WHAT CHARITY SAYS ABOUT US
ISSUE 64.12 “Thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true you’re a pal and a confidant.” -from the theme song to Golden Girls, R.I.P. Bea Arthur
MAIL TO THE CHIEF LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MIKE “BEEF” PALLOTTA
ord has it Bea Arthur died on Saturday. She was 86. Onto the mail:
[Editor’s Note: This letter is from Briton Saxton, Asst. General Manager of KBeach. She sent us this letter just a few days prior to us contacting her to be on our cover (yeah, that’s her) and be interviewed for our feature on KBeach and its 10th Anniversary event (Tuesday, April 28th) for this week’s issue. Check out the feature on pages 8-9.] So I was reading your fine paper last week. And after reading the Grunion and laughing to myself creepily as I waited for my ride (too soon with the “Angels” pic by the by) I started to read the innards of the paper. And I went to the article “What Charity Says About Us” [Issue 10 - April 13th]. The ending left me with a gross feeling in my gut and I think this is because I’ve had trouble trying to comprehend the same things. Why do those commercials always make me feel guilty but not enough to pick up the phone? And as the ending says, “None of it matters.
And I want to know why.” Same here, let me tell you! I read this book one time called The Power of Now. Terrible book, don’t ever read it (unless you like a good mind rape). The stuff in it is pretty heavy. But the reason I hate it is because it’ll throw all these concepts at you but then not follow it up with any substance. For example, and this is the example I’m speaking of, the author says that only “conscious” human beings will evolve into the future. The rest, the “unconscious” will be doomed and, not only that, will as a collective prevent others from becoming conscious. Still with me? If you’re not I completely understand. Basically this book is saying if we don’t all wake up as a whole we’re all doomed. But it doesn’t go into further details of how to prevent this other than “you must figure it out for yourself.” Fuck that shit! So because I don’t reach the golden lotus level of meditation I’m not truly awake? Fuck. That. Shit. Anyways, this book fucked with me for a while and thus, I hate it. But sadly the things I read did stick with me and I’ll recall a passage from time to time.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Like this time for example! This letter is kind of long and I’m not even sure exactly what I’m trying to get at. I guess I just wanted to say that I can relate, and I too am confused as fuck and I’m sure many other college age humans can say the same. Although I suppose in a sense being confused isn’t too bad. It sucks at the time, but it gives you the opportunity to figure things out. And maybe we can be the “conscious” people who reach the golden lotus level or whatever the fuck it is and perhaps pull our species into the future. Who knows, I liked your article though… -B-Sax Dear B-Sax, Sure you wanna go by that name? Anywho, we appreciate the kind words about our publication. We always hope to inspire thought with our articles. I like your letter so much I’m putting you on the cover this week. Ask Away! Need advice from a man named Beef? Any questions/comments? Well send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
ALTERNATE SHOTS FROM THE KBEACH FEATURE ON PG. 8-9 It was clear to me walking into the KBeach station that serious changes were being made. Gone are the shroud of posters that once hid the station from the view of passersby. We can now see who truly runs the radio waves, and I can’t be more excited to say that it’s one of us. -Kathy Miranda, Managing Editor
MIKE PALLOTTA Editor-in-Chief KATHY MIRANDA Managing Editor JOE BRYANT Managing Editor
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
MATT DUPREE firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Editor RACHEL RUFRANO email@example.com Opinions Editor JAMES KISLINGBURY firstname.lastname@example.org News Director CAITLIN CUTT email@example.com Literature Editor & PR JOE BRYANT firstname.lastname@example.org Entertainment Editor SEAN BOULGER email@example.com Music Editor & PR MICHAEL VEREMANS firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Arts Editor VICTOR CAMBA email@example.com Comics Editor KATHY MIRANDA firstname.lastname@example.org Culture Editor SOPHISTICATED BEAR email@example.com Grunion Editor CLAY COOPER, STEVEN CAREY Graphic Designers KATHY MIRANDA Cover Photo CLAY COOPER Cover Design JOE BRYANT On-Campus Distribution CLAY COOPER firstname.lastname@example.org Internet Caregiver ALLAN STEINER email@example.com Advertising Executive VINCENT GIRIMONTE, ERIN HICKEY, ALAN PASSMAN, JASON OPPLIGER, CHRISTINE HODINH, JESSE BLAKE, DOMINIC MCDONALD, HILLARY CANTU, RUSSELL CONROY, ANDREW LEE, KEN CHO, CHELSEA ROSENTHAL, ANDY KNEIS, MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN, SIMONE HARRISON, JOE HAUSER, TESSA NEVAREZ, JOHN YANG, KEVIN O’BRIEN, TRAVIS OTT-CONN, CHRIS FABELA, JOE HAMMOND, JESSICA WILLIAMS, MONA KOZLOWSKI, STEVE WORDEN, KATRINA GUEVARA, VISHAL GOKLANI, KYLE MORENO, ELISE McCUTCHEN 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 : 562.985.8161 E-MAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org WEB : lbunion.com
28 APRIL 2009
NEWS A MAN, A PLAN, A CANAL, ASI WE CHAT IT UP WITH CHRIS CHAVEZ, ASI’S NEW PRESIDENT JAMES KISLINGBURY
f you missed it, there was an ASI election two weeks ago that occurred online. In the first round of voting 3,600 students remembered to vote (roughly 10% of the student body), garnering results that were too close to call. A run-off election was held netting only 2,200 votes. After the dust settled, a winner of the ASI presidency was declared. That winner is Chris Chavez, current ASI Vice President, who won with a margin of 28 votes. Now, the more cynical among you might be thinking “Student government? Don’t they just do dances and put streamers on things?” Well, buddy, you got some nerve. Chris Chavez knows about the skepticism he will face as ASI president next year and has faced in his previous years in student government. He’s been working with ASI since his freshman year in 2005. During that time there was talk from the academic senate of changing the university’s grading policy. The plan under discussion would have changed the grading policy from straight grading (which it seems to have always been and still is) to add plus or minus scores. “For example, if you got a B, it might be a B- or a B+ now.” In Chavez’s mind (and the minds of others on ASI at the time) the policy was complicated and inconsistent. In time the resistance against the change caused the policy to fail. “Having that kind of influence as a freshman really set the course on how I felt about ASI.” Chavez also talked about the importance of the more than 300 student organizations on campus, many of which he has visited with over the course of his ASI career, not merely during campaign time. He also talked about how he wants ASI to be involved in student events and how they’re “a big part of campus life.” He did complain about the common conception that we’re
GHOST OF DEBS
a commuter campus and how people think that there’s no communities on campus because of it. This is false, he maintains. “So much goes on here,” he says, including “the Phillipino Cultural Night, it’s an amazing show, first class production,” and “this whole Greek week. It’s an amazing thing for a great cause. I want to make sure that our ASI leaders are in tune with that and visiting these events during the course of the year.” He believes that one of the more important things he’s done occurred during his junior year, when he took part in a committee to hire a new administrator, Lynn Mahoney, who is currently Associate Vice Principle for Undergraduate Studies. “This person was going to determine how undergraduate studies works for maybe the next ten years and by all indications she’s been an amazing person. . . She’s been very responsive to student concerns.” Of course, not everything is all sunshine and rainbows for the new ASI president. Chris spoke with us about how the current budget woes the state is suffering from are going to be a fact of life, and it is going to be his primary concern to minimize any impact those cuts are going to have on the Beach. He also lamented about the lack of coordination in CSULB’s student advising system. While the cyncism towards student government will likely continue until the dawn of time or we get super intelligent robots to run our affairs, there will be at least one person that has hope for the future of Long Beach. He claims that this year’s ASI government headed by current president Erin Swetland is the strongest he’s ever seen. To him, his job is “working with the university, working with the faculty, working with the staff and figuring out how we can make our campus community stronger.”
