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ISSUE 66.10 JOE BRYANT Editor-in-Chief

RACHEL RUFRANO Managing Editor

CLAY COOPER

Managing Editor

rachel.union@gmail.com

simone.union@gmail.com

KEVIN O’BRIEN

kevinob.union@gmail.com

News Director

ANDY KNEIS Sports Editor

CAITLIN CUTT

Literature Editor & PR

JAMES KISLINGBURY

Entertainment Editor & PR

RACHEL RUFRANO Music Editor & PR

CHRIS FABELA

Creative Arts Editor

caitlincutt.union@gmail.com

rachel.union@gmail.com cfab.union@gmail.com

KATHY MIRANDA

kathym.union@gmail.com

SOPHISTICATED BEAR Grunion Editor

bear.grun@gmail.com

CLAY COOPER

Art Director, cover design (w/ Chris Fabela)

ANDREW LEE Photo Editor

MIKE PALLOTTA

On-Campus Distribution

KATHY MIRANDA

Web Editor, cover photo

CAITLIN CUTT

Advertising Executive

A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

JOE BRYANT

jamesk.union@gmail.com

victorpc.union@gmail.com

Culture Editor

JOE VERSUS DEFENDING THE ’NINER

andyk.union@gmail.com

VICTOR CAMBA Comics Editor

-Neil McCauley, Heat

clay.union@gmail.com

SIMONE HARRISON Opinions Editor

“Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.”

joeb.union@gmail.com

caitlincutt.union@gmail.com

Contributors: MIKE PALLOTTA, MATT DUPREE, MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN, ALEXANDRA SCIARRA, MARCO BELTRAN, MICHAEL REVIS, BRIAN NEWHARD, ANDREW TURNER, JOHN YANG, JESSE BLAKE, MAY ZIMMERMAN, HOLLY GARLAND, SARA SANTANA, FOLASHADE ALFORD, JANTZEN PEAKE, BRYAN WALTON, JAMIE KARSON, KATY PARKER, CHELSEA STEVENS, DAVID DIAZ, JEFF CHANG, LEO PORTUGAL, ALEXANDRE RODALLEC, CHELSEA ROSENTHAL, ELISA TANAKA, KEN CHO, JENNY LONG, NOAH KELLY, ERIC BRYAN, JORDAN GARCIA

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ow. I am so sorry, Europe. I had no idea when I wrote my letter last week that I would actually force the world to cough up a cloud of volcanic ash into your airspace. I was trying to be funny and now I’m just an asshole. A colossal asshole. But you know who else are assholes? Thieves. Last Thursday I was walking back to the office from class and happened to see one in action. A short, chubby chick with long brown hair (police artists, start your sketches) was at a Daily 49er stand, looked both ways, tore off the issue taped to the front, picked up the stack inside and promptly threw it all away in a nearby garbage can. Unfortunatley, when I later checked on the stack, it was covered in smoothie, so it couldn’t be saved. Now, I think the ’Niner is a piece of trash too, don’t get me wrong, but this is something that I wouldn’t even wish upon the competition.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

You see, the Union has been stolen a fair amount of times too. Usually, the paper thief steals because of an article written about her or one of her friends. In this case, it was Wednesday’s issue slathered in strawberry and banana, and I imagine it was the cover story “False claims made by ASI candidate” by ’Niner Opinions Editor Zien Halwani, who wrote about how last week’s ASI Treasurer candidate, Jason Aula, lied on a scholarship application. Let’s not dwell on the fact that the ’Niner’s distribution accidentally left the previous day’s issue up. I’m sure this was a widespread problem the day the article was actually published. First-off, Aula is a sack of shit. Secondly, who really cares? Not that the micro-scandal shouldn’t be reported on, but is some BS ASI position that has little-to-no affect on the school at large really worth throwing away someone else’s hard work? Sure, the above-the-

fold headline pissed you off (because it was true), but what about the dude that wrote a brief on page five? Yeah, the article is online, but there’s something immensely satisfying about seeing your work in print, getting to hold it and having the ink rub off on your fingers. I’m not saying I haven’t ever thrown away a ’Niner­—usually I read it, get frustrated by the bland reporting and egregious design, and toss it—but this is just mean-spirited. And ultimately, the paper thieves are throwing away a school newspaper over a line that’ll be buried in their resumé five years after they graduate. Just say that out loud. It’s fucking pathetic. I’m going to file a police report about what I witnessed and I urge anyone who’s seen something similar to do the same. Who knows? Joe knows.

Send your praise, questions and pithy comments to joeb.union@gmail.com.

SCOOBY DOODLE SENIORITIS IN FULL EFFECT

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.

Questions? Comments? MAIL : 1212 Bellflower Blvd. Suite 239, Long Beach, CA 90815 PHONE : 562.985.4867 FAX : 562.985.8161 E-MAIL : lbunion.info@gmail.com WEB : lbunion.com

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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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JAMES KISLINGBURY

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 may or may not be edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and length. The Union Weekly will publish anonymous letters, articles, editorials and illustrations, but must have your name and information attached for our records. Letters to the editor should be no longer than 500 words.

JAMES KISLINGBURY UNION WEEKLY

19 APRIL 2010


OPINIONS

THE ART OF COMMUNICATION ART COLLABORATION IS NOT HAPPENING AT CSULB, BUT IT NEEDS TO ALEXANDRE RODALLEC UNION STAFFER

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ere’s some bullshit with the current arrangement of the arts on campus. The theatre department has an interesting practice of student directed showcases every week, to which attendance is mandatory; the fine arts, or painting, sculpture, etc., have a new exhibition of student work every week (they open on Sundays, and they often serve some snacks and refreshments)—good things! But of course there’s nothing like that for English students, no weekly readings of student work or fuck all. I don’t know how the dance department is doing, but music has student recitals—which is cool, maybe not as cool as what theatre is doing, but still cool. Now, maybe you’re one of those mysterious lonely Steppencubs, I mean wolves, the lone wolf, the solitary soul, the hermit who suffers from ennui like so many great artists, but most likely you’re not. So, if you are a student of any art form (and that includes creative writing,

Illustration

BRYAN WALTON UNION STAFFER

even though they walk separate from the Arts for graduation, what?), here’s food for thought: Do you think you would grow as an artist if you had to critique and be critiqued by, be inspired by or inspire your fellow student artists? Don’t give me a no here, if you do, good luck with your life, because dada has left the building. So what’s the problem, people? There is no communication/community between the various Arts on campus. During my junior year I was thinking about setting up a fusion arts festival (where arts collaborate to create a joint piece, for instance, a dance created because of a poem). It never happened, my fault, I didn’t make it happen, but it is something that I still feel would be very beneficial to the various arts on campus. How many dancers do you know? How many music students? They are geographically distanced as well, being on lower campus. Would you, if you are a writer, like

to collaborate with a dancer? Maybe. I am doing it right now, but that is only because I have the fortune of knowing one of their students, an extremely talented one at that, her name is Shannon D’Souza, remember that name. The school did not help me or rather provide an easy means of communicating. This is a grave mistake on the school’s part. Fusion is very much of the now within the Arts, and if Cal State hopes to produce viable artists it should not overlook the artistic growth that can be the result of such work. For the benefit of the whole artist student body a liaison should be created between the departments, possibly in the form of students holding the position “fusion liaison,” or something like that, within each of the various student associations of the departments, and that festival should happen annually or biannually. Talk people, talk.

