VOL.4, ISSUE 6
What does a
Would you know her if you saw her walking on Sheridan? In discussion section? Screaming at the rock during Take Back the Night? Paul Schrodt gives you a clue in our cover story. p.4
Show your momma some love p.3
02 07 08
MASTER BAKER ART AT THE MCA PUNK ROCK
THE WEEKLY MEMO
Given all the personal tidbits and stories we run each week, I guess it’s time for a confession: I almost forgot Mother’s Day. I know, I know, what kind of son could miss out on that most holy of greeting card holidays? What saved me was an e-mail from one of my editors asking us what we’re getting our moms for Mother’s Day. And I thought, ‘When the heck is Mother’s Day?’ And then, ‘Oh...you’re such an idiot.’ Amazon is shipping my gift, but I’m still indebted to all the mothers and future mothers out there. And for those of you who still haven’t gotten around to it, some of our writers and editors pitched their gift ideas to help you out (p. 3). So, in this spirit of guilty giving, (is there any other kind?), our cover story this week is on the changing face of feminism at NU (p. 4). Looking to hear about a weekend of debauchery and girls who just wanna have fun? Check out our Social Diary (p. 2). We didn’t do an honorary renaming of “Man on the Beat” (sorry ladies), but the interview is a delightful chat with Kelsey Wild, one of NU’s female rock stars (p. 8). In summary, then, I would say: This one’s for the girls. KYLE BERLIN THE
EDITOR IN CHIEF kyle berlin
MANAGING EDITOR alexandra ilyashov
ASSISTANT EDITORS emmy blotnick jeremy gordon
ART DIRECTOR sara fay
ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR kristyn armour
SURVEY IN NORRIS
n 2009, equality of the sexes is hardly an outlandish or undesirable notion, right? Yet when we asked 100 people in Norris, “Are you a feminist?” we were surprised the majority answered no. Somehow there’s still a stigma attached to the word. As one student said, “I’ve been called one but I wouldn’t identify as a feminist,” while another wondered, “Can males be feminists, too?” Of course they can! And if they don’t believe it or don’t want to be, they can go forth into this awful economy and be breadwinners for their helpless girlfriends. And ladies, if you don’t believe in it, have fun under that glass ceiling.
contact the weekly at: 847.491.4901 send confirmed and denied tips to the managing editor want to join our staff? e-mail our editor in chief A weekly supplement to The Daily Northwestern.
master confectioner Sure, you may live in a tiny residence hall with a lackluster excuse for a kitchen, and you may lack the time and energy to bake. But if you’ve got the drive and the desire for a deliciously worthwhile treat, enjoy some tips from Weinberg junior Jenn Long. The MMSS and econ major developed a passion for baking in her middle school days, when her cheerleading responsibilities called for goodies at bake sales. Now she finds time in her hectic academic life to use her baking prowess toward student groups’ efforts to fundraise. Long presents some accommodating alternatives for the student with a sweet tooth. Vegan? Kosher? Can do! Long suggests using egg replacements, which she keeps on hand in her kitchen. Made of potato flour and tapioca, this product is a superb alternative to eggs in recipes. For those keeping Kosher, Long recommends using soy milk – except, she says, in gelatins. DIY Substitutions Unsweetened applesauce is an excellent replacement for oil, Long says, since its texture thickens any recipe, and there are no extra calories or sweeteners. She strongly encourages making your own vanilla extract, which sounds like a headache-inducing ordeal. Not so, Long says: It’s a simpler process than it seems if you’ve got the patience. “Buy – or obtain, if you’re under 21 – a small bottle of brandy, about 10 ounces. Take two vanilla beans and cut them lengthwise all the way down. Let them soak in the brandy for about three to six months,” Long says. It’s All About the Butter, Baby What’s the biggest blunder made in the baking process? Badly liquefied butter is to blame
Sean Collins Walsh/The Daily Northwestern
Jenn showing off her oven and being adorable. for failed experiments. “If you melt your butter too much, your cookies will come out thin and unsavory looking.” Yet Long suggests that you don’t melt it enough, your cookies will come out smushed. “It’s best to let it sit,” Long says, “but if you have to place it in the microwave, cut the stick into small pieces and microwave it in a bowl in 10-second increments.” She suggests you remove it when it’s soft but not entirely melted. “If you do accidentally melt the butter all the way,” Long says cheerfully, “you can always just use it to grease the pan!” Buy This Book! Long presents a battered cookbook, Larousse des Desserts. Written in French, Long uses this as her how-to guide for baking starters, though she always adds her own personal flair. “The French know how to do desserts,” she says, “but I do have to keep a sheet of measurement conversions in here!” For the baking beginner or casual baker, Long recommends The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.
