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ISSUE 67.02 KEVIN O’BRIEN

kevinob.union@gmail.com

Editor-in-Chief

ANDY KNEIS

andyk.union@gmail.com

Managing Editor

CLAY COOPER

clay.union@gmail.com

Managing Editor

CHELSEA STEVENS

chelsea.union@gmail.com

Opinions Editor

NOAH KELLY

noah.union@gmail.com

Campus Director

KEVIN-SENT

KATY PARKER

katy.union@gmail.com

Literature Editor

MARCO BELTRAN

marcob.union@gmail.com

SIMONE HARRISON

simone.union@gmail.com

Entertainment Editor & PR Music Editor & PR

A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

CHRIS FABELA Comics Editor

cfab.union@gmail.com

MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN merm.union@gmail.com Culture Editor

JEFF BRIDGES

jeffbridges.grun@gmail.com

CLAY COOPER

clay.union@gmail.com

Actor, Grunion Editor

Art Director/Cover

P.J KNEISEL

AortaVI.com

Cover

JEFF CHANG

Head Illustrator

KEVIN O’BRIEN

E

CHRIS FABELA

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

On-Campus Distribution

ach and every Friday at 2pm, the Union Weekly holds an open staff meeting where any student can come in and participate in the production of the paper. The editors introduce themselves and discuss their ideas for their sections in the coming issue, and finally, articles are assigned to any student willing to put fingers to keyboard and meet a deadline. However, the staff meeting following our first issue of the Fall Semester was totally unprecedented. I have never seen a meeting so well attended. The Union office was brimming with students. Chairs had to be pilfered from storage, and still people had to sit on desk ledges, lean crowded against walls , or cram themselves on the one surviving office couch. I was totally caught off guard. Having wasted the majority of my youth in speech competitions, public speaking usually comes easily to me ,but shock had my hands trembling like I was 12 again. After I finished talking and shimmying around and the page editors had thrown out their best ideas, the group broke into a low roar of introductions, ideas, and the scribbling of contact information. With my clipboard in hand, I slowly moved around the room, squeezing in between the 30-plus students in an at-

UNION WEEKLY

jeff.chang.art@gmail.com

7 SEPTEMBER 2010

tempt to collect names and numbers and email addresses. Shaking hands became a fight or flight reaction instead of a greeting. Out of the corner of my eyes I would see the fingertips of an open palm before I would wheel around to meet it. I would be in the middle of a conversation with one person, and my hand would be reaching to the left as another student made their way into the room. It was a torrent of names, one after the other, held in my mind for a moment before being washed away by another. I believe the sheer number of hands I shook and names I forgot on Friday is an indication of the success of our first issue. Putting the Union Weekly together is a very creative yet timeconsuming endeavor, but the hard work of the page editors and the support they received from student staff was more than evident. I assume that their dedication and the joy that I hope they derive from the valuable Saturday hours they spend at the Union Weekly was evident to the student body in the writing, design, and composition of the first issue. I will reiterate that the Union Weekly is all about the students of Cal State Long Beach. The highest priority is the propagation of students’ ideas,

thoughts, and opinions to the rest of the student body, as well as the campus faculty and staff. The only hope that we have of producing a paper that accurately portrays the diversity and degree of student opinion and interest is by getting the greatest number of students to participate. It is for that reason that I count our first issue as a success. I hope all those who participated in its production, both editors and staffers, are proud of the contribution they made to their university. I would also like to thank all those who attended last Friday’s meeting. If you are a student of Cal State Long Beach, then I would encourage you to do as they have done and join us in the Union Weekly to express yourself, whether it be through an illustration, a photograph or an article. Our staff meetings are held every Friday at 2pm in the Union Weekly office in the USU courtyard. Just look for the pirate flag in the window. I can promise you that we will do our best to give you a platform to make friends, make your voice heard and generally improve your college experience. Ask Away!

Finished the paper but still have questions or comments? Send them to the editor at kevinob.union@gmail.com!

ANDY KNEIS Web Editor

MARCO BELTRAN

marcob.union@gmail.com

Advertising Executive Contributors: MATT DUPREE, SEAN BOULGER, VICTOR CAMBA, JEFF CHANG, BRIAN NEWHARD, ANDREW TURNER, MATTHEW PALOZZI, MAY ZIMMERMAN, DOUG BROWN, COLLEEN BROWN, MATTHEW TOWLES, JANTZEN PEAKE, BRYAN WALTON, LUKE PERINE, JAMIE KARSON, LILY SEGURA, FOLASHADE ALFORD, ELISA TANAKA, JOHN HERRERA, OMAR ZAHZAH, LUCY NGUYEN, DEVIN O’NEIL, CONNOR O’BRIEN, STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ, ANNA KOZLOWSKI, KEENAN MACINNES, JOE HAUSER, SOPHI MAISE, NICHOLE DANIELS, STEPHANIE PEREZ, JEFF BAER, DEREK KOSKO, MARCOS BARRON, COREY LEIS, LANDON DAVAULT, JOE HAUSER, GABE FERREIRA, P.J KNEISEI

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 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. The Union Weekly assumes no responsibility, nor is it liable, for claims of its advertisers. Grievance procedures are available in the Associated Students business office.

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


OPINIONS

MOVE BITCH, GET OUT THE WAY CLUELESS WOMEN AND THEIR BATHROOM HOGGING HABITS STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ CONTRIBUTOR

W

omen, ladies, and girls who enter the restroom, there’s a majority of you that take too long in there, and it’s not because you’re going number two, but because you’re doing stupid things. For instance, this whole chatting thing on your phone and with people needs to stop, especially the mirror hogging. This always tempts me to sneak into the men’s restroom. It’s in every restroom one goes to around campus, theaters, restaurants, and malls. I can bet that if porta potties had mirrors in them you would prefer to inhale the smell of blue rotting shit that sits there for days just to stare at yourself for a couple of minutes longer. The kindest words I can manage to say while I have my hand over my crotch doing a little dance like Michael Jackson (RIP) is would you please hurry the fuck up before I soak my panties in urine.

Illustration

BRYAN WALTON UNION STAFFER

It doesn’t take that long to drop your pants, to sit and take a tinkle; you don’t need that toilet seat covers, butts are pretty clean. The double layer of underwear and pants should do the trick to keep the germs away, so it’s okay just skip it. Don’t start writing on that chalkboard, I’ll guarantee that everything you attempt to write will just be shit like the one you’re taking. Next, just wash your hands and walk away from the mirror; please don’t stare at yourself. A quick peek is fine to take care of the bare necessities. I make sure there are no bats in the cave, no crusty saliva on the corner of my mouth, hair is reasonable, but all of this can be done by the time you’re done washing your hands. What is this eternal staring in the mirror for? You look exactly the same way you did seven minutes ago.

Oh no! Here it comes, that quarter turn to check your butt out, and now the other side, and here you are staring at your face again. I’m staring with you because I’m trying to wash my hands as quickly as possible before any smell penetrates my skin, so can you please hurry it along? I’m just trying to get to my next class and not miss the first 10 minutes of it. I feel like shoving your face and all the other girls’ faces into the mirror hard enough to break it and give you something to really stare at. I’ll just stop drinking any fluids, including my own saliva, just to avoid the long wait for the restroom. I can also have my kidneys explode, or here is an even better idea, I’ll just pray that my vajayjay protrudes instead so I can just water the plants with my own fluids. Jesus is a nice guy, he listens to all my prayers.

