fortnightly student magazine
volume 16 â€” issue 7
coffee and kulan creates conversation
dear trump administration
albums you probably missed in 2016
the other side of madison faupelâ€™s wall
waltzing through windertide
VOLUME 16, ISSUE 7 coffee and kulan
the good grocer
nick alm & makda biniam
the future is us
dear trump administration
the other side of madison faupel’s wall
albums you probably missed in 2016
“art will not save us”
waltzing through windertide
©2017 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 email@example.com.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR With a new semester comes a new issue of The Wake, our beloved little rag fueled by the thoughts and interests of students at the University of Minnesota. As always, we’ve made it hot for you, dear reader, including perspectives from activists on the rise, artists you may have missed in 2016, occult worlds of graffiti, and a cup of coffee with state representative Ilhan Omar. While spring semester is an exciting time to look forward to the next stage of your college career, it’s never a bad time to reflect on those you love most. My dear grandmother, Jane Blocher, passed away late last month, so naturally I’ve been reminiscing a bit. Janey was not your average grandma. She was on the spunky side, quick to tell those close to her to shapen up, but equally as fast to let them know they looked sharp. She was smart and opinionated, a lover of sports, crossword puzzles, and Alex Trebek’s Jeopardy! One story in particular always comes to mind. Whenever I would visit, Grandma and I would play gin rummy while watching Wheel of Fortune. She was a real hustler, always whining and deliberating about which cards to keep, which to throw. This act went on everytime without fail, until, just as you thought the game was yours, she’d slap her cards down and cry, “Gin!” So whoever it is, give them a hug, a kiss. Let them know. Love is free, love is good. Be easy, Gophers. John Blocher Sound & Vision Editor
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Editorial Interns Chris Shea, Gabby Granada, Isabella Murray, Liv Martin, Sammy Brown
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Lacher, Taylor Daniels, Contributing Writers Benjamin Halom, Carter Blochwitz, Chris Shea, Claudia Althoen, Cody Perakslis, Emma Klingler, Gabby Granada, Isabella Murray, John Blocher, Kate Drakulic, Kari Bull, Karl Witkowiak, Liv Martin, Liv Riggins, Marcus Aarsvold, Pallavi Janiani, Sammy Brown, Tess Maki
CAMPUS NI GHT 3 MAR
Presented by our Student Ambassadors
Student ID required at Box Office. Price does not include $5 processing fee.
BARTÓK’S CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA Fri Mar 3 8pm
FREE WITH YOUR TICKET: • Cookies, coffee & chai • Activities & games • Meet the musicians! Hospitality Partners:
This concert is part of our Inside the Classics series! The conductor and host explore the music through entertaining dialogue and musical excerpts. After intermission, enjoy a full performance of the featured work.
Orchestra Hall / Downtown Minneapolis
Directions @ minnesotaorchestra.org/gethere
Tickets available online only
PHOTOS Greg Helgeson and Courtney Perry
Classical Music For Our Generation Bring your friends to Minnesota Orchestra’s Campus Night for a different musical experience. BY LIV MARTIN Minneapolis is known internationally for being a music hub, and for good reason. It is the hometown of greats like the beloved, late Prince, of new sensations like rapper Lizzo, and of one world-class orchestra. The chance to witness the great Minnesota Orchestra takes only a few minutes by light rail from the University of Minnesota. The orchestra is a Grammy Award-winning ensemble that has recorded over 40 CDs, hosted internationallyrenowned soloists, and is globally known for the high caliber of its musicians. “I love the whole experience of going to Orchestra Hall and seeing the musicians play live. They are all so talented, and it is a really special experience,” says Claire Chenoweth, a freshman at St. Olaf College. “I absolutely love the space. It’s really
clear that the orchestra values their musicians because they have provided such a great space for them.” While Orchestra Hall is modest from the outside, inside its doors is a different story. The main convcert hall seats over 2,000 people and has a giant stage, one big enough for the 82 musicians. Geometric shapes protrude from the ceiling and catch colored rays of light like an abstract art installation. They’re actually sound enhancers, making sure every melody and every chord resonates with the audience.
The upcoming Campus Night is Friday, March 3, at 8 p.m. The orchestra will be playing Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, which he first wrote in 1943 but then revised the ending while on his deathbed in 1945. Of the two endings, the Minnesota Orchestra will perform the second, more dramatic ending that he wrote in 1945 as death was nearing. If you are a student and want to experience some great live music, consider heading to Orchestra Hall for Campus Night on Friday, March 3. The orchestra will have pre- and post-concert activities just for students that you won’t want to miss.
The Minnesota Orchestra strives to make their concerts accessible to everyone, even college students who aren’t rolling in dollar bills. That’s why there are $12 Campus Night concerts, which give students a more than 50 percent discount on tickets.
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Coffee and Kulan Creates Conversation BY ISABELLA MURRAY
State Representative Ilhan Omar meets community members to discuss Capitol happenings Shortly after her election, State Representative Ilhan Omar began holding periodic meetings called “Coffee and Kulan.” In them, Omar acts as a source of support in a turbulent political climate.
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She offers a window into the goings-on at the Capitol and a place to discuss issues in the community with her constituents. Last month, she held one such conversation near the University of Minnesota. The second recurring event was held Jan. 30 at Daybreak Press Global Bookshop and Gathering Space in Stadium Village. “Kulan” means meeting in Somali, and the goal of these community meetings are to be focused on a specific subject, within which constituents can spark a dialogue. More than 70 curious citizens were in attendance according to Patrick English, a member of Omar’s in-district staff. While Omar started a dialogue at 8 p.m., constituents were able to enter the space around 7 p.m. During the spare hour, neighbors and friends gathered in chatter, hugs, and the consumption of coffee and sambusas, a Somali pastry. Omar made rounds throughout the space, introducing herself to each and every eager citizen. After collecting names or exchanging laughs and stories, attendees began to prepare for a discussion on topical points in the political climate. “I came because I wanted to meet this great woman,” University senior Johana CornejoCisneros said. “There are a lot of issues in our current political climate that worry me. A lot of it has to do with my legal status here, so I would like to know what our local politicians are doing to fix this.” As Omar started to introduce herself, the room erupted in applause, which continued many times throughout the discussion.
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The meeting was segmented so that Omar shared her priorities with the group, but also included time to converse with those in attendance. “We are among family, and I want you all to feel like this is a safe space,” Omar said. “This is for you all to ask questions and to push me on whatever you think I’m not doing yet, or what I could do better.” Omar went on to update the group on the bills she has introduced at the Capitol. Many were geared toward infrastructure. Omar also discussed a bonding bill, a renovation project for the Glendale housing complex in Prospect Park, a bill to give a tax exemption for car sharing services, some criminal justice and policing
reform bills, and some student-oriented bills having to do with affirmative consent and student loan servicing. Action was a topic of conversation in addition to simply offering political updates. Once conversation had begun, whether in small groups or the large group overall, students asked a lot of questions to help them learn and understand the political process. “I think it was great. We were trying to get more students involved as well as provide some insight into student life for Ilhan as she’s pushing policy at the Capitol,” English said. Students were encouraged to write their reservations and questions to their legislators, track bills that they care about online, and keep a dialogue going at town hall meetings. If that action doesn’t work, Omar suggested being relentless, repeating those actions. Questioning occurred after Omar discussed her political agenda. The room became heavy with discourse regarding civil rights, historic inequities, privilege, and even misleading aspects of protesting. The audience was diverse, and much passion was present in the small bookstore. There were benevolent disagreements, and fueled statements. This was a space for those hurting in the happenings in America. For Omar, who began her term in early January, the discussion was to be expected. “There are some cool things happening at the Capitol, some depressing things happening, and some really angering things happening in our nation,” Omar said. After Omar’s speech and the subsequent questioning, there was more time for discussion. Much like before the event, the crowd and Omar shared hugs. English recalls his first meeting with Omar—“I was never really politically involved much before, and I had the same star-stuck introduction to her as a lot of the students did last night. I’ve really gotten to enjoy Ilhan on a level which the star-struck Patrick, last May, never would have expected.”
