ISSUE 68.10 KEVIN O’BRIEN Editor-in-Chief
CHELSEA STEVENS Opinions Editor
Literature Editor Entertainment Editor
MICHAEL MERMELSTEIN email@example.com Music Editor
Actor, Grunion Editor Art Director/Cover
Assistant Art Director
Head Illustrator Photo Editor
A LETTER LIKE NOTHING ELSE
Advertising Executive This Week’s Assistant Editors:
COLLEEN BROWN, ALISON ERNST
MIKE PALLOTTA, VICTOR CAMBA, PARKER CHALMERS, MATTHEW TOWLES, DEVIN O’NEIL, STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ, BRYAN WALTON, COREY LEIS, MARY FUHRMAN, DEBORAH ROWE, LISA VAN WIJK, KELSEY WEHSELS, TANNER PARKER, KEVIN JORGE-CRUZ, CHRIS PAGE, MICHAEL IACOUCCI, DANIEL PEREZ, CHRISTINA MOTT, SHANE RUSING, KEVIN NICHOLSON, CHELSEA HOBBY, SARA HATAKEYAMA, KATIE BROWN, DANIEL SERRANO, JORDAN MAEVE, MARLON DELEON, ALLISON HUITT, JILLIAN THOMAN, KIMBERLY TORREZ, JARRED BLUNK, TYLER STAFFORD, JUSTIN JUNG, WES VERNER, KEVIN NG, JOHN VILENUEVA, GENE KANG, RON MITCHEL, RACHEL CLARE, ADAM FAY, ELISA ANG , ANNETTE SCANLON, CLAUDIA RODRIGUEZ, SALLY KEY, JONATHAN BALDERAS, CAREY BAXTER, SHANE RULING, TRAVIS BARON, ALBERTOE MATA, DONNIE BESSON, SARA HAASE (COVER)
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 : firstname.lastname@example.org WEB : lbunion.com
KEVIN O’BRIEN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
ast month, Noah Kelly wrote an article that unintentionally provoked some on and off campus, the Native American community in particular. Last week, Noah and I attended the weekly Associated Student Incorporated senate meeting where the public can speak directly to the senate. Those offended took the time to complain. Some screamed, some stared, some simply made their opinion known. Noah and I were also able give brief statements to the senate. I was satisfied with the process. Noah and I were disparaged, as was the Union Weekly. There were calls for his firing, my ousting, and the removal of all or some funding for the Union Weekly. As far as I am concerned none of that is going to happen. After the rally, Noah, perhaps seeking absolution and definitely exhibiting what huge balls he has, stepped into a circle of protesters and spoke with them. From what he told me they were pretty brutal, I wouldn’t know, I left. In retrospect, I should have stuck around by my friend and coworker, in support. We all made mistakes and I made one. Noah made it out alive and probably better for the experience, while I just left with something to contemplate. Lame. In the meantime, AISC (American Indian Student Council) and our old friends at JAGed (Justice And Gender Education) have cobbled together an online petition for my removal as EIC (Editor-in-Chief), which is total BS (bullshit). I assume they are unaware that my term as EIC comes to a close in a little over a month. They can spend/ waste their time anyway they like. This is actually the second time that JAGed has attempted to petition my firing. I guess they are coming back for seconds; they can’t get enough. I don’t blame them, I’m almost flattered. This most recent petition has already gathered a shocking 42 petitions. I am so fucked.
CHRIS FABELA ILLUSTRATION
In any case, last week I put out the call to support the Union Weekly and the student body has responded! Following this letter is one from a reader that contains both a joke and kind words for the Union Weekly. Another reader chose to support us in a full-on article, which you can, should, and need to read on page four, in the Opinions section. This week’s feature is all about Long Beach myths. You may have noticed how amazing this week’s cover is thanks to contributor and student Sara Haase and I can guarantee the words are just as good thanks to editors Marco Beltran and Andy Kneis and current staffer/former EIC Mike Pallotta. Fuck this noise.
Dearest O’Brien, In light of recent events, I have to say that I too am offended by some of the content found in The Union. Last week’s issue contained the articles “Black Metal 101” and “Essential Black Metal Albums.” It is ignorant for anyone, in modern day, to use the term “black.” Please advise Mr. Bryan and Mr. Mermelstein that the politically correct term should be African-American. If such terms keep on appearing I am willing to state a protest and call in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the African American National Organization (AANO). On a more serious note, I would just like to thank you and the rest of the Union staff for handling the AISC scandal. Yes, this has become a on-campus scandal. I would like to share a quick anecdote to prove how much of a scandal this has become. I was sitting outside my classroom, waiting for the class to begin. I had the Union wide open in front of me, and the 49’er closed on my side. A couple
approached me, as I laughed to myself over the humor that is often found in the pages of the Union. The girl did most of the talking. She basically just questioned why I was “wasting my time with that filth.” I didn’t understand what she was talking about until she grabbed the 49’er and showed me the front page. (It felt more like she was shoving the 49’er in my face). I started to laugh even more, not to spite them but because I actually found it humorous. They took offence to this, the guy looked like he was ready to pounce on me. I was raised in a bad neighborhood and was told to never fight unless someone threw the first punch. This couple reminded me of that bad neighborhood, where gang members would “jump” you over your t-shirt/hat color. The Union has the power of the press and I am just thankful that you guys haven’t turned this into an on-campus “gang war.” I will keep on reading this paper, and if the magazine had merchandize like tshirts and hats, I would totally “rep” ’em. Keep on writing, guys! P.S. Mike Pallotta’s “Does it Offend You, Yeah?” was a heck of an article. I give him my kudos. -L.B. Writer Lets hear it for L.B. Writer! You are reppin’ the Union Weekly just by reading and enjoying the paper in public. It speaks to your character that you chose to literally laugh in the face of intimidation. Thank you for reading, thank you for writing in, and thank you for not having a boyfriend. Call me. Ask Away!
Finished the paper but still have questions or comments? Send them to the editor at email@example.com!
11 APRIL 2011
STAND UP FOR THE UNION STUDENTS EXPRESS THEIR SUPPORT OF OUR WEEKLY ALBERTO MATA CONTRIBUTOR
he recent assault on indigenous American cultures was both hurtful to the community and a display of pure ignorance. The annual Pow Wow held at our great university is a reminder of how diverse our school is and how tolerant and respectful we are of other cultures. After all, CSULB happens to be one of the most diverse schools in the country, making it a beautiful institution where ethnic unity is in play everyday; something you won’t find at many other universities. But given that our university is one of the most diverse, it does still host some who are ignorant of other cultures, specifically Noah Kelly. Noah wrote an article that displayed pure ignorance on his part, but immediately apologized as soon as he found he was in the wrong. This would not have been possible without the democratic space that the Union provides. Had the Union ceased to exist, there would be a Noah who would have continued to think the way he thought about American indigenous cultures. Furthermore, who is to say that there were not others who read Noah’s article and ignorantly agreed with him? It can be concluded that others shared Noah’s views on the Pow Wow, and it’s because of the Union that the discussion on what truly is American indigenous culture took place, ultimately putting ignorance to rest. The recent assault on the Union paper and its controver-
ANDREW STOCKWELL CONTRIBUTOR
sial content is valid, but those who wish to de-fund the paper do not realize the democratic space that the Union provides. To de-fund the Union is to stomp on our First Amendment rights. The Union is a space in which students can come together and share their ideas, a space where students’ voices can be heard. What other school publication provides that? None! The Daily 49er provides but a small Opinion space, a space for free speech tiny in comparison to the space available in the Union. Now, this is not to say that articles that are written by people who are ignorant of some issues should be condoned. Noah is a perfect case in point. We have here a student who was ignorant of an issue and formally apologized. The article did not reflect Noah’s true beliefs, but beliefs that were so wrong because there just aren’t enough classes or talk on American indigenous cultures. Noah’s article was a display of ignorance due to a lack of education; hence, the article was not an assault on the community coming from one student, it was an assault on the community from the educational system. So we should shame the educational system that produced a person like Noah, and the educational system that continues to marginalize minorities. Yes, shame on Noah’s laziness, but more shame on the US educational system. It’s obvious that the Union has played a
part on educating people on what American indigenous culture really is. Albeit that it had to happen in the way that it did. But Noah is a small fish to fry in comparison to how out of line CSULB has been with the American indigenous community. It’s because of the Union that I’m able to discuss the following criminal activities of our university. If the indigenous community was outraged with Noah, then they should be more outraged with the fact that CSULB has been in direct violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Reparations Act of 1990. The NAGPRA Act has stated that all institutions that receive federal funding have to give up any artifacts, including human remains, back to the cultures from whence they came from. The Anthropology department houses such objects, human remains to be exact. Yet CSULB refuses to be in compliance with NAGPRA. Where is the outrage? It has not come to fruition because it has not been emphasized. But here in the Union, it can be brought up and read by all and hopefully acted upon. Such issues cannot be raised in a publication like the Daily 49er. The Daily 49er reports on democratic movements, but the Union is in itself a democratic movement. Although the Union provides for the only democratic space on campus, many, many students have not taken advantage of
this space. Instead, the Union has, for the most part, been filled with articles that are merely entertaining, and when one of its staff members deviates from this we get an article on subjects from staff members who are ignorant of such subjects. Nevertheless, funding for the Union should not cease. I am calling on all those who wish to hear democracy ring to stand up for the Union. Let us make it a place where students and professors have a voice on tuition fees, war, poverty, the US Empire, other cultures, etc. The Union is a space where we can get things right and build student movements. I call on all students and faculty members to publish articles in retaliation to fee hikes, to end the illegal wars abroad, to stop wars, to pressure the US government to deal with poverty, to call for real democracy in government, to put an end to capitalism, to put an end to corporate power in government, to pressure President F. King Alexander to comply with NAGPRA, to provided classes on Asian Americans, Native Americans, African Americans and classes on women’s struggles, and most of all to publish intelligent articles on the cultural diversity found right here at CSULB. Let the democratic space of the Union be used to benefit not only students’ lives, but for the benefit of society. ALL STUDENTS AND PROFESSORS MUST UNITE!