FINDING THE CENTER OF YOUR UNIVERSE A REBUTTAL TO OUR DEBATE OF SINGLE VS. TAKEN SOPHI MAISE CONTRIBUTOR

I don’t know if this is really a rebuttal, or more of an attempt to at least prop up some sort of defense of non-singleness. Colleen’s article was cogent and thoughtful, and well-written too. If as many people read that as watch Tyra’s toxic hour of me-sturbation, the world would be an infinitely better place. But I just think she missed one thing. Maybe I wouldn’t call it coincidental, but it seems convenient that each phase of my life is marked by some realization that the center of the universe is further away from me than I’d previously imagined. First, that it is not me. Maybe I don’t mourn the knowledge that the center of our existence chooses to live outside of me, but I think we can agree that it’s sad.

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Then it pushed further. Out of my city, out of my country, eventually lifting off and heading for the sun, the center of the solar system. And then it headed for the center of the galaxy, something distant in a way that can never really be grasped, but with the loose mental hold of numbers of light years. But even if you could fathom the breadth of a galaxy, the center is still further away. In fact, its remoteness makes it seem almost useless as an idea. As though the phrase “center of the universe” is not so much a measure of importance, but one of complete obscurity, a place of unreachable darkness. And here we are, inseparably far away, alone, wandering, lost. Colleen pointed out how so much of our culture prizes relationships as good

life choices, as ornaments that we hang on ourselves to show that we are normal people who care about family and fitting in. That’s completely true, and it is definitely disrespectful to single people, but it’s also completely disrespectful to relationships. Not the concept of relationships, or the people in them, but the relationships themselves. As much as we’d like to chart out our significant others, and assess their status as a “catch,” none of that is really important to the relationship. Maybe its important to YOU, because you don’t want to date someone whom you feel superior to, or someone who would reflect poorly on you, but that’s not the purpose of a relationship. The purpose is what happens just as you begin to wake up and you know that

there’s someone next to you. You know that this person understands you better and values you more than you could ever do yourself. If you have ever woken up to the brief feeling of not knowing where you are, you know the opposite of what I’m talking about. Because in that moment before you open your eyes and see the person you love next to you, the center is right there. And as reality sets in and you settle back in to the understanding that you are still a small speck sailing through space, there’s no shock. Because you’ll never be lost. Colleen Brown’s original article may be found in issue 67.01 of the Union archives at www.lbunion.com.


OPINIONS

TALES OF A BUS RIDER STRAIGHT ANSWERS FROM A GAY GUY PARKER CHALMERS CONTRIBUTOR

I want to start by saying that my previous title for the column was somewhat of a contradiction. This column is meant to break stereotypes, not promote them. I also want to clarify that I am not anti-gay… I am anti-”gay”. I don’t want to put anyone in a box. No one puts gay-by in the corner. When I was trying to think about what to write about this week, an old student of mine messaged me on Facebook. He was a resident in the residence halls when I was an RA and became a friend of mine over the year. At the time, he was seventeen and I was twenty-one. I called him “Lil’ Gay”. He is now twenty-three and is interested in an eighteen year old. He asked me what my feelings were about dating a younger man. Instantly, I said, “RUN, bad idea, don’t do it.” How could someone so young know what love means? What do they have to offer? After talking to him some more about the young man and his feelings I started to think, “Where was I at 18?” Well, I was in my first openly gay relationship. Head over heels in love, and proud of it. Granted we were both young and the same age, no one could have told either of us that we didn’t know what we were doing. It was fresh and new and magical. First loves are great. We have all had them and if you haven’t yet, trust me, you will. Looking back, it was an awesome time in my life. First year in college, first job, first love. However, things would have been a lot different in my relationship if my partner had been 5 years older than I. With age comes experience, and that experience can create a discrepancy in relationships (something I learned through experience). Relationships are all about the give and take. When someone has (or feels like they have) more to offer, they are at an advantage. Whether financial, emotional, sexual or otherwise, a sense of power or entitlement can be hard to deal with. In my previously mentioned relationship, problems ensued because of financial differences. He began to make more money than I did and the dynamic of our relationship shifted. Whether or not you are the same age as a person you are interested in or dating, you have to be in the same place at the same time. If your mind and body are at different stages, you better make sure your heart is in the right place. The point of being committed is to grow together, and if you are starting at two different start-lines, then you will face impending struggles to that growth. To Lil’ Gay and the rest, whether straight or gay, young or old, love is great. Do it. But do it wisely. You are only as good in a relationship as you are on your own. Most importantly be careful... you don’t wanna end up on True Life. Yours truly, Union Weekly’s Anti-”Gay” Gay Guy parker.union@gmail.com

THE OUTRAGEOUS CHRONICLES OF LONG BEACH PUBLIC TRANSIT FOLASHADE ALFORD UNION STAFFER

I don’t have a car. This makes my life rather difficult sometimes. My mom lets me use hers. What does she drive? A blue minivan. Ouch. Did I just lose some street cred? Damn. So if you see me, don’t wave, you’ll add to my embarrassment. Sometimes I walk or I ask for rides. When all of those fail I ride the bus. All of you who have ever ridden the bus know it’s an “experience”. I’m not talking about the yellow bus or the short bus. I’m talkin’ ‘bout the city bus. Long Beach natives at their absolute finest. The further away from campus you go, the more interesting it gets. I first started riding the bus when I was in high school, straight from Texas. I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing; public transportation wasn’t really big out there. I did learn quickly that most bus drivers don’t give a shit, so if you’re sitting down at the bus stop they assume you don’t want that bus and keep it moving. It took me about 6 speeding buses to realize this unspoken rule. They also don’t like to wait, so if you’re running for your life, they will probably look

Illustration

NICHOLE DANIELS CONTRIBUTOR

you straight in the face as they drive away. Some bus drivers don’t know where the fuck they’re going, even though they drive the damn thing. So you probably don’t want to ask. Just grab a map and figure it out yourself.

I love the bus and I hate the bus. Sometimes you live and die by it. When you’re early, it’s late. When you’re late, it’s early. Once in a while you’re in sync and it makes for a great fucking day. You encounter creeps and crazies. So bring a book, keep your headphones in, put your sunglasses on and don’t make eye contact. It was my sophomore year at Long Beach Poly. I got on the bus from a long ass day. It was crowded as usual but I managed to wriggle my way to

a seat next to some smelly dude. The bus jolted forward and a few stops later a rugged man got on. He turned toward the bus driver and looked at the sign that listed the fares. He then turned toward the aisle and fell flat on his face. This man was out fucking cold. I was freaking the fuck out inside but nobody did anything including the goddamn bus driver. I mean nobody even blinked or gasped. So I just sat there as well. In hindsight this seemed like a bad idea. No matter, the bus continued and people entered and exited like normal, stepping over the man. About six stops after his grand entrance a stop was broadcast through the sporadic announcements. When the bus screeched to a halt a miracle occurred. He got up and left. I guess he couldn’t borrow 90 fucking cents. This future column will be made of my stories, the stories of others, and maybe some tips as well. So, if you’ve got a bus story, feel free to submit it. We’ll either cry with you or laugh. Here’s to the shit we go through trying to get places.