Huge parts of our culture and society exist in relation to war, to such a point that A NATION AT WAR, A WORLD AT WAR its overtures are inextricable from our everyday lives. For MICHAEL VEREMANS instance, the Beatles’ music We are a nation at war, still. We have often interpreted not only the situation been in and out of very violent, pro- in Vietnam, but also depicted the strugtracted armed conflicts around the globe gles going on internally at home and the as far back as anyone can remember. We youth revolution that blossomed. And have all grown up in the shadow of the Che Guevara has come to represent revonuclear bomb in a country that contin- lutionary war, but not peace. Our generaues to make neo-colonialist overtures de- tion of baby boomers are a direct result spite persistent international and internal of post-WWII society and many of our pressure. Our national consciousness is homeless and disabled are veterans with deeply affected by war and the capitalist memories of war, thrown to the curb. We economy that supports it are intimately see it everywhere, undeniably. rooted in its violent enterprise, so it is Military advertising continues to reno surprise that the US invaded Afghani- mind us that the Army is just another firm stan on October 7t, 2001 and then Iraq invested in death, exploiting impoverished on March 20, 2003, initiating the wars we and confused youth. This university itself are still perpetrating today. receives funding for developing military
The New ASI President, Chris Chavez, looking pensively into the future or maybe at a crow or something. I don’t know. Photo by Kathy Miranda
projects, like many other supposed highereducation institutions nation-wide, where young researchers must become party to world destruction to be profitable. It is easy for these hypocritical bourgeoisies to be pacifists while filling their bank accounts with bloody money; because they have their digital weapons systems, so their skilled technicians never have to see the reality of a charred body. But all of the pleasantries are still there—soldiers come back with perpetual nightmares and mental disabilities due to the chemicals used in modern warfare and almost every female soldier will be raped during her term of service. Realize, every taxpayer is intimately involved in not only the wars the US is involved in outright, but also to all the conflicts scarring our globe right now. We trade in global instability because it facilitates neo-colonialist exploitation and provides a medium for ignorance. The FARC
narco rebels and the cartels of Northern Mexico are responsible for thousands of deaths a month in Latin America and the United Sates, Los Angeles in particular. They make money and we make money off of them so that no politicians stand against the horrific murders that are a direct result of the coca trade. In Somalia, Kashmir, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Israel/Palestine, Peru, Chechnya, Papua New Guinea, Darfur, Liberia, and Algeria there are wars and if you haven’t heard of one of them, look it up. Numerous Western countries not wracked by war are taking part in the conflicts in other lands. It is a phenomenon that has spanned time, but we are no longer living in the dark, squabbling for meager resources; we are citizens of a radically abundant world. We must instigate an end to every cycle of violent exploitation and end our perpetual state of war. UNION WEEKLY
28 APRIL 2009
N-WORD AND WHY IT STILL YIELDS POWER ELISE MCCUTCHEN
Illustration CHRIS FABELA
want to talk about the N-word. You know which one I’m referring to. Before I begin, I want to clarify that I realize how late I am with this. The term has been the subject of countless debates, and the NAACP has even held its funeral. Despite all of this talk, I don’t really feel as if the issue has been resolved, as I’m sure it won’t be at this article’s close. I think it’s important to continue the dialogue regarding this word and its power, especially when it’s still used on a regular basis in films, music and conversation. I’ve said the N-word once in my entire life. I think I’d been listening to a lot of Immortal Technique, or something along those lines, and it just felt right, normal. But as soon as the word came out of my mouth, I realized that it definitely wasn’t. My throat burned and my stomach felt sick. I wished that I could take it back, that such a naive and ignorant mistake could be corrected so no one else could hold me accountable for it but myself. I hoped that my dad couldn’t hear me utter that bad word through the thin walls of my parents’ house, because my slip of the tongue was not just a demonstration of disrespect to generations of African Americans, but to him, personally. Clearly, I believe in the power of language. Anything that could inspire such an acute physical and emotional reaction in me so quickly has to be important. It has to mean something more than just the movement of my lips and tongue and whatever else goes into the act of speech. People say the N-word is just a word, but I can’t accept that argument’s assumption that a word is something minor. I think UNION WEEKLY
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this word, along with other forms of hate speech, exemplifies this point clearly. There is a history behind the N-word; it didn’t come into common usage with MTV. My dad, who grew up in the South in the 1960s, has described this history to me most effectively. In addition to attending a segregated school until the 6th grade, he was kept out of other public places for no reason other than the color of his skin. And in these instances, that word was used. It was used as a means of degradation, a tool to set another group apart as “the other” and classify them as inferior to a strict and exclusive perception of the ideal. I have a problem using any vocabulary that affected my father in this manner. Of course, people argue that using the word regularly is taking control of it, draining it of its power. I understand that logic, but I don’t think it accounts for the fact that, although the N-word may have lost some of its meaning, it isn’t void of all its negative connotations yet. It may never be. If this is the case, isn’t it doing a disservice to those that came before you to release the word consistently into popular culture, as rappers and comedians often do? Too many people seem to think the use of this word will remain in the African American community, but that’s impossible if it’s present in the lyrics of the number one album in the country. Once it’s released into the public arena, the authors of this language have no control over it any longer. They are no longer able to drain the N-word of its power or, for that matter, prevent it from gaining even more. And it’s hard to deny that
there’s something wrong with fans (of any race) using the language that oppressed these rappers’ parents and grandparents. Ultimately, I’m not writing this to force anyone to limit their language. I won’t faint if I hear the N-word in music or people say it in my presence. It’s not my place to police anyone’s language, I just want to encourage you to think about your vocabulary: the history behind it and the people it affects. It’s so easy to regurgitate something you have heard in a song or seen in a movie, especially in a forum like the internet, where we are separated from the power of our words
through the masking of others’ immediate reactions to them. People forget that their words have significance outside of the context of their conversation. Using hate speech casually goes beyond just offending a few people you couldn’t care less about. When you toss something like the N-word around without thought, you’re doing a disservice to yourself, communicating that the words you put on paper or speak to other people are not worthy of your careful consideration. And if you don’t take your own words seriously, why should anyone else?
WE CAN T BE FRIENDS ’
BECAUSE OF YOUR FACE SIMONE HARRISON
MATT DUPREE When I was a freshman in high school, I was forced to take the bus home because neither of my parents got off of work by 3pm. By that point in my development, the school bus had lost all of the luster it held when I was kid. I no longer found the strange smells exotic or fascinating as I used to, and the thick, greasy, tar-and-canvas material of the seats no longer called out to me to gnaw on it as I had as a child (i’m not proud of that part). As far as I was concerned, the bus ride in high school was a thing to be carried out with shame. Only the possibility of my friends riding made it bearable, but my only bus-riding compadres were on-again-off-again with their bus patronage. So for at least 40% of the school year, I had to deal with Bikram all by myself. Bikram was a kid who was part-legend, partjoke throughout his school career. He was Sikh and wore a turban (which was probably what begat the whole issue) and he was one of the most talkative people I have ever met. Not a day went by where the bus driver didn’t yell “Bikram!” at least four or five times to get him to stop crawling over the back of his seat so he could talk to whomever was behind him. And every time he talked to me, I’d start up “the game” with him. Bikram wasn’t aware of the game going on, but it had very specific rules which I followed to a tee. First, I had to get Bikram to talk about something. Secondly, I had to tell him he was wrong about some portion of the story. Third, I had to have him almost convinced by the time my stop came up that he had no idea what he was talking about. When he told me that he worked for his father’s Baskin Robbins franchise, I convinced him he had been forced to work illegally and that he should sue. The next day when he came back and informed me that his dad had told him that was a lie, I convinced him that his dad was trying to hush up his misdeeds. After that, I refused to talk about it anymore with Bikram, because I was afraid I might have to start looking up labor laws in my spare time to keep the ruse going. Other ruses followed, including a particularly devious one that involved telling Bikram that he wasn’t really Sikh because he wasn’t wearing all of his special Sikh articles (I had another Sikh friend who would feed me information). Sure enough, Bikram got Sikh as a motherfucker over the next couple of days, and every day I came up with new ways of convincing him he wasn’t doing it right. Right about now i’m probably seeming like a horrible human being for playing this game with Bikram, and that’s alright. I admit it was a little cruel, but there’s something you have to understand. Bikram was the kind of kid who sought out the popular kids at school for approval. He would follow around cheerleaders like a lost puppy, and they would barely give him the time of day.
