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Grow Your Own Way Making the Most of Your Useless Major | P.7


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CHEL ME ABOUT IT CHELSEA STEVENS Editor-in-Chief

chelsea.union@gmail.com

LEO PORTUGAL

leop.union@gmail.com

GABE FERREIRA

gabe.union@gmail.com

Managing Editor Managing Editor

MARCO BELTRAN

marco.union@gmail.com

COLLEEN BROWN

colleen.union@gmail.com

Senior Editor

Opinions Editor

ALISON ERNST

alison.union@gmail.com

STEVE BESSETTE

steveb.union@gmail.com

News Director

Entertainment Editor

JOHN VILLANUEVA Music Editor

LEO PORTUGAL Literature Editor

VINCENT CHAVEZ Culture Editor

leop.union@gmail.com vincha.union@gmail.com cfab.union@gmail.com

OCTOPUS GIRL

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Grunion Editor

GABE FERREIRA

Art Director, Cover Design

CONNOR O’BRIEN

Photo Editor, Cover Photos

CHRIS FABELA

On-Campus Distribution

STEVE BESSETTE

Advertising Executive

gabe.union@gmail.com connor.union@gmail.com cfab.union@gmail.com steveb.union@gmail.com

FOLASHADE ALFORD folashade.union@gmail.com PR Specialist

Contributors: MELISSA CASAS DANIEL KRAMER NICHOLE DANIELS FOLASHADE ALFORD DANIEL SERRANO ERIC BRYAN JOSHUA STEINBERG GUADALUPE RUELAS TRAVIS BARON MARIHA LOWE

CHELSEA STEVENS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

johnv.union@gmail.com

CHRIS FABELA Comics Editor

LETTERS TO AND FROM THE EDITREE

NATHAN CRUZ GABRIEL MOURA JAMES G. MORALES ALEXANDER BORG GENE KANG ERICA ABITO CHRISTY BONHAM JAIME GOMEZ ROSE FEDUK LISA VAN WIJK

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o apparently, we’ve only been back to school for one week. I say this because I already can’t remember ever having left. It was only seven days ago that I slept in until two in the afternoon, stayed in bed re-watching the previous night’s Daily Show for another hour, and then spent the rest of the day passing the time with my darling dog Cole. His favorite game is the one where I take his stuffed elephant and run around the living room like an idiot while he chases after me. My poor beloved Cole… I’ve spent so much time drowning in my smoldering pit of a class schedule that I don’t even remember what he looks like. But in reality, I’ve only had four days of consecutive classes so far. And I haven’t really had any serious homework yet, other than a few reading assignments and a measly poem I have yet to start. So why does it feel like I’ve been back in school long enough to grow myself an old man beard?

Photo Because sometimes, school makes us feel like an overworked, underappreciated, dismal-futured sack of shit. After just one round trip from the music parking lot to LA2 and back, I found that my energy supplies seem to have shrunken up over winter break from those trips to Del Taco and Frosted Cupcakery. I have to stop half way up the steps to the Student Union to clutch my sides in agony, wheezing so loudly that I frighten the dainty freshmen frolicking past me. By the time I get home with a newspaper to plan, songs to practice, homework to do, and work to wake up for in the morning, I feel smaller than the Borrower version of myself in the picture above. And where is doing all of that now going to get me in ten years? Probably not much further out of my parents’ house. I spend most of my days ready to crawl back into bed and wave my tiny white flag at society. And we’re only one week in. With all the shit we go through

CONNOR O’BRIEN PHOTO EDITOR

on a daily basis, it surprises me that more students don’t call it quits before they can get out with a diploma. We’re constantly reminded that finding a job is virtually impossible without a college degree, but now that employment seems to depend more on who you know than how hard you work, the diploma seems like a superfluous factor in this convoluted mix. Especially for those of us in the liberal arts majors, our arduous daily efforts can often seem like exhaustingly fruitless endeavors in the long run. This week’s feature comes at a crucial point in the year, as yet another difficult spring semester is upon us and many consider the excruciatingly tempting option of getting the fuck out. But don’t give up just yet, my friends; we’ll be out soon enough. There’s only 16 more weeks to go. Have a tolerable week everyone, and thanks for reading. Oh, and read that little announcement down there before you go.

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 : www.asicsulb.org/lbunion UNION WEEKLY

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PEANUT BUTTER BONER WE ALL GET THEM

DANIEL SERRANO UNION STAFFER

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he coolest food I know isn’t kept in the fridge. The dopest means of high quality nourishment isn’t in the freezer, it’s not even cold. Room temperature is the perfect degree for the sly beast. It’s sitting in your cupboard waiting for its moment in the spotlight. Undoubtedly, Peanut Butter is the cool walking, sweet talking player of the food groups. It’s on a boat with Captain Crunch, and will set sail to your wildest taste bud dreams. Back on shore, peanut butter takes you to a classy meal with Mr. Planter, pimp cane, eye glass and all. Peanut butter keeps you coming back because it’s rich and smooth, but it knows how to be nutty. It’ll go organic when you’re feeling eco-aware, or maybe even low fat when it knows you’re watching those calories. There’s no monotony on PB time. And if meat isn’t your thing, peanut butter should be. It’s got that all natural protein to build you up while filling you up. Beans are good, and so is protein powder,

Illustration

JAMES G MORALES UNION STAFFER

but let peanut butter show you the sweet, creamy way to get the ever essential amino acids. Your muscles will bulge in thanks, and your mouth will smile with approval. Despite peanut butter’s voracious social life and velvety charm, there’s no denying chocolate is peanut butter’s true love. Just like Kim Kardashian and that basketball player (is his name important?), they were made for each other. When peanut butter and chocolate walk down the street, people notice. Hordes come to get a bite, and rightfully so, but I would just like to point out that peanut butter has options. When stardom gets to peanut butter’s head or the stress of chocolate’s limelight has gotten to be too much, peanut butter can open up its peanut phone and flip through the contacts. “Hey celery, what’s up? How you been?” “Damn, jelly, it’s been so long. Let’s get together tonight. You busy?” “Oreo, you know how our flavors mingle and blend. How about I come over?” Oh peanut butter, always working that

swagger. And don’t even try and say that cake or ice cream is the sweetest. They may be delicious in their own right, but that sugar blast will rot your teeth and leave your stomach aching. It’s delicious in the moment, but lord knows when you plop on the scale the next morning you’re cursing its name and regretting your decision. When’s the last time you felt guilty about a PB&J? Peanut butter holds its head highest because it’s the sweet option that sustains while it pleases. It’ll make your healthy lunch or be that little something extra in your dessert. It knows it’s got the best of both worlds and behaves accordingly. Peanut butter captivates then regulates. Just try to give it up. Never again enjoy a Reese’s or peanut butter brownies, or the trail mix with little peanut butter drops mixed in. You might succeed, but you’ll cringe when you see peanut butter around town enjoying itself with others. In those moments, peanut butter will look more delicious than ever and you’re longing will

return with a passion. Unless, of course, you for some reason don’t like peanut butter, poor soul. Turn the page please then, and read no more. This article is no place for you. For the rest though, give peanut butter its due. Sure it gets around, but that’s only because it’s so enjoyed by so many. Don’t hate the player, love the taste.