BROKEN ALLIANCE NEW CHANGES CAUSE LEARNING ALLIANCE TO LACK ITS LUSTER STEPHANIE PEREZ CONTRIBUTOR

Entering this fall semester, I knew my biggest challenge and goal would be to get a 4.0. Now why in the world would I strive so high? Because my dad made a bet with me, he said if I got a 4.0 he would pay my college tuition. Yes! I could finally quit one of my jobs, and no longer smell like BBQ when I come home. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I felt a bit of relief knowing that I had a quiet place to study and access to free printing in LA 202. The Learning Alliance gave me the tools I needed to succeed academically. For those of you who have been in the program, you are familiar with the peer mentoring, and packaged classes that come with the program. And of course, the lounge and lab that is offered exclusively to learning alliance students. When I went to check my email a

week before school started, I noticed an email from Learning Alliance. The email stated that the Learning Alliance Program will now be accepting all freshman of the Liberal Arts Majors; okay, no big deal. As I scrolled down I saw, “What does this mean for you?” in big bold letters. It basically told me that I was on my own. If I had any questions the Learning Alliance staff could help me, but I should call my department. What the hell? Has Learning Alliance forgotten why it is so successful? Students are the priority. Then, as I continued to read through the email, I saw, “What Will Change?” Apparently everything! No more FREE printing, and oh, say goodbye to the quiet study lounge I made a habit of using. I built my study habits around this lounge and lab. The worst part is that this was not a result of budget cuts. This was

the result of opening the program to all freshmen of the Liberal Arts majors. The reasoning behind allowing so many students into the program was because it is successful. Did anyone realize why this program is successful? It provides students with a quiet place to study, a computer lab, free printing, access to one-on-one dropin advising, and it made the students feel that their success was important. Now I feel like all of the elements that made the Learning Alliance successful are being stripped. All that is left is the name, and freshman students of the liberal arts majors who get to say they are in the Learning Alliance. It’s lost all the perks that came with it when it was exclusive. As for me, I refuse to smell like BBQ! So I will get my 4.0, with or without the Learning Alliance lounge and lab. UNION WEEKLY

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CAMPUS

END THE PAIN, NOT YOUR LIFE THIS WEEK IS NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION WEEK, KEEP IT THAT WAY JEFF BAER CONTRIBUTOR

I

n the time it takes you to read this article, approximately 400 people will have attempted suicide, and four people will have completed suicide somewhere around the world. Of the four who have passed away only one will have been in contact with some sort of mental health care services prior to their death. During National Suicide Prevention Week (September 5-11) organizations work to bring awareness to suicide and link individuals to resources that may keep another person from attempting or completing suicide. Many are affected by feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts and for every 12 college students one of us has made a plan for suicide. Feelings often pass quickly, and for that reason there is hope, if we

just reach out to what is available to us. For all of us, the college student, where suicide is second leading cause of death, there is the lifeline (1-800-273-TALK). For those of you, who are four times more likely to attempt suicide than your heterosexual peers, there is The Trevor Project (1-866-4U-TREVOR) which is the nations leading suicide prevention resource for LGBTQ teens and college aged individuals. Finally, on campus we have the Counseling and Psychological Services (562-985-4001 or Brotman Hall, Room 226), the LGBT Resource Center (562-985-4966 or Faculty Office Building 4), and the Women’s Resource Center (562-985-8576 or Liberal Arts Building 3). Be aware of the warning signs of sui-

WEEK OF WELCOME WELCOME TO THIS WEEK OF… WELCOMING COLLEEN BROWN

WEDNESDAY / THURSDAY 11 am - 2 pm STUDENT ORG FAIR FRIDAY 7 pm - 12 am SMORGASPORTS The events will begin on Tuesday, September 7th, with ASI discussing what they’re all about. You can get information on the Student Government, learn what your USU Program Council does for you, and get involved with that kickass publication, the Union Weekly. This ASI Info Day will be held on the University Student Union Southwest Terrace from 12-3pm. Following that on Wednesday and Thursday will be the Student Organization Fair from 11 am - 2 pm at the Speaker’s Platform in front of the bookstore. Over 300 clubs and organizations will be represented, which means much more likely than not you will find a group that interests you. There will be hundreds of stuUNION WEEKLY

7 SEPTEMBER 2010

LIFELINE (1-800-273-TALK) TREVOR PROJECT (1-866-4U-TREVOR) COUNSELING (562-985-4001) BROTMAN HALL 206 LGBT RESOURCE (562-985-4966) FACULTY OFFICE BLDG. 4 WOMEN’S RESOURCE (562-985-8576) LIBERAL ARTS BLDG. 3

GREATER L.A. M.F.A. DON’T MISS THE SECOND WEEK OF THIS EXHIBIT LILLY SEGURA

UNION STAFFER

TUESDAY 12-3 pm ASI INFO DAY

cide so you can be there for yourself and your friends. The most important warning sign is a specific plan on how to complete suicide. Watch out for direct or indirect verbal expressions of suicidal feelings, giving away of prized possessions, or making of final arrangements. Changes in hygiene, sleeping, or eating patterns, decreased interest in school, and increases in isolation or substance use are all warning signs. Finally, how can you help a friend in need? LISTEN! Accept the feelings as they are and don’t be afraid to talk about suicide directly. Never put yourself in danger, but if you are able to remove dangerous objects (gun, knife, drugs, etc) from a person’s home do so. Express concern and remind a person that depressed feelings do change over time.

CONTRIBUTOR

dents waiting to answer your questions about their organizations, so don’t be shy. The week will culminate with the Smorgasport, a “high-energy night of performances, interactive games, entertainment and free food.” Activities will take place in the USU Games Center, Parking Lot 3 and the Goldmine Gym on Friday from 8pm to midnight. Last year over 3,000 students attended this event, so it’s the perfect place to meet new people, or a great time to invite that smokin’ hot guy or girl from your history class to hang out with you. Above all, take this week to find some way to get involved. Your education will mean a lot more to you if you actually have a reason to come and enjoy school. Becoming part of an organization not only lets you explore your interests, but helps you build a community of friends who are interested in the same things that you are. Or you can go a different route and join clubs with people who have diverse interests so you can broaden your perspective, if that’s what you’re into. And if you honestly can say you’re not feeling any of the groups on campus (were you really expecting them to have a “Shooting Mice Up in Bottle Rockets” club?) start your own. Week of Welcome is here for you, so learn a little bit about each of the organizations, and hopefully something about yourself, too. Or don’t, see what we care, waste your parents money and time, don’t have any fun this semester. Then you can complain about it in the Opinions section next year.

Just when this semester couldn’t kick anymore ass the 2010 GLAMFA (Greater Los Angeles Master of Fine Art) exhibit comes along and rears its awesome head. The exhibit takes up all three gallery wings at the FA buildings. Each wing is filled with various types of art forms such as video, photography, sculptures, paintings, and found art objects. All the pieces are from students from Southern California Universities and Art Institutes. Several of these pieces reflect upon different cultures, and what it is like to be a student in today’s sometimes fucked up, and sometimes sweet world. The eclectic mix touches upon several topics such as World War II, evolution, and existence. Many others are simply pieces that require one’s individual interpretation, as different people see different things in art. One of the pieces in the collection is a short film called Trigonometry by Arnold Vargas. This film was an amazingly accurate representation of what it is like to be a minority pursuing a higher education. A blend of music, photography, and

film captures what its like to live in the greater LA area. Included in these images are photographs of Maruchan Ramen set to a song that asks, “have you eaten yet?” Which hints at the reality of a starving student. Images of police brutality are also depicted, which is a great injustice that many who live in the poorer parts of Los Angeles have seen. But there are also good times in the mix, hanging out with your best pals and dancing in a club. This is all projected on a man’s shirt and set to Marvin Gayes’ song, “What’s going on?” all transmitted and projected onto a wall with Pioneer and Kenwood car stereos systems. Art doesn’t always need to be complex as demonstrated by Vincent Manganello’s Circles. It is a painting of just that, circles. His painting is simple yet beautiful. The complimentary pinks, reds, patterns, and clean lines make this painting a sight. The circles also melt and drip into one another creating the illusion of effortless detailing. GLAMFA is located at the FA buildings and exhibit is up until September 9th.


CAMPUS STATE OF THE BEACH

YOUR WEEKLY CAMPUS NEWS IN BRIEF JOHN YANG UNION STAFFER

Here’s hoping you made the most of your three-day weekend, but figuring you only go to school two or three days a week, you probably have these all the time.

ASI is presenting Easy A, on Tuesday September 7th at the Beach Auditorium, if you want to catch it grab a ticket at USU 116, it’s free with Student ID.

If you can’t make it to that free screening, probably because the tickets are all gone, you might want to see Toy Story 3 instead at the Beach Auditorium, Wednesday and Thursday with showings at 5 PM and 8 PM for 2 bucks.

