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fortnightly student magazine

volume 17 — issue 5

The Tower, Looking Forward

p. 8

you did not break my heart

p. 14

Eat Your Day Away

p. 9

Q&A: Kate McCarthy

p. 16

Trish Palermo: Advocating for All

p. 11

Are You My Advisor?

p. 19


Olivia Novotny


VOLUME 17, ISSUE 5 EDITORIAL: Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Cities Editor Voices Editor Music Editor Online editor Copy editors Multimedia Editor Multimedia Producer

Emma Klingler Jake Steinberg Annie Burdick Kassidy Tarala Liv Martin Alex Wittenberg Chris Shea Kikki Boersma Carson Kaskel Olivia Heusinkveld

Editorial Interns: Abbie Clapp, Alexander Cain, Claire Becker, Ella Cashman, Emma Dill, George Miller, Hannah Haakenson, Luci Bischoff, Megan Hoff, Morgan Benth, Olivia Hultgren, Simon Batistich, Tala Alfoqaha

BMMEBZ

PRODUCTION: Executive Director Production Manager Creative Director Finance Manager PR/Ad Manager Social Media Manager PR and Advertising Associate Art Director Designers

Web Manager Distribution Manager

Holly Wilson Olivia Novotny Kate Doyle Rakshit Kalra Aaron Christianson Grace Steward Sophie Stephens Katie Heywood Andrew Tomten Kellen Renstrom Megan Smith Laurel Tieman Cassie Varrige

Production Interns: Darby Ottoson (PR) Art Interns: Emily Hill, Jade Mulcahy, Jaye Ahn, Lauren Smith,

Mariah Crabb, Natalie Klemond, Peyton Garcia, Sophie Stephens, Stevie Lacher

THIS ISSUE: Š2017 The Wake Student Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Established in 2002, The Wake is a fortnightly independent magazine and registered student organization produced by and for students at the University of Minnesota. The Wake was founded by Chrin Ruen & James DeLong. Disclaimer: The purpose of The Wake is to provide a forum in which students can voice their opinions. Opinions expressed in the magazine are not representative of the publication or university as a whole. To join the conversation email eklingler@wakemag.org . The Wake Student Magazine 126 Coffman Memorial Union 300 Washington Avenue SE Minneapolis, MN 55455

Writers Alexandra Larson, Alex Cain, Annie Burdick, Carson Kaskel, Claire Becker, Claire Redell, Hannah Haakenson, Holly Wilson, Jack Hedlund-Fay, Karl Witkowiak, Madeline Harpell, Morgan Benth, Megan Hoff, Megan Palmer, Noah Schminski, Olivia Hultgren, Olivia Novotny, Taylor Pearson, Art 1, 2, 3 Katie Heywood, 4 Ruby Guthrie, 5, 6 Will Hanson, 7 Lauren Smith, 8 Morgan Wittmers-Graves, 9 Peyton Garcia, 10 Katie Heywood, 11 Lauren Smith, 12 Stevie Lacher, 13 Natalie Klemond, 14 Jade Mulcahy, 15 Katie Heywood, 16 Ashley Bernhardt Cover by Jaye Ahn

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Megan Smith


INSIDE

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Letter from the Editor

12/6

12/12

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Theatre in the Round Rundown

Harper’s Jar,

The Tower, Looking Forward

Turf Club

University Wind Ensemble and University Symphony Orchestra Concert

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Eat Your Day Away

10

Art by Natalie Klemond

11

Trish Palermo: Advocating for All

14

you did not break my heart

15

Art by Stevie Lacher

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Q&A: Kate McCarthy

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Are You My Advisor?

19

The Trash Man Club

20

Minnesota Wages War

21

Government Seats Gaining Diversity

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Six Reviews

w/ Odd Daughters, Victor’s Door

Tedd Mann Concert Hall

12/7 Moonlight showing

12/16 A

Moonlight chronicles the life of a young queer black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world. Capri Theater

A Conspiracy of Strange Girls Night Market C Holiday Night Market showcasing local artists, in collaboration with Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts Modist Brewing Company

12/8 Kulture Klub Collaborative 25th Anniversary Celebration Featuring ZuluZuluu, Lady Midnight, BatMN, DJ Mickey Breeze, and hosted by Lt. Sunnie The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge

A

12/8-1/7 Dot Fresh from Broadway, in the comedydrama “Dot” a fading matriarch brings family together in Philadelphia Proscenium Stage

B

12/10 Henry James Patterson

B

w/ Love Sequence, Broken Beaks 7th Street Entry

C

THE WAKE

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Letter from the Editor Dear Reader, Thank you for picking up this magazine, wherever you may be. It is with bittersweet feelings of nostalgia that these are the last words I will write for The Wake. I remember my first meeting. I would’ve never heard of it if it weren’t for my Frontier Hall neighbor Karl (read his articles on page 23!), who convinced me to make the trek to Folwell Hall on a chilly fall evening back in late 2014. Freshman year. In other words, an eternity ago. I was young and stupid, so much that I didn’t even pick up an article. I was nervous, intimidated by how cool and hip everyone was. But as I walked out the door, I knew it wouldn’t be the last time and promised myself that I would give it a second chance. Soon I would become one of them. Sure enough, I followed through on that promise and returned in the Spring. I wouldn’t miss another meeting, and in the blink of an eye, the end of an era. I started from the bottom, writing stories as a freelancer, went on to become an intern, then the online editor, and finally multimedia editor, making videos. It’s been a wild ride but it would’ve been meaningless without all the people I crossed paths with along the way. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to meet some of the coolest folks around, many of whom will hopefully remain my friends for a long time. The Wake helped me become a confident writer, inspired me to pursue photography, and introduced me to an amazing community of artists who are doing incredible things for the world. It gave me a chance to be a journalist. To turn curiosity into 750 word articles, and eventually, to help others do the same. Since its inception 17 years ago, The Wake has been an inclusive group of impassioned thinkers and creators who care deeply about the world and want to make a difference through expressing themselves, whether it be through words, illustration, or design, as well as those who keep the ship sailing. Every 4 years, a clean slate of Wakies replaces the last, on to bigger and better things, so the magazine is always changing in the most unique of ways. I look forward to seeing where the evolution takes this incredible publication in the future. Thank you, and long live The Wake! Carson Kaskel Multimedia Editor

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DEC 3—17


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CITIES

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Theatre in the Round Rundown