confirmed A SHWORK IN PROGRESS What rhymes with The Daily, looks like North by Northwestern and is as funny as The Chronicle? Why, it’s The Shmaily, the second campus publication dedicated to writing about Northwestern in the style of The Onion. We can appreciate its creators’ initiative, between getting the Operations Manager of NBN to design its Web site and calling up our own Editor-in-Chief for advice (she later said “Sorry, I only print facts”) they get a check plus for effort. Sadly, as it is now, The Shmaily is to The Onion as hacky sack is to athletics. Besides Confirmed & Denied, there’s nothing more painful to read than amateur, unedited satirical news stories. We’re all for hobby-blogging, but you’ve gotta let the yeast rise before you take the bread out of the oven – why blanket our sidewalks with promotional fliers so prematurely? We’re glad we’ll be out of here by the time The Shmaily blossoms into a student group full of sadsacks who think that their roommates saying “Oh, that’s funny” is the same as eliciting laughter. AMAZING DISGRACE A casting call will be held downtown later this month for a Travel Channel offshoot of “The Amazing Race”. According to the show’s casting associate, John Tanzman, they’re looking for energetic and “really entertaining” candidates with serious Chicago pride between the ages of 18 and 70 – could make for a great bonding experience with grandma. Tanzman said he hopes some professor-
student and roomie pairings will pop up at the tryouts. Oh yeah, and a “totally beat-up” car will give you an edge -- the competition culminates with some shiny new wheels. So if you bleed Giordano’s, lack standards and drive an un-pimped ride, go for it, though we can’t say we’ll be tuning in for this rehashed reality bomb-to-be. POSNER BOY Is Mike Posner a poseur or positioned for fame? According to the Facebook-perpetuated effort to bring the singer to Dillo Day, the Duke University junior from the Detroit ‘burbs is a hot commodity. Mayfest Cochairwoman Diana Richter couldn’t comment on whether Posner will be crooning away during this year’s Dillo debauchery, but she says they’re aware of the Facebook event page – with 680 supporters strong as of last night, it’d be pretty hard not to catch it on your newsfeed. Posner’s deal? Layering lyrics like “you can make a bombass piece out of a water bottle ... there’s something about the way you weigh and bag my eighters” over tinny beats in his, uh, addictive ode to a “Drug Dealer Girl”. Scroll through his MySpace tracks, many of which feature Big Sean (who performed with Solange Knowles at NU recently) and decide for yourself. Or, just follow the event page’s advice: “Even if you don’t like him, join. You will be drunk anyway.” WEEKLY EDITORS
Motherly Love â€œ
To paraphrase one of the ladies of Geminiâ€™s Twin, â€œI wanna give a shout-out to my mama; she had me.â€? You know you feel the same way, but youâ€™ve gotta admit Motherâ€™s Day is the Hallmark holiday to end all Hallmark holidays. And thus arises the challenge: finding that perfect card that doesnâ€™t make you feel like a wuss, the thoughtful gift or gesture to show her your love and appreciation. In case youâ€™re stuck in a pinch for ideas, we asked our writers and editors to share what theyâ€™re doing to celebrate their moms.
y parents and I have been engaged in a decade-long battle regarding my shaggy appearance, but after two weeks of failed gift brainstorming, Iâ€™ve decided to forfeit this round. Iâ€™m giving her what sheâ€™s always wanted: I got a haircut. SEAN COLLINS WALSH
ast Thursday, my stepdad sent out a mass text to the children to convene us for Motherâ€™s Day brunch. An hour later, I schedule the extraction of my wisdom teeth for this coming Friday and ruined everyoneâ€™s plans. This Motherâ€™s Day, my mom will be making me mashed potatoes, spoon-feeding me pudding and refilling my cup of grape Kool-Aid. Maybe Iâ€™ll have my surgeon save the teeth and string them into a necklace. She would save them; she saves everything. NICK JACKSON
ince moving off campus, my diet has come to consist of peanut butter sandwiches â€“ every day. As my mother frequently worries Iâ€™m not eating enough, the best gift she could get for Motherâ€™s Day is the opportunity to take me to Jewel and buy me groceries for the next month. JEREMY GORDON
â€™m not sure I can pull off my staple gift of homemade chore coupons anymore, so instead Iâ€™ll be sending her a statement scarf, seed packets for her garden and a few sculpture tools from Blick. And of course, itâ€™ll arrive a few days late, proof sheâ€™s passed her tardy gene down to me. ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV
â€™m getting a tramp stamp of a naked geisha surrounded by ankhs, playing cards, exotic fruit and syringes printed with words, â€œI love you, mom.â€?
â€™m giving my mother the greatest gift she ever received, some 19 years ago: me. All egotism aside, I am compiling a scrapbook of memories and parent-friendly moments sheâ€™s missed during her baby girlâ€™s first freshman year of college. I wouldnâ€™t want her to miss a thing. COCO KEEVAN
social diary [McCormick sophomore]
y brother and I plan to give my mother a garden gnome on one condition: no putting it in the front yard. She can put it in the backyard next to fishing gnome, mushroom gnome, water pail gnome and poker gnome. She can add ours to the collection as long as she doesnâ€™t let the neighbors see any of them. KATE BERNOT
Class. Weekly in-class three-hour exam. Office Hours, then Gateway Science Workshop. Finished my take-home midterm by 10 p.m. Went home to find some people playing pong. Got a little tipsy, smoked a bit. Went to the library at midnight to wish a friend a happy 21rst bday right on the dot â€“ ended up chugging 40s in the bathroom. Some more light raging, then bed.
Class all day. Practice. More class. Snuck out of my 6-9 class early to head back to my house for the Britney pregame. The Hummer limo came right on time, fully stocked with unlimited mixers and plastic champagne flutes. A case of Andre, too many shots, numerous bowls and the night went on and on.
Worst hangover ever. No class on Thursdays, thankfully. Office hours, library, then practice. Take Back the Night BBQ. Watched the Bulls game â€“ smoked and started pregaming. Went to a friendâ€™s 22nd birthday party. Stuffed my face with peppermintschnapps-Oreo pudding. Chugged way too much beer playing competitive drinking games.
