Page 1


how to live it up when the market is down

pg. 10-11






hen the bombing started, I was on Facebook. All right, most likely not at the very moment but then again I’m always on FB. Anyway, I had logged on and was looking at the feed when I noticed a friend of a friend had posted a link to pictures that a Palestinian Facebooker had put up. They displayed all the telltale horrors of war that were being visited upon the civilian residents of Gaza. The caption for every picture happened to be, “Israel did this.” I had many mixed emotions upon seeing silently screaming fathers clutching the lifeless corpses of children in the digital images. Automatically my heart went out to those who were suffering through such atrocities while I, simultaneously, was angry. Angry at this person for laying this, not on the government that sent the soldiers, but the country as a whole. I felt the same rage that has been with me since I was a child knowing that this was still continuing to go on. UNION WEEKLY

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Being a free thinker, I tend to have a problem with people making short-sighted blanket statements. A people are not their government, even when it is a democracy. Sure, here we have somewhat of a say when there is an election, but right now we’re still engaged in a war that no one really wants. I don’t remember Dubya calling me up personally and saying, “Howdy, Passman, you cool with us invading Iraq? No? Well, fuck it, ‘cause it’s happening. Guess we’re just going to have to disagree to agree. We’re still on for golf, right? I’ll tell the twins you said hi.” Our now former President and I are just not on those terms. Besides, I hate golf. The point I am getting at is that if you talked to your average Israeli on the street, they most likely would prefer that the Israeli Defense Force was at home with their families and not racking up innocents as collateral damage when seeking out members of Hamas, who may or may not be a bad thing for the area. In college you notice all the extremes of thinking in a place so far removed as sunny California. Right Wing/Neo-Con Jews from UCI that have been brainwashed away from the liberal teachings of their own religion want to believe that this is God’s will and that there is an actual line in the sand. Whereas some Muslim students, who may not even be Palestinian, tend to believe that the whole region should be under a theocratic rule that would not allow for a Jewish state. Then you have someone like me, who believes that our families both came to this country to escape

such militant hard-lining and that we should use the shared title of being Americans to come to an understanding that destroys the divisions that help to perpetuate fear, hatred, and death. Some people refer to what is happening in Israel as apartheid, but it’s hard for me as an American Jew to negotiate such a concept when I know what the place represents to us as a people and that we have suffered from that same struggle many times over. That doesn’t mean that the current administration hasn’t made some abhorrent choices policy-wise, but I consider myself a Zionist in a sense. We haven’t been a nomadic tribe for a long time and what that means to me is that Jews need their Mecca too. A twostate solution without the Right of Return into the Israeli portion would be ideal. The only problem is that Islam and Judaism have been bickering siblings for thousands of years now. There isn’t much of a way to quell all the passions that birth extremism on either side, but I digress. Just know that there are measures that we should be taking here on many issues, including this, to help. So this is a call to people on this campus for some proactive action. Beach Hillel. The Muslim Students Association. I’m looking at you. No more picketing each other’s events. No more pettiness. Let’s do lunch. Neither of us eat pork, let’s focus on what we have in common and not our differences. The healing has to happen here as much as it has to happen in the Middle East.




n today’s economy (a bad one) a person can’t afford to waste any money. I’m not sure why someone would do that anyway, but I guess it happens so go with it, okay. Since I’m a cool dude who doesn’t spend a whole lot of money I will give everyone out there a treat and show you how to pinch that penny. Money saving tip: pinch a penny! Entertainment is expensive! Movies cost a bundle (of dollars). I don’t think plays exist anymore and I’m not allowed at any zoo in California because of the smart-ass monkeys. Staying at home and seeing how hard you can pinch a penny is hours of pretty painful fun with a price tag of one cent! You like this idea. You are having fun. Squishing money isn’t your thing? I don’t like you, but there are plenty of other options. You just have to be creative. For instance, you are holding in your hands a periodical that is FREE and can provide hours of entertainment. See all these words? Well


HOW THE CAMEL CRUSH CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER TESSAH SCHOENROCK Let’s just get one thing straight. Cigarettes are evil. I know it, you know it, our mothers know it—let’s move on. Recently, while feeling adventurous at my local 7/11 (and noticing the buy-one-get-one-free sign) I decided to try a new flavor of cigarette from my preferred brand, Camel. Not noticing anything particularly great about them, I got about halfway through the pack when, finally, someone informed me that Camel Crush cigarettes are a two-in-one menthol and regular for the variety lover. The filter in these cigarettes contains a small menthol capsule which, when cracked open, releases the menthol taste giving the smoker a minty fresh experience in a matter of seconds. I know what you’re thinking—holy shit. That’s what I thought, too. Camel has once again surpassed themselves, creating more or less a toy for adults. In order to crack said menthol capsule, one must press their thumb and index finger together on the filter until he or she hears an audible cracking sound, which is no less satisfying than popping a massive whitehead that explodes all over the mirror. Like popping zits, achieving the menthol taste often doesn’t come without a fight. The fingertips must be in a precise position in order to break open the apparatus, and one often ends up fumbling and straining two sets of fingers in strenuous effort. Luckily, the smoker is provided with a handy diagram on the filter to use as a guide. Every cigarette is like a Happy Meal that comes with a buzz. I don’t even typically like menthols, yet I find myself buying these Crushes more and more, and smoking twice as much as I usually do, just for the novelty of the cracking sound that comes with an admittedly overpowering rush of menthol taste. Out of curiosity, I cut open the filter of a Camel Crush to see just what exactly I’d been enthusiastically sucking down my lungs the last few weeks. I don’t know what I was

expecting, but the result was underwhelming. A tiny blue orb, filled with granules of blue powder that looks like the inside of a Certs. Although it doesn’t look like much, seeing that with my own eyes made me shudder slightly in horror, as if the tiny sphere might contain enough kinetic energy to set off an atom bomb or something. In a way, these Camel Crushes do demonstrate that kind of power. All other tobacco companies might as well just hit the locker room now, because Camel just laid out their ace card. The Crush is the Holy Grail of cigarettes—the Camel light is merely its day job. With just one squeeze, it becomes the naughty schoolgirl of smokes—one little snap and you’re rolling your plaid skirt over your knees and drinking gin in the girls’ bathroom. The fat cats at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company are evil geniuses. Applaud them by buying your own pack today!


Perspective shift: Welcome to the New Year, y’all. My granddad told me you should always pay attention to getting older or one day something something... It’s probably good advice. Still, I ignore time for the most part. I don’t know if any of you reading folk use the New Year to watch yourself get older, but I’d like to know why if you do. Usually my New Year’s celebration is split 60/40 between drinking and yelling at strangers, but not this time. This New Year was the first in a long time I didn’t head out with a head full of bad ideas, and the first in the last three (okay, more like five) that didn’t end in a Tournament of Roses hangover. I was sober(ish), jaded, and longing; by all logic, I should have been rife with contemplation, but I still couldn’t muster it. Maybe it’s the false spectacle of the thing. By the time the ball drops in New York (three hours before it drops here), it has already been dropped in every time zone ‘til Samoa. No offense to Oceania, but I’ve no interest in their sloppy New Year seconds. Honestly, has there ever been a more ridiculous thing to celebrate then a ball dropping? I dropped a coffee mug on my foot this morning and virtually nobody cheered, so what’s so special about a ball? And it doesn’t even drop! It’s lowered. Gently. What a crock. Maybe if they tossed the big crazy thing off of a tall building and everyone below had to dodge it Pamplona-style I could get on board. As it stands, I declare this holiday officially busted. But there was more than a year change to ponder over the break. Guns from one nation fired at people from another in alarming numbers with startling new combinations (and some startling old ones as well). The economy continues to slump and the exiting president still looks as though nobody’s told him about any of it. Sure, it may have been a great year for the apocalypse-enthusiasts, pessimists, and anyone firmly attached to the government teat, but that’s about it. The inauguration is supposed to bring a crashing halt to our national tailspin and suddenly conjure hope and change enough to save the country. A rosy and unlikely scenario if ever there was one, but sadly that’s how far we’ve fallen. It might not be practical to believe in the collective power of hope and change, but it’s the only thing we can still afford to believe in. And while I could never get on board with such a pithy milestone as the year changing, I have to believe that the country can turn the corner. Whether that takes a new year, a new president, or something still looming large and unknown beneath an imminent horizon, I wait patiently, and still hopefully, for it to reach us.



if you rub your fingers all over them they will smudge and make your fingers inky, free of charge. Hell yeah. You can also find plenty of entertainment just by using your powers of observation. Have a look outside. What’s that guy doin’? Walking? I don’t know. You just had fun. Of course finding cheap ways to be entertained isn’t the only way to save money. If you earn more money you will be able to spend more money. This is called math—I looked it up. What’s the number one way to earn more money? Rap music. All you have to do is make a cool rap in a new way and a car with huge rims will be dropped on your house by a helicopter piloted by hot babes. Don’t steal that idea by the way. That’s going to my first video when I hit it big with my new idea. I was almost asleep one night and the idea hit me like a ton of rap bricks. “RAP INTO A BAG OF BUGS” I said to myself loudly. I just know this idea will make me a ton of money. I am already working on designs for Rap Bug Bags and the copyright is pending so don’t even try it. My rap name will be Bug Blasta so look out for me on the rap stations pretty soon. Bonus money saving idea: shake up the bugs so they start buzzing like crazy and then sing into the bag. Congrats, you just saved money on buying that Autotune program. The economy is fixed. Enjoy.