difference between “it’s” and “its,” then you probably don’t know the difference between “who’s” and “whose,” “they’re” and “their,” “you’re” and “your.” What about “then” and “than” or “lose” and “loose” or “everyday” and “every day”? If you don’t know the difference, then you most definitely have misused them in your texts, letters, and emails. I only hope none of them were directed to someone you were trying to impress or a suicidal writer. And the worst part is that people think they know how and when to use them, but often they actually don’t have a clue. Which brings me to Tony the Tiger. A few weeks ago I was having breakfast with one of America’s most beloved felines, when I read on the box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes the sentence, “Do the write thang.” If you didn’t catch the subtlety of the sentence, read it again. A sharp lawyer could make a case that they were alluding to something greater, but I seriously think they were just trying to sound cool. Coolness at the expense of misinforming and confusing the thousands of kids and teens who read the box. What negligence. The kids are the future. Why would anyone deliberately do the “write thang” instead of the right thing? Recently, I have noticed people writing “should of ” when they intend to write “should have,” as in “I should have gone to the movies.” One might assume the

proliferation of the mistake arises because in a conversation the phonetics become confusing since you don’t see the words; you just hear the sounds that, in this case, are usually contracted in “should’ve.” Thus, it’s safe to say that just speaking a language is not enough to master it. One must also read. I wish I could say you have to read Hemingway and Dickens to learn English. But why should you, unless it entertains you or made mandatory in a class. I know I haven’t because the dense language usually throws me off of the experience. Fortunately, alternatives exist. Pick your cup of tea, I won’t judge. From Harry Potter to The Lord of the Rings to Twilight to the sports section in the LA Times. Reading is part of the solution. This past weekend, my internet connection wasn’t working, so I started reading the dictionary. You know, just for fun. It was Janeth, my nine-year-old sister, who caught me reading it without purpose. So she asked, “What word are you looking for?” I answered, “None.” So she argued the dictionary wasn’t a book, I couldn’t just read it unless I was looking for a specific word. So I looked up the word “dictionary,” which said the dictionary is indeed a book. Janeth relented and went away. Scouring the dictionary for words doesn’t mean you don’t know the language, it means you revere it.

PROLIX OPUSCULE BECAUSE WORDS ARE IMPORTANT GABRIEL MOURA CONTRIBUTOR

Last Tuesday, I was in my audio production class in the FA1 building when the iMac a few stations over started displaying words and definitions in an educational, dictionary-esque screensaver. I leaned forward and squinted until I read a word that now eludes me. It was an obscure word that referred to a type of French dance from, I think, the XVIII century. My immediate reaction was: “That’s a word I’ll never use!” One of my best friends and classmates noticed my extra effort to read the computer screen said, “You’re the only person I know who looks up words for fun.” Then he added, “Besides Oprah.”. It’s no secret that my titanic enthusiasm for the lexicon exceeds the interest of most people. After all, though not quite a wordsmith just yet, I often assemble words together in a fashion to create meaning and make a point, such as in this sentence. But you know what? Try going one day without using words—written or spoken. No talking, no reading, no writing. Point is: language is ubiquitous. Just look around you. You use it with friends and family, at school and in the streets, when studying and hanging out. Words are there when you’re reading a book, watching a movie, playing the latest Xbox fad, or simply texting. Perhaps for most people, language is just a tool for communication, steps to a goal, the

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mediator of a transaction. Totally acceptable. If you frowned or cringed in petulance when I said “lexicon” instead of simply “dictionary,” “zest” instead of “passion,” or “petulance” instead of “annoyance,” worry not, you’re not alone. Big words are not for everyone. The dictionary abounds with them, and only a few people will master them. Not me. To be honest, I actually had to browse the thesaurus to find a synonym for annoyance I liked. However, the truth is: the more words you know the better your interaction with people and the faster your understanding will be. And if you think that only writers will benefit from knowing words, think again. What if you are an engineer and your boss asks for a machine with chartreuse knobs, as to increase visibility? A wrong breath and you will forget the word before you reach the dictionary. What if you are in a cooking class and your instructor congratulates your strawberry cupcake by calling it vapid. Is he being sarcastic? Granted, most times most people will use more common words. But occasionally someone will try to mess with you and employers will test you. Be ahead of the crowd and the competition. As long as “chartreuse” and “vapid” are in the dictionary, they are both fair game. Ironically, as words get smaller, the problems get bigger. If you don’t know the


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THE PRICE ISN’T RIGHT

WHY ANYONE ANYWHERE THINKS COLLEGE STUDENTS HAVE MONEY IS BEYOND ME BEN NOVOTNY UNION STAFFER

This holiday season marked the first that I did not go to the movies. Sure there were movies that I wanted to see, like Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin and the new Mission Impossible movie, but I saw no point in spending an additional $8 or $9 on top of the $13 I pay a month for Netflix. And that’s just to see the movie in regular format. In order to see a movie in 3-D you have to pony up an additional $3 just to wear the 3-D glasses and have the whole 3-D experience. $3 doesn’t seem that much, but in addition to the cost of a movie ticket, the price can go from $11 to as high as $13. That is simply outrageous, considering that just a few years ago movie ticket prices were around $7 and college students such as myself could more easily

afford them. It’s no wonder less and less young people are going to the movies these days. Hollywood thinks it has to do with the movies they make, and to some extent that’s true, but I sincerely believe that if the studios would simply cut their budgets and theatres would cut their prices, then more people would come. One of the main things theatres should do is offer 3-D tickets at the same price as a regular movie ticket. It may not be profitable overnight, but it might be in the long run because people wouldn’t have to pay more to have the 3-D movie experience, thus leading more people to buy tickets. But it’s not just the high ticket prices that made me decide not to go to the movies during winter break. When I’m at home

watching a Netflix movie on my DVD player or watching something online, I feel that I have total control because I can pause whatever I’m watching if I have to go to the bathroom or do something else [Editor’s Note: Or beat off.] and I can fast forward the boring parts to get to the good parts. But when I’m watching a movie in theatres I don’t have any of that control. If I go to the restroom for just a few minutes and miss a major part of the story, tough luck, because I can’t pause and rewind. Watching a movie in theatres is sort of like life itself. It keeps going on no matter what you do and there’s no way you can pause, rewind, or fast forward. And then there’s the ten or fifteen minutes of previews before the movie starts. So guess what? If a movie is supposed to start

at 12:30, it really won’t start until 12:40 or 12:45 because of all the freaking previews that have to run before it. Now when I was a kid I used to love watching the previews before the movie would start. But in this day and age when I can just watch a movie trailer on my home computer, watching movie trailers in theatres seems like a total waste of time. Hollywood should spend less time focusing on adapting the latest comic book or working on the sequel to last year’s blockbuster motion picture and more time focusing on how to make prices more affordable for the average consumer. Maybe they should stop living in their fantasy land for a day and spend it in our shoes, where $13 is a lot of money and you can’t even rewind.

HOT BLOODED I’M DONE WITH COOL GUYS ALISON ERNST NEWS DIRECTOR

I will begin this piece by first offering a disclaimer. DISCLAIMER: I am not a whiny bitch. I’m really not. I’ll admit to being a little jaded about relationships right now, but I won’t resort to whining. And now, I will begin my rant. Dating and relationships and love and all that stuff sucks. Like really, really sucks. I always like guys who don’t like me. I used to go for the good guys. The big, soft teddy bear-types. Those guys happened to be my best boyfriends. Unfortunately, since then, with the super “cool” guys I’ve dated... things haven’t worked out. Like at all. What I take away from all of this is that no one is necessarily “cooler” or “better” than anyone else. The so-called “cool” guys I’ve dated have ended up being pretty big douche bags. And being a douche isn’t cool. It sounds dumb, but I take every relationship as a learning experience. I put the pieces back together a little differently after each break-up and think about what I liked and didn’t like about that relationship. And I learn to not repeat any of the same stupid mistakes. Everyone deserves to be appreciated for their strengths and quirks; eventually, you’ll find that person. But for right now, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t date someone just to date someone. I’ve fallen into that trap and it sucks for both parties involved. It’s okay to be single and take a step back to evaluate yourself. Sometimes you need a little time and space to figure out what you really want and more importantly, what you don’t want. My big problem is having a long grocery list of