I was and what class I was waiting for when reading many of them. I developed a relationship with the various writers and their pieces, recognizing and appreciating their different voices. I’ve seen the Union’s growth and, in some cases, degeneration under the direction of four different editors-in-chief. The Union and I go deep. Granted, I’m a relatively new writer for the paper. It took me some doing to carve out the time, and admittedly, muster the courage to start attending the meetings. Unfortunately, this skepticism and fear keeps many talented and enthusiastic students from contributing to our publication. There’s a false image of the Union as a group of cynical elit-
ists, chortling at our in-jokes while we masturbate our egos. This very image kept me out of the office for three years. But it’s a false one. While many of us are cynical bastards, we’re all earnest and ardent people, and I think that a student who intrepidly passes under our pirate flag will find this to be true. We’re just as socially awkward as you. What makes the Union Weekly such a great resource is that it is indeed the Students’ Newspaper, as it’s said on its cover for years. We’re able to foster our creativity as well as reach a wide audience. We perfect the art of hung-over writing in order to meet word counts and deadlines. But what the Union has really taught me, in a very visceral and
immediate sense, is the power of the written word: what we write matters, whether it’s good writing or not. Some of us have come to understand this more than others, but we’re all learning. That’s what school is for. And a school without such an outlet would be a depressing one. I’m planning on attending CSULB for grad school in the fall, and the thought of a Long Beach State without the Union Weekly is heartbreaking. I don’t want to imagine it. Without opinionated and dedicated students, however, the Union can’t thrive. It’s here for you, and whenever you’re ready, we’d love to have you on board. Tell us what the Union means to you! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COREY LEIS UNION STAFFER
My relationship with the Union Weekly began back in the fall of 2007, my first semester at CSULB after transferring from Chaffey College. As tends to be the case for many new readers of the Union, I was surprised by it, wonderfully surprised. I quickly determined that the only use the Daily 49er served was to line the bottom of my pet snake’s cage (no disrespect, guys), but the Union was different. It was fun to read; I could relate to many of the articles, and there was something distinctly “college” about it. Since my first encounter with the paper, it has become an inextricable thread in my experience at CSULB. I have memories attached to certain issues and articles, being able to recall where
11 APRIL 2011
EXPERIMENTAL PLAYGROUND CRIMINAL’S DEATH BECOMES SCIENCE’S EXPERIMENTAL PLAYGROUND JACQUELINE AGUIRRE CONTRIBUTOR
A few weeks ago, a new drug was used to end the life of Ohio inmate Johnnie Baston. The drug, Pentobarbital, which is normally used on animals, had never been used on a person for such a purpose. Baston was therefore the first person ever to be executed using a single dose of Pentobarbital. As a precedent, another inmate Cleve Foster was executed using the same treatment but with three doses of the drug. Now with the facts in hand, and in an effort to separate the person from the criminal, it is safe to say that Baston and Foster were used as lab rats during the most inappropriate time: their death. There is the common argument that prisoners lose their rights once convicted, and I must somewhat agree. Their rights to freedom in terms of life are taken away for what they have committed, but their human rights should always stay intact.
ELISA ANG UNION STAFFER
I watched a movie this past weekend called Nothing but the Truth about a journalist who goes to jail because she will not reveal the source of her article. Her integrity puts her in jail for three years. In the journalism world, it is convention to be sent to jail rather than reveal your source. Many argue against this, but it is merely a part of a creed within the writing world. The same goes for the creed that is established in us as humans. We must uphold our morals at all costs, especially when we harm others. The creed to human rights should have allowed Baston and Foster a choice in being tested with Pentobarbital. Not to say they shouldn’t have been executed to begin with. How hypocritical is our justice system when inmates are granted a last supper, but then used as experimental factors for new drugs? Have the scientific powers-that-be been demoralized so much
so that they would use the death of a human being as an experimental factor? In a recent Reuter’s article Maury Levin, Foster’s attorney, said, “Prison officials are not medical professionals; they cannot be trusted to change a medical procedure in the dark of night without public scrutiny, especially when there is such a minimal track record on the use of Pentobarbital in lethal injections.” Levin asks the question which I also ask myself: is it morally right to use these people in a never-ending drug show? There will always be a new method for executions, as is seen in this case. Before Pentobarbital, the use of Sodium thiopental was used to execute those on death row. According to the Associated Press, the drug has run out, now making Pentobarbital the newest car in the collection. The need for executing inmates to lower
the prison system count has swayed medical experts so far away from morality that I don’t think science will ever come back. Though Baston gave his consent, it is still demoralizing to know that his death was used as a testing site. Diving deeper into the human issue here, Baston was quoted saying that he feared his execution would affect his children. Sentenced to a life in prison or not, his children have no bearings in the matter. To know that one day your father was killed using a drug that had never been tested before would be devastating. After reading this, many might argue that I am sympathizing with convicted murderers, but I am not. My opinions merely rest in the middle of being pro-life and anti-experimental when it puts those being tested in danger. I would stand up for human rights in any given situation, capital punishment or not.
WHEN STEVIE MET ALI
THE AWKWARD BEGINNINGS OF CSULB’S NEWEST ROMANTIC COMEDY ALISON ERNST UNION STAFFER
The first stages of a relationship only occur once. These first stages are undeniably awkward, but they remain some of my personal favorite moments in relationships. Steve (a fellow Union staffer) and myself are presently in the initial stages of a relationship. We have many awkward moments together, but we are simultaneously gaining a history, a background, an us. The history of a we that is exclusive; no one else shares in these tender moments shared in the initial phases of our relationship. During the inevitable awkwardness, we are also gaining something to laugh about later on, wondering why we felt so nervous at the time. The first stages of a relationship contain the first time you held hands, the first date, the first fleeting glances across the room. This series of firsts is cute. Steve was walking me to my car one day and one of his hands
suddenly clasped mine. It was awkward and cute and I liked it. That was the first time that Steve held my hand. These little moments are special, and they make you feel special. Awkward guys are my favorite. Steve is indisputably an awkward guy. I suppose I like awkward guys because I like seeing someone feel more nervous and uncomfortable than me but also because they actually show emotion. I can tell when Steve is secretly freaking out and doesn’t want me to know but I like that. It really makes you like the guy and root for him as you would the underdog in any movie. On one of our first excursions out, he ran into the door of the Beach Hut. He tried to play it off, but I totally saw it and laughed. That single maneuver made me like him even more. Here was a guy who was real and awkward and endearing.
