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ISSUE 63.04 vince.union@gmail.com kathym.union@gmail.com

MATT DUPREE matt.dupree@gmail.com Senior Editor KATRINA SAWHNEY katrina.union@gmail.com News Director RACHEL RUFRANO rachel.union@gmail.com Opinions Editor VINCENT GIRIMONTE vince.union@gmail.com Sports Editor VICTOR CAMBA victorpc.union@gmail.com Comics Editor KATIE REINMAN reinman.union@gmail.com Creative Arts Editor MICHAEL VEREMANS scarf.union@gmail.com Creative Writing Editor SOPHISTICATED BEAR bear.grun@gmail.com Grunion Editor CAITLIN CUTT caitlincutt.union@gmail.com Literature Editor & PR JOE BRYANT joeb.union@gmail.com Entertainment Editor SEAN BOULGER seanb.union@gmail.com Music Editor & PR KATHY MIRANDA kathym.union@gmail.com Culture Editor CLAY COOPER, STEVEN CAREY Graphic Designers CHRIS LEE Photo Editor JOE BRYANT Copy Editing Coordinator, On-Campus Distribution CLAY COOPER clay.union@gmail.com Internet Caregiver KATRINA SAWHNEY katrina.union@gmail.com Advertising Executive ALLAN STEINER allan.union@gmail.com Advertising Executive ANDREW WILSON, ALAN PASSMAN, JASON OPPLIGER, CHRISTINE HODINH, JESSE BLAKE, JAMES KISLINGBURY, DOMINIC MCDONALD, HILLARY CANTU, RUSSELL CONROY, KEN C., BRIAN NEWHARD, ABRAHAM KIM, ANNALISA BRIZUELA, TESSAH SCHOENROCK, SERGIO ASCENCIO, MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN, JOE CREASON, SARAH LITTLE, MATT LINZMEIER, CHELSEA ROSENTHAL, KEVIN GRADY, ANDY KNEIS Contributors 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 : info@lbunion.com WEB : www.lbunion.com

MAIL TO THE CHIEF LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MIKE “BEEF” PALLOTTA Hey folks! This is the first installment of “Mail to the Chief,” an advice column where every week I, the Editor-in-Chief, answer your questions that you send in to me. I will provide my pearls of wisdom, giving you the best advice a free college newspaper can provide. Expect topics to range from the informative, to the sexual, to the macabre. Onward to the mail! Dear Chief, I am in a pickle. Shouldn’t I be having fun? I’m young. You’re young. I assume most of us are at this modest State College and yet, I can’t stop thinking about where I’m going to be in ten years. Ah, yes, the intimidating notion of the future. It follows me around everywhere I go: in class, as my professors and peers tell me how well I can or can’t write (and how much money I won’t make), and in my office, where I catch myself jotting down potential names for my unborn children. I can’t escape it. I know how much you like Back to the Future, so how do you keep from being severely apprehensive about the impending doom or glory of, well, your future? -Kalories “Future Issues” Miranda

DEAREST CHIEF BEAF, I AM IN A UNQIUE POSITION TO TO BE GIFTING YOU WITH FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS AMERICAN. ALL WE NEED YOU FROM BE ADVANCED MONEY DOLLARS IN THE FORM OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS AMERICAN IN ORDER TO CLEAR UP POSSIBLE TO CLEAR UP HOLDING FEES OF SAID MONEY DOLLARS. WE TOWARD LOOK FOR YOU’RE REPLY SIR. WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. YOUR SCHOLAR NDUGU OKONKWO Dear Ndugu Okonkwo, Please stop writing in all-caps, it is annoying and unpleasant to my eye balls. Dear Beef, How fun was it to work with Judd Apatow? -Your Biggest Fan Dear Your Biggest Fan, Unfortunately, despite the uncanny resemblance, I’m not Seth Rogen. Nor am I in any way funny. Ask Away! Need advice from a man named Beef? Well send all questions to editorinbeef@gmail.com!

ALTERNATE COVER

HILLARY CANTU GAVE US TWO OPTIONS, THIS IS THE ONE WE DIDN’T GO WITH For two weeks in a row now Art major Hillary Cantu has drawn our covers for us. Last week, we asked her to draw Kaitlin Olson from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and she gave us an awesome portrait of the beautiful actress. This week’s cover called for something involving Sigmund Freud slipping off a pile of books, pun heavily intended. However, Hillary, trooper that she is, provided us with a couple options of what to use for the cover. We didn’t want to waste the other piece of artwork that Hillary gave us, so we figured we would showcase it here in all its glory (only in black and white instead of color, sorry). Expect to see more of Hillary’s illustrations and paintings in future issues of the Union Weekly. She already promised us she would do more work for us, and we’re holding her to that. Thanks Hillustrator!

HILLARY CANTU

editorinbeef@gmail.com

COVER ART

MIKE “BEEF” PALLOTTA Editor-In-Chief VINCENT GIRIMONTE Managing Editor KATHY MIRANDA Managing Editor

Dear Kalories, You wrote many words, and in scanning your letter I noticed you mentioned Back to the Future, the greatest film of all time. I can sufficiently say, no matter your problems, watch that time-traveling son of a bitch Marty McFly, and all your woes will be lost to the sands of time.

Corrections!

Oops, we forgot to credit Joe Bryant for the interview with Kaitlin Olson last week. Sorry buddy.

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OPINIONS SARAH PALIN SENDS US A SIGN AND IT SAYS WE SHOULD VOTE FOR OBAMA RACHEL RUFRANO

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here’s a certain pride Californians have in their liberalism—the extremes that only the extremity-states have. The way our long expansive kingdom cradles and holds up the rest of our nation, but far more definitive, the way we believe it. A recent field poll reveals that since McCain has selected Palin as his running mate, 28% of California voters are more inclined to vote for McCain. It also found that, although most Democrats voting for Obama stand by their vote, there are more Republicans, who once found solace in Obama’s conservatism, who are now going to vote for McCain. It’s not surprising that so many of us shudder at the thought of a small-town candidate like Sarah Palin. We feel threatened by the unknown and the thought that the reality of the rest of the United States is unknown to her. What is surprising is how we’ve subconsciously brought a small-town idealization upon ourselves and, despite our efforts to denounce her, we may have to embrace that we’ve chosen her. It’s hard for a liberal Californian college student to hear. We are Californians! We conquered the Spanish

Empire, we embody the aspirations of Manifest Destiny, we are where the gold rushed—and we are taught to have this pride without implications of genocide and sacrifice and corruption. We hold up our self-important shield to the conservatives to the east and south because we believe our values are superior. The conservatives in the South were brought up on a pride in spite of hardship: The military defeat of the Civil War, the Depression, and the heavy weight of social guilt have created those so-called “small-town” ideals we think we don’t understand. The conservative states thrive on a Sir Walter Scott–inspired nostalgia of Wagnerian proportions to keep them moving forward. Maybe this was truer half-a-century ago, but things have changed drastically in the past seven years. We took a massive ego check on September 11th and still haven’t recovered as a nation. Where, once, we seemed united as individuals, we have pitted ourselves against each other as radicals—perhaps because we are disappointed to learn how similar we’ve become. Californians adapted a small-town pride they hadn’t before—waving flags, praising their country, and embracing unity. No step was too drastic for our nation’s cause and sense of dignity. It’s the same whitebread, blind-loving convictions we associate with Palin. But Alaska is even whiter—blinder. Most smalltowns in the United States are somewhat isolated, but a big city is usually just a few hours away. In Alaska the big city road trip is just to another small-town. But Palin is smart enough to play into the weaknesses 9/11 has created within us and she uses her small-town, everywoman appeal to her advantage. I suppose you could argue that Palin is a result of the

means-to-an-end society we’ve created, and it’s certainly a ploy college students can grasp (it doesn’t matter how you got the A, only that you got it). But I would argue that Palin is more than just a PTA mother with connections and fortunate genes. She’s well aware of what she’s doing, surpassing a scandalous teen pregnancy (Thank you, Juno), rising in spite of sexist comments, rejecting the case that she’s inexperienced—and she’s turning them into strengths: She’s an involved mother with realistic faults, a strong feminine woman, and she isn’t claiming to be infallible, so how could we ever catch her in the headlights? It’s a meticulously thought out strategy of an intelligent politician and she’s preying on a vulnerability Californians have never known until recently. She’s appealing to the side of us that believes there ever were “good old days” while the door is still open to do so. And she does it all with the edge and creativity of a Christian rock band (I hope that comparison is clear). It’s not a conspiracy and its not the decline of civilization—it’s just a warning sign. Palin has exposed Californians for what they are—no better than their adversaries. We’ve allowed ourselves to become victims during difficult times and, without realizing it, allowed someone like Palin to ever have a chance. If we hate her out of fear of the unknown or love her out of fear of what a liberal America could mean, we are wrong. We can only love or hate her based on current-event awareness and educated decisions. But it would take someone like Palin for us to realize the error of our ways—I’d like to believe we aren’t a state of fool’s gold and we all have something to prove as young Americans if we ever want to really endorse change.