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C A RT E R BLO C H WI T Z
THE GOOD GROCER Run for the people, by the people BY CARTER BLOCHWITZ
After opening its doors in mid-2015, a Minneapolis nonprofit grocery store became one of the first of its kind in the nation. Humbly named “Good Grocer,” this vibrant and modern store functions almost exclusively on the hard work and dedication of regular volunteers from the surrounding community. Located at 122 E. Lake St. in the Whittier neighborhood, Good Grocer stands out in both appearance and how it caters to the ethnically and economically diverse population that surrounds it. “The store started how many great humanitarian missions start,” said Kurt Vickman, owner and founder of Good Grocer. “Myself and other folks began to be disturbed by the growing number of community members struggling to provide their families with enough food.” Vickman met this issue head-on in 2011 by opening up Minneapolis Market, a food shelf operated in the basement of Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church, at
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which he was a pastor. After several years of service, Vickman began to see a pattern of things that he wanted to change in the way he assisted his community. To meet these needs, Vickman started Good Grocer, a storefront powered by its customers. He was able to provide higher quality products at lower prices, and in greater amounts, for those who struggled to make ends meet. “We wanted to create a system where people in need could help other people in need. This was an idea of dignity and contribution,” Vickman said. By offering people in need a chance to work for discounts, he created a new model that he said “wasn’t a handout system,” but instead, “an empowerment system.” At Good Grocer, volunteers from the community fill roles extending from cashiers and shelf-stockers, to social media and finance managers. In exchange for their time and skills, volunteers are eligible for significant discounts on a selection of around 3,000 products available in the store. Since June 2015, Good Grocer has gone from being about 20 percent funded by volunteer power to 50 percent in 2017. The grocery now boasts over 550 members that come in monthly and weekly—some for even 25 hours a week. The remainder of operation costs have been made up by donations from generous members of the community who support the store’s cause. Vickman hopes that within the next three years, Good Grocer will become 100 percent volunteer-driven. Though he expected challenges due to Good Grocer’s single-store operation and quirky business model, Vickman was surprised to gain early support from SuperValu, a major food distributor that sources to larger chain grocery stores. This granted a steady flow of goods community members previously would have
had to seek in more expensive grocery stores. Even without the volunteer discount, Good Grocer’s prices on vegetables and fresh fruit are often cheaper than other stores in the city. As of this year, the store regularly contracts with 10-15 different distributors. “With the ethnic diversity of the area, we wanted to get creative with our distributors,” said Vickman, who has specifically sought products from companies such as Goya and oHoya to cater to the large Latino and Somali populations in the area. Good Grocer also contracts with several local distributors, including Russ Davis Produce, which provides organic, cage-free eggs to the store, and J&B Meats, based out of St. Michael, MN. Despite large leaps the store has made in its 1.5 years of operation, turbulent times may be ahead for Kurt Vickman and Good Grocer. Due to the store’s proximity to Interstate 35, a lane expansion project to the interstate set to occur within the next 12 months has slated to demolish its current building. “We met with the city yesterday,” Vickman said before pausing. “They said that they’re going to pay to relocate us. We’re not gonna go away, it’s just going to be a bit of an adjustment.” Vickman said he was confident that they’ll be able to thrive wherever they are relocated to, but also lamented having to leave the neighborhood. “I feel like Good Grocer has become the neighborhood! Our volunteers come from all the blocks around the store.” Looking to the future, Vickman plans to foster an even stronger shopper-volunteer community connection through projects such as a free in-store coffee and breakfast café. “You can come here and know that all your profits are going to help people who are struggling with hunger.”
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T H E WA K E
ASU’s Got Talent BY PALLAVI JANIANI
The Asian-American Student Union (ASU) held its first-ever talent show on January 29 for people from all over the Twin Cities to showcase any type of performing art. The show was held at The Whole Music Club and included performances mainly by students of Asian descent from around the Twin Cities. The event had a relaxed atmosphere. It was clear ASU intended the event not to be competitive, but more of a platform for artists to perform for one another. The talent show began and ended with surprise performances by the ASU board, which were not listed on the audience’s programs. The board also announced its annual Gala to be held on Feb. 11.
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There were performances by some student groups on campus such as dance groups Twin Cities Bhangra and UBreak, both of which performed high-energy routines. The Soaring Entertainment Crew, a dance duo, put on a show combining
Love to perform? Here’s your platform dance and comedy. There were also performances by individual students. Singer Prerna and others enraptured the audience with their melodious tunes comprising of both covers and originals. University of Minnesota student Arman Shah did a magic and stand up comedy piece that received high praise from the audience. The performances stayed lighthearted throughout. Some performers proposed to their significant others through songs and videos for the ASU Gala dance, bringing tears and smiles to the audience. All of the performers incorporated humor and positivity, promoting harmony at a time in which many groups are feeling threatened, without getting overtly political or opinionated. Performers said they decided to participate to promote their art, get over their nervousness, or just because they loved being on stage. The first ASU talent show went off without any major problems. As the ASU board closed out the show, they expressed their satisfaction with how it went, and hoped their Gala would get as good of a turnout.
P.J. Fleck Promises to Instill “Integrity and Class”
BY BENJAMIN HALOM
New Gophers coach dealt with player crimes in past
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Unlike Claeys, however, Fleck acted “very quickly,” suspending both players at 1 a.m. and expelling them soon after. In spite of this incident, many are hopeful Fleck will value justice over the sheltering of his players, but time will tell if he will be able to “change a culture” he promised to change.
Fleck’s record and statements suggest he can hold up his promises. In a Jan. 6 press conference, he claimed to have come to the University not just to win games, but also to “change a culture” to build expectations of excellence for the University football program, expectations that instill “a zero-tolerance policy” for sexual assault. In his first meeting with players, Fleck instructed them to attend their classes, sit in the front rows, and to wear collared shirts on campus.
However, misconduct still occurred under Fleck’s guidance at Western Michigan. His notoriously aggressive recruiting programs have made it hard to know everything about players’ history and ethics before they join the team. For instance, last September two players were removed from the Western Michigan team for armed robbery and assault. One of these players possessed a documented history of sexual assault dating back to when he was 13 years old. Fleck said the NCAA does not permit background checks, and the offending player’s late walk-on to the team made it hard to interview him properly.
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Change has come to the University of Minnesota football coaching staff in the form of Western Michigan University’s P.J. Fleck, who Athletic Director Mark Coyle said will instill “integrity and class” into the program. After serious allegations of sexual assault resulted in the suspension of 10 players and a threatened bowl game boycott, former head coach Tracy Claeys resisted investigations and punishments carried out against members of his team. Soon after, the University removed Claeys from his post with a $500,000 buyout and hired Fleck to replace him.
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NICK ALM & MAKDA BINIAM: A Profile BY EMMA KLINGLER
An interview with the MSA Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates A group of about 40 students gathered on a Friday night in the back of Purple Onion for the first, friendsonly announcement of what was soon to be a campuswide campaign: the candidacy of Nick Alm and Makda Biniam for president and vice president of the Minnesota Student Association. “I initially said that I wanted to be on a ticket with Makda. I was totally down to be her VP. She was not down to be president,” Nick Alm joked to the crowd of friends and collaborators, all there to share in the excitement of the preparation to which many had already contributed. Alm, the current MSA Speaker of the Forum, and his running mate, Biniam, the Academic Affairs Committee Director, sat down with The Wake the morning of this announcement to discuss their candidacy, and the paths that led them each to make the decision to run. “I am a first-generation, queer college student,” Alm said. “I didn’t choose to go to the U of M because I wanted to do business…my goal of coming to college was to step out of the closet more.” “Myself and Nick belong to marginalized populations, but also the majority,” Biniam said. “I’m part of a sorority on campus, so I’m a part of one of the largest organized communities on campus. I’m also a black woman in Carlson with a STEM minor.” If Biniam is elected, she will be the first black woman to serve as MSA president or vice president. Biniam explained the importance of identity in the leadership structure of MSA: “What sets us apart is that we can resonate with so many diverse individuals just because of our identities and our backgrounds, and I think that in itself is a credential that we need to acknowledge.”
