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I know what a glory hole is!

Issue 73.03

Papa Squatch Union Staffer

Scatman Cruthers, Editor-in-Chief editorinchief@lbunion.com Dichael Wood, Managing Editor marco.union@gmail.com Wuce Billus, Managing Editor connor.union@gmail.com

Evey Fawkes, Opinions Editor opinions@lbunion.com Lainey Fallon, Campus Editor campus@lbunion.com Adolfo Madera, Music Editor music@lbunion.com Benny Profane, Entertainment Editor entertainment@lbunion.com Nova Moriarty, Literature Editor literature@lbunion.com Lux Lisbon, Culture Editor culture@lbunion.com Squidward Tortellini, Food Editor food@lbunion.com God Warrior, Grunion Editor grunion@lbunion.com Gallileo Galilei, Art Director gabe.union@lbunion.com Tor Hovind, Art Director brian.union@lbunion.com Truc Nguyen, Web Manager web@lbunion.com Eddie Vedder Allen Poe, Design Guy info@lbunion.com

Assitant Editors: Jack Harrer, Charlotte Butterbean Contributors: Joseph Phillips, Jon Bolin, Amy Patton, Lily Gossage, Colin Sayer, Wes Verner, Joseph Estrada, Allie Kaylor, Joseph Philips, Emily Wang, Chrissy Bastian, Allan Tolkoff, Brian Cacha, Lou Skant, Janelle Sarti, Cassandra Gearhart, David Hayter, Papa Squatch, Joshua Chan 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 Union weekly, not ASI or 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. Please include name and major for all submissions. They are subject toediting 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 illustration, 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 Questions? Comments? Kookaburras? Beach, CA 90815. E-mail: info@lbunion.com

LBUnion.com

Scatman and the Black Poodle Parade Scatman Cruthers Editor-in-Chief This past week was way hot. Hotter than sin, as someone’s Southern grandmother might say. I kind of wrote myself into a corner there. Heat’ll do that to a person. We survived two grueling days of Week of Welcome under an unforgiving summer sun. From 10am to 1:50pm, we stood informing students new and old about the benefits of contributing to the fine pages of the Union Weekly. There were many casualties, among them two of our editors who required tons of lotions to soothe their wicked sunburns from our sweat-fest of a booth. But it was definitely worth it. RIP buddies. But all was not lost! We collected a list of semilegible email addresses from people who want to get involved with us. If you signed up with us at Week of Welcome you should have already received an email inviting you to join our weekly meetings, Tuesdays at 5:30pm in our office on the bottom/first floor of the USU. So if you were sad that you didn’t hear from us in time to submit something for this week, SHUT UP and check your email. Crafting the perfect email to a hundred strangers takes time.

Aside from that it’s been a pretty laidback week. I lost my wallet for a few days and found it under a pile sweat-covered cardigans. I hiccupped at the same time as my dog. Went to Smorgasport. OH, I did get an awesome Swedish spicy sausage at the Orange International Street Fair. So if you take anything from this week’s intro to the issue, it’s that. In Scatman’s Animal Crossing news: I’m running out of things to do. It might be a telling of how much time I spent dedicated to the game during summer, but I caught all the bugs and all I have left is to pay off loans. Maybe I’m getting bored of it because it’s starting to feel too much like real life. It’s got me thinking a lot about where I see myself as an older adult, like post grad/late thirties. I like dogs so the next logical step to in life would be to become a dog person. Five dogs, six dogs, or seven dogs all named Waffle. What got me thinking about this being a possible life was this documentary I saw on Netflix about celebrities and their dogs called My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story. It’s a simple premise. Celebs talking about their dogs. I drearily sat

through Richard Gere talking about how his dog changed his life, ugh. Buy a personality, Richard! The documentary really picked up when I heard Glenn Close’s bright voice and saw the camera cut to a shot of her wearing a flowy blouse and teaching two very smart, very tiny poodles to jump over a broomstick. As I watched her gleefully clap as the poodles danced and twirled, I was amazed, not just that no one had made a 101 Dalmations joke, but that I had just seen a vision of what I wanted to be. Scatman Cruthers, Dog lady. This week’s feature focuses on our visit to the Church of Scientology in Hollywood. The whole thing started off as a “that place exists and was a popular thing, let’s visit it” feature, but it turned into a bit of a weird experience for all of us. One of our editors noticed that the staff there took a photo of us all while we were watching a video, so now we’re all a bit afraid for our lives. We decided to change our names this week. And maybe it’s for the best, since I always thought of myself as more of a “Scatman” anyway.


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OPINIONS

Union Weekly—9 September 2013

Guns, Spies, and Social Media The growing lists of things wrong with Russia Evey Fawkes Opinions Editor Cal State Long Beach rings in a new semester with Week of Welcome; Russia gets a little more theatrical. A school in Moscow was greeted by soldiers wielding AK-47s and jumping through firey hoops while death metal blasted. They followed up by performing scripted karate moves and shuffling around like middle school boys at their first dance. Not only was it terrifying, it was not executed very well. Unfortunately, this completely bewildering performance is the mildest in a series of stupid, questionable decisions made my Russia recently. Two members of Pussy Riot, a female punk band known for an anti-authoritarian stance, who were sentenced to two years in prison after they were found guilty of hooliganism for performing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin in a church, are now asking to serve community service for the remainder of their sentence. Both have had requests for bail denied in recent months. Russia is also where Edward Snowden has been hanging out since he ran away

from America after leaking classified details about mass surveillance programs. Although Putin has stated that Snowden’s presence was “like an unwanted Christmas present,” he has granted the ex-NSA employee temporary asylum. While America practically begged Russia to give him back, Putin was given the spotlight to insult the American secret service, saying they could have been more professional and this could haven been avoided if they had signed an extradition treaty and hadn’t canceled Snowden’s passport. He also made sure to say that Snowden is a strange guy. Because the situation between Russia and America isn’t tense enough, Syria is also a point of disagreement. While President Barack Obama is pushing for military intervention after Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical agents against opposition activists, Putin says Russia has been and will continue to supply Syria with arms. The two met privately and although Obama called it a “candid and constructive conversation,” I’m still hoping for a catfight. We can’t talk about Russia without

addressing LGBT activism. Putin signed into law a bill banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” Although the law was unanimously passed, there is a lot of opposition in Russia and all over the world. While the law itself is controversial, it’s the violent attacks on gay and suspected gay people acting as the motivation for these global protests of solidarity. Of course, the law doesn’t really specify what “propaganda” or “nontraditional sexual relations” refer to, so many people have been charged, but not many have been convicted. The police are picking protestors off the streets, beating them, and making homophobic jokes, but that’s it. The true effort to enforce the new law is coming from fathers who were left by their lesbian wives and who coerce their sons to complain. Even though the regime is terrible and most of the world sympathizes with peaceful protests and heartfelt messages, some forms of protest are admittedly ridiculous. For example, Dan Savage’s attempt to spearhead a boycott of Russian

vodka showcased the need for Americans to butt in to the affairs of other countries. Since when was not drinking ever a good idea? And besides that, alcohol doesn’t even play a major role in the stimulation of Russia’s economy. Most of it isn’t even from Russia! A little fun fact about Russians is that they are really stupid when it comes to social media. By no means is this on par with the aforementioned serious topics, but it is still strange and, therefore, going in this article. After he was caught speeding 150mph, Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov made an Instagram video of himself riding horseback. He then denied that he was speeding and looked to Instagram to ease his image again by posting a picture of kittens. With economic stagnation and war on the horizon here at home, it’s nice to know that the other side of the world is just as messed up as we are, if not more so.