PARENTS JUST DONT UNDERSTAND WHY I AM VOTING NO ON PROPOSITION 4 ANNALISA BRIZUELA

Illustration RACHEL RUFRANO

Towards the end of my senior year of high school, I had a couple of friends who became pregnant. My friends and I often talked about the choices they could make—whether or not they wanted to keep their baby, give it up for adoption, or have an abortion. Most of my friends opted for keeping the baby. Then again, we were at an age where our parents still packed our lunch and made our hard decisions for us. Proposition 4 is a bill on this November’s ballot that demands that there be parental notification before the termination of an unborn child. Also titled the “Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy,” the initiative permits the notification of either parents or other adults related to the minor if the parents are reported to Child Protective Services. If, however there is evidentiary proof that the minor is mature enough to handle the procedure or if it is at her best interest, then the notification may be waived by the court. This bill not only affects pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant teens, but it also affects the rest of the population since the net state and local government fiscal impact of the bill is still unknown, according to the Voter Information Guide website. In lieu of Proposition 4, I must say that all of this talk about teens notifying parents in order to have an abortion is giving me even more of a UNION WEEKLY

22 SEPTEMBER 2008

reason to be pro-choice. It’s ridiculous how there can be so many protestors that can easily force their unwanted opinions on abortion towards people that are otherwise known for their decision to be pro-choice. Being pro-life doesn’t make you a better person if you flaunt it in other people’s faces—it makes you an obnoxious asshole who thinks you’re better than everyone else by not having an abortion. And honestly, when have you ever seen pro-choice protestors yelling at women in labor at the emergency room to get an abortion? What happened to women’s rights? Do we need to be constantly reminded that what we do with our bodies is our choice and no one elses? So, why then should women who choose to have an abortion get the burden of having pro-life protesters yell in their face about how they’re going to hell for destroying a life? In retrospect, the idea of having an abortion is not always the best one. There are emotional burdens attached to the procedure and there can sometimes be health problems that follow along with it as well. However, it is up to you to decide whether or not the baby you are giving up inside of you can even be considered a “baby.” And then there is the option of adoption. You can go through the whole pregnancy (if you don’t mind going through it) and give your baby up in the end. But it’s easier said than done. I have all the respect in the world for those

who chose to have an abortion but I also have equal amount of respect for the women who decide to keep on truckin’ and go through with the pregnancy and keep their baby. In the end, I’m just happy that their decision was just that— theirs. This is why I am not so keen on voting for Proposition 4—that and because a lobbyist for Prop 4 was so keen on making me vote yes on the ballot. The point is that no one has the right to tell you how to live your life, so why should you waste your time telling others how to live theirs? If you think realistically, how many people do you know whose families would be 100 % supportive of their decision to keep the child anyways? Those who may get kicked out of their homes for just getting pregnant alone face the ever realistic possibility of never being able to financially take care of said child. I don’t know about you, but I think I would rather give the kid up for adoption or have an abortion if I couldn’t support it and give it the rich life it deserved.


MATT DUPREE

I’ve never been a good cook. It’s an awful character flaw perpetuated by laziness and self-prejudice springing from attempts to cook as a youth that usually matured into lightly burnt, barbecue sauce-smothered creations that only their creator could love. Now, sure, most things that I had convinced myself I was incapable of as a youth I have accomplished by now. I’ve overcome my fear of rollercoasters (though plain ol’ heights still remain a serious problem) and can at least pretend to play most musical instruments while drunk. But of course my claim to frontiersmanship simply wouldn’t hold without that cooking merit badge. Not only is it cheaper to cook your own food, after all, but I’ve heard it’s like SUPER impressive on dates. Apparently there’s some talk about additional health benefits, but I think I may have shot that part down insisting on smothering everything in butter. Anyways, mounting personal poverty finally drove me to stroll down to the local market and pick up, well, whatever. To be honest, I’m probably the most pathetic shopper in California. My eyes take on a zombified glaze and I roam the aisles lost, circling again and again, visiting each aisle at least three times. Convention says you shouldn’t go to the grocery store hungry, but I find it’s the only way I’ll actually work up the desire to go there. At the end of my trip I had enough supplies to make swordfish steaks with a salad and some bread, and only the faintest idea of how to make the bread. God bless the Internet for recipe advice. Apparently, and this isn’t going to come as a surprise to most, but there’s this thing underneath our oven known as a “broiler.” With this you can “broil” foods including, but not limited to, swordfish. Yes, with a little luck, and a marinade that I got off the Internet (but now claim to have invented), I made my first real meal, and it consisted of two (count ‘em, TWO) servings. As a matter of karmic balance, my achievement was immediately turned into a reminder of how old I’ve become. After I bragged over the phone to my mother about my newly earned culinary skills, she asked for my recipe. To my horror, I started recounting it, in detail, almost as a matter of habit. I had joined the fraternity of recipe-sharers. I had become one of THEM! Truly, no deed goes unpunished (also, if anyone knows any good salmon recipes, let me know). As a postscript, even though it kinda takes away from the main point of the article, I should mention that I still haven’t quite got the hang of cooking for one. Not because it’s depressing, which it soooo is, but because I tend to buy in bulk. This, friends, is a great way to gain fifteen pounds over the summer.

WHEN HAVING $28 TO YOUR NAME IS A BLESSING JASON OPPLIGER

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don’t know much about anything. Really. I don’t really understand protons and all that bullshit. I don’t fully comprehend grammar or spelling or, for that matter, global economics. Or federal economics. I don’t know who Fanny Mae or The Lehman brothers are, and honestly I don’t give a flying pig over Wall Street who or what is failing. AIG? Morgan Stanley? Don’t care, don’t care. So maybe analysts are saying this is the worst recession since the Great Depression and that it may get worse still. Should that bother me? It doesn’t. And actually, if we continue the set naming trend, this depression would be called “Federal Depression Two,” which sounds cool. Anyway, I’m not worried. Ask me why. Why? Because I’m fucking broke. I have no money. I have literally, as of the writing of this, $28 in cash tucked securely in my wallet. My moneys be safe, people. All I have to do is not get mugged or lose my billfold and I’m good, so I guess my money is only marginally safe. But still, the point here is that there has never been a time in recent memory where being broke off your ass has been such a positive thing. Look at it this way: If you have millions of dollars invested in the stock exchange (firstly you’re

JOIN THE BINGE-DRINKING REVOLUTION WHY THE STUDENT HEALTH CENTER WANTS YOU DEAD MICHAËL VEREMANS Long have the life-giving streams of wine been blocked by the gates of ignorant “overbearance”. The quite arbitrary drinking age of 21 is being shaken to its very foundations. The gods have conspired and these laws are soon to be done away with. In the last month, the presidents of over a hundred post-secondary institutions have signed a petition to bring the legal-drinking-age paradox up for discussion and study. Notably, CSULB, UCLA, and USC who have not signed the petition that would call for a responsive change in local governments to protect students from the dangers of underground drinking. Many experts have concluded that binge drinking and other underground drinking activities—not to mention the fear of authority instilled in every drunken freshman—result directly from our relatively high drinking age. Proponents of lowering the legal age cite the high rate of alcohol-related deaths among collegeaged “minors,” bringing home the message that our ridiculous policy is actually a danger in itself. Students are dying because they are not being taught to be responsible under-aged drinkers. So I say, keep drinking you freshmen and Fraternity

Brothers—keep chugging those Solo cups and draining those Franzia space bags. With your noble deaths at the hands of the merciless god of alcohol you are bringing a boon to the drinking-living. You are Dionysian martyrs, giving up your lives for something greater: civil rights. I’d like to also call out the anti-progressive, shortsighted Campus Health Center for every life it tries to save. You are the ones pushing the drinking underground on this campus, demonizing drinking, telling kids not to drink themselves to death, giving students the tools for responsible drinking in your workshops without giving them something to drink, an environment in which to practice those skills learned. Shame on you. So students, this weekend, start the revolution and take those shots, cause it’s the only way they’ll learn. How many thousands of potential-chocked students have lost their lives to these deleterious Puritanical laws that are violating your right to the pursuit of happiness, as we speak. Questions? Comments? Send any questions or comments you might have for Michaël Veremans to scarf.union@gmail.com UNION WEEKLY

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Illustration

IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE BROKE

stupid, Dubai is where it’s at) and nine houses, yeah, you have nine houses and a ton of money you can’t spend, but they are both losing value faster than John McCain is losing grasp of reality (because he’s old, get it?). But my $28? Still here. I just looked at it again. Yup. Not going anywhere. And plus, I’ve got my two credit cards. If I need anything I can just put it on those. I mean, that new fixed-gear looks awfully tempting and I’ve got a parttime job. Or a boat. I’ve always wanted a boat. Although maybe I should try and live within my means and only buy what I can afford while setting aside small amounts of capital into a slow-growth, diversified IRA. Or invest in something that will never lose value, like gold or oil (sorry hippies—oil fucking owns). Actually, forget that. I’m an American. I buy what I want, when I want, whether I have the “money” to buy it or not. And I want an RV. Right now. So I’ll take out a loan. And that $28? I’ll still have that so that my wallet doesn’t get lonely. Hence… let the economy crash, let the militia’s have stand-offs with Mad Max in the thunder dome. I’ll be living in luxury in Puerto Nuevo with my $28, eating lobster and ripping off Canadian tourists (because all Americans are now Canadians). Let Wall Street tumble into that deep abyss of irrational American business practices and flailing, sink or swim stock techniques—I’ll survive on a Kibbutz in Israel. Bring it on crashing economy, I’ve got a flint rock and an amateur, “edible horticulture” book. Let the Chinese force us to work off our debt to them like it’s the Great Leap Forward with American hands tilling the fields. Let it all come, because I’m broke as the day I was born. And like the now multi-millionaire Bobby Dylan used to say: “When you ain’t got nothing / you ain’t got nothing to lose,” and crumbling economy… I’ve got nothing.