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“I have a responsibility to give back to the organization and make sure that I share the successes and nonsuccesses that I’ve seen,” Alm said. Alm has personally seen a lot of successes during his time at the University of Minnesota. During his sophomore year, he and several friends established Carlson School of Management’s first LGBT+ student group, Compass. Both Alm and Biniam speak to the culture shift that has resulted within Carlson, as well as some tangible changes to the administration. “We just advocated successfully for the hiring of Carlson’s first diversity director,” Alm said. “We were very fortunate that on almost a weekly basis, someone would reaffirm that we were doing the right thing… every time that happened, it gave me just a little more energy, a little more drive.” Alm’s interest in supporting LGBT+ involvement in business expands beyond the University. Concurrent with the creation of Compass, Alm co-founded MoSAIC, a non-profit that helps connect LGBT entrepreneurs from around the world with professionals in Minnesota. “The model we adopted was…Skyping with individuals, helping them develop business plans using their ideas, their goals, asking them what they want.” This model of allowing initiatives to grow from the ground up is reflected in Alm and Biniam’s philosophy regarding the role of MSA leadership in campus change. “We’re just one organization at the end of the day; we’re a big one…but we can’t effectively advocate to the level necessary for everyone on campus,” Alm said. The strategy they hope to employ involves listening to the ideas of student groups targeting specific issues, and providing MSA resources and expertise on
successful campaigns in the hope of broadening the reach and benefits of change initiatives. “We’re going to be focused on partnerships and coalitions,” Alm said. “There’s so many projects, there’s so many great ideas, there’s so many voices to incorporate.” Their platform addresses issues of housing and food security, textbook affordability, and support for studentfacing departments like Boynton, the Aurora Center, and Student Counseling Services. In addition to these, Alm and Biniam plan to address the serious issues of accessibility and accommodation for students with physical disabilities. “We have heard some horror stories from people with disabilities,” Nick said. He cites the numerous building projects planned for the University over the next decade as an opportunity to address these failures: “When those infrastructure projects get planned…we need to have that voice at the table.” The key hallmark of their platform is the intersection of their initiatives with consideration for the needs of all student populations. “When it comes to things like sustainability, diversity, and inclusion especially, we don’t have platform categories for that because our whole platform incorporates diversity,” Nick said. “We need to move away from discussing diversity and inclusion as a separate thing.” Voting in the All Campus Election is open to all undergraduate students March 1, 2, and 3 at vote.umn.edu.
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THE FUTURE IS US
A young, female activist’s take on the Women’s March in St. Paul BY LIV MARTIN
ART BY R U BY G U T H R I E
The day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Saturday, Jan. 21, millions of people all over the United States and the world came together and participated in Women’s Marches to protest his presidency. As a woman who will be affected by Trump’s presidency, I felt it was my duty to take part in this historic event. Plus, on a more personal note, I wanted to be a part of a crowd of people who felt as offended by this election as I did. I knew that spending an afternoon with 100,000 others who felt the same way would be healing. The morning of the march, I stood waiting to get on the light rail at the West Bank station with two girlfriends. When the train pulled up to the station, a collective gasp could be heard from those waiting to get on. The train was totally packed with people headed to the Women’s March in St. Paul. In lovely “Minnesota Nice” fashion, those already on the train squished even closer to let us on. I already felt a strong sense of unity among the crowd of people; it was hard not to because strangers were as close to me as they could possibly be. On that day, being uncomfortable on the light rail didn’t matter. We were all there for the same important purpose. When the train finally reached the Capitol stop, everyone cheered.
“There was an overwhelming amount of young people at the march: women, men, and nonbinary young people—people like me—who were brighteyed, passionate, and invigorated by the experience.”
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We congregated in a large parking lot at St. Paul College. The crowd there was already gigantic; people could be seen peeking out from every level of the nearby parking garage, and the huge lot was overflowing with people of all ages and backgrounds, many wielding signs and donning pink hats. My heart fluttered as my friends and I made our way into the crowd. I felt an immense sense of pride and love for all of the people around me. Initially, there were so many people in the crowd that there was not any physical room for us to march, and so we were stagnant for about an hour. This gave me time to really absorb my surroundings. Many clever signs stuck out of the crowd. “Girls just wanna have FUNdamental human rights,” one said. Another read simply, “Science!” My favorite sign was a photo of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia with the words, “A woman’s place is in the resistance,” superimposed on her image. When the march began, I was delighted by how many elderly women I saw participating. There were some who had walkers, and yet they were still braving the slushy, dirty, snow-covered streets. This sight in itself filled me with optimism. As a young person, I can sometimes be harsh on older people, casting them off as an entire group who still are rooted in their oldfashioned views—people who would vote for someone who wants to “make America great again.” I forget that many of the elderly women I saw have been fighting for
equality way before I was even born. There were also a lot of children in the crowd, perched on their parents’ shoulders, walking beside them, or riding along in strollers. I was so happy to see that parents were giving their children a chance to experience a protest at an early age. I remember my parents taking me with them to protest economic inequality during the Occupy Wall Street movement. I was a pre-teen, around 12, but the experience had a big impact on me. There was an overwhelming amount of young people at the march: women, men, and nonbinary young people—people like me—who were bright-eyed, passionate, and invigorated by the experience. My friends and I skipped and danced and yelled through the streets of St. Paul. We shouted, “We stand united, can’t be divided,” at the top of our lungs. We marched with our arms wrapped around each other and with hope in our hearts. Protesting is our right as American citizens, and it is so important to exercise it. This election has put someone in power who has degraded many groups of people: women, people of color, Muslims, the disabled, those who identify as LGBTQ+… and I could go on. Coming together to show each other that we still care, that we support each other, and that we will stand up for love instead of hate was incredibly important for me to witness. I am part of the new generation of young people that has the power to instill change, and the Women’s March gave me hope that we can.
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Advice and Consent... and Appeasing Constituents The purpose behind cabinet appointment confirmation hearings BY CHRIS SHEA Presidents typically get who they want in their cabinets, and Donald Trump is no exception. His appointees are likely to have a smooth time through the Senate, much like previous cabinet picks, even if many of his nominees do not have the qualifications necessary to head the departments to which they were appointed.
“The public forum of a hearing allows senators to make comments that please a certain constituency back home.”
A simple confirmation system made even easier begs the question: What is the purpose of having these hearings? High-level federal appointments—whether they are executive, diplomatic, or judicial—are subject to the
The public forum of a hearing allows senators to make comments that please a certain constituency back home. An example of this being when Senator Chris Murphy, who has pushed for stricter gun control measures since the Sandy Hook shooting in his state, asked Secretary of Education nominee
Betsy DeVos if she supported guns in schools. There are other audiences that hold a great interest in these confirmation hearings, specifically interest groups that will most likely be affected by cabinet secretary’s department. This allows outside groups to build a relationship with the presumptive cabinet official by gaining on-therecord assurances about what changes will occur, if any, which can serve well for future lobbying efforts. Although mostly used by senators to please constituents and lobbyists to build relationships, confirmation hearings are a test for the new administration and allow for public discussion and disclosure of what the administration and that cabinet official want to do with the department they will be heading.
The First Order as President
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The process is now even easier since cabinet confirmations can no longer be filibustered; only a simple majority of votes is required to get confirmed thanks to rules democrats established when they were in the majority in 2013.
Senate’s “advice and consent” under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. Senators take this power very seriously, making cabinet nominees subject to lengthy hearings. Confirmation hearings also reflect something called the “two Congress principle:” the theory that states there is a Congress that legislates and a Congress that is a representative assembly in which re-election chances depend on local ties its members build and maintain.
Empty holidays for all BY CODY PERAKSLIS
Pen looping and careening wildly, President Trump is making hasty work of his list of agendas through executive orders. His first was to make his inauguration day a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” In his inauguration speech, he prescribes unity under our flag as salvation from the pains of the past, for “when you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” Divisiveness among Americans was a focal point of this last election, so Trump has taken it upon himself to unite the country by moving prejudices beyond our borders. Arrogance is often associated with the Trump persona— the kind of arrogance that leads someone to make a holiday of his own inauguration. That is not the case here, however. This type of order is not unique to the Trump brand of presidency. It is tradition for new presidents to make the day of their inauguration a national holiday retroactively, and President Trump is just following in their footsteps.
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President Obama made his day the “National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation” in 2009, and President George W. Bush made his day the “National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving” in 2001. The choice of holiday is supposed to unite people after the election divided them, and it sets the tone for the presidency. People are part of groups in various degrees. Everyone strives for these circles of inclusivity; they both justify one’s existence in the world and keep it secure. If everyone is of the same group, however, no person gains additional validation or security. For every “us,” there must exist a “them.”
