Friday, February 28th
by Bradley Metlin
Desperate for their caffeine, the University Community Centre basement is usually populated with students seeking solace in the less hectic Tim Hortons. Others occasionally dart by with grim expressions, heading to the Book Store after realizing they will need a previously unpurchased textbook for a midterm. Yet, more recently, the UCC basement has been engulfed by those craving musical stimulation. Boxes of CDs are scarcely looked at, the stacks of DVDs are occasionally scoped out by the odd onlooker; but the milk crates, that’s where you’ll find the high traffic — and the vinyl records. The meticulous thumbing over of the cardboard casings as some wipe away specks of dust, and the strikes on the cellophane wrappings are oddly mesmerizing. These vinyl sales might start to become more of a mainstay, argues M.J. Idzerda, manager of the Forest City Image Centre in the UCC basement. A spectacled, articulate man, he could easily be mistaken for an impassioned professor. In addition to his role as manager of the Image Centre, he also takes archival photos for the university on occasion. It’s clear that he has a finger on the pulse of the university community and the photography industry at large. “The industries that were set up to provide you with vinyl records, film, and the books are collapsing. So what I think is starting to happen is that niches are starting,” Idzerda says. “The fact that there’s a vinyl sale is a niche, the fact that I see film cameras sales is a niche.” Idzerda has been the manager of the Image Centre for four years and says when he started, there
were essentially no sales in actual film. Now, there appears to be a movement towards analog, which would suggest a resurgence in the popularity of film photography. It’s a trend that Idzerda says might not have begun how most would assume. “It wasn’t the hipster crowd,” he notes. “It hits more mainstream now. Basically, the student demographic is buying film cameras, they’re not as interested in Instagram anymore.” Using analog technology such as film might seem archaic to a generation which is so routinely described as tech-obsessed. Generation Y, or “Millennials,” is the generation to which most Western students belong, and it is characterized by this obsession. Indeed, an infamous Time magazine cover from last May featured a teenaged girl taking a “selfie.” The headline? “The me me me generation: millennials are entitled narcissists who still live with their parents.” The cover got the Internet talking, but perhaps the folks at Time did have a point. After all, research conducted by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association in 2012 found that 72 per cent of 18–24 year olds owned a smart phone, with that number rising rapidly each year. Idzerda believes this environment may be leading to a wider response from today’s young people. “It’s all about authenticity. That’s what [Generation] Y is very interested in,” he states confidently. “Everything they deal with is inauthentic. You don’t know if you can trust Facebook. It’s intangible. So when you make a photograph with a film camera, it provides that [tangibility].”
In a world where everything can be done virtually instantaneously — from chatting to mashed potatoes — perhaps this generation craves more meaningful and thoughtful outlets. Robyn Obermeyer, a second-year English and creative writing student and former Chapters employee, agrees with this sentiment. “I am a lover of a physical book. I just think the experience of having a physical book in your hands is more exciting and special,” Obermeyer says whimsically. “Being able to feel the pages, and the spine of the book. I love the smell of books, especially old books.” Obermeyer has seen the proliferation of e-books within the industry during her time working at Chapters and says she has an ambivalent relationship with the medium. “I think that they provide people who normally wouldn’t be reading with a way to read. It allows people to have books on their computers, on their phones so in that way, it’s good because it’s getting people excited about reading,” Obermeyer says. The rise of e-books has been implicitly linked to the death of the physical book. News of this death, however, seems grossly exaggerated. The Association of American Publishers notes that 23 per cent of all book sales are now e-books. That said, when looking closer at the level of e-book sales, the growth they show from quarter to quarter seems to be shrinking quickly. This suggests that sales of digital books is >> see ANALOG pg.5
Photos by Kelly Samuel and M,J, Irdeza, Design by Mike Laine
thegazette • Friday, February 28, 2014
Caught on Camera
CROSSWORD By Eugene Sheffer Spencer Fairweather GAZETTE
SERT ROLLOUT. Members of the Student Emergency Response Team prepare to brave the wind and the cold yesterday. The polar conditions are no match for them and their trusty Toyota!
Purple papers lose colour Advocacy papers take over for predecessor Jeremiah Rodriguez NEWS EDITOR Wednesday night, the University Students’ Council unanimously approved a motion to replace
Solution to puzzle on page 8
Purple Papers with so-called advocacy papers as the main way for students-at-large to get their ideas heard in council. An advocacy paper is a comprehensive method to develop policy ideas, which will become the official stance of the USC when they are passed through council. What this will mean for students is that ideas pitched to councillors will now have a more fleshed-out investigative proposal process compared to the previous method of Purple Papers. “For students, it means there’s a more directed process for creating USC policy and hopefully that process that makes advocacy more a reflection of student wishes,” James Hirsh, law councillor, said.
Your Weekly Horoscope
The week of Feb 28 – Mar 6 This horoscope is intended for entertainment purposes only.