RACHEL RUFRANO

OPINIONS


NEWS THIS ISN’T THE GREAT DEPRESSION BUT WE’RE STILL SCREWED

RACHEL RUFRANO

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ou’ve heard people say it: we’re having the worst stock market crisis since the Depression. No one, however, is jumping off the Naples bridge, picketing through Belmont Shore begging for a job, or standing in lines outside the Wells Fargo in the USU. Most of us students don’t really understand what’s happening with the market or don’t feel affected. Hell, how many of us even pay taxes? But what really may affect us are our chances of taking out a loan or the money some of parents have stashed away for us in interestbearing accounts. In fact, this year’s college students’ interest-bearing loan debts are greater than ever before. We’re breaking last year’s record, which broke the record the year before, too. The average student graduates $19,000 in debt and 2.7 billion of those students are graduating out of American colleges. That’s more than $52 billion of debt going into our economy each year—and the cost of college is only rising. I guess there’s no real problem so long as there’s a relative income and good sense says that we’ll make more money with college degrees anyway. So the day will come when we’ll get all the money back and more in the long run. That is, if we don’t jump off a bridge before that day comes. But we’re forgetting a piece of the puzzle: college produces more programs like the economic recovery of 2001-2004. This recovery shows that high school grads incomes have risen 1.6 percent, but college grads have declined

5.2 percent. Hooray for Democrats! It all sounds good: More high school grads who will go to college and make money to put into our economy. And it’s obvious that there is a demand for college degrees, but supply is reciprocating the way we thought it would. Outsourcing is hurting college students, especially now that were moving high-skilled jobs overseas. There’s a reason we’re employing engineers in India—we can do it for less money and reap the benefits of the same talent. Sure, we could just give those low-laying jobs to our own engineers, but then our supply and demand would still be kind of wonky. I don’t see this happening, so we’ll just keep taking out loans and all we can do is hope that, when we are paying them off, a large mass of us don’t get stuck with the low-paying jobs and all default on our payments. even if that doesn’t happen, our generation will be in too much debt to pay high taxes or the Social Security Tax—something we meant to give up because we wouldn’t need it anymore. It’s something we can’t really control. College degrees aren’t becoming any less indispensable or any more affordable, so we’re stuck. Unless we can get Congress to dispense more grants the way they used to or limit the interest rates we have to pay on loans. So maybe this isn’t the Great Depression but, well, bridges are only getting higher…

IN MEMORIAM OF A CSULB STUDENT: JACOB HEFTER KATRINA SAWHNEY

As we learn more about our departed Forty Niner, Jacob Hefter, the tragic the story only becomes more heartbreaking. As accounts by friends and families of Jacob are released, every detail furthers the profundity of our loss. Jacob was enroute to see his girlfriend when the Metrolink train collided with a freight train on September 12th. He graduated as valedictorian from Palmdale High School, where a memorial service was held for him late last week. He was remembered as an intelligent man who donated his time to volunteer work. At the memorial service, it was announced that a scholarship fund would be UNION WEEKLY

established at Palmdale High in his honor. As CSULB students remember a new member taken too soon, ASI has also started a memorial fund for the Hefter family. After only the first day of fundraising, more than 1,500 dollars has been collected. Funds exceeding the funeral and memorial costs donated to the Hefter family will be placed in a fund to assist families who experience the loss of a loved one during their time here. We ask that you continue to support the Hefter family in their time of need and disaster. The fund continues to grow in his honor and appreciation of his contributions during his short time here.

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ASI INFO NIGHT WE WERE THERE, AND WE WERE THE ONLY ONES KATRINA SAWHNEY

ASI Information Night is an evening geared towards freshmen and is intended to serve as a gateway to campus involvement. This is far more effective when students actually show up. You know, when more than only the students working their respective booths attend. The turn out at Info Night was pitiful at best. The USU Ballroom was empty save for the students volunteering. This was even with the bribery of free pizza. Usually the promise of free food is enough to pull a respectable crowd. Apparently, people were not in the mood to be involved, nor were they hungry. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the recipe for disaster and slim turnout at ASI Information Night. See you next year!

NEWS YOU SHOULD KNOW, ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````` BUT DON’T ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````` ````` `````

JAMES KISLINGBURY

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South Ossetia War So, if you didn’t notice there was a war this summer. No, not that one. No, not that one. No. . . not that one—Alright, I’ll just tell you, then. It happened in a tiny little country in the Caucus mountain ranges called Georgia—a nation that was formerly best known for its role in having been the home country of Joseph Stalin. Currently, its better known as having gotten completely rocked by Russia in eleven days, which is what happens when you go to start a war with one of the biggest armies on Earth. Recently, tensions between Georgia and Russia have been flaring, mostly over Georgia’s desire to join NATO—an organization started originally to curtail (then) Soviet Russian influence. Obviously, Russia, not wanting to be surrounded once again by pro-western forces, has a large stake in Georgia not joining NATO. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that Georgia has two off-shoot regions—Abkhazia and South Ossetia—made up mostly of ethnic Russians that claim to be a part of Russia. This all came to a head in early August when Georgia—drunk on power and vodka, we can only assume—decided it was a good idea to poke the bear and move troops into South Ossetia to keep the peace (the bear is Russia). To say the least, it went poorly. The point is, the whole situation, like all wars, is complicated and ugly. You’re going to be hearing about—if you haven’t already—more and more about hostilities between Russia and the West. In fact, during the war in South Ossetia, the US and Poland announced that missile defense bases would be built in Poland. Whether or not this was to spite Moscow isn’t clear, but what is clear is that this situation isn’t going away any time soon. The Large Hadron Collider On the lighter side of the news, the Swiss tried to end the world last week. That’s what the Large Hadron Collider might cause in the form of a black hole that would suck up the Earth faster than Sigur Ros can kill your boner. Sure, there’s only a one in fifty-billion chance that that’ll happen, but risks must be made for the sake of scientific progress. The LHC, as us science enthusiasts call it, is a scientific tool that fits better in a James Bond villain’s lair than it does in its actual home, the Swiss-Franco border. It’s seventeen miles long and is the world’s largest particle accelerator and is built about three hundred feet underground. There’s a sundry of questions the LHC seeks to answer, but the foremost among them is: How rad is shooting a group of protons at each other at 99.999999% the speed of light? In addition to that important question, the LHC seeks to answer what the universe looked like at the exact moment the universe began. If successful, the experiment will prove whether or not the Higgs Boson particle exists. This particle could help scientists figure out how and why matter exists. As of this week, the LHC was disabled because the cooling system was malfunctioning, meaning you’ll have to put off the “What does it all mean?” question for at least two months.


NEWS

RECYCLING CSULB RECYCLES, SAVES WORLD KATRINA SAWHNEY

The “Go Green” trend has finally found a home at CSULB. A once fledgling organization founded in 1970, the student-run Recycling Center has hit its stride. The recycling center has come a long way in its short history at The Beach. What began as a small group of eco-friendly students, a few 55-gallondrums and a broom with a weight attached to crush the glass and cans, has become a streamlined process that shows no signs of its primitive roots. The current facilities on Atherton have been around since 1976 and have been making powerful strides. Since then the modest recycling organization has become a Licensed State of California Recycling Center and with the help of a few major grants, CSULB can now boast its record breaking achievements. This year, the Recycling Center made their presence known at this year’s Move-In Day. In cooperation with University Facilities Management, Housing and Residential Life and ASI volunteers, the Recycling Center collected, sorted and recycled the packing material used by our dear dorm population. Cardboard, Styrofoam and Ikea remnants make for primo recyclables it turns out, and the Recycling Center was all over it. The 40 cubic yards of styrofoam, 7,347 pounds of cardboard were a nice dent in the 1.7 million pounds of material recycled in the past year. Pay a visit to the Recycling Center between the Parkside Dorms and the‘Myd, drop off your empties and consider it your good deed for the day.

POETRY NIGHT CREATIVE WRITING FACULTY EXPRESSES THEMSELVE AT THE USU MATT DUPREE

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n Thursday the 18th, the Creative Writing faculty put on their first reading of the academic school year in Ballroom A of the Student Union. As usual, the evening began with free pizza and bottled water: you know, stuff to get you feeling creative. Turnout was fairly strong, which was actually sort of surprising given the circumstances. This semester marked the beginning of CSULB’s lack of Gerald Locklin. And even though Gerald was only one of the fine creative minds on campus, his readings have always been tremendously entertaining and his place in the lineup always assured a sizable crowd. So while Gerald will be missed, the department rolls on unimpeded. The night consisted of readings from Bill Mohr, Charles Webb, Patty Seyburn, Ray Zepeda, Lisa Glatt,

Suzanne Greenberg, and Stephen Cooper. For the most part, it was broken up evenly between poetry and fiction readings, with Zepeda splitting the difference with a few poems to warm up the crowd before reading a longer work. The event was the first in a series of readings that will be put on by the department with the help of the English Students Association. On October 23rd, David Hernandez will be reading from his new young adult fiction work Suckerpunch at the Student Union, Ballroom A. Hernandez is a Long Beach resident, winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, and husband of Lisa Glatt. In December, CSULB will welcome T.S. Eliot Prizewinning poet (and awardwinning memoirist) Mark Doty for a reading and discussion of his work at, wait for it, Ballroom A of the Student Union. Don’t miss ‘em.

THIS WEEK IN: WEATHER Mon. 22nd

Tues. 23rd

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Wed. 24th

Thur. 25th

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Fri. 26th

YOUR WEEKEND

Hi 80° Lo 63° Sunny

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LITERATURE “SOMETIMES I’D LIKE TO GET MY HANDS ON GOD.” WRITER GARTH ENNIS ENDS HIS EPIC RUN ON THE PUNISHER: MAX JAMES KISLINGBURY

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ver the summer, one of the biggest names in comics ended his seven-year run on one of the great characters in Marvel’s pantheon, and it’s a shame that it went away without the fanfare it deserved. The series I’m talking about is Garth Ennis’ Punisher run on Marvel’s MAX imprint. The MAX line-up is a continuity-free imprint where the characters are allowed to use four-letter words, screw, and blow each other’s brains out. In other words it’s perfect for the Marvel Universes’ most violent character to be set loose in. Garth Ennis is famous for writing the definitive story arcs for Hellblazer (better known as “Constantine” to some) and for his magnum opus, Preacher. He’s also one of the few people that understands how to craft an original story around a character that is an unsympathetic psychopath. Have you ever watched an episode of Law & Order: SVU and thought, “Man, it’d be great if Stabler completely lost his mind and unloaded his pistol on a bunch of perverts.” The Punisher MAX is that episode of SVU. The soul of the comic is one of a procedural drama. Every story arc runs the same length (six issues) and just about every story has the same beginning (The Punisher finds out about a horrible crime) and end (The Punisher kills the last of

the horrible criminals). In between those two points is a lot of comeuppance and calculated vigilantism. As quality as the whole of the series is, two story arcs stand out among the rest. In “The Slavers,” the Punisher stumbles upon the botched assassination of a mobster by a young, delirious girl from the Balkans. As he speaks with her, he uncovers a horrific world where girls like her are kidnapped and forced into prostitution. It’s not exactly a feel good storyline—none of Ennis’ Punisher stories are exactly life affirming—but it’s a tightly told story about an issue that few seem to be aware of, where even the most liberal-minded person on Earth wants to see the villains punished. “The Long, Cold, Dark” is the second stand out in The Punisher MAX. Not only is it the best written arc in the run, it’s also the best Punisher story in existence. In the Punisher’s world not much is shocking. There’s an entire boat-load of people being fed to sharks, there’s a one hundred year-old vegetable being shot in the face at his birthday party, and yet Ennis still manages to find a way to not only shock his now jaded audience, but to shock Frank Castle as well. In “The Long, Cold, Dark,” the Punisher does battle with a sociopath much like himself over a loved one he doesn’t even know of until their life is at stake. Ennis also manages to both humanize the Punisher and to show just how much of his soul he’s thrown away for the sake of his endless crusade. The blemish on the otherwise spotless run is “Kitchen Irish.” It’s not terrible, but it’s out of place. The entire story line reads like a demon Garth Ennis, a native Northern Irishman, is trying to exercise. It’s as if he wrote this storyline just so he could get it out of the way as soon as possible. One thing it does do right, though, is distill a conflict most Americans don’t know or care about (ie: “The Troubles” between North Ireland and Ireland proper) into a comic book and it also includes one of the most delightful variants of the word “cunt” that I’ve ever read.