You can never know if someone likes you unless you take the initiative and introduce yourself. Steve has had a crush on me since first semester. I had read his articles, liked them, and I even thought that he was cute, but I had absolutely no idea that he secretly admired me, read my articles, and liked them. It wasn’t until about two months ago that he finally got the nerve to talk to me, and now he’s my boyfriend. It’s weird how someone can be a total stranger one day and then within a brief period of time, that same person can be a significant individual in your life. You can pass someone at school everyday without ever talking to them or really wondering or thinking about who they are, but these seemingly random people could potentially prove to be something more. I like the nervous feeling I get when I see Steve walking over
towards me and my heart skips a beat. It’s one of the best feelings in the world that is simply incomparable. I like the start of relationships and I embrace the awkwardness that inevitably comes with it. Eventually time will progress as Steve and I continue our relationship, adding information about our lives and becoming more knowledgeable about each other. But we can never go back to that initial period of curiosity and wonder. As a relationship transforms from its first stages to the next period of comfort, it is bittersweet. I like feeling more comfortable and relaxed around him, establishing a shared history with him. I can’t relive the initial tender moments but I have the opportunity to make new memories and continue learning about the once total stranger that is now present in my life. UNION WEEKLY
11 APRIL 2011
RALLY AGAINST FEE HIKES WEDNESDAY AT NOON IN FRONT OF COFFEE BEAN, LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD DONNIE BESSOM CONTRIBUTOR
n April 13th, the entire California higher education system will be hosting rallies at their schools to pressure their board of trustees and administrations to stand up for quaity education. This Wednesday at 12pm, thousands of students and teachers will gather at our school, right in front of the Coffee Bean, to hear not simply what is wrong with our education system, but what we as people can do about the attacks on institutions. Organizers learned a lot from last year’s March 4th rally (we had no speakers, a poor sound setup, and the campus police would often change the route of the march to sap momentum with ridiculous amounts of red tape). This year’s rally is going to be different, as SQE Long Beach (Students for Quality of Education) and CSULB’s teacher’s union (CFA) have brought in speakers, live music, and amped up sound projection. While it is easy to criticize such events for not having an effect, ask yourself, reader: what are you doing to fight for your democracy? Are you educating your friends that the CSU system is facing a one billion dollar cut? Are you educating your classmates that they will lose teachers, courses, resources, and entire programs if we refuse to draw the line in the sand? Are you politically paralyzed or are you gearing up for the longest, hardest UNION WEEKLY
11 APRIL 2011
fight you could ever imagine—building your civil rights movement? Courageous generations before us realized that no one was going to save them. The buttons they pushed every four years rarely gave them the democracy they were sold and if the depression of the 1930s and the civil rights movement of the 1960s taught us anything—it is that people have the power. Luckily, we now find ourselves at ground zero of our democracy: the university. The exact same place where students and teachers linked arms to stop the Vietnam War. The same place where they stood side by side in the doorways of their buildings demanding a better world. But what is our generation demanding? Do we even care if we lose our teachers and entire programs? Do we even care that it takes twice as long to graduate? Do we care that we have seen a 242% increase in tuition while the Board of Trustees give themselves raises? Do we care that the CSU Board of Trustees is fighting transparency bills that will allow us to see where money is going? Do we care that a public institution is being privatized while executive pay has risen 69% as class size increases? The answer is YES—we do. Luckily, chapters of SQE and the CFA are organizing massive demonstrations across the state in
solidarity with similar struggles in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida. This rally isn’t going to be the same old bitchfest where people makes signs and throw them away. No one will dance in the Brotman fountain. Instead, unions, churches, student organizations, and community leaders are coming together to form the next civil rights movement. So while most are quick to condemn such greed in our society, I welcome it, for it is from this rubble of democracy that we as people will unite against oppression and injustice. According to the 2010 U.S. census, Long Beach is the most culturally diverse city in the world. So while the mainstream media bombards American audiences with divisions and depressing images—CSULB tell us a different story. For it is at CSULB where we see CALPIRG activists mobilize their fellow students to defeat prop 23 and the oil companies. CSULB is the place where students from all races and backgrounds travel to Louisiana to rebuild homes on their spring breaks. CSULB is the place where students will use April 13th to launch further collective actions and draw up plans for their future. So I thank the elite for this collapse. I thank you for being so naïve to think that we would remain silent. I thank you for your
greed. Why? Because now we get to see the era of apathy transform into the era of awakening. The days of when we asked for permission are over. The police and the administration can try to dictate where we will march or how loud we can be, but now we will tell them how this is going to go. Remember, they work for us. So as churches, unions, public workers, students, and teachers join the old and young in solidarity, we will smile as we enjoy our right to gather peacefully. We will smile as we exercise our freedom of speech. We will smile as they tremble at the fact that they have no clue as to what we are up to. They have no idea how much fun this is going to be for us and how much it is going to suck for those who try to stand in our way. And if anyone thinks that April 13th is the only day to fight back, they’re wrong. Just wait to see what we have in store for the next Board of Trustees meeting on May 10th. Wait until the streets of Sacramento flood with people-power in June during the budget session. Wait to see what we do next semester, when groups that were once isolated from one another come together to challenge those in power. And for those who think they can stop us—I cannot wait to crush them, not with violence or hatred, but with peaceful and civil disobedience.
DISUNION IN THE UNION ONE INTERPRETATION OF WEDNESDAY’S ASI SENATE MEETING MARCO BELTRAN ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
When I showed up to the rally, there were a few people setting up tables outside the Media Room, which made me feel that people had decided to skip the event all together. I knew some would attend, but as to the amount, I was still unsure. Around 3pm, the terrace filled with families, current and former students, and several members of the Native American community representing several different tribes from across the nation holding signs expressing how they felt about the paper and Kevin O’Brien. How the senate meetings usually work is that they open the floor at the beginning and the end for anyone to say what is on their mind regarding issues of interest on campus; in this case, it was the current controversy surrounding the article Noah Kelly wrote a few weeks ago on the Pow Wow, and time is partitioned based on how many people want to speak. Because there were so many people
that wanted to talk, each person was given a minute to talk. Noah and Kevin, wearing fancy suits, started the public comments off by addressing the importance of the Union Weekly to the campus and the students of this campus as a resource for everyone to express themselves, and Noah offered an apology to everyone in attendance that was offended by the article. I was being a bit snide and smiling at some of the people that looked over to where Noah and Kevin were sitting in attempts to intimidate them, which was funny. One of the speakers came up with a hype-woman that only said, “Yeah!” when the other lady finished. I understand their anger and disappointment regarding the article, but some of the stuff that happened was really silly. I know that makes me come off as a bit a jerk, which I can be at times, but there were some things people said that trivialized the argu-
ment that others were trying to convey. Silly things like blaming the school or threatening to deprive future students of the Pow Wow because of what happened (another example: a video mixing together different movie clips set to a song that sounded like The Black Eyed Peas song “Boom Boom Pow,” except the lyrics sort of reflected the Pow Wow article. Look up “Pow Wow Union Weekly” on YouTube to laugh). The most heart melting moments of the meeting were people trying to hold back their tears while telling stories about how shitty their childhood was because they were picked on when they were younger. That was the moment shit got real for me. I wanted to stand up and hug people. After the meeting, the rally continued. When Noah went outside to speak to those who were still gathered, he was lead into a circle of participants of the protest and rally.