ARIES – Mar 21/Apr 20 LIBRA – Sept 23/Oct 23 Don’t feel a need to take charge of others. People Long-term career goals are on your mind. Make time will respond to your cues even when such hints are to develop a plan that can make those goals a realsubtle. Step back from the dictator’s podium. ity. Consult with colleagues for advice or guidance. TAURUS – Apr 21/May 21 SCORPIO – Oct 24/Nov 22 You should be able to accomplish your objectives There is always room for compromise, even when this week, in spite of some early distractions. Things compromise seems unlikely. Don’t be too quick to will right themselves before long. assume there is no room to work out an agreement. GEMINI – May 22/Jun 21 SAGITTARIUS – Nov 23/Dec 21 Concern about those closest to you might be fore- Your focus is at an all-time high this week. Now is a most on your mind this week. Shift that focus to good time to establish clear objectives at the workyour own life and responsibilities for the time being. place or for important personal matters. CANCER – Jun 22/Jul 22 CAPRICORN – Dec 22/Jan 20 Your professional life takes precedence this week. Friends and family bring you a sense of well-being. Allow yourself ample time to tackle all the things on Surround yourself with plenty of people in the days to your plate at the office, and you will be glad you did. come. Open your heart, and you will get much in return. LEO – Jul 23/Aug 23 AQUARIUS – Jan 21/Feb 18 Use the power you have carefully. Sometimes it sur- Coworkers turn out to be a source of much-needed prises even you just how great an impact you can support when you receive some unexpected news. make and the wide-sweeping consequences of Thank them for their support and kind gestures. some of your actions. VIRGO – Aug 24/Sept 22 PISCES – Feb 19/Mar 20 Uncertainty about your priorities arises over the next Expect others to seek your help in the coming days. few days. Take time to think things through, but don’t Do your best to help, and those around you will be idle for too long. Do your best to stay motivated. greatly appreciate it. FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS MARCH 2 – Chris Martin, Singer (37) MARCH 4 – Whitney Port, Actress (29) MARCH 6 – David Gilmour, Musician (68)
MARCH 3 – Julie Bowen, Actress (44) MARCH 5 – Dan Carter, Athlete (32)
According to USC president Pat Whelan, the current method of three-page Purple Papers was the bare minimum of putting forth policy for student advocacy. “[Purple Papers] were approved in standing committee and then in council without much debate. That was the problem — they were just double stamped. So we wanted more rigor in the process,” Whelan said. “This is a great step to what we were already headed to. Don’t get me wrong, we overhauled the process substantially, but we brought the spirit of the old Purple Papers policy,” said Nikki Pilo, senator and co-sponsor for the motion. “I’m really excited about it. Councillors wanted to get this policy in before the entire council turns over.” Whelan added that not only was there too much focus on smaller fringe issues with Purple Papers, but that core aspects of student life were not adequately addressed. “You’re talking about tuition, student affairs, student service, experiential learning or financial aid — core aspects of student life. Three pages isn’t enough to get indepth or thematic.” The process will now allow the USC to first set priorities that students have asked of their councillors and then have the executive or interested advocacy groups do broad based research. Then they will list out the values of the investigation or the preliminary findings. Council could approve, or send the proposal back to the drawing board. The decision to move to a more full-fledged policy-making process was heavily inspired by advocacy organizations like the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, which lobbies the provincial government on behalf of its member universities. The next step is to review existing Purple Papers and bring them up to the new advocacy standard and begin preparing three new advocacy papers one of which is an initiative to improve teaching quality.
The Cryptoquip is a substitution cipher in which one letter stands for another. If you think that X equals O, it will equal O throughout the puzzle. Single letters, short words and words using an apostrophe give you clues to locating vowels. Solution is by trial and error. © 2002 by Kings Features Syndicate, Inc.
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thegazette • Friday, February 28, 2014
Western takes first steps to leaving CASA Katie Lear GAZETTE STAFF The University Students’ Council voted Wednesday night to change Western’s membership in the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations from a full membership to an associate membership. Currently the two kinds of members are differentiated with differences in voting rights and fees, and full members cannot leave CASA unless they become associate members. CASA is an alliance of student associations that serves to bring students’ concerns to the federal government, and Western is one of 24 current member schools. CASA represents 300,000 students nationally. “An associate member is essentially, as it currently stands, entitled to attend meetings of the membership, participate in CASA’s events and advocacy, and conferences — they’re just not able to have a vote within our organization. The
membership fees are also 50 per cent of a full membership’s fees,” Patrick Snider, CASA’s policy and research officer said. The vote to change Western’s membership from full to associate comes after the USC has raised concerns with CASA practices. “What I need to stress is that we’re not coming into this with the mentality of we’re just going to leave CASA,” said Amir Eftekarpour, vicepresident external for the USC. “I believe in the idea of CASA, I think it’s a great idea. However, the organization really has been limping along for many years. A lot of its practices, its goals, its procedures have not served Western students well.” According to the USC’s review, the four issues raised are: Effective coordination of members, fair voting structure, autonomy of student unions and a more effective fee structure. “There are a comprehensive number of reforms that we really want to see to the fundamentals of the organization, and we believe
that going down to associate status will empower next year’s council. — because we can’t do it obviously, but next year’s council to really give CASA the deadline of ‘get your act together, let’s do some good reform, and if you do, we’re right back up to full members, and if you don’t, we’re out,’” Eftekarpour said. He added that the USC was concerned with CASA’s current voting model, which gives one vote per school, no matter how many students are represented by that school. “CASA, since its conception in 1995, has gone through several different iterations and structures and governances and board styles, so this is really in the hands of the members to see what kind of steps they want to take next,” Snider said. “It is my understanding that there will be some conversations taking place at our annual general meeting in a couple of weeks.” CASA currently has four annual meetings of the membership, one of which is coming up in March.