Window Into Another Worldview

This Season’s Must-See Performances

A historic and essential exhibit comes to the Walker Art Center

BY ALEX CAIN Theatre in the Round, located on Cedar Avenue, just off West Bank, has been a staple in the Minneapolis theatre community for years. Currently in their 66th season, Theatre in the Round is known for the diversity of their theatrical productions. With seats encircling the entirety of the stage, the audience is immersed in a production for a unique theatregoing experience. With winter now in full swing, what better way to spend a chilly night than indoors experiencing a world-class performance? This season’s productions involve a number of different genres. Here’s a rundown of my picks for must-sees of the season: 1. For mystery lovers, “And Then There Were None” is currently showing at the theatre and runs until December 17th. Based on the popular Agatha Christie novel, this play centers on multiple murders on a remote island. 2. For comedy lovers, “Rhinoceros” will be showing from January 5th-28th. This production by Eugene Ionesco is about a man who realizes everyone around him is turning into a rhinoceros and questions social conformity in human nature. 3. For book lovers, the performance of “Emma” from February 9th-March 4th will be a hit. An adaptation of her famous novel, Jane Austen is also part of this production as she guides her characters through the challenges of finding love. Besides these three, Theatre in the Round will also be showing “Canterville Ghost,” “Metromaniacs,” “Postmortem,” and “Jeeves in Bloom.” The 66th season of performances began in November and will run through late July. Regular tickets are $22; they also offer student discounts on Fridays and Sundays. Learn more about Theatre in the Round at theatreintheround.org.

THE WAKE

BY TAYLOR PEARSON I was recently invited to a special preview event for a complex new exhibit at the Walker titled, “Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950.” The event included an enlightening walk through the exhibit with two of its curators: Gerardo Mosquera and Elsa Vega. The experience left me with a better understanding of how artists can be influenced by their reality and a new appreciation for what art can convey about the human experience. The exhibit takes a critical look at how Cuba’s revolutionary period shaped art within the country during the last 65 years. This exhibit is the most extensive collection of Cuban art to be shown in America since 1944, giving it historic significance. The exhibit will only be shown twice—Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts held the exhibit earlier this year, and the Walker houses the exhibit from Nov. 11th until March 18th, 2018. I was impressed by the sheer size of the collection, which features many different mediums of artistic impression—paintings, photos, sculptures, videos, and even performance pieces, from over 50 different artists. Curator Gerardo Mosquera spoke about the difficult decisions the curators made when selecting which pieces of art to feature, and he stressed how many more weren’t able to be included. He also expressed that the layout of the exhibit was meticulously crafted—every piece was placed around the space with the goal of having each work of art incite a conversation with one another. Both curators highlighted the theme of “utopia” as we walked through each room of the collection. Every work of art in the exhibit tells a story of the fantasies and lies the people of Cuba experienced following Castro’s 1959 revolution. With “Adios Utopia” the Walker once again brings a culturally significant art collection to the Twin Cities that will encourage creativity and inspire fascination.

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CITIES

Whose Line Is It?

For Minnprov, the University’s short-form student improv team, turns out it really doesn’t matter BY OLIVIA HULTGREN Where can you go for a chance to see two people trapped in a telephone booth, a whale autopsy, and Hogwarts janitors cleaning up the Chamber of Secrets? The answer is a Minnprov comedy show. The student club performs improvisational comedy, the art of making comedic bits and sets up on the spot. Contrary to stand-up comedy, the students act without preparing lines ahead of time. Their shows consist of various improv games designed to create funny situations. But how do these actors come up with such elaborate ideas, let alone make the audience laugh? Andy Peterson, one of the Minnprov team captains, says the key to improvising is “listening before speaking,” and that bouncing off of what others say is also important. Imagination plays a big part as well. “If I’m in a scene at the butcher shop,” Peterson says, “I ask, ‘What would a person at a butcher shop do?’ I’m just going to pretend I’m there.” Team captain Paige Kraemer stresses that performers should always say “yes” to their scene partner’s ideas to avoid creating awkward tension on stage. The students aim for high energy and spontaneity, creating a show where the possibilities are endless and the scenes are ridiculously funny. “The fear going in is that you’re going to be the one person who looks like an idiot,” senior Max Friedman says. “But in the end, everyone decides to look like an idiot.” The improv students take “going with the flow” to a whole new level, whether that means playing whale coroners or even a Christmas tree. The end result? Hilarity, and the occasional Harry Potter reference. Minnprov’s next show will be Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in The Whole.

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The Tower, Looking Forward How a simple edit has demonstrated The Tower’s commitment to inclusivity BY CLAIRE REDELL

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In a time when creative expression can be suppressed due to political turmoil and global terrorism, the community fostered by the U of M’s very own arts and literary magazine, The Tower, has remained strong. Formerly referred to as “The Ivory Tower” when serving as an insert in the Minnesota Daily in the fifties, and since resurfacing as a stand-alone publication in 2006, The Tower’s new name change signifies its growth. Though it may not seem like the change carries much significance, Editors-in-Chief Joanna Jensen and Marah Walker unveiled the true meaning behind the change while highlighting the magazine’s noteworthy qualities. Adhering to the magazine’s central message of inclusivity, the name change solidified The Tower’s commitment to diversity on the U of M campus, according to Jensen and Walker: “This year, we want to guarantee that our name appropriately conveys our commitment to publishing and celebrating all identities.” Unsurprisingly, they are doing just that. Looking over the contributors to last year’s edition, it seems as though The Tower received submissions from every academic major imaginable; students studying history, Russian, neuroscience, nursing, music, and chemical engineering are only a few of many. The majority of contributors do not list their interest in the arts, yet it can be assumed that they, like many, believe it is a form of expression suitable and necessary for all walks of life. This goes along with the theme of this year’s edition, “Human Noise,” which capitalizes on the inclination humans have that they should communicate by utilizing artistic expression. It is also important to note that The Tower staff changes each year, as it is part of a year-long class that requires students to apply for specific roles once their place in the course is secured. By doing so, the planning, creation, and implementation processes for the magazine are addressed by a completely new set of students each year, all led by professor Jim Cihlar, who has been with The Tower since 2012. Undergraduate students can submit their art, poetry, nonfiction, and fiction submissions to thetower. submittable.com/submit until Wednesday, December 6th. All are welcome to submit. As Jensen and Walker say, “We want to hear everyone’s heart, and we invite you to listen.”

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CITIES

Welcome to Food Bowl Society What are you really losing by eating everything in a bowl? BY ANNIE BURDICK In case you haven’t been outside recently, I should inform you of some startling news. Food all just comes in bowls now! Yep. While you were inside hibernating, the world collectively decided that holding a sandwich or burrito or having ingredients sit separately on a plate is a fad of the past! Say hello to bowl culture. You can now find all of your favorite foods, including burritos, yogurt, sushi, and even tikka masala, encapsulated in a bowl. So, at its core, what is the difference between a bowl of food and a self-contained version with the same ingredients? Finding an answer to this question is literally my sole purpose for writing this article. Benefits of The Bowl 1. You can follow an underpaid employee through a line of tantalizing ingredients, hand-selecting the ones you’d like. Definitely appealing.

