THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH STUDENTS’ MAGAZINE
12 MAR 2008
VOLUME 62 ISSUE 07
IS ANYONE LISTENING HOW YOUR CSULB STUDENT RADIO STATION MIGHT BECOME A STUDENT RADIO STATION
The Union Weekly Interviews a
Leprechaun And Then We Steal His Gold And Send You To Search For It Intro page for ﬁrst clue
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ISSUE 62.7 RYAN KOBANE Editor-In-Chief ERIN HICKEY Managing Editor MIKE PALLOTTA Associate Editor MATT DUPREE Associate Editor RYAN KOBANE Business Manager VINCENT GIRIMONTE News Director KATHY MIRANDA Opinions Editor RYAN ZUMMALLEN Sports Editor VICTOR CAMBA Comics Editor KATIE REINMAN Creative Arts Editor EARL GREY Grunion Editor ERIN HICKEY Literature Editor & PR MIKE PALLOTTA Entertainment Editor SEAN BOULGER Music Editor & PR RACHEL RUFRANO Culture Editor RYAN KOBANE Photography Director STEVEN CAREY Art Director
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I’M LOSSING MY MIND, HA
RYAN KOBANE ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO
PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY!
ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY
FIRST ANNUAL Leprechaun scavenger hunt email@example.com
BREE HOPWOOD, ALLAN STEINER Advertising Representative CHRIS BARRETT Internet Caregiver
FROM THE EDITOR
ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY!
ERIN HICKEY, JOSEPH BRYANT, MIKE PALLOTTA
RYAN KOBANE Advertising Representative
MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A Dull
PHILIP VARGAS On-Campus Distribution VINCENT GIRIMONTE Off-Campus Distribution DARREN DAVIS, MILES LEMAIRE, CHRIS BARRETT, ANDREW WILSON, MICHAEL VEREMANS, CHRISTINE HODINH, JESSE BLAKE, DEREK CROSSLEY, CHRISTOPHER TROUTMAN, JAMES KISLINGBURY, PHILIP VARGAS, DAVID FAULK, PAUL HOVLAND, KATRINA SAWHNEY, ALLAN STEINER, SERGIO ASCENCIO, RUSSELL CONROY, KEN C., JOSEPH BRYANT, ASHLEY MARIE WEIS, LAURA SARDISCO, ERIC BRYAN, LEAH MCKISSOCK, STEVEN TRAN, MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN, ANNALISA BRIZUELA
(Clue #1) Stoners rejoice, the ﬁrst clue lies within a long, white, phallus adjacent to the student union. It never tolls. No, you’re not that high, it’s in the belltower man. FIND THE NEXT CLUE IN THE BELLTOWER!
RULES: 1) Don’t mess with
the clues. 2) Contest ends on St. Patrick’s Day. 3) 1 Winner gets a St. Patrick’s Day package worth your time
INSIDE THE UNION OPINIONS PAGE 4
Kathy Miranda is dumbfounded by the mooncup, but really it’s just a small device for catching period blood — nothing weird about that.
LITERATURE PAGE 7
Dublin or nothing. Erin Hickey gets super clever and doubles everything on the lit page.
ENTERTAINMENT PAGE 13
Charlie Bartlett provides a fatal dose of bullshit. Thanks Charlie.
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. Questions? Comments? MAIL : 1212 Bellflower Blvd. Suite 256A, Long Beach, CA 90815 PHONE : 562.985.4867 FAX : 562.985.5684 E-MAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org WEB : www.lbunion.com
BOY ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY! ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES RYAN A DULL BOY!
SPORTS PAGE 6
49er coach makes rookie mistake, pulls a Chris Webber. Ryan ZumMallen writes an entire page because he really likes sports.
NEWS PAGE 8
Rachel Rufrano tells us music students will further isolate themselves.
FEATURE PAGE 10
YES, you have a radio station, and no, you can’t listen to it, yet.
MUSIC PAGE 14
MSTRKRFT plays a show that you probably didn’t go to. Lucky you.
CULTURE PAGE 18
BEST GUY EVER! UNION WEEKLY
12 MARCH 2008
OPINIONS PINIONS AN ENLIGHTENED PROPOSAL FRED PHELPS IS ONE CRAZY ASSHOLE
red Phelps is a crazy asshole. As such, I propose that we, as a nation, gather together and set him on fire. Do you guys know that crazy religious guy that shows up outside of the Psych Building every so often to preach (or more accurately: yell) about how “mouthy women” and everything else is doomed? That man isn’t Fred Phelps. Fred Phelps makes that man look like Rachel Ray. Even that guy thinks Fred Phelps is a nutjob. Fred Phelps’ cult, the Westboro Baptist Church, is best known for protesting at the funerals of veterans with cute signs like “AIDS cures fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” The latter sign seems to be a standby for them, the word “Soldier” could be replaced with anything, whether that be miners, marines, or manatees, just as long as they’re dead. To them this is a sign of God’s disapproval of everyone but Phelps’ cabal. They’re also known for blaming 9/11 on the United States’ stance on homosexuality (i.e.: we don’t have special camps for gay people). The church’s hatred also extends to the Irish and the Swedish, which would be cute as an anachronism if the church wasn’t serious. From kindergarten to high school, I’ve had a grand total of thirteen years of Christian schooling. In those years I have learned about many things: Sacraments, Bible verses, the Ten Commandments. Most of these things I’ve forgotten but when I see the Westboro Baptist Church pop up in the media, two things that I am sure of come to mind: 1) Jesus’ ministry wasn’t about being a dickweed for no good reason, and 2) Christians are exactly as likely to be jerks or to be decent as anyone else they just happen to pray more.
RANDOM RANT: THE MOONCUP Illustration
Perhaps I’ve been out of the loop, but I can tell you now, my state of mind would have been significantly less traumatized had I not been informed about the Mooncup. Shall I just cut to the obvious? The Mooncup is a bad choice! Inserting and re-inserting a silicone cup that collects blood in your vagina can in no way be hygienic! I mean, really, a reusable menstrual cup? Reusable?! Seriously?! UNION WEEKLY
12 MARCH 2008
NOTES OF A DIRTY YOUNG MAN I’m pretty sure that lesson extends to other religions, as well. I don’t know too much about the teachings of Mohammed or Buddha, but I’m fairly certain that no prophet in the world has an itinerary that goes like this: 1. Wake up. 2. Be a jerk. 3. ??? 4. Salvation!!! So I don’t think religion is Fred Phelps’ problem. Fred Phelps is Fred Phelps’ problem. At some point you’d think that logic would intervene in Phelps’ life, as it has with four of his children that left the church. You’d reckon that at some point he or one of his followers would read the Bible and notice that Jesus rarely ever uses the word “fag” or that, in fact, Jesus doesn’t ever use that word. Then, maybe they’d think “I could be going about this all wrong.” I’m also certain they’d find out that Jesus’ anti-Semitism has been greatly exaggerated. That’ll never happen, because Fred Phelps and scum like him exist in an intellectual vacuum. They don’t play by the same rules that other human beings have to. They don’t have to come up with proof or a reason, because their arrogance has blinded them to those things. If you can turn a book which revolves around tropes like “Love your neighbor as yourself ” and “Judge not lest ye be judged” into “God hates fags,” then you probably missed the entire point of the New Testament. Since we can’t reason with Phelps, I figure the only solution is to set fire to him. It’ll be great. Bring the kids! Not only will it get rid of this jerk, but we’ll also create a deterrent for the next son of a bitch wants to act like an asshat “in the name of God.” Or we could just ignore him. Which may work. I guess. Yorick in Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan says that he and his girlfriend got along so well not because of the things they loved, but the things they hated. In a strange way that sums up this whole Fred Phelps situation. Republicans don’t get along with Democrats and the Democrats can’t even get along with themselves. The Christian right loathes the Far Left. There’s a war or two going on in the Middle East. Tensions are as high as they’ve ever been, but we can put all our differences aside and agree on one simple truth: Fred Phelps is a crazy asshole.
