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assing Proposition 4 would have protected young girls from going through a life-altering procedure alone, but, for some unknown reason, Californians (amazingly, mothers included) voted it down. When Proposition 8 was passed there were protests throughout the state claiming that gay rights are important and shouldn‘t be taken away. The anger over this outcome has overshadowed the disappointing results of Proposition 4. Have parents become so jaded by today’s moral standards that an issue as important as Proposition 4 took a backseat to an issue regarding marriage? Proposition 4 would have required a physician to notify a parent, guardian or other adult family member before performing an abortion on girls under the age of 18, but for some reason voters felt that a 13-year-old girl was far more capable of making such an important decision on her own. Those who oppose Proposition 4 believe that it might put girls in harm’s way because it would force them to use extreme measures in having this procedure done. For this reason specifically, Proposition 4 made



exceptions to the notification requirements. If the minor has reason to fear being emotionally or physically abused by the parent, the child can either talk to a judge and prove she is mature enough to make the decision to go through with an abortion or she can talk to another family member whom she trusts. Recent studies show that 19 percent of women having abortions are teenagers. 70 percent of these girls claimed that they were forced to have sex, and 34 percent report that their partner was 18 years or older, which is statutory rape. According to healthvote. org, Planned Parenthood failed to report the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old that was brought in by a 23-year-old who had raped her. After the abortion, he raped her and impregnated her again. Also, Planned Parenthood performed an abortion on a 14-year-old, and at the request of a male predator, gave her a shot of Depo-Provera, a Contraceptive Injection, so that he could have sex with her again. If Planned Parenthood can witness sexual abuse without reporting it, it sounds like the protection of the criminal is of more importance than the abused victim. If we do not do something about these secret abortions, then these vulnerable girls will continue to

be raped and abused while the predators go free. Law enforcement was in favor of Proposition 4, why weren’t the parents? Most teenagers do not remotely understand the serious side effects of an abortion, and studies show that they often do not just stop at one. The more abortions they have, the less likely they will be able to have children, and the higher the risk of being harmed from them. Is it really in the 14-year-old’s best interest to be alone in a clinic, without a concept of the great decision she’s making or the maturity to know whether or not it was the correct one? Is this really considered safe? This proposition was created to prevent young girls from making a blind and uneducated decision without the help of their families. Parents could inform them of the serious consequences of an abortion and could be there to support them through such an emotional and physical trauma. Notification laws have been enforced in 35 states and have been protecting girls for over 25 years. Why does no one in California care enough to protect vulnerable girls from being exploited and harmed any more?




feel funny.

Many of you are probably already familiar with the financial troubles our University is currently facing. The administration is being forced to make big cuts and raise tuition. I know that many are already feeling the effects. Just yesterday I had no choice but to spend my last three dollars on a product called “A TUB OF GOO” (all caps) at a corner convenient store since it had the highest goo/dollar ratio. This is just a single example of how bad things are getting. How much does a doctor cost? I don’t think I should have eaten all that goo at once. The tub says I should call a doctor. This is just another example of the struggles an average student faces. Where will it end? Does anyone know where I can get a wig for a reasonable price? A large clump of hair just fell out of my head. Gross, some is in my mouth. To stay on topic: a reliable source recently told me that student fees will continue to fffffffffffffffffffffffffff Okay I can’t feel the left side of my body. I’m guess-

Whoa. I just woke up and my article was finished. Cool! I’m sure it’s all pretty good stuff, enjoy. Don’t be afraid to let your voice be heard about this very important issue! Peace.

The EMERGENCE OF THE GASTROSEXUAL trust me, it’s much sexier than it sounds

Anthony Bourdain can kick your ass. Tom Colicchio may or may not stab you when he’s pissed off. For years, the occupation of chef has been considered manly, yet for some reason, once a man tries to take that skill into his own home, it’s deemed feminine. Now, this feeling has been going on for years, and quite frankly it baffles me. A hobby using knives, fire, and butchered meat is considered girly? And yet if you were to try and tell some guys at this campus how you sauté mushrooms in port sauce, you would get nothing but deeply suspicious looks. I remember when I was in middle school and I first got into cooking. I was flipping through channels (South Park to Power Rangers, to illustrate the times) when I saw a flash of the cooking channel, and, where I had sped by a million times before, I decided to stop. I had no good reason to, I just watched and slowly realized that I had always wanted to learn this. The quick-moving knives, the high fires, the creativity and the culture behind it all; I was hooked. The next day I went to school and started telling my friends, in between their penis jokes, about a lamb with fig sauce recipe I wanted to try. In retrospect, I was a pretty stupid kid (however, that recipe would get me my first girlfriend a few weeks later). Thankfully, in recent years a new movement has started up: the appearance of the gastrosexual. Now this word does not describe any of the top ten disgusting definitions you could think of off the top of your head, but instead describes a new era of bachelor appearing in mainly urban areas who is okay with cooking, and actually enjoys it. These men learn to cook for a bevy

of reasons, including impressing friends and potential girlfriends, and more importantly, the reason that men must eat too, and while a freshly killed raw woodland creature works some times, other times a man’s palate is a little more refined. Hell, with the new rise in gastrosexual culture, 50% of men in surveys say they view cooking as a hobby, not a chore, while only 40% of women would see it the same way. These men have taken the man’s place in the kitchen (barbeque), and moved it to a place where they can actually put some thought into the dish, instead of putting meat over fire like an advanced monkey. You can even see the subculture starting to turn mainstream with books by Anthony Bourdain and several other chefs reaching bestseller status, with new programs emerging like Top Chef, and maybe two shows on Food Network that don’t suck. Granted, men cooking might not always be okay (serving shrimp puffs at your next cosmo party? Worry), but I for one am glad I can have my t hai - i n f us e d crab cakes and eat them too. UNION WEEKLY





Dear Senator Boxer, According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the bailout has reached 8.5 trillion dollars. Now, I’m sure there’s an awesome explanation for all that money that fits nicely and succinctly in the form letter I’m doomed to receive upon sending you this little slice of invective, but I’m not interested in it. I realized long ago that there were deeper pockets than mine bending the Senate’s ear much harder than I could ever hope to. So I’m going to do what they’ve done with such success: ask for some money. Here’s some background on me: I’m 23 years old, studying English at one of the fine public universities of our fair state and struggling to find a job in this pisswater economy. I’ve paid my taxes, voted in every election since I turned 18, and never miss an opportunity to help old ladies reach high shelves at the supermarket. I’ve never run a business into the ground, never laid off an employee, and never taken a private jet anywhere. And that, my fair senator, is why I should be included in the rescue package. According to my research, approximately 21.6 million of America’s young voting population participated in the 2008 election. These are our future innovators and business people, and their participation in our democracy proves their devotion to positive change in our nation. Okay, that was a bit cheesy, but do you really think we’re going to get a return on an investment in the dinosauric companies that brought us to this watershed in the first place? That’s why you should invest in young voters—young voters like me. I did the math, and if you split up 8.5 trillion dollars among 21.6 million young people, they’d each get $393,518. That could pay for college, a new Detroit-born Fuelsieve, and a nice retirement home for their newly pensionless parents. And even if they don’t use it to start the next Google or invent the Patchouli-powered SUV, the twentysomethings of America are guaranteed to pour that money back into the economy. I know that’s still a lot of money to hand out to just anybody (like Congress just did), so i’m not asking for all of America’s youth to get that money. Just give me 300 grand. It’s roughly .0000035% of the bailout total, easily missed in the stacks and stacks of paperwork, and you’d have a committed volunteer campaigner everytime you ran for election (quid pro quo, after all). If you’re worried about accountability, I can assure you I will send you photos of everything I spend the money on. In fact, I’ll purchase a shiny new camera to ensure the highest quality. And even if it all goes to hell and I lose the money in Vegas, at least it was a smarter move than giving money to failed companies with the money of non-failing Americans. Hopefully Yours, Matt Dupree

ing my opinion on this topic is so potent that my body is just shutting down. What was I typing about again… something about a Hog Heaven... It is this journalist’s humble opinion that the pig is a noble creature and deserves a spot in heaven alongside the world’s most important humans and bugs. A ant sandwich. Welcome to Hog Heaven, please enjoy this sandwich of ants, jerk. This is getting hard to type with just my right hand. My left hand got purple dots (cool). From now on I’ll just use the right side of the keyboard. Most of the good words and letters are on that side anyway. To wit: Jokin’ you punk. I’m jokin’ you. You got up bop. On h\ hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh[h. How many teeth do people normally have? Oh well, I don’t use the front ones much anyway. Nice try administrative fatcats! You can’t silence me by making my body reject most of its bones. This student’s opinion about Hog Heaven will be heard. I kissed a cat on the lips once. It happened so fast I didn’t know what to do. I told everyone that my brother did it. They didn’t even ask. Attention Moraga Elementary School alumni: I am the cat kisser. It’s me. I have lived with the guilt for many years! I hope someday people will find the will to forgive me somewhere in their hearts. When you think about it aren’t we all cat kissers deep down? The answer is yes. Shut up. Don’t deny it, punk. My brain feels like fire.

