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[Issue 61.8] “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” -Linus Pauling


aybe its the shift in seasons that seem to happen daily on this campus, or the fact that we’re caught in the doldrums of fall semester, but I can’t seem to focus. It’s getting really bad too. I get up in the morning with a list of what needs to be accomplished during the day, and when I come home my list has more additions than subtractions. So what’s weird about this? I’m not sure, I can’t seem to focus long enough to fix this nagging sense that my days are not being used to their fullest potential. The concept of having ideas to write about on a weekly basis is much more difficult than you may think. I mean we all have ideas, maybe they consist of what to cook for dinner or what outfit is going to go well with your hangover, but a really solid idea that’s interesting and thought-provoking is best left to professionals. So here are three ideas, none of which are entirely focused or incredibly enlightening, but maybe something I write here will help me out of this mid-semester slump. Idea one. While I watched the Daily Show this week Steven Colbert announced that he would be running for President of the United States. My initial reaction to this was one of honest disappointment. How bad has it gotten America? So bad that it’s come to one of our countries most gifted satirists being a viable Presidential candidate? What makes it even worse is the fact that Colbert may have a shot. You may think I’m crazy but here are the facts as I see them. America is still not ready to elect a women or an African American as its Chief Executive Officer. The five leading candidates according to recent polls are: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. For most Americans its not going to be a vote for the candidate for which you believe is the best for you and for America, but rather which candidate you hate the least. Making Colbert’s bid even stronger is the fact that the five aforementioned people have a total of a twenty years of service under their belts; that’s simply pathetic. Whatever happened to experience? Georgy walked into office in 2000 with only one full term as governor before he ran, and we all saw how well that turned out. Colbert doesn’t seem like such a far fetched idea now does it? It’s appears to me that experience seems to be something Americans are afraid of, something that Matt Bai of the New York Times recently called even, “Downright suspect. It’s the barrier that so-called professionals use to wall themselves off from everyone else. Americans now

Our Cover in the Making

belong to what the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Andrew Keen calls “the cult of the amateur,” and, in this new world, the ideal president may be one who hasn’t governed, or at least not for long.” If this is indeed true, and a clear-cut candidate that appeals to the masses doesn’t show up soon, we could be watching State of the Union addresses on Comedy Central. Idea two: American professional sports are no longer accessible to the masses. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few hockey games early in the NHL season. One game was at the Honda Center, the home of the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks where a few friends and I were secret shoppers. Long story short we were given tickets and fifty dollars cash to spend during the game, and all we had to do in return was fill out a brief survey of our experience in its entirety. Ten-dollar beers, seven-dollar hot dogs, twelve-dollar nachos, COME ON. The average American simply can’t go to a game without spending a weeks salary anymore. Fiftydollars later, of free money mind you, and I still felt taken. I think its a sad day when a little pee-wee hockey player can’t go see their hero play without promising his parents that he didn’t need Christmas presents. And this problem isn’t just with hockey, inflation runs rampant throughout professional sports and is ostracizing many of its future athletes before they have the chance to fall in love with the game. Idea three. Before the semester started a former staffer here at the Union laid the over-under line of completed issues this semester at seven. I think he was only half joking when he said that (five different times), but here we are, eight issues in and growing every week. And if you haven’t noticed the contributors list has nearly doubled since the first week of the semester. It seems that the views and opinions are as diverse as I’ve ever seen in this office, and it is contributing to what I believe to be the most truly unique group of people on this campus. And I’m not sure how many of my staffers and contributors read this far into my letters, but if I can focus on but one this at this time, it has to be the fact that each one of you has worked your asses Dino of the Week off day in and day out, as well as kept me from going completely schizo, so thanks. And Conor, we’ll be taking those drinks when you get back buddy. –Ryan Kobane Editor-In-Chief


Photographs By Mike “Beef” Pallotta

Ryan Kobane Editor-in-Chief Erin Hickey Managing Editor Mike Pallotta Matth Dupreee Associate Editors Ryan Kobane Business Manager

Vincent Girimonte News Director Kathy Miranda Opinion Editor Ryan ZumMallen Sports Editor Victor Camba Comics Editor Katie Reinman Creative Arts Editor Michaël Veremans Random Reviews Editor Earl Grey Grunion Editor Philip Vargas Literature Editor & PR Mike Pallotta Entertainment Editor Sean Boulger Music Editor & PR Ryan Kobane Photography Director Steven Carey Feature Editor Erin Hickey Copy Editor Vincent Girimonte Advertising Representative Steven Carey Graphic Design Chris Barrett Internet Caregiver

Philip Vargas On-Campus Distribution Vincent Girimonte Off-Campus Distribution Chris Barrett, Andrew Wilson, Darren Davis, Jesse Blake, Christine Hodinh, Derek Crossley, Dominic McDonald, Christopher Troutman, Jason Oppliger, Cynthia Romanowski, Paul Hovland, James Kislingbury, Rachel Rufrano, Annalisa Brizuela, Katrina Sawhney, Julie Simmons, Sergio Ascencio, Kyle Moreno, Allan Steiner, Ashley Marie Weis, Sean Bernhoft, Dylan Little.


Disclaimer and Publication Information

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.

This week’s cover was the arduous summation of Stanley Donwood inspired artwork, a light table, 2 ballpoint pens worth of ink and the love of one heartbreakingly-crazy Radiohead fan. I’d never claim to have illustrative talents, but i’m pleased to have created what appears to be a passable facsimile of Radiohead art. As serious as I am about Radiohead, I made sure that I kept creative control over everything (with design help from the amazing Steven Carey). The art was in part Radiohead original art, another part my own retracings of originals, and a small part my own sketches. The rest of the work was a crash-course in everything that can go wrong in photoshop (as well as my brain). Thankfully, I was urged on by the sweet bliss that comes from being able to pursue two passions at once: Radiohead and the Union Weekly. So I’ll leave you with the elegantly morose lyrics that kept me going over the tedious hours spent hunched and scribbling: “Red wine and sleeping pills help get me back to your arms. Cheap sex and sad films help get me where I belong.” -Matth Dupreee, Guest Cover Designer


Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper

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22 October 2007


Naked Theater Isn’t Really Art, Is It?


By Julie Simmons Contributor

hen arriving at CSULB, I expected to see the theater that I was used to when I was in high school, normal and clean. Since I have been here, I have seen at least five different people naked, not all of them with a stunning physique. One might say that the nudity expresses the true art. Well, that’s straight up bullshit. Honestly, when I want to watch live theater, I want to see a good storyline and great actors. Not the junk of a theater student or a forty year old man past his prime. In all honesty, having clothes on would be more enlightening to me. Sometimes, you have to be naked, other times you don’t. I don’t think exposing yourself in live theater is very artistic anymore. Back then it was done to state a point, now it’s just “Look at me! I’m naked!” I’m not saying being naked in art is necessarily bad. I’m stating that when it comes to art nowadays, nudity distracts from the core meaning of the piece. There have been times where nudity was significant to the storyline in CSULB productions, but most of the time, it was downright uncalled for. I mean, if you’re going to express freedom from one’s inner demons, do you really need to take your pants down?

By Derek Crossley Union Staffer

Illustration By Andrew Wilson

I guess I’m old-fashioned, but I don’t like seeing people naked. We’ve all heard that the human body is beautiful and all that good stuff, but some days you just don’t want boobs or a penis in your face. I’m pretty sure nobody does. What I want to see is theater. Nothing preachy or self righteous. That’s what the news is for. You go to the theater to be entertained, not have people telling you want to think. All I can really do now is just shut my eyes and wait ‘til it’s over.

You Have Your Rights and I Have Mine By Katrina Sawhney Contributor I write this in light of recent campus events, specifically, National Coming Out Week celebrated on campus last week and the protests resulting thereof. That being said, I believe in tolerance and acceptance. I do not believe in criticizing people for what they are. A high profile group in Long Beach is the gay community. They’re a collective people that garner a lot of attention and controversy and our liberal school is no exception. Their lifestyles, sexual orientation and personal life are on display for the rest of the community to judge and criticize. Often times, the surrounding people condemn them to ostracism or “not in my backyard” mentality, other times, condemning them to hell. In my book, that’s beyond unnecessary. I

have no authority on the matter and it’s none of my business. Same goes for you pal. Politicians seem to think that the law is the forum for the moral debate of homosexuality. News Flash: it’s not. Our government floors are no place for the targeted judgment of people, any people. Yet “Gay Rights” seems to always make it on the surveys as topics Americans care about. The government has no business in my bedroom or anyone else’s. The proposed ban on gay marriage came altogether too close to becoming an actual amendment. That kind of intolerant behavior has been downgraded to the talk of allowing “civil unions,” (Oh, how kind of you) but we have seen that separate but equal is rarely a reality. I thought, that laws were meant to protect people, not discriminate against them legally. Who you marry is up to

you and it should stay that way. Sure, there are some minor distinctions to be made so the accountants in the world don’t lose it, but as far as social distinctions, that’s something not up to the USA. What I simply cannot grasp is why everyone is so obsessed with other people’s lifestyles. Why should you or I care how someone chooses to live? It’s not my life and they’re not some cult trying to convert me. It’s not even that I am some enlightened liberal college student; I just don’t care whom anyone marries, whoever they are. I’m about people being happy. Marry a guy, a woman, a cat, and a dog; marry a tree for all I care. Friends, do whatever your hearts desire. Just don’t impose your beliefs on others and lets call it even. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, it’s a matter of social consideration.

