ISSUE 65.14 JOE BRYANT Editor-in-Chief
RACHEL RUFRANO Managing Editor
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Opinions Editor News Director
ANDY KNEIS Sports Editor
Literature Editor & PR
Entertainment Editor & PR
RACHEL RUFRANO Music Editor & PR
Creative Arts Editor
CLAY COOPER Art Director
KATHY MIRANDA Web Editor
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
KATHY MIRANDA Grunion Editor
VICTOR CAMBA Comics Editor
“I just realized last week that I don’t even know how to get a job.” -James Kislingbury, Entertainment Editor
Contributors: MIKE PALLOTTA, MATT DUPREE, SEAN BOULGER, JASON OPPLIGER, ERIN HICKEY, MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN, ALEXANDRA SCIARRA, JEFF CHANG, KELVIN HO, BRIAN NEWHARD, ANDREW TURNER, STEVEN TRAN, JOHNNY ALT, MAY ZIMMERMAN, JOHN YANG, MONA KOZLOWSKI, LINDA McLEAN, JANTZEN PEAKE, BRYAN WALTON, SHANNON COVEY, JAMIE KARSON, CHELSEA STEVENS, MICHAEL VEREMANS, AMANDA KHO, FOLASHADE ALFORD, ALEXANDRE RODALLEC, CHELSEA ROSENTHAL, ELISA TANAKA, KEN CHO, EDDIE JORDAN, JASMINE GAGNIER
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, 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.
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his is the last issue you’ll be seeing me as Editor-in-Chief, and it couldn’t come any sooner. Don’t get me wrong: I love this paper, but goddamn am I all tuckered out. If only I didn’t have to worry about all those finals and projects that I haven’t even begun to think of, let alone start. Despite my griping, we’ve had a good year. Below you’ll see our trademark Thank You/Fuck You list—our own little sendoff to all the nice folks and assholes out there. I’d like to take a few moments to elaborate on a few of our thanks and fucks. Thank you, Shamma Jamz! Without you, we would have to find yet another thing to procrastinate with (and since losing our mini-basketball, we have).
Fuck you, Long Beach Roller Derby. Simone wrote a really nice feature about your sport and business, and all you could think to do is email me and bitch about it. Oh, and when informed you could write an opinion article detailing your complaints, you never responded. Very classy. Thank you, Steve Martin and Steven Spielberg. We’re sorry the interview never saw print. Still not exactly sure how we fucked that one up. Fuck you, General Shephard. Because of you, the truth about the 141 will never be revealed to the world at large. At least until Modern Warfare 3. Thank you, Mike “Beef ” Pallotta. Not only do you make it possible for everyone to read the Union by driving around
campus at 7am every Monday, but as last year’s EiC you gave me some big shoes to fill. Actually, fuck you for that. This isn’t on the list, but I wanted to thank everyone on staff for making this last semester fun. A particularly hearty, non-list thank you to Rachel Rufrano and Clay Cooper, for your expert managing and editing. You guys pick up the slack and make the tough decisions easier. Another thanks to James Kisli— wait. Oh no. It’s not Spring yet, is it? I have a whole other semester of this. Well, fuck me. Who knows? Joe knows.
Nevermind we’re not going to be in print until January 25th, send your praise, questions and pithy comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME THANKS AND FUCKS TO EVERYONE WHO DESERVES ’EM Sam Shepherd The League President Obama Beachwood BBQ Advertisers Kid Cudi Walter C. Kaniski Modern Warfare 1 & 2 Animal Collections Illegally downloaded comics Netflix Watch Instantly Michael Jai White Conspiracy theories Jon Stewart Shamma Jamz! Aspergers Stevens Spielberg & Martin NBC Carl Sagan YoGo! Creations Dupree’s birthmark The Room
Furlough days LL Cool J Swayze! Kurt Vonnegut Andy Kneis, for being cool Drone War Wernertainment Border Angels Alison from Intervention Robert Kirkman Stephen Colbert Sylvana Cicero Dave Edwards Daily 49er, for the laughs Richard Haller F*King Alexander Caitlin & Kevin, for money Gay marriage All of the gods John Mayer Beef, for Monday mornings President Bartlet
Gen. Shephard Phaser 7400N K. O’bri-bri H1N1 Long Beach Roller Derby Demonoid Publicists 56K Modems Animal Collective Being Broke Jeff Dunham Michael Ian Black Glenn Beck Balloon Boy Lou Dobbs Gypsies Grunion Staff Fort Hood shooter Roman Polanski Socialist Revolution Umlauts Honkeys
Vampires Muse Weezer Parking attendants Vladimir Putin Birthers Klaus Kinski Death threats Francophelia Roland Emmerich Cancer Dig Magazine Brotman Hall Schwarzenegger Hit-and-run drivers Marathons Rogues Straight Marriage Shitty writers John Mayer Steiner Dave Clayton
7 DECEMBER 2009
NEWS OBAMA, GET TO WORK TURNING GREEN TECHNOLOGY INTO GREEN JOBS CHELSEA STEVENS CONTRIBUTOR
bama hosted the White House Job Forums last Thursday, where much of the talk concerned increasing pressures to go green. The country’s top economic minds were in attendance, as well as CEOs from companies like Google, Boeing, and General Electric. These captains of industry sat in groups to brainstorm new possibilities, while Obama dropped in on each discussion to add and comment on their work. One of these sessions focused on “Green Jobs of the Future,” exploring the wide array of technology we’ve discovered in the past decade to improve the environment—but more importantly, how these technologies can translate from Research Street to Main Street. The past five years have seen a plethora of new environmentally-conscious advancements, some of which are now seamlessly implemented in the consumer lifestyle. Hybrid vehicles, which seemed more synonymous with the DeLorean in the early ’90s, are now being sold by almost every American
dealership. Major trucking companies (such as FedEx), city waste management divisions, and moving companies are converting their diesel-guzzling monsters to vegetable oil engines to save costs and make less of an impact on the environment. Also concerned with harmful emissions, GEO-SEQ is a research and development firm that specializes in carbon capture and storage. This technology entails sequestering carbon from manufacturing plants and storing it underground, where it cannot effect the environment or the ozone layer. This underground carbon is actually beneficial to the soil, and its added pressure can even loosen oil, making oil drilling more effective. One of the most prominent figures in green pioneering is Lithuanian American inventor Stanford Ovshinsky, whose newest company, Ovshinsky Innovation LLC, is changing the world of energy resources. This man has single handedly received 400 patents in his lifetime, most of which benefit renewable energy. He is re-
WORLD’S A MESS
sponsible for the hydride battery that powers nearly all hybrid vehicles being made today. The company is currently researching and implementing technology to mass-produce photovoltaic material, which is used to make solar panels. This new production method is currently in use in a manufacturing plant near Chrysler’s headquarters, where a machine almost the size of a football field is producing hundreds of yards of the film-like solar material in a single sheet. Eventually, car manufacturing sites no longer in use can be recycled into solar plants, providing hundreds of jobs for laid-off autoworkers in those areas. As futuristic as these new technologies may sound, the responsibility of rapidly creating jobs out of these resources is now in the hands of the nation’s most prominent companies. Their decisions will determine whether “going green” will simply breed another joke on VH1’s I Love the 2000s, or truly be a driving force in the direction of this country.