ISSUE 63.14

MATT DUPREE Senior Editor KATRINA SAWHNEY News Director RACHEL RUFRANO Opinions Editor VINCENT GIRIMONTE Sports Editor CAITLIN CUTT Literature Editor & PR JOE BRYANT Entertainment Editor SEAN BOULGER Music Editor & PR KATHY MIRANDA Culture Editor VICTOR CAMBA Comics Editor KATIE REINMAN Creative Arts Editor MICHAEL VEREMANS Creative Writing Editor SOPHISTICATED BEAR Grunion Editor CLAY COOPER, STEVEN CAREY Graphic Designers CHRIS LEE Photo Editor JOE BRYANT Copy Editing Coordinator, On-Campus Distribution CLAY COOPER Internet Caregiver KATRINA SAWHNEY Advertising Executive ALLAN STEINER Advertising Executive JAMES KISLINGBURY, ERIN HICKEY, ANDREW WILSON, ALAN PASSMAN, JASON OPPLIGER, CHRISTINE HODINH, JESSE BLAKE, DOMINIC MCDONALD, HILLARY CANTU, RUSSELL CONROY, KEN CHO, SERGIO ASCENCIO, ANDREW LEE, TYLER DINLEY, ANDY KNEIS, MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN, SIMONE HARRISON, OMAR ZAHZAH, TESSA NEVAREZ, JESSICA WILLIAMS, ELIZABETH COCCARI, KENJI MAGRANN-WELLS 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 239, Long Beach, CA 90815 PHONE : 562.985.4867 FAX : 562.985.5684 E-MAIL : WEB :



elcome to the last Union of the semester! Yes, it’s already here. This semester seemed to be one sluggish bitch. I don’t know how I made it through. I barely did any work. I still have books shoved in a bag that haven’t even been flipped through. What was it about this semester that made it such a laborious process to get through (or more than usual)? Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’ve been putting out a newspaper on the weekends while going to school Monday through Thursday. Yeah, that’s definitely it. My priorities went as such: 1) Newspaper, 2) Everything else. But I didn’t do it alone, and I’d like to use this space to thank all the people that have helped me put out this newspaper on a weekly basis. First, my two Managing Editors, Vince and Kathy, both of these guys picked up where I slacked off, doing the odd job here and there that I couldn’t take care of, and offered their insight and opinions when they were so desperately needed. Thanks. Secondly, to Joe Bryant, Entertainment Editor, Distribution Guy, Copy Editor, Ad Rep, and all around Misc. Job Man. Joe did anything asked of him and as you can see built a thick fucking resume this semester. Hats off to you, sir. I think resume has an accent mark, look that up. Thanks.

To my two Graphic Designers, Steven Carey and Clay Cooper, you guys made our words pretty and for that I will always be greatful. Thanks. To the entire editorial staff (all the names to the left), you guys put forth an effort every week to deliver the most solid content possible, providing funny, yet informative material each issue. You all put in the long man hours every Friday and Saturday (and the occasional Thursday), to make each of your sections the best they could be, and your long hours made my job easier. Thanks. To James Kislingbury, you wrote a fuck ton of words for us and even though you didn’t have an editorial title you still put in the hours needed to be an editor. You’ll get your just deserves eventually. Thanks. To Hillary Cantu (Hillustrator and artist extraordinaire) for making some beautiful covers for us. Every cover or piece of artwork you did for us was gorgeous and helped us gain a few readers. Thanks. To all the new kids who came into the office, don’t be afraid. Come back. Thanks. To Sylvana Cicero, John Trapper and everyone in ASI who helped me do my job while supporting us along the way. No one in ASI infringed upon our ability to make a newspaper, nor did they give us any shit for any of the editorial decisions we made this entire semester. Thanks. And lastly, to you the reader. Seeing you carrying our issues every week on campus gave us the creative boost we needed, making those long Saturday nights worth it. Thanks. And to my mom. Thanks mom. [Look below this letter for the staff ’s thank yous and fuck yous to the people and things of this past semester that either helped us along the way or deterred us from being all we can be.] Ask Away! Need advice from a man named Beef? Well send all questions to and he’ll get to ‘em in the Spring.

THANK YOU / FUCK YOU PAYING SOME YEAR-END THANKS AND FUCKS WHERE THEY’RE DUE Our Readers Sylvana Cicero F. King Alexander Dave Edwards Walter C. Kaniski The Chart Room Guns/2nd Amendment Mark Hamill Michael C. Hall Robert Downey Jr. Kaitlin Olson It’s Always Sunny Free Meals Batman Obama! The Onion Allan’s ad rep’ing Dolce David Duchovny Ben Folds Vicodin LBPost Sports Garth Ennis

Nick Cave Heath Ledger John Titor Flo Rida Cormac McCarthy GQ Burritos Brian Dunning Fights When Drunk Showtime SNL (for being funny again) Unsolved Mysteries CSULB’s DVD Library Andy Kneis Dorothy Van Mulligen ’80s music The Burrito Project We Love Long Beach $1.79 gas The Office Stephen Colbert Jeff Bridges, Actor Long Beach

Fire Twilight How I Met Your Mother Carpal Tunnel Minors Man Man Guns/2nd Amendment Cars Synecdoche (for breaking our brains into pieces) Liberation (the newspaper) Tag the World Jon Voight Tim Burton Prop 8 Autotune Oliver Stone (not for W., for generally being a prick) Gabana The Economy $4.59 gas Past 8 years Blackwater International Onion scoops

Nic Cage Sleeping pills Allan’s “jokes” Beef ’s back hair [anything]gate Bill Ayers Kanye Wal-Mart Ryan Kobane Chinese Democracy Mavericks HBO Entertainment Weekly Heart conditions Manatees Snooze button Rick Roll Dario Argento Memes Cake farts Not having a website (it really really sucks) Friday classes Children






“It’s hard to make predictions—especially about the future.” –Robert Storm Petersen





SULB’s Friendship Walk speaker’s platform sits directly in front of our campus bookstore, a place where students often spend over $100 for a textbook they will not need six months later. And thus, there is perhaps no better a location to highlight the vulgarity of our great State’s decisions to keep cutting the CSU’s budget. They know our secrets. It is the students who’ve been stashing away the money, and so the student shall be punished, be it a king’s ransom for a book or crowded classrooms galore. This Monday, the 8th, CSULB will host a rally opposing the state budget, the current excuse for one and the inevitable chopping block the CSU will be put on yet again. The rally will begin at noon and last for one hour, with President F. King Alexander headlining a list of student and faculty speakers. Christopher Chavez, ASI Vice President and co-organizer of Monday’s protest, says the event has both shortterm and long-term goals. Sensing my infatuation with the season, he assured me this is “not going to be Mr. Smith goes to Washington— it’s an uphill battle.” The uphill battle has already taken its toll. The 2008-2009 CSULB budget was cut across the board, with nearly every department’s funds slashed 5.8%. This has been a defining trend for California higher education, going back to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first days in office—he raised the CSU and UC tuition fees 10% and they’ve climbed ever since. “First and foremost, we want to bring awareness to the constituents of [67th District] Assemblyman Jim Silva,” said Chavez last Saturday. Silva represents a good portion of the area surrounding Long Beach—namely Seal Beach and Los Alamitos. He also represents one of just four State As-



THE ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` GHOST ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` OF DEBS ``````````````````````````` sembly members who oppose an adjusted budget. “We want him to know that his decision [to oppose amending the budget] is affecting the local population.” Because of the budget deficiencies, CSULB will have to substantially cutback on enrollment next fall. Statewide, the CSU will be cutting 10,000 students. Campuses will be looking at CSULB’s effort to halt CSU budget cuts as a sort of blueprint for the future—“It’s just the beginning,” says Chavez. The rally on Monday is admittedly forward in its meaning: nobody expects the current budget to be rushed with new funds anytime soon. Governor Schwarzenegger writes his first draft of the budget in January, to be amended several times by the State Assembly going into summer. That first draft needs to suit the operational costs of the CSU, which it fell short of in 2008-2009 by $215 million, according to the CSU Office of Public Affairs. Indeed, we’ve reached a breaking point, or as Chavez puts it: “We’re squeezing blood from a rock.” Proponents of the budget cuts are likely not anti-education, or anti-youth as their ignorance might imply. When California nearly ran out of cash in October and various other programs had been cut statewide, it would seem only appropriate that the CSU follows suit. But President F. King Alexander finds more than ideological reasoning in defending his stance of firmly no more cuts; the CSU makes the state money. It’s simply counterproductive to cut a lucrative institution. “For every dollar the State of California invests in the CSU system, we deliver more than $4 in return in economic activity. That is a huge payoff. Additionally, Cal State Long Beach and other CSU campuses graduate annually many of the state’s most-needed professionals,” said Alexander in a recent press release. “The message we need to send to lawmakers and the governor is, ‘CSU is the solution.’” During the rally, students will be asked to fill out postcards (personally written of course) to be delivered to Silva’s office in Huntington Beach. The CSU hopes to have enough postcards to sway Silva to rethink his actions in the Assembly, and maybe, just maybe, take that message back to Sacramento and reaffirm our suspicions that the government does, in fact, care about students.