Fostering Talent The education system needs to be taught a lesson Adolfo Madera Music Editor

University education in this country is in a sorry state. No, this isn’t another polemic about the lack of money for bloated administrator salaries and improvements that no students asked for while they waited in line for classes that they cannot get. What I’m getting at, is that on a structural and institutional basis, our concept of education is completely flawed. It must be reshaped with more reasonable expectations of students and faculty, as well as a focus on producing more than competent workers, but competent humans, people able to engage their community, culture, and themselves in critical ways. The university system of today is built upon an idea rooted in the industrial revolution; the goal of creating more competent white collar workers who will be able to live an organized, tidy and productive life that makes plenty of money for each of their future bosses.

This is hardly education in the sense that we aspire to; this is training and only by chance do training and education overlap to create the kind of people that society needs. Society needs thoughtful, intelligent, and cultured people, and for the first time in history, we are a society of such immense wealth and knowledge that it is feasible for everyone from the unemployed, to your mechanic to your boss to be just as cultured and worldly as the most educated in our society. However, this sort of society would require changing school as we know it. When professors insist upon teaching business-friendly skills, adherence to deadlines, and memorization above actual knowledge or capability, we cannot progress as a nation. We have to start respecting knowledge more than obedience; we have to recognize brilliance as a more desirable ideal than wealth. And to do that, we have to allow

students to direct their own studies more, not by letting them choose their classes, but by letting them choose which path they will take in their classes. If you have ever taken English 100, you know there are a million different ways to learn how to write academically. You can write about your own interests in that particular format, or, if that isn’t your style, you can simply respond to a basic prompt. Or of course, you can always read a passage and respond to it if the more traditional method of English education appeals to you. All of these are totally valid ways to teach people; however, not all of them are optimum to all people. That’s where we run into a problem in this example. How do we design a course to appeal to all people while teaching the same thing? It has baffled professors and teachers with limited resources at every turn, but the real answer isn’t to make them choose

from these limited options with sparse resources. You have to give them the resources to allow students to learn in the way most conducive to themselves. When that becomes a reality, students will flourish. Students do not need standardized curriculums; they need an education that inspires them to be the best that they can be. They need an education that is tailored to their needs, dreams, and abilities, so that they can do what they do best and enhance what they’re best at. That is the only way that we can form a society of cultured and intelligent folks. When we allow our students to become the best and brightest in their chosen fields in the way that they choose, when we give them the autonomy to choose their own fate, we can finally achieve the dream of a truly intelligent society.


Union Weekly—9 September 2013

Parking Wars Being a creeper and almost getting killed Jack Harrer Assistant Editor

Pop Culture Is Making History Why September 17th will be the most important day of our generation Benny Profane Entertainment Editor

After three years and a semester of my stay on this campus, one thing I have learned to come to terms with is the fact that looking for parking will never get any easier. It seems that I spend more time looking for parking than I actually spend awake in most of my classes. It’s the price we have to pay for living in LA County. We spend a good amount of our day driving almost aimlessly, trying to find the holy empty space to squeeze our car into. It is basically a game of musical chairs except, in this case, there is no music or an actual winner (except the gas stations). I used to carpool with a friend during my freshman year and would come to school early in the morning, so the search was not as awful. My second year, however, I drove on my own and had classes later in the day. Commuter students pretty much declared war on my car and me. When the parking lot isn’t completely

gridlocked, the sheer desperation of people trying to get a spot makes them reckless. The stop and yield signs are essentially invisible at this point. The fact that you shouldn’t be going more than 10mph in the parking lot doesn’t really mean much for some either. Once, a girl nearly rear-ended me in her rush to get a spot. Thank god she didn’t leave a mark on my car or she would have had to endure my wrath! She did, however, hear my horn loud and clear. This fierce competition that happens almost every day doesn’t really stop ’til the third week of the semester, when students finally realize coming to school is just not for them. I have learned that it is a jungle out there, and I need to toughen up if I want to make it. Over time, I have learned that staying near the stairs and asking people if they are leaving is the best way to secure parking. I have even gone as

Next week will mark the day that defines who we are as a generation. You may consider this statement to be hyperbolic, but please allow me to make my point. First of all, legendary and reclusive author Thomas Pynchon will release another book. Pynchon’s works (V, The Crying of Lot 49, and Gravity’s Rainbow) have directly or indirectly influenced the generation of authors after him. Bleeding Edge will continue to leave its indelible mark on the children of Pynchon. The Pynchonion style of postmodernism has set the template for many of the movies and TV shows we enjoy today. Pop artists who have been influenced by Pynchon include: Alan Moore (author of V For Vendetta and Watchmen) and Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons and Futurama). To say that Pynchon isn’t the grandfather of our epoch would be an unforgivable transgression—especially if we are talking about our online counterculture. 4Chan would probably not have come into existence, and hacktivist collective Anonymous would be faceless. Secondly, Grand Theft Auto V will hit stores on the 17th. The series that revolutionized free-room gaming will release its highly anticipated sequel. Not only is this game known for its amazing gaming dynamics, it is also one of a few games that has been recognized by the intelligentsia as social critique and commentary. When not stirring up controversy, Grand Theft Auto V provides a scathing analysis of capitalism, consumerism, and authority through the gangster genre lens. Don’t believe that

a game could have a huge impact on a generation? Just check out their sales. ’Nuff said. Another important event will be the release of MGMT’s third studio album. MGMT has decided to self-title their latest album. Like Talking Heads before them, MGMT combined myriad musical styles to give us some weird art pop concoction. MGMT may also be responsible for restoring the image of liberal art musicians. Everyone remembers the fall of 2007 when Oracular Spectacular consumed us and polluted our iPods. Anyone who didn’t like “Kids” or “Electric Feel” was an asshole; nobody liked him or her. At least, that’s how I remember it. Last but not least is the Blu-ray release of Slacker by Richard Linklater. It is true that this film was released in 1992; however, this film has become the manifesto of the Millennials. I can count the number of times I have talked about this film to hipsters, weirdos and any person in my age group. What describes our generation better than laziness, pseudo-intellectualism, and directionlessness? I rest my case. In conclusion, if you haven’t marked your calendar, do it now. What are you waiting for? I don’t want to have to take a Hegelian approach, but I truly believe that history has been leading up to September 17th. Imagine all the institutions, nations and cultures that have perished and crumbled in order for us to bask in the glory of September 17th. Not understanding the importance of this date will be the biggest folly of your life.

OPINIONS

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far as exchanging phone numbers with a stranger, since he would leave campus when I would arrive so he could tell me exactly where he parked. When desperation hits, I start offering to drive people to their car to make sure I will get their space. This technique works pretty well. However, every now and then I get people (mostly girls) who are creeped out by this and glance at me strangely. The parking lot is the last place I would go to pick up someone (pun intended). My point is, be cool and respect that people have classes to attend and, chances are, they are running late. Be courteous and offer your parking spot because you will someday have a hard time finding parking and you will end up yelling at Taylor Swift on the radio because you have to pee and are stuck in that lot. We all hate looking for parking, so make it easy for others, will ya?


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CAMPUS

Union Weekly—9 September 2013

(Un)Welcome? The best and worst of Week of Welcome Lux Lisbon Culture Editor If you talk to any college student, most of them will advise you that getting involved is the best way to make the most of your college experience. Week of Welcome is the gateway to the countless things you can get involved in on this campus, whether your interests are juggling, spitting out poetry, having bi-weekly bible study or going Greek. Being a senior here at CSULB, I’ve pretty much established my niche, but this year, I decided to go out of my comfort zone a bit and approach orgs at Week of Welcome that I could never actually see myself in.