26 JANUARY 2009

ISSUE 64.01 “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” —Winston Churchill MAIL TO THE CHIEF LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MIKE “BEEF” PALLOTTA


ew president! Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get down to bidness. I can say that now cause my president’s black. Anyways, we’re back! It’s going to be tough to go back to waking up before noon and not spending hours of each day watching Battlestar Galactica (the staff apparently doesn’t like the idea of me replacing all the “fucks” in this issue with “frak”). I think I’ll pull through, but what I realized this Winter Break is that my life is boring without the endless tasks that go with putting together a newspaper and the juggling act that is college life. I’m glad to be back, but I’ll only say that through gritted teeth. When I got back to business I found an email waiting for me from a professor here at CSULB. Robert Guffey works in the English department and he’s got a story about an alligator monster. Onto the mail:


Dear Editor: I’m not sure if this situation has been brought to your attention or not, but at roughly 9:54 A.M. on January 11th, 2008, a massive underground explosion rocked the streets of Long Beach, shaking several buildings in the El Dorado Park Estates area. A few minutes later, at 9:59 A.M., a fifteen-foot-high pillar of fire shot up out of the sewer on E. Wardlow Road and Claremore Avenue, just outside Newcomb Elementary School, causing a manhole cover to soar through the air, barely missing several pedestrians passing by on the sidewalk. This manhole is located in the center of the right lane of Wardlow Road (heading east-west) about 100 meters west of Claremore Avenue (east of the 605 freeway). The explosion was so devastating, the power went out in my entire neighborhood for over twenty-four hours. About three dozen students at the elementary school were paralyzed with fear as a white reptilian head, like that of an immense albino alligator, poked its head out of the sewer. The thing, whatever it was, then attempted to claw its way up onto the asphalt. Its body must have been too big, however, because it quietly sank back into the darkness below the street. No further explosions or conflagrations followed. I called my city councilman to receive answers about what this anomalous animal might have been, but all I was told was, “We’re looking into it.” This is not good enough. Do I not pay taxes? Do I not put up with the horrible parking situation downtown, the shameful farce of convicted sex offenders being housed at 67 Alamitos Avenue only a few blocks from a high school where a teenage UNION WEEKLY

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girl was recently raped, and my once proud port being sold to the damn Chinese? Must I also, on top of all these degradations, put up with mutant reptilian carnivores attempting to consume my child when he’s innocently going about his day enjoying recess with his friends? What manner of creature was this thing? Did the explosion and the fire merely rout the beast out of its lair or was the explosion and fire caused by the creature somehow? Is this some kind of saurian left over from the Devonian era capable of spewing streams of fire from its mouth, or just a pet alligator that survived being flushed down a toilet and transformed by time and neglect and toxic chemicals into a pale troglodytic predator living off the pharmaceutical-infused, fluoride-laden sewage flowing beneath our beautiful “International City”? Or is it some government experiment gone awry, perhaps having burst free from its plexiglass “escape-proof ” cage on the U.S. military-owned San Clemente Island located only a few hundred feet off the coast of Long Beach? Why doesn’t somebody in charge capture this beast? Since China likes to import their inferior products into our country, why don’t we turn the tables on them and export this fire-breathing plesiosaur into their utopian, communist republic? See how they like that. Just see how they like it. Yeah. I expect answers to this conundrum forthwith. I’ve drawn up a formal petition. Several residents of the Historic Bluff Park District of Long Beach have already agreed to sign this petition. Will you join these citizens? Anyone who has seen this thing and wants to join my efforts to capture it, or at least explain its existence, may contact me at Sincerely, Robert Guffey Dear Robert, You’ve come to one of the two right places (the other right place is the Mythbusters). This sounds like a classic case of the Cloverfields to me. But before we get to the monster I’d like to address your old-fashioned hatred for the Chinese. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you wrote this after walking out of a screening of Gran Torino. Clint made racism pretty funny, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Archie Bunker. However, with your letter I missed the joke, that and you left out the lovable racial slurs like “dragon lady.” Back to the problem at hand, I did some research (Google) on albino alligators and found that there was a movie directed by Kevin Spacey in 1996 called Albino Alligator. Check out this connection: Spacey decided to cast Matt Dillon in the lead role and Matt Dillon was in Wild Things with none other than KEVIN BACON! YEAH! As per any connection between the Chinese and albino alligators, I couldn’t find any. Sorry Bob. What I did find out is that albino alligators, much like human albinos, can’t go out in the sunlight, which might explain why it retreated back into the sewer. Even though I am the editor of a prestigious college newspaper, I don’t have sway over city officials or the Chinese, so I can’t promise any answers. What I can do is promise to keep my eyes and ears open in case there are any further developments. Good luck in finding your answers and keeping your children alive. Ask Away! Need advice from a man named Beef about a Cloverfield? Well, send all questions to!

MIKE PALLOTTA Editor-in-Chief KATHY MIRANDA Managing Editor JOE BRYANT Managing Editor

MATT DUPREE Senior Editor JAMES KISLINGBURY News Director RACHEL RUFRANO Opinions 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 On-Campus Distribution CLAY COOPER Internet Caregiver ALLAN STEINER Advertising Executive KATRINA SAWHNEY, 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, LAUREN ANDERSON, JANTZEN PEAKE, JOHN YANG, TESSA NEVAREZ, JESSICA WILLIAMS 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 :

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JOHN YANG So now that you are back to the Beach— here is what happened when you weren’t paying attention: The Textbook Rental Program kicks off with twelve books for rent. Advertised as saving up to sixty percent, a textbook for BLAW 220 would save you a measly fifteen bucks. Chances are you could sell your $100 textbook for at least fifteen bucks—so you’d more or less be getting ripped off. Again. The list of books available for rent is expected to increase through out the semester and into the next school year. On a happy note, the parking lot torn down to create room for Rec Center will be balanced out with the competition of Parking Structure 3. ASI was busy over the break, too (believe it or not) creating a fancy online calendar available on their website. Now, all we need are some decent events. Plan for the usual outdoor concerts at the University Student Union South West Terrace at noon, Monday through Thursday and Week of Welcome next week. We all love tacos but have you had Korean tacos? Apparently at Kogi BBQ they are all the rage. Find them in Downtown L.A. and tell them to come over to CSULB! Former CSULB President Carl W. McIntosh, (better known as a tall building on south campus) passed away at the ripe old age of 94. During his tenure, CSULB was actually Long Beach State College and admission rose from 10,000 to 30,000 in just ten years. Yikes! Get out and see Esa-Pekka Salonen wrap up his last season with the L.A. Philharmonic at the Disney Concert Hall. And did you know that college students with I.D. can snag tickets for just ten bucks? (Now you have no excuse!) President Obama asked citizens to give back to the community with service projects all across America on MLK day—did you participate? Yeah, well, neither did we. Also you might already have seen it but a CSULB account has magically appeared on facebook and twitter! Search for CSULB twitter on google and you just might be able to find it if you look hard enough. Who could it be? And while you’re at it, get ready for Week of Welcome. The festivies start on Monday, February 2nd and goes on through the 6th. There should be free food at most of the events, so get out there and take advantage of the campus’ good will. Plus you could, you know, learn more about your campus or socialize with your fellow students. We’ll have more on Week of Welcome next issue. Untill then, take it easy, Beach and if you’ve got anything to tell us, drop us a line.