don’t know about the average person, but I do know that no matter how nonjudgmental I’d like to think I am, there are certain people who I immediately assume to be bitchy, full of themselves, or douchey. In most cases it seems as if I can peg someone’s personality based on their appearance alone. This theory is most commonly called Physiognomy, which dates back to Ancient Greece. According to Aristotle, “It is possible to infer character from features, if it is granted that the body and the soul are changed together by the natural affections: I say ‘natural’, for though perhaps by learning music a man has made some change in his soul, this is not one of those affections which are natural to us; rather I refer to passions and desires when I speak of natural emotions. If then this were granted and also that for each change there is a corresponding sign, and we could state the affection and sign proper to each kind of animal, we shall be able to infer character from features.” In plain language, the shape of your face combined with certain elements from your environment help paint the picture of your psyche. Interestingly enough, my biases might not just be me being petty and disapproving, because in a recent article from the Psychological Science Journal it states, “Within a tenth of a
second of seeing an unfamiliar face we have already made a judgement about its owner’s character—caring, trustworthy, aggressive, extrovert, competent and so on.” Within a tenth of a second? That’s less time than I have to register what the person is wearing and judge them based on that. Although this all sounds superficial in many ways, there is a science to reading people’s faces, much like their palms, in order to discover and understand their personality. There are schools of thought that study the art of Visage, which is reading the face in order to infer certain feelings or personality traits in a person. This is something that everyone possesses, but when fine tuned there is an unsettling accuracy to what you can dis-
cover about a person solely through their face. When I first discovered that there was a science behind my judgmental tendencies, I was ecstatic. There is nothing I love more than the validating feeling that I’m not an awful person. Now I can feel secure looking at the girl with the upturned nose, square eyes and massive upper lip and think, “That girl is a giant cunt and I am not going to acknowledge her. Ever.” I can confidently look at every man who approaches me and say, “I’d really like to go out with you, but your cheekbones are way too wide set and I’m sorry, but your brow line is just disgraceful.” Whoever said that the eyes are the window to the soul, clearly was an expert in Physiognomy.
RANDOM RANTS BOOK DROP
FOOD POISONING sucks JOE BRYANT
CAITLIN CUTT If you were doing a project in the last few weeks that involved dropping books to see if anyone would help you pick them up, I wanted you to know three things: the first is that your experiment was contaminated by the fact that you all decided to do it in the same freaking spot. Really? By the second attempt I figured it out. Secondly, because I knew these experiments were going on, when I helped
the two other guys, I knew you were watching. Now I can’t tell if I’m actually a good person or not. Thanks. Third, your experiment actually made me a little crazy. I’m now paranoid that you guys are doing these experiments everywhere. Example: in Starbucks the other day, I sat beside a chair that had a “wet chair” sign on it for a few hours, wondering if someone was taking notes.
I’ve decided that food poisoning is the worst kind of poisoning. I’ve thrown up three times now, but have spent a cumulative 2 hours bent over a toilet. I got it from Cha for Tea. They’re not one of our advertisers, so I feel safe in telling you to never, ever eat there. Especially not their basil chicken. Hold on, I have to go throw up. UNION WEEKLY
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ENTERTAINMENT RAPING BULL
TYSON MAY BE A SEX OFFENDER, BUT TYSON IS GREAT MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN
have never been a big boxing fan, I just never really got into the flow of the game. I respected Muhammad Ali, and thought he was a fantastic wordsmith, but I just didn’t “get” boxing. That being said, when I heard there was an upcoming documentary about Mike Tyson, I was hooked. I remembered all of the hullabaloo over his famous ear-biting incident in 1997 and thought any film following the demise of such a quirky character had to be gold. The biggest draw, and biggest flaw, of the film is that Iron Mike is constantly on screen, narrating the major events of his life. Initially it’s difficult to get past his famously mocked voice, and the heavy reli-
ance on first person left me worried that the film wouldn’t cut as deep as I had hoped. Twenty minutes or so into the film, all those worries were set aside, the intense confessional-style of the documentary is completely fascinating. Mike Tyson gives the viewer an insight into his life that no phony biopic or biography ever will be able to touch. Tyson’s life begins as a terrified young boy, who was constantly fearful of altercation; the rest of his life was spent trying to come to terms with his early feelings of rejection. Though there are no other testimonials digging deeper into the areas of juvenile delinquency Tyson sheepishly glosses over, the film captures just the right tone and shows the legend as both a loose cannon and a man to be pitied. After juvenile delinquency, Tyson spent time in correctional facilities in Upstate New York, where he learned the art of boxing from an associate of his future mentor Constantine “Cus” D’Amato. After years working his way up the amateur ranks, Tyson finally hits it big winning and later unifying the world titles.
While Tyson was on top of the world, old wounds began to take there toll, and his private life as an out of control playboy ruins his marriage, and lands him in jail for rape. The film follows the arc of his career through his release from jail, through the infamous Holyfield fights and into retirement. The film works great as a boxing movie with loads of classic highlights, however it is the unique insight into the mind of a kid who was never given the chance to grow up. Tyson is one of the most intriguing character studies in cinema history, fiction or not. From Iron Mike’s paranoia to his religious views, the man has many serious issues. However, it is his relationship with women that is most bizarre. Tyson candidly reveals the man’s inner-pathological love and fear of women, and the film is much richer because director James Toback just lets Tyson be Tyson. Even if you have no interest in boxing or cultural studies, Tyson is quite simply one of the most unique films to come out in a long time. There are few public figures as maligned or beloved as Mike Tyson, and Toback brilliantly presents the man, warts and all.
4.5 out of 5 exclamations.