standards and chucking it out the window shortly after making it. Every person has admirable qualities that will make him or her appealing to someone. From now on, I want to banish the use of words that suggest superiority among people. I am guilty of thinking I’m the lame one in a relationship when it’s not true. I forget about my own accomplishments and personality traits, and fixate on the accomplishments of the other person, effectively putting him on a pedestal. But no one is perfect or better or “cooler”. As of the last few months, the guys that have been interested in me just don’t offer me the satisfaction of having a really good conversation. These guys have been genuinely nice and sweet guys, but sometimes they’re too afraid to say the wrong thing that they will just nod or politely agree with whatever I’m saying. I’m nervous on first dates too, but that doesn’t stop me from being myself. I can guarantee you that I’ll be interested in what you have to say and listen carefully. I absolutely love small talk; however, it does have to be open, two-sided communication where both parties involved express their point of view. I don’t want you to pretend to like the same crap I like. All I want is a guy that I can talk to extensively about generic college stuff, the weather, how much I look like Elle Fanning, and various other superficial-ish topics. But I also expect him to contribute to a conversation with me about politics and Franny and Zooey and other more intellectual items. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. UNION WEEKLY

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BECOME MORE CULTURED IN A SNAP TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE BY CHECKING OUT NEW EXHIBITIONS IN THE UAM NATHAN CRUZ

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CONTRIBUTOR

he CSULB University Art Museum hosted their grand opening for their new exhibition entitled Split Moment this past Friday. Split Moment sets out to redefine the exploration of the differences between experiencing a performance as it unfolds and watching it later through documentation. It’s a reconsideration of “presence”, during live performance, asking the audience: Do you really need to be here? The artwork featured is presented through various media, such as photography, video, and live-streaming. After getting some free wine and walking around the museum a couple of times, I could not help but to feel a little intimidated by all the fancy uber-creative artsy attendees. I’m pretty sure there were some other high profile art scene names in the audience that a commoner like me was not cool enough to know. Unrecognizable at first, one of the most surprising attendees was none other than the singer/songwriter/rapper, Ke$ha. Who knew she actually likes avant-garde art? As evident by all the middle-aged hipsters and Ke$ha, I soon felt assured I was in the right place on Friday night. After looking around the museum for about 45 minutes, I began to overhear one constant question: “So where is the Lou Reed thing?” Just as I began to walk toward the front of the museum to see Mr. Reed’s art piece, the man of the hour, Lou Reed himself, pops out of nowhere. In case you don’t know who Lou Reed is, he is the lead singer and one of the founding members of one of the most influential rock bands, the Velvet Underground (seriously if you don’t know who they are you should drop everything you are doing right now and give them a listen). Lou’s worked with artists ranging from Andy Warhol to David Bowie, and, even more recently, he’s worked with bands such as Gorillaz and Metallica. Lou arrived to the opening about an hour after it began. Of course as soon as he walked in, a swarm of people surrounded him, many of whom did not approach the

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star. There was a clear divide in people who actually recognized Lou Reed and those who were wondering why a bunch of people were standing around taking pictures of some old guy in orthopedic shoes. He didn’t walk around the museum much, and in classic Lou Reed fashion, he remained hidden from the crowd for most of the night. He went to meditate on his own interactive art piece, entitled the Metal Machine Trio - The Creation of the Universe. His art piece is based on his own 1975 album, Metal Machine Music, which is largely composed of minimalist avant-garde compositions, and is now considered one of the frontrunners of modern drone music (Wiki it). The piece is an ambisonic 3D installation of loudspeakers arrayed in a dark room covered by black curtains. Metal Music Machine Trio was created to allow visitors to experience sounds as Lou once did on stage as a performer. After Lou went into the Metal Machine, several people, myself included, followed. The room was very dark and very loud. It kind of made me feel like I was on Disneyland’s Space Mountain on drugs. The brief interaction I had with Mr. Reed in the Metal Machine was when he somewhat rudely pointed at me urging me to sit down inside the room. (Lou Reed looked at me and it was awesome). Roughly 40 to 50 of us took a seat inside the dark room and meditated to the heavily distorted guitar sounds of Metal Machine Music. I spent about a half an hour inside the interactive art piece and, personally, as a Lou Reed fan, I fucking loved it. However, this is an art piece that is not for everyone; I did have some friends walk out of the room because it scared them. In full disclosure, I have been going to CSULB for a few years now and I have never set a foot in the University Art Museum, but I have to say I was definitely impressed by the vibe and the art pieces themselves. The exhibit is running from now until April 15th and it’s free for CSULB students, definitely worth checking out. I mean, if Ke$ha was there, it’s kind of a big deal.

Rhona Bitner CBGB, New York, NY, 2006

“RUN, DON’T WALK!” TO THE UAM CHRISTY BONHAM CONTRIBUTOR

Friday night the University Art Museum held the opening night for three exhibits. It was super sexy with fancy-dressed people and wine. Static Noise, an exhibition of photographs by Rhona Bitner, was at once relatable and keenly aware of its aesthetics. Each print had such finely tuned color contrast. The pieces were bright, glossy and contained many recognizable music and performance landmarks (these include CBGB in New York, The Masque in LA and various recording studios). Bitner seems to capture the beauty of every interior she shot, even ones that have fallen into disuse and lost their once glamorous appeal. One haunting example is her piece entitled Grande Ballroom. The photo, taken at the ruins of the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, Michigan reflects the ephemeral nature of our cultural fetishes and is hinting at nothing if not the economic downturn of the last few years. Seven artists were featured at the Split Moment exhibit, so naturally I had favorites. Josh Azarella’s Untitled # 100 (Fantasia) held many spellbound based on the pure novelty of the piece alone. Azarella took footage from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video and deleted all the performers. What’s left is a somewhat eerie landscape that is nonetheless quite mesmerizing to watch. I found myself appreciating the effects such as the fog, the details of the cemetery set, and the camera angles of the choreographed scenes.

Babette Mangolte had several works on display but I was struck most by TOUCHING. This interactive piece included a table of photographs that patrons could sift through. The photographs were daring, dark and somewhat threatening. Mangolte captured 1970’s avante-garde theatre in what I can only imagine as accurate - at least the pictures bespoke everything you would associate with 70’s avante-garde art. There was everything from dramatic acting stills to nude women and men who…let’s just say you could tell were from the 70’s. The final exhibit I found was Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Trio: The Creation of the Universe. While Metal Machine Trio blasted in the background, and blue lights twinkled in a pitch black room, my attention was drawn to a young man lying in the middle of the floor. Although I saw the artistic intention behind the syncopated, cacophonous, blaring music – otherwise known as a forerunner to contemporary industrial music - I was puzzled by the prone figure attracting our gaze. I mostly felt sorry for him and wondered if the music was too loud for him to fall asleep. In the words of Peter Travers, “Run, don’t walk!” to this exhibit. There’s something for music fans, photographers, artists and patrons alike. See these exhibits before they leave April 15. It’s at a price anyone can afford: free! Come and see what one person called “a tour de force”!


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COLLEEN BROWN OPINIONS EDITOR

“What are you going to do with a degree in that?”