Class presentation at 10 a.m., had extreme dry mouth. Smoked after class, then ate Chiptole. Left for Mifflin. Stopped at sketchy liquor store in Wisconsin, then pregamed. Smoked, went to an â€™80s-themed party. We were the only ones dressed up. Hit the bars instead. Got invited to two guysâ€™ apartments, and even for a swim in the lake â€“ didnâ€™t do any of the above.
Rise and rage. Up by 7:47, plugged the meter, smoked, passed out until 9:49. Smoked and drank. On to Mifflin Street. Shotgunned a beer. Chugged Andre. Peed in one alley, smoked in another. Pulled Franzia. Later, passed out in a guyâ€™s bed. He tried to hook up with me; I woke up six hours later. Drank, smoked and raged some more.
ho said a broke college kid couldnâ€™t give a decent gift? Breakfast in bed and the knowledge that I am not dropping out of school is the gift that keeps on giving. ANGELICA JAIME
26 sunday Rise and rage. Up by 10 a.m. â€“ this time, I really had the worst hangover ever. Smoked. Found Qdoba, though I wanted pizza. Drove back to NU. Two meetings then the library. Ended the night with a Sunday Funday smoke session on my friendâ€™s Astro Turf. Barely made it back to my bed; I was so exhausted from the events of the weekend.
Class all morning, then cleaned my house, practice, dinner and chapter. Smoked, had a meeting, then library for the night. At least one day has to be a work day. Besides, I need to save up for tomorrow night. Cinco de Mayo is always epic. Iâ€™m thinking margaritas, pong and hookah on my porch. Too bad I have problem sets, an assessment, a lab and a group project first.
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he books I read in my spare time present the same problem as living in a fraternity: too many dudes. So itâ€™s always a delight to find a new female author to introduce to my mom. This year Iâ€™m sending her Mary Gaitskillâ€™s most recent novel, â€œVeronica.â€? It tells the story of an ex-model fallen on hard times; itâ€™s searing, confessional and impossible to put down. So read it. My momâ€™s going to be. KYLE BERLIN
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Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org 1621 CHICAGO AVENUE - EVANSTOn - Open tilL 2am 1 block south of campus - between church & davis - 847.491.1621
HEY, LADIES, WHAT’S IN A NAME? Feminists are everywhere on campus. Just don’t call them that.
ou might know Maxine Christine as the Northwestern student who posed topless in the “Girls of the Big Ten” issue of Playboy last October. She was the one in plaid heels with her hair pulled back, as if to give you a better view of her breasts. I knew her as the slightly too-cool-for-school freshman who moved into my dorm sophomore year. By the ﬁrst day, she already looked out of place at the Communications Residential College. She was blonde. She went by “Mama.” She was a “pre-professional” ballet dancer, as she liked to tell other residents. (CRCers only dance when Daft Punk comes on.) By the second week, she had installed so many pink lights in her room they were visible from Sheridan Road. She’s also hot. After reading about the Playboy auditions in The Daily Northwestern, Christine (her “published name”) felt an opportunity had passed her by. But she e-mailed the recruiters anyway, and in an hour, she was taking bikini test shots at the Hilton Garden Inn. “They told me that they liked me on the spot,” she says. At 9 a.m. the next morning, the photographer and make up artist drove her to a random house in Evanston. They set up desks and books to make it look like a library. She was fully clothed. “Then we started taking layers oﬀ. They asked me what I wanted to do. And they said whatever I wanted to do was ﬁne.” Christine’s story isn’t very new. Since the 1970s, Playboy has been scouting college campuses for hotties. In 1977, at the height of Northwestern’s feminist fervor, recruiters from the magazine so enraged students that they started a protest at the Arch. This October, though, there were no signs or rallies. Instead, there was sensation. Christine was talked about on Rumor Royalty, the gossip blog of NU’s self-appointed “social elite.” One commenter called her a “beneﬁt to all mankind.” Another said she’s “almost as skanky as her roommate.” The pictures were forwarded to fraternity listservs. Strangers pointed her out at bars. Christine was an instant campus icon. And she loved the attention. She even registered a separate Facebook account for her fans. “I’m a performer, so that just comes with the territory,” she says. Whatever she did, it worked. Playboy readers voted her the “hottest girl of the Big Ten.” The magazine asked her to do another shoot at American Apparel over spring break, which is forthcoming on the Web site. (She won’t say how much she was paid for either shoot.) When I tell her about the protest in 1977, she says, “I think that’s kind of silly. It’s a mainstream men’s magazine. It’s a very well-respected magazine. You hear the name Playboy, you know exactly what it is. You know if you’re going to be auditioning for Playboy, you’re going to be nude.”