That moment was really intense, and I can only imagine what it’s like to be surrounded by people that have such strong emotions towards something you wrote and calling into question the way your parents raised you. What disappointed me the most about this event, other than being sneezed on, was the lack of interest in supporting the cause of the Native Americans on this campus. Yes, there were some students that took part in it, but, out of a campus of 35,000, only 20 or more people bothered to show up from CSULB. I guess you could call it the apathy of youth in LB. I understand that it was on a Wednesday and some people have classes and/or jobs that could keep them from attending, but I doubt that’s the case for everyone. The issues addressed by everyone at the meeting apply to everyone. Whether you’re for or against the survival of the Union Weekly, your voice needs to be heard.
INVISIBLE CHILDREN: CONGO TOUR SPEAK OUT BY NOT SPEAKING, AND JUST READING INSTEAD JEFF BAER UNION STAFFER
Invisible Children’s The Congo Tour came to campus this past Wednesday to spread awareness of child soldiers in central and eastern Africa. On this tour, they were screening their new film Tony. Through the story of Tony, students and faculty were given a glimpse of what children and their families experience on a daily basis living in these remote regions as a result of Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). While the film focused on many of the horrors of daily life, it really showcased the many strengths of the people who live in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cen-
tral African Republic. The resiliency of these children is astounding. They sleep huddled together in the middle of their villages in the night fearing the LRA might enter their village to kidnap them and force them to become soldiers. During the day they attend school, laugh, play, and attempt to have the childhood that every child deserves. Geoffrey Komakech, a native of Uganda, spoke to the audience following the film. Geoffrey told his personal story of the night that the LRA invaded and burnt his village to the ground. Geoffrey experienced the loss of family, friends, belongings, his
home, and entire village in a single night. Yet, he continued to pursue his education and now works with Ugandan children in the schools. Closing up the evening, roadies from Invisible Children conducted a short Q&A session. I chose to attend this event despite hating going places alone (because none of my friends were available to go and wanting nothing more than sleep) but I have no regrets because I came away with knowledge. First, there is an Invisible Children club on campus that meets on Wednesdays in USU 305 at 5pm. I was completely unaware that
we had an Invisible Children club at CSULB. Second, the best way to help the children who experience these atrocities is to help them continue their education. Third, for $25 you can help former child soldiers participate in child soldier rehabilitation programs and develop an early warning radio network. Actually, they drilled this point home. Finally, CSULB has raised almost $2000 so far and with your support, they can raise even more. Visit the Schools for Schools program on the official Invisible Children website (www.invisiblechildren.com) to donate on behalf of CSULB. UNION WEEKLY
11 APRIL 2011
LEGENDS LONG BEACH TALES OF TERROR Illustrations Coloring
HELLO CREEPS ANDY KNEIS MANAGING EDITOR
elcome to the Boo-nion SHRIEKLY. This week, we have a cornucopia of creepy chronicles for you to feast your eyes on; then later, we will feast on your eyes! Long Beach has a rich history of strange happenings and spooky situations, and we’ve compiled the best (or should I say worst!) of them all. Whatever your poison, be it dangerous dwarves, carnival creepshows, or circles of life (and death), we have you smothered. Sit back in your favorite electric chair, grab a bag of Fright-o Lay’s or some Chokea-Cola and read on as three horror hosts take you on a tour of Long Shriek’s most terrifying tales.
MIDGET TOWN ANDY KNEIS MANAGING EDITOR
THE LEGEND: Our first terror tale is about a terrifying town. No, not a ghost town, but rather, “Midget Town.” According to folklore, Midget Town exists in the community of Bixby Knolls, and resides in the terrifying gated community of La Linda Drive, shut off from the world. The story goes like this: after working as “Munchkins” on the set of The Wizard of Oz, the actors took their earnings and created a little people community in Bixby Knolls all to themselves. There are several houses with smaller proportions: little doors, small windows, and probably miniature devil shrines, too. However, the residents of the community have been said to be extremely protective of their homes, chasing trespassers through Bixby Knolls’ dark alleys, nipping at their heels. Some claim their cars were pelted with bricks, others say tomatoes, and some even claim the angry inhabitants shouted curses and incantations. Dead teenagers began piling up on the doorsteps of these mysterious houses. Others warn that it’s a gated community somewhere near Long Beach’s Virginia Country Club. Still others say it’s somewhere along the long stretch of road that is Lakewood Boulevard. Regardless of where the houses apparently are, the facts stay the same: small doors and windows, and angry little people chasing curious teenagers off their property, cursing them a good one and attacking them with tomatoes.
THE REALITY: UNION WEEKLY
11 APRIL 2011
SARA HAASE GABE FERREIRA
The reality of the situation is much less demonic. A few different theories exist, but many have confirmed there are houses in
the La Linda gated community that have, at the very least, lower doorknobs. Pretty exciting! This may be the origin of the place locals have affectionately, but insensitively, dubbed “Midget Town.” However, the connection with The Wizard of Oz is not true. Bixby Knolls was created in the 1920s, and most of the houses in question were built before 1938. Since The Wizard of Oz came out in 1939, the “Munchkin” actors could not have used their Oz money to build the houses. That is, of course, unless Midget Town also houses some sort of time machine. Are more mysteries afoot, dear reader? Is there more than what meets the eye? Nope. What you see is pretty much what you get. There are a couple of fancy houses, possibly with smaller proportions, and the houses’ owners are understandably frustrated with people snooping around on their property. Unfortunately, what started out as an innocent legend explaining the origin of these unusual houses has been transformed by the power of dumb teenage rumors into something bizarre and negative. A Facebook page has even been created in honor of Midget Town for people to celebrate the legend and share their own stories and experiences. With so much bizarre information being thrown around, it’s hard to tell what’s really true, but it seems like there might be houses that fit the descriptions. Anything more than that might just be people spreading spooky stories about people and places they don’t understand. Even though you probably will not be cursed or splattered with fruit by angry “Munchkin” actors (most of which have passed away), it’s probably still not a good idea to break into a gated community to look at some doorknobs that are closer to the bottom of the door. If you really want to see that, I could fire up Photoshop and send you a JPEG, or you can just be satisfied with the legend.
DEAD MAN’S CIRCLE MIKE PALLOTTA UNION STAFFER
THE LEGEND: Next up, Beachlings, we’ve got a tale that crashes head-on into your heart and scares you right out of your seatbelt! A couple of years before the Summer Olympics were to come to Long Beach in 1932, city officials hired German engineer Werner Ruchti to design and build a traffic circle. The traffic circle—currently connecting Los Coyotes, PCH, and Lakewood Blvd.—was meant to accommodate all the new traffic which was expected to flood in for the Olympics. The traffic circle was instantly a death trap. People didn’t know how to navigate the circle, steering into one another in front-end, rearend, and all-end accidents. Bodies stacked up and the circle was considered a danger by all. Only those who wished to test fate and send a middle finger to the lord dared the traffic circle of death. The story goes that Ruchti stuck around Long Beach, despite the death trap he created. One day while driving on the circle, Ruchti fell victim to its dangers
and became a crash dummy, plowing into another car. Thus, Ruchti, the creator of the death circle, fell victim to his creation! But fate wasn’t satisfied. Years later, Ruchti’s only son found himself in the same predicament, and was claimed by the Grim Reaper in an accident on the circle as well.
THE REALITY: But that’s not what really happened. Werner Ruchti never died while driving on the circle. In fact, he died in December 1973 at the ripe old age of 75 of natural causes— natural being not a horrific car crash as seen in Red Asphalt. His son also wasn’t killed in the traffic circle of death. Also, when searching Traffic Circle of Death, you’ll notice every traffic circle is named The Traffic Circle of Death. This is due to no one knowing how to drive in a fucking traffic circle. It’s simple, yet eludes enough people to result in tragic death after death.
The ShIp of Lost Souls MARCO BELTRAN ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
THE LEGEND: Along the cold corridors and rooms suspended in time lie a deep dark, secret. Deaths stewing in a deep history that lingers in the bowels of the Queen Mary; lights flickering on and off point toward the presence of spirits who have yet to realize that they have long passed on; shadows moving in the corner of your eye. Whether or not these spirits choose to manifest themselves is not up to you, but one thing is for certain: NEVER WALK ALONE.