Orange County Has Officially Sold Out By Ashley Marie Weis Contributor I can’t stand Orange County. No, let me rephrase that. I can’t stand the vast majority of the people living in Orange County. Why does my opinion matter more than everyone else’s? Because I have had the pleasure, if you can call it that, of residing in Orange County my entire life. Now before you go and judge, keep in mind that I am not your typical blonde-haired, overly-tanned bikini-sporting girl from Orange County. My hair is naturally blonde but I have pretended that it isn’t since I was 15. I don’t really tan, except maybe on accident. And it takes lots of convincing (and even more Bacardi) for me to put on a bikini and walk around in the company of others. With that being said, I really don’t understand how I got trapped here or why God continues to torture me. The Oh See is known as “The Bubble,” and it really is that way. I am constantly lost in a sea of gas-guzzling SUV’s, fake boobs and massive gated housing communities. Miles

22 October 2007

Breaking the 4th Wall A Written Letter To Me

of cement. Cougars. Six-year olds with cell phones. You get the idea. If you ask nicely, they can give you directions to every Starbucks in the entire county. But if you ask them to point the Middle East out on a map, you’d probably stump them. And the worst part? This shit is being televised now. I would like to just take a moment and thank MTV and Fox for showing the rest of the world that yes, in Orange County we are all a bunch of spoiled morons. I used to be proud of where I grew up, but now? I’m totally humiliated. I can see looks of disappointment and wonder in the eyes of people I share this with. “Oh like on that

show!” No, it’s not like the stupid show. I have a job and I’m working my way through college and I have never once had a dramatic fight with my significant other on a lifeguard stand. More than anything though, it just makes me sad. These people live lives that most people on this planet can’t even fathom. And I see so much waste…so many people who spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on useless technology that will only be considered outdated within a few months. So many kids wasting the money spent on education and opportunities that hundreds of other kids would take in a heartbeat. It’s disgusting. It wasn’t always like this though. In fact, up until about ten or 15 years ago this place had half the people, parks, trees and something I can’t imagine living without—traffic. So I have a plan. Those of us who haven’t become pod people yet must band together and rise up. Maybe if we can trick all these snobs into moving far, far away then things can go back to what they used to be. Remember when Laguna was a quiet town filled with down-to-earth artists? I do. Sigh.

Derek, I’m sorry for the last letter. I’m sure it was hell to read. This one won’t be much different—if anything it’ll be a hell of a lot worse. Alcohol with a shot of boredom usually does it for me. And I’m one annoying bitch when I’m drunk… I know that very well. Sometimes I can barely stand myself! Today really has been awful. I walked to the corner market and bought a carton of menthols, read two-and-ahalf books, watched a movie and chatted for about three hours on the phone. The phone call was really nice. I like talking to people who, for the most part, I think, love me. There aren’t many in my life so I really appreciate the ones I have. Anyhow, today wasn’t much different than any other day of my life, but for some reason, it got me feeling pretty depressed. I think it’s the season. I love it, but I’m always crazy as hell this time of year. This was about the time last year that I went pretty nuts and was hospitalized for a time. Maybe today was a really bad day somewhere in my past and I just don’t remember why; but it’s still getting to me somehow. I don’t know, it’s all so frustrating because I feel I really like myself these days; that even the crazy parts have gotten manageable and almost useful even. And I’m not crazy in the emotional, obnoxious, insecure attention-seeking girl way anymore—it’s just kinda cool now. But every once in awhile I feel like the old (name withheld) resurfaces, and god! I really hate her! I’m not so sure what to do about it, really. I wish you didn’t know me. Things are so much fun when you don’t know someone. I think even we had fun together at least once, before we really knew anything about each other. But I also think we’re pretty lucky. Relationships like ours don’t come along too often. Someone’s damned emotions usually get in the way, by now—and it’s rarely the one with the penis. But you’re a dying breed, you know? Guys are damned needy these days and it took me forever to find a consistent lay who didn’t and wouldn’t fall for me (not that I’m some great catch or anything or even that any of those flings would have lasted more than a month. I just make great first impressions—I seem like a girl someone could really love. I’m not. I don’t think so at least). But think of it! We’ve had all kinds of sex (but maybe that’s a bad thing). We’ve had drunk sex, “does s/he like me?” sex, comfortable “I know my way around” sex, but still good (always good) sex. I could go on probably, but won’t. And it’s been fun, really. It has run quite a course and I doubt there’s much left of it. We’ll see. I hope this doesn’t come off as self-pity because it’s so far from that., but you’re not the type to keep someone like me around for much time. Well. I really want to hear back from you. I’ll see you soon probably. Questions? Comments? Derek Crossley can be reached at: derek@ Or comment online at

Illustration By Ryan Kobane

Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper


[Opinions] Latest College Trend: Self-Pity and Depression By Rachel Rufrano Union Staffer Why does the college world seem to be so filled with compulsive liars, hypochondriacs, and self-pitying complainers? Can the average student go through a day without trying to gain some forced act of sympathy? Perhaps the true answer lies in the fact that we do not sympathize—we compete for sympathy. If our lives are worse than the next person’s, then that validates us in some strange way. People everywhere are striving to be complex, mysterious, and multi-dimensional by embellishing upon or creating a damaged childhood or lifestyle. Maybe before we can understand why we feel so tempted to be such tortured souls we must understand the root of the trend. Research indicates that the trend stems from a substantial influence of the media. Long before emo artists like Bright Eyes or Death Cab

for Cutie were popular, John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band released a seminal album, Plastic Ono Band, in which Lennon exorcised feelings from a damaged childhood through a trendy psychological program called EST—a first for mainstream pop music. The rest of the music scene slowly began to follow suit and decided to capitalize on the “cool” of self-deprecation. As these people became our idols, we imitated their self-loathing ways. Now the media seems to have become so well aware of the trend that we cannot escape it. Popular primetime television shows and soaps like Grey’s Anatomy depict the wealthy and superficially successful struggling with alcoholism, druguse, and dysfunctional families—all of which only add more to the characters’ allure. The Internet is now a large factor in the self-pitying epidemic. Corporate-sponsored blog sites like MySpace are a nesting ground for these activities. Aerial-viewed preteens gather for anonymous self-pitying hedonism where it is fashionable to complain. Perhaps this depressed façade goes deeper than just

being “cool.” Having low self-esteem can be advantageous in other ways, too. If we fail to believe in ourselves, we fail to reach our potential. If we have “problems” we have an excuse and can guarantee that we will never let ourselves down. If instead, we traded in our guilty consciences for some self-effacement we would not have to hide behind our problems. And while some of us now have to step backwards and overcome the crises we have created, people in this world exist with real issues to conquer. By ignoring the temptation to complain every chance we get, we could be making way for potential self-improvement (equally as selfish, but much easier than trying to remember compulsive lies—win, win!) When we stop forcing others to sympathize with our illusionary issues, we may offer support to those who truly need it. Questions? Comments? Questions can be directed to: info@ Or comment online at

Stop Preaching, I Can Make Up My Own Mind By Annalisa Brizuela Union Staffer I believe it was around 7 years ago, during the ‘millennium’ period that I first saw the phrases, “The world is going to end!,” “God’s wrath lies ahead!” and my all time favorite, “The end is near!” posted everywhere— on billboards, bumper stickers, and sometimes even tshirts. Now do you notice how all of those phrases ended with an exclamation point? It’s because if you’re reading it, the religious psycho wants you to know that they would be yelling it in your face if they were there. Honestly, I’m sick of having people force their views on me, especially if those views are about religion. Don’t get me wrong, I have my own views on religion. After all, I grew up in a strict catholic household where I was taught to pray every night and do things such as pray the


rosary or attend a Friday night prayer. But in all of those years I spent being taught how to be a good catholic, I did not once voice/force my opinion on anyone who didn’t want to hear it. I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone by now that religion is a very touchy subject—one that is almost always avoided as much as the subject of abortion, but let’s not get into that topic. So if almost everyone knows that religion is such a sensitive topic, then why still talk about it or even preach it to uninterested parties? Granted you want to “save my soul from the fires of hell,” and thank you for your generosity, but I’d rather save my own soul on my own time. Everyone’s views on life, religion, or politics are all great in my eyes. Hell, I’m even content with the fact that you have a view on any one of those things to begin with. And I will appreciate and always respect those views—so

long as they are not forcefully thrown into my face (and the small spit particles that fly from your mouth onto my face won’t help the situation either). I will only overreact if you overreact. And chances are if you are preaching about religion, you’re pretty much overreacting. But all that your constant preaching is going to do is make me lose my faith that much more. Since I’m in college, I’m already on the bends about my religious views, and it doesn’t help that an (annoying/ arrogant/inconsiderate) outside source is getting in the way of me making up my mind on religion. So do me a favor my fellow religious recruiter, and leave me alone while I am walking towards my destination. Because if you preach in my face about my existing religious views, I will just look at you straight in the eye and preach my opinion in your face. And I won’t be quiet about it either.

Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper

22 October 2007


NEWS You Don’t Know

Surf Community Rallies For Dolphins


By Kyle Moreno Contributor

ave Rastovich is a man of action. Don’t feel bad if that surprises you— for most of us, the word “surfer” still elicits an image of laziness: i.e. the gaping mouth and stupid stare of Ridgemont High’s Jeff Spicoli. That’s not Rasta. The introspective regular foot from Australia’s east coast makes the most of his blessings, using his time, celebrity, and creativity to shine light on a host of sea-related issues. From his work with SurfAid’s tsunami relief to his own awareness organization, Surfers for Cetaceans (, Rastovich has shown us he’s out for more than just a good wave. On October 26th, he’ll continue his efforts—this time in Japan—where he and other surf celebrities will protest the genocide of Japan’s cetaceans and the poisoning of Japanese people. Kyle Moreno: So you’re headed to Japan for the protest this Friday. Tell us more about the issue—what’s going on in Japan? Dave Rastovich: Japan’s fishing industry is the primary pillager of the world’s oceans—the country makes up 3% of the world’s population, but consumes 30% of the world’s commercial seafood. Dolphins, we’ve learned, are ‘harvested’ in numbers of roughly 26,000 each year in Japan alone. Of course, the Japanese people are not to blame—they actually don’t know much about it. The fisheries and government keep the media from telling the story over there. Which is bad news, because there’s a health threat for the people as well. Recent tests have found the dolphin meat to be contaminated with


Calen d a r Oct. 22nd-28th

Mon. Happy Birthday Christopher Lloyd!

Tues. Poet Dorianne Laux Reading in Room 24, USU 7 PM


Model United Nations Beach Auditorium 6:30 PM


Japanese Garden Chrysanthemum Show, 10 AM

dangerously high levels of Mercury and heavy metals. And yet, children throughout Japan are being fed this extremely poisonous meat as part of a government-assisted school lunch program. There’s a lot more information at

KM: How has your experience as a freesurfer shaped your experience as an activist, and vice versa? DR: Creativity. And the knowledge that each of us always has the responsibility to make our own decisions. You know, we say, “Oh, it’s so hard to get by these days with a house, mort- Rastovich (above) has been pro-active in giving back to the gage, etc,’’ but we are the ones that water, and yeah, loves dolphins. (Photo courtesy of Surfline) decide we need a huge house, big truck, love. Naturally, I’m going to do what I can fancy TV and all that crap. Drop the idea that to protect it. you need that stuff and all of a sudden you see a whole lot of space open up. KM: Cool, what’s the next step? DR: We’ll be presenting our Visual Petition to KM: Why do you give back? the Whaling Nations next May 2008 in Chile. DR: The joy of riding waves with dolphins, You know, beach culture is huge and we all have listening to the humpbacks sing under water, the same love of the sea, so this Petition shows all the fun the ocean has given me. And the that we are willing to act on those feelings. terrible thought that our entire generation is too busy making money, watching TV, and KM: How can CSULB students get involved? paying the bills to notice our world is dying. DR: They can visit the Visual Petition website Too busy wrapped up in sport and pretend ( reality TV shows to realize that we were the php) and upload a portrait. Right now, we ones who let the oceans be stripped, the sky want to gather the masses and let the whaling turn brown and the land be raped. Earth is a world know what we think about their actions beautiful place and the ocean is my primary in loud, clear, and cohesive voice.

Disruptive Man Tasered by CSULB Cops News Director There was a car accident last Thursday adjacent to Lot 11 on Palo Verde. A man ran a red light and smashed his car into another vehicle, and then fled the scene only to be apprehended later by University Police. He was cited for hit-and-run and then sent back out with the fishes. Cars colliding with other cars is everyday news here at CSULB, but fortunately for us, this man decided to make last Thursday historic occasion. CSULB are now proud owners of a college Tasering, a title that should not be ignored or disrespected. We are now aligning ourselves with major political campuses, real hell-raisers with students roaming around being, what’s that word, active? Well, not quite. There was no John Kerry or heroics of student activism. Just sadness. Later that day, the hit-and-run suspect returned to campus and made a ruckus on the Coffee Bean patio, “screaming ethnic slurs,” many of which pro-Christian/anti-Muslim related, according to a campus-wide email sent by Vice-President Doug Robinson. When the police arrived to find their man causing more trouble, the suspect charged the cops and “struck” one officer. At this point, there are two

By Chris Barrett Science

To Live and Die in LAX

KM: Who else is involved in the effort? DR: Kelly Slater, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, John Butler, Wolfmother, Xavier Rudd, you name it. Everyone I have spoken to is outraged.

By Vincent Girimonte

But Should

possible explanations: this man has used judgment not unlike that of a mentally ill person or he is in fact mentally ill. The latter has proven to be the case. All reports have verified the officers’ tact in managing the situation, even going as far to raise their Tasers in the air warning of eminent electrocution. All reports have also mentioned the man’s chaotic disposition, leaving University Police no choice but to neutralize the suspect with a quick zap. Witnesses gathered in mass, according to Mike Veremans, Junior English major. It was an event Coffee Bean had never before seen, and our police behaved commendably. According to Robinson, paramedics concluded the man was mentally unstable and had been neglecting his medication prior to the incident. He was escorted off campus for medical and psychiatric evaluation. Last Thursday’s dramatics are indeed rare for this campus, but police caution students to be on the lookout for suspicious characters. This, of course, excludes the duo toting signs of damnation to those who practice Judaism or female mouthy-ness or something similar; the campus is well aware of those two. Questions? Comments? Vince Girimonte can be reached at Or comment online at

A study conducted over the past year and released recently has found that the TSA failed to detect 75% of the fake bombs that went through security check points in LAX and 60% of those that went through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. This is in sharp contrast with the 20% that got through the San Francisco International Airport over the same time period, an airport that happens to be monitored by a private security firm rather than TSA. This comes as a surprise to many, as baggage screeners were specifically trained to look for the types of contraband the study involved in Fall of 2005, right before the start of the study. Studies conducted by other governmental departments in the past have shown similar failures and have placed the blame on many factors but the fact remains that the major difference between TSA screeners and those employed by private firms is the amount of continuous training and testing required. The TSA claims it has taken many steps to improve screening after the study ended last year, but I wonder…if they aren’t even checking for bombs why does it take three hours to get through the line for a goddamn half-hour flight to San Jose?

Cops’ Perpetual Angst Explained Investigation began this past week into six New York City police officers’ alleged illegal use of anabolic steroids. Although the consequences for being found guilty include being labeled a felon for life, the loss of their career, and jail time, these officers are indicative of a growing trend in the American police force. Across the country police officers increasingly are abusing steroids and many incidents of extreme police brutality are now being linked with steroidinduced rage. Spokane, Washington police psychologist Gene Sanders estimates that as much as 25% of urban police officers use steroids regularly. For many, steroids are a way to remain as physically able as the criminals they must handle despite the disparity in age and time devoted to fitness. Decades ago police ranked below firefighters and inmates in fitness and this led to a surge in steroid use in the 1990’s. Unfortunately anabolic steroids’ effectiveness is also what leads to many officers’ downfalls. As the benefits become apparent usage usually increases which leads to mood swings, irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment. All of this culminates in violence, confrontations between members of the force, and eventually investigations.

Mon. 22nd Tues. 23rd Wed. 24th Thur. 25th Fri. 26th Your Weekend Hi 86° Lo 61° Hi 87 ° L0 66° Hi 89° Lo 61° Hi 84° Lo 59° Hi 72° Lo 57° Hot Why? Al Gore! Still Shit A Reprieve 22 October 2007

Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper

Hi 72° Lo 67° Brunch Weather



Quote O’ The Week

“Notre Dame is the only team in Division 1 football that has only played opponents with winning records.” - Vince Girimonte “They’ve all got winning records because they play against Notre Dame.” - Everyone else in the Union office.