The cold waters of the Indian Ocean lap at your loosely swathed skin, AK-47 held close as you clip towards a super tanker, a ship thousands of times bigger than your light-weight speeder. After watching US ships indiscriminately dump toxic waste off of your ancestral coastline, you sold your last catch for an outboard motor and ammunition. The MV Sirius Star lies before you like a giant wall in the ocean, red to black to the vastness of the midnight sky. Your skiff pulls up along the largest man-made thing you’ve ever seen so that you and your compatriots can climb up a rope ladder on the side and rush the bridge. Now that you’ve taken a Saudi tanker carrying $100 million in crude oil, you stop and think: How did I become a pirate? Most Somali pirates come from the largely lawless Eastern coast where foreign commercial fishing trawlers pushed local fishermen out of their traditional waters and out of business. Since Somalia’s civil war in the ‘90s, the piracy boom has been responsible for hundreds of hijackings and the netting of millions of dollars in ransom money for the immaculately cared-for hostages and from the sale of stolen cargo. It seems only fitting that a country that has been fighting subjugation by US backed Ethiopian forces should take to the high seas to disrupt the profitable international trade route, from the East to the West, and develop its own lucrative trade in the process. Recently, though, Ethiopia has threatened to back out of Mogadishu and leave the TFG to the various and more popular parties and groups, a move that many analysts believe would lead Somalia into total civil war. Furthermore, the famine caused by decades of drought and war in this forgotten corner of Africa has increased to encompass almost the entire country, dependent almost entirely on international aid that finds roads into the country rougher and rougher. So in a place with no food and no jobs, it is no surprise that many people have turned to the lucrative, high-risk life of a corsair. It is a true Robin Hood cause, a last option for a country crippled by colonialist economics and US military intervention, a form of sticking it to the man. African scalawags, far from the inhumanity of their Caribbean cousins, maintain excellent relationships with their hostages, providing them with Western style caterers until their eventual ransom, which could run from $1-$25 million, depending on the amount of crew and value of the ship. Analysts say that the shipping disruptions could raise the price of certain commodities, but I welcome it because for the pirates, it is their only option in livelihood and the risk is worth it. The ransom for the Ukrainian ships carrying heavy arms to Africa—possibly to the volatile Southern region of Sudan where the genocide is taking place— has been negotiated, but the recent hijacking of the aforementioned Arab oil tanker during an increased naval presence off Somali waters sends a powerful political message to the supplying and demanding countries that their capitalist game can’t disenfranchise the poor of the world and that this problem is not going to go away easily.



December: The Things They Are a Happenin’

The NCAA regular football season has closed with five one-loss teams each having a gripe worth griping. TBL won’t stray into the all too familiar waters of moaning about the BCS—it’s like moaning about the Twilight series; we all know it sucks. However, TBL doesn’t want BCS proponents to use a well-played, competitive BCS Title game as evidence that the system works. I don’t care if Oklahoma vs. Florida ends with Tim Tebow catching a deep pass from Tim Tebow in triple overtime— the system has already failed. I can only hope I’m preaching to a large, boisterous choir, and thank goodness Obama reads TBL. C.C. Sabathia has been courted by five teams, according to a recent study by TBL: the Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, Brewers, and now the San Francisco Giants. Don’t be surprised if Barack Obama offers Sabathia a position in his cabinet. It must feel nice to be needed—TBL can only speculate. Do you remember when Michelle Wie played in a PGA Tour event, and we all assumed she would go down as “Power” Nancy Lopez? So much for 15-year-olds. As of Saturday, she was leading a tournament…for an LPGA QSchool event. College, anyone? Do yourself a favor and tune into LBPOSTSPORTS.COM’s infamous SPORTSNIGHT podcast, also known as the Long Beach Podcast of Champions.




or whatever (bad) reason, I had missed the first two home games of Dan Monson’s second season at the helm of LBSU Men’s basketball—do I ever regret it. Homecoming was treated to one of the more entertaining basketball games the ’Myd has seen in quite some time. The home opener was a comeback, overtime victory of Weber State after a tumultuous first half. Another win at Idaho State, then another at home against New Mexico State, and suddenly the 49ers had won three straight and looked pretty good doing so. What a difference a season makes. This brings us to last Wednesday. Earlier that day while eating lunch, President F. King Alexander stopped me to talk shop—basketball mainly, although I do remember something about the White House. “This ain’t your daddy’s Oldsmobile team,” he said, encouraging me to get out to the ’Myd that evening to see a fresh brand of 49er basketball. The 49ers beat the Pepperdine Green Waves 80-61, and here’s what I learned.

2) We’re not big

Brian Freeman, at 6’10”, is doing a solo gig on the post. Freeman’s game has developed nicely—he’s pretty smooth with a little grit to boot—we just need more big men to accent his play. Arturas Lazdauskas has also stepped up, but beyond him there is not much height coming off the bench. Monson does well to minimize this deficiency (we run the crap out of teams), but at some point rebounding could prove to be a costly weakness.

3) Casper Ware: Four Years of Fury

The most sparkling addition has to be Casper Ware, the true freshman from nearby Gahr High School. He can run, he can shoot, and he plays relentless D. In short, he encapsulates this year’s identity: in your grill for 40 minutes. Get used to it. He’s still pretty raw, but his development over the next four years will be fun to watch.

4) A Damn Good Show

Watching this team play, my head moved like I was at a Nadal versus Federer (I can only assume) match. Back and fourth, but in a good way. Everybody can run, including the big men. This is ideal for the fans. Ultimately it’s about winning games, but it doesn’t hurt to put people in the seats while doing so. The 49ers’ four-game winning streak was snapped Saturday night by the University of San Francisco, taking them to 4-3 on the season. Their next home game is on the 20th against Montana State. You’d be a fool to miss it.


The Lakers are 16-2. The Celtics are 19-2. Both are clearly the class of their conference. TBL says skip this season for The Rematch. I’m so over the Knicks.

Donovan Morris (above, right) is a star in the making. We don’t pay attention to preseason awards, but if we did, D-Mo would be taking home a good amount of hardware.

1) Donovan Morris can carry this team, although he might not have to.

Donovan Morris scored twenty points before anybody noticed he was trying. He’s a natural scorer, à la Aaron Nixon from two years ago, but with more athleticism. Those who followed the 49ers last season know that he was one of the few bright spots of an otherwise dismal year. Stephen Gilling, a transfer from Colorado State, looks the part as a compliment to D-Mo. The experienced play of Cornell Williams will also pay dividends as the season wears on. D-Mo has company, and not a moment too soon.


We start with LBSU Women’s Volleyball. It was a typical year in that Coach Brian Gimmillaro won another Big West Title, lead his team to 26 wins and developed young talent into reliable players. They lost to the number two-ranked Stanford Cardinals in their second game of the NCAA Tournament three sets to none in Palo Alto. For Nicole Vargas, Iris Murray, and Quincy Verdin, it was their last match. As much as they’ll be missed next season, it’s comforting to think about Caitlin Ledoux, Naomi Washington, and Britney Herzog returning. Look out in ‘09.