WHO IS ABOVE THE LAW ? STEVEN SEAGAL IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A SEX SCANDAL. WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? NOAH KELLY CONTRIBUTOR

That depends. If your name is Steven Fucking Seagal you sure as hell are. Maybe you haven’t heard the news, but Steven Seagal, 58, is being sued by a former employee Kayden Nguyen, 23, for forcing himself upon Nguyen and allegedly keeping sex slaves. I find this all a little Out of Reach with reality. Steven Seagal keeps a pair of Russian vixens as sex slaves? That sounds like a whole bunch of Fire Down Below from a disgruntled employee who was let go. I mean, really, do you think The Glimmer Man is really going to go Under Siege on a pair of young Russian attendants, and then go Under Siege too on another assistant he just recently hired? That doesn’t make any sense. Why wouldn’t Seagal just buy himUNION WEEKLY

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self another concubine? I’m sure Seagal has enough money to make that Executive Decision, and just splurge on another human brought to the United States against their will and are too afraid to stand up to The Keeper? Steven Seagal, if you didn’t know, is one of the best action stars going today. Did you know he can shoot the head off a match with a gun?! Listen, Kayden, if Seagal really hired you, or any other girl “to serve his strange and sometimes violent sexual desires” (MSNBC), then you aren’t walking away, and living long enough to sue the Shadow Man. Even if any of these allegations are true, you were hired by A Dangerous Man, Nguyen. This is the Belly of the Beast we’re talking

about. I know you might be The Foreigner to how Seagal operates, but let me assure you that while he might be The Patriot, he is also Born to Raise Hell. And that’s just what he did! The frog complains when the scorpion stings him, and they both drown, but that’s just the scorpion’s nature. It sucks to get fired, I know (well, no I don’t, I’m a good worker), but if this is just a Flight of Fury over being fired and you’re out for some Urban Justice then I would advise against it. I mean get real, Nguyen. You’re already Half Past Dead with just this accusation! If you really go through with this, you could very well be seeing a Black Dawn in your near future. I’m not saying he’s Out for a Kill, but I wouldn’t

be shocked if you got Pistol Whipped from out of the inky dark of night that Seagal calls home. He’s a ninja, if you didn’t know. 7th-dan black belt in Aikido. Not shitting you. Anyway, I’m serious, if you put Seagal away, you better hire a million bodyguards because he’s going to break out of prison, and he’ll be Out for Justice. I hope you’re Hard to Kill, because you’re Marked for Death. Your next step might just be On Deadly Ground, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you end the month with some Exit Wounds. But, if this is true, I hope they strap that stupid ‘80s pony-tailed fuck on a rocket named My Giant and send him Into the Sun.


NEWS STATE OF THE BEACH

YOUR WEEKLY CAMPUS NEWS IN BRIEF ALEXANDRA SCIARRA UNION STAFFER

Congratulations to the winners of the 2010 Associated Student Election. President: James Ahumada, Vice President: Lucy Nguyen, Treasurer: Jameson Nyeholt, USU Board of Trustees: Brianna Bellmar, Asha Nettles, Dalia Hernandez, 49er Shops Board: Endal Kassa, Student Media Board: Misty Knight-Rini. On Monday, April 19th, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Student Council will hold their 32nd annual Nobel Laureate Lecture. It will feature guest speaker Eric Wieschaus who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995 for his contributing work in revealing the genetic control of embryonic development. General lecture will be at 11am, as well as a technical lecture that will be held at 4pm. Both are in the USU ballrooms. For more information, call (562) 985-2716. On Tuesday, April 20th, the University Police & Parking Services will hold their 3rd Annual Outreach from 11am-2pm. There is an enthusiastic assurance of free hamburgers, soda, and chips. You can also amble on down to the Beach Circle (between the track and CBA bldg) to get valuable safety information. There’s a furlough Wednesday, April 21st, so head on over to the Student Art Galleries to see the BFA Metals & Jewelry/Furlough Show. 12pm-7pm, Student Art Galleries. For further information, call (562) 985-4376. The 49er Shops are holding their second annual Bowling for Books on Thursday, April 22nd. The event will help raise funds for student scholarships for books and supplies. Registration is from 1pm-2pm, bowling at 2-5pm. There will also be an awards reception from 5-6pm. Cal Bowl 2500 E. Carson St. Lakewood 90712. For further information, call (562) 985-7700. The future is now. The Career Development Center is holding a virtual job fair beginning Monday April 26th. All you need is a working knowledge of the Internet and a solid résumé. Virtual reality glasses and pants optional. Visit http://www.careers.csulb.edu/ Remember that class you stopped going to? Make sure you’re not still enrolled in it before April 23rd. Otherwise you will need a “serious and compelling reason,” Visit www.csulb. edu/depts./enrollment/registration/basics/ enroll_b.html#b2 for more information.

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE RUTH LONG BEACH TEACHERS’ FATE DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC HEARING Words and Photos

FOLASHADE ALFORD UNION STAFFER

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n the first few weeks of March, over 1,000 Long Beach teachers received layoff notices due to budget cuts deemed necessary within the district. Legally teachers had to be given a preliminary notice by March 15th. Teachers were picked for layoff according to seniority, putting the focus on teachers hired after the 2001-2002 school year. Last Monday was the first day of a four day public hearing held at Wilson High School. The 6-hour hearing consisted of direct examination of the lawyer representing the district and a complete reading of the 845-page seniority list. Thursday was the second day of the hearing in which a cross-examination of the district’s witness. According to a ruling in the city of Vallejo in a similar case, a seniority list should have been made in 2006, LBUSD did not start making a list un-

til summer 2009. Testifying on behalf of the district was Ruth Perez Ashley, the assistant superintendent of human resources at LBUSD. Representing the teachers was Marianne Reinhold. Ashley fumbled through much of her testimony, at times she seemed downright baffled. Making matters worse, the district’s defense was plagued with inconsistencies. There were several cases where a teacher who had less credentials was saved over somebody with more credentials. When questioned Ashley simply said, “There’s obviously an error.” The district also allows for a phenomenon called “bumping” which entails a more senior teacher taking the job of someone with less seniority. These bumps can form chains of 6-7 teachers long. If a person is at the end of that chain, they’re shit out of luck. There were also questions pertain-

ing to some teacher’s qualifications. Some have board authorization where the district approved them sans actual credentials, while others have supplemental authorization where a teacher received an additional credential to teach another subject or a different grade level. This was brought into question when a more senior PE teacher was in position to bump a math teacher. The district has put teachers in the awkward situation where they have to call their co-worker’s qualifications out in order to save themselves. The district also decided to “skip” all teachers who are qualified to teach college preparatory courses because as Ashley put it, “The goal is to educate students.” Reinhold then replied, “Do you agree teachers who don’t have credentials are not educating students?” The auditorium erupted in applause.