The Anatomy of a Dynasty By Ryan ZumMallen


Sports Editor

t’s not supposed to be easy to turn a sub-average college sports team into a nationally-known regional powerhouse. The transformation is painstakingly slow—like melting a glacier, or FEMA. But no one told CSULB women’s soccer head coach Mauricio Ingrassia, who’s been making a mockery of that outdated philosophy since he arrived on campus. Once upon a time not long ago, when little attention was paid to a struggling Long Beach State women’s soccer program, the legend of Mauricio Ingrassia was forming right down the street at LBCC. The Vikings captured—count ‘em—four consecutive DII national titles, and racked up 55 straight victories. On May 24, 2004, Coach Midas and his sterling reputation agreed to lead the 49er charge. Armed with high expectations and a top-notch staff, Ingrassia was about to change CSULB women’s soccer forever. All he would need now was the players to do it. Senior forward Katelyn Quaresma is one of just two 49ers remaining from the 2004 team that posted a mediocre 6-9-3 record in Ingrassia’s first season at the helm. “In general, as a team, we saw what [Ingrassia] saw and believed in it,” she says. “It was hard, and that’s why there are only two true seniors on the team. The people who

stuck it out saw it and believed in it.” Ingrassia’s master plan was taking shape. Drawing upon his local connections and a renewed team attitude, recruits that normally would have paid no mind began to sign up. In Katelyn’s words, “We started to get a lot of very, very good players.” Sara Baca was the first prized recruit in a 2005 freshman class that ranked 15th in the nation—the highest national recruiting rank the school had ever posted. Having played for Ingrassia at the club level, Baca—a 5’7 defender from Ventura who ranked in the Top 50 in her class—knew that if her coach could get the players he wanted, the 49ers would instantly become a force. “He told me, ‘I’m going to use you as a selling point,’” she says. As the program’s first major recruit, Baca would be immediately relied on to draw similar talent. She did her part, and by the end of the 2005 recruiting season the 49ers boasted three other Top100 recruits, in what would become the most heralded freshman class in the program’s history. “Here I am, taking this big risk, you know, and it paid off.” The ‘Niners posted a 12-5-3 record in 2005—relying heavily on that hyped freshman class—then 14-5-1 in 2006. Records were shattered all along the way: it was the best record in team history and first conference title, highest-ever national ranking (#21), and the old shutout record—set the year prior—was

smashed. Sophomores Hayley Bolt and Kim Silos earned All-Region honors—the first such honor for any 49er— and sophomore keeper Liz Ramos became the school’s all-time shutouts leader…in two seasons. Photo by Russell Conroy “It’s the little things,” Coach Ingrassia has created a monster in just a few short seasons. says Quaresma. “You accomplish more little things with each year. other recruit imported thanks to Ingrassia’s Every year you build on something, and each local ties—is learning fast that on-field sucyear [the expectations] build, and that’s how cess has a lot to do with mentality. you make a winning program.” “I came to watch the games [while being Though Quaresma has been around long recruited] and you could feel that they were enough to remember when times weren’t so more than just teammates—you could tell rosy, Baca has also had a chance to watch the that they were like sisters,” she says. “I feel team grow and evolve. like I have a 2nd family.” “The mentality at first was that we’re Long As CSULB heads into the thick of their Big Beach State and we’re not very well-known,” West Conference schedule—a road not easily she says. “I think we played the underdog role, crossed unscathed—they’ll need those family but we started to realize we could play with ties to survive. More than talent or skill, the [the big programs], and now we’re favored in ‘Niners will rely on the winning mentality— most of our matches. It’s been an adventure.” injected by Ingrassia—to achieve their goals. Playing the underdog card no longer “You believe in something so much that works for a 49er team that’s now nationally it becomes a part of you,” says Quaresma. “It known and regionally feared. Despite a 1-0 has to be. To be a good team and take it to the home loss to CSUF over the weekend, the next level, you have to buy into it. The goal club has already posted 10 wins this season is to make NCAA’s. Last year our goal was and boasts another solid freshman class. to win League, this year it’s to go to NCAA’s, Freshman midfielder Lindsay Bullock—an- and then take it from there.”

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Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper

22 October 2007

Women’s Volleyball Falls In First-Place Battle By Sergio Ascencio


Staff Writer

f the ticket office line outside the ‘Myd wasn’t enough indication of how important this game was, check inside the arena—notice the TV crews and count the shirtless fans. In a heavyweight battle for sole possession of first place atop the Big West leader board, the no. 24 Cal Poly Mustangs wore out the 49ers squad, 3-2, in this instant classic. They say, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” Well, Cal Poly (14-7, 81) started and finished the match strong, knocking the 49ers out in the fifth and final set, 15-8.

“We were just a little out of rhythm in games one and five,” said head coach Brian Gimillaro. “We were almost trying too hard—not very relaxed out there.” The crowd of 1,612 couldn’t relax, either—especially when Long Beach (13-6, 72) came back from a sluggish first set to win two straight sets in a point-for-point clash. The teams combined for 18 lead changes and 37 ties. In fact, the biggest lead throughout those two middle sets was a mere three points by Long Beach, when they won the second set 30-27. Going into the forth set it seemed like Long Beach was ready to deliver the knockout blow, setting the pace with an 82 lead. But the Mustangs rallied back to win the set 30-23. This is a good time to mention that the

game will be televised on delay Monday, October 22 at 6pm on CSTV. Watch and you will see three different 49ers going into the scorers’ table to recover balls, Nicole Vargas’ postman-like distribution, or how Talaya Whitfield has mastered the divedig-and-roll on her way to setting a career high in digs. Quincy Verdin led Long Beach with 16 kills but only had a .171 hit percentage. Her aerodynamic partner, Alexis Crimes, added 14 more kills. But the wild card was Michaela Hasalikova who finished with 13 kills on a game-best .391 hit percentage. Cal Poly was led by Kylie Atherstone’s 30 kills. She was delivering the haymakers all night. Yet, maybe this wasn’t like a heavyweight boxing match. This volleyball match was ac-

[Sports] tually worth admission price. Both teams displayed why they are the best in the conference with a power game complimented by finesse and intelligence. But eventually it came down to who made fewer mistakes. And Long Beach just couldn’t shake off those early mistakes. The Mustangs have now beat Long Beach five times in a row—dating back to 2005 and with seven conference matches left in the schedule—and Long Beach must hope Cal Poly loses to another conference opponent. Plus, the 49ers have got to whip on the rest of their Big West foes. “This was a huge game,” said Coach Gimillaro. “Nobody knows what will happen in the other matches. But these are the two best teams and what happens now—we have to wait and see.”

Get To Know A ‘Niner: Lauren Sims To earn a spot on the women’s basketball team this season, you’re going to have two things: no conscience and no memory. Oh, and talent. So, three things. Anyway, Lauren Sims is going to see plenty of time. The 5’9” sophomore sharpshooter has the ability to launch from N-E-where on the court, and it will probably result in points for Long Beach and humiliation for whoever is guarding her. An aspiring medical student, Sims shot 34% from behind the arc last year, and the young 49ers will need her to take a leadership role if they hope to improve on last season’s disappointing 9-23 record. On This Team Compared To Last Year’s “Already we have a lot more potential from last year. The team is really coming together and we all have a better understanding of what it

takes to be successful. We’ve got more experience now than we did last year, but we’re still really young. We’re really young this year, but last year we were really, really young.” On Her Freshman Season “Last year, I started every game until I got hurt [in the 11th game], and that was hard because I had just come back from knee reconstruction. To have all that hard work taken away again was hard. I got a doubledouble in one game—still don’t know how that happened.” On What She Learned From Last Year “Whenever I get down in practice or discouraged, I think about South Dakota State [an 85-41 road loss]. It was just embarrassing, humiliating, all of that. I use that as a re-

minder of what I don’t want to go back to.” On Her Offseason Workouts “I definitely focused on getting faster. My speed—forward, backward and laterally. Just being quicker, that carries over offensively and defensively. We’re looking to run a lot more. Last year we were looking to run a lot, too—we just weren’t very good at it.” On Her Role On The Team “My role on the team is as a shooter. I look to stretch out the defense. I also try to get everyone involved in the offense. I’m going to be more of a leader this year. Relatively, I have more experience now to build on. I feel like I’m more vocal. Last year I was just trying to figure things out for myself, but this year I’m more ready to help out.”

How She Got Into Basketball “My dad played in high school, and he loves the game to this day. His passion for it carried over to me. For it to give back to you as much as you do to it—we put in three hours a day, but what the game gives back to you isn’t even comparable. It’s pretty amazing how much you can get from playing a sport, basketball in particular.” How She Chose Long Beach State “I’m local [from Fullerton]. I was looking to go back East at first. And I thought that was what I wanted to do. But last minute I decided to come here. I just loved the coaching staff. I knew I’d be happy here and I’m loving it. My dad is a really big fan and I wanted him to be able to watch me.” Questions? Comments? Sports page can be reached at Or comment online at

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Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper





hen I was in 7th grade, my next-door neighbor gave me a burned copy of Kid A, at the time, the newest release from British art rock band Radiohead. At that point, I honestly don’t think I was ready to understand exactly what I was listening to. What I heard was a dark, brooding soundscape of music rooted deeper in electronics than anything I had ever experienced up to that point. What I heard completely changed the way I listen to music. It wasn’t until a few years later, though, that I was able to comprehend exactly why Kid A was such a masterpiece; at first, all I knew was that I had a placating, otherworldly collage of electronic pulses and reverbsoaked vocals. Years later, as my horizons broadened, and my appreciation and familiarity with Radiohead’s catalog grew, I began to realize exactly why Kid A was the work of art that it is, and ultimately, why it did what it did for me.