The Punisher MAX isn’t the most mind-blowing work that’s ever been made, but it is very good. It’s the perfect demonstration of a talented writer taking a tired, often boring character and breathing new life into it. It’s a solid work of sequential art that stands out among the small sliver of the comic world that isn’t men in spandex. It isn’t as original as Y: The Last Man or Watchmen, but it is one of the most consistently enjoyable comics of the past decade.

The Punisher by Garth Ennis Omnibus, cover art by Tim Bradstreet, hits shelves November 5th.

LEARNING TO LOVE POETRY THIS WHOLE ARTICLE IS A METAPHOR RACHEL RUFRANO Not everyone’s poetic education can be like a scene from Dead Poets Society and mine certainly wasn’t. I probably gave up on it before I ever gave it a real chance. Shell Silverstein was just a step away from Dr. Seuss, but even that went right over my head. So I said to my seven-year-old self, “I don’t get poetry,” and I took a six-year hiatus to really digest it. In other words I disregarded it completely. It wasn’t until I was in seventh grade and read The Outsiders that I encountered poetry again: Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” Even then, I figured this poetry thing was a passing fad and I wasn’t about to jump on that bandwagon only to face the derision that accompanied its downfall. Despite all my adolescent efforts to act disinterested in poetry, I kept bumping into it—in conversation, in a book, on the street. Our conversations were always awkward: “Remember me?” it would say. “Yeaahh… you…” and I booked it out of there. Little did I know, I had been enjoying a long-term relationship with poetry every time I put on my headphones (Oh, God. It’s just like You’ve Got Mail). But my poets were different: Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, etc. Adolescence UNION WEEKLY 22 SEPTEMBER 2008

washed away with the blonde streak in my hair and I mustered up the courage to enroll in an introductory poetry class. My professor, Zach Locklin, handed out a packet of poems and one of them really struck me. I had just gotten out of a long relationship when I read it—“For Grace, After a Party” by Frank O’Hara. I’m doing O’Hara a terrible injustice by taking this line out of context, but the line would captivate me even if I had read it alone: “And someone you love enters the room and says wouldn’t / you like the eggs a little / different today? / And when they arrive they are / just plain scrambled eggs and the warm weather / is holding.” It was then that I realized that you could say absolutely nothing and yet, say everything. It was all about the submerged chunk of the iceberg and all this time I had only been looking above the water. That’s also when I was informed that my poets actually weren’t any different. When a lyricist is good enough they can transition between music and poetry so effortlessly that you never know the difference. When Paul Simon said, “I am a rock,” or when Neil Young said, “Love is a rose,” it was no different than when Shakespeare said, “It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!” None of whom were talking about rocks, or roses, or the sun.

Anyway, I’m still learning. Most of it still goes over my head like it used to, but I’m trying. Not because it’s the Creative-Writing-Major-thing-to-do or for all the snobbish glory, but because when a poem really hits me, it’s genuinely rewarding. It’s like, I’m a sea diver… …or something. Yeah, I’m working on it.

Lit Listings! Readers and Writers! Here are some local events this week. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 7 pm : Bill Mohr, Elliot Fried - Casa Romantica, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, CA 92672 Friday, Sept. 26, 7 pm : Cal State Long Beach MFA Candidiates It’s A Grind Coffee House, 2101 E Carson Street Know of an open mic night? Lit page is doing a calendar of events! Please email the lit editor: caitlincutt.union@gmail.com


SPORTS

THE BUSH LEAGUER VINCENT GIRIMONTE

I was craving some football in Long Beach but was dreadfully low on gas and money. A friend of mine, whom we call Yikes in some circles, invited me to a Long Beach Poly football game against the Newport Harbor High Tommy Bahamas, or American Flags—we couldn’t decide. I roamed the sidelines and realized that I had never really seen a high school football game like this before; I had been watching my friends arm themselves in pads and run into each other. It was enlightening. The athletes playing at Poly will be playing Pac-10 ball and it was easy to see why. Rewarding is the fact that a Poly game is more Long Beach than the Queen Mary (lazy old hag) and Snoop Dogg (didn’t make the cut at Poly) combined. I felt part of this big party, too, rooting against the evil intruders from Newport Beach who were allegedly highly disparaging towards the Poly entourage when they played in Orange County, if you can imagine racists in Orange County. Go see a Poly game. It’s a right of passage if you consider yourself a sports fan. The locals tell me Poly plays at Lakewood on Oct. 3rd and you’d be a damn fool to miss it. Like me? Convinced there are people smarter than me? Either way, LBPOSTSPORTS.COM is your destisnation for Long Beach sports. Check out SportsNight, Long Beach’s premier and most professional souding sports podcast.

YES, BUT WILL IT LAST?

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL GETS THRASHED AND WE’RE NOT USED TO THAT VINCENT GIRIMONTE

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r. Nice Guy wants to write off the 49ers loss on Saturday night, a beat-down at the hands of the Santa Clara Broncos and maybe the ugliest three games we’ve seen in the Walter Pyramid since Pepperdine came to town. But Mr. Nice Guy is also very confused. LBSU Women’s Volleyball started the season by winning ten of eleven, including an impressive victory over the very same Broncos the night before what we would all like to call an aberration. Before we jump ship, it’s worth highlighting the positives from Saturday. Caitlin Ledoux is going to be good, or very good, or much better than she already is, which is outstanding. Coach Brian Gimmillaro said that this year’s team would be relying heavily on Ledoux and her quick transition to the college game. This rang true on Saturday, as she lead the team with nine kills, easily the bright spot of the 49er attack. I’m not sure this was what Gimmillaro had in mind when he sad he’d be relying heavily on a freshman. And there’s the play of freshman Cat Highmark, who began the season playing on the outside but split time with Nicole Vargas as setter against the Broncos. Other positives from Saturday? Well, it was a beautiful night in Long Beach, dare I say balmy for mid-September. I noticed a great layer of sparkle on the ‘Myd’s floor—kudos to the maintenance crew for such fine work. Other than that, well, nobody was hurt. Coach Gimmillaro kept searching for the winning, or at least functional combination of players, but it became tedious mid-way through game two. Santa Clara was just better. Anna Cmaylo was absolutely dominant as middle blocker for Santa Clara. She was everywhere, throwing down 12

kills at a .647 clip. Krista Kelley also gave Long Beach’s blockers fits with 11 kills. All in all it was an inspired performance that left many wondering if the same team had played the night before. Broncos over the 49ers in three games: 26-18, 25-23, 25-13. Ashley Lee played on the outside and was continually stifled at the net, almost looking overmatched. Vargas, who still leads the team in assists by leaps and bounds, was quiet and like the rest of the team. Things were going remarkably well for Gimmillaro’s squad. They are a top 25 team, undeniably, but perhaps Saturday was what they needed before they dive into conference play—a swift kick in the rear. Questions remain with the upperclassmen—defensive specialist Iris Murray, hitter Quincy Verdin, middle blocker Naomi Washington and Vargas at setter—and whether or not they will take ownership over this team. This is probably too much to take away from a lousy game, and it will at least take two more for the rational mind to worry. Join me in wondering what the hell happened. We have questions, or at least I did for Coach Gimmillaro. I waited an hour outside the locker room to no avail. Something tells me they weren’t eating pizza after the game. The 49ers hit the road for two up North, and return to the ‘Myd October 7th hosting Cal State Northridge to open up conference play at home. Hopefully we will have forgotten Saturday by then.

CHRIS LEE

The Rays have forgotten they were once the Devil Rays, to their great benefit, and have woken up in the playoffs like TBL once woke up next to Jennifer Connelley. Let’s hope they don’t adopt the neighboring strategy of the Florida Marlins by making a run at the title every seven years. It’s similar to keeping grandpa on life support so you can move his arms around at Christmas—it’s just not fair. I’m still not convinced anybody cares about anything in Florida outside of college football. Hopefully Tampa Bay will prove me wrong.

Coach Gimmillaro is less than enthused with his team’s performance Saturday against Santa Clara, losing 3-0. It was only their second loss of the season, their first at home and easily the most painful thing we’ve seen all year. Below, Brittany Lowe kills us yet again.

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Try as I might, I just can’t say anything bad about the Yankees right now. Some pundits have become highly critical over the amount of publicity the last game at Yankee Stadium (played on Sunday) has received, calling it a drawn out spell of nostalgia that belies an East Coast bias. The Bush Leaguer just doesn’t understand, even as a West Coast fan through and through. The Yankees are The American Franchise, and so what if the most storied ballpark in American History gets a bit longwinded as it begins to decay.