For thirty bucks, you can purchase a piece of silicone that will allow you to walk around with a cup of your blood “conveniently” inserted inside of your vagina. Innovative? Try repulsive. The website claims, “It’s so comfortable that you’ll forget it exists!” Yeah, that is until you have to face removing the cup from your vagina and then proceeding to, wait for it, wash it out in the sink! (Ahh!) One website suggests, washing it “with sterilizing fluid, or by boiling for five minutes in an open pan of water.” Wow, so much for the “convenience” Mooncup engineers. Any woman in their right mind
should immediately be inclined to get rid of any excess blood leaking from their private parts. Unfortunately, the Mooncup does not encourage this. It forces the ladies to delay the cleaning of their vagina because of some ridiculous idea of a cup doing the work for them. And (dare I say it?), you risk retrograde flow. Yeah, back flow. Use your imagination. Fucking. Gross. I’m all for the saving of the environment, but having to deal with bleeding every month is distressing enough—I don’t need the maintenance of a cup full of blood to add to my long list of woman issues. And plus, it’s fucking disgusting.
GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE GREATEST PRESIDENT THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER HAD Let me say that George W. Bush is a man among men. I thought, at first, that he may possibly be a pacifist because he spent the majority of his time in the National Guard coked-out, drunk and AWOL. But he has proved just how tough he can be. He is so tough that he can even declare war on a word. He can actually fight terror with bombs and guns. Impressive, huh? He is the forty-third president of The United States. He won that lofty title by having the majority of Americans vote for someone else. Luckily, a technicality saved us from missing out on the wisdom and leadership of this great man. The man who lost, went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize. We really dodged a bullet on that one. Before he was the commander-in-chief, Bush was the governor of Texas. His dad was also president. His brother was the governor of Florida. His brother gave him the presidency as a gift, thank god. That must have been one hell of a Christmas at the Bush compound. After 9/11, George “Walker Texas Ranger” Bush was the most popular president of all time. His approval rating was at ninety-percent. That’s almost a hundred. Last month his approval rating was nineteen-percent. That’s almost zero. He’s also a philanthropist. Not one to take advantage of his bosses, the American people, he wanted to give them a big gift, the same way his brother gave him a gift. In 200, he decided to give away 1.35 trillion dollars. He gave each person about three hundred dollars. Three hundred dollars doesn’t buy much these days though. A trillion dollars, however, could buy a lot. He was too fiscally responsible to spend our money on health care or education, though, so he gave it back so people could buy name brand products. Wooo capitalism. Bush attended a prep school, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where they turn young men into the future leaders of tomorrow. Only men can go to that school. Almost exclusively, rich white men. Our current president was the head cheerleader during his senior year. Rah rah rah! This training as a pom-pom waiver and booster served him well when he had to convince the House and the Senate to pass The Patriot Act. What is a better way to protect our freedom from a word, an idea, than to repeal the Bill of Rights? Sounds logical to me. To be honest, I do love him. I love his ears, his fake drawl, how he can smile and joke while he is the cause for thousands and thousands of deaths, and especially the way he can stare into a camera with a lifeless gaze. But what I love about him most, what can never be taken away from him, is that without him we would not be on the verge of having our first black president. And for that I thank him. DEREK CROSSLEY
OPINIONS FRACTURED FRIEND SAYS, “WAIT FOR ME!” HOW INACCESSIBLE CSULB’S ACCESSIBLE ROUTES REALLY ARE
or propelling yourself in a wheelchair is tiring work, but especially when the campus is built on a steady incline towards the South end—where the majority of my classes are located. Like many students, I spend the better part of my free time between classes at the Student Union. I’m in the Student Union because, A) I write for the Union Weekly and B) the Student Union is the epicenter for nigh everything to do on campus other than attending classes. On the South end of the quad are a series of baby-step staircases that I have to hop up or down if I want to get into the Union conventionally. The answer to the question you’re already asking is yes, there is an inconveniently located elevator. How ever did you know? The elevators on campus are few and far between, forcing students to take long routes to their classes; and it’s hard to find routes that don’t involve stairs. The campus was planned with disabled students in
mind (there are plenty of automatic doors peppered about), but the fact that we have to go searching for ramps, rather than having more signs clearly indicate which way to go, is pretty frustrating. Direct your attention to http://daf.csulb.edu/maps/disabled, a map that shows all of the accessible routes, plus handicapped entrances, parking spaces, elevators, and curb ramps; but only in central campus. The problem with this map is that you’ll have to pore over it for a while, because CSULB looks ridiculously confusing from an aerial perspective. Some of this is whiny frustration from someone who isn’t used to carrying his entire weight on his arms, but think about the students who have permanently impaired mobility. I imagine that after a month or two you find the paths on campus that are least trafficked, have ramps, and stick to those. If only these paths were labeled somewhere other than the Internet. Just saying.
is accepting applications for Editor-in-Chief. Inexperienced need not apply. Pick up an application at USU Administration Office 216. Good Luck! Applications Due April 10th, 2008
12 MARCH 2008
The fibula is one of two major bones in the human leg, the other bone of note being the tibia. I was told by my doctor that the tibia is the weightbearing bone, and if I were to crack any bone in my ankle, I picked the right one. I fractured my ankle while skateboarding, and not by fucking up a sicky 360 flip (I couldn’t ollie to save Darfur). I was just skating forward, failed to avoid a rock or some other minute obstacle that was indecipherable in my rush to get from my afternoon class to my car, and ate shit. After a trip to Student Health Services, the emergency room, and a doctor’s appointment, I returned to campus and was bestowed the moniker “Crutchy Joe” by some of the Union Weekly’s openarmed staff. In the weeks following my injury, I’ve realized just how goddamn inconvenient this campus is for disabled students with limited mobility. Having to hike from one end of campus to the other on crutches
SPORTS HEARTBREAK IN HOMECOMING LOSS BASKETBALL DROPS ANOTHER CLOSE ONE BEFORE HEADING TO CONFERENCE TOURNEY
wasn’t even going to write about the Homecoming game against UCSB last Saturday. In truth, it was a meaningless game for the 49ers. The men’s team had already clinched a Big West tournament berth, and even if they won it, what’s a 4-12 record instead of 3-13? I thought it was better to preview the conference tournament and rally up some support for our men and women. Yeah, well, sometimes things go according to plan and sometimes Donovan Morris gets blood on his jersey, switches to a clean #55, channels the ghost of last year’s hero Aaron Nixon and goes superhuman-apeshit on Santa Barbara. The score remained tight throughout the entire game, thanks to Morris’ masterful command of the 49er zone offense—something they’ve had trouble with all season—and Long Beach’s “switch everything” defense that creates frequent mismatches in the other team’s favor and often leaves players completely unguarded. This resulted in many Gaucho lay-ups. With about 10:00 to go, Morris’ jersey was bloodied up and he switched into a #55 which, you’ll remember, was Big West Conference MVP Aaron Nixon’s number last season. Nixon was famous for his clutch buzzerbeaters and Morris lived up to the legend. He banked in a three from the wing while getting hacked, and hit the free throw to complete a four-point-play and cut Santa Barbara’s lead to three with a minute to go. He nodded,
smiled and pumped his fist at the electric student section. Still down three with ten seconds left Morris calmly nailed a double-pumping triple with a hand in his face and you could practically see the ghost of Aaron Nixon proudly shining down. Tied at 64, overtime. D-Money started off the extra period on a hot streak, feeding Cornel Williams for back-to-back buckets. But Superman fell back to Earth when Morris was whistled for his fifth foul on a questionable charging call. The 49ers continued battling but a shot clock violation handed the ball over to the Gauchos with just two ticks to go, tie game. At this point I figured that a second overtime was imminent, and texted EditorIn-Chief Ryan Kobane “Going to double OT,” both to inform him and guilt him for not attending. It was a fatal decision. Remember when I said that Long Beach’s habit of switching on defensive assignments often causes mismatches? The Gauchos threw the ball the length of the floor to 6’8” Chris Devine, who was mistakenly guarded by 5’8” Maurice Clady. Devine turned to shoot at the top of the key and, trying to get a hand up, Clady fouled Devine and sent him to the free-throw line with less than a second to go in a tie game. Devine missed the first—to wild cheers—but 49er coach Dan Monson threw UCSB a bone and “pulled a Webber” (Kobane’s words), calling a timeout when he had none—a technical foul. Alex Harris sunk one of two T free throws, then Devine nailed his final free throw for a two point lead. A 70-foot heave from Greg Plater just missed the rim and the 49ers dropped a heartbreaking loss to the conference’s first place team in a game that actually meant nothing, So what’s the point? This school has had bad teams before. I mean God-awful bad. And this team’s 6-24 over-
Coach Monson heads to his first Big West Tournament on Wednesday after a rough season.
all record and #8 conference tournament seed certainly makes them unsuccessful, but they are not “bad.” They are extremely fun to watch and have always been competitive, especially towards the end of this conference schedule. And the students and other fans have been very supportive through the tough times. It’s been amazing to see such loyalty to the program. The Homecoming game nearly packed the house, a throwback to last year’s raucous fanaticism. It was beautiful. Three thousand people living and dying with every rebound, trying to bring a six-win team to seven. Both the men and women enter the conference tournament’s first round on Wednesday in Anaheim. Check longbeachstate.com for scheduling. See you there!