BY PAUL SCHRODT
And that’s the point. Christine knew exactly what she was doing – and why. In Ariel Levy’s book “Female Chauvinist Pigs,” she writes about women who knowingly use “raunch culture” to get ahead. She would call Christine a Female Chauvinist Pig, but here, she’s a hero. Everyone wanted to know who she is and why she was chosen, but no one questioned her motives. Christine doesn’t want to be a pin-up girl, but she knows Playboy is a good career move. (NU students are nothing if not ambitious.) “To say that you were in Playboy is kind of a big deal,” she says. “Like, Pamela Anderson. Cindy Crawford. People like that. Playboy has opened doors for so many women. I guess I’m hoping it will do the same for me.” Christine wouldn’t call herself a feminist – “rallying isn’t for me.” But she strongly believes in gender equality. And as far as she sees it, there’s no conﬂict in her feminist values and posing topless for Playboy. Quite the opposite. “What I did was empowering,” she says. “It was something I did for myself, not something I saw as a movement or a statement. I did it because it was fun.” Few at Northwestern would disagree.
he ﬁrst time I met Emily Raymond, the co-director of the College Feminists, she says she introduced herself as a “bad feminist.” At Northwestern, that seems like the only kind that exists anymore. Even if most people on this campus, like Maxine Christine, can agree that rape is bad and gender equality is good, there are signs everywhere that the movement itself is dead – even in its own student group. Two years ago, the College Fems (what they call themselves) started Sex Week – the time of year when both sorority girls and gay boys debate oral technique and claw at each other for pink-colored condoms. Now it’s the group’s most popular event. The other co-director, Hannah Jaracz, who was elected three weeks ago, is a registered Republican. She wears a Playboy Bunny ring on her belly button, and at the Ludacris performance last month, she screamed the lyrics to “Move Bitch” at the top of her lungs. She even buys bras from Victoria’s Secret: “And there’s no way I’m burning that shit.” Feminism as a label is gone. Instead, we have women and men who are feminist in everything but in name. They expect equal rights. They have safe, consensual sex and in some cases, lots of it. They buy Plan B over the counter, no questions asked. They’re liberal and conservative, celibate and slutty. The only thing they share is they’re impossible to identify. As Raymond says, “A lot of people here don’t want to be called a feminist. But if push comes to shove, they would agree with most of, if not all of, the ideas.” Holly Hughes, an activist lesbian performance artist, came to NU last year as a
The Women’s Coalition changes its name to College Feminists to reﬂect men’s involvement in the student group. The Women’s Center, NU’s ﬁrst service-oriented group for women, opens. It offers career advice and counseling to sexual assault victims.
Women at NU, a student group, protests Playboy recruiters on campus for the “Girls of the Big Ten” issue.
1986 1980 A 19-year-old student is abducted and gang-raped on Orrington Avenue. Four days later, 500 students march in protest, beginning the campus tradition of Take Back the Night.
2005 1999 Juice!, Mountain Moving’s contemporary equivalent, launches with support from the Center for American Progress. Its motto: “Feminism just got hotter.”
The ﬁrst Sex Week commences. By its third year, 1,500 students participate, making it by far the College Feminists’ most popular event.
Mountain Moving, the ﬁrst feminist magazine on campus, launches. It comes out every quarter. > Photos courtesy of Northwestern University Archives
visiting professor. “When I ﬁrst heard about feminism in the ’60s – bra burning at the Miss America Pageant – my training bra started to smolder,” she says. Hughes moved to New York, joined the WOW Café “for wayward girls,” collaborated with the Tony-nominated playwright Lisa Kron and eventually put on her own quasipornographic shows, which put her in second-wave feminism’s bad graces. At NU, she has to rethink everything she knew about gender politics. “I have to continually challenge my judgments of students. I’ve had femme lesbians who were quite political and also quite involved in the Greek system. I’ve had male students who really understand feminism in the way they live their lives.” But those students would also cringe if you called them feminists, she says. What’s in a name, anyway? Northwestern may be more progressive than ever, but it’s also without a cause. College has never looked both so open-minded and so apathetic at the same time. “It seems like all of my students are at least open to questions of gender,” Hughes says. “I would think that they live feminist lives whether they embrace that word or not … And that’s the tragedy: The word has become so stigmatized that no one uses it. We forget that it’s not an institution – it’s a movement, and we can move it in diﬀerent directions.” If women can act like feminists but no longer call themselves that, have they lost anything?
n 1980, a 19-year-old NU student was pulled into a car and raped on Orrington Avenue. Four days later, 500 students spontaneously marched in protest. And so Take Back the Night, part of a worldwide movement to raise awareness of sexual violence, became a campus tradition. By 1997, 750 students attended the march. Last week, there were 100. There’s less reason to go now. In the ’80s, rape shield laws were introduced to protect the use of women’s sexual history in court. While numbers are still underreported (the Sexual Assault Hearing and Appeals System has recorded 10 formal student complaints in the past six years), women have more options. But the history of how we got here is hard to ignore. In 1976, a collective of Northwestern feminists launched a quarterly student magazine called Mountain Moving. At the time, there was no College Feminists or Women’s Center. Feminism only happened at the grassroots level. An editorial in the ﬁrst issue says, “We are dedicated in the faith that we can … move the mountains of traditions and oppression that keep us from full personhood” – a pretty big challenge. One of the founding editors, John Heilman, who graduated from NU in ’78, is now the openly gay mayor of West Hollywood. “We were doing it on a shoestring. We did the typesetting. We did the layouts. We did all the writing, obviously,” he says. “It was a lot of work.” The mood was revolutionary. Many campus feminists back then identiﬁed as radical, a label that would seem embarrassing (if not scary) now. They found cooperation against common enemies like Anita Bryant, and fought together for the Equal Rights Amendment, which languished in ratiﬁcation hell. Mountain Moving ran features about local “self-help” centers run by non-professionals inspecting women with vaginal speculums; a lesbian student whose car was defaced because “all she needs is a good fuck” and the embarrassingly low proportion of full female professors in 1977 – 4 percent. There was a lot to rant about. But a lot got done, too. In 1986, NU opened the Women’s Center, the ﬁrst service-oriented group of its kind on campus. For the ﬁrst
time, female students had a place that would advocate for them. An early letter to the Center is from an anonymous student whose dean made sexual advances. When she ﬁnally “told him oﬀ,” he “took to riding his bike in the morning and waited until I pulled into the parking lot ‘just to see me.’” The Women’s Center still oﬀers sexual assault counseling, and by Spring Quarter it’s in such high demand there’s usually a waiting list. By the 1990s, radical feminism had all but died out. Mountain Moving turned into an innocuous literary journal before ending publication altogether. The Women’s Coalition (now the College Feminists) and Take Back the Night marches had become institutionalized. But at the height of its fervor, there was nothing quite like it. There was no Sex Week then; just Women’s Week. Rainbow Alliance was called the Gay Union and populated almost entirely by men. Reading Mountain Moving speaks to how much less fraught these relationships are now. “I understand that people don’t have that sense of urgency anymore,” Heilman says. “We won.”
