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Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

news

2 Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 news Economania! By Najib Aminy It’s

Economania!

XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 news Economania! By Najib Aminy It’s hard to

By Najib Aminy

It’s hard to ignore the fact that the U.S. economy is in shambles but it’s easy to get lost in the complexities of how this latest recession ultimately began:

sub-prime mortgages.

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Usually whenever middle-class, or any-class, Americans buy a house, they take out a mortgage, a loan contracted to a bank – which owns the property until the mortgage is paid off. One gen- erally must have good credit, employ- ment stability, and decent stream of income to apply for a mortgage. This stopped being the case several years ago. Banks started to offer mort- gages that were easier to apply for, which ultimately led to the highest per- centage of homeownership in American history: 69.2% in 2004, according to a Census Bureau study. The nature of these “easier” mortgages varied, from no income-no asset loans to adjustable mortgage rates, which offer below mar- ket interest rates for the first couple of years before resetting to higher rates of interest. These loans were given to people who were, as borrowers, “sub-prime” – they failed to meet the standards of gov- ernment lenders, the financial institu- tions Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Applying these standards would mean looking at measurements, such as the size of loan, the borrower’s debt-to- income ratio, or their ability to docu- ment their income.

TThhee PPeerriillss

But what these sub-prime borrow- ers failed to realize was that the initial 2 or 3 percent rate they were paying on their mortgage would double – if not triple – to a rate at which they would be unable to pay. “Interest rates were very low under very good conditions in the short run, but they were set up to ex- plode in the long run,” said Hugo Ben- itez-Silva, a Stony Brook professor in economics. “The broker who was sitting in front of this family knew that this person could not pay two years from now unless he got promoted and earned twice as much.” So why would banks offer these loans knowing that they could not be paid? For profits – money made from mortgaged-backed securities. Brokers from small banks across America took

these sub-primed mortgages, bundled hundreds of them together, and sold them to the bigger banks like Citibank, Chase, and Bank of America to name a few. The promise of these mortgage- backed securities was a high interest rate, ultimately a return of investment anywhere from 5 percent and up. These big banks would then sell these securities to various investment companies, or even international banks such as those of the Swiss and the Japanese. Meanwhile, these securities that have now traveled across the world are all backed up bad mortgages – in- ternational players had paid for the right to collect back borrowed money which couldn’t be repaid.

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“There was this big sort of chain of people from the broker until the last guy buying it that no body remembered it was garbage,” said Benitez-Silva, who is also the director of Graduate studies of economics. This scheme was concocted in re- action to Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and his decision to drop the interest rates of government bonds to roughly one per- cent. This forced companies and people willing to invest to look to an alterna- tive source of investment, as govern- ment bonds tend to be the safest form of investment but not necessarily one with a large return. Looking for the next big thing, specifically something with a low risk/high return promise, investors fell in love with mortgage-backed secu- rities. Because the demand was high, banks offered more lenient loans and mortgages to fuel the money making. But where was the oversight? It was there, but the overseers, too, were just as corrupt. These rating agen- cies – such as Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Corporation – are companies of finance and have economists that look at these bonds and grade them. “Well, they were really good friends with people at Citibank, Chase, and Bank of America, so the guy from Chase would say ‘I have this bond, it’s all these mortgages – great quality – give me triple A score,’” Benitez-Silva said. “Over a big T-bone steak, the rat- ing agency would say, ‘Well you have never failed me’ and that it is when it started to snowball.” The same sub-prime mortgaged loans were given triple-A scores – a rat- ing equal to that given to famously reli- able government bonds – and being traded all across the world. Yet, as the

bonds – and being traded all across the world. Yet, as the Professors at Stony Brook

Professors at Stony Brook are radical! In the good way!

Roman Sheydvasser

people at the very beginning of this chain of financial opportunity stopped paying their mortgages, houses were being foreclosed, and owners of these mortgage-backed securities began los- ing money.

TThhee CCoonnsseeqquueenncceess

This led to all these banking com- panies panicking and selling their trou- bled bonds only to realize that every other bank or security holder was doing the same, thus making the price go down to zero. Now the choice to put these assets on the balance sheets of banks, which had once seemed to be a profitable move, is revealed to have been a troubled investment. So that leads to where the economy is today. It’s not that there is no money to go around, rather the economic diffi- culties stem from the simple fact that people aren’t spending and banks aren’t loaning. After witnessing the poor lead- ership and operation of American banks, investors want to go somewhere safe with their money until the market rebounds. So they are putting their money into U.S. treasury bonds that offer little to no interest at all. Banks, who rely on investors and whose assets have dried up due to trou- bled assets cannot offer loans as they did in years prior. Without access to loans, there is less spending. Due to the decreased spending, companies and manufacturers are producing less and laying off many of their workers. For those that still have a job, spending is tight as the uncertainty of job security looms all across America.

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Enter President Obama. Not even 100 days into his administration, the former Illinois Senator submitted his $800 billion economic stimulus plan to Congress last month. With the help of Democrats and a few Republican Sena- tors, his bill was approved. But will that be enough? Economics Professor Michael Zweig doesn’t seem to think so. “I had this friend who was a nurse who told to me to take two aspirin instead of one,” he said. “She said it was a better guar- antee my headache would go away. Obama has given the nation one as- pirin.” Zweig, who is the Director of Center for Study of Working Class Life at Stony Brook, said he does not think Obama’s stimulus plan will create enough jobs. “So when the time comes to take the second aspirin because the problem is still there, people are going to be more reluctant because they will say the first one was not effective.” When he looks for causes of the cri- sis, Zweig points to the deregulation of the financial sector in 1999, when banks could offer investments and insurance policy to consumers, under the Finan- cial Services Modernization Act. “It no longer becomes a Republican or Demo- crat problem, but a problem of the cor- porate elite,” Zweig said. “These banks and investment companies get away from government regulation, avoid taxes, and make money.”

ECONOMY continued on page 3

The Stony Brook Press

News

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The Stony Brook Press News 3 NYPIRG Strikes Back! By Natalie Crnosija The Undergraduate Student Gov-
The Stony Brook Press News 3 NYPIRG Strikes Back! By Natalie Crnosija The Undergraduate Student Gov-

NYPIRG Strikes Back!

The Stony Brook Press News 3 NYPIRG Strikes Back! By Natalie Crnosija The Undergraduate Student Gov-

By Natalie Crnosija

The Undergraduate Student Gov- ernment Senate gave oral support for reactivation of New York Public Inter- est Group’s line budget during its Mar. 5 meeting. Senator Adal David Regis, who worked closely with NYPIRG, asked that the senate give its support to the organization before its contract and budget were reviewed for reinstate- ment. NYPIRG is a non-profit, statewide, student-governed, public advocacy or- ganization, founded in 1973 that fo- cuses on consumer rights, environmental protection and govern- mental reform. NYPIRG’s Stony Brook University chapter, which was funded by USG, lost its line budget funding last year due to a loophole in its contract with USG. “Their contract said that they did not have to report how much money they spent,” Senator Daniel Graber sai This loophole left USG unable to evaluate NYPIRG’s spending over the 2007-2008 academic year. According to the SBU USG Constitution, it is the spending of the previous year that USG uses to determine a club’s budget for the upcoming academic year. As NYPIRG did not report its spending, it lost its USG line budget, which totaled

$125,000.

Although NYPIRG lost its line budget, it did receive vouchers for spe- cific programs and on-campus initia- tives during the 08-09 academic year.

USG vouchers must be applied for indi- vidually for every event. “It is not as if we didn’t give them any money at all,” Graber said. “They get vouchers, but things don’t go as smoothly as they do with a line budget

senators who have actively campaigned against budget cuts on campus over the past few months. The cuts, which stip- ulate a 90 percent tuition increase, will be sent to the state government and have been harshly criticized by admin-

state government and have been harshly criticized by admin- In spite of the constraints of the

In spite of the constraints of the voucher system, NYPIRG’s SBU chap- ter remained instrumental in voter reg- istration, and most recently, in organizing the Feb. 25 SUNY budget cuts protest, Andrew Morrison, SBU’s NYPIRG regional supervisor, said. The protest, which was co-orga- nized by Regis, was seen as victory by

istrators and students alike. Stony Brook is not unique in its struggle as the budget cuts rattle the state’s university system. Across the SUNY system, universities are suffering, but are united by their respective NYPIRG chapters and their collective lobbying power. SBU NYPIRG helped coordinate

SBU’s protest with those of other SUNY campuses, Regis said. Now, as a result of the demonstration, there is a possi- bility of SBU keeping up to 40 percent of its budget. USG President Jeffrey Akita said at the Feb. 25 USG Senate meeting that he would not endorse NYPIRG’s reinstate- ment of its budget, but insisted that NYPIRG was a necessity at SBU. “NYPIRG helps in ways that we don’t even know,” Akita said. “It insures that we have money for elections. They advocate for us in Albany. NYPIRG is fundamental for USG.” Though Regis used NYPIRG’s per- formance at the rally as evidence for re- activating the organization’s line budget, Senator Shamell Michael Forbes said that reactivation should not be a reward for NYPIRG. “The reason for NYPIRG’s contract reactivation is not because of their ef- forts,” Forbes said. “This is not how we want to decide. We have to think about the actual contract, not about their ef- forts. Is it necessary to their function to have a budget, or can they use the voucher system?” Morrison, who spoke of NYPIRG’s continuous lobbying in Albany, said that USG’s support of NYPIRG, by pub- lic and financial support, would help NYPIRG accomplish its goals for the SUNY system. “I am confi- dent that we will get our funding back,” Morrison said. “We need our contract back to run at optimum efficiency.”

ECONOMY continued from page 2

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And that is what makes this reces- sion so unique from the past recessions that America has faced. “Not a crisis of middle class or poor, it’s the rich,” Ben- itez-Silva said. “Obama is not talking to the poor or middle class, he is talking to the rich and trying to convince them that it ok to spend.” It is spending that leads to produc- tion and increased employment – re- sulting in a daunting outlook for

graduating students. “Students cannot control the job market, nor can they control what other candidates from other universities do; they can only con- trol their own actions,” said Marianna Savoca, director of Stony Brook’s Career Center. “A student graduating does not have to worry about millions of jobs he or she only has to worry about finding one job.” Stony Brook’s Career Center offers a range of career services from looking over one’s resume to giving ca- reer advice among other resources in order to help prepare students entering the job market.

Benitez-Silva, originally from Spain, has noticed one positive from this whole economic negative. “What is most impressive about the U.S., regard- less of how bad things get, there are al- ways people that have a positive view about the future, for one the youth,” he said. “The youth have had a tougher time competing with the fat cats. Now the cat is the thin cat and is afraid and the youth can be the top dog.”

with the fat cats. Now the cat is the thin cat and is afraid and the

Roman Sheydvasser

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Editorial Board

Executive Editor

James Laudano

Managing Editor

Andrew Fraley

Associate Editor

Najib Aminy

Business Manager

Katie Knowlton

Production Manager

Tia Mansouri

News Editors

Natalie Crnosija

Cindy Liu

Features Editor

Alex Nagler

Arts Editor

Kelly Yu

Photo Editor

Roman Sheydvasser

Liz Kaufman

Copy Editors

Ross Barkan

Erin Mansfield

Webmaster

Chris Williams

Audiomaster

Andrew Fraley

Ombudsman

Jowy Romano

Minister of Archives Jesse Schopefer

Layout Design by Jowy Romano

Staff

Kotei Aoki Ross Barkan Vincent Barone Raina Bedford Matt Braunstein Tony Cai J.C. Chan Doug Cion Laura Cooper Caroline D’Agati Krystal DeJesus Joe Donato Nick Eaton Michael Felder Caitlin Ferrell Vincent Michael Festa Joe Filippazzo Amelia Fischer Ilyssa Fuchs Rob Gilheany David Knockout Ginn Joanna Goodman Jennifer Hand Stephanie Hayes Andrew Jacob Liz Kaempf Elizabeth Kaplan Jack Katsman Yong Kim Rebecca Kleinhaut Iris Lin

Frank Loiaccono Justin Meltzer James Messina Steve McLinden Samantha Monteleone Frank Myles Amyl Nitrate Daniel Offner Chris Oliveri Ben van Overkill Laura Paesano Grace Pak Rob Pearsall Jon Pu Aamer Qureshi Kristine Renigen Dave Robin Jessica Rybak Joe Safdia Natalie Schultz Jonathan Singer Nick Statt Rose Slupski Lena Tumasyan Marcel Votlucka Alex Walsh Brain Wasser Matt Thrillemain Jason Wirchin Jie Jenny Zou

The Stony Brook Press is published fortnightly during the academic year and twice during summer session by The Stony Brook Press, a student run non-profit or- ganization funded by the Student Activity Fee. The opin- ions expressed in letters, articles and viewpoints do not necessarily reflect those of The Stony Brook Press as a whole. Advertising policy does not necessarily reflect editorial policy. For more information on advertising and deadlines call (631)632-6451. Staff meetings are held Wednesdays at 1:00 pm. First copy free. Additional copies cost fifty cents. The Stony Brook Press Suites 060 & 061 Student Union SUNY at Stony Brook Stony Brook, NY 11794-3200 (631) 632-6451 Voice (631) 632-4137 Fax Email: sbpressnews@gmail.com

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

editorials

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 editorials Professor Chi ick Is Awesome! We know times are

Professor Chi ick Is Awesome!

We know times are tough here at Stony Brook these days. The economy

is in the tank and tuition is on the rise.

So, we all need a good laugh at times. It was with this in mind that we picked up the latest issue of The Patriot, Stony Brook’s conservative student publica- tion. While we all had a bunch of good laughs while reading it, one article did-

n’t make us smile in the least. Well, one of us did laugh, but we had to remind her that it was a serious piece. Titled, “SBU Professor Accepts Award From Iran” (how unimaginative) the article is

a baseless and ridiculous assault on

William Chittick, one of Stony Brook’s eminent scholars. Written by Patriot “Editor” Derek Mordente, the article winds up being narrow-minded and petty, rather than informative in any way.

Here are the details: Professor Chittick was recently awarded The Farabi International Award, which is an achievement bestowed upon the fore- most scholars in the field of Islamic studies. In addition to Chittick, two oth- ers won the award, namely Carl Ernst and Miriam Galston. All three accepted the award. As Mordente points out, Ernst “…[claimed] that although he ‘cringed’ at some of [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ‘policies’, he found the award to be strictly ‘academic’ and apolitical.” We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Ernst. As far as we are concerned (and most respectable scholars would probably agree) there is nothing wrong with a professor accepting an award such as this. However, Mordente doesn’t see it this way. He goes on to say “Now, since William Chittick did not decline the award, one can only believe that, at best, he is in virtual agreement with the sen- timents expressed by…Ernst” Yeah, Derek, he probably is in agreement with Ernst. In agreement with the completely logical and reasonable stance Mr. Ernst has. What could possibly be wrong with Chittick agreeing with what Ernst said? Nothing. However, it certainly seems

Mordente is insinuating there is. Chittick received his PhD in Iran and taught there during the 1970s (pre- Islamic Revolution for all you Patriot staffers, by the way). Mordente states, “I find it hard to believe William Chittick is completely naïve regarding the cur- rent state of Iran…” And, for once in the article, Mordente is probably correct. Chittick is one of America’s foremost scholars on Iran and is most certainly aware of what is going on there today. Yes, the sentiments echoed by certain Iranian politicians are unsettling. But, just as Ernst said above, this award is ac- ademic and apolitical. Yet, despite Chittick’s clear expertise in matters Iranian, Mordente goes on to cite Is- lamophobe Robert Spencer and the nonsense he spouts on his website ji- hadwatch.com. Bringing someone like Spencer into the discussion only serves to shove the argument outside the realm of being academic and apolitical. Mordente closes this ridiculous “ar- ticle” by stating “William Chittick, you should be ashamed of yourself.” Despite

this hard-line stance, the article never once provides Chittick a chance to re- buke these groundless arguments. In fact, it seems to be more of a lengthy di- atribe against all things Iranian govern- ment, needlessly attaching Professor Chittick to a country and policies that he has had no part of since its old regime. It simply goes on to spout bull- shit without any examination of Chittick’s stance, which essentially dis- credits the entire article in its own right. We don’t think Professor Chittick should be ashamed. In fact, we applaud him. We admire the fact that he can transcend unfortunate present day pol- itics and continue to teach about the rich, vibrant history and culture of Iran and Islam. It is because of men like William Chittick that we will be able to, one day, bridge the gaps between Iran and America and make meaningful, peaceful connections. It starts with mu- tual understanding from both sides, and Chittick is doing his part. Keep up the good work, Professor Chittick!

doing his part. Keep up the good work, Professor Chittick! Write for e P! Meetings Every

Write for e P!