JAMES KISLINGBURY ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
FACEBOOK, NOT JUST FOR EMBARASSING PHOTOS ANYMORE
SOMALIA, NOW WITH 20% LESS PIRATES
The other week Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari detailed his 118-day imprisonment in Iran for being a “media spy.” He was released in October, with the penalty of never being able to return to Iran. He got lucky though, the government has started sentencing protesters for this summer’s Green Revolution. So far the trials have condemned five to death and 81 have been sentenced to prison for terms of up to 15 years. Not bad for a mass show trial. Who needs freedom of speech when you’ve got tons and tons of oil? But, the fun doesn’t end there! No, sir. Not only is the regime persecuting dissidents within its own borders, it’s actually reaching out and threatening expatriates via the internet, specifically through our favorite social networking site, Facebook. Apparently the government has been finding those who are criticizing the government while in other countries and threatening to arrest the dissident’s family if they don’t knock it off. Real classy stuff. So what we have here is a bunch of religious fundamentalist internet trolls controlling a nation that’s more than likely looking to score a nuclear arsenal. What could go wrong? But on the other hand, Tiger Woods cheated on his wife, so why should we bother talking about anything else?
On the third of December, a suicide bomb ripped through a medical student commencement ceremony at a hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing 22. Of the dead, three were ministers of the nation’s transitional federal government which, in a country that basically hasn’t had any government outside of the “roving street gang” variety for nearly 22 years, is something of a setback. What is more concerning is the supposed bombers, Al Shabaab, might have connections to Al Qaeda, and if this is true, the anarchic nation might prove to be an ideal sanctuary for America’s least popular jihadist organization. It wouldn’t exactly be the first time the two nations crossed paths. During the turmoil in the early 1990s Somalis hired Mujahideen veterans from the Soviet-Afghan War. The gunmen were hired specifically to shoot down the American helicopters that they saw as occupiers (they eventually did, serving as the inspiration for the book and film Black Hawk Down). Luckily, for all those who aren’t fans of terrorism, it seems there aren’t too many Somalis who aren’t pissed off by the bombing. So, keep that in mind. Even in the midst of chaos, in one of the most impoverished and war-torn nations on earth, it is still really bad form to blow up students picking up their syllabus.
7 DECEMBER 2009
STATE OF THE BEACH
YOUR WEEKLY CAMPUS NEWS IN BRIEF JOHN YANG UNION STAFFER
California cut our budget, so we had a huge hole where there should have been oodles of money. The Federal Stimulus bill rolled around and filled that huge gaping hole. Only problem is, that was a one-time stimulus, so we are going to have a huge hole again next year. So if you thought this year was bad, unless a gigantic box of gold falls on Brotman Hall, expect more classes cut, more furloughs, and the shit to really hit the fan. On a lighter note—there is a new club on campus that isn’t related to any religious groups! And they already have a website. Oh damn. CSULB Electronic Dance Music club is meeting December 8th, at 5:30pm in the University Student Union, room 307. Also, if you’re stressing out about finals, I hear the library will be open 24 hours, but the Beach Hut will not be open 24 hours. So bring your own food or starve. If you have people to buy gifts for who are name brand whores, then you’re going to have to bite the bullet. However, you can save some cash with some simple deal sites like: http://www.dealhack.com/index.html http://bensbargains.net/ http://slickdeals.net/ You could be super cool and give the gift of both charity, and art with the annual Holiday Art proceeds go to Long Beach Rescue Mission (LBRM). Schedule is as follows: December 11th—Noon-5pm, Meet and greet, LBRM and Long Beach Art Werks. December 12th—Noon-7pm, Art viewing, silent auction from 4-6pm. December 13th—Noon-5pm, Art viewing, take down at 3pm. Or, you could be even cooler and get someone a College All Access Pass for $25 that gets them into every single Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra concert from now until May 2010 (some one get me this please). A lot of companies have their own sales going on, so you can just check out the clearance section (without the stigma of checking out the clearance section in a brick and mortar place). But a lot of times you can find even more savings than that (crazy right?)—just check websites like retailmenot.com to find extra promo codes to get things like free shipping, 10-20% off, etc.
NO, I WILL NOT FUCK
THE CAMPUS POLICE A REBUTTAL TO MAXIMILLIAN PIRAS’ “FUCK THE (CAMPUS) POLICE” – 11/30 CAITLIN CUTT LITERATURE EDITOR
efore I get into this, I’m really sorry that your car got stolen. Regardless of what I have to say about your article, that sucks. Let me start by explaining something to you about the area in which you parked your car. Have you noticed those big buzzing lights up and down Bellflower? Well, those are there because girls who were walking back to their cars after school at night were getting pulled into the bushes and raped where you had parked your car. It’s not the safest place to leave pretty much anything. But hey! The good news is you aren’t the only one on this campus who’s become disillusioned with the world for parking there. Also, it sounds like you have a shit-poor idea of how the law works. Let me tell you something, if you drive around with a broken tail light, or make an illegal U-turn (like you admit to doing in your article) and then get caught, you’re gonna get a ticket. Why, if you
VICTOR CAMBA COMICS EDITOR
wanted your car to be treated like a special little snowflake, didn’t you handle the fix-it tickets you had? Also, you knew you were breaking the law when you made that U-turn or drove around in your car. What you did was against the law—you know, kind of like stealing a car? On top of bitching about your car getting stolen in a metropolitan city, and getting caught for breaking the law, you then go on to justify your sad little rant by saying, “we employ law officers with strict regulations to persecute any simple offense on or around campus in hopes to eliminate criminal activity…” I agree that cops, on and off campus, waste a ton of time ticketing kids with skateboards, of dishing out jay walking tickets when they should be “serving and protecting.” But dude, where the hell do you think these “strict regulations” come from? I’ll tell you: people like you. Someone like you
sued the city of “wherever” because their house caught on fire on the Fourth of July. Now I can’t set off fireworks this summer. Some kid broke their wrist skateboarding on some college campus, sued the shit out of the school they were skateboarding on, and now we can’t skateboard at CSULB. You parked your car on a public street and it got stolen. If you keep bitching, none of us will be able to park on Bellflower and all of us including you will be forced to buy a parking pass—thus feeding into the cycle you have deeply miscalculated. I don’t know what you’ve been reading
but let me lay it out for you: since the fucking Enlightenment, Western Culture has seen that the law was crafted by human beings, thus it is inherently flawed. Additionally, we now know that the world is filled with arbitrary, shitty, awful events like your car getting stolen (or fucking war) which point to the fact we may be alone in the universe. Now, everyone has ways to deal with these facts— world views that tackle the “unknowable” in the universe. But I can’t think of a single belief system, Eastern or Western, that would lend sympathy your way, and here’s why: you believe that you deserve a new car.
