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ISSUE 70.09






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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.

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t a few times throughout the year, the staff of the Union Weekly likes to present a feature that builds our scathingly sarcastic asshole street cred. This is not one of those times. Like last year’s ACT program feature on college students with mental disabilities, or our piece on veterans returning to the school system, or “How to Get Laid” (just kidding), this issue of the Union should melt the frozen, decaying cockles of your heart. With all the drama surrounding Invisible Children, Joseph Kony, and the dehydrated shenanigans of Jason Russell, we decided that we should make this week about the less depressing side of nonprofits: all the millions of poor, starving, dying people in the world

that are in serious need of help, and the people that are actually trying to provide that help to them. These people exist everywhere: Africa, Japan, Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, the Philippines, New Orleans, California, even Long Beach. You know, it’s cool though, let’s forget about all that and keep speculating how much cocaine Russell must have done to make him jack off in public. Anyway, because I couldn’t shut up in the feature about the amazing guys who make up We Still Believe, I didn’t have room to discuss all the other Long Beach charities everyone should care about. Our city has a pretty dire economic gap, so nonprofit organizations in Long Beach have to hustle to make even a smidgen of a difference. Luckily, we have


some pretty great ones—not only do they care a lot about the city and its people, but they’re really fun to volunteer with. Below are a few organizations that are worth your while, as well as an event taking place this weekend that will be donating its proceeds to charity. For more chances to get in touch with nonprofits, CSULB will be hosting a Nonprofit Organization Fair on April 23nd, on the southwest terrace of the USU from 11am to 2pm. If you have a charity organization you feel strongly about, feel free to let me know about it—we’d be more than happy to cover an upcoming event or shed some light on your cause. Have a compassionate week everyone, and thanks for reading.




Agnes Stevens founded School on Wheels in 1993 in order to encourage homeless youths to stay in school and participate in school activities. The organization works with children from kindergarten through 12th grade, providing weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions, as well as school supplies and uniforms. In addition to the main benefit of offering education opportunities to children who would normally not have access to them, School on Wheels’ tutors help children feel better about themselves and offer them someone to look up to. School on Wheels offers its services in seven major regions in Southern California.

Halloween Party is an independent rom-com produced by Long Beach locals Linda Palmer, Mark Cardone, and Sandy Robinson. The film will be pre-released across the United States in a philanthropic effort to benefit the National Coalition of the Homeless. The first of these pre-screenings will take place at the Long Beach Art Theatre on 4th Street. The film will be showing this Saturday, March 24th, at 9pm. Tickets are available to the public for a suggested donation of $15. You want to see this movie, not only for the good cause, but to watch my own mother play a Puerto Rican stripper.

If helping out our local four legged friends is of interest to you, why don’t you fulfill your furry fixation with spcaLA? A nonprofit with a branch here in Long Beach, this organization specializes in the prevention of cruelty against animals. Help can be as small as helping out at food and toy drives, or starting fundraisers to raise money to help secure welcoming homes for animals in need. You can even go further and become an spcaLA volunteer! Whatever help or time you can commit will no doubt do wonders for local animals in need of care and attention. UNION WEEKLY

19 MARCH 2012





t the risk of sounding like Rodney Dangerfield, I want to sum up the social etiquette of today’s techinfused society with two words: no respect. It’s nearly impossible to have a face-toface conversation or even a few quaint hours with friends and family without the invasiveness of calls, voicemails, texts, tweets, push notifications, and every other bullshit alert that come with smartphones. Is it old fashioned to wish that people would put down their damn phones, iPods, iPads, whatever overpriced pieces of shit that they worship for the sake of having a real conversation? Aside from that, I would bet that most people who picked up this week’s issue of the Union can’t even make it through the entire issue, nay, this entire article without responding to a text message or some other alert on their phone. I’ll be the first to admit that my iPhone is equivalent to an IV drip, something that



keeps me going and that I can’t imagine doing without after being awed by how it simplifies my increasingly-busy life. Without my daily dose of DrawSomething, I feel like my day isn’t complete. Without my long list of reminders that constantly jog my memory, the effortlessness of iMessage, the Yelp app that tells my foodie friends and I the best new places to dine at, and the ease with which I’m able to flit through my email, I would feel burdened in a way that can only be described in Twitter terms: #firstworldproblems. When something goes wrong and an app freezes or the screen goes blank, something like cold, biting fear grips me as I pray that my smartphone hasn’t breathed its last digital breath. Sadly, modern society has conditioned us to be tech-dependent multitasking lemmings. In other words, we’ve become conformist, self-important cumwads who’ve sold our souls to Apple and other tech companies… but mostly Apple.

I always feel like an asshole if I indulge my technology addiction while I spend time with loved ones. Likewise, I feel offended if I’m invited to go out and others don’t have the willpower to resist taking their next turn on Words With Friends. When did having the high score on a game that will fall out of vogue as quickly as it arrived become more important than building and maintaining relationships? Excuse me for wanting to actually spend some genuine time with people without being plagued by a near-constant stream of texts and tweets. Trust me, the apocalypse won’t come because you went more than a few hours without playing Angry Birds or whatever the latest bullshit is that enraptures the app-savvy these days. For those who feel as I do, thankfully there exists some measure of relief from the aforementioned annoyances. The concept is simple and the title is simpler: Don’t Be a

Dick. Although this game can be played in a variety of social situations, my friends and I recently gave it a try when we went to Second Street for dinner. The original rules state that everyone must put their phone on the table face down (sometimes stacked together in the middle of the table, essentially creating a phone orgy) and no one is allowed to use it during the meal; whoever cracks first has to pay the bill. But since we’re broke college students, the first to lose gets to pay the tip. We’re a bunch of cheap bastards, so even spending an extra three or so dollars is enough keep us from giving into temptation. The moral of the story is as basic as the title of the game: don’t be a dick. Give the social networking a rest for a minute and actually live, won’t you? I promise that life will be more fulfilling if you stop taking as many hits from the technologic crack pipe and enjoy the company that you surround yourself with.