THE INAUGURAL 49er ATHLETE “BOSS LIST” RYAN ZUMMALLEN
Photos RUSSELL CONROY
This list was originally begat last year, when the Union Weekly Sports Page started referring to Aaron Nixon as a “boss” for tearing the entire Big West Conference a new one. Staff writer Sergio Ascencio and I started referring to a handful of other 49ers as bosses and realized that we were doing it fairly often. There are just too many amazing athletes on this campus. So we decided to make the list official—here’s the debut roster, which will be updated frequently. If we’re missing anybody, hit me up (zummy@ lbunion.com) and campaign to get your favorite athlete on the list. Without further ado… Donovan Morris (Basketball)—This one was obvious. D-Mo has spent this season tearing through anyone attempting to guard him. He is the basketball team’s leading scorer and rebounder, and just notched his fifth 30-point game of the season with a career high 33 against Santa Barbara on Saturday. Michelle Turner (Softball)—This is all you need to know: In late February, Turner—a true freshman—broke her own school strikeout record with 16 against #5 Florida. You read that right. In twelve career games, she had set and then broken her own school record. Turner has started twelve of the 49ers’ twenty games, going 10-2 with a miniscule 0.59 ERA. To top it off, she’s already earned a National Player of the Week honor and blanked #8 Northwestern over the weekend. UNION WEEKLY 12 MARCH 2008
Karina Figueroa (Basketball)—The biggest tragedy in Long Beach State sports over the last three years has been the star shooting guard’s chronic foot injuries. But Figueroa earned the “Boss” tag last season by leading the 49ers to two upset wins in the conference tournament. This year, she’s had foot troubles yet again and missed almost a month of the non-conference season. Over the last few weeks, Fig has made a great case for an All-Conference First Team nod that she was snubbed for last year, averaging 12.9 ppg and leading a recent four game winning streak. Paul Lotman (Volleyball, pictured right)—The volleyball team has been so successful this year because they have an exact prototype of the perfect player at each position. But senior hitter Lotman stands out above the rest of the All-Star cast with a great combination of size, athleticism and power as well as a tendency for service aces (33 on the year). Lotman also earned a National Player of the Week honor earlier in the season and kills a whopping 5.58 balls per game. On The Cusp Danny Espinosa (Baseball)—Off to a great start, but it’s a little too early in the season to add the Preseason AllAmerican to the list. Entire Volleyball Team (Volleyball)—#4 in the nation. Brent Gray (Track & Field)—Ran the 200m in 20.93 secs in MPSF Championships.
LITERATURE DOUBLE REVIEW!
THE OTHER SIDE & PUNISHER: BORN JAMES KISLINGBURY
oesn’t seem to be a whole lot of Vietnam War comics floating around. There’s plenty on WWII, it seems. There’s more than a couple of Western comics, so that kind of takes care of the Civil War. And the War on Terror, in all it’s wonderment, has become perfect fodder for fiction of all kinds today. The Korean War falls by the way side, but that isn’t anything new. The Vietnam conflict only has a handful of graphic novels dedicated to it. Two such books are fantastic: The Punisher: Born and The Other Side. The Punisher: Born tells a tale of the eponymous Marvel vigilante’s beginnings during the war and is written by the venerable comic writer Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Authority). Ennis excels at writing war comics and this graphic novel is a perfect example of his talents. The Other Side is actually Jason Aaron’s first foray into the comic’s world, but you can’t tell from the quality of this story. Garth Ennis’ war story is a fairly linear one that splits its attention between the all-American corn-fed Private Goodwin (who is counting down the days until he gets sent back to the “real world”) and the budding-psychopath Frank Castle, who has become addicted to combat. The two main characters couldn’t be more different in their motivations and
personalities. The do-gooder grunt Goodwin just wants to live long enough to get laid and have a family. Castle on the other hand, despite already having a family, wants the war to go on at any cost. Eventually the story culminates with a massive North Vietnamese assault on an American fire-base that ends with both characters getting what they want, but not in the way they imagined it. The Other Side is similar in that it has two main narratives, but it differs in that one character is an American and the other is a “volunteer” in the North Vietnamese Army. Both of them share the common blessing/curse of having lucid waking dreams and visions. The marine, Bill Everette, is a luckless screwup (in the mold of Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket) that is haunted by the disfigured ghosts of his fellow soldiers. Vo Dai is a patriotic, soft-spoken and religious young man who sees his own visions of dragons as sent by Heaven. The two narratives are delicately intertwined The art by Cameron Stewart (Seaguy) on The Other Side is phenomenal. Everything about it is really top-notch. The line work is clean and dynamic, as is the coloring from Dave McCaig, who makes the book just colorful enough to remain both interesting and existentially terrifying. The Vietnamese in The Other Side actually look like Asian people, not just white people with a different color palette thrown over them, which is something that happens all too often in comic books. If you’re the type to just pick up comics for the pretty pictures (shame on you!) this book would be right up your alley. Darrick Robertson’s (The Boys, Transmetropolitan) penciling on The Punisher: Born doesn’t do a whole lot
for me, but it’s serviceable. It’s just good enough to make war look like Hell, but not good enough to dazzle you. Robertson is a craftsman more than he is an artist. Luckily the writing in The Punisher: Born is good enough to carry far worse art than Robertson’s average penciling. Both of the books owe a grand debt to war fiction that has come before it (especially Jason Aaron, his cousin was the author of what would become Full Metal Jacket), ), though each shine (if I can use such a phrase) on their own merits. Garth Ennis has written a book that is thrilling enough to pick up and finish, but frightening enough to stick with you long after you’ve finished it. The same goes for The Other Side,, but it also comes with the exciting knowledge that Jason Aaron’s career as a writer has just started. Each is a powerful comic book about a human experience where people may live through it, but there aren’t any real survivors.