Lawyers lobby at Western The Canadian Bar Association brought 31 recommendations for the court system to a Western symposium held last week. The symposium’s main focus was on making justice services less expensive for Canadians. Fred Headon, the president of the Canadian Bar Association, spoke at the symposium and noted that it’s quite obvious to lawyers that justice systems are important. “I think that if you asked any Canadian on the street what they thought, I think they too would agree,” he said. One recommendation made by the CBA was the use of legal triage systems to help people avoid ending up in the court room and find a path that works for them. He suggested that those who meet with politicians have the tools available to be able to document the lack of access to legal counsel for financial reasons. This would allow a case to be made for making changes to the Canadian Justice System. — Morgann Sampson
Liberals call for higher PSE attainment Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau announced he aims to achieve a 70 per cent post-secondary education attainment by Canadians because seven out of 10 jobs will soon require a bachelor’s degree or diploma. However, according to the 2012 Statistics Canada survey, approximately 69 per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 44 already have attained a form of post-secondary education. When asked about the 70 per cent attainment, Amir Eftekarpour, the University Students’ Council vice-president external, said a university degree is evidently important to young Canadians. “We certainly know that in Ontario, at least in the next few years, 200,000 jobs are going to be created that will require a university degree,” Eftekarpour said. However, he cautioned against unsustainable growth, noting that “Ontario actually now has some of the highest attaining rates in the world.” — Hala Ghonaim
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Naira Ahmed GAZETTE
thegazette • Friday, February 28, 2014
Arts&Life Bradley Metlin
Mary Ann Cisok
Mary Ann Cisok
Cam “Smoth” Smith
funfact The youngest Oscar winner was Tatum O’Neal, only ten when she won Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon in 1973.
Will Win: 12 Years A Slave This is not a lock in any sense of the word. The precursor awards have been kind to this film but they’ve also been kind to Gravity. Should Win: 12 Years A Slave The artistic merits of this film are unprecedented. It is stunning and shines a light on one of (if not the) darkest periods in American history. The acting is flawless. 12 Years A Slave reigns supreme no matter how you look at it.
Will Win: Steve McQueen Everyone is predicting Alfonso Cuaron because he has scooped up virtually every award leading up to the telecast but I think the Academy will break for 12 Years A Slave. Should Win: Steve McQueen Steve McQueen has had it going on for quite some time now (see: Shame and Hunger). With 12 Years A Slave, McQueen eloquently captures the mood of the plantation South.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett They will award her with an Oscar. Blanchett is the lockiest of all locks. She will definitely pull out the win. Should Win: Cate Blanchett First of all, Cate Blanchett is bat shit crazy in Blue Jasmine. Beyond that, the work is superb and when someone as respected as Blanchett delivers her best work, the Academy notices.
Should Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor Chiwetel Ejiofor brings the goods here. His performance was absolutely fantastic. If ever there was a nuanced performance, look no further! Will Win: Matthew McConaughey “For his role in Dallas Buyers Club, he lost 45 pounds, or what actresses call ‘being in a movie,’” said Tina Fey. Basically, the Academy loves this weight loss shit with actors.
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave A family torn apart, racial injustice and brutal violence — the perfect cocktail for the Oscars’ Best Picture. A decent film with such poignant subject matter is a shoe-in win. Should Win: Her An original and daring film, Her explores concepts that cause one to question the meaning of love and human existence. Dynamic and thought provoking, but not nearly horrific enough for a best picture.
Will Win: Steve McQueen This is an opportunity for the first black director to win an Oscar. Although McQueen is not far and away the best choice in terms of quality, I suspect the Academy will be unable to pass up this milestone. Should Win: Martin Scorsese Wolf of Wall Street managed to keep audiences in rapture for the full three hours of the film. A masterful director, Scorsese deserves recognition.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett A clear choice for best actress, it would be a travesty if Blanchett didn’t win. Despite the Academy’s sometimes-questionable choices, Blanchett, surely, will be recognized for her talent. Should Win: Cate Blanchett Struggling to cope after losing her extreme wealth, Blanchett’s character is so much fun to watch. Jittery and panicked, barely holding it together, Blachett is incredible.