h, it’s springtime and campus has a lovely idyllic nature to it. The squirrels chasing one another across Friendship Walk, the indelible cloud of dust that hangs in the air, the staccato pounding of jackhammers rings in your ears and you think, “This is the sound of science.” At least this is the thought of the current science majors forced to work near the recently demolished PH3 building. You would think a break from the din would prove a kind reprieve for these students but the Hall of Science construction has been halted indefinitely, and it is far from good news. It’s no shock that the CSU system has been strapped for funds these past few years. Since Schwarzenegger took office, gutted our budget, and broke his promise to pay it back, we have all begrudgingly paid the climbing fees and in turn, have felt the wrath of a much lighter pocketbook. With the waning economy and still declining funding, all construction, purchase of supplies, hiring of employees and other silly frivolities have been frozen until further notice. The weight of the empty coffer has reached a point of such gravity that even the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Reid have magnanimously chosen to freeze their own salaries. Frozen though, not cut. The Chancellor’s salary is currently in the lower 400 thousands and the members of The Board of Trustees are not far behind. This is no surprise when you consider who has the power to grant them pay raises: themselves. Not to mention, these individuals are the ones who have held a handful of emergency meetings over the past few years to raise student fees system-wide. This has inevitably priced some students out of the education that their merits earned. Luckily, our very own F. King, well paid but well earned, has been to Sacramento in defense of his students numerous times. Even taking our concerns to Washington DC, consulting with the new Obama Administration. There is a silver lining lingering behind the mushroom cloud. The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is still scheduled to be completed by Fall 2010 and the groundbreaking is set for January 30th at 11:00, gilded shovels and all. Both F. King and Erin Swetland will be speaking. The Rec Center narrowly escaped the leveling effects of the CSU crisis as it is funded through our own on-campus non-profit, ASI. While affiliated with CSULB, ASI is a separate entity, an independent non-profit organization that is safe on the sidelines. ASI is so separate that when the possibility of the CSU system borrowing money from the auxiliary affiliates, it was against the bylaws and again narrowly side-stepped an unwelcome reach-around

into the pocket of ASI. Furthermore, ASI is not really in a place to be doling out loans with little to no foresight of timely return. ASI itself may have been saved from the penny pinching CSU, but the resounding clash of budget cuts has not spared ASI. For the first time in its history, the CSU is turning away students—almost twelve thousand system-wide. And for the first time in CSULB history, our enrollment will not be expanding come Fall ’09. In fact, it will be shrinking. If any of you have friends who tried to transfer to Long Beach this spring, you’ll know that they were turned away and are being diverted to fall enrollment. Unless of course those students trying to transfer for this spring were Nursing or Engineering majors, then they were okay. However, for everyone else, they are now forced to compete for even less openings with even more students. What does this mean for current students? Well, a decrease in enrollment and overall budget shortfalls signals the decline of an already overstressed network of services for students. Since ASI, and by extension anything funded by ASI (the USU, Union Weekly, KBeach, and many other clubs and organizations) relies on enrollment. Remember that $50 or so fee you pay every semester to ASI? That’s where their funding comes from. Therefore, a decrease in enrollment means a decrease in funding means a decrease in services and availability of services. And there you are, still footing the bill, but for far less return.






26 JANUARY 2009




he Super Bowl is the one sporting event where the festivities (stuffing your face) have overtaken the popularity of the event itself. In fact, the Bowl has come to be the first feast of the year. This year Super Bowl XLIII features two very different teams competing for the championship and your attention. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals have taken two very different roads to this showdown and, in fact, are also two very franchises; the Steelers are now tied for most appearances in the big game, while the Cardinals have gone 61 years without a championship. However the histories of these two teams are just that—history. So instead of dwelling on the woefully under-performing history of the Cardinals, or their quarterback’s equally shameful donation to the Yes on 8 campaign, we will instead look to the seasons each of these teams have had in the run up to the game. The Steelers won the championship a few seasons back with a very similar core group of players,

and have maintained the top level play under new coach Mike Tomlin so they were a favorite even going into the 2008-2009 season. The game plan of the Steelers dates back to the team’s ‘70s heyday and continued into this season, a solid running game backed with an immovable defense. This season the Steelers faced injuries to their running back core and starter Willey Parker and Rookie Rashard Mendenhall spent time out of action. Luckily they still had relative unknown Mewelde Moore to carry the load. Defensively, the team was as dominant as ever, finishing 1st overall on defense in the league and out playing some of the league’s toughest defenses including the Ravens and Chargers. The playoffs saw them playing rivals San Diego and Baltimore for the second and third times, respectively. Though they are going into February 1st confident and on top of their game, they are playing a true loose cannon in the Cinderella story of the year, the Arizona Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals hail from arguably the weakest division in sports, the NFC West, which gave them the luxury of playing cupcake teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks and the St Louis Rams two times each. They took care of business and beat the teams they were supposed to beat finishing with a respectable, if not overly impressive 9 and 7 throughout the regular season. They were expected to flop in the post season, to their credit they have put on a spectacular post-season beating out the red-hot Falcons and Eagles en route to being just the second 9 and 7 team to reach the Super Bowl. (The other team? The ’79 L.A. Rams, who ended up losing the game to the Steelers) The team is lead by its unstoppable passing game lead by old homophobe Kurt Warner and young beast Larry Fitzgerald. The pair have combined for over 400 yards and 5 touchdowns this post-season. A lot of commentators are expecting the relative novelty of a good Arizona team to limit Pittsburgh’s ability to adequately prepare for the squad giving the Cardinals some advantages going into Super Bowl Sunday. However, Pittsburgh’s defense is too dominant and should be the difference maker in this game.



Wed. 1/28:

Women’s Tennis, USC

Thurs. 1/29:

Men’s Basketball, CSU Fullerton

3:00 PM, Los Angeles, CA

7:05 PM, Walter Pyramid

Fri. 1/30:

3:00 PM, Seattle, WA

26 JANUARY 2009


TBL did not enjoy the break, nor did TBL take a break. TBL is actually uncertain exactly what “a break” is. Times are harsh, unless, of course, you happen to be a member of the MLB Players Union. After an offseason that recorded several hefty contracts, many of which equaling a developing country’s gross domestic product (C.C. Sabathia to the Yankees; seven years, $161 million), it seems only fitting that Manny Ramirez, at the age of 36, recently turned down a two year, $45 million contract to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kind of makes you wonder what President Obama is talking about when he says “winter of our hardship,” or at least who he’s referring to when he says “our.” And don’t bother with the question of “Is this too much to be paying a guy to hit a baseball?” Well, wait, is it? TBL doesn’t know what to think, but it would sure be great if the Giants signed him. Hall of Famer Rick Barry is considered by many to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time, but the casual sports fan knows him as the guy who shot free-throws underhand. Laugh all you want—he shot over 90% for his career at the stripe. Not that he cares what you think. Today he’s known for his candor on the state of NBA, which, if you didn’t know any better, you’d assume he loathes. Barry’s honesty is akin to Charles Barkley rambling with a handle of Jack Daniels, and slightly more articulate. His most recent observations, per an interview on KNBR San Francisco, involve the “major flaws” in LeBron James’ game. Yeah, that LeBron James, King James, supposedly the best player in the league LeBron James—Barry thinks his shot sucks. TBL supposes the reason why Barry doesn’t have many fans has to do with the fact that he’s usually right, much to the chagrin of the overpaid and oversensitive. LeBron’s shooting under 50% for the season, under 30% from three-point range and a very pedestrian 77% from the line. Watching him throw up Hail Marys against the Lakers last week was enlightening, especially when lined up against Kobe Bryant, still TBL’s pick for NBA’s best.

Men’s Volleyball, Stanford

7:00 PM, Stanford, CA

Sat. 1/31:

Women’s Basketball, UC Irvine

5:00 PM, Walter Pyramid

Men’s Basketball, UC Irvine


Track, Washington Invitational


7:05 PM, Irvine, CA

Men’s Volleyball, Pacific

8:00 PM, Stockton, CA

The only uncertainty regarding this year’s Super Bowl is whether or not TBL will get kicked out of a bar or his aunt’s basement. I picked the Steelers midseason and I see no reason to jump ship for Kurt Warner. Steelers, 34 -17






Marley & Me

The Wrestler


My Bloody Valentine 3D

Marley & Me was a surprising hour-and-a-half even though everyone goes in knowing the end. Writer John Grogan deserves most of the credit though, since neither Owen Wilson or Jennifer Aniston seem to try too hard to pretend to be either one of the people they’re portraying. Even with the two main actors on autopilot, the movie coasts on Grogan’s ability to tell a story, and the fact that he took one of the most boring types of stories (the pet story) and made it interesting.

Boring. Plain and simple. Christopher “Biggie” Wallace had some interesting times, but director George Tillman Jr. didn’t put much effort into making B.I.G.’s life into anything but an average rags to riches tragedy. Notorious felt like a made-for-TV movie. Although there are a couple performances that shine through (3LW’s Naturi Naughton as Lil’ Kim and Jamal Woolard as Biggie Smalls), the acting is as shotty as Biggie’s corpse.

My second favorite film of the year (edging in just behind Slumdog Millionaire). The sadness behind the professional wrestling industry is at the forefront of The Wrestler—we see the effects it has on a man who’s addicted to the business. He’s addicted to the fandom and rush he gets in the ring, even when his life is going to shit out of the ring. When I was 14, the sadness behind wrestling kept me from watching anymore WWF, but now it’s really fucking entertaining! Go see The Wrestler!

If My Bloody Valentine 3D didn’t have any dialogue or exposition, it would be a perfect film.


Gran Torino

Clint gives one of the best performances of his life and the supporting cast gives the worst performances since The Happening—both equally enjoyable for completely different reasons.

David Frost was a talk show host who was down on his luck and decided to take on the disgraced ex-president Richard Nixon in an interview. What makes the interview interesting is that it isn’t a hackneyed Q&A. Frost wants Nixon to admit all of his mistakes and apologize to the public. What results is a battle of wits between the two with their reputations on the line. The trailer suggests that Frank Langella’s performance as Nixon is caricatured, but he actually does the bastard justice and induces some sympathy for the man.