CAPITALISM: THIS AIN’T NO LOVE STORY Free Love in the Twilight of Capitalism MICHAEL VEREMANS UNION STAFFER
Every aspect of our waking lives is governed by the interest of capital—from our ideas and our time to our love and emotional capacity, the drive for profit is never far. This era of globalization, information, and service has managed to link all of mankind in a web of unprecedented exploitation laid over another web of intensive, yet subtle social controls. The most potent tool of subjugation, employed openly by our government and regularly in corporate policy and advertising, is alienation. The revolutionists of ages have fought against these artificial constructions that render brothers strangers, the antithesis of Marxism—division. Entire cultural entities have been reoriented towards the uncomfortable realities of racism, misogyny, homophobia, and classism, and we have to deal with it everyday, simply to produce capital. It would be naïve to say, as many do, that the politics of econ-
omy do subscribe every choice we make to the current system of capitalism. It is mutually exclusive, seeking solutions to the problems of an inherently deleterious system of production only within that system. Well, there are alternatives outside of that: commonality and communality. It would strike an American as completely bizarre if they were suddenly in a country where law enforcement and the justice system wasn’t used to levy penalties and collect debt for banks, but this is a livable alternative. And this choice is what the revolution of humanity against exploitation is really about. The cost of mass communication and all of its filters has effectively neutralized our democracy and potential for real social change by generating crevasses between us and stifling all hope of creative connection. Yes, they tell us over and over how insignificant we are, but we are all of indispensable importance indi-
vidually together. I can’t repeat this enough: take back the media! Most of us just don’t want to believe that the companies we see advertising to us, supposedly vying for our dollar are in fact taking more from us than they are giving. We’re in denial of the habitual inconvenience for profit that dominates our lives and so the idea that we should view fields such as art and psychology through the lens of economics may seem repulsive. But, it’s scary actually to say that someone is depressed because of their job and that they have no choice but to battle with suicide with pills for money. Are we paying to work harder and selling our emotions for someone else? Have we reoriented our creative energies to developing profit rather than intellectual and social enrichment? But this is too horrible to bear so we continue to toil under a dysfunctional sun that beats and beats on us til’ we’re shut
up by capitulatory cognitive dissonance. Controlling forces within hegemonic empire—representatives, history, aggressive marketing, etc.—continue to tell us that this is how it has always been, but we are beginning to understand that this is not true. Opiates, media glossalia, blatant lies that are fed to us to make us feel like the earth below us isn’t moving, isn’t soaking up the blood of the thousands dead from injustice every day. Empire is static, but we can inspire social movement through politico-economic revolution. There is no more waiting—Resist! You are the revolution—Liberate! We have to fight before the energy of boundless human love is siphoned into a capitalist oblivion and we all become hibakusha of the soul!
7 DECEMBER 2009
SPORTS FOR INDIES
PART 3: SPORTS TECH ANDY KNEIS
BADASS BALLERS BEAT BRUINS, BOOYA WE BEAT UCLA FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE 76 CLASSIC USING ALLITERATION POWER ANDREW TURNER
ong Beach State basketball is beginning to gain national recognition for its fast start to the 2009-10 season. The 49ers, now 4-3, are getting noticed for the skilled opponents they are playing on their nonconference schedule. Coach Doug Monson has made a point of scheduling tough early on so that his team would be battle-tested when the Big West begins play on January 2nd. Having started the year 3-1, and winning two of their first three on a seven game road trip, Long Beach traveled to Anaheim to compete in the 76 Classic. It was an opportunity for Long Beach State to put itself on the map with their next four games being nationally televised. The Beach opened the tournament against the No. 8 West Virginia Mountaineers. The 49ers fell behind early, as the Mountaineers were connecting on
7 DECEMBER 2009
a storm of three-pointers. Long Beach managed to close the gap to 13 early in the second half, but West Virginia went on a 10-0 run to push their lead to 23. West Virginia shot over 50% from the field, downing the 49ers 85-62. Monson’s team took on the No. 19 Clemson Tigers in the second round of the 76 Classic. The Beach made a much better showing against this top 25 opponent. Long Beach hung with Clemson all the way, trailing by as little as one point mid-way through the second half. The 49ers were able to stay close because they were getting to the freethrow line, and getting the Tigers top player, Trevor Booker, in foul trouble. However, Long Beach could only convert 20-34 free throws. The Beach gave up 57.6% shooting to the Tigers in an 8779 loss. T.J. Robinson had 25 points and 15 rebounds, and Casper Ware added 20 points of his own in the loss.
JASMINE GAGNIER Long Beach State faced UCLA in their final game of the tournament. The 49ers defeated the Bruins 79-68, in Long Beach’s first ever victory against the boys from Westwood. UCLA, who is only returning one starter this year in Michael Roll, trailed the 49ers 32-31 at the break. Long Beach was dominant in the second half, outscoring the Bruins 47-37. T.J. Robinson had another stellar game with 25 points and 13 boards for his second double-double of the tournament. Stephan Gilling shot 3-4 from three-point land, as the 49ers climbed above the .500 mark with their fourth win of the season. The 49ers will end their seven game road swing on Monday, when they take on the No. 2 Texas Longhorns. Fans, there will be a watch party at Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar at The Pike in Long Beach. The game is scheduled to begin at 6pm and will be televised on ESPNU.
Sports Tech Talk. Open up your ears. Tenacious talker talks tech in sports. That’s me. It might seem like I’m stalling because I don’t know anything about sports tech or really sports at all but that’s ridiculous. Why would a guy volunteer to edit a page about sports and then agree to write a column about sports technology in keeping with the theme of the newspaper if he (or she [hypothetical]) didn’t know what he (or she) was talking about? See? That’s a good question. You should feel bad about wondering it. In reality I am a good looking cool guy that knows a ton about this stuff. For example, people have recently invented a whole new kind of football called Fantasy Footballs. This is a kind of football where instead of professional players playing the game, it is played by imaginary elves and dwarves and iron horses. Let’s just say it’s kind of like The Arcade Fire maybe? Like if an arcade caught on fire and there was a fireproof imaginary football field underneath and the firefighters were mythical creatures that decided to play a quick game since the arcade burned to the ground anyway. There was also a new form of sportswear that scientists made called Under Armor and it’s this specially made tight shirt that shows off all your muscles underneath it. “I have muscles to spare” is basically what I’m saying so just keep reading my article. This is an article, this is a good one. FOLK MUSIC. There’s pretty much no other breakthroughs in sports technology because the rules have been around for a long time. Which reminds me: rules are the worst. I mean people have hands. Why aren’t they allowed to use them in soccer? It’s pretty silly. Or how come in football if a guy gets tackled everyone has to stop? They could keep trying to hurt him and the guy could probably get up and keep trying to play. Don’t even get me started on basketball. Oh yeah, “don’t stop bouncing that ball or else I’ll blow a whistle,” says the referee. Like get a life you stripey asshole, why don’t you worry about more important stuff. Ugh. Okay, that’s all. I wrote a bunch of words, read them or not you darn indies.
MUSIC 10 BEST SONGS OF THE DECADE Words & Art
RACHEL RUFRANO MUSIC/MANAGING EDITOR
completely objective and unbiased list that is incomparably more valuable than any other list in any other college newspaper called the Union Weekly. Here you have it, folks—a list of ten songs from the past ten years that I believe hold some lasting importance and influence on the decades to come.