UNION WEEKLY

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CAITLIN CUTT

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erek Jeter stands on a field. A ball spins through the starless sky, eclipsing bits and pieces of the floodlights that illuminate the surrounding, breathless crowd. Hands clutch sweating beers. Legs lift faithful fans away from their seats. But Jeter’s leather glove still hangs lifeless beside him. Without even so much as a clench of an index finger, Jeter watches as the ball hits the ground, rolls, and gently taps the tip of his cleats. Now, suppose I send you this exact tid-bit in an email. You read it, and head to school. Then suppose you over-hear two people talking about this incident while you’re in line for coffee. You happen to find one of these people very attractive, and based on the information your good friend Caitlin sent you, you’re confident that you could work your way into the conversation. What kind of things would you say? Would you bring

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up sports stories of your own? Maybe you would try to be a little self-deprecating (you want to seem like a nice person) so you share an embarrassing sports moment of your own. But after a few minutes, you realize that these two people are looking at you strangely. Maybe you’re not as funny as you had hoped. You struck out. Did you get your statistics wrong? In any case, the conversation ends awkwardly. That night, you log onto MSNBC.com. The headline reads, “Derek Jeter Wanders Into USC Game: Has Steroid Use Gone Too Far?” Oops. Between flipping these words up, off this page, and the interpretation of these words, thousands of associations are being made right now as you read my article. The space between word and meaning, the place where these associations are processed, is your mind. I use the word “space” loosely because people still don’t really know what, or where, our mind is. Considering this conundrum, it’s impressive that we even know what little we do about how the mind works. You read a few words, recognized a name, and based on some seemingly safe associations, your mind built a scenario for you. But with the addition of the crucial fact that Jeter was standing smack dab in the middle of a college football game, your scenario went from, “Jeter had a bad night,” to “Jeter is going the way of Anne Heche.” That’s a pretty substantial difference. I didn’t tell you that Derek Jeter was standing on a football field. Consequently, you were never afforded the opportunity

to make that pivotal association. Obviously, this isn’t your fault. But it may not have been mine either. What if, when I wrote this story in an email to you, I assumed you knew where I was the night before? You never really asked, did you? Speaking of associations, did you know that the CSULB library doesn’t have the complete works of Sigmund Freud? What do you think about that? Should we have it? Why? When was the last time you went to our library to just look around? I know it’s been a while for me. Most importantly, why should you care if whether or not the complete works of Freud can be found at CSULB? If you want a really good explanation, talk to Cheryl Goldstein. I took a class with her last semester. Last week I sat down and talked about this with her. She’s a Comparative World Literature professor here at Long Beach State. You may have taken a class with her. If you’re a Comp Lit Major like me, you’d probably like her. If, for some reason, you ended up in a Capstone course with her, you may remember her as the crazy lady that made you do a ton of weird stuff with theory that you still don’t get—or care about. Goldstein: What’s interesting about Freud, and what’s important, is it’s an approach that has thoroughly infiltrated the way we think. Freud didn’t invent the way we think. He systemized it. Freud came up with a


Goldstein: The process of being in a library, when you’re there as a student—I think we’re all there as a student—is that you stand there. You locate what you need, but you also see the two things that are above it, the two things it’s between, and they would have never shown up on your search, but their relationships may become manifest to you as you stand there. A library works much like our mind—its principal is based on associations. But a library has something your mind doesn’t. Very simply, what it has is information you don’t know. That sounds obvious, but think about the way a computer-generated search works. The Internet is simply task-oriented. You decide you need something specific and you find exactly that, and only that. I look around at my friends who just graduated, and most of them seem almost broad-sided by the new life they’ve been dropped into. They have jobs and they have no idea what to do now. One of my friends even said to me, “I don’t have any idea what people do after they’re out of school. I know now that I’ve graduated I watch more TV.” I think a lot of that confusion comes from the fact that they spent four years focused on a task, earning a degree, and not an education. They decided they needed something specific, and they got exactly that, and only that.

Goldstein: When you don’t have the basic, foundational things like, in the case of Freud, you are not able to make an association. You’re not able to. The oppor-

tunity isn’t given to you. Not only do you then have to look much harder for them, you have to, on some level know that they’re there, in order to go look for them. That’s not quite the same thing as that moment of serendipitous discovery… You miss that moment of “I can’t believe it’s here!” While my Jeter example was a little annoying, please be open to the possibility that this is actually happening to you more than you know. It’s not all your fault, but it’s not entirely the school’s fault either. We are all stuck in this cycle. We want good jobs after college. That’s a good thing. The school wants to help you do that—honestly. But your time here should amount to more than a job. Are you really sacrificing all of this time and energy to get a job that you will only go on to sacrifice more for? Take this time in your life to venture out of your comfort zone. To touch on another Freudian concept, consider the possibility that you may be suppressing some things. Right now, you have a forum to express yourself in the kind of safety that only youth can provide. The space between all your associations is boundless. It can always fit more. Your time here at CSULB can fit as much learning as you want it to. But you’ll have to go off campus to find the Complete Works of Sigmund Freud.

JOE CREASON

So, if you can’t get this stuff online, why don’t we have the complete works of Freud in our library? Or, better to ask: from a Freudian perspective, what does it say about CSULB to not have the complete works of Freud? First, it’s important to note that other than the fact that you can’t find Freud, the Library and the Internet are different. They’re different because they are different modes of acquiring information.

Education has been moving from a priceless, life experience, to something that can be broken down to the dollar—like going to In-N-Out. Our need is a degree. Our school gives us a list of options (a menu) to satisfy that need. From the students’ perspective, we want the most efficient way to spend our time here so we can get out of here. From the perspective of the school they are willing to provide the tools necessary for you to fulfill the requirements they set up. But there’s a problem with this; by looking at our education in this manner, we are in effect saying that we already “know” what we need to learn. A cycle begins: As students we venture less and less into intellectual areas that are not part of our degree, our school, functioning like a business, sees we don’t “need” all of Freud because we do not demand it. Knowledge is being edited in the name of efficiency. Because of this, even if you wanted to thumb through all of Freud’s stuff, you can’t at CSULB. It’s not here, it’s not online—if you didn’t know better, you’d think that the limited amount of Freud we do have is all that exists.

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comprehensive way of understanding it and applying it…The levels of association that the reader will tie together, the reason suspense can be built, comes from a series of associations in the language—to be able to talk about how you do that, Freud gives you a vocabulary… all of these things that are part of the reading/interpretive experience, Freud gives you a road map for what it is you’re doing. Union Weekly: Last semester you mentioned that our library did not have the complete works of Freud. What does that mean, “Complete works?” Goldstein: A collection of all of his written work, other than letters, translated by one single person in order to have an authorized translation from the German. Also, it comes with an index for the entire thing… There’s an entire body of work there and it has a methodology, and a certain unity, and the Standard Edition makes it clear that that unity was taken seriously. Those are the things that give it an intellectual cohesiveness. UW: That’s better than plugging it into Google. Goldstein: And! By the way! Because the Freud family is so tight with the regard to the copyright on this stuff, you cannot get Freud online.

“Freud didn’t invent the way we think. He systemized it.” - Prof. Cheryl Goldstein

Goldstein: I see students thinking being something like, “You, the professor, are here to provide a service that I paid for. When I ask you questions, you have to answer me. When I email you at three in the morning, you should get back to me. This is a hoop I have to jump through, so I will jump through it for you.” You have been given a way to be more engaged more than you were four years before you graduated, that doesn’t seem to be as important as jumping through the following hoops. “They were very complicated, I did it with a relatively fair amount of success, where’s my extra $53,000 annually?” UNION WEEKLY

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ENTERTAINMENT threw a barbecue and invited his friends to make the announcement. “When they found out, they flipped,” he says. “They wouldn’t think I was the type of person that would apply for the show. Everyone’s still in shock. I’m kind of still in shock.”

The cast of Survivor: Gabon featuring two CSULB students, Graduate student Paloma Soto-Castillo (fourth from the left), and Illustration major Ken Hoang (middle in light blue shirt).

FROM THE BEACH TO THE SAVANA

CBS CASTS TWO CSULB STUDENTS FOR THE NEXT SEASON OF SURVIVOR CHRISTINE HODINH

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top what you’re doing and look up. Do you see that person walking by you on campus on his cell phone? There’s another woman chatting with her friends nearby. Somebody in your class raises his hand. Now look more closely—does that person seem familiar? You may have been in a class with her last semester. You may have also seen her on TV. That’s because Thursday’s premiere of Survivor: Gabon on CBS includes two Long Beach students out of its 18 contestants. Which means there’s a one in nine chance someone on campus won a million dollars over the summer.

Monty Brinton/CBS

The Players Ken Hoang and Paloma Soto-Castillo seem wildly different. Ken is a senior illustration major and the world champion of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Melee. Paloma is a graduate student who works at a bar in downtown Long Beach. Both of them, though, found themselves in central Africa several months ago, competing in the seventeenth iteration of the reality game show. “When the opportunity arose, I had just graduated. I had nothing planned for summer,” Paloma said recently. Paloma, who is studying for her single-subject teaching credential, received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies at CSULB and plans to teach high school. “Well, when I applied for the show, the first time I UNION WEEKLY

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came in they rejected me,” Ken said in a separate interview. “They told me on April 1st. It was kind of weird it was on April Fool’s Day. I thought it was a Survivor twist happening to me already.” Ken, a lanky 22 year-old, describes how he kept training, working out at the gym every day to get his body into shape in case he was chosen. “When they told me, I still didn’t believe it. They said, ‘Congratulations, you’re one of the contestants.’ Even when I was on the plane going to Gabon, I still didn’t believe it.” Paloma, 24, was scouted for the show. However, “I did the whole application process,” she explains. She describes being informed of the decision as a surreal experience. “You don’t believe it till it happens. Throughout the process, you feel you’ve made it this far. It doesn’t really click until you’re on the plane.”