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey McConaughey has firmly broken out of his type-cast role of lead man. Displaying a great deal of character depth, I wouldn’t be too upset about this win. Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio With many impressive past performances, I think it’s about time Leo got his Oscar. DiCaprio is captivating.
Will Win: American Hustle Although 12 Years has the talent and emotion to deserve the award, the film’s graphic nature and difficult material will prevent Academy voters from really connecting. As such, American Hustle is looking like the best contender. Should Win: 12 Years a Slave As mentioned, 12 Years is a film which doesn’t hold back with its look at 1840s America — but this candor is what makes it so compelling.
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron Gravity stands out from the more conventional films. As such, Cuaron will be rewarded for getting great performances from Bullock and Clooney. Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron I get a Life of Pi vibe from Gravity, where a compelling narrative takes place in limited space with a strong dependence on graphics. Cuaron’s uniqueness will earn him a little gold man.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett Blanchett is amazing. Her role will not only be a winner, but will go down as one of the most compelling female roles of modern films. Should Win: Meryl Streep Though Blanchett deserves all the praise she receives, I can’t help but have a soft spot for Streep. Because August was shunned in other categories, this film should get some spotlight. Plus, Streep tho.
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club is such a character-driven film, and McConaughey is at the core of that. The academy can’t wait to crown its new Dallas king. Should Win: Matthew McConaughey Watching McConaughey play a victim of AIDS is inspired, and as his body transforms you can’t help but wonder the stages he underwent to get into that character.
Will Win: 12 Years A Slave The gut-wrenching horror story of slavery in pre-Civil War America has cleaned house in pre-awards categories and will likely see gold on Oscar night. Should Win: Nebraska Being depressing, heartwarming and humourous, Nebraska is the best film I’ve seen on the list of nominees this year and deserves the win.
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron A special effects marvel, Gravity will likely clean house in the tech award categories and will likely win for Cauron for Best Director. Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron Enough said.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett has had this award in the bag from the start of awards season. She gives an incredible performance as the Blanche DuBoisequse, mentally unstable trophy wife in Blue Jasmine and is the only major contender for this category. Should Win: Cate Blanchett See above.
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey Winning in multiple pre-Oscar awards, McConaughey is likely to win here as well. Should Win: Chitwel Ejiofor or Bruce Dern These two gave inspired performances that evoked a plethora of emotions in viewers, either of these two would be a better pick.
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave Everyone knows 12 Years a Slave is going to win. It tugged the heartstrings of all of us and wooed critics everywhere. This one won’t be a shocker, although it didn’t really break new ground. Should Win: Her Her blew me away. It was a masterpiece of future-realism, with an intangible air of authenticity. Unfortunately the Academy certainly won’t agree.
Will Win: Steve McQueen Steve McQueen will win for Best Director. His movie actually depended on solid direction to excel, which he did handily. Should Win: Steve McQueen Anyone except that Oscar-baiting prick David O. Russell. Seriously, if he wins I quit watching movies forever. Realistically he won’t, and I think Steve McQueen is arguably the best pick for Best Director.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett. Cate Blanchett, Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett. Should Win: Cate Blanchett Her performance was a masterpiece of subtly, with a dramatic undertone steeped in authenticity. This may have been the best acting coming from Hollywood in a decade.
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio This is my most contentious pick, but I’m gonna go with Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s his year, he’s sat in the wings long enough. The academy is going to want to recognize him. Should Win: Bruce Dern He is an old man, but in Nebraska he was THE old man. I mean, I thought they may have just drafted a senile senior wandering around the studio.