The Unborn

Revolutionary Road

I spent most of the time thinking about how much I wanted to see the Friday the 13th remake after seeing the trailer. Goddamn that movie looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

The Reader

The most naked movie I’ve seen in a long time. Kate Winslet gets super naked! A MUST SEE! The downside to the movie: it’s split up into three acts and with each act it digresses and gets slower and there’s an increase in clothing. It takes a strange left turn and incorporates the Holocaust, which makes it feel like Oscar bait. Winslet’s character ages and the make-up job isn’t up to par with Hollywood’s standards. Overall, worth a watch and enjoyable, but not Best Picture material—despite having been nominated. UNION WEEKLY

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Adults argue for two hours, DiCaprio flexes his jaw muscles, and every scene Michael Shannon’s in he steals.

Slumdog Millionaire

Yeah, it’s a sad movie with a happy ending. Yeah it’s City of God meets Rocky. Yeah It’s Capra-esque in it’s cheeriness and in the story devices it uses. But it’s a great fucking story told incredibly well. Slumdog tells the story of a guy, Jamal Malik, who’s grown up in the slums of Mumbai to become the first contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” to get to the final question. The movie then cuts back and forth between Jamal’s current state— tortured and interrogated for the possibility of having cheated—and his past that ultimately lead to him becoming a contestant on the game show. Everyone should see Slumdog and then get angry if it doesn’t win Best Picture.




teven Soderbergh’s sprawling biopic about the life and death of the most recognizable revolutionary of the 20th Century is a visually engrossing movie that glosses over the thornier aspects of Ernesto Che Guevara. The film, simply called Che, is split up into two parts that cover the man’s exploits across Latin America. Che Part One: The Argentine, follows the successful Cuban revolution against American-backed dictator Bautista, and also tracks Che’s journey to New York where he spoke in front of the United Nations. Che Part Two: Guerrilla, explores his unsuccessful Bolivian campaign, which resulted in his death at the hands of American trained Bolivian troops. These films remain relatively consistent and despite the change in location, it is hard to distinguish part two from part one, so instead of examining the pieces separately, they will be taken as the one work Soderbergh intended them to be. The film is billed as a biography of Che Guevara, an icon and widely misunderstood symbol of communism, Hispanic pride, and revolution across the world. When going to see this film, one would expect some probing questions and examinations into the man’s life and ideas. Some of this was covered in the 2005 Walter Salles film The Motorcycle Diaries relatively well, but Che is examining an older, more active Che than the youthful character in Motorcycle Diaries. Instead of arresting conversations

between Che and Fidel on the merits of allowing help from the USSR or the impact a primarily white rebel had with his more Latin comrades, we are given a relatively silent film that is only interrupted for military instructions or communist platitudes. This downfall in the script is the single most disappointing part of the film and brings down the great cinematography and performances. Guerrilla is an interesting departure from the conflict-free first half. Che is clearly destined for Hey look, we didn’t use that fucking picture of him you see everywhere always. Like the failure, which makes him one on your friend’s poster. Or the one on our Music Editor’s t-shirt. Or maybe the one... much more accessible and interesting as a protagonist. The scenes following his black and white scenes in New York were equally stuncapture are full of great performances and poignant mo- ning, but didn’t really seem to serve a purpose, other ments, something the rest of the film lacked. than to provide some contrasting imagery to the film. Steven Soderbergh is clearly a very accomplished As a cinematographer, Soderbergh certainly knows filmmaker who has no problem experimenting with ele- what he wants, but the finished product is more of a cuments of the movie-making process. Che is certainly an riosity than a classic. example of this out-of-the-box aesthetic as he takes all Che is clearly a film as divisive as its protagonist, of the usual dialog and development out of the tradi- drawing equal parts praise (Soderbergh’s masterpiece) tional biopic and replaces it with a distant exploration of and harsh criticism (more of a nature documentary than the landscape of South America, using Che and Castro’s a film). One thing is clear though—Che is a fully realized revolutionary battles as set pieces. The result is beauti- uncompromising film that offers the best cinematografully crisp, documentary style cinematography that at phy available, and a few memorable moments. its best invites the viewer into the mind frame of the soldiers working to defend their homeland, and at worst completely isolates the viewer from any sort of connection with these Cubans and Bolivians on a seemingly endless journey through a gorgeous countryside. The


fabulous and visceral. It fills a giant gap in the information of what happened there, and without pretense or a heavy hand. But it is powerful and an enormously important film that I would assuredly never see if I wasn’t here. So I take a sip from the free “watermelon infused” bottled water that tastes awful and listen as the director talks about smuggling cameras past American soldiers, then I look to my left and see Mac from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Holy Shit! JAMES KISLINGBURY

The presumably once bucolic Main Street of Park City, Utah is roughly two thousand feet long. A mountain street, skewered in between two peaks, ski runs ending like deltas onto its blacktop. Stores and restaurants and bars line the thing. And for one week at the end of January all of the lecherous and the collagen cut and the flashbulbs and the fur of Hollywood descend like a Beatlestracking-groupie-fest. All of the film industry, cell phones and credentials hanging stashed in lanyards around the neck, pour in and out of screenings. Free stuff, free crap, lines outside of every bar. Shitty Irish dive pubs suddenly lifted to guest list only, three bouncers, metal gates; for one week a year. Girls wear clothes like it’s LA, twenty degrees at night in the mountains here, they want in the private party. They make their freezing bodies as sexy as possible. Rumors fan out in wildfire. Pierce Bronson is in there, Jared Leto, anyone, let our elbows touch. Holy Shit! Did you see who that was? Sundance has become a giant bleeding wound, spilling into the streets. Too big for its own britches, the place to be and the place to say you saw that one guy from that one thing. The Utahs come up for that. The Angelinos

drive and fly for that too. The mob searches every face that walks down the street, they want you to be famous, they need it of you, they look into your eyes, pleading, check your bone structure. They do double-takes, hoping. They beg of you: “Are you that guy from the new Die Hard?” I smile and keep walking. To a movie. Imagine that. At a film festival, going to see a movie. How expertly out of place. Then, Hummers line up outside a screening at the Egyptian theater, the parasites flock, they smell blood, they smell the sweet plasma of the A-list. The lines outside basement bars multiply. For a singular week, here is Park City: a nauseating mixture of celebrity worshipers and the cocksuckers that buy up all the tickets and then spend the screening barking into a Bluetooth somewhere cool, somewhere exclusive, somewhere we can’t go. But I keep walking. Parking costs $20 unless you know the secret spots, you have to walk a bit but I won’t pay twenty bucks for parking anywhere, ever. Like an old anachronism, I sigh and look at the swarms: “It didn’t use to.” But I keep walking, to my screening, a documentary. About death and war and Our People and the people that live in this place called Iraq. And the film is




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Here comes a bit of a me thing, but I promise it isn’t for nothing. Your situation is probably fairly similar to mine, especially if you have rent. I have rent. It’s hard to make rent when your job is cutting your hours down to four a week—ten if you’re lucky. Maybe you worked at Circuit City or one of the countless other businesses—mom ‘n pop and corporate alike—that have been cutting hours down to zero and closing their doors for the last time. Until recently I worked at Best Buy, which is actually doing fairly well as far as the consumer electronics market is concerned, yet I still was getting shit hours. Hell, Circuit City’s closure isn’t even all that good for Best Buy’s business right away because of liquidation sales. Everyone’s trying to save money. I’ve been hitting up the various dollar menus at fast food places a lot, but you can imagine what that does to my bowel movements and belly shape. Last week we all witnessed the culmination of two years of the word “change” being spouted ad nauseam. Obama says he’s got the change in Washington covered, but that doesn’t fix all of our situations here in Long Beach. Sure, there are simple ways to cut back on spending, but we’re in college. We want to go out with friends for a few drinks every week. We want to see some movies and talk about them like we know what we’re talking about. We want to stay as far away from stereotypes (Top Ramen) as possible and we still want to buy tons of shit without having to forgo a meal or three. If you want to maintain your current lifestyle, you’re going to have to drastically change your current lifestyle. That is not a typo. Being able to do things that you love is still possible if you change the things you do for fun. Take alcohol for example. Just last week Governor Schwarzenegger proposed raising the sin tax for certain alcoholic beverages by a whopping 600 percent, which mainly hits you at the supermarket. Okay, so go to the bars, right? Wrong. After the tax goes through the bar owners, it’s passed on to you. This ostensibly makes an already expensive night out at least a nickel more per drink, and while that may sound like practically nothing, that shit does add up. The solution? Hit up the art galleries on campus. Culture yourself and you might be rewarded in spirits—hosting artists will often supply food and drink to their guests. Don’t feel bad about it either. They want more people to come to their