I was debating on whether or not I should write this article. I figured I shouldn’t because I didn’t want to make myself come off as a creep, but I quickly realized it is far too late for that. This is going to sound like a ridiculously stupid statement to make, but I love talking about people. To be more specific, I love talking and hearing about people and what makes them different from others, from their quirks and interests, down to their biggest fears. With that said, I can’t help but notice how terribly uncomfortable people get when it comes to talking about themselves. My question is why? Why must talking about one’s self be such a god-awful task?



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When I ask people to tell me something interesting about themselves, a look of discomfort almost always takes over their faces as they spit out the most generic, boring answers in the book. I always figured they were just that—boring individuals. However, it was only until recently that I finally understood the reason for their lackluster responses. Unfortunately, I’ve come to realize people are hesitant of exposing their “true colors” to others. People are just too nervous and afraid of being considered odd and different. According to society’s standards, we must all carry an interest in the same things, have rational fears, and try our best

to be as “normal” as humanly possible. Personally, I don’t have any qualms about sharing my life story with others. I’ll tell you everything about me, even the stuff you probably don’t want or need to know. I’ll tell you about my fear of dying alone and my infatuation for men that wear nice socks. I’ll tell you about my disgust of certain textures and my deep interest in reading about serial killers and the literary greats of the 1920’s. I was talking to my friend about my completely irrational fear and loathing of buttons, and she asked me if I was ever embarrassed about sharing this with others. My answer was “no.” Honestly, I don’t care if you find my fears or interests odd in the slightest bit, because

that is who I am and I have no reason to be ashamed of that. And really, neither should you. By holding back, you’re doing yourself nothing but a disservice by conforming to bullshit ideals about how and what we should think, act like, etc. I don’t know if any of this made sense whatsoever, but I just want you all to stop worrying so much about your overall awkwardness. Flaunt and embrace it for once. Don’t worry about being normal. It is those who break away from the norm that make a great impact on society and others. Don’t worry about what other’s will think, they’re probably just as weird and fucked up as you are.



Note this piece is not satire, at least not in whole. Despite Mitt Romney’s success in winning several states on Super Tuesday it seems that the Joseph Kony 2012 video by non-profit organization Invisible Children overshadowed political news for the moment. With Kony 2012 slogan papers posted everywhere around campus, I should hope that fellow peers don’t get Kony confused for being an actual Presidential candidate when he’s really the head of Ugandan guerrilla group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). It seems that for the past decade, Invisible Children’s activism has fallen short of producing results but yet all of a sudden they felt that now is the time to act. This white man’s burden is great and all, but time and time again we seem to forget we have problems of our own to solve. I don’t mean to downplay the issues of third world countries, but in all honesty, we need to take care of ourselves before we can go meddling in other countries. As a tuition/fee paying student, it irks me to think about corruption within university administration. And alas, the headline appeared to me this past week when (now former) UC Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Diane Leite was only demoted in rank and pay despite giving several undeserved raises to purchasing manager Jonathan Caniezo, whom she was having undisclosed sexual relations with. Between 2007 and 2010, Caniezo saw his annual salary increase from $70,000 to $110,000. Vice Chancellor for



Research, Graham Fleming was the one who notified Leite of her demotion and pay dock in a letter written on February 17th of last month. Despite being stripped of her title, Leite still receives $175,000 salary compared to the $188,531 prior to the discovery of the affair. Shouldn’t she be fired? I think so. It doesn’t matter what college or university you go to, this is absolutely intolerable under any circumstances. This slap on the wrist is a disgrace not only to the UC system but to hard working students all across California. How can our culture value education in a society in which those in control are irresponsible and not doing their job properly? Since hearing of the issue from my hometown newspaper the Santa Cruz Sentinel, I’ve started a petition via Change. org, posted links online wherever relevant, created a Facebook event, sent letters to newspapers and even sent a comment to the office of California Attorney State General Kamal D. Harris. To all of my Facebook friends, I apologize for the petition spam, but I don’t apologize for my activism. With ASI Government elections, GOP primaries/caucuses looming to and fro, I never thought I’d get caught up in so much politics this year. If you learn anything from this, I leave you with this quote from the Greek general, Pericles: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” [Editor’s note: To sign the petition, visit http://chn.ge/AlxpIf]


First off, I in no way claimed that ASI was responsible for tuition hikes and administrators salaries. That is absurd. The factors that lie behind these two issues are so complex that I could not fit them into one article. My past article’s objective was to inform people of just some of the corruption in our University system. To accuse me of saying that ASI (for not speaking up) is the problem is a total distortion of my words. When I said that ASI government has been mute on these two matters, tuition hikes and administrator raises, I did not mean ASI government as a whole. I do apologize for not being clear. What I meant was that top ASI officials have been mute on

the matter. This claim is based on two ASI insiders who wish to remain anonymous, for now. One of them told me that at the Board of Trustees meeting in July, not one top official ASI member said anything to the Board. The other ASI insider said that when he asked our President why she did not say anything, she said “Because if I did that I would get in trouble.” Put yourself in my shoes. What other conclusion would you come to? Again, I did not mean ASI government as a whole; rather, only a few individuals. I know that ASI as a whole is doing everything they can to stand up for the students. So when I hear about certain individuals not speaking up at a BOT