5 8 1 3 6 9 4 2 7 10
“All My Friends” – LCD Soundsystem There isn’t a single flaw in this seven-and-ahalf minute long photograph of the disintegration of youthful optimism and the people we shared that optimism with. The piano drives one note forward the whole time without faltering or slowing down or stopping to breathe with a bridge or chorus—it’s how life suddenly feels when you’re looking back on it. You snap your fingers, and like that, the song is over, and you didn’t even have time to understand what really happened. John Lennon said it once, but LCD Soundsystem said it better: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” And every time James Murphy sings “where are your friends tonight/if I could see all my friends tonight,” my heart jumps into my throat. I’m continually impressed with Soundsystem’s ability to capture something so broad and intangible and put it into song, because “All My Friends” is too heady a song to listen to regularly, and yet, it’s the most played song in my library. “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)” – The Arcade Fire Arguably the best album of this generation, Funeral feels like a great novel. No note could be added, no line sacrificed, and no track omitted—it’s perfection from start to finish. Something so simple and plain as “sometimes we remember bedrooms, and our parents’ bedrooms, and the bedrooms of our friends / then we think of our parents, well whatever happened to them?” could likely be my favorite line put into song in the last ten years. When I finish “Laika” I can’t help but think it was written by superhumans— artists with the ability to observe life on a higher plane than I can and wrench every nerve and emotion in my body. Funeral was not a stroke of luck by The Arcade Fire, but a very clearly well-thought out work made with precision, heart, and genius. This album seems to mean something different to everyone, but it most certainly means something to everyone and anyone who seriously invests themselves in music. “Genesis” – Justice Justice changed everything—they embodied the sound of a scene that had been growing underground in every major city long
before † debuted. What had normally been reserved for the 90s Manchester rave scene and gay dance clubs, had suddenly become perfectly suited for a coke and Red Bull fueled counterculture of unknown youths going out to be photographed and plastered all over the internet. Young people were looking for more than just a high and a place to go, they were looking for a voice. † is a complete, well-crafted album filled with crunchy bass lines and a well-structured orchestration of what will likely serve as a catalyst for a new musical movement—and it’s influence is already apparent across every genre in every artist that’s debuted since. I don’t think Kraftwerk or the earliest sampling DJs could have predicted this sort of evolution. The character of Tony Wilson was commenting on the ‘90s rave scene in 24 Hour Party People when he said, “They’re applauding the DJ. Not the music, not the musician, not the creator, but the medium.” Now the music, the musician, the creator, and the medium have melded into one, and Justice was the first to do it well.
“Chicago” – Sufjan Stevens Stevens is one of the great songwriters of this generation and although it’s difficult to choose just one song of his to put on this list, “Chicago” is obvious for more than a few reasons. Most people remember it from Little Miss Sunshine, but “Chicago” is much more than catchy and cinematic—it showcases everything that makes Stevens great: his chord structures, his songwriting, his patience with building a tone and mood, and his range as a composer. His music flows with you and through you and it’s apparent that Stevens’ music is genuine and unabashedly true. I predict that he will become an icon who deserves to sit on the throne alongside the songwriting legends. “Lost Cause” – Beck Beck is undeniably talented. Since “Loser” first aired on the radio we’ve seen that Beck can pull from hundreds of influences in just one song, but Beck seemed to lose a lot of listeners with Sea Change. We were used to feeling static electricity and energy in his music, but Sea Change was not necessarily a departure from that. He was still drawing from the same influences, still as eccentric, and still
musically one step ahead of everyone else, but the mood had changed. Beck had entered his Blue Period and “Lost Cause” is a look inside the mind of a heartbroken genius. His voice conveys a real can’t-eat-can’t-sleep sadness. A song like this needs to be heard by anyone who’s felt that and a song like this needed to be written to exorcise everything that was bogging Beck down—the same things that were inside him on Odelay and everything after, just articulated differently.
“So Says I”– The Shins Chutes Too Narrow was the first and last really great album for The Shins. In 2003, when the album came out, Indie music was making a sudden appearance in the mainstream music scene, and when Garden State came out, it gave The Shins more fame than Indie music was equipped for. I think their music’s prominence in the film was all at once their ticket to success and their ruination. And although the film was a stroke of luck for Zach Braff, we cannot say the same for his taste in music. The Shins’ Chutes Too Narrow is like The White Album of the new millennium and we owe a lot of respect for the influence songs off Chutes have had on everything we’ve heard since.
“Maps” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs I was only really old enough to take music from my own decade seriously starting in 2000, so I’d say say say that this song was the first to really hit me on a gut level. The song rocks, the drummer is hitting those drums hard, and the gain is cranked up on that guitar, but Karen O isn’t really pushing her voice to her limits here. Her voice is subdued and shaky; she sounds as if she’s on the verge of tears. This song is like the melancholy eye contact you get from someone across the room at a party where just about everyone is having the time of their life—except for that person. Karen O can barely get the words out, let alone scream them over the guitar and percussion. There’s something endearing about Karen O, who’s usually so hyped up and loud, showing so much vulnerability, and I don’t think anyone needs to know that about her to feel that from this song alone.
“A Lady of a Certain Age” – The Divine Comedy The ‘90s was absent of any real storytelling through song, maybe in an attempt to pendulum away from the confessional songwriting of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but The Divine Comedy seems to show no lament for the hiatus—they picked up right where we left off. The song isn’t ambiguous or flowery— there are characters, scenes, and a plot. But this song doesn’t sacrifice melody for a story the way Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen had to do. He drones like David Bowie over a fluttering guitar and buoyant violins and a harpsichord—it’s as beautifully apathetic as the life of the woman in the story.
“Jesus, Etc.” – Wilco Chances are you either hate Wilco or you love them—but I’m of the belief that people only hate Wilco because someone they don’t like likes them. I mean, how do you not fall in love with a band that made an album like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot? This song won my heart with one line: “You were right about the stars/Each one is a setting sun.” But when Jeff Tweedy goes on to describe the girl who told him this, we see his talent as a poet—yes, Tweedy is using the sun and the orbit of skies to describe her, and he’s doing it without sounding like a Hallmark card. It’s a love letter from a brokenhearted boy that’s surprisingly really good in all its vulnerable, naïve, desperate glory. She shouldn’t have left him, that’s all I’m saying.
“Hey Ya!” – Outkast We can, first, ignore all the major genredefying things Outkast did on The Love Below because, as important as that makes Outkast as a duo, it has nothing to do with this song. It has all the chiming sounds from “Genius of Love,” the wailing call and repeat of a Pentecostal church, and an unpredictably jazzy chord structure. A lot of rap artists at the time were doing this thing where they sang…badly. But there was something appealing about a note hitting the wrong place when everything else is so perfectly in-the-pocket. Andre 3000 found a way to sing a strange melody without losing pop appeal. Not to mention, the song manages to be humorous, but not laughable; danceable, but not strobe-light-seizure-inducing dance; it manages to be a lot of things all at once, without compromising anything but cheese. UNION WEEKLY
7 DECEMBER 2009
CULTURE NATURE AND NURTURE: URBAN HOMESTEADING
the Dervaes Family’s Sustainable Path to Freedom words and photos by chelsea rosenthal
PASADENA, CA - The Dervaes family have converted an urban Pasadena lot into an organic, permaculture garden which supplies them with enough food year-round. At their home, they raise their own farm animals, they use alternate energy for power, and they even produce their own “home-brewed bio-diesel.”
long beach art werks presents...