THE REALITY: Who knows? The hard thing about verifying anything about ghosts is that it’s hard to establish what constitutes evidence of existence of ghosts. Are orbs of light, shifts in
electro-magnetic fields, and cold spots considered evidence to the presence of ghosts? I can’t really tell you. Most ghost shows will attempt to show you that all these things are proof, but there’s no way of knowing whether or not the thing that touched your butt while you were visiting on Halloween was actually a ghost. Random lights flickering on and off near the pool could just be a ploy used by the Queen Mary staff for effect. That’s not to say that creepy stuff doesn’t happen in the Queen Mary. In 1966, a door, “Door 13,” crushed an 18-year-old crew member to death. Some people even claim to see this guy walking around the area where he died. There are other small things that seem to vary depending on who goes, so this is more of a legend that’s fun to find out if it’s true, so let’s make a trip this week to debunk the events happening on the ship, or scare the pee out of bodies. (I know this video, bit.ly/ch2eyx, is fake, but it would be awesome if it was real, right?)
MIKE PALLOTTA UNION STAFFER
THE LEGEND: Strange and evil forces seem to surround Bixby Knolls, attracting the violent and insane. Some say even the innocent succumb to the forces at work in Bixby Knolls. One such man was named Igor, a European immigrant and a family man. Igor worked as a painter during the Depression to scratch together what little earnings he could, but when he lost his job and couldn’t find any more work, he came home in a bloody rage. Grabbing a bat, Igor devastated his family, bashing all three daughters and a wife, then dragged them outside into the alley behind his house. He took turns hanging each loved one from a meat hook, watching them shake and fight as blood pooled below their feet. Some say they hanged from meat hooks, other say they each got their own noose. Either way, once his family swung lifeless, Igor took his own life. The alley has been eponymously named “Igor’s Alley.” Legend has it that if you travel down this three-mile long, pitch-black alleyway at night you’ll come upon a pool filled with dead rose petals and a chair sitting on a diving board—which really isn’t so much scary as it is daring and dangerous, or something
out of American Beauty or some other Sam Mendes movie. For the morbidly curious, make sure to head down Igor’s Alley at midnight; it’s said that if you stand in the spot of the murders at the stroke of midnight, you’ll see the pool of blood and the feet of the murdered wife and daughters. But I wouldn’t recommend testing that rumor, since Igor’s Alley isn’t fond of trespassers.
THE REALITY: To be honest, no one really knows where the rumor began. Many believe it stemmed from the “Midget Town” legend due to its proximity to the actual location of “Midget Town,” and the common thread of the story that says Igor was a small person, which is probably just another cruel attempt to demonize little people. Although I couldn’t find any official records of anyone named Igor murdering his family in Bixby Knolls, the possibility of the murders having taken place is valid. As per the odd sights, including ghosts and pools of blood, witnesses claim to have seen all types of oddities, so it all depends on whether you believe the eyewitness accounts of others.
DON’T JUST STAND THERE, GIVE HIM A HAND MARCO BELTRAN ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
THE LEGEND: This one will make the peach fuzz on your butt stand on end, and, if you have hair on your butt, your spine shoot out your back. A prop in a spooky funhouse at the Pike turns out to be the remains of a man that died in 1911!
THE REALITY: The cool part about this one is that it’s true. In 1976, while filming an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man at the Pike, a worker moved a prop called the “Hanging Man” while prepping the set and accidentally broke one of the arms off. The guy, maybe in an attempt to put the arm back, found human bones inside it. It turned out
that the body belonged to Elmer McCurdy, a guy that died robbing a train in 1911 for $46 and two jugs of whiskey. After his death, the undertaker who embalmed Elmer McCurdy’s body thought he did such a great job, and since no one related to McCurdy claimed the body, the undertaker decided to charge people five cents to see it. The undertaker dubbed the corpse, “The Bandit that Wouldn’t Give Up,” and it became a popular attraction because you had to drop the five cents into the McCurdy’s mouth; so popular that carnival promoters hired a couple guys to claim they were related to McCurdy in order to get the body. From that day forth, the body traveled from carnival to carnival, even spending some time in a wax museum in LA, until ending up at the Pike. Apparently, the body was there for 4 years before the worker found it. Fucking awesome! UNION WEEKLY
11 APRIL 2011
WHO TO SEE IN THE DESERT
JOHN VILLANUEVA UNION STAFFER
he time has come once again this year. The almighty Coachella Music and Arts Festival is back, and it’s ready to blow the minds of the young hipsters willing to bear the scorch of the desert sun. Those few who were able to secure tickets (including me, don’t hate) will be witnesses to a three-day musical orgy of Bacchanalian proportions. So, in honor of that sweet, sweet orgy, I’ve compiled my personal list of acts to see this year. For those of you going, take heed of my words, these are groups that are not to be missed. For those unable to attend this year’s festivities, these bands are still worth an add to any music collection. Ms. Lauryn Hill: A Queen of Neo-Soul, the reason why people gave a fuck about the Fugees, Ms. Lauryn Hill will be in attendance at this year’s Coachella. How can you not want to see this? She was The Sister Act 2! Although I doubt she would be willing to rehash any of the Fugees’ greatest hits, there will be plenty of tunes from “Miseducation.” What other reason would there be for her to come out from hiding if not for new material? Be excited bitches, be very excited. OFWGKTA: The Wu-Tang for the skate generation, OFWGKTA (Odd Future) trade in the samurai imagery and quick wit for darker subject matter and grimier flows. Led by the dark, twisted, and fucking awesome mind that is Tyler the Creator, Odd Future mixes verses about rape and murder and fun things with a live show more reminiscent of the 80s DC punk scene than a rap show. So yes, there will be moshing and stage diving. Get with it. Oh, and FUCK STEVE HARVEY! The Pains of Being Pure At Heart: Having mastered the art of creating the perfect soundtrack to the films John Hughes was never allowed to create, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart has leveled up a bit, trading in their cutesy 80s twee for 90s arena rock pastiche. Still able to melt your heart with sickeningly sentimental (and amusingly crude) lyricism, Pains has added the roar of “Siamese Dream” and the haze of “You Made Me Realize” to craft some catchy, toetapping tunes. Animal Collective: The group with the most drug-addled following this year, Animal Collective will be quite the show to see. UNION WEEKLY
11 APRIL 2011
CONNOR O’BRIEN UNION STAFFER
By show, I mean crowd watching. Seriously, who’s not going to be on something while watching Animal Collective? Broken Social Scene: Rule: Festivals love large Canadian indie rock collectives. Brought back again this year after their release of the fantastic Forgiveness Rock Record last year, Broken Social Scene will be bringing their large family of musicians to the polo fields this year. If Feist, Emily Haines, and Lisa Lobsinger all make appearances on stage, the festival will have to be shut down due to an overload of indie rock sexiness. Erykah Badu: Neo- Soul fans rejoice because Erykah Badu will be joining Ms. Lauryn Hill in the desert this year. Now if only D’Angelo would release James River, I could die a happy man. The Joy Formidable: One of the most hyped bands after their release of The Big Roar earlier this year, The Joy Formidable will bring their huge sound with an even bigger live show. Taking the swoon of My Bloody Valentine, the in-your-face wall of sound of the Smashing Pumpkins, and the extremely long post-song jams that will delight any Phish fan, this Wales trio will be one of the best live shows of the festival, guaranteed. Death From Above 1979: Another act brought back from the brink, Death From Above 1979 have finally decided to get their shit together and bring back the crazy, bass heavy disco-punk that we learned to love. Finally taking a break from MSTRKRFT and whatever the hell else they were doing, the mighty Canadian duo will bring back the skronky bass and dancy beats to songs like “Romantic Rights” and “Little Girl.” Duran Duran: Yes, I am looking forward to Duran Duran. Yes, I will cry when they play “Ordinary World” as the sun descends upon the desert, illuminating not only the festival grounds, but the kindred spirits of those inhabiting this most holy of sites, bonding over a mutual appreciation of art and culture that allow our souls to collectively intertwine into a universal soul whose energy will spread peace and an eternal gratitude upon all of creation. Yes, I LOVE to exaggerate. Lighting Bolt: Noisy noise from a couple of art school kids from Rhode Island,
Lightning Bolt will be, along with Odd Future, the show most likely to put someone on a stretcher. Comprised of just a drummer and a bassist, both members use their musical prowess to shatter earbuds as well as illusions about what is and what isn’t music. I’m not so sure about the festival setting though, it’ll seem strange to see them performing on a stage rather than on the floor with the audience. The National: The coolest band to ever be considered for the Adult Contemporary genre, The National will bring their brooding, sophisticated rock to the Valley this year. Backed by a band as influenced by Joy Division as they are by 18th century Roman-
ticism, Matt Berninger’s baritone will croon (and occasionally howl) the problems of white collar angst. The National, one of my favorite bands of this year’s line-up, is a must for those who can appreciate the depth of the lyricism and the fury of a middle-aged band frantically releasing their demons. The Strokes: Holy Shit! Yeah, Julian and the gang are back, and rejuvenated and ready to ooze that effortless cool that defined “Is This It.” One of my favorite bands ever, their influence on modern alternative cannot be understated. “Angles” will probably be the focus of the playlist, but classics from “Is This It” and “Room On Fire” are sure to be played as well.