2. Posting photos of your organic acai yogurt bowl on Instagram is undeniably more appealing than posting a photo of your Key Lime Pie Yoplait. I get it. 3. I suppose you’re saving those tortilla calories/ carbs with the punishment of having to use a fork and not getting a tortilla. Benefits of The Traditional 1. Holding food in your own hands never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s a tradition that dates back centuries. 2. If you are holding a sandwich or burrito, you are mobile. You can walk down the street, fight off supervillains, or pick up the mail, all without putting down your lunch. 3. Tortillas and/or bread are still potentially involved. Craving a food bowl? Try Qdoba for a breakfast burrito bowl, Himalayan for a bomb chicken tikka masala bowl (and others), Sprout for a variety of salad bowls, or The Cove for poke bowls, to name a few local, student-friendly options.

Eat Your Day Away in the underappreciated U’s West/Village These food metropolis

Happy hour: Sally’s

neighborhoods make for the perfect full-day feast

Say what you will about Sally’s, but they have some bomb deals for the student whose bank account resembles a barren wasteland. Spend your happy hour downing $2 rail drinks and domestic beers, and if you’re getting hungry again, splurge for some half price apps. They have other cheap food deals throughout the week, but if you’re following this day-long gluttony festival, save room for the next course.

BY ANNIE BURDICK

Dinner: Haiku

Dinkytown gets all the praise, but as a current Stadium Village resident and a former West Bank resident, I’m here to stand up for those underappreciated food havens. There are plenty of meals in what I’m officially calling the West/ Village (get it? West Bank + Stadium Village?) that are good enough to make your mouth water. So, why not make a day of it? Here is a day-long plan of hardcore eating to satisfy any West/Village foodie.

If you like sushi, I’m sure this will be a fabulous dinner full of hard choices and tuna vs salmon debates. If you don’t like sushi, you should still go. The hibachi—whether chicken, steak, fried rice, or any of the others—is one of the best things I’ve eaten, ever. Make sure to save some money and room for this stop on your overeating tour. Dessert: Mango Factory

Start the morning off on West Bank, just a block or so from Carlson. This casual, comfy spot offers a popular breakfast menu all day long. Fuel up with some french toast or eggs benedict and brace for your full day of food adventures.

The dessert menu is worth the journey back to West Bank. Major points go to the watermelon smoothie and the mango pudding. Crepes, ice cream, french toast, and a mouth-confusing delicacy called “fluffy snow” are all honorable mentions. Plus, the presentation will make for your best “insta” of the day.

Lunch: Bar Luchador

Late night stop: Hard Times Cafe

Ready to spice up the day? Spend the midday hour at Bar Luchador scarfing down fantastic tacos and avoiding eye contact with the shirtless wrestlers covering the wallpaper.

This West Bank staple, open all but two hours a day, is the perfect late-night pick for all, especially for the vegetarians and vegans in the group. Who says a 3 a.m. tofu scramble can’t replace the greasy burger of yesteryear?

Breakfast: West Bank Diner

THE WAKE

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CREATIVE ART WRITING

Natalie Klemond


TRISH PALERMO:

FEATURE

ADVOCATING FOR ALL TRISH PALERMO FACES UNIQUE CHALLENGES AS STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT IN A TURBULENT POLITICAL CLIMATE BY MEGAN PALMER

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FEATURE

TRISH PALERMO’S ALARM BLARES EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING AT 5 A.M.

room to talk to different groups, or planted in the corner typing away at her laptop.

Her fingers stretch to silence the noise, but she won’t get out of bed anytime soon. Instead, the snooze takes a beating until it’s actually time to get moving at 6 a.m.

That’s exactly where I found her. As she clacks at the keyboard, her phone rings. She sighs, and answers it quietly. The conversation lasts but a minute or two, and when it’s done, she sighs again and sets her phone down. She stands. Palermo may be short, but her presence is commanding. Her dark, wavy hair is gathered at the nape of her neck. Her clear blue eyes sweep the room to meet mine.

Sitting in her kitchen, she downs an entire pot of coffee by herself as she checks her email. On campus her classes are sandwiched by meetings with the university administration and the Minnesota Student Association. She spends spare moments of downtime in the MSA office. Representing 30,000 undergraduate students is like trying to sprint a marathon; it’s a jam-packed year-long position full of ups and downs without much time to catch your breath. It is anything but boring. You have to be all in, and Palermo has been in for the long haul. The MSA office is a raucous place. Committees congregate, and members sprawl on chairs, chat and do homework. You can usually find Palermo discussing executive matters with Student Body Vice President Erik Hillesheim, flitting around the

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“Are you ready?” she asks expectantly. How could I not be? Time is fleeting, especially for Palermo, and I want to catch as many of her words as I can.

A PASSION FOR ADVOCACY Since she was a teenager, Palermo has been driven by a desire to improve the lives of those around her. Competing in political categories during high school speech tournaments opened her eyes to activism and involvement. A mother who hails from Lebanon and a family who still resides there stoked a passion for human rights advocacy.

Palermo started her career in student governance as a freshman intern for MSA. A year later she became the Committee Director for the MSA Campus Life Committee. After her sophomore year, she was elected chair of the Student Senate, which governs all five University of Minnesota campuses. She couldn’t juggle working with both organizations, so she chose the Senate, where she thought she could have a greater impact. She loved writing policy during her time as chair, but felt something was missing. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, Palermo was left feeling as though her work in MSA wasn’t done. She sought to have a more direct impact on the students of the Twin Cities campus. The university’s undergraduate government would allow her to do more than write policy; she would have a direct relationship with the students she represented. When election season came around last winter, Palermo felt a calling. She ditched her plans to run for senate chair a second time, and threw her hat in the ring for student body president. “Because of everything at stake for students,” she said, “I felt like I had no choice but to run.”


FEATURE

“STUDENT GOVERNMENT HAS EVOLVED FROM ADVOCATING TO EXTEND ALL OF OUR RIGHTS TO HOLDING ONTO THE RIGHTS THAT WE HAVE.”

for their questionable ethics and employee mistreatment. Palermo also championed a wider variety of food in student housing to increase options for students with different dietary needs, such as providing kosher and halal options. She’s also put her energy towards new projects, such as MSA’s landlord accountability campaign that launched Nov. 26, and allows students to see which local landlords have had at least three unresolved legal disputes with renters. The list includes apartments such as The Rail and Prime Place, and rental companies like Dinkytown Rentals. Palermo hopes this list will help students avoid the guessing game of picking reliable landlords once they move off campus. After last spring’s contentious election, Palermo is determined to make the most of her final year in MSA. She is neither concerned with following in the footsteps of her predecessors, nor setting an example for those that will come after her. What she values above all else, is getting work done. “As for my own publicity, I prefer to highlight members of my team and the work that they’re doing,” she said.