WELCOME TO EARF WEEK NO, YOU DID NOT SHOOT THAT GREEN SHIT AT ME! CHELSEA STEVENS UNION STAFFER

If you’ve been feeling extra lame and unhip lately, here’s your chance. Right now, the Environmental Science and Policy club is hosting CSULB’s annual Earth Week. That’s right, not Earth Day, Earth Week. At least the planet has finally graduated from its place next to Hug a Ginger and National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Be happy for it. With our culture’s recent hard-on for environmental lovin’, the single 24hour slot you used to pretend to feel guilty about your insidious ravaging of Planet Earth has now been expanded to an entire week of feigned remorse. If you forget to don your one hemp bracelet or your various articles of clothing with a peace sign, you now have four whole extra days to bust

them out. Though, four extra days also means four more trees to plant at your elementary school, four more volunteer beach cleanup days, and four more pieces of trash you actually place in the can instead of let fly out of your hand while you’re walking. Your inner hippie will be calling to you. Well, a bunch all over campus will be, at least. Shout out to the hippie kids on the upper campus lawn. This is your week guys, take it and run with it. Earth Week will help you feel super green with its cornucopia of events around campus. The festivities will kick off Tuesday with a guest speaker panel from Algalita and Heal the Bay discussing how to save our seas. Wednesday will continue the madness with

a bike-in movie, featuring The Age of Stupid with snacks provided. Yes, you heard me, free snacks. Actual Earth Day, Thursday the 22nd, will bring us an EcoFair on Friendship Walk featuring vendors as well as an electric vehicle showcase by Tesla Motors, culminating in the showing of another flick entitled “The Cove” later that evening. On Friday, an Earth Day mixer (a post-Earth Day mixer, really) will take place at Long Beach’s Colorado Lagoon. Saturday (yes, post-post-Earth Day) will bring an Earth Day Celebration at the Aquarium of the Pacific! If you’re feeling the need to get that fix for your crazy Earth addictions, you’ll have more than enough opportunities to quench them this week. UNION WEEKLY

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SPEECH & DEBATE: IT’S ALL IN THE PRESENTATION CAITLIN CUTT LITERATURE EDITOR

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THE TEAM EAGERLY AWAITS THE UNROLLING OF THE GIANT SCROLLS.

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ometimes a banana is just a banana.” All in all, I’d guess 80% of what comes out of my mouth came out of someone else’s first—which sounds way more gross than it really is. But when my then-new friend Jimmy replied, “That’s Freud!” two years ago I was pleasantly surprised. Truth be told, I’d rather someone read a guy like Freud than have a person think I’m smart. “Yes! I love Freud!” “He’s okay. I haven’t read much, though. But there’s this ‘dramatic interp’ about him online that I love. I’ve watched it like ten times.” It was weird. Nothing he said had made any sense to me. Someone wrote a play about Sigmund Freud? Or was he talking about some weird video that one of his friends had made about Freud? As usual, when I am confronted with a body of information that I am unfamiliar with, I smile, nod, and then try to write the conversation down as soon as possible before I forget it, so I can look it all up later. But while I was smiling, nodding, and scanning the room for a writing utensil, Jimmy had already uploaded this video, and I was suddenly watching what looked like three drama kids dressed like young Republicans who knew absolutely everything about Sigmund Freud performing some hybrid routine that simultaneously reminded me of Who’s Line is it Anyway? and Sartre’s “No Exit.” “Jimmy, what the fuck am I watching?” “This is Speech and Debate!”


Photos

SEAN CUTT

THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GET TO MOVE ON ARE UNVEILED.

I’ll confess, I thought speech and debate was basically a group of people who, ya’ know, gave speeches and debated about stuff. I also didn’t know the official name for this sport (yeah, it’s actually a fucking sport!) is Forensics, which I had mistakenly thought for a number of years was a practice that required that portable black light and a lab with mysterious blue lighting. Obviously a lot of other people think that too, because on the home page of the National Forensics website they’ve posted in giant bold letters, “If you’re looking to find information about forensic science, you won’t find it here—instead, we encourage you to search other sites by using terms such as ‘forensic science.’” When Jimmy said that the Freud thing, which is actually called “The Couch,” was a “dramatic interp,” he meant that the event I was watching was a Dramatic Interpretation event. Performed either alone or in a team like I saw, the contestants in this event take pieces from movies, books, TV, etc. and assemble into a live performance that best represents a figure of cultural significance, at a maximum of ten minutes. In other words they find a way to justify why this figure was culturally significant at all. Each one of the events in speech and debate comes in varying forms of this structure. Some events, like the Informative Speech, have to be an original, and factual presentation on any topic. Other events are basically performances, like the Poetry event, in which contestants pick from all sorts of different poems that all deal with the same theme, and mix them all together into a performance. If this sounds roughly easy to you, consider the last research paper you wrote. I’m not using the example of “your paper” metaphorically. If you watch any of these speeches performed live, these guys actually have to cite all of their sources somewhere in their speech, just like a MLA format paper. Anyway, hopefully you were able to formulate a solid argument with research, use proper grammar, avoid typos, and get an “A” (I’ll just assume you did for the sake of my article). When your professor got your paper, they were supposed to grade it on a case-by-case basis. In other words, if someone else got an “A,” your professor wasn’t going to give you a “B” because that other asshole wrote a better A-level paper than you did (Maybe they used better quotes than you). But in Speech and Debate it’s different. “On paper,” had these performances been handed in for a Poly-Sci term paper or something, each of these speeches would have been given As. But in Speech and Debate, only one speech can win an event. The topic has to be something innovative. One speech I saw was about how boy scouts are used to fight terrorism! Then on top of finding an interesting subject matter, and writing an awesome speech, speechies have to commit it to memory, and in some cases they have

to come up with inventive choreography. Now compound all of this with the fact that you have to do all of this in front of people who aren’t there to root for you, they’re there to judge you in respect to another person, or group, that worked as hard as you did. And just like any serious athlete, they work every day. The only thing I can think to compare it to is a Miss America pageant. Have you ever seen an okay-looking woman on that stage talking about what she would do if she only had eight hours to live, or whatever? No! Each contestant has spent their life being the best-looking woman in almost every room they’ve been in. Now, on a stage with 50 other women as good-looking as they are, they need to figure out a way to stand out. This is why Miss America contestants learn to sing opera, or take up break-dancing. Being pretty isn’t enough to win the crown. So in speech, just having a really, really, good speech isn’t enough. What gets them the win in the end is their performance in front of a panel of judges. Sure the judges have a few obvious guidelines, but in the end a matter of whose speech wins is largely subjective. No matter how hard you work, it all comes down to what the judges think. Or like, rather. After all that work, that’s it.

Now, I went to a tournament, and let me tell you that the Speech and Debate circuit is filled with many, many arbitrary elements; the subjectivity of the winning “element” is merely a small drop in the giant, loud, pop-obsessed bucket that is a Speech and Debate tournament. The competitions themselves are filled with the most bizarre, disproportionate displays of pomp and circumstance that I have ever witnessed in my young life. First of all, the way the competitors find out whether or not they’ve broken through pre-lim’s (they call that a “break”) is by standing in front of giant rolls of paper. What I mean to say is, event runners write the winners names on a huge scroll, which is unrolled in front of everyone. If you see your name on this giant roll, you have to stay very calm. I applauded at one event and everyone looked at me like I kicked a baby. This same process is repeated in the final round, naturally. Next, each competition has a theme that is assigned to it. I went on some sort of “western” day. While the actual competitors can’t dress up (they have to wear suits), judges can… but they don’t have to? This is a weird loophole, and it lead to me sitting through one competition sitting between a saloon girl and a guy in a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. Also, the competitors are allowed to hold this little black notebook when they’re speaking. It’s filled with their entire speech, but they rarely if ever look at it except for the beginning of their speech when they ceremoniously open it up, glance inside, and close it. In conclusion, there should be nothing cool about any of this speech business. I mean, to be a stellar speechie, you have to synthesize the latest information into quick, well organized, entertaining blocks. That means that these students don’t care to define themselves in opposition, or ironically juxtaposed to pop culture like a lot of people do today. Instead of throwing on an ugly Cosby sweater, or getting in a yelling match over Joanna Newsom, they opt to spend their Saturday night figuring out how to prove to a panel of judges that Lady Gaga is the new Madonna, because these guys loved Lady Gaga long before us hipsters were willing to admit she was pretty rad. What I think about their giant rolls of paper and cowboy costumes doesn’t matter, which is why, somehow, these guys actually end up petty cool. I know that to most people out there, it would seem that I’ve made Forensics sound a little un-appealing. But believe me, odds are there is someone out there that thinks what I just described sounds pretty great. If that’s you, go find them on campus. The people I’ve met in Speech and Debate are some of the most sharp, outgoing, and interesting people I’ve ever met. But hey, that’s me. If this sounds like a huge waste of time, and these people sound really annoying, that’s fine. Seriously, they don’t want to hang out with you anyway.