That being said, I aimed for two places: CSULB Cheer and Greek Row. First and foremost, may I just say that never in my life would I see myself as a cheerleader or a hyper quirky sorority girl with perfectly curled hair. I just wanted to see if I would raise a few eyebrows by approaching these tables or if they would welcome me with open arms and an invitation to their exclusive sisterhoods. So yes, first stop: CSULB Cheer. Their table was pretty bare bones. Just a couple of girls sitting with their black and gold pompoms on the table and a sign up sheet. I told them that I was interested and that I’ve never actually cheered before. The girl talking to me seemed to not mind at all. She actually seemed genuinely interested in my wanting to check out the club, and apparently it didn’t matter that I didn’t have experience. I guess this surprised me because I still have the image of the stuckup, annoying high school cheerleaders in my head.

Second stop: Greek Row. I remember walking through Greek Row my first semester here and feeling judged from head to toe. Well, some things don’t change I guess, because I felt exactly the same way. There’s this aura that Greek Row gives off that makes you feel the need to impress. Despite the sweltering heat, I made my way through. Some sororities were definitely friendlier than others. My best experience was my talk with a girl from Sigma Kappa (whose booth was an explosion of pink and glitter). She was very sweet and helpful, and she took the time to explain the entire process of rushing for the Panhellenic sororities (which apparently is a very intense process). Other tables kind of stood there even if I did look interested, just because it didn’t seem as if I’d fit in to their sorority. So that’s my experience with Week of Welcome. Hopefully, you guys were also able to find something that you might want to be a part of...even if it is Beach Cats.

Truly Special Effects Gabe Bartalos’ Abhorrence and Obsession Evey Fawkes Opinions Editor

Upon entering the University Art Museum, the first piece you’ll notice from special effects artist Gabe Bartalos’ Abhorrence and Obsession exhibition is a well-dressed, red haired, goat man… covered in Vaseline. This character is featured in The Cremaster Cycle, a series of five performance art films by Matthew Barney addressing societal subtexts

Shotokan Karate Club David Hayter Contributor

through the body and fluids. Bartalos and Barney have been collaborating for 16 years. Bartalos made his mark with large-scale pieces for Barney’s films; Barney returned the favor by allowing Bartalos to replicate his penis and his partner Björk’s vagina. In the main room of the museum, aside from those famous genitalia, are pieces from Bartalos’ soon-to-be-released film vignette, Saint Bernard. He essentially took the film and recreated still scenes of a composer spiraling into madness and transforming into a musical monster. The set around it is made almost entirely of wood, with excessive amounts of trophies and outdated electronics. The room to the left of that is devoted entirely to one piece: “Zombie Horse,” which was made for Cremaster 3. Bartalos made a life-size horse using

fiberglass, horsehair, urethane for the bones, latex and silicone for the muscles, and silicone foam for the skin and hair, transforming the ingredients into decaying, rotting carcasses. Bartalos doesn’t just want to present completed works in the exhibit; he wants his audience to understand how they come together. “Mechanical Baby” is an interactive piece made of aluminum, fiberglass, and titanium. In its current state, the baby is mainly metal, with only a few fiberglass elements, including the jaw and eyeballs. It looks terrifying, but it is an educational installation. The museumgoers are able to control the hands to better understand what goes on under the skin. While Bartalos’ specialty is explicit gore, his talent for humor also draws people in.

To paraphrase the Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. This week, CSULB students will embark on a journey to test their mental and physical strength through practicing martial arts, as they have done continuously since the 1960s. The CSULB Shotokan Karate Club is the second oldest club on campus. The club will hold its orientation meeting at 12pm on Monday, September 9th and its first practice at 12pm on Wednesday, September 11th in KIN-60A (right across from the Horn Center). Come and be a part of the action! They specialize in teaching the basics of karate to new students regardless of age, body type, martial arts experience, or level of fitness.

All that’s required is a positive attitude and a strong spirit—and some clothes you won’t mind sweating in! This is a rare opportunity to learn traditional karate from highly experienced instructors. Their philosophical approach to training aims to strengthen the body as well as the mind and spirit. So what are you waiting for? You’re already on campus anyway, you might as well do something awesome this week! Come by and take the first step!

Shootin’ the Shit with the Execs

Joseph Phillips ASI Chief of Staff Hey, Long Beach! It is time again for the Associated Students, Inc. Bi-Weekly Update! I am sure that all of you are super stoked and eager to read all about the awesome stuff our team has done since school began. Besides traffic and dodging people walking on the wrong side of the path near the bookstore being personal hells for most of us, there have been a ton of positive things happening on campus that benefit students. Let’s get started on what ASI has been working on for you… We have reached well over 300 new sign-ups for our ASI Beach Team, which is our means of connecting interested students with awesome volunteer positions. Volunteers can help out with events, get connected with the ASI media, or even help to lobby in Sacramento. Our first meetings are this Monday at 11am and Tuesday at 2pm. Show up if you want to get involved in the best thing to come to this campus since cold beer. We put on our most successful Week of Welcome ever! This year we had more clubs and organizations than ever before. To follow up Week of Welcome, we had Smorgasport, one of the largest and most well-attended events in the year. We have begun a new radio campaign in conjunction with Disabled Student Services, “Eyes Open,” which will debut Tuesday on KBeach radio. We have continued lobbying and calling California’s politicians in favor of AB10, which would increase the minimum wage over the next few years. We are continuing our “Goodies for Kiddies” supply drive for the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center. Boxes will be located throughout the campus, so please donate Kleenex, crayons, or whatever you have. We have made LGBTIQ Safe Zone training a priority for leaders in ASI. We have begun organizing the annual safety scan of the university, “Nightwalk,” which will take place on September 17th. ASI has a lot on its plate for the Fall Semester, and there are many other things to mention, but I will save them for next time. I hope you all have a wonderful week. GO BEACH!


Union Weekly—9 September 2013

FEATURE

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PROFITING ON PERSONALITY:

The Sales Pitch of Scientology

There are many things that have been said about the Church of Scientology. The average person most likely has some inkling that it’s this cultish organization headed by a crazed Tom Cruise who jumps from couch to couch scamming innocent people out of their money. And some people attribute their knowledge to that one South Park episode. Of course, when things get filtered through the media, there are bound to be things that are blown out of proportion. At the end of the day, Scientology is somewhat of a religion, and considering this, we thought that maybe we should hear what Scientology is straight from the mouths of its believers, rather than from a Wikipedia article. Is there sincerity in their quest to attract new Scientologists, or is it all a big scam? — We’re afraid of what we don’t know, and the perceived mysteriousness of the organization made us unsure of what we were going to encounter. Were we going to be strapped to chairs and forced to watch propaganda films against our wills? Would men in cloaks whisper verses from L. Ron Hubbard’s biography into our ears as we frantically looked for an exit? As it turns out, the Scientology center was not a dark cave lit with candles and filled with rat bones. It was clean, presentable, and managed by attractive employees in crisp uniforms. If you weren’t suspecting it, you would never catch the hint of subtle crazy in the well-produced videos and the enthusiasm of the staff. — Our unease was mostly fueled by our decision to call in ahead of time and explain that we’re

from a campus newspaper that was hoping to get an interview with someone on staff. They refused, but encouraged us to come anyway. Once we arrived we felt watched, slowly noticing all the cameras and nervously trying to deflect the main receptionist’s inquiries about our association with a school newspaper. Maybe it was pure paranoia, but when they took a picture of us while we were viewing one of the videos on a showcase, it got to our heads. We noticed that they left us to ourselves, as another family was given a full tour and the full attention of the employees. Maybe they knew not to waste their time on a group of young adults who were probably less likely to be converted to Scientology than the Pope himself. — Even now we’re unsure what we were trying to gain out of our experience. For the most part, it was fueled by sheer curiosity. In an attempt to find a bunch of lunatics wearing foil hats, we just found a bunch of people who sincerely believed what they preached. Granted, there are large parts of Scientology that we don’t agree with, but the same goes for other religions and belief systems that we don’t align ourselves with. Some of us left the center laughing, some left it with indifference and some left feeling pretty weirded out. As we were leaving, we noticed a man who had come into the center completely at his wit’s end. He was an alcoholic, felt alone, and needed help. If the purpose of religion is to help others in their time of need, then who’s to say that believing in Scientology is any crazier than any other religion?


