and Jemaine never bitter. And, as usual, with the summer months comes crappy smile or laugh, and they roll with life’s punches even if life television programming. Lucky for us college students, so- seems to be kicking their asses most of the time. mebody at HBO decided to pull us out of our misery and run One thing is for sure: Flight of the Conchords is going to a weekly show that appeals to the amusing awkwardness of be the talk of the campus when everyone returns for the fall our generation. semester. Tip: if you want to avoid being the awkward one Flight of the Conchords is a new series that airs Sunday out when your friends make inside jokes about hair-helmets nights at 10:30 pm on HBO. The show centers around the and the “robo-boogie,” then catch this contagiously off-beat lives of Jemaine and Bret, two best friends and bandmates show.
You Wish You Were These Guys Review of Entourage Like many, I was late getting into Entourage. I haven’t after season three’s episode, “One Day in the Valley,” contaihad HBO on my cable line-up since 2001, so I’ve had to ning a made-up scene from the movie; that and the fact that resort to borrowing dvds or watching TiVo recordings at they can get people like James Cameron, Gary Busey, Mandy a friend’s apartment. If there was one show that could pos- Moore, and countless others to come on and play exaggerasibly make me want to pay the extra cash for HBO, it’d be ted versions of themselves is incredible. Entourage (okay, maybe Deadwood too, but that’s a whole With the current season (that being the fourth), Ari is ‘nother obsession). back with the boys after being fired for a short time. Vinny Entourage follows Vinny Chase (Adrian Grenier), and and Eric just finished filming their epic, Medellin. Johnny his group of friends (hence Drama is making a hit the straight-forward name show for NBC and trying of the show) all hailing to keep his 3.5 million dolfrom Queens, NY and colar apartment, and Turtle ming out to Hollywood to is—still driving everyone. make it big. Vinny is the The main focus thus far has up-and-coming star, Jobeen on Medellin. Vinny hnny Drama (played by and Eric both sunk every Matt Dillon’s brother Kesingle dime they had into it vin Dillon) is his failedand now it’s in the hands of actor brother, Eric is his an insecure, neurotic, and best friend/manager, and insane director, leaving fans Turtle is—well he’s just to wonder if it’s going to the driver. Together they be Vinny’s masterpiece or live and party day in and a complete disaster. Along day out, endulging in the with other questions such lifestyle provided to them as: Is Drama going to be the and trying to make it in a bread-winner of the family cutthroat town. The singlenow? Will Vinny and Eric most charismatic and meboth have to rely on Drama morable character on the to give them a place to stay? show has to be Ari Gold, Will Turtle ever be succesVinny’s brutally-honest, sful in his own right? Will ruthless asshole agent with Ari ever show Lloyd (his Counter-clockwise from left: Vinny Chase, Eric, Johnny Drama, Turtle, and Ari Gold. a heart of...silver. gay assistant) the love and The show doesn’t sound entirely new or different in its admiration he deserves so much? Will I ever stop asking concept, but the way the characters are written and acted, questions? along with the camaraderie these guys have on screen, maNo. kes you feel like you’re a part of the entourage yourself. These Will you watch Entourage instead of some shitty show guys are The Beatles of television.* They dress how you’d on CBS like Two and a Half Men? God I hope so. like to dress, sleep with the women you’d like to sleep with, –By Mike Pallotta and make movies on top of that. I can’t possibly express how *You can decide who would be which Beatle, but Ari is badly I wanted to see Vinny Chase in an Aquaman movie obviously Brian Epstein.