It brings healing to the country by temporarily hiding group discrimination instead of addressing the underlying issues that lead to discrimination. Be patriotic by acknowledging that we as a country can and will get stronger, but we must do so by supporting our fellow citizens. Patriotism is not obedience to our leaders, and we must not flinch in the face of our faults. Focus on bettering what you can, and, in the style of a president, make the day your own.
Patriotism is putting the country over any other group.
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Dear Trump Administration; Sincerely, A Citizen of Earth The fact is, anthropogenic climate change is real, and denying it is denying reality BY CLAUDIA ALTHOEN There has been increasing public concern that the Trump administration will delete climate data. So far, the climate change website has been removed from the White House page, Trump has frozen funding and ordered the EPA to cease media activity, and so on. There is especially concern among scientists, and many have saved climate data to other servers, such as European servers, to prevent Trump from suppressing and destroying the facts of our current global situation.
“We live on a planet in which we’re all connected—with each other and the environment.”
risen as much as eight inches since 1880. In the past 50 years, the local sea level for Galveston, Texas has risen 12.5 inches. In major U.S. cities such as Boston, Charleston, New York City, Washington D.C., Atlantic City, and Norfolk, the local sea level has risen six inches or more since 1963. For southern Florida, it’s a bit more alarming—sea level may rise as much as seven feet by the end of the century.
Over seven million acres of forest could be destroyed by climate change induced wildfires, costing the U.S. $940 to $1.4 billion. It may cost the U.S. $180 billion due to drought and water shortage if no action is taken to combat climate change. In 2016, there was $53.5 billion worth of damage to the U.S. economy as a result of climate-related disasters and extreme weather. Climate change also adversely affects national security. According to Marc Levy, Deputy Director of the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, “Climate change has contributed to the emergence of civil war, refugee flows and other elements of instability.”
By disregarding climate change, the Trump administration is making a choice to put humans’ lives last. By ignoring climate change, the administration ignores the people.
The U.S. military has said that extreme weather events, such as food shortages and flooding, can lead to destabilization of governments. Rising sea levels may lead to mass evacuations for millions of people living on or near coastlines. By 2015, over 200 million people could be displaced from their homes, a global estimate that also includes the U.S. in the calculation. Clearly, climate science is crucial for more reasons beyond warmer winters.
Climate change is real, is happening, and is a global problem. We don’t live in our own bubbles separated from everyone and everything invincible to consequences. We live on a planet in which we’re all connected—with each other and the environment.
Climate data—scientific, empirical data collected by scientists from all disciplines—has contributed to the growing knowledge base on how anthropogenic climate change has changed and will change our future.
Climate change is mainly human-caused, and the impacts of climate change have been rippling out. Each year brings new record temperatures, a rise in droughts, and heat waves. Higher temperatures may affect levels of air pollutants, and may therefore result in an increase in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Extreme temperatures may also result in the loss of over 1.2 billion hours of labor by 2100.
Agriculture is impacted by climate change. Currently, frost-free periods are 15 days longer than they were in the early part of the 20th century in the U.S. Yet, this also means that pests live longer since the warm season is extended, wreaking havoc on agricultural yields and human health.
We aren’t just one person, or even a country of people. Each person on planet Earth is part of the human race. It goes without saying that by being a part of the human race we accept that we are dependent upon the resources provided by our planet.
The ice sheets are melting. And while it is normal for ice sheets to melt or retreat back a bit each summer, high temperatures have exacerbated the effect, resulting in increasing sea levels—an average of 0.13 inches per year, which is about twice as fast as the average rise eight years ago. The global average sea level has
Changes in the food availability of nutritious crops because of rising temperatures could be responsible for at least an additional 500,000 deaths worldwide by 2050. Wildfires are burning twice as much area, and the overall frequency of wildfires in the western United States has increased 500 percent in the past 40 years.
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To obstruct, devastate, or destroy the precious resources upon our planet is a crime against basic human needs. To suppress science and not address climate change as a critical, long-term problem that all countries and all people face is a crime against humanity. To disregard anthropogenic climate change as a hoax is endangering the entirety of humankind.
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THE NEW FACES OF FEMINISM How intersectionality is changing the women’s movement BY TESS MAKI feminism is still contended. Some fear the emphasis on racial diversity alienates white women from the movement; others decry “identity politics” in general. An op-ed in The New York Times by feminist EmmaKate Symons includes an ominous prediction that intersectionality will “hijack” feminism and lead to a divided and exclusive movement.
Foam-board signs denouncing Islamophobia jostled posters voicing support for Hillary Clinton, while Black Lives Matter apparel floated in waves of knitted pink caps. During the Jan. 21 Women’s March, signs were provocative, the crowds were immense, and the women themselves, like the causes they championed, were remarkably diverse.
A more interesting theory is that intersectional feminism, a form of feminism that addresses racism and sexism simultaneously, has now become mainstream, whereas previously it was a lesser-known outgrowth of the women’s movement. Some scholars believe intersectionality has helped diversify the feminist cause by encouraging non-white women to join the struggle for gender equality, a
KAT I E H E YWO O D
One way to explain this mingling of feminism and civil rights is to note that Donald Trump’s presidency is, as many see it, an affront to both women and racial minorities, and his inauguration thereby called for a unified protest encompassing a broad range of social concerns.
movement many had seen as racially exclusive; perhaps this evolution explains the diversity of the women who chaired the Women’s March, who ranged from African American to Palestinian.
Have Symons’ fears manifested? Polls reveal 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump while 93 percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton; it is possible to interpret those numbers as indicating white women’s aversion to the changing nature of feminism. Yet, a variety of forces drive women toward and away from the feminist movement over time, and for many feminists, the alienation of women who will soon cease to be the majority race in the United States is less important than the inclusion of women who have long lived as oppressed minorities. What is clear is that feminism and the movement for racial equality are converging, and as a rule, whenever a new passenger boards a train, a little jostling is often necessary before everybody can ride comfortably.
Regardless of whether intersectionality now dominates feminism, the question of if intersectionality benefits
LOCAL ROOTS SPREADING The face of the next generation of politicians BY KARI BULL Not all heroes wear capes. It would be appropriate for Phillipe Cunningham to wear one, however, given the work he intends to take on in north Minneapolis. Cunningham is running for City Council of the Minneapolis’ Fourth Ward with the intent to revitalize north Minneapolis’ community through the development of local businesses, youth programs— specifically for the LGBTQIA+ community—as well as environmental programs such as urban agriculture and ensuring that there is less air pollution from recycling plants. He is the face of political dedication, passion, and optimism for which so many are yearning.
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He is challenging incumbent Barb Johnson. Johnson has held her seat since 1998, and may prove to be a tough opponent. Given the recent success of Ilhan Omar, who defeated incumbent Phyllis Kahn (who had held her seat for 42 years), it is hopeful that a
Though local politics is not sexy, it is the most effective way to bring about change in one’s community. Phillipe Cunningham embodies this truth, and is surely the man for the job.
Born and raised in rural Iowa, Cunningham spent the first years of his career teaching special education in South Side Chicago. Upon moving to Minneapolis, Cunningham became highly involved in local politics, serving as Mayor Betsy Hodge’s advisor for youth development and racial equity. He single-handedly developed a program to intervene in and support the lives of the most disenfranchised youth. In this
new generation of politicians will be gaining power in Minneapolis through true grassroots organization and dedication. His campaign kickoff demonstrated this sentiment exactly: Speaking about his past and his goals for the future, Cunningham was surrounded by his community of friends and future constituents, all of whom were excited and hopeful in what feels like bleak times for those who do not feel they are accurately represented by the current generation of federal politicians.
era of political disenfranchisement and recognition of racism and sexism, Cunningham himself—a transgender, queer man of color—embodies the diversity and fortitude of north Minneapolis. His personal representation of north Minneapolis defines him as the man for the job.
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T H E WA K E
OF MADISON FAUPEL’S WALL
BY MARCUS AARSVOLD
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In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, the president of the College Republicans reveals why the student group decided to use Trump’s “Build the Wall” slogan on its Washington Avenue Bridge panel during Paint the Bridge Day and what it’s like to vocalize a conservative viewpoint at the University of Minnesota.