thegazette • Friday, February 28, 2014
Kelly Samuel GAZETTE
Analog augments authenticity >> ANALOG continued from pg.1
leveling off. Perhaps when it comes to the world of literature, the digital media will end up being the niche market as the analog reigns supreme. It’s a hypothesis Obermeyer believes has been proven in her firsthand observation while working at Chapters. “A lot of people who look for e-readers are actually older,” she says with a slight smile. “It’s a lot of people who find that the book text is too small for them or people who travel a lot. An e-reader is a great solution if you don’t want to travel with eight books on a month-long trip,” she continues, noting that the young adult section was also expanded during her time at Chapters — perhaps the success of Twilight did some good for print literature. While physical books might not have faced as significant a decline in popularity as vinyl records and film photography since their digital counterparts entered the mainstream, they share similarities in the way they are enjoyed. Above all, all analog media is an immersion in the art form and an intimate interaction with the medium. Olenka Krakus, lead singer of popular local band Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, and who has been employed at the Village Idiot record store in Wortley Village for nearly a decade, notes a similar palpable feeling with vinyl records that Obermeyer experiences with books. “There’s a permanence to the medium and a tactile experience that’s different than the other physical formats that exist,” Krakus says. Perhaps what goes hand in hand with this tactile experience is a natural progression toward a communal feeling. Is it possible that tangible art forms are more personal and thus provoke a more authentic response? “People do share digital files a lot more […] people are definitely sharing music that way,” Krakus says plainly, but then continues to explain the vinyl record experience. “There’s a community,” she says. “They feel like they’re part of an in crowd of people who get it, they
feel like they’re more of a connoisseur of music.” Imagine that certain friend who plays records on their noise-cancelling headphones in their bedroom while under the light produced by white Christmas lights. They “know” the music and “understand” it on a different level. So when thinking of music, to “get it” sometimes seems elusive to most people, who view that attitude as gratingly pretentious. Phil James, a fifth-year English student, explains that his record collection began after he started to feel disenchanted by having just an iTunes playlist. “Although it sounds kind of like an inauthentic thing to say, getting a record makes you have a more personal relationship with your music, just because you put more effort into playing it and it is more imperfect,” James says. These ideas of personal relationships and imperfection spill over to other media. Tyler Smith, a manager at City Lights Bookstore, notes that with literature, this personal connection is invaluable. “If you’re given a book, personally, from a friend, it’s more of an intimate exchange of — not just an idea — but of an experience. I think a lot of people underestimate how importantthat can be,” Smith says. Idzerda of the Forest City Image Centre also believes there is a generational difference in the way analog technologies are viewed. “Why would your parents be interested in this? They grew up with film and the frustrations that therein lie. They also grew up with this idea that perfection had to be with what they were aiming for,” Idzerda says. This difference in what generations view to be perfect might have to do with what Generation Y perceives to be worthwhile. As authenticity is what is strived for, perhaps the less clean and more spontaneous photography captures a moment better? It’s certainly a view held by some, but not everyone. In debunking this notion, Lucas Cabral, a second-year fine arts student, draws a comparison. “In using a film camera, you’re doing the same thing as using a 15-year-old phone. Except the reason
you’re using film is you like the mock nostalgia feeling that comes with time-treated photos,” Cabral says. He believes as technology advances, it can only be used to aid in the art form. He cites abilities to alter settings on the camera to fit your surroundings as an example of the enhanced experience of shooting with digital. Cabral’s idea of perfection is one that could be limiting, but inarguably produces stunning artistic images. “You still need to know what you’re doing but if you get it wrong, you can go back and fix it,” he says, advocating for digital photography. Idzerda would rebut this claim by noting the thoughtfulness that is achieved when shooting with film. “If you’re making one or two photos, they’ll actually be good because you’re thinking about them,” he says of film. Analog media is certainly experiencing some sort of resurgence and it is fueled by members of Generation Y. Students are flocking to atavistic art forms for a reason. While the wider media proclaims this generation as hollowed-headed no-minds who need modern technology to sustain their existence, this is an absolute fallacy with little merit. “Playing something on vinyl makes you appreciate the music much more,” record collector James says. “You can be in touch with how the artists were expressing themselves, and even hear the flaws in their voice. It’s a much more intimate experience,” he adds. As technology continues to take over more and more elements of everyday life, analog media still has a place in contemporary society. Young people seem unwilling to let go of “obsolete” technology. Is it the existence of a personal experience, an added intimacy? Is it a false sense of nostalgia? Regardless of why there is still an affinity for analog media, Smith summarizes the experience.“I think there will always be a place for the tactile experience of opening a book, reading it and passing it along. That can never be replaced digitally.”
Kelly Samuel GAZETTE
thegazette • Friday, February 28, 2014
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Analog tech worth the effort