Discover Cal State L.A.! Summer Special Session 2011
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YOUR HIGHNESS, AS FUNNY AS THE OFFICE? JUST DON’T PAY TO SEE IT
jillian thoman union staffer
ast night as I was walking out of the theater after watching Your Highness, my reactions were quite conflicting. I was half laughing, half trying to form words to explain the way I was feeling, but ended up only producing fragments of sentences that made no sense whatsoever. I’m pretty sure everyone else who exited the theater last night had reactions parallel to mine. Your Highness was virtually just a gigantic spoof based off the most primal of human instincts: sex. Personally, I thought the humor portion of the movie was fantastic, but that’s coming from someone who practically dies of laughter at Michael Scott’s “That’s what she said” jokes in The Office. Similarly, the jokes on this movie were
pretty basic, extremely vulgar, and definitely hilarious. The fact that much of the dialogue was unexpected and completely out of place made it even more hilarious. Bouts of uproarious laughter from the entire theater were a common occurrence throughout the film. The males in the audience also got pretty excited about a partially nude Natalie Portman, but I suppose that’s expected in any of her movies, lately. There were only two things that really annoyed me about the movie. The first was James Franco’s accent. I’m pretty sure he’s the only man I’ve ever thought sounds better with an American accent than a British one. I think his mouth was just getting in the way a whole lot, and I don’t know
if it was supposed to be that way in order to add to the humor, but I thought it was distracting. I also wasn’t a fan of the way the movie was filmed, because I felt like the focus was off in a lot of shots. Rather than focusing on Natalie Portman’s face while she was talking, it would focus on her ear or her shoulder, and I couldn’t even listen to what she was saying because it was so distracting. Other than those minor details (and some really bad jokes), I thought it was a pretty good movie. Not fantastic, but pretty good. The plotline is pretty similar to any story set in medieval times in Europe; with all the accents, the quests, the chance encounters, the damsels in distress, and gallant
knights defeating glorious monsters just in the knick of time, it’s pretty easy to guess what’s going to happen next. The only parts that surprised me a bit were the random exclamations of “Fuck this shit,” and the like, though I got pretty used to those by the end of the movie as well. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly recommend paying twelve bucks to go to a theater and see it, but if you can get a free/discounted ticket somehow, it was pretty cool to be able to laugh along with an entire theater. Overall, I would for sure watch it again, but not until it comes out on video, and not unless someone else brings it over since I probably won’t buy it myself.
DEADPAN VS. SLAPSTICK STEVE REVIEWS WAITING FOR GODOT STEVE BESSETTE UNION STAFFER
After reading Samuel Beckett’s big cheese Waiting For Godot one and a half times, finally seeing it performed was actually really freeing. After reading something a few times, ruminating over it, and analyzing it, all of my inner directorial and acting biases and preferences were unintentionally injected into this work of art, to the point where it was stuck in my head a certain way. Which sucked because the more I tried reading Godot, the more it bored me. Hence why I only got through half of it the second time. The Long Beach Playhouse production had a simple set with a painted back wall of a road, a single frail tree, two filthy wanderers who called each other Didi and Gogo, a rich asshole named Pozzo with a dogged human slave Lucky, and a little boy who would make anyone unaware of the show’s ending think, “well, fuck,” when he brings his news (more to come on that). Seeing everything brought to life for the first time was a strange relief. At first. After about a half hour in, I felt those personal preferences creeping back in. Waiting for Godot is hard to define and wrangle into any classification that would permanently stick. It definitely is an absurdist piece about two men waiting for a mysterious man named Godot to meet them in a road. That’s it. The whole play is them waiting, talking, and meeting Pozzo and the little boy. To spoil the ending and what seems to
be the most evident piece of “symbolism,” the little boy eventually comes along and says Godot can’t show. Minimalist existentialism at its finest. The absurdity was taken to the nth degree by the just-beyond-competent actors. They spoke well, put their entire selves into the blocking, had excellent chemistry, and seemed to be caught up in the world crammed into that tiny studio theater. The problem was that I had previously established the characters in my mind as being much more deadpan, pathetic, and emotionally in the worst of gutters, instead of being very slapstick, goofy, and clowny. What shook me was the actor who played Pozzo. He seemed like a giant on the small stage, as well as having a booming voice and cracking whip that he would use frequently to command his human pet. I really didn’t feel too emotionally wound-up by the actors. That could be a side-effect of either already knowing the play or already having experienced its initial shock and amazement years ago in the text. Either way, it was a great show, except for the buzzed middle-aged pricks who wouldn’t shut up whenever they just absolutely had to comment on something. Also when photo editor Connor and I walked into the LBP, this girl on the piano was playing “Karma Police.” She and Connor are going to get married. UNION WEEKLY
11 APRIL 2011
CHEESE I don’t do drugs, I rarely drink, and my foot and nose fetishes are under control now. My vices are few. Indulgence, however, still manages to find a place in my life, and it has most recently taken the shape of a block of cheese. I can’t stop buying blocks of asiago cheese with rosemary and olive oil. I don’t even use the cheese creatively. I just stand at the fridge and gnaw until I’ve consumed two days’ caloric intake of edible, fatty pleasure. I jiggle more because of this, but I’m okay with that. -Katy Parker, Literature Editor
CONNOR O’BRIEN PHOTO EDITOR
FRANK’S HOT SAUCE An old lady’s cracked coo over a haphazard radio ad for Frank’s Red Hot Sauce exclaiming, “I put that shit on everything!” does little to really explain the true versatility of this shit. I literally drench every dish in this stuff: quesadillas, dino nugs, potato wedges, animal crackers, pineapple slices, assorted soups, sandwiches and pastas, and the list goes on. My true weakness is Flaming Hot Cheetos with Frank’s. The combination of the crunchy, crispy spice of Cheetos with the smooth extra kick of Frank’s makes for a mouthturned-swimming-pool of chilies and climaxes. Trust me; eat it. -Deborah Rowe, Union Staffer
ANDY KNEIS MANAGING EDITOR
CONNOR O’BRIEN PHOTO EDITOR
STUNTS! Leo Portugal told me that my favorite thing is stunts. I guess in some ways that is true. I grew up watching and idolizing Jackie Chan. I’d go down to the local video store and rent such classics as Rumble in the Bronx and Supercop, and watch as Jackie Chan put his body and his life on the line in the hopes of entertaining his audience. I took up stunts as a hobby. I’d jump out of trees, do flips on the lawn, and do lame jumps over anything about waist height. I am thankful that YouTube videos of guys doing parkour didn’t exist back when I was a kid or I’d be writing this from hell. Or maybe from a hot tub surrounded by YouTube groupies and large piles of cash. Oh well, I still take any chance to do my lame stunts when nobody is looking, and I am fine with that. -Andy Kneis, Managing Editor
THE GERMAN LANGUAGE One of my favorite things is the German language. People often assume it is grossly guttural, but it sounds more beautiful the more you hear it. By far, some of the coolest experiences in my life are due to the fact that I know German. I’ve studied in language immersion camps, talked with German tourists across the country, and opportunities for studying abroad are wide open to me. It’s also a fairly easy language to learn if you’re a native English speaker, and always something neat to put on your resume (regardless of how “practical” people think it is). Picking up any foreign language submerges you into an entirely new culture, and German is its own path, uniquely different from the rest. -Colleen Brown, Union Staffer
H&M Few things are more enjoyable than shopping, especially when shopping at H&M. H&M is an unstoppable fashion-force that is going to take over the world as they build more and more locations internationally. H&M is comparable to Forever21, but the clothing is a little higher quality with sizes for real girls who eat and stand more than five feet tall. The absolute best thing about H&M is their affordable prices and the abundance of clothing in their stores. Items are usually neat, organized, and about 95 percent of the time, you can easily find your size. -Alison Ernst, Union Staffer
11 APRIL 2011
TEA Whether it’s white, black, green or somewhere-in-between, tea is one of the most delicious liquids on this planet. It is good at any time or temperature (it can be hot or iced!) and is healthier than most flavored liquids. My personal vice is white tea and fruit-based tea bags (ha ha, I said tea bag) with just enough sugar to make it sweet. But there are so many options and I encourage you to try them all at least once. Even if you think you’ve tried every type, there are always more. [Editor’s Note: I’m being encouraged to try all the different kinds of tea, but it’s also impossible to try them all! This is a beautiful catch-22, since I too love tea.] I still discover flavors that I love every few months and have even been able to find a few flavors for someone who was once a tea pessimist to enjoy. [Editor’s Note: I guess you can say that you tea-bagged some tea pessimists. *heh heh* I’ve coined a phrase that goes like this: “Stick that stick in the mud in the butt.” It has many meanings and is very poetic and deep.] -Travis Baron, Contributor
Scanwiches.com scanwich: smoked turkey, mozzarella, lettuce, on rosemary sourdough.