The College Republicans were about to kick off their first meeting since the Republican Party’s big win the night before. The first to arrive at the 7 p.m. meeting were two gentlemen dressed head-to-toe in blue Donald Trump/Mike Pence attire. Before the door could close behind the pair, they began drawing what appeared to be rows and rows of bricks on the main stretch of the largest whiteboard in the classroom. More students began filing into the meeting spot and high fives were exchanged as energy filled the room. Finally, the group’s president, Madison Faupel, arrived just as the first two members were adding the final touches to another nearby whiteboard drawing that featured a profile of a woman with large tears streaming down her face. Inscribed in a single teardrop were the words “Liberal Tears.” Faupel looked at these drawings and told the artists to sit down. “Stop it,” she said. “Not cool guys…not cool.” Faupel then erased the board. It was another night in the improbable journey of leading the College Republicans during one of the most divisive elections—and campus discussions—in history. Post-election night, she now found herself playing mom to the giddy members in the student organization — a position she never thought she would be in. Faupel had not even planned on running for president of the club due to heavy involvement with other conservative student organizations. She returned to
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campus in the fall and received a call from the College Republican’s board asking her if she could step in as president. “In my head I was thinking ‘No. No! I just got to school, but I have a problem where I can’t say no.’ The past president needed to focus on herself… She needed time to figure some things out on a personal level. So I didn’t really run for president, I just kind of walked into that and I walked into an absolute disaster of an election.” Faupel has become a figure who is reviled by most and celebrated by few on a campus that slants liberal. Her Twitter feed is full of conservative viewpoints that typically provoke colorful and unfiltered responses. Some of these responses include, “Let me find out where you stay b*tch”; “I expected that type of language coming from a C*NT”; “Fun fact: You need your ass beat and also need to seek help”; “You are one of the woman’s that I can grab by the pussy and you can’t get mad cuz our master likes to do that, we must follow”; “IDK who you are but you need the taste smacked out of your mouth.” Faupel takes these responses in stride without letting them prevent her from continuing to express her views. The current junior and Rochester, MN native was helping her other conservative student organization — Turning Point USA — with its panel when the College Republicans texted her about the wall motif for its three panels. It came down to two texts.
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P H OTO S BY M AX O ST E N S O
“Friday morning, someone suggested, ‘Oh my gosh let’s write ‘Build the Wall’ and we can draw a wall across the bottom and I said, ‘Okay done.’ Literally, that was how the process went. Everyone thinks we had this long, vindictive, psycho plan to do it and it was really just a spur of the moment, ‘okay yeah that’s our panel go paint it so we can be done’…I didn’t paint it, they sent me a picture. I posted the photo on Facebook, and then the entire world burned down.” After uploading the photo, Faupel was bombarded with angry emails, Facebook messages, and even death threats. Several students felt uncomfortable and extremely angry at the use of Donald Trump’s political jargon, and the panel was quickly vandalized with the words “Stop White Supremacy” painted across its surface. Faupel now found herself struggling to come up with a solution to the toxic environment surrounding her with little to no help from university faculty. The situation heated up when University President Eric Kaler sent out an email inviting all students to attend a “Campus Climate” discussion to address the importance of free speech, while also making sure those who felt marginalized by the “Build The Wall” slogan could voice their opinions. Looking back, Faupel says that she wanted the “Campus Climate” conversation to be a place where all opinions were heard. She had prepared a statement and was willing to talk about why the College Republicans chose to use “Build The Wall” on their panel and how she didn’t see the harm in the phrase. “To say that we’re anti-immigrants is crazy. To say that we’re against illegal immigration is not crazy. I don’t think anyone should be for illegal immigration for all the people that go through the work to become legal citizens. People would see it clearly, but they don’t, they jump past it. And all of a sudden we’re anti-immigrant, xenophobic, racist, misogynist psychos.” As she twists a blonde strand of hair back into her tightly compacted bun, Faupel recounts her experience at the “Campus Climate” event. “It was probably the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.” She explains, “I’m there for two minutes and hundreds of protesters come in, swarm the thing. One girl gets up and yells, ‘Are there any College Republicans here?’ And I didn’t want to sit there and hide so I put my hand up. She then asks me angrily, ‘ARE YOU MADISON?’ There are hundreds of angry protesters in this room and I’m like, ‘Uh huh,’ and there was a murmur throughout the room groaning at me. I felt like a tiny animal in a pack of wolves. What did I just do? I thought to myself. Why couldn’t I have just shut up? Why can I never shut up?” Eventually Faupel got up to leave and a reporter stopped her to ask a few questions. After the interview ended she turned around and found herself cornered by several protesters. “All of a sudden I turn around and
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there are swarms of people screaming at me, ‘Why are you racist? Why are you trying to do this? You’re a bigot! You’re xenophobic!’ And I did not know what to do. What was I supposed to do? I was completely alone.” In response to the Paint the Bridge Day incident, College Republicans Treasurer Maddy Dibble praised Faupel’s ability to confidently fend off the pressures from all different directions that wanted an apology from the College Republicans. “We were shaken and didn’t quite know what to do, and the whole time she was confident we had nothing to apologize for. She was willing to take the heat for the whole thing and put her name on anything for all of us. Not a lot of people would do that.” Political views aside, College Democrats President Braxton Haake speaks highly of Faupel. “I think she [Faupel] is certainly an effective leader and a very good provocateur. She knows what she believes and she believes in it. I couldn’t disagree with her more on almost all of her politics, but that’s nothing to hold against someone personally. I’d love to have a debate with her.” Faupel is well aware of the stigmas that are associated with the Republican Party; so when members of the College Republicans exhibit these attributes by drawing barbed wired walls and “liberal tears” at their meetings, she feels the need to put a stop to it. “I’m not going to tell anyone what they can and cannot do. But this is unacceptable and they have to know that that is not what the Republican Party is about. It’s about freedom for all, economics, and fiscal responsibility. Not about hurting the other side emotionally or physically.” On Nov. 1, the bipartisan student issues group on campus hosted a debate between the College Republicans, the College Democrats, and the Libertarian party. Not many students showed up to watch the civil conversation that happened between the representatives of each group. Organized events such as the debate are ways Faupel thinks all voices can be heard, and she said she wished more students and faculty would attend. Her hope for the future is that the campus will become a place where students can express views without fearing for their lives. “Every week I have to remind people to be safe and not to wear your Trump hat outside of your home. I think it’s just sad that so many students have to sit there and they can’t speak their opinion because they’re legitimately scared of getting hurt. I just hope that the campus can start becoming more inclusive of diversity; diversity of thought, opinion, political affiliation, and going forward that’s the direction we take…Being civil and the fair treatment of all groups.”
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U N D O R G R S E E D I R N E G U ALL
A trip through the dewy sub-world of Twin Cities urban art BY JOHN BLOCHER
Our guide and photographer, who has taken thousands of pictures in multiple sites similar to this one, estimates that he has but scratched the surface of these underground galleries, having visited a mere 4-5 percent of all those in the Twin Cities. They’re not easy to find, and for the casual observer to become acquainted with these treasure troves, they must first be introduced by someone who knows better. “You never meet people down here, but there’s so much evidence of humans,” said the guide, an easygoing, baritone voiced man in his early twenties, who chooses to remain anonymous. “Like you’ll see footprints, but it could be from five days ago.” The hobby of urban exploration, oftentimes inseparably part of a lifestyle, is a devotion based on honor and secrecy. The process of discovering new locations is somewhat of a game for enthusiasts, where one builds credit through the evidence of their exploits,
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sharing stories and pictures through online forums and apps like Instagram. Once you’ve proven that you have something to offer, then people start to talk. Yet despite, or perhaps because of, the growing number of adventurers in the urban exploring community, inquiries often go unanswered. Those most intimately related to these spaces—the artists themselves—don’t want people getting hurt, or worse, their work being discovered by the police. To avoid any such interaction with Minneapolis’ finest, we made our descent late one night under the guidance of the moonlight. After hopping a fence and scooting down a slope of ice and snow, we saw first evidence of the artists and their tags. “Graffiti is what you put on the side of buildings. This, down here, is art,” said the guide as we strapped on our headlamps at the foot of the drain entrance. “I’ve probably bought 30 flashlights in the past year.”
