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OPENWIDE

volume 12, issue 5 // april 2013

OPENWIDEZINE.COM

FIMS alternative student publication

Disclaimer: The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. Its contents do not reflect the opinion of the University Students Council of the University of Western Ontario (USC). The USC assumes no responsibility or liability for any error, inaccuracy, omission or comment contained in this publication or for any use that may be made of such information by the reader.

CONTENTS
Western life
8 10 11
Living, Breathing Advertisements // Molly McCracken Lets Talk About Sex - Really // Cindy Ma Feminists on Film // Emily Stewart

INSIDE YOULL FIND features


4 6 14 20
This Isnt Goodbye: A Letter From Your
Outgoing Fimssc Executives

openwide // april ISSUE

moving on
W
ell, here we are. Its been nearly eight months since OPENWIDE volume 12s inaugural issue dropped in September, and what a ride its been. Weve put out five print issues and countless articles. Weve broached upon topics ranging from Lana Del Rey to the commercialization of education to weighing the pros and cons of Canadian radical politics. But, most importantly, weve maintained this publication as a space for students to have their voice heard on the printed page. Weve started conversations and been a forum for them; that is something I am proud of, and a pride I think we can all share. But, being at the end of the line, it is also time to say goodbye; a feeling Im sure many of us are familiar with at this time of year as many students graduate and the rest of us move on to another year of schooling or other endeavors. More changes, right? If theres one thing Ive learned this year its that change is pretty much inevitable. Thats not to say that any given change should be uncritically accepted, but whether in one direction or another, things change and we move on. Hopefully to better things. Still, a part of me doesnt want to move on. Ive just become comfortable here, with these people, doing these things, and now its all just going to get turned upside down? I ask myself this a lot, but the truth is that I dont really have a choice but to accept it. When things get shook up is when they get good. Complacency never led to invention. That honour goes to necessity, Ive been told. My mind wanders back to Professor Warren Steeles article A Note On the Voice in our September issue, and it continues to resonate with me. We exist in a socio-economic system that seeks to condition our thinking, to mould our voice, and encourages the desire to lose yourself. And that loss of self, of something that you can call yours and that comes from the depths of yourself, is what comes from homeostasis. It is what comes from never breaking out of what is normal and safe. So, move on, but not without thought, and not without taking everything youve learned here - so far - with you. And please remember to always FSU. Until next year, FIMS.

editors note

Jordan Pearson

FIMS Looking Forward: Interview with Jordan Pearson and Steven Wright Where the F Is FSU? // Jordan Pearson Confessions From The Attention Deficit // Sam Ballard

FIMS AFTER HOURS


12 13
Textbook Forest // Emily Fister Poetry // Stephanie Whitney & Hunter Frigault

OPENWIDE STAFF
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jordan Pearson editor@mitzine.ca MANAGING EDITOR Elizabeth Sarjeant editor@mitzine.ca GRAPHICS EDITOR Antonella Espinoza graphics@mitzine.ca WORLD EDITOR Paul Craig writers@mitzine.ca A&E EDITOR Kevin Hurren writers@mitzine.ca WESTERN LIFE EDITOR Emily Fister writers@mitzine.ca WEB EDITOR Sarah Koopmans web@mitzine.ca ASSISTANT WEB EDITOR Dan Perdic web@mitzine.ca PROMOTIONS COORDINATOR Rel Ollivirrie promo@mitzine.ca

arts & entertainment


16 18 19
Mashup Your Education // Kaely Danahy Lights, Camera, Reinvention // Kyle Simons Head to Head: Girls // Christine Tippett & Bradley Metlin

World
22 24 25
How We Left the Left and Why the Rights Not Right // Kevin Chao The Error Spring // Paul Craig Obamas Drone War // Amir Eftekharpour

SATIRE
26
Zine Canada: Silently Wondering, Why Bother? Since 1906 // Kevin Chao & Elizabeth Sarjeant

Front Cover Photography // Cam Wilson

THIS ISNT GOODBYE:


FOUNDATIONS AND HORIZONS
A LETTER FROM YOUR OUTGOING FIMSSC EXECUTIVES
Fellow students, Well, this is bittersweetbut mostly sweet. To be sure, we are slightly sad to be leaving, but this is not goodbye. This is only the beginning. This past year has been, in many ways, about foundations. When we came into our positions a year ago, we saw the potential to reshape what it means to be a students council here in FIMS. It has been a slow and sometimes discouraging process, admittedly, but overall we couldnt be happier with the way things have unfolded. What has made this past year especially remarkable is the profound change weve witnessed both within council and amongst the FIMS student body. Not only have we, as a faculty, changed some of our nomenclature to be more inclusive, but we have also had more all ages events, increased academic initiatives, an unprecedented public speaker series, and, as usual, some mildly inappropriate bar events. But, believe it or not, we did more than just plan events this year. Indeed, weve made a concerted effort to garner student feedback on a host of issues; weve met with administration to begin working on structural changes in the faculty; weve begun to foster a climate of solidarity with faculty and graduate students; we had our first presidential election since 2009; and weve taken action against USC initiatives that would result in less accessible post-secondary education. In this way, we have seen a significant shift in the priorities of our councilfrom events to advocacy, from parties to politics. But perhaps the most profound change weve witnessed this year is renewed engagement from all of you, and the voter turnout for our election is a case in point. And we implore you to keep this up: the more voices we incorporate, the stronger we inevitably become. Moreover, we owe a great deal of gratitude to our council this year for supporting and critiquing our vision; we couldnt be more proud of them. It has been their collective passion, critical perspective, and political engagement that have ultimately rendered this year a success. Thank you, FIMSSC. Next year will be a good year. We have the utmost faith in the incoming executives, Jordan Pearson and Steven Wright, to continue our vision and build upon the foundations weve laid together this year. We see promising horizons for positive change. But they cant do it alone: it is up to you, FIMS, to help next years council in their endeavours. Many of the challenges we face require collective solutions, and you, as students, are one of the most powerful collective forces there is. After all, if we dont act who will? Thank you, FIMS, for being so engaged and critical this year. Its been one hell of a ride. And this is only the beginning. Your outgoing FIMSSC executives, Jordan Coop and Kelly Mark

Jordan Coop & Kelly Mark

PHOTO BY SAM BALLARD

say hello
incoming fimssc
2013/2014

FIMS Soph Team


2013/2014

PRESIDENT
// Jordan Pearson

HEAD SOPH
Essery Waller --

VP EXTERNAL
// Steven Wright

ASSISTANT HEAD SOPHS


Jessica Pirraglia Kevin Hurren Michael Usling -Alanna Osborne Alex Krolak Carolyn Irwin Chris Pandza Christine Jurychuk Devin Golets Evan Matthews Haley Rudolph Jeff Duggan Jenai Kershaw Karin Freeman Linley McConnell Lucy Robert Melissa Peterson Meredith Hardie Mina Gerges Monica Abadir Nikita Kataria Paige Addesi Rachel Birnberg Rachel Petford Sam Aleboyeh Samir Kashyap Shayne Sadler Steph Schoenhoff Stephanie Gordon Stephanie Whent Sydney Kirkland Taylor Bernier Taylor Rivers Victoria Lyons

VP EVENTS
// Taylor Rivers

VP ACADEMIC
// Steph Schoenhoff

VP FINANCE
// Alanna Osborne

VP COMMUNICATIONS
// Alessia Grosso

CHAIRPERSON
// Antoinette Taranets

STREET TEAM COORDINATOR


// Paige Adessi