A COMPELLING LEADER Palermo’s team holds the same respect for her as she does for them. When asked about their leader, they pause, and their eyes stretch upwards toward the ceiling; not for a lack of words, but because they’re formulating the best possible response about a person they care so deeply for.

From the recent federal rescindment of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, to rolling back portions of Title IX—the federal law that prevents discrimination in academic settings—the new administration has forced Palermo to put MSA on the defensive, a role that sets her apart from past presidents. “Student government has evolved from advocating to extend all of our rights to holding onto the rights that we have,” Palermo said.

ADVOCATING FOR THE STUDENT BODY Palermo built her platform around concerns she has heard students voice throughout her time at the U. From conversations she had as a firstyear with her peers, to discussions she had with freshmen as a CA, to emails that she receives on a daily basis, she truly wants to be a voice for the student body. Her largest projects have focused on improving student quality of life and safety. Palermo has emboldened the university to hold Aramark—the supplier for all campus dining halls—accountable

Introduced by a mutual friend, Palermo met her vice president less than a year ago at Wally’s Falafel and Hummus over winter break. Hillesheim has been impressed by her conviction and tenacity since their first meeting. “She’s a complete badass, and knows how to get things done,” he said, as his hands gestured wildly to articulate his appreciation. Sophomore and Committee Director for Campus Life James Farnsworth feels similarly. Farnsworth met Palermo last year through social media. As a freshman, he was unsatisfied with dining hall food, and posted on Facebook soliciting recommendations from peers on what they would like to see changed. Palermo saw the post and reached out to him, advising him on how to most effectively reach other students, and suggested meeting in person to talk more. As they got to know each other better, she asked him to be a volunteer coordinator for her campaign, and the two worked closely throughout the process.

FAITH IN THE PROCESS Above all else, Palermo wants to ensure that students understand the unique position they are in. Being able to go into a meeting and provide their opinion is something that students underestimate. She stresses that the university does care about its students, and when there are specific requests to be advocated for, she is confident the administration will listen. “I have so much faith in the process,” she said. “When there are these issues, there are ways to address them.” When asked if she sees a career in politics, she furrows her brow, draws a quick breath, exhales a curt, “no,” and laughs. She has loved every minute of this experience and would never take it back, but her true passions lie elsewhere. She plans to take a year or two off after she graduates, and then pursue a law degree, focusing on international law. She hopes to become a human rights attorney. Of course, being the head of an entire nonprofit can be overwhelming. She knows when to prioritize her own well-being. When Palermo truly has a free moment to herself, she enjoys cooking— not well, she claims—as well as rollerblading and knitting. “When I was a CA in T-hall I started a group called Nifty Knitters, which was awesome, I should start that back up,” she said, chuckling to herself. Living in a political environment that does not prioritize students is what keeps Palermo motivated. The reason she ran for president, created her platform, and sets her alarm for 5 a.m. every morning, is for the students. “I think the student voice is really important,” she said. “And it’s really powerful.” The days can be long, but even Palermo goes to bed at some point. Upon returning home she checks her email once more, watches an episode of “Friends” on Netflix, then goes bed to do it all again the next day.

“She really champions authentic advocacy, she really listens to students, she really cares about what we’re working on,” said Farnsworth. “It’s not about her, it’s about the issues and being really responsive to students.”

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CREATIVE WRITING

you did not break my heart BY MADELINE HARPELL I I should have left it written on my sleeve this is not blood it is a metaphor the openness I lent you was not love but my throbbing middle finger to the world that pointed and said she cannot be kind without motive maybe I wanted you to think of me as a saint of a woman maybe I wanted to stop you from ruining the potential you have to be a lover and loved maybe it was your affinity for ruling yourself out that got us both stuck I realized before you that I am better off I cannot take on your sadness II I want to kindly ruin the boys who broke my heart you are not one of them I know if I run away now you would not chase me but sit on this damp bench and in fluorescent lighting wait you’d sit and wait and I’d walk back panting next to your tail between legs tongue tied to teeth the airplanes emerge from their distance like a comet and I wonder if the meteor shower is still in its season but it is just an airplane landing and you never finish your sentences III the remnants are gone from the sky except those planes that do not stop landing and there’s a bonsai-looking tree next to us that I have always wished they would let grow I wish the same for you I wish you would let yourself grow.

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DEC 3—17


ART

Stevie Lacher

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Q&A

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Q&A With Kate McCarthy BY HANNAH HAAKENSON AND MEGAN HOFF If you get the chance, head on over to the Humble Cup coffee shop on Friday night and watch the Midnight Shit. We went and interviewed Kate McCarthy, one of the performers, to find out what it takes to be a comedian at the U. Read on to get to know one of Minneapolis’s best young female comedians.

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: How did you get your start in comedy? Kate McCarthy: Before I was 18, I think I just thought about nothing all the time. I don’t even know what I thought about. As a kid, I was always in our family videos, and you can see me not even being a hilarious kid, but I was always directing my siblings in things. I was always fairly silly in most of my friend groups. I think I was always seeking attention or being a little more goofy. I was voted runner-up for class comedian in high school, which is funny in two ways. One, my school was like, ‘Class clown. We can’t— that’s a little too mean. Class comedian, though…’ Two, I was the runner-up. I wasn’t the main girl. I don’t know what she’s doing today, but it’s probably very funny. I started doing performance stuff in our eighth grade play. Everyone in the class had to be in the play, which is a horrible idea, now that I think about it. But I got to be Annie in “Annie,” and I was just like, ‘I’m gonna do this now. This is my life.’ I got very serious about acting, and in high school,

my freshman year, I ate lunch in the library and I read all the movie books and acting books, which is a lame thing… But I don’t think even then people were like, ‘What an amazing performer! She is going places.’ : What was your first comedy show like? KM: Technically, my first time on stage was a show, kind of... It was an open mic. The first time that I did stand-up was at the first comedy club showcase, here at the U, Fall of 2015. It was a pretty small audience, which was okay by me, and I did three minutes of jokes. Weirdly enough, I never did any of those jokes ever again. I don’t know why. They were, like, not even that bad for a first time. But, I just remember being up there and feeling weirdly comfortable. I don’t know that I read it as weirdly comfortable, or that people were like, ‘She is a natural.’ There was one moment where I was like, ‘This is really, really correct and good for me. I like doing this and being here, and