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FEATURE

Union Weekly—9 September 2013

Atmosphere (by Adolpho Madera) The entire atmosphere of the Scientology information center reeked of crass commercialism and televangelism. The building, ornate and almost futuristic on the outside was more like a Barnes and Noble on the inside. The most prominent features of the building were stacks of overpriced books on all subjects, mostly by L. Ron Hubbard, behind every corner, in every nook and cranny of the place. The books ranged from the scientologist’s defining piece “Dianetics” to ridiculous propaganda on the par with the anti-vax movement, books claiming that psychiatric medication kills children. The staff was largely unfriendly and even prohibited pictures from being taken inside a public information center, which set off several mental alarms at once for me. I’ve never known a place that attempts to be inviting to the public but prohibits a grainy cell phone picture of the books they have on display. Overall, I couldn’t help but get a bad vibe from the place. The attendants with obviously fake grins, the open endorsement of the cult of personality surrounding L. Ron Hubbard and the feeling that you’re talking to a salesman rather than a clergyman when you’re greeted at the door was entirely offputting and strange to me.

The Introductory Videos (by Lainey Fallon) The first video tasked with converting the staff of the Union Weekly was focused on the life and exploits of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the religion. Hubbard was apparently something of a child prodigy, as he was riding horses at three years old, and by the time he was thirteen, he had already become the youngest Eagle Scout in history. He went on to travel the globe searching for the common denominator of mankind, eventually identifying it as “survival.” The creation of Scientology as a religion began when Hubbard was helping patients at a war hospital during WWII. By this point, the movie was triumphant, with clips of Scientology spreading across the globe and becoming, and I quote, “the only great religion of the twentieth century.” After the introduction to the man behind the machine, we turned to an introduction of the religion itself. Unfortunately, this was where the movies moved away from specifically recounting Hubbard’s travels and awards and turned in to sweeping statements and generalities. Twenty different people recounted how their lives had been changed by Dianetics—the self-evaluation and -healing process proposed by Scientology— but while all of them spoke of how quick and effective the process was, none of them said what it was. And then the video told us to sign up for a session (paid, of course) if we were interested in learning how Dianetics could help us. In terms of a practical description, Wikipedia offers a better summary. The next video, which focused on the tenets of Scientology’s school of belief, was thankfully more detailed. I especially enjoyed the eight dynamics of life as proposed by Scientology, which stated that one can seek to “survive”—which seemed to be a subset of “thrive”—on any of eight levels, all of which can be arranged as concentric circles beginning with you. First, you have to satisfy your survival on the level of “self ”; then you can move on to “creativity,” “group survival,” “species,” and so forth until you achieve “infinity.” This corresponded beautifully with my own belief in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which I quite enjoyed. The only quibble I had with these videos, which constituted a broad (if superficial) introduction to the religion and its tenets, was that they are all available online. What is the point of going to an information center to see the same information that’s available at Scientology.Org?

“Hubbard was apparently something of a child prodigy, as he was riding horses at three years old, and by the time he was thirteen.”


Union Weekly—9 September 2013

Interview (by Lux Lisbon) Aside from all the introductory videos that pretty much seemed like cheesy infomercials showcasing how much our lives will improve with Scientology, the attendant also informed us of a 50 minute film that we could watch of what was apparently the only filmed interview with its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. This interview was filmed back in 1966 when he was still the Executive Director of the Church of Scientology. It began with Hubbard explaining how his teachings came about throughout his experiences all over the world, including the witnessing of the degradation of humanity and the extent of human suffering. According to him, man is inherently good, and he is put here on Earth to work out his own salvation. Throughout this interview, two points stood out to me: one is that Hubbard completely invalidates psychology and psychiatry as legitimate courses of study, and two, that there is no place in Scientology for the mentally ill. Hubbard didn’t want Scientology associated with these two fields at all. Not only did he laugh at the mention of psychoanalysis, but he also seemed to cringe at the mention of Freud’s name. According to him, psychology treats man like an animal, while Scientology realizes the true essence of people, which is their spiritual being. In terms of mental health, Hubbard expressed that “insane people are insane, and we cannot help them.” Apparently there is no hope for these people since they have already failed in life. Scientology is only for the able-bodied, those that can work, function and contribute to society. Helping the already defeated just seems like a hopeless cause. As I conducted more research, I also found out that Scientology is vehemently against the use of psychiatric drugs and regards this entire field as a conspiracy. Before watching this film, I was actually thinking of giving this religion a chance. Sure, this whole thing seems like a glorified version of self-help, but maybe this modern day religion isn’t as absurd as the media makes it to be. But after watching this interview, I realized that Scientology is selective of the people it wants to help. It completely marginalizes the mental health population. As someone who is an ardent advocate for mental health, and who has seen firsthand the benefits of therapy and medication and how that can completely turn around someone’s life, a religion that invalidates all of this just doesn’t seem sound. Our advancements in neuroscience and mental health are just undeniable.

FEATURE

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“Some people have to believe in some sort of higher power, but why can’t we start believing in other people?” The OCA Test (by Benny Profane) I always thought I was neurotic, but now I have proof. The Church of Scientology gave me their Oxford (not associated in any way with the prestigious university) Capacity Analysis. The OCA is a 200-question personality test (not endorsed by any major psychological association) that determines what type of person you are. During my recent visit, I rolled into a room by the front lobby to take the OCA and was greeted by a receptionist. The receptionist was one of the loveliest ladies I have ever seen: golden brown skin, deep blue eyes, and softly brushed, midnight black hair. I tried unsuccessfully to make small talk until the official officials arrived. They did eventually and they gave me a white booklet and an eraserless pencil. Despite the series of ambiguous and syntactically awkward questions, I bubbled in the 3-answer-perquestion (literally, “+, M and -”) scantron in about 20 minutes. I told a tie-wearing dude I was done and he took my test and told me to wait. After 5 minutes of inquiring to the testing room receptionist about Dianetics, the front lobby receptionist appeared to read me my results. The lobby receptionist was a beautiful blonde with a no-nonsense attitude. She placed my results on a nearby table and had a look of concern on her pleasing symmetrical face. She explained to me that I was “unorganized, unpredictable, irresponsible, nervous, critical, indifferent, and pessimistic.” I also suffered from “antisocial behavior, lack of empathy for others, and a disregard for authority.” Basically, the main symptoms of psychopathy, according to many psychopathy experts. Honestly, I wasn’t too shocked by the results. I’ve always known that I’m a selfactualized übermensch, but now it has been pseudoscientifically proven. I think the worst part of all of this was that after the receptionist pointed out all my flaws, she gave me the same two automatic responses: “How do you feel about that?” and “We can help you fix that.” Being the indifferent bastard that I am, I just shrugged my shoulders to her first response. However, for her second statement, being the critical bastard that I am, I told her that I didn’t feel there was any need to fix my behavior. She looked at me quizzically with her hypnotic pale blue eyes and asked me, “Do you think this is a good personality to have?” Something about the tone of her voice irritated me. I was taken aback. So, being the unpredictable bastard that I am, I looked at her and replied, “I think that it’s a good personality for [a philosopher].” She didn’t say anything after that. That made me happy. Psychopaths like getting the last word in.