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his is the single most frustrating and anxiety-producing question that every liberal arts major is forced to answer at some point during their college career. It always seemed to be asked by a “concerned” family member, or “helpful” friend, who were “just looking out for your best interest.” Just this morning, as I explained to my dad the idea behind this very feature I am writing the introduction to, he decided it would be a good time to throw in, “Yeah, what are you going to do with your German major?” I get it; German isn’t exactly my most lucrative option. I’ve heard it all before, that no one in America speaks German, and everyone in Germany speaks English. And what am I going to do with my seemingly pointless major? I have no fucking clue. I don’t, but I’m perfectly fine with that, because I have lots of ideas about what I could do with my major. That’s the beauty of studying within the liberal arts. Many of the majors don’t have a specific application and thus, your career options are almost limitless. Having a major that covers broad topics allows you the freedom to take a variety of classes you are interested in. This is an incredibly difficult concept to explain to people

who think college is merely about obtaining a degree to earn more money. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a big part of college and why most of us are here in the first place. But you cannot claim to have had a truly valuable education unless you have been forced to expand your mind. I don’t mean that like those stupid, vague messages we’re constantly fed to “blaze your own trail!” or “try something different each day!” I mean that you take a cultural anthropology class and confront the atrocities of genocide, and even more horrifically, that we as a country mostly ignore them, or you take a philosophy class and learn how to not sound like a dipshit when you debate with others because you actually base your arguments on reason and logic. Sure, of course you can do that as an accounting or biochemistry major, but there is something bold and unique about pursuing a major that will constantly require you to question the values you hold, learn about new cultures, or analyze how people and societies work. It’s the field that will answer the question of “how” the world is, but it will ask you, the individual, the question of “why.” But the most solid reason for pursuing a degree and eventual career in the arts is because it’s something you love. It’s an educational path that allows you to be creative and teaches you how

to form your world. If you absolutely have to be here for a minimum of four years to get your degree, I assume you want to be learning about a subject that actually matters to you. And hey, if electrical engineering is something that matters to you and that you love, you should absolutely pursue it. I’m just saying that for the rest of us, we shouldn’t be discouraged from getting our dream degree in recreation or gerontology just because it isn’t associated with a fatty paycheck. And it’s true, there’s no denying that you might not be raking in money with a degree in the arts, and potential employers will make you tell them what you can bring to a job upfront because your degree won’t tell them if you have any useful skills. But unless you’re applying for an incredibly specific job, being chosen for the position is often a matter of how you market and present yourself and how quickly you can pick up on new things. A liberal arts education will only prepare you with an open mind and a willingness to learn, something that is profitable for every employer. We picked out three majors on campus which contain students that are all too familiar with the question “What are you going to do with that degree?” and created a sort of guide to help them out with their “useless major.” UNION WEEKLY

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COLLEEN BROWN OPINIONS EDITOR

Communications: the art of communicating. A vague, catch-all title for a major that inspires about as much confidence as a President Obama comedy special. Communications majors get a lot of shit for their major, because there are not exactly a lot of jobs (or any jobs) begging for someone with this degree. But the truth of the matter is that everyone, especially corporations (who are people, by the way) need to communicate in order to get that green. The Communications department at CSULB understands that if they give their students the tools to understand and interact with people, each individual can choose and succeed in a variety of different career paths. “First, we teach them the skills to nail the interview. Then they learn the organizational communication skills to

become upwardly mobile. Lastly, they have learned skills in interpersonal communication to be an effective manager/leader,” says Jamie Wiles, an advisor for Communications students. She states that many of their students end up being “speechwriters, campaign managers, grant writers, news analysts, lawyers, and activists, or go into marketing, public relations and human resources” but that Communications is a degree option that has endless possibilities. The broad nature of the major is its strength; the students are taught how to effectively market themselves, and because of this, can work in virtually any field. Jamie also noted that benefits of the major are “flexibility and practicality” and that students acquire “skills that will help them in the workplace as well as in their

own relationships.” The people coming out of this department are well-rounded individuals who can pursue what they please, but that can also be their downfall. In order to be successful, they have to be self-motivated and willing to seek out career opportunities that they believe to be a good fit for them, but their department is more than willing to offer their support. If there are any Comm majors looking to switch to something more specific, you could switch to Marketing or Human Resources if you know that that’s what you want to pursue, but if you’re passionate about what you’re learning and willing to search for somewhere with a career to fit you, you can be incredibly successful with a Communications degree. You just have to be willing to go out and seek opportunities.

specifically exists as a means for our professors to shatter our hopeful spirits and ensure we fully comprehend the dismal prospects of our future. Because really, it’s true. When’s the last time you met someone who lives in Bixby Knolls and makes their bread as a full-time poet? Trick question, you’ve never met a full-time poet in your life, because they don’t exist. So what on earth is someone getting their collegiate degree in creative writing looking to accomplish? Well, most of us haven’t been able to give up our dreams of becoming the next Stephen King, with the crowning glory of finding our name plastered across every book in the local airport’s gift shop. When the big 4-0 comes around we might begin to lose sight of our childhood fantasies, and when the bill collector threatens to bring a gun on his next visit, many of us will default to teaching remedial English at a

neighboring high school. But don’t give up too soon, fellow authors of America: there are some fairly well-paying jobs which accept a degree in Creative Writing as an admirable qualification. My other day job, with the Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation, and Marine, entails writing press releases for various events and classes put on by the city. Former Union Entertainment-editor James Kislingbury, who graduated from Long Beach State in 2010, now works as a writer of descriptions for Halloween costumes in product magazines. They might not seem like the most obvious career choices, but the jobs are out there if you know where to look for them, and a little money can go a long way to publish your first best seller. Tyler Dilts is living proof that an English degree can be transformed into great things. Dilts earned his MFA in

CHELSEA STEVENS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

There’s a place on every college campus where the most potent forms of nerd, hipster, and nerdy hipster flock to take shelter from the vindictive world around us. Our artistic sensitivity is safe within the walls of the LA’s, surrounded by our equally pretentious peers. We sit in circles to discuss the inventive integrity of our work, always sure to take every criticism personally. Each poetic venture or new bit of our next gripping novel isn’t just another class assignment; it’s a piece of our soul. And that piece of soul will provide naught but a nice cardboard apartment in a comfy corner of Skid Row for the next fifty years of our life. It’s not a hidden secret in the world of creative writing that our chosen profession isn’t going to pay the bills, even in the furthest reaches of our masterful imaginations. An entire course required for every English major, broadly termed “Approach to English Studies,”

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Creative Writing from CSULB, where he is now one of the department’s most beloved professors. His widely renowned novel, A King of Infinite Space, was featured by AmazonEncore, which “helps unearth exceptional books and emerging authors for more readers to enjoy.” The book was also given a sparkling review in the LA Times, and is now available on Kindle. Professor Dilts found the happy medium between teaching and his professional career, as many of our established instructors have been able to do, including Ray Zepeda, Stephen Cooper, and the illustrious Gerald Locklin. If you’re ever feeling down about the miserable prospects following a degree in creative writing, don’t be afraid to turn to members of the English staff like Dilts for advice; they’ve been where we are, and most of them get by well enough to live in actual houses. I think.