In the year 2012, we will download our food from the internet…but here’s where it starts: Scanwiches.com. This blog makes me hungry every time I look at it. As a matter of fact, I was compelled to eat a sandwich minutes after my first visit. The guy behind this tasteful blog scans the crisp cross-section of delicious sandwiches he comes across and shares it with the masses. Scanwiches vary from a classic BLT to a donut-ice cream sandwich. And feast your eyes on the sandwiches sandwiching this article. After viewing Scanwiches, Leo and I were so inspired, we scanned our own! -Connor O’Brien, Photo Editor
Union scanwich: avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, red onion, and Thousand Island dressing, on wheat, on a scanner.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO THE UNION VASTLY DIFFERENT BEGINNINGS LEADING TO THE VERY SAME END Illustrations
At an early age, I learned that streaking gets a huge laugh. I’d be splish splashing, taking a bath and I’d hear my half-brother, Augie—imagine a blonde Marky Mark—in the living room with his 18-year-old friends. Living in a neighborhood without many kids, I was looking for any friends I could get. The sight of a naked three-year-old sprinting back-and-forth full-speed then bending over and spreading his butt cheeks as a coup de grace always made the room erupt with laughs. People loved me. I daringly spat in pedophilia’s face. Being a product of the late 80s/early 90s meant that more toys, TV, movies, and merchandise were geared to my age demographic than ever before. Reagan was out, Bush Sr. was in, and the economy was booming. We were shaking hands with Saddam, and things were looking pretty. These were also the days of Jeffrey Dahmer. America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries aired weekly. There was an undercurrent of fear that permeated everything, making every trip to Disneyland or Chuck E. Cheese’s a little scary and that much more frightening if you turned around and your mom wasn’t standing there. Most parents turned overly protective, not only to shield their kids of any “stranger danger” but to shield from any of the negative experiences they had growing up. Mom and Dad were another case entirely; they took the other road of being more hands off. They trusted me, but only after I proved myself capable of not answering the door when a stranger came knocking. They encouraged autonomy in me through trust. They pro-
tected me by teaching me how to be aware of my surroundings, by not coddling me, by not spoiling me. Instead, they guided me and my interests. I never had a baby sitter. Most of my parents’ “dates” included me. We would all go out for dinner and then head to the local arcade, the “Boardwalk,” and spend the night playing video games and pinball. I’d walk out with all kinds of prizes—mostly cheap novelties that stretched or exploded or were just slime. Whatever the case was, they all smelled horrible. My parents showed their love for me by including me. If I punched a kid at school after he took the first swing, they defended me. If I wanted to see a movie, good or bad, Jurassic Park or The Flintstones, we’d all get in the Subaru and head to the drive-in. They let me stay home by myself, they told the local video store clerk to let me rent whatever I wanted (except Natural Born Killers, that was smart of them), because they wanted to instill trust. And because of that, they knew I’d want to reciprocate that trust, because that trust and their love were one and the same. Mom and Dad wanted to support my hobbies, even if it meant me spending the whole weekend reading comics and watching movies. At the same time they wanted me to go out and see the world, even if it meant cuts, bruises, or running from police after someone called the cops on my friends and me for skating (according to many T-shirts, it’s not a crime). Mom and Dad wanted me to make my own life, not shape it for me. Thanks to that, I never had a teen angst phase!
You don’t need to read about my childhood. Go on Netflix, watch Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. I’m Sapphire, the writer of Push. Money, please. I didn’t really know my youth contained abnormalities until I talked about it when I was older. My existence was psychologically strange, in that I was practically raised in a moral cage, but was pushed out into the world. And by the world, I mean my backyard. Or sideyard. Or other sideyard. Yeah, we had those in Massachusetts. Fitchburg, Massachusetts, to be exact. It’s a faded, dilapidated, inner Detroit-esque city roughly an hour from Boston. I won’t tell you I’m actually from Boston, like every other prick who moves from Somewhere, Massachusetts to Somewhere, California. Growing up in Fitchburg was like growing up under an unfortunate rock. Having crackheads, meth addicts, and ex-cons as your neighbors, bus boys, bus drivers, and best friends was the norm. Angry kids skating and fighting in the streets were a regularity. My parents didn’t want me to know that’s what life was, so they corralled me within their parental realm. But they also wanted me to experience a childhood with community. I was like a caged rabbit, and my parents were dangling a tasty carrot of freedom above my head. As I jumped for it, they would quickly snatch it away behind their back and childishly snicker, “No, no, no, Steve,” and ruffle my mullet. This led to my early teen years of silent angst as I would sneak Marlboros and Martin Scorsese movies into my room, then feel bad about my bent morals and flip out on them for trying
to be the good parents they were. Early on, my young brain was filled with Sesame Street, Veggie Tales, and Dr. Seuss. I wasn’t an entertainment buff by the age of 15 like my peers, so I had to play catch up. My parents’ aim to keep me innocent as long as possible was definitely a curse for a future film major, but at the same time a major advantage. At a very young age I was already schooled in Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers, and film noir. I loved those, but I wasn’t permitted to expand my taste. I wasn’t given the opportunity to have my parents trust my choices when I was a kid, so I rebelled behind their back when I was older. That was the worst thing about leaving the childhood I thought was devoid of fun behind. I would rebel because I wanted to have “fun,” but I didn’t even feel like a badass. I would feel shitty. Eventually, my parents did start trusting me, but I was already doing things I knew would immediately break their trust. And I couldn’t stop the cycle of rebellion, guilt, self-loathing, parental-loathing, rebellion, for a long time. I couldn’t admit I had great parents. My mom and dad were trying to turn me away from the path of being just like their emotionally rugged teenage selves. They totally failed, but it wasn’t their fault one bit. It was all mine. Despite the craziness of Fitchburg and my early teen years being ridiculous, my childhood was great. It was really because I was able to be a relatively care-free kid, and Mom and Dad made sure of that. Sapphire, out. UNION WEEKLY
11 APRIL 2011
A SMALL TALE SAILING
CHRIS FABELA COMICS EDITOR
ERIC BRYAN UNION STAFFER
man and his daughter went to the beach. It was getting late, and the sun was just starting to fade into orange, watching them as it left. The ocean reflected it back, saying goodnight. “I want a boat!” she said. “A boat? Wait, wait, wait. Wait. What’s a boat?” “Daddy! You know a boat! A boat is in the water!” The man curled his fingers against his eyes like binoculars and looked out on the waves, growing and fading against the shore. “I don’t see any boats, captain.” “That’s why we need one!” He knew what came next. “You be the boat!” she said. He hung his head. “I know that when the sun goes down, that’s when sharks start to look for food. And sometimes sharks can be as big as a daddy boat.” “No sharks can sink a daddy boat!” she said, running towards the shore. He hung his head. The sun was getting lower, and they took off their shoes and walked into the water. “How should we make our boat, captain?” “A boat is big and has a sail and a captain and treasure and a parrot with swords!” “Where did I put that parrot...” “CAW!” “There it is.” “We need treasure too! And a sail!” “I’m not sure I have any treasure.” “We need gablooms!” He stared back. “Gablooms!” “I’m not sure...” She reached in his pocket, took out some change, and threw it in the waves. “Ah. Doubloons.” “Now a sail! We need a sail! Your shirt daddy!” He felt a breeze blow past him and sighed. “Aye aye captain, he said,” he said. “Aye aye captain!” He handed her his shirt, hoisted her up on his back and waded into the waves. The water slapped against them, splashing cool and clear on their faces. “Where are the swords, captain?” “The parrot has them!” “Wait, wait, where’s the parr-” “CAW!” “Just making sure.” The waves got bigger as the sun sunk down to just a sliver above the ocean; it was pale and almost gone for the day. The man shifted his daughter on his back. “You’re getting big, captain.” “And then I’ll be as tall as you!” He shifted her again. “That could definitely be.” “And you’re getting smaller!” “What...” “I’m getting bigger, and you’re getting smaller! And then you’ll be a baby!” “...What?” “And then I’ll be the boat, and I’ll pick you up, and we’ll sail all over the world. You and me!” A wave lifted them both from the sand. “That sounds like a plan captain. But I think it’s time we sail home.” “Never!” “Ever!” he said, sprinting towards the shore. She laughed as they ran them from the mounting waves, the sun trembling once as it edged out of the sky.