METAL INSTITUTION

Who knows, maybe that doesn’t sound cool (who doesn’t like free pizza anyway) then you can head over to the pyramid and see our Women’s Volleyball take on San Diego at 7PM on Friday in the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational.

Or you can screw all of those and go to a skate demo on Friday from 8-10 PM in Parking Lot 3 with people from the Element Skate Team, Zephyr Skate Team and some others. Or you could just go hang out with your “friends” on a Friday night.

UAM presents Perpetual Motion: Michael Goldberg from September 9 - December 12, 2010. It’s basically Second Generation Abstract Expressionism. Duh.

Speaking of pretty awesome art, go check out the Union Weekly’s own Jeff Chang and his partner Vivi Fitriani’s exhibit about Muslim women and the hijab on September 12th at the Gatov Gallery West. Take a gander over at www.hayaexhibit.com for a look at what is to come next week.

SUSANNA SPIERS

THE ONLY DEPARTMENT WITH REAL BRASS-BALLS Pictures and Words

If free pizza, radio station appearances, giveaways and sports tournaments DON’T sound cool on campus on a Friday night, then DON’T head over to Smorgasport from 7-12 PM Also, everything in the USU will be freebowling, pool, video games etc.

METALS DEPARTMENT

NOAH KELLY CAMPUS EDITOR

Nestled in the back of the Fine Arts buildings, and certainly off the beaten path as far as majors go, is the Metalsmithing department of CSULB. The Metalsmithing department offers a B.A., a B.F.A. and M.F.A.s, something that CSULB can boast as being the only college in the L.A. area that offers Fine Arts degrees in metals. While there aren't very many students specifically majoring in metals themselves, the program has grown considerably in the last 13 years under the guidance of Susanna Speirs. Susanna is the department head of the program and oversees the 20-25 metal major undergraduates and the half dozen or so graduate students, as well as her two part-time lecturers Michael Dale Bernard and April Kawaoka. The Metalsmithing track includes several different construction arts, such as jewelry casting, enameling (which is the act of fusing metal and glass), blacksmithing and foundry work. All of these classes themselves are 300 level and up, and require students to go through basic lower division art requirements. Once being accepted into the major, it can take students roughly 3 years to fully complete the curriculum. This is often due to some classes, such as blacksmithing, only being offered one semester, and the fact that all of the classes seem pretty awesome to take, how could you not stick around for another year to do them all? But that is exactly what Susanna and

her part-time lecturers think is great about the Metalsmithing program. The diversity of the major is a big selling point for metal students, allowing them to not just focus on one aspect of the major, but to really explore the numerous facets of working with metals. The path would be akin to a creative writing major loading up on short stories, poetry, screen writing, novels and whatever else it is that creative writing majors actually do. However the metals program isn't exclusive to just metal majors. Many illustration and graphic design students find themselves immersed in the construction side of metals to help round out their skills. Metals is an ancient art that really allows students to have something to show for their hard work, sweat, burns and probably blood. Much like a journalism student reading their name in print, or the poli-sci student hearing their speech recited, metal majors get that awesome feeling when they hold their finished piece of steel, silver or copper sculpture or other piece to show. And unlike most rewards, these can last more than just a lifetime. Whether its fusing Lovecraftian metal designs to glasswork, designing functional steampunk jewerly, or even just smelting a little piece of silver down for nosy journalists, the metals department touts an amazing work facility, learning environment and a small but dedicated and enthusiastic staff that should make any other major, let alone Art, jealous.

Susanna also does public art projects, the closest being featured at the Olympic Stadium

APRIL KAWAOKA

April designs her own jewelry and features it on her etsy page www.aprilkaoka.etsy.com

MICHAEL DALE BERNARD

Michael has been working on his Bike Couture, taking old vintage bike parts and repurposing them for jewelry UNION WEEKLY

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MUSIC

THE BROOK LEE CATASTROPHE JOE HAUSER

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UNION STAFFER, UPSTANDING CITIZEN

he Brook Lee Catastrophe has always had a majority of my attention since the first time I heard “Lover Come, Lover Go,” which is coincidentally the first song I ever heard of theirs. Weird. So needless to say, being able to receive their new release, American Hotel, completely free over a Facebook invite, well, I peed a little just now reminiscing about it. It’s named after the historical landmark in downtown on Broadway, built in the early 1900s, and American Hotel seems to introduce you to its wide variety of tenants throughout the ups and downs of its history. Lovelorn, anxious, adventurous, remorseful, desperate, confused, festive and the rest of the human psyche is explored through the lyrical twistings of frontman Brook Lee with songs asking for redemption, admitting character flaws and doing it anyway. To round out these tenets the band pulled no stops with the music. I’ve been a fan for a while and never before have I heard songs more focused and orchestrated from bar to bar, song to song. The album develops a folky narrative employing a bluesy-space-rock guitar, sublime violins, bass and drums that are just on the same page the entire way and an elusive piano player appearing here and there. From cover to cover, the “100 Behind” intro sets the pace of a ballad-bound-train twisting down the valleys and up the mountains west until you end at “A Perfect Parrot” who mimics the singalong from the song prior, “A Seasick Sailor,” and expands it with a more positive group arm-inarm la-dada-da-dida with a certain catchiness The Catastrophe should probably trademark. I think the album is a win and I think it’s a win for historic monuments everywhere. I had the privilege to sit down with Brook and the Catastrophe’s guitarist, George, in an all but empty Pike Bar with the sun’s midafternoon rays slanting through. There UNION WEEKLY

7 SEPTEMBER 2010

was only one other patron and he was in the back just waiting for food. I’m early so I order a Stone, grab a table and start thinking about ordering a basket of onion rings. Brook shows up after a few minutes of me weighing my options and orders Ketel One on the rocks for himself and a basket of onion rings for George. George arrives after dealing with a minor bout of E. Coli poisoning (he’s fine now, thanks), we banter for a spell and then I dive into the interview. Union Weekly: Why did you guys decide to name your album after the national monumnent, the American Hotel? Did you have a history there? Brook Lee: Well, it’s the oldest commercial structure alive in Long Beach, it’s still up. They’ve tried several times to rebuild that thing and we’re a Long Beach band, we wanted to tie the album to some local idea and the more history we read about that place the more it seemed interesting. The one who originally built it ran out of money, but the one who built American Hotel bought it from him. Number one, it was tying the idea of Long Beach and paying tribute to something local, but the more we looked into it we found that there was an American Hotel in almost every city, I hear the one in LA is pretty good. UW: How has being around Long Beach affected your sound? BL: I don’t know if it specifically has but I will say that it can fit in all kinds. And it has fans of all kinds and in Orange County that wasn’t really the case. But I think how our sound changed specifically had to deal with how we changed as people. You’ll have these moments of a big band it will pop out in the style of a folk song. How about we just do what we do and just let it get bigger and bigger and then figure it out later. They just sit together as mirror images of each other. You got one for the summer

vibe and one for the winter vibe, right? Every part we started thinking and putting all these things going on and the contrast in a song in [upcomming album] Motel Americana that is one take, I wrote the song two minutes before, you hear me turning the pages, I have the levels peak and it sounds like a piece of shit. By the time those things come together I think it’s going to make up the full piece, you know what I mean? UW: What did you do differently in the creative and production process with this album? BL: Certainly sleep deprivation, I thought. The [way we were] recording, but in addition it’s songs that start with riffs that George had, but in the past we didn’t do that. UW: So you fucked George. BL: Well, fuck George. George Madrid: Who hasn’t? UW: Motel Americana is going to feature the whole band? BL: Yeah, we tried to get rid of Ryan but we couldn’t do it. We have a little bit left to polish up but there’s still more to be done.