A SPEECHIE SIGNS UP FOR THE STRATEGY HE WANTS TO TAKE IN THE POETRY COMPETITION. UNION WEEKLY

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ENTERTAINMENT

CINECULT DIGGSTOWN JAMES KISLINGBURY

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, PUNCH DRUNK

“Actually, I believe it goes: Never con a con-man, especially one who’s better than you are.”

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atching TV and movies is a hard thing for my dad and I to do for the most part. It’s hard to enjoy a movie when he’s yelling at the TV or making a point about whose ass America saved. It starts to wear thin, but the one thing we can come together on and watch in (relative) peace is the con-game/boxing epic Diggstown. The film stars Loius Gossett Jr. as Roy Palmer, a retired boxer and now YMCA instructor, who is pulled out of his sedentary (but safe) existence by his ex-con friend Gabriel Caine (James Woods) for a once in a lifetime prize fight: If Palmer can beat ten men in 24 hours, then the two men will win the entire titular city from a sleazy, criminal named John Gillon (Bruce Dern). There’s a lot of trickery and deception back and forth between the heroes and the villain and it all

culminates in a marathon fist fight, which, if Palmer wins, means that he not only pulled off one of the greatest feats of pugilism, but one of the best cons, as well. James Woods is at his slimey best in some of the most questionable clothes the early 1990s had to offer. Woods sells the movie, because he’s the perfect combination of creepy and charismatic that a con-man should be. While Gossett is perfectly suited as a hard-asnails, but over-the-hill boxer, the only person who can generate the same level of emotional response in this movie is Bruce Dern (best known as “That Guy” in every other movie in the 1980s), who plays a man so reprehensible, so arrogant, that you’ll sit through the entire movie just for the ass whoping you just know is coming his way. Strangely the character Fitz (Oliver Platt)

is underused and out of place in the movie. He only seems to appear for long enough to move the plot along and for the audience to figure out that Fitz is both a drunk and very sweaty. It’s strange watching him, because it’s as though the film went through a rewrite before filming started and no one bothered to tell Platt that he didn’t have to show up. As much as I love that butterball, at least he’s got the good sense to stay out of the way of Bruce Dern being an asshole, James Woods being a shyster, and Louis Gossett Jr. punching people in the head. To the untrained eye, Diggstown might appear to be a boxing movie. In reality it’s a con artist movie with boxing in it (a lot of boxing, actually). The actual fights in the movie, while entertaining as hell, really don’t resemble the sport much at all. There’s a whole lot more eye gouging and headlocks than I remember

there being and the movie’s editing magic serves Gossett more than it does the fight. No one is ever going to call Diggstown a realistic, gritty, boxing drama, but unlike movies such as Raging Bull or Million Dollar Baby, you can say it’s fun (those two movies really shouldn’t be in the same sentence, should they?). Realism has nothing to do with Diggstown, it’s simply a well done story about a broke down old man who punches his way into fame and fortune. Who isn’t charmed by that concept? Communists, probably and people who don’t like good movies. It might not be as iconic as a film like The Sting, but I’ll be damned if the ending to this little movie isn’t as cathartic as Redford and Newman’s classic. Most of all it’s a movie you can watch with your dad and, at least for me, that’s certainly something.

AS YOU STARE AT THE TYRA, THE TYRA STARES BACK AT YOU Seriously, though, someone needs to lock her away or something. She is nuts. SIMONE HARRISON

OPINIONS EDITOR, FAB AS HECK

I love America’s Next Top Model. I have been watching the show since its first season and while I realize that it isn’t exactly quality entertainment, I justify my love for it pretty much the same way I justify watching every reality show: By understanding that it is, in fact, awful and as long as I am aware of that then it’s okay. Right? Right. Secondly, let me go on record as saying that I realize that every reality show is staged and partly written, but I am able to turn off the logical part of my brain and give in to the lie. Every season, the producers have tried to keep the ratings up with some sort of horrible gimmick. Last season’s “under 5’7’’ rule” is a prime example. “Let’s give all of the short girls a chance even though they will never get work in the industry!” Prior to this season, although I have been an ardent viewer, I have never been overly impressed by the models who were chosen for the show. It was clear that they picked women singuUNION WEEKLY

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larly for their interesting backgrounds and “talk shit, get hit” personalities. This season, however, they’ve actually made an effort, whether conscious or not, to pick women who might actually have a chance at making it. Every girl, with the exception of Angelea, is gorgeous. The main reason, in my mind, that the show’s ratings have taken a plunge is because of the show’s cray-cray creator, Tyra Banks. She’s like a robot, schizo Barbie; her eyes are completely blank, her proportions defy physics and I’m pretty sure that she has a button on her back that makes her spout cued lines if pushed. No one really considered her to be a “top model” until ANTM came on the scene. Sure, she was a popular model in the ’90s and played a Barbie in that Lindsay Lohan movie, but she’s no Janice Dickensen (see! that’s a model joke). She is the main reason that the show has little to no credibility. Her kitchsy antics on the show make for a good

30 minutes of unnecessary footage that makes me hide behind my shirt in embarrassment. This season’s new judge Andre Leon Talley is probably my favorite person in the world currently. His tongue-in-cheek persona is exactly what a fashion reality show needs. He constantly speaks in a faux British accent and wears kimonos daily, this guy is awesome. Plus, he’s actually got some credentials. He is a contributing editor at Vogue and as far as fashion goes, there’s really nothing better than that. It’s a shame he isn’t the head of the whole operation because then the show would be like a gay fashion circus—now that’s quality entertainment. America’s Next Top Model is not a good show. It’s the most easily contrived show on television right now, but what’s better than watching a bunch of beautiful women fight all day and try to model with no previous experience in the industry? A lot of things, actually, but I still tune in each week and enjoy every second of it.


ENTERTAINMENT

HOW TO SPOT A MOVIE SNOB And what to do when you catch one CAITLIN CUTT

I

OPINIONS EDITOR, A SET OF STEAK KNIVES

f you’re one of those people who “likes movies,” but still hasn’t seen some of the great standards like The Godfather, or Star Wars, I really do understand. I have no clue how you managed to engage in pop-culture conversations, but I really don’t care. One of my favorite things to do is recommend movies that have been both critically and financially proven to be awesome. But there are others out there who are different. I’ve met more of these people than I care to remember and every time I have to have a conversation with these shitheads I have to remind myself not to lose it. These people are called “Movie Snobs.” I’m taking time to write this because Snobs are often confused with people like myself, people who just happen to fucking like movies, and I feel like I need draw a clear line in the pop-culture sand.