In 1995, Radiohead put out The Bends, which eschewed the straightforward, Britpop feel of their debut Pablo Honey, favored more textured, art rock flavorings, and effectively broke them into the mainstream. Two years later, the release of OK Computer compounded this effect exponentially, swiftly catapulting Radiohead to international superstardom, at times to the chagrin of the band members, specifically lead singer Thom Yorke (as evidenced in the documentary Meeting People Is Easy). OK Computer is an album laden with Yorke’s paranoia that the 21st Century, with all its technology and innovations, will swallow up the real world and all the people inside it—how ironic, then, that upon its release, Thom and company are immediately engulfed in the stranglehold of the modern international press. Fueled by a classic rock influence (but definitely not without experimentation), OK Computer is widely recognized as being one of the best records made in the last twenty years. One would imagine, then, that having created a highly successful formula with OK Computer (one that it was quite certainly leading up to on The Bends), Radiohead would simply stick to what was continuing to win them massive amounts of critical acclaim. This, however, is where one would be completely wrong. Rather than creating an easy, predictable follow-up to what is easily the most



successful album of their career to date, Radiohead instead chose to retreat to Copenhagen to begin working on Kid A, their fourth studio album. Completely dissatisfied with modern rock and what it had become—specifically, the role his band’s earlier songs had played in it—Thom Yorke decided that he wanted to create an album radically different from anything the band had done in the past. Though this turned out to be something some of the other band members had trouble with, Radiohead eventually created an electronically lush album that heavily featured keyboards, samples, and drum loops, rather than the electric guitars and traditional rock elements that dominated their previous records. The result was easily the most challenging album to reach such a level of critical and financial success. Kid A is an album that not only defies easy, uncomplicated listening, but also defies a rock blueprint with which Radiohead had established itself as a creative force to be reckoned with on an international level. For lack of a better term, imagining the balls it took to execute a move like this is simply staggering. Until I was able to completely comprehend exactly what Kid A represented, it was just a very soothing album that I could put on before I went to bed. Eventually (probably at some point during high school), I was able to realize that Radiohead had done something far too few bands have the guts to do today—they made the music they wanted to make. Many might find Kid A difficult, and to an extent, I would agree; it’s certainly not an album that’s for everyone. Structure isn’t always apparent, and guitars are in short supply. Live drums are, for the most part, replaced by beats and blips; keyboards and electric pianos are increasingly prevalent; and Thom Yorke’s voice, filtered and computeraugmented, assumes the role of an instrument. As an album, Kid A represents a bold shift in style and substance for Radiohead. For the band, it meant the satisfaction of doing their own thing, regardless of what might have been more traditionally accepted, and for Thom Yorke, it meant finally figuring out a way to please himself, as well as everyone else. And for me, it marked a complete revolution of the way I listen to and understand music.

A RADIOHEAD RETROSPECTIVE I’ll come right out and say it: Pablo Honey is my least favorite Radiohead release. But being in last place ain't too shabby when you’re going head to head against other Radiohead albums. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a great album—better even than most bands will ever make. But it just doesn’t measure up to the band’s later albums. The real gem on the album is the song “Creep,” which is still one of the most popular songs the group has written. But the record is not a fair representation of the band's potential as they proved on their later albums. The lyrics are often repetitive or cliché. The instrumentation is occasionally rather generic. Pablo Honey definetly has it’s moments, though. Moments when you can hear hints of what the band was to become. On it’s own, the album plays like a pretty average early 90’s rock CD, with the only hints that the band was not going to be a one hit wonder being found in songs like “Blow Out,” as well as particular moments of pure genius in songs like “Vegetable”. The album is not bad by any stretch of the’s just not particularly incredible.

For ‘90s alt-rock purists, The Bends is Radiohead’s only great album. For everyone else, The Bends is Radiohead’s first great album. It is important for Radiohead because it is the first time they treated the album like a legitimate art form. Its use of cohesion and lyrical themes lays the groundwork for Radiohead’s future masterpieces, OK Computer and Kid A, and marks the beginning of their relationship with producer Nigel Godrich. The Bends is important to music, because it is influential. Bands like Muse, Coldplay and Travis make a living off thickly textured pop songs and falsetto vocals a la The Bends. Not to mention, the music sounds great. The first four tracks are Pixies-influenced pop songs. “Planet Telex” opens, giving us our first hint of space-rock from the band. The title track is a fun rocker, where Thom sings about “the tanks and the whole Marines” coming to take him away. Track four, the brilliantly written “Fake Plastic Trees,” contains some of Yorke’s most heartfelt vocals. Yorke claims to have broken down in tears after recording the vocal track in one go. The album picks up steam with “Just” and “My Iron Lung.” Yorke describes “Just” as the result of a competition between himself and Jonny Greenwood to see who could get more guitar licks into one song, making it an intense rocker and a fan favorite in live sets. “My Iron Lung” follows in the footsteps of “Just” and at times surpasses it in greatness. “Street Spirit” is the first of many amazing closers to Radiohead albums. This song, written by Ed O’Brien, is at once haunting and uplifting. It first demolishes the listener with verses about “cracked eggs/ dead birds,” then leaves the listener warm inside as Yorke urges you to “immerse your soul in love.”

Thorough critique aside, OK Computer is a mindfuck. Not only does it absolutely ooze with Orwellian dystopia dread and bring the firepower on each and every song, but it entirely ruins the notion of what is expected of an album. The lyrics and art point to a Vonnegut-esque separation of the individual and their planet with emphasis on bittersweet longing and mechanized society. “In the next world war, in a jackknifed juggernaut, I am born again.” The music is ethereal without dragging (the most common sin among space rock acts), and melodic without feeling limited. Echoing guitars bounce a solo around sleigh bell slaps and bleeding snare hits. I feel I should also mention (detachment be damned) that this album both sparked my love of music and scared the childhood out of me. The direction of the album quickly shifts into madness, confinement, and self-loathing. “One day/I’m gonna grow wings/a chemical reaction/ hysterical and useless.” And of course, the final resolution comes in the form of suicide contemplation and the strange liberty that might bring. “I’ll take the quiet life/a handshake of carbon monoxide.” Now I’d hate to give too much away, especially since I’ve imagined most of this supposed story, but the last two songs really close it on a curveball. I’m very happy to add my words to the nearunanimous chorus of critics and listeners who’ve absolutely fellated the album with praise, and I hope/expect you’ll feel the need to give this album another few spins just to reacquaint yourself with all of its understated glory and elegant despondency.

-By Allan Steiner

-By Sean Bernhoft

-By Matt Dupree


Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper

22 October 2007

REVIEWS IN RAINBOWS Radiohead’s newest album, In Rainbows,

In Rainbows makes for a beautiful

addition to Radiohead’s already outstanding discography. Being described around the office as Radiohead’s best baby making music to date, the album feels otherworldly, with a slow pace that sometimes forces the listener into a new mindset. For me, this new mindset consists of increased focus, efficiency, and thoughtfulness. I have gotten more work done in the time I have been listening to this record then I thought was possible. But the album is much more then just a catalyst for productivity. It’s also a milestone in music history. Radiohead was able to turn an album release into an event. Kanye and 50 Cent had their little publicity trick, but what Radiohead has done is revolutionary. Sure, it was partly publicity stunt, but at the same time, it was more of a social experiment: One of the biggest bands in the world announces an album 10 days before releasing it on the internet to everyone (including the press) for whatever the consumer feels comfortable paying. It made people stop and think about what music is worth to them, and that is exactly what the group had intended on doing. And moreso than just a social experiment, this is a fantastic album. I find that I am unable to choose a single favorite song on this album. Everytime I think I have found a favorite, I realize I love another song more. But right now, my three top songs are “Nude,” “Weird Fishes,” and “Videotape”. Each and every song sounds completely different, making the album’s replay value incredibly high.

is the definition of the phrase “a strong effort” as it’s used to critique music. While not showing many deficiencies, it isn’t a breakthrough either. One of the weakest points is the quality of the recording. For some reason, In Rainbows was released only with high compression low quality MP3s. While some conspiracy theorists say this is a sign that Radiohead is planning on releasing a high quality version later on, that you will HAVE to pay for, I personally think that might just be a misguided artistic choice. The other major problem is that the album blends together to make one amorphous blob, a pretty sounding amorphous blob, but a blob nonetheless. Everything from “Nude” to “House of Cards” sounds like an epic solo of sleepy music. Its good sleepy music, but it lacks variation, it lacks punch. One thing it doesn’t lack is invention. Like Kid A and Amnesiac, In Rainbows feels like a Radiohead album while at the same time having very little tying it to past albums. Every time you think you have a song pegged as the next "Creep," or "Optimistic," it changes up and becomes thing incomparable to other Radiohead. Sonically, the album features an array of traditional instruments and electronic samples, often blended in a manner more deft than most DJs can dream of. Songs twist from being driven by drum machine, to being driven by vocals, to being driven by piano. It’s a little hard to take in at once, but that’s what makes Radiohead so enjoyable. Like a good play, each indivual instrument shines, without stealing the scene. Yorke’s somber, sexy vocals feel like just another instrument at the band’s disposal, flawlessly interweaving between singing solo, melody or rhythm. While I couldn’t say this is the best thing Radiohead has done, it's “a strong effort.”

-By Allan Steiner

-By Dylan Little

Some bands just know how to make really, really good music. With Kid A, their fourth album, the Oxford-based Radiohead proved to the world that they can pretty much do whatever the fuck they want…and it’ll be great. After the release of the largely accessible and critically lauded OK Computer, Thom Yorke and Co. holed up for a few years, completely rethinking their plan of attack. Opting to abandon their then-familiar guitar-based approach, Radiohead created a very dark and densely layered record rooted in the unfamiliar territory of electronica, laced with influences ranging from krautrock to Charles Mingus. From the dancey “Idioteque” to the strange, alien lullaby of “Kid A,” to the jazzy breakdown of “The National Anthem,” Kid A is a collage of influences used in a painting by a band clearly thirsty for a new way to express itself. Fed up with the traditional guitar-based rock for which they had become known, Radiohead turned for inspiration to the far corners of musical spectrum, and then threw everything together in one brooding masterpiece. With Kid A, Radiohead broke a some serious rules, and it would seem that rock & roll is all the better because of it.