CINECULT THIS WEEK | AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD (1972) JAMES KISLINGBURY Aguirre: The Wrath of God Is the sixth film directed by German auteur Werner Herzog and despite thirty years and three dozen more films, it might be his best. Aguirre could be seen as a thesis statement for the entirety of Herzog’s career, it’s the story about a single man driven to insanity and destruction by his power of will. What results is that despite its brooding, art house posturing, Aguirre still manages to be a captivating adventure story. The film begins in the Andes Mountains with the conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro’s quest for El Dorado, the legendary city of gold. After running short on supplies, manpower and morale, Pizarro sends one of his lieutenants, Pedro de Ursúa, along with an unbalanced soldier, Lope de Aguirre (Klaus Kinski), to try and scout the Amazon river. The foray into the Amazon is doomed from the start, and as time goes on the crew begins to succumb to the rigors of the rain forest. The axis of their demise isn’t the vicious, unseen natives, but rather their comrade UNION WEEKLY
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Aguirre, whose ambition eventually strips away his humanity. Klaus Kinski is to Werner Herzog as Toshiro Mifune is to Akira Kurosawa. . . or as Ben Affleck is to Kevin Smith, I guess. Kinski is suited perfectly as the megalomaniacal conquistador, because he’s as bat-shit insane as the man he plays. The thespian’s raging tantrums are the things of legend (and the subject of at least two documentaries). His capriciousness eventually led to him threatening to leave the production, forcing Herzog (allegedly) to pull a gun on the star to keep him from departing (Herzog says that this account is false—he claims that he only threatened to have Kinski shot and that he never pulled a piece himself). Wherever the truth lies, the actor isn’t in any position to judge, having shot the finger off of a crewmember during one of his tirades. Oddly enough, the two men worked together on another four movies, resulting in some of their most memorable work, Aguirre being the crown jewel of these endeavors. Kinski aside, the story of Aguirre’s production is as plagued as that other great riv-
er-based epic, Apocalypse Now. The movie was shot on location in South America on a scant $370,000 budget and with a camera stolen from the University of Munich. On the DVD’s director commentary, Herzog details his trials on set with his signature brooding Teutonic monotone, and delivers one of the more edifying special features that I can recall (just YouTube his opinions on nature or the interview with Mark Kermode where he gets shot and carries on as though nothing happened). Werner Herzog has been criticized for plenty of things, such as letting his obsessions get the better of him (not unlike many of his subjects in his fiction and non-fiction films), but he can never be accused of being a boring filmmaker. He is one of the great names of art house cinema and belongs alongside other artsy luminaries such as Jim Jarmusch and David Lynch (who produced the German’s latest film). Aguirre is the perfect example of the raw enthusiasm that he has for creating films. For those who aren’t familiar with the more esoteric side of cinema, Aguirre: The Wrath of God is a great place to start.
[Editor’s Note: Right now, Aguirre: The Wrath of God is an instant watch title for Netflix subscribers, or you can grab your own copy for $17.99—or as cheap as $8.59 if you’re down with used DVDs—on Amazon.com.]
THIS CRIME WITH MORE FEELING
SOUTHLAND TRIES TO BRING CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT TO THE COP PROCEDURAL SEAN BOULGER
t’s really easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to actor Ben McKenzie that involves a sneer and the word “douchebag”—but that’s to be expected for someone who spent four years as the lead on The OC. McKenzie’s second prime-time outting, however, finds him in the company of adults. No more McG-produced melodrama or anorexic girls shooting people to the soulful vocoder of Imogen Heap. This time, McKenzie’s presence is a welcome one, and that goes for the rest of the cast of Southland, NBC’s new cop drama. When describing Southland to just about anyone, it’s tough not to get a laugh: “Oh, it’s the new cop show on NBC.” Seriously? Yes. Another police drama. But instead of inducing sigh after tired sigh, Southland has been managing to keep things pretty fresh and en-
gaging. The pilot is easily the strongest of the first season’s three aired episodes. Its shifting narrative-focus is evenly distributed between the exploits of McKenzie’s rookie cop Ben Sherman and his training officer John Cooper (Band of Brothers’ Michael Cudlitz) and those of various other members of the LAPD. The pilot’s snappy writing easily draws us into the personal lives of the different characters, creating emotional resonance that had me hooked by the end of the show. Southland’s first episode was a gripping hour of drama with believable characters and events that, though extreme at times, made sense. Disappointingly, the second episode did not follow suit. Involving an annoying plot about an abandoned baby, the second go did little to get me stoked on the rest of the series. It was looking like the series might head into the tepid territory through which most cop dramas tread, but the third episode has easily picked the show back up to
Officer Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) looks longingly at Officer Sherman (Ben McKenzie), much like our Music Editor’s forelorn eyes gaze upon our Entertainment Editor. the caliber of its pilot. By now, the characters are developed enough for the audience to really appreciate them, and those that have been watching since the first episode will take particular delight in how they’ve been fleshed out over the last few weeks. Despite all of this, one really can’t ignore the fact that we don’t need another
cop drama, no matter how good it is, unless it completely blows my mind. Southland doesn’t really do that. The writing is about as original as writing on a cop drama can be, which—in all honesty—isn’t very. The cast is great though, and while this might not necessarily be the show of the century, it’s by no means a bad one.
Ghost World and its celluloid compatriot) have been purported to be working on an animated feature for a while, but now the always fantastic Steve Buscemi is starring. Production will be under way as soon as Gondry is done directing Seth Rogen in The Green Hornet.
JOE BRYANT After an agonizing process (maybe a minute) of compiling all news pertaining to movies and the business involving them, Secret of the Nooze has chosen (stolen) the best stories from its very reliable sources (CHUD.com) and punctuated them with veracious vernacular for you, the movie fan. [Editor’s Note: Vernacular only semiguaranteed to be veracious.] Michel Gondry is the “it” director for those of the indie persuasion, having directed the great Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the awful Science of Sleep. He, his animation-inclined son, and Daniel Clowes (writer of the comic
The eventually coming sometime Spider-Man 4 just figured out its angle. 3-D! The latest gimmick to be revived in Hollywood. And the best part? Sony can charge us an extra five bucks for the “experience,” and like a sucker I’ll be there opening night. Speaking of fourth installments, a digital Arnie has joined the cast of Terminator: Salvation. This is good nooze for everyone that pretends there was never a T3. Which, of course, there wasn’t. Dark Knight director Chris Nolan has quite the ensemble for his next picture, a sci-fi story about “the architecture of the mind.” Leo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. “You scurvy shyster bastard. I’m a doctor of journalism, man!” -Raoul Duke, fear and loathing in las vegas
28 APRIL 2009
CSULB'S RADIO STATION CELEBRATES A DECADE OF GROOVES & PAVES THE WAY FOR THE FUTURE
Stephanie Funk, Director of Music and Promotions UNION WEEKLY
28 APRIL 2009
efore ClearChannel devoured radio in all its unfiltered, unadulterated glory, back when a radio DJ could actually play “whatever we want,” back when the masses actually turned on the radio to hear music, Cal State Long Beach had KSUL. It was a student-run station in the mid-70s and early 80s that the students tuned in to for news, entertainment, and new music. But in 1980, CSULB was under the leadership of Steve Horn who decided it was best to take over KLON (which, at the time, was Long Beach City College’s station) and syndicate jazz music, and so, KJazz was born. Horn was hoping the campus station would bring professionalism and esteem to the school, and while it has, it meant ditching KSUL. J.D. Morrison, a former member of KSUL, wrote this in a piece for The Long Beach Independent Press Telegram: “It reminded me of the days when rock radio first became popular and the adults revolted against what the kids thrived on. The Long Beach State administrators may not have thought that the KSUL staff knew much about radio programming. If so, they were dead wrong.” At 1am on Friday, March 20, 1981, KSUL left us with The Doors’ “The End.” It wasn’t until 1995 that someone felt the same passion for the freedom of independent broadcasting again, but a lot had changed in those fourteen years of dead air—mainly, the rise of the Internet. Mike Soultanian was a student broadcasting a radio station off the web from his dorm room and, in 1998, the station became a department of ASI, where it was named KBeach. John Trapper, who gave up his title as ASI Media Advisor to be KBeach’s General Manager, has watched KBeach grow for almost all ten years of the station’s lifespan. KBeach is no longer just a microphone and a soundboard. It is digitally up-to-date with sophisticated technology and provides a real foundation and background for students looking to start a career in broadcasting. “We’ve got a live room that can record and broadcast, approximately, a five-piece band. We can broadcast [live music] to the international world,” Trapper says. And KBeach has officially gone “green.” Instead of filing thousands of plastic CD cases, the record labels will be sending their music digitally, all of which can be accessed at KBeach through a touch screen computer in the studio. It’s a move most record companies are making for the transition to HD radio and KBeach hopes to be transitioning