How can we tell the difference? First, Movie Snobs are the people who regular moviegoers are often berated by, for publically enjoying movies like Talladega Nights, while actively avoiding awesome, main-stream flicks to seem different and interesting, but also because they would rather be back in their shitty childhood than be considered “mainstream.” One of the main misconceptions about the Snob is that they’ve seen a lot of movies. This is in fact not true. They’ve actively avoided popular culture for years now—either because they never got over their parents divorce or they’re too consumed with some political movement that has nothing to do with them, to figure out another way to justify why no one likes them. Instead, they’ve acquired a litany of books, documentaries, and (God help us) zine’ all about one lonely political topic. This is why

the only movies people like this admit to liking have open-ended, often extremely depressing endings, that allow for large, sweeping theories as to what the movie was about—they have no way to relate to a movie like Jurassic Park because it’s fun and Movie Snobs are allergic to fun. The reason for this allergy is that they have deprived their souls of silliness for so long. Movie Snobs also have the habit of calling all the movies they like “films,” again in order to draw a distinction between the unenlightened, you, and them. No matter how you shake it, at the end of the day people like this will say you have a narrow view of the world, while you’ll be thinking that right back at them. Until we’re all in the midst of the six-month “ride-out” period we’ll have to endure, barricaded inside a Costco after the fist (and hopefully last) wave of zombie attacks that

will come eventually, and we have to fight over the one DVD player in the store with one of these guys, we won’t really be able to talk this out. So from now on, when you hear a person say, “I only watch foreign films,” “That movie is too violent., or my personal favorite, “I just don’t need to see that movie,” don’t get mad. Remember that for them, all of these statements are true: They only watch foreign films because they somehow missed out on American popular culture initially, and didn’t have the gumption to catch up. “That movie,” whatever movie it is, is too violent for them because they’ve never seen The Terminator. Finally, they’re right in that they don’t need to see “that movie” because they don’t have time for it. They’re too busy accusing all of us of being stupid, uninformed, and subconsciously Republican.

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MUSIC AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVE ELLEFSON OF

ERIC BRYAN UNION STAFFER

D

ave Mustaine. The driving force behind Megadeth. At one point a member of Metallica, which, if old interviews, current interviews, a documentary appearance, and years of alcohol and heroin abuse are any indicator, he’s still not happy about. The “former” I mean. Not being in the band, I think he liked that. I’ll never know though, as he and I never spoke. Also, heroin is always said to be “abused.” I often wonder if it’s ever been used correctly, like, maybe it’s great for caulking or something. Dave Mustaine is one of the most integral parts of the 1980s thrash metal movement, not only for his stint in Metallica (or subsequent Salinger-esque bitchfits), but for turning metal as it was known on its ear in the jazz-infused riffing that comprised Killing is My Business… And Business is Good!, Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?, and So Far… So Good… So What! However, while those albums were certainly cornerstones for the creation and evolution of thrash metal (and punctuation use), it was 1990’s Rust in Peace that truly cemented them as legends. Needless to say, I was excited. I’d cut my metal teeth on Megadeth, and despite UNION WEEKLY

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having done interviews with many bands (some of which I genuinely admired), Mustaine had me nervous. I’d never done an interview where I was so well versed in the career of the band, and in preparing for it I’d racked my brain through and through looking for well-informed, thought-provoking, and potentially volatile questions. I had also grinded my teeth sore, mainlined Rust in Peace (its 20th anniversary was the reason for the tour). I lost sleep, weight, hair, and touch with loved ones. I’d also lost a ten dollar check from my girlfriend’s dad, but that doesn’t pertain. Yeah, just forget about that one. So on the train ride to LA, I’d slurped down several Diet Cokes, not only because I’m a douche bag, but also because I wanted my mind to be going a thousand miles per hour, scanning every recess of my brain for good questions while I wrote the interview. You may say I should have written the questions long before the day of, but to that I’d say something about health care and ignore you. My mind raced as I wrote, at length almost completely unwarranted, explorations into the past, present, and future of the band, the intricacies of the music, and how “The Right to Go Insane,” a track

off Endgame, Megadeth’s new album, was borderline offensive in the idea that Dave Mustaine, who has sold millions of albums worldwide, would know the thoughts of a person who can “barely get to the graveyard shift on time.” It’s not that I hate rich people, but the idea that a millionaire could channel the thoughts of someone working two jobs just to be poor in this day and age is ludicrous. Also, suck it Bono. The questionnaire ended up being good. Even before answers, the interview was pages long. I think we can all agree that it was great. Sight unseen. By you, I mean. I’ve seen it. So you can imagine my chagrin, when, after an hour on the train, a walk through the always classy Hollywood, and a four hour wait just to get into the venue, I found out that Dave Mustaine would not be giving interviews that day. Or at least one to me, anyway. I guess The Union Weekly doesn’t rhyme closely enough with “-olling Stone,” or “-ustler” to warrant his time (or he had honest-to-God other obligations, a thought that seemed plausible, but less interesting). I’d instead be interviewing Dave Ellefson, the band’s prodigal original bass player.

Disappointed wasn’t the word, unless preceded aptly with “really fucking.” Now, David Ellefson is a great player, and as I discovered, a nice guy. However, I’d written the interview, which we all agree is a masterpiece, for Dave Mustaine. Only a third of the questions even peripherally pertained to Ellefson. He’d been giving interviews all through the tour, and was well versed in interviewing “just so.” There would be no controversy. There would be no intrigue. There would be amiability. And there would be 10 minutes to do it in (the guy before me took 20, so I got 10). After the interview I’d also discover that Roadrunner Records, Megadeth’s label, didn’t put me on the guest list for the show. Watching the sun set on a train to Long Beach is great when it’s a trip. Not so much when it’s the Charlie Brown walk home. However, as theater people say when their show is clearly fucked, the show must go on. The following is the show going on.


MUSIC

Union Weekly: You’re touring with Testament and Exodus in support of Rust in Peace, for its 20th anniversary. How’s this going, as this tour is kind of a make-up for the delayed American Carnage package [a tour featuring Slayer, Megadeth and Testament, set back by an injury in Slayer]? Dave Ellefson: I think it was a great idea. It was actually Megadeth’s manager that purposed it to Dave, because it’s the one album that all of our fans always talk about, and I don’t know that they ever envisioned that we’d do a whole show of just this record, but I think that the idea to present this and give this back to the fans is the perfect way to keep moving everything forward and transition straight into the summer and the rescheduled Carnage tour. UW: This is also your first tour with Megadeth since 2001’s The World Needs A Hero. DE: Right. UW: And you’re coming in with two new guys [Chris Broderick on guitar and Shawn Drover on drums], how is your position, compared to when you left? DE: First of all, I get to come back in kind of as the new guy now, and there’s a sort of excitement about that. It’s funny, because I’m the new guy, but at the same time I’m the guy who has the most experience here except Dave [Mustaine]. It’s an interesting dynamic where I kind of get to be on both sides of the fence, you know? I can enjoy playing with Shawn and Chris, because they’re new to me, and at the same time I’m the new guy to them. Of course, Dave and I, we just kind of look at each other and nod and we just kind of know. UW: To touch back on Rust in Peace, and it being the one album your fans seem to unite on, how does it feel with Rust being consid-