-By Sean Boulger

22 October 2007

The strength of Amnesiac is its cohesive mood. It is claustrophobic and haunting record, but it is also a warm and comforting record. The opening track, “Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box,” is at once hypnotizing and enlivening. Colin Greenwood’s bass weaves in and out of synthesized beats while Thom Yorke croons, “I’m a reasonable man, get off my case.” It’s a perfect tonic for road rage or the frustration of wading through heavy traffic. After “Packt,” the tempo shifts down into “Pyramid Song,” a track that is sprinkled with existentialist beauty and lush detail, ending with Yorke’s reassurance that there is “nothing to fear, nothing to doubt.” “I Might Be Wrong,” is a clear standout track. The song strings you along with a repetitive drop D guitar riff, and culminates into a false ending. The beat comes back in, Yorke croons, and the guitar riff returns for a short but gratifying ending. “Knives Out” follows, sporting what appears to be a guitar line nicked from OK Computer’s “Paranoid Android.” Eventually, the disc closes out with marvelously dreary bit of electrojazz. Yorke’s disappointed vocals mingle with a morose brass ensemble, and the track plods along until York exclaims over a syncopated beat and crashing cymbals that “of course [he]’d like to sit around and chat/only/there’s someone listening in.” “Life in a Glasshouse,” sounds like an anthem to an Orwellian dystopia. It’s a beautiful piece of art. Where this album suffers is with its inclusion of multiple throwaway tracks. “Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors” is a failed sonic experiment; its drums sputter about aimlessly, while Robot-Yorke babbles on about doors. “Morning Bell/Amnesiac” and “Like Spinning Plates” seem relatively uninspired and, while it sounds kind of neat, “Hunting Bears” has little substance. Amnesiac is a good record, but it’s nobody’s favorite.

-By Sean Bernhoft

Hail to the Thief should be called A Beginner's Guide to Radiohead. It contains all the classic Radiohead elements without being so Radiohead it's intimidating (see Amensiac). Starting out with one of the most rocking Radiohead tracks, “2+2=5,” and ending with the disquieting “A Wolf at the Door,” it has shades of every Radiohead album. It rocks like The Bends, without the tinge of the early nineties. It broods with atmospheric tracks, such as "The Gloaming," without abandoning the casual listener without any semblance of traditional pop music. It even has a trance song a la Kid A’s “Idotique” in the track “Myxomatosis”. While generally favorable, being a causal guide to Radiohead has its down side. Many fans and critics describe it as being unoriginal, which is forgivable for a band like Radiohead, that thrives on reinvention. The album, barring a few exceptions, also doesn’t play to one of Radiohead’s other great strengths, Thom Yorke’s voice. While “There, There” and “We Suck Young Blood” are outstanding, the rest of Yorke's vocals are less pronounced, seeming almost artificially subdued. However, the rest of the band is perfect. The album features the best guitar work that Radiohead has done since “Paranoid Android”. Whether is frentic solos like in “2+2=5” or haunting sober melody like in “A Wolf at the Door,” all the guitar on this album is remarkable. The rhythm section is also in top form, especially in “A Drunken Punchup at a Wedding” featuring 100% more funky bass than previous albums. If you are a Radiohead fan, hopefully you didn’t write this album off (I mean, if you are looking to snub a Radiohead album, pick Pablo Honey). If you aren’t, this is a great place to start. Passing Hail to the Thief up would be like getting flan in the face.

Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper

-By Dylan Little


Over the Hills and Into the Wild A Review of Into the Wild

his deep pontifications. However, regardless of whether you like Supertramp or not, by the end of the film you’re able to understand him due to the quality writing/directing from Penn and Krakauer.

By Cynthia Romanowski


riter-director Sean Penn’s Into the Wild follows the journey of a disgruntled college graduate who gives his grad school fund to charity, travels across the U.S. and eventually ends up living off the land alone in the Alaskan wilderness. The film is Penn’s adaptation of the 1996 best-selling nonfiction novel of the same name by Jon Krakauer. According to Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, the adaptation “stays true to the source.” This is astonishing, considering the outrageous people, places and things the 23 year-old Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) encounters throughout his adventure. The story unfolds in a non-linear fashion, but is easy to follow with chapters that provide structure and make the two-and-ahalf hour running time a bit easier to digest. “Careers are a 20th century invention,” says McCandless who, after cutting up his ID and lighting his social security card on fire, decides to rename himself Alexander Supertramp. Supertramp is one of those classic characters who you don’t know whether to love or hate. Throughout the On a high note, Vince film he’s always rambling off journal entries that are supVaughn plays a small part posed to be poetic and profound. In one instance he parallustration by as a heavy-drinking wheat phrases Henry Thoreau: “Rather than love, than money, Paul Hovland farmer named Wayne. Vaughn than faith, than fame, than fairness, give me truth.” Long Beach Union Wkly Oct. 22 Many times the colorful cast of characters he meets plays the same role he does in just about every movie he’s in, along the way would try to save him from drowning in all drunk with wrinkled brows, a look of utter concern, an ob-

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noxious voice repeating the same phrase over and over until finally you can’t help but laugh. Another area of the film that shouldn’t go unmentioned is the cinematography. Penn worked with French cinematographer Eric Gautier who created panning and slow motion shots, that were on par with shots taken by National Geographic. In some ways this film is Motorcycle Diaries for the United States in that the majority of its time is spent covering Supertramp’s road trip. The real star of course, is Hirsch, who lost 40 pounds for the scenes involving Supertramp’s dramatic struggles in the Alaskan terrain (which is cool because it’s always fun to watch actors look all suckedup and heroin-chic). My only gripe is that he’s just not funny and believe me attempts were made. But this could have been the directing. Otherwise, the real power came from in his interactions with different characters: his nervousness with the girl he liked, his playful banter with the emotional old man he befriends and his formality with his parents. In reality, we all act according to each separate encounter, Hirsch’s fluctuations were precise and believable. Like most revolutions, this film ends with a lesson learned and ultimately a tragedy. With the character development, non-linear unfolding of events and bold choices in shots and sound effects in the final scenes, the ending of Into the Wild is worth while, even considering the very—make that extremely, long wait.


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22 October 2007

This is Why Movies Get Shelved A Review of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford


he Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a mesmerizing film. A beautiful, haunting, and ultimately bizarre tale of the restless souls of sullied men and the fight to achieve worth, the human plight; all of that. Also, it is long, really, really, long. And also boring. Ridiculously boring. Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge its curious degree of self indulgence, as if no audience ever would have to actually watch it. Well, actually, very few people will ultimately end up watching it, but the idea that a filmmaker would submit this film as a finished project is unthinkable. Scenes linger on indiscriminately for no apparent reason. Cut to time-lapse clouds on the open plain. It’s just such a lumbering beast of a thing. But also possibly brilliant, and also probably terrible. It’s really kind of hard to tell. Because it could be good, but the pacing is like hacking through your own leg with a rusty saw you found in the garage, biting on a stick to ease the pain. Time passes, or

does it? And then there is more. Much more. The film intends to be about the extremes a man will pursue in order to be important. How a man needs to be known, to be significant, known, and as its character study it offers Casey Affleck (who apparently sucked all the acting talent out of the gene pool) as a squirrelly and sensitive, Robert Ford. Often just the facial ticks of the pale and fidgety outlaw are all that fill the screen, and then there’s Brad Pitt (who also Executive Produced this mess of a film, which is probably the reason for its artistic opulence), never quite hitting the mark in settling into his task of being more than just a striking pair of eyes peering out of his beautiful man-face. He plays an interesting character, and he plays that character well, but the problem here is that character doesn’t fit with who Jesse James needs to be for this film to function. And like the entire film, it feels oh so close to being right, but not quite. If the picture were to be re-edited by Terrence Malick, who the film wants desperately to be like, it might be great. Might. But as it stands, it only has moments of excellence, grand flourishes of Photos Courtesy of Warner Bros. truly transfixing cinema, and there are many, but

then it plods along, ballooning into a two-and-a-half hour masterpiece that’s lacking the masterpiece. And freeze the frame here for no reason besides misguided pretension, and… great. Bottom line: if you love Malick, and love Brad Pitt, and you don’t fall asleep easily, and you have plenty of time to kill, and you have no quarrels with snorting lines of cocaine off the theater arm rest just to stay focused, and you like name dropping movies that no one else has seen because you think it is cool (it’s not), then, maybe, you just might like this movie. It is possibly a great movie, it just spends so long obscuring its own greatness with bullshit, that there’s a good chance you will walk out like many of the folks at my screening. So, for everyone else out there, which is pretty much everyone in general, I’d suggest just letting this one pass you by. It’s mostly just kind of frustrating. -By Jason Oppliger

We Loan the Night (From The Departed) A Review of We Own the Night

Reel News Dan in Real Life

Buena Vista Pictures PG-13 This flick is about a single dad (as played by Steve Carrell) who writes an advice column (but can’t get his own life together!) and then falls for his brother’s girlfriend. And so long as they can dial down the douchebag factor by way of brutally killing Dane Cook within the first ten minutes of the movie, it should be a lark.