TEXT AND THE CITY This week: “Dublin up” In honor of St. Patrick’s day, the Lit page is “Dublin up” this week. What does that mean, you ask? It means, dear friend, that almost everything on this week’s page comes in pairs. There’s a double review of a pair of graphic novels, two pretty pictures, and two seperate topics in this column (the first, being the one you’re currently reading...how meta). There’s also a triple magazine profile in honor of the shamrock. I wanted to pay homage to the Irish in the best way I know how: with a terrible terrible pun. This week: Irish Authors Though they are best known for the potato famine (a tragedy that could have been avoided had they learned to fish—serious. Look it up), the Irish also wrote pretty well. When the phrase “Irish authors” comes up in conversation, literary giants like James Joyce and Flannery O’Connor jump to mind, but there are other, lesser-known Irish authors out there that are just as good. Unfortunately, they drank themselves into oblivion and forgot to get published, so I’ll just stick to the greats. Oh crap, it seems I’m out of space (maybe “Dublin up” on this column wasn’t such a great idea after all), so I’ll make this quick: Yeats, Shaw, Beckett, Heaney, Wilde, Stoker, Swift, Lewis, Goldsmith, O’Keefe, O’Neill, Sheridan. ERIN HICKEY
TRIPLE MAGAZINE PROFILE!? SHAM-ROCK ON! RYAN KOBANE The good: Transworld Snowboarding I’m not sure how the people over at TW Snowboarding keep it so fresh year after year, but as far as snowboarding magazines are concerned, TWS is the tits. I’ve been a subscriber for almost a decade now and I’ve seen how difficult it is to truly find the pulse that snowboarding lives off of, but consistently TWS has found a way to keep up with the times. The TWS staff box reads like a who’s who of legendary photographers: Nick Hamilton, Scott Serfas, and Andy Wright, it’s no wonder that TWS has no peers when it comes to amazing snowboarding photography. But the really amazing thing about TWS is that they hire snowboarders who can actually write. Each month, TWS is on
point no matter if the feature is on hick snowboarders from Idaho or road tripping in New Zealand and Argentina. If you’re going to buy just one snowboarding mag each season, make sure it’s Transworld. The Rad: Future Snowboarding A few years ago a new snowboarding magazine leapt onto the scene. Instantly you could sense that this magazine was much different from anything on the stands; you could sense that this magazine was being run by a bunch of “real” snowboarders. Future Snowboarding isn’t the best resource for industry news or contest results, and sometimes borders on a snow fashion/lifestyle magazine, but it certainly is nice to look at. The layout is amazing, the photography is innovative, and they even hire models to show off winter clothes. And when it comes to interviews, Future is where it’s at. I’m not
willing to say it’s my favorite snowboarding magazine just yet, but I’m giving it about another three or four seasons before Future Snowboarding is neck and neck with Transworld. The Ugly: Snowboarder A few seasons ago Snowboarder pissed me off so bad that I actually wrote the editor-in-chief. At the time I had no idea how difficult it was to put a publication together, but now my complaints feel even more valid than they did before. Snowboarder’s layout hasn’t changed it seems, in nearly half a decade, every cover looks exactly the same, they interview the same ol’ “legends” each season; simply stated, they don’t get it! Snowboarding has evolved from a small sport for rebels to one of the fasted growing sports in the world; it’s just too bad that Snowboarder didn’t get the memo. UNION WEEKLY
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NEWS MUSIC DEPT. GOES UNDER $16.4 MILLION CONSERVATORY GOES UP IN ITS PLACE
A Illustration ANDREW WILSON
fter fifty-eight years of upholding an extraordinary reputation as the Cal State Long Beach Music Department, a $16.4 million donation, the largest in university history, was granted in the name of the late real estate entrepreneur Bob Cole, giving the department the long-awaited title and financial means it has always deserved as the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. This momentous announcement will ensure the highest-quality musical education west of the Mississippi for the already enrolled fifteen hundred music students and five hundred music majors. With one of the main goals of the conservatory being recruitment, tours will be made throughout the state and nation to offer worthy young musicians scholarships to attend the conservatory without financial barriers. “It’s a new beginning for everyone in the music department,” John Carnahan, the first Director of the Cole Conservatory, announced at the official public assembly held Friday, March 7, in the Daniel Recital Hall where an estimated three hundred and fifty students, faculty, and
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staff anxiously awaited the news. Former City Council Member, and dear friend of Cole’s, Frank Collona took the podium to celebrate Cole and his wife, Regina, both of whom were revered with a roaring standing ovation. “In establishing the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, we are doing more than recognizing a man for his extraordinary generosity to our university,” CSULB President F. King Alexander mentioned in a press release on March 3, 2008. “This conservatory will forever honor a Long Beach man who looked to the promising futures of students at our university and wanted to help them succeed.” Graduating from a conservatory entails that music students can receive professional degrees on a university level and obtain an education that greatly emphasizes music education. Currently, music majors have a great deal of pressure to finish their general education requirements because a music degree carries a heavy load of credits, so it only seems natural that the department would transition into conservatory status. Especially considering the national prestige the department has notarized itself for; the CSULB Chamber Choir recently made its Carnegie Hall Debut, CSULB’s vocal jazz ensemble, Pacifica
Standard Time, earned an invitation to perform at the International Association of Jazz Educators in Toronto, and our Concert Jazz Orchestra won the Next Generation Jazz Competition at the University level, which includes a performance position at the famed Monterey Jazz Festival. This recent turning point is still a surreal realization for most music majors who will be attending the conservatory. Anthony Vezirian, a sophomore music major, is optimistic about the recent change, saying “It strengthens our credibility and allows for more ensembles and events.” But Vezirian is still unsure of how the donation will affect the weight of his degree. “From what I hear, my degree will indicate that I graduated from the Cole Conservatory separately from Cal State Long Beach.” Without question, the integrity of a degree from a conservatory is an upgrade and it is highly likely that we will be hearing music from students like Vezirian for years to come. The music department believes that within five years, the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music will be among the “best and most comprehensive undergraduate programs in the nation.” For anyone interested in experiencing the efforts of our music department, a series of performances will be held May 2 through May 12, 2008 for the Inaugural Cole Conservatory Festival. John Carnahan left the buzzing auditorium, in light of the upcoming auditions, with these words: “Two things are required to come to this conservatory. Love music, love life, because music is life and our life is music.”
uring our failed attempt at a “Drug Feature” last Thursday night, the staff began yelling at each other, creating a circle of bad vibes. Lapsing into childhood memories, I found myself crying profusely; thinking it was all my fault. Wanting to escape the arguments of “Seriously, which one of us has the best sunglasses?!” I found myself running into the woods, ripping my clothes off as I went farther into the darkness of the foliage. Soon enough I was completely naked and leaning on a sycamore. Just as I felt my wits returning to me, I heard a voice from above. It was a tiny green man on a tree branch and he had mistaken me for one of his mythical creature-friends, the Sasquatch. What follows is our conversation. Union Weekly: W-whoaaahhunh? Leprechaun: Well, hello there! UW: N-no, I don’ want!
UW: Speaking of jerky, In-N-Out? L: Come again? UW: ANIMAL STYLE! HA! L: I’m sorry? UW: What’s with the knap sack, you running away from home Leperkaun? L: Why no, I merely use this as a satchel to carry around my gold from land to land. Every Leprechaun has his sack that he carries with him, collecting gold, and finding new places to hide it! UW: Solid gold? L: Yes, gold! UW: GOLD!? L: GOLD! UW: HAHA! GOLD! L: GOLD! [This continued for roughly 5-10 minutes] UW: If I had shoes, would you steal ‘em from me?
UW: You got any wine? L: Why no! That would be a Cluricaun. They appear to be much like us Leprechauns, ‘cept for they carry around jugs of wine for all their drinking pleasures. Bunch of bastard drunkards! UW: I used to be a clerk. Is no fun, I’ll tell you that much! Hey, it’s your holiday comin’ up. Hip-hop hooray! L: Yes, St. Patrick’s Day, the one day given to the Irish. A day for us to indulge in our alcoholism. Celebrated on March 17th, it became a holiday back in 1903 when it was originally passed as an Act in the United Kingdom Parlia— UW: You gots stuffs at the ends of rainbow. Why? L: Hey, now that I got a look at ya, you’re eyes seem bluer than usual, Bigfoot. UW: Aw, tha’s nice! L: Wait, you’re not Bigfoot at all are ya!? UW: Shut up! You’re mythical! L: Yes, but I’m real if you believe in me! UW: I don’t believe in you! [At this point the Leprechaun ceased to exist.] UW: I’ll miss you forever Leperkaun. Why does everyone have to die!? When I woke up the next morning under a tree—After hours of thinking I had woken up 100 years in the future, I finally realized I had always had this beard on my face even before I fell asleep—I found a remnant from the night before. On the ground in front of where I lay, was a single gold coin, a token from a friend made the night before. Without that gold coin, I’d have nothing to pay this month’s rent.
$4.99 Breakfast Crepes
Massive St Patrick’s Weekend Hooley
Walking Distance From Campus!
Get here early& avoid the line!