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
Franny and Zooey By J.D. Salinger
Franny and Zooey focuses on the two youngest members of Salinger’s most frequently recurring family, the Glasses. The first part describes Franny’s weekend encounter with her boyfriend, Lane. Though the two haven’t seen each other in quite some time, Franny is detached and irritable throughout their lunch. She is carrying a book with her (which turns out to be The Way of the Pilgrim, a book about praying ceaselessly), but is secretive when Lane asks about it. She complains about phoniness and superficiality, refuses to eat, chain smokes, and ultimately faints. Once she awakes, Lane rushes to get a cab for her, leaving Franny on a couch in the restaurant manager’s office. The second part of the story takes place two days after the first, and is narrated by Buddy Glass, the eldest living Glass child. It opens with Zooey soaking in the bathtub, rereading one of Buddy’s old letters. His mother interrupts and encourages him to speak with his sister, who has been sobbing on the couch in the throes of an existential crisis, caused by The Way of the Pilgrim. When Buddy finally speaks with her, he is harsher than he intends, and leaves her in a worse state. He calls the house from a separate line, imitates Buddy’s voice, and asks for Franny. They talk for a while, until Franny realizes that she is, in fact, speaking to Zooey. His cover blown, he tells her about an exchange he had with their dead brother, Seymour when he was a child, and explains that Christ is in everyone. At the end of their conversation, Franny smiles and falls into a deep, dreamless sleep. - By Erin Hickey
By George Orwell
The Dharma Bums By Jack Kerouac
In what usually is described as Kerouac’s second greatest novel after On The Road, The Dharma Bums goes, once again, on a fantastically spiritual trip with a man (Ray Smith) who is on a constant quest for enlightenment and a place to lay his head. The Dharma Bums starts off with Smith hopping on a freight train to Berkeley, rucksack in toe, and finds himself meeting up with two friends, Alvah Goldbook and Japhy Ryder. The three spend most of their time creating their own form of Buddhism all the while verging on poetic greatness. Zen Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism take center stage for the true meaning of the novel at this point. Japhy and Ray decide it is time to conquer the Matterhorn, a very dangerous mountain in the Sierras. With little to no supplies, Japhy ends up ascending and descending the summit like a gazelle while Ray watches only a few hundred feet away cowering in fear. This is a huge turning point in the novel and, as Kerouac writes, Ray finally realizes that it’s, “Impossible to fall off a mountain you fool!” After realizing that Berkeley and his group of friends are stale, Ray decides to head home where he lives and practices his form of Buddhism for an extended period of time. Heading back west, Ray finds Japhy tired and dejected and, after some advice from his close friend, decides to spend a winter on an outlook on a snowcovered mountain called “Isolation.” His time spent on the mountain changes Ray forever and he finally discovers the true meaning of “Dharma Bums.”
- By Ryan Kobane
Cat’s Cradle By Kurt Vonnegut
1984 follows the life of Winston Smith as he lives out a life that is under constant observation. The world he lives in has been divided into three countries, which are in a state of perpetual war with one another. The people of his country, Oceania, are all apart of the same party, Ingsoc, which is ruled by the guiding hand and watchful eye of Big Brother. Everyone around Winston has been brainwashed to utterly believe in the party and follow without question. Their devotion is so great that no matter how contradictory the information may be from one day to the next they accept it without a second thought. Winston soon finds he is questioning the ways of the party and steadily begins to break away from the doctrine he has been forced to follow throughout most of his life. Winston finds another like himself, Julia, with whom he is able to share true love with for the first time. While they are together, without their knowledge, the Thought Police are watching them. So, when they are approached by an Inner Party member, O’Brien, to join the Resistance, or the Brotherhood, they unwittingly walk right into a trap set up by the Thought Police. When they are apprehended they undergo torture that is meant to brainwash them into believing what everyone else has already accepted. In the end, Winston and Julia, once lovers, betray each other and thus giving up the last ounce of freedom that they had left. Accepting love towards Big Brother, Winston, the last free man in Europe, is no more.
Cat’s Cradle is the narrative of a man (John) who sets out to write a book about the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. It is basically a dark-comedy, in standard Vonnegut fashion, about humanity, lies, and the problems they cause. There is one great quote, from which the book may get its name, that sums up this point. “A cat’s cradle is nothing but a bunch of Xs between somebody’s hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those Xs — no damn cat, no damn cradle.” On a remote island, while doing research for his book, John discovers an isolated religion practiced by most everyone there known as Bokononism. The Book of Bokonon, however, is mostly comprised of riddling phrases and lyrics written in the style of a calypso song such as, “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” Vonnegut created an entire elaborate religion that is as ridicules and unbelievable and any real religion. One of the principle inventions in Cat’s Cradle is Ice-Nine, an isotope invented and stowed away by one of the atomic bomb’s creators. Ice-Nine is a frozen compound that has the ability to convert all water it touches into Ice-Nine. The book ends when all the siblings in possession of Ice-Nine decide to destroy it to prevent a global catastrophe. However, in a plane crash on the way to a funeral, one vile of Ice-Nine gets caught up in a landslide, falling to the ocean and almost instantly turning the entire planet into a permanent frozen wasteland. Hilarious.