’ve known a lot of people that have tried to revisit the things they loved as children—TV shows, movies, books and the like. It’s rare that they ever come back with any response besides “Wow, that was terrible.” To which, I think, “Well, of course it’s terrible, it was made for children.” Actually, that’s not entirely true. From time to time I feel the need to revisit a Disney movie or something, but for the most part I abstain, because there’s no way I can be as pleased with something as an adult as I was when I was ten. So, when I decided to reread Soldier Boy, I also decided that I was going to go into this with a fatalistic mindset. I knew that more than likely Soldier Boy was going to let me down. To my surprise though, it was actually pretty good. It’s good to know that the 10-yearold version of myself had pretty good taste. In my estimation, Soldier Boy by Brian Burks is basically Blood Meridian: For Kids (or Blood Meridian: The No Good Stuff Version). I just couldn’t help it. Some people play tennis, I compare unrelated books

with Cormac McCarthy novels in my spare time (this is probably because my TV doesn’t work). Johnny McBane, like the nameless kid in McCarthy’s novel, joins the US Army due to weak judgment and bad luck in order to keep settlers safe from the Indians. In other cases, the boys quickly learn that they’re in way over their heads and whatever they were running from was far less dangerous and horrible than the situation they volunteered for. Of course, unlike Blood Meridian, Soldier Boy doesn’t have a scalping or child rape every twelve pages (unfortunately), instead it focuses on the autocratic and petty nature of military society. While Soldier Boy does share a grim tone (or at least grim for a young adult novel), where it differs from the mature western is the theme. Banks’ novel is about trial over adversity, regardless of the odds or the outcome, a person should stand up to help their friends and give it their all, which is a lot more life-affirming than how McCarthy ends his sanguine bildungsroman (I learned this word in class). As I recall I originally picked up Soldier Boy for a book report, which makes sense because, for most kids, it’d be an easy read. It moves along as a series of quick-paced episodes rather than one big, long story. Obviously this novel wasn’t written for us, but it might be the perfect thing to give your nephew or your little brother to read (or your little sister, I don’t know). Kids nowadays have internet porn, global warming and organ-harvesting Chinese industrialists to worry about, at least with Soldier Boy they won’t have to worry about finding a good book to read—that is if people will read books in the future (I think we will have book pills in the future).

Not pictured: The desiccation of the American Southwest by White Imperialists. Merry Christmas! Lit Listings! Mark Doty at CSULB: Tues. Dec. 9th USU Ballroom A, 7pm. Community Reading: Wed. Dec. 10th Hot Java on Broadway & Junipero, 7pm. Know of an open mic night? Lit page is doing a calendar of events! Please email the lit editor:

BOOKS AND BLUES THERAPISTS GET ALL ARTSY-FARTSY CAITLIN CUTT can come out of it. Oh, by the way, if you do read something good over break, email me. I’d love to hear about it!


actually evolved into a clinical alternative to treating depression—doctors are providing lists of self-help books for patients to work through rather than a regiment of medication. I find this stuff really interesting, but the real reason I’m bringing this up is that we’re smack-dab in the holiday season and for some people, this can be a rough time. On top of that, while reading can be an escape, it can also be a bit of an isolating hobby. So, may I make a suggestion to all my fellow melancholy Winter-breakers? Go grab a friend you already have a good rapport with, and read through a book together. You never know what


“Bibliotherapy” is a branch of expressive therapy, also known as “creative arts therapy,” which has been around since the 1930s. Gaining some real traction after WWII when recuperating solders had ample time on their hands, bibliotherapy builds on the idea that reading can be a healing experience. When you relate to a literary work, it’s like meeting a person from your home, like you are understood, like you have come home. Granted, this is not a groundbreaking idea for most people. Anyone who engages in culture, even on a minimal level, has had a moment were they feel an uncanny connection to a work of literature. But recently, the term has




a year in preview

The Union Weekly gets a psychic reading STORY WORDS



Illustrations VICTOR CAMBA

s the end of the year rolls around it’s customary, if not expected, to take a look at the year we left behind. Between now and January 1st you’ll read a “Year in Review” article, but it sure as hell won’t be here. The staff of the Union Weekly has no interest in telling you what has been going on over the past year, however, we are more than willing to let you know what’s coming. We took one for the team, shelled out the cash and funded a trip to a local psychic to enable a “Year in Preview.” We had no interest in the past—the current events that transpired over 2008 were as subtle as a shotgun. I, Mike Pallotta, spoke to Becky, a psychic on Ocean Boulevard here in Long Beach, and we got the scoop on 2009. You don’t have to believe it. You don’t even have to be open-minded. It’s not about seeing the future. It’s about spending an hour with someone who is intuitive, charismatic and comforting. It’s not at all the experience I was expecting and while I don’t believe in psychics indiscriminately, I think there’s something to be said about this particular experience. It began with a simple phone call. When we called to set up the appointment, the psychic requested the person coming for a reading to give her a call beforehand. She wanted to hear my voice, get a feel for UNION WEEKLY


who I was and what I was about. When I called she seemed far more skeptical of me than I was of her, and she had good reason. I’m the editor of a college newspaper, there’s no telling the number of shenanigans I could be up to at any given moment. I set off—winding through 7th, onto Cherry, then down Ocean, right into the heart of Long Beach. I expected someone with a death-rattling voice induced by decades of smoking or a high hippie chick lounging in a mystical lair. What I found was a girl who looked like she was just out of college herself, in a little two-story on the strip of residential downtown. In a normal house, with minimal furnishings in the front room, I found our psychic kneeling in front of a computer on the floor. She invited me in and said she was the voice on the phone, Becky. What struck me immediately was the ease with which she spoke to me, a stranger. All the skepticism I sensed over the phone was long gone and it was more like a chat with an old friend than a potentially stock and sterile interview. Becky looked like any one of my friends in their late 20s in a knee length skirt and a dark top. No gimmicks here: no excessive rings, no long Indian skirts, and no crystal ball-carrying Gypsy woman. We sat on her very cozy, L-shaped

couch amidst the earth tone décor. She held a small wooden chest, the kind that you keep jewelry or keepsakes in. She asked if it was my first reading and I replied that, yes, it was. She asked why I was the one that came on behalf of the Union. Of the staff, the members present when we decided on the feature were a collection of easily frightened, skeptical ne’er-do-wells and believe it or not, I was the most suited for the encounter. She opened the box, took out a deck of Tarot cards and three small, polished rocks. She asked, holding the cards, if I preferred any particular kind of reading. I didn’t care either way. She recommended the Tarot cards and we began. She placed the three polished rocks near her end of the coffee table and she fanned out the cards carefully on the couch in front of me, encouraged me to choose ten cards. Becky had me put them down in the order in which they were chosen—first to last, from left to right. The first group of five would be about my personal life and the second five would be about 2009 in general. I could tell without any knowledge of Tarot that the pastel colors and illustrations accompanied by the positive words would bode well for me, but I wasn’t ready for the disarming series of

compliments followed as we looked at my personal five. She took a look, thought for a moment and calmly began a steady stream of encouragements and positive possibilities of my future. She never paused or faltered while she spoke and she finished her thoughts without hesitation. She talked about how people often feel about me, gave me some relationship advice, surprising me with some intimate details regarding my family life. Belief or not in psychic powers, it’s always nice to hear that everything will eventually be okay, that the adventures will end well, and that life will work out. Becky put me in a position where I could be receptive to her predictions, while still feeling comfortable enough to ask “dumb” questions about the future. It’s nice to sit and unload your more cumbersome thoughts and fears without awkward small talk. Her only caveat was that I wasn’t to bring in any sort of video or audio recorder. It makes sense. In her business it’s dangerous to allow people to pick apart her work. Moving on from my personal reading, and I assure you I am an interesting and conflicted fellow, she answered some of our burning questions about the year to come. She started with laying out the next five cards.

Will California fall into the Pacific? Or will anything else epic and awful happen? Rest easy Californians, Becky did not foresee any mass catastrophe for another 8-10 years. What about the gay marriage issue? Will Prop 8 be overturned in 2009? She took a sunny outlook: Prop 8 will be overturned by August or September and people will see the Prop as hateful and move us towards acceptance of the gay community as a nation. Peachy. Gas prices are ok for now, but will it last? Are gas prices going to shoot back up to $5 a gallon next year? She saw the gas prices rising again, but not anywhere near $5.00 a gallon. Her predictions were that we’d level out around $3.25. Mad Cow Disease is gaining more attention. Will this be some kind of epidemic? There may be a few deaths here and there, but nothing that would cause any kind of panic or hysteria. She was holding her own with dignity and credibility—it was definitely time for the big questions: What do you see for Obama in his first 100 days? Did he mislead us in any way, or is he going to live up to his word? Becky read from the cards that he’ll be a wonderful president from the get go, and like every Presidency there will be a few issues here and there, but nothing to detract from his overall greatness. She started to look worried as she pointed to one of the Tarot cards—the devil. She saw an attempted assassination of Obama in February or March, but it would not be successful. In many ways it could be seen as a unifying event, where the rift between the parties would close and unite the country further. Okay, but what kind of puppy will the Obamas get? She laughed and said they would be getting a 1-2 lb puppy. A smaller dog with blonde or off-white colored fur. With this new little dog in tow, will Barack be able to get us out of Iraq? She saw this optimistic angle: without

hesitation she said yes, we would be out of Iraq around September of 2009. It’ll give Obama enough time to solidify his presidency and an effective strategy. Well on that pleasant note, we moved on to Pop Culture and asked the question on everyone’s mind: What the fuck is with Kanye West? Kanye’s popularity has gotten so out of hand that he thinks he’s the voice of this generation. What’s in store for Kanye? Surprisingly, she felt strongly about Mr. West, stating that he would “change the world.” She cited a high level of energy around him, a strong personality and presence. Furthermore saying that his actions in the next year would lead to a lot of positive change. And yes, he will gain some humility as he grows as a person. Many of us at the Union love The Beatles, are we in for more heartbreak in 2009? Will the two surviving Beatles die? Reassuringly, Becky felt strongly that all would be well. Paul and Ringo will be around through 2009. They’re not dying anytime soon. Are any musicians or pop-icons going into some horrible downward spiral? Apparently Miley Cyrus won’t pick up a coke addiction. Becky let me know that no one new is going to start spiraling down the Hollywood whirlpool of destruction. But those already circling downward? They’re in for a tough year. Watch out for Britney Spears, she’ll get worse. But on a lighter note, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are very much in love and this is no typical Hollywood romance. They’ll be sticking it out and will continue to build their family together as they both gradually move out of the lime light in favor of building their home life. Hollywood will have to play second fiddle to naptime at the Jolie-Pitt house. At this point she told me that if I had any more questions about 2009, I’d have to pick some more Tarot cards out of the deck. I did and handed them to her. She laid those out in a pattern spanning the length of the coffee table, connecting them with the five from before. We continued.