Let’s face it — digital art is bland. You haven’t heard “Never Gonna Give You Up” until you’ve heard it on vinyl, and 50 Shades of Grey loses something when you read it on a Kobo. That’s why analog technology is making such a comeback. And it’s not just hipsters buying Chinesemade record players at Urban Outfitters for $169.99 — over the last year, records have outsold CDs, and film cameras outstripped digital ones in some local stores. Why are people shelling out cash to experience technology that we abandoned decades ago? The simple answer seems to be that it’s a different, better experience. Those who use vinyl swear that the sound is crisper, and according to some photographers film cameras provide for a much richer experience than digital ones. Even if all those claims are wrong, there’s still something to be said for the overall experience of using bygone technology. Digital media makes it easier and more convenient for us to consume various arts, but pressing play on your iPod or swiping your Kindle are less rewarding experiences than setting a needle or flipping a page. Pretentious? Maybe, but who among us can say that we don’t get more out of putting a little more effort into our pleasures? At worst, using analog provides a novel experience that allows us to connect more with art. At best, it forces us to pay more attention to the craft and appreciate it more — think about how much more effort is put into finding the perfect single picture on film, as opposed to taking 100 digital photos and picking one good one. That said, taking pleasure in carefully dusting off a record is totally different that making life more difficult for yourself to feel retro and cool. This is what separates the art aficionados from hipsters. Listening to a record for appreciation’s sake is not the same thing as riding a fixed-gear bike. Is this the beginning of a self-imposed technological downgrade? Will we soon be seeing a return to horsedrawn carriages and icepick lobotomies? Probably not, although look out for people to start using telegraphs instead of text messages. The simple fact is that there is a place for both digital and analog technologies based on what level of convenience and appreciation you’re going for. Maybe you wouldn’t want to appreciate Bach on an iHome, but neither would you take your record player to the gym. — The Gazette Editorial Board
Volume 107, Issue 76 www.westerngazette.ca
Julian Uzielli Editor-In-Chief Cameron M. Smith Deputy Editor Jason Sinukoff Managing Editor
Contact: www.westerngazette.ca University Community Centre Rm. 263 The University of Western Ontario London, ON, CANADA N6A 3K7 Editorial Offices: (519) 661-3580 Advertising Dept.: (519) 661-3579
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Letter to the Editor
Tough times for The Gazette Miszczak Your Privilege Above anything else, I consider myself an artist. From the time before I could even walk I held a pencil and doodled over everything within reach, much to my parents’ chagrin. As such, when I came to university I decided to continue my education as an artist and constantly seek to improve my work. There is, however, an issue I find concerning about the world of art — specifically the value of contemporary art. Contemporary art can best be defined as any modern art piece created since the 1970s to this day. But what is considered “high art” nowadays is degrading to a point where almost anyone can call themselves an artist and profit off work that cannot compare to pieces from the other great artists of history. I have a problem with the art world when artists like Barnett Newman can paint a single colour on a canvas and it can be visited in a gallery. When Marcel Duchamp can take a public urinal and somehow call it a masterpiece, I cannot help but stand aghast that people would actually call that artwork. Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, Eva Hesse, Jack Bush, Morris Lewis, Friedel Dzubas, Joseph Albers, Frederick Spratt — the list of artists who demonstrate little artistic ability goes on and on. I seriously question the value people are willing to give these “artworks.” I can acknowledge that from the Renaissance to modernism, art has evolved and changed. There is no doubt to that. I cannot, however, help but wonder how far we have fallen from valuing talent. My opinion isn’t coming from a point of ignorance. I can look at something that is surreal or abstract and still understand what it is trying to do. I get how, in its own unique way, these pieces try to emote a mood, feeling or idea. The problem is the minimal effort put into creating these art pieces, and this lack of effort is not something that should be forgotten simply because it is communicating some kind of high art meaning. I question just where the next generation of art is going when artists like these are given more credit than artists that I believe are putting much more effort and ultimately much more soul into their work. It seems that very soon if you want to find true art you’ll have to seek it outside of the gallery. It appears that the soul of art has left the gallery. — Chris Miszczak
Editorials are decided by a majority of the editorial board and are written by a member of the editorial board but are not necessarily the expressed opinion of each editorial board member. All other opinions are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the USC, The Gazette, its editors or staff. To submit a letter, go to westerngazette.ca and click on “Contact.” All articles, letters, photographs, graphics, illustrations and cartoons published in The Gazette, both in the newspaper and online versions, are the property of The Gazette. By submitting any such material to The Gazette for publication, you grant to The Gazette a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free, irrevocable license to publish such material in perpetuity in any media, including but not limited to, The Gazette‘s hard copy and online archives.
Abracadabra Al-Azem It started in grade nine when I arrived in English class, green as can be, and was assigned Romeo and Juliet to study. The following year would feature another Shakespeare in play, and the year after I would see good old Bill again. At some point I questioned: Are we really supposed to believe that over the course of history, no other person has ever been able to create art worthy of education besides the British, male playwright William Shakespeare? That, for me anyway, was the beginning of understanding the phenomenon known as high culture, specifically high art. What we value as art has been exceedingly socially constructed, mainly concentrated on Greco-Roman tradition with a Eurocentric perspective. The introduction of mass art, and the theory of postmodernism, has completely revolutionized the artistic world. Now, the question of what can and cannot be considered art is being replaced, rightly so, with the question of who gets to decide, and why? Art is a free market — you can call whatever you want art because it is. Art is moving away from being a selective process whereby the high class dictates art to the masses. It is mimesis; the telling of an experience. It can be anything. The moment anybody views a piece as artwork, it inherently becomes artwork (whether or not the artist intended it in that way). If I view a landscape painting as recounting an experience, the moment I do so I appreciate that landscape as art — and most people would not dispute that. Similarly, if I view a sculpture, such as Marcel Duchamp’s highly controversial urinal art piece entitled “Fountain” as an expression of an experience, does it not follow then that piece is automatically considered art as well? The same way that the landscape held a rich interpretation for me, so any work can summon these responses. Art is no longer a tool employed by power structures to feed society specific ideologies. Art is more than what the upper class, bourgeoisie can put together. Art has been reclaimed by the masses, and so long as the masses find something worthy in a piece — then it remains art. Renowned pop artist Andy Warhol, who challenged the traditional laws of fine art, once said, “Art is anything you can get away with.” While I appreciate this stance, I argue even further: Art is not just anything you can get away with; art is anything that someone can take away from it. — Nusaiba Al-Azem