“A lot of it comes from that fucking day in and day out of fucking trying to do it for ourselves and beating your head against the wall and just pushpush-push you know what I mean?” UW: For American Hotel what were some main concepts you were hoping to get across? GM: Well, a bigger sound and more contrast. “Come On Strong,” where for me personally it’s only three or four different tones. One is straight forward guitar but it’s a little spacey then there’s a balls-to-the-wall distortion part and that huge contrast with lots of reverb make it sound as big as possible. If it’s a sound you haven’t heard before and it

makes it immediately more interesting. BL: Sonically there was a big spacey vibe to a lot of it, right, and a lot of it was, “Let’s see how big this can get.” Lyrically, a lot of the stuff I tend to get into a lot like the interpersonal communication, “how am I developing as a person, how are we doing as people”; but there’s a lot of noteworthy points where you pick a song like “Saved” which is very tonguein-cheek, basically asking someone to save you and in the end saying “well you can only save yourself ”. But in “Not Your Pharmacy” it’s very much like “I can’t save you” beat it down your throat, it’s time to get up and do it yourself. A lot of it comes from that fucking dayin and day-out of fucking trying to do it for ourselves and beating your head against the wall and just push-push-push, you know what I mean? But that’s a lot different than the more mellow “I’m heartbroken woe is me” you know what I mean? I’m comfortable with it now. “100 Behind” talks about living in the past and acknowledging some of those faults. Or the song “Come on Strong”, “I come on strong sometimes and I don’t like it/ But I weighed the other side and you won’t see me hide it.” It’s more of a comfortability with these things. “A Perfect Parrot” talks about that idea of the perfect person and what people would attribute to perfect and a twist on a lost relationship. It doesn’t have to be sad because we can’t be together but if we can’t let’s just fucking sing ourselves to the grave. Can you print “fuck” in the papers? UW: Any last words? GM: We want you to listen to this album. It’s good. It’s music you can relate to and enjoy. I’m comfortable with “hey, here’s the music. You don’t have to necessarily like it but I want you to hear the music because you’ll probably like it.”


MUSIC

FUCK YEAH FEST

MINUTE-TO-MINUTE UPDATES FROM THE MOST perversely TITLED FESTIVAL THIS YEAR LEO PORTUGAL UNION STAFFER

LEO: 1:40pm- I’m trying to walk to FYF, but there are train tracks blocking the way. This is gonna take 4ever! 2:11pm- I’m finally here, but I forgot my ticket in my car! FUUUUU... 2:14pm- ...UUUCK YEAH FEST HERE I COME! I was just kidding about losing my ticket. That would be pretty sucky.

yell what I’m thinking. “I’m glad the sun’s going down, it was wat too hot! The Local Natives sound sooo right now! I’m thirsty!” 6:50pm- Saw one of the dudes from Abe Vigoda. I gave him two thumbs up and shouted, “Abe Vigoda!” at him. I did this to him once before about four years ago. I wonder if he remembers me? I probably should have interviewed him.

MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN CULTURE EDITOR

MICHAEL: 1:43pm- Just parked. It was a total rip off, and the parking lot is super bumpy and sketchy. 2:10pm- Made it for one song by The Blow, and she killed it. Her banter on stage is really neurotic and goofy, but she has a great voice

2:40pm- I wanted to see the band Let’s Wrestle because “let’s wrestle” is something I say at least once a week. My nickname in high school wrestling was “Mr. Tickles.”

5:44pm- The dust storm is super gnarly now. 5:46pm- A third of the crowd left Wavves, but they’re still pumping out the jams.

3:53pm- Biggest crowd so far is for Best Coast. The band sounds and looks good. The singer says this next one’s a slow jam, but they’re all pretty slow. 6:52pm- To make up for that missed opportunity, I tried interviewing a guy waiting for a port-a-potty. He told me to fuck off. 7:17pm- Besides the wonderful novelty of being lead by actor-turned-musician Ryan Gosling and backed by a costumed children’s choir, Dead Man’s Bones is charming the hell out of me with an enjoyable show.

MAJOR LAZER // SEAN BOULGER

UNION STAFFER, COOL DUDE

4:28- The Oh Sees are officially the best garage band. The set was killer. They played all the hits and ended with a ten minute instrumental jam. Also, a disproportionate amount of people here look like Raiden from Mortal Kombat.

5:39pm- Wavves didn’t sound check right and the bass won’t work. Then he started bitching out and took his pants off. I think everything is working now. Super weird.

3:05pm- The singer from Davila 666 just said a joke in Spanish. I think the punchline was “Yo soy un perrito.” “He’s a little dog.”

6:01- Watching Local Natives, a guy behind me yelled, “They ARE local!” Thanks to that guy for saying what I was thinking, but was just too afraid to say. I hope he continues to

3:55pm- Switching to The Oh Sees is already paying off. Way more energy, a bunch of crowd surfing, and a really cool looking dust storm blowing on the stage.

4:49pm- Titus Andronicus is all build-ups and break-downs. The high points kick ass, and are surely the most uplifting part of the fest. Sometimes the break-downs seem to last forever.

2:52pm- I just took a picture with comedian Matt Besser, cofounder of the Upright Citizens Brigade. He does an amazing impression of Bjork where he threatens to slit people’s throats and shit.

4:18pm- I’m in the comedy tent and Harris Wittels just told one of my favorite jokes. “Why is it that pineapple makes semen taste better, but semen makes pineapple taste TERRIBLE?” Wittels writes for Parks and Rec.

3:50pm- Best Coast drew a huge crowd, but was playing so close to The Oh Sees, so I had to split my time. They were playing mostly off of Crazy for You.

and “True Affections” has an insane beat. 2:17pm- Watching Cults soft rock up the place. Definitely more interested in food than the music. It’s like one big Myspace photo shoot. 2:27pm- Being told I was seeing Vetiver and not the Cults. This map isn’t really intuitive.

6:29pm- Ariel Pink is playing, not sure if I’m loving it or hating it. At least they have their shit together. 7:37pm- So much weed in the air at Washed Out. Hell yeah.

[Ed. Note: Both of our writers inexplicably lost contact with me. Either they perished in a super rockin’ mosh pit or they were way too cool to stick around for the headliners]

GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, LAZERS DO We’re a little behind the boat on this one—but Major Lazer is here now, and in a big way. In case you didn’t catch wind of them when their debut album dropped about a year ago, you’ve now got your chance to grab it, plus a new EP of remixes and two new songs: Lazers Never Die. The brainchild of Diplo and Switch, two of the musical minds arguably responsible for much of M.I.A.’s success, Major Lazer is a highly-collaborative musical project that takes its name from a fictional cartoon character. The group’s Wikipedia article describes their namesake as “a Jamaican commando who lost his arm in a secret zombie war in 1984. He fights vampires and various monsters, parties hard, and has a rocket-powered hoverboard.” You should purchase the album immediately if any of those things

sound awesome to you. (Hint: they all should. All of them.) Blending reggaeton, dub, dancehall, and house, Major Lazer is a coked-out sonic adventure, each track boasting its own distinctive personality. From the opening cellphone-infused “Hold the Line” to the obligatory marijuana tribute “Mary Jane,” Major Lazer reaches deep into the dirtiest parts of reggae fusion, pulling out a nonstop beat-based assault that positively drips with both rhythm and character. At its best, Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do is a dance party just waiting to be unleashed. At its worst, the album could simply be described as “a little fucking much.” But really, what else would you expect from a band whose namesake is a goddamn one-armed, zombie-fighting, hoverboard-riding Jamaican commando? UNION WEEKLY

7 SEPTEMBER 2010


LITERATURE

BOOKS WITH BALLS ALL NATURAL MALE ENHANCEMENT: A GUYS’ GUIDE TO BEING RUGGED, MANLY, AND LITERATE

Illustration

JEFF CHANG

HEAD ILLUSTRATOR

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM A MAN WITH A BEARD DEREK KOSKO

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CONTRIBUTOR

t has been brought to my attention that a recent survey says that guys don’t read as much as women. Duh. As a member of that particular half of the species, I could have told you that. I remember that that’s what we decided at the last meeting. (In case you’re wondering, girls, yes, we do have meetings, and we’re on to the slimming effects of the empire waist and big sunglasses). Recreational canonical texts (that’s books) aside, we most definitely read, just in other mediums. Closed captioning on the TV doesn’t count, but articles online, in newspapers, and in Maxim totally do. For the purposes of this article, I am supposed to highlight one piece of literature, but nuts to that. Here is a list of my recommendations for some pleasureable reading. UNION WEEKLY

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THANK YOU FOR SMOKING Let’s hit the ground running. This is a quick and fun read. The main character, Nick Naylor, is the smooth and suave man you wish you were. He is quick, witty, and actually gets laid. Think about that next time you’re at a party, chatting up a girl, and drinking boxed wine while wearing an ironic t-shirt or deep v-neck, you hipster bastard.