DEC 3—17


Q&A

I think I could do this.’ And then afterwards, I remember these two older male comedians from the comedy club looked over and kinda looked me up and down and said, ‘Hey, good job.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. Fuck yeah. I won them over, and now they’re afraid of me. They know who’s boss.’ It was an encouraging start, rather than, you know... a lot of people’s first times are terrible. : What is your favorite joke to tell? KM: One of them is a stand-up joke that I don’t even do that much anymore, but I think of it as one of my favorite jokes because it has felt the most … like it came from a place of expressing something that I hadn’t noticed that was frustrating, and then I synthesized that, and I was like, ‘And this is my thought in joke form.’ I used to do this almost manic monologue type joke describing the insane process that I, and probably many girls, go through when I would spend the night with my boyfriend like freshman year in the dorms, and I would use all these weird, like, heightened absurd examples of the ways I was cleansing my body. So I would talk about lathering myself in all these lotions and perfumes so that I’m like a slimy lizard, which is, I guess, good, and you know, like switch out your normal underwear with your lace underwear, and all these things… that has always done well and seemed to strike a chord with people. And then also there is something I will be doing tonight at Strike Theater, which is something we did for Midnight Shit earlier this year, and I was on my period, and we were about to do our third Midnight Shit, and I was like … I just had this idea like, ‘What if tampons acted like magnets in the body and like procured things from your loins?’ So I took a bunch of tampons and soaked them in red Kool-Aid and then hot glued things to the ends of the tampon. So I would have like a plastic gem and an iPod shuffle and this DVD of “The Best of Alec Baldwin” on SNL, and they’re all like, hanging from these tampons, and I would duct tape them to my inner thighs and my stomach, and then I would do this monologue where I’m like, ‘So let’s see what my body has for me today!’ and then I would reach up and pull them out and be like,

THE WAKE

‘Wow, you guys, it’s a bottle of Clinique face wash! Amazing!’ : How do you deal with a tough crowd? KM: I’m still learning. It takes a long time to get good at stand-up. Let’s see... Right away, if you feel like a crowd pulls back from one joke or another, like... sometimes I can tell by the first thing that I say if they’re maybe older or younger, if they’re a little more hip, if they’re more conservative or conventional… You know, they don’t wanna hear you talk about your pubes, or they’re not gonna get your Winona Ryder references … So you can kinda tell and quickly mentally scurry through your material to select, like, ‘This will probably work better and this won’t.’ Sometimes if I have a crowd that doesn’t seem to dig my vibe, which is—I don’t know what my vibe is—but sometimes it’s almost theatrical to a vaudeville point… But, I think I’m also read as like the young woman’s perspective. All my first stuff was about ‘Look at this stuff I’m forced to do because I’m a woman.’ If I feel that they don’t necessarily want that, I’ll revert to longer, storytelling-type jokes. Sometimes I end up digging myself into a hole talking about sex stuff because people know that I’m young and I think they pull back on that sometimes. A comic once told me, ‘It’s really cool to see you dig yourself into a hole and then emerge from it.’ Once you get to that point where you feel that they’re not with it, it’s just like pulling out the right Jenga pieces so that the whole thing doesn’t crumble and you can salvage something.

comedy, because I’m always mentally calculating for about half the audience—guys—to either not get my stuff or think it’s excessive or dumb. I’m always aware that my material is stridently about my perspective, which is female, and sometimes falls into the idea of what people think that is and sometimes doesn’t. And that, if I’m one woman performer in a group of men, or one of a few women, I can’t do poorly because I’m the representative for the night, which is crazy. But I think a lot of the time I have the privilege to not think about being a woman in comedy as an obstacle since I’ve been given a pretty fair shot so far, especially in the comedy communities I’ve been in that are more aware, and that is so not the case all the time for women. Being a woman in comedy is a lot like being a woman anywhere. You need to shout to be heard sometimes... you carry this extra pressure, you fight to have the same level of camaraderie with the guys, you have this idea in the first place that you need to be approved of by the guys. But in male-dominated shows, you’re often people’s favorite—a breath of fresh air, a welcome change. I ultimately wanna have so many female-driven shows that the paradigm flips and people see a woman performer come out and they go, ‘Ugh, another one?’ That would be the ultimate switch up! You can check out Kate and her friends perform unique comedy acts every Friday night starting at 12 a.m. at Humble Cup on West Bank. In addition, keep your eyes out for Kate’s monthly show, “Who is She?” which is an original act based on 70s TV shows and is performed in different spots around Dinkytown. More information on the time and location can be found on fliers around campus and Facebook.

: What is it like being a woman in comedy? KM: I’m always operating with the awareness that I am factually a woman in

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VOICES

Are You My Advisor? The Nightmare of Switching Advisors

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BY HANNAH HAAKENSON The summer leading up to my freshman year of college, I was what every freshman was: excited, a little apprehensive, but mostly ready to get out of the house. After attending orientation in early June and meeting with my relatable academic advisor, Natan Paradise, I set up a schedule that I loved and felt ready for the school year. However, in the middle of July, I received an email that said my advisor was leaving his position because he accepted a different position at the U. This was a fairly hard decision for Dr. Paradise; he had been a CLA advisor for 15 years. When asked why he left this position, Dr. Paradise stated, “For a job to pull me out of advising, it had to be in CLA, and it had to be a job where I thought I could make as much of a difference for the students and for the college as I made as an advisor. That job finally came, when I was offered the position of Associate Director of the Center for Jewish Studies.” Although slightly disappointed to lose such a great advisor, I was excited for Dr. Paradise’s new opportunity, and I was promised to be assigned a new advisor by August, so I didn’t think about it too much. School rolled around, and I still had no advisor. I decided not to worry and just roll with it. However, after finding out that I could not be in my Spanish class any longer, I started to worry because I lost five credits and was now labeled a part-time student. I signed up for a drop-in appointment the next day and crossed my fingers in hope that everything would work out.