The Great Gatsby
A Moveable Feast
The Great Gatsby starts off with Nick Carraway, a twenty-something coming to Long Island from the Mid-West. He lives on the same street as a wealthy man by the name of Gatsby who throws parties every week and is rarely seen by anyone. Nick befriends Gatsby. Meanwhile, Nick visits his cousin Daisy who’s married to Tom, a college athlete who’s also wealthy. Nick’s attendance at the parties becomes more frequent and he soon finds out that the parties were being held for the sole purpose of Daisy possibly showing up. Daisy is an old-flame of Gatsby’s and after a meeting set up by Nick, the two begin an affair. Nick also begins his own meaningless relationship with a girl named Jordan. Shit hits the fan when Gatsby goes over to a hotel room in Manhattan to spend time with Tom and Daisy. Tom sees Gatsby’s love for his wife and claims to know the truth about Gatsby and his illegal dealings. Gatsby, enraged, tries to force Daisy to say she’s never loved Tom, erasing the last five years of her marriage, making everything go back to how it was when she and Gatsby were first together. Gatsby’s true obsessive nature is revealed. They all leave for Long Island, Gatsby and Daisy in one car and Tom, Nick, and Jordan in the other. Daisy, driving a little too fast, hits a woman who runs into the street after a domestic dispute with her mechanic husband (Wilson). Wilson goes insane and, after Tom tells him it was Gatsby who drove the car, goes over to Gatsby’s house and shoots him. Nick goes home.
Written as a first hand account of Ernest Hemingway’s time abroad as a starting writer in Paris, A Moveable Feast is easily one of the better summer reads you’ll find. His poignant, stripped-down style of writing allows the true feel of post-war Europe to shine. Through a series of short encounters with friends and fellow writers such as Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway is able to drop the reader into a scene quickly and pull away just as well, often better. One of the best things about Hemingway’s writing is that when he introduces a character and talks about them for some time you can tell he truly loves them. This is especially true of his wife, Hadley, and Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald. When he speaks of Hadley, that new, fresh love is honest, like the kind of love two newlyweds in Paris would have. With Scott, you can tell he admires the man even as he sort of pities him for the troubles he has with his wife and his work. He makes up for it though when he decides to become Scott’s best friend. Anyone who’s read this book will tell you that their favorite part is the stuff about Scott Fitzgerald. And yes, if you want to seem like you’ve read the book, definitely mention the moment when Scott asks Ernest if his penis is too small. However, one great part to mention is when Ford Madox Ford sits down with Ernest for a drink and begins to describe the difference between a gentleman and a cad while explaining how he cut a cad named Belloc and that one must always cut a cad.
- By Philip Vargas
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
- By Mike Pallotta
- By Steven Carey
By Ernest Hemingway
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
- By Steven Carey
9 July 2007
o one likes them. They extend the stays of people who just want to learn a single subject and they often ruin the GPAs of people who want to go on to graduate programs. They are your General Education requirements. In this article we will cut through the bullshit and hopefully you’ll walk away with a better idea of what to take, what to avoid, and why GEs are what they are anyway. Well, the reason GEs are what they are is mostly the same across all categories, so I’ll get that out of the way right now. Regardless of the reason they print in each category, we have GE requirements because this country’s public education is horrible and universities cannot expect incoming students to have any level of knowledge about anything as a result. In
fact, in order to ensure that graduating students have the minimum level of education expected of graduates, universities in this country really should require even more courses be taken in many GE categories by most students. Unfortunately, neither students nor universities can fund these additional courses, forcing the few we do take to be rushed, merely introductory or synoptic in nature, and to be taught by the worst and least experienced instructors (often without even training them). So have fun!
GE Requirements The GE requirements for people who came here after 1999 are simply as follows (if you’re still here from last millennium then frankly your issues are beyond the scope of this guide).
1 2 3
Take one course from each of categories A1, A2, A3, and B2 and UNIV 100 before completing 36 units. Take one course from each of categories B1a, B1b, C1, C2a, C2b, D1a, D1b, and E (and optionally replace the course from either C2a or C2b with a course from C2c). Take three courses from category D2 and one more course from each of categories B and C.
Some constraints also apply to completing all of this, though: You can’t take any GEs numbered higher than 199 before completing part 1 above, three of the courses have to have triangles, one has to have a diamond, and one has to have a circle.
By Chris Barrett
The following are some of the GE courses offered
in each category. They are categorized as “good”, meaning they are worth taking if you want a good education, “easy”, meaning they are worth taking if you want to get through the requirement with as little stress and damage to your GPA as possible, “bad”, meaning that they provide little education or are unnecessarily difficult, or “dependent”, meaning the value and difficulty of the course will be very depen-
// Good: ENGL 100: This is just basic high
school level essay writing. It will have educational value for you if your high school only ever had you write essays regarding fiction or had you write hardly any essays at all, and should be easy otherwise. // Dependent: ASAM 100, B/ST 100, CHLS 104: These are like ENGL 100, just with essay topics regarding ethnic issues. Avoid if racist.