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LEO PORTUGAL MANAGING EDITOR

On the more fiscally sound end of the liberal arts spectrum, a BA in political science is the most lucrative liberal arts bachelor’s degree, according to CNN. In addition, CSULB’s political science department offers a pre-law program. Seeking out post-baccalaureate higher education can be another branch of “growing your own way.” Former Union Weekly editor-inchief Kevin O’Brien, 22, graduated from CSULB with a degree in political science in 2011 and believes in the benefits of a political science degree: “Politics is not something that is being outsourced en masse,” O’Brien said. “It’s here and it’s now, and it’s everywhere.” O’Brien says that most of his peers in the poli sci department are now entering, or are going to enter, graduate schools. O’Brien, on the other hand, received a job opportunity at a political consulting firm in the middle

of his fourth year and hasn’t looked back since. As an accounts coordinator at the firm, he researches, tracks, and interacts with city and state politicians. “The way I got the job was that I was loud in class,” O’Brien says. “I was arguing a certain point, and a woman in the class, an angel sent from heaven to earth, Elaine Meggs, took notice and recommended me to her son-in-law.” When it came to the job interview, O’Brien exemplified the kind of textbook advice you’d get from, well, a textbook. He came to the interview motivated, organized, interested and invested: “I had done research about the firm. I knew some of the products, the clients, and I think I demonstrated to them that I was a person who was already investing his time into this firm, and, so if we bring him on, he will continue to do that.” “As much of getting the job was my

doing, a lot of it was serendipity, or happenstance, or God, or whatever the hell you want to call it. I wouldn’t have this job if I wasn’t in the poli sci department. If I was a creative writing major, then I would have been in some creative writing class. If I was a music major, I’d be in some music studio. But, no, I had two classes with Elaine Meggs and from those two classes, a relationship developed, and from that, came an opportunity. [...] A function of having colleges within a university is that you’re putting people of like-mind, of like-intention, together, and out of that is going to be some sort of benefit.” O’Brien admitted to a bit of a learning curve once he began the job, which is something that can be anticipated in any new career. Depending on your degree and career choice, a college education may offer little in the way of preparation for the workforce. Most learning is done

on the job or as an intern or volunteer; learning can come from taking the initiative to do something worthwhile other than just going to class. As O’Brien said, “It was in my extracurricular activities, working at the Union, where I learned the skills that I can put into practice every day at work: talking to people, being able to write well, being able to use various computer programs. I mean, it all sounds so obvious, but that’s the bulk of [the work].” O’Brien’s story is a parable that teaches us lessons that we knew all along. It shows that making connections and friendships can often end up being more valuable than the learning done in a classroom. It shows that being versatile, having experience outside of a classroom, is valuable. It shows that luck can sometimes get you somewhere, but you always have to work to get there.

of their homepage (http://careers.csulb. edu/content/online_workshops.htm) you can search for your major, or find potential majors you might be interested in, and find explanations for jobs a useless degree might actually help you land. For each college on campus and for most subjects within the colleges, the CDC has a rather comprehensive guide of career options, employers, and “strategies” to help you on your way. For example, you may be wondering what to do with your urban studies degree. Well, checking out the website, the CDC shows listings for dozens of possible career options with at least half a dozen different employers in each section. The CDC can even help you pick a major. Being forced to make extremely significant and lasting decisions when we’re in our early twenties (and don’t know what the fuck we’re doing or what we want) is daunting, and it can be much

more frightening when you don’t know what you’re supposed to do for a career and everyone is breathing down your neck, asking what you’re going to do with your life. I started out here at Long Beach as a studio art major, knowing I wanted to do something arty with my life, but dreaded the thought of making Thomas Kinkade knock-offs only my grandma could love. Going to the CDC helped me realize the potential that my degree held, while giving me peace of mind knowing that I won’t be that poor for the rest of my life. If they can give that can kind of hope to an art major, think of all the potential opportunities they can present to you. In addition to their website, you can visit them at BH-250 where they have job postings and offer mock job interviews to help ease your stress. When it comes down to it, it’s not necessarily what you have a degree in, it’s that you have a degree at all.

It proves to potential employers that you have the ability to see something difficult through until the end, and that you are part of the 30% of Americans that have actually received a Bachelor’s degree. It’s easy to get discouraged when people are condescending about your major choice, but in the end, you are going to be working for a long, long time, and you should absolutely choose a career path that will make you happy and fulfilled. Fuck everyone else.

CHRIS FABELA COMICS EDITOR

Choosing between a major that fills the empty void in your soul and one that puts food on your table can be a bit tricky. We are a generation obsessed with authenticity so nobody wants to be a sell out, but they aren’t exactly handing out jobs in animal science or horticulture. The only solution is to major in nothing. Strangely, many parents are not cool with paying for you to goof off at a state school (that’s what private schools are for), so you’ll have to find a career with your pathetic choice of a major. Fortunately you won’t need a connection in the biz to find work thanks to the Career Development Center. In case you weren’t forced to visit Brotman Hall during SOAR, the Career Development Center is a service devoted to making sure we don’t all end up as starving artists. On their website, one of the most useful resources answers the question “What can I do with this major?” Found on the sidebar

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POST-GRAD PRODUCTION A CONVERSATION WITH CSULB ALUM AND PRODUCER WANDIE KABULE

FOLASHADE ALFORD UNION STAFFER

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project can have the best cast and crew alive, but it won’t go very far without something to hold it together. That’s where a producer comes in. The producer makes sure everything that is needed is found and most of all that work is getting done. To find out more about what that may actually entail, I talked to Wandie Kabule, a CSULB alum who’s getting a foothold as a producer in LA. She’s worked film festivals such as AFI, had a small gig on the Jimmy Kimmel show, and wrapped her own project Negative Space. Union Weekly: What made you want to get into producing films? Wandie Kabule: I’ve always wanted to and this year was the first year that I did freelance production work. Before that I always did sort of the office end of it. I did film distribution, which is when the film has already been made and produced, taking it to festivals—like Cannes—trying to sell the films you’ve acquired. Finally, I decided I wanted to be on the set and see a movie all the way through. I found a director and we created a project. You don’t always do this but, I cast it, found the crew, the money and just kind of made sure everything went smoothly, everyone had been hired and was doing their job. So it’s kind of like overseeing everything but not really getting the credit.

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The director is the one who sort of does the creative job. You’re making sure that there’s money and that people are getting paid and happy, all that stuff. UW: Who are your professional inspirations? WK: Probably my parents. My dad is the most business-minded person that I know and he always taught me a lot about how you work with people. When you’re a production manager, they bring you on and you’re a part of the crew, but this was the first one where I was crewing it up, so I looked to my dad a lot on how to hire people and how to treat people who are your peers but also your employees. Other producers like Brian Grazer, he produces everything from Friday Night Lights to Arrested Development to movies. Having a career like that is what I want, to be able to do a bunch of different things. UW: Do you have a favorite genre as far as movies go? WK: I really love horror movies and zombie movies so that’s kind of like a favorite. I’ll constantly watch those, but it’s not my favorite genre. It’s sort of my favorite kitschy genre. I guess for proper films it really depends. I just saw this great documentary called Senna, it’s about this race car driver who died in 1994 and was the greatest

formula racer of all time. I don’t care anything about racing, but it was the greatest documentary I’ve seen in ages. I guess it depends. Sometimes I like war movies… I just like a variety of films. UW: I’ve perused your traveling blog, how many countries have you been to? WK: You and my mom are like the two readers I have. As soon as I post something she’ll be like, “When did you go to Morocco?” I don’t know, I mean, I think I’ve traveled a lot, but there are people who have spent five years visiting every country in eastern Europe. They have more countries on me. I’m from Zambia so we traveled through Africa quite a bit. Then when we moved here we would travel over the summer, it’s considerably less than when I was a kid because there is less time to do it. I’ve been to Spain, France, and the UK, but I haven’t been to Italy or little places like that. UW: I haven’t done any real traveling. I’ve been to Mexico but that doesn’t count. WK: That’s traveling! UW: No. It’s practically like California. WK: I don’t think Mexico would appreciate you saying that, it’s definitely traveling.

UW: I’ll never tell them. WK: I will tell them, I’ll write a letter. UW: Is there anybody you’d like to work with in the future? WK: I don’t even know where I would start. This is hard because there are people I would like to work with because they are creatively amazing but there are people who have a huge work ethic. There are directors that are insane. Like David O. Russell is insane. He’s constantly getting into fist-fights with his actors like that rumor George Clooney punched him in the face when they did Three Kings. So it’s not like I’d say I want to work with him, but you know I’d want to work with him. David Cronenberg, I think he has a really cool career. That’s really exciting, someone who’s always doing films. Everyone wants to work with Woody Allen because he has five movies a year and you’d always get paid. There are some people who do really great TV work, like David Simon who did The Wire and he’s always got a new show in development. Aaron Sorkin, I just recently started watching the West Wing and I never watched it when it was on the air. I’m just going to leave it at that— people who are amazing.