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The next day, I met with a new advisor, explained my unfortunate predicament, and waited for the sage advice of this stranger. We went back and forth about what my options were and finally landed on the decision to fill in my schedule with a history class. Then the time was up, and I was off on my own again. There was another glitch with the scheduling (thanks, Schedule Builder), and I had to schedule another drop-in. At this point, I was really curious as to where my supposed “new” advisor was... sitting on a beach? Enjoying a drink at the bar? Nonetheless, I submitted my request to meet with yet another stranger to put my life together in 15 minutes. I sat down with my new temporary advisor and watched as she started the clock on our appointment. The time started ticking away as I once again explained the unfortunate situation I was in and waited for a solution that did not leave me as a part-time student. Time seemed to melt off the clock, and I was suddenly being ushered out of the office with various sheets and numbers to refer to. All said and done, my schedule was finally figured out, and I once again had enough credits to be considered a full-time student. In late October, I received the email I had been waiting for: I had finally been assigned a new advisor. Coming in as a freshman, it was pretty stressful to have to deal with the constant bouncing between random advisors and having to explain my situation over and over again. Although I was

promised a new advisor before the start of school, I failed to get one until a month and a half into the school year. I asked Dr. Paradise why it took so long for the position to be filled, and he explained: “First of all, CLA won’t hire just anybody to be an advisor. It’s too important a job. It takes a while to find somebody who already has experience in advising, who is deeply committed to the liberal arts, who has demonstrated the ability to develop a rapport with students, who has demonstrated an abiding allegiance to diversity and inclusivity, who knows something about career development—--the list of requirements and expectations goes on and on. So that takes time, and it requires the time of multiple advisors to read applications from many dozens of candidates, interview multiple candidates, choose which ones to send to secondround interviews with administrators, and then make the hire.”

“The time started ticking away as I once again explained the unfortunate situation I was in and waited for a solution that did not leave me as a parttime student.” Even though it took much longer than expected to be assigned a new advisor, I was pleased to find out that the university takes a considerable amount of time to fill the spot because they seek someone who is perfect for the position of an academic advisor.


The Trash Man Club

VOICES

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Examining the fast-growing club of powerful men accused of sexual misconduct BY CLAIRE BECKER I would like to begin by officially welcoming Louis C.K. and Al Franken to the club of trash men. Congratulations guys, you deserve it! Comedian Louis C.K. and Senator Al Franken are two of the most recent inductees to the exclusive club of rich, powerful, and famous men who have been accused of sexual misconduct. The two were initiated on Nov. 9 and Nov. 16, respectively. Although the club has no doubt existed for centuries, its presence in American media skyrocketed on Oct. 5 when Harvey Weinstein was accused of raping three women and assaulting or otherwise harassing dozens of others. Following Weinstein’s accusations and subsequent induction into the trash club, countless women began to speak up, nominating trash man after trash man for the now staggeringly large group, which boasts members of the likes of George H.W. Bush, Ben Affleck, Kevin Spacey, Donald Trump, and now, Louis C.K. and Al Franken. Although the club has been quite prevalent in the news of late, its existence is no surprise to American women. We’ve watched presidents, politicians, musicians, actors, directors, and artists assault women for years. Chris Brown, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Bill Clinton. And we’ve been reporting it. Rihanna nominated Chris Brown, Amber Heard accused Johnny Depp, Mia Farrow called out Woody Allen, Monica Lewinski charged Bill Clinton. Women have been saying “me too” for years. What’s surprising to us is that people are finally listening. We can’t let this newfound visibility of the trash man club go to waste. Knowing the current members is the first step to preventing new ones. We don’t need another Chris Brown to keep his career and win a Grammy after he beats up a woman, or another Donald Trump to be elected president after he admits to verbal sexual harassment. We need Louis C.K.’s to lose their jobs and movie deals after they expose themselves to women without consent. We need to divest power from trash men who did not deserve it in the first place. 8

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Did You Forget That Women Are Humans, Too? “Female” encompasses what it means to be a woman...sort of BY MEGAN HOFF “Daughter, lover, healer, broken halo, mother nature, fire, suit of armor, soul survivor, holy water...” and the list goes on in Keith Urban’s latest single, “Female.” It’s supposed to be a song about female empowerment, in light of the outpouring of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others. While Urban’s intentions may be good, the song is, well, not. Cheap rhymes and repetition made what could have been a powerful ballad redundant and dull. Though I respect that he is all for supporting women, his attempt is lacking, in more ways than one. The biggest problem I have with the song is the chorus, which lists the various types of ways in which women exist or can be identified. “Secret keeper, fortune teller, Virgin Mary, scarlet letter...” But out of all of those, he forgets to mention the most obvious: human. Women deserve respect not based on their relation to men, but because they are human. Not because they are someone’s mother or sister, not just because they might provide a shoulder to lean on or the ability to reproduce. I don’t know how many times “Women are people, too” will have to be said before it sticks. Besides the lame lyrics (which Urban didn’t even write), the timing of the song is kind of questionable. Though writing and recording a song is what musicians and songwriters do to express themselves, this almost feels like Urban’s attempt at grabbing the coattails of Weinstein’s negative publicity. Urban paused work on his album to record the song, and it feels less like boosting feminism and more like a ploy for appearing progressive.

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VOICES

Minnesota Wages War

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Minimum wage dispute: State v Minneapolis BY ALEXANDRA LARSON

70 percent of students in college have worked while obtaining an education. More students are working while attending school full-time than 25 years ago, according to a Georgetown University study published in 2015. This increase is due to many factors like the cost of an education, and the age or experience of the student. Regardless of the situation of the student, minimum wage jobs are important for students. They offer experience in the workforce and don't require much background, while offering in-company promotions or management positions—marketable in postcollege job searches. And now, in Minnesota, the Minimum wage is increasing from $9.50 for large businesses and $7.75 for smaller ones to $15 an hour for all. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is suing the city of Minneapolis over the minimum wage increase. The state of Minnesota’s Chamber of Commerce requested in district court an injunction to halt the ordinance. Following the halt, the chamber requested another injunction to permanently invalidate the change in minimum wage in the city. What? To clarify, an injunction is a legal term for lawsuit, and the Chamber of Commerce is an organized local association that cares about business interests of a given place, in this case, the state of Minnesota. Since states decide minimum wages, the Chamber of Commerce claims the city does not have the authority to increase the minimum, and they are

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filing a lawsuit to dispute the increase. In short, the state is suing the city.

tailoring anything is a complicated task due to the vast range in living expenses within a state.

Background

15 Now

The Minnesota minimum wage increased in the city of Minneapolis following a vote by the city council this summer. The increase from $9.50 to $15 an hour will be fully implemented by July 2024.

15 Now is an organization dedicated to fighting for a $15 minimum wage in Minneapolis. The organization plans to dispute the Chamber’s attempt to sue the city. Ginger Jentzen, the former executive director of the organization, released a statement rebuking large businesses’desperation to protect their profits amid changes in wages.