to HD soon, too. “We’re still $50,000 short of getting [HD],” says Trapper. “Right now, if you’re small, it’s a great time for radio. There are so many opportunities. You can be the next best thing because of the Internet. It’s a matter of time before we’re able to reach people in their cars.” Just how long we’ll have to wait to hear KBeach on the radio is uncertain—it’s a waiting game. The irony here is that we’re in a recession and getting $50,000 to fund a KBeach HD signal doesn’t seem plausible. However, hard economic times usually spur new creative musical movements and Cal State Long Beach is a breeding ground for innovative artistic expression and KBeach is, without a doubt, a great place to channel that expression. There may be no one who knows that as well as Earl. Earl Beecher’s jazz show, Outstanding Music, has been on the air since KLON was located at Long Beach City College, but it wasn’t until he started his show on KBeach in 1999 that he gained worldwide popularity. “I get emails from St. Petersburg, Budapest, and Helsinki, Johannesburg,” said Beecher. He’s well aware that playing a show comprised of artists like Mel Torme and Pat Boone isn’t exactly mainstream, but it’s his niche and he’s found a place where he can connect with other people who love his music. Connecting to people through the Internet has revolutionized the way we listen to music, get our news, and entertain ourselves. Many of us have already caught on and are listening to Podcasts and Pandora and Last.fm. As groundbreaking as this new technology is, it doesn’t offer the same en-
vironment as KBeach. Media has changed so much over the past ten years, and yet, KBeach endures. It’s a community of creative minds—an oddly diverse group—with different tastes and aesthetics, but they all come together to run a station. Anyone who walks into the studio can see why—posters and records line the wall, DJs are cracking jokes under the red “on air” light, and Briton Saxton, the Assistant General Manager, is bouncing from room to room, making sure everything is running smoothly. When I walked into the KBeach studio the place was undergoing some serious renovations. Saxton was soaking the countertops with Windex, and Stephanie Funk, director of music and promotions, was sitting on the floor in the Live room, buried under a pile of records. “We’re going to sell all the CDs we’ve ever had. It’ll be $5 for 7, $10 for 20, $20 you get 50,” said Funk. “It’s huge! We’re going to have DJs and live bands. I was able to find members of KBeach from ten years ago on MySpace, so I got in touch with tons of [alumni] to invite them out to the anniversary.” On April 28, KBeach will take over most of the first floor of the University Student Union from 6-9 pm where they’ll be having live music, DJs, and every single LP record and CD they’ve ever acquired for sale. “By the end of the night we’ll probably be giving them away for free,” Funk said after opening a large cardboard box filled with CDs that came from what they call “the cage,” a vault where they keep all their music. “Oh, look! Patti LaBelle!” Funk squealed when she picked her album from the cardboard box.
But “the cage” is about as out-of-date as the music within it, which is why gutting out the station is crucial to moving forward. It’s clear that Trapper, Saxton, and Funk have big plans for the station, but it’s nothing compared to their passion. It’s a passion shared among few and they’re going to need a lot more support if they think they’re going to accomplish everything they have in mind. It’s unfortunate that more people aren’t rallying to support the station. We need more venues to foster visionary students. On a campus of nearly 38,000 students, I’d imagine many of them wander around the university without feeling a sense of purpose; without anything to penetrate the mundane. That’s why communities like KBeach are so important. When students become part of a program, they become more than automata, more than cogs in the wheel, they become part of a creative force to garner real world experience. The “real world” isn’t what it used to be either— we can outsource everything but creativity, so these programs are becoming more and more necessary to make a living after college. It’s a matter of the administration making these programs a priority. But it isn’t just the administration—after all, John Trapper has put his heart into KBeach so that student leaders like Saxton can learn first-hand how to make goals and reach them. The students need to be there for KBeach too. By supporting the station we’ll give the administration a reason for donating the $50,000, in the same way that the station has given its workers a reason for loving Cal State Long Beach. KSUL has been gone for 28 years, but its
Right now, if you’re small, it’s a great time for radio. -John Trapper General Manager of KBeach
former members still keep in contact through websites and blogs. Almost three decades have gone by and the KSUL DJs still share a bond. Who else can say they’ve felt connected to something for that long? KBeach is celebrating its tenth year and we can’t afford to let it fade into obscurity. Watching KBeach materialize into an HD station would give purpose to all of the program’s efforts. Earl Beecher’s decade long show, the stacks upon stacks of CDs, the records on the wall, the headphones cradling their ears, the energy pulsating from their hands to the soundboard—it’s all the tip of the iceberg. What’s real are the bonds that are made. Earl Beecher’s stories, John Trapper’s support and dedication, Stephanie Funk’s enthusiasm, and Briton Saxton’s leadership that glues them all together. One could say it’s a feeling you would only know if you were really “in it.” Maybe the old members of KSUL would say the same. Ten years have gone by now, thirty since KSUL left us for good, and isn’t it about time we were all in it?
Briton Saxton, Asst. General Manager of KBeach showing off the new technology at the radio station. UNION WEEKLY
28 APRIL 2009
A FEW DAYS IN THE DESERT WITH MATT DUPREE
oachella was woefully undersold this year, mostly due to crappy marketing. Goldenvoice could convince most Macca, Morrissey, My Bloody Valentine, and the Cure fans to come out for a day’s worth of festival; but a 3-day trip to a scorching desert to see an unfocused and possibly uninteresting grab bag of artists only entices a slim wedge of radical audiophiles. But despite its wavering popularity, the festival fielded a slew of impressive and talented acts, and I’ve decided that it would be wrong to keep them secret. So here are a few fantastic bands from Coachella that you tragically missed out on (assuming you didn’t go to Coachella). Use your unspent 300 dollars to comfort yourself.
Fucked Up likes to build beautiful songs and then rip them apart thoroughly and then stitch them back together just as quickly. It’s, well... it’s fucked up.
BAJOFONDO They’ve got tango, they’ve got turntables, and they’re pals with Elvis Costello. So if you like one of those three things, you’ve got to go check them out. They combine the raw expressive power of a tango with the hypnotic beats and digital bass lines of modern trip-hop. So if you’re throwing a sexy party, or just want to pretend you are while you sit alone in your apartment, download Mar Dulce by Bajofondo.
eyebrows, but it couldn’t be more fitting. If anyone ever makes a movie about a Mongolian warlord cyborg who conquers the brutal 13th century world with his 23rd century weapons, Genghis Tron would be the perfect score. With only traces of the modern connotation, this is “heavy” music, plain and simple. If you think you can handle that, go ahead and give them a listen, but remember: you’ve been warned.
N.A.S.A. If you love Handsome Boy Modeling School, you’ll love N.A.S.A. (which is short for North America South America). And if you don’t know either group, well then you’ve got some googling to do, my inexperienced friend. These are the kinds of groups which form from a couple of guys saying, “Hey, why don’t we just use all of our favorite musicians to fill out our tracks, thus fulfilling two dreams at once?” And just like Handsome Boy Modeling School, the collaborations are usually too awesome to fail. Kool Keith and Tom Waits sharing vocal duties? Yes please.
BLOODY BEETROOTS Remember when French House music was all the rage last year? Well, this is the year of Italian Fidget House. Okay, so we’ll probably have to work on the name, but we’ve already got its champion. Donning some sick-ass Spider-Man masks and specializing in weirdly beguiling dance-floor destroyers, these guys signed to Dim Mak records last year and have been ripping through the blogosphere ever since. This shit is catnip for cool kids. Seriously. Put it on and watch them all spaz out on the floor.