1st annual winter charity art auction BY michaël veremans, union staffer
This Saturday, Dec. 12th will see the first ever Long Beach Art Werks Winter Charity Auction. This premiere winter event will take place at the 2nd City Council Art Gallery (2ndcitycouncil.org) at 435 Alamitos Avenue in the East Village Arts District, across the street from the MOLAA, between 12 noon and 7pm with the silent auction beginning at 4pm and closing at 6pm to determine the winners. The best part of the entire event is that 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to benefit our hard-working local shelter Long Beach Rescue Mission (lbrm. org) who, since 1972, have been providing essential services to the less fortunate of our fair town. This exciting evening will feature works up for auction from emerging and established artists from Long Beach, LA, and Orange County including Andrew Cortes, Stephen Sotnick, Travis Ott-Conn, Brian Bello, Devin Frazzee, Kelly Campanella, and many, many more. The positive inertia of UNION WEEKLY
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participation the Long Beach arts community has invested in this event will make it a night of culture to remember, complemented by music, refreshment, and creative mingling opportunities. The gallery will be displaying the work the day before the auction—Friday the 11th—from 12 noon to 5pm and host an artist/Rescue Mission mixer and the Sunday following the event for a special cultural day. Show your support for the community and help turn art into an active tool for social justice. At night, most of us experience the streets in transit or through a window, but for some, the streets are home. Long Beach Art Werks is dedicated to inspiring social justice through public art engagement. Struggling against the odds, we have the chance with this event to transform our compassion for humanity into community action and extend our hands to the less fortunate. You’ve dropped coins into rattling cups, but now is a chance to give them change. Visit the Jaguar Press website for more information: jaguarpress.wordpress.com.
ules Dervaes, the pioneer of urban homesteading in downtown Pasadena, believes there are two types of hard. “There’s a meaningful hard and a meaningless hard,” says Dervaes, “I know what I do is difficult, but I have a purpose and I can see a future.” Forty years ago, Dervaes sought a more natural and a low-impact lifestyle. Today, he and his family have become self-sufficient celebrities, dubbing their urban lot the “Path to Freedom.” They tend to over 350 different types of vegetables, fruits and herbs on just 1/10 of an acre, producing roughly 6,000 pounds of produce every year. I got the privilege of sitting down with Mr. Dervaes in their Pasadena home, after helping with the morning farm chores, of course. Union Weekly: What inspired you to to want to lead a selfsufficient lifestyle? Jules Dervaes: We had pollution problems, like acid rain and DDT, and no one was doing anything about it. It was the beginning of the “Me Generation” and I didn’t think society had what it took to raise a good family. I was sampling what was happening and I didn’t like the taste, so I left—started searching for some country roots. UW: What would you say to those who believe that taking steps to living a low-impact lifestyle is too difficult? JD: Heck, I think going on the freeway is too difficult. And I definitely wouldn’t want to work for a corporation in this economic climate. Hard is a good thing if you have a purpose. And there’s always a purpose in the natural system, not the artificial. UW: The local and slow food movements have recently become more mainstream. Do you think it’s a fad or does the cultural shift towards sustainability mean it is actually picking up steam? JD: Yes and no. At least the awareness level has increased. But we tend to treat things as fads. It’s become cool! People in our neighborhood used to not talk to us, but now we’re cool. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen when it’s suddenly uncool again. And this whole “Green” thing is a marketing scheme, it’s for the rich. There are green stunts happening, but not green lifestyles, because real changes are made when there is no applause. UW: What tips would you give to a college student who wants to make environmentally conscious changes in their life? JD: Well, I know they’re in a tight situation and they’re busy, but you can always look around and see what you have. Ride your bike more, take a composting class or find a group of like-minded people. Everything has always been led by the students. You’re in college to find a better way of life, not pass tests and get jobs. The lengths at which the Dervaes family attempts selfsufficiency can be daunting. But you don’t have to start brewing your own bio-diesel or installing an outdoor shower to make some positive changes in your own life. “Start taking small steps,” says Dervaes, “because you don’t know where they’re going to go.” For more information and inspiration from the Dervaes family, visit their website at: http://www.pathtofreedom.com.
10 TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS FOR THE NEXT DECADE
THE LUKE ARM JOE BRYANT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
When I first heard Dean Kamen, CEO of DEKA and the guy who invented the Segway, was creating a fully functional prosthetic arm for amputees, I cringed. The Segway? C’mon. Then I saw the clip on YouTube. It’s like something out of a sci-fi flick. Which is appropriate, considering the thing is called the Luke Arm—after the handless hero from the good Star Wars films. Designed to be fully modular, the arm is broken into individually motorized segments. This means if you’re missing your arm at just above the elbow, they can give you a Luke Arm that starts at just above the elbow. Users control the arm through a pressure-responsive foot petal that’s about the size of a Dr. Scholl’s pad and fits into a shoe just as easily. Want to rotate your wrist? Simply lean on your heel. The whizzes at DEKA are even working on a version that responds to the brain, connecting directly into the amputee’s nerve endings. The Luke Arm’s harness is fitted with four “bladders” that fill up with air as the arm lifts objects. The heavier the object, the more the harness constricts, letting the user know he’s lifting too much. Plus, the harness houses a motor that vibrates on the small of the wearer’s back, telling him how much pressure he’s putting on an object he’s holding—meaning he can pick up a grape or shake someone’s hand without having to worry about crushing either. Who would’ve thought the whiniest moment in cinema could inspire something so cool?
GOOGLE WAVE SEAN BULGER UNION STAFFER
In the future, when the earth has been reduced to dust and the only things left are cockroaches and marauders… there will be Google. Google will carry us into the future on a brightly-colored throne of innovation, and the beginning of this movement is called Google Wave. And then there’s the million dollar question: What the hell is it? There doesn’t seem to be a simple explanation. No one seems to know how to tell anyone exactly what it does, and it takes about three YouTube videos to figure out exactly what it’s capable of. While this is true, there actually does exist a very simple explanation for Google Wave, and it is this: e-mail reinvented. Email was created 40 years ago, so Google decided to combine their favorite elements of Web 2.0-enriched sites and services from Facebook to Yelp and create Google Wave, a combination between an email, a document, and an instant message. When they’re logged in at the same time, users
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can edit Waves (documents) and be seen by other users in real-time. The open-source code allows for an endless amounts of user-created applications and extensions, and this is where Google Wave’s full potential is going to be realized. As the additions grow more and more intuitive and numerous, Google Wave is going to continue to revolutionize the way we use the internet, and it’s going to do so by being the coolest shit ever.