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UDENT’S ALMANAC shows, that’s the whole point. Just don’t tell them you came for the booze, cheese and crackers. Similarly, you can grab free food at Churches all the time. Don’t worry, like the art galleries they want you there, so it’s not a sin (I think). I find that Presbyterian churches in particular always have some sort of shindig going on where you can partake in celery, carrots, chips, a deluge of dips, and maybe even some shrimp. Those Presbyterians don’t hold back either. I’ve been lucky enough to even come across a church function where they gave out fatty, delicious bratwurst. Don’t judge me. I’m a big guy that loves his German sausages. Nothing wrong with that. Food expenses are an enigma. Nobody really wants to eat poorly, even if I just stated otherwise above. Yeah, bratwurst is great, but I know it’s bad for me. It’s free. I have no money. I’m going to eat it. Healthy food is just too fucking expensive. The only place on campus you can grab a decently healthy meal without having to scour every crevice of the menu is Beach Walk, and everything there is going to cost you around six bucks. Why eat healthy when I can go to Carl’s and grab a spicy chicken sandwich or a hamburger for just 99 cents? Thankfully there is a solution. During the first and second World Wars, the public was urged to grow “victory gardens” to help take the pressure off of the agriculture industry, which was busy trying to feed American soldiers, sailors, and airmen scattered all over the globe. Seeds aren’t that expensive and if you have access to a yard and permission to plant there (check with your landlord, parent, and/or guardian) you could be well on your way to growing your own vegetables. Take those fresh veggies, throw in some spices and baby, you got a stew going. Also, head over to the Deli News on Bellflower and Stearns right here in Long Beach for the best five-dollar, medium pizza you’ll ever have. You can split it with some friends for extra thrift, or you could just save it all for yourself. You’ll pretty much be set on food for three days if you play your cards right. The rest of their menu is similarly fairly cheap and delicious. If you’re feeling especially hungry you can always dumpster dive, which has a bad rep solely from its name,

I assure you. I’m not saying to rifle through your neighbor’s trash, but every single day grocery stores throw out tons of food because it’s a few days away from the expected shelf life. But be smart, please. They throw crap out as a precautionary measure, but that doesn’t mean the stuff isn’t already bad. Stay clear of meats and dairy products. You’re taking your life into your own hands though. So don’t blame me for your lack of foresight if you wind up perched over a toilet for a couple days. It’s an obvious answer, but if you want free shit you can always hit up the library. I’m right there with you—I’d rather own a book than rent it—but when money’s tight sacrifices must be made. I mean damn, half the shit I read isn’t that great anyway. You can always buy the really good ones when you actually have money. And don’t forget movies and CDs, our campus’ library in particular has loads. I spent a good chunk of summer checking out flicks for free. The selection isn’t just dumb entertainment either; they have some pretty great films available. While I love Friday as much as the next guy, they have bona fide classics like Ace In The Hole too, some of which are kind of hard to find at Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. As far as CDs go, just rip them onto your hard drive. Yeah, it’s “illegal,” but I won’t tell if you won’t. The Internet is full of great little nooks and crannies that will give you access to some free media. has a bunch of movies and TV shows that are ripe for the legal taking, and if you’re ever hankering for just one song, but you don’t want to buy an entire album (or even pay the 99 cents on iTunes) you can head over to It’s a helpful tool to help curb spending on a song you might only have the urge to listen to once every other year. Everybody knows to browse for disgustingly cheap textbooks (Amazon is a reliable old bitch too), but how about Chegg lets you rent books and save up to 85 percent from what you’d get at the bookstore. Plus, like Netflix, Chegg offers free return shipping and even allows you to highlight if you do so responsibly. Just don’t mark-up entire paragraphs and you should be okay. If your parents were at all worth a damn they taught

you the boons of borrowing. Think back to those lessons and embrace it, but be careful. I’ve been burned in the past. It seemed like a good idea at the time to let my friend Tyler borrow my copy of the two-disc director’s cut of Zodiac, but that was a good eight months ago and I have since bought a second copy to fill that murderer shaped hole in my heart. Suffice to say I’m not going to let Tyler borrow anything again. Friends are still a great way to get free and cheap deals, as long as you pick the right friends. I always bought stuff for my buddies when I worked at Best Buy and if you know anyone that works at a theater there’s a good chance you can get into some movies for free. Oh, and if any of your pals work at a coffee shop hit them up—they’re required to throw out all of the shop’s baked goods at the end of the night. Take advantage of that and get yourself some goddamn blueberry muffins. It’s about time your friends started sharing again, but be ready to reciprocate. Everyone needs clothes—the very fabric of our republic depends on them to keep discord to a minimum. There’s always the Buffalo Exchange on 2nd Street, but if you’re willing to drive to Downtown LA (extra cheap points if you take the metro) you could check out A&D Wholesale Vintage Clothing for some great deals. While A&D normally sells to retailers, they also host what can only be described as giant warehouse clothing orgies, sans the sex. You pay a ten-dollar cover to get in, but then have access to limitless alcohol and literally tons of clothing priced at a buck an item (or possibly even cheaper depending on when you go). Look them up on MySpace for a listing of any upcoming events. Don’t forget the Fashion District in LA (just make sure you know Spanish and how to haggle) and thrift stores. You remember that hokey Gandhi quote, “Be the change that you want to see in the world?” Take it to heart. Sometimes the hokiest of the hokey are just what we need. If you’re at all feeling the effects of the recession like I am, then I hope there’s something you can use here. Nobody is comfortable with change, let alone changing their routine, but sometimes it’s just necessary. Hopefully these changes are doable and end up making your money situation a little more bearable, if not cozy. UNION WEEKLY

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round this time last year, Loughborough, England’s Kelpe put out his second record, Ex-Aquarium. Due to the lack of an American record deal, this album went largely unnoticed on our soil— this, of course, isn’t helped by the fact that Americans just don’t seem to understand electronic music sometimes. Rather, Kelpe comes to us by way of obscure European music blogs, which is exactly where I came upon this beaut’ (the result of a lucky Google search, I would imagine; I can’t even remember the name of the blog). With an obvious influence from Massive Attack, Kelpe combines electronic sampling, sequencers, and manipulated beats with an abundance of live instruments. The integration is constantly seamless, and the two contrasting elements are almost always complementary. You’ll find the obvious ones listed on his MySpace page: Flying Lotus, Boards of Canada, et all…but Kelpe steers clear of the more brooding trip-hop he’s influenced by, opting instead for a more energetic, beat-heavy sound. It’s exactly the kind of peppy IDM that begs for some mad crazy flow, courtesy of a fly guest MC, if you know what I mean. To be honest, this album might have even benefited from the appearance of one, though it’s certainly a strong record as is. Kelpe’s influences are broad, but never dominate. We hear hints of the obvious: the manipulated guitar-salad at the beginning of “Cut it Upwards” immediately evokes Four

MOST LYKKE LI To SUCCEED AN ARTISt PROFILE It’s easy to mistake Lykke Li as your average cutesy female pop singer: Her lyrics are endearing, rendering the aura of that ever desirable elusive girl, the one you want but can’t ever have. Her voice is ethereal, a smooth, breezy sound as if she is whispering sweet nothings slowly in your ears, always leaving you wanting more. But don’t be fooled by her recent claim to indie-pop fame as Li’s musical talent is one not to be overlooked. In her first full-length album, Youth Novels, Li delivers a convincing performance, showcasing a flurry of experimental noises, disarming vocals, and charminglyricalstructure—regardless of its cutesy nature. Li’s hushed voice is surprisingly commanding, producing an unwitting magnetism of vocal composition. The beats are mostly catchy, catering to electronic riffs and lo-fi techniques in a scattered arrangement of sounds such as wood block jingles, distorted piano melodies and keyboard clatters. In unison, every piece of noise is strong enough to stand on its own while simultaneously complimenting each instrument to reach a balanced harmony. Her coquettish demeanor and cheeky baby-talk may be deceptive but nothing about her style proves childish. Her lyrics are actually very sophisticated, boasting confessional undertones with only a slight hint of mushy romanticism. Nevertheless, she sings with a kind of confidence that magnifies the musical cadences in her voice and contribute to the subtle eccentricities found in her seemingly disoriented music. UNION WEEKLY

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Tet, while “Half-Broken Harp” sounds like it’s about to be a hip-hop song, before launching into a galloping beat with razor-sharp synth lines flitting back and forth. We see where Kelpe comes from, but his originality is always prerserved. His beats and synth sounds are wonderfully original; “Shipwreck Glue” even has manipulated ping-pong balls accentuating its backbeat. Whoever this guy is, he deserves a whole hell of a lot more attention than he’s getting. If I had my way, it would be a matter of time before he was behind the boards for some hip-hop recordings—his instrumentation and production is complicated, but subtle, and the beats are heavy and kinetic. But why is this such a treasure? What is it that makes Kelpe a diamond in the rough? Well, it’s very original, well-put-together, and forward-moving music…but on top of all that, it’s catchy as fuck. Almost every song has a hook. First song proper “Whirlwound” has a really neat drumroll (you’ll know it when you hear it), while “Yippee Space Ghost” boasts rolling keyboard lines reminiscent of Boards of Canada mixed with a mellow backbeat that coasts gently on a wave of cymbal crashes. Whatever the mood, Ex-Aquarium is a fit. The album is broad, but never loses its focus. As a musician, Kelpe’s oriniality is obvious. You can visit Kelp on MySpace, and if you’re looking to buy this record, you’re going to have to shop online— it’s virtually impossible to find stateside.