GEEK LOVE We’re not talking “spends-Fridaynights-doing-homework” geek, but “bitesthe-heads-off-chickens, Siamese twin, hasflippers, midget-hunchback-albino-circus freak” geeks. This book is gross, graphic, sordid, evil, and friggin’ awesome! It questions what a freak really is and how families

function. Come for the deformed strippers, stay for the cult!

ANYTHING BY SHAKESPEARE Read some Shakespeare, damn it! At the very least, memorize a sonnet or two so you can recite them to the girl you’ve been pumping vodka tonics into all night. If you read a few of his plays, The Simpsons becomes funnier. And if you really understand it and dig deeper into the layered iambic pentameter, you’ll realize Shakespeare was one sick puppy. Seriously though, memorize the sonnets.

FIGHT CLUB If you haven’t seen the movie. . . honestly, who hasn’t seen the movie? READ

THIS BOOK. If not for the underlying themes of manhood, God, capitalism, violence, and identity, then read it because you had to sport a huge black eye when you saw the movie in the 8th grade and wanted someone to hit you as hard as they could. The writing is excellent and graphic. The one-liners come directly from the book, but the ending is different. Awesometasticly different. Get out there and read a book that is interesting. It will improve your character as a man, impress those around, and make your wang bigger (maybe). I hope this helps expose you to some good reading so you’ll stop saying Catcher in the Rye is your favorite book. Come on, Holden Caulfield was a whiney little bitch. Admit it.


LITERATURE “A MAN CAN GET TO LOVE SHIT . . .” COREY LEIS CONTRIBUTOR

All right, fellas. You’re looking for a book to satisfy your literary id. It took you six short stories and two novels to realize that Hemingway, generally thought of as the macho-est of the Literary Greats, is, well, boring. A trifle languid. You’ve had it with London’s outdoorsiness. You already learned how to build a fire from Anthony Hopkins. And, Stephen King, well, you still think he’s cool, but y’know . . . Enter Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. When first published in 1934 in Paris, France,

it was barred from import into the United States and Great Britain due to its—ahem— lurid content. When Grove Press ventured to publish it in the States in the early sixties, Tropic of Cancer, among countless other books you may or may not have read in school, became part of the historical obscenity trials that attempted to delineate what exactly constituted pornography. As is often the case, art prevailed, and we can read Miller’s lovely novel here in the States, on the steps of the capital building if we want to!

Tropic of Cancer, one of a handful of Miller’s novels and stories describing his days in France in the 1930s, is a masterful blend of fiction and memoir. Henry (the character) is a struggling writer, trying to scrounge up enough francs for a meal and a fuck, and that’s pretty much our hero’s principal mission throughout. He engages in myriad exchanges—some conversational, most sexual. But this is not merely a book chronicling the sexual exploits of a man who is more attractive and macho than you. Go read

Tucker Max for that. No, Miller is a brilliant writer (probably not as attractive as you) who beautifully weaves narrative and philosophical cogitations into what I call a goddamned good novel. But don’t take my word for it. Get your hands on a copy. Skim through it. Check it out, buy it, steal it (but that’s not a nice thing to do). It’s not a tremendously difficult or long read (just over three hundred pages), and you (probably) won’t regret it. If you do, well, I hear Dan Brown writes pretty good books.

FIGHT MAGAZINE - I WANT YOU TO READ THIS AS HARD AS YOU CAN MARCOS BARRON CONTRIBUTOR

There aren’t many essentials to living life: eating, sleeping, breeding, but one that seems to be left out too often is something that is as primal as the aforementioned activities: fighting. Fighting is something innate in everybody; it is just that some can do it better than others. For those in need of some assistance in this area, mostly men, since they seem to be at the forefront of instigating fist fights, what better solution than to turn to something as blunt and easy to understand as Fight Magazine? This magazine is growing in popularity, as is the sport it

represents, mixed-martial arts, but what it represents more is the instinctual, fiery, combative nature that either is nurtured or neglected in every young boy. Call it Cosmo for guys; either way, anybody looking to be a man’s man should at least take a glance inside. Workout routines, idols to worship, pills to enhance physique, any part of your physique, what more would a guy want out of a magazine? Okay, given that this is not every male’s goal, that not every guy wants to look like a meathead, as so many of this magazine’s covers seem to ensure will

happen if you look inside, there is also a surprising amount of philosophy involved for those who care about depth. The magazine explains the different reasons people fight. Interestingly, it’s not all to get a paycheck or to show off bravado. The reasons can be more than that: expression of oneself—similar to something artists or writers do—the thirst for knowledge, or a sense of one’s calling. As if those aren’t enough reasons to read, the magazine, although seemingly antagonistic, does not promote fighting in a bad light. It holds a well-trained

and controlled stance on the subject, advocating for men and women to get trained and prepared for the hardships that can come about in life. So, for those guys with little confidence and ego, this magazine can help a reader find outlets to garner his shortcomings. For the others with too much confidence, it can model some humility, since not every fighter thinks he is a god. And for the intellect in you, learning something not necessarily thought of when one says “knowledge” is an admirable endeavor.

look like a group of Girl Scouts, but you won’t find a more real book out there. It isn’t some lame story of guy-meets-girl, guy-falls-in-love-with-girl, drama, and fights, where they fall in love and live happily ever after. The book says it best. “You know why love stories have happy endings? Because they end too early”. The main character goes from having a Simpamina-addicted, sex-crazed girlfriend, to being stabbed by said deranged person, to dealing weed on the streets of New York while living in the Hotel Chelsea. All of this occurs while he is trying to steal a beautiful model from an abusive rock star boyfriend

and searching the city for someone to satisfy his wanderlust. Sounds like a good life, huh? But the reality of it is this: it is incredibly lonely. If Pineapple Express hasn’t confirmed it already for us, my real life friends can verify: No one wants to be friends with their drug dealer. Being twenty can suck, hard. It’s not that life gets more difficult as you age, but that the expectations which are given to you can cause some serious shit in your life. God Hates Us All is about simply that. The isolation of moving out on your own into a world where you know no one, the self-loathing associated with lying to your parents and your crumbling relation-

ship with them, hating yourself for how social or non-social you really are, and the desperate nature of humans. This isn’t a pity party for the main character or some grand life lesson to be discovered, but the truth in how confused people really are searching in their lives for some level of meaning and possibly, yes, the neurotic moments of just belonging. Through his journey into the crazy world, the narrator starts with a premature cynicism unbefitting of his age and ends up with real growth and perspective on life, love, or whatever the hell it is that really makes us tick.