QUANTUM COMPUTING KEVIN O’BRIEN NEWS EDITOR
Quantum computers are touted as the next revolution in computing and while they were theorized some 30 years ago, practical quantum computers are still firmly situated in the future. To understand what quantum computers are and how they work, you have to understand quantum mechanics, and that’s not going to happen —not a chance. However, the basic principles of quantum mechanics are somewhat accessible. Matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms. These atoms are made of a nucleus at the center made of protons and neutrons, which is orbited in rings by electrons. These electrons can move between the rings by losing or gaining energy (said energy is emitted as light). This movement is known as packets or quanta, studied in quantum physics. Today’s computers use a series of ones and zeros to dispatch and receive information. Tomorrow, quantum computers will use atoms, ions, photons or electrons, all known as quantum bits (or qubits). The benefit to using qubits instead of ones and zeros is that ones and zeros can only exist in one of those two states. However, qubits benefit from being able to exist in superposition. This fact gives quantum computers the ability to be many millions times more efficient and powerful than traditional computers. Moore’s law dictates that transistors, which govern the power of computers, are doubling in power every eighteen months. It is reasoned that by the year 2020 this doubling in power will be measured on the atomic level.
MILITARY ROBOTICS JAMES KISLINGBURY ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
You might remember there was a YouTube video not too long ago of a robotic dog built for the military that can walk, gallop, and jump across almost any conceivable battlefield to deliver equipment to servicemen in need. I also imagine that, if necessary, it will waste America’s enemies by the boat load, because that is what robots do. They destroy people.
IS TOMORROW Boston Dynamic’s Big Dog is just one of many creations that prove robots are a cold fact of our future and, more likely than global warming, solar flares, or the hunta virus, they will be the end of us all. The Big Dog is also a creation that sounds like the bleat of a goat wishing for death. Then there’s the EATR, the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot. A cute name for a machine that is powered by organic substances. So not only will it be able to kill people, but it can then devour its quarry for fuel. It’s been claimed by this monstrosity’s creators that it isn’t engineered to eat people. I don’t know how you feel, but I trust that statement about as much as I trust any statement from a mad scientist drunk off of playing god. That is to say, when the robot apocalypse comes, the living will envy the dead as they’re slowly turned into fuel for the creeping hordes of soulless death bots. Make no mistake: These robots want your flesh. And maybe your wife.
LIMB REGENERATION JAMES KISLINGBURY ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
There he is. The mighty axolotl. Sitting in his terrarium, soaking himself in our precious water, gloating. Confident in his ability to regrow his many limbs. What a bastard. Well, no longer will we have to take guff from an Aztec amphibian. No siree-bob. Soon, humans will have the ability to regrow limbs. In the decade to come, even the most horrific and crippling injuries will be able to be reversed through modern science. Fingers, toes, legs, and arms will be capable of being regrown through a variety of techniques. It’s bad news for the crutch industry, but great for everyone that’s missing something. So far the technology has only been able to repair simple things like the tip of a finger in humans, but potential for further growth is obvious. From powder made out of pig intestines to seeding cell growth with a nutrient bath, great advances in repairing complex tissues are being made as we speak. This is an obvious boon for the Pentagon, which is knee deep in lost limbs from two wars, and has invested a quarter of a billion dollars in a powder that will someday reverse the ravages of war. If anyone knows anything about the future, it’d be the Pentagon. Hell, even your penis will be able to be replaced if— God forbid—it gets lost in a horrible thresher accident. Oh sure, the process has only been proven in rabbits (and Lord knows rabbits need their junk), but that’s better than nothing. A rabbit penis in the hand is better than two in the bush, right?
The Luke Arm
REMOTE CONTROL BRAIN IMPLANT CAITLIN CUTT LITERATURE EDITOR
Have you ever been watching TV and thought to yourself: “This remote is just too much work. I wish I could just change the channel with my brain!” Well, it doesn’t matter, because Intel is banking on the fact that people will get so lazy in the next ten to fifteen years we won’t have the wherewithal to lift a single finger. In their Pittsburgh laboratory, Intel is developing an implant chip that would sense neurological activity— this technology would then allow us to operate computers, televisions, and cell phones with our minds! The chip is based on the theory that certain concepts ignite specific potions of the brain. Using fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) the Intel team is scanning the brains of volunteers to see if indeed this is the case. According to the Pittsburgh-based laboratory, the results “look promising.” After their research is complete, the next obstacle for Intel will be a matter of finding people willing to test the product. I, for one, wouldn’t line up. Buttons aren’t really an issue for me—but then again I can use my arms. The chip will initially be geared towards people who are unable to move. This makes a lot of sense. But after that I’m sure the Intel implant will just be used by people who don’t want to move.
STEM CELLS MATT DUPREE UNION STAFFER
Stem cells have come a long way since the days of the Bush administration, in which they were maligned as the hellspawn harvest of aborted fetuses and shoved into the ever-widening crevice of things old people are afraid of. Thankfully, science doesn’t give a shit about your hangups, and now a slew of companies have developed ways of extracting more effective stem cells from loads of different, non-controversial sources. The “holy grail” aspect of stem cells is owed to their “pluripotency,” their ability to become many different potential types of cells. In January of 2009, the FDA approved the first research patent for human stem cell studies. And just recently, the National Institute of Health approved the first new batch of stem cell lines since 2001, when Bush banned funding of the spooky stem cell research. And as much progress as we’ve seen just in the past year, the year 2010 looks to be even more dramatically significant in stem cell research. The goals of the stem cell research community are as pluripotent as the stem cells themselves. While spinal cord injuries and severe skin burns are the first human
Big Dog Army Transport
Augmented Reality Cell Phone Interface
ills to see treatments being developed, that’s just a drop in the primordial ooze. Scientists are confident that cancer, heart disease, diabetes, blindness, muscular dystrophy and Crohn’s disease will see new treatments due to stem cell research. And if life-ruining illnesses aren’t your bag, stem cells may also soon be used to regrow teeth, reverse baldness, correct vision, restore fertility, and speed up wound healing. Paging Steve Rogers.
could save humans from extinction. We can easily create new forms of clean fuel and energy and vaccines by synthetically altering existing microorganisms. We can find cures for diseases that don’t even exist yet and create fuel that doesn’t pollute our atmosphere. We can create anything from anything. Venter is in a controversial position much like Einstein—he’s created a program that can synthesize bacteria, which could definitely be used against us, but the intentions of the project are pure, and if used for good, we could rapidly improve our way of life as we know it.
WIRELESS ELECTRICITY ANDY KNEIS SPORTS EDITOR
Since the days of Nikolai Tesla, the idea of wireless technology has been the source of dreams for eggheads all over the world. Trust me though, you want this technology too. MIT egghead Eric Giler recently demoed this technology at a TED Talk. He blew the socks right off the crowd as he powered a flatscreen TV completely wirelessly, all using safe technology. Just as the crowd was putting on a fresh pair of socks, Giler blew them off again and probably their underpants too as he whipped out a cell phone and charged it just by waving it in front of the wireless generator. He then showed off a little bit and charged an iPhone, too. A little cocky, Giler. This display shows that Tesla’s vision of a wireless future is actually quite possible. Giler also explained all of the cool implications of this new technology. Some of the possibilities he thought of were things like: no wires ever anymore and not having your cell phone beep at you because it’s running out of batteries. Okay maybe he thought of some other crap like no batteries spilling acid all over landfills and creating mutant seagulls or having an electric car that you don’t have to plug in like a dope. These are pretty cool things, especially if you’re into the Earth and not murdering it. Giler or Tesla or whoever obviously haven’t thought of the actual best use for this technology: Electric underpants.