y friend likes to say feminists are worse than Catholics when it comes to guilt. This is no less true in the College Fems. The buzzword today is “inclusive.” It’s not so much that they’ve lost sight of the movement – they’re just trying to make it sound more appealing. Each fall they kick things oﬀ with a discussion on “What is feminism?” and spend much of the time talking about what it’s not: unshaven leg hair. Lesbianism. Induced miscarriage. They hand out “I <3 Consensual Sex” pins to freshmen. They bake brownies. Raymond, who is unequivocally “vain” about her appearance, confesses she spent her latest tax refund on $100 worth of cosmetics. Jaracz has a slightly diﬀerent guilt story. She comes from a small and “small-minded” town called Plainﬁeld, about 45 minutes from Chicago. In ﬁrst grade, her teacher asked the students to draw pictures of their future selves. She drew herself holding a baby. When I ask if she can still see herself as a stay-at-home mom, she nods. “I want kids.” To this day, she doesn’t tell her friends back home she’s majoring in gender studies. “I don’t admit to it. It’s like I’m gay or something.” In many ways, Jaracz represents NU’s conﬂicted feminist: wary of labels, politically cautious and absolutely head-over-heels in love with boys. Because so much was accomplished by the last wave of feminists, the stakes no longer seem very high. Sex Week and Juice!, the contemporary equivalent to Mountain Moving, are much quicker to associate feminism with pillow talk. By the same token, when the group tried to organize a Choice Week event on Roe v. Wade a couple of Januarys ago, it went over like a “lead balloon.” This has created a new misconception. “People on campus seem to think we want everyone to be having sex with multiple partners every day,” Jaracz says. Hughes, for one, is enjoying Northwestern’s newfound sexual openness. One of the death knells of second-wave feminism was not just that it achieved many of its goals – it also broke apart. Pornography became the focus of the ’80s, while transsexuals and lesbians like Hughes got shipped oﬀ the boat. “There was a tendency to insist that we should focus on the commonalities we have as women, but I think that leads nowhere,” she says. We don’t have those hang-ups anymore. When Hughes asks, “What is a woman? And who gets to decide?” no one blinks. And if someone like Maxine Christine wants to pose in Playboy, well, isn’t that part of liberation, too?
Dillo Day M�� 30
On Dillo Day,
You are responsible for your Guests.
BEHIND THE SCENES
The construction crunch at Harris C
onsidering it’s undergoing its first major renovation since its completion in 1915, historic Harris Hall has withstood the wear of time remarkably well. But what’s going on that’s making you take all those history classes in Tech? In 2007, Marvin Loquist, the Weinberg associate dean for physical environment, told The Daily he considered Harris to be a “marvelous” building, but said “you would either have to change small parts or renovate the whole building.” According to John Brzezinski, Facilities Management’s senior project manager, much of Harris Hall is being replaced rather than restored. “The majority of the building is seeing what we refer to as a ‘gut rehab’” he says. “We pretty much cut everything out of the space and replace it all,” he says. The building’s rich history and element of sentimental value are being taken into account, and construction is approached with a certain element of finesse. Optimistically, Harris Hall will reopen in August 2010. Improving and modernizing safety features is a major focus of the project. “There are life safety features that do not meet current codes,” Brezezinki says. Asbestos-filled walls and floors have been gutted, removing the potentially hazardous materials. Handicap access will be improved with the addition of an elevator, sprinklers will be installed and stairwells will be enclosed for increased fire protection. Brezezinki points out that the buildings’ open stairwells were a potential fire hazard, dangerous for anyone who’s sat in a cramped history discussion. “If you study the stairwell in modern buildings, there are doors and they contain the stairwell as a safe zone,” he says. “Whereas in old buildings it’s all open so if there were to be a fire on the the first floor, it would just run up the stairwell and spread very quickly; in a modern building, you contain it floor by floor and keep your stairwell safe so people can escape.” For increased energy efficiency, windows will be fitted with insulated glass. The well-preserved frames, however, will be restored, a lifetime of chipped paint given a fresh coat. Upholding the University’s increasing interest in ‘green,’ the building expects to be certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building. In addition to general repairs, such as modification of floors and windows to align the aged structure with modern building codes, Harris Hall will also expand to provide more room for the Department of History as well as space for the Center of Historical Studies. To facilitate interdepartmental communication, classrooms will occupy the ground floor while administrative offices will be dispersed on the upper levels.