The push for this increase created controversy with the split of a livable wage and a sustainable business. The concerns of those in favor of the raise are focused on the cost of living in the city, while the counter argument express concern for the ability of smaller businesses to operate without reducing staff. Other Cities Minneapolis is the first Midwest city to implement the change. Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. have all increased minimum wage in cities without altering the state’s minimum. The Minneapolis increase is modeled after these cities in the way the change will be gradually “phased in” over the course of four years, beginning in 2020. A living wage isn't the same for all people in one state. The calculations of a living wage differ between larger cities and smaller ones. In London, the Greater London Authority surveyed the population twice about local conditions to find a “poverty threshold figure” reported by The Economist—something Minneapolis could try. Learning from other cities, states, and even countries, it becomes clear that a blanket minimum isn’t as simple as it sounds. Narrowly

“The concerns of those in favor of the raise are focused on the cost of living in the city, while the counter argument express concern for the ability of smaller businesses to operate without reducing staff.” The injunction requests must be acted upon in the upcoming months; until then, businesses are planning to implement the law which was passed this summer. Large businesses will raise their minimum to $10 an hour beginning January 2018. The University of Minnesota will be included in this raise, paying minimum wage employees $10 this new year. Students who feel passionately about the minimum wage increase can visit 15Now.org for events and demonstration dates, or contact the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce with questions about the injunction requests.

DEC 3—17


VOICES

Government Seats Gaining Diversity Taking steps in a more progressive direction

BY MORGAN BENTH Seeing Minnesota’s own Ilhan Omar make history by winning a House of Representatives seat and being the first Somali-American legislator was inspiring to minorities and allies alike, with the trend of diversity in government continuing after the recent elections across the country on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Finding one’s voice when the majority of those representing America are rich, white men can be immensely frustrating for a lot of people, and since the recent election included more minorities and women, there will hopefully continue to be an increase in diverse representatives in governmental positions. Here are a few of the people who won their races and defied the norm.

Danica Roem She was popular before the election even occurred, running as a transgender woman. Her opponent, Bob Marshall, wrote the “bathroom bill” that took away the liberty for transgender individuals to utilize the restroom for the gender they identified with. One of her main focuses for her term is to fix the congested traffic in her state as well as advocate for better teacher pay and Medicaid expansions. Roem’s win as the first openly transgender woman in a state legislature is much larger than herself; it’s a movement in a more progressive direction, and a sigh of relief for the transgender community after the many setbacks it has encountered in Virginia.

Wilmot Collins In order to escape the intense civil war in Liberia, Collins fled to Ghana,undertaking the vetting process to come to the United States. He now resides in Helena, Montana, where his daughter

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was living as a high school exchange student and planning to attend college. Collins endured the prolonged process of gaining immigrant status to the United States to live by her. Now, with his daughter in the Navy, his son attending the University of Montana, his wife working as a nurse for the Army Reserve, and he himself having worked with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, the Navy Reserve, and as a professor, he makes it quite evident that refugees are vital for American communities. In a mayoral race against James Smith, a 16-year incumbent, Collins won amidst the strict rhetoric of President Trump’s immigration initiatives. His election spreads the larger message that refugees are good people who give back to their communities in plentiful measures.

Ravinder Bhalla In the midst of the disbursement of fliers proclaiming him a terrorist, Bhalla overcame the disillusioned propaganda and the competition of five other candidates to become the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey. Many often confuse the Sikh faith, which is based out of India and revolves around values of equality, with either Hinduism or Islam, and place negative biases on those associated with the faith without any clear knowledge of its goals. Bhalla makes it clear that he will not stand for hate in any of its forms. He, as well as the turban he sports with immense pride, inspires a community of people who do not often feel comfortable, heard, or represented.

Elizabeth Guzman

Vi Lyles Hala Ayala These two were elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, and are the first Hispanic women to sit in these seats. The two white men they ran against were incumbents who have repeatedly won their districts or have run unopposed, yet Guzman and Ayala overcame the odds by striving to increase voter turnout, succeeding by high margins and securing their victories. Ayala’s platform is to expand Medicaid, protect contraceptives and abortion access, and raise salaries for teachers, while Guzman plans to focus on integrating more family and health services. With the passion to take over these roles, as well as the power to completely swap their districts from Republican to Democrat, these women have shown that they have the capacity to achieve their hopes for policy and mobilize their constituents.

With voter turnout higher than initially predicted, Lyles took the position in Charlotte, North Carolina as their first female African-American mayor. Her opponent and incumbent, Kenny Smith, had both more funding and spending than her campaign did, yet she came out on top with her message of equality for their city being much more resounding. Her platform resonated with those wanting to fix housing issues, the job market, and citizens’ trust of their law enforcement. Lyles boasted to her supporters about how proud she was to begin her journey representing them as a woman whose father did not graduate from high school. She wants to prove that if people work hard towards their goals, they can achieve them, no matter what the odds are.

Art by Will Hanson

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SIX REVIEWS

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11

Phases

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Lemon

Mr. Finish Line

N.E.R.D

Vulfpeck

BY HOLLY WILSON

BY NOAH SCHMINSKI

BY OLIVIA NOVOTNY

With their revolutionary debut album “In Search Of…” introducing a type of weirdness to rap culture back in 2001, rap/rock/punk group N.E.R.D became highly successful. The album’s legacy continues today, even inspiring artists such as Tyler the Creator. Seventeen years and four mildly successful albums later, the group seemed to be as dead as three of the four Beatles.

I absolutely adore Vulfpeck in all their joyful glory. I was hooked the first time I heard the clarinet trio in their song “Back Pocket” two years ago. This November, they released their newest album, “Mr. Finish Line.” It begins with “Birds of a Feather, We Rock Together,” a light and smooth track featuring the amazing Antwann Stanley, a common collaborator with them. Following is the album’s namesake, a sweet tune with the refreshing femme vocals of Christine Hucal.

Angel Olsen knows how to construct an album. Listening through her catalog from “Half Way Home” to her most recent release, “My Woman,” you can hear the time Olsen has spent meticulously curating each album. Her attention to detail makes them the strong collections that they are—not one song is out of place. But, for those few songs that didn’t fit into Olsen’s perfectly crafted LPs, Olsen has gathered them together for “Phases”: an assortment of rarities, covers, and demos. Olsen has built a working body of music, and this collection shows you the bones this body first required in order to grow.