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T H E WA K E
P H OTO S BY J O H N B LO C H E R
Upon entering the tunnel, one is reminded that surprise precipitation could prove deadly, as even on the driest of nights, runoff water pours down both overhead, and from dozens of cavernous tributaries within the drain system. The vacant solace is curbed only by the splendid art that continues quite literally for miles, and the occasional beer can that reminds the visitor that they are not alone. Either due to the isolation from natural light, or the fascination to be had from participating in the moment, time and space expand into immeasurable factors. Perhaps a mile in, there lies a cosmically-colored nude woman laden in fantastic detail, spanning an area larger than a standard lens can capture. There was an obstreperous desire to snap a photo, but the guide was not interested. Too sensitive, time consuming, and intimate was the artist’s work to be smuggled out of the drain by an outsider. Walk another mile or two and you will arrive at the first “helix,” a spiral staircase rushing with water that is more reminiscent of a theme park than an access point. After what seemed to be an endless climb against the current, we arrived at another series of tunnels. Here we encountered work that was less elaborate, but equally eccentric. Pages from old porno mags lined the walls: women spreading, men flaunting, even dinosaurs on humans. We slouched against the tunnel walls to take a break before heading back to the outside world, listening to the rumble of cars overhead echoing all around us.
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The trip back was equally fascinating, as we stopped frequently to take pictures and reflect on our favorite pieces. “Some people want to see graffiti, some want to see a new abandoned building,” said the guide. “A lot of people are proud when they get into a building and there’s nothing there. Others are happy to shoot the graffiti. That’s my contribution.” At some point, we spotted a light glowing at the other end of the tunnel. “Hello!” called the guide. There was no answer. It’s not often you encounter someone else in a place such as this, and it’s not always buddy-buddy when you do. We continued on, but the light at the other end didn’t budge. As we drew close, the guide called out once more, and at last, we received a friendly response. Upon surfacing, the tunnel dweller feels somewhat sub-human. The world is suddenly wide open, overwhelming and disorienting. At least for a moment or two, part of you still feels trapped underground. Those curious enough should go at their own risk. You will get wet, you may get soaked, but the warmth of adventure is sure to bring back the brave, the dimwitted and the addicted.
>>>>>> INK’s signature block letters pictured here with a fiendish Rick from the TV show “Rick and Morty.”
>>>>>> It is apparent that this artist has some sort of beef. Rather than defaming the entire piece, many vandalizers choose to paint a single line through it, so as to ruin their enemy’s art just enough.
>>>>>> Though less prolific than some of the other artists present in the drain, WUNDR makes up for it with their witty parodies and attention to detail.
>>>>>> The Green Machine has a glow all his own.
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How Donald Glover came out on top of a seemingly unconquerable year BY GABBY GRANADA Donald, Childish, Lando, Troy, Earn—the names you know him by might vary, but by the end of 2016, you knew who he was. He’s a comedian, actor, writer, director, producer, rapper, and now recent father. At 33, there’s not much Donald Glover hasn’t done. Early in his career, the soft-spoken comedy writer was namely known by his louder, angrier pseudonym, “Childish Gambino.” The inception of his enormous rapping alter-ego was humble. He got his stage name from the Wu-Tang Name Generator website while at a party and half-jokingly decided to make a few mixtapes under the pseudonym. Thus, Childish Gambino was born. “If I had known [the name] was going to be something for real, I wouldn’t have used it… but, I mean, it was the coolest one at the party,” said Glover.
“Awaken, My Love!” is a reinvention of sound for Gambino. The new album emulates the great R&B era of the 70’s with a rich, gooey, psychedelic-funk sound, reminiscent of bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament-Funkadelic, and a twinge of the early sounds of Prince. “Awaken, My Love!’s” syrupy sound shocked fans, but it shouldn’t have come as a total surprise. As an artist, Glover is constantly re-inventing himself, finding new mediums, new narratives, and now, an entirely new sound. Glover’s renaissance doesn’t end there. His longstanding dream of joining the Spider-Man franchise is finally coming true. He’s confirmed to be in Marvel’s latest franchise reboot, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” that hits theaters in August 2017. When rumors of rebooting a post-Tobey Maguire Spider-Man franchise circulated back in 2010, Glover tweeted his interest in playing the “first black Spider-Man,” and sent the internet into a frenzy. What started as a grassroots campaign for Glover to portray Peter Parker grew into a movement, and although Andrew Garfield was ultimately cast, Marvel heard Glover’s message loud and clear. Soon
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Glover isn’t done fulfilling childhood dreams just yet. He’ll also be playing a young Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo Star Wars spin-off movie. Glover joins the ranks of Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Alden Ehrenreich, who plays the young Han Solo in the upcoming film. The infamous Cloud City scoundrel was originally portrayed by Billy Dee Williams, and as the new film’s directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller put it, “These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape—but this one fits [Glover] perfectly.” This past year also marked Glover’s return to the medium that gave him his start: television. He produces, directs, writes, and stars in his highly-anticipated labor of love “Atlanta” on FX. The show follows Atlanta’s overnight rapping sensation “Paperboi” (Brian Tyree Henry), his friend Darius (Lakeith Stanfield), and his manager and cousin Earn (Glover) as they navigate their first taste of fame on the streets of Atlanta. As a former writer for “30 Rock,” Glover is no stranger to comedic screenwriting. “Atlanta’s” deadpan humor is jarringly funny and the cinematography paints an unexpected love poem to the city of Atlanta. The show’s critical clamor is growing louder with eight wins out of its eleven award nominations—and counting. This past month at the Golden Globes, Glover took home Best Musical or Comedy TV Series and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy TV Series on behalf of “Atlanta.”
ART BY SOPHIE STEPHENS
A more novice, 2013-era Gambino forged a name for himself with hits like “Sweatpants,” “Bonfire,” and “Heartbeat.” His tracks were anthems, spewing venomous jabs and brazen innuendoes over a heavy beat and the occasional blaring siren. When Gambino dropped his latest album, “Awaken, My Love!” this past December, it was a beacon for a loyal fan-base that’s been waiting for over three years since his sophomore album “Because the Internet.”
after, the character Miles Morales was created: a black Spider-Man saving the world in an alternate Marvel universe, inspired largely by Glover.
Glover’s time is invaluable, but not inexhaustible—there’s a price for being five men at once. I imagine his iCalendar looks more like a stressful mosaic of color than a recognizable schedule at this point. If you’re a fan of “Awaken, My Love!” there’s a chance you might not get to hear it live for quite some time. And if you’re hooked on “Atlanta,” you’re going to have to sit back and wait an entire year for season two. If his resounding return in 2016 is any indication of what’s to come for the inimitable artist, 2017 might be his for the taking, too. “I’m not scared of the future at all,” Glover told “Time” in 2013. “The future is progress if you treat it right.”
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Albums You Probably Missed in 2016 The unsung heroes of an interesting
BY KARL WITKOWIAK Plenty of established, popular artists like Beyoncé, Radiohead, Weezer, and Kanye West released beloved albums in 2016. However, there were plenty of new names or lesser known artists that released amazing albums that fell under the radar; here are six I think are worth your time!