Saw IV

Lions Gate Films R Photos Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Though I didn’t necessarily realize it at first, We Own the Night might very well owe its existence to The Departed. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an outright knockoff…but Scorsese’s latest crowdpleaser was undeniably an influence in one way or another. That being said, however, We Own the Night is definitely a film that can stand on its own, with or without its Bostonian counterpart. Telling the story of two brothers that start out on opposite ends of the law, We Own the Night stars Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg as Bobby Green and Joseph Grusinsky, respectively. Bobby is the manager of a Russian-owned nightclub where “Heart of Glass” plays on repeat. He’s got a smoking hot, Puerto Rican girlfriend (Eva Mendes, who manages not to be completely shitty), a bunch of cool buddies, and he loves him some cocaine. Joseph, on the other hand, is an up-and-coming New York policeman. He’s got a family that loves him, and his dad is Burt Grusinsky, the living legend chief of police, played by Robert Duvall, in full tough/old fashioned, but at the same time loving father mode. What more needs to be said? You’ve got your movie right there, and I think that might actually be where this film’s flaws lie. The conflict here is far too obvious. Two brothers with conflicting priorities: jobs, personal lives, and allegiances to opposing sides in the conflict of the streets? The movie practically writes itself! Of course, that doesn’t make We Own the Night a complete failure…in fact, I wouldn’t call it a failure at all. Director James Gray definitely isn’t setting any new industry standards here, but what he’s created is a fun, effective, and very entertaining film.

22 October 2007

Sure, We Own the Night isn’t going to make you think about it after you’ve left the theatre, but for two hours, Phoenix lights up the screen with his usual electricity, and Mark Wahlberg gets in people’s faces. Good times, as far as I’m concerned, though it’s worth nothing that Wahlberg might very well be the John Heder of tough-guy typecasting. He seems to have acted himself into a little bit of a corner, but interestingly enough, he’s doing it by earning himself Oscar nominations. We know Wahlberg can be a super tough guy who doesn’t take no bullshit from nobody. We’ve seen that a few times now, and for any other actor, enough would be enough. But he pulls it off so effectively, and in such an endearing way that you just can’t help but love the guy. He’s not quite as ridiculously badass as he is in The Departed, but his tough-as-nails New York cop persona is convincing as anything else he’s done, and his sibling rivalry is alive and real with Phoenix, who—as usual—seamlessly slips into his role. His swagger and bravado are beautifully executed, and his inner conflict as he thumbs his nose at the legacy his family has built is important to the effectiveness of the film as a whole. Gray handles onscreen tension like a pro, skillfully creating scenes where the suspense is positively crackling; The climactic car chase sequence—done this time around with nothing but a heartbeat-like pulsing on the soundtrack, as opposed to the usual Transformers-esque hard rock—will leave fingernail marks on the arm rest next to you (or on the forearm of your significant other). -By Sean Boulger

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I’m not even going to watch the trailer, because I can probably guess what it’s about. And so can you. It’s just another braindead splatterfest where people get raped and brutalized to edgy camera work for a ninety minutes. For some reason these movies keep on selling. So I don’t blame the money-grubbing studios, I blame you, the public, that insists on funding these cinematic attrocites. Damn your eyes.

Rails & Ties

Warner Independent Pictures PG-13 I’m only going to bring this movie up because it’s directed by one of Clint Eastwood’s (legitimate) daughters. I don’t know. It’s about suicide or a train or something. I really wasn’t paying attention to the trailer. It’s got Kevin Bacon in it, though. And that guy is always a barrel of laughs. This is a pretty bleak week. Isn’t The Darjeeling Limited or Jesse James out in more than three fucking theaters worldwide yet?


Songs From the Shooting Gallery

I’m A Lebowski, You’re A Lebowski

By Tony O’Neill

Bloomsbury USA 256 Pages $16.95

Poems 1999-2006 Burning Shore Press 154 Pages $14.00

Reviewed by Ryan Kobane

Reviewed by Philip Vargas


o fall into the abyss and live to tell about it is a feat that too few have lived to talk about. Even fewer are those who have not only pulled themselves from the depths of their drug-induced self destruction, but who have also made a new life for themselves. Songs from the Shooting Gallery: Poems from 1999-2006 is a collection of poems by Tony O’Neill that tell just that tale. Tony O’Neill didn’t just write the words that are printed on the pages of The Shooting Gallery, he lived them. His life took off with a promising start as a musician, playing keyboards for such bands as The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Marc Almond. But what seemed to be the beginning of a promising career was actually the peak of his success. Soon after moving to Los Angeles under his newfound fame, O’Neill’s life crumbled beneath him in a vortex of heroin and crack. Soon after beginning his path to recovery, he began to write about his experience of the Hollywood Dream. Now free of his addiction, O’Neill lives in New York with his wife and baby girl, where he continues to write and work towards a better future. The poems scattered through the 153 pages of the book tell the true-life account of the writer as he walked the dark and dingy streets strung out on whatever he could find. Another story that is told amidst his poetry is that of the struggle to pull himself free of the darkness and to find freedom and hope. While there are some poems that fall short of greatness, there stand a few that shine brighter than the rest, revealing a world of shadows and death from the distorted view of an addict. The collection reads more as an autobiography than anything else as O’Neill writes about drug dealing pimps, strung out ex-lovers, and the taste of desperation on his lips for one more fix. From time to time there is the occasional poem which touches upon something other than the world of drugs and addiction but these works feel less genuine standing next to the tales of an addict’s vision of a world, which is both heaven and hell. From his first poem to the last, the rollercoaster of his life with its ups and downs, is a ride that leaves the reader reeling by the end. While there are a few selections that may be too much for some to experience, the life of O’Neill, as portrayed in The Shooting Gallery is one that is not to be relived by the faint of heart. If you believe yourself to be a person that can handle the experiences of a man whom has lived on the razor edge, then fix yourself up with a dose of The Shooting Gallery. You won’t be disappointed.


By Bill Green, Ben Peskoe, Scott Shuffitt, & Will Russell

This book couldn’t have found its way into this office at a better time. It was the first few weeks of the semester and to put it plainly, I was not living the kind of life The Dude would have been proud of. I was stressing out, drinking lots of expensive beer instead of Caucasians, and I had just paid my rent, on time! So when I took this little piece of philosophical genius home I decided a few things. The first being, in no way would I rush through I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski. And secondly, I would in no way read the entire thing. If there is anything less Dude than reading an entire book, then I don’t know what is. So that was that, the book sat atop a stack of magazines in my lavatory and was opened only when I needed some inspiration. This first thing you need to know about this book is that it is in no way a book. It’s more of a guide or moral compass if you will, than anything else. Jeff Bridges, the Dude himself, wrote the foreword, so that was cool, and at a sprawling three pages, it proves to be some of the greatest recent American philosophy I’ve read in some time. He breaks down how to live a life of fulfillment, and explains that being comfortable with what you’ve got is the most important thing anyone can understand; great stuff, really.

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But for me the high point came during the transcript of an impromptu phone call to John Goodman. I can see it now, shining his shotgun for no reason during the middle of the day, and some random guy calls ruining his peace. If anything the interview which almost ended after the first question, made me believe that Goodman never completely left his role as Walter behind. The interview was as much scary as it was hilarious, but Goodman owns, we all know that. Honestly, I think I would be doing the Dude an injustice to suggest that you buy this. While it does have its funny parts, if you’ve seen the movie over ten times you know everything the guide has to say anyway. I suggest you buy a bottle of Kahlua, vodka, and some half and half instead and call it a day.

22 October 2007

Creative Arts

By Cynthia Romanowski


he Circus Punks opening reception went Katie Gallagher, a gallery goer supporting a friend of a friend. off Saturday, October 13 at the Go That was true except for the friend of the Rilla Gallery in Orange. Circus friend she was there for— Tommii Lim. He Punks are the foot-tall knock-down explained that his punk dealt with truth dolls with fuzzy edges used at carnival and lies and how others try to follow booths. Traditionally, you throw bottles certain righteous people whether at them and win prizes, but at this art it’s political or religious and how show these dolls are hand-painted by you can’t trust anyone 100%. So artists and sold for $200-450 dollars. on one side of his doll he painted So far Circus Punks has been a fist in the air like “Fight the shown in New York and Pasadena. This Power” and on the other side year’s show in Orange is a retrospective he has fingers crossed. All this is displaying 275 punks. Of these 275, done in vivid pinks and greens set 76 are hand-painted, 90 are mass against a black background with produced or screen-printed and the green fuzz. Overall, the opening rest are mixed media creations. reception was a huge success: Local punk rock band The Johns great turnout, lots to take in and were there to play a short set. The the perfect band. The event was Johns lead singer Rob Milucky was sponsored by Harvey’s, makers quite the Circus Punks enthusiast. of the seatbelt bags, for more “I wanna buy one! I like Jason information on Circus Punks Maloney’s....It’s Raggedy Ann, visit with a knife and her sidekicks and to visit Go Rilla Gallery head in back, it’s great. Everyone visit should have that in their Art Work By Rob Kruse living room.” said Milucky. Acrylic on Canvas Later, I caught up with Maloney and found that his handpainted punk was actually Raggedy Fran, Raggedy Ann’s psycho-evil-goth-step-sister. That was the the best part of the show. Many of the artist were present and most Long Oct 22Send in any doodles you’ve drawn in class and we’ll of the Beach punks Union had a story. “A lot of them seemed to print them for the world to see! Send all Drawings be monster oriented” said to by October 25th.