‘The American Wake’
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Doors open at 9am, Corned Beef & Cabbage during the day
LIVE MUSIC ALL DAY 2751 East Broadway, Long Beach (562) 856-8000
Stude baker Rd.
serving traditional Irish breakfast
22 Frwy/7th Street
1190 Studebaker Rd. Long Beach CA 90815 (562) 594-9400 Fax: (562) 594-4863 Call ins welcome UNION WEEKLY
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UW: A name’s a name is a name is a name, ya know? Hey you don’t sound very Irish for a Leperkaun. Why’s that? L: Ya know, I was born and raised in the US, and I’m tired of people with their expectations of how I’m supposed to sound or look or act. I only put that accent on when I go on call for a movie or do an audition—they expect something so I give it to them. By the way I enjoyed those beef jerky ads you’ve been doing on TV, ‘Squatch, they’re pretty good.
L: Only if they were loafers, tanker boots, top-siders, or timberlands. Basically anything with leather.
L: How are ya, Bigfoot?! I haven’t seen you in ages! UW: I think they’re pretty average sized feet… L: Apologies, I meant no disrespect friend. Would you prefer I call you by your other name, Sasquatch?
G Listenin By Vincent Girimonte It’s Saturday in the Kbeach office, quiet, the only sounds being the faint murmur of the automated DJ system oozing from the speakers and the shuffling of Spring cleaning. I meet Ted Woods, General Manager of Kbeach (CSULB’s only student operated radio station), along with a few other employees using the weekend to bring some order to the cluttered studio—a task born of love, however, smiles all around. I feel at home. The walls are covered with posters of rock stars, and I trip over a box of CDs for the second time. The whole thing reminded me I was a student. We talk shop for a few minutes, and of the possibility of Kbeach gaining access to a signal used by KKJZ, fondly known as KJAZZ 88.1, the “world famous” jazz station sitting atop upper campus, just below the library. Currently, and much to the chagrin of aspiring radio personalities at CSULB, Kbeach is an online-only medium—it would appear they went global before going local.
n a perfect world, every major college campus would have its own radio station. Don’t look now, but CSULB looks to be well on their way to a slice of utopia, with ASI in discussions with KJAZZ to harness a part of their signal. Meanwhile, Kbeach continues to stream on.
“Massive,” said Woods, a Portland, Oregon transplant, on acquiring a frequency. “ It would be massive. People like the idea of radio, but also like the idea of listeners. It’s very exciting.” According to various sources in and around Associated Students, Incorporated (ASI), negotiations are underway to see that students at CSULB have access to the KJAZZ’s 88.1 signal. In a meeting held Tuesday the 4th between ASI, CSULB Foundation, and Global Jazz, Incorporated, dialogue began with regards to the possibility of Kbeach, part of ASI’s media component, absorbing a strand of the 88.1 frequency. Brian Newlin of the CSULB Foundation, which owns the rights to the 88.1 frequency, is optimistic about hammering home an agreement between KJAZZ and ASI. “We don’t like to look at them as negotiations,” he said. “Our talks will focus on how would this work.” The 88.1 frequency at one point belonged to the students before former university president, Stephen Horn, began contracting out the signal in 1981, back when it was still KLON. Since it’s hum-
ble beginnings, KJAZZ has become the staple of the modern jazz connoisseur, on an international level. ASI President Mark Andrews has been a proponent of bringing part of the frequency to ASI, but also stressed that the signal, like the current configuration of Kbeach, should be available to all students. Amid concerns that the frequency, which would be an HD strand of KJAZZ signal, will be perceived as ASI’s property, Student Media Advisor John Trapper believes the signal will be communal benefit for the campus and will not be a limited to Kbeach programming. “We’re trying to build bridges across the campus,” said Trapper when asked whether or not academia would have access to the programming. “Anybody who has some sort of audio product can contribute.” While the discussions have only just begun, Andrews was excited at the possibility of commuters having CSULB traffic and parking updates on a student-run frequency, in addition to more students programming from Kbeach and various groups around the campus. He was also enthusias-
tic about the notion of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) abiding programming, and “real world” type ramifications for inappropriate content. This, said Andrews, will only provide another layer of educational development for inexperienced broadcasters seeking training, saying “this will be one more way ASI can be able to give students out-of-classroom experience that they can really use in the real world.” The “C” word here is competition. Immensely aware that such a commodity is well sought after as an educational tool, ASI’s claim that the station will be thoroughly shared with the campus is matched by their claim of readiness to fully utilize and accommodate the new radio possibilities. The Kbeach studios are small but sufficient in their technology, according to Woods. He sees the possibility of the signal coming through Kbeach as not only feasible, but logical—the only aspect missing is the credibility a signal would provide. When I met with Woods, he and a friend were putting some final touches on a live recording room, just a few feet over from his office. He plans on using the studio as means of promoting the station, and making a more tangible product for students listening on campus. “We have everything a professional station would have,” said Woods confidently. He did admit that the current online-only capabilities of the station have become a deterrent for students interested in hosting a show. I could relate, I told him, once participating in a show myself and getting the creeping suspicion that my audience was limited to those playing Magic cards in the Student Union and maybe a few janitors. “The number one question I get from students is ‘Where do I tune in?’” I sensed he was growing weary of answering the question, and probably a little annoyed with his answer. “It will provide motivation [for Kbeach employees] to know that they can listen to our station in the car, or anywhere.” He also foresees a substantial recruiting effort and using pre-recorded content to fill any scheduling gaps a radio signal would expose.
With the signal comes a need for vigilance in adhering to FCC regulations. Woods is well aware of the hefty fines being distributed for inappropriate content on the air, but is confident his volunteers behind the microphone will use sound judgment, and not say, “fuck,” for example. From early on in the process, Woods sensed that the concern of KJAZZ and the CSULB Foundation has been rooted in the elevated responsibility that public radio brings, where dropping an f-bomb will not be so easily ignored as it is currently online or in this publication. “We comply by our community standards,” he said, citing only a few meager complaints received from listeners. “I know for a fact that we will be abiding by the FCC regulations.” All signs point to a smooth transaction between ASI and KJAZZ, but nothing has been finalized. One thing is for certain: the students at CSULB need and deserve an actual radio station, one that people can listen to in their cars and be proud of.
ENTERTAINMENT NTERTAINMENT DVDAddicts A REVIEW OF JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER JOSEPH BRYANT
I Illustration DC: The New Frontier BY DARWIN COOKE
don’t know if you’ve read any superhero comic book from the last thirty years, but you may have noticed a dramatic shift from the cheery, good-guys-always-win attitude of the funny books from the ‘70s to a darker, archenemy-cripples-and-molests-your protégé feel. This gritty turn in comics was necessary, but feel that the ‘80s there have been far too many writers that write dark for darkness’ sake. Thankfully, there’s a brilliantly talented writer/ artist named Darwyn Cooke. In 2003, Cooke embarked on an arduous task: taking iconic DC Comics superheroes back to their original context while still maintaining the mature nature of contemporary comics. Five years later, Warner Home Video has released a direct to DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray adaptation of Darwyn Cooke’s master piece, DC: The New Frontier. Don’t let your little brother, sister, cousin, kid or whatever see this movie unless you’re comfortable with them seeing some fairly shocking violence—for a superhero cartoon at least. Although Warner thought it best to cash in on the fervor created by their beloved Justice League animated series by titling the adaptation Justice League: The New Frontier, the film is rated PG-13 for good reason—it opens with a bloody suicide. If that doesn’t convince you, Joe McCarthy’s witch hunt for communists is used as a plot device—making characters like Superman and Wonder Woman agents for the US government in Indochina, which will more than likely go over the head of the average 8 year-old. Darwyn Cooke’s simplified yet kinetic art translates well to animation. Images of Superman slicing an alien creature in half with his heat vision are not only great translations of panels from the graphic novel, but almost work better in motion then they did stationary. The movie isn’t without its problems though. Some of the voice act-
ing is awkwardly executed, particularly some lines from David Boreanaz (Angel), who stars as ex-fighter pilot Hal Jordan, the man who will become Green Lantern. Lucy Lawless essentially plays Wonder Woman how she played Xena, which isn’t completely off, but just a little boring. Some actors though, particularly Kyle MacLachlan who portrays the last son of Krypton, nail their roles spot on. MacLachlan’s Superman isn’t short of the sincerity, resolve, and hope that the character embodies; he also gives the Man of Steel’s voice a charmingly cheesy ‘50s vibe that I couldn’t help but love whenever he came on screen. I’m not one to begrudge the removal of story elements from source material in adaptations to compliment the medium better, but I really feel that New Frontier left key plot points from the comics by the wayside for worse. Certain characters, such as the Challengers
of the Unknown and the Losers, that were given lots of time to develop in the graphic novel and were integral to the overall plot are left out or glazed over, leaving huge gaps in the story. And although I only noticed these missing elements because I’ve read the comic, I really do feel that the movie leaves too much unexplained. Overall, Justice League: The New Frontier is worth the buy if you’re a fan and a rental if the concept of McCarthy-era superheroes clashing physically and politically intrigues you. Darwyn Cooke has said in interviews that he’s very pleased with the way the cartoon came out, and he has every right to be.
YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN’T SEEN... NARC JAMES KISLINGBURY Narc is, by a long shot, the best movie I have ever bought for four bucks. For four bucks, it’s also a better value than most movies I’ve gotten for free. The fact that I bought it for this much and used, no less, tells me that this movie isn’t very well regarded. That shouldn’t be. It deserves to be in the pantheon of crime thrillers alongside The French Connection and The Usual Suspects. The movie revolves around a dead undercover narcotics agent, Michael Calviss and the two detectives tasked with solving the case. Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) is a former narc who was forcibly removed from the police force after a botched pursuit of a drug dealer that left an unborn child dead. Henry Oak (Ray Liotta), on the other hand, was forced off of the Calviss UNION WEEKLY
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case due to his personal involvement with the dead man. He’s also a complete maniac that takes the Miranda Rights as a suggestion and is known to mercilessly beat suspects in restraints. The thing about being a narc is that they aren’t criminals, but they aren’t cops either. There is a constant duel over how far you can go as a cop to solve a crime before you become the thing you’re trying to stop. It’d be cliché to call Narc a “roller coaster ride.” It’d also be a lie. Narc resembles a car crash more than anything else. The audience knows that the murder case can’t conclude well and as the narcs dig deeper into their comrade’s death it becomes clear to them that this case is going to end worse than the way it started. Despite the inevitable, tragic conclusion, the cops plod ahead and the audience follows with them. Like the main characters, the film has its flaws. For one, it’s horrifically bleak. The
dialogue also relies heavily on the use of the f-word. Not that it isn’t appropriate, it’s just that after the two-hundredth time, the charm begins to wear thin. And from time to time, I also get the sense that the director is saying to the audience “I am Joe Carnahan. I went to film school. And yes, I own a camera.” The flashcut, budding artiste B.S. has its place, just like the cussing does, but not to the point where it interrupts the narrative. The testament to Narc’s quality is that as ugly and dark as it is, it’s still incredibly engrossing. Narc doesn’t place judgments on its characters, it leaves that up to the viewer. The movie shows that people, cops included, can do terrible things even when they’re trying to do what’s right. Perhaps the lesson that there’s no real black or white isn’t a very good lesson about morality, but it sure as hell makes for great story telling.
A REVIEW OF CHARLIE BARTLETT LEAH McKISSOCK
here are a lot of movies out there portraying teenage life that are totally worth loving, but Charlie Bartlett isn’t one of them. Not only does the lead character act completely ridiculous in every situation, but his mother, the principal, and all of his peers at school act unrealistic as well. As the film attempts to be touching, dramatic, goofy, and edgy all at the same time it becomes very clear that the writer of Bartlett was trying to bite off more than he could chew. Charlie Bartlett starts off with Charlie getting kicked out of private school for selling fake IDs. His mommy, who is very wealthy although it’s never clear why, is oddly casual about her son’s expulsion and sends him to public school. As Charlie attends his first day at public high school he, for some stupid reason, decides to wear his private school uniform blazer leading to a bully beating him up, the girl he’s developed a crush on thinking he’s a dork, and having no friends except for the mentally disabled kid that he met on the bus. What a surprise. Charlie then comes home with a black eye and his mother sends him to
a psychiatrist who prescribes Ritalin. Bartlett quickly realizes that he can get access to any medication he wants by simply acting like he has the symptoms for whatever the desired prescription is intended to fix. Forming a business partnership with his bully, they begin a drug selling operation at school that makes Charlie Bartlett the most powerful and worshiped guy on campus practically over night. The cast, full of unknowns and actors not talented or famous enough to even mention, were all playing
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YOU DIDN’T MISS MUCH
the high school stereotypes seen a million times over. There were the dumb jocks, the slutty cheerleaders, the punk-rock bullies, the drama kids, and of course Charlie Bartlett who is the alleged “new guy” that we’ve all seen countless times before. Besides all the clichés and awful acting, the thing that makes this film even worse is that all the characters have strange behaviors throughout that are completely absurd, especially Charlie. If this plot belonged to a teen comedy like American Pie or Mean Girls it would be a funny and amazing flick, but the problem is that it doesn’t. The plot belongs to Charlie Bartlett, which unfortunately tries to be a little bit funny at times but comes off as just cheesy. The writer also tried to mix in edgy elements to the plot by using drug dealing, violence, and profanity, but none of these devices can be taken seriously when they’re being mixed in with a few vomit-inducing parent loss speeches and a girl singing a believe-in-yourself song for the school play in front of her touched alcoholic father. As the film tried to tie in all these different audience reactions, it left me feeling like it didn’t focus enough on any of them. If Charlie Bartlett had been fully focused on becoming a raunchy comedy and had skilled actors to fill out the roles, there would have been something good there; yet the reality of it is that it’s a huge let down. Truly original and hilarious teen comedies have these days become rarities. Leah says movies like Charlie Bartlett are the reason why people like her need medication:
THE GUTTER TWINS
The Avalon Doors at 9pm Hollywood Wednesday, April 2nd The Gutter Twins is what happens when you take the frontman of The Afghan Whigs and the frontman of Screaming Trees and put them in a room together. The result is trance-inducing alt-rock. Also, don’t miss the music of opening act Great Northern.
A TOUGH KRFT TO MSTR MSTRKRFT LET LOS ANGELES DOWN LEAH McKISSOCK
hen fans were shoving me against the front row so hard that it hurt, I realized that something was wrong with the situation. These people just couldn’t help but push eagerly through one another in the full crowd to see every little move these electro playing guys with ‘70s porno muÍstaches were making. But all MSTRKRFT did was spin vinyl while smoking cigarettes, drinking Crown Royale, and simultaneously neglecting the audience just to pose for pictures. Is that really worth making it so everyone in the audience are smashed against sweaty people and disabled
from dancing? It suddenly occurred to me that this wave of electronic music is getting far too popular and a lot of these robotic trend-followers are missing the point. The point of electronic shows is that there’s nothing to see. Sure, there may be cool light shows sometimes and the artists may be wearing very intriguing hipster clothing, but the only thing that genuinely makes electronic shows amazing is when the crowd is great. The crowd is the show, otherwise we could all just play the fucking songs ourselves really loud from our stereos at home. MSTRKRFT’s performance was only a reflection of how much the crowd sucked. Even if I had been able to dance I wouldn’t have because it didn’t take long into their set until I couldn’t tell any of their songs apart. Originally it was a good sign that these guys were French Canadian, but for your own future reference, don’t go out of your way to hear live electronic music unless it’s straight out of god damn Paris! $30 was way too much to see this group especially compared to the DJs I’ve heard for $2 at house parties that sound ten times better. MSTRKRFT has some great tracks off of their EP The Looks as well as some solid remixes of other people’s shit, but I’d say purchasing their recordings is the full extent to which you should invest in them.
THE BIRD & THE BEE ALLAN STEINER
Photo MARK ZIEMKE
Los Angeles plays home to quite a few bands, so it comes as no surprise that there are some really good local bands that go fairly unrecognized. For me, The Bird And The Bee is one of these bands. If you have never heard their music, you should know that they play music that sounds just about as lovely as their name would imply. To be honest, that might even be an understatement. Let me give you an example of what I mean: When you go to the band’s homepage, it brings you to a picture of the group which consists of a male and a female singer with a cover version of the song “Tonight You Belong to Me,” which is that super-cute duet from the classic Steve Martin flick ‘The Jerk’ playing in the background. To make things UNION WEEKLY
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even more adorable, the song stems from the bands Valentine’s Day released EP which is chock full of love songs; it’s about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard of. I really like the music that this band is making. It’s in that genre of cute indie pop that is simply really hard to hate on. The band’s less love-based songs are still sweet but are focused more on the pop side of things. The song “Fucking Boyfriend” seems to be the fan favorite. But If you are a dude going to Coachella, I can’t suggest stopping by this show solo and still maintaining a shred of manliness. However, if you are with one of the lady-folk, stopping by just might be one of your best decisions of the weekend. Ahh… who the hell am I kidding? So long as Roger Waters was not doing his thing at the same time, I would probably be right there in front myself...