If you enjoyed Carly Rae Jepsen and her turn towards synth-led pop music on “E.MO.TION,” you will adore Shura’s mix of synth-pop and R&B on her debut studio album, “Nothing’s Real.” The instrumentation is subtle and subdued, and Shura’s whispery, silky vocals compliment the mixes extraordinarily well, giving the album a bubbly, yet nostalgic aura to it. The album also explores the complexities of relationships that are down to earth and not played up to any degree of melodrama. The album may have done decently well in the UK, but it has had little to no impact here in the States, which is a shame, because it is an airy, yet gorgeous debut that I think will leave listeners in awe. PUP’s “The Dream is Over” There were two sides to the witty, self-deprecating depression-themed rock music coin of 2016. On one side, there was the much beloved “Teens of Denial” by Car Seat Headrest. On the other side, there was the sophomore album from rock punk band PUP, which did not receive the same mountains of critical acclaim as “Teens of Denial,” but offers a much more manic and wild take on the subject. Taking influence from The Offspring and Dropkick Murphys, PUP goes for chanting choruses and catchy guitar riffs to go with their self-aggrandizing lyrics. Admittedly, these lyrics could easily straddle the line of wince-inducing at points, but the waves of witty lyricism create an intense and often funny album. Kyle Craft’s “Dolls of Highland” While we lost David Bowie last year, the banner for glam rock did not die with him. Kyle Craft’s style of glam rock is not as spacey and experimental as Bowie’s, but it is just as bombastic, operatic and incredibly fun. “Dolls of Highland” is Craft’s debut album off Sub Pop Records, and his artistic merit is on full display with his clear influences from acts like Bowie, Queen and even, Elton John. Kyle Craft has a knack for creating ear-grabbing melodies with songs like “Eye of a Hurricane” and “Berlin.” With “Dolls of Highland,” Kyle Craft set the standard for modern glam rock, and here’s hoping Craft has a prosperous career in the future. Sims’s “More Than Ever”
Shura’s “Nothing’s Real”
production you would expect from a typical Doomtree project, but it also offers a more personal look into Sims as a person. With no guest features, Sims lets his lyrical prowess come into play and explores interesting and dark territory, such as on “Voltaire,” which tells a tale of a shooting in a night-club. Harrowing and intense, “More Than Ever” is a strong feature in a decent year for hip-hop. Elzhi’s “Lead Poison” Elzhi, a member of Detroit rap group Slum Village, released his solo comeback album through Kickstarter donations early in 2016. Elzhi still proves he can spit bars (evident on “The Healing Process”), but “Lead Poison” offers a far darker tone, exploring loneliness, death, and abandonment. This is best exemplified on “Two 16’s” where Elzhi answers to fan demands for two sixteen bar verses, but both verses delve into a story about a young kid getting killed in a gang shooting before his daughter was born. Elzhi’s exploration of life in Detroit streets makes “Lead Poison” a somewhat saddening listen, but also a poignant one with Elzhi’s incredible delivery and production. Lydia Loveless’s “Real” Though originally hailing from the alternative country camp with her previous work, Lydia Loveless steps out of her comfort zone with “Real,” which goes full-out Americana and even veers towards pop and rock. Speaking of stepping out of your comfort zone, Loveless goes towards raw complexity and emotional turmoil in her lyrics that make songs like “Clumps” and especially, “Real” that much more impactful. The production is rough around the edges, giving an off-the-cuff feel to the performance. “Real” is true to its name, giving the listener an in-depth look at the real Lydia Loveless, as her rough and sometimes pained vocals feel genuine and unflinching. That, along with one of the best closing songs to an album in 2016, is reason enough to give it a listen.
Doomtree member, Sims goes solo on his latest album “More Than Ever.” While it has flown under the radar for the common hip-hop fan, it is a hard-hitting and worthwhile album. “More Than Ever” offers the ram-shackled, often synthetic
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A Match Made in Wilson KAT I E H E YWO O D
Find a new literary love with the help of the UMN Libraries Book Matchmakers
BY SAMMY BROWN A recent trip to Target informed me that love is in the air and that wreaths made of felt hearts are 10 percent off if you spend $25. But what if you donâ€™t got a hunny? What if youâ€™re not a fan of chocolate nougat hearts? Look no further than The University of Minnesota Libraries Book Matchmakers! Theyâ€™ve designed a survey based off a fancy-schmancy love formula to select some hot books just for you to make your Valentineâ€™s Day off the hook. Now Iâ€™ve been set up on blind dates with books before, but theyâ€™ve never turned out so well (I donâ€™t know braille), so I was skeptical when I began the survey. The first question asks, â€œWhat are three books you read and loved?â€? Jumping right into my history? How forward! But honestly, kind of refreshing. Next they go onto asking me what genres Iâ€™m interested in, and, like, Iâ€™m not into labels, but itâ€™s sweet that they asked before assuming. Then the Matchmakers offered a long list of qualities I look for in a book, and I was like, â€œDamn...what am I looking for in a book?â€? Itâ€™s been a long time since Iâ€™ve fallen in love, and the Matchmakers gave me just what I needed to set aside time for some profound self-rediscoveries.
So, I finished the survey, submitted it, and...I didnâ€™t hear back from them. For. Two. Whole. Days. The nerve! But their response made it all worth it. The Matchmakers were homies, offering me four names of books I might try and hit it off with. One of the titles was even what they called a â€œbonus suggestion,â€? making me feel like a real lucky lady. Each recommendation comes with a brief synopsis and a thoughtful reason for why the Matchmakers chose it especially for you. While hearts and hunnies are all well and good, thereâ€™s nothing quite like a book to cuddle up with during this lovey-dovey month. Celebrate how you wish, but I can assure you that the UMN Libraries Book Matchmakers are the only hook-up you need this Valentineâ€™s Day.
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X AV IE R WA N G
T H E WA K E
“Art Will Not Save Us” Out of the Studio and Into the Streets
Panel discussion on design thinking is short on practicality and action BY LIV RIGGINS January’s ‘Out of the Studio and Into the Streets’ discussion, the latest in the 5-year-old ‘Critical Conversations About Diversity and Justice’ series, aimed to discuss how decision-making processes originating in art and design can be applied to issues of economic and social equity, and to address inclusivity and diversity within design fields. As part of a typically popular series, January’s discussion was no different, with an audience larger than the 120-seat lecture room could accommodate. Though audience members were almost exclusively from design backgrounds, the panel leading the discussion included a broader range of interests, ranging from architecture and urban planning to education, health care, and community activism. Moderator Virajita Singh started off the discussion by laying out some of the basic ideas behind combining art, design, and social equity: one, there is growing interest in design, two, anyone can think creatively and design solutions to problems in their life or community, and finally, too few artists or designers are currently involved in ‘radical collaboration,’ defined as fundamentally involving users and community members in the process of designing solutions. Though a broad premise, these ideas formed the basis for the rest of the panel’s discussion. Coming from nonprofit and public service backgrounds, panelists Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson and DeAnna Dodd Cummings talked more explicitly about how design norms, processes and settings foster exclusivity if designers fail to think about how ‘design thinking,’ the process of brainstorming, planning, prototyping, and re-evaluating successive iterations of a project, can incorporate the users and communities it should be serving. Teddie Potter, the director of Inclusivity and Diversity for UMN’s School of Nursing, and Tom Fisher, previous dean of UMN’s College of Design, both took an approach that focused on using design as a way to facilitate collaboration in designing solutions to public issues.
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The discussion served as a good overview of some of the equity and inclusivity issues facing the design field today, including a legacy of unilateral solutions to community issues, a jargon-heavy design culture, and a lack of attention to non-dominant communities, narratives, and ways of thinking and communicating. Panelists expressed their thoughts on the importance of tolerance, strong relationships and communities, and self-correction in creating a more inclusive society.
DeAnna Cummings, half-jokingly put it, “design thinking won’t kill white supremacy.” Although these are important conversations for any field to have, the discussion felt more like a wideranging primer on current social justice issues than a conversation on the specifics of bringing design knowledge to bear on broader social issues. This omission of the question billed as the central idea of the event can be attributed more to problems with the question than any failing of the panelists involved, however. As panelist and CEO of North Minneapolis nonprofit Juxtaposition Arts, DeAnna Cummings, half-jokingly put it, “design thinking won’t kill white supremacy.” This statement illustrated interconnected and underlying themes brought up by Cummings and fellow panelist Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson. The first of these ideas is that, in the academic world, there is an inflated idea of the potential for art and design to radically affect unjust systems and institutions. “Art will not save us; art and design don’t automatically add positive value to a community”, Cummings said. While they can
act as means for self-expression and serve as tools in creating better institutions, art projects and efficiently designed systems alone will not ‘solve’ root issues of poverty, histories of under-education and underinvestment, and systemic disenfranchisement. Design thinking can “impact the components of a system”, Cummings added, “but it cannot actually dismantle and rebuild [institutions].” Perhaps the bluntest of the panelists, Cummings brought a grounded perspective to a group that seemed most comfortable in the oft-discussed liberal academic ‘bubble’. Other panelists put forth some proposals that were disturbingly out-of-touch with popular sentiment and concerns. Notably that, instead of a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border, some portion of the border should be made into a ‘collaborative space’ where citizens from both sides can meet and collectively determine how the border should be treated. Recognition of the systemic nature of political issues was also lacking in the suggestion that the Affordable Care Act is endangered simply because Americans do not have enough empathy for their neighbors. Although this discussion missed the mark in terms of advancing the practical application of design thinking and designed solutions to social issues, it provided an important opportunity for members of the university community to consider the value of interpersonal connections, genuine tolerance, and compassion in creating better communities. For anyone who may have missed the discussion but would be interested in hearing more, all of the lectures from the past 11 months of the ‘Critical Conversations About Diversity and Justice’ series are available online on the Office of Equity and Diversity’s YouTube channel.