ered the high point, despite Megadeth not exactly being lazy in the 20 years between then and now? DE: No, we weren’t! It’s interesting, because we wrote Rust in Peace in some very dark, challenging times in our lives. Me and Dave, you know? It’s funny then that we got our lives cleaned up, and then we went in and recorded it, which explains all the piss and vinegar you hear on there. It’s interesting that by 1990 when Rust in Peace came out, and Slayer had… UW: Seasons in the Abyss. DE: Right. We did a lot of touring together, with the Clash of the Titans [A tour featuring Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax and Alice in Chains]. Anthrax was supporting… UW: Persistance of Time. DE: Right! It’s almost like we all had our albums where we came of age, and we were more than just the latest sensation. We were the bands that separated out of the genre and rose to the top. Of course Metallica was two years ahead of all of us, but for us, we all came of age. We all came of age around the same time, because we all started putting out records at the same time. So I think those records became the pinnacle of that era of thrash metal. I think for Rust in Peace, to a large degree that became the soundtrack to people who were really starting to get into metal music, really digging the thrash thing. I mean, a few years later grunge swept everything away and then it was nu-metal, so usually things transition. I’d say from ‘90 to ‘94, those were the years when thrash thrived, and was probably at its peak. UW: Right. DE: And it’s like that 20 years later! We’re in the middle of this big, huge revival, so

it’s cool to see. It’s a great time for me to be back in Megadeth. I mean, [Dave] Lombardo’s back in Slayer, I’m back in Megadeth, it’s cool, man. For the most part everyone’s united and it’s a good family reunion. UW: Sure, but were the ‘90s really a bad period for you as a songwriter? It was a difficult time for metal, but there’s a lot of creativity on albums like Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia and so on. How would you interpret that as an artist, and not just as someone representing thrash metal? DE: I think that those were some of our most productive years. The line up was really solid, we were really coming into our own, and I felt

necessarily like Exodus and Testament and so on, but these new guys coming up that are so obviously influenced by you guys? DE: You know, it’s interesting, because I watched that happen not being a member of Megadeth at the time. Lamb of God certainly kind of became the new Pantera, Trivium became the new Megadeth, Bullet for My Valentine became the new Metallica or something. You almost can see how each of our bands influenced them. I think it’s cool, because they all did something unique and different with it. There were a lot of musicians too that weren’t… that were influenced by us, but don’t sound anything like us. One time Marty Friedman [former Megadeth guitarist] was in

[We] just followed our guts and wrote music that we knew we could elevate even beyond just being a thrash band...

that after the Clash of the Titans tour in ‘91… We were sitting on the bus, writing songs for what would become Countdown… and I remember going “this is as big as thrash metal’s gonna get.” It took the combined efforts of the three of us to sell out arenas, and it was huge! Kind of like how American Carnage is going to be this summer, you know? Carnage is kind of like Clash of the Titans 20 years later, you know? So it’s interesting how we transitioned from Rust in Peace and Clash of the Titans and then rolled into Countdown… and just followed our guts and wrote music that we knew we could elevate even beyond just being a thrash band with Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings, and we really had a flourishing career. Things were great for us. Things were not a bummer for us as a metal band. We really thrived in the ‘90s.

a hotel elevator with the guitarist from Matchbox 20, and he looks at Marty and says, “Oh my God, Marty, I’m such a big fan” and so on. And here’s a guy that went on to play pop-rock, who was really influenced by a Megadeth player, you know? So it isn’t just people who grew up listening to Megadeth that just carbon copied it, they also went off and did something cool. UW: Anything to leave readers with? DE: I’m solid. I’m in, we’re going. This is a very fast transition. I just think looking at the year coming up between Rust in Peace and American Carnage, and stuff, this is just such a great time for us to be back, and be united, and this is going to be a great year.

UW: With you saying that thrash was as big as it was going to get in 1990, how do you view this new wave of thrash metal, not

UNION WEEKLY

19 APRIL 2010


SPORTS

THE MAN BEHIND THE MASCOT DANNY ABARCA PUTS ON HIS GAME FACE ANDY KNEIS

I

SPORTS EDITOR

f you’ve been to a 49ers game in the past four years, you’ve probably seen Danny Abarca hard at work. Well, you’ve probably seen the giant fake head he’s wearing, but unless you’re one of his close friends, you probably don’t know who the man underneath the big black hat and unsettling grin really is. I spoke with Danny and learned more about the little-known world of mascoting. Mascottery? Whatever, here’s what we said: Union Weekly: So you just got back from a competition in Florida, could you give me a little background on that for people that aren’t familiar with mascot competitions? Danny Abarca: Sure. We were at Daytona Beach, and it was for the Nation Cheerleading Association, their national finals. Our cheer team has been going for a number of years. This was actually my first time going and competing in the mascot division. Our cheer team did very well. They took second in their event, and I took fifth out of fifteen mascots. UW: Alright, way to go! I was also wondering how do they judge a mascot competition, what are the criteria? DA: With NCA, their criteria is prop usage, it’s crowd involvement, and humor. What you do is put together a skit using props, and they judge on how well it gets the crowd involved and pump them up. You’re telling your little story. Mine was called “The Road to NCA,” and it was sort of Prospector Pete going cross-country, visiting a few particular cities in the United States on my way to Florida. UW: So you’re in a mask, does the fact that not many people know you’re under there help you perform better? DA: The funny thing is, I’ve been doing this for four years. A lot of people do know that I’ve been Prospector Pete for so long. It’s especially exciting at the games where there are so many people that do know it’s UNION WEEKLY

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Photos

CLAY COOPER MANAGING EDITOR

me and I can perform for my friends. I love performing for the students, that gives me the most energy, when I can go out there, and afterwards they’re like “Dude, I did not know you could move like that.” UW: Does your costume hinder you at all? DA: I can still move around. People get pretty stoked when I do cartwheels with the big old head. I have a chin strap on the inside of it that makes it possible to be able to do that. Whatever I can do to make the game a little bit more fun for everybody. That’s what I’m all about. You see a giant cartoon character running around—especially if you know it’s one of your friends— that’s a good Prospector. UW: Is there a Prospector Pete persona? Do you try and embody him or is it just having fun? DA: I go out there and I have just grown into Pete. Sometimes when I walk around campus, I walk around like I do when I walk as Prospector Pete. Pete sort of has this persona where he’s just a tough guy and walks around with all the swagger. UW: Swagger is important when you’re prospecting. DA: Oh for sure, absolutely. UW: How did you get started? How did you first get into being a mascot? DA: Well, back when we still had the inflatable Prospector Pete, they had just gotten the new suit, and I was a Freshman and I wanted to get involved somehow. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do here and I saw one of the planners there was an advertisement for the Beach Pride Center about the mascot. I looked into it, and they said they had a brand new mascot costume and they threw me into it and saw how I walked around in it, and I got the job. I was originally the third string mascot. I had never been a mascot before, I

didn’t know what I was doing. Nothing. But the other two guys quit, and they mentioned that if I stuck around, that they would pay me. That’s how I started getting a stipend for my tuition. It was like “Be a mascot and we’ll pay for your tuition.” It wasn’t until last year that I actually started competing as Prospector Pete. A year ago I actually took the United Spirit Association National Championship. That was in Anaheim a year ago. Because of that, I actually got the job as Sparky, the LA Sparks dog for the WMBA. UW: I heard about that, so the competitions were how you became visible enough to be hired as Sparky? DA: All I needed was that exposure. Being a mascot has not only given me the opportunity to pay for my schooling, but it has also given me other job opportunities that have been absolutely amazing experiences that I wouldn’t have experienced if I hadn’t gone out there and investigated what the campus had to offer. UW: So this is going to be your career? Is your future going to be as Sparky? DA: My career goal is to actually become a teacher. I’m going to be a PE teacher, which at the same time is acting. You’re being as goofy as possible, you have to transfer as much energy as possible to the kids to get them motivated and get them involved. To pump them up as if they were a crowd at a game. At the same time, with the economy as bad as it is, if I can’t find a teaching job right out of college, I’m going to be a professional mascot for a while. I’ll send in [a] video to maybe the Anaheim Ducks or even the San Diego Chargers. I’d love to be in the NFL or the NBA. I’ve met a couple professional mascots. It’s a fun little subculture. UW: I wanted to ask about that, are there famous mascots, like ones that are considered legends that other mascots aspire to be?