She utilizes her peculiar vocals to her advantage by experimenting with a range of different song styles, from slow synth-y ballads to classy dance songs. In an interview with New York Magazine, Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn & John, producer of Youth Novels, says of Li’s album, “We wanted to make an album that was danceable and dirty, too.” Like Peter, Bjorn & John, Li comes from an onslaught of up and coming Swedish artists. The Swedish songtress began her musical endeavors in New York’s village underground playing local cafes and pubs. She has even confessed to posing as a famous Swedish pop singer and dressing up in fancy garb just to play the larger stages. Now Lykke Li is on her way to makin’ the big bucks, from traveling back and forth across the pond to play shows and working with artists like Kanye West and Bon Iver to embarking on her third North American tour in the states, which kicks off at the end of January in New York. The bottom line: Lykke Li is not your average female singer-songwriter. She doesn’t perform your typical sappy love song, though she can if she wanted to do. And that’s the best part. Lykke Li doesn’t pretend to be something she’s not. She sings the way she wants with a funky personality and badass attitude. This is not your typical bubble-gum pop, this is seduction doused in electronica and blown with a kiss. It doesn’t hurt that she looks good, too. I’ll toast to this Swedish treat any day.




LINKIN PARK After 3 albums worth of Linkin Park’s frustrated mockery of both rap and metal, there’s just one thing to ask yourself: Are you still mad at your parents? The Linkins have announced that this one will be a concept album, which I guess is their way of excusing their limited range of song structure and lyrical content.

GREEN DAY Remember what a sincere-but-crass opus of poppunk juvenilia Dookie was? And how hollow and farcical American Idiot was in comparison? Green Day has been falling down a set of discographical stairs, becoming more and more a bloodied pulp of the band they once were. Get ready for the next step.

LILY ALLEN Never before has an artist gone so far on so little. Somehow Lily has managed to drum up interest for a follow-up despite a lackluster debut and a string of highly-publicized personal incidents… oh, I get it now. I see what you did there, record execs.

THE FRAY I’m officially going on a hunger strike in protest of this album. The Fray’s music is banal and whiny and mistakes hapless yelping for vocal melody. Normally, I could just avoid buying an album and expect to not hear it, but these guys whore out their music on a gargantuan scale. Look forward to this tripe ruining all of your favorite television shows and every trip to the dentist for at least a year.


Toronto-based group Timber Timbre’s self-titled third album isn’t the kind of album you just download off the Internet. You have to rummage through a wooden trunk in an abandoned basement, blow the dust off the cover, slowly pull the record from its sleeve, and vigilantly place the needle into the grooves. Nevertheless, I downloaded it off the Internet, and yet, I still feel like I’ve discovered some long-forgotten treasure. Timber Timbre is stark and eerie. It could be the

CHRIS CORNELL I have to thank Chris in one aspect: He has provided proof against the long-held theory that Timbaland can make anyone sound hip. So if you liked Soundgarden but thought they should have sounded more like Aaliyah, your day has come.

50 CENT He had the very last bits of his thunder painfully wrung out in his sales duel with Kanye, so this is Fiddy’s first album with something to prove. But of course, anyone who has listened to “In Da Club” can tell you 50’s strength is in his braggadocio, not his can-do attitude. An album full of boasting from a rapper on the decline? Count me out.

THE DECEMBERISTS The band that gave us the “how” on making highbrow, indie elitism and erudition palatable to the masses now must answer a new question: why? Of course their trendiness and clout will assure there’s enough guest performances to make Weezy’s album look sparse, but none of that will keep Colin Meloy from sounding like Professor Frink. In your eye, hipsters.

ghost-like quivering violins, the throbbing organs, and diminished chord progressions. It could be Taylor Kirk’s voice (very similar to Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) or his grim lyrics, “You dug me out of this shallow grave / with your Swiss army knife. / Only you could revive me / so badly decomposed.” It’s all these qualities that make Timber a great album for the stranger audiophiles – the ones who don’t pride themselves on their pop sensibilities. It’s blues the way Son House or Blind Willie Johnson might have done it. On “Trouble Comes Knocking” you can hear Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” thrashing about on the floor and slowly rise to the Vox Continental organ sounds of The Animals’ version of “House of the Rising Sun.” Then

Every time you buy a new U2 album, a Sudanese child is rescued. Well, no, but that’s what Bono would like you to believe. If you really want to hear U2 at their best listen to Joshua Tree. And if you want more recent U2, go pick up a Coldplay album. It’s essentially the same thing, but without all the guitars.

BLUE OCTOBER This should be a no-brainer. I emphasize “should” because apparently there are still people who love this band despite their more desperate and maudlin tendencies. Expect them to once more trot out new “mixes” of old songs in hopes of getting more singles for less songwriting.

THIRD EYE BLIND I love Third Eye Blind. When I think of the 1990s, their songs immediately come to mind. Unfortunately, these are not the ‘90s and “Non-Dairy Creamer” is possibly the most insipid song ever written. Go ahead, look it up. It’s like “We Didn’t Start the Fire” after a lobotomy.

NO DOUBT I was about to say something like “Hey, let’s just give this a chance,” thinking that maybe her dalliances with overproduced pop music might have given her a better sense of what made No Doubt’s sunny sneering work so well. Then I realized that’s the musical equivalent of the ditzy best friend in the slasher film saying “Look! An abandoned funhouse! Let’s check it out!” there’s the second track, “Lay Down in the Tall Grass,” in which you can instantly hear Screamin’ Jay Hawkin’s guttural “I Put a Spell on You.” The last track, “No Bold Villain” is a hauntingly cinematic song with lines like, “You took North when things went South,” and “To have a soul-mate you need a soul.” I’m not sure how many dark albums like this we’re going to hear this year, considering the economic downturn and general societal gloom, but it’s still early 2009 and Timber Timbre is worth holding onto during a year that is bound to produce upbeat and unfettered pop songs. Hold back the urge to cling onto Peter, Bjorn & John’s new single “Nothing to Worry About” and let Timber fester in your inherently pessimistic soul the way it was meant to. UNION WEEKLY

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’m going to be straight with you, Union readers. I’m a nerd. A geek. Whichever, pick your poison. I grew up flipping through comics and watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones on a loop. I’m sad to say that I read a series of books called Dragonlance for basically all of junior high and an embarrassingly large chunk of high school. Eventually I moved on to what’s commonly referred to as literature and left childish things like goblins and aliens behind me. They never really left me though. I still have a passion for genre, which may as well be a four-letter word in most literary circles nowadays. It isn’t just fantasy that makes most lit snobs cringe, either. Horror, sci-fi and even crime and war stories frequently get the axe. It’s rare that you’ll see anything like that published in any major literary magazine. Even if you go to a Barnes & Noble or a Borders you’ll

find all of these books shunned to their own shelves, gazing longingly at the Fiction/Literature sections. Then my favorite writer, Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay), teamed up with Dave Eggers’ (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) publishing powerhouse McSweeney’s to edit a couple issues of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. The result is two collections of short stories that focus mostly on genre-based short stories by a who’s who of contemporary authors. Chabon reasons that the short story has been reduced solely to real life, moment-of-truth fiction, while its history is based firmly in genre. Twain wrote in genre, as did Fitzgerald and, of course, Poe. I mean, even “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce, which Kurt Vonnegut called the best American short story ever written, is genre. The two books, McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales and McSweeney’s Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories, have their ups and downs like any short story collection, but they’re both worth buying. Thrilling Tales houses what’s probably the best Nick Hornby work I’ve read since High Fidelity, called “Otherwise Pandemonium,” and a fantastic crime/western story, “How Carlos Webster Changed His Name to Carl and Became a Famous Oklahoma Lawman” by Elmore Leonard, which is probably my favorite story in either book. Not to mention that Stephen King, probably the most well-known name in genre fiction, contributes a story to each collection. In my mind King is often overlooked as a true master of the written word and is viewed by many as a writer of cheap, “popcorn fiction.” His submission to Thrilling Tales, “The Tale of Gray Dick,” is a nice tip of the hat to his loyal fans as it fits nicely into the continuity of his popular Dark Tower series. Don’t worry if you have yet to be inducted into the King fanbase though,

“Lisey and the Madman” in Astonishing Stories is both easily accessible to new King readers and a salaciously spooky story. Besides being great reads, both collections are gorgeous—recycling covers from actual pulp books and featuring brand new artwork by comic book powerhouses Mike Mignola (Hellboy) and Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!) for Astonishing Stories and Thrilling Tales, respectively. In my mind Chabon’s books do give validity to genre again. I don’t feel like it’s a stigma to tell people I like stories that prominently feature lone gunmen, interdimensional travel, or zombies, after reading them. It’s important to remember that rules, even the most contemporary, are meant to be broken.