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RIGHT ON QUEUE

NEW ADDITIONS TO WATCH INSTANTLY ON NETFLIX PORTLANDIA: SEASON 1

LEO PORTUGAL LITERATURE EDITOR

Portlandia is a sketch comedy show by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein about the city of Portland and the cast of characters that inhabit it; there are feminists, organicfood snobs, “artists,” and stupidheads. It’s sketch comedy that is oddly specific, yet remains totally universal. And with great guest appearances by the likes of Steve Buscemi, Jason Sudeikis, Aubrey Plaza, Aimee Mann, and Kumail Nanjiani, you really can’t lose. Episode One opens with a song that serves as a bit of a thesis statement for the show. In it, the following exchange is had: Fred: Remember when people were content to be un-ambitious? They’d sleep ‘til 11:00, and just hang out with their friends? I mean, they had no occupations, whatsoever… maybe working a couple hours a week at a coffee shop? Carrie: Right. I thought that died out a long time ago. Fred: Not in Portland. Portland is a city where young people go to retire.

Brownstein and Armisen are 100% likable and hilarious. They’ve cultivated a great rapport after years of working together as sketch duo Thunderant. In fact, their feminist bookstore characters (as seen in Portlandia) were born in Thunderant. Now Portlandia comes as a wonderfully polished and welcome extension of their past work.

RABBIT HOLE When art depicts pain in a prime fashion, it can suspend our little realities and bridge the gap between sympathy and empathy. And for the empathy, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been there and back or not. It’s a false sense of empathy, since it’s fiction. But gosh, when you’re in the throws of this immediate experience, you do feel it. Rabbit Hole does this. This isn’t a tearjerker or a heartbreaker. This’ll rip your fucking heart out and then go for you soul next. Rabbit Hole is about two parents trying to keep their life and marriage together after their young son gets hit by a car. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart give truly harrowing performances as a mother doing her best not to destroy herself and a father trying to stay physically and emotionally close to his wife during the most painful era of their lives. Though most of it is quiet and introspective, this isn’t an indie movie to throw into

STEVE BESSETTE ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

typical categories. It’s an underrated, earnest, well-crafted film with a superb supporting cast and striking tone. This isn’t a casual movie to randomly sit down and watch, and you probably won’t want to do anything or go anywhere right after watching, but the emotional experience is worth it.

THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT

APATOW’S NEW PIECE POSSIBLY OF SHIT- A TRAILER REVIEW CHRISTY BONHAM CONTRIBUTOR

Judd Apatow’s latest project The FiveYear Engagement has unleashed its full theatrical trailer, for those of you who care. It opens with the title song from that annoying sitcom Whitney, so already the film is not scoring any points with me since I associate it with another mediocre piece of shit. The trailer starts off tame then…Wait, it stays tame. The most shocking moments are when an old person dies and a girl (oh my, a girl!) shoots Emily Blunt in the leg with an arrow. Oh, and we learn Jason Segel doesn’t exercise. Shhh! The story seems to center around a middle-class couple (played by Emily Blunt and Jason Segel) who get engaged, then have to postpone their wedding. Emily Blunt’s character gets accepted to the University of Michigan, so their wedding is delayed two years. She gets a job after that and the wedding is delayed four years. Who knows what brings it up to a five-year delay. (Jason Segel learning to use a treadmill to

get in shape for the wedding?) The couple experiences a few mild arguments (and presumably have one big fight in the film), but appear to get back together in the end because they are crazy in love. Aw! I’ve always wanted a romantic comedy by Judd Apatow, featuring Jason Segel that didn’t make me laugh! What seems to be missing from this trailer is the shocking, raunchy but nonetheless witty humor Apatow is known for. I should’ve seen this coming after Funny People, but I had hopes he could return to his Knocked Up/Superbad days of glory. The trailer has all the hallmarks of a typical romantic comedy and I see little if any evidence that Apatow had a hand in it. Apatow’s last project, Bridesmaids, redeemed him in my eyes. But this trailer only proves they are trying to capitalize on that film’s success instead of bringing the talented, comedic energy to The Five-Year Engagement that they seem to have used all up on Bridesmaids.

Think you’re some kind of movie whiz? What a jerk. If you can correctly guess 4 out of the 5 winners of the top Oscar categories, I’ll buy you a bag of candy. Maybe even some cheap post-Valentine’s stuff. Top Categories: Best Picture Best Actress Best Actor Best Supporting Actress Best Supporting Actor Email submissions to steveb.union@gmail.com before Saturday, February 25th UNION WEEKLY

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YOUR GRANNY’S GRAMMY’S THE GRAMMY’S CONTINUE TO STAY OUT OF THE LOOP

ZAMEER HASSIM

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CONTRIBUTOR

very single year, the Grammy’s are looked at as the greatest music award show in America. Unfortunately, every single year, I also can’t help but shake my head at how much the Grammy’s get it wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was awesome that The Suburbs won Album of the Year last year…even though Funeral was better. For the most part, however, the Grammy goes to the wrong artists. According to Wikipedia, the folks who put on the Grammy’s are the National Company of Recording Arts and Sciences (NCRAS). Yeah, I don’t know what they’ve done for music either. Year in and year out, all they do is create some bullshit award that doesn’t know what’s really exciting in the music world. I’ll start by highlighting a huge problem with the Grammy’s: they focus too much on pop music to be considered a true reflection

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of modern music. When choosing nominees, the NCRAS lets their nominees vote on a number of submitted recordings that year. Therefore, if you’re not a member, you don’t get to vote. Let’s take a look at what the Grammy’s considered to be the “Best Rock Album” over the past few years. The winners of this prestigious award over the past few years have been U2 (fail), Foo Fighters (uber-fail), Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Coldplay (wtf?). All of these bands are way past their prime and make way too much money for albums that are really bad. Do you know how much a ticket for a Coldplay show is? It’s like $50-$300. They shouldn’t be considered a rock act. Rock ‘n’ Roll used to be about sex, terrible government, and drugs. The Black Keys should be there instead of bands like Sum 41, who are nominated this year. Sum-fucking-41. Who still

listens to Sum 41? Another conclusion that we can come to from watching the Grammy’s is that modern pop music is in a state of emergency. The Record of the Year used to be a category that picked artists like Frank Sinatra, Roberta Flack, and Simon & Garfunkel. Nowadays, it picks Adele and Kings of Leon. I’ll straight up say it: Kings of Leon are shitheads. Sidestory: they cancelled a show because their bassist got pooped on by a bird. A show that fans paid good money to see. I don’t care who you are, you don’t cancel a show because of doo-doo. Especially when there are millions who’d give their leg to perform in front of a crowd of that size. I just do not understand how the Grammy’s are continually praised, when they are so out of touch with the music

industry. “Grammy bands” like Foo Fighters, Coldplay, U2, etc. don’t push the envelope as musicians. Maybe they once did, but let’s be real, their music isn’t as exciting as stuff that contemporary musicians are making. When I say contemporary, I’m referring to those like Deerhunter, Wu Lyf, Smith Westerns, Thundercat, Destroyer, Fleet Foxes and hell, even Odd Future. At least these bands create music that isn’t like anything before. I know Bon Iver and Radiohead had nominations this year, but King of Limbs was pretty bad save a few songs and Bon Iver is just too…Tumblr for me. And don’t even get me started on the Dance Music section they added. So what do you think readers? Do you agree with me? Or am I an elitist idiot? Write into the Union sometime this semester and be heard.

sings are just as powerful as her voice. On “Ask,” the emotional apex of the album, Van Etten croons “Let’s find something that can last / Like cigarette ash the world is collapsing around me / Let’s try to do the best we can.” Profound but also plain-spoken, Van Etten’s poetry maintains a haunting beauty throughout its entirety. While Tramp is indisputably a personal record, a number of indie rock guest musicians contribute to the record. In addition to providing the recording studio and producing the album, Aaron Dessner also contributes slide guitar and arrangements

that match Van Etten’s presence. Other contributors include Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak), Zach Condon (Beirut), Matt Barrick (Walkmen), Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) and Julianna Barwick. In summation, Sharon Van Etten’s Tramp is a powerful, engaging record with universal themes of uncertainty, pain, angst, and sorrow. While there is no shortage of tortured singer-songwriter albums out there, Tramp stands out among the rest as a work of an artist at the top of her game. It is a unique record, and is undoubtedly deserving of your attention.

THE LADY IS A TRAMP

SHARON VAN ETTEN’S BEAUTIFULLY MOURNING ON TRAMP ALEXANDER BORG UNION STAFFER

It’s no secret that musicians often write songs as a form of therapeutic catharsis. After witnessing the effects of drug abuse on those close to him, Ian MacKaye vented his rage in “Straight Edge,” a visceral sonic assault that would inspire thousands. Following his breakup with fellow musician PJ Harvey, Nick Cave released The Boatman’s Call, a somber, introspective record exploring his failed relationships and religious doubts. On Tramp, Sharon Van Etten has taken the unsteadiness and emotional toll of being without a home and crafted an album that is eclectic and emotionally powerful.

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Recorded in scattered sessions at the garage studio of Aaron Dessner of The National, Tramp is a record written by a woman unsure of her place in life but absolutely in command of her songwriting. The album opens with shimmering guitars of “Warsaw” where Van Etten asks the listener to hear her story of sorrow. Her asking is completely unnecessary however as Van Etten’s voice is absolutely mesmerizing. Her voice defined by a slight rasp, Van Etten’s voice is incredibly versatile, able to convey tremendous angst (“Serpents”) and crushing melancholy (“Magic Chords”). But the lyrics Van Etten


IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME?

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A REVIEW OF MINDY KALING’S HOT (PINK) NEW BOOK VINCENT CHAVEZ CULTURE EDITOR

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his review contains moments of extreme girliness. There will be “hahaww” moments which are instances that begin as laughter but quickly morph into aww’s due to cuteness. I even requested that it be printed in a hot pink font, but after several polite no’s from our Literature Editor (and a handful of “go fuck yourself ’s”) I consented to a slimming black. Therefore, to any men, boys, or combinations of the two, who are afraid that their testicles and/or penis will fall off and roll underneath their dresser should they read this review, I suggest they put this newspaper down and immediately turn on a football game, start continuously highfiving, or do something else masculine. Are they gone yet? Okay...Guuurl, have you read Mindy Kaling’s book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? You haven’t? Ugh, you stupid bitch, turn off that Kendra marathon and get your ass down to Barnes & Noble before I am forced to say another sassy thing at you. Mindy Kaling, writer/actor/director/ diva from The Office, has written a Swiss army knife of a book: part memoir, part guidebook, and part lady almanac. You can expect her to tackle subjects like female friendships, romance, body image, show business, and fame. You many not expect her to tackle things like chest hair, elaborate revenge fantasies, karaoke etiquette, and her own funeral. But she does. Kaling’s source material is often the pains and failures of youth. She draws upon her

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memories as a childhood chubster, budding adolescent comedy nerd, and post-collegiate jobhunter for moments of mirth. That’s not to say there aren’t delightful moments of adult failure as well. My goodness no; there are still many embarrassing gems that await you later in the book. Kaling is not one for sad clown melancholy though, her prose bounces with levity and tonguein-cheekness. Brevity is the soul of wit, and she takes this mantra to heart. The lengths of the chapters are just right, wrapping up precisely where they should. This is not a difficult read and i mean that in the most charming way. Kaling, much like her book, is unabashedly feminine and nerdy. She strikes me as someone you could watch a Harry Potter marathon with, and then discuss over sour gummy worms and ice cream which movie Hermione’s hair looked the best in (the answer is Half-Blood Prince). In a chapter titled “Types of Women in Romantic Comedies Who Are Not Real,” she classifies romantic comedies as a subgenre of science fiction and goes on to catalogue the many fantastical species of women that populate this alternate reality. During this section, I like to imagine her offering her musings clad in a lab coat and Manolo Blahnik’s, wearing black, thick-rimmed glasses on a sexy librarian chain. There is a camp of people who would dismiss both her femininity and nerdiness as frivolous. I can hear their outcries. Who cares what diet Jennifer Aniston uses or how

dangerous it is? Why would anyone make an all-female sequel to Ghostbusters? Monty Python? Never heard of him. If this sounds like something you would say then this book is not for you either, so you can join the macho guys I sent off earlier in a

rousing game of crush the beer can against your head. For the rest of us, put on some sweatpants (the ones you look good in, not the ones with the hole in the taint) and enjoy a couple hours obsessing over this genuinely funny lady.

THE BELIEVER

A MAGAZINE ABOUT LITERATURE AND SO MUCH MUCH MORE LEO PORTUGAL LITERATURE EDITOR

If you’re dissatisfied with the breadth and depth of coverage provided by this humble little literature page and crave more literary goodness, look no further than The Believer. The first issue, published in March 2003, boasted Charles Portis (author of True Grit) as “Like Cormac McCarthy, But Funny” and, in another article, asked hard-hitting questions like, “Is Dickens the greatest animal novelist of all time?” And for the eight years since that first issue, The Believer continues to bring an insightful and compelling look at the world of literature, with columns by Nick Hornby and Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), and accepting review submissions from anyone who wishes to submit (reviews where, according to the Believer’s mission statement, timeliness is not an issue). Hornby’s “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column describes what the title suggests, discussing Hornby’s monthly

compilation of books read and bought with his very funny, clever and British sensibilities. Handler’s column discusses a book by a nobel laureate in his column “What the Swedes Read.” There are also yearly lists of best books according to Believer readers and editors. If you’re looking for book recommendations, the Believer will not leave you wanting. Though literature is The Believer’s bread and butter, it branches out into all forms of media and pop culture. In fact, once a year, individual issues are devoted to the subjects of music, film, and art. And each issue of The Believer typically features interviews with interesting people (recent interviews include Steve Carrell, David Wain, and Jason Schwartzman). Beyond that, many of the magazine’s features are just meant as hilarious good fun. When I first get my Believer in the mail, I jump straight away to what is

probably the silliest piece of work in the entire thing: Jack Pendarvis’ “Musin’s and Thinkin’s” column. Pendarvis, an author of several hilarious books that you should check out, uses his column to “share folksy wisdom” and tell goofy jokes. Further fun can be found in monthly advice column “Sedaratives,” founded by Amy Sedaris, abandoned by Sedaris in 2006, and subsequently featuring a rotating cast of guest columnists (recent columnists include hilarious people like Anthony Jeselnik, Kristen Schaal, and Paul Scheer). If you’d like to check out The Believer, Believermag.com features excerpted articles and online exclusives including an interview with Mindy Kaling, who is famous for portraying Kelly on The Office and having her book reviewed above. The magazine can also be found at most Barnes & Noble newstands, and indie places that carry cool magazines. UNION WEEKLY

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SEX AND PHILANTHROPY HOW BUYING CONDOMS IN BULK COULD SAVE LIVES JAIME GOMEZ CONTRIBUTOR

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n addition to being a bevy of other things, February is National Condom Month. But seriously…only a month? Why should we limit ourselves? Safe sex is a year ‘round thing people! There is honestly no excuse for unprotected sex. We are so lucky to have such an abundance of access to condoms in this country. I could literally have condoms delivered to my house. And for anyone who knows me knows damn well that I in fact do have condoms delivered to my house. This pioneer of a company called Sir Richard’s ships condoms right to my door. Not to mention that for every condom I buy, they donate one condom to a developing country in need. That’s right, I like sex and philanthropy. And good thing too, because among developing countries knowledge about condoms and the prevention of AIDS is still poor even in this era of rising AIDS awareness. And in addition to the lack of knowledge, the

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access to condoms is also at an unfortunate low. Companies like Sir Richard’s are expecting to change that. Sir Richard’s recently launched the Envoy Program. They want to recruit college kids like us to help spread awareness on campuses all across the nation about the growing problem in developing countries. The sad truth is that not many people know that this is even an issue. And who better to spread condom knowledge than us? I noticed on the list of representative colleges that Cal State Long Beach was unspoken for. Not cool. That needs to change. So of course I applied to be a part of this movement towards a better community. I can’t be the only CSULB applicant. Lets get our name out there! More information can be found at Sirrichards.com/envoy, but if you’re ready to sign up, fill out the quick application at surveymonkey.com/s/ EnvoyApplication.who.

COMPASSIONATE CONSUMERISM AND WHY IT DOESN’T WORK VINCENT CHAVEZ CULTURE EDITOR

I’m sure you’ve heard of TOMS and their buy one, give one policy. You purchase a pair of their shoes and they in turn donate a new pair to a child in need. This business model has become so ubiquitous that it has inspired a slew of similar companies offering one-for-one deals on products ranging from blankets to toothbrushes to condoms. One-for-one companies present themselves as capitalism with a heart and a conscience. They offer consumers the opportunity to make a difference with their everyday purchases. Many of the products and their packaging are even biodegradable, ensuring your consumption is also eco-friendly. The company makes a profit, the Earth is spared another piece of garbage, the child has clean, dry, diseasefree feet, as do you with the added bonus of feeling warm and altruistc-y inside. It’s a win-win-win-win situation, right? Well, not exactly. What one-for-one companies actually offer consumers is a fast food version of charity. This business model is built upon the idea that you are not just buying a pair of shoes but absolution

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for your materialism. In this way, one-forone companies appeal to the consumer’s goodness as well as their guilt. But my aim is not to make you feel like an asshole for doing something good; what idiot would argue against charity? I simply don’t think these companies, operating from a capitalist model, have the power or intent of solving the larger problem. To barrow from philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s views on goodwill, “The real aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible.” The sensation we feel from buying other peoples’ happiness is cheap and fleeting. Sure, you can improve a child’s life by giving them the gift of oral hygiene, but ultimately what do these children have to smile about? Many of the children living in the countries partnered with Toms are living in the midst of a civil war, having to go without clean water, and working in hellish conditions. Our compulsion as compassionate consumers is to alleviate the suffering of others the easiest way possible. Though obviously better than nothing, this kind of charity is a band-aid on a complex problem.


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UNION STAFFER

JAMES G. MORALES

HARD UNION STAFFER

BEN NOVOTNY

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Disclaimer: This page is satire and has illegally reproduced the NFL logo, so we’re probably going to get into some deep shit with copyright laws, John Madden, and the cheerleading community. We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Email all your lawsuits to octogirl.grun@gmail.com.

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-$C7+' D;=+' E&#&7+&+' 1$=' 475' "5' -&6O&P' D' 475' 15'D'-&6O&'E&QF&R -F+=9'@>"CG+'H";#6 BY BUTTHOLE TROOPER In a recent broadcast of the Family Research Council radio program, FRC President Tony Perkins asked all parents concerned with how the recent addition of gay relationships into the Star Wars: The Old Republic computer game will affect their children should voice their issues on the game’s website. The act of adding the gay relationships patch was regarded as threat to the traditional family, as well as contradictory to statements released by Bioware, the game’s developer, in which they stated that “gay” and “lesbian” did not exist in the Star Wars universe. Many other pro-family groups have followed in suit, prompting many fans of the Star Wars universe to look towards their Lucas Arts, and its imaginative and awe-inspiring leader, George Lucas, for a response to the outrage. Conjecture around the subject has split the Star Wars community into two warring factions, the Godly conservative force groups and the gay-supporting “dark side.” This week, Lucas Arts finally gave their answer by releasing an Out List of all the LGBT characters in the Star Wars universe, full of many surprises (Obi-Wan Kenobi), as well as all the one’s we already knew were gay (Boba Fett) but were just waiting for some form of verification. Lucas Arts has promised a yearly release of all its LGBT characters, and supporters. The following is a list of a few of the most notables names:

BY OCTOPUS GIRL

Devaronian In Mos Eisley Mace Windu Admiral Acbar C-3P0 Emperor Palpatine Ziro the Hutt, Jabba’s flaming uncle Obi-Wan Kenobi Kyle Katarn “On the Down” Lowbacca Grand Moff Dunhausen Jar Jar Binks Grand Moff Tarkin Bib Fortuna, As well as Anyone on Twi’lek Boba Fett Darth Tyranus Wicket W. Warrick Poggle the Lesser, self-proclaimed self-hating gay Sy Nootles Commander Cody Seb-U-Lar All Wompas The Death Star Shmi Skywalker Jango Fett Zam Wesell (See Full List at lucasarts.com/gaylords)

The trailers for this movie made it seem like it was going to be an hour and a half of an ex-cop guy standing on a ledge as a distraction while his brother tries to steal this rare diamond—the same rare diamond the ex-cop guy was charged with stealing—but what I got instead was a complete surprise. Sam Worthington plays this guy named Nick Cassidy from Perth, Australia that attended John Curtain College of the Arts, but dropped out before he had a chance to graduate. His dad gets really mad at him because of that and sends him to the northern coast of Australia, so he has to work his way back home. Along the way he does several odd jobs here and there, eventually auditioning for National Institution of Dramatic Arts, where

he won a scholarship to do acting stuff. I got confused after that because suddenly he gets like crazy powers that allow him to get different cool jobs. First, he turns himself into a robot for a while and fights that skinny mechanic guy in the future, then cuts this snake lady’s head off in order to kill that dress wearing guy without a nose that had that dragon tattoo on his back, and finally decides to become a paralyzed space marine so he can fight that shaky guy that had a baby with his sister on that one show about those friends, all before getting to the ledge. Overall, based on how the scenes are kind of jumpy and the blonde hot lady doesn’t do anything sexy and it reminded me a little bit about that movie about the guy in the phone booth, I’d give this movie nine stars out of ten. I highly recommend this movie as a date movie.

Conservative groups and religious lobbyists proceeded to organize a pilgrimage to the Lucas Ranch where they burned several wicker effigies of George Lucas for 16 hours, smearing feces on gates of the ranch, and concluded the event by forming a suicide circle, with the last remaining member making sure the bodies blocked any passage out of the ranch.

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IDE4@' D3E1@@' JKB' H1E-AL' .E*0M@' K1NB' J1'JK*EA'H1E-A Inspired by TOMS’s “buy one, give one” mantra, “Arms Across the World” has entered the one-for-one movement. For every gun you purchase, they will donate a new gun to a child soldier in need. AAtW’s president, Sir Ian McShellan, released this statement: “The fact is kids across the world lack the most basic necessities. We at ‘Arms Across the World’ not only provide children with guns but something much more… bullets. All the bullets they can get their grubby little hands on.” The rest of the statement is just maniacal laughter. When asked if he found his business model morally reprehensible, McShellan had this to say: “When you purchase a gun from ‘Arms Across the World’ you are saving a child’s life.” I countered by informing him that you are also endangering the life of another person, most likely a fellow gun-toting child. McShellan promptly shot me in the leg.

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