DA: If you think of mascots, you automatically have to think of the Phillie Phanatic. He is incredible. Not because he is doing things like flips off trampolines and dunking or stuff like that, but he goes out there and he is just funny. He can get the crowd involved so easily. He’s got so many ideas and he’s been doing it for years and years. Also the San Diego Chicken is another one, but he just retired from what I hear. The latest I’ve heard from the mascot world is that they’re trying to make a mascot hall of fame, which is pretty cool. Where do I sign up?

You see a giant cartoon running around— especially if you know it’s one of your friends— that’s a good Prospector [Pete].

UW: I’d visit that. One last question, I wanted to know: Are you more Prospector Pete or more Danny? You were saying that you feel like you sometimes get in the persona. Kind of like how Batman is conflicted. Do you have that confliction? DA: [laughs] I would have to say there is a lot of Danny Abarca in Prospector Pete, but I have to say, when I’m walking around there’s a lot of Prospector Pete in myself. I’m going to be graduating in a year. So I’m looking for the next Prospector Pete to take over for me for the next four or five years. Anybody that’s interested should come and talk to me, because I’d like to train them and talk to them about the wonderful experience I’ve had.


CULTURE A LONG BEACH TOUR de FORCE

Bike Tours, Fashion Shows and Film Festivals Are Heading Your Direction

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FRIDAY, MAY 7TH FIXED GEAR FEST - 6PM - 1ST STREET

Sure, there will be tons of indie, fixed gear riders at this kick-off event, but aren’t you at least a little interested in watching a tricycle race? You’ll be entertained with live music, trick contests and lots of cool vendors you can spend your change on. Baconwrapped hot dogs, anyone?

SATURDAY, MAY 8TH TOUR OF LONG BEACH - 8AM START PHOTO COURTESY OF LONGBEACHBIKEFEST.ORG

KATHY MIRANDA

T

PLEIN AIR BICYCLE PAINTING - ALL DAY

CULTURE EDITOR

he way of the bicycle is a phenomenon I have yet to fully understand. It presented itself to me in the form of what I thought to be a hipster trend. It wasn’t until later that I realized that this alternate form of transportation, namely via two wheels and two legs, could transform the entire way a community thinks. This is precisely what the creators of the Long Beach Bike Festival want us all to realize. If we embrace the bicycle, only good things will come of it: a healthy environment with healthier people, a budding cultural niche for our locals to participate in, and well, a reason for Long Beach to throw awesome parties like the one coming this May.

Get an easy workout on this 4-mile bike tour around Long Beach with beautiful weather and ocean views. Your participation will raise funds for Miller’s Children’s Hospital.

The 2nd Annual Bike Festival will be held over three days, May 7th-9th. It will be a weekend full of competitive cycling, bicycle tours, live music, good food, and best of all, a place to get to know your community. The goal of the event is part of a big Long Beach campaign to make our city “the most cycling friendly city in the United States.” Rad. To the right: You’ll find only some of the events being held over the weekend. Yes, there’s more! Please visit www.longbeachbikefest.org for more information.

All you local artists out there can paint your best picture (with a bike in it) live to be later showcased at the LB Museum of Art. All art will be put up for sale during the event!

CYCLESTYLE FASHION SHOW- 6:30PM - PROMENADE

I know what you’re thinking, “What’s ‘Cycle Fashion?’” Our local designers take fashion influence from bike savvy cities like Tokyo and dress our own in the hippest biker-friendly designs.

SUNDAY, MAY 9TH BICYCLE FILM FESTIVAL - 1PM - 8PM

Yes, these films will be about bicycles. The great thing is the collection will celebrate old classics like American Flyers and Breaking Away, but will also be screening several bicycle shorts, including one by Long Beach native Michael Bausch called Riding Bikes with Dutch. Check it out to learn more about the importance of bicycle culture and support the biking way of life.

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19 APRIL 2010


LITERATURE

FRANKENFAMILY TRACING LITERATURE ALL THE WAY BACK TO ITS ROOTS CAITLIN CUTT

T

LITERATURE EDITOR

Illustrations

hese days, when you hear a person say that a story is “original” what they’re really saying is that someone assembled a piece of literature or filmmaking out of devices that are as old as dirt, in a way that they’ve never seen before. Look, no one really knows what the very first story actually was. I mean, you may believe that one story may be “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” but that doesn’t mean it was the first one. I happen to be of the mind that the only truly original stories ever to be heard were exactly that—the original ones. Sadly, at that point, no one had a pen on them. Therefore, even the first stories someone happened to actually write down were themselves an amalgamation of stories that came long, long before. This means that the guy who said, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” was right, but probably not the first person to say that.

JAMES KISLINGBURY

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Most of the stories we consider to be the earliest are mythological tales. So, I sit around all the time, trying to pick out the little bits and pieces of mythology that find their way into modern literature, films, and TV. One work I happen to really enjoy picking apart is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In its own right, the book is a popular commentary on the Industrial Revolution, and a solid piece of Gothic literature. I don’t actually like it, but I do love the ancient stories it comes from and I am a huge fan of other tales that are derived from the same set of myths. Movies like My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Emma (Clueless), She’s All That, Sabrina, and Vertigo all come from the same fiction blood-line as Frankenstein and his monster.

Pygmalion Myth

Golem

Prometheus

The first basic tale that you can link to Frankenstein is the myth of Pygmalion. There are a lot of versions of the Pygmalion myth, but the most popular telling of it comes from The Ovid. Pygmalion was a guy who had a really hard time finding a lady. Actually, the real issue was he didn’t want to date a whore, which for some reason happened to be a popular lifestyle choice for women in his town. Pygmalion was so disgusted with the local fare that he decided to carve the perfect woman out of marble so he could at least look at one. Well, he did such a good job sculpting his dream woman that he fell in love with her. The God’s felt sorry for a guy who was so desperate that he fell in love with a pretty rock, Aphrodite imbued the statue with life, and the couple lived happily ever after. You may have seen bits and pieces of this myth in movies like My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, Educating Rita, and the play Pygmalion, which is actually My Fair Lady without singing.

If you saw Inglourious Basterds, you may have noticed that the character Donny Donowitz was referred to as a golem. Well, that’s a bad thing, but mostly for the Germans. The Golem is an ancient tale that has been told since early Judaism. Initially created out of “dust,” alluding to the way man had been made of dust by God, by a man who was “very close” to God. While the technicalities of what exactly “close to God” means, creating a golem involved a set of rituals that were linked to the Hebrew Alphabet. I suppose that also sounded ambiguous. Later, somewhere between the 16th and late 17th century, the golem myth evolved into a monster created to protect Prague from a series of antiSemitic attacks. In some versions of this story, the Golem became increasingly violent, going on to kill all sorts of gentiles, and generally scaring the shit out of people who had a beef with God’s chosen people—hence the Inglourious Basterds reference. In King Kong, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Emma you can find shades of the Golem.