That is until Nov. 1, when posters with the words “No_One Ever Really Dies” began to pop up around the Los Angeles area. Instantly, these posters began to trend on Twitter, with fans constantly updating N.E.R.D’s account with hopes of a new single. They were rewarded with the single “Lemon,” which seemed like it could have been a deleted track from “In Search Of…” itself. The song not only focuses on booty shaking, but delves deeper into our current political climate, the N.F.L protests, and gun control laws. The real star of the song, however, is Rihanna, who flaunted the new rapping skills she obtained while working with Kendrick Lamar on his song “Loyalty.” She even seemed to challenge Pharrell Williams, making him seem like the featured artist on his own song. So, this leaves us with the question, “Is N.E.R.D finally back?” Sadly, this is not the return of the infamous rock/hip-hop group, but rather another page to add to Rihanna’s resumé, affirming that she is one of the greatest female artists of all time. Out of fives lemons, I would give this song four, which is just enough to make lemonade.

The band does not fall short with nonsensical sports references that they’ve played with in the past (“Game Winner” is a must-listen). “Tee Time” is a short, fast-paced little piano ditty that makes you feel like you’re skipping around in a video game. My personal favorite, “Hero Town,” is blessed with the drumming of Michael Bland, Prince’s drummer for seven years in the 90s. He is wearing a First Avenue shirt in their music video, repping Minneapolis along with Vulpeck’s guitarist, Cory Wong. Wong met the band back in 2012 when playing a gig at Bunkers in downtown Minneapolis. Joey Dosik is in on that track as well, bringing in some funk on the saxophone as always. Vulfpeck did their latest collection injustice by releasing half of the songs as singles before the album came out. Even so, this did create hype around it, especially because of the fun live recordings that were released with the songs. With slower jams, goofier lyrics, and bigger collaborations, this funk band hits it home yet another time. Vulfpeck is guaranteed to put swag in your step strolling down the street, or let loose your fullout dancing feet.

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Angel Olsen

The name “Phases” encompasses the album well. It takes listeners on Olsen’s journey of musical change throughout the past few years. You hear her own influences in covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “Tougher than the Rest” and Roky Erickson’s “For You.” Although not her own songs, Olsen takes the opportunity to strip these ones back to their bare bones as well—putting her own magical touch on them. “Phases” brings together an assortment of songs that tell the tale of a traveling troubadour. The songs compiled on it never feel locked in one place, but rather they roam. This geographic detachment is reflective of the heavy touring schedule Olsen has been on since the release of “My Woman.” Olsen has been across the globe, never in one place too long. On the brand new track “Sans,” she sings, “Time moves so strangely when you’re moving all the time.” Olsen managed to capture that in this collection. “Phases” takes listeners on a trip through Olsen’s world, and they have Olsen’s unique and identifiable voice to keep them oriented.

DEC 3—17


SIX REVIEWS

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16

Thor: Ragnarok

What if Nothing WALK THE MOON BY KARL WITKOWIAK The evolution of the sound and style of a band is integral in allowing them to stand the test of time. Walk the Moon must have realized this because their latest album, “What If Nothing,” is a notable departure from their catchy, danceable alternative rock. Unfortunately, the group’s experimentation with a sound that leans towards 80s synth-pop doesn’t quite live up to expectations. “What If Nothing” feels like Walk the Moon is incorporating plenty of different styles, but not quite mastering any of them. Some of these styles they pull off well, like the Talking Heads-inspired “All I Want.” However, some tracks are a bit unusual, like the pop-punk style of “Headphones” or the bizarre Genesis-esque “Sound of Awakening.” Unfortunately, many of these songs don’t quite play up Walk the Moon’s strengths, such as their focus on a broad spectrum of emotions and exciting hooks. “One Foot,” the lead-off single, remains the best song off of the album due to having what makes the band so great to begin with. Songs like “Tiger Teeth” and “Headphones” have interesting ideas regarding experiences with past relationships, but the metaphors come across as pretty surface level. The experimental nature of this album is definitely admirable, but it is obvious that Walk the Moon needed to fine-tune their ideas in order to really make an impact with “What If Nothing.” They are a fun and upbeat group, but this album just doesn’t have the same charm that their older albums have had.

THE WAKE

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Duck Soup (1933) BY JACK HEDLUND-FAY The late 1920s until the early 1930s was an era of debauchery in Hollywood filmmaking. In the brief period after the advent of “talkies,” but before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code censorship guideline, there was a period that glamorized sex and violence, in which cynical wisecracks, sexual innuendo, and socially dangerous comic style reigned supreme. In this Pre-Code era, no group was more symbolic of the rapid-fire, non-stop comedic banter than the Marx Brothers. Their sixth film adventure, “Duck Soup,” sees Rufus T. Firefly (portrayed by actor Groucho Marx) become the head of the small, bankrupt country of Freedonia and the hijinks that ensue as he tries (and fails) to comport himself as a statesman. Harpo and Chico Marx play the incompetent spies, Pinky and Chicolini, who are sent by the neighboring country of Sylvania to spy on Firefly. The entire film is rife with ridicules of war and nationalism as well as sexual comedy and physical humor. “Duck Soup” contains several noteworthy scenes that should be mentioned. Most notably is the “mirror scene” in which Pinky, dressed as Firefly, hilariously pretends to be Firefly’s reflection in a missing mirror. This particular gag has been parodied in countless comedy films and cartoons since, including Looney Tunes, Mickey Mouse, and The Pink Panther. Also worth noting is the street vendor confrontation in which Pinky and Chicolini harass a lemonade seller with hilarious results. From beginning to end, the rapid fire comedic style of the Marx Brothers will have you in hysterics.

BY KARL WITKOWIAK The first scene of a film often establishes the storyline for the rest of the film. In the latest Thor movie, “Ragnarok,” the story begins with Thor spitting quips while fighting against a giant fire demon, setting a high mark that the first two Thor movies couldn’t quite encapsulate. Thor may be the black sheep of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it comes to stand-alone movies, but “Thor: Ragnarok” is easily the best out of the independent Thor movies, incorporating charm and style to the best of its abilities. The movie makes the most out of character interactions and the worlds it creates. Most of the movie takes place in the world of Sakaar, a planet that is gritty and disgusting, but also colorful, which contrasts with the dark but pristine world of Asgard. Almost every scene feels like it could fit well on an 80s metal album cover. This film also showcases an entertaining clan of characters, from returners like Loki and the Hulk, to newcomers like Valkyrie. “Thor: Ragnarok” is one of Marvel’s funnier movies, featuring real comedic standouts Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster and Taika Waititi, the film’s director, playing the character Korg. This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a positive. “Thor: Ragnarok” follows plenty of the Marvel tropes and, as a result, is pretty predictable. However, it is by far one of their most entertaining and hilarious. “Ragnarok” is a popcorn flick in the purest sense, but it owns it.

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VO L

17 Need a playlist for your week?

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The Wake Issue 5 Fall 2017  
The Wake Issue 5 Fall 2017  
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