GENGHIS TRON Valiantly struggling against their set time overlap with Paul McCartney, Genghis Tron definitely brought the thunder. Certainly their name raises more than a few
FUCKED UP It’s not that FU is aggressive music so much as it is fucked up music. Whereas your usual sludge metal freak-out band would rock the bowelshaking bass growls right off the bat,
LATE OF THE PIER Also in the “music you can groove to” category is Castle Donington’s own Late Of The Pier (is it just me, or is all the good music coming from Castle Donington these days?). And for a partially-electronic group, the fact that they both own and use a snare drum is comforting. But what really sets them apart is the playful and irreverent approach they have to their music. So if you’re sick of listening to the same overly serious dance-rock again and again (I’m looking at you, the Killers), pick up Fantasy Black Channel by Late Of The Pier.
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM If you’re the type of person who immediately enjoys anything comparable to Tom Waits, buckle up. These guys covered “Downtown Train.” For the rest of you, the Gaslight Anthem is the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve workingclass rock band that hasn’t been seen since Nirvana made slacking off profound. They love paying homage to their influences in their lyrics (including references to Springsteen, Dylan, Petty, and Seger) and in the raw power of their songs. You have to love a band that puts a premium on sincerity.
THE HARLEM SHAKES - TECHNICOLOR HEALTH SEAN BOULGER
I’ve been needing some happy music. Seriously, it seems like everything I’ve listened to in the last year and a half has been sad or electronic. Or both. This was the case until the other day, however, when I decided to scour the music blogs and scope out the pickin’s du jour. UNION WEEKLY
28 APRIL 2009
I was lucky enough to come across Technicolor Health, the debut from newcomers Harlem Shakes—boy am I pleased. Toe-tapping and/or hand-clapping will undoubtedly ensue from the onset of the album’s opening cut. Highlights “Sunlight” and “Strictly Game” will inspire impromptu dance parties, possibly even in the workplace. The vocals are snappy, the beats are
fresh, and the indie-pop sensibilities are sunny and presented here in full force. Rich production and snappy songwriting make this album energetic and uplifting. And if that’s not reason enough, the cover art is gorgeous. Enjoy it here, in black & white! If you like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, enjoy dancing, or are depressed, buy this album. You’ll be glad you did.
dammit. MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN
rowing up in Southern California has made me proud of the bustling LA scene; I love the sense of community that local shows always breed. However, no matter how big The Smell scene gets, I always find myself envying the Baltimore scene. Wham City is more than just a music venue, it also supports local theatre and hosts many more events than scenesters are used to seeing in LA, plus the bands share LA’s eclectic, positive mindset. So when I heard that Dan Deacon was bringing a bunch of Baltimore stalwarts with him in support of his latest album Bromst, I was ready to head down to San Diego to catch the tour before the sold-out LA gig. Unfortunately, San Diego native Wavves had to cancel due to illness, but that still left Dan Deacon, Teeth Mountain, Adventure, Future Islands, Los Angeles favorite Kyle H. Mabson, and Fortress & Amplitude to rock the Che Café. The Che Café is a chill shack run by volunteers from UCSD and has the added bonus of having an outdoor and indoor staging area, the folks were super rad, and, despite some line-up changes, they put on a great show. Fortress of Solitude, a one-man band, started off the night. While I can’t say his set was enjoyable, I will say it was intentionally funny, and really pushed the boundaries
of what metal is. Teeth Mountain, an Arabic-influenced jam band, took the outdoor stage and put on a terrifically disorienting set that was the perfect way to unwind after a hot day and the ear-splitting shredding of Fortress & Amplitude. Back in the indoor stage, Adventure—a one-man, Game Boy-influenced dance act—ripped through favorites from his self-titled release and got the whole crowd and members of all the bands sweating their asses off. Back outside, Future Islands brought their catchy electro pop hits to the crowd. After Adventure however, everybody was too tired to really get into the groove. Next up, LA native (and sound guy for The Smell) Kyle H. Mabson did his mash-up of blistering noise and goofy radio hits. My buddy and I were already huge fans, but San Diego couldn’t get into it so we just moshed with Kyle for 20 minutes, which was kinda
rad. Finally, the man of the hour. Dan Deacon took the stage with his brand new, 13-piece band. This is his first tour using a live band, and despite a few technical difficulties, it was a major success, completely redefining Dan’s live set and giving the audience an even more authentic recreation of his records. Thankfully, though the set has changed, Dan Deacon has not: he is still the perennial show man, leading the audience through warm-up exercises, dance battles, and a really long version of the children’s game London Bridges. All the Bromst favorites where played, and even though “Snookered,” my favorite track of his, didn’t translate as well as I would have hoped it would, the hits kept coming. He closed the set with “Crystal Cat” and “Wham City,” two favorites from Spiderman of the Rings, sending all the Wham City Faithful home happy.
taking a look at the goings-on of the music community
Unless you’re like me and spent Coachella weekend sadly reading the pages of Pitchfork Media, you might have missed a lot of what’s been going on in the music world lately. And trust me, there has been quite the flurry of activity. For one thing, Julie Taymor (Across the Universe) is going to ruin another of the Union’s favorite things by making a SpiderMan Broadway musical to be scored by Bono and the Edge. Sigh.
In slightly more politically-oriented news, the Flaming Lips are in the midst of a heated battle to have “Do You Realize??” be named the official rock ‘n roll song of the state of Oklahoma. The group is meeting resistance from a couple of Republican senators who disagree with the band’s use of profanity in some of their songs. Of course. For those of you that were disappointed with The Nightwatchman, you were cor-
rect. It sucked. But don’t worry, because Tom Morello is giving himself another shot at redemption by joining NorCal rapper Boots Riley to form the Street Sweeper Social Club. Across the pond, the dudes that started The Pirate Bay have been sentenced to jail for providing millions with downloadable torrents containing everything from entire seasons of TV shows to graphic novels to
computer programs. But mostly music. Lots and lots of illegally downloaded music. The website is still online. Last week was the French house music roundup at club Cinespace in our own Los Angeles. It was Busy P’s birthday, so most of the Ed Banger crew was there, tearin’ shit up. Then, all of a sudden, who comes out but an unmasked Thomas Bangalter! He played three songs, then exploded. UNION WEEKLY
28 APRIL 2009
LITERATURE Pedestrian Readers The LA Festival of books WalkThrough MATT DUPREE & SIMONE HARRISON
W Illustration JAMES KISLINGBURY
hat ended as a utopian cavalcade of every kind of literature began as a cruel lesson in comfortable footwear. The LA Festival of Books took place this weekend at UCLA and provided some well-needed tombookery for the average literature nut. Far, far away from the festival sat the festival parking lot, leaving literary aficionados to make the hike up to the sunny labyrinths of UCLA. Strangely, the crowds (which seemed to be made up almost entirely of octagenarians and toddlers) showed no signs of fatigue as they ambled from pavilion to pavilion. Even the most stalwart of spendthrifts would tremble at the array of wares provided at the vendor’s booths. These writers’ personal favorites included AMMO books, a small publisher specializing in large hardcovers chock full of amazing photos; the Getty Institute, which featured art and photography books (including some for the kids); and McSweeney’s, Dave Eggers’ brilliant and unique writers group known for its cutting edge nonfiction and humor.