Meetings Every Wednesday at 1PM, Union Building 060

The Stony Brook Press

E-mail your letters to sbpressnews@gmail.com

5

letters

Press E-mail your letters to sbpressnews@gmail.com 5 letters To the Editor, I was very troubled by

To the Editor,

I was very troubled by the print edition of Alfred Esposito’s article on the Stony Brook Motorsports team en- titled “The loud, the Dirty, the Brilliant”. Mr. Esposito’s research and writing show promise, and he is to be com- mended and encouraged in that regard, however the positive tone of the piece is marred by the inappropriate caption under the photograph of President Kenny in the race car, along with the misuse of our photograph on the back page. The student members of the Motorsports team work very hard to both complete their project and also present themselves in a professional manner, and ascribing inappropriate language and bizarre im- agery to their work only serves to disparage and misrepresent the program. I am extremely surprised and dis- appointed that students like yourselves who are working on a project such as your newspaper would show such disregard and disrespect towards your fellow students who are working passionately on a project of their own.

Also, the following information was omitted from the article or requires correction: I work for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Vivek Zilpelwar is a senior Mechanical Engineering student. Jean Christian Brutus is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, and he serves as a graduate advisor to the team. Henry Honigman is a team advisor. Vivek Zilpelwar and John Baglione’s names are spelled incorrectly. The team’s next competition is in June, not July. The testing site at Research Park is known as the research and development facility, not “the track” – it is used only for testing and evaluation of vehicle design elements without any of the competitive aspects of a “track”.

In addition, there is no mention of the numerous on-campus sponsors that support the program; in particu- lar the Undergraduate Student Government, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the College of En- gineering and Applied Science, President Shirley Strum Kenny, Vice President for Research Gail Habicht, Vice President for Facilities and Services Barbara Chernow, Provost Eric W. Kaler, the Office of Undergraduate Ac- ademic Affairs, and UREKA. Without all of this support, the team’s achievements would not be possible.

Sincerely,

Noah D. Machtay Department of Mechanical Engineering Stony Brook University

Noah,

We appreciate your concern about the article in our most recent issue. And we are sorry that you are disappointed about the use of the photo that was generously provided for us. While we are within our legal rights to use the photo as we did, that does not necessarily mean that we should. We don’t feel, however, that we did anything wrong. The photo of President Kenny sitting in the car with a goofy grin on her face is, you must admit, ridiculous. It is a photo that is asking to be lampooned, and we assumed that was the reason it was taken. The caption at the bottom and the back cover are merely bad jokes—we have a very childish and morbid sense of humor—and shouldn’t be taken seri- ously. We apologize if you feel that this in any way disparages Team Baja in any way, that was certainly not our intent. As you both mentioned, Mr. Esposito’s article was well written, and we feel it represents the team well. A little joke we slip into the article shouldn’t take away from the writing itself. In the future, we will do all in our power to avoid un- fortunate situations such as these. We also hope that this doesn’t dissuade you from collaborating with us in the fu- ture. As for the mistakes in the article, we apologize for those. Retraction forthcoming. Rest assured also that our edi- tors have all been sacked, and replaced with less useless ones. Mr. Esposito has also received the beating of his life for those mistakes. We’ve also branded them onto his chest, in reverse, lest he ever forget them.

RETRACTIONS:

In Volume 30, Issue 9, in the article, “The Loud, The Dirty, The Brilliant,” senior Vivek Zilpelwar’s name is misspelled, as is senior John Baglione’s. The article also misassociates the Stony Brook Motorsports Team’s testing facility. Also, in addition to the duties mentioned in the article, Henry Honigman also acts as team advisor. Also, in addition to the details pro- vided by the article, graduate student Jean Christian Brutus also acts as the team’s graduate advisor. We sincerely apologize for the mistakes.

Also, rest assured that the guilty parties have received their just desserts. A few rounds in the Rancor pit ought to prevent a mistake like this from happening again.

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6

News

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

6 News Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Much To Do About Nothing

Much To Do About Nothing

10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Much To Do About Nothing By Andrew Fraley Inside a

By Andrew Fraley

Inside a packed and dimly lit room in Harriman Hall, with two police offi- cers standing outside, a would-be sim- ple film screening inadvertently turned into the most controversial event this year. On Thursday, February 5, the Stony Brook Social Justice Alliance screened the documentary film Occu- pation 101, to much criticism and op- position from the Jewish community on campus. “[The movie] misrepresents the facts and makes up slanderous lies,” said Daniel Graber, a Undergraduate Stu- dent Government senator and promi- nent member of Stony Brook’s Hillel Foundation for Jewish Life. Graber had contacted the SJA earlier that day to re- quest that they not show the film that day, and perhaps delay it for another time. Graber was not speaking for Hil- lel when he requested this, but he said they backed him up. In addition, several students went to Dean Stein and Direc- tor of Student Activities Alexandra Duggan to voice their concerns. “Show- ing a film that is very anti-Israeli is going to bring up anti-Semitic senti- ment,” said Sarah Marshall. “We obvi- ously don’t want that.” Marshall is a contributing writer to The Patriot, and is also an active member of Hillel. She shared similar opinions as Graber, agreeing that the film is, “extremely bi- ased and inaccurate.” Graber also cited an earlier inci- dent, in which Hillel agreed not to show the film Obsession—a controversial documentary about radical Islam—

after the Muslim Student Association voiced concerns, as another reason SJA should not show the film. Hillel acqui- esced in order to preserve the peace and cooperation between the two organiza- tions. “Things work better when people get along,” explained Graber. In addition to the legitimate and courteous requests, there were also sev- eral inappropriate responses, including accusations of anti-Semitism and at- tempts to sabotage the event. Before the movie was shown, Alex Saiu, a member of SJA, displayed a flier of the event, with “cancelled” printed beneath it. “We don’t appreciate this,” announced Saiu. Hillel and Graber both condemn the sabotage, calling it “misguided”. The re- sponsible parties have not been identi- fied. Also, since the film was advertised, the SJA has been inundated with nu- merous accusations, over email and on the group’s Facebook wall. “Accusation of anti-Semitism should not be used lightly. I think it’s unfortunate that peo- ple feel that way and are willing to use words like that as vehemently as they have been used before and following the film screening,” said Dan Woulfin, a graduate student and member of SJA. The SJA decided in the end to go ahead with the screening. “We feel that the members of the campus community are mature enough to watch it and make up their own minds and not come to rash conclusions,” said Saiu, defending the SJA’s decision. The SJA also wanted the screening to coincide with the up- coming convoy to Palestine. The Viva Palestina! Aid Convoy, a humanitarian convoy from Britain and with contribu- tions from around the world, success- fully crossed into Gaza on March 9. “Showing the film was meant to highlight this courageous humanitar- ian mission and the im- portance of direct action and international soli- darity when national governments and global bodies like the UN fail to act in the face of bla- tant human suffering,” explained Saiu. More info is available at viva- palestina.org. In order to avoid con- flict, and to diffuse the unjust accusations, the SJA went to Hillel to dis- cuss it. They also invited Rabbi Joseph Topek to speak at the event, and open it up for discus- sion. “[The SJA] were

event, and open it up for discus- sion. “[The SJA] were The infamous forged “cancelled” fliers

The infamous forged “cancelled” fliers

“[The SJA] were The infamous forged “cancelled” fliers Alex Saiu is a cool dude. Dan Woulfin

Alex Saiu is a cool dude.

Dan Woulfin

gracious enough to me to offer a few re- marks after the film,” Topek explained. “I think the SJA leadership did a good job at moderating a discussion.” Agree- ing that the situation was dire, Topek also added facts he felt the movie omit- ted, and tried to clear up some of the history that wasn’t fully explained. The movie itself focuses mainly on the human rights side of the Palestin- ian-Israeli conflict. While many agreed that it was one-sided, Saiu explained that it is the “side that’s unrepresented”; this later became a topic of debate dur- ing the discussion as well. Despite con- taining no apparent anti-Semitism, many still begged to differ. “The film uses Israeli and Jewish interchangeably,” explained Graber, claiming that the movie creates a negative association be- tween the two. Graber did not attend the event, but had seen the movie pre- viously. “It’s basically a propaganda film, and a well made one at that,” added Topek. “ If the purpose is to try to have a somewhat objective study of the Is- raeli-Palestinian conflict then I don’t think it was a great choice, but it did succeed in provoking a discussion.” The discussion afterward became heated early on, although the SJA did an effective job keeping it reasonable. Woulfin acted as moderator, and made sure everyone got their say. “My biggest concern was that the discussion would devolve into a circular debate of ‘us ver- sus them,’” said Woulfin. “Fortunately, most of the Stony Brook students who attended didn’t fall into that trap and were able to discuss the film intelli- gently.” Although it remained civil, it

became polarized and very tense. “It was very uncomfortable for me,” claimed Marshall, “the pro-Israeli side of the debate got jeers, while the pro- Palestine side got cheers. It was a very scary thing.” The tension was certainly not one-sided, however; I noticed sev- eral scoffs at statements defending Palestine as well. With prepared state- ments and unwavering responses, many of the attendees seemed unchanged by the film. “By simple observation, most of the minds are already set,” noted jun- ior Ahmed Uro. In the end, the only thing that was agreed upon was that no- body may agree, but knowledge is power. “It’s ok for students to disagree with one another, even passionately,” admitted Topek, “as long as it is civil.” Members of SJA still remain per- plexed about the whole incident. “The film isn’t perfect but our goal was to highlight a humanitarian crisis, which the film very powerfully does,” ex- plained Woulfin. “Another film about the same topic was shown the week be- fore in the Union Auditorium by UNICEF and raised no outcry.” The movie drew a crowd of 65 people, com- pletely filling Harriman 214, and would have drawn more if not for the forged fliers and police presence. “[Not show- ing the movie] would have been a dis- service to those here,” said Saiu after the screening. Relations are usually good between the Muslim and Jewish com- munities on campus; fears of anti-se- mitic backlash seemed unfounded. “It’s something that I’ve seen on other cam- puses,” said Woulfin, “but never at Stony Brook.”

The Stony Brook Press

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7

The Stony Brook Press News 7 Just As The Frozen Earth Doth Thaw, So Too Unto

Just As The Frozen Earth Doth Thaw, So Too Unto Stony Brook’s Job Market

Earth Doth Thaw, So Too Unto Stony Brook’s Job Market By Caitlin Ferrell It’s been five

By Caitlin Ferrell

It’s been five months since Presi- dent Shirley Strum Kenny declared a hiring freeze on the Stony Brook Uni- versity campus to prepare for state budget cuts. The freeze ended in No- vember, but the recession has only deepened since, and Stony Brook Uni- versity continues to see the wounds from lack of cash across its campuses. During the freeze, construction projects, which were already slow mov- ing, were halted. The Stony Brook Med- ical Center was also affected. An administration worker, who requested to remain anonymous, said that since the freeze ended, employers have been “a little more resourceful” with new hires, trying to stretch a thin budget.

with new hires, trying to stretch a thin budget. Research and state funds were drasti- cally

Research and state funds were drasti- cally affected, but have since been re-in- stated. However, Campus Dining was un- affected. “Campus Dining Services does not receive state funding,” said Angela Agnello, Director of Marketing & Com- munications of the Faculty Student As- sociation at SBU. “Its sole funding source is revenues from food purchases on campus, including the student meal plan.” Agnello also said the FSA was un- affected as it is a private not-for-profit auxiliary services corporation. Campus Residences was also unaffected as its funding comes from students’ room and board fees. Today Stony Brook University’s website has a slew of medical jobs listed as well as jobs in almost every depart- ment in Human Resources, Campus Dining and Campus Residences.

medical jobs listed as well as jobs in almost every depart- ment in Human Resources, Campus

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Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

features

8 Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 features My Two Cents By Nick Eaton Meeting

My Two Cents

10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 features My Two Cents By Nick Eaton Meeting Economics Professor Michael Zweig

By Nick Eaton

Meeting Economics Professor Michael Zweig was intimidating. With- out having ever heard of him before, I couldn’t help but assign importance to a man whose idea of “organized” entails

a desk strewn about with papers and folders. As Najib and I peeked into the room, the second thing we noticed was

a wall of shelves covered in books. Fi-

nally Michael Zweig, typing away at his computer in the back of the room, caught our attention. e man looks like Karl Marx. If you search “Michael Zweig,” you’ll find his article for e Nation and multiple interviews on PBS. You’ll find an Amazon listing of his books and of course his Stony Brook University fac- ulty page. Suffice it to say that, at the very least, he knows his shit. As the Di- rector of the Center for the Study of Working Class Life, Professor Zweig is certainly the go-to guy regarding eco- nomic issues that affect the vast major- ity of SBU students. As Najib and I launched questions, the answers we received came back in

I launched questions, the answers we received came back in plain English. While many Wall Street

plain English. While many Wall Street types aim their sights at “too much gov- ernment regulation” as the cause of the crisis, a simple breakdown of the crisis itself shows that a circumstantial lack of responsibility was to blame for the mess. Whether or not government is the solution is up to debate, but govern- ment certainly wasn’t the cause – op- portunity and greed were. Despite falling to the Keynesian side of the di- vide, Zweig was more than a little skep- tical regarding Obama’s economic stimulus package as am I. e tax cuts

are more political posturing than effec- tive policy and the job creation is min- imal to say the least. While this may possibly slow down the current down- ward spiral, another stimulus will be re- quired in the future. is begs the question of whether or not Obama will have the political clout to accomplish that goal. In the face of what will be framed as a “failed” stimulus package by Republicans, can Obama stave off criti- cism enough to pass another omnibus spending bill? Recouping the money spent on the

bailouts would, I think, be a step in the right direction. A securities speculation tax could help. Advocated by economist Dean Baker as well as the ever-vigilant presidential candidate Ralph Nader, a securities speculation tax would be the equivalent of the taxes paid at casinos or playing the state lottery. e differ- ence being the majority of participants in the financial market “roulette,” so to speak, are wealthy individuals. Nader sums the concept up nicely: “Why should you pay a 5 to 6 percent sales tax for buying the necessities of life, when tomorrow, some speculator on Wall Street can buy $100 million worth of Exxon derivatives and not pay one penny in sales tax?” He continues by stating that “the basic premise of taxation should be to first tax what society likes the least or dislikes the most, before it taxes honest labor or human needs.” Zweig added that such a tax would have to be federal. If done at the state level, the stock ex- change could merely change its location and sidestep the tax entirely. Such a tax would also enable a lightening of the in- come tax which would benefit all Amer- icans.