Gazette Composing & Gazette Advertising Ian Greaves, Manager Robert Armstrong
Gazette Staff 2013-2014
Christine Bonk, Tabitha Chan, Jonathan Dunn, Spencer Fairweather, Conrad Floryan, Sam Frankel, Jennafer Freeman, Janice Fung, Stephanie Grella, Dorothy Kessler, Kevin Heslop, Jenny Jay, Nathan Kanter, Katie Lear, Emory Liu, Cheryl Madliger, Sara Mai Chitty, Soheil Milani, Mackenzie Morrison, Robert Nanni Jr., Vidhant Pal, Lily Robinson, Alex Seger, Tiffany Shepherd, Hamza Tariq, Tristan Wu, Olivia Zollino
News Richard Raycraft Megan Devlin Iain Boekhoff Jeremiah Rodriguez Arts & Life Brent Holmes Mary Ann Ciosk Bradley Metlin Sports Daniel Weryha Nusaiba Al-Azem Caitlin Martin Newnham Opinions Kevin Hurren
RE: “USC to elect remaining VPs,” Thursday, February 27, 2014. To the Editor: You guys at The Gazette have had a rough couple of weeks. You got a lot of flak for endorsing Matt Helfand’s slate, there’s been public criticism regarding disproportionate and graphic content in this year’s Sex Issue, and now complaints are already popping up about Thursday’s front page story on the USC VP elections; apparently people aren’t happy that candidates were asked to write as much as they wanted, only to have a couple sentences picked out to represent them. Western readers have a lot of complaints this time of year — tough times from a tough crowd. What readers need to realize is that The Gazette is a body of students entitled to their own opinions of what should or shouldn’t be covered in their paper. That’s the job, period. Major newspapers across the globe endorse the candidates that they feel best represent the public’s interests. Also, the fact that The Gazette is open to displaying sexuality as a newsworthy topic in general shows how far we’ve come as a progressive campus. Newspapers aren’t the place for candidates to convince voters, and having a front-page story on the VP elections is an unappreciated opportunity for improving visibility of student government. At the same time, what The Gazette needs to be reminded of is that they are the de facto student voice on campus. This newspaper is privileged to represent such a diverse student body, and as the sole student paper you have a responsibility to acknowledge that. As the definitive voice, you shouldn’t take sides in a USC election between two candidates who, frankly, had very similar platforms and goals. The Sex Issue is a wonderful opportunity to explore sexuality and campus issues that are normally swept under the covers, but when you slap readers across the face with overdone, self-indulgent graphics you take away from the issue’s integrity. If you want students to be informed about student government, don’t pretend that two sentences about each candidate is enough — at the very least suggest that readers see online what these candidates had to say in detail. I don’t envy your job, having your day-to-day work scrutinized by the entire campus. You guys took on a lot of responsibility when you signed up, and you’ve taken it seriously. Hopefully readers can ease up on your editorial decisions, but I also hope that you can better represent those readers as the definitive student newspaper on campus. — Kevin Chao FIMS III
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Associate Kaitlyn McGrath Aaron Zaltzman Photography Bill Wang Kelly Samuel Taylor Lasota Graphics Naira Ahmed Illustrations Christopher Miszczak John Prata Online Jesica Hurst Graphics/Video Mike Laine
• Please recycle this newspaper •
thegazette • Friday, February 28, 2014
gameday The Western Mustangs men’s hockey team will travel to Windsor to take on the Lancers for the second game of their three game playoff series. The Mustangs took on the Lancers last night at home, and will now play their first road game of the series.
Rundown >> The Western Mustangs men’s volleyball is traveling to Calgary this weekend to compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships > the team qualified for nationals with their semifinal win over the Waterloo Warriors in the Ontario University Athletics championships.
Mustangs impress on provincial stage Wrestlers head to New Brunswick after great OUAs Nusaiba Al-Azem SPORTS EDITOR While many Western students were heading home for reading week or preparing for a week of sleeping in, the Western Mustangs wrestling team was just gearing up for a weekend of intensive competition in the form of the Ontario University Athletics provincial championships at Toronto’s Tait McKenzie Centre on February 15. The men’s team entered the competition as two-time champions, looking to defend their title. Unfortunately, they fell short of that goal, ending the season off just two points shy of third place. The Guelph Gryphons took home gold with 78 points, followed by the Brock Badgers at 75 points, the McMaster Marauders at 52 points and finally the Mustangs at 50 points. Mustangs’ head coach Ray Takahashi cited many reasons for the disappointing result. He explained that Western senior wrestling powerhouse and three-time OUA champion Steven Takahashi suffered a lower-body injury at the Schultz International on January 31 and could not compete. Western wrestler Richard Balfour was also unable to compete due to a seasonal injury. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, the men’s team still had successful individual showings. Western’s Alec Bauer, Riley Otto and Kevin Ens all earned silver in the 76 kg, 90 kg and 120 kg weight classes, respectively. The women’s team, on the other hand, not only brought home the banner but also managed to defeat the six-time defending champion Brock Badgers. “It was beyond an amazing feeling to finally dethrone the Brock Badgers. In my five years competing for Western I have been waiting
Courtesy of York Athletics
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! The Mustangs women’s wrestling team standing with their heads held high after reigning supreme at the OUA championships at York’s Tait McKenzie Centre. The Mustangs now look to the CIS championships taking place this weekend in New Brunswick.