The project is overseen by Northwestern Facilities Management, which handles building projects on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses. After the Department was assessed, an architect was selected based on the cohesiveness of project need and architect expertise. The Harris Hall renovation is being executed by Weese Langley Weese, a small Chicago-based architectural firm, selected for its experience with the renovation and restoration of historic buildings. Primera Engineers, Ltd. has also been commissioned. Because the project was “in the works prior to this fiscal year,” says Brezezinki, it will not be affected by the economic recession. Harris Hall was named after Norman Wait Harris, the founder of Harris Bank, philanthropist and University trustee who donated $150,000 for the construction project. When it first opened, Harris Hall housed the departments of political science, history and economics – political science and economics have since moved out and Harris Hall has been largely occupied by the Department of History. University Archives reveal that political science at NU in fact began with the construction of Harris Hall when history and government were split into separate departments. Harris’ son, who served on the faculty of Northwestern, acted as one of the new department’s initial members. University Archives reveal Harris’ architectural pedigree. Completed in 1915, the building was designed by Charles Coolidge of Boston-based Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge – he also designed the Art Institute – in a Neoclassical Revivalist style. Closer to Evanston, Coolidge also designed a mansion that would be called home by two of NU’s most famous benefactors: Joseph Medill and Robert R. McCormick. Medill, Chicago Tribune founder and journalSean Collins Walsh/The Daily Northwestern ism school namesake, who owned the Wheaton Construction crews entrenched outside Harris Hall. It will reopen in August 2010. mansion until it was passed on to his grandson, Robert R. McCormick. Northwestern Law School oak, stone and plaster and, again, has weathered the years alumnus McCormick acquired not only Medill’s home but the impressively, Brezezinski says. “As we started into the project Tribune as well. The Wheaton estate, named Cantigny by Mceverybody just keeps exploring and looking and just marveling Cormick, is now open to the public. at how well it’s held up.” Despite its age, a major renovation has not been undertaken until now because Harris is a very well-designed building made of extremely sturdy material such as old growth forest ERA DYKHNE
THE BROADWAY HIT COMES TO CHICAGO!
DIRECTED BY CHARLES
DON’T MISS THIS EXTRAORDINARY THEATRICAL EVENT FROM FOUR-TIME TONY AWARD-WINNER TOM STOPPARD AND THESE ROCKIN’ EVENTS! READING, WRITING, REVOLUTION: OUR ROLE IN EDUCATION REFORM A Panel with Bill Ayers, Erica Meiners, Therese Quinn and David Stovall, moderated by Kevin Kumashiro. Tuesday, May 12 | 6-8PM | FREE
WXRT NIGHT AT THE THEATER WITH LIN BREHMER Thursday, May 14 | 5:30PM reception; 7:30PM performance | $50
MUSIC, POLITICS AND REVOLUTION: WBEZ’S “SOUND OPINIONS” LIVE AT THE GOODMAN Monday, May 18 | 6PM | FREE Visit GoodmanTheatre.org for more information. Tickets are available by phone only at 312.443.3800.
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OVERHEARD AT NU
Olafur Eliasson’s Ventilator Blues The challenging Danish artist sets up at the MCA
simplest and the earlitial and temporal situation(s).” est. In a small black To set the mood for the rest of the show, room at the end of a several large colored panels hang in the main dark corridor, a yellow corridor and atrium of the museum. This hose runs up one side of the wall and is Your eye activity field, a piece commissioned across the ceiling. A fine mist sprays specially for the MCA. The piece contains from small holes perforating the 300 color bars, one for each of the 300 nanoceiling section, which is illuminated meters in the visible light spectrum. Enter by a spotlight. This creates rainbows the hall to your right and you are immersed that change with the undulating in pure yellow light emanating from a long streams of mist. In the entire exhibit, row of monochromatic bulbs on the ceiling spanning 16 years of work, Beauty is of a spacious hallway. The eyes adjust in a few perhaps the most eloquent. moments and everything turns into grayscale, At the other end of the exhibit except yellow. Photography does little justice is Ventilator, an to the experience. altered black When first entering Am I suggesting fan suspended the space, I imagine it Eliasson move into the from the ceiling, to be like stepping into approximately some ’50s sci-fi alternafield of geothermal seven feet from tive universe where energy? Maybe. the floor. The everyone lives on daffan blows erratifodils. This alienating cally about the world of yellow light is room, fluctuating in its trajectory as appropriate for an artist whose chief interest people enter and exit. While Room for is awakening our perceptive awareness, whose one color might seem to lead somemantra is “seeing yourself seeing.” where like the Emerald City, VentilaOne of the works that left the strongest tor is contemporary art’s version of impression on me, Beauty, is also one of the “The Pit and The Pendulum.” The volatility in Eliasson’s work becomes apparent here. It comes out elsewhere in Multiple Grotto, an oversized stainless steel structure that stands like a robotic sea urchin paused in its crawl across the gallery floor. On the outside sharp-edged metal spikes are visible; inside, the spikes become kaleidoscopes that look out onto the the gallery. Several other pieces reflect Eliasson’s interest in kaleidoscopes, recombining the light and imagery of the gallery to mesmerizing effect. PICK UP • DELIVERY • DINE-IN There is a certain beauty to these pieces in their experiential quality and simplicity. At the same time, I have trouble seeing beyond the shimmering colors and revolving lights. Several suites of photographs of Iceland hang in another room, arranged according to subject – islands, fields, caves, rivers. The photos, along with a long table of wire and cardboard models, are meant to give an idea of the artist’s research methods. Associate Curator Dominic Molon explained that something unique in Iceland’s place on the globe (When mentioned. Not good with any other discounts.) – something that causes very long shadows – also leads to Eliasson’s interest in the relation of science and nature in his work. After viewing Ventilator next to the room of Iceland photos, my sense of the work began to change. 