11 APRIL 2011
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11 APRIL 2011
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Volume 68 Issue 10
Monday, April 11th, 2011
Charlie Rose Presents: An Exclusive Interview With Jeff Bridges, Actor BY CHARLIE ROSE Charlie Rose: Tonight’s guest is frequent contributor and Editor of the Grunion page, which is surgically attached to the Union Weekly campus newspaper: Jeff Bridges, Actor. After making his way through the Grunion ranks with his articles about raps and Shia LeBouf, he was promoted to Grunion Editor in 2010 after the previous editor, Bullshit Bear, died. Throughout the past few months, he has received zero attention, and no accolades for his hard work. I am pleased to welcome Jeff Bridges, Actor to the table. Welcome, Jeff. Jeff Bridges, Actor: Thank. CR: At the end of the Fall semester, your colleague and friend Brad Blueberry was murdered. How did that affect the morale of you and your employees?
JBA: Well Charlie, the Grunion basement became slightly more haunted, but far more productive. Brad Blueberry had a positive attitude and was a very compassionate human being, which was pretty annoying if I can be honest with you. It gave me a chance to put my name on a majority of
Next time on...
the articles on the page and thus get all the Grunion groupies. We gave the campus the chance to solve the murder, but it looks like everybody cares as little about Brad Blueberry as we do, which is nice. CR: Your official name is, of course, Jeff Bridges, Actor. Are you at all related to the actor Jeff Bridges? Has that connection affected your work at all?
Here’s a couple more: Bloodjorts, Bring Your Own Omelet. I think those are pretty self-explanatory. CR: Yes, absolutely. You seem to be on the pulse of pop culture and current events. How do you stay so up to date?
CR: Tell me about that.
CR: What? JBA: Where am I? Did I finally make it to hell?
JBA: Yes. Patents pending. I’m looking at you suspiciously, Charlie. I’ve been very environmentally conscious as of late, so I have proposed several solutions to make toilets more efficient. For example, I have replaced my toilet at home with a big zippered sack that you can urinate and defecate into. I don’t deserve any better. Also, if you’re on the go, you can always just shit into a lightbulb. That way, you save water, and you are able to give your old lightbulbs another use. That’s called recycling, Charlie. Can I say the word “shit” on here? CR: No. JBA: I also thought of a few other ideas. For example: Spaghetti Pizza. Just put spaghetti on the pizza. That’s all. Just do that.
CR: As this semester comes to a close, do you have any big plans for your page and beyond? JBA: Yes, in fact, I am in final stages of opening the first Grunion Restaurant.
CR: Yes. You have an active imagination, and have proposed several ideas for innovations and inventions. Any new ideas?
crazy Spring Break party ever. It taught me the most important lesson about journalism: never apologize, never surrender, you must KILL or be killed. It was a very remarkable episode.
JBA: I watch a lot of TV. Television is pretty amazing to me. Where else can you watch a show about Steve Buscemi staring wistfully at a bridge, then change the channel and see Gwyneth Paltrow talking with a black man? Then you can switch over to channel 34 to see a chef crying and a commercial about a green car. That’s magic. That’s a special thing. CR: Not to mention this show. JBA: Oh yeah, I’m a big fan. I especially love that one episode you guys did a few weeks back. You had an outstanding interview with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and then a really fascinating talk with a huge writhing burlap sack full of bats. Both interviews were really remarkably handled, though I can’t say I agree with the Bat Sack’s politics. I really liked how at the end the black backdrop fell down and there was a huge naked party behind you and then you guys had the best
Next on Charlie Rose, Charlie sits down at the table with popular talk radio host John “Turkey Leg” Tyler. Tyler has had his share of triumphs and controversy as the host of “Turkey Talk,” a popular AM radio show. Tyler’s signature style, which consists of unintelligibly shouting into the microphone with his mouth full, has proved to be a hit with listeners. Critics have praised Turkey
JBA: It’s going to be fantastic, Charlie. Picture this: several chairs, cooked meat, and nonstop compliments from our staff. Imagine walking in, sitting down on one of our numerous chairs, and being served some cooked meat by one of our wait staff who has just finished complimenting your shoes, your hair, and your face. That will become a reality soon at Grunion Restaurant. And I haven’t even mentioned the best part: plates on plates on plates on plates on plates on pla—
ter a long hard day of Gruns? JBA: Good question, Charlie. I think I do what most normal Americans do. I lay underneath an enormous pile of cats and they lick me on my face and mouth and I don’t even care. After an eternity of that I like to head off to bed. Sometimes I like to play a fun game with my friends where I try and have them find me using satellite imagery, but they always find me because I always sleep in a litter box in my back yard. I’m going to fool them one of these days. CR: It’s been a pretty disturbing experience Mr. Bridges, Actor. I’d thank you, but… you know. JBA: Thanks for having me. CR: If you’d like to join, we usually end the show with getting hella hyphy and ceremoniously ghost riding my oak table. JBA: I’d be honored.
CR: Sounds wonderful. We’ve delved into your work, but what do you do at home to unwind af-
[The two get super hyphy, laugh maniacally, and ghost ride the table until the wee hours of the morning. They then fall asleep peacefully in each others’ arms.]
leg Tyler’s hard-hitting politics and take-no-prisoners attitude. Although his detractors have criticised him, saying, “you can’t understand a word,” or “he didn’t give me a bite of his turkey leg,” his impact on the talk radio world cannot be denied. Make sure to tune in as Charlie Rose pulls no punches, and asks the questions everyone has on their mind, including “are you
concerned about the cholesterol?” and “Sorry what was that? Can you repeat yourself? Your mouth is full of turkey,” and even “Could you wipe the turkey that just spilled out of your mouth off of my table please? It looks like it’s going to leave a stain.” Tyler will now bring his signature, gluttonous style, and trademark giant turkey leg to Charlie’s table.