// Good: COMM 130: Though difficult if
you’ve never had to speak in front of a group of people, this will force you to learn to do so, meaning you will at the very least walk away with improvement in an important life skill. // Easy: COMM 110, COMM 132 // Bad: COMM 335: Debate people forget how to speak amicably. Classes like this are why.
// Good: PHIL 170: The best one, see below. // Bad: B/ST 150: This class isn’t a waste, it’s just
not a critical thinking course and isn’t easy. // Dependent: PHIL 170: This class is easy if you have some understanding of how logic works. Unfortunately, despite philosophy and logic being two of the most important prerequisites to becoming an educated person, they are the two most neglected subjects in all of education, especially public education. This course is worthwhile if only for learning how to determine if an argument is valid or not, but its difficulty is very much determined by your ability and willingness to think.
// Good: BIOL 200, BIOL 205 // Easy: BIOL 153 // Bad: BIOL 211A: This course is five units where you only need three. ‘Nuff said.
// Good: PHSC 112: Probably the easiest, too. // Bad: CHEM 111A: This class is too difficult and the material remains too unintuitive without further study to be a worthwhile GE.
// Good: MATH 123: You know those jokes
that aren’t really that funny and make you kinda sad when you stop to think about their implications? That’s what me putting MATH 123 up here as a GE is sort of like. Along with philosophy, mathematics is instrumental in having a valuable education in the future, and it’s also done injustice by public education. In
9 July 2007
fact, public education, instead of feigning ignorance like it does toward philosophy, manages to turn the vast majority of the population against math. If public math education were handled competently then most people would get through Calculus I (MATH 122) before completing high school. The biggest shame of all this, though, is that all the algebra and trig you do in high school is just the hard work that builds up to the pay off in MATH 123, except most people never get there. // Alts: MATH 109, MATH 117, MATH 122 // Easy: MATH 103 // Bad: MATH 112: It’s being phased out for a reason.
// Good: ART 110: This course is important to
take if you like art and even more important to take if you are indifferent toward or don’t like art. Besides improving your appreciation of art, this course will also improve your artistic competence and, most importantly, teach you new ways in which to analyze and understand the world around you. Although this class does require a time commitment because you will be required to produce art, it isn’t difficult and definitely should be taken, especially by those who fear taking it the most. // Easy: AH 111A, EDP 373 (but it’s better to count this under category D2, see below). // Bad: AH 113A/AH 113B: When I took AH 113B the professor required three textbooks at a cost of $200 and didn’t get around to using them until after the deadline to return books to the bookstore, at which point he realized he had us all buy the wrong books. He graded the course almost solely on art analysis but never lectured once on how to analyze art. He failed to make the subject matter relatable or interesting and was the most unaccommodating and pompous person I’ve met. He would even act imposed upon when students came to his office hours. Despite all this the worst part of taking this GE was that the professor refused to acknowledge that that’s exactly what the class was and in the end the only people who even had a chance of getting an A or a B were people who had already taken classes in art history and art analysis. Oh, and he’s the only person who’s taught the course in years. It’s possible that these issues have been fixed, but I wouldn’t bet my education, my GPA, or my money on it, especially considering you’re unlikely to be able to repeat-delete this course with another professor.
// Good: CWL 320: This class is crucial for
dent on you. We will also note which professors to take in those classes for which the professor matters most, but be aware that the professor is an important factor regardless of the course. In general, all of these courses will be easier to take as a summer class. Courses omitted from this list were either not taken by any of the students questioned in preparing this article, and thus could not be fairly reviewed, or were generally deemed unnoteworthy.
people who don’t understand comedy or don’t appreciate satire. It’s also the easiest and most approachable class I’ve taken at this university because the professors don’t limit themselves to ancient texts in order to get the points across. For example, if you take Ray Lacoste one of your assignments will likely be to watch Dumb and Dumber. Did I mention that this class counts for both a triangle and a circle as well? Take this course with Ray Lacoste or Ray Waters. // Bad: Anything that’s not CWL 320 with Ray Lacoste or Ray Waters... unless you’re one of those people who likes reading. * rolls eyes*
// Good: PHIL 100: Even though the professor
I took this class under detested the students it still wound up being one of the better classes I’ve ever taken. It basically is an overview for what’s wrong with a lot of conventional thinking and assumptions and why many of the most sought after answers in life are still completely unknown. All around, this course should be taken by everyone. // Alt: R/ST 391: This course’s subject matter is both interesting and important, and it will help you achieve both a balanced opinion and a triangle. // Dependent: PHIL 160: If you think that morality is personal or subjective or even unimportant then this class will just be memorization of stuff other people thought up until you leave thinking the same thing you did going in. If you think you have morality figured out, though, this may be the most important class you could ever take. Either you are wrong and this class will finally set you straight, preventing you from living the life of a judgmental prick, or you are right and this class will give you the ability to set straight the rest of humanity, which would be invaluable to the world. Regardless, this class will help you understand what commonly held positions are wrong and why, which in itself can be important.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to adequately learn a language by taking a single GE course, and we can’t really compare languages to each other for you, so you’re gonna have to go to RateMyProfessor.com if you want to take one of these.