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[Random Reviews] On Experimental College Lesbianism

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On White People Goings-Ons





By Dominic McDonald







out of six randomly put it in the side of my polled white friends bag to throw away later. of mine agree that white people will put a piece of trash in their pocket rather than throwing it on the ground. I came to this realization as I waited for the bus one day on 7th and Orange. I was By Michaël A. eating a Clif Bar and finished it, Veremans Esq. (vernietig romantiek) being irrevocaIt was only when I bly left with the wrapper. Even though the trash- found it during a class can was nearby the bus that I realized that this stop I decided to careful- was a strange behavior, ly fold the wrapper and holding onto trash, and I immediately equated it with the oversensitive oversensipseudomodern tive pseuEuroAmerican domodern girls really are better at everything, mentality.

t’s a common tale: liberal female college student sets out to resolve daddy issues through sexual experimentation. I’m speaking of the lesbian experience. Now, I’m no feminist, although I do sometimes worry that I use my womanhood as a crutch, but the thought becomes clear that there is no better way to prove you don’t need a man and have found true independence than to hook up with chicks. —— Hey, I said I wasn’t a This is an idea I endorse wholeheartedly, but it feminist is important to understand that there is a time and a place. The guidelines are as follows: all girl-on-girl action must be done without the accompaniment of males. This rule applies because this is exactly the kind of validation you’re trying to avoid. Only then will you realize that: (a) you don’t need a man,

(b) may seem like I want attention, but I really don’t want all of it, at least and (c) vaginas are nasty. I might also suggest that the when it comes to academics. other participant be straight and not a close friend. My professor in my black studAnd as a side note, if you are an avid listenies class has expressed to me that he er of K.D. Lang and the Indigo Girls, you should doesn’t believe that I am working to my avoid this experiment altogether—your roommates full potential. Well, I could have told are suspicious enough as it is. If this, howhim that. But he then asked one of the ever, is not a goal of yours and you still feel most difficult questions anyone has the need to validate and solidify your insecuever asked—w?h?y? rities by hooking up with random guys, then, I know why and I didn’t have all day to by all means, obtain a male audience. Perhaps explain. This is a personal problem that it’s unfair of me to assume women everywhere can I have faced in my life since I got a overcome deep psychological problems by hooking my first in a class. up with other girls—hell, it’s probably creating Here is the “honor stuSo to stay out of more. Oh well, you’re in college, you’re slutty, dent” slacking and (That’s a lot of the academic limeand you’ll pay for it later. making everyone he repre- people waiting light, I get my By Rachel Rufrano sents look bad. That’s the for me to fuck up ’s and thing see, I don’t want to [at least that’s averages and quietrepresent that many people, how I feel]). ly turn in my work, Right now I’m to avoid that fact as much as possible. at least not right now: no questions asked. in the middle of 1. My family 2. my generation 3. my culture 4. my historic predecessors a decision——— be the best student I can be. fin.


What I mean to say is that it’s a white people thing to hold onto trash rather than just throwin g


On Thinking, Therefore, Can’ting




Long Beach Union Weekly • The Students’ Newspaper

street. It’s as well. Our city streets are well kept and any trash would be soon discarded of. It’s courtesy, perhaps a fear of the ominously growing littering fine. people thing—closer than we thought.

Maybe it’s just a white to homelessness


22 October 2007



Girly-Girl By Christropher Troutman

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22 October 2007

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Dumbledore Finally Succumbs to Harry’s Oozing Sensuality.

Man Dives From Plane for Ultimate Prank


See Banged On! Bomb Squad! page 11


Thom Yorke’s New T-Shirt Has Fans Searching Frantically

In Lamebows: Bearded white kids have already checked in-between the couch cushions.

Nirvana/Meat Loaf Collaboration Was “So Close”

Best Laid Plans: Creative gold a dorsal fin away.

Study: America Really Selling in America

John Melancholy: Like a hammock hung between two trucks where Jack and Diane are barebacking.


See Erectus page 7

Peter O’Toole Hits a Walk-Off Homer in Game 4 of NLCS, Nation Doesn’t Notice By Earl Grey GRUNION BLOC DENVER, CO- Sir Peter O’Toole pinchhit for the Rockies’ Todd Helton and hit a 476 foot walk-off home run in game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Monday; a spectacle that was seen by almost no one outside of Coors Field, according to the Nielsen TV Rating System. The incident occurred in the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Diamondbacks ahead of the Rockies by a run. After Troy Tulowitzi singled with one out and Matt Holliday popped out to center field, a naked and drunk O’Toole took to the field from his luxury box suite. He evaded security long enough to escape into the home clubhouse, only to return moments later in a Rockies uniform to pinch-hit for the number 4 batter, Helton. “I sort of wanted to see what he would do,” said Rockies Manager Clint Hurdle. “It isn’t like this is the American League or anything.” Umpires, Fans, and the opposing team also seemed indifferent to this last-minute change in the roster as O’Toole stumbled to

the plate and swung at the first pich he saw, a hanging slider that the Lawrence of Arabia star took to the right field upper deck, clinching the NL Championship for Colorado. The Diamondbacks initially did nothing to argue the loss, expecting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to forfieght the game due to an illegal addition to the 40-man postseason roster. But Selig had not watched the game. Instead he had caught the new episode of The Office with his wife back at his home in Milwaukee. When asked about the Game 4 results, he appeared to unsure of Ol’ Pete: who was playing in the first place. “I am convinced that the game between the Denver Cubbies and the Arizona Cardinals ended in a manner in accordance with MLB guidelines” Turns out, no one else saw it either. TBS’s ratings for Monday night reveal that roughly 4 households watched the game, all of which were claimed by Arizona Pitcher Brandon Webb’s immediate family. The Associated Press was also in the dark

Again proving that he is, in fact, still alive.

about the events that transpired in Denver. Some headlines read “Colorado Wins Other League Thing” while most covered American League Series between the Red Sox and the Indians. This reporter was completely unaware that the NLCS had even reached Game 4, thinking that the National League played some backwards two game series where the outfielders were responsible for mowing the grass for the next NFL game.

I Don’t Exactly Love Everyone, Per Se By Jesus Christ GRUNION ACE I’ve heard your babbling for some time now, all of you assholes speaking with indignant tongues that your man, Me, loves all who wander Earth. Well, that has simply never been the case. I pose a simple question to my humble followers: Do you think loving everything on this planet, every toothless whore, polar bear, football player, Gaucho, mongoloid idiot, and pedophile is remotely possible, even when considering my awesome powers and attentive staff? No, I cannot and do not love everyone. You seem eager to divide into clusters of causes and fights that, frankly, I could give a fuck about. You all look and whine the same to me. I can’t tell a Jew from a dolphin anymore. Not that I deal with your prayers, anyway. I have a call center for that. Jesus needs to work on his short game. Truthfully, you’d be much better off if more people managed to die sooner. My time on Earth was pretty dreary, and I wouldn’t dare bore you with the notorious details of my demise. Sure, I got laid every so often. My game was promising light at the end of this so-called tunnel. Shit like that. Chicks ate the divinity thing up. It’s a little insulting to hear this nonsense that I was celibate throughout my life. You’ve seen those historical paintings of me glowing five feet off the ground, Germanic features, perfectly sculpted hair with a pedicure. Imagine the shepherd’s daughters, such a vision like Jesus before them. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. With that said, the ass on the planet will never come close to the talent running around the Pearly Gates. Every dead hot chick goes straight to heaven. The less amount of time spent on Earth means more rim-jobs from Norma Jean in the sky. Whether or not I love gay people seems to be a big issue for you guys. I’m not sure why really, but then again I’m not sure why you would worship a woodcutter from Nazareth either. I have no problems with the gays, but make sure to keep in mind I’m very, very old. Homosexuality did not exist while I was young bull in Israel, and yeah, I probably would have said some mean shit to those fags had they been around. But the thing about Jesus is that he’s willing to change with the times. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t have gay people in heaven, but your campaign is turning some heads up here. Keep it

Chopper On Water: The “H”? Oh that stands for Hog, baby.

up and you just might get an invite to the world’s greatest party. I have nothing against any human. The truth of the matter is that they’re just way too many of you. I had roughly twelve friends prior to my death…well, eleven. If I love you all, then whom do I really love?

Disclaimer: The Grunion is now more than 3 decades old, and we have only become more debonair with age. But there is one thing that has not changed in our epic, occasionally violent history: We still are neither ASI nor GOP. The views and opinions explicitly stated or alluded to on this page still do not represent the views and opinions of the CSULB campus, nor do they necessarily adhere to the moral fabric of the writers. We do this to secure the cheap seats in the deeper, more satirical bowels of Hell, and because the elephant in the room is becoming a bit of a sass-mouth. Send rags to I have wasted my life.


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