meeting that makes me really mad. Again, I know that ASI does good work. But the complaints that I have mentioned come from ASI members and not me. I am only reporting their discontent because they wish to remain anonymous. There is a BOT meeting this Tuesday, March 20, and I hope to see members of our student government there ready to speak out against the BOT. I understand that ASI has limited power and even if our President was to say something it might not change things. That does not matter. ASI top officials are in a better position to influence the BOT. Is asking them to speak out at the BOT meetings such a bad thing? If they have since the July meeting, good; if they

have not, that’s bad. Only time will tell what is to happen on Tuesday. Nevertheless, I am writing this followup piece so as not to marginalize the ASI Senate. I hope that the ASI Senate can pass a resolution promoting and endorsing the May 1st general strike. It is time to get serious about budget cuts. We cannot afford to play nice anymore. Radical, peaceful, political dissidence is now required if we are going to do something about these budget cuts. And nothing says more than a full shut down of our school in the form of a general strike. [Editor’s note: For last week’s article, check out page four of Issue 8, Volume 70] UNION WEEKLY

19 MARCH 2012






ometimes we get too caught up in the mundane day-to-day activities of life and forget about the people that don’t have it as easy as we do. People need to realize that there are others out there that could really use our help. If you’re interested in getting involved in the local community, a fundraiser called “Kindness” is being held on March 31st to help BKindLB. The newlyformed organization GROW will be hosting this event to “pool creative resources of the city to help the needs of the city one need at a time,” according to Caitlin Cutt, one of the event organizers. BKindLB is a project of Leadership Long Beach (LLB), which is a not-forprofit organization that serves to help people develop their skills as leaders and inspire them to give back to their local Long Beach community. LLB brings people together from different parts of the community with leadership potential and a dedication to Long Beach to help foster a stronger community. The purpose of BKindLB is to promote new ways that LB residents can give back



to their community. BKindLB encourages people to share their random acts of kindness, whether it be something as simple as recycling or even paying for a stranger’s bus fare. BKindLB wants people to share their experiences in helping others, having others help them, and people even helping themselves. You can find more information online about BKindLB on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BKindLB. Several other organizations will be present, including Visiting Angels, Autism in Long Beach, and the Long Beach Cinematheque! Performers. Peace Builders will even be premiering a music video they produced. This family event will have three bands performing, so you can bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to relax and enjoy the music. “Kindness” will take place on March 31 from 5pm to 9pm at Millworks in Long Beach, at 604 Pine Avenue. Tickets will be sold at the door and only cost $5. If you donate $10 or more, you will receive a BKindLB t-shirt. All proceeds from this event will go to BKindLB.

More information about GROW (the event’s host) can be found online at www. growlb.com or on their Facebook page. It’s important for people to give back to their community. “Kindness” is an easy way to give something back to Long Beach and to find out more about other opportunities to help your fellow man.








CSULB movie buffs should be stoked by the fact that Academy-Award winning director Steven Spielberg is an alumnus of our campus, having earned his B.A. in Film and Electronic Arts 10 years ago this May. If you dream of becoming the next Spielberg, you should definitely check out College Beat, which holds their meetings every Thursday at 6pm. Founded back in 1999 and located in a tiny room on the ground floor of the Student Union, College Beat produces several weekly shows for students as well as helps aspiring filmmakers gain experience in video production. Some of the shows they produce include The Wire, which is filmed every Friday and informs students about national and international news events; Long Beach Tonight, another news show centered on entertainment; and Beach Week, which brings students information on-campus events that are happening that week. Students are also free to propose their own segment ideas at the meetings. If several other students like a particular idea, then the executive producers (the students in charge of College Beat), will help that segment become a reality by making sure the crew has the necessary equipment, guiding the editor through the editing process, and overall helping the student filmmakers make the best video they can. Sometimes clips of segments are shown at the College

Beat meetings, so not only can students interested in filmmaking gain experience in the filmmaking process, but they can also get feedback from other aspiring filmmakers of what works and what doesn’t. It’s like a little mini-film school, except everything is run by student filmmakers and you don’t have to worry about being accepted to this school’s very impacted film program. Being a huge movie buff and aspiring filmmaker myself, I joined College Beat back in September when I first transferred over here from Long Beach City College. During the first few weeks of school, College Beat holds a “boot camp” one Saturday where they train students in the moviemaking process. For my first boot camp experience I was director of photography of this short video called Mr. Puppy, about a student who is interviewed by this stuffed dog. Even though I haven’t finished editing it yet, I’m so thankful for the experience College Beat has given me. In addition I have also gained experience doing sound and the teleprompter for The Wire. From Steven Spielberg to Steve Martin to Beauty and the Beast screenwriter Linda Woolverton, this campus is full of alumni who have made it to Hollywood. If you have a burning desire to make it in Hollywood, College Beat could definitely be your ticket to making your cinema dreams come true. UNION WEEKLY