You Can’na Talk To Youkhanna!

benefit all Amer- icans. You Can’na Talk To Youkhanna! By Natalie Crnosija The Iraq known to

By Natalie Crnosija

The Iraq known to Americans has been burned into the public conscious- ness by images of urban warfare and improvised explosive devices. This Iraq is different from the Iraq that once ex- isted: the one composed of the artifacts that have been stolen, music that has been silenced and art that is no longer exhibited. It was this modern, cultur- ally conscious Iraq that became a war zone without running water, Dr. Donny George Youkhanna, Iraq’s former Chairman of the State Board of Antiq- uities and Heritage said. “People wouldn’t believe what we had then…it was an open society with dance parties and social clubs where people could play bingo every Sunday,” Youkhanna said. “Now, the infrastruc- ture is so bad that Iraqis get only two hours of electricity a day.” Youkhanna is a visiting professor in Stony Brook University’s Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, where he has been teaching since 2006. It was earlier in 2006 that Youkhanna was pressured out of his chairmanship

by threats against his family and the possibility of assassination. He had held the position for one year. In the years since his departure from Iraq, Youkhanna has observed changing American policy towards his home country. There is now a time frame for American withdrawal from Iraq, and President Obama’s call for diplomacy has been seen as a turning point in the conflict. Though he agreed with Obama’s call for dialogue, Youkhanna stressed the necessity of cul- tural understanding. “I believe educated people will not kill each other,” Youkhanna said. “There has to be a cultural approach to peace. If there is an attempt to see another cul- ture and its achievements, that will give good results in the long run.” The cultural history of Iraq, which spans back 7,000 years to the Sumerian Empire, has also been a casualty of the conflict through looting and damage to the museums. Youkhanna, an expert in the achievements of Iraqi culture, oversaw the preservation of Mesopotamian arti- facts in Iraq’s museums. There were over 150,000 artifacts in museums of Iraq. Of those artifacts, 50 percent were

lost to looting after the invasion. Though some of these items have been returned, thousands of artifacts remain missing. “It’s a disaster,” Youkhanna said. “There are masterpieces that are lost and have still not been returned.” The theft of artifacts was prompted by the initial chaos of the 2003 invasion and the ensuing five years of urban combat. The low security of museums and massive unemployment made the theft of artifacts a viable way for Iraqis to make money at the expense of Iraq’s cultural history. This unemployment, caused by the deterioration of the economy, also con- tributed to the growth of the insurgence movement. Financial desperation drives Iraqis to paying sectarian insurgent groups. “We need to minimize unemploy- ment,” Youkhanna said. “That is the only thing that will 100 percent work. The reason people go to the insurgence is because they have no money.” The sectarianism in Iraq among the Sunnis, the Shiites, the Kurds and Christians has been the cause of the civil strife in Iraq and has fuelled the in- stability within the country. Because of

the diversity of religious sects, Iraq can- not be classified strictly as an Islamic country, Youkhanna said. He preferred the classification of Iraq as an Arabic country as a cultural characterization. “In Iraq, there are Muslims and Christians and as much as they are ed- ucated as such, they live together and are Iraqis,” Youkhanna said. “They rec- ognize they are all Iraqis, and that is the most important thing.”

and are Iraqis,” Youkhanna said. “They rec- ognize they are all Iraqis, and that is the

The Stony Brook Press

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features

The Stony Brook Press 9 features

Though it appear a little out of fashion,

There is much care and valour in this Professor

of fashion, There is much care and valour in this Professor By Natalie Crnosija The only

By Natalie Crnosija

The only place one would expect to find a Barnes & Noble Classics Edition of “Henry V” or “Titus Andronicus” at Stony Brook University would be at the campus bookstore—not under the edi- torship of a university professor. At SBU, which touts its scientific conquests on-campus, off-campus and abroad, achievements in the humanities seldom make the shuffle of advertise- ments on the university homepage. De- spite its low profile, Stony Brook’s English department is populated by many published and publishing profes- sors, including Professor Benedict S. Robinson, with his most recent editor- ship of “Henry V” and “Titus Androni- cus.” Robinson, 36, is an associate pro- fessor and, apart from his Barnes & Noble publications, has authored nu- merous articles analyzing Renaissance drama and poetry. “I didn’t always like Shakespeare,” said Robinson in his office in the SBU Humanities building. The walls were dotted with postcard-size portraits of Elizabethans, and a single playlist hung by the computer with a Velvet Under- ground song near the bottom. “I got into Shakespeare pretty late in life, but I

was always a reader.” Robinson, a native of South Bend, Indiana, planned to study 20th Century Literature as he neared the end of his undergraduate career at the University of Chicago. A single class peaked Robinson’s interest and made him switch his focus towards the Renais- sance. “It was a really late decision,” said Robinson. “I remember some of my recommendations still said I was going to study Modern Literature.” Robinson studied Renaissance Lit- erature at Columbia University’s Grad- uate School of Arts and Sciences under Shakespeare expert Professor James Shapiro. Shapiro, a winner of the The- atre Book Prize and a Fulbright lecturer, said that, after two years into Robinson’s dissertation, the two spoke as equals. “Ben is a brilliant scholar and a tal- ented editor…with a fine sense of drama and Shakespeare in relation to his moment,” said Shapiro. It is this type of expertise that Barnes & Noble, Inc. looks for in editors of the Classics Edi- tion said Alan Kahn, a member of the corporation’s Classics department. “It is important for editors to add to the readers’ learning experience through their own insight,” said Kahn.

Robinson’s specific field of study is the representation of Islam in Renais-

sance literature. The European preju- dice of perceived Islamic militancy was the subject of Robinson’s dissertation, “The Romance of the East: Islam and English Literature after the Reforma- tion.” The dissertation was expanded into his book, “Islam and Early Modern English Literature: The Politics of Ro- mance from Spenser to Milton,” pub- lished in 2007. Publication is a requirement for tenure in SBU’s English department, where Robinson has been teaching for almost seven years. The other two cri- teria are teaching and service said Pro- fessor Stephen Spector, chair of the SBU English department. Robinson has published articles through Columbia University Press, Cambridge University Press and Uni- versity of Pennsylvania Press, through which he edited Textual Conversations in the Renaissance: Ethics, Authors, Technologies with Professor Zachary Lesser in 2006. Robinson’s most recent editorial work can now been seen on the shelves of Barnes & Noble Booksellers. “The editorship [of the Barnes & Noble Classics] was just something that happened,” said Robinson quietly. He did not elaborate further. “Professor Robinson is a very de- cent, modest and honest,” said Spector, who was a member of the board who

hired Robinson. “He agreed to be di- rector of the undergraduate English program because he knew we needed it.”

Robinson will be replacing Profes- sor Bente Videbaek, the current under- graduate director of the English department, at the end of the Spring 2009 semester. As the undergraduate director, Robinson will be the advisor for nearly 500 undergraduate English majors at SBU. “The great thing about Professor Robinson is that, when he is lecturing, he is so focused and it is like there is nothing else in the world but Shake- speare,” said Junior Darla Gutierrez. “It’s amazing.” Robinson, who was first attracted the analytical aspect of literature study, has grown to enjoy teaching. “I had to get over the initial fear of public speaking,” Robinson said. “I like to sit and think about literature and I’d like to think I’m not alone in that. I love when people get excited in class and have ideas.” As the new undergraduate director of the English department, Robinson will have to balance his own work and the position of an English program di- rector in a science research university. “It’s a little weird,” said Robinson and smiled. “But maybe they’ll let me use the particle accelerator.”

“It’s a little weird,” said Robinson and smiled. “But maybe they’ll let me use the particle

1

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Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

features

0 Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 features Why Women Are Awesome By

Why Women Are Awesome

| Wednesday, March 11, 2009 features Why Women Are Awesome By Natalie Crnosija Men say a

By Natalie Crnosija

Men say a lot of things about women. Men say that women’s judg- ment comes and goes with the moon. Men say women can’t drive. Men say women can’t do math. e role of men in society is rarely questioned. eir level of freedom rel- ative to the opposite sex is not a fre- quent topic of discourse, nor is their status determined by their companion gender. In the majority of the world’s population, women’s worth is deter- mined completely by men. ere is a global scale of variability in terms of how men treat women. Men can treat women like chattel. Men can treat women like equals. Men can bounce around in between and find some twist of chivalry. If a woman goes to Iran, she is treated differently than she is treated in France. If a woman is a mother, she is treated differently than if she were a bachelorette. It is not the disastrous inconsis- tency of women in the world that hu- mankind needs to worry about. It is, instead, the vacillations of men’s views of the world and the women within it that the global population should con- sider a threat. How did men come to hold the keys and say that women couldn’t drive? How did men come to determine the benchmark of correct- ness while women struggle to measure up? Over time, the concept of worth and power has become hyper-sexual- ized and skewed towards men. is power gradient has become so in- grained in the human mind that women themselves discriminate against women. Women are as capable as men. ey are more capable than men if ca- pability is judged by college acceptance rates, graduate school acceptance rates and the female employment rate com-

school acceptance rates and the female employment rate com- parable to men. Men say women can’t

parable to men. Men say women can’t do math. Here’s an equation to ponder:

{(2009 Total U.S. Adult Employ- ment Rate) – (“All Women Sent Back to the Kitchen”) = (49 percent of the earn- ing population)} (Source: New York Times) If you want to really want to destroy America, send all the women home. If women are considered to be gov- erned by the pitch and yaw of hor- mones, how does one explain the inconsistency of men? Women’s pri- mary sex hormone is not an anabolic steroid that causes hyper-aggressive be- havior. Testosterone, which builds mus- cle, gives men the physical edge over women. e hormone has been deter- mined to be the dividing line between the genders and biologically establishes the foundation for masculine-feminine interaction. Because of the nearly neolithic as- sociation of strength with masculinity due to the steroidal affects of testos- terone, humankind has found itself stuck in the current gender conun- drum. ere is a basic physical compo- nent that seems to determine the relationship completely. Men have taken this concept of power and re- formed it in their own image, and by their traditional, societal control, have made it impossible for women to equal them. is is what makes the female struggle for equality so difficult. Socially, a woman can only be con- sidered powerful up to a certain level before she is said to be taking on a mas- culine role and is demonized for it. Both men and women criticize the in- dividual woman’s assumption of mas- culinity as unnatural and outside of her specific gender role, which is presum- ably passively running a vacuum cleaner with a ring on her finger. e current trend of female achievement falls outside of the ancient

trend of female achievement falls outside of the ancient perception of female behavior, or, the nega-

perception of female behavior, or, the nega- tion of male behavior. It is uncomfortable be- cause this social shi is so massive that the old masculine association with power and apti- tude is showing its lim- its. e modern world includes women. e modern world in- cludes women in pow- erful positions. A woman does not have to be a man to be pow- erful. Even in the most progressive societies where women hold le- gitimate power, men feel threatened by the push against their tra- ditional power role. As men projected puis- sance on themselves, they projected women’s burgeoning role in society as a threat. is has prompted the defama- tion of women in modern society, in classrooms, in dorms and in the workplace. If it is women who are perceived as “old fash- ioned,” why are men having trouble adapt-

ing to the new world order? ose catty remarks about modern women are derived exclusively from fear, the masculine fear of being less than superior. Men will have to adapt their view because the problem is not with women ruining the world; it is that men refuse to adapt to a gender power shi and accept the possibility of gen-

to a gender power shi and accept the possibility of gen- Women rule der equality. Men

Women rule

der equality. Men should grow up, get out of the sandbox, and start acting like adults instead of using the “girls have cooties” line of reasoning. Quit your bitching! You’re starting to sound like a girl.

of using the “girls have cooties” line of reasoning. Quit your bitching! You’re starting to sound
of using the “girls have cooties” line of reasoning. Quit your bitching! You’re starting to sound

The Stony Brook Press

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features

The Stony Brook Press 11 features

Reflections on Women, Break-Ups and Things of That Sort

Reflections on Women, Break-Ups and Things of That Sort By Ross Barkan March, as you might

By Ross Barkan

March, as you might have heard, is Women’s History Month. Conservatives will shout that this is only one more ex- ample of the liberal media propagating their values in an already totally egali- tarian society, while liberals will shout (or whine, as the Conservatives like to say) that women need to be empowered because they face oppression from America’s patriarchal construct. As a man, but more importantly an asshole,

I fall somewhere in between on this

supposed debate over the merits of Women’s History Month. (Does this de- bate even exist? Fuck if I know). What I do know is that my girlfriend dumped me nary a week ago and I plan to share my observations on the female gender as a humble, curly-haired 19 year-old fellow. Sociologists, biologists, ecologists, economists and botanists tell me that

women are “people.” As an amateur zo- ologist (and an asshole), I must take ex- ception to this assertion. My studies in the practice known as “dating” in which the male assumes the role as “boyfriend” and the female assumes the role as “girlfriend” have taught me that females, like 19th century battleships, need to be anchored to the dock at all times. By dock, I mean me. And by me,

I mean society. And by society, I mean

my dick. Males will know what I am talking about. Women, quite simply, aren’t like you or I. They’re special crea- tures with special wants and needs, needs which grow like weeds in the gar- den of your proletarian domicile. Every- one knows you must destroy the weeds. A great singer named Kenny Winker once crooned, “Don’t make love to any part of me. My dick tells lies just like my son of a bitch face.” Mr. Winker was

both right and wrong. I would like the female gender to make love to my body. Repeatedly, preferably. In fact, the lack of fellatio my ex-girlfriend was willing to provide me secretly irked my trou- bled soul, despite the fact that a multi- national corporation, in one of the most bittersweet moments of my life, in- formed me that my phallus did not fit into their standard-issue contraceptives.

both haven’t broken up with me. In fact, William James died seventy-nine years before I was born. What does this have to do with women, you say? I’ll answer with a quote from my good friend, the amateur philosopher and potato chip connoisseur Craig John Heed: “Women shouldn’t be allowed to work, vote, marry, or have children.” Are these irra- tional sentiments, perhaps? No. Mr.

Are these irra- tional sentiments, perhaps? No . Mr. Women suck This is aside from the

Women suck

This is aside from the point, though. Mr. Winker, intentionally or uninten- tionally, presents a fascinating paradox. How can women be “people,” fit to walk, talk, and breed in a society, when they wrong me so? Paradox or not, William James, a 19th century pioneer in psychology, and Bubba Crosby, a former reserve out- fielder for the New York Yankees who owns a career batting average of .216, share something in common. They

Heed is correct in his scientific exposi- tions because a fictional 2004 study by Johns Hopkins University revealed that women, in fact, have no souls. As a de- vout Christian and neo-Pagan, I cannot respect something that does not have a soul. Remember, the male always pays for meals. Even the casual observer can see that women consume far more than they actually need, whether it be food, money or petroleum. A female is a ver-

itable black hole, a fissure in the cosmos raping the spectacular star field visible from your heart’s telescope. Were I to apply Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s law of Immanence to the female debate, one would see females aren’t actual peo- ple because they can’t play in the NBA. It’s common sense, really. When so few of a gender can dunk, are they even worth saving? Last week, when I was not a single, I was watching a portion of the movie Titanic, which TBS had decided to air instead of an infomercial for goiter re- duction surgery. I was alone, back home in Brooklyn, idling away the minutes before I would go to sleep once again in the a.m. As you might have heard, the Titanic sunk. Before the ship split in two like a stale breadstick and drowned in the Atlantic, the deck officers allowed only women and children to board the lifeboats first. You’ve probably heard this by now. Women—the same sup- posed gender that can’t dunk a basket- ball, be President of the United States, invent electricity or walk on the moon—were allowed to be saved before men. And then eight short years later women had the audacity to vote in a presidential election. Hell, next thing you’ll tell me is that they let demon-wiz- ards from Alpha Centauri vote. I write this piece with a bitter heart. In a month when we are supposed to be celebrating the woman, I am now with- out one. I only wish we could domesti- cate the poor species and keep them from overgrazing. In these tough eco- nomic times, we need all the grain fields we can get. Women need to learn that hearts, like a 1912 ocean liner, can break. They can sink. Also, if you look deep enough into them you too can see Kate Winslett naked. God damn I’m lonely.

break. They can sink. Also, if you look deep enough into them you too can see

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2 Features

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Features Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Ge ing Under  eir Skin By Matthew Calamia

Ge ing Under  eir Skin

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Ge ing Under  eir Skin By Matthew Calamia “Sorry…We’re Open,” reads the