This time I started off with a question I had a personal stake in. Superheroes are becoming more and more realistic in the movies. Is there a chance that anyone in real life could be taking the leap to put on a mask and try to fight crime? No, maybe a few crazies, but no one of consequence. Bummer. So I won’t be a superhero? Becky: “No, and neither will my husband.” He’s a big fan of comics? Becky: “Aren’t most men?” She had a point. I transitioned to issues with greater global impact. Surveillance is a growing issue these days. Does this mean more cameras on street corners? Yes, more cameras on street corners. Not next year but in the next few years. Will we care that we’re being watched or will we accept it? It’ll be a small issue, but people will basically learn to live with them. Scientists have found sharks that give “Virgin Birth.” Will the second coming be a shark? She laughed at first and then, surprisingly, said yes. I really have no idea if she was kidding. But she then wanted to know a lot more about that shark that gave birth without having shark sex. So I told her. The Pirates of Somalia have been getting more and more media attention. Will they gain control over the seas, and will we see pirates making a comeback? She said the pirates would fade from the media’s eye and eventually cease to be an issue. There won’t be any kind of control taken of the seas and things will calm down soon. What about music piracy? Is that coming to a conclusion in 2009? By the end of 2009 it will be more or less accepted and inevitable. Like the cameras, people will learn to live with it. But there won’t be any Somalian Music Piracy? Becky simply said, “No.”

What’s with hats making a comeback? Men are wearing hats. Fedoras are growing in popularity. Why are people wearing hats again (à la the ’50s)? She chalks this one up to male pattern baldness and thinning hair. To be fair I can’t say there was much room there for a prediction, and thusly, one was not provided. My last question was about UFOs. There seemed to be more UFO sightings this past year, especially if you watched Larry King Live. Will we be making contact with beings from another planet? Not in 2009 or even 2010, but somewhere in the next 25-30 years we will indeed make contact. Will they be anything what like we’ve been led to believe? Nope. No green skin, big eyes or bulbous head—Becky then gestured as if her head had swelled up to drive the point home. She added that they would look like us, with subtle differences. We will be able to communicate with them, but they won’t have a very warm welcome. So there could be a conflict between us. She capped off the session with some more personal details about my life. She ensured that I felt as if I had received what I had come for, that I wasn’t left hanging and felt good about the experience. She packed up her cards, put them back in her little box. I discerned it was time for the money in this “goods for money” exchange. She thanked me for coming by, just as relaxed as she had begun and I left feeling kind of warm and fuzzy. Regardless of whether you believe what you’ve read about my experience or the answers I gained from it, you can’t deny the kind of reassurance that comes with being told that everything will be all right (’cept for Britney); and being told by someone who feels confident about it. If you want to reach Becky, she can be contacted to shedule psychic readings at 562-495-2525, and you can visit her Psychic Center which is set to open soon on 1734 E. Broadway in Long Beach. UNION WEEKLY





os Angeles seemed to hum with light and the din of small clubs as I walked up to the Hotel Café for the My Brightest Diamond show. Apprehensive (Hotel Café’s entrance is located in one of the seedier alleyways in LA), I entered the venue to find a dim-lit bar, a few couples cloistered up in booths under red lamps, and a rather empty room. True, My Brightest Diamond, a New York group fronted by singer-songwriter Shara Worden, does not yet have a huge following in LA. But with her witty lyrics, flawless vocal ability, and sheer beauty, it surely won’t be long before people begin to discover her. A diamond in the rough, dare I say? No. Shara is a black dove in the branches, as mysterious and paralyzing as the moonlight that reveals her fluttering silhouette as she coos outside your window. As the club began to fill out with hipsters and fashion-school dropouts, Shara stepped onstage without pretense, backed only by violin, viola, and cello, and began lightly strumming her guitar (yes, she looks very good playing a guitar). She’s a short girl, dressed in high-heels, flower-patterned tights, a dress with very puffy sleeves, all black and white. She looks like someone who likes to sew or make very pretty things. And pretty is definitely one word to describe her songs. Pretty and dark, imbued with the

romance of a 1920s silent French film. But that’s not to say she cannot erupt with passion. At one point, shouting the lyrics, “Tonight we are full up! Tonight we rejoice like stars exploding!” stomping her one free heel loudly on the wooden stage, strumming an open guitar with her left arm raised to her forehead, the audience stood wrapped, jaws agape, wishing only to stomp along, drop their beers and scream. The show was also sprinkled with little moments of magic. In fact, there was even magic. Half-way through, as Shara tuned up, she invited her violinist, a tall, curly-haired man with a thick French accent, to transport a quarter from one hand to the other. He pulled it off quite well and then threw confetti at the crowd whispering, “Magic!” At another point, while Shara told a children’s story that inspired one of her songs, a story about a boy behind the Northern wind, the string group pulled off a flawless imitation of a port; creakShara Worden of My Brightest Diamond uses her come-hither gaze to ing ships from the viola, seagulls from invite you to her backyard for the sexiest game of hide-and-go-seek ever. the violin, horns from the cello, and an ominous breeze. drifts up from the girl’s chest. But the climax of the show was truly a treat. As the Shara’s songs suggest she enjoys the simpler things string group pulled a large table up to the stage, Shara in life, the almost childish things; doing laundry with began to play a quiet guitar tune, a plea to a lover to a lover, collecting apples for a pie. But she brings to simply act on his feelings. And like something out of her music and her live show a sophistication that alchildhood, the three string players began acting out lows people of all ages to enter in a semi-circle, eyes the lyrics of the song in a shadow-puppet show. It was wide, entranced enough to watch a puppet show or very endearing, the transparent waves reflecting onto a magic trick or even something more ordinary bea white sheet, the shadows of ships and two lovers cause something about her music is pure like a freshslowly embracing, the man pulled away and floating ly washed comforter. And we all filed onto the street with clouds as a small string laced with paper hearts afterward, feeling like tucked children.


The Kanye West album, as I’m sure many of you are well aware, has re-sparked the Auto-Tune debate. In case you haven’t been paying attention, West’s new album, 808s & Heartbreak abandons his normal rapping in favor of some down-home singing. Problem is, Kanye can’t sing very well, so he uses Auto-Tune, a digital program that corrects the pitch of a singer’s voice.



When used properly, its effects are unnoticeable, but the program can be used to produce a robot-like effect, as in the new Kanye songs or that Cher song, “Believe.” Of course, there is a great deal of people that believe Auto-Tune is a crutch. Honestly, I think it’s got a legitimate use as a studio effect. As far as I can tell, Kanye’s new album is the first example of an artist unabashedly leaning on the program. Once again, no problem. Kanye’s obviously a talented musician; one listen to his

vocal melodies on 808s tells you he’s got an ear for music. If the man’s got the melodies, but can’t express them himself without digital aid, why not? We’ve got the technology, after all. Some simply might not like the way Auto-Tune sounds, and this is a valid claim. Even though the guy could definitely stand to be a little more humble, I say we give Kanye a break about the Auto-Tune on his new album. Maybe if we do, he’ll stop talking and just make music.


2008: the year in review Ah, December. Time of Yuletide Cheer, shopping, finals, and end-of-the-year lists. We here at the Union Weekly love us a good, old-fashioned list, so the self-proclaimed music aficionados around the office (“officionados”) have compiled for you their guides to the best releases from last year.