So this guy is by far the coolest one out of all of these tales, in my opinion. Again, there are a ton of variations of this tale as well, on top of which his story is a little complicated. Basically, Prometheus was a pain in the ass as far as Zeus was concerned. Prometheus just didn’t think that Zeus was all that cool. To prove to everyone that Zeus was indeed kind of lame, Prometheus played a trick on him. Get this, he got Zeus to eat bull’s bones! I guess you had to be there. Anyway, because Zeus ate bull bones, this obviously set a precedent for sacrifices to come—meaning when people came to give offerings to old Zeusiepoos, they could keep the meat and ditch the bones. In retaliation, Zeus took fire and hid it from humankind. This left Prometheus feeling really bad, so he stole the fire and gave it back to the humans. Now, with the ball in his court, Zeus punishes Prometheus, instead of humans, by eternally chaining Prometheus to a rock, where a giant eagle would pay him a visit everyday to eat out his liver. If you’re confused, don’t worry. The liver would grow back every night. You’ll see little bits and pieces of this in Moby Dick, The Jungle Book, and the video game God of War.

UNION WEEKLY

19 APRIL 2010


The Furlough Show by Brayn Drain

COMICS

SUDOKU

Cephalopoda by Jolls

Koo Koo and Luke by Jesse Blake

www.funatronics.com/kookoo

ANSWERS

OH BOY

Hip Trendy Comics by Andy Kneis

UNION WEEKLY

19 APRIL 2010


Disclaimer:

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Volume 66 Issue 10

Monday, April 19th, 2010

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Comedian’s Routine Synopsizes Last Night’s Episode of Family Guy BY FROTHY SEA

Matt Dorsey amidst the destruction of his home, unsure whether or not he should pray, says, “I mean, I don’t wanna come off as being pushy.”

Area Man to Wait 3 Days to Pray So that He Doesn’t Come Off as Needy BY SHYGUY McFLY TOPEKA, KS – Matt Dorsey, 34, surveyed the destruction a category F3 tornado had done to his twostory farm house. “Sure glad I built that shelter,” Dorsey noted. “Wish my wife and son had made it in before I locked it. Thank God that on the scale of disasters, like Haiti, or those new volcanoes and tsunamis, this is pretty small.” Dorsey’s wife Ellen, 30, and their son Elijah, 10, have yet to be located amongst the rubble following the devastating tornado strike. “I’m sure they’ll turn up somewhere. I mean, I hope they do. But I don’t really want to start praying just yet. They’re always getting into trouble, those guys. If they haven’t showed up in a few days or so, well, then I know Who to ask. But until then, I don’t want to use up a per-

fectly good Prayer-Answering on something small like my problems,” Dorsey said. Rescue workers have been combing the area, complete with rescue dogs and helicopters, searching for potential survivors like the probably dead Dorseys. “I’ve got my hopes up you know, this reminds me of the time, before I was married, when it was just me and my dog. Left him out there too one time, but they found him lodged up in sycamore tree,” said Dorsey. Dorsey seemed hesitant to ask for help from God like so many other grief stricken survivors of the tornado. “You know, I mean, [God] probably has a lot on his plate right now, and you know, maybe its just not the right time to ask? I kind of already asked for some help on winning the lotto last month and

I don’t want him to get the wrong idea about me.” Statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cite that there is only a 2% survival rate for those caught outside during an F3 tornado strike. Victims of tornados are often asphyxiated during the process by the sheer awesomeness of the experience, while some are killed from the shock of landing and the subsequent dizziness. “Really, Mr. Dorsey should be praying right now,” said Robert Mullney, NOAA Emergency Response Director. “There is very little chance his family has survived.” Dorsey was still on the fence. “See, here’s another thing, if [Ellen] knows that I started praying already, she’d know I was desperate. Can’t let a woman see your weakness my dad always said. They’ll up and walk right on out!”

LONG BEACH, CA – At last Thursday’s open mic night at local coffeehouse The Percolation Hut, irreparably white comedian Joshua Tangle was met with raucous applause and laughter for his routine’s synopsis of the previous night’s episode of Family Guy. “So get a load out of this one,” Tangle said, starting his set. “Oh man, wait ’til you—oh jeez—so Meg goes to the [laughs]... I’m sorry, hold on.” Tangle then doubled over himself, pounding the stage with his fists for the next two minutes of his set. The audience was laughing up a storm. “The guy is just like, a genius, man,” said Tangle’s best friend, Ed Hardy enthusiast Boris Lemon. “And I don’t say that, like, just to say it. Like, my bro is a comedic superstar, know wha’ I’m sayin’? Shit yeah! Family Guy! Woo!” Tangle, known to his friends as JJ (short for “Just Joshing with all of you all’s, know wha’ I’m sayin’?”), was a Family Guy fan “before that shit was cancelled the first time, brother.” Since the first episode he saw, Tangle knew that his calling in life would be example comedy, and what better

Joshua Tangle practices his abandoned “Steve Martin, but with pecs” routine.

example than just retelling someone else’s jokes? “Y’know, some comedians, they idolize guys like Richard Pryor and uh, like, Gallagher?” said Tangle. “But for me, it’s always been Seth MacFarlane. So when I’m up there, gettin’ in my groove, spittin’ my laughs, it’s all for him. ’Cause that’s just how I do, know wha’ I’m sayin’?” Tangle then held up the shaka. “Okay-okay-okay. Okay. O-kay. Here we go. Here. We. Go. [giggles] Oh no—” The comedian bit his fist, holding back tears. “Wait, let me—let me catch my breath. So Peter’s on his boat and he remembers this time when this thing that happened happened, and it was just so apropos of nothing that it made me laugh something fierce, brah. Something fierce. You should’ve seen it. [laughs]” The crowd couldn’t get enough.

INSIDE

Dumbfuck Union Weekly EIC Jinxes Europe into Hellish Extinction In last week’s Union Weekly, shlubbish editor-in-chief, Joe “Whiney ’Giney” Bryant, wrote his letter from the editor declaring his hopes and desires for a volcanic eruption to occur in a heaviliy populated area. This isn’t the first time Joe “Middle Finger to the Lord” Bryant, a man commonly known for getting stupid drunk after consuming two beers, has taunted fate. Joe “I Can’t Die” Bryant could be heard from a young age boasting, “I’m as infallible as the Gods! If you want to get to me you’re gonna have to go through the levees in New Orleans, and the buildings in Haiti! Come and get me!”

PAGE EVL

America Leader in Gun Homicides, Yet Afghanistan Still Leader in Scimitar-Rape-Beheadings America is the greatest country in the history of God’s universe. So it pains me to tell you that currently those sand-breathers over in Afghanistan are committing more scimitar-rape-beheadings per capita than American men. America’s got the best violence, and we should be numero uno in sex violence too. Now I am not advocating rape. All I am saying is that when you know in your heart that you are going to rape someone, take a moment, fold down your boner and instead use a scimitar. Don’t forget to cut that fucking cunt’s head off. PAGE ƒ´®2

No One Famous in that Limousine PAGE ≈8


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