By Matthew Calamia

“Sorry…We’re Open,” reads the sign in the window of The Devil’s Rose tattoo parlor in Blue Point, New York. Walking through the glass doors, the unwelcoming buzzing of needles and heavy metal music plays in unison against the orange walls littered with artwork. “I’ll be with you guys in a second,” said Christian Peters, washing down his client with disinfectant before casing the fresh ink of an Indian-style chest piece in plastic wrap. Peters, 25, from Sound Beach, Long Island, said that he was a shy kid when he was younger, and tattoos allowed him to break away from his loner per- sona. “People always treat you differ- ently after you start getting covered. As you mature, your tattoos mature with you,” said Peters, who has been tattoo- ing for almost three years, after gradu- ating from Suffolk County Community College with a degree in television and film production. The body art that Peters has “col- lected” over the past seven years covers most of his body, and ranges from drag- ons and tree branches, to funeral bells that he remembers his fallen comrades by, and old record players symbolizing his passion for music. Tattoos always contour a person’s personality, and tell a story about the person they belong to. Peters prepares

to begin work on his next client, James Marvullo, who is in for his third and final sitting for a shoulder tattoo. “I’ve noticed people with tattoos have changed their whole outlook on things,” continues Peters. “They start to become more of an individual.” For Marvullo, 19, a fashion design major at Nassau Community College, the art of tattooing is self-expression. “I like having them because I like art, and tattooing is just another way to express the art that I enjoy.” Peters’s love affair with the needle began long before the 50 to 60 hours he has spent so far covering his body with the black and colored ink, dating back to his child- hood. “I was always drawn to [tattoos], even as a little kid,” said Peters as he mixed blue and white ink. “I’d always get the temporary tattoos from the ice cream man,” he said, laughing. “I never thought I’d be the illustrated man though.” The bond between people with tat- toos is glaring. The camaraderie be- tween people with permanent ink has formed many friendships in the com- munity, which may not have been pos- sible. “I’ve met a decent amount of peo- ple through tattooing, whether it be clients or people that I’ve worked with,” said Peters. “A lot of people I’ve tattooed were my friends already, which holds a lot of pressure on me.” It’s that pressure and trust factor be- tween the client and artist that creates

such a strong bond. The artist literally gets into their client’s skin, in such a personal way that very few, if any, other pro- fessions come close to. Every prick of the nee- dle into the per- son’s flesh is the artist’s indelible signature. “That whole parallel, the fact that you’re going to do something permanent, some- thing that causes pain,” said Peters. “You need to treat them in a differ- ent way. You need to understand what they’re look- ing for, and give them what they want.” Others in the industry agree. An artist that goes by the name Tom Tap It, works at

The Electric Tiki Tattoo parlor in Patchogue, New York. “Being new within this community myself, it truly makes a strong connec- tion with your client and

you share a bond that will never be broken,” he said. Christine Bartolillo, 18, concurs that her tat- toos help her be more gre- garious. “For someone who is very, very self con- scious like myself,” Barto- lillo said, “tattoos are a way of kind of actually lik- ing the way I look, and lik- ing the body I have. It’s a reason to show my skin. I can say ‘wow, I really love this ink on my thigh,’ and it just makes me feel bet- ter about myself.” An attempt to contact the National Tattoo Asso- ciation president Curt Keck, pertaining to how tattoos help a person come out of their shell and help meet people was made, but no reply was given.

shell and help meet people was made, but no reply was given. Tattoos have always been

Tattoos have always been shadowed by negative stereotypes of anger and vi- olence. Peters admits that’s a stereotype he has embraced. “Part of me loves them,” Peters said laughing. “Tattoos used to be a social faux pas, and they

may not be popular for too much longer,” he adds. “This could all be just

a flavor of the week, you know?” Although Tap It has never met Pe-

ters, he has seen his work. “The clients of his that I have met have amazing work on them,” Tap It said. “From what

I understand he is a genuine guy and

one of the local artist that I have been meaning to get to know. I enjoy his color blends as well as the structure he puts into his artwork.” With any job, there must be a love and passion in doing it. Peters looks for- ward to seeing the white neon “TAT- TOO” sign hanging above the little shop on Blue Point Road everyday, and would not change a thing. “I love my job. If I couldn’t be doing what I love, I’d kill myself,” laughs Peters. “Or at least be miserable.”

be doing what I love, I’d kill myself,” laughs Peters. “Or at least be miserable.” This

This is TATU, not tattoo.

The Stony Brook Press

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Club Spotlight? E-mail The Press at sbpressnews@gmail.com FIGHT CLUB(S)- BRASILIAN JUJITSU By Eric DiGiovanni S S

FIGHT CLUB(S)- BRASILIAN JUJITSU

at sbpressnews@gmail.com FIGHT CLUB(S)- BRASILIAN JUJITSU By Eric DiGiovanni S S t t y y l

By Eric DiGiovanni

SSttyyllee:: Brazilian Jujitsu WWhheenn IItt MMeeeettss:: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 5:30-7:30 PM WWhheerree IItt MMeeeettss:: Mat Room in Pritchard

Gym WWhhooss KKnnoowwnn FFoorr IItt:: Everyone with the last name “Gracie”, most UFC

fighters

Brazilian jujitsu is a martial art that focuses primarily on grapping and fighting on the ground. One of the factors that separate it from others is that it relies primarily on leverage and improvisation. What amazed me from watching some of the more experienced members of this club was how one tiny detail; one foot in the right place, one twist of the hip, can turn the tides of the match. I attended one of the meet- ings of the club this past Wednes- day. There have been similar clubs in the past, which caused me quite a bit of confusion. There were wrestling and MMA clubs on campus, but those fizzled out. BJJ has been on campus for the past four years. The main question I look for when doing these “Fight Club(s)”

columns is, why should anyone bother taking this specific art? “It’s been the most proven form of self-defense” boasts instructor Krishna Mirjah. “It’s non-combative, unlike the striking arts. We can go full-out down here without really harming each other. Jujitsu liter- ally means ‘Gentle Art’” Terrence Cheng, a long time mem- ber, who was also on the e-board for the defunct MMA, club cited low turnout and the fact that only experienced peo- ple attended as the reasons why that club is no more. Chances are, any UFC fighter you’ve seen on TV has had some expe- rience in BJJ. It does cover quite a bit,

including close quarters grappling, also known as clinching. BJJ also encom- passes both ground fighting, where one combatant tries to maneuver to a more advantageous position, and submission fighting, where the object is to try to cause pain to a specific part of the body. Or, as Krishna puts it: “Gravity will take over eventually.”

learned. It’s basically a series of moves that look really cool when performed. I use “performed”, as opposed to “exe- cuted” because while it shows what op- tions you can actually do in the middle of a fight, you’re probably not going to pull any of that off, at least on purpose. While it’s good to know “Great, in case I’m in this position, I can do this,”

get pinned down? Can I shake him? Then when the grappling begins, the blood pumps, and you have to force yourself to breathe normally. All that talk about strategy begins to fall to the wayside. If you’re compromised for even a second, instinct takes over. For

seasoned veterans, this simply means to fall back on your extensive training, and fish around for an opportunity. Hell, they’ve danced this dance

before, they have time. How- ever, for most, and me in partic-

ular, fight-or-flight kicks in like an adrenaline fueled boot to the ass, and the primal urge to be on top boils to the surface. Oh, it’s easy for the instructor to say, “Relax, take it easy,” and keep it light. Honestly, though, how am

I supposed to do so when a man is trying to choke me?

All in all, it was a good work- out, and served as a venue to ex- ecute the individual moves learned in a practical setting. Looking back to all the times I got caught in the submission holds, I could almost see where

I went wrong, and my opponent

took advantage of an opportu- nity. Brains win out over brawn

here. When I asked the members, or more accurately, whoever showed up, for comments, they remained silent. Terrence was

the only one to speak up, “I like the instruction…” and anything after- wards was drowned out by the rest shouting out their answers. “Discipline!” “Community!” I think what summed up my feeling was the only thing I heard him say when everyone else quieted down: “I like the dedication everyone has” So, if you’re looking for some good exercise, and to learn something new with people who are more than accom- modating, try the Brazilian Jujitsu Club. And yes, there are girls who attend.

Brazilian Jujitsu Club. And yes, there are girls who attend. Owned Even if you’re not interested

Owned

Even if you’re not interested in learning anything new, it’s worth it to come just for the workout. Among the standbys like squats and running, one of the warm-ups was to practice a cru- cial move in BJJ known as “shrimping”. Shrimping is an escape maneuver that requires you to pivot on the hip and push out with your feet. In practice, it’ll look like you’re flailing around, like a shrimp. I never said anything about looking dignified. One practice technique employed was called a flow drill, which is where a lot of the moves and techniques are

chances are the other guy isn’t going to let it play out, and is thinking of doing something else entirely. The real meat of the class is the spar- ring, or “rolling”. These are done in three-minute rounds, where the only objective is to get a submission. Let me tell you, there are a million thoughts going through your head during one of these things. Oh sure, it starts out friendly enough, you both slap hands, and crouch into position. You try to have some sort of game plan going into it, but right when the other guy starts to move, fear begins to set in: Am I going

have some sort of game plan going into it, but right when the other guy starts

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Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

arts&entertainment

Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 arts&entertainment The Chaotic LI Music Scene: By Andy Polhamus

The Chaotic LI Music Scene:

11, 2009 arts&entertainment The Chaotic LI Music Scene: By Andy Polhamus & Nick Statt Crammed between

By Andy Polhamus & Nick Statt

Crammed between a row of lower middle class businesses, and across from the railroad station from which it takes its name, Traxx Music Hall is a small, but popular, venue in Ronkonkoma, Long Island. The capitol letters stretch out in a chipped gold font and the black tinted windows conceal the happenings inside, but let the sound leak out in glass shifting swells. Loafing around outside are sweatshirt donning ticket peddlers who, at first seem to be trying to pick up a few bucks, but are in reality just part of a band trying to earn a little profit, or sadly just break even, using the tickets they’re forced to sell in order to play. Traxx is just one of many venues that host the mind-bendingly vast Long Island music scene. Ranging anywhere from brutal hardcore to riff-heavy catchy pop, Long Island’s distinct tastes, mixed with the upper-middle class budgets, spawn an army of teens, ex- pensive equipment in hand, who are trying to get noticed. On the bitter Sunday of March 1, a blaringly large amount of bands stuff themselves into an estimated 8-hour set at Traxx. One such group, Stony Brook’s Pembrook, was the fifth to step onstage. Sal Grisafi, a Stony Brook University freshman, leads the band with vocals and is joined by John Enrico, also a freshman at SBU, on bass, and Kacey Heiser, Danny Tesoro, and Patrick Dwyer on drums and guitars respec- tively, who are still attending high school. Grisafi views the SBU music scene as slightly out of touch with that of the rest of Long Island, saying, “Stony Brook has the potential to be a powerful and honest outlet for local music, but instead were stuck with a cycle of the same students and limitations imposed by the TAC.” We took the liberty to check out what a true Long Island show involved, taking note of both the good and the bad. We arrive at Traxx in time to see the third of the night. It’s only about twenty

Forget about climbing - there isn’t even a ladder

after three, but this isn’t a matinee show; there are maybe eleven bands perform- ing tonight. Nobody seems sure of the exact number. Long Island’s high cost of living is reflected not only in ticket prices (ten dollars for a local show is ab- surdly high in most local scenes) but also in the equipment used by the mu- sicians – a vintage English-made Or- ange amp head priced $1500 in one corner, a Marshall half-stack parked

climb to the top. Earlier tonight, Grisafi finally man- aged to sell all of his tickets, which means Pembrook will be paid $10 for this show. Unfortunately, bands almost never make money for their perform- ances. In most cases, the ticket selling is demanded of them by the promoters and often they don’t see a dime of the ticket-money they earn. Most bands are happy just to be able to get stage and get

Most bands are happy just to be able to get stage and get against a pool

against a pool table. As for atmosphere, Traxx is nicer on the inside than one might expect. Trendy post-hardcore blares from the speakers in between sets played on a stage about three and a half feet high at one end of the L-shaped room. Finally at ten minutes to five – 20 minutes late – Pembrook takes the stage. They are the first of three or four mid-level bands in the enormous line- up. The hierarchy of bands is a good il- lustration of the core of Long Island’s music scene – an often exploitative net- work of bands jumping on top of each other, using each other’s strengths to

some exposure, even if it’s for the usual 20-30 minutes. “This is the fairest way, even if it does cause some problems,” says drummer Kacey Heiser. But the fact is, most Long Island musicians don’t know how different music scenes can be in other areas of the country, being forced to make the best out of a rather difficult situation. When asked about putting on af- fordable and non-exploitative shows, such as basement or church shows, Grisafi says the hardcore bands domi- nate the DIY scene, which in recent years has forced many venues to stop putting on shows due to complications

like “blood on the floor”. Despite all these negative impedi- ments in their way, Pembrook takes the stage with smiles on their faces, draw- ing a small, but dedicated, crowd of fans. Pembrook, musically, are a pepped-up marriage of the new school of pop punk and the harsh sounds of post-hardcore. Deriving influence rang- ing from Death Cab For Cutie and Fall Out Boy to Chiodos and Saosin, Pem- brook also give nods to the much-loved sound of Long Island favorites Bayside and Taking Back Sunday. Their closer, “Double Life”, is easily the best song in terms of not only performance, but also lyrics and music. They emit a vibrant energy – going as far as letting friends sing into the microphone during cho- ruses – that some of the other bands lacked. It is this sense of not taking themselves too seriously and devoting more to crowd participation and having fun that gives them a strong edge against the many other performers. They recently recorded an EP at Killingsworth Studio on Long Island and plan on touring this summer with their friends Love, Robot, another up- and-coming LI band. As Pembrook packs up, everyone seems satisfied and the show seemed to have gone well, especially considering they actually made a profit this time around. Traxx is still relatively crowded and will be cycling through bands for many hours to come, all the while using the local scene as a means of obtaining both revenue and bar traffic. Our first fully immersed Long Is- land show ends and it’s easy to discern the many layers of this infamous music scene. For Pembrook, this was a good way to get the word out and another step forward toward a true and record- label worthy fan base. For promoters, it was just another day, just another dol- lar.

forward toward a true and record- label worthy fan base. For promoters, it was just another

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arts&entertainment

The Stony Brook Press 15 arts&entertainment

Harlem Shook up the Born Ruffians Before Tokyo Police Clubbed Everyone to Death and Raped Vampire Weekend Songs

Clubbed Everyone to Death and Raped Vampire Weekend Songs By Cindy Liu I am prefacing this

By Cindy Liu

I am prefacing this review with a disclaimer that I do not have any sort of specialized knowledge of the contem- porary music scene. I am no music buff. With that said, I was fortunate enough to go to Webster Hall on Feb. 24 to see Tokyo Police Club and evaluate the performances as though I were. Here is some entertaining prose de- scribing the general atmosphere before the actual show. On the exponentially increasingly crowded floor, I had the chance to witness a 15-year-old boy gossip about his awkwardly convoluted high school social life. “She’s a whore,” the kid concluded, and almost in per- fect cadence came the “Yeah man, she is a whore,” from his Yes men. But the audience wasn’t just com- posed of bitter high school sophomores. All around us were yuppies, city college students, hipsters, and wanna-be hip- sters galore! Needless to say, we found ourselves in good company. We were all

set for the head-bopping and torso- swaying that is so characteristic of cool shows like these. First came the Harlem Shakes. A five-member indie band originating in Brooklyn three years ago, they have fi- nally completed their first full-length album, Technicolor Health, due for re- lease March 24 under the label Gigantic Music. After spending days trying to assess their performance from the per- spective of an informed scenester, all I came up with was “happy and clean.” There was an awful lot of doo-wopping from the backup vocals, which I think was meant to incite some sort of musi- cal nostalgia for the 1950s. “They are the next Vampire Weekend,” music critic Jonathan Metzelaar said. Doo- wopping and second comings aside, having the Harlem Shakes was a good way to open up the evening and make even Bitter Gossip Boy forget about his troubles. But let me get this out of my system. Vocalist Lexy Benaim’s voice sounds exactly like the aliens from Toy Story. And the Harlem Shakes cite

Randy Newman as one of their musical influences. Correlation? Listen for yourself some time. The Born Ruffians came on at 9

It was pretty clear by the time they

came on stage that people attended this show specifically to see this three-mem- ber band from Canada. Having never listened to them before, I thought they were surprisingly energetic for just three people on stage. With their con- trolled energy, they managed to get the audience clapping and moving to their songs. Lead singer Luke Lalonde sounds like Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig if he inhaled a little bit of helium and had a severe case of the hiccups. Strangely enough, this only adds to the charm of their performance, for they are characterized by their “yelps” and their “howlin’.” Then came the featured act. When they came on, people cheered, but some were still screaming for the Born Ruffi- ans. It wasn’t that Tokyo Police Club sucked. It was that the Born Ruffians riled up the audience so much that by

p.m

the end of their half-hour performance, there came the unsettling realization that they were going to be a hard act to follow. And what’s unfortunate is that it was true—the intensity of the act barely equaled that of their openers. And the band seemed to feel it, too. Al- most as though they didn’t want to seem unnecessarily enthusiastic, they main- tained a cool, reserved air about them save for the obligatory hopping and hair-swishing. It is too bad that they set themselves up for a lackluster perform- ance. When the final clapping made them think we wanted them back on the stage, they returned with the mem- bers of the Harlem Shakes and the Born Ruffians. Together, almost like they wanted to compensate for the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the Tokyo Po- lice Club, they all played some cacoph- onous, orgiastic experiment that hurt my brain and sounded like everyone was gang-raping a Vampire Weekend song.