Heroes get remembered, but legends never die MATT FOSTER DUPREE It’s the same old story (This article, I mean. Not the book). Last year David Foster Wallace shuffled himself off the mortal coil and it suddenly got us all reading his works again. But before you crucify me for chasing hearsts like they were bookmobiles, let’s get one thing straight: David Foster Wallace is, was, and always will be an amazing writer. He’s worthy of praise now after his death just as he was before it and just as he’ll continue to be for as long as we praise great authors. That said, on with the review. Consider The Lobster is, for clarification sake, a series of essays and short nonfiction compiled in no certain order with no discernible greater scheme. It begins with a story about the porn industry, then slides into a gleeful and decimating review of an Updike novel, and then hits Kafka, dictionaries, lobsters, John McCain, tennis star Tracy Austin, and Dostoevsky (and the study thereof) before he’s through. Suffice to say, if you were looking for a grounded piece of nonfiction to liven up your school year, your search shan’t end here. I have to say though, if you were to go with the topical flow as I did, it does have a very detached humor (not unlike Wallace’s prose) to each article’s juxtaposition to its neighbors. So what do you say, huh? Give it a chance and buy a copy? Great! Go ahead and buy one, I’ll wait here. UNION WEEKLY 26 JANUARY 2009

Alright, the first thing you ought to know is that DFW is a thesauric motherfucker. He will drop all sorts of outer-space vocabulary and so you might want to have a Googling device handy. I won’t insult the general intelligence of my audience, but I know I sure as shit ran to find the dictionary when I read the word “Prolegomenous” (adj. remarking beforehand). The second thing you’ll need to know is that Dave loves him some footnotes. The book is littered with them. In fact, during one story they begin to split off into their own separate tale, clogging up the pages of my poor little paperback. Thankfully, they’re illuminating and interesting and they make the main story even more of a joy. So go ahead, reader. Squint and bear it for those tiny little lines at the bottom. Now that you’re all set to read, allow me to ruin it slightly by telling you what I liked most about Consider The Lobster: the imagery. More specifically, the way the imagery wasn’t actually serving as imagery. Well, sure, I could see the porn conventions and Maine Lobster Festivals in my mind, but more importantly I could see in his descriptions the tone of the places. The deflated spectacle of the porn stars posing with porn fans, the awkward stoicism of Lobster-eaters trying not to think about the animals being massacred freshly by the hundreds. It was all there for me to discover. I hope you’ll feel the same way.

Consider this lobster: reaching the stars, as though beckoning the reader onward. Or maybe it’s saying,“Hi.”


[Thesoundofababycrying] cold sheets

This page is dedicated, simply, to the male artist’s perception of the female as a lover or a sexual being (and I apologize for the apparent heteronormativity), but whether they create a sense of the other or not is a point worth arguing. Carey’s poem creates a sense of defamiliarization with the concept of a woman, avoiding, notably, the pronoun she; Cornejo’s work of surrealist romance makes the reader wonder: are there two lovers or one; and Diaz penetrates a somewhat clouded view of human relations and the more self-destructive parts of the psyche. These works can be seen as descriptions of women, but above that they are self-reflexive—what does the narrative say about the speaker-author. If you have a poem that discusses the male human as lover, please submit to

8 Views of Beautiful Women

ERIC CORNEJO uddenly my eyes were open, and I dearly regretted it. The white popcorn ceiling, the white walls, the white comforter, the white sheets, the silky white skin of her bare back lightly spotted with the faintest freckles. My hand slowly crossed the dark space between our bodies, perched up on her hip, looked around and slid over to the other side. I moved my body in closer and closer, as close as I could without actually becoming her. A fragrance of pure warmth and consolation wrapped itself around my face like a shawl and I immediately fell away from my body as it stirred with a buzz that illuminated from my head and outwards to some point unrelated to my flesh. Wake up. Please wake up. My fingertips dip weightlessly into her belly button, trace the invisible silk hairs and stray across to her hip bone and follow its curve towards flesh even more soft and welcoming. My hand pulls away as I turn over and release a sigh. My face is hot, my eyes unseeing and my fingers find their way up to the top of my head, knotting themselves and pulling out the roots from the soft moist soil of my scalp.

I. Hobbling down the path Wearing a sundress raped By the wind, crutches straddling Either side; legs like broken Stems bent at the joints.

III. A small freckled breast, red From sunburn, strapped down Tight to the ribs, heaving forward And back lightly, peeling just Slightly, revealing a soft, new pink.

II. Two protuberant lips gasping For the air, giving a coveted glance, Peaking out, a deep purple blossom Hidden under a mini-skirt relinquishing It’s sweet pungency in ovulation.

IV. Walking out the door of a church, Barely awake and hung-over, Collar wrapped up tight around The nape, protecting three round bruises From the scoffing eyes’ careful prying.


DAVID DIAZ i opened my eyes and saw her next to me the taste of vomit was fresh in my mouth and the damp spots of tears cold against my cheek i smiled and looked down at her laying in my blankets her naked body riddled with the breeze of the morning sky i ran my hand along her back shivers rippling up my arm false accomplishment washed over me the beer cans around the bed and the feeling of dizziness telling me a brief story one i’d pretend to not remember at lunch i swing my legs over the side of the bed put my shirt on a pair of shoes i walk to the door placing my hand on the knob guilt i look back over my shoulder with one eye and smile as i open the door and lock it behind me no such a beauty as empty space

V. With a large round belly, emptied, Screams drown a stillborn love Congealing in the bowl; blood covering The floor, dripping from hands, hair, Forehead and cunt. The water rises and drains.

VII. Dappled with moonlight, fingers And nails, bit down and crusted With blood in the corners, penetrate The soil, tending peony, messaging Roots deep within the earth.

VI. Lids closed, shaking wildly in Juxtaposition of a warm hand’s touching And the cool air’s unrelenting embrace On tender skin pulling back, retracting, Recoiling in on itself.

VIII. A web of wrinkles enforce The look of a smile, even now, In the room with curtains pulled; A corpse that passed calmly two days Before slowly collects dust in its creases.

Award Winning Tattoo Artists and Expert Body Piercers Established in 1983

Kari Barba’s



26 JANUARY 2009




26 JANUARY 2009



Koo Koo and Luke by Jesse Blake



You’re STUCK Here! by Victor! Perfecto

We’re done hibernating... Send feedback to: Or leave comments at the Union office Student Union Office 239


Drunken Penguin Presents... by James Kislingbury



Humanation by Travis Ott-Conn


26 JANUARY 2009


excuse me,


there’s soup

in my fly



turn on my T.V. Now, my entire life I’ve been taught that to make it in this world, it would take hard work. Athletes trained for years, honing their bodies while businessmen studied endlessly. So, imagine my surprise when I tuned my television to the Travel Channel and saw Andrew Zimmermann getting paid to put gross stuff in his mouth. He found a way to turn being the kid who was dared to eat things in third grade into a lucrative career! I knew instantly that if it came down to hard work or swallowing a bug, I’d rather get my fork, so off I went. Located in the convenient Santa Monica airport, I found off the beaten path Typhoon, a very upscale restaurant that serves bugs. The menu looked enticing with promises of Singapore-style scorpions and Chambi ants, so I hopped into my car with some friends and family and navigated my way over. Though finding the airport is no easy task, we arrived to find that the restaurant was actually quite stylish, not the back-alley, third-world environment I was expecting. The décor was very Asian-inspired equipped with a

big injection of pilot culture, thanks to the locale. One of the more defining parts of the meal was actually watching the planes take off from the runway outside of the restaurant window. We sat down for the meal, I instantly demanded creepy-crawlies to fill my stomach, and they obliged. Now, before I go any further I should explain my real stance on eating bugs, and anything gross in general. Cooking, as an art, was originally developed as a way of making unbearable things people had to eat into quite the opposite, meals they could actually enjoy. This became twisted somewhere along the way, and now people think that because they can make steak taste good, they’re freakin’ Iron Chefs. I, however, give a lot more respect to the chef with enough courage to prepare nasty bits into great meals, and enough faith in their skills to put them on the menu. You meet a chef with that much chutzpah, you order whatever he feels like cooking for you. Now, onto the bugs. The first course was Chambi Ants with potato strings and Taiwanese crickets

typhoon, pan-asian restaurant santa monica, ca sprinkled on top. The crickets were okay (like eating chips, but with tiny insect souls), but I really liked the ants on this dish. Lemony and a bit sour, I’m definitely sprinkling some on my next hot dog. My only complaint on this dish was, well, not enough of the crickets. The next dish was scorpion, the one I had really been looking forward to. It came with shrimp toast and a spicy-sweet sauce, and when I first bit in, my reaction was…disappointment. You could hardly taste any scorpion! I would definitely recommend it for people who feel like grossing out friends without the bad bug-they-found-on-the-lawn aftertaste. Now, I think it’s noteworthy to mention that after the six and eight-legged appetizers, we were served some damn fine cuisine. The crispy duck was probably the best part of my life, and the Mongolian beef was just astounding, thanks to puffy, light sesame buns served with it. Overall, if you’re looking for a special occasion meal (it does get pricey) and you’re not afraid of a drive, I would recommend Typhoon to anyone wanting a good meal or to push his or her culinary boundaries.