19 MARCH 2012






his album feels like the one popfolk virtuoso and whistling extraordinaire Andrew Bird’s been waiting to make for the last 15 years. It’s a delicate but complex amalgamation of everything he’s ever been good at, everything that’s ever made Bird a seminal artifact of the last decade’s indie arena. Where the caveat lies is in that Break It Yourself is not a masterpiece, nor a magnum opus. It’s more like a melodic climax in his career, harvesting all of his resources and drawing on the scents of inspiration that emerged from past albums. He didn’t announce this as his last album or anything like that, but it does feel very much like something he’d give us announcing how he’s all grown up and mature now. Another odd contradiction within the album is the lyrical nature. Most of the driving melodies are clasped so well with Bird’s rhymes that the parallels are addicting and continually sweeping, but this has to be one of his weakest lyrically. The words seem stooped in practicality instead of dreamy poetics like past albums, such as The Mysterious Production of Eggs. This is best seen in “Eyeoneye,” which was released as a single shortly before the album was. Most of the song’s lyrics are repetitive, boring, and don’t really give you

anything worth holding on to: “Go ahead and congratulate yourself/give yourself a hand/the hand is yours/and the eye that eyes itself is your eye.” It sounds worse with Andrew Bird sounding out of breath and annoyed with them. The strength of the album is surely in its rich soundscape. Break It Yourself does keep in the tradition of Bird’s catalogue being sweater music. Tonally it’s about as warm as the fleece blanket your girlfriend made you for Christmas, and some songs will make you want to get up and do a slow trot with her, as in “Near Death Experience Experience”: “and we’ll dance like cancer survivors/like the prognosis is that you should’ve died.” A more-than-pleasant surprise is the female vocalist break in “Lusitania.” Historically, Bird has had plenty of songs underscored with a lady vocalist echoing his words, but never given space for full-on verses. Again, most of the album is bits and pieces of classic Bird wrapped up in a nice cornucopia. The plucky violins punctuated with fragments of single string screams over organic chunky drum beats and clapclaps, all making room for low-fizzing electric guitar links from time to time. It’s a great album, one that feels like Bird’s been sculpting his craft for all along, but

what’s great about his other albums are the sharp contrasts in signature feel and development between them. This is the reason why Andrew Bird has been talked about since his Bowl of Fire days and will always be talked about.


Last November, Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix’s Point Never came out with Replica, a carefully curated ambient, drone-y album procured from television advertisement compilations. Replica was widely-discussed in the blogosphere, but an album I couldn’t get. Replica sounded foreign to me, and I was unable to put my finger on how I felt about it, but I kept returning to it because I felt compelled to explore it a bit more. I learned a lot from Replica. I learned a lot about how I felt when I listened to it. I wasn’t just listening to it, but thinking about how we listen to music and how we react to it. Whether it’s listening to pop music or ambient music, music is intended to make you feel a particular emotion. An



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artist’s true purpose isn’t suppose to make music to play in front of thousands, but to give you a fist-full of emotion. Soundtrack music is accompanied with images to convey particular emotions. The soundtrack itself doesn’t make an image itself anymore emotional, but it helps people identify with the image in a superficial way. Without seeing an image while listening to soundtrack music, it can be difficult to feel any sort of emotion. I compare Oneohtrix Point Never’s album, Replica, with soundtrack music because Lopatin’s goal is to lend you the soundtrack, without the image. Without putting the image and music side by side, it’s difficult to really feel any sort of emotion from Lopatin’s music. Another album that comes to mind

is Bon Iver’s excellent self-titled album. Although I can’t make out a single word Justin Vernon sings in “Hinnom, TX”, his voice lures listeners to feel the ache and sadness of his baritone voice. Without even knowing what he’s singing in Bon Iver, it’s easy to get behind the voice of Justin Vernon and feel emotionally wrecked from it. These are the types of albums you can lean on. The type of albums you can learn from. You start from putting them on for fun, but you end up putting them on to soundtrack your life. And before you know it, you want every friend of yours to listen to it because you want them to understand something about yourself that you yourself might not be quite clear on.










cannot overstress the importance of documentaries as a catalyst for learning. Sure, an education from the University of Anywhere will inform and enlighten you, but a good documentary will shed light on things that impact your world and pull at the strings of your heart like a kite-flyer fighting the winds of ignorance. Case in point: Inside Job. This Academy Award-winning documentary blows the lid off one of the biggest financial conspiracies of our time. You might recall the financial crisis of 2008, in which several financial institutions collapsed leading to the first round of bailouts. But what really happened? Director Charles Ferguson illuminates this tremendous debacle in four parts: how we got here, the crisis, accountability, and where we are now. Enter Sam Coleman, PhD. This blessed, blessed man has made it his personal responsibility to showcase this momentous story on campus in a series of screenings taking place every Thursday for the next nine weeks in LA-3 Room 110. He originally planned on screening the documentary on January 26 until he was informed he needed a Public Performance License to proceed. “I negotiated with Sony Pictures Classics with the help of the California Faculty Association,” Coleman said, “and a number of faculty ponied-up what they


wanted. The sales rep at Sony originally said $500 for nine performances, but when I told him that I had the money and that it was for the campus community, he brought it down to $350.” The film, which is narrated by Matt Damon, reveals a monumental Ponzi scheme orchestrated from the top down. So many people are at fault here that it’s difficult to place blame, though it’s certain that a few groups of people created the perfect storm of events that allowed them to get rich at the price of the global economy. Make no mistake, this was a calculated assault on our economy that was planned in advance by one-percenter thugs. Empathetic rants aside, what transpired after the showing that I attended last Thursday was awe-inspiring. I stayed after and had a 30-minute conversation with Dr. Coleman about everything from how much precious metal one should have in their portfolio to 9/11 to the US’s possession of the world’s reserve currency. An exhilarating conversation I recommend to everyone. Seriously, Dr. Coleman is as pleasant a human being as they come. When asked for a closing comment, he didn’t skip a beat: “If you want to know who’s screwing you and your loved ones out of their future—or if you have a crush on Matt Damon (the narrator)—this one’s for you.”