Crusty Old Vaginas vs. Shiny Sleek Lotuses

Weekend song. Crusty Old Vaginas vs. Shiny Sleek Lotuses By Julia Clunn Vaginas were discussed, clitorises

By Julia Clunn

Vaginas were discussed, clitorises were praised, and cunts were exalted on Feb. 26 and 27 with Stony Brook Uni- versity’s annual production of The Vagina Monologues. The Monologues are a collection of stories, written by Eve Ensler, that are based on interviews she conducted with women across the na- tion about their vaginas. Each mono- logue relates to the vagina in some way, be it through masturbation, love, sex, rape, orgasm, mutilation or your nick- name for your “down there.” The Wo/Men’s and Gender Resource Center presents this play every year and do- nates all proceeds to fighting violence against women. A feminist show to its core, it proudly trumpets the joys, fears, and hopes of women’s sexuality while raising awareness of the violence com- mitted against women, here and abroad. This year’s production certainly de- livered the feminist empowerment. Some women found their happy spots without needing man’s help, while oth-

ers proudly demonstrated differing “power moans” for orgasm. An inter- esting point about this show is that each production may choose to add or sub- tract monologues as they see fit. Ensler has been writing new monologues each year since the show’s original produc- tion in 1996. The effect is that the play can be performed each year but be dif- ferent every time. In truth, this year’s Monologues did not differ all that much from last year. It felt a little repetitive. Even, dare I say, cyclical? An addition from last year that I did not particularly enjoy was the monologue of a woman watching her daughter give birth. In excessive detail she recalled the blood, the stretching, the screaming, and all the other things I’ve tried to block out of my mind ever since the Miracle of Life video in seventh grade. It was realistic to be sure, but ac- curacy can be lost on the audience if they are cringing throughout the seg- ment. However, the addition of the mono- logue “They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy” was an excellent choice. This par- ticular piece was written from the per-

spective of transgender women who were born as men. It was a bit funny, sometimes sad, but overall provocative. It posed the question of what it actually is to be a woman. Do you have to be born with a vagina to be female? Ask- ing questions and exploring the un- mentionable is the goal of this show and this segment did a particularly good job of addressing that issue. I feel the only major setback of the production was the expansion of the cast. Last year’s production had roughly 15-20 performers, each playing a few roles in the overall show. In contrast, this production bills 54 performers in its playbill! Each woman had one part in a single monologue, and for the re- mainder of the show they would stand on stage in the background. Having so many women onstage at once made the performance feel crowded and claustro- phobic at times. [Insert line about your mom’s crowded vagina here]. What was even stranger was that while the show was going on, these women not per- forming would laugh along and whoop for the performing girls. It was quite dis- tracting.

Truthfully, I did enjoy last year’s production more, but in my book any night filled with feminist empowerment and supporting a good cause is a night well spent. I was stirred by the power of womanhood and feminism that pre- vailed over the night. Inspired by their words of wit, wisdom, and woman- hood, I celebrated the rest of the night in the best way I know how—by head- ing to Hooters for some hotwings. Vive la Femme!

I celebrated the rest of the night in the best way I know how—by head- ing

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This Fortnight in Photos

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

1 6 This Fortnight in Photos Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009
1 6 This Fortnight in Photos Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Stony Brook Press

This Fortnight in Photos

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The Stony Brook Press T h i s F o r t n i g h
The Stony Brook Press T h i s F o r t n i g h

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8 Arts & Entertainment

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You’re Welcome America

10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 You’re Welcome America By Alex Nagler George W. Bush’s disapproval rating was

By Alex Nagler

George W. Bush’s disapproval rating was in the mid 70s when he left office, yet eight times a week since January 20, he receives a standing ovation at the Cort Theater on 48th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue in New York City. This bizarre occurrence has much to do with the fact that this specific George W. Bush is portrayed by Will Ferrell in the Broadway play, “You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush.” Will Ferrell is new to Broadway, though he has incorporated songs and dance into some of his movies such as Step Brothers, Blades of Glory, and many vintage SNL routines. In 2005, he found himself singing and goose-step- ping to Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” as Franz Liebkind and was nearly courted by director Susan Stroman to revive the role on stage. “You’re Welcome Amer- ica” is Mr. Ferrell’s first foray onto Broadway, but hopefully it will not be his last. Mr. Ferrell’s Bush has been uncere- moniously dropped off by Marine One (or whatever the call sign for the heli- copter bearing a former president is) in the middle of New York’s theater district and now finds himself face to face with an audience of critics. To lighten the mood, he shows them a picture of his penis. “Shock and awe, baby,” he laughs. The first act of this hour and a half, no intermission play was a biography, reminding everyone that America’s most recent cowboy president was born

in Connecticut, went to Andover Preparatory, Yale (where his nickname was Gin and Tonic), and Harvard, and went AWAL in the National Guard for a year. This year, according to Mr. Ferrell’s Bush, was spent in Vermont with then- lover David Rothchild. Always true to his standup roots, Mr. Ferrell spent a decent portion of the play engaging with the audience, asking if there were any actual Texans in the audience; there were. When asked what part of Texas they were from, one replied “Austin.” Without missing a beat, Mr. Ferrell said “Austin. Great cocaine back in the 80s.” All of these things, all of the negative as- pects of George W. Bush’s life have been swept under the rug and are not avail- able for comment as of 1980, when “Dad” became the Vice President. Underneath the goofy exterior of G8 Lampoons and remembrances of Cabinets past, there is anger. Will Fer- rell and Adam McKay, Mr. Ferrell’s long time collaborator, are angry at the past eight years. So is the audience. The biggest bouts of applause were for any time they were reminded of the simple fact that this man is no longer behind the helm of the ship of state. “That Tiger Woods guy,” as Bush put it, now is, “and his speeches are like Shakespeare dipped in sex.” But along with the applause, there was one patch of silence. Launching himself into a monologue on whether or not he ever cries, Mr. Ferrell’s Bush states that of course he does. The deaths of all military personnel and Iraqi citi- zens are on his watch. And that it’s our job to remember them. What follows is opposite of anything Mr. Ferrell was

them. What follows is opposite of anything Mr. Ferrell was most likely taught about comedy: he

most likely taught about comedy: he re- quests a moment of silence. And some- how, the audience obliges. No one screams “You’re my boy, Blue” or “I’m trapped in a glass cage of emotion.” The audience is silent. Then the phone rings. It’s Michael D. Brown, or as the world better remembers him, Brownie. What follows is a scathing com- mentary on the disastrous second term of the Bush administration, capped off by a bout of nickname giving. The house lights went up and people were invited to shout out their names and oc- cupations. I volunteered mine, adding that I was a political science major as the last student, an eighth grader, now went by the name of “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.”

“Political Science. Hmm… I’m gonna call you ‘Studies Useless Mate- rial’” The audience laughed. I partially agreed. “And good luck in this job market.” Mr. Ferrell’s Bush would later take credit for destroying the world’s econ- omy. “You’re Welcome America” ends its limited engagement run on March 15, but fret not if you find yourself unable to find a ticket for the next week. HBO is one of the main producers. Saturday, March 14, the performance will be broadcast live at 9 pm. Knowing HBO, it will then be rerun from here to eter- nity. And then everyone will have a chance to be shocked and awed at the image of a presidential penis.

Sleepwalking Into The Future

image of a presidential penis. Sleepwalking Into The Future By Josh Ginsberg When I think about

By Josh Ginsberg

When I think about the bands I listen to, I think of them as splitting into two dis- tinct camps. The bands in the first camp do big, new things. They present challenges with every release and when they get it right, it can be mind- blowing. It’s easy to place them on some elevated level as true innovators or architects of fu- ture generations of sonic ex- ploration. But every once in a while it’s refreshing to listen to something straight up, raw, no- frills, that exists as a result of a simple formula and gratifies

with simple hooky bliss. In this case that bliss is over-driven, punchy and

subtly lo-fi. New Jersey’s Alex and the Horribles are a rock band. Their first record’s ten songs blast through in something like twenty-two minutes, ranging from brain- less rockers to smart (assed) ballads to tongue-in-cheek acoustic throwaways. The Hor- ribles’ second album Sleep- walking Into The Future is a significantly stronger record. Sleepwalking is probably not going to blow anyone’s mind, but since it snuck onto my iTunes, I’ve been listening to the Horribles’ album very con- sistently.

It makes sense that at the forefront of Sleepwalking Into The Future is Alex. Alex isn’t a great singer and there are mo- ments on “Make Out Like Japanese School Girls” where

he qualifies as a bad one. His howling, over a bed of chug- ging guitars which sound like Green Day covering “In the Street,” is damn near tone-deaf but this is just a part of Alex’s persona. Alex is strangely aloof; reminiscent of the kind

of mod Pete Townshend would

write an opera about but with

a snotty Americanized side.

Alex’s lyrics are replete with references to pop music: in fact one of the album’s best songs “Dig Up My Soul,” takes its title

are replete with references to pop music: in fact one of the album’s best songs “Dig

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Arts & Entertainment

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Social Art At Stony Brook

Arts & Entertainment 19 Social Art At Stony Brook By Matt Calamia Stony Brook University is

By Matt Calamia

Stony Brook University is known throughout the world for its successful science and engineering programs, but what about art? Julianne Gadoury, a second year student in the University’s Masters of Fine Arts, has received attention for her work in the art gallery located in the library, which is rotated every 15 days among the other art students. Her show is entitled “Please Stand By,” and ran from Feb. 25 to March

7.

The artists have 15 days total in the room, which includes setting up the room for the exhibit, the show times itself, and the cleanup. At the end of the 15 days, the room must look exactly the way it did when the artist started. “You need to think of the en- tirety of the production,” said Gadoury inside the gallery as she began the moving out process. “I only allowed myself three days to in- stall. All the pieces were all done be- fore they came in. The setting up took about 20 hours total.” Gadoury, who began her under- graduate art study in the fashion field, focused her exhibit around social issues and everyday repetition. “In our daily lives, we repeat our- selves over and over again,” said Gadoury. “We find comfort in it, and that we don’t think outside of what we see outside that zone.”

One piece in the gallery was of Gadoury herself. It showed 30 photo- graphs of her in her waitressing uni- form, again showing the repetition in her own life. “I’m talking about myself,” she said, “and I don’t want to ever be ac- cused of pointing a finger and saying, ‘This is what you do.’ I do it too, and so

policy. I have more connections to the result.” The next piece was a painting of people walking in a line to a cliff’s edge and falling, like lambs to the slaughter. She said the meaning behind it was, “You don’t ever realize the repetition in the systems you’re involved in every

the repetition in the systems you’re involved in every In Memphis, this art would get you

In Memphis, this art would get you lynched.

Matt Calamia

does everyone.” “I wanted to make sure I was talk- ing about things that have affected me personally in my own life,” she added. “I think of social art as more of a result of things that have happened politically, as opposed to things just talking about

day…you repeat and follow what your boss says, what your teacher says, what the media says.” “I tried to get people to think more critically of where they’re getting their information from,” said Gadoury. Other pieces in the gallery had

more political influences. One piece de- picted deformed humans drinking from gasoline cans with cobs of corn at their feet, while another showed people kneeling up to a Cadillac Escalade, which is open to interpretation as to why they’re doing so. “I used to make art that seemed more under the definition of politi- cal art,” said Gadoury. “One of the things I don’t like is how people don’t want to hear about politics. That’s what a lot of my art is about now. It’s about being a bystander and not wanting to hear about these things.” Gadoury feels that because art isn’t a big part of education, people don’t appreciate it as much. “I feel that since we don’t have this instilled value of art from an early age that a lot of people aren’t walking into an art gallery and are really intimi- dated,” she said. “They feel that they’re supposed to walk in here and get it, and if I don’t get it, that they’re stupid.” Gadoury wants visitors to have opinions of their own, even if they are completely opposite of her own. “I already know why I created these works,” she said. “What’s more inter- esting to me is their interpretation and what they’re getting out of it.” “That is one of the reasons why art is so powerful,” she said with a slight pause. “We’re all different people with all different experiences. We all see things differently. You can look at art- work and get 100 different answers.”

SLEEPWALKING continued from page 18

from the most recent Oasis LP. In a post on the band’s blog, Alex lists the meanings of all Sleepwalking’s songs and points out many of the refer- ences contained. Alex draws inspiration from The Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying, Isaac Hayes, Reckoning, Led Zep- pelin, The Plague Dogs, Pacific Trim EP and David Lynch. It’s always funny to catch an unexpected one. Most of the references are things you’d probably never notice or read particularly deep into, but that’s just part of the fun. Despite seeming disingenuous at times, Alex writes earnest songs. “Dig Up My Soul” tells the classic story of a boy who is the bane of his girlfriend’s fa- ther’s existence. In this case, he is the victim of resentment for being a work- ing class white kid by an upper-middle class Korean family. “Northern Califor- nia” is one of the strongest tracks and is

the best example of guitarists Derek and Ramy’s ability to play off each other, though “Coming Down” might be a bet- ter example of the interplay between the entire quintet. “Northern California” is the longest song on the album, at about four and half minutes length. Alex is seemingly unable to decide if he wants companionship or to be left alone. Its jam is the peak of tension on the album but gives way to a nice resolution of mellowing out and drifting for a while. The record’s sendoff might be my favorite song. “O Jin” is an ode to Alex’s close friend Jin Park and its beginning half sounds like one of the very Kinks songs it references. A song about pla- tonic friendship for about a minute, the song eventually morphs into a coda that wouldn’t sound at all out of place on a Thin Lizzy or Lynard Skynard LP. Alex’s final words are an off-key scream of “Teenage wasteland!” which slides into a falsetto for a few “oohs” and the gui-

slides into a falsetto for a few “oohs” and the gui- tars wind in harmony as

tars wind in harmony as the song fades and silence hits. That is, until you scroll

back up to “Mary X” and start Sleep- walking Into The Future over again.

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Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Fanboys: The Wait is Nigh By Sarina

Fanboys: The Wait is Nigh

10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Fanboys: The Wait is Nigh By Sarina LaTorre These days,

By Sarina LaTorre

These days, fanboy has come to be an affectionate term referring to overly obsessed fans and devotees. In other words, fanboys and girls are the nerds, geeks and dweebs that debate whether or not Greedo shot the first and the proper pronunciation of words in Klin- gon.