THE NEW AMSTERDAMS
The Troubadour Doors at 8pm West Hollywood Thursday, April 3rd Okay, I’m not exactly sure where New Amsterdam is, but wherever it is, they’re putting out some good tunes. Sure they’re the openers, but The New Amsterdams are going places. All you need to know is that they play really good indie-folk music with a country influence.
The Troubadour Doors at 8pm West Hollywood Wednesday, April 9th Yeah, yeah, The Third Hand didn’t really do so well. Whatever, RJD2 has enough street cred to have himself covered for that one mistake. Maybe he won’t make another pop record. Maybe his show will still showcase his sample-rocking hip-hop that everybody seemed to love so much. Maybe the guy will pull his head out of his ass. Maybe.
Spaceland Doors at 8.30pm Hollywood Friday, April 11th If Enon’s live show is as much of a mess as their music is, you’re in for a treat. Songs are often meandering, bouncy, and goofy, venturing from one musical avenue to the next without any warning whatsoever.Energetic, rambunctious, and unavoidably slick, Enon are guaranteed to put on one hell of a show.
SPOTLIGHT ON the iSproggler SEAN BOULGER By now, almost everybody is familiar with Last.fm. In case you aren’t, allow me. Ostensibly, Last.fm is a website that allows really cool people to let other really cool people scope out the really cool music they’ve been listening to lately. Using a technology they refer to as the Audioscrobbler, Last.fm connects to your iTunes or Windows Media Player (but who the fuck uses Windows Media Player to listen to music?) and records every song that you listen to by “scrobbling” them to your Last.fm profile. Your profile, which is not dissimilar to a MySpace page, contains things like a “Shoutbox” (for comments), and does everybody the favor of charting up things like most listenedto artists of the week, month, overall, and so forth. Basically, it’s a great big hipster-o-meter. It does not, however, lend itself very well to those of us who use our iPods. Personally, the fact that I have an iPod means that I rarely listen to music on my computer, (using iTunes) because I simply plug my speakers into my iPod. When I’m in my car, in
JASON COLLETT HERE’S TO BEING HERE ANNALISA BRIZUELA
my room, or pretty much anywhere else, I’m using my iPod. Essentially, my iPod is the conduit through which I listen to about 98% of my music. Therefore, Last.fm becomes completely useless to anyone with similar tendencies.
Thanks to a brand new invention called the iSproggler, however, everybody can know about all the awesome music you’ve been listening to using your iPod! Downloaded for free from a message group on Last.fm, the iSproggler records the songs you play with your iPod when you have it connected to iTunes. The iSproggler consists of a very simple program that only shows up in your system tray, recording your music by way of a “Recently Played” playlist. Created in your iPod, the Recently Played playlist records
To say that Jason Collett is the next Bob Dylan would be an insult to Collett and his unique musical talent. It’s pretty obvious that Collett sounds very similar to Dylan, but the two have very different thematic interests. Dylan sang about politics and war, while Collett sings about pure emotion of the heart. His new album Here’s to Being Here is the epitome of this. The album has a sort of heart-broken love song theme to it, which is a very different turn when compared to his last album Idols of Exile, which gave listeners an early taste of lazy summers ahead. His love song lyrics key in on the second track, “Sorry Lori,” where he sets an apologetic tone about a girl’s never-ending jealousy. All of this is sung, of course with a cheery, upbeat bass and drum setup in the background. The next track, “Out of Time” has drastic changes in beat and pitch, all of which are enthusiastically howled by Collett himself—not backup singers. Collett is way too cool and indie to have backup singers. The one track that stuck out the most
BEACH HOUSE DEVOTION ALLAN STEINER
Beach House’s latest is a prime example of why I support music piracy. If I wasn’t given a copy of this album by some person on the internet who said that I would be dumb not to listen to it, I probably would have never given the album the time of day. But I was, and I did, and what I found is a damn fine record. The music is slow, and like most of the music I listen to, it has a sense of artistry to it. It isn’t quite ambient, but it’s not really anything else either. It sounds like a musical interpretation of the time of year between Fall and Winter when everything feels crisp and the air is moist. It’s study music, which is a fairly large genre in the world of indie music, but there’s no denying that Devotion makes for great music to listen to while you are writing a paper. And although it’s an album that you can really listen to anywhere, it gives the listener a sense of privacy, which makes it an album best listened to on walks when the listener wants to be alone or just simply have some time to think.
the time and date of the songs you listen to. When your iPod is plugged into your iTunes, the iSproggler records the songs in your Recently Played playlist, adding them to your Last.fm music profile. Watch out though, because you can’t scrobble a song that was played on your iPod before the timestamp on the most recent song played in your iTunes—Last. fm’s spam filter simply won’t allow it. This means that, depending on how dilligent you want to be with the recording of your music-listening habits, you must make sure that once you’ve started listening to music on your iPod, you don’t play any music on your iTunes. The timestamps from the songs played in your iTunes will be before those played in your iPod, and Last.fm’s spam filters will catch the discrepancy, not letting you record the songs you listened to. Nobody will know that you listened to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless four times in a row! Other than this minor qualm, however, the iSproggler is very easy to use, and gets the job done well, offering a wonderfully convenient solution to Last.fm’s ineffective iPod situation.
in my opinion was “Papercut Hearts”, which is a song that automatically sets an indie rock vibe with a little taste of folk rock and country thrown in. I know it sounds weird when you read about it, but hearing it is a whole different story. Some songs, I will admit, are ultimately depressing and make you feel like cutting your wrists. Tracks such as “Henry’s Song” and “Not Over You” are just bound to get you in a low self-esteem mood that you feel you won’t be able to ever recover from…ever. However, Collett makes up for it with the few, but lively tracks throughout the rest of the album that make you feel like getting out of your chair and get a little jiggy with it—just a little. With his cathartic enigmatic overtones, Collett also brings you back an early taste of summer, but just with a love story thrown in. As he did with his last album Idols, Collett mixes shaky drum beats with his lazy summer-like lyrics that make you feel slightly enthused. The thing I like the most about this album is that none of the songs are resonant of each other. Each individual song sounds like it has a different kind of genre mixed with Collett’s smooth (and sometimes warm) Canadian voice. If you are bipolar, then this album was made just for you. It will take you on an emotional roller coaster that you will try to forget, but Collett’s sad, convivial lyrics probably won’t let you. However, I do think he may possibly be a pot head considering the fact that this album does make many references to being “stoned in bed” and “smoking out,” which makes me wonder if that’s how he got his Dylan-sounding voice. But don’t be fooled by Jason Collet’s musical background—just because he is a former member of the Broken Social Scene doesn’t mean his albums sound like it. There are no real standout tracks, although the track “You Came to Me” seems to be the first single, due to the fact that it was the first song to get a music video. I don’t say this in a bad way. I simply mean to say that the album is comprised of songs that hang around the same general level of quality, which makes for an album that plays through without any interruption. This only adds to the CD’s place as an album that puts you in a mood of tranquility as well as its ability to keep you there. There is a level of novelty to the bands obscurity that shouldn’t be ignored. Even so, a band doesn’t get recognized in indie music simply by being obscure. They have to have something. For Beach House, that thing is a combination of raw talent and a sound that is as unthreatening as it is easy to listen to. Their songs never stay in the same place for too long which only adds to the album’s ability to keep you listening. The band consists of two members: One dude, one lady, and that definitely leads to a balance, both in what my ADD allows me to pay attention to in regards to the lyrics as well as the music itself. I definitely recommend giving this band a listen in some way or another. I mean let’s be honest here… If you have enough free time to have made it this far into an article, you have enough free time to do a quick Google search. There is always the possibility that you might not fall in love with the band, but just the fact that you’ve heard them will give you a pretty decent amount of indie-cred. UNION WEEKLY
12 MARCH 2008
Caramel > You by Ken C.