Littered among the booths were author signing events, and we were able to catch up with There’s No I in Office authors Jacob Lentz and Paul Koehorst and Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg (but that autograph was just for a younger sibling, we swear). But of course, the day’s starpower went much further than teenage pseudovampires. On hand to discuss line breaks (or at least trying to discuss line breaks) was former United States poet laureate Robert Pinsky. Larry Wilmore, also known as The Daily Show’s senior black correspondent, sat on a panel to discuss Humor & Race (which proved just as hilarious as you might imagine). One of the biggest surprises in the panels was the “Biography: the Artist’s Life” discussion. Though it began as an almost plaintive meditation on the biography’s shortcomings as compared with fiction (apparently Virginia Woolf isn’t a fan of facts), it quickly shifted up into the beauty of life’s imperfections (as framed by Frank O’Hara’s wandering affections) and the love of a biographer for their subject. And
although each panel member came from a different realm of literature (journalism, fiction and biography), they could all agree on one thing: the biography we’d all like for ourselves is woefully out of tune with any biography we may ever receive. As enlightening as a whole fucking day of literary indulgence is, it’s remarkably exhausting as well. By 4pm the sun had sapped every ounce of bibliophile out of us
and we couldn’t even muster the strength to hear Ray Bradbury speak (about... martians? futuristic censorship? futuristic martian censorship?). We skulked the lonely gauntlet down the hills of UCLA back to our parking space (sitting in a low orbit of earth), reveled in our newly purchased pile of books, and sucked down as much water as we could. Who knew reading could be such thirsty work?
Ray Bradbury The Writer’s Chronicles CAITLIN CUTT I was twelve when I checked out Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. That book ended up being the first exciting book-reading experience I’ve ever had. It had been a long time since I had thought about that night, let alone that book. Ray Bradbury, on the other, is a name that’s hard to miss. Basically, if this is the first time you’re hearing about Ray Bradbury, you must have been home-schooled. Aside from penning classics like The Martian Chronicles, and Fahrenheit 451, he’s also the author of an immense collection of short stories, 20 of his works have also been produced for film and television (he even helped develop The Addams Family), and finally, per the request of Director John Huston, Bradbury actually adapted Herman Melville’s classic Moby-Dick, (home schoolers, there’s another one for Wikipedia) for the big screen. The man works hard, to say the least. But today, when I went to see Bradbury speak at the LA Festival of Books, what kept popping into my mind was that first night I ever read a book cover to cover. UNION WEEKLY
28 APRIL 2009
There, sitting about a hundred feet away from where I was, was the mind that turned a microscopic, neuro-spark into a book that helped lay the foundations of my reading life. What made the event even more amazing were the things he had to say. Instead of simply speaking about his achievements, Bradbury used his immensely successful career as a vehicle for a higher message—a message that any reader, and especially any writer, needs to hear from a guy like him: “Do what you love, love what you do.” Bradbury Claimed that any successful work he had ever written had “come from love.” From there, Bradbury wove highlights from his career together with beautiful accounts of his relationships with the people, artists, and the books that he loved. He told us about his long friendship with director Federico Fellini which grew from a review Bradbury had written as a young LA Times staffer for one of Fellini’s films; of the screenplay he wrote for Gene Kelly, which later turned into my midnight read, Something Wicked; and the
night he spent finishing the screenplay for Moby-Dick. But, my favorite story was the one about how he wrote Fahrenheit 451: feeding dimes into a typewriter that UCLA charged ten cents an hour to rent, deep in the basement of the school library, it cost Bradbury a total $9.80 to write his most famous work. The bond between a reader and an author, or a writer and their work, are ones that, at least for Bradbury, prove worth fighting for. On top of the great stories and encouragement Bradbury gave his attendees, he also took a stand for LA’s literary community at large: Today he announced that, unless the LA Times revives their rapidly dwindling book section, he will not come back to speak at the LA Festival of Books next year—or any other year. For your sake and mine, I truly hope this was not Ray Bradbury’s last visit to the LA Festival of Books.
Video by Vishal Goklani at www.sbggraphics.com
28 APRIL 2009
meet: yvan the facehunter KATRINA GUEVARA
wiss-born Parisian and Londoner, Yvan Rodic, known by his daily digesters as The Facehunter (via facehunter. blogspot.com), has the vision to uncover the pearl of the orient, but this time he’s using his photographer’s eye on the stars of Hollywood. The kind-eyed culture vulture has landed in Los Angeles, and his second trip back to California since 1995 couldn’t have come at a better time, when April showers bring Coachella heat. With early blog posts circa 2006 that focused on the face, Yvan soon zoomed out to showcase the entire ensemble. He has shot the average Joe to the supermodel, crossing paths with the wackiest and classiest of lads and maidens. He often displays body shots of the avant-garde to the retro, always emphasizing the uniqueness in each person. It’s simple to snap a shot of haute couture, but with Yvan, the character of the person empowers the garb. Wearing spectacles and a camera half of the time, Yvan has spotted the spectacular through his lens. One thing is for sure: he’s been preying on gemstones over fool’s gold. I arrived at approximately 12 p.m. at a house in Echo Park where Yvan stayed. I spoke with him for a about an hour, exchanging random tidbits and brief pauses. I even showed him the gestures for awkward turtle, starfish, and moose, which he didn’t fully understand. Oh, American culture. We agreed on many topics, like how In-N-Out burger is still just a burger or how mass-killing will not solve overpopulation, or how pretentious folks only pretend to look interested in hyped artwork. Yvan disclosed his thoughts on Americans and the faux notion of European resentment, divulged his opinion of Miami as a cheesy and lame place, also adding monkeys and “goo” as his favorite animals. A social explorer by nature, Yvan sees himself with
yvan rodic, the facehunter photo by katrina guevara
more potential in television. For him, television is more of what he is and what he wants to do; in fact, he doesn’t want to become a fashion photographer. He plans to release a book based on his blog in 2010. In a brief interview with the Union,The Facehunter himself talks Coachella, body shapes, and staying true to his own eye. Union Weekly: How was last weekend? Yvan Rodic: Coachella was fun. It was so, so, so, hot. I’m not really into festivals. It’s a lot of hassle, it’s big, and you
lose everyone. I prefer a more intimate event. I had a good time, and for me it was more extraordinary to see the desert. The whole weekend was amazing, but not really a music experience. I don’t need a festival to listen to music, I go to a small venue. It’s more about having fun and seeing people, but I liked Lykke Li and Devendra Banhart. UW: Have you noticed any Los Angelesque trends? YR: People are different everywhere, so the people I photograph don’t have so much of a geographical specificity. The people I photograph in LA, I can photograph in Stockholm or Paris. If you Photoshop the background, you wouldn’t be able to know their location. I try to photograph people in a way that the shot goes beyond their styles. UW: Your commentors often ask about discriminating against certain body shapes and sizes. Is that the case? YR: I don’t consciously try to do casting. It’s very spontaneous. I photograph people I like and find interesting. I don’t work for the government or have a quota. People would say, “Oh why don’t you ever take photos of fat people or black people? Only skinny people.” Actually a lot of girls are really pretty, but they’re not models. I think people obviously are projecting a lot of fantasies and wish that this work is sin. They take it seriously as if it would be equal for everyone. I’m just a guy taking pictures of what I like. I don’t understand this reaction of some type of exposure. And I don’t care. I’m just having my own eye and I don’t follow any rules. UW: Are you friends with the people you photograph? YR: I don’t have any social boundaries between my social life and my work, so it’s one thing. I end up photographing the people I am hanging with or hanging with the people I photograph. All the people I photograph are people I want to talk with.
eat, drink, walk, and eat a little more
Maybe Kaleidoscope isn’t exactly your first choice for a day trip, but if you didn’t find yourself scouring the walkways of campus last Saturday for some smoothie-filled pinapples or bacon-wrapped hot dogs, you certainly missed out. Camera in hand and three years into my CSULB tenure later, I finally experienced Kaleidoscope. This year marks our 60th anniversary and what better way to spend it than a day of greasy foods, cultural music, and lots and lots of cute little kids. I painted marbles, watched knights duel, got a henna, purchased some smelly bath salt, and the best part, stuffed my face with all kinds of gooey foods. If you missed out this year, be sure to mark your calendars for next year—also, come hungry! kathy miranda
>> The Isabel Patterson Child Development Center provided me with some lemonade to brighten me up. Thanks! UNION WEEKLY
28 APRIL 2009
The Bacon-wrapped Hotdog
It’s like I’m thirteen again! Look, Ma, I got a tattoo!