GOD HATES US ALL LANDON DEVAULT CONTRIBUTOR

Let’s be honest. Guys usually don’t read. It’s just not interesting or a priority to us. One look around campus, and our attention cannot stay fixed onto words on a page for very long. But despite that, there are some real books out there not filled with the mundane archetypes and same stories told over and over again. God Hates Us All, yes, the book from the hit series, Californication, is one of those. It’s got sex, rock and roll, self-loathing, drugs, more drugs, and the desperate needs of men. A secret no guy likes to openly admit: we have a need to connect with people. This book doesn’t quite make The Expendables

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS - HEMINGWAY AND YOU NOAH KELLY CAMPUS EDITOR

If there’s anything that can bring about the downfall of man, it’s woman. Even the greatest manly men end up croaking because of some broad bungling it all up with feelings and emotions and whatever-she-wastalking-about-I-stopped-listening-awhileago. Such is the fate of Ernest Hemingway à la Robert Jordan in WWI saboteur novel For Whom The Bell Tolls. From the opening chapter you know just how incredibly tough Robert Jordan is (who goes by their full name all the time? tough motherfuckers, that’s who), how incredibly difficult his job is going to be, and how incredibly aggravating every other character is going to be in their attempts

to help (read impede) his mission to blow the hell out of some Fascist bridge. But this is the seminal manly man novel because the entire novel isn’t really about just blowing up a bridge. It’s really about Robert Jordan being a complete bad-ass. He’s an explosives expert, he’s a gun expert, and he’s a ladies’ man. When the rest of his guerrilla entourage sleep in a cave, he’s outside in the snow in the equivalent of a sleeping bag. When the other guerrillas are trying to bag the sassy young Maria, Robert Jordan has already tapped that. When Robert Jordan is essentially told it’s impossible to blow up that bridge, well, he sticks a bunch of dynamite into his backpack, and off he goes.

Hemingway’s blunt style of writing doesn’t leave room for flowery language. What you see is what you get without too many artsy-fartsy analogies and similes that bog down the flow of the story. The straightforward story doesn’t have very many twists, nothing that you wouldn’t see coming with the heavy amount of foreshadowing Hemingway uses, but the entire journey to the end is suspenseful and still a surprise. The job of the bridge demolition constantly walks a tightrope of success, and each page seems to delay this inevitable and horrific event. But in a good way. The way Hemingway structures the arc of the story

keeps the reader turning through pages, desperately hoping to get to the appointed exploding time. The climactic end of the novel solidifies Hemingway and Robert Jordan as intense, manly men with more chisel in their jaws than if a stone mason built a replica granite Bruce Campbell bust. And the emotional, gut-wrenching end shows us that even manly men can have their heart strings tugged. Hemingway crafts an expert novel that will run through so many facets of what it means to be tough, courageous and yet touchingly soft when the time calls for it. Manly men read Hemingway, and Robert Jordan is one manly man. UNION WEEKLY

7 SEPTEMBER 2010


ENTERTAINMENT

Journey vs. Destination

Why Lost Is the Best Story Ever Told Sean Boulger

L

UNION STAFFER

ost took me a little while. I missed the boat just a little, watched Season 1 on DVD a little while after it aired (worth noting: before they had announced that Season 6 would be the final season), and then failed to make it past the first few episodes of Season 2. I more or less lost interest and moved on. Fast-forward to a few months ago, some time after the recent upswing in excellent television programming. The fact that the show was ending soon, combined with the testimonies of several people I knew, led me to decide it was time to take a look and see what all the fuss was about. So I went for it. I did an hour’s worth of reading on the Internet to get refreshed on what went down in Season 1, then pulled up the Netflix “Watch Instantly” and dug into Season 2. Eight weeks later and I’m crying like a bitch as I watch the Season 6 and series finale that I’ve downloaded onto my computer, just a day or so after it aired. Lost is my favorite story ever, and this is because the story is the most important part of the experience. At a pivotal moment in

the series’ final scene, one character looks at another and knowingly asks, “Do you understand?” Recently viewing it for the second time, I understood exactly what he meant. The theme of Lost is that the journey itself is far more important than the destination. This is true to every aspect of the show; most importantly, the viewer’s experience. That being said, it couldn’t possibly be more convenient that the entire series has just recently seen its release in the form of one awesome box set, selling for right around a hundred and fifty bucks DVD, two hundred bucks Blu-Ray. Worth doing some saving for, if you ask me. Because Lost is all about the experience, which is meant to be had in one go, more or less. Lost is a very self-contained story, and watching it as quickly as I did made me very thankful that I hadn’t undertaken it weekly, with months-long breaks in between seasons and a writing strike to boot. The show is so tightly constructed that a continuous and fluid viewing -- not to mention the absolutely laughable lengths to which Lostpe-

dia goes in the aim of capturing the show’s every significant detail -- will make clear an almost endless number of elements that would be frustratingly tough to keep track of when an entire week of life, if not more, happened in between each part of this denselylayered story. When the viewer is willing to undertake the commitment, however, one of the most rewarding experiences from any story is sure to be found. Packed with layers, allusions (both within the show and without), Easter eggs, and more, Lost is an epic story in the truest sense of the term. For many viewers, including this one, the emotional payoff is equally as significant. We all know Lost has its detractors. And sure, the show isn’t for everyone. Like it or not, however, the simple fact is that Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have created one of the most engrossing stories of all time. A cultural phenomenon long before the show even reached its conclusion, Lost has done exactly what every good story should do: prompt intellectually- and emotionally-

fueled discussion, debate, and thought. Regardless of your opinion, if television, writing, and/or storytelling are things you care about, you’ve had some sort of heated discussion regarding Lost. So now that the whole thing’s been released on DVD (and is readily available online, courtesy of Netflix), do yourself a favor and take the journey. Get to know the characters, immerse yourself in the mythology, and appreciate the story that’s being told. A special caveat, however: get yourself a Lost Sherpa. Find a friend who’s seen the show and enthusiastically understands what it was trying to say. Tell that friend you’re starting the show, and have said friend handy to discuss, question, and theorize with as you watch the series. Having a guide like this to help you as you take your own trip to the Island is invaluable, as the show is best understood when the viewer has a way to intellectually engage the content throughout. And besides, adventures are nothing if you don’t have anybody to go on them with you.

MIDNIGHT PARANOIA hating the semen that spawned me MARCO BELTRAN ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

The past few weeks have been really shitty in terms of movie releases. This week has Machete, starring Danny Trejo, some asshole looking for revenge after some corporation replaces his penis with a machete, and The American, starring George Clooney as some asshole spy guy that has to marry a horse to pay off a mafia debt. I’m sure that everyone who watched those movies is sitting at home with pencils in their eyes, regretting ever having bought a television. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe I’ve lost the spark that makes living all the more UNION WEEKLY

7 SEPTEMBER 2010

pleasurable. Maybe I need to go outside more and be active as opposed to wasting away in front of a computer screen. The highlights of my week were waking up hung-over and watching György Pálfi’s Taxidermia. It perfectly catered to everything that I enjoy: eating contests, vomiting, bestial necrophilia, hair lips, roosters pecking at a penis, old vaginas, fat cats, and watching a guy remove his own organs. The movie is split into three interconnected stories following three generations of the

Balatony family, each having its own amount of grotesque imagery; like Morosgoványi Vendel, a hair lipped soldier for the Hungarian army during WWII that works as a servant for the Balatony family, masturbating to a little girl in a popup book and proclaiming, “I’m flying” as he shoots his load into the sky and it disperses into stars or Balatony Lajoska, the creepy taxidermist son of a competitive eater, stuffing and mounting his dead father. If you look past the craziness and the scenes meant to evoke a visceral reaction, you can actu-

ally relate to the shitty lives the members of the Balatony family lead. I could relate to Lajoska’s attempts to please his father, Balatony Kálmán, by catering to his gluttonous needs, or Balatony Kálmán’s depression after his wife left him, all the while not knowing that his wife slept with his rival on the day of their wedding. In essence, Taxidermia tries and succeeds at tugging every possible emotion one could feel in 91 minutes, but it’s also good for those, like me, that are looking for the depraved aspects of global cinema.