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WALTZING THROUGH WINTERTIDE Northeast Minneapolis Art Association’s biennial exhibition BY KATE DRAKULIC Large oil paintings glistened under warm lights on white gallery walls, photographs were being closely inspected, sculptures were slowly being circled and discussed, and artists and others mingled over plates of fruit, cheese, and fabulous gourmet appetizers. The exhibition was comprised of 29 different pieces from different artists, yet the high quality of the work seemed to unite them.
Established to highlight the impressive arts and artists of Northeast, Wintertide showcases “the best of Northeast’s amazing artists,” praised Dameun Strange, Executive Director of NEMAA. Strange noted that out of 175 submissions that were received, there were only 29 finalists. The winners were announced from third to first place in each category, and the audience applauded sincerely for each and every artist. The six categories included: 3D Objects, Mixed Media, Photography, Paint, Oil Paint (the newest Wintertide category), and finally, Best in Show. Shortly after the winners were announced, a small crowd gathered around CL Martin’s mixed media piece, the winner of “Best in Show.” Titled “Actor IV,” the piece consisted of graphite and charcoal on paper and portrayed a realistic yet painterly portrait of a man. His eyes bright and sharp, his expression vigilant. The portrait’s deep and rich greys, contrasting with the purposeful use of highlight and white background, boldly stood out from the collection of more vibrant pieces.
C ART E R B LO C H WI T Z
People young, old, and equally as fashionable gathered last Saturday night for the opening reception. The chic, modern gallery, misleadingly located in the midst of a Northeast residential neighborhood, was buzzing with energy. Artists and art lovers sparked up conversation at the coat-rack, in line at the bar, and while analyzing the same piece as a stylish stranger in turquoise cat-eye glasses. Favorite appetizers were discussed, work critiqued, and the DJ’s music choices celebrated. All gathered on one night, in one space, for the sole purpose of supporting and appreciating the local art and artists of Northeast; the crowd was extremely inclusive and easy-going.
Martin’s piece may have been intriguing due to light, shadow, and absence of color, but pieces like Trista Hendrickson’s “Girl in Blue Veil,” were stunning in their own way. The subject of the painting, a young girl draped in a striking blue veil and matching blue fingernails, folds her hands as she glances away from the viewer. The piece invited thought and inquiry with its use of bold color, texture, and subject matter. Her work experiments with styles of Pop Art and Impressionism, and in turn creates powerful, thought provoking pieces. A first-time contributor to Wintertide, Hendrickson is an emerging artist in painting. She joined NEMAA last spring and added that she will definitely be submitting to Wintertide again. Circulating the gallery, there were many portraits and figurative pieces, each different from the next. One portrait however, called for an extra bit of the viewer’s time. Mary Solberg’s piece, “Night Swim,” could in no way be ignored. Winning first place in the Mixed Media category, the piece was a large and captivating portrait of a young woman who wore a beautiful and intricately textured swim cap, a style exclusive to Solberg’s work. She noted that to be featured and recognized in Wintertide as a professional artist is validating. “I respect this show,” she said. “The quality of art is very high, and I have been very impressed.” Solberg’s work was featured in the 2015 exhibition, where she won second prize. The future of Wintertide is promising, especially with organizations such as NEMAA and Public Functionary working behind it. According to their website, Public Functionary’s modern approach to gallery space “challenges past paradigms of gallery culture,” and “invites a broader audience reflective of the creative diversity of the Twin Cities to feel welcome, engaged, and connected.” If the association’s other events are organized and executed in a similar way to Wintertide, Public Functionary is achieving their intentions. Likewise, NEMAA, “works to build a more vibrant, diverse, and economically healthy community through the arts.” Today, NEMAA has about 900 members, and 750 of them are artists. In essence, “we’re supporting 750 small businesses,” Strange said. Wintertide will be on display until Feb. 11, followed by “Art-A-Whirl,” the largest open studio show in the country, fast-approaching this May.
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The xx I See You BY DALTON LUNDY
Five years after the release of their sophomore album “Coexist,” The xx are back again with “I See You,” a pleasant departure from their past work. With the success of Jamie xx’s critically acclaimed 2015 solo album “In Colour,” his imprint on The xx’s creative process is more noticeable than ever. This proves to be both beneficial and problematic for “I See You.” While they were once known for their minimal and bare aesthetic, The xx have developed a slightly more intricate, electronic production, something that could potentially put off older fans, but in turn bring new interest to the group. Overall, the album sounds like an alternate rock take on both the moodiness of older material by The Weeknd and the chill California vibes of Tycho. The more complex beats are fantastic and complementary to the vocals and instrumentation of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim. At times, they compete with the guitar for the central structure of each song. Although the album strays from their original sound, their signature songwriting and emo-vibe are still prevalent in each track. Like most good artists, The xx attempts to do something different with each new release and succeeds in doing so. It’s not a perfect album, but “I See You” is a fun and emotional listen for both the layperson and the music snob. I give it one and a half x’s out of two.
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Run the Jewels
M A RI A H C RA BB
X AV I E R WA N G
ST E V I E LAC H E R
T HRE E RE VIE W S
Run the Jewels 3
BY JACOB STEINBERG
A review of Barry Jenkins’ intimate coming-of-age opus
America was awfully naughty in 2016, and when Run the Jewels came to town last Christmas, what we got wasn’t quite a present under the tree. It was more a stick of dynamite in our stockings. The disorderly duo dropped their third LP on December 24 and not a moment too soon. In an election year filled with shameless ego stroking and literal dick-measuring contests, Killer Mike and El-P made damn sure they got the last word in. Mike Render and Jaime Meline’s witty no-holds-barred lyricism is in full force here. RTJ refined threat making into an art form. The album unleashes volley after volley of weaponized syllables, wherein unabashed showboating tag-teams with not-so-subtle political commentary. This latest record is heavy on the latter. It seems RTJ has embraced their role as the 21st century incarnation of Rage Against the Machine. Rage’s Zach de la Rocha even joins the duo on the track “Kill Your Masters.” In between tales of sexual conquest and drug hustling, the twosome lurches at any opportunity to call out the oppressors. “My job is to fight for survival / In spite of these #AllLivesMatter-ass white folk,” Killer Mike raps in “Talk to Me.” The bombastic beats that have come to define RTJ fire on all cylinders. The relentless recordings hit like an auditory mosh-pit. “Call Ticketron” perfectly showcases El-P’s airtight production in sync with the pair’s murderous flow, and the result is pure, unadulterated sonic carnage. This ruthless tone permeates the album from beginning-to-end. Music frequently evokes imagery, and if there’s one image that comes to mind when listening to Run the Jewels 3, it’s that of a giant middle finger.
BY SAM BATISTICH “Moonlight” is a groundbreaking masterpiece of social commentary, digital cinematography, narrative construction and artistic ambition in the coming-of-age genre. Based on a stage production by the playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, the Academy Award-nominated feature is the second of director Barry Jenkins. The film trails the story of a reserved black man named Chiron, vividly illustrating his childhood in Miami’s impoverished Liberty City neighborhood and his mounting conflicts with manhood, permanence, independence, love and sexuality. The film is told in three chapters, each of which examines a distinct and crucial event in the complex epic of Chiron’s development. He struggles with a mother afflicted by drug abuse, the void of a nonexistent father in which he seeks fulfillment from an outside figure (his mother’s drug dealer), and a culture openly intolerant of the love he comes to feel for his friend Kevin. “Moonlight” is among the most intensely and intimately human movies I have seen, threading spellbinding point-of-view shots and fleeting, raw and potent dialogue sequences along its 111-minute reel. For that short time, we occupy a momentary splinter of Chiron’s perspective–of his swelling pain, anxiety and disillusionment. There are recurring images of water, emblematic of Chiron’s central internal conflicts, and of Chiron’s face, reflecting the marginalization of a silenced identity. The film ends, but those feelings remain. And so does that final image: Chiron, as a young child, silhouetted against the Miami moonlight, gazing toward the Atlantic’s infinite freedom.
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