// Good: HIST 173: This class will let you
know where this country is now and how we got here. It’s a generally good foundation for understanding current events and many of
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the domestic issues we face in America. This should be basic high school fare, so it’s important that you take this if your high school’s history program was lacking. // Alt: HIST 172.
// Good: POSC 100: This class will let you
know how this country’s government is organized and why. It will also help you understand why the country’s politics were able to get where they are presently and how you can actually change it if you so desire rather than complain for others to change it for you. Again, this should’ve been covered in your previous education, but people who teach this class often infuse their opinion with the subject matter, so it’s good to get a second opinion even if you feel your high school covered this adequately. // Dependent: POSC 391: This is basically POSC 100 with more depth and difficulty for those of you who already know the intro stuff.
// Good: ECON 100/ECON 101: Having an
understanding of economics should be required of all college graduates as it will protect you from common financial blunders and being obviously wrong about simple political issues. It will also help demystify how and why certain important outcomes should and do occur as the result of subtle changes in economic policy. Unfortunately a truly deep understanding of economics is impossible if you haven’t taken calculus first, but these courses don’t require any math that you haven’t done already. They also overlap a lot, making them easy to take either concurrently or sequentially. // Easy: EDP 373: This class would be great if it weren’t infused with pop-psych, but regardless it should help you be more aware of body language and its significance. It’s also easy even though it counts as a triangle, so you really can’t go wrong here. // Dependent: This category doesn’t get many complaints, so choose whatever interests you.
// Good: H SC 425: This is the human sexuali-
ty course you should’ve had in high school and probably didn’t. Most of the people taking this class actually learned stuff that they definitely should’ve known way earlier in life. If that’s not convincing enough, this class is also fairly easy, counts as a triangle, and counts as a diamond. // Dependent: If you’re too uptight to even learn about sex then take whatever. You won’t have anyone to pass knowledge onto anyway.
A Day In the Life of a Transformer By Christopher Troutman
Skateboard and Beach Ball By Erin
A(nother) Day In the Life of a Transformer By Christopher Troutman
Ask Father Holey By Paul Hovland
Bad Pun Comic By Other Girl
Sad Truth Comic By Type 2 Diabeetus!
Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper
9 july 2007
Lost Summer By Philip Vargas The distant caw of a god-forsaken bird shatters my blissful dream bubble. Lying here in bed, I can smell the beginnings of a beautiful new day creeping in through the window. As I move to jump up, I feel the chain that binds me to my indoor prison and remember what was forgotten in a moment. I remember the thinness of the air as I stood high above the ground on the bough of a tree. The elation of victory that washed over me just before the thunderous crack rang out through the air and my world came tumbling down around me. As the ground rushed to embrace me, time stopped, allowing me to feel every moment of cracking bone and tearing sinew. After that I remember only darkness. Awakening from my drug-induced slumber I found myself in bed with the plaster bonds wrapped around my leg. With a shudder I wander out of the past and I creep into the dread for the future. A summer lost in a life that will see too few before the end. How many summers do I have left? Fifty, maybe sixty, sun filled summers along the coast. Numbers that seem so endless in your mind but to speak of them out loud don’t ever seem to be enough to satisfy. I can hear my warden moving down the hall in the kitchen, making her coffee before she makes me breakfast. Turning on the idiot box I try to forget about it but can’t. The call of the summer is too strong to be forgotten.
Eddie’s Summer By Philip Vargas The tiny little room was cast in the eerie glow of the screen. The chattering of the keyboard rose above the sounds of Eddie’s labored breathing and resonated off of the enclosed walls. With the end of school for the summer so came the end of Eddie’s need to go outside. He had everything he could ever need in his little dank hovel. A refrigerator, stocked full of energy drinks and caffeinated liquids, stood an arms length away. Snack foods to the left of him and a bathroom to his right, he had everything he could ever need just a stone’s through away. In his little world Eddie was king. With a click of the mouse and a stroke of the keyboard, he could wander a million worlds and be the hero in every one. The screen never laughed at him or ridiculed him like the other kids did. He was accepted in the darkness of his stuffy little room. He felt safe here, he felt happy, he felt fulfilled.
9 july 2007
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