CULTURE

POP-OCALYPSE

Illustration

JEFF CHANG HEAD ILLUSTRATOR

THEY’RE YELLING AT EACH OTHER IN GAS MASKS! DEVIN O’NEIL CONTRIBUTOR

I

wonder if I’m obligated to make sense in this article? Postmodernism happened. Do I need to have a thesis? I’m not getting fucking paid or anything, that’s for sure. Easy to read or incomprehensible? I could divide cultural products into two categories, or maybe I could divide the consumption of them into two approaches. There are things that I’m interested in because they’re easy. 3OH!3 write catchy songs, Piranha 3D had tits and violence, Yogurtland tastes good. These things are crafted by teams of people to appeal to my biology. I like them for very basic reasons, and despite the pretensions of cultural criticism, it’s hard to bypass the orgasm or the full stomach as bedrocks of tautological value. Then there’s another kind of cultural experience. There’s this band I like, they’re called

Skullflower. They make 14-minute Wagnerinspired noise compositions. It’s indistinguishable from the sounds of TV snow run through a chorus pedal. Who knows, maybe that’s what it is. This does not push any obvious biological buttons. It even kind of annoys me. But there, in that space, while I’m forcing myself to listen to it, I find value in the nearly random patterns, in the nothing, in the cracked wall of culture, the blackness of death, the death of desire. It’s akin to ascetic religion that way: it’s antibiological.

I listened to this band while driving through Trona with my friend Omar this summer, toward Death Valley. Trona is a tiny town near a chemical plant a million miles from anywhere. Charles Manson hid out near there. It is the devil’s bleached asshole. Why would I go there? The same reason I listen to Skullflower. There’s nothing there. And sometimes nothing is what you need. But most of the time we want something, and that’s where the first cultural category comes in. That’s what I’m interested in right now. Pop is religion to me.

People don’t like Ke$ha for no reason. They like her because she gives them what they want. It’s the same reason people like The Cheesecake Factory. There are experts working on that shit. They’re creating the new gods, gods the people asked for. This is Alan Watts’ “democracy in the kingdom.” This is religion you got to vote for with money. These are gods you can touch. But what gifts do these gods bear? Pop-ocalypse. If the culture scientifically satisfies everyone’s desires, does the world end?

UNION WEEKLY

7 SEPTEMBER 2010


COMICS

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UNION WEEKLY

7 SEPTEMBER 2010

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Disclaimer:

This page is satire. We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Email any questions, concerns, flows, hos, to jeffbridges.grun@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Volume 67 Issue 2

LBUNION.COM

SOME FRANKLY FRESH John Gosselin to Replace Snoop Dogg STYLE UP IN THIS GRUN in Hip-Hop, Life BY JEFF BRIDGES, ACTOR After some intense ass thinking, I decided my bold and ingenious move of creating the “Funion” was perhaps not as fun as I had hoped. As I thought even harder, I decided that raps and flow are even more fun than not swearing and not being mean. As such, I have created “Grunnin,’” the hip-hop page for you to read or bring to parties and make some new party friends with. Grunnin’ is also a new dance sweeping the clubs. Here’s how you do it: pick up your nearest Union periodical, and kill yourself. Or just read it. I don’t care about anything. It’s no secret that I, Jeff Bridges, Actor love me some raps. My ideas and insights into the hiphop culture have graced this page for years now. Let’s take a little trip down mammary lane. Ha ha, just playing. I turned the music world on its head a year or two ago when I suggested that instead of rappers doing a rap about butts or boobs or backs(?), rappers should rhyme about abs. It could be a whole new style with holes in the stomach of girl’s shirts and sexy six-pack abs popping out every which way. This will catch on and it will be very

dope to live in a world of abs. Who could forget my several articles on hot new raspy rapper Ja Rule? No one. Nobody forgot them. Ja Rule has yet to contact me or attend my birthday party, but I plan on living for several more years, so there’s still a chance. Hit me up, Ja. Love you. Or what about the time I invented rapping into a bag of bugs? Like really rapping at those little assholes. Let them have it. That’s pretty much the whole idea. Obviously, I’m a man of raps. I get asked often in my dreams about how I got started loving raps. It all started in 1999 when I heard Sisqo’s “Thong Song.” I was blown away by the song (obviously), but I especially enjoyed the fact that the silver-haired Sisqo had the courage to use the word “dumps” in a song about butts and butt accessories. A bold move that paid off in my opinion. I never knew that hiphop could be so bold and exciting. After a few more years, I vowed to create Grunnin’ to bring back the same spirit of fun and boldness that Sisqo did when he dyed his hair silver and talked about dumps and butts. So enjoy this page full of style and swagger and just plain fun rap times for you to enjoy. Let the Grunnin’ begin. Out.

BY JEFF BRIDGES, ACTOR In a move that caused shock, awe, and pleased head nods from the press, Snoop Dogg announced his retirement from Hip-Hop. “My heart just isn’t in it anymore,” Snoop Dogg announced. “I’m just not the same man I was when [Dr.] Dre discovered me.” Just when the audience was about to mourn the loss of a hip-hop heavyweight, Snoop Dogg announced his protégé and replacement, reality TV’s Jon Gosselin. “When I first met the cat [man], I was like ‘yeah, you got eight kids and some dope Ed Hardy style, but have you got the chops?’” Snoop said, “But he immediately blew me away with his clever rhymes and sick flow. He rhymes ‘eight kids’ with ‘you ain’t shit.’” Gosselin studied under Snoop Dogg for quite some time, perfecting his technique, while still “finding some time to cuddle.” Snoop was so impressed with Gosselin’s abilities, he decided to step down and allow him to take his place in the public’s eye. Although his skills and style cannot be denied, Gosselin did find some opposition to this decision, including the executives at the TLC network. “They only let my ex-wife, Kate, have her own show because her name rhymes better with eight,

Snoop Dogg gives a cool secret handshake to his replacement. Gosselin is not phased because Snoop and him do that kind of stuff all the time. Little Snoop on his shirt is like “Whaaat.”

which is how many babies she had in her belly. John G 5+3 would be an awesome show name! Coincidentally, it is also my new MC name. Check out my new album for more examples of cool rhymes like that one. Peace,” said Jon. Gosselin was later seen throwing snacks at a TV screen with his wife’s picture on it. In addition to replacing him in the music business, Snoop Dogg is allowing Jon Gosselin to take over other aspects of his life. “I let him go to clubs for me and party and all that. Who has the time for that stuff

anymore?” said Snoop. Gosselin was seen playing Wii Sports with Snoop’s kids at his Long Beach home. “It’s a really exciting time for me,” explained Snoop Dogg, “I just let JG 5+3 take care of all that stuff and I can frolic in my piles of cash. Fuck that Wii Sports shit, golf is hard as hell. What’s three more kids to the guy anyway? He already has 20.” With that misinformation, Snoop dropped his microphone to the floor, never to pick it up again. Look for Gosselin’s album “JG 5+3: You Don’t Know Me (and Other Rhymes)” in stores next month.

INSIDE

Hey Ludacris! A Business Opportunity: Have you ever thought of making a home for the elderly? You could call it “Lewd Acres.” In my opinion it’s an untapped market that could mean big dollar signs for you if you want to attach your name. I’m probably going to make the place anyway but it’ll make more sense with you involved probably. Just an idea. Keep on rapping buddy.

PAGE LD5

Has Anyone Ever Rap Battled a Chicken? Like Gotten Right Up In Its Face Dissing It And Shit? Might Be Fun. PAGE R4P

Popular Rap Artist: Peter Diddly PAGE PDY

67.02  

A issue full of fun fall content.