The Game Survivor: Gabon took place in early summer over the course of about seven weeks, according to Paloma. Contestants found out they had been chosen two and a half weeks before departure, Ken says, leaving little time to prepare. Neither can discuss their relationship on the show. Ken remarks, though, “It was crazy because Survivor has never cast Long Beach students. This season they cast two.” This season of Survivor is the first to have been shot on the Sony XDCam, meaning all those sweat stains will be shown in glorious HD. Paloma explains, “I wasn’t really worried about [my looks], but more about how I was going to be portrayed. I’m surprised a couple of people have recognized me, since I wasn’t wearing any makeup then.” Describing his attitude toward the game, Ken says, “My whole family’s very competitive. Everything with my family, even when we go to play bowling we’re competitive. I’ve always had that nature in me.” Coming Home Ken and Paloma were required to stay mum on their doings abroad until the “castaway” list was released to the public in late August. Paloma had gone back to work at Smooth’s Sports Grille; Ken had a gaming tournament in Las Vegas three days after returning while fighting a fierce virus. When the news broke that they had competed on the show, the two dealt with it in their own ways. “I’ve been recognized on the streets,” Ken says. “People will come up to me and say, ‘Aren’t you that professional gamer on Survivor?’” “To be quite honest, I’ve been really discreet about it,” Paloma admits. “Everybody has the same questions. They all want to know if I won.” “Of course everybody asks me these questions, and I can’t answer, and it really is eating me up inside,” Ken says. “It does suck to a point but it’s even better that I don’t talk about it so people have to watch and see what happens. “Things have just spread kind of quick. Word gets around. It kinds of spreads like a virus or something, like the cold that I have.”

Surprise! “I told my parents and my mom was like, there’s no way,” Ken recalls. “You’re too weak, you don’t have a chance. My older sister, she was really supportive. My parents didn’t think I could do it.” “My family was very apprehensive,” Paloma says. CONTINUED ON BOTTOM OF PAGE 13 “Reality TV has a bad rap to them, so they were worried and excited.” Both contestants were only allowed to tell loved ones, leaving their friends with mysterious excuses. Ken blamed his disappearance on more gaming tournaments, which have brought him around the world. Paloma had a convenient reason: she’d gone to Africa before, on humanitarian work in Kenya, by herself for three months. “My friends weren’t surprised. They were cool about it,” Paloma says. “It just sucks because my friends were so proud of me for going again. I had to keep saying ‘Thank Ken Hoang (left) and Paloma Soto-Castillo (right) are both pretty, but one’s you, thank you.’” definitely prettier. Guess which one? When Ken returned, he


ENTERTAINMENT DRUNKVIEW TERRACE

WAXING DRUNKENPOETIC ON LAKEVIEW TERRACE STEVEN CAREY [Editor’s Note: This movie was viewed while inebriated and subsequently reviewed inebriated. What follows is the review as it was originally written; no copy-editing was done to correct grammar, spelling, or punctuation.]

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ure, this movie depends upon a wheelbarrow. This movie depends on the “American” idea of slavery. I am ashamed. For me, this movie began a long time ago, in the trailers, or a long time ago. I saw it as a drama. No, not a drama; a thriller. And I was officially afraid of Samuel L. Jackson. I remember specifically the beginning of this movie. Sam was stoic. His children were modern and yet knew what it meant to be a child in the two-thousands. You know, it’s difficult to write about subjects

this movie deals with, being born white, a republican; having turned over to democrat after I realized my parents were racist bigots. In the theatre, I hid in my jacket a flask of whiskey. I drank it. I yelled, as I usually do, at the funny parts (parts that were maybe not funny to others), I end this sentence. Really, this movie wasn’t as bad as I though it might be. I recognized the metaphor of the flames burning down the Malibu countryside. I understand that maybe there is a difference between us—whites and blacks, (don’t call me racist because I call you black. I realize you are not black and I am not white.) We are all different shades, I guess. That’s what I’m told to say; that’s what we’re told to believe. But we’re different. And that’s okay, I guess. I’ll tell you that I got a boner from that black chick in the movie, that girl who wanted to be a wife. The thing about this movie is that it wasn’t bad until about half way through when it got all “Fuck you” and “I’ll shoot you in the face.” And it did. Some dude got hit like three times in the body with bullets. The bullets don’t mean anything though. It’s as if this movie were written by a poet from the 1800s, as if something else were going on; the movie depends on the fire. The brush fires specifically. We depend on them. And I’ve sat there too, looking at them, grey clouds, sure. But also a disambiguation. We, you, whoever you are, wonder sometimes what it means

Sam Jackson has had it with these mother fuckin’ interracial couples on his mother fuckin’ street. to look at fire; to look at smoke; to look at the effect of something that’s going on beyond the hills, beyond anything we can see; beyond anything, we, the white republicans, could ever understand. Steven is that guy at the party and gives it:

IN DEFENSE OF HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

SERIOUSLY, IT’S PRETTY GOOD RACHEL RUFRANO Most people don’t like to know the ending of a story before it’s begun, but CBS proposes a hilarious exception. How I Met Your Mother is told from the point of view of Ted (Josh Radnor), narrated by Bob Saget in the year 2030, to his son and daughter and the entire sitcom is a flashback that takes place in the present. In 2005, when the show aired, it was bordering on obscurity and looked like it would become just another dime-a-dozen sitcom, mocking its viewers with its eerily ill-placed laugh track. The writing was reaching too hard for its jokes, the story lacked real depth, and it was begging to be exactly what it wasn’t: Friends. They were a solid group of old-time friends with a sense of humor that centered in Manhattan, but they met in a bar instead of a coffee shop, their apartments weren’t furnished by Pottery Barn, their lifestyle wasn’t idealized, and their social commentary was grounded and realistic. HIMYM had Look Ma, I’m On TV! Paloma says she feels torn about watching herself on TV. “I feel both ways about it. I want to be able to watch it with my family and explain what’s going on behind the scenes, but I also want to shut myself in a closet and go through the whole experience alone. “People don’t believe me when I tell them. They don’t believe you’re actually out there with no toilet paper and no toothbrush.” “Watching the show is completely different than playing the game,” Ken says. “It’s like when a professor gives you a demo that looks easy and you do it and it’s much harder. A lot harder.” CBS released the first three minutes of Thursday’s two-hour premiere last Thursday, which Ken had a chance to see. “I saw it, and I’m a big Survivor fan. I was

potential for an edge that sitcoms like Friends never had, but they hadn’t embraced it yet. Despite it’s original faults, the actors kept me hanging on. By the end of season one, they had proved me, and all the viewers who dubiously cared to stick around, wrong. The show had achieved what most sitcoms strive most for—incredible character chemistry. As soon as the roles clicked, it became a fluid and thoroughly accessible sitcom, but has since then, only managed to accrue a rating-adequate, cult following. Lily (Alyson Hannigan) is a kindergarten teacher, married to her college sweetheart, Marshall (Jason Segel), who dormed with Ted. Ted is the main character, but isn’t necessarily the hub of the action. He is, to my delight, the closest this generation will ever come to Say Anything’s Lloyd Dobbler. Then there’s Robin (Cobie Smulders), their beautiful barbuddy who takes the brunt of all the Canadian jokes and, the star—the heart and soul—of the show, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), the misogynistic suit-wearing friend, a parody of all the men in our lives. like, ‘Crap. This is actually good.’ I can’t wait till next Thursday to see the first episode.” Out of Africa “It was a life-changing experience for everybody,” Paloma says. “Just being out there in Africa makes you appreciate so many things you take for granted.” “I have a whole new perspective on life,” Ken says. “I just want to go wherever life takes me and do whatever makes me happy. “After the whole show you actually value things more. Even water. I don’t waste food now. If I had a cookie and it fell on the ground, I’d probably eat it.” Ken and Paloma say they’re glad school provides the distraction they need from the media barrage. “Right I’m completely busy with a workload of

I admit, it’s no Seinfeld, but the show grows on you. The worst part could only be that no one will ever know what you’re referencing, but I’d like to believe I’m coveting the next sleeper hit. I’m protecting the sanctity of an underrated pleasure from the comfort of my living room. I wish I could share the road trips in cars that only play The Proclaimers’ “(I Would Walk) 500 Miles,” the stoner college scenes, the slap-bets, the insatiable cougar professors, the discoveries about your best-friend—once Canadian pop star in the ‘80s (well, the early ‘90s. Canada is way behind in terms of pop-culture). The real hook is that most scenes feel like you’re just sitting with your friends, sharing inside jokes. It has all the frivolity and entertainment of watching a blooper reel—it’s ridiculous and fun. In the cheesiest way possible, it’s about what we live for—our friendships. And even though I kind of already know how he met their mother, I still watch, because it’s never about the destination—it’s about the journey. How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8:30pm on CBS. classes,” says Ken, who’s currently taking a break from competing. “I want really good work when I graduate, a really full portfolio.” “I get to focus on something that isn’t Survivor,” Paloma says of her classes. “It keeps me focused and it keeps me centered. Survivor was a huge, huge experience in my life, but I need to get over it and carry on.” Both contestants had time to reflect on their lives back home. “I think the process just reinforced what I already knew about myself,” Paloma says. “Out there I couldn’t draw or paint or anything,” Ken says. “When I was at school I’d do a lot of that, thinking of concepts and stuff. I actually missed those things. You miss your family a lot. It’s weird because you think a lot out there. Hopefully it makes you a better person. I think it does.” UNION WEEKLY

22 SEPTEMBER 2008


MUSIC THE LANGUAGE OF MEN A POSITIVELY INSANE INTERVIEW WITH MAN MAN ALLAN STEINER

L

et me set the scene for you. Man Man has just put on a fantastic show in the small club known as the Echoplex. The entire crowd is hot and sweaty, the band is sweatier. They have just finished playing an almost inexplicitly energetic two encore set. They take a bit of time to cool off a little and have a couple of drinks before coming to talk with me. The interview that followed is nothing short of brilliant, and that is all I will say. So without further ado: Union Weekly: First of all, could you guys introduce yourselves? Chang Wang: I’m Chang Wang. Chang Lee: I’m Chang Lee. Sergei Sogay: I’m Sergei Sogay, cuz I’m so gay. Am I not correct? CW: Yeah. UW: OK, so how did you guys meet? CW: It was in a bathhouse. SS: All fours. CL: Tokyo… Little Tokyo. CW & SS: Yeah. UW: Is that when the band was formed? CW: So to speak. CL: Did you know, we’re staying in a hotel that has heated toilet seats? UW: Really… CL: Yeah, I mean really… my god. CW: It’s really calming. Like I kind of wish I had heated toilet seats. I would just hang out all the time. SS: Toto. They’re made by Toto. CW: Toto the band. [laughter] CL: I spent three hours in the bathroom today. UW: Really…? CL: On the toilet. CW: We have a bidet. UW: Alright, well then, that makes sense. [laughter] CL: Yeah. I was just washing my fucking asshole all day long.