Local bands Lady Danville (left) and Brown and Blue (right) performed at the peak of my food coma. If it weren’t for them, I’d be nappin’ on the grass by now.
COMICS Crossword puzzles provided by BestCrosswords.com. Used with permission.
Across 1- Mardi ___ 5- Soccer legend 9- Interlaced 14- Adjutant 15- Teheran’s country 16- Nonsensical 17- Gullet 19- Is inclined 20- Elementary particle 21- Double 23- Road curve 24- Inane 26- Greek god of love 28- Subatomic particle 30- Hold fast 34- Buddhist temple 37- Beardless 39- Latin I word 41- Aussie hopper 42- Small particle 43- Expert critic 48- Novelist Deighton 49- Church instruments 50- Els with tees 52- Will of “The Waltons” 54- Waterways
57- DDE’s predecessor 60- Tidy, without fault 62- Breakfast food 64- Without ___ in the world 66- Bargain 68- Acts down 69- Rent-___ 70- Square 71- Graceful birds 72- Lean 73- Take it easy Down 1- Scottish Celt 2- Ascends 3- Take as one’s own 4- Dissepiment 5- Artistry of a pianist 6- Unit of energy 7- Extol 8- Follow 9- Endive 10- Washington bill 11- Turbine blade 12- Some linemen 13- Promontory 18- Aspirations
22- Part of a foot 25- Portals 27- Fraud 29- Snare 31- Earth Day subj. 32- Network of nerves 33- Paradise 34- Baylor’s city 35- Latin love 36- Zingy taste 38- ___ is human 40- Obstacle 44- Unity 45- Got it 46- Mythical creature 47- Metal pin 51- More strange 53- Charged 55- Rob, old-style 56- Satisfies 57- Scenery chewers 58- Flat-bottomed boat 59- Spanish snack 61- PC expert 63- Fast time 65- Stimpy’s pal 67- Moo goo ___ pan
Humanation by Travis A. Ott-Conn
Caramel > You by Ken C.
You’re STUCK Here! by Victor! Perfecto
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ANSWERS Goonis 3000 by alex P.M.
28 APRIL 2009
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“Good night, sweet Tang Balls. We hardly knew ye.”
Volume 64 Issue 12
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Obama’s Kentucky Bourbon Burger Cravings Put Change on Hold One through the drivethru,” said Emanuel. “If I hadn’t watched him closely when we got back home, he would have spent a week Google image-searching Kentucky Bourbon Burgers. As it was he wasted two days before I decided to drop in for a look-see.” Emanuel has reportedly sent a detachment of Secret Service agents to the closest Carl’s Jr. (located in Tahlequah, OK). The President anxiously awaits the results of their mission in the Air Force One takes a pitstop at the country’s largest Carl’s Jr. so President Obama can get his bourbon on. situation room, and will not allow anyone to enCarl’s Jr. is called Hardee’s,” said ter unless he can smell the tangy BY THE FROTHY SEA White House Chief of Staff Rahm Kentucky Bourbon Sauce tinged WASHINGTON – In a press Emanuel. “And they don’t have with the scent of borderline-direlease sent earlier this morn- Bourbon Burgers there. They have vine garlic-pepper onion straws ing from the White House, it has some Western Bacon Bullshit, upon their arrival. been revealed that “[White House and the President says that won’t President Barack Obama staff] are sorry for the hold-up, but do. I mean, Jesus Christ, I’ve sent granted the Grunion an exclusive change will just have to wait until aides everywhere. Maryland. Illi- interview via iChat. “Well, listen. the President can get his hands on nois. Even Kentucky doesn’t have I’m a bourbon man,” said Obama. a scrumptious Kentucky Bourbon them. Fucking Kentucky.” “I want my bourbon. It’s really Burger from Carl’s Jr.” President Obama first tasted a hard to get anything done around The ambrosia-flavored Ken- Kentucky Bourbon Burger while here without a bourbon. The peotucky Bourbon Burger is only visiting California two weeks ago, ple will have to wait for bourbon available at Carl’s Jr. fast-food res- and has not stopped craving them change. They should understand taurants, of which there are none since. “I should have seen this that their bourbon president in or near Washington DC. “From coming when he made us land in has bourbon needs too.” Added the Midwest to the East Coast, Albuquerque and take Air Force Obama, “Bourbon-bourbon.”
BY GAELIC FORSKYNE TAMPICO, MEXICO — International treasure hunter, impresario, and self-proclaimed inventor of the 12¢ stamp Pete “Zeke” Zeckers did it! He hit pay dirt! “I finally done did it! Sweet Lady Yellow! Heh-he-he-heee! GOLD!!!” “I never thought I’d see the day, but I durn did it! A-heh! GOLD!!!” Zeke said while jigging in place, causing his filth-speckled beard to flop madly in the air. “I’m gonna buy myself one of them carbidefueled catamarans! I’mma get a whole new set of gold teeth! Haw! Everything is going to be gold from here on out! GOLD!!!” Many of Zeke’s stories are rambling, half-mad affairs that typically end with gun-fire or him pulling a knife and asking if we called him a liar. Occasionally, through the haze of corn-mash liquor and lead poisoning, is a harrowing tale of fighting the elements, coyotes, bandits, his own partners, and roaming bands of scalp-hunters that ravage the lawless border-lands. “I showed ‘em! He-heee-heeeh! I done showed all them dudes and bung-startin’ varmints! Yes sir! I done hit gold! GOLD!!!” “GOLD! Did I hear you say gold!?” said a mustachioed man in a
Pictured is one of Zeke’s fellow adventuer, FourFinger Jeb who smells as good as he looks.
linen seersucker suit, who appeared from behind a rock. “Why I must say this here specimen of gold is worth half of the territory of the Oklahomas, if I do say so myself!” He then fired his guns wildly into the air. The gold discovery market has been hard hit since the thirteenthcentury, when most of the world’s riches were hoarded by dragons. After the heroes of Teutonic lore killed the last of them and their curses fell into the public domain, man’s lust for gold spread across the globe, from Bavaria to the Black Forest. Or as Zeke says, “I’m never gonna sleep! I’m gonna dance! Dance! I’m never gonna die!”
Nobody Wants to See Marine’s Photos of Dead Bodies
Sergeant William Dunkel has proposed to show photos of dead bodies he took while in Iraq, yet not one person has taken him up on his offer. “But I’ve got some real good ones,” said Dunkel to his mother, Pamela, as she walked into the kitchen, shaking her head in disgust. PAGE E6
Short-Armed Gambler Plays Cards Close to Chest
“Guys, would you mind putting my cards on the table for me?” asked Wes Boulder during a game of poker last Monday. “I have to go to the bathroom.” Boulder then proceeded to relentlessly apologize, imploring his friends not to look at his cards. PAGE 5Y
Sleuthing Sloth Too Cute to Stop PAGE SL8
The Mint Julep: A Retrospective PAGE 2