The OCA Test (by Scatman Cruthers) After I had completed my 200-question OCA Personality Test, I was nervous. To my dismay, the man from the front desk (who was already very suspicious of my staff and myself) confidently stretched out a hand. He offered me coffee, sat down close to me, and after I answered that, no, my parents are not divorced, he leaned forward and asked, “Tell me what you know about Scientology. I know you’ve heard a lot of things about it.” So I explained that from what I’ve heard, people say it’s a money-hungry cult. He gave me a shit-eating grin and gave a lengthy explanation as to why that was absurd, decorating it with a bunch of sarcastic points like, “A year of classes is only $700. That’s SO much,” as if I really did have $700 to throw away on nonsense. I decided to be completely in agreement. Why not just let him try and sell it? “That makes sense,” I would say to every point he brought up. He brought forward my results: a printed graph with several sharp points downward. He described that the graph indicated that I suffered from anxiety, felt I had no grasp over my environment, was depressed, and that I basically had a negative perception of myself, all the while reassuring me that these are things I think about myself. But funnily enough, I really did agree with most of the assessment. He brought it home with the question, “What if I took you, as anxious and unconfident as you are, and made you the most composed, put-together person you can imagine?” Very sincerely, I answered that I’d like that a lot. “We can help you become that.” After that he said nothing and left me to stare at the graph in silence. After filling out a prescription-like form with a recommendation for a $70 class called “Personal Efficiency,” he left me feeling perturbed that someone so intent on gaining my acceptance would leave me feeling so unsure of myself.

Conclusions We discovered that Scientology is no more wackier than the other religious institutions out there. In fact, there are many parallels between Scientology and every other religion on the planet. Every belief system tells you that you are broken, imperfect, or there’s something wrong about you. However, the same dogma tells you that they have the solution your shortcomings. How convenient. I honestly believe that the members of the Church of Scientology mean well, but, just like with every other religion, it’s a leap of faith. If Scientology works for you, go for it. But I would suggest that you first seek professional help before you put your life in the hands of people who have no background in medicine. I understand that there are spiritual needs that modern medicine cannot fulfill. Having said that, faith is no substitute for well-being. Some people have to believe in some sort of higher power, but why can’t we start believing in other people? We’re all part of this collective condition and sometimes overwhelming experience. We need to work together in order to reduce the level of chaos and create an acceptable state of human harmony. And that, my friends, is free. It doesn’t require a valid credit card.


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LITERATURE

Union Weekly—9 September 2013

Batman Meets Superman And the movie isn’t even out yet! Benny Profane Entertainment Editor

The Wicked West When the yellow brick road is stolen, her way? Lainey Fallon Campus Editor

As many of you heard over the summer, Warner Bros. announced that they are releasing a Batman and Superman movie in the summer of 2015. If you’re like me, when you heard the news the inner child in you was ejaculating fountains of happiness. But recently, some casting announcements have been made which have shattered my expectations semi-entirely. The movie will probably suck, but I’m here to tell you that there is a great alternative. During its Comic Con announcement, one of the quotes narrated over the trailer was one from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Frank Miller is a badass motherfucker. Along with this work, he has written and drawn some of the best Batman storylines ever. If it were not for him and Alan Moore, comic books would not be held in the same view and esteem as they are now. Anyway, I’ll stop kissing Frank Miller’s ass and give you the juicy plot points. A couple of years after Batman’s forced retirement, crime in Gotham has reached record highs. Feeling disgusted with the conditions, Bruce Wayne decides to don his Batman suit once more. However, he has aged and is no longer at his physical peak. He slowly retrains himself in order to combat the mutant gang that is plaguing Gotham. Meanwhile, some of Gotham’s former crime lords are institutionalized.

The Joker and Two Face are being treated by this yuppie psychologist who hates Batman. Two Face gets reconstructive surgery and The Joker is comatose. It is not until Batman returns into the media spotlight that these two criminals decide to make their triumphant return. I won’t say more because there’s nothing more I hate than spoilers. Well, maybe Batman & Robin. Man, that was a piece of shit. Before I get to the stuff pertaining to Superman, let me just say that this graphic novel contains many philosophical, sociological, and political themes. It was this comic that made Batman the vigilante that we know and love. Miller understood that Batman is not perfect, and he has several flaws like all of us. But what makes Batman a great hero is that, despite his limitations, he endeavors to do the right thing. Finally, there’s The Man Of Steel. Superman has a cameo. Events transpire that make Batman take on Superman. All the mental masturbation I have done has always led me to believe that Batman has no chance of defeating Superman. However, after reading this comic, Superman best protect his neck like The Wu-Tang said. BONG! So go out to your local comic book store and pick up a copy. ‘Nuff said. Wait, wrong franchise.

It isn’t often that I shell out $17 for a comic book. I have much more pressing things to spend that money on—food, for instance. Still, in honor of this spread, I splurged for Hutchinson, Borges, and Finnegan’s The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West, and I can’t say I’ve regretted doing so. The Wicked West is, just like the name implies, a reinterpretation of Dorothy’s mishaps in Oz as an old western—boots, spurs, handguns, and all. In this rendition, Dorothy is wearing all three. She goes by her last name, Gale, and together with her trusty steed Todo, she is following what’s left of the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, hoping to return to Kansas. That much is familiar. The Yellow Brick Road, though, was a whole street of gold bricks lying undefended, so it is now riddled with holes and blank spots, sometimes going for whole miles without a trace. Dorothy has been tracking it for three years now, and at the beginning of the book, she’s still

not entirely sure she’s going the right way. The rest of the traditional cast of characters is as wonderfully twisted as our ruby-spurred, handgun toting Dorothy. The tin man fashions himself a local constable—a play on the old western use of the term “tin man” to symbolize sheriffs—and the flying monkeys are shape-shifters in human skin whose eyes glow green when they are enraged and who are only halfwillingly serving the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wicked Witch herself is an orkish shrew if I’ve ever seen one, and her foil, Glinda, could as easily be a saloon girl as a damsel in distress, what with her tight corset, push-up bra, and persistent bubbles. The cowardly lion wears a mask and makeup and is, in the words of the comic’s creators, “far from what most would call a true coward”—although I’m not quite sure, yet, what exactly that means. And then there’s the scarecrow. The scarecrow is awesome. She’s a whimsical

Go to Amazing Comics! Benny Profane Entertainment Editor I’ve been going to Amazing Comics since fourth grade. As a Long Beach native, I can say that there is no other place in Long Beach that contains as much variety as Amazing Comics does. The place is filled with new releases (every Wednesday), some original and some reprinted classics, and, last but not least, memorabilia from your favorite TV shows, movies, or sports teams. Lord (Xenu) knows how much stuff I have purchased from there. It’s a pretty good environment; the staff is friendly and helpful, but most importantly, the store is situated next to an Italian restaurant. While you order your pizza from The Deli News, which takes about 20 minutes, you can browse the wide selection of literature Amazing Comics has to offer. This is a pretty cool way to drop 50 bucks and spend an entire afternoon indulging both your mind and stomach.

girl with Native American clothing, glowing green tribal markings, and the seeming ability to recover from any injury so long as she can still resew her physical form, and although she is apparently mute, she never fails to communicate her concerns. Her foresight saves the travelers’ lives more than once. After a traumatic introduction to the group in which the tin man cuts her arm off, the scarecrow becomes an intrinsic part of the group, as well as my favorite character by far. I’m going to have to consult my budget before I buy Book 2, but I have to say, with an entire volume of full-color pages, Book 1 was definitely worth the cost. If you’re looking for a fun, quick read that may well put Dorothy’s adventures back onto your list of new and exciting tales, give The Wicked West a try. I wholeheartedly recommend it.