MATT DUPREE 10. Lady GaGa – The Fame The very-deserved pop success of this album is owed to Lady GaGa’s loving embrace of her synth-pop influences. From ABBA to Ace of Base, this girl’s done her homework. 9. Black Keys – Attack & Release I don’t know anyone who believes this to be the Keys’ best work, even with the inspired production work of Danger Mouse, but the year that the Keys miss my top ten is the year I throw myself off a tall building. 8. Lykke Li – Youth Novels A Swedish chanteuse making minimalist baroque pop with unconventional percussion sounds and slinky vocal hooks. The only problem is no two people pronounce her name the same way. 7. Zach Hill – Astrological Straits This album is like a beautiful middle finger thrust into the eye of mainstream music. Yes, it’s weird, but it’s got soul, and that’s a quality that gets rarer every year. 6. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, DIG!!! Just when Garage Rock looked dead and buried under the weight of the failed revivalist pap of “The” bands, the Cave resurrects it with dark-and-tipsy crooning and bone-snapping bass.

5. Girl Talk – Feed The Animals This album is the Ulysses of electronic music. Let the lawyers and the DJs say what they will, but this is art. So raise a red cup, ye sophisticates, and drink in the sweet opus of hip-shakery. 4. Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Into An album so irreverent and awesome that Pitchfork tried to destroy it. If you’ve ever dreamt of blowing up coffee shop hipsters with music, DIOYY is for you. 3. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago In a year that saw more than its share of insubstantial indie darlings (Cough, Vampire Weekend, cough), Bon Iver gave us something unassuming and beautiful. 2. Santogold – Santogold It’s for chillin’. It’s for partyin’. This album was everywhere this year and for good reason. Here’s to inventive sounds and catchy rhythms. 1. Woodhands – Heart Attack I like an album with punch, and Woodhands are like the Bruce fuckin’ Lee of Dance music. Somewhere between disco and sex you will find Woodhands.

RACHEL RUFRANO 10. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular This psychedelic synth-pop duo exploits the zeitgeist while helping create it with songs like “Kids.” Absolutely worth being exploited for. 9. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, DIG!!! Biblical allusions and lyrical genius that demands listener intellect (i.e., goes right over my head)—an album to listen to with your eyes closed. 8. Okkervil River – The Stand-Ins The alt-country band’s frontman, Will Sheff, has a way of making me catch shallow breaths when he says things like, “He’s the liar who lied in his pop song/ And you’re lying when you sing along.” 7. Sun Kil Moon – April Creative, original, and vocally moving—the passion in Kozolek’s voice alone puts April on my list. 6. Bob Dylan – Tell Tale Signs This album feels like hearing Bob Dylan for the first time if, and only if, this is definitely not the first time. The unheard version of “Most of the Time” almost makes this album too good for this list. Almost. 5. Randy Newman – Harps & Angels He’s returned after a nine-year hiatus without any good excuses, but it gave me a good amount of time to start worshipping him. Newman is my favorite old guy of 2008. 4. The Walkmen – You & Me You & Me is a coming-of-age album. Did I just coin that? God, I hope so. This album sorta kinda makes me feel like growing up. 3. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend Maybe we’ll never hear from them again, but this album will be on playlists

for years to come for more than nostalgia’s sake. 2. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago His voice shakes me like a subwoofer, even when the volume is on low. Pronounce the name however you’d like, but I know you wont forget it. 1. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes I can listen to this album all the way through and it doesn’t require anything of me. All the work has been done on this album and it shows.






his is not an easy review to write. First and foremost I think it’s because I loved The Boy in the Striped Pajamas so much. It’s always easy to articulate things you don’t like, to see the jagged edges of poor quality, or the hanging threads of shoddy design. Because true art is greater than the sum of it’s parts, to simply explain the anatomy of a film like this will not do it justice. But, I volunteered, so I’m going to spend a few hundred words elaborating what is really a simple statement: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a wonderful film, and I think everyone should see it. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, adapted from John Boyne’s 2006 novel of the same name by writer-director Mark Herman, is about a little boy named Bruno. His father, a high-ranking Nazi commander, receives orders to move his family, which includes his mother

and older sister, out of Berlin and into the country. A curious boy, Bruno quickly becomes bored with the remote location and, desiring to enact the adventure novels he is such a fan of, begins to explore the bucolic countryside surrounding his new home. During one of his expeditions, he befriends a little boy, Shmuel, in “striped pajamas” who is trapped behind electrically charged barbed wire that surrounds the concentration camp he is trapped in—a concentration camp Bruno’s father is in charge of. Bruno’s desire’s to befriend Shmuel, this Jew, this boy in the striped pajamas, even in the face of violating, relentless Nazi propaganda, is a desire I desperately wanted to protect more and more as the film progressed. This feeling only heightened for me as Bruno’s older sister, Gretel, succumbs to her mis-education and quickly develops into a Nazi youth, and as his parent’s marriage buckles under his father’s heinous mission. This film’s hope springs from the innocence of youth; the promise that we all begin open-minded and willing to love. With blue skies, soft light, and flawless period setting, Herman maintains the sense of Bruno’s innocence fully, and it is through this child’s perspective that The Boy in the Striped Pajamas unfolds. However, the film’s strength is in its Janus face, its juxtapositions. For the viewer, who is decades away from “the final solution”, each moment is loaded. The usual markers in a child’s maturation, and even daily life, have an overwhelming sense of gravity. The im-

If this isn’t the saddest single frame of film you’ve ever seen, we guarantee that it’s damn close. possibility created by this dark moment of humanity compounds this story for both the characters in the film, and the viewer. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas presents to us the irreconcilable truth that it is under the same endless blue sky that Bruno can explore and Shmuel can suffer in a camp; it is under the clouds of ashes, remains of the innocent, that a family can live day in and day out in their home, and that it is possible for two children to become friends, even through a barbed-wire fence. Seriously, go see this movie. You won’t be disappointed.

DRUNKISHER: WARR ZSHONES JAMES KISLINGBURY [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.] I’m not sure if the Punisher made me start vomiting or if it was the booze. It was probably the booze. Biut I’d like to think that it ws somewhere in between. I think it was all of the saturated colors. From what IU remember of the film is that gangsters of various ethnicities—Chinese people, generic black people, the Irish, and the Russians—have collectively stolen all of the colors of new York City, leaving it with only purple, green and red/ So it is up to the Punisher (Played by Some Guy) to kill all of the gangsters to steal the colors back. Tis is what I have pulled away from Lexi Whatshernose’s cinematic epic {unisher: War Zone. I’m gonna be square with you America, I only saw about a fourth of the entire Punisher: War Zone. So, ignore me if you want to—biut don’t because I thin I know what I’m talking about. And, the Punisher isn’t exactly a movie full of nuanscens and plot twists—Guy shows up, gets angry, cops (dirty cops?), shooting, hostage, wtist, catharsis, end. This isn’t Lady Windemeer’s fan. More or less this sums up the plot of Punisher: A drunk guy can miss the majority of it (and I am drunk) and can still manage to miss nothing. I’m not going to actually criticize the film, because I neither have teh energy or knowledge to do so. Instead, I’m just going to complain about what I saw, which I can’t imagine were unique to the twenty to twenty-eight minutes I saw. First off: Again, the colors. This is the most purple movie I have ever seen. I don’t know what it is about UNION WEEKLY


recent film develipements, but there’s a trend towards com- naps and fits of vomiting a guy got sabbed in the neck pletely eliminating actual, realistic color. Everythin has to with a wine bottle and another guy got his face punched be saturated and stylized into a neon nightmare that would in—PUNCHED IN. Which hsounded pretty cool. Evmake JAckson Pollack (Pollick?) vomit in rage. It’s awful. erything else between those displays of carnal spectacle I would kill for a scene with an orange or a mauve in it. I are nothing special. Again: Cops (bad cops?), some really would. Good people, mobsters, Punisher is antoo. Another thing: Bergry, blah blah blah. serker editing. From what I So if you’re in despercan decipher Punisher: WZ ate need of a fat Irish guy’s is plaugedwith this horhead exploding in a sixty rible thing. I could take the foot wide screen go see easy route and blaim Ridley Punisher, because that is Scott for itk but that doesn’t exaclt yhwat you’re going reaally get to the bottom to get. If you want an actufo the issue. He can’t be to al decent crime drama, go blame for an entire indussee anything else. Go see try full of awful fucker who Way of the Gun or Misthink that an action scene siion Impossible 3 or even consits of half-second cuts Heat (and I looooove to and disorientation. This bitch about Heat). Go see quick-cut berserker editing something put together bullshit is killing the action with some affection. If movie. It’s the worst thing you’ve got a serious monto happen to cinema since gloid ultra-violence jonecommunism. There’s nothsing going on, go see Puning redeemable about this isher, otherwise—well, I kind of film making. don’t need to tell you any Thenb again a fat otherwise, just don’t see guy’s head got blown up. this miserable fucker. End Amnd I don’t mean that communication. in any sort of eupamistic terms—A fat guy’s head literally got exploded. LitThe bloodshed in Punisher doesn’t surpass that of our erally. It exploded. And Music Editor’s one-man-play,“Boulger of Fortune.” apparently between my



CSULB Student Film Festival 2008

Who’s involved? Our buddies at the District Weekly teamup with the CSULB film department to showcase some short flicks made by your fellow ‘Niners. When? Wednesday, December 17th 4-6pm Honorable Mentions 7-9pm Finalists Where at? The Art Theatre 2024 E. 4th Street Long Beach How much? Only five bucks! What is it? A chance to support local art and CSULB students alike. If you want to see which short films are selected as the top three, you’re going to want to go from 7 to 9, but you know critics—there’ll be some good shit they wrote off that’s shown from 4 to 7. The festival is holding a viewer’s choice award for best short film and the winner will be announced in the following week’s issue of the District.