a gourmet oasis: exploring the Laguna Culinary Arts MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN

As obvious as this might sound, Orange County is not San Francisco. Us Southern Californians don’t have the same luxuries when it comes to gourmet food. Enter Laguna Culinary Arts (LCA), located right off PCH in Laguna Beach. This one-stop-shop offers a variety of cooking classes, a wine cellar, and a gourmet cheese shop all at a very friendly venue. The Cooking Classes at the LCA are definitely the main attraction. The shop provides a variety of courses in a comfortable well-furnished environment. However, it was the gourmet cheese shop that finally got me to make the trek to this food Mecca. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I walked into the place and I was a little overwhelmed by the UNION WEEKLY

26 JANUARY 2009

sheer selection crammed into such a small little store. The cheese shop was organized by country, with American and Italian Cheeses on one counter and Spanish Cheeses on the other counter. Within each counter was every type of cheese imaginable, all of which were available to put in sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or on a cheese plate along with two other selections of cheese, nuts and raisins. After countless samples and the helpful clerk offering her own suggestions. I finally settled on a luxurious triple cream Brie, (which I was assured was the “ice cream of cheeses”) a delicious hearty cheddar, and an Italian cheese with truffles mixed into it. To complete my plate, I opted to add some prosciutto from

their selection of charcuterie. All three were amazing, but the truffle cheese and the Brie were the real winners. After clearing the plate of all the cheese and garnishes, I decided to look around the store and get some supplies for my kitchen. I found a variety of expensive herbs and seasonings, including truffles and saffron, all well out of my price range. After sampling some more fantastic cheeses and meats, I settled on a magnificent Manchego cheese, some Chorizo, and some smoked paprika. All told I only spent 40 dollars for the whole affair, and left with a very memorable afternoon and some brilliant ideas for many meals to come. I definitely recommend a day trip to Laguna to experience the variety of delights and inspirations this little shop provides.




he battle between digital and film photography is an argument that will trouble the hipster community for years to come. But for me, my heart stays true to the candid thrills of good ol’ film photography. And thanks to the Lomographic Society, the masses have found in their sticky little hands a new toy, a small plastic camera fit for creative greatness. The Lomographic Society’s collection of medium format toy cameras such as the Diana+, the Holga and LC-A models have sparked a huge following in the artistic community over the last few years. It’s appeal? Blurry, over-saturated images with accidental style effects such as vignetting (darkened edges), light leaks, color filters and double exposures—in laymen’s terms, an otherwise shitty looking photo is nonetheless, artsy and retro-looking. Awesome. Considering the hype with highly influential indie photographer Terry Richardson, the man responsible

for inspiring those delicious American Apparel ads, it’s no surprise to hear of the LOMO camera’s growing popularity, especially in the so-called “hipster” scene. The unconventional style of candid and impromptu shots has become somewhat representative of our culture; it mirrors the unpredictable nature of our lives, the “carpe diem” philosophy that we held so close to our hearts before the Polaroid died, or maybe that was just me. The LOMO camera’s low-tech appeal allows us to create something unique and discover a myriad of new photographic techniques regardless if it was accidental. Of course, there are many who’ll question the artistic integrity of Lomographic art or film in general. What really separates a Holga photo from being a “shitty” photo? In my eyes, it’s simple. The saturation and light leaks hark back to B&W vintage eras and images of our parents in their prime. The altered photos emit nostalgic undertones and avant-garde visual perspectives or what I like to call giving the photos character. We learn to embrace the imperfections. Gone are the god-awful

Myspace poses from your 4.0 mega-pixel point and shoot—now is the era of blurry, color-filtered pictures of clouds and fallen leaves, spontaneous fish-eye shots of cityscapes and your unsuspecting lover in the morning. I know, I sound pretty fuckin’ pretentious. But Lomography isn’t high art (though some try to convince themselves it is), it’s instead an interaction between the masses, an honest recording of our lives as we live it. And despite the frustration with over-hyped trends and that annoying chick at parties who won’t stop taking pictures, I can appreciate the artistic influence of what I am now calling the LOMO Revolution. The cult-following is inspired by the D.I.Y. personality of a LOMO camera, it feeds off the unexpected outcome of a single moment and we as an artistic collective are able to embrace history in a vivid image that we produced on our own. Our own personal perspectives are outfitted in medium format, a form of raw historical record in which we can’t beat, but instead, are more than happy to join.


26 JANUARY 2009


This page is satire. We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Dookie cigar. Send rags to

“If worst comes to shove.”

Volume 64 Issue 01

Monday, January 26th, 2009


Local Man Creates World’s Best Burn

Kimmy Michaels (left), “J-Bunni” (middle), and a passerby comfort each other outside of a nearby Del Taco.

Area Bulimics Brave Anorexia to Save Economy BY DRUNKEN SAILOR LONG BEACH, CA – Historically, economic crises are times of social change. Hemlines are lowered and communities brought together. The current recession is no exception, but one group in particular stands out in their efforts to ease the burden of the current financial situation: our very own CSULB sorority girls. A recent census revealed a dramatic decrease in the amount of food consumed by sororities in the last year. “Sororities have always been into like, helping people and stuff,” Kimmy Michaels, acting president of Delta Zeta Epsilon’s CSULB chapter, said when asked about the change. “When I heard about this whole recession business, I was really excited because it sounds a lot like recess, and I mean, who doesn’t like that? But when I found out that it’s totally not the same thing, I was still excited because it means that it’s a really awesome opportunity to help people.” Kimmy’s plan is deceptively simple: encourage her sorority to stop eating, so that there is more food to go around. “When I told my girls

we wouldn’t be having pizza at meetings anymore ’cause of the economy and stuff, they were really upset at first, but now they’re totally cool with it. It didn’t take much convincing once I pointed out that we just throw it up anyway.” It has been a little over a month since Kimmy put her plan into action, and the results speak for themselves. “It’s way better now,” said Jenypher “J-Bunni” Bernard, another member of Delta Zeta. “At first we were like oh-em-gee, Kimmy is being like a total dictator, but we gave it a shot, and now almost all the girls are even skinnier than we were before. Plus, we have way more money to spend on clothes now, cause we’re not buying food or black market laxatives.” Countless community members have expressed their gratitude to the girls of Delta Zeta, but Kimmy remains modest. “No, I wouldn’t say I’m a hero,” she said, twirling a strand of her highlighted hair around a tan finger, “just like a normal person who wants to help.” But to a nation reeling from the effects of the worst economy since the Great Depression, Kimmy is just that: a hero.

Confetti raining down on a crowd of people as the result of another head-exploding burn.

BY JEFF BRIDGES, ACTOR LONG BEACH, CA – Local music enthusiast Chris Harrison reportedly created the world’s best burn at a party last Saturday. After overhearing a group of his friends discussing the popular pop group “The Jonas Brothers”, Harrison reportedly replied: “Jonas Brothers? More like JonASS BOTHERS.” Several eyewitnesses reported mass confusion in the wake of the zinger. No serious injuries occurred but several of the party’s attendants reported falling out of a chair and suffering from a coma. Some also recall hearing a record scratch as the entire party fell silent. Attendant Jonathan Baker told reporters that the burn was actually “a double burn when you think about it,” thus making it all the more effective. “Not only did he call the band ‘ass’” Baker continued, “he also said that the band bothers him, and he barely even changed

any of the letters. I am still in shock. I’m not sure how the band will recover.” Long Beach scientist Julie Cranson confirmed that the burn was in fact “devastating” and that the source material was “masterfully crafted for optimal zing.” BREAKING NEWS: just minutes ago at a press conference regarding his insult, Chris Harrison may have outdone himself. An unwitting reporter used the bands abbreviated name “The JoBros” when asking a question. A sly grin appeared on Harrison’s face as he muttered “more like JoBlows.” The reporter exploded into a burst of confetti and every woman present was suddenly topless. Harrison had been warned earlier by the authorities about just such an incident and was taken into custody. The Jonas Brothers have been taken to an undisclosed location to protect them from any further abuse. They reportedly will use their time in hiding to write “a song about a girl.”


Road Blocked for Reenactment Marine Given Wrong Directions Satanists Come Out to Show of First Gay Pride Parade PAGE R4 to Inauguration PAGE MC Support for New President PAGE AC


The Poor Student's Almanac

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