Fanboys are also some of the biggest critics and can be hard to please. To be fair, fanboys have just cause to be so judgmental after so many beloved characters have been ruined by on- screen adaptations. Some of the more recent comic film versions that have failed miserably are X-Men III, The Spirit, and Punisher: War Zone. Don’t even get me started on Spider-Man III. Adapting comics into coherent films has had its obstacles through out the years. Special effects technology limited a lot of what could be done because lots of things came off as gimmicky and cheesy. Also, comic book films were not taken seriously. However, not every- thing was bad. In the 80s, Superman and Tim Burton’s Batman became in- stant classics. Comic books films have been seen as a risky gimmick in Holly- wood. That all changed with the first X- men film directed by Brian Singer. Comic book films were no longer seen as a joke in the film industry, as they were helpful in aiding a box office reas- surance. Comic book properties began being optioned for movie deals and in the years that followed, fanboys saw characters like those in The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, Constantine, and Sin City. Even indie comics saw big screen versions, such as Ghost World and American Splendor. Last year, the release of The Dark

Knight changed the dynamics for comic book films. Christopher Nolan’s depic- tion in the revamped telling of Batman, based on Frank Miller’s run on Batman:

Year One, posed intense questions about being a hero. The Dark Knight wasn’t a typical action film, but recog- nized as an accredited cinematic film. This followed with accolades and an Oscar win for Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. Dark Knight was also an example of how technology and the au- dience have reached a new level of so- phistication and understanding of the genre. Last year when The Dark Knight was re- leased, a trailer was shown during the previews that got the movie world buzzing with intrigue. This, of course, was the trailer for Watchmen. There was such a large response, not just from the comic book community, but also from mainstream movie going audiences. Bookstores immediately had to stock up on copies of the graphic novel. For those that didn’t or still don’t understand the hype around Watchmen, it is the Citizen Kane of comic books. Some fanboys and girls, like myself, were skeptical. This could potentially be really amazing or could also be horri- ble. Writer of the graphic novel, Alan Moore is known for cursing any film adaptation of his work. After all, this was the same guy that wrote League of Extraordinary Gentleman which was a major disappointment as a film. Major Hollywood liberties were taken. Moore also didn’t want his name attached to the film version of V for Vendetta. Other factors that questioned the plausibility of a Watchmen movie were the politics in Hollywood. Movie stu- dios have been trying to make this film for the past 20 years. Many argued that Watchmen is so rich in detail and is such a layered story that it seemed im-

in detail and is such a layered story that it seemed im- Two fangirls, Sarina LaTorre

Two fangirls, Sarina LaTorre and Melissa Sabbatino, at the theatre.

Sarina LaTorre and Melissa Sabbatino, at the theatre. Rorschachʼs journal March 6 Dr. Pepper scrumptious Sarina

Rorschachʼs journal March 6

Dr.

Pepper

scrumptious

Sarina LaTorre

possible to make. That was until direc- tor Zack Snyder, took on the challenge of filming the unfilmable Watchmen after it was offered to him, following his work on 300. He accepted because he felt it was his responsibility before the studio let it fall into the wrong hands. This pompous attitude worried fans, who were concerned that they would be seeing a highly stylized Watchmen, with similar techniques seen in 300, such as the overused slow motion effect. Snyder had also said something along the lines that the movie would be for people that have not read the graphic novel. This got many fans won- dering if this was a film for them or for mainstream audiences. Snyder came under more scrutiny when it was leaked that there would be an alternate ending and the meta comic, The Black Freighter, would be totally absent from the film. These alterations to the story could drastically change it. Many fanboys and girls were ex- cited and nervous as I was before seeing it. I was there at midnight at Lowes Stony Brook, wearing a Sally Jupiter style Silk Specter outfit waiting on line with several Rorschachs and kids hold- ing signs saying, “The End is Nigh.” The event was a true example of nerdiness as the preview trailers for Star Trek, Transformers, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince were met with praise and applause. There was even a gentle- men walking up and down the aisles, flashing $40 and asking if anyone wanted to switch seats, in order to have an optimum viewing experience in IMAX. Both fans and movie industry folk have had mixed early reviews. As for the fanboys: to those of you who haven’t seen or were disappointed, here is some advice and a different way of looking at it. I for one loved it. Of course the en-

tire film wasn’t going to be verbatim, panel for panel translating to shot for shot. The opening was amazing and

pretty close to the comic. After seeing the film I reached for my copy and picked out what was in it and what was

left out. Minor things were altered, such

as Rorschach’s visit to Veidt and one of my friend’s favorite lines from Sally Jupiter to Laurie, “You’re the one sleep- ing with an H-bomb.” One of the

biggest things left out was the news- stand in the city. This was important to

the graphic novel because it served as

the Greek chorus, letting the reader know that this was an alternate reality and how the everyday person was feel- ing about the political climate and threat of impending doom. These

scenes were filmed and Zack Snyder en- sured fans that it will all be in an ex- tended edition DVD. This will also include Tales from the Black Freighter,

the allegorical comic within the comic.

A separate version of The Black

Freighter is set to be released at the end of the month. It was slightly disap- pointing that these elements didn’t make it into the theatrical version, but fans have to understand that films aren’t like comics. If you want a shot for shot version, the final film would be ridiculsy long, probably around the 24- hour mark. Despite this, Zack Snyder

did the best he could.

Reading Watchmen was an experi- ence. It posed so many questions as it deconstructed the concept of the hero. Watching the Watchmen was an experi- ence I am glad to have witnessed. It

sounds nerdy, but when you fall in love with a story and a character on the page,

you get a giddy excitement seeing them

being brought to life on screen. Fanboys

have been waiting a long time for this moment – their wait is nigh.

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Arts & Entertainment

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The Stony Brook Press Arts & Entertainment 21 The Many Faces of D’lo by Liz Kaufman

The Many Faces of D’lo

Arts & Entertainment 21 The Many Faces of D’lo by Liz Kaufman Going in to see

by Liz Kaufman

Going in to see “D’lo: Reflections and Rambles While Relevating Revolu- tionaries” at the Wang Center, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that D’lo stated in her program that she would use spoken word, art and com- edy, and “[would] leave you with your head cracked open.” She also stated that “relevating” wasn’t a word. The show started off with jokes, which led into some serious spoken word poetry. Often D’lo interjected with random, unpredictable jokes, tal- ents, like doing a trick with her tongue, and stories out of nowhere. The audience was tossed between hilarious comedies to a sudden de- pressing low. It felt as though I never saw the next topic coming, making this show quite unique. D’lo spoke of stories from childhood, both painful and happy; stories of grow- ing up in an immigrant family and being of color; stories about fighting ig- norance and the need to change how certain groups are viewed; and the most important message, of how love and peace, which she refers to as “spiritual,” are essential for making someone a rev- olutionary. I learned about Sri Lanka. I never really knew where it was or the wars and turmoil currently going on there until I saw this performance. D’lo strongly identifies with her Sri Lankan heritage and discussed what it means to live in an immigrant family suddenly being exposed to the values of America, while turning their new home into an extension of their old one. The humor in these stories created a bond with the artist and drew the audience in. She im- itated her mother and father, joked about being a kid in her a family, and how she was “quite the striking young lad.” Then a depressing tale of D’lo’s family losing her sister was dropped like a bomb. This was probably the most inspir- ing and effective tactic D’lo used to get

the most inspir- ing and effective tactic D’lo used to get Dan Woulfin - Courtesy of

Dan Woulfin - Courtesy of The Wang Center

her message across: we can all share in the feelings of others and feel con- nected. We can feel as though we are a part of their life. Once everyone felt this connection, we all experienced the sor- row of death. D’lo said that if everyone felt connected to each other and re- membered everyone was human and felt the same outside the production, there would be less hate. This is what it means to be a true revolutionary. The gay community was brought up halfway through the show and sexual jokes were in full swing. At first, it seemed like only part of the audience was laughing sincerely- mainly the LGBTA. Like everything else, though, D’lo eased everyone into the humor, stressing it was perfectly fine to laugh at these things and people should. We are often afraid to touch upon these topics because of the fear of what could hap- pen. She then made everyone an hono- ray gay /lesbian/ vegetarian/ transgender/ revolutionary and gave us permission to laugh now that we were part of that community. Now, I’ve got to admit that I was somewhat uncomfortable at first. I will occasionally drop an innuendo, but prior to the show, I wasn’t all too com-

fortable making sexual jokes like D’lo did. (“What do you call a lesbian di- nosaur? –A Lickalotapus”) I guess my main concern was that it was wrong to make such jokes and I was surprised that after being there, I saw things dif- ferently. It changed my mind about what is and is not correct and what should and should not be accepted in society. The same with how to deal with controversial topics like the gay/les- bian/transgender communities. If we did talk about things more, instead of labeling them taboo and giving people a reason to hate what is different, there really would be more peace in this world. But that doesn’t just go for LGBTA. After the show I was able to get an interview with D’lo. She stressed that her point in life is to spread the message of the LGBTA community and those of color or race that aren’t completely ac- cepted. That doesn’t mean that other causes and people aren’t groups we need to recognize. When asked about how she felt about the conditions and treatment of those with mental illness and the dis- crimination directed against them, D’lo agreed that everyone should have the

opportunity to live in a way that doesn’t separate them from the rest of society, but it isn’t her destiny to fight the entire world- just the cause she feels destined to defend. It’s not that she doesn’t rec- ognize other groups need a revolution- ary to help them, she can only do what she was meant to do. “Revolutionaries are supposed to help and be helped. The world needs more revolutionaries and has a lot of work in front of it.” The most influential statement she made while we spoke was that anger is necessary, though she does maintain a calm, Zen appearance. We all need anger, no matter what group we’re in. The important thing to remember is this: “Just because another person is happy, it doesn’t make us worse off or affect our lives.” I loved this show and highly rec- ommend it. You will leave with a changed perspective and see things dif- ferently, even if it’s just slightly. If we think in the way D’lo does, the world would be far better off and people would be at peace with themselves rather than making war against every- one else. “Feel me, you felt me. You did- n’t…you’re dumb.”

every- one else. “Feel me, you felt me. You did- n’t…you’re dumb.” Dan Woulfin - Courtesy

Dan Woulfin - Courtesy of The Wang Center

every- one else. “Feel me, you felt me. You did- n’t…you’re dumb.” Dan Woulfin - Courtesy

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2 Arts & Entertainment

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II -

Warhammer 40,000:

Dawn of War II - The RTS For The Rest Of Us

40,000: Dawn of War II - The RTS For The Rest Of Us By Kenny Mahoney

By Kenny Mahoney

Dawn of War II is a real-time strat- egy (RTS) game for the PC from devel- oper Relic Entertainment, famous for its work on the original Dawn of War and their World War II themed RTS, Com- pany of Heroes. Through these games, Relic has proven itself more than capa- ble of crafting a great game, and Dawn of War II is no exception. Before I go any further, let me say

this - DOWII does a lot of things differ- ently from many other current RTS games – things that, in my opin- ion, make the game more acces- sible for the casual player while focusing the gameplay on what matters most – combat.

1. No base building

In most RTS games, the game begins with your control- ling a couple of buildings, and having to build more buildings in order to produce soldiers, tanks and planes, then having to build better buildings to build better soldiers, tanks and planes and on

and on. As you can tell, this can become pretty daunting and ups

the complexity level to unneces- sary heights. After all, I thought

I bought this game so I could

play as a badass space soldier, not

a construction site’s foreman.

2. No Resource Gathering

In order to build the afore- mentioned buildings and sol- diers, normally you’d have to gather resources like oil, electric- ity, space crystals or whatever. Not here. In the single player campaign you have everything you need to get going, so there’s

no bullshit about having to construct additional pylons to get on with the mission.

3. Small Armies

Most RTS games will have you at- tempt to gather the most resources to build the most buildings so that you can build more dudes than the other guy and hopefully overwhelm them in sheer numbers. Basically, it turns into a digi- tal pissing contest. DOWII instead has you control a small group of squads and have them strategically complete objec- tives and take out enemies in the most efficient way possible, without getting overwhelmed by having to handle a ton of units. The game is set in space during the

41st millennium, full of humans and aliens all fighting for control over cer- tain planets. The single-player cam- paign puts you in control of the Blood Ravens, a group of human space marines with voices like gravel and faces that look like they‘ve been hit with

a hot bag of nickels. Basically, they’re

just like every badass in every other videogame you’ve ever played. Interest- ingly enough, the Dawn of War series actually stems from a tabletop role- playing game (Warhammer 40,000) with a very rich back story, so if you’re the type of person who gets engrossed in stories, there’s plenty for you to enjoy.

squads each with their own unique ca- pabilities. You’ve got your heavy weapons guys, who can dish out a lot of firepower but move like turtles, your stealth squad that can turn invisible for brief periods but have armor like tissue paper, and your jump squad – dudes with jetpacks who can jump across the battlefield and slice up your enemies with their chainswords (chainsaw + sword, you get it, right?). Your squads aren’t invincible, how- ever, and will occasionally die. But, since you have no means of creating any other units because of the lack of a base, Relic has come up with a new solution

ence that allows them to level up. With these points, you allocate them towards upgrades in the amount of health they have, the damage they do, and also spe- cial traits and abilities – pretty standard fare for anyone who has ever played a role-playing game. Wargear is usually a reward for completing a mission or is dropped at random by enemies and bosses, and comes in the form of weapons, armor, and special items like grenades or deployable turrets. Col- lecting wargear is a really enjoyable part of the game. It’s always exciting to find out what cool stuff you’ve picked up at the end of a mission, then playing dress- up as you outfit your guys in the mission select screen. Unfortunately, most of the mis- sions you’ll be doing are pretty much the same. Move to a lo- cation on the map, murder everything in sight, and kill the boss. That’s right; this is an RTS with boss battles. Like all bosses, they’ve got a ton of health that you and your squads have to work together to take down, but it usually proves to be a pretty shallow experience as most of the bosses can be de- feated almost the same way (by shooting it a lot). The missions that do change up this formula from time to time are few and far between, so if you’re not too keen on the space-marine story, the campaign mode can get very dull very fast. Also, seeing as there is only one story yet four different races presented in the game, if you’re bored of playing as the Blood Ravens your only other option is mul- tiplayer. Multiplayer, while still very good in its own right, is a completely different ballgame from the single player. In mul- tiplayer you have the option to control the four races presented in the game. You can still kick it with the Humans, or you can try out the Orcs, the Eldar, and the Tyranids, each of which has their own unique and different squads/sol- diers, which the game totally neglects to teach you. This can be very frustrating when you want to play a new race, as you’ll need a lot of practice time play- ing against the computer before you have the balls to jump online with real people. I’m not saying its impossible, but a tutorial would have been nice. The multiplayer uses a matchmaking system for you to find opponents, sim-

uses a matchmaking system for you to find opponents, sim- For the rest of us, it’s

For the rest of us, it’s just a game where

a bunch of dudes in space shoot at each other, and that’s enough for me. As mentioned earlier, you control a small number of squads, and these squads include your avatar/hero char- acter, the squad commander. As you

take on this role of squad commander, it

is your job to tell your squads where to

move, what to attack, what to take cover behind, and what abilities to use. Not only do you just command, you also get to kick some serious ass, as your squad commander is able to take on such a large amount of enemies that it’s as if you‘re engaged in an interstellar tickle- fight as opposed to a war for humanity. As far as your other squads go, you have a healthy assortment of different

to your problem. During each mission, there are certain relay beacons you can capture. If some of your units die, you just have to capture a beacon to have ad- ditional units beamed in from space. And, if some of your more important units fall in combat, such as your squad commander, all you have to do is click on their bodies and wait for them to come back to life. Think of it as having your cursor give a nice shoulder rub to your teammates, magically convincing them to continue to fight. Although you only have a select number of squads to choose from, the game offers its variety in the experience system and the wargear (a.k.a. loot) that you acquire as you play. Through play- ing missions, your squads earn experi-

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Arts & Entertainment

2 3

DAWN OF WAR II continued

ilar to the ones seen in Halo or Call of Duty. Most games can be completed in 10-30 minutes, which is perfect for those of us who don’t have two hours to sit in front of the computer to play one multiplayer match (like many other RTS games). One nice addition to the multiplayer is that it includes an army painter that allows you to customize the colors of your armor when you go into battle. Remember when I said that there were no bases or resources in this game?