Photo

[At this point, a security person asked us to move to somewhere else. On the way backstage, Chang Lee bailed, but that’s cool because I’m pretty sure he’s not actually a member of the band.]

RUSSELL CONROY

UW: Okay, so your sound. How’d you find that sound? It is very distinct. CW: Here’s the thing. It’s like how come you never see Sara Palin’s baby’s face? SS: [laughs] That’s pretty funny. CW: No, really. Seriously. You know it’s a baby, but what does it look like? Does it look like John McCain? SS: Maybe a little bit. CW: Maybe a little bit. I mean he’s 85 SS: 98. UNION WEEKLY

22 SEPTEMBER 2008

Our writer attempts to communicate with Man Man, as the band members spin yarn after ridiculous yarn.

CW: 75 SS: 72 UW: Wow. CW: Yeah, so there you go. UW: Alright. You guys use like a ton of different instruments (or some might even say toys) on stage. Do you guys have a favorite experience going into an instrument shop or anything like that? CW: One time, we were on tour. I saw a man get hit by a car, and he exploded like a piñata. SS: And we recorded it CW: Yeah. Yeah. It’s on the last record actually. In the first 5 seconds of “Whalebones.” UW: Really? CW: Why would I lie to you? UW: Well, I’ll have to check that out. SS: New York City. CW: It happened in New York City. It happened in uh… it happened in Queens. SS: That’s in New York City. CW: Yeah. Do you know that...I feel I can share this with you…did you know that Billy made out with an African-American transvestite midget when we were in Buffalo, New York? UW: No. [I should note here that Billy is Chang Wang’s real name, which makes this statement all the more impressive] CW: Lips Locked. Ass grabbed, maybe more…this is actually real. Everything else might have been a lie. [laughs] SS: [laughs] I don’t think so though. UW: When did you decide that you wanted to make music. SS: I think I was 2 years old. My dad got me a starter drum kit. UW: Like one of those first act kits that they sell at Costco? SS: You had one? UW: No. But I always wanted one. CW: Do you know any kids who had a My Buddy? SS: I had one, we’ve talked about this before. [CW starts singing ‘My Buddy’ jingle.] He used to spend the night all the time. CW: That’s creepy SS: What about Kid Sister? CW: I had a Kid Sister, and it’s mouth was hollowed out.

SS: Cuz you fucked it. CW: Cuz I loved it. [laughs] SS: Exactly. UW: Is there anything that you guys are listening to right now? Like, music-wise specifically. SS: There’s this band called Man Man… CW: I like listening to Kimbo Slice beat the fuckin’ shit out of people. I just download the YouTubes. SS: Have you seen the video of the guy who thinks his abdomen is indestructible, and Kimbo Slice punches him once and the guy pukes? CW: It’s incredible. He gets $100 to stand there. Have you ever seen “Shake that Bear?” That video will redefine you as a human being. SS: Like “2 Girls, 1 Cup?” CW: Different. It’s a different kind of soullessness. UW: Do you have a strangest on-stage experience? CW: I got an inverted boner. UW: Really? CW: Yeah. It was fuckin’ bizarre. I can’t explain it. UW: Do you remember what show that was at? CW: Yeah. It was an all boys prep school… Gary Glitter was playing on the stereo. And uh, yeah. It was very spiritual. SS: I remember that… When you walked outside and you told us all about it, you said that peeing was a weird sensation because you felt it inside your body. CW: I actually sat down to pee that time, and I peed out of my belly button, because the boner went back into my stomach. UW: See, I’m not that great with anatomy. That’s how that works? I had no idea… SS: Wait you don’t know where the belly button is? UW: What? SS: Yeah, you said you were bad with anatomy. [laughter] CW: Have you ever eaten a placenta? You can actually fry them up. Only once have I ever eaten a placenta. It wasn’t my own. [laughs] They’re supposed to be good for you. But yeah, I went on a family vacation to Asia. Well, the Philippines specifically. And in the Philippines you can eat a duck embryo in an egg, it’s called Belut. Or you can buy a child’s placenta, and they fry it up like at a people shop, you know, like at a placenta shop? It’s very strange. UW: What’d it taste like? CW: Like chicken.


MUSIC AND THE ASS SAW AN ANGEL NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS AT THE BOWL JAMES KISLINGBURY

I

wasn’t all that excited when I heard that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were going to have a show at the Hollywood Bowl. I say that because getting excited about Nick Cave is almost like getting excited for a new Elie Weisel novel: getting exicted is kind of missing the point. Despite my best efforts, I was pretty jazzed at the opportunity to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds live, because they usually require a passport and a thousand dollar flight for an American to take in (they’re Europeans, you see). Nick Cave is one of the most prolific singer/songwriters of the past thirty years and, considering the amount and the quality of the work he’s done, he’s one of the least known. His work with and without the Bad Seeds extends from insane post-punk rocking to pseudo-gospel to traditional sound tracks. He and the band have only gotten better as time goes on (despite breakups, marriage, PJ Harvey, children and heroin) and the show I saw on the 17th crystalizes the idea that these men know what they are doing. Cat Power and Spiritualized were the concert’s opening acts. At the time, all I knew about Cat Power was that she had a depressing song in V for Vendetta and that she was allegedly a terrible neurotic while playing live. Spiritualized. . . well, I had never even heard of them until I bought my ticket for the show.

Even in illustration form, Nick Cave’s mustache is still the stuff of pure legend.

Cat Power’s performance was a pleasant surprise. My expectations had been pretty low, though she and her band still managed to make a rather upbeat production. When they wrapped up, I was left with the thought, “Hmm. I need to buy some Cat Power.” Spiritualized wasn’t as impressive. The gimmick behind Spiritualized is that they’re white Europeans that play the blues and gospel music. Technically they seem to be rather skilled, though there’s just not anything that interesting about a rock band playing “Amazing Grace,” seeing as how the Bad Seeds kind of do the same thing, but better. Nick Cave has far more charisma than a man that looks like a lounge singer in a mid-life crisis should have. He and the rest of the band had blazers and collared shirts. Nick Cave in particular had his undone to his stomach and sported a mustache that lied somewhere between “70s porno” and “Fu Man Chu.” The outfits sound silly, but they were silly in a kind of theatrical way, saying “Hey, we are showmen and we are going to put on a fucking show.”

The line-up was a mixture of songs off of their fantastic new album (“We Call Upon the Author to Explain,” “Dig, Lazarus, Dig,” “Moonland,” and a version of “Night of the Lotus Eaters” which consisted only of the lyrics “Get ready to shoot yourself!”) and the band’s classics (“Red Right Hand,” “Tupelo,” “Deanna,” “Into My Arms”). The show had a well-kept balance between relentlessly fast rock numbers and slower love ballads, between competent insturment playing and moody psychedelia, as well as between their Greatest Hits material and their newest material. I’ve heard “they’re the best band live” quite often. I’ve heard it about a few bands I’ve seen live, such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but I’ve never really had an experience that blew me away. I’ve never had an experience that I could classify as the best of anything. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are that band. From start to finish, the show was full of energy. Even when the show slowed down with the love ballad “Into Your Arms,” which primarily featured Nick Cave playing a piano. I’ve seen a show die when slow piano ballad gets busted out, so it was a good sign that they could overcome something as difficult as singing about an intimate romance to a crowd of thousands. While I’m a bit biased when it comes to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, I get the feeling that even someone completely unfamiliar with his work would have been impressed with the skill and energy they brought with them. This is evidenced by the fact that before this concert I had never heard their version of “Stagger Lee,” a well-worn blues traditional. Despite this, their vulgar and dark rendition of “Stagger Lee” might have been the most entertaining song of the night a big accomplishment considering the emotional weight some of his other songs carry for me. Hopefully it won’t be another five years for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to cross over to our side of the Atlantic. Then again, I get the sense that they’re worth the wait.

MACEDONIAN GYPSIES SOME WORLD MUSIC YOU’VE BEEN MISSING OUT ON MICHAEL VEREMANS

At the root of all European folk music is the undeniable Rroma beat. This distinct group of people, colloquially known as Gypsies, migrated to Europe as early as the 9th century, bringing with them a rich culture with its own unique music, art, and mysticism. Their itinerate existence across Europe influenced their style while they simultaneously influenced their contemporaries, creating a highly developed music. Gypsy music crept into a previously stagnant music scene in Middle Ages Europe, bringing with it the lively rhythm and deeply emotional melodies that appear in songs ranging from ballads to dance. Though the instruments have changed significantly in the last millennium, the Gypsy style with its inherent license to create and adapt traditional tunes has maintain its medieval ursprung. From shawm (a traditional oboe) to accordion, full brass section to string quartet, djembe to castanets, the sounds of the Rroma are vast and complicated—easily accessible to all and as diverse as Oompa and Flamenco. Early examples of the inimitable, high-energy sound go back with the history of recorded music. The world-famous Django Reinhardt, a Belgian Gypsy, developed a guitar style that is still the jazz standard: a fast strumming rhythm and driving finger plucking. Reinhardt made his name in the ’30s, bringing life to the already booming music scene in prewar France. In the ’60s Europe saw another boom of Gypsy music, this time centered in the Balkans where the tradition

continues on city streets and in Gypsy camps to this day. Esma Redzepova is a notable Macedonian Gypsy Singer whose career has spanned half a century, responsible for more than twenty albums and defining an already stand-out genre of traditional music for the European and American public. Her seminal album Songs of a Macedonian Gypsy tells a heartbreaking tale that only her soulful voice does justice to, but her other songs and collaborations accent the brighter outlook on life that comes from the depression of the supposed dregs of traditional Western society. This untethered genre has developed in recent years. In 2004, an album called Electric Gypsyland came out with songs by well-traveled contemporary Gypsy groups like Koçani Orkestar and Taraf de Haïdouks that were remixed by DJs and other music groups such as Animal Collective, changing the face of Gypsy music. This modern musical synthesis has brought Gypsy music out of the Balkan bubble while assuring that the centuries old melodies remain a part of Western and World music culture. On top of that, music-revolutionary Eugene Hütz, a Ukraniana Rroma by birth, has pioneered a sub-genre known as Gypsy Punk Rock. His band Gogol Bordello is a musical hybrid, combining rock instruments with traditional Eastern European Gypsy instruments (i.e. violin, steel bucket, etc.), maintaining the raw power of the Rroma that translates into New York punk and a show you’re not likely to forget (or to see). Bands like DeVotchKa and to an extent Beirut are also privy to this musical conspiracy.

Whether you’re looking at medieval minstrels, shawm laying snake charmers, street performers in Sarajevo, or the Gipsy kings, it’s hard to deny their importance to Western music—rock is nothing but a fusion of Gypsy and African music and the Mariachi music tradition stretches back to Rroma brass bands. Listen to Gypsy music, because it’s already a part of you.

UNION WEEKLY

22 SEPTEMBER 2008

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James Kislingbury UNION WEEKLY

22 SEPTEMBER 2008


A DRESS THAT PLAYS SEDUCTION LIKE A SAXOPHONE SLAM, BAM, THANK YOU MA’AM; SLAM POETRY BABY KATRINA SAWHNEY


COMICS You’re STUCK Here! by Victor! Perfecto

yourestuckhere@gmail.com

EASY

HARD

Drunken Penguin Presents... by James Kislingbury

penguin.incarnate@gmail.com

S’up? Send feedback to: victorpc.union@gmail.com Or leave comments at the Union office Student Union Office 239

ANSWERS

HARD

Humanation by Travis Ott-Conn

www.funatronics.com/kookoo

EASY

Koo Koo and Luke by Jesse Blake

UNION WEEKLY

22 SEPTEMBER 2008


top shop makes americans happy SARAH LITTLE

Once only a U.K. phenomenon, Topshop is now coming to the U.S. with an eye to conquer the world. Their first store on American soil will be in New York City’s Soho, while those of us stranded on the Left Coast can experience Topshop online—with prices and sizes converted to their American equivalents. Topshop is a retailer much like Forever 21 or H&M—in the U.K., the brand is typically described as “high street”fashion— fashion that is typical of the chain stores that cluster along the main shopping drag, rather than boutiques. Outside of the U.K., Topshop is most famous for its collaboration with Kate Moss, who, in 2007, created her first collection for the store. However, unlike Forever 21 and H&M, this store is slightly more upscale, with showings at London’s Fashion Week and regular sponsorships of young British designers like Christopher Kane and Henry Holland. Topshop describes itself as a “staunch supporter of young British design talent,” with several programs in place that aim to bring edgy, up-andcoming designers to consumers. Under Topshop’s New Generation scheme, many new designers are able to show their work where they otherwise might not have. Others work directly with Topshop to produce a signature collection to be sold in the store. The collaborations with new designers add a freshness and diversity to the chain’s pieces, which is simply not present in most chains. Topshop owner Sir Philip Green has said that he wants to open several more stores in the U.S., with two more in New York City, bringing the city’s total to three, and stores in L.A., Las Vegas, Miami, and Boston. There are speculations that Green may use similar programs, akin to those in the U.K., to introduce customers to new American designers. Topshop’s Oxford Street store in London has become a fashion destination for many Brits and visiting foreigners, and it will be interesting to note if Topshop will retain its disctinctive British flavor and popularity here in the U.S.

CULTURE

long beach trekkin’: little india

WORDS

I

PHOTOS

VINCENT GIRIMONTE CHELSEA ROSENTHAL

t was 11:15 am and we were starving, at least in the Western sense. The photographer went on and on in the car about the previous night’s dramatic incongruity, rehearsing for the next forty years of fruitless love, I thought—I wasn’t really listening, though. My mind was occupied with curry and samosa. We turned off the 605 at the Cypress Mall, and then took a left on Pioneer to Artesia’s famed Little India. The photographer was expecting elephants tapdancing along the promenade, but what we stumbled upon were shops and restaurants lining both sides of the streets, many worn down like a catcher’s mitt, but romantically so. And like I said, we were hungry. A friend directed us to The India Restaurant, a small place crammed into a strip mall. They had us at “all you can eat for $9.95.” We walked in and saw a table of Indian men sitting to our right, which was oddly comforting. We quickly hit the buffet: a full spread of curry, masala, tandoori, samosa, and my personal favorite, vegetable madras. The service was frank, the way it ought to be so long as they’re bringing you naan like you’ve never had it. My expectations are always curbed with a buffet, but

this time with great reluctance; my satisfaction would not have been less were I paying double. We left wobbling and confused. The food was overwhelming. A Bollywood store caught our attention, as did a jewelry shop packed with hagglers just after noon. A big man behind the counter said no pictures. “I’m the boss,” he said. He looked the part so we didn’t risk it. The photographer asked me to buy her some earrings. Windows glowed with ornate saris. The smell of incense was finally put into its proper context, far removed from the loitering stench of a dorm hallway. It was almost exotic. Little India lacks the pomp and circumstance that it deserves. Artesia’s City Council, by way of complaints from other ethnic minorities, has denied them the status akin to Little Saigon in Westminster, where the enclave is officially recognized by the city. So we were officially perusing the “International and Cultural Shopping District,” for what it’s worth. Bureaucracy like this is nothing if not common, especially for those wedged in between the freeways and born in a different country. But Little India makes due with what it has to offer. Hopefully one day we’ll return to an elephant parade, or something of that nature. For now, eat at the buffet and walk it off for a few hours.

UNION WEEKLY

22 SEPTEMBER 2008


Disclaimer:

This page is satire. We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Tons of butt. Send rags to bear.grun@gmail.com

“Most of my photos look pretty downsy.”

Volume 63 Issue 4

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

LBUNION.COM

Fraternity Brother Appointed Party House Stenographer BY THE FROTHY SEA

Senator McCain (center, old) rolls out with his diverse, pithy crew that values loyalty and money above dignity.

McCain’s Entourage Maddogs Home Viewers Nationwide BY SEXUAL RANDY WASHINGTON, D.C. — After all of the back talking going on between the Presidential candidates, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has pulled a move that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) calls “the last straw.” McCain has replaced key members of his campaign staff with what he affectionately refers to as his entourage. “Have you ever seen that show?” McCain asks, referring to the insanely popular HBO series Entourage. “It’s fantastic. I figure that E, Turtle, and Drama always have Vince’s back, so why can’t I have my own group of tightlyknit friends to meet attractive, conservative

women and to keep members of the press, like yourself, away from my back.” Senator McCain would take no more questions from the Grunion as his crew moved in and gave this reporter the “eyeball.” Senator Obama has responded to the actions of Senator McCain’s entourage with disdain. “John McCain claims to bring change, but all he’s doing now is hassling the press, and you, with his crew,” the Democratic candidate said. “There’s nothing wrong with having an entourage, but the inclusion of celebrities is just a pathetic attempt to grab young votes.” McCain’s top advisor, Xzibit, had this to say regarding Senator Obama’s comments: “No shit. Whatcha gonna do?”

RIVERSIDE, CA — Fraternity Delta Gamma Tau at University of California, Riverside has recently come to the conclusion that a thorough description of conversations in the party house would be necessary after an incident at last Thursday’s second semi-annual Delta Gamma Tau Barbeque Cook-Off (DGTBBQCO 2), during which Xander Lee punched Jacob Stanley over the matter of who overcooked their teriyaki chicken cutlets. Allegedly Xander, who was busy refilling his party cup from the communal Natural Ice keg purchased for DGTBBQCO 2, left Jacob in charge. Xander swears that Jacob was “spacing while [their] cutlets were fucked by the grill’s flames.” “These are situations we want to avoid,” says DGT President Paul Steinberg. “When Xander decked Jacob at the DGTBBQCO, the entire DGTBBQCO was ruined for everyone. We’re not even sure if we’re going to have another semi-annual DGTBBQCO.” In order to remedy the situation, Steinberg has used his nigh-unlimited power as President to create a new position within the fraternity, Party House Stenographer, to which he appointed Xander. “Barry: Dude, that shit’s weak. Jacob: Fuck you, brah, I’m totally kicking your ass,” Xander reads from his extensive notes. “And that’s just from playing Halo. Ten pages of this shit.” Xander does admit that the en-

Xander Lee (above) uses this inconvenient scroll to record the constant dick-measuring contest that is Delta Gamma Tau.

tire situation is rather exhausting. “I pretty much have to live through everyone else’s hang out time. Sometimes while the other brothers are sleeping or fucking I’ll go through my notes and just smile at all the great times everyone’s having.” But not everyone is having such a great time, particularly Jacob. “I think it was like, biased and shit that Paul picked Xander. We’re like, the reason for this shit. By the way, Xander was the fucker who burned the cutlets. He was blazed out of his mind. Paul is Xander’s best friend. Now Xander’s the stenographer. You do the math. Xander, stop writing this shit down! I fucking hate you!”

INSIDE

Squirrel Ballet to Perform the Nutcracker

The CSULB squirrel ballet and memorial squirrel orchestra plan to descend the many trees of campus to perform their adorable rendition of Tchaikovsky’s famous squirrel-inspired ballet. Tickets will cost half a slice of bread and two french fries, to be dropped on the ground in front of the performers. PAGE N5

Concert-Goer Standing in Front of Fan, Still Sweating

Jesus Christ. This guy has been standing in front of one of those industrial floor fans and all it’s doing is blowing his sweat on everyone else behind him. PAGE XL

Director Puts Peanut Butter in Actress’ Mouth

PAGE ED

Bush Unveils Economic Prayer Package to Congress PAGE

P11

63.04  

Freudian Slip Issue

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