500 Davis (1/2 block East of Chicago Avenue) I keep expecting something beneath the superficial appearance of changing colors and lights. Eliasson has found something intriguDINE-IN SPECIAL ing in the unique forms and characteristics (5p-11pm. Except baby pizzas. Not good with any other discounts) of Iceland, but so far the deeper power that lies in the island is yet to be felt in the artist’s work. Am I suggesting Eliasson move into the field of geothermal energy? Maybe. Numerous models are set up on several tables in room of photographs, many of which are created from enmeshed wire or geometTaste of Himalayas brought to you! ric cardboard forms. I think of Buckminster Royal Indian and Authentic Nepali Cuisine Fuller, the revolutionary designer whose work is on display upstairs at the museum. While Weekday Lunch Buffet Special- $9.95 Eliasson often echoes many of the formal elements in Fuller’s work, it is lacking elsewhere. Weekend Lunch Buffet Special- $10.95 Where Fuller’s geodesic dome presents WE DELIVER U Private Party Room available- call for details a utopian architectural model, Eliasson’s suspended version, Inverted Berlin sphere, is with valid Wildcard a little too easily likened to a disco ball or a 630 Church St. • Evanston, IL 60201 modernist hanging lamp. This is one of the s r r most present dangers in Eliasson’s work; the FOR DINNER MENU ONLY crux of the work too often lies only in sensory
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G AV IF A TC IL A A R BL D E
AKE YOUR TIME” is the declamatory title at the entrance to Olafur Eliasson’s work currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibit, which began at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2007, is the first major survey of the Danish-Icelandic artist in the United States. The show features a range of Eliasson’s projects dating from 1993 (Beauty) to the present (Your eye activity field). In prefacing the exhibit, curator Madeleine Grynsztejn and the artist emphasized the role each person plays in relation to the work. Grynsztejn remarked on the spectacular quality of the work, which she described as awe-inspiring without attempting to conceal the cause of the effect (as opposed to Hollywood, where all effects are special). Eliasson explained that each museum-goer becomes a co-producer of the work. I should say, then, that Eliasson’s show is at the MCA for you to take part in. All this is implied in the title of the exhibit: Take Your Time. Grynsztejn spoke of the way Eliasson’s work gives back “the gift of subjectivity” that we can no longer, apparently, take for granted. Eliasson, in conversation with Robert Irwin, implies that in the title of the exhibit he wants to convey the idea of actively engaging in “spa-
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Top: Olafur Eliasson, Colour space embracer, 2005. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchased through a gift of Chara Schreyer and the Accessions Committee Fund; photo: Jens Ziehe; © 2009 Olafur Eliasson. Bottom: Olafur Eliasson, Beauty, 1993. Installation view at AROS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, 2004; Collection Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; photo: Poul Pedersen; © 2009 Olafur Eliasson. stimulation. Works such as these run the risk of seeming too superficial. Many ask of Eliasson’s scientific background because many of these works feel cold, too carefully composed or over-simplified. Like a science experiment, Eliasson’s work presents exploration of isolated sensory phenomena. Upon review of the exhibition, many of the works seem too similar to what you might come across in a science museum or high fashion concept store. I don’t know if this after-effect is one I want from the show. This is one of my chief problems with Eliasson. I want someone to, as Grynsztejn said, give back my “gift of subjectivity,” but it’s ultimately something that only I can do, and probably only after lots of therapy. Eliasson wants us to remember we are seeing we are seeing (that’s not a typo) with his work; but if he asks us each to be the producers of the show, it’s going to be a show about our common cultural experiences. We will think of Louis Vuitton or BMW before we start talking phenomenology or harkening back to our primordial un-experience. The artist seems precariously perched between installation art and an experience-based economy. Eliasson is able to strip away all but the most essential elements in his work – one color, one shape, one idea. He presents these in “experimental setups” that provoke varying degrees of sensory stimulation, but where does it all lead?
MAN ON THE BEAT
WHY WE LIKE...
Kelsey Wild, singer-songwriter-pianist
Punk rock Toshi is on the couch. He is thinking about everything but then again he is thinking about nothing. Schaffer plays Guitar Hero II. “Institutionalized,” by Suicidal Tendencies. “Hey Schaffer, what’s this song?” “Some – punk song … punk song … punk song.” It echoes in Toshi’s head. Schaffer’s fingers fly. Images swirl around Toshi. Garish frat boys swagger into a bar. Sorority girls sing along to pop music. Needle scratch. Emaciated youngsters take up instruments onstage. They look like heroin addicts, play like dervishes. Shouted lyrics, three chords. Frat boys howl and pull their collars over their ears. Out steps a rebel clad in torn leather jacket and dirty black jeans. Billy looks glumly at his beer. “Do we have to go drinking every night, guys?” A masked figure appears. It’s Captain Straight-Edge! Billy’s drunk friends cower. With lightning speed, CSE’s Xed hand slaps Billy’s beer to the ground. “You’re right, Billy, you don’t need poisons in your body to fit in. It’s OK to be Out of Step. Just stand up for yourself and stay focused.” Toshi walks to class past a parking lot. President Beanfield rolls up in a red Cadillac and rolls down his window. “Hey kid, what are you rebelling against?” “Whaddaya got?” A would-be sorority girl weeps in a hallway. She looks up to see a girl with piercings and spiky hair. “Aw you poor thing, you couldn’t even conform right,” the girl says. She puts headphones on would-be girl. The tears stop. Toshi stands at the career fair. Suit, résumé, fake leather portfolio. “Try these, kid.” It’s Jello Biafra from Dead Kennedys, holding out his glasses. Toshi puts them on. The people are filled with gears, motherboards, cams, servos, oil, fasteners. Some are simply filled with amoeba-slime. Quoth Jello, “It’s different when you’re a punk.” David sano
‘I’ve gotten better but I’m not Elton John.’ genre. You can be metal and be indie or you can be anything … it’s hard. I guess I would just like to be looked at as an artist (laughs).