I lied. Only in multiplayer does the

dreaded base beast rear its ugly head, but it’s not too big of a deal. You’ve only got one building where everything is created, and you generate resources by

capturing points on the map, so you don’t have to order a unit to make trips back and forth between the base and the resources to collect them. It doesn’t feel like a burden, though, as your base is al- ways one click away, and unit upgrades are easy to manage once you figure out what’s what.

The game isn’t without its problems, however. Sometimes control- ling your squads doesn’t feel as accurate as it should (I mean, c’mon, why would I ask you to take cover in front of some- thing?!). Multiplayer can also at times be unforgiving, because if you choose the wrong upgrade for a squad or build the wrong unit, that’s often the differ- ence between winning and losing. Also, the repetitive campaign and voice act- ing does start to become grating after a while. This all might sound a bit too con- fusing for someone who isn’t a hardcore RTS player. However, this game comes off as surprisingly easy to handle. The fewer number of squads makes it easier to manage, as you don‘t have hundreds of units to command all in different places across the map. Also, the lack of base building in single player means you can focus more on your squads without having to babysit a base. For the hardcore crowd, you may not get your fill of single player, but you’ll be coming

back for the multiplayer. Each race is varied enough that it gives you a different feel for the game, and the maps and game types are fun and work well. All in all, the game is a blast, and I recommend anyone that enjoyed the original Dawn of War or Company of Heroes to check it out. Also, I’d rec- ommend this game for someone who wants to play an RTS, but doesn’t have years of experience watching videos on the Internet of Koreans play- ing Starcraft. So, if the stale storyline and minor hiccups in gameplay can be overlooked, you’re going to have a great time

with Dawn of War

you’re going to have a great time with Dawn of War I I . That armor

II. That armor is probably pretty heavy. Oh, you Space Marines

Jimmy Fallon Is No Conan. But Then, Who Is?

Space Marines Jimmy Fallon Is No Conan. But Then, Who Is? By Nick Statt As Jimmy
Space Marines Jimmy Fallon Is No Conan. But Then, Who Is? By Nick Statt As Jimmy

By Nick Statt

As Jimmy Fallon wraps up his first week at Late Night, many die-hard fans of Conan O’Brien and his antics, which lasted 16 years at the 11:30 P.M. slot on NBC, are left to nit-pick and criticize the new host. Personally, I think he sucks. But looking at it in retrospect, who’s really fit to fill O’Brien’s shoes? Conan O’Brien, after gaining an in- sanely dedicated fan base as the follow- ing act to Jay Leno, is finally stepping up to the plate he so wholly deserves: The Tonight Show. The one show every Johnny Carson fan drooled over for years, and the one show that Leno used to stomp his opponents in the ratings is being handed to the most lovable man in late night television; and it feels so right. Yet, at the same time, gnawing at the back of my mind is a bittersweet twinge concerning what O’Brien has ul- timately to leave behind – his legacy. He knew it when he accepted the invitation that his old home would be thrown to the sharks of big-league network execs and that it would be up to them to de- cide who would don the late night mask and attempt to entertain viewers in the competitive hell that surrounds those time slots. When news of Jimmy Fallon’s re- placement of O’Brien hit the papers, I really didn’t know what to think. My thoughts of Fallon at the time involved

a hyperactive SNL junkie who was only

fit to take on personalities dramatically different than his own. After sitting through a week of watching his show, you really can’t help but tear the guy apart. The very first episode was an utter disaster in terms of making the audi- ence comfortable. Fallon failed to inter- view any of his guests genuinely, relying completely on what seemed to be pre- organized bits that just felt awkward and cheesy. Some of them garnered a few laughs, but the unfortunate down- side was that they almost always in- volved his house band, The Roots. Yes, if you didn’t know before, you know now. Fallon’s house band is The freakin’ Roots. Settling down after years of being an incredibly talented and Grammy-nabbing hip-hop group, the Phili six-piece is taking on the house band role to catch their breath. They made for some hilarious bits, but as Conan O’Brien quickly discovered in his beginning years with The Max Weinberg 7, relying too much on the same joke can kill the charisma. Don’t

get me wrong, it was funny when Fallon asked Questlove if he was acquainted with the term ‘bromance’ and even fun- nier when, on their first episode, Black Though repeated Fallon over some smooth instrumentals in a bit called “Slow-jamming the news.” But Fallon better not over-do it because it can be very easy to bore your audience with repetition, especially in the late night business. As for Fallon himself, he just does- n’t seem to fit the part. In spite of Fal- lon’s probably nerves during his first week, his tone seemed off the whole time. Seeing him sitting behind a desk, wearing an honest-to-god suit, just made me smile and chuckle. I won’t go into too many specifics and just say that overall, Fallon’s performance felt too much like one of his SNL skits, with a sneering punch line that involves the audience actually taking the man seri- ously. Despite my disapproval of Fallon and his first week, I honestly can’t gripe about the choice. In the realm of charis-

matic personalities, I can’t think of any- one who could fill the shoes of Conan, mainly because in the end it doesn’t re- ally matter. Some say that Jon Stewart should have been given the offer, or a more notable comedian with the rating- swaying power of a guy like Demetri Martin. The argument is trivial though. Fans of Late Night watched it not be- cause it was Late Night, but because of the name tagged on the end. O’Brien is moving on and so will his viewers and his replacement will spawn their own supporters and critics. Fallon happened to be that guy and the end result of any criticism can be met with a simple state- ment: just don’t watch’ em. I intend to take my own advice, and it’ll be easy in the realm of television where the press of button tears down what was there and rebuilds a new entertainment-hun- gry center. Until Conan hits TV sets this summer, I’ll watch Jimmy Kimmel or read a book or something. The rest is up to the critics.

B o ooo oooo!
B o ooo oooo!

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6 Comics

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

6 Comics Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Haikus To Obama: On Barack Obama’s 
6 Comics Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Haikus To Obama: On Barack Obama’s 
6 Comics Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Haikus To Obama: On Barack Obama’s 

Haikus To Obama:

On Barack Obama’s  rst day as President, he overhauled the White House website to include a new public participatory feature: You can now leave comments!  ere’s one catch though: the comments are limited in length and forma ing. All comments must be 3 lines, with 5 syllables on the  rst and last line, and 7 syllables in the mid- dle.  is unconventional limitation makes it difficult to get a substantial point across, so we here at  e Press decided to hold a contest for the best comments. Here are this week’s winners! Well, just one winner this time. Congratulations, Ma  Willemain of Synecdoche, New York! You made a clean sweep this week, winning every single category.

Defense procurement Your appointee’s background is:

Former lobbyist?

Some strong words about Supposed Iranian Nuclear weapons.

Read the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate—from spooks).

They have no weapons. They have no weapons program. What are you smoking?

Threatening a war— In international law It is forbidden.

False pretense for war (You were wrong about this, too):

It’s impeachable.

Send your comments to Obama at whitehouse.gov/contact! But forward them to us to be included in next week’s contest!

sbpressnews@gmail.com

The Stony Brook Press

Opinion

27

Make your opinion heard! Write for The Stony Brook Press.

Meetings Wednesdays 1pm Union Building Room 060

d n e s d a y s 1 p m Union Building Room 060 My

My Mourning Commute

s 1 p m Union Building Room 060 My Mourning Commute By Roberto Moya My earliest

By Roberto Moya

My earliest class starts at 9:35 A.M. It’s not an unreasonable time for those who live on campus but for train com- muters like me, 9:35 A.M. spells out the exact reverse, 5:39 A.M. or more accu- rately, 5:30 A.M. – the time my alarm

clock goes off. Three hours of what could have been precious sleep is lost to my dependence on the Long Island Rail Road.

A countless number of problems

could be attributed to the LIRR’s hap- hazard way of running things. For starters, the Port Jefferson line runs on a widely-spaced schedule, which means

that if I unfortunately happen to miss the 6:39 train, it’ll be another good two hours before the next one arrives. This is very inconvenient considering the fact that I cannot shape my schedule to my liking, but instead to the rather er- ratic schedule of the LIRR.

I catch the morning train in

Hicksville, and another displeasure I can easily complain of is the hideous ap- pearance of their train station. A decay- ing pair of broad platforms run parallel to each other, both highly elevated from ground level providing passengers the temporary entertainment of traffic and pedestrians below. More sources of entertainment in- clude the affable company of cooing pi- geons and an inescapable display of annoying advertisements. Except when humorous mustaches, missing teeth and oversized penises are drawn on the faces of ad models, the Hicksville train station is nothing short of a depressing reminder that at a time not too long ago, I had the choice to live on campus. I almost forgot to mention the var- ious television sets scattered throughout both platforms. Before they played the news, but now all they’re good for is fix- ing your hair using the glass’ reflection. Great investment. Transfers are inevitable. What’s worse than fighting the urge to sleep in the train is having to get up and stand in the freezing cold for what seems like forever. When the train eventually ar- rives, it’s a childish race to see who can gain first entry accompanied by push- ing, shoving, groping and bad breath. The only perk is that we get to ride the double-decker. Joy. One nice thing I can say about the LIRR is its paranoid attention to pas- senger safety. They make it almost im- possible for anyone with common sense to fall into the “gap,” the LIRR’s favorite

sense to fall into the “gap,” the LIRR’s favorite Sheʼs a cold, unforgiving beast. Roman Sheydvasser

Sheʼs a cold, unforgiving beast.

Roman Sheydvasser

word. The gap that divides the train and the platform before entry is a less than foot-long space that most people seem automatically trained to step over – the result of the LIRR’s establishment of ubiquitous gap reminders. These re- minders are almost too omnipresent to the point that they imply a mockery of our intelligence. Of course I would step into the gap. Losing your foot nowa- days is only the newest fad! Instead, the LIRR should balance its efforts on safety to encompass both physical hazards and public safety. Most commuters are familiar with the phrase, “If you see something, say something.” If the LIRR assumes that we’re sensible enough to know that that “something” is a bomb, then why not apply that same assumption to the apparent presence of the gap. I don’t understand. Now for the dreamy proposals. In- stead of two-hour waits between train arrivals, why not resolve the problem with half hour waits using a fewer num- ber of cars? That way, passengers can get more sleep. Well-rested passengers equal happier passengers which equal hefty profits. Think about it, LIRR. As for the unattractive atmosphere of the Hicksville station, a simple reno- vation would do. A fresh paint job, rust removal, garbage cleanup and plenty of Febreze to rid the air of urine stink is not too much to ask for. But of course, the LIRR would rather use our hard- earned money to pay Alec Baldwin to utter a few words on “gap” safety.

Speaking of “gap” safety, if the gap is such a dangerous hazard, then why not create a train-door whose lower portion would lower like a drawbridge? Perhaps such a courageous leap in train- door design would prove to be a bit pricey, but wouldn’t Mayor Bloomberg’s expensive promenade project ruin the very essence of Time Square’s hectic ap- peal? Are these proposals truly dreamy, or is pragmatic a more appropriate word? In contrast to the economic cli- mate, these problems are but mere mi- croscopic problems, which, if resolved, would at least make not just student commuters but all LIRR customers less pessimistic about their morning com- mute. But I hope you’ve noticed by now, these are only exterior complaints. Recently, the LIRR sent a survey to their customers asking them to rate their service. To my surprise, one ques- tion implied the possibility of a quiet section. I would cry if the LIRR made a quiet section. When it’s 7 o’clock in the morning, the only sound present should be the whirring hum of train wheels. Morning chatter is just rude. I could un- derstand if most passengers were in deep conversation with friends, cell phones, or themselves, but when it’s close to dead silence, train etiquette at that point is obvious. I was pleased to see that the LIRR took heed to the issue of noise pollu- tion, but what about the pollution re- sponsible for disgusting those who wish

to sit? Ancient apple cores and banana skins, flowing rivers of coffee, and mucus-infested tissues are a few exam- ples. I couldn’t identify any of the oth- ers.

Trash receptacles are nonexistent on LIRR trains, which could explain why commuters often find themselves in sticky situations. It’s too inconvenient to get up and deposit trash in the rest- room or outside at a stop, so the next best thing is the hidden crevice between window and seat. It’s obvious that these trains were designed by men who live on their couches. Another reason why seats can’t be sat in is because passengers leave their baggage in the adjacent seat. The ques- tion is whether this seat-hogging is in- tentional or not. In the morning, you can’t really tell when everyone looks like the Republican Party during President Obama’s address to Congress. But who am I to complain? I do it too. Fortu- nately, the conductors are aggressive in handling this problem. I have noticed, though, that the farther east the train route, the more blithe the conductors tend to be. About an hour later and the train fi- nally arrives at Stony Brook, the most popular stop on the Port Jefferson line. In fact, because it is so popular, the LIRR ought to implement an express run for just Stony Brook goers. I would cry if the LIRR did this too. Student commuters, after all, are the reason why Port Jefferson trains see the light of day.

2

8 Opinion

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Opinion Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 American Democracy Might Need a Little

American Democracy Might Need a Little Health Care Before America’s Un- and Underinsured Can Get Theirs

Care Before America’s Un- and Underinsured Can Get Theirs By Matt Willemain Apparently reluctant to say

By Matt Willemain

Apparently reluctant to say that President Obama was a liar, the Hunger Action Network of New York State (HANYS) decided to “call on President Obama to be Truthful with the Ameri- can People.” HANYS is a 27-year old statewide antipoverty activist group, ac- cessible online at www.hungeraction- nys.org/. HANYS, advocating for a single payer universal health care sys- tem to cover every single one of the tens of millions of Americans without health insurance, implied that the President was being dishonest in a press release critical of Obama’s national leadership in the health care policy debate. The question of the President’s honesty in this situation has serious implications on the way national decisions, with huge impacts on our lives, are made. The March 6 press release echoed a similar criticism made on the advocacy- journalism radio program Democracy Now that same morning. The day be- fore, Thursday, March 5, Obama had convened a high profile White House health care summit with 120 “stake- holders” to kickstart the policy making process. Both HANYS and Democracy Now co-anchor and New York Daily News columnist, Juan Gonzalez, noticed an inconsistency in the Obama admin- istration’s statements. In the lofty rhet- oric of his opening remarks, written to sound good on television, Obama said that, “every voice has to be heard. Every idea must be considered. Every option must be on the table.” But other public statements by the President and his al- lies and, tellingly, their actions, suggest that the minds of Obama and others in Washington aren’t quite so open to find- ing the best solution, wherever it may be.

For his part, the President has al- ready ruled out the single payer system preferred by HANYS. “The President doesn’t believe that’s the best way to achieve the goal of cutting costs and in- creasing access,” explained White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in the March 6 daily press briefing. Sen- ate Finance Committee Chair Max Bau- cus, a Democratic leader in the inner circle shaping proposals in congress, has been more direct, issuing flat rejections of the single payer proposal. In a mirror image of Obama’s words, for example, Baucus declared single payer “off the table” in public appearances he made

travelling his home state. The actions of these Washington insiders add even more weight to their words. Press Secretary Gibbs joked with reporters that the White House wasn’t the Washington Nationals’ ball- park, in order to apologize for the lim- its on who could be invited to the

“Why is President Obama lying about hearing everyone out and considering each proposal?”