SYNTHETIC BIOLOGICAL ORGANISMS RACHEL RUFRANO MUSIC/MANAGING EDITOR
Forget everything you thought you knew about synthetic biological organisms and human genome data— done already? Good, because the truth is no one can retain all that information, which is exactly why Craig Venter has created a computer program to do it for us. It’s called the Human Reference Genome Browser (HuRef), a program that contains everything we know about organisms and their make-up. Considering the accelerated increase in population we’re facing, Venter’s program
KATHY MIRANDA CULTURE EDITOR
As if laptops and cell phones weren’t portable enough, MIT has developed a new mobile technology that uses an interactive visual interface to stream information from the Internet; this new augmented reality is being called, “The Sixth Sense.” The Sixth Sense developed by Pattie Maes and her students at MIT is a wearable computer system—literally you wear it around your neck—which employs a small projector to project information from the Internet onto any surface in front of you to reveal data about the image that is being projected back. An example: place yourself at the supermarket buying toilet paper. This new Sixth Sense technology can visually project valuable information about each product on the actual product, from reviews, to carbon footprint stats, etc. You can control the images with your own fingers, which are capped with special detectors. It is the internet, quite literally, at your fingertips. You can also dial calls, take photos, and Google new acquaintances with the simple wave of a finger. The technology will, in theory, give us access to an abundance of information at any given time, dare I say all of it, and that can work to help us make informed decisions, hopefully environmentally responsible and health-conscious ones. These choices will be more accessible than ever and as a result, we can be a technologically progressive world while still sustaining our already limited resources. However, the more information there is available to us, the more we are pressured to keep developing technology that dictates our every move, threatening prized liberties like privacy, identity, and old-fashioned social skills. We already have these problems with the less complicated Internet browser, but at least for now we’re still able to be professionally successful and happy without a cell phone and/ or internet connection—something tells me that humble reality will change faster than we are ready for.
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LITERATURE READING RIMBAUD THE AUTHOR’S LIFE AND WORK IN TRANSLATION ALEXANDRE RODALLEC CONTRIBUTOR
rthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) is a source of inspiration to great artists like The Doors (Jim Morrison referred to himself as a “Rimbaud with a leather jacket” ), the Surrealists, the Beats, Klaus Kinski, and John Lennon. Van Morrison and Bob Dylan even refer to Rimbaud in a few of their songs. More recently, British electronica duo Frou Frou, named themself after line from a Rimbaud poem, “Ma Bohème ” — but the list goes on and on and on. The name Rimbaud is French, and it’s pronounced almost like Rambo, which is perfect because Arthur Rimbaud was, in my opinion, the Rambo of Poetry. However, where John Rambo never drew first blood, Arthur always does with his work, and did in real life too—he would have knife-fights with his friend and lover, poet Paul Verlaine, in their rented London room, just for kicks, only stopping at first blood. He was known as a vagabond for sleeping under bridges, and by Verlaine and posterity, he was known as a poetic genius who wrote most of his work between the ages of 16 and 21, at which point he quit writing poetry altogether. Not much later, he left Europe after killing one of his workers in Malta, to deal in arms, amongst other shady things, in what was then known as Abyssinia, modern day Ethiopia. We know Arthur smoked hashish, drank a lot of absinthe (since then dismissed as a hallucinogen), and probably smoked opium. When famous poets of his time were reading their poems, Rimbaud drew other peoples swords, once threatening to kill a photographer, and was generally known as a plague and enfant terrible wherever he went—although Paris knew his craze better than other places. In short, his brief life was filled with adventure: he was the original bad boy poet. And what a poet he was. At 16, he wrote one of the masterpieces of French Literature in traditional meter, “The Drunken Boat.” Breaking with the classic forms, Rimbaud created a new way of expression altogether, which you can sample in his two collections Illuminations and A Season in Hell. I leave you with one of the oldest free verse poems in the history of man, a potent drug on technological tones.
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MOTION The swaying motion on the shore of the rivers falls, The vortex by the sternpost, The speed of the rail, The vast rush of the current Lead through lights And chemical innovation The travelers engulfed by the waterspouts of the vale and the strom. Its the conquerors of the world Searching for the personal chemical fortune; The sport and the leisure traveling with them; They carry the education Of the races, the classes and beasts, on that vessel Rest and vertigo To diluvial light To the horrid nights of study. Because from the chatter amid the machines, the blood, flowers, the flame, jewels, The excited calculations of this fleeing rig, —We see, rolling like a dyke beyond the hydraulic power highway, Monstrous, lighting itself endlessly,—their stock of studies; Them, chased in the harmonious ecstasy, And the heroism of discovery. In the most stunning atmospheric accidents, A young couple isolates itself on the ark, —Is it ancient unsociability one forgives?— And sings and stands guard. —Arthur Rimbaud tr. Alexandre Rodallec
MONA KOZLOWSKI UNION STAFFER
WHITE ON BLACK DYNAMITE FLAPPING OUR GUMS AT MICHAEL JAI WHITE SEAN BOULGER
UNION STAFFER, MAN ABOUT TOWN
lot of you are going to find yourselves stumped next weekend. The semester’s going to be over, and you’re going to be left in a brain-drained daze, your mind completely sapped and zombified from four straight months of intellectual abuse. What to do? What the hell to do!? Don’t even worry about it. The Art Theatre has your answer, and that answer is Black Dynamite. Playing at midnight on Friday the 11th, Black Dynamite is hands-down the funniest film of 2009, if not the decade. A loving spoof of 1970s Blaxploitation cinema, Black Dynamite was written by and stars Michael Jai White, better known to you and your jive turkey friends as Spawn. That’s right, Spawn. Only in Black Dynamite, Spawn is a multiplelady-fucking, never-smiling, ass-kicking, suit-wearing, facesmashing badass, and the meanest, most motherfuckingest kung-fu warrior ever to work for the CIA. And they need him now, more than ever. And so do you. White, a student of the Monty Python school of comedy, grew up adoring the more bizarre subtleties and more cerebral tendencies of English comedians, all the while honing his martial arts abilities, though never necessarily intending to use them in a film career. Instead, wanting to break onto the scene as a more dramatic actor, White won critical acclaim with his portrayal of Mike Tyson in the TV film Tyson, which detailed the boxer’s troubled life. White earned himself positive reviews, and at this point decided he was ready to branch out and take on a more physical role, highlighting his martial arts skills for the first time in Universal Soldier. Enjoying the experience led White to pursue and land the role of Spawn, becoming the first African American actor to portray a comic book hero on screen. Though White has continued to make dramatic appearances, he also enjoys more action-oriented fare, remarking, “I love them equally. I love the action because I’m a kid at heart, and I have fun with it.” In Black Dynamite, White showcases some pretty kick ass martial arts capabilities, spending half the movie shirtless and all of it looking as toned as humanly possible. Viewers get a glimpse of just what it is White’s capable of, and it
turns out he’s capable of doling out a fair share of ass whoop. Commenting on his physical state these days, White notes, “I actually think I’m in better physical shape than when I was at twenty. I’m strong, faster. . . I have better endurance. I’m surprised, but I feel wonderful.” Surprising indeed, as not only is he the muscle-bound star of the show, but wrote the film himself, completing the first draft of the screenplay on his own. “I’ve actually been