Union Weekly—9 September 2013

LITERATURE

11

Our Favorites: Comics Reviews Ragnarok Jack Harrer Asistant Editor I recently re-visited my childhood by flipping through the only comic book I was able to force my mom to buy me when I was 12. The comic book series is named Ragnarok. It is originally from South Korea and was created by Myung-Jin Lee. This

Superman: Red Son Adolfo Madera Music Editor Alright, I’m just going to be completely honest here: I’m not a huge fan of comic books. The medium has never elicited a huge interest from me, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Superman: Red Son.

The True Lives Evey Fawkes Opinions Editor My heart is still breaking because My Chemical Romance called it quits, but ex-front man Gerard Way is easing my heartbreak with a monthly dosage of insight into their last album, Danger Days.

comic book is actually the basis of the once popular MMPORG, Ragnarok Online. The manga is somewhat based on Norse mythology, and the story is set in the fictitious land of Midgard. As anarchy approaches, the wolf god, Fenris Fenrir is reborn. She aims to find a man named Chaos, the other protagonist of the story. Chaos is a swordsman suffering from amnesia who also happens to possess the skills of a Dragon Knight (whatever the fuck that is), and is the reincarnation of Fenris’ past lover, Baldur.

Unfortunately for me, I only kept four random books from the series. The information I am blabbering to you now is based on the 12 year old me, who barely spoke a word of English at the time. The book is generally hard to read because the frames are not very organized. Aside from that, the story is interesting. Also, I realized the reason I kept the books was for its graphics, the closest my 12 year old self could get to soft core porn.

First off, for the history buffs out there, it presents a very insightful view of the Cold War era. The premise is that the true All-American hero, Superman, instead of being raised on baseball, apple pie and small town values, was raised on Soviet propaganda, collective farms, and ration cards. Needless to say, the entire course of history is changed by the Soviet’s use of Superman as a weapon in the Cold War, leaving the United States and Lex Luthor as desperate pariahs, hoping to take down the world’s most amazing and now am-

biguous hero. Basically, if you’re the cynical type who likes their characters to have a gray sense of morality and you enjoy the historical setting (even if it is in an alternate universe), this will likely turn out to be one of your favorite comics. Otherwise, the ambiguity of Superman’s ethics and the excessive attention paid to the setting may turn you off of it.

The comic book series, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, follows the concept of the album; a girl, simply called The Girl, is picked up by the Killjoys, a group of outlaws fighting against Better Living Industries (BL/ind.) The comic picks up 12 years after the original Killjoys. The Girl is the protagonist and Korse, from the Scarecrow Unit of Bl/ ind, is the antagonist. The followers of the original Killjoys are practically dying in the Desert while BL/ind slowly turns Battery City from lively and colorful to a black and

white world lacking individuality. Admittedly, the storyline is a little hard to keep up with if you’re starting without any background information. The writer is building the image of Battery City by jumping back and forth between the formation of the Killjoys and the current degradation of Battery by the BL/ind. The fourth instalment of the six issue series will be released on September 11th. If you can’t wait, of you just want to explore the rest of Way’s work, I highly recommend his first comic The Umbrella Academy.

Curiosity Killed the Cat Written By Nova Moriarty

Literature Editor Illustrated By Scatman Cruthers Editor-in-Chief


12

ENTERTAINMENT

Union Weekly—9 September 2013

Farewell To Futurama Let us have a moment of silence for part of my childhood Benny Profane Entertainment Editor Bad news, everyone. The final episode of Futurama aired this Wednesday, and this time I don’t think it’s coming back. Words cannot express how saddened I am by the cancellation of this stellar program. Part of me has died. You may think I’m being facetious, but I am being completely honest when I say the death of this show marks the death of my childhood. The show first aired in 1999, when I was seven years old. Seven is the age when you start to develop certain likes and interests. Had it not been for Futurama, I would’ve probably not developed the affinities I have for science fiction, animation and comedy. And I think that’s a big fucking deal. My loyal readers know my policy on synopses: I don’t like them. This time is no exception. Watch the final episode to see how sentimentally charged it is. I haven’t been deeply moved by a comedy since The Kid, or more embarrassingly, Toy Story 3. It takes a lot to make me cry, but goddammit,

these motherfuckers came close. Not only that, but some of the characters on the show are some of my favorite all-time television characters. I have a huge personal investment in these characters. I consider these characters to be good friends that I treasure seeing and hanging out with every week. Shit, I know more about the crew of Planet Express than I know about some of my family members. Take Bender, for example. He is a bad ass robot. He is crude and obnoxious, but also very lovable. With the exception of Travis Bickle, Bender may be the greatest anti-hero of all time. Bender taught me at a young age that sometimes it’s okay to root for the bad guys, and that there’s goodness inside of every person, no matter how evil he or she appears to be. And let us not forget the supporting characters. I can’t count the number of times I have cried laughing whenever The Hypnotoad would pop up on the screen and begin hypnotizing the audience. Ongoing

gags like these is what gave Futurama part of its charm. However, I must say that the thing that gave Futurama most of its charm and style was its allusions to other great science fiction works. I always tell people who are curious about science fiction to start with Futurama. Usually, each episode has enough palatable references from Kubrick to Star Wars to Star Trek. If you are a fan of pop culture and pop sci-fi, then Futurama is the show for you. Only a cold heartless machine like HAL would remain emotionally unmoved by the comedy and brilliance of Futurama. I’m trying really hard not to romanticize the show, but it’s hard not to. I’m very devastated by the cancellation of Futurama. Not only because of the tens of thousands of potential jokes I will never hear, nor the tens of thousands of potential laughs I will never have, but because I’m getting older and my time as king is fading.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. I just want to leave you with this, good reader: Cherish the little things. Like Philip J. Fry learned in his thousand-and-some-changelong adventure, time will pass you by like the blink of an eye. Whatever, c’est la vie. So grab your forties (or whatever you guys are drinking nowadays. Redbull with vodka? That shit ain’t ballin’.) and pour them at your nearest curb. We must pay respek (it’s not a typo) to the Red Dwarf of our generation. Big up yourself Futurama. Respek.

Dallas Buyers Club

Man of Tai Chi

Neighbors

The touching real life story of AIDS victim Ron Woodruff, who fought the government and pharmaceutical industry, is coming to the big screen. Starring Mathew McConaughey as Woodruff, the story focuses on his transformation from simple troublemaker to a drug dealer selling unapproved AIDS drugs. McConaughey’s co-stars include Jennifer Garner as a sympathetic doctor, and Jared Leto as a cross-dressing AIDS victim who Woodruff ’s partner-incrime. McConaughy had reportedly lost 38 pounds and prepared for the roll immediately after he was done with Magic Mike. A release date has been announced for November 1, 2013. The film is rated R.

A young Tai Chi martial artist enters an underground fighting tournament and battle filled with deadly opponents as well as his own inner darkness. Directed by and starring Keanu Reeves, the film is action packed with lightning fast Kung Fu fighting similar to that of the Matrix franchise. Judging from the trailer alone, this film feels like what a Mortal Kombat movie should feel like. Aside from directing, Reeves plays the role of the main villain in the film, who is constantly pushing the young fighter to the dark side. Reeves would make a great Shao Khan. Or Goro. That would be cool. The film will be released November 1. The film is rated R.

The folks who made This is the End have just put out a trailer for their next film, starring Seth Rogan and Zac Efron. Rogan plays a mild-mannered husband and father who is waging a private war against Efron and his fraternity house. The trailer is packed with the hilarious and over-the-top gags Rogan and his crew are known for. Supporting cast includes Dave Franco (James Franco’s brother) and Christopher MintzPlasse (McLovin) as fraternity brothers who aid Efron in making life hell for Rogan and his family. According to IMDb, the film is coming out sometime in 2014. This film has not yet been rated.