“Why is President Obama lying about hearing everyone out and considering each proposal?”

summit. But with 120 seats to fill, Obama’s bias was exposed by his choice of house guests. The administration was careful to invite the selfish special interests most vocally opposed to single payer, for-profit insurers and pharma- ceutical companies. At the same time, they initially invited no supporters of single payer, whatsoever. Long-serving Congressman John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and the sponsor of HR 676, a single payer bill with broad support (100 cosponsors in the last House session), had to beg his way in. Facing protests, eventually Obama allowed Conyers and one single payer activist a seat. Embarrassingly, Senator Baucus was caught trying to bully congressional bean counters into fudging the numbers to make proposals like his and Obama’s look better. What’s going on here? Why is Pres- ident Obama lying about hearing every- one out and considering each proposal? Why is Senator Baucus trying to “ad- just” the facts? The Democratic leadership is caught up in some serious cognitive dis- sonance because the fix is in on making the wrong decision for America. Single payer, similar to the health care system used by virtually ever other wealthy country in the world, is an overwhelm- ing winner. After exhaustive studies and debate, the evidence is in, single payer is without a doubt the best way to both take care of everyone in America and control costs at the same time. The arguments articulated by single payer advocates, like Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org) can’t be beaten in any fair fight. The analysis of experts is in line with the popular will; clear majorities of doctors, health

economists and the general public all support single payer. Even Obama seems to know that single payer is the right thing to do. As HANYS points out in their press re- lease, Obama representatives have ad- mitted that if “he was starting from scratch” he would choose single payer. Luke Mitchell, Senior Editor at Harper’s Magazine, and a guest on that Democ- racy Now broadcast, found even more evidence that Obama knows what he ought to be doing. In his Harper’s arti- cle “Sick in the Head: Why America Won’t Get the Health Care System it Needs,” Mitchell reports:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health-care pro- gram,” Barack Obama said in 2003. “As all of us know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, we have to take back the House.”… And now that Democrats have the White House, the Senate, and the House, it is clear that a sin- gle-payer program is not a part of their agenda.

Not everyone supports single payer, however. Influential campaign donors and media oligopolists, for example, op- pose the system. That Washington in- siders are poised to once again defer to these interests and knowingly enact bad policy speaks volumes about the glaring deficiencies in the instruments and practices of our democracy. The mar- ketplace of ideas—the idea that candi- dates who champion ideas with merit will win out in an open competition for votes—has been distorted beyond recognition by monopolies of power that perversely limit which candidates and lines of inquiry are allowed into the conversation. Writing in the Sunday Washington Post, Dan Egger reported how the “health sector has donated millions to lawmakers.” While the health care in- dustry has “long ranked with financial services and energy interests as one of the most powerful political forces in Washington, and it spent nearly $1 bil- lion on lobbying in the past two years alone,” as Eggen reports, in the past four years they have stepped up their dona- tions to candidates’ campaign funds. The Post story is based on a report by Consumer Watchdog (a nonprofit consumer education and advocacy

group online at www.consumerwatch- dog.org) which analyzed federal elec- tion data and counted the campaign donations from health insurance and drug companies to the ten lawmakers in each house who received the most such legalized bribes. Those twenty individ- uals alone raked in more than $5.5 mil- lion. Senator Baucus, for example, was at the front of the pack, with $400,000 of his campaign funds coming from these special interests. At the same time, newspapers and television news programs are white- washing single payer out of the picture. Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), a media watchdog organization accessible online at www.fair.org, searched through all major national newspapers and news programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the PBS News Hour for the week leading up to the health care summit. FAIR found hundreds of stories about health care policy, and a grand total of five of those stories in- cluded the perspective of supporters of single payer. Given all the evidence and popular support for single payer (FAIR cites one recent opinion poll that finds the public prefers single payer by a 2-1 margin), the challenge HANYS issued to Obama in their press release is a tricky one. If Obama, Baucus, and others of their ilk in Washington, are honest, they will have to admit that they are ignoring sin-

“‘ it is clear that a single-payer program is not a part of [the Democrats’]

“‘

it

is clear that a

single-payer program is not a part of [the Democrats’] agenda.’”

gle payer in their search for a health care policy. If they make that admission, they will have no leg to stand on, and will be forced to consider it. Once sin- gle payer is in the mix, and assuming Baucus doesn’t cheat and get the data changed to suit his preferred results, they will have no choice but to support single payer. It is the best solution for America’s health care needs. But if they support single payer, what will happen to the regular infusions of millions of dollars from the tiny, selfish minority of single payer opponents—money they count on to help them buy the crooked elections that put them in power?

The Stony Brook Press

Opinion

29

The Stony Brook Press Opinion 29 Single-Payer Health Care and You: What Everybody Ought to Know

Single-Payer Health Care and You:

What Everybody Ought to Know

Health Care and You: What Everybody Ought to Know By Matt Willemain Nick Eaton & www.pnhp.org

By

Matt Willemain

Nick

Eaton

&

www.pnhp.org at a glance

Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) is one of many organizations advocating for a single payer uni- versal health care system for the US, and their web page is a wealth of resources.

A single payer system is like the health care plan in Canada. Private, for-profit health insurance companies would be replaced by one Medicare-like program which would provide insurance, for every medical need, equally to everyone. This system would be different from those of England and France, where the government is in charge of doctors. Under single payer, the United States would still have a free market for care—doctors would still be in private business and consumers would be free to choose whichever doctor was best. Vir- tually every wealthy nation in the world provides its citizens with universal pub- lic health insurance of one kind or another.

universal pub- lic health insurance of one kind or another. PNHP is an organization of 16,000

PNHP is an organization of 16,000 doctors. Since 1987, their one pur- pose is to support a single payer program. Resources on the PNHP web page describe the many reasons why a single payer system is the best option:

• Currently, tens of millions of us have no health insurance whatsoever, and

many more have inadequate insurance that doesn’t cover our medical needs. Sin-

gle payer is the moral choice because it takes care of everyone.

• In the midst of financial crisis, single payer is by far the cheapest and most efficient health care system.

• Equal insurance for all would help fix disturbing, ongoing racial disparities in medical care.

• Medical crises are a huge cause of personal bankruptcies—even among peo- ple with some health insurance.

• With the current system, the US performs poorly compared to other coun-

tries on measures of health care, such as infant mortality, life expectancy, immu- nization rates, &tc.

• By making things easier for employers, who generally provide private health

insurance now, single payer would be great for small businesses and the creation

or retention of jobs.

• Under single payer, doctors would make decisions about what procedures a

patient needs with their first priority being good medicine, instead of insurers making decisions with their first priority being making money by denying care.

• One government insurer buying drugs in bulk would have the negotiating

power to buy drugs much cheaper.

• Single payer would dramatically reduce the cost of malpractice and mal- practice insurance.

The web page also includes links to careful research backing up the doctors’ arguments, including studies on these topics:

• The wasteful administrative overhead in our current system eats up 31% of

health care spending—Canada’s system only spends 17% on administration. The

money we are wasting ($350 million a year) is enough to provide insurance to everyone who currently has none.

• Medical bills contribute to half of all personal bankruptcies. Of those peo-

ple who went bankrupt, three quarters had some health insurance when they got

sick or hurt.

• We already pay the world’s highest health care taxes without getting the

health care other countries’ citizens get. Our health care system is already 60% paid for by taxes. Businesses pay less than 20% of our “privately financed” health

care.

• Canadians spend less on health care than we do, but they are healthier and have better access to doctors.

• For-profit hospitals, nursing homes and HMOs are less efficient than non-

profits—they pay higher costs and, for the most part, provide lower quality.

• Bogeymen like immigrants and abuse of the emergency room are not the

reason for spiraling health care costs.

• People without insurance don’t get the care they need—one third of unin-

sured adults have chronic illnesses and aren’t getting care.

• Innovations like the computerizations of medical records and chronic dis-

ease management don’t save much money, and they don’t compare as a cost sav- ing measure to adopting single payer.

• Alternative “universal health care” systems, other than single payer, like

those tried by states like Massachusetts, don’t work. They haven’t actually gotten medical insurance to everyone.

Still itching for more? check out the website for tons more information, including info on how to get active and support it. Check it out at pnhp.org!

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HR 676 is a bill introduced by John Conyers which lays out a plan for single payer health care in Amer- ica. Single payer health care entails es- tablishing a public insurance provider while maintaining private health care facilities and clinics. Proponents state that single payer health care, which covers all American citizens for all medical necessities, is not only the most humane system (reducing the inequalities created by a pay-to-play system) but is also the cheapest over- all. The program is largely funded by tax revenue but recent Nobel Laure- ate in the field of economics, Paul Krugman, said that “the taxes that would support single-payer aren’t a true cost, because they would simply replace premiums and in most cases be lower than those premiums.”

premiums and in most cases be lower than those premiums.” “Private physicians, private clinics, and private

“Private physicians, private clinics, and private health care providers shall continue to operate as private entities…” Essentially: Americans will con- tinue to be treated at privately owned and operated facilities but will be provided a full range of health benefits from a solitary, public insurance provider. Private insurance providers may continue to cover those aspects not covered by the USNHC Program, such as cosmetic dentistry, and will be fully compensated for their conversion into non-profit entities (if they wish to continue providing the full range of coverage) but not for loss of profits.

3

0 Sports

Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009

0 Sports Vol. XXX, Issue 10 | Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Stony Brook Ice Hockey Qualifies

Stony Brook Ice Hockey Qualifies for

National Championship

Stony Brook Ice Hockey Qualifies for National Championship By Matthew Calamia The Stony Brook Men’s Ice

By Matthew Calamia

The Stony Brook Men’s Ice Hockey team has qualified for the American Collegiate Hockey Association national championship tournament in Gates Mills, Ohio. The top 16 teams in the ACHA, a league formed in 1991 for teams across the country that are not funded by their college or university, will meet in Ohio from March 14-18 to crown a cham- pion. In his first season as Stony Brook head coach, former professional player in the New York Rangers organization Buzz DesChamps led the Seawolves to a 21-11 record, including five wins over top 10 teams, after a disappointing 0-5 start. They finished 2nd in their divi- sion, and 14th overall in the nation. Coach DesChamps describes his team’s style of play as high tempo. “We have a lot of good scorers on our team,” said DesChamps. “Angelo is a good

scorer, and so is [forward] Chris Ryan.

“We like to forecheck hard, and we like our defenseman to carry the puck a lot. That’s the system, and it seems to work for us.” The Angelo that DesChamps is re- ferring to is senior co-captain Angelo Serse, who led the team this season with 49 points in just 30 games, and feels confident facing the Seawolves’ first round opponent, 3rd ranked Delaware.

“We feel really confident,” said Serse from inside the Seawolves’ locker room before a 10:30 p.m. practice at the Rinx. “In the first round we have Delaware, and we beat them, then lost to them in overtime, so we feel really comfortable going in there. We just have to be focused, and hopefully we have a good playoff this coming week- end, and then into nationals.” Coach DesChamps agrees with Serse on their opening round matchup. “You have to take one game at a time,” he said. “I think we match up real well

against Delaware. Our goaltender [Derek] Stevens has just been excellent. He’s held the whole team together. “I think we have better goaltending, better defenseman, and maybe two lines a little better than them. Anything can happen in a hockey game.” Senior defenseman and assistant captain Dan Capizzuto believes that after the team’s slow start, followed by the run they had later in the season, they’ve been the top dog on campus. “Many would argue that we were the best team at Stony Brook, period,” said Capizzuto. “There was no other team that could compete with us; in our league or at that school. “We had our ups and downs, but we pulled though, and we’re going to na- tionals,” he said with pride. Stony Brook has plenty of reason to be confident. This season, the Sea- wolves sent five players to the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association all-star game, including Serse, Capizzuto and goaltender Derek Stevens. Serse and Capizzuto have also been the interest of

scouts from the National Hockey League. Although not funded by Stony Brook, many in the community have shown their support for the Seawolves this season, which play their home games at the Rinx in Hauppauge, which is ten miles from campus. According to the Seawolves’ Public Relation’s Direc- tor Kris LaGrange, the Stony Brook hockey team had more total attendance in fifteen home games than men and women’s basketball combined; both of which play directly on campus. Capizzuto said having such support from both students and the community helped the team through the season. “We get the students that drive the ten or fifteen minutes from campus to the games,” he said. “We also get people from the community. A lot of little kids that love hockey come to see the heart and the atmosphere. It’s good to touch people’s lives like that, and give them some sort of entertainment, other than just watching the Islanders on televi- sion. It’s a step in the right direction.”

sort of entertainment, other than just watching the Islanders on televi- sion. It’s a step in

The Stony Brook Press

Sports

31

The Stony Brook Press Sports 31 Alexander the Great? By Jason Wirchin She asked the questions.

Alexander the Great?

The Stony Brook Press Sports 31 Alexander the Great? By Jason Wirchin She asked the questions.

By Jason Wirchin

She asked the questions. He an- swered them – each one with a boyish smirk and a hint of narcissism. O n December 2007, CBS News’ Katie Couric, script in hand, grilled New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez in a now infamous episode of 60 Min- utes. Twas an interview for the ages, as Rodriguez, speaking days after the Mitchell Report disclosed the names of more than 80 Major League players ac- cused of steroid involvement, openly re- fused his use of illegal drugs. “For the record, have you ever used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing sub- stance?” Couric asked. “No,” Rodriguez replied. Liar. “Have you ever been tempted to use any of those things?” Couric asked again. “No,” Rodriguez replied. Liar. “Given this controversy, Alex, who do you think has the real home run record? Barry Bonds at 762 or Hank Aaron at 755?” Couric continued. “Well, I think Barry Bonds. He has 762,” said Rodriguez. “But, he has an asterisk next to his name.” Couric responded. “Does he?” Rodriguez quipped. “Not yet.” Neither did he. Until now.

When reports surfaced in early February that A-Rod had used two an- abolic steroids – Primobolan and testos- terone – from 2001 through 2003 as a member of the Texas Rangers, Ro- driguez found himself in the same shunned-upon category as Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa. Each a gargantuan power slugger, these clean-up men went from fan fa-

unlikely to impose a penalty on A-Rod since the substances he took were not banned until 2004. Still, he’s only added more controversy to an already confus- ing résumé. Before the 2001 season, he signed a colossal 10-year, $252 million contract with Texas. In 2004, he was traded to the Yankees – an example of the Bombers buying out another egotistical,

an example of the Bombers buying out another egotistical, vorites to mistrusted media bull’s eyes. Their

vorites to mistrusted media bull’s eyes. Their reputations have been tainted and their names will forever be associated with the prospect of cheating. This reality sticks particularly hard with Rodriguez, who was seen as one of the lone saviors left to break Bonds’ all- time home run record without the help of drugs. Major League Baseball officials are

clubhouse-dismantling superstar. Notorious for his lame October baseball, Rodriguez was the center of a bizarre play down the first base line during the 2004 ALCS, and failed to hit for average in every postseason appear- ance. In 2007, despite leading all of base- ball in homers, runs, and RBI, Ro- driguez decided to opt out of his

contract with New York. Oddly enough, he resigned with the Yankees later that offseason with another 10- year contract, this one worth a whop- ping $275 million. His alleged affair with Madonna and late night stints with an anonymous blonde were also front page news, as was the divorce from his wife, Cynthia. Then there was his unexplained fickleness over which team to play for in the 2006 World Baseball Classic – the United States or the Dominican Repub- lic.

Add to this list his latest steroid mêlée, and Rodriguez makes for quite the character. He’s a magnet for atten- tion, but he doesn’t seem to care. He’s a pretty boy and a conceited celebrity high on his own pride. Nevertheless, fans cannot ignore the obvious. To many New Yorkers and baseball enthusiasts around the country, A-Rod is the game’s greatest player, re- gardless of his spotty past. His three MVP awards are a testament to his on- field successes. A look at the numbers, however, might curb their enthusiasm. Ro- driguez hit more home runs from 2001 to 2003 than he did during any other three-year span in his career. In 2002,

he hit a career-high 57 dingers, a feat he came close to, but never topped, in

2007.

He might appear scary at the plate, pitchers might quiver in his presence, but the only person this Alexander is

conquering is himself.

scary at the plate, pitchers might quiver in his presence, but the only person this Alexander
Death Egg Zone

Death Egg Zone