Do you ever try to pattern yourself after an artist? Influences are great and you can write a song with certain influences in mind, but then you want to go back and change it as much as you can to make it your own, because you don’t want to draw too many comparisons to something else, or Jeremy Gordon/The Daily Northwestern otherwise you’re just going to be “the girl who sounds like...” Ideally I elsey Wild is not just another would like to be someone who can create my college singer-songwriter-pianist own sound, whatever that may be, and I’m – she’s a college singer-songwriterpianist at your school. Marvel at how still figuring what that is.
her soft-spoken voice transforms into a strong, assertive alto devoid of jejune collegiate aloofness once she’s on stage at Evanston venues, such as Bill’s Blues. The Communication freshman, who’s been playing live since high school, shares her feelings on performing, being compared to Avril Lavigne and how it feels to play in front of classmates. What kind of songwriter do you think you are? That’s a hard question. It’s hard to look at my own music from an unbiased perspective and say exactly what it is.
What would you like it to be? What would I like it to be? I would like to be considered ... I don’t know, I guess the easy genre would be singer-songwriter or like, indie or something, but I don’t even think indie is a
What’s the worst review you ever got? I haven’t gotten any harsh reviews, really, but then again I’m not that well known (laughs). I’m not well known enough to incur the wrath. There was one, I was like 16 and someone compared me to Avril Lavigne and I was embarrassed by that. For the most part things have been fairly positive. How do you reconcile being a student versus being a performer? They’re very separate, but it’s always been that way. When I was in high school it was separate, and it was even more separate, I think, because everyone had known me for so long. I grew up in this very small school where everyone knows each other, and as soon as something changes it’s very noticeable. Up until when I started playing music, I was just like, “book girl.” I was very shy. When I
started playing, that became my thing. “Piano girl!” Again being labeled. Coming here, I don’t know if it has to be this way, but I’m just very private about writing and stuff. I get squeamish (laughs) if people are there while I’m writing because it’s kind of hard to sort through things. I get distracted easily. I have to have a little bit of time during the day to practice and get in the zone. What about seeing classmates at shows? Does that ever happen? It’s definitely a different dynamic. During a show you just get in the zone because the expectations of your behavior are different. You’re expected to go entertain and put on a show, and it’s a lot of fun. Shows are great because it’s where the two worlds are allowed to intersect. Coming back into the classroom actually is a little awkward because I’m not up on stage. I’m not performing … for me, performing is not my strong suit. I enjoy it and I would like to get better at it, but it’s not why I play. Are there things that you find uncomfortable? Especially starting out, I was not comfortable at all playing piano in front of an audience, but also on some level it was rewarding to connect with these strangers, these people in the audience, which is why I kept doing it. I’ve gotten better; you start looking at things you need to improve on because you want to make yourself a better performer and musician and part of that is being personable. I’ve gotten better but I’m not Elton John (laughs). I’m not putting on a Broadway show. It’s hard. It’s hard but it’s fun. It’s probably easier for other people. JEREMY GORDON
THE BROW critical reviews on the week’s new releases LOW BROW
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band Outer South
uch of this sprawling album evokes early Wilco: an almost textbook alt-country feel runs through the work. While Oberst’s signature trembling, “sensitive man” ballads are still present, most of the album eschews these offerings in favor of more musically lively tracks that highlight the strength of his fellow musicians. Oberst shares both vocal and songwriting duties with his bandmates, who provide an alternative to his nasally whine. These songs fit into the greater cohesive set of motifs set forth by Oberst’s pieces, making Outer South a solid offering. benjamin goldrich
Bob Dylan Together Through Life
reams never did work for me, anyway. Even if they did come true,” croaks Dylan on his latest. It’s the lyrical peak and a fleeting glimpse of classic Dylan cynicism amidst the southern blues shuffles and occasional Tex-Mex breaks. Much of the album’s lyrical content lacks intense depth or layered wit. He seems to have found comfort at the bottom of a whiskey bottle in a bar full of friends, who’ve taken the instrumental lead, while Bob throws back another. But amidst the smoky blend of music something familiar lingers – a ghost not easily identified, let alone caught.
eaturing snappy vocal hooks layered on snap-worthy beats, this album is no more than what its title says it is. With its repetitious chorus, “In a Modern World,” is one of the catchier of the songs, but listen to the lyrics and you’re bound to be disappointed. “Wishing I could carry you away, but I can’t, feeling like a child and a parent.” That’s Casey Spooner, so cumbersomely droning on in “Door Train Home” – a song that easily feels like an Evanescence b-side. But that’s just what “Entertainment” is – nothing to be taken seriously, but something to enjoy. allie gross andrea hart
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