writing for a while,” White told me on Friday. “I’ve written and sold projects under different names in the past. Some of them have been cannibalized and elements have wound up in other films.” Once again expressing a strong desire to avoid being limited in his range, White explains that “sometimes people want to pigeonhole you. That’s why I always write under a pseudonym; people don’t have to regard you in one way or another.” White would rather that people read his work without any preconceptions that his name as an actor might bring along. To his credit, White has done a pretty good job of avoiding being typecast. The actor has appeared in action fare films like
Spawn and Universal Soldier, but also played a mob boss in The Dark Knight, and had a role in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (as well as its sequel, Why Did I Get Married Too?). Now, for the first time, we get to see White’s name attached to a screenplay, and he absolutely picked the right one. Black Dynamite has a very fresh screenplay, its strength lying in its refusal to ever take itself seriously and—much like White himself—stick to one particular formula. A self-described acolyte of Peter Sellers, White balances a much more layered sense of humor than most spoof films are afforded, intentionally packing the film with subtleties and hidden jokes. “I wanted to design a lot of the comedy for a multicultural audience. One part of the audience might get something that another part won’t get,” and White hopes that this will help not only promote a universal appeal, but also repeated viewings. He’s right on both counts. Strong enough to entertain several times over, Black Dynamite veers from style to style, never once stopping to cater to any specific audience. Embracing high-brow humor in the same breath as low-brow physical comedy, Black Dynamite offers an authentic and true ode to the low production values of 1970s cinema. Think Grindhouse, but without the obviously digitally-imposed wear and tear. Having secured its spot as this reviewer’s Favorite Comedy of All-Time, Black Dynamite comes highly recommended. Go to the Art Theatre in the 11th at midnight and see this movie. Buy the movie when it comes out on DVD. Put thirty dollars in cash into an envelope and mail it to Michael Jai White’s house. Support this film in any way you can, as it deserves it. Black Dynamite is a comedy that will kick you square in the face, and when it’s over you’ll be asking for more. UNION WEEKLY
7 DECEMBER 2009
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7 DECEMBER 2009
Yet you are still left with your thoughts. An occupied space in your bed, but a massive void in you.
Poetry CULTURE EDITOR
The smell of sex still fills the roomlatex, sweat, The walls seem to soak it up, taking with it the visions of the previous encounter. It is now their secret to bear.
Your racing heart begins to slow. Your clouded mind begins to clear. Animalistic urges wash away, and youâ€™re left with clarity.
An Occupied Space in Your Bed The ecstasy of pleasure clouds your brain leaving reason behind. The animalistic urge seizes control of your body leaving nothing but veracious tendencies to act upon.
Your skin is soaked in it. Every bead of sweat is proof of your indiscretion. Your heaving chest. Your racing heart. The pulses of pleasure that still surge through your body is all proof.
7 DECEMBER 2009
“You know, the more I hear about this Hitler fellow, the less I care for him.”
This page is satire. We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Laugh rapist. Send rags to firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 65 Issue 14
Monday, December 7th, 2009
These Are Your Opinions Students share their most memorable moments on campus from 2009! Julio Harkonnen Journalism Professor, Gulag Expert
The mysterious and ever-elusive campus racist left his calling card, a semen-filled hole in the ground, to taunt the police in their investigation.
CSULB’s Top 10 Major Events from the Past Decade BY SOPHISTICATED BEAR & GRUNION STAFF The 21st century has brought some strange and frightening occurrences to Long Beach. Students have dealt with these events as they’ve come along, taking them in stride. Some happenings have gone long forgotten, some remain etched into our wrinkled head meat. Either way, the Grunion crew sifted through the records and compiled the top 10 events that have severely impacted the CSULB campus. Read on. 1) In 2003, a pre-Governor Schwarzenegger visited CSULB on his campaign trail. Walking around the campus, Schwarze-N-word garnered quite a crowd and then out of nowhere an egg came flying and hit the governor right in the face! And then, get this, he retaliated 5 years later by cutting the shit out of our budget! Now who’s covered in egg? 2) In 2001, the first Donnie Darko poster hung on wall of dorm room. 3) In 2002, Program Council attempted to have a CSULB Prom. It failed miserably due to lack of high school students.
4) In 2004, Steven Spielberg’s student film The Terminal makes it to theaters. 5) 2005’s CSULB Battle of the Bands consists entirely of Sublime tribute bands. 6) In 2008, packs of coyotes were
brought in to take care of the stray cat problem on campus, which got so bad at one point that a 49er writer described there being “a bush for every cat.” The coyotes began to gain power, gradually taking over until eventually getting tenure, thus cementing their role on campus. The school is looking to lay them off, blaming budget cuts and the continual presence of cats and squirrels. 7) On September 12th, 2001 the Grunion makes first 9/11 joke.
8) In 2007, some kid had a seizure and bit off his tongue. It was fucked up. 9) In 2005, one Sociology class ends up discussing Revenge of the Sith for a whole hour. 10) In 2006, a semen-filled hole in ground marks return of campus rapist. 11) In 2006, a Chemistry class experiments with Lesbianism.
12) In 2001, an all-female production of A Room Of One’s Own deemed not as good as “dude’s version.” 13) In 2009, one would-be school shooter takes out his emotions on class with horrendous poems. 14) In 2005, Warner Bros. releases first Batman biopic, plays in USU the November of that year. 15) In 2003, Communications major puts degree to use for first time, yells at someone. 16) In 2004, Amish kids on Rumspringa ruin campus drinking at sporting events for everyone else. 17) A vicious debate over the pronunciation of Puvungna takes place in Fall of 2002. 18) In 2000, one Psychology major sat down at a toilet on campus to pee, poop, and ended up peeing on his butt. 19) In 2009, a Sociologist major writes a paper on papers on Facebook. 20) In 2002, musician Geddy Lee mistakenly attends CSULB Rush Week.
My escape out of a secret Russian prison in the belly of a pregnant yak was good for me, but that wasn’t on campus, so I guess that new yogurt place is pretty great. They can blend two flavors together. Two! I tried to get them to blend me three flavors together, but they told me to stop smoking indoors, called me a drunk, and threw acid on me. I can never go back. It wasn’t a bad year, all told.
DEBRA PINRISKEN Middle-Aged Student Well, after 39 years I met my first college friend last week! We do everything possible together during the walk from our Psych class until she gets in her car in Lot 14 and I have to walk back to LA-3. I don’t know her name, but she let’s me talk about my cats, so that’s good enough for me! I think she has a hearing aid though, she always has these white chords coming from her ears into a little white device, which she’s always adjusting. Such a good listener.
JEFF FURNEY 8th year Sculpture Major During my sixth year in a sculpture class I decided to do a really revolutionary sculpture. I painstakingly carved an infant with the face of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Once I was done, I painstakingly set it on fire, and as it was blazing I dropped it from my second story dorm window. Of course my bullshit art teacher didn’t know his ass from a flaming baby sculpture and gave me a B-! I would like to sculpt my true feelings into his face with my fists, if you know what I mean. I guess I’ll just stick to sneaking up behind girls in my pottery class and teaching them how to throw clay. And perhaps to love.