Girly Girl by Christopher Troutman
Union, Weakly by Victor! Perfecto
12 MARCH 2008
(Mostly) Dirty Limericks:
CHRIS BARRETT UNION WEEKLY
12 March 2008
CULTURE m o d elST UD ENT S THE LIFESTYLE OF GREATER LOS ANGELES
PAUL NEWMAN RYAN KOBANE
Name: Ryan, 23 Major: Journalism Listening to: The Ramones
Name: Ryan, 20 Major: Computer Engineering Fashion Icon: Frank Sinatra
Name: Caroline,19 Major: Fashion Merchandising Place to Shop: Opening Ceremony Name: Leah, 18 Major: Fashion Merchandising Place to Shop: Silverlake
Name: Christy, 19 Major: Art History Fashion Icon: Janis Joplin
Name: Brittany, 20 Major: Comparative Literature Place to Shop: Goodwill
Name: John, 20 Major: Nutrition Fashion Inspiration: Lumberjacks
shoes with soul
making little african children look super indie
Before Toms creator Blake Mycoskie had taken a trip to Argentina he hadn’t thought of working in the fashion industry, but seeing so many poverty-plagued children braving the elements without shoes inspired him to make a difference. In March of 2006, Mycoskie founded Toms, designed in the likeness of the traditional Argentinean alpargatas, with a simple idea—for every pair of Toms shoes purchased, a pair will be given to a child in need. In 2006, Mycoskie personally delivered 10,000 shoes in Argentina and, just three months ago, he partnered with Hanson to deliver 50,000 shoes in South Africa. But Mycoskie’s philanthropic endeavors dont end there—he’s got his sights on Ethiopia this year. Today Toms are sold worldwide; both online, and in stores like Fred Segal, Urban Outfitters, and Scoop in NYC. Mycoskie has tapped into America’s emphatically capitalistic market and used it to benefit those less fortunate. Toms not only make a great pair of shoes, but a great difference. They make Americans feel better about their purchase and he eases the lives of children all over the world—one pair of shoes at a time.
OMFG SO CUTE!
12 MARCH 2008
Name: Name: Lauren, 20 Tom, 19 Major: Major: Criminal Architecture Justice “I like wear“I work at ing polos. Anthropologie, It’s very so that’s what mod.” I like.”
Left: Navy Canvas Toms, $42, can be purchased online at www.tomsshoes.com Below: A photo of a young South African girl during a November 2007, “shoe drop.”
BEST. GUY. EVER. It’s mighty difficult to look good in prison attire, and it’s even more difficult to look dashing while three sheets to the wind. Style is something that you’re either born with, or born to emulate. When Paul Newman was born he came out in a double-breasted three-piece suit, cufflinks and all. Newman was born with style; he never had a choice. The thing that makes Newman the icon he is today though isn’t the fact that he always looks great no matter where he is, it’s that he makes looking immaculate seem easy. Paul Newman created the look that we see so many male “celebrities” trying to pull off on a day-to-day basis. The white v-necked t-shirt, tight jeans, and cigarette. Sound familiar? Paul Newman gave every rough kid with a soft side a role model. On screen, Newman played some of the shadiest drunks and degenerates the silver screen has ever seen, and somehow the only thing most people remember is how goddamn good he looked in a tux. He took a glass of whiskey and made it an accessory for shit sakes. Undoubtedly, the man probably had a great stylist for the halfcentury he’d been acting for, but come on—no stylist can make a hockey player look pretty. All you have to do is watch Slap Shot once to see that myth laid to rest. At 83years-of-age Newman now calls his own shots. A few years back he gave away his entire wardrobe and now only has a few pairs of slacks, a couple shirts, and a v-neck sweater or two. How rad is that? Though I guess I wouldn’t expect anything different from a man who took fifty eggs and made it lunch.
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“The Rhythm Is Going to Get You.”
Volume 62 Issue 7
Wednesday, March 10th 2008
Disclaimer: This page is satire. We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Send rags to EarlGrey@lbunion.com
PETA: “We Just Want to Get Chicks Naked in Public” BY HUGH NIGEL CORNWALL III GRUNION BALL BUSTER
Board members of the Burger King Corporation congratulate the arrival CEO George Brenneman’s heir.
CEO’s Infant Son Named New Dauphin Of Burger King BY FANCY LASH GRUNION GENTLEMAN Mesquite, TX—In a coronation ceremony that took place this Tuesday, the infant son of Burger King’s present CEO, George Brenneman, was named the company’s new Dauphin. The child, Charles-Orland, cooed with cherubic elegance as his father lifted his soft frame and wobbling limbs above his head for a visibly ebullient court of board members, upper-level company managers and corporate archbishops. “As the gentle effluvia of his mother’s birth-juice still wafts delicately through these offices, I declare that this, my firstborn son, is the new vice-president of this company,” extolled the proud father. The mother, still weak from the nearly
14-hour delivery of the child, held court behind her husband in her birthing chambers as handmaidens stirred the air with palm frawns in a marked attempted to rid the room of her shameful woman stench. “Please, gentlemen,” she pleaded, “note not of my shame.” The child, who appeared to take little heed of his mother’s overwhelming punge, was then swaddled in only the swaddlingest of silken-spun swaddlement. The meeting ended after a garbled, but short speech by the new VP, in which he outlined a five-year plan for the company, including a salacious plot to eventually kill his father and “fuck a new kind of stink into my mother’s puss.” (Ed. Note: The last line is a guesstimation)
Bush Upset by Sinister Looking Tree Outside of Bedroom Window
A federal investigation of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) conducted last year is raising questions about their abuses of one notable group of animals: women. Federal agents, acting under order of President Bush, acting under order of pharmaceutical financiers, listened in on months of phone calls to and from PETA headquarters. “Most of us don’t speak Arabic, so it was nice to finally put the Patriot Act to use,” noted one agent. From these conversations, Federal agents discovered that the rising frequency of PETA protests had nothing to do with increasingly imperiled animals and more to do with ulterior motives of organization leaders. “We’ve actually been very successful, but once young women started letting us film them naked in public doing whatever we could come up with, we realized what we stood to lose by declaring victory,” admitted one organizer. A transcript of one phone call reads: “Hey Bob, I hope I’m not interrupting anything.” “No, I’m just reviewing the footage of that nude pregnant chick we locked in a pig cage at the mall on mother’s day.” “Oh yeah, that’s a good one, but I think I can top it, so listen up. Let’s protest restaurants that serve forcefertilized beef on Universal City Walk by having naked chicks force-fertilize each other on Universal City Walk!” “My God that’s obscene… bring the high-def cam. We just need to get
PETA has been using sluts like Tam and Pam (above) to get their own jollies off.
more chicks naked in public.” Upon completion of the investigation, President Bush held an emergency press conference. “For years critics have claimed that our wire tapping would yield nothing but violations of our civil liberties,” said Bush. “Today, though, we have finally discovered terrorists in our own homeland thanks to these measures. “If we had not caught them, there’s no telling what torture and abuses they would have enacted.” Bush then commented on the new viability of his Patriot Act. “As you can clearly see, wiretapping actually protects civil liberties. Without these recent developments, millions of women’s lives would have continued to be at at ris—” at which point he burst into laughter. “Damn, I knew I should’ve rehearsed that one.” Continued on Page D8
President Bush does not like the looks of that leafless tree hanging ominously outside of his bedroom window. Its branches resemble the long, spiny fingers of a ghoul, and the flashes of lightning don’t help in eliminating the evil ambience. PAGE A2
Despite What Chad Tells You, Girls Are Not En Route to Local Sausage Fest He claims that he just talked to some chicks on the phone 5 minutes ago, but don’t believe party host Chad Phelps’ claims that tons of girls are on the way. They are going to the 18-and-up club. PAGE B7
Horror Movie Conclusively Proves That Some Doors Are Best Left Un-Opened
Avid Funhouse Goer Confused About Self-Image PAGE F12?