Free Inside Job Screenings Every Thursday @ 7pm, LA-3 110 Last Screening-April 26

While several banks in America continue to fail and are condemned for corruption, a banking system across the world is successfully addressing issues of poverty, education, and healthcare. Bonsai People: The Vision of Muhammad Yunus, a documentary directed and produced by Holly Mosher, casts a spotlight on Grameen Bank and its various strategies in helping rural communities in Bangladesh. Founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank works by lending small loans to struggling poor families. Mosher’s film focuses on a particular branch and follows the lives of numerous members that have had their lives changed in some way by Yunus’ banking institution. Initially, Grameen’s success rate of lending money to the poor seems impossible. However, Yunus explains the mechanics of his banking system throughout the film, which makes the concept of Grameen simple to understand. Yunus flips the typical characteristics of a bank upside down, as the bank is not owned by a few wealthy men, but by the entire village. He also lends mostly to women instead of men, and teaches them how to invest their money and start their own business. Mosher highlights different Grameen Bank members in this documentary, from the manager of the branch, to small and large families, to women that were beggars earlier in their lives. This makes for a well-rounded

view of Grameen’s many facets. Some families easily found success through Grameen, while others encountered inevitable setbacks. And while some wisely invested their money, there were still families that needed guidance in their decisions. Regardless, Grameen Bank always seems to be one step ahead. Yunus created several side-programs that ensures members of Grameen stay educated and healthy, which he sees as mandatory for success. Solidarity among its members is also key, so it’s important that Grameen members keep in contact with one another and help each other if one person is unable to pay back their loan in time. This added pressure is another factor in Grameen’s high success rate, which is roughly 97 percent. Yunus refers to all his work as social business. In other words, the aim for his bank is not to make the biggest financial profit he can, but to see prosperity among the small communities that he is helping. Mosher’s film is spectacular in emphasizing this and provides several perspectives on Yunus’ highly innovative banking system. Bonsai People is an incredibly informative documentary that’s easy to follow and contains genuinely interesting subject matter. It’s also very compelling and inspiring, forcing you to really look at our own growing economical problems. Yunus’ beneficial programs are reassuring and leave you to think that there’s hope yet.

Check out Bonsaimovie.com for more info or to purchase the DVD. UNION WEEKLY

19 MARCH 2012





ou gotta give yourself a break from the shackles of your syllabus from time to time. You just gotta! And horror connoisseur Joe Hill is just the guy to set you free. Born and raised in Maine, Hill has had quite the literary career in a short time since his first book was published in 2006. Hill has been the recipient of many renowned literary awards including the Bram Stoker award for best fiction collection and best first novel (for 20th Century Ghost and Heart-Shaped Box, respectively). In 2008, Hill launched his comic book series Locke & Key. Currently, Hill is working on his next novel, set to be a reboot of the vampire mythos; but don’t worry, he’ll definitely leave out the recent trend where they sparkle in the sunlight.


Imagine sitting in an old rundown theatre, enjoying a film, and stuffing your face with popcorn, when a young, sad, pale girl asks to discuss the film your watching… Would you oblige her? Joe Hill offers a tale of true emotional depth, “20th Century Ghost,” one short story in a collection bearing the same (but pluralized) name. The tale is short and sweet. The reader follows the relationships between a young, lost boy, Alec Sheldon, and the lonesome teen ghost Imogene Gilchrist. The story chronicles Alec’s first encounter with Imogene up through to his days as the owner of the very theatre that Imogene resides in, after her untimely death during a showing of The Wizard of Oz. As the tale unfolds we find that Imogene is not a shy ghost. She frequently shows her self to movie patrons to discuss various films: such as, The Birds, American Graffiti, and Reservoir Dogs. Yet, these encounters may not all be due to mere happenstance.

Alec finds himself in tremendous debt, struggling to hold on to the theatre he once adored, and feared, as a young boy. Hill demonstrates the horror genre as a means to express love, heartache, and sorrow (the kind that is not perpetuated by an axe or chainsaw). With every turn of the page, the reader is drawn deeper into the story, sharing all of the emotional twists and turns with Alec. The best part is that this story is just one of many in the collection 20th Century Ghosts. The story is not one to suck you in with tension and suspense, but gently holds your hand as it walks you through it, all the while increasingly tightening its grip, leading you into cold dark rooms yet to be ventured. As one who is not easily spooked, I found it odd that after reading the tale I experienced an unsettling feeling in my gut. I was set to see a movie the night I read that story. Luckily, neither of the seats beside me were unoccupied.


Joe Hill’s debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box, puts the pedal to the metal right from the start and doesn’t let up. Judas Coyne (a retired goth-metal rocker in the mold of guys like Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie) and his kiss-ass assistant buy a ghost from the internet in the first chapter. In the second, UPS delivers the ghost to Judas’ doorstep. The ghost comes with the dead man’s suit that’s stuffed within a heart-shaped box. Judas quickly discovers that this internet-bought ghost isn’t like the past macabre memorabilia he’s purchased (i.e. John Wayne Gacy sketches of the Seven Dwarfs, and the signed confession of a burned witch). This ghost is the real deal: an old man with dark scribbles where his eyes should be who seems to have no good will toward the living. Judas and his girlfriend Georgia abandon their home and set out on a road trip to find a way

to put an end to this haunt. Sure, I have to admit that the initial premise of the has-been goth-metal rocker buying a ghost from the internet is totally silly, but I have to believe that Hill’s sense of humor had to have taken that little nugget of an idea and tounge-in-cheekingly turned it into an entire novel. It’s kind of like cotton candy: delicious and sticky. When I got The Heart-Shaped Box, it may as well have been glued to my hands, it was so hard to put down. One night, because of this goddamn book, eating and sleeping immediately went out the window. I couldn’t stop myself from staying up reading until 4am. On a school night, no less! Hill has put together a dark ghost story with a couple of fun characters in the middle of it. Hill’s spectacular debut is a memorable one; it will stay with you like the story’s ghost.





19 MARCH 2012


In a world full of spandex and superpowers, it seems like times are few and far between when a comic book can offer a compelling storyline that has the reader begging for more. Hill has done just this with his spellbinding tale in the graphic novel Locke & Key. The first arc of the story, Welcome to Lovecraft, introduces the reader to the Locke family. Just as the reader gets to know them, Rendell Locke, the father of the family, is gunned downed by a psychopathic former student of his. Nina Locke and her three children (Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode) have taken refuge with Rendell’s brother, Duncan, in their childhood home in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, known as Keyhouse. Once inside, it is not long before the young adventurous Bode finds a mysterious key that enables him to unlock the eerie black door. When Bode passes through the door he finds himself wandering about in an incorporeal form, as his body lays limp on the floor. From this point on, the story takes the reader

through a tale of incredible horror and fantasy. Hill has really set a bar for contemporary comic books. His work is both original and riveting. In addition to the Welcome to Lovecraft story arc there are four other installments to the Locke & Key storyline: Head Games, Crown of Shadows, Keys to the Kingdom, and the currently running plot Clockworks. If you are into comic books, or horror/ fantasy fiction, Locke & Key will most definitely be worth your time. Hill’s style is raw and remorseless, yet he does not just invest all of his stock in the shock-and-awe factor of the horror genre. Hill blends the horrifying situations with the more emotional character development side of storytelling with slick ease. This writing style causes ravenous reading and wanting more after each page, making the wait between issues unbearable. Hill has made his stamp on the comic book world. I am looking forward to his future projects.




Jonathan Franzen’s 2001 sprawling family drama tells the story of the hopelessly flawed Lambert family merely existing in contemporary America. The book was immediately heralded upon publication, winning a slew of awards including the National Book Award. Written in seven sections, the first section tells the story of Alfred and Edith, living out the rest of their old age relatively estranged from their three grown children: Chip, Gary, and Denise. While Alfred’s Parkinson’s disease worsens, Edith fears the coming Christmas will be one of their last, and she sets out to bring the family back to St. Jude for one last Christmas. Each individual section focuses on one family member, their problems, and most importantly, how a technologically changing, consumer hungry society depreciates human value. Chip, a college professor, has an affair with his student, gets caught and is fired. Jobless, he aims to write a screenplay that will bring him fame and fortune. Unfortunately, his story is too wrapped up in his affair (an entire page describes her breasts) and needs many corrections. Gary, a successful bank manager and family man, denies his own depression, assuages with alcohol, and obsesses over having to take care of his parents fearing they will soon become too incompetent to do it themselves. He alienates his wife (who can’t stand Edith), and forcefully tries to obtain proper reimbursement for Alfred’s new ground-breaking invention, who insists a small sum of money is enough, and that further investigation is “not open for discussion.” Denise, a successful chef and restaurant owner, has by far the worst personal problems. Incredibly driven, but inwardly lost, she embarks on affairs with married men (starting at eighteen with a much older man) and even a married woman. In one hilarious sequence, she secretly has an affair with both the husband and the wife. The discovery leads to disastrous consequences. The story, told in many flashbacks, follows a young Lambert family when the adults were children, takes you on a cruise ship, drops you in war torn Lithuania, and never ceases to entertain. Franzen is hilarious, yet heartwarming. There’s plenty of sex, a riveting suspense sequence at the end, and intelligence on every page. We are never sure the family will get that last Christmas together. The 565 page novel might require some patience, but it’s definitely worth your time.


In 2002, Berkeley graduate Daniel Hernandez graduated from Berkeley and spent the following summer getting in touch with his roots. Down and Delirious in Mexico City is a written collection of Hernandez’s travels within Mexico City where he spent two years getting in touch with the inner youth subcultures of Mexico City. Mexico City is a dangerous city. Mexico City is a heavily populated city. However, Mexico City is also a young city. Hernandez spends a majority of his time in Mexico located in the Federal District (also known as D.F.) within Mexico City, where one in three residents is between the ages of fifteen and twenty-nine. The average overall age is 27. Hernandez retells his stories from the D.F. from parties, rallies, marches, meetings, sporting events, and spiritual rites. He visits slums populated by punks and emos and experiences life along-side Mexico’s youth and drug-fueled parties. Several years pass between his travels to and from Mexico City. After spending just 10 weeks in Mexico City during the summer of 2002, the experience recalibrates his life. In 2007, after quitting a job in Los Angeles, he moved back to Mexico City, continuing his journey to discover the bowels of the city. The novel begins with Hernandez’s trek to La Villa, the equivalent to the journey to Mecca in the Western Hemisphere. The trek is just one example of a situation where Hernandez finds himself in one of his various journeys to continue his personal desire to become a true “Mexican.” The novel serves as a honest guide to a MexicanAmerican’s portrayal of himself: “I had always been under the impression that the world perceived me as Mexican, like it or not. I felt Mexican—stuck between a dominant American culture that shunned the ‘Mexican’ within its society, and contemporary Mexicans back in Mexico who found it so easy to dismiss out mixed heritage as somehow unrelated to theirs. Would we forever be banished to a state of ambivalence, or could we be two things at once? To answer this question, I knew I had to go to Mexico and find out for myself. One summer there, I thought naively, is all I need.” Down and Delirious in Mexico City is written as Hernandez lived it, and it serves as a 21st century urban survival guide. It is for anyone young, young-minded, or curious about Mexico.


What you should know about the Arthurian Legend is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of adaptations and versions. It seems that everyone has their own way of telling how King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table quested across Albion, setting the example of Chivalry and Strength. Obviously, I am not going to attempt to review all of these, or even more than one. That would be silly. The version I shall be remarking upon is the Puffin Classics version, written by Roger Lancelyn Green. It is most likely available anywhere they sell Puffin Books, i.e. anywhere they sell books. Anyway, on to bigger, better things, by which I mean me forcibly giving my opinions as a literature connoisseur. King Arthur is great. I mean it is fan-freakin-tastic. It’s chock-full of fighting and questing and all sorts of Medieval shit. The story begins by describing the birth of Arthur. He was smuggled out of his father’s castle by the wizard Merlin. Merlin then took a sword and shoved it down into an anvil and decreed, “Whosoever shalt pulleth out this sword shalt be Crowneth King of Albion, amigos,” which is really amazing when you think about it because Spanish hadn’t been invented yet. Little Arthur then goes about his business being a baby and stuff. But one day, when he was about seven, he grew a full beard and pulled the sword out of the Anvil! And all the Amigos (for that is how one refers to the citizens of the town of Amig) cheered and shouted “ARTHUR KING!” a whole hell of a lot. And then he rode around Albion (if you haven’t caught on yet, Albion is the old English name for England) looking for Knights to join him in his court at Camelot. One thing that did always irritate me about King Arthur is how flat most of the characters are. Don’t get me wrong, I love the stories and what not and they can really force you to ride your imagination as far as it will go, but I do NOT read it for the character development. If you are ever looking for a book that will take your mind off of things for a while, this is absolutely the book for you. I will often read a story or two just to get so far out of my normal life that it’s almost like taking a nap. The tales of Chivalry and Knightly Honor will really let you get immersed in the World of Arthur. And if you start reading it in a Monty Python-esque accent, who can blame you? UNION WEEKLY

19 MARCH 2012







pring is in the air my fashion-forward friends, which means it’s time for new beginnings and entirely new wardrobes. And when I say “new” in fashion terminology, I actually mean old—but in a good way. Fashion is all about revamping the classics to fit our current needs, and what we currently need is a fucking break from school. That’s why this month we had the ultimate anti-school movies in mind for our editorial inspiration: The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Spring is a chance to step out of the mundane and reinvent yourself, so put down the books and pick up your credit card. We call this month’s look “Springtime Rebel.” After all, who said you had to wait until Spring Break to skip class? FASHION 1. Blazers: It doesn’t get more classic than this. Switch up the leather jacket with a blazer next time you go out. You’ll still look just as fab at the bars, but you’ll stay cool when your favorite dance song comes on.

The Original “Springtime Rebel”



19 MARCH 2012

2. Denim: Go beyond jeans. Denim shirts and colorful denim shorts are spring must-haves. They can pretty much go with anything, except more denim. I know it’s kind of confusing, but remember we’re not actually trying to look like we starred in an ’80s rom-com. Use your denim sparingly. 3. Color: Yeah, I said it, color is a trend. Don’t get me wrong, 90% of my closet consists of black clothes, but the other 10% is brighter and bolder than a bag of Skittles. Sheer color-block blouses, pastel jeans, and neon dresses are a few of my spring favorites. 4. Floral print: Okay, so I have to admit that I do wear floral print all year-round, but if you’re like most people who think it’s strange to rock a rose-adorned crop top in 60 degree weather, your time is coming! Flowers just have a way of making everything prettier— cardigans, shirts, blazers, dresses and even shorts. It is usually a bold print on its own, so try to keep the rest of your outfit on the solid side. GUYS’ FASHION First thing’s first: roll your pants up, just a little. I know it’s an odd request for some of you, but there’s something about bare ankles that drives girls mad. You can (and should) do this with fitted denim, corduroy and even khaki pants if you’re going for a preppy look. Make sure your socks aren’t visible and throw on some classic kicks to match. Vans, Converse, Sperry’s, Keds, or anything similar to these brands will work best. Classic denim shirts and jackets are also key pieces for you this season, boys, so if you’re wearing blue denim up top, wear some black jeans and brown cords for contrast.

BEAUTY BY CICI This month, the hair and makeup look is all about fun in the sun. From sun-kissed lips to beachy blonde tresses, Spring Break is a reminder that summer is right around the corner. MAKEUP: 1. I used Urban Decay Eye Potion in Sin to prep & prime the eyes and MAC’s Scene and Carbon shadows to create that blacked-out eye shadow look. 2. To get a nice winged lash line, try MAC’s liquid eyeliner in Bootblack, and paint your lashes with Maybelline Falsies Flared mascara in Very Black. If you want to be extra dramatic, top your lashes with the infamous Red Cherry false lashes in #47. 3. Fill and shape your eye brows with a brow pencil and try using an appropriatelycolored eye shadow to blend and shade them in. Brows seem minor, but they should never be overlooked. 4. Once your eyes are glam as hell, it’s time to prep and prime your face. It’s best to apply your face primer and foundation after heavy eye makeup, just in case specks of your blackest black eye shadow fall. We used Laura Mercier face primer, MAC Studio Fix and Laura Mercier’s translucent powder to top it off. 5. Blush-wise, try mixing it up, literally. For this look, I mixed pink and orange Coastal Scents’ blushes together. 6. Lastly, for those stunning summer lips, line and paint your lips with your brightest red or pink lipstick, and then add some glitter. Gold shimmery eye shadow seems to work the best for this, just in the center of your lips, not all over. I used MAC’s Ruby Woo and Lickable lipsticks on this stunningass face this month.

HAIR I can’t take credit for the hair this month. Erica dip-dyed her own hair with bleach at home. She’s lucky that she’s cute and pulled it off. Style-wise, it’s basically loose curls, girls. Leaving the ends straight will add some edge, so your curls don’t look too perfect. You know we’re all about being a beautiful mess here at SS&EN. (To see the hair, makeup, and fashion in color, go to trenddiary.tumblr.com.) Love & Chanel, Ema Fashion Stylist/Model: Erica Abito Hair & Makeup Artist/Creative Director: Chantrelle “Cici” Canas Photographer: Cherish Rualo

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Disclaimer: This page is sadtire because we just saw the trailer for Dark Sided People. Johnny Depp plays Hilter’s Ghost in this delightful rom-com involving all kinds of kooky adventures with all kinds of paranormal people… Thank Burton we are not ASI, nor represent the CSULB campus. If anything, we’re just a bunch of slykix and gorgyles, or just some skanky-ass flappers. Email me at octogirl.grun@gmail.com and I will show you that you did come to my mind.



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BY KWANZAA QUENCES Pronounced legally dead, the vagina of Emily Mankin was euthanized earlier today. The genitally deceased was found in her dorm room scrolling through celebrity photos on Tumblr, the popular picture sharing/ stealing site by her dorm mate, Ashley. “We were looking at sexy pics of Fassy [Michael Fassbender] and JGL [Joseph Gordon-Levitt], having a great time. I mean our pussies were totally popping. But when we got to a picture of Ryan Gosling, she mumbled something like ‘I just don’t see what all the fuss is about. Seriously, he is so bleh.’ After showing Mankin several pictures of Ryan Gosling shirtless, holding a ukulele in one arm, and canoodling with a baby penguin in the other, Ashley became concerned by Emily’s indifference, and proceeded to dial 9-1-1. “I mean, her vagina was obviously malfunctioning; Ryan Gosling is soo fooooiiine,” Ashley said. The paramedics, upon arriving at the scene, immediately checked Mankin’s pussy pulse, which drew fatal levels of clitricity. Frantic, the team administered an emergency adrenaline shot to the nonresponsive area. She was then rushed to St. John’s hospital, where she underwent several tests to determine if her vagina would survive the night. After countless hours of oral to vaginal resuscitation, Mankin showed some signs of improvement. Her mother even heard her say, “Yeah, I guess objectively he [Gosling]


is not that gross looking.” Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst when she later commented, “But his face is too long. I mean, it’s so weird.” After four weeks of being in a vagetative state, her parents were forced to pull the plug. Karen’s condition is the first documented case of vaginal vegetation and is still baffling the medical community. We asked renowned neuroscientist and OB/Gyn Karl Lundberg what could have possibly caused this syndrome, and he had this to say: “I honestly do not understand how she could not find Ryan Gosling attractive. His elegant nose, the mischievous smirk, those baby blues. And that body, my god. The man is an absolute stud. Did I mention he’s in a band and knows magic? Magic, for Christ’s sake. If this Mankin girl wasn’t already vagina-dead, then she was brain dead along time ago.”

As a journalist of the highest caliber and what not—no. As a human being reporting from somewhere on spaceship earth… that’s not it either. As a composite human being made up of an octopus and a human girl (with the normal number of working, female human vaginas, if anyone out there in Singlesville is interested) it is my duty to report on specific tragedies that happen across the globe and/or have occurred throughout the course of history. It’s my job to be biased on my responses while giving the proper opportunity to both sides of a story so as to create a funnel or nipple-like system for my readers to suckle on bits of information I present and create an informed, yet well-researched opinion on any subject I wish to showcase on this page, but I honestly do not understand what helped create a Duchess of Spain, as well as why she chose to synthetically create and be satisfied with a face that closely resembles that of Cro-Magnon actor, Ron Perlman. Am I alone in this way of thinking? To question the existence of something that I really hope is human and not part of the mobile undead come back from the grave to feast on the organs of the living in order to sustain a body that will decay regardless of how much the subject feasts on? I have gathered a series of facts based on the thousands of photos I’ve seen during my countless Google searches, which I will now share with my readership:






The Duchess of Spain, known to her friends as Doña María del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes, was created by fusing a pillow sack full of mashed potatoes and the pokemon Jynx, the result of which resembles Ron Perlman in Who (of Ron Howard’s The Grinch) makeup. Because the Duchess of Spain’s eighth and current husband is so repulsed by the thought of having to insert his old, flaccid penis into a pair of well worn mud flaps (the Duchess’ vagina), the couple consummated their relationship by throwing up on each other’s genitalia. Due to years of royal inbreeding, iIguess, or a brief boxing career, the Duchess is unable to talk. In order to help her communicate, Spanish doctors implanted a dying dog in her throat. The reason for this is yet unknown. The Duchess no longer has blood in her body, but instead maintains her form by injecting several liters of a clear substance that kind of resembles that stuff the toy Stretch Armstrong was filled with. Because she gave up her fortune when she married her new husband, the Duchess makes her living as a car tarp.

Hope you enjoyed my celebrity spotlight. Send in you suggestions for who I should research next to octogirl.grun@ gmail.com. OXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOOXOXOX


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