Want some Christmas without the cheer? Movies that take place during the holidays—but have nothing to do with them—for the Scrooge in all of us. Lethal Weapon (1987) Between suicidal tendencies, the murder of a prostitute, an adrenaline junkie ‘Nam vet, torture, and a mid-life crisis, it doesn’t get much less like Christmas than Lethal Weapon. Not to mention that Mel Gibson’s in it, and that mother fucker is a Catholic that hates Jews. I’ll never be too old for this shit. The Proposition (2005) This Nick Cave-penned Western is probably the most horrific Christmas movie ever made. While most X-Mas movies are families coming together despite their differences, this one is about murdering your own brother. Plus it takes place in miserable, scorching, fly-covered Australia in the 1880s. And if there’s a place furthest away from happiness, it’s probably somewhere in Australia.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Fucking and Christmas don’t usually go hand-in-hand, let alone fucking prostitutes, underage girls, and entire clubs full of people. Oh, and don’t forget infidelity. Remember what Baby Jesus said about fucking behind your wife’s back? Do it always. Dawn of the Dead (1978) Not only do the dead rise around Christmas-time in George A. Romero’s zombie classic, but for the bulk of the film the survivors are trapped inside a mall. Dawn of the Dead is a strong criticism of American consumerism, but really, who gives a shit? People get eaten and heads get exploded. What more can you ask for? First Blood (1982) Being chased through forests by the cops isn’t a part of most people’s holiday festivities. While the rest of the Rambo series focuses on proto-fascist musclemen fighting brown people, this first installment is about the failures of American militarism and masculinity. Actually, there’s nothing more Christmas-like than finding out that your entire life is a lie.






Sis Merira Kwesi, Guest Speaker >> Black Consciousness Conference

<< Man Dressed in Traditional African Print Attire, Photographed at the Black Consciousness Conference






cultural threads: African Fashion

ast Saturday, I meandered through the first floor of the Student Union to find myself surrounded by traditional African charms, from handmade jewelry and genuine African art to natural African soap and shea butter. My senses were overwhelmed with the aroma of sweet incense and the sound of old school hip-hop. Was I still at the Student Union? Or had I stepped into an exotic world of African beauties in vibrant patterned dresses and bold metallic bracelets, tall men in dashikis greeting me with sincere pleasure—then, I could not say. Now, however, I believe what I briefly encountered was an event held by the African American Student Union called the Black Consciousness Conference. It was an enlightening experience for me to say the least. I was met with a culture I am generally unfamiliar with, a persona of the African community I had yet to meet up close. And although the experience was short, I wanted to know more—about this style, what it means to truly dress in African attire, and what their statement is, how their attire makes them who they are, and how it contributes to who we all are as a society. The event showcased a 2-part lecture series featuring an array of topics including: “The Beauty of Color,” “Black Business in the Obama Era,” “The Role of Black Males,” etc. I attended “Advertising the Attack on the African Image” by Sis Merira Kwesi. It was surprisingly appropriate for pursuing my curiosity about African-style dress. Sis Merira Kwesi elaborated on the role of advertising as a medium of mind-control, a way for corporations to sell their product without

any real sympathy for the way the product was actually produced: through sweatshops, child labor, unfair wages or what have you. She provided examples of which corporations participated in this: Starbucks, Nike, Kodak and smaller organizations like Uncle Ben’s Rice. She explained thoroughly how they are manipulating the black community into believing these corporations are ethnically aware and black-friendly. Her point was compelling, distinct, with insightful examples of black unity symbols, and the harsh truths about the corporate agenda. More importantly, she provided an alternative. Kwesi spoke with an unwavering passion encouraging the black community to make their own clothes and shoes, to grow their own rice, to rise up together and believe that success is in their hands. And you’ll find the same thread of unity in African fashion. The fabric, handmade with vivid colors, once used to represent a specific region of Africa, and patterned with a design unique to every province, conveys an image of tradition and community. Their jewelry is handmade too, to symbolize an authentic status. All the accessories are made from natural sources, emphasizing the process of making something with what we already have, what we we are given naturally. African dress plays a political role as well, allowing different areas of Africa to communicate with each other by the immediate distinction of clothing. It becomes an arena for discussion by creating an outlet for both unity and resistance. Whether it is through traditional uniform or special occasion dressing, African fashion has cultivated a method of expression that is unmistakably commanding and attractive—

powerful in a sense that those who wear the clothes are proud to be who they are, and fascinating in the way of providing that feeling of liberation to those who wear it. Every morning, we get up and dress. We consciously and unconsciously coordinate our clothes to represent not only a part of ourselves, but a part of our culture. Some of us speak highly of fashion, embracing it down to the very last thread. Others despise it, accusing the influence of fashion of becoming something superficial, and separate from a society’s true identity. But even when a style of dress is denied, an identity is still being constructed; a statement is still being made. The way we clothe ourselves becomes a distinct medium of cultural exchange; we use it to portray an idea of ourselves and an image of our society as it exists around us. From Obama t-shirts and tye-dye to complete vintage 1920s garb or Gap Jeans, we essentially wear ourselves on our sleeves. Clothing is a symbol of our generation, of our wealth, our status, a physical representation of our history. And together, as all the unique cultural styles of clothing mold together like a big ball of colorful Play-Doh, we become something entirely different, a world of eccentricity and ethnicity—a picture of unity as we’ve never seen it. In 2008, we’re lucky to witness and exercise such freedom, to express ourselves in whatever way we please without any hesitation or consequence. This is our generation. With this cultural perspective, personal style holds an entirely different power, a power worth exploring, embracing and exercising with pride. UNION WEEKLY


COMICS Drunken Penguin Presents... by James Kislingbury

Crossword puzzles provided by Used with permission.

Caramel > You by Ken C.


Humanation by Travis Ott-Conn

You’re STUCK Here! by Victor! Perfecto

1- Bedouin 5- Summary 10- Nephrite 14- Deride 15- Eat away 16- Up and ___! 17- Church principles 20- Confine 21- System of social perfection 22- Like 23- Air bubble 24- Place side by side 28- Burn the midnight oil, studying 29- Hanoi holiday 32- Feudal vassal 33- “___ Brockovich” 34- Sea-going eagle 35- Empiricism 38- Hollow cylinder 39- Thick cord 40- Exhaust 41- Yo! 42- Routine 43- Fix beforehand 44- Nota ___ 45- ___-pitch softball

46- Nut 49- Almond-flavored liqueur 54- Typical instance 56- Thick slice 57- Stradivari’s teacher 58- Chip in 59- Leander’s love 60- Ventured 61- Golf pegs, northern English river

Down 1- Antiquing agent 2- Starchy food grain 3- Rudiments 4- Waist band 5- Recoil 6- Writer Jong 7- Layer of paint 8- Spots 9- Peevish 10- Son of Isaac 11- Take ___ from me 12- Lucie’s father 13- Austen novel 18- Rubber 19- News bit 23- Salt water

Sound off!

24- First letter of the Hebrew alphabet 25- Sprite 26- Energetic 27- Gothic-type arch 28- Classy pancake 29- Attempts 30- Come afterward 31- Entice 33- Chew the scenery 34- Otherwise 36- Unbreakable 37- Roman goddess of the dawn 42- Harvest 43- Tranquil 44- Inept person 45- Strike hard 46- Interlock 47- Wheel shaft 48- Become closer to 49- A long way off 50- Coup d’___ 51- Fork feature 52- Carry 53- Change for a five 55- ___ little teapot...

e-mail editor Victor Camba: Or drop off comments at the Union office Student Union Office 239

ANSWERS Koo Koo and Luke by Jesse Blake




Plumber Butts Beware: Passive Agressive Predator on Campus BY TROJAN WHORSE

Manuel Birtcham (above right, probably just looking for attention) and Mr. Nigel Woodworthington (above left, feline) pose for their last photograph together.