*Pours out some Olde English 800* RIP FUTURAMA 1999-2013 “Out of all the science fiction shows I have encountered, Futurama was the most... [voice breaks] human.” - Rev Benny Profane, philosopher

Upcoming Movie Preview Keep your eyes out for these movies at your local theater Joshua Chan Contributor


Union Weekly—9 September 2013 MUSIC

The Great Gambino Deciphering the witty lyrics of Childish Gambino First and foremost, let me begin by saying that Donald Glover is a god, and I would not mind having his babies. This guy is just a master of all trades. When God created people on the 6th day of Genesis, he decided to shower upon this guy all the talent in the world. Not only was he a writer and actor in the NBC show Community, a co-writer of 30 Rock (when he was still just an NYU student living in the dorms), a stand up comedian (he had an hour special on Comedy Central), but he also raps and sings under his alter ego Childish Gambino. He is intelligent, clever, articulate, and goddamn witty. What separates Gambino from all other rappers, is that his lyrics aren’t just sleezy and lazily written words about ass and sex, they’re genuinely clever, witty and well-crafted even though they’re still about ass and sex.

Lux Lisbon Culture Editor

7. This Asian dude, I stole his girl, and now he got that Kogi beef (They got beef but since the guy’s Asian, it just had to be Kogi). 8. “You’re my favorite rapper, now” Yeah, dude, I better be,/ Or you can fuckin’ kiss my ass, Human Centipede (If you haven’t seen the movie Human Centipede yet, you are missing out on life). 9. And shit I’m doin’ this year? Insanity,/ Made the beat then murdered it, Casey Anthony (You have to be living under a rock if you don’t know who Casey Anthony is).

16 of my favorite lines:

10. If I’m a faggot spell it right, I got way more than two G’s (Childish Gambino is making bank. Be fucking aware of that).

1. E.E. cummin’ on her face, now that’s poetry in motion. (Poetry in Motion is an ad campaign on the NYC public transit. To understand this line, you should have passed your sophomore English class).

11. When I talk about you I hear a “who?” like Horton (Do you like Dr. Seuss?)

2. Yes, I’m drinking whiskey, baby I am gone tonight,/ NBC is not the only thing I’m comin’ on tonight (As I mentioned earlier, he stars on the NBC show Community. But I guess they’re doing more than just watching TV).

13

12. Fucking bitches left and right, my dick is ambidextrous. (Who needs ambidextrous hands when you can have an ambidextrous dick?) 13. But these girls I’m kissin’ chase the blues away like Gargamel. (Smurfs, yes?)

3. I’m in love with you, but this is not tennis (Get a Tennis Scoring for Dummies book please.)

14. The only thing I put before “me” is “do re” (Do ti la so fa mi re do)

4. My girl on her knees, she don’t wanna come near me,/ My dick is too big, there’s a big bang theory (Yay for nerd culture! Sheldon would be proud!)

15. Got signed, it’s an anomaly/ No cosign, trigonometry (And he likes math. What’s not to love about him? Seriously).

5. Okay, it’s Childish Gambino, homegirl drop it like the NASDAQ (Who does this? Who else can rap about dancing in the club while referencing the stock market?!)

16. Took the G out your waffle, all you got left is your ego. (And bam. Breakfast will never be the same again).

6. I love pussy, I love bitches, dude, I should be runnin’ PETA (Awwww, I didn’t know Gambino has such a soft spot for animals. This makes my heart melt.)

Stop Being So Pretentious A guide to talking about bands that you enjoy without irking others Adolfo Madera Music Editor Music is a topic we all absolutely love to talk about. Whether you’re into Tchaikovsky or T-Swift, there’s nothing better than exchanging your opinions on music with the folks around you. The only problem is, a lot of people seem to take the topic as a license to try and appear smarter, hipper, and savvier than they are, which will oftentimes ruin an otherwise genuine and fun discussion. Here are some tips for you folks out there who are completely unbearable to talk to about music. 1. If you see a person in a band T-shirt, don’t quiz them on the band Seriously, calm down and give other folks some breathing room. I don’t know how many times I’ve been walking around on the street and my “Black Flag” t-shirt has attracted the attention of a mouth-breathing teenager who wanted to quiz me on the Keith Morris/Henry Rollins feud and their entire discography. Please, don’t do that. A band t-shirt is not an invitation to bug me about the band nor is it an affirmation that I know every single song that they’ve ever released. It just means that you dig the design on the shirt and enjoy the band’s music; that’s all that shirt really needs to mean. 2. Don’t assume the person you’re talking to has not heard of your favorite band. This one’s for the opposite type of person, not the overzealous uber fan but instead the apathetic, savvier than thou fuck who thinks he is better than you. Just please do not

assume that people have not heard of the bands you’re talking about unless they give you a reason to believe that they don’t know. Seriously, I know no condescension like the feeling of some hipster fuck acting like I don’t who they’re talking about. You just make people hate you so easily when you talk down to them in this way. 3. Don’t assume people don’t understand your favorite band. This is kind of a subset of the last one. Naturally, it kind of sucks that some people on this planet cannot understand the bold instrumentation and heartfelt, somber lyrics of your favorite artist, whether it’s Bob Dylan or Weird Al Yankovic. But that simply does not mean that the people who don’t like your favorite artists are plebeians who do not appreciate the incredible nuance and wit that you and only you are capable of recognizing. Get over yourself, there are as many reasons to dislike most artists as there are to actually enjoy them. Hopefully with these valuable tips, you will be able to have a conversation about music that does not result in your conversational partner slowly moving away from you and looking for any excuse to end your interaction. But if not, well, you can’t plead ignorance when someone calls you out on your snobbery next time! And if I’ve done my part to hinder music snobs’ efforts at being pretentious jackasses, I’ll sleep well at night.


14

CULTURE

Union Weekly—9 September 2013

Tickets to the Red Graveyard The Application Process to the Mars One Mission

There are very few times in the world when one can say with any real certainty that any one event will go down in history. Sure, cave explorations will be recorded, but will that discovery be taught to bored seventh graders in two hundred years? Those kids might not understand the emotional weight that accompanies their presented rendition of the past. Such textbook certainty does not happen very often.

The historical exception I make is the Mars One Mission. Mars One plans on sending forty astronauts on a one-way trip to colonize the red planet. The main reason this is a one-way ticket is because we have the technology to establish living quarters there, but the technology does not currently exist to bring the colonists home. If an astronaut goes there, they will die on Mars. And hey, they get the first Martian gravestone! Imagine what that might say.

Basic Fees and Information Before we can get into the really goofy stuff of the video and motivational letter, every applicant first had to pay the fee. It was $38 dollars, but why they didn’t make it an even $35 or $40, I’m not sure. Anyway, pay that and you have to give them all of your basic information like any other job. The only extra question was the language for your profile. Mine was English, obviously, but this raises a really interesting question. It suggests they’re not restricting possible Martians based on a common language. I suppose if they pick people that don’t speak a common language, part of the training will be to LEARN one, but imagine that? The stress of the launch or a new garden that refuses to grow, PLUS the use of a secondary language to communicate their frustrations and ideas? It’s going to take some damn wise and levelheaded people to handle that. Good luck to them!

thing, but this section is asking you to dig a bit deeper into yourself and then share it with a stranger. Are you really mentally and emotionally fit enough to be isolated from you friends, family, and home planet forever? Can you handle interpersonal relationships well enough to have longlasting positive relationships with your fellow astronauts? Are you willing to disclose your personal demons and candidly discuss your vulnerabilities? This section asks you to describe everything from your weakest moments to what kind of person you don’t get along with to how being forever separated from your family will affect you. It’s a good thing this is a dialogue I have with my self on a continuing basis, or this section might not have been real to either the reader or myself. Fail this portion, I suspect, and no matter how sparklingly fan-frickintastic your video pitch is, you’ll be rejected.