for the day to beat them, so I was overly excited to finally achieve that goal,” team captain Brianne Barry said. “I am honoured to be a part of the team to finally beat them after their six-year winning streak.” Although Western had one less than Brock’s four individual gold medals, they just squeezed past the former victors with one more second place finish than Brock, as well as an extra fourth place finish. The Mustangs’ gold medalists were Brianne Barry (who won her fifth consecutive OUA gold), Anna McKee and Larissa D’Alleva, who competed in 55 kg, 59 kg and 63 kg weight classes, respectively. Silver medalists included Western
Mustangs Christine Schmidt, Valerie Ouellette and Madi Parks, in the 72 kg, 51 kg and 48 kg classes, respectively. Many members indicated that Barry, the team captain, was instrumental in the victory. “This year the girls really came together. Our captain Brianne gave us some motivating words to help us all get amped up,” McKee said. “We were all exuberant; it was such a joy to see our hard work pay off. All the girls were on a winning high.” Head coach Takahashi echoed Mckee’s praises for Barry. “Brianne Barry won the gold but we expected that — I believe she
Jonathan Dunn GAZETTE
has the record of the first woman to win five OUA individual titles. She also was instrumental in getting the most out of the team,” he said. “We needed a total team effort and some of the team members performed exceptionally well. I believe Brianne was able to get those performances from her teammates — she showed great leadership.” Three of the four major awards recipients for the women’s team were Western Mustangs. Barry received her second ever Outstanding Female Wrestler award, McKee earned the Rookie of the Year award, and Takahashi received the Coach of the Year award.
“It’s a great honour — but most know that the award is like the team award — it’s a reflection of others or those on the team,” Takahashi said. “Coaches Scott Proctor and Saeed Azarbayjani have contributed so much to the team, and coaches know too, that you can’t win without the athletes. You need the horses to pull the cart.” Be sure to follow the success of Western’s wrestling team as they now face the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship hosted by the University of New Brunswick’s Varsity Reds. The wrestlers take to the mat today and tomorrow, looking for a national title.
thegazette • Friday, February 28, 2014
For the second time this year, the Purple Pipe goes to Western Mustangs’ track and field star Caroline Ehrhardt due to her outstanding performance at the Ontario University Athletics Championships this past weekend. The fourth-year Health Science student out of Espanola, Ontario, has had a number of noteworthy performances — most notably her back-to-back first place finishes in the OUA and Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships for the triple-jump in 2012.
Recently, Ehrhardt was named the OUA MVP for women’s field events for the second straight season. At the OUA championships she captured three medals. Erhardt picked up a gold in the triple jump with a CIS best 12.83-metre jump, silver in the long jump and a bronze with the 200-metre relay team. With her performance, Ehrhardt helped her team take second place at the OUA championships. The senior track and field star had a 5.98-mere long jump
that moved into the number three spot in the CIS — the jump was a personal best for Ehrhardt. Though her triple jump at the OUA championships was 0.11m short of her personal best that she posted in 2012, Ehrhardt will have a chance to challenge her distance at the CIS track and field championships, set to take place at the University of Alberta from March 6–8. — Daniel Weryha Naira Ahmed GAZETTE
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UPCOMING EVENTS TUES. MARCH 4, St. Luke’s (Broughdale) 1204 Richmond St. N. at Bernard is holding their annual Pancake Supper from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Also included are sausages, dessert, beverages and all the trimmings. Admission by free-will offering. Funds raised go towards running the Community Breakfast held at St. Luke’s. KARAOKE CONTEST 2014, ANAF (Army, Navy and Airforce) Unit 229, 38 Adelaide St N. Sunday 2-6 PM. Register day of event, 12 noon till 1:30. Entry fee $20.00, NON PROS ONLY. Prize money: 1st: $400.00, 2nd: $200.00, 3rd: $100.00. Must have own disks, or notify us in advance. Twenty-five to perform each of first four Sundays, top six proceed to semifinals, six to finals Sunday April 13th. For more info call Norm Ackland (Midnight Elvis) at 519-457-3397 All profits go to benefit our veterans. TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID BEING PHISHED 3. Keep a regular check on your accounts Regularly log into your online accounts, and check your statements. Report any suspicous transactions to your bank or credit card provider.
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