Local Depressive to Give the Greatest Gift of All: Life Insurance BY GAELIC FORESKYNE TAMPA, FLORIDA—It was announced early last night that local depressive, Manuel Bircham, age 24, would be giving his family the greatest gift of all, his life insurance policy. “You know, after a long session of listening to Elliot Smith, I decided that it would make the most sense for us—for all of us—if I just gave my family my life insurance pay-off. The biggest factor in my decision was me paying off the last of my credit card debt. I mean digging another hole this holiday season just seems real irresponsible.” “Oh yeah, we get lots of folks like him around the holidays,” says Manuel’s insurance broker, Carter Elwray, “There’s something about all of this holiday cheer and goodwill towards man that really puts these types into a bad mood.” Elwray has been the life insurance provider for Bircham since the young depressive formed a postpunk band in college. “Yeah, [college] was definitely the first time I started putting work into my big plan.” “This is a boom season for us,” professional crime scene cleaner Lee Atriedes said. “And you don’t get the gooification problems in the winter that you do in the summer. But, I don’t have to tell you about the gooification problems!” Atriedes gave us a brief tour

of his workshop, showing us various tools, including his steam cleaner and his brand new corpse-scraping shovel. “This thing’ll scrape a corpse right off of just about anything. Except shag carpet. There’s just something about shag.” “My original plan was to throw myself in front of the crowd gathered in front of Macy’s on Black Friday, but apparently there was even a waiting line for that,” Manuel said while testing a length of industrial grade twine, “I mean, I’m chronically depressed. I’m not a sap.” “As a mother, at first I was apprehensive of Manny’s decision to give us the proceeds of this insurance policy for Christmas,” Manuel’s mother Bethany Helstromm (she remarried in 2006) age 49, said, “But then I realized that this was what he wanted to do with his life. And I have to support my son in whatever path he chooses. What else are mothers for?” “I went through a phase for a while where I was completely anti-Christmas, anti-consumerism, but then I realized something. I realized that the holidays weren’t about me,” Manuel told this reporter as he put another revolver into a pillow case, “The holidays are about other people and helping them out in any way that you can. I know that now.” Manuel then proceeded to check whether or not his stove could do the job. As it turned out, it was electric.

A new predator has graced this campus with it’s unforeseeable presence. Offenses have been carried out in a contrary manner and even so bold as to be committed in broad daylight. This deviant has little to no standard M.O. and seems to operate outside of social norms. His presence is very real. The assailant has been seen running on foot with a cat-like agility, approaching his target wielding a paper of questionable journalistic integrity. He strikes quickly with an almost ninja-like agility. He seems to have no preference regarding victim’s gender and is more compelled to execute his mildly disruptive attacks, by provocation of the victim’s exposed rear. His first attack, on November 12, 2008, was witnessed by many students. Some are still dealing with the images they were subjected to, but assuredly less so than the victim who remains anonymous and has so far not come forward. The predator was reportedly seen running with extreme stealth across the grass between the LA2 and LA3 buildings. He approached the sleeping subject quickly and with noted determination smacked them upon the ass, his weapon of choice a crumbled 49er newspaper. He proceeded to run in an awkward and suspicious manner away from the now awake student after brazenly committing the crime. Other students and witnesses were shocked by the incident and reportedly did not have enough time to react and save their fellow student from the attack. Sending a contrary message, this reporter totally saw them laughing at the victim’s expense. [Editor’s Note: Reports are still inconsistent and do not allow for the media to make judgments regarding the volatile nature and possible political implications of what is clearly a deranged man, but would like to advise the student body to take precautions. Students are advised to choose their place of slumber carefully, to avoid locations of previous attacks, to wear tight-fitting pants and perhaps a belt, but above all, resist the urge to wear crack-revealing garments so as not to provoke an attack unexpectedly. It is a time where support and vigilance of others’ exposed coin slots is necessary. Thank you.]

Bitter Automotive Executives Carpool to Senate Hearings

Local Black Family Moves to Bixby Knolls

Scientists Discern “Moist” to be Grossest Word in English Language

In light of the current economic crisis, leading leaders of the automotive industry bitterly carpooled to their Senate hearings last week. Although the hearings could mean life or death for some of the companies, cramped seating arrangements prevented the executives from considering their plight. “It just sucks,” says GM Chairman Wagoner. “Bill Ford called shotgun before we could even see the damn car.” PAGE C4

The predominantly white residents of Bixby Knolls were stunned yesterday when local blacks James and Cynthia Hill and their son William moved literally one house away on either side of whites. “Well, I’m just shocked, is all,” says local white Jane Wieber. “I never thought I’d see the day. And they’re so young and successful!” Reports that the Hills are almost just like whites residents of Bixby Knolls stunned some PAGE J5

Shocking news for the scientific community of literature today, as a groundbreaking report issued by Dr. Werner Klappt of the University of California, Los Angeles reveals that decades of research had determined “moist” to be the grossest word in the English language. “There were some strong contenders,” says Klappt. “At first, we were strongly leaning towards “cunt,” but PAGE S3


December 8st, 2008


“It’s like tasting fake chocolate in your mouth.”

This page is satire. We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Tug your problems away. Send rags to

Volume 63 Issue 14

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Orange County Entrepreneur Settles on 25-foot Sailboat This Christmas


Jeff Bridges’ Guide to Acting Awesomely

BRIDGES FACT: Tron is actually a documentary of the time I shroomed next to my Apple II.


Brett Schitzer, victim of the times, thinking of the Beneteau that would have really let him stretch his sea legs.

BY SEXUAL RANDY LAGUNA BEACH, CA – With the economy in the worst state its been in since the Great Depression, an Orange County businessman, Brett Schitzer, 34, has decided that he is going to make the ultimate sacrifice this holiday season and purchase the 25-foot Freedom instead of the 72foot Beneteau he had been looking forward to since last Wednesday. “I didn’t even know about all of this economy mumbo-jumbo until I found my deadbeat cousin, Gary, getting muddy tracks all over my marble doorstep yesterday,” says Schitzer. “He said the bank repossessed his house, which I knew was bullshit, but it made me

think of why he thought I’d fall for it. So I did some digging and found out that we’re smack dab in the middle of some crisis.” Schitzer isn’t the only one in Laguna affected by the crisis. His next-door neighbor, Sal Gued, 32, chose to forgo remodeling his backyard once Schitzer informed him of the crisis. “I think I was as surprised as anybody. I’m just going to put in a new Jacuzzi instead. We’re all tightening our belts around here, y’know?” says Gued, making quotation marks with his fingers in the air around the phrase “y’know?” Schitzer is reportedly “very surprised that [he] didn’t feel the affects of [the crisis] before now,” but he is in high spirits regardless.

“It’s not good. Selling real estate in Laguna and Newport isn’t highly lucrative by any means, but I think I’ll find a way to make ends meet.” When asked about the newest addition to his “sailboat fleet,” Schitzer smiled. “I can’t wait to go buy her as soon as you leave. I don’t know what I’m going to call her though. Maybe ‘Soupy Sails.’” “What a fucking asshole,” says Schitzer’s cousin, Gary. “First my exwife and now my own fucking cousin. I can’t believe this is happening to me. The kids and me are digging through Brett’s dumpsters for halfeaten sirloin just to eat, for Christ’s sake. I have half a mind to hang myself from the mast of that piece of shit’s boat once he buys it.”


OJ to Stay in Experimental Space Prison for Reduced Sentence PAGE D6

Area 6-Year-Old Finds Out Barack Obama Isn’t Real PAGE H5

Hey listen up. I’ve been acting since you were born probably. I know my stuff. You wanna act? (Yes, you do). So pay attention! TIP #1: Joke around a ton and mess up if you want. Everyone likes bloopers better than the real movie, anyway. This way you don’t have to read the script (hundreds of words?! Barely any of them even rhyme. Eghhhh). Plus, you get to have fun all over the set. Fun is the best. Put a big old spider in the sound guy’s headphones? Pranked, buddy! He’s allergic to spider venom? Welcome to showbiz, kid, I’m Jeff Bridges the actor. (You can’t see it but I just put on sunglasses). TIP #2: Listen to a ton of rap music. I’m not sure how this helps, but I do it and check me out. I’m an actor. (I put on another pair of sunglasses. My ears hurt). TIP #3: Always have a cool comeback ready so you can maintain your pristine public image. Let’s say a kid wants my autograph. I just chuckle and say “yeah, keep the change kid” and give him a firm push on the head as I peel out on my hog (motorcycle). TIP #4: I bought a crystal at a science gift shop when I was a baby. I am pretty sure most of my acting abilities come from the crystal, so I’m not sure how much I can help you. The crystal is purplish. Maybe you can find one. Fun movie fact: I keep the crystal in my mouth so I can absorb its power while I am acting. If you look closely you might see it in one of my hit smash blockbuster movies. TIP #5: I found half of a five dollar bill in my pocket yesterday. You may use this as inspiration when acting. Something about the futility of life? I don’t know, I’m an actor, not some sort of thinking kind of guy. I’m going to go see if a store will accept the half of a five, so I guess you’re on your own now. Time to power up my crystal that I use when I beg a store for food. Welcome to Hollywood, jerk.


2009: The Year in Preview

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