This is the profile that everyone can see. I mean everyone. If you go to the Mars One website, you can view all of the applications through their public profile and video pitch. They only have, apart from name, age, country, and language, two twohundred word blurbs for you to write. The first is a description of yourself. How do you present yourself to the world? Simple, yet complicated enough. The second is to list your interests. So, based on these profiles, the public can rate the applicant, which essentially says, “I wouldn’t mind being stranded on a desert planet with her” or “Ah, HELL no! He’s ca-razy!” Private Application This is the true meat of the submission. Being able to speak in front of a camera when it’s all nice and rehearsed is one

Motivational Letter Here you write a motivational letter, as much to yourself as to the reviewer of the application. I had a little fun with this, and used it to explore my love affair with questions; for that’s why most would want to go to Mars, it’s all about curiosity. Without that, and a basic level of excitement with life, it might be pretty easy to lose sight of the Mars One mission goals when the mission gets tough. It will get tough. If I went, those moments would probably fluctuate from “I WANT A BURGER” to “I miss trees” and “Why did I leave my mom behind?” It’s in those moments that I’d look back on my motivational letter and say “Oh yeah, I wondered what trying to grow plants on an alien planet would be like; this is cool!” Having this motivational letter tacked on the end is brilliant.

Nova Moriarty Literature Editor

What would you write on yours? But if this mission gets off the ground, similar to the Apollo missions, it’s going to go down in history as the first manned mission to another planet. Period. I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by, even though my eyesight makes me pitifully unqualified. I applied anyway, because it’s freaking Mars! But since so few people applied (they were hoping to hit one million but ended

up with less than two hundred thousand the day before the application period closed), I’ll share the experience of the application with all of you lovely readers.

Video Pitch This is the part that the public is really going to look at. Also, since this program is going to get much of its funding from the ‘reality’ TV show, having a good oncamera personality is probably pretty high on the candidate priority list. Not only that, but I think it also tests the applicant’s ability to use resources. I know it tested mine. If you go watch my video, you’ll probably decide pretty quickly that I have an “ahem” brilliant stage presence “cough”! Ha, ha, NOT. But here at the Union office, several of the editors helped with the filming, editing, and acting (even though the blooper reel didn’t make the final cut). The videos that received high ratings all had a similar feel to them. They required more time and effort than a one-minute video might initially seem like it would. I’m also glad that someone else did

the film edits, as I hate looking at films of myself and my fabulously terrible sense of humor! I wouldn’t pick my application; I didn’t spend enough time on it to be a really competitive person, which is okay by me. I completed it within a few hours on the final day, which I only knew about because of Facebook. It was interesting to watch a lot of other videos and then go through the process myself. No matter how much of a train wreck my application was, I had fun with it, which is what mattered to me. But if I were lucky enough to go, I’d want my gravestone to say:

Here Lies Katie Healy 1st Generation Martian It’s not easy not being green


Union Weekly—9 September 2013

The Allergen Diaries Life with gluten sensitivity Jack Harrer Assistant Editor

Sept. 6th, 2013 Dear Gluten Diary,

Alfred

Sweet Beer O’Mine Framboise: It’s Beer-Candy Nova Moriarty Literature Editor

The other night I went out with a friend to our favorite grocery store to look for Trappist beer and sushi as a way to socialize before work the next day. Unfortunately, my favorite beer wasn’t on the shelf, so instead my friend picked up this bottle labeled “Framboise”. It was advertised as a sweet raspberry beer, and boy, it delivered! The pour didn’t have much of a head on it, and as soon as it was poured a sweet aroma filled the air. It tasted even better than it smelled; the raspberry flavor was sweet and refreshing, but it still had the

full aftertaste I have come to expect from good beers. If I could give this a title, it would be “liquid happiness”. Seriously, this is alcoholic candy, especially after a long week. I’ve bumped it up to the top of my list for favorite Belgian beers. Fair warning though—the makers were confused and put this beer in a wine bottle with a cork, so you can feel that fancy when you drink it... pinkies up! This product tastes better in good company, but I am replacing the sushi with some frozen yogurt the next time I purchase it.

FOOD

15


Volume 73 Issue 3

Monday, September 9, 2013

LBUNION.COM

DISCLAIMER: Hey, God Warrior Here. Now I believe in miracles and a miracle has happened tonight, but if you’re thinkin’ about my baby it don’t matter if you’re black or white. Please send my mail to 1212 Bellflower Blvd Suite 239, Long Beach, CA 90815. These boots is satire and I do not represent ASI nor the CSULB campus turkeys. In Jesus’ name, I pray you submit articles via email to grunion@lbunion.com.

The Safety and Etiquette of Glory Hole-ing Over the summer, I read Etiquette by Emily Post. I also frequented a lot of gas stations. (Can’t get enough of that gas food gluttony.) Naturally, the processed food set by Johnny the contents of my colon rocketing into Cage an off-white toilet with yellow urine stains. While I sat on the shitter, shitting and trying to extinguish the fire that was upsetting my anus, I caught notice of a glory hole in my periphery. During the brief and refreshing periods of diarrheic inactivity, I got to thinking, “Is there an etiquette or ethics to glory holing?”

When I arrived home, I scanned the Internet for any book or pamphlet on the subject, and my search turned out to be unfruitful. Therefore, as a thinking man, I realized that it is my obligation to lay out the framework for glory hole etiquette. Using Etiquette and other moral philosophy works, I have compiled a list that should serve as the template for gas station, or any other restroom facility, liaisons. Enjoy! First off, before you stick your wee-wee through the hole, make a sound to inform the person next to you that you want to engage in fellatio. I suggest making a rooster call. Get it? Seriously though, consent is paramount. Get approval before you do anything. Rule one: If you voluntarily go to the receiving end of a glory hole, then don’t turn anyone away. Very simple. If you go into a stall and start kneeling or sit with your legs crossed for more comfort and stability, then you better be a damn good host. Please accept any shape, size, or color into your mouth. You may turn someone down if they fail to meet the guidelines below. But once all those rules are fulfilled, don’t leave anyone hanging. You can leave them flaccid after you’re done, but don’t leave them hanging. It is rude and it is a dick move. Rule two: If you have a lurid sexual past that has resulted in an STD of some sort,

then inform the person. This one seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised. Many people just want to get off at the expense of others. It is unethical and it is immoral. Please let the person know that you have by devising some sort of knocking system. One knock could be syphilis, 2 knocks could be herpes, and 3 knocks could be “Get the fuck away!”

Rule three: Be considerate and please trim the surrounding pubic area. You wouldn’t disrespect polite company by dressing inappropriately to a party, so why would you go to a glory hole without shaving, or at least trimming your pubes? Honestly, I’d scorch the forest to rid myself of any lice (better safe than sorry), but if you know your body well, then just trim the hedges. Rule four: If for some reason, you have to

leave prematurely, then notify your partner as quickly as possible. Call me conservative, but I believe a contract should be honored. However, if extraneous circumstances prohibit you from completing your task on either end (but this mostly applies to the giver), then let the other person know. Make a sad trumpet sound. You know, wah wah waaaaah. That way, the other person can finish himself off and everybody’s happy. Rule five: Make no moaning or unwarranted sounds during the session. This is distracting for some people. One party could lose his libido if he hears unwanted sounds. If you like the person that you’re having a sexy time with, then make some sort of sound indicating that you would like to meet or see the person after your engagement. That way, the person could reciprocate the sound and then you guys could have a new relationship after. There you have it. The basics for glory hole etiquette. By no means do I consider this work perfect, so take it with a grain of salt. Later, when this philosophy bifurcates out into Orthodox Gloryholism and Reformed Glory hole Etiquette, then new versions and guidelines could appear for specific groups. Until then, make use of this amendable document, be safe, and have fun. WORD IS BOND.

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