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!"#$%&#%'()*+%,+ CHELSEA STEVENS Editor-in-Chief



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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.

$#++#-.%+)%'/0%1-)&%+"#%#0,+)CHELSEA STEVENS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


nd just like that, it happened. For the first time in recent history, CSULB’s 35,000 students came together in a monumental display of camaraderie and school spirit in the only way those poor souls knew how: CSULB Memes. Yes, the wide world of Facebook has finally been blessed with Long Beach State’s very own university meme page. In its first week of conception, CSULB Memes passed up the amount of likes for the Union Weekly and Daily 49er combined. It’s only a few likes away from trumping the page for CSULB ASI, as well as our beloved jock-strapped Dirtbags. At this rate, it will beat the amount of likes for the university itself in less than two more weeks. The first few days of the page’s young life took some fairly predictable turns. 4Chan’s gollums slithered from their sequestered holes almost immediately, and /b/tards everywhere were soon up in arms as less-experienced users began spamming the site with incorrectly used memes. This disjunct between the pretentious internet-wise and the typical, meme-ignorant student continues to provide the page’s most irritating feuds. Less predictable, however, has been the almost-instantaneous rivalry with

the meme page of Cal State Fullerton. The shit hit the fan when Long Beach students set out to troll Fullerton, which promptly got them banned from the page, and before I knew it we were calling them a bunch of twobit whores while clawing at their eyes with our acrylic nails. And a week later, the fighting has yet to stop. This entire conundrum was supported by the CSULB Meme page admin, and Fullerton’s admin has been there every step of the way. I’m not even sure where the merit of our Fullerton-hatred lies, and I honestly don’t belive it’s worth any of our time. If the laundry list of things to loathe about CSULB isn’t strong enough to ban us together, then nothing will be. In fact, I’m hereby announcing an alliance with the Daily Titan, CSUF’s equivalent of the Daily 49er. After all, the enemy of my enemy must inevitably be my friend. If nothing else, CSULB Memes has found that sensitive spot in the hearts of Long Beach State students. Like Good Fella’s Paul Sorvino to Ray Leota, CSULB Memes took us under its wing, cooked us a real I-talian dinner, and opened our eyes to the eternal enigma that is Beach Pride. And if there’s a million things Long Beach kids lack, one of them is most certainly pride in

their institution. When was the last time you told someone you were proud to attend Cal State Long Beach? That our academic rigor and burly football team were enough to enflame the soul of any derisive naysayer? That’s exactly what CSULB Memes has done. It’s provided us with the realization that we all despise the same things about this university, and has allowed us to shit all over Cal State Long Beach as a mature, united student body. Assisted by pictures of self-satisfied babies, inquisitive dinosaurs, and Bear Grylls drinking his own piss, of course. This week’s feature delves even further than memes into the lives of the ceaselessly nerdy. Two of our brave editors donned their cardboard shields and foam swords, traveling to mysterious lands in order to reveal the underground world of live action role play. Take heed while reading the article; you may come away from it with taped glasses and a zit. Have a memeingful week everyone, and thanks for reading. Ask Away!

Need something more fulfilling in life? About to end it all? Put the knife down and write for the Union instead! Email me at

Questions? Comments? MAIL : 1212 Bellflower Blvd. Suite 239, Long Beach, CA 90815 PHONE : 562.985.4867 FAX : 562.985.8161 E-MAIL : WEB : UNION WEEKLY

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hate Adolf Hitler. The man was a monster, sick in his mindset and deplorable for his orchestration of the Holocaust. But my hate grows for another reason, in addition to the killings and his mad sprint into World War II. That man, he stole something from me. He stole something from you, because when Hitler died, he took that glorious mustache with him. Now, before you pull out your iPhone and start typing up hate mail, hear me out. Let’s separate the man from the facial hair for one moment. I do not condone any of his actions, just as any sane or reasonable person wouldn’t, and I hope he’s agonizingly rotting away by an especially toasty lake of molten lava somewhere deep beneath the earth’s crust. Nazis are bad. This is known. But I can’t help but love that mustache. It’s like watching Chris Brown dance. I hate the fact he beats women, and I can’t understand how he commands such a ravenous fan base made largely of just those he’d willingly smack around. But damn can that dude dance. Watching him move on Tosh.0 instilled in me a legitimate desire for improved body coordination. Look the video up, it’s insane. But all the while, it wasn’t his character that I found enthralling, just the popping and locking. Unfortunately, I have that same outlook on Hitler’s little ’stache, and I wish I didn’t. I wish it disgusted me, that I believed it looked silly and could let it fade into the background of facial hair history, but I can’t. I approve of the style, hate the man that wears it. Especially bothersome is how strongly people identify



Hitler with his signature mustache, so much so that it alone has become completely associated with the Nazi movement. If I were to dance like Chris Brown, it would not be assumed that I hit women, only that I am a good dancer, a compliment I would shy away from initially, only to embrace fully while mid-moon walk. But if I meander into a bar with that mustache (what do I even call it? The Hitler ’stache?) adorning my upper lip, I’m being punched in the face and kicked in the dick within five minutes flat. To most, that mustache says, “Hello, I am racist, and I hate you,” and for a guy just looking to grow a decent nose tickler, that’s hard to swallow. I just want it to say “mustache.” Will there ever be a time when the Hitler ’stache is socially acceptable? When I can walk into a party with head held high, mustache proudly projected for all to see, and the first comment made is, “Hey man, nice mustache.” I doubt it. It seems that patch of hair will never again be seen amongst the commoners. Perhaps one day, thousands of years in the future, a bad-ass geologist will be digging up a time capsule somewhere and see an angry looking man wearing a mustache eerily similar to his own. And that geologist will wipe his bad-ass hands across his bad-ass brow and with a deep breath say, “Wow, that man has a sweet mustache,” whilst calmly stroking his own. Then, and only then, will Hitler’s death grip on that iconic nose rug be loosened, and mankind will once again be free to grow it’s facial hair without caution or care. I only wish that day would come tomorrow.


You close your eyes tightly; it’s a little odd at first to be completely naked. However, you’re not cold because the temperature of the water is at a maintained 95 degrees. In fact you cannot even tell where your body ends and the water begins. The water around you consists of 1000 lbs of Epsom salt, so it’s completely buoyant and you float without effort. Sound and light become irrelevant parts of the outside world, and all you have left is your mind. The coolest recent technology in Meditation is definitely the IsolationFloatation Chamber. These chambers are giant-coffin like; they are about four feet wide, eight feet long, and seven feet high. They seem intimidating and cold, however

their benefits to both the human body and mind are quite remarkable. Isolation-Floatation Chambers offer a multitude of benefits to the user. These benefits include (but are definitely not limited to): relaxation, stress reduction, blood pressure stabilization, improved sleeping habits, concentration, increased creativity, pain relief, a reduction in addictive behaviors, relief from depression or anxiety, decreased joint inflammation, and a quicker recovery from Jet lag. Sessions last two hours and are $40 at Venice Beach’s Float Lab. They are open seven days a week and have two private rooms that each consist of a private shower and an Isolation-Flotation Chamber. And if you like

it enough, Float Lab will even install a personal Isolation-Flotation Chamber (in the color of your choice) in your home for somewhere around $35, 000. The experience is intense, trippy, and yet incredibly scientific. The point of the Isolation-Flotation Chamber is to block out all outside distractions in order to become at one with ones inner mind. The experience is a bit like going back into the womb (dark, naked, floating, and warm). Users generally feel a mild altered state of consciousness or they feel like they are in a waking dream state. By depriving the body of all outside distractions, the body can rest and focus on its mental health. The Isolation-Flotation Chamber is an incredibly unique experience that everyone should try

at least once. For those I’ve talked to about the Float Lab, most people are uncomfortable in the tank for the first session. But every session after that is an epic adventure for the unleashed psyche of each individual. Go to Float Lab if you find yourself seeking peace or healing from a not so mainstream source. Float Lab is run by all incredibly helpful and cool people (The “mad scientist” behind it all is named Crash, he’s totally brilliant and chill), so don’t feel awkward in the least bit about wanting to lay in a closed-in bathtub naked for two hours in Venice Beach. Float Lab is an experience unlike any other when it comes to meditation and healing; I definitely hope you try it out as soon as you can! UNION WEEKLY

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f you’re reading this newspaper, chances are you fall into the 18-to-29 year-old age group. This group represents almost a fourth of all eligible voters in the United States, and yet, only about 20% of this group went out and voted in the last big election. The big question on everyone’s mind is, why aren’t college students voting? I won’t resort to using the old approach of how people died for our right to vote or how we should be proud of our democracy, but I am really curious as to why so many college students just don’t vote. When some students attend college, they often don’t live at home and thus may not be knowledgeable of their polling location or of the deadlines to apply to vote at a different polling location. Some students

don’t have their own cars or any means of transportation to go and vote. Other students may face other miscellanous barriers that prevent them from voting. There have been many new restrictions on state voter policies that stand to even further reduce the number of students voting. Some states have banned the use of students registering to vote on their college campuses. Others have created new constraints on third party voter registration groups. This method of registration enabled over one million students to register in 2008. Recently, same day registration has been criticized, and this method again has increased the student voter turnout by making it easier for students to register. The Campus Vote Project was recently

launched in an attempt to remedy these kinds of situations for college students. It stands to help students in college work with the administration and local election officials to get student voters out to the polls in greater numbers. It’s not partisan or anything, and the whole purpose is to increase the number of student voter registration and student voter turnout. And it’s not that college students are apathetic. Only 13% claimed that they were not interested in voting, in 2010. Students that actually register to vote have a much higher chance of voting in the next election. And those that vote in that first election often continue to vote. So why don’t we start voting now? As young people, we have the numbers


and power. We aren’t like the senior citizens who may have trouble going to the polls. Or like the people working every day from 9 to 5 (who can’t even use that excuse, because the polls are open from 7am to 8pm). We have the time to take a few minutes out of our days to vote. Or if you’re super concerned that you won’t make it to the polls, you can apply for the Vote by Mail ballot (pst, you can apply to Vote by Mail on the Secretary of State’s website). There are literally no excuses. If you’re interested in participating or finding out more about the Campus Vote Project, there is more information available online at Make your voice heard in the upcoming election! You don’t want that party you don’t like to beat that one party you do.


Seventy-six thousand students applied to Cal State Long Beach last semester, more than any other semester in history. What does this mean for all of us? Most likely nothing, other than it will get a lot more crowded around campus. Unless CSULB goes through with their current plan, that is. At present, CSULB has scheduled three public hearings to discuss and receive community feedback about the proposed admission requirement increases, as well as some other new policies they may enact, such as declaring all academic programs “impacted” at freshman and transfer levels, continuing to accept students at



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the minimum academic criteria who have “at least a reasonable likelihood of degree completion, consistent with local access and the Long Beach College Promise,” and increasing outreach to communities characterized by low socioeconomic status and historically low rates of college going. “With the significant decline in state support for the California State University system and an unprecedented number of undergraduate applicants to our campus —76,000—we at Cal State Long Beach are looking to implement changes to our admissions guidelines that will help us make better use of our scarce resources,” said David Dowell, CSULB’s Vice Provost

for planning and budgets. “Before we make any changes, however, it is important that we get the public’s input. We will carefully consider all comments we receive from the campus and the community before we change admissions guidelines.” While I understand the need to decrease the amount of people applying and being accepted (our school does have a finite amount of space, especially if all freshman are required to live in the dorms), I would think that the way to go about doing that would not include “increasing outreach” to people in low-income neighborhoods. The meetings will be held in three different places: the first at 10:30 am on

Friday, February 24, in the Board Meeting Room of Coast Community College, located at 1370 Adams Ave. in Costa Mesa; the second at 3 pm Wednesday, February 29, in the Barrett Athletic Administration Center at CSULB, which is at 1250 Bellflower Blvd. in Long Beach; and the third on Wednesday, March 7, beginning at 2 pm in the Board Room at Long Beach City College, located at 4901 E. Carson St. in Long Beach. Be there to voice your support or disapproval for the proposed actions. For more information, contact Rick Gloady in the CSULB Public Affairs Office at (562) 985-5454 or via e-mail at







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“Hey! Okay! I’m dead!” “Sorry, sorry.” “Fun though, right?” “It’s a blast.” “Contagious, I know.” “Totally.” This exchange occurs between Matt Walsh and Paul Rudd in Role Models during the climatic LAIRE battle scene. “Give me your email,” Walsh says before he finally falls to the ground in dramatic fashion, signifying his “death.” The film took special care to emulate the LARPing experience, hiring Adrianne Grady of the LARP Alliance as the Technical Advisor on set and arranging to have actual LARPers in the film. If you can handle the intense nerd atmosphere (I live my life on a little nerd spaceship that happily flies through the nerdiest of atmospheres), you’ll find, as local LARP superstar Eric “Rift” Becking puts it, “that it’s: one, incredibly intense; two, a lot of fun; and three, while you can flail wildly and have a blast, it actually requires a great deal of athleticism and skill to be good at it.” But don’t fret, chubbo! You can participate if you’re unathletic too! Within the world of LARP, different groups will fall on different ends of the



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Action and Role-Playing spectra (for the layman, “action” here is the simulated fighting, and the “roleplaying” is the pretending to be someone or something other than yourself). Three of the main SoCal LARP groups we found are Dagorhir Aggélgorod, UCI Sword, and the Orange County Fighter’s Guild. We spent an afternoon with the OC wing of Dagorhir Aggélgorod (as seen in all photos), a part of a large national Dagorhir community. These Dagorhir combatants we met focused far more on the action aspect—basically, on hitting people with swords. An archer by the name of Eva, a frequent participant with the group for the past year, explained the differences between standard LARPing and Dagorhir as follows: “In Dagorhir, we get a lot more physical, and in LARP, it’s a tap game. Basically it’s Dungeons and Dragons, but with real [foam] swords.” The Orange County Fighter’s Guild, on the other hand, puts focus on implementing roleplaying aspects, or aspects of “Dungeons and Dragons” as Eva put it. For half of their weekly meetings, they implement a roleplaying game of

their own invention called Heximeister, which couples Live Action with their own made up world, featuring elements of real-time strategy (resources and maps) and roleplaying games (character classes, experience, and level ups) where the participants’ characters learn “magic spells” and “special abilities.” In Dagorhir there is no magic. Instead there is full-on grappling, kicking other people’s shields, and bashing people with your own shield. UCI Sword and Dagorhir are essentially the same. One man in particular, a tall, thin guy called Rooster, was the exemplar of the very “physical” punishment found at Dagorhir events. Unfortunately for him, as fierce a fighter as he was, he wasn’t the one dishing it out. First, he received a glancing blow to the nose which left him reeling, walking off the field of battle grimacing with nose in hand, and leaning on the herald (referee) for support. Then, in a battle soon after, a big guy (easily over 6 feet and 250 pounds) with a big shield (from the big guy’s chin to his ankles) charged hard at Rooster. I couldn’t help but yelp “Oh, shit!” as Rooster was

knocked violently to the ground beside me. I worried that he could have received a concussion from such a fall. But this probably shouldn’t scare you away. The over-arching point of this is clearly not to hurt someone. I mean, the swords are covered in foam and the arrows have pillowy tips. Rules are set in place to protect the players. The weapons are padded and hits to the head are generally not allowed. But accidents do happen, as was the case with Rooster’s blow to the nose. Another time this happened was when a man called Zerrkhar crawled by me on his knees after losing his legs, and I kind of accidentally bonked him on the head. I wondered why he wouldn’t die as he gave me an annoyed look over his shoulder, and then I bonked him a second time. Then I quickly remembered the rules and apologized profusely. “It’s okay,” Zerrkhar said calmly, while stabbing at some other guy. As was the case in that instance, they’re pretty welcoming and lenient with newcomers. No one hit me particularly hard or tried to bash me to the ground, so I feel it’s safe to say they’d tread most newcomers the same way. Lastly, as


“It’s okay,” Zerrkhar said calmly, while stabbing at some other guy. Eva the archer mentioned, if getting hit a bit is something you’d prefer to avoid, you could always find a group that focuses less on getting physical. Still, while the focus on roleplaying and combat and competition varies from person to person and group to group, there is some commonality across the board. Regardless of the group, their weekly get-togethers always seem to have a laid-back vibe. At these meetings, people just come with a primary goal of having fun and hanging out. Not everyone comes dressed in medieval or fantastical garb, with plenty of participants simply wearing hoodies and jeans. At first, I found this lack of theatrical garb a deep source of disappointment. I wanted to come and find people in suits of armor, with Elven ears sticking out of their helmets. But the reality of the outfits found at a meeting

kind of points to how open they are and how easy it is to just jump right in. In fact, the folks at Dagorhir had a chest full of garb and bundles of weapons for us newbies, if we wanted them. My compatriot Marco wore the first thing he grabbed—something that looked like saber-toothed tiger pelt and was described by the Dagorhir combatants as a “battle-skirt.” Had Marco cast aside his modern clothing and gone to battle with nothing but this sabertooth-skirt and his borrowed battleaxe, he would have been the spitting image of Conan the Barbarian. But as he stood, with a faux fur skirt (I assume it was faux) over his jeans and striped button-up shirt, he served as a symbol for the casual aesthetic found at these weekly Dagorhir meetups at a park in Costa Mesa. But the weekly events are the teeniest

tip of the LARP iceberg. They are the practice; they are skirmishes rather than the true battles. The big events bring big battles and elaborate costumes (many events ask that attendees be dressed in theme-appropriate garb at all times); for example, once a year for the past four years the Swords at UCI have run a large fighting and camping event called the “Battle for the Ring.” And then there’s the mother of all events: Ragnarok. Ragnarok is Dagorhir’s national meet, drawing over 1,500 attendees and placing over 600 combatants on the battlefield at one time. If you’re at all interested in getting involved, just get right into it and do it. It’s as easy as finding an event and showing up. I do recommend shooting an email to an event host to ask if you need to bring anything (I came with a burlap sack with holes cut in it!), and so they’ll also be prepared to be welcoming towards you. An email is a nice way to avoid the awkwardness of walking up to them as a total stranger. You can find three nearby groups and their information in the rightmost column, and you can find many more groups and events online at Meetup.

com (but beware, some of the info there is out of date, so be sure to get in contact with someone first). If you get into LARPing and keep at it, who knows? You could be the next Rooster or Christopher Mintz-Plasse in Role Models!

LARP Groups Near You OC's Dagorhir Aggelgorod Where: Heller Park, Costa Mesa When: Fridays at 2:30 Sword @ UCI Where: Aldritch Park, Irvine When: Fridays (4:30pm) & Sundays (3pm) Orange County Fighter's Guild Where: Twila Reed Park, Anaheim When: Mondays at 6pm


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Sleigh Bells Reign of Terror




eign of Terror is the sophomore album from noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells. After releasing their debut album, Treats in 2010, Reign of Terror continues the band’s now signature sound of heavy distorted head-banging guitar riffs, melodic vocals, and hip-hop beats. Sleigh Bells are back and they are ready to fuck shit up. Reign of Terror is a throwback to sounds reminiscent to 80’s-pop, posthardcore, and metal blended together giving the band a unique sound. This album also stands as a testament, proving this band has outlived their initial hype created back in 2010. Yet again, Reign of Terror has singer Alex Krauss with her catchy, melodic vocals complementing guitarist Derek Miller’s heavy guitar riffs. A major stand






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Hospitality Hospitality

Hospitality is a fitting name for this rock outfit that creates welcoming melodies and tunes. They aren’t trying to scare people away, yet there is a great depth in their music that is at turns upbeat and uproarious, and at turns gets down and mellow. Underscoring their consistently beautiful music are the subtly cynical lyrics of vocalist/guitarist Amber Papini. For a quick introduction to their sound and sensibilities, I suggest watching their music video for “Friends of Friends.” The video stars Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and swaps Los Angeles and New York City. Downtown LA becomes Manhattan, the Hollywood sign instead reads New York, and people look out at the Pacific Ocean to see the Statue of Liberty. This LA/NY connection is completely appropriate, and the tongue-in-cheek way

they approach it in the video is indicative of some of the band’s more playful elements. Hospitality is like a NYC Best Coast, combining some of the laidback elements of Best Coast with some NYC hustle and bustle that comes out in the form of Hospitality’s occasional explosions of drum and guitar punctuating lyrics about New York landmarks and studying in the liberal arts amidst the occasional personal strife and struggle. And finally, production help from Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Vampire Weekend) takes it all to another level. Hospitality is the latest from Merge Records (which releases some really amazing music). Hospitality is playing at the Troubador on February 26th. And, as everyone should know, you don’t piss on hospitality.

Kidz Bop Kidz Bop 21 Honestly, I haven’t listened to anything new as of late. I did however, subject myself to the new Kidz Bop album, the twenty first to be exact. How they were able to get up to 21 is still a mystery to me, and probably most of the population. For those unfamiliar, the Kidz Bop collection take tone deaf children, probably from orphanages, and make them sing/chant/ howl into microphones the sounds of the latest glittery shit of a pop monstrosity. The result, glittery shit pop monstrosities, sung by children from orphanages. In the latest version, the kidz take songs from the likes of LMFAO, Lady Gaga, Nicky Minaj, and David Guetta. GREAT!!! Break out the

smelling salts!!! Seriously, the versions of the songs make the originals sound fantastic. “Party Rock Anthem,” the song they play as you enter hell, is made even worse. They can’t even sing any of the lyrics, as the album is marketed towards youth, so they must resort to repeating the chorus over and over, even replacing “shake that” with “dance that.” Other songs including “We Found Love” by Rihanna, who sounds like a tone deaf orphan already, and “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 and that one chick that had her period at Etta James’ funeral. If you have hallucinogens and time to waste, maybe try out Kidz Bop. If you don’t hate yourself, avoid this all together.

out track from Reign of Terror is the infectiously catchy, poppy, yet somewhat melancholic, “Born to Lose.” Although not straying too far from their music created on their previous album, Reign of Terror serves as a further exploration of Sleigh Bells sound and technique. It’s worth checking out if you need some high energy music to give you that extra boost when your day has just gone to complete shit. Reign of Terror drops Tuesday off of Mom + Pop records.




oug Wright’s Quills depicts the final days of the Marquis de Sade at an insane asylum as his warders implement increasingly brutal and sadistic methods to censor his libidinous writing. If you don’t know much about the Marquis, just know that his name inspired the term “sado-masochism” and you should be ready for a play that faithfully mimics its name-bearer’s proclivities. The play focuses on the issues of censorship, pornography, sex, art, mental illness, and religion, as the Marquis’ prolific stories challenge the sensibilities of a Napoleonic conservative era in France. The production does a wonderful job of making you feel as if you are actually in France with minimal effort. The uncomplicated set pieces and wonderfully crafted costumes make one feel transported



to early 19th century France. However, with that said, Quills is not a typical historical tragicomedy. Instead it begins as a parody of Victorian hysteria as Renée Pélagie, wife of the Marquis, begs the warder to quell her husband’s infamous actions that have stained her own social position. Sarah Underwood Saviano does an excellent job of lampooning the Marquis’ wife with hysterical cries and disturbed sensibilities. Other notable performances are Craig Anton as the bitter and hypocritically conservative Doctor Royer-Collard whose own marital problems affect his decisions over the Marquis. And, most notably, is Jerry Prell as the seemly insidious lecher with a depraved imagination. However, Prell’s performance of the Marquis brings the quality of a man

whose art and imagination is a response to the madness and absurdity he has witnessed during the French Revolution and his many years incarcerated. Towards the end, I felt as if the Marquis was more of a victim than the perverse devil others had so capriciously labeled him. What especially stands out in Prell’s performance is his baritone voice. He combines a resonance that echoes a shadowy pit with a sense of contained rapidity to eloquently express the highly embellished and ornate speech given to his character. In fact, the play is imbued with a large amount of hilarious and oftentimes tragic dialogue that demands close attention. There are so many moments where characters make poignant remarks about the boarder issues of the play that it feels like watching a platonic dialogue about

the utility of art in society while at other times the actors transition back to their immediate personal relations with each other to reveal their complex affections. Quills offers a good balance of social commentary and interpersonal hardship in often lampoon-ish, but poignantly serious ways that makes one consider society’s efforts to constrain expression. Cal Rep performances are in the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. The production runs Wednesday through Saturday, February 17 through March 3 and Tuesday through Saturday, March 6 through March 10 at 8pm. Please note that this production features adult themes and nudity. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students, military, and seniors (55 and older) and can be purchased at the University Theater box office.



I’ll admit I really didn’t care that much for the Napoleon Dynamite movie. But the animated series is freaking sweet. After watching a few episodes since its debut on January 15, I can honestly say I find the cartoon reincarnation of the 2004 MTV surprise hit to be the most entertaining of all the other cartoons on FOX’s Animation Domination lineup on Sunday nights. With its slapstick humor and bizarre (yet extremely interesting) plot lines, it is reminiscent of the old Family Guy before Seth MacFarlane stupidly decided to create two other animated series that no one really cares much about. His debut show has become way too serious and sometimes leaves you upset after watching it, rather than feeling good and light-hearted like back in the old days. After watching the Napoleon Dynamite animated series, you will

discover that feeling once more. The series was created and developed by husband and wife team Jared and Jerusha Hess (who also directed the movie) and Mike Scully, who was a showrunner for The Simpsons in the late ’90s. Everyone from the movie reprises their roles through voice-over work, including Jon Heder (the original Napoleon), who has gone on to star in movies such as Blades of Glory and When in Rome. I always thought that the movie would eventually become an animated TV show, and I believe the whole concept of Napoleon Dynamite makes better sense drawn than in live action. While some scenes in the movie felt weird because they took place in real life, the awkward situations can be appreciated through the medium of animation, because it’s

not meant to be taken seriously. I also feel that the characters are surprisingly a lot more developed in the animated series than in the movie. Sure, in the movie Napoleon has some freaking cool dance moves and is an amazing artist, but he comes across as a bored monotonic teenager, so it was hard for me to feel any sort of enthusiasm for him. In the show, he is much more lively and passionate about the things he really cares about, such as in a recent episode when he is hired to watch over several ligers. If you’ve been disappointed by Family Guy lately, I highly recommend watching Napoleon Dynamite Sunday nights at 8:30pm on FOX. I can pretty much guarantee that at the end of each episode you’re going to feel pretty freaking sweet. UNION WEEKLY

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y life, for what it is worth, has been the construction site of a dam. Since my birth, the job has been underway. Think of it in this way: the initial body of water is my heart (or soul). There are many creeks and rivers flowing to and from this body of water. At some point, the dam halts the flow that leads to my mind. This dam has left my mind a bare desolate place, rigged, unlovable, resembling nothing that it should. Occasionally, water gets through, and the conditions are not so horrid. As I stood outside the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church—a church resting at the foot of the Smokey Appalachian Mountains—I was taking in the surreal moment, coming to terms with what had happened. Inside, the church was filled with people that I’d never met. Some of them had known my mother and brother from the few times they had attended the church since they moved to Tennessee. Since my arrival, the people of this small community had done nothing but open their arms to me. Not only did they arrange this memorial, they had collectively prepared days worth of food upon the news of my mother’s death. Unfortunately, I did not know anyone to invite. The service was more for my brother, so that he could say goodbye to all the people he’d befriended since relocating. Soon we’d return to California. Nonetheless, it was a statement of true kindness on their part. When I entered the church the number of people that had attended was surprising. I fear there would only be a handful had it been I that died. The service was about to begin. I took a seat beside my little brother as the pastor started to recite biblical passages. He proceeded to speak about life and



death, something to the effect of how life is but a blink of an eye compared to eternity. Too bad I do not share the same spiritual sediments as the pastor. His afterlife sounds much more pleasant than what awaits me—dirt. When he neared the end of his speech, he subtly glanced my way. Having only briefly exchanged words with him prior to the service, I was a little uncomfortable. Before I knew it, he was calling me up to “share a few words.â€? I slowly stood up and made my way to the podium. As I walked up the steps, I removed my sweaty hands from my coat pockets, taking a deep breath in through my nose. I had held my breath until I reached the podium. Once in place, I exhaled keeping my eyes and fixated on the light pine podium. A part of me thought that somehow the right words would just spill out of my mouth. This was not the case. Once I knew the dead wood which stood before me had no inspiration to lend, I raised my head, set my vision to an absent gaze, forgetting to breathe. After I had finally taken in the holy air of the church, words made their way off of my tongue. “I would like to thank this church for all it has done. I could have not imagined such a nice gesture. You all have done so much for my brother and me. Thank you.â€? My throat began to tighten and dry as my gaze subsided, giving a glimpse of the audience; soon after, my view would be flooded by tears. “My mother’s life had more downs than ups‌â€? Or, should I say she had more ups considering her romance with methamphetamines. â€œâ€Śbut that made her into the person she was.â€? My vision was slowly returning; I couldn’t say the same for my speech. If these people knew her like I did, would they still be here? On the tail of a crippled exhale I spoke

again: “And who she was made me who I am.â€? Nothing like her. Deep breaths consumed me. An audience of welcoming strangers awaited my next words. As I gathered vowels and consonants, attempting to form words, a man in the third row of the pews spoke: “Amen‌ praise the lord.â€? My mind began to wander to memories of her, or a lack thereof. As

my mind refocused I said, “Without her I am lost.� She was the fuel of my hate, the reason for my insanity—constantly failing to obtain affection time after time. As I stepped down from the stage, placed my hands back into my coat pockets, and looked at the ground through hazy eyes, another day of construction on the dam had been completed.








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“The morning after I lost my virginity, I woke up with a hangover…” That’s right; you’re not the only one. Heather Havrilesky knows how you feel, and in her memoir, Disaster Preparedness, she gives insight into this and many other absurd experiences. Through humor and vulnerability, she creates a series of essays that highlight her chaotic life and her path of self-discovery. Havrilesky visited our campus recently to read from and sign her newest book. When she took the podium, it was clear that she was modest about her accomplishments, but not with her vocabulary. She was a mother that said “fucking” and dared to break the “hot girl’s best friend” mold. In her book, she channels herself as a child planning for disasters, a teen overcoming the loss of friends and stupid boys, and finally, an adult questioning why boys were still stupid and she wasn’t married. At the reading, she read rapidly to emulate a teenage girl’s rushing thoughts and emphasized every curse word as if to stab those who hurt her one more time. She managed to carry herself quite well, but there were still moments when weakness came through; “It’s hard to relive the serious stuff,” she said. The feelings never cease to return when events are relived, and that’s why she writes. Although it’s difficult to go through again and again, we all do it. Misery is universal. The chapter she read at the event was entitled “A Tree Falls in the Forest.” In it, she compares her first sexual encounter to a falling tree. If she had sex and no one knew, it didn’t happen—the tree didn’t not make a sound. If she had sex and she’s told nobody knew, only to learn 11 years later that the whole school knew, then the tree makes a sound—there was somebody there to hear it, even if she wasn’t aware. “If a tree falls in the forest, it makes a thundering boom. And then it’s over, and it’s quiet again, and the whole thing really isn’t as bad as you imagined it would be.” Heather Havrilesky has done a lot before coming to this point of writing about herself. A co-creator of the cartoon Filler on, she also maintains her popular website, rabbit blog, documenting adventures in parenting, relationships, and grammar. She is best-known as’s former TV critic and pop culture enthusiast. And she has really has been writing about herself all along. Havrilesky says she used to begin television critiques on with personal anecdotes. What she learned was that some people loved it and others retorted with something along the lines of “I don’t care about your life, just tell me if Real Housewives was any good this week.” This memoir finally allows her to tackle her own life head on.


Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locust was a critical and commercial failure upon publication in 1939, but was later determined an American classic. In 1998 it was inducted into Modern Library‘s top 100 novels of the 20th century. A comedic satire about 1930s Hollywood and its shoddy underground, West captures low-life characters who are, he says, “sent to Hollywood to die.” The protagonist, Tod Hackett, is fresh out of art school and aspires to become a great artist. He accomplishes little when he immediately falls in love with 17-yearold Faye Greener, an aspiring actress and daughter of a failed vaudeville comedian Harry Greener. Struggling to get extra work as a background actor, she works at a call house as an escort, servicing rich perverted older men for $30 an evening. Another main character, Homer Simpson, is an Iowan hotel bookkeeper who moves to Hollywood to get away from his mundane life. He also falls in love with Faye, and he and Todd struggle to vie for her affection throughout the novel, accompanying her to outings with other low life characters, such as the bankrupt cowboy Earle Shoop, and the good humored Mexican Miguel. Miguel lives in a shack in the Los Angeles hills and survives off of food from his farm animals. Tod and Homer can’t have Faye sexually, and she is worshiped by them as a golden starlet. Faye is the satirical embodiment of the “A-list” Hollywood actress to her close following of men, who she uses and manipulates to her advantage. She is unobtainable to Tod and Homer, and this narrative parallels the theme of the novel: it is impossible for desperate aspirants to achieve their Hollywood dream. Although well-known as a novelist, West was also a screenwriter and depicts the “elite” side of Hollywood. Tod is befriended by successful screenwriter Claude Estee who lives in a Hollywood mansion. There is dialogue about the 1930s politics and the business side of Hollywood that West is believed to have overheard first hand. Although a work of fiction, the portrayal of 1930s Hollywood has been deemed historically accurate by critics today. Only a little over 100 pages, The Day of the Locust is a quick, fun read. The fact that it’s decades old shouldn’t dissuade readers from picking it up. Full of violence and perversion written in West’s unique comedic style, the novel is almost impossible to put down. West’s prose is easily accessible and uniquely his own, one of the sure reasons that the book is considered an American classic today.



Have you ever been struck with the mysterious urge to read a thesaurus? “Well, of course, Mr. Bookworm, hasn’t everyone?” Alright, no need for sarcasm. A simple “no” would suffice. For those of you who answered (truthfully) in the affirmative, I have the perfect book for you. For those of you who are normal, you should also read this book. Don’t let all the big words fool you; Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is a very down-to-earth book. While I did have to keep my trusty ol’ Oxford English Dictionary beside me, I found myself referring to it more out of curiosity than anything else. Jonathan L. Howard does remarkable things with context clues that keep you able to comprehend, though many of the words look like Latin, or possibly Sanskrit. Essentially, Johannes Cabal (at some point in the unspecified past) sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the knowledge and experience required to scientifically reanimate dead tissue. I do not speak of Frankenstein’s experiments, either. Johannes uses compounds easily carried around that he refers to by test batch number and is constantly experimenting. This causes much hilarity in the first part of the book. He does have a problem, however. He has found that his lack of a soul is interfering in his experiments, and he needs it back. So he decides to pop off down to hell (like a BOSS) and ask for it back. Politely. The Devil refuses, but they agree on a wager. If Johannes gains 100 souls in one year’s time, he gets his soul back. Otherwise, eternal damnation right then and there. He is granted the use of an insidious Carnival to aid him. If you are not a fan of dry humor, I would not recommend this book to you. That’s right, just walk on. Totally kidding, but it is seriously drier than a stale bread sandwich. For example, Johannes is mugged towards the beginning of the book. Actually, two men with the collective intelligence of a potted Begonia attempt to mug him. He repeatedly says he has nothing of value, going so far as to open his bag and demonstratively pull everything out and show them. The final item he pulls out is a handgun, at which point he says, “Now this is a Webley .577, the largest pistol one can legally obtain.” The two would-be Highwaymen become rather excited at this point, totally misreading the situation, and he shoots them both and tests one of his compounds on their fresh corpses. Johannes’ story is really quite touching. His wager does what nearly all wagers with Satan do: it corrupts. Where Johannes ends up by the end of the book is something you’ll need to find out for yourself. UNION WEEKLY

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alking into the California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way” exhibit, I found it difficult to conceal my massive boner. As a fan of looking at beautifully crafted things, my theoretical erection (I am a lady, after all) for all things well-made could not contain itself in the presence of the physical artifacts that brought California to the forefront of design during the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. With over 300 items on display, the exhibit is an eclectic mix of furniture, graphic design, jewelry, pottery, fashion and architecture that demonstrate how the prevalence of middle class consumerism fueled important innovations in the design world. One of the most interesting parts of the exhibit was the replica living room of


influential designers Charles and Ray Eames. After Ray passed away in 1988, LACMA packed up everything to be arranged exactly the way it was found in the museum. Some of the other items include a “Boom! Or Age of Wonder” board game that is “endorsed by atomic scientists.” It’s a board game about nuclear warfare, but it’s for children, which is terrifying in a “Mommy, I’m going to live in the basement forever” kind of way. The California Design exhibit invites anyone to get lost in the nostalgia of decades past, but it is also able to steer viewers away from an idealized version of ’50s and ’60s style that one would find in vintage magazines and makes it feel all the more plausible that such objects could be found in your grandmother’s villa in Laguna Beach.

It took me less than five minutes to say this about Ellsworth Kelly’s artistic style: “So, it’s just colorful shapes.” This was immediately followed by the loud scoff of my inner art critic. He went on to say things like, “This kind of art is above you. You just don’t get it. Go back to your shed, you simpleton.” Ellsworth Kelly is famous for his use of color, contrast, and geometric shapes. The exhibit includes 100 plus prints and paintings, the majority of which use vibrant color pairings or shapes found in nature. As I walked through the exhibit, I couldn’t help wondering how I was supposed to get into this stuff though. His pieces lacked an opening for me to easily slip into them. After the 15th print of a brightly


colored blob, I was beginning to dismiss Kelly and his colorful shapes. So you can imagine my shock when I fell in love with one of his prints. It was a bright blue rectangle on top of a burnt orange rectangle aptly titled Burnt Orange/ Blue. It was gorgeous: a piece of pure optical pleasure. But it didn’t mean anything; it just made me happy. I’m used to art making me feel complex emotions where as Kelly’s abstract minimalism was beautiful without the burden of thought. If you are like me and abstract art frustrates you, perhaps you should stay away from Ellsworth Kelly: Paintings and Prints. But if you are also like another part of me that appreciates the aesthetic beauty of vibrant color, maybe you should take a peek.

Work this newly minted phrase into conversation and I’ll pay back that $5 I owe you*


The Improv Space is a great little theatre in West Los Angeles. I got turned onto it by my friend who went there for their reasonably priced improv classes. I went to a couple of her class performances, and I was impressed with the level of education the students got at this tiny, practically hidden spot with the cheapest prices in town. Being the lover of comedy that I am (and being the fool who likes to embarrass herself), I signed up for classes as soon as financial aid hit my account. The classes consist of three levels. Level 1 is a basic introduction to improvisational comedy, level 2 helps students work on their scene work, and level 3 teaches students



20 FEBRUARY 2012

how to sustain long form improv. Each class meets once a week for six weeks, and upon completion of each level there is a show where you can embarrass yourself in front of friends and family (if you want). I am currently in level 1, and I think the class is fantastic. The instructor is positive and friendly and my fellow students are very accepting, fun and hilarious. The 30 minute commute is totally worth it. The Space also has weekly stand-up comedy, improv troupe performances, open mic nights and improv jam sessions. I have seen the stand up and troupe performances… and my enemies are waiting for the day when I attend open mic night and fall flat on my

smug face. The house improv troupes are awesome. They are talented, endearing and funny as hell. The first stand-up show was held February 11 and it rocked. There were some great comics—a dude who writes for Tosh.0 and another dude, Taylor Williamson, who was a finalist on Last Comic Standing (who incidentally will be coming to our campus to perform on March 1). I highly recommend this place for a cheap, good time with friends. If the distance is a bit discouraging for you, think of the money you’re saving by going to a $5 show. That’s less than the movies—and Transformers 7 won’t be nearly as entertaining as a night of comedy at The Improv Space.

“Yes, uhh…”: Based on one of the most basic improv principles (“yes, and…”), the “yes, uhh…” is that moment you realize you’ve got nothing. Example: Horatio Sanz: Hey little boy, get in my basement. Ryan Seacrest: Yes, uhh…derp. Amy Poehler: Oh Ryan, you dumbass. *in hell













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Disclaimer: This page is what Gretta Ratgorbl defines as satire. Who is Gretta Ratgorbl? We are not ASI, nor do we represent the CSULB campus. Seriously, who is Gretta Ratgorbl? Send your answers to the question of the century to

Volume 70 Issue 5

Monday, February 20th, 2012



BY JURB BILL Hamsters the whole world over have taken a stance against dance. Human children, after having fallen in love with the hamsters dancing to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” in a Kia commercial, have spent the past several months since the commercial’s release trying to get their hamsters to dance, picking pet hamsters up from their cages and shaking their little paws to and fro. What was first met by indifference by the hamster community has now sparked a global movement to end forcible hamster dancing. Hamsters are on strike and have begun forming picket lines in front of pet stores and hamsterowning homes in which human hamster dancers live (“human hamster dancers” is the common hamster term for humans that force hamsters to dance). “We couldn’t abide by this treatment any longer,” says Hamtaro, head of the Hamster Coalition Against Dance. “Being used as a pirouetting puppet by children was not only humiliating but physically painful as well.” Reports indicate that as many as 100 hamsters in America have crawled into veterinary hospitals seeking aid for their dance-related injuries in the past month. Countless other hamsters have not been so lucky. It has been difficult to get an approximate on the hamster death toll, as it is assumed that many of their corpses simply get eaten by cats and birds. Further waves were made in this case when Pants, the purple-cap wearing hamster from the Kia commercial, was asked last week to be a contestant on


Dancing With the Stars. In response, he released the following statement: “The constant portrayal of hamsters as dancers is demeaning to our hamster heritage. I regret dancing in that Kia commercial, and I refuse to proliferate the stereotype of dancing hamsters as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Too many of my hamster bretheren have fallen in the name of appeasing the human whim. Besides, if you’ve seen me in the Kia commercial, you’d know that there would be no competition. I could dance a Donny Osmond or a Rob Kardashian into the ground.” Surprisingly, the Kia hamsters were never shunned by the hamster community despite the fact they began this violent trend. Hamsters have proven to be quite compassionate, sticking to a policy of forgiveness. The hamsters’ constant protests have still garnered no results, and hamster dancing has thankfully continued as normal. Pants has since crossed picket lines and signed on for Dancing With the Stars season 14. He will be partnered with human professional dancer Julianne Hough, who is returning to DWTS just to dance with Pants. “He’s so talented!” says Hough. “And fuzzy!” The complete line-up will be announced February 28th, but Pants is already a definite favorite to win.

There has been some nonsensical, superstitious gossip swirling around Nic Cage these days. An antique seller from Seattle found an 1870 picture of a man who looks a lot like Cage. He concluded that the man must be Nicolas Cage and Cage therefore must be a vampire. I want to assure you THIS IS NOT TRUE. Mr. Cage confirmed he is not a vampire on David Letterman last week. Why defend Nicolas Cage, some of you ask. Well I’ll tell you why. We are talking about the virtue of a national treasure. No other man has starred in so many super shitty and surprisingly decent films in the same year and lived to talk about it. Mr. Cage is one hell of a male specimen. His face is pale and gaunt, complete with a stunningly handsome widow’s peak. His beautiful blue eyes often glow red in the evening and when he leaves a party, some say it is with the grace and swiftness of a bat. Mr. Cage is a man who lives a healthy lifestyle. Just look at his trim physique! He drinks this special dark red energy drink, exclusively. I read somewhere that foods with the brightest colors are the most healthy to eat, so he’s definitely taking that to heart. Speaking of heart, have you ever heard his heartbeat? Doctors are baffled. Nic is so healthy you can’t even hear it beat. At first everyone thought he was dead but then Mr. Cage gave a very emotionally charged, highly logical and explanatory speech letting everyone know that he was, indeed, alive. Phew! The man never eats garlic. In fact he prefers to stay miles away from it just so he

can have pleasant, fresh breath. Nicolas Cage is a Buddhist. He’s so enlightened—I love it! He doesn’t fraternize with Christians or enter churches because he is making a statement about the crusades and the violence Christianity has caused or some shit. But it totally makes sense because Nic Cage said it! I mean being a celebrity, his opinions are particularly valid. One more thing; Mr. Nicolas Cage is the greatest gentleman I have ever heard of. He treats his women with the utmost respect. He keeps them out of the spotlight, so much so that most of the women he has dated have never been heard from again. Cage got in a fight with his most recent lady and the police were called. It was all just a misunderstanding. The police report states that Cage was punched in the mouth by the mother of his child after he accidentally fell, teeth-first on her neck. I swear things get so distorted in the media these days. I tell you, don’t buy gossip magazines. Pure bullshit.



NBC, a strong proponent of affirmative action, cancelled the show Whitney in lieu of Whitney Houston’s death to make room for more “ethnic” television. This came as a surprise for the nine in the staff of Whitney watching Whitney, but not to television analysts who are hailing the move as “full of pizzazz” and “slightly dangerous.” NBC, who has not had an “ethnic” program since The Fresh Prince of Bell Air was not available for comment, but we were fortunate to have Chris D’Ella, unemployed, for a comment: “It’s like my man Billy Shakespeare always said, ‘A man loves the meat in his youth,’ or whatever.”

Octogirl: So this page is like memes that people send in? CSULB MEMES: Yes. Octogirl: Oh. CSULB MEMES: But it, like, brings the school together through likes. Octogirl: Oh. CSULB MEMES: They’re funny. People like funny. Octogirl: So, that’s it. People do all the work? CSULB MEMES: Yes. Octogirl: But aren’t people dumb, and don’t they do sexist things that people hate? For instance…[Octogirl puts one erect tentacle through other looped tentacle]





“LOL” Page 69

LARP is a Battlefield  

Revealing the Realm of Live-Action Role-Play

LARP is a Battlefield  

Revealing the Realm of Live-Action Role-Play