HEARTBREAKER FOR WOMEN’S SOCCER BUT DOES IT MEAN THE END? p. 8-9
having a tolerable smell, then how far away can we be from completely falling apart at the seams? Recently, a Frenchman OR WHY YOU SMELL WORSE imposed himself upon my friend’s futon. This THAN THE FRENCH Gaul, among many other unpleasant affectations, JAMES KISLINGBURY smelled like he rolled right out of the Sienne and into a dumpster. As xenophobic iss. Garbage. Sweat. Maybe a butt as I try to be, I find it hard to believe or two. All these things I have that smelling like Hell is some strange, smelled in my brief time riding foreign quirk. I’ve met several foreigners the bus to campus. As a rule, I try to before—some of them Franks—and not avoid “people,” as you call them, but as all of them smelled terrible. So I know Oscar Wilde once said, “You can’t always that avoiding deodorant isn’t some get what you want” and sometimes I am strange cultural thing—it’s simply pure, forced to sit next to one of them. Often unadulterated assholery. Then again, I my trek goes without incident, but every had a pseudo-French roommate who so often I’m assaulted with the fact that didn’t wear deodorant, because “it left some people have no idea just how marks.” I guess he bought his deodorant horrible they smell. from the 1980s. Then again, this guy The first time I ever traveled on the also thought that women could ejaculate bus was at Comic-Con a few years back. semen, so maybe he’s a special exception, What I found there was a moving Mos even among xenomorphs. Eisley cantina, a wretched hive of scum Americans aren’t any better, we and villainy, a moving museum of human might even have it worse in a lot of flotsam. Yet, despite the fact that the ways. We can’t hide behind an accent bus looked like a second-rate sideshow, or our country’s health care system. We I didn’t have to smell any of the train- have no excuses. We know that each of wrecks-made-flesh while there. Long us is indoctrinated from a young age Beach shouldn’t have this B.O. problem to think that natural human odors are I’ve noticed, since, unlike that bus in El offensive. We know that you should Cajon, most of the people on our buses know better. actually resemble human beings. Queen Elizabeth once said, “I take I feel that there’s a sense of decorum a bath once a month whether I need it on the bus that we should attempt to or not.” What I take from that is this: maintain, but this concept seems to None of you are royalty. You can’t get be lost on a large segment of society. away with bathing once a week like the We’ve sent a man to the moon, we’ve leader of an empire might. You have conquered the atom, and we’ve elected to dwell down here with the rest of us a black man as president, is it really mortals (baring death or self-imposed that much more for us to manage our exile to Montana), so act like it. As horrific bodily odors? If we can’t handle the good book says, “Do onto others
MY DELICATE SENSIBILITIES
Illustration KATIE REINMAN
10 NOVEMBER 2008
as you would have them do unto you.” As a scholar of theology, I am certain that Jesus meant you should treat others with some form of basic human decency (I’ve pawed through the Bible two or three times by now, so I’m kind of an expert). Just like I shouldn’t have to listen to you loudly describe your bowel movements to your friend or look at
your t-shirt of GG Allin eating shit (and I have seen both), I shouldn’t have to put up with you projecting your stink onto me. It’s common decency, damnit. Take a shower, throw on some Teen Spirit and maybe a sprig of cologne if you’re feeling foppish (but not too much), and prepare to deal with the public sphere. If a misanthrope like me can do it, I’m sure you can too.
AND A WARRANTED TRAFFIC TICKET MATT DUPREE This has easily been the most difficult installment of this devil column. What I had originally believed to be an albatross around my neck named “The Upcoming Election” has proven to be a glowing beacon leading me through the awfully difficult world of weekly column writing. Now, I’m not one to go off and write a whole column about writing a column, but its something to think about. I hope you all appreciate how much I do for you. This week ushered in the reign of another new head of state, that of the 28 year-old Dragon King (Bad ass!) of the small Himalayan nation of Bhutan. Now, that might seem like a Klanny thing to call your leader, but keep in mind they also call their country Druk Yul, or “Land of the Thunder Dragon” (BAD ASS!). But Bhutan is a surprisingly chill nation, owing in part to their adherence to Buddhist principles and in part to their pursuit of a measure known as Gross National Happiness. The concept rose out of a previous Dragon King’s (Bad ass!) attempt to explain his apathy towards his country’s slow economic growth. The idea is that it really doesn’t matter if the country is producing wealth if everyone’s scared shitless of their government (ahem, China). Now, I’m sure there’s plenty of business majors and rappers who might suggest that having money and being prosperous are intrinsically the same thing (or natural opposites in the case of “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems”), but Bhutan’s leadership proved their point quite clearly when their country was ranked 8th happiest in the world (the United States was 23rd), despite its Gross Domestic Product per capita being 112th in the world. I suppose it would be an easy point to make that being richer doesn’t make you happier, but hey, let’s all just repeat that a few times out loud. Feel better? I sorta do. No, I think the real lesson is that happiness is a slipperier animal than we know (just ask a manic-depressive). Reading the happiness article on Wikipedia is like watching a tyrannosaurus trying to undo a bra clasp. I’m reminded of something Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Jailbird: “I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out some way. I am a fool.” After all, ignorance is bliss, right? And who would deny themselves a little slice of ignorance for such a blessed thing as bliss? There I go again, answering a question with another question. I can already feel the philosophy majors folding their newspapers in half and ducking for the nearest recycling bin (good riddance, I say). Well, true believers, I hope you’ll continue your search for happiness, no matter how apparently pointless it may become. Remember, after all, what the alternative is.
t 1:30 in the morning, after the election, I was pulled over on my bicycle for making an illegal left turn at a red light. The one cop car soon became four and I was patted down and propped against the hood of the first squad vehicle. While I was detained, one of the officers present asked me how I felt about the election results. I told him I was very pleased Obama would be our next president, but incredibly disheartened about Proposition 8 passing. I wish I kept that to myself because he spent the next 7 minutes, while they were looking me up on the radio, trying to bait me into an argument. He was elated that Proposition 8 had passed. It was his understanding that were Proposition 8 to fail, there’d be nothing keeping people from other “inhuman” acts like “fucking antelope.” He went on to explain how he had seen Yes on Prop 8 signs that had been defaced, which served as “proof ” that Obama supporters are “criminals.” It was damn humiliating, and not at all because I was given a ticket (which I’ll admit was duly warranted), but rather because of the crime against social progress and individual liberty this officer represented. A little over a year ago, I became an ordained minister so that I could enjoy the financial and human re-
THESE ARE OPINIONS
INSIDE THE MIND OF THE MOST PROLIFIC WRITER ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THIS PAGE ANDY KNEIS I don’t have any smart opinions about a politician or anything, so a lightning round is the best I can do. Sorry. Please call 1-800-SHUT-UP to complain (I got this joke from a funny bumper sticker to save some time). This article is turning out pretty good so far. I wrote down the words “Eyeball Dog” in my notebook the other day. I think I remember being pretty excited about the idea of an eyeball dog. Is Eyeball Dog an opinion? My opinion about Eyeball Dog is that I like him. He could be a police dog. “Hey, there is a clue down here but it is at a dog’s eye level how will we catch the culprit now?” the police chief might say. Then Eyeball Dog will use his eye to save the day. I’d like to write a book in second-person perspective so the whole thing is about the reader. Then you could trick them into loving your book, like a romance novel: “Fabio’s rippling muscles grab you on the boobs. You like it. You love this novel. You do not notice that the author just filed for bankruptcy and is suffering from crippling depression.” Prank ideas: put a fake spider in your friend’s bed. The prank is that he is friends with you even though you’re a pretty big jerk to do something like that to him.
This is going pretty well so far. Kapow. You just got struck by (word) lightning. [Note to editor: a cool picture of a guy in a truck with flames on the side could go here. Maybe all of the words in the article could be arranged so they are shaped like lightning?] If a person has a fear of public speaking you could make them do stand-up, but you could have them say stuff like, “Who here smokes some weed?” or “My wife just had a baby.” The audience will cheer and whoop at the remarks and the person will feel supported and will have enough confidence to last a lifetime! Please don’t steal this idea I’m going to sell it to science and make some big dollars. [Another note to the editor: maybe we could get the graphic designer (Clay) to Photoshop me onto a big pile of money and put it here (also I should be wearing a platinum hat and sunglasses if at all possible).] I saw a guy with a constitution-themed Hawaiian shirt drink milk out of a water bottle a few days ago in one of my classes. Well, that should about cover it for this article. I think it turned out really well, personally. [Note: Maybe put the words “Thanks for reading!” and a winking face in a big glittery font at the end? Thanks!] UNION WEEKLY
10 NOVEMBER 2008
wards of officiating weddings. Of the dozens of weddings I’ve been privileged to officiate so far, a small portion had been for same-sex couples. These people were not perverts, they weren’t threats to marriage, and they certainly weren’t zoophiliacs. They were real and earnest people who, in most cases, had spent more than a decade of their lives together and in love. They came to me, not with sinister motives, but because they wanted to express their will to spend the rest of their lives with one another through the act of marriage, just like any other couple I correspond with. My personal experience aside, homosexuality has been studied at great length by professionals. Their collective data and conclusions reveal that human sexuality can be expressed in a broad spectrum of ways, that orientation is hardly a matter of personal choice, and that homosexuals are healthy and normal individuals, lovers, and parents. If you’ve heard otherwise, it was from your peers and your preachers, not from qualified researchers and educators. To proclaim otherwise is to show a contemptible disregard for reason and it greatly disservices innocent people who deserve better. Those of you who voted yes on Proposition 8 participated in the institutionalization of bigotry. I am ashamed of you and I am ashamed of myself for doing too little to protect the march of progress. I have come to realize that what liberties I have, I have very much taken for granted, and that even now, it takes great effort from many in order for justice to keep growing stronger. I shudder at the thought of such a hateful and misinformed majority, but I have great faith that, in due time, this obscenity will be overturned.
ISSUE 63.11 “Hey! That helmet’s not a chair! Everybody get a hand in…” —Adam Carolla, Pop Warner Football Coach MAIL TO THE CHIEF LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MIKE “BEEF” PALLOTTA
T Cover Art HILLARY CANTU
he post-election rejoicing was short-lived for the Union Weekly. Indeed, Obama’s call for unity was returned, convincingly so, and for that we are elated. But with good comes bad, always and forever. See, Michael Crichton died last Tuesday night and apparently we were all too preoccupied to notice—yeah, the Jurassic Park guy. It is profound (and perhaps a bit sad), the impression that his pseudo-scientific tale of dinosaur adventure left and continues to leave on our souls. You have Christmas, the Union has Dino Day. Bittersweetness seems to be the theme of this election season. Obama won, Crichton died. Prop 1A passed, California regressed 40 years. McCain lost, no more waking up to a Palin mouth fart. “Change,” realistic expectations. We proceed with caution. Many seem to be romanticizing the New America they think Obama has in his back pocket without acknowledging the fact that he is just
one man (as far as we know) and that America is royally fucked on many fronts. And Bush is still in the White House, living out his political bucket list—it’s all a bit sobering, and frankly, no fun at all. But you’re turning to us for advice, for direction amidst this time of great transition, and we would hate to rain on your parade without supplying an umbrella. But we will. We’ve completed phase one of what we hope is Operation: American Common Sense, but phase two has yet to commence and depends heavily on the initiative of the American people. Nope. We’re waiting this one out. At any rate, we’re pretty optimistic for Jurassic Park 4. Yes we can, Hollywood! Onto the mail: Hey Beef, Please discuss the merits of Turducken. I hear you’re the man with knowledge on this subject, so please enlighten. Thanks. Sincerely, Tom Noonan Tom, a Turducken is one part turkey, one part duck, one part chicken, and all parts expensive. A good one’ll cost you about $80. Ask Away!
Need advice from a man named Beef? Any questions/comments? Well send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
BEHIND THE SCENES
ALTERNATE SHOTS OF THE FALL FASHION PHOTO SHOOT ON PG. 15 Once again, photographer Andrew Lee reminds us he can indeed, use a camera. We traveled to El Dorado Park on an ordinary Saturday afternoon, and 2 hours later, Andrew and Jenny produced the photos to the right and below. Beautiful, right? I’d like thank Jenny and her mother, whom Jenny claims her cheek bones belong to, and of course, Andrew. I hope you all enjoy these alternate shots, and the rest of the issue. Savor the autumn season and be thankful it’s cold in Long Beach—for once! -Kathy Miranda, Culture Editor
10 NOVEMBER 2008
MIKE “BEEF” PALLOTTA Editor-In-Chief VINCENT GIRIMONTE Managing Editor KATHY MIRANDA Managing Editor
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
MATT DUPREE firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Editor KATRINA SAWHNEY email@example.com News Director RACHEL RUFRANO firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions Editor VINCENT GIRIMONTE email@example.com Sports Editor CAITLIN CUTT firstname.lastname@example.org Literature Editor & PR JOE BRYANT email@example.com Entertainment Editor SEAN BOULGER firstname.lastname@example.org Music Editor & PR KATHY MIRANDA email@example.com Culture Editor VICTOR CAMBA firstname.lastname@example.org Comics Editor KATIE REINMAN email@example.com Creative Arts Editor MICHAEL VEREMANS firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Writing Editor SOPHISTICATED BEAR email@example.com Grunion Editor CLAY COOPER, STEVEN CAREY Graphic Designers CHRIS LEE firstname.lastname@example.org Photo Editor JOE BRYANT Copy Editing Coordinator, On-Campus Distribution CLAY COOPER email@example.com Internet Caregiver KATRINA SAWHNEY firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Executive ALLAN STEINER email@example.com Advertising Executive JAMES KISLINGBURY, ERIN HICKEY, ANDREW WILSON, ALAN PASSMAN, JASON OPPLIGER, CHRISTINE HODINH, JESSE BLAKE, DOMINIC MCDONALD, HILLARY CANTU, RUSSELL CONROY, SERGIO ASCENCIO, ANDY KNEIS, KEN C., ANDREW LEE, TYLER DINLEY, JENNY LONG, TESSAH SCHOENROCK, MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN, JESSICA WILLIAMS, TESSA NEVAREZ, HANNAH SHIBLEY, LINDSEY HICKLEN JR., OMID MOUSAEI, MATTHEW LINZMEIER, APRIL JOY NIETO, SIMONE HARRISON, MCCLAIN NELSON 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 : firstname.lastname@example.org WEB : www.lbunion.com
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AMERICAN FLAGS AND A BAR ON EVERY FLOOR
City freshly bathed in Southern California Rain was never more appropriate than last Wednesday morning—the morning after the Election. Everything was wet and dark, all of the buildings’ paint and plants’ green more Vibrant than in the dull Summer, but now brighter with the Sold Message of Hope. Barack Obama was elected President of the United States and for some reason, the Light is a little lighter, making me dizzy with the satisfaction of a Victory Hard Earned. With overwhelming Domestic and International Support, the Majority of the Country, New Voters and Old, sick of Violent War and Fascist politico-economic Policies, the House, Senate, and the Oval Office now flower with Democrats. We the People (but really the Electors that actually represent Us) have spoken out Against the Criminal Syndicate that is currently occupying the White House and its unfortunate would-be Representative, John McCain, whose efforts to Distance himself from the disastrously Unpopular Neo-Con GOP were even spoofed by SNL. But I don’t want anyone reading this to feel Content… ever. Shit is still incredibly Fucked Up. Do You support Equal Rights, Universal Healthcare, ending Corporate Tax Breaks, or ending the War in Iraq? Then Obama is NOT Your man. He is a Notorious Moderate, with the Democratic Party already being Relatively Conservative; We have to ask Ourselves if he really means Change. As far as his Rhetoric goes, We may not see more than Symbolic Reform in Washington as Obama’s Right Wing Constituency urges him to abandoned Progressive Policies in exchange for Uselessly Moderate Laws. If the Left that rallied to put Obama in Office doesn’t stay on his Ass. Obama, during the Debates, talked about extending the US Military to Pakistan, and although he supported Talks with the Iranian Prime Minister, he definitely doesn’t have any Plans to rescue Our troops from the Unpopular War with Iraq. Let me be the first to say that I am Skeptical of the pending Obama Administration because, though he has been sold to Us as the Savior of America, chances are he is just another Asshole Politician with Limited, Anti-Social Interests. Which brings me to the Struggle against Proposition 8 and what has become the Civil Rights Movement of Our Time. It is Abhorrently Disgusting that something as Hateful as Prop 8 could Pass. This just goes to show Us that a good deal of Obama’s Demographic—the Conservative Swing-Voters and the generally Socially Repressive alike—were actually in favor of Prop 8. In a Democracy, this means that Obama is Obliged to pander to a Group of Human Rights Violators. For Anyone with a mind to institute Real Change, please see what You can do to join the Efforts to Abandon Prop 8 as a Bigoted, Unconstitutional, and Socially Irresponsible Bill. The California Constitution is a little bit too LongSighted to let a Regressive primarily Christian Minority bully the Public in their Own Homes. We saw, as one Student put it, a Bittersweet Victory on November 4th, gaining a War on Terror supporting President, but also a Terrorist piece of Local Legislation. Never stop Fighting for a Real Change—let’s show this State and the Nation that We won’t stand for the Structural Oppression of Homosexuals anymore.
THE T.H.C.MISTER NO MORE NICE GAY INITIATIVE
PROP PASSED A TAKE8 ON THE AND LONG INALIENABLE RIGHTS BEACH IS UNAMUSED ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE SIMONE HARRISON
lthough the results were only revealed earlier this week, there has been a massive backlash from both the gay and straight communities who voted no on Prop 8. The decision to overturn gay marriage in California has received a less than welcoming response from the public that supported same-sex couples’ right to matrimony. Three suits have already been filed against the proposition and several protests have been staged. This past Friday (November 7th) a protest took place in downtown Long Beach along Broadway. There was an estimated turn out of 2,000 people in attendance, modest by protest standards. All of those people were, for lack of a better phrase, fucking pissed off. Most people were fully stocked with t-shirts, banners and signs that poignantly stated their opinion on the issue and they came ready with their best primal screams in tow. There were no “Yes on 8” supporters to be found and throughout the entirety of the evening there were no middle fingers, perverse shouting matches, or pitchforks in sight. The evening remained uncharacteristically peaceful for a protest. Although civility was kept, the outcry of the people and their piercingly clear message might as well have been a machete to the face of all the people who voted ‘yes’ on the proposition.
Protestors marched down Broadway; A unified movement in opposition to the passing of Prop 8.
The more substantial rally was prefaced by a march that traveled down Broadway. The solid wall of protesters that proudly pounded the pavement cried into the night with catchy one-liners such as, “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Discrimination has got to go!” along with, “Gay, straight, black, white! Marriage is a human right!” Many of the advocates re-
The protestors were a diverse group. Gay, straight, rich and poor, came together. This guy (right) remained univited. Really.
mained on the sidelines with their megaphones and banners as their armor. Most of the cars passing by honked in agreement with the protesters, and yelled out their support. As the rally crossed several of the restaurants that line Broadway, many of the people enjoying their late night meals raised their fists in the air and had signs prepared to display their own support to the mass of rebel rousers. Although the local authorities were standing by, appearing ready for a fight, their presence was not required as this was a primarily civil protest. The rally could have easily turned into a car-tipping, structure-burning, Christian manhunt, but was instead more of a sharing of opinions that happened to be voiced louder than a Fall Out Boy concert. People gathered around the empty parking lot on the corner of Broadway and Redondo to holler and hoot about the injustices of unequal rights. Several impassioned bystanders started chants declaring, “What do we want? EQUALITY! When do we want it? NOW!” After the rally diffused there was a small scaled “afterparty,” complete with music and free water (Righteous!). Several hundred people remained spread out along the streets, signs in hand. After a brief cool down period, people mobilized for a second time and another march took place retracing the steps that they had already made on Broadway. This was a substantially smaller crowd, but their sentiment remained the same. A small posse of police riding motorcycles followed the masses and restrained them from passing the blockades that had been set. Several attempts were made to trespass on the sidewalks that eventually resulted in the protesters being turned away. The protest ended amicably and slowly but surely people drifted away with their cries still echoing through the streets.
A SILENT AMERICA, NO MORE
10 NOVEMBER 2008
ENTERTAINMENT EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL AND IT ALSO HURT
SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK FUCKS YOU UP IN A GOOD WAY
et me be honest here, if only for once: This film fucked me up. It destroyed me. I cannot let it go. It has its spindly coke fingers all up in me, and it owns me now. And so I have no way to go about critiquing Synecdoche, New York, or at least I have no way to judge it, or review it really for that matter, objectively, subjectively, using obtuse extended metaphor; at all. It’s a tree I don’t intend to bark up and additionally I sure as hell cannot out-write Charlie Kaufman, so pitting my words against his art is such a graceless maneuver that it condemns every sentence I attempt to start. So then, this will be a writing nearing something of an attempt at discussing the latest mindfuck from one of the maybe four screenwriters around who has any balls whatsoever. The film itself is a giant, cumbersome and cacophonous monster. It is messy like the gushing guts of an open-heart surgery, and as painful. And it is covertly immersive, latching onto us and dragging us into its abnormally timed and drug-addled brain, as if we are wading through it; thick marshland, or a terrible, utterly realistic dream that is wholly nonsensical, yet seems flatly rational as we experience the ordeal. That dreary dream logic. The film defies the ideals of how characters should be composed, of what thematic film structure should follow; it leaves us barren and bloodied, scorched and raped, slapping us with unflinching honesty. It strikes the core of humanity, at the idea of life
From left to right: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Williams and Tom Noonan in Synecdoche, New York. Unfortunately, when our Music Editor is an old, decrepid man, he will not be nearly as attractive or stately as either of these two gentlemen.
and death and love and sex and sickness and art and who we are. It is massive. The scope of the story Kaufman is telling is overwhelming, and the truths he is capable of ripping from the filthy insides of our collective mind are at times startling. And it’s actually quite funny…at points at least. But it is also bleak and desperate and it aches and writhes with that awful candor of clawing at higher truths and finding them, then pushing on anyway. And it’s undeniably brilliant. Yet it may be too good. I have no doubt it will bomb abhorrently at the box office. Not many people are willing to dive headfirst into a pool brimming with thick, oily-green septic fluid, and this film willfully cannonballs right in. It is basically excessively well executed. We constantly ask our artists to stab at truth, to uncover for us facts about our human condition, about the real world, to investigate our plight and here Kaufman has ripped the lid off the whole thing and splayed it out so
harshly, pressure-washed clear, so blindingly pellucid, that we almost want to look away. It is just so crowded and strange, such a viscerally amorphous knife to the heart of what written words often attempt to tackle, wildly unfettered by the limitations shackled to the medium. I am cautious to call it beautiful but it is something like that at least. Sweaty and unnerving and scabbed and wrinkly and fetid and bloody and true. More like dirty, drunken, smelly sex than glossy, movie sex. It is tenaciously blunt to the point of discomfort and at once shimmeringly bold. There are few chances to see such well-conceived material put on the screen and while you may not “enjoy” the film, you don’t enjoy getting a needle filled with a vaccine jabbed into your arm either; but it’s good for you. Go. Watch this one. Get fucked in your brain. [Editor’s note: Synecdoche, New York is playing on limited screens in both LA and Irvine. Pick your poison.]
YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN’T SEEN... HELL IN THE PACIFIC (1968) JAMES KISLINGBURY Deep down in the heart of every urbane liberal, who’s too hip for westerns or war movies, is a simple man who loves survival films. Everyone loves watching them, which would explain why zombie flicks have had such a renaissance as of late or why Survivor, after 40 million seasons, is still one of the biggest game shows on TV or why each of us is willing to shell out $10 to see Tom Hanks talk to a volleyball. We love survival stories and Hell in the Pacific is one of those great tales. Hell in the Pacific takes place during WWII and centers around an American airman who washes up on a deserted island only to find that the island is already occupied by another stranded soldier—a Japanese one. Though, the main draw of the film isn’t the two men trying to survive or their clever plans to beat each other, the real reason to check it out is for Lee Marvin, (The Dirty Dozen, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai, Grand Prix), and their respective beards. Marvin is definitely one of the great faces in acting. He could tell you more about his character with one look
from his grey, dog-tired face than most actors probably could with their entire oeuvre. Everything about the man is 100%, grade-A badass. If there ever were a man you wouldn’t want to fight a war against, it’d be him. Then, of course, there’s his rival, Mifune, who is always a delight. He’s a strong enough presence to convey what he’s saying despite his total lack of subtitling. Hell in the Pacific is a rather brave movie in a few ways. It’s certainly entertaining to watch, but it’s a long way away from the spectacle that accompanies most other war films. Rather than the standard set pieces, their encounters resemble school boys bickering rather than a full-blown, drag-out fight. Though this isn’t a regular action movie, it’s a drama about two great actors—two of the manliest men ever to grace the screen—combating each other not for valor or country, but for a sack full of fresh water. I’ve heard about movies starting without a finished script (Apocalypse Now, for example, went into production without one), but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a film finishing without a finalized script. In this film, the whole narrative concludes suddenly with no reasoning as to why or how it ends. It would be like if at the end of Star Wars some rebel walked in and said, “Oh yeah, the Death Star thing? It got blown up.” The End. Roll credits. It’s a
Top: Lee Marvin. Bottom: Toshiro Mifune. This image could beat up your dad and seduce your mother.
black mark on an otherwise engrossing movie. Beyond the questionable ending, Hell in the Pacific is a simple, but gripping drama. There’s no big fight scene, only a battle of wits and attrition over a jungle-infested rock. From the acting to the score to the cinematography, it still delivers a solid, enjoyable experience and serves as an example of how a film can do so much with so little. UNION WEEKLY
10 NOVEMBER 2008
LBSU Goalkeeper, Breanna Truelove, saves two penalty shots, but it was not enough for the win.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT The Women’s Soccer team lost the Big West Tournament on Sunday, but the NCAA Tournament is not out of reach WORDS
VINCENT GIRIMONTE & SERGIO ASCENCIO
enalty kicks: the soccer purist’s mortal enemy. Games shouldn’t end on fifty/fifty chance—it’s simply not fair.
Long Beach State Women’s Soccer can now relate to this sentiment after losing 6-5 in penalty kicks to UC Santa Barbara for the Big West Tournament Championship at George Allen Field (which, since the game ended on penalty kicks, goes into the books as a draw). 110 minutes of soccer came down to a few shots off the woodwork. It was rough, folks. “It’s not a fun way to lose,” said senior midfielder Hayley Bolt, perhaps understating the sting of Sunday’s loss. “It’s hard to determine who’s the better team on penalty kicks.” LBSU had comfortably beaten Pacific 3-0 in the tournament semi-finals, earning them a spot in Sunday’s final. UCSB won their semi-final match against Cal Poly in penalty kicks, which undoubtedly helped UNION WEEKLY
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the Gauchos remain composed in extra time. The loss was certainly no fun, but the game itself was emotional, physical, and downright exciting, and the crowd wasn’t much different. It was a great day for LBSU soccer, and despite not coming away victorious, they certainly won the support of an enthusiastic fanbase. And there is a silver lining to Sunday’s disappointment, a shiny one at that. Winning the Big West Tournament would have guaranteed the 49ers a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but Coach Mauricio Ingrassia’s team is not out due to their stellar season, which should be good enough to earn them an at-large bid. The wind was gusty at George Allen Field throughout the game. The first half brought chances from both sides, many spawned from a few lucky bounces and physical play. But as the half wore on, LBSU appeared to hit their stride, keeping the ball out of the wind and on the ground. Shawna Gordon, the freshman, and Lindsay Bullock controlled the midfield, with Dana Farquhar using space on the wing.
With 20 minutes remaining in the first half, Bolt skillfully flicked a cross near the 6-yard box into a cluster of players, UCSB just barely clearing the ball. Often it was sloppy around the net, with LBSU using size and toughness to bully their way in front of the goal, but it was very effective. UCSB’s offense was mostly limited to long, drawn out counter attacks in the first half. They were simply not moving the ball as smoothly as LBSU, largely due to the play of Bullock and defender Chantel Hubbard, also known as the player who does the flip throw-ins. And when the Gauchos did get shots, keeper Liz Ramos coolly handled them. The 49ers came out strong in the second half, keeping their momentum from the first period. But this is soccer, and things often happen against the grain. On a questionable call earning the Gauchos a corner, Alyssa Oldham headed home the first goal six minutes into the first half. Before fans had a chance to check the scoreboard, exactly Continued on top right of next page
THE BUSH LEAGUER VINCENT GIRIMONTE
I was in a bar last Thursday night watching the birth of Brady Quinn’s legend, or something like that, when Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall tried to put a black and white glove on his hand after he scored a touchdown. The glove was to be a symbol of racial unity as a result of America electing Barack Obama, and it was to pay homage to the 1968 Olympics, when Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in the air, now an iconic image of racial struggle. It was a beautiful moment. But thank God for Brandon Stokley. He sprinted towards Marhsall and tucked the glove back into his pants in order to prevent a 15 yard, excessive celebration penalty—a penalty that would have put Denver in danger of losing a tight one against the Browns. Everybody seems to be rationalizing Stokley’s decision as fundamental to the Broncos winning the game. That seems fair. But I’ve also met many who’ve prophesized doomsday scenarios had Marhsall completed his symbolic gesture. They go something like this: “Listen, he puts on the glove, he gets a penalty, the Broncos lose the game because he gets a penalty and now the NFL is in the middle of a race war.” Beyond the obvious, which is the inherent lunacy of excessive celebration penalties, this speaks volumes to our disgusting love of football. Don’t worry; I’m pointing the finger at myself as well. “Yes, it would have been cool, but the Broncos could have lost!” Let’s say he puts on the glove and doesn’t receive a penalty, and the whole thing goes over swimmingly by all accounts; with most middle-aged American males watching, would this not be a powerful message? Or would it be another African-American wide receiver using a prop for a little fun post-touchdown? It seems like most have placed Marshall in the latter category. Had Brett Favre pulled an American Flag from his jock to support American troops, and Stokley not been there to deter him, I wonder what our reaction would be. I wonder if a flag is thrown. I think Marshall had a right to wear his glove and do whatever the hell he wanted—I’m not alone in thinking the events of last Tuesday makes such an action the exception to the rule. The timing was inconvenient, but that’s sort of how these things work.
Midfielder Kim Silos shoots only to be rejected by UCSB’s defender. one minute later, Dana Farquhar evened the match with a beautifully struck ball into the top left corner. From that moment on, LBSU dominated the game and squandered many opportunities to put away the Gauchos, the game ending regulation tied at one. Two sudden death periods elapsed without many opportunities from either side outside of a great Liz Ramos save on a UCSB one-timer. Breanna Truelove replaced Liz Ramos in the penalty shootout, Ingrassia
LBSU’s Hayley Bolt going in for the header. citing Truelove’s uncanny ability with penalty kicks as the motive for the change. Truelove responded by saving two shots, but it wasn’t enough. With misses from Kristen Kiefer and Yeraldy Hurtado, both hitting the posts, UCSB escaped with the Big West Title. “It’s a cruel way to finish a match, after two teams battling the way they did,” said Ingrassia. Hopefully, it won’t be the cruel way that ends the season for LBSU. All Yeraldy Hurtado super signs point to the NCAA Tournament. -VINCENT GIRIMONTE bummed after missing PK.
If baseball teams are going to enjoy champagne showers with every “clinching win,” then it’s appropriate to guess the Women’s Soccer team will be sippin’ on cider. No Big West Title, no Cristal. But at the same time, the ‘Niners might have a chance to celebrate a toast to an NCAA tournament bid if all goes as planned during the selection show at 5pm on Monday, despite their loss to UCSB on Sunday. Since day one of this season, the team’s objective has been as such: win the Big West and get into the NCAA Tourney. Working against them is the fact that the Big West has only sent multiple teams to the NCAAs twice. But this may be the year for a bittersweet Long Beach State celebration. And they have reason to expect a bid. Long Beach State’s resume includes a 14-4-4 record, top 20 RPI and are ranked 8th in the West Coast/Best Coast for soccer. The RPI (ratings percentage index) is an evaluation formula of sorts, consisting of a team’s winning percentage, the teams they’ve played winning percentages, and the winning percentage of their opponents. RPI is a key ingredient for a tourney selection. Now you know.
But whether this team gets a bid or not, it has already been a Frodo-like trek for this squad, and it goes beyond this season. The ‘Niners have a roster consisting of eleven seniors who do not want to see their season or careers end on a penalty kick shootout in the Big West Title game. With that said, there might not be a better-equipped team in the country to come off a punch-in-the-gut loss and compete. This team has already seen more heartbreak on the field than a college girl does in a romantic comedy. Despite three-peating as Big West regular season champions, they have lost in the semi-finals twice, not yet sniffing a chance at the NCAA postseason. But that only motivated the team heading into the season. Now they must bounce back from Sunday’s championship “defeat.” Now they are in position to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in the Mauricio Ingrassia era. One must keep in mind this team has been in every match they played in. All of their losses this season were by a mere one-nil tally. “I told them they can think about [this loss], but the minute they walk out the gate it’s done,” Coach Ingrassia said. “Their mentality has allowed them to
be in each and every game.” He’s not kidding. This team has rebounded from each loss and played through four draws. This team hasn’t lost since October 10th—that’s eight matches in a row without a loss. One of the biggest concerns with this team has been their inability to put the ball in the net. At times it’s been frustrating, and at times it has felt fitting. This fun to watch team puts up more shots than Allen Iverson in a pickup game. But what impresses many the most is their ability to forget about what has happened, and what can happen next, also known as Selective Amnesia. For example, the individual struggles of Kristen Kiefer’s eight game scoreless streak, or Hayley Bolt missing 13 consecutive shots—they got by. Bolt answered her scoreless streak with a hat trick on Senior Day. Kiefer scored goals in three straight games starting on Senior Day, also earning Big West Player of the Week and two national teams of the week. This postseason opportunity has been four years in the making. They want to finish off in a way no one will want to forget. And we’re not speaking of penalty kicks. -SERGIO ASCENCIO
LBSU’s Mariko Strickland (right) misses another golden opportunity.
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MUSIC THE NEW FLOWER OF SCOTLAND AN INTERVIEW WITH FRIGHTENED RABBIT RACHEL RUFRANO
t’s highly likely that you’ve never heard of Frightened Rabbit, but the small Indie band from Scotland is slowly gaining clout in the U.S. You may hear their gallopping pop hit, “Heads Roll Off ” when you’re shopping at Urban Outfitters or you may hear, “Good Arms vs. Bad Arms” when watching a newer episode of Grey’s Anatomy, but soon enough you’ll be hearing them on the radio, at a friend’s house, and maybe even your own stereo. Union Weekly: It’s kind of funny the way Andy
Photos ANDREW LEE
Monaghan, your keyboard player, was added to the band. I heard you were with him on New Year’s Eve in Glasgow and just asked him to play some shows… Scott Hutchinson (lead vocalist and guitar): Yeah, I had just sort of mentioned to him, “Do you want to play some shows?” and the next morning he sent me a text saying, “Did I just imagine that you bumped into me?” So uh, yeah, New Year’s Eve is when I popped the question [laughs]. UW: So what do you think for this New Year’s Eve? Maybe a bass player? SH: Yeah! I actually never thought of that! But we’re going Above: Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchinson. Below: Drummer/vocalist Grant to be in Sydney, Australia, so it’s Hutchinson and our Entertainment Editor, who can’t be seen for obvious reasons. not likely. UW: No bass players in Australia? whether it’s going to be sad or not. SH: Probably only two, but they’ll live too far away. UW: In the song “The Twist,” you say “extrasupervUW: It seems like a lot of good music comes out of ery”—what does that mean? small towns and I know you’re from Selkirk. There are a SH: I don’t even know. It’s total nonsense, really. It was lot of good bands out of Scotland like Belle & Sebastian kind of an “in phrase” with me and a girlfriend of mine. It and Teenage Fanclub… was a thing we had where we used to run words together SH: Yeah, I mean, like, most Glasgow bands aren’t real- that would all mean “good” to mean “really really good.” ly from Glasgow. You know, there’s like…everyone moves UW: So, there’s really no way to preface this questhere because there’s nowhere else to play, really. But every- tion, but, what’s with the name Frightened Rabbit? one from a small town ends up being “from” Glasgow. SH: Oh, well, my mom used to call me that. Maybe beUW: Do you think Selkirk has affected your music? tween the ages of three and five—maybe later, if I’m honest, SH: Well, it’s rural. Maybe there’s a folk vibe to it I was kind of socially maladjusted. I didn’t speak to anyone because of that? But there’s folk everywhere in Scot- and I didn’t enjoy socializing with other kids. Even at family land. I don’t know if Selkirk is really the form, or like, reunions and stuff I would sit in the corner with a kind of the structure of my music, really. There’s nothing to do frightened look on my face. I was a little bit shy, I guess. there. Maybe that helped me with practicing. UW: That’s what music’s for. UW: “Heads Roll Off ” is my favorite song on The SH: Yeah! Exactly! Midnight Organ Fight—a surprisingly uplifting song What Scott Hutchinson has been listening to: about death. The lyrics, although positive, are dark. I wonder what comes first for you as a songwriter—the melody or the lyrics? SH: The melody is always first. I, uh, kind of put syllables to it—any old nonsense—and once I get the rhythm out of it I just put words into those gaps. So, The Twilight Sad Crystal Castles the rhythm’s really important to me and the melody is TV on the Radio usually first. From there there’s some kind of feeling of Dear Science (2008) Fourteen Albums & Crystal Castles (2008) Fifteen Winters (2007)
PUSSYCAT DOLLS DOLL DOMINATION interscope SAMANTHA TREVORS
Dear Pussycat Dolls, So you guys like, told my life story in your new album Doll Domination. First, I really relate to your song, “When I Grow Up,” because it’s about not apologizing for how hot you are and also about how being famous doesn’t make you a bad person. I never get jealous of famous people. I’m not like, “Ho my God!” about Oprah or Brittany. They’re just people, ya’ know? Then, in your song “Love the Way You Love Me,” UNION WEEKLY
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you guys wrote, “I like how your T-shirt cut you right…by the way, you’re rockin’ it in them Nikes.” That freaked me out cuz, the night I met Preston, my ex, he was all, “Hey, what’s your name?” I was all, “Samantha. I like your Nikes.” Also, he was wearing a tight T-shirt. How weird is that? I also thought your lyric, “Cause I even like the way you sip your drink. Just enough ice on you to make me think” was really intense. I feel like you’ve really captured what it’s like to feel an instant connection with someone at a bar. Your song “Elevator” made me bawl. Over the two years Preston and I were off and on, I would tell people, “This shit is so up and down!” He has this thing with meth, so he was always freaking. It was hard to connect with him. Last week, just before we broke up, I played him that part where you guys sing, “You’re stuck on one, while I’m pressing three. I’m just trying to elevate you,
like an elevator.” I was totally Preston’s elevator! In “Whose Gonna Love You?” I also thought of me and Preston. That one part when you say, “You want your girl to give advice, but you’re always right.” That was Preston. He would get arrested and be all, “You don’t understand, Babe.” But I did, he just didn’t want to admit it. And then there’s that other part of the song when you go, “You want your girl to hang out at home, even when she’s all alone.” That really reminded me of Preston cuz he hated it when I left the house. So yeah, I really loved Doll Domination. It was really awesome. Now that I put a restraining order on Preston I think things will finally be over. I was over it when he tried to hit me with the car. Now, I’m totally that girl from your song “Happily Never After.” I know I “deserve better after all. I’ll never let another teardrop fall.” Thanks Pussycat Dolls. Love, Samantha
THE GIRL TALK AN ESSAY ON THE POST-MODERN BEAT MICHAEL VEREMANS
first started hearing mash-ups about a year ago when it was a new enterprise for DJs looking to move beyond the art engendered by DJ Shadow in his revolutionary, entirely sampled album Endtroducing… DJ Shadow’s more subtle mixing and emphasis on instrumental hip-hop thus gave way to a more blunt genre that sought musical novelty—the combination of two or more conspicuously unrelated songs. The mashup’s ultimate goal was to inspire awe in the mix, trading even the most digital of instruments for the mixing board. The mix and the beat. For anyone acquainted with Italian author Umberto Eco, the concept of Gregg Gillis’ project Girl Talk becomes glaringly clear: he has created an album of postmodern pastiche. In the first chapter of Eco’s novel The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, Signor Bodoni, plagued by memory loss, experiences his reality through references to and direct quotes from other popular media and literary works. In the age of the bibliography, we call this the experience of simulacra, where nothing can be considered truly original except the synthesis of previously created media, whether art or purely practical. The democracy of the mash-up and its accessibility to anyone with even rudimentary recording/mixing technology has given way to true art and a vanguard for the genre who transcends it to create original musical compositions. While mash-ups are generally just annoying now, Girl Talk’s 2008 album Feed the Animals was riveting in its hard-driven chaos. Yes, many bands affirm their influences while trying to bury them in whatever original input they can muster up, but Girl Talk is so transparent that the musical allusions are directly
and solely sampled, and in this unabashed clipping, new songs truly are created. As a humanist, pluralist form of Art, Girl Talk’s compositions naturally bend copyright laws. In seeking out samples, Gillis had to nimbly dodge record label rights and fascistic Girl Talk (aka Greg Gillis) has an audience that’s nearly as sexy as he is. FFC policies in order to compile and combine the more than 300 samples that make up Feed the Animals. roots while re-validating those roots with the hip-hop. We see embodied here the paradox of the copyright This post-modern paradox creates a circular narrative law in an age of pastiche: how can nothing be original throughout the album that makes it utterly and infecand nothing get ripped off? The internet release of this tiously listenable. album and the unabashed use of these samples in genIf Girl Talk is the epitome of everything musical— eral show that post-modern is free media. pop and hip-hop—ADD is definitely the affliction of The mixing itself bears comment though. The our generation. It is the beat, that drive both primal and track “No Pause” includes a sample from Eminem’s post-modern that is unanimously undeniable. As dance song “Shake that Ass” featuring Nate Dogg, but the music, Girl Talk transcends standard musical descripsample—sped up or slowed down to fit the beat like tions because no matter what your ear may happen to many of the other samples made Girl Talk’s own—ends pick up, your body picks up more, and that knowledge on introducing Nate Dogg, without actually sampling can only be transmitted through free body movement. Nate Dogg. Though this seems like a contradiction, it is The revolutionary message of the first track, “Play Your indicative of the massive attempt to defamiliarize these Part (Pt. 1),” a sample from Twisted Sister: “We’re not samples from the original and put them into context, gonna take it,” says it all. You could say that music is giving the listener everything he wants, while dashing dead, but this eulogy stands as pastiche ode, creating their musical expectations at every turn. Dueling lyrics such art that the original songs sampled no longer agree and disagree with each other while hip-hop flows sound right. This project leaves us wondering: when are laid over classic rock, bringing hip-hop back to its will Gregg Gillis produce a hip-hop album?
HEARTS OF PALM UK
Elektra wrote all of the songs on the album with an acoustic guitar, which sort of explains the lazy twee aesthetic. The beats at the beginning of the album sort of bounce around aimlessly like 4-yearolds in a peewee soccer game. Elektra abandons any electro aspirations towards the back end of the album and begins to settle on a standard singer-songwriter sound backed by a tiny bit of ‘80s gloss. The last track on For Life is, in fact, a cover of the ‘80s classic “More Than This” by Roxy Music, which the band reinvents as an 808-driven glockenspiel-fest. The real problem with the album is that Hearts of Palm UK never want to get their hands dirty, they are comfortable making muzak and never go for all out jams. Lyrically, the album continues to annoy and confuse the listener. The songs are littered with groan-worthy lines and the album comes off feeling really boastful.
FOR LIFE hypnote
At first glance Hearts of Palm UK’s debut For Life is a catchy, if inoffensive, electro record. Upon further listening, it comes closer to nails on a chalk board. The band is the brainchild of the cleverly named Erica Elektra, and as you could expect from such a turgid name, Hearts of Palm UK make cheesy, uninspired electro pop. However what you might not expect from such electro-posturing is that For Life is also very, very boring.
On “Jonathan FMF,” Elektra intones, “We can do anything we try to, ‘cause I love you” which is repeated multiple times throughout the song. This level of uncontrolled, erratic optimism is the most memorable aspect of the CD and reminds me of that friend everyone has who won’t shut up about how happily in love they are. Though the lyrics aren’t necessarily bad in and of themselves, the combination of breezy pop and gratingly airy singing pushes them into the insufferable category. Maybe I am too much of a cynic. Maybe if I were more optimistic I would connect with Erica Elektra, but I can’t shake the feeling that there was no soul put into the album. After listening to the album multiple times I felt like I understood the directionless frustration that the supporting members of Hearts of Palm UK must have felt when helping put the record together. In summation, if you have a need to recreate the audio experience of shopping at a Hallmark store or are masochistic, then I highly recommend Hearts of Palm UK. UNION WEEKLY
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RETURN TO RIVER HEIGHTS APRIL JOY NIETO
MASTERING THE CODE HOW READING WRITES YOUR STORY
R Illustration ERIN HICKEY
eading is unnatural. That’s why it was so hard to learn. Since your teacher made you write upper and lower case letters on those giant pieces of lined paper, you were beginning to master a code that that maps human speech sounds, which is called phonological awareness (remember that, it will make you sound smart) to written symbols (the alphabet). Like the development of language, reading requires instruction. It’s a multi-dimensional cognitive process of decoding symbols that allows you to derive meaning and/or construct meaning. Written information is received by the retina, processed by the primary visual cortex, and interpreted in Wernicke’s area, which is basically an area in your brain that helps you produce meaning and speech. If I could somehow measure how fast you’re reading this, I would be able to gather how much of it you were actually taking in. If you’re reading this at a rate of 400-700 words per minute, you don’t care and will only remember a portion of this. Maybe you liked reading about Girl Talk more. If you are reading this between 200-400 words per minute, you are reading this for simple comprehension—that’s about average leisure level reading. 100-200 words per minute is reading for learning, and if you are reading this at a rate of less than 100 words per minute, you love this and want to memorize every word—that would also mean you are interesting and I like the way you think. Did you start reading before the third grade? If you did, you’re statistically in good shape. If you learned to read before the third grade, you had a better chance of getting into UNION WEEKLY 10 NOVEMBER 2008
college and you probably were far less likely to end up in jail. If for some reason you have gone to jail (shit happens), having a consistent reading life as an adult will not only help you avoid going back, it also makes you one and a half times more likely to participate in sporting activities, two and a half times more likely to do volunteer or charity work, three times more likely to attend a performing arts events, and four times more likely to attend a visual arts museum. Oh, and if you read consistently, you are more likely to have a much more adventurous sex life. But if you are reading this, you’re already in college, and on top of that, nerdy enough to be reading the Literature page, so I’m probably preaching to the choir. So, now that I have you feeling good about yourself, let me introduce some more food for thought. In 1993, the U.S. government funded a $14 million study of adult literacy. The study was spread across 12 states and was designed to represent the entire U.S. population. It consisted of comprehensive interviews of 26,700 adults that were statistically balanced for their age, gender, education level, ethnicity, location, and vocational level. What they found was a striking correlation between literacy level and income. 40 to 44 million adults found in the least literate groups earned a yearly average income of $2,105. 50 million adults in the next-least literate group earned an average yearly income of $5,225. In 1993, the poverty threshold was $7,363 per year. Later, in 2006, an additional study of 19,714 interviewers showed little to no improvement. Basically, this means that between 46% and 51% of U.S. adults read so badly, that they earn much less than the threshold of poverty. So, I’m not trying to make you feel bad. Think about it this way, the fact you can read this not only means you are having good sex and probably take an active interest in the world around you, it also means you have a pretty good life ahead of you. But if you do feel bad, take that guilt and turn it into something useful. Donate some books to a library, or volunteer to tutor some kids after school. Besides, statistically, you were probably going to do that eventually anyway. May as well start now.
Flashback to 2003. It’s my thirteenth birthday and this year my parents decided that the perfect gift would be to take me on a multistate roadtrip to Carlsbad Caverns, but what I’m most excited about is my other gift: a set of eight brand new, freshsmelling Nancy Drew books with their instantly recognizable yellow covers. It’s five years later and I’m a little different (or at least, I’d hope so). Menacing villains have become identity thieves, and the only mystery I have on my plate is “Who Put a Dent in My Car Door?” But I do still find myself wanting to go and revisit my old friend Nancy, back in the old town of River Heights…so I did. First of all, let me say that finding time to read is getting increasingly difficult. I admit that the 180 page book didn’t make it that high on my list of “must reads”, especially after I bought some books that made me temporarily forget my blast of nostalgia. But all that aside, I did find time to get through one of the mysteries. The Mysterious Mannequin-#47 is the mystery I chose to rekindle my relationship with Nancy Drew and her group of mystery solving, globetrotting, crime-fighting friends. So what did I find once I had gotten through it? I guess the sickeningly cliché phrase is true. We readers may change, but favorite characters are always there waiting for us…I just grossed myself out a little with that one. So in re-reading this book, I realized several things. I think I had always known them, but honestly, does a twelve year old really care about the finer nuances of character development? Not really. First of all, Nancy herself is ridiculously perfect. You know those Disney Channel stars every little girl on the planet goes stupid for? She’s one of those, but not nearly as irritating. Then there’s Bess, the passive coward who complains way too much for my liking and George, the boyish one who keeps Bess from wetting herself while on a case. Then there’s Ned, her perfect “special friend.” Even when I was twelve I wondered why they couldn’t just say boyfriend. What was the big deal? Anyway, elements of the plot are lost in my memory. They’re probably hidden behind Italian conjugations and philosophical arguments, but I do believe that in re-reading the book I got the chance to be a kid again. I got excited when a new clue came up, or scared when the bad guys got the upper hand. True, Nancy may not have the same appeal as she used to, but it was still fun to take a break from the hectic college life with her.
Got a Creative Writing?
ou know what happens when I say ‘White Power’ I am a Racist but the Black guy can say ‘Black Power’ and he is a strong Black man The Chicano can say ‘Brown Power’ and he is me with joy But when I say I’m proud of being part of a race so intermingled, so mixed up, so complicated that I might dare say that we’re hated that we just go by white I am considered a confederate, a peckerwood and a racist
I have come to figure out that in today’s society I have to hold back feelings of pride for my heritage If I wave my German flag I must have turned in a Jew If I wear my Star of David I must be cheap and thrifty Because not matter where I come from No matter the bloodlines within me No matter the fact that I am American People only see the fact that I am white, And if I am proud of my entangled hum-drum, mutt heritage I am a Racist LINDSEY HICKLEN, JR.
“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” -C. S. Lewis lack faceless portraits adorn the surface closest to your heart. Mirrors with no glass shatter to pieces at your feet. Stories with empty words obscure your thoughts invading your mind. Walls with no limits scale the closets of your fears. You are growing weary of his dream as escape becomes impossible. He tells a poem about the world, tall tales unfurled. Of anger, pain, and finally of a single hope. He says he knows all things: of diamond rings of bird wings and history’s kings. Waking, I say give us truth, those who are still in the bloom of youth. We don’t want facts, we want caterpillar tracks, caterpillar Tracks. HANNAH SHIBLEY
Black people scream civil rights Hispanics sing out freedom Asians might say don’t judge me Bu what do I say, or better yet What am I allowed to say
If you write short stories, poems, or any other written arts, all of this could be your. Send your shit to: email@example.com
wonder if you have ever seen the sky Life besides you Can feel the flowers scream to bloom In your temple of kisses Sweet passion has outworn. Wild black oblivion Green grass grows an inch higher Among the self made razor blades You dance to our song of secrets forevermore. You got sensation. Something gentle on the soul Sometimes hidden beneath stone. Glued fuchsias to canvas, Brush strokes of hope Nothing is true. Insects whisper their rights for living Beneath our feet heaven so cold Machinery men guide our existence, We both have walked the road of sin Breathing in sleep, Dead as the living. I taste the downfalls, Sell myself once more, You can’t settle for less If you were born to want solitude OMID MOUSAEI
ooking down in his hands are two faces captured in a frame and stuck in the past. The boy on the left radiates youth from every pore, with a face like a peach that needs to be shaved and washed. He smiles at the camera, revealing a set of teeth bumping each other’s shoulders to make room for everyone in his mouth. The boy on the right does his impression of James Dean, even though he’s only seen him in the hallway of his friend’s dad’s house sitting in a diner. His eyes squint in an attempt to crush the world around him, and his blonde hairs battle with his brown hairs for reign over his scalp. Browns are winning.
Hunched over in a room alone, he is beaten in the future and his blue eyes are weathered and pale now. He’s got a house with stairs, a 3 year-old car, and two kids, but he’d like to be able to tell his best friend that—the rebel without a cause. M. CHARLES PALLOTTA UNION WEEKLY
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COMICS You’re STUCK Here! by Victor! Perfecto
Crossword puzzles provided by BestCrosswords.com. Used with permission.
Caramel > You by Ken C. Across
Drunken Penguin Presents... by James Kislingbury
1- Bites 5- Raised platform 9- Prohibit 14- Faithful 15- Sea-going eagle 16- Winged 17- Gap 18- Beethoven’s birthplace 19- Island near Sicily 20- A type of evidence 23- Bambi’s aunt 24- Shelter 25- Parka 29- Aforementioned 31- Baseball execs 34- Seine spot 35- Christmas 36- Soared 37- Make a trade? 40- Time to give up? 41- Sneaky guy? 42- District in Tokyo 43- That, in Tijuana 44- Charter 45- Gambler 46- Racket 47- Metal container used for frying 48- Lockable metal box
56- Exhausted 57- Word that can precede hygiene, tradition and agreement. 58- Came down to earth 60- Revere 61- Where heroes are made 62- Wife of Jacob 63- Red Sea land 64- A bit 65- Accent
Down 1- High degree 2- Camaro model 3- Hungarian sheepdog 4- Psychic 5- Expose as being false 6- Smell, usually a pleasant one 7- Taverns 8- Posted 9- Doomed 10- Gladden 11- Indonesian resort island 12- ___ boy! 13- Actual 21- Quit 22- Strange
25- Pomme or manzana 26- Nostrils 27- Home of the Black Bears 28- Fissure 29- Connected series of rooms 30- ____ vera 31- Reflect 32- Middle 33- Vow 35- Belgian river 36- Flutter 38- Thorn 39- Cause 44- Concealed 45- Magistrate 46- Caterpillar rival 47- Sacred song 48- Stick around 49- Helper 50- Gift tag word 51- Seed containers 52- Sweet sandwich 53- Latvian, e.g. 54- Butter alternative 55- Capital of Shaanxi province, China 59- Definite article
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10 NOVEMBER 2008
the union weekly loves them some sweater weather. break out your fur coats and cashmere cardigans and celebrate the autumn splendor ...while it lasts
photos: andrew lee model: jenny long location: el dorado park director/stylist: kathy miranda special thanks: tessah schoenrock and mcclain nelson
10 NOVEMBER 2008
“Yesterday I splooged and got a $6 sandwich at Quizno’s.”
This page is satire. We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Soggy knees. Send rags to email@example.com
Volume 63 Issue 11
Monday, November 10th, 2008
Fattest Woman in Marathon Doesn’t Win
Glenda Thompson (above) contemplates what she even sees in Krispy Kreme donuts.
BY CALAMITY JONES SANTA BARBARA, CA – In a shocking and unprecedented turn of events this Saturday, Glenda Thompson, 37, a participant in Santa Barbara’s annual ‘Rotten Jack O’ Lantern Marathon,’ didn’t win the race. Sending a shockwave of insanity and chaos through the city, many residents began to question the meaning of life itself. Some committed suicide. Glenda has been running marathons since she was 15 and has never won a single race. Furthermore she is a very nice person and doesn’t like to hurt other people’s feelings by beating them at anything. That is why this news is so shocking, so thoroughly incomprehensible to so many. “First the media tells me that she was the fattest competitor in the marathon,” a mildly drunk but affable man seen on the street this morning said, adding, “The next thing you know, gravity won’t exist and we’ll be fueling our cars with something other than gasoline. I won’t stand for it!” While many were surprised to a tremendous degree that an overweight woman did not win a marathon, others simply didn’t care about the issue at all. These people are all, of course, morons and terrible cannibal communists and I loathe them intensely. Others though were happy for Glenda’s lack of winning. “It is such a great day for our country,
city, state, county, postal code and nation, but nothing further,” proclaimed the chapter head of the appropriately named F.W.F.M.W. (Fat Women For Marathon Walking), Melody Sturges. “I think that fat women everywhere should see this as a great achievement, we’ve really done something to be proud of in essentially having no part in accomplishing something that shouldn’t really seem that impressive and really is just normal.” While many were so flabbergasted by the turn of events that their brains exploded like a watermelon loaded with M-80s, some were more outraged than impressed. Lyle Hoffman, a moving van operator from Tennessee, was furious by the outcome of the marathon. “I can’t believe what happened, happened! I can barely accept that something so idiotic would be allowed to happen by our government.” Lyle then pulled a large and menacing handgun from beneath the driver’s seat and waved it manically in the air. “If something this normal and expected can happen; if a fat woman doesn’t win a marathon in the U.S. of A.—in the year 2008, then I’m just going to have to buy more guns to protect myself and my children from this terror. My apocalypse shed is not even close to done yet. I need more time!” But back in Santa Barbara, Glenda Thompson, the woman who didn’t win a marathon had her own concerns. “I think that maybe I have a sore muscle,” she said massaging her calf. “I sure do hope people are willing to accept that I’m just another marathon runner, you know, just like Dustin Hoffman in that movie with the Nazi dentist, a runner who might not be a panacea for the ills of the world.” And, of course, Glenda was talking about the film Marathon Man, which totally does have an evil Nazi dentist.
Local Rapper Spotted Doing Thangs, Public Outraged BY JEFF BRIDGES
she studied a photo taken of the scene. “Much like humans, bears share knowing glances, and it is quite obvious that these bears are quite pleased with their surroundings. Did you see those wine glasses, by the way? They’re huge. Come on.” Given the public’s outrage with Big Bear’s history of doing thangs, it is unclear how Big Bear will react in the future. When questioned, Bear asked reporters to quit “sweating him” and then proceeded to use rhyming verse to put down the appearance of the reporters present. Big Bear’s representatives explained that Bear’s outbursts were due to the great deal of stress the rapper is under, he then assured a male reporter that his shirt was “a very nice shirt” and did not resemble “a dish rag” in any way.
LONG BEACH, CA – Rapper “Big Bear” was recently spotted by local hunter Chris Burns doing various thangs in a cave with several bears. “They were wearing crimson smoking jackets and puffing on cigars. It was so luxurious,” said Burns between dry heaves. Burns was reluctant to comment further, but sources say notorious rapper Big Bear has been known to do other thangs, such as drink large goblets of wine and create lens flares with his jewelry while he spends time with his bear cohorts, much to the outrage of bear and hip-hop enthusiasts everywhere. Bear expert Natalie Kauffman confirms that doing thangs is a common behavioral trait in bears. “Bear are often seen doing thangs such as hibernating or scratching their backs on trees. Only rarely are they seen holding giant wine glasses and standing behind a rap artist. This is a rare and disturbing find, indeed,” Kauffman told reporters. No word yet whether animal cruelty charges will be filed, but Kauffman believes any charges will be unfounded. “Observe the two bears in the back,” Big Bear (above, regal) enjoys a life of luxurious, hip-hopKauffman explained as centric hibernation with his high Bear Nation.
Suicide Girl Found Dead, Foul Play Suspected
Last Thursday, internet model Maggie “Magpie” Kristensen was found in her Echo Park studio apartment deceased. Investigators would not disclose much, but they did say that the killer left a note written in the victim’s handwriting. PAGE O3
Katy Perry Releases New Single “I Had an Abortion and It Wasn’t So Terrible”
Drawing upon the personal life experiences of someone with more shame, pop star Katy Perry has released a new track that “finally proves to [her] critics that [she is] a cunt with substantial artistic integrity.” PAGE NO4
Bank Executive Weighs Options PAGE C11
McCain Looking Forward to November 4th Elections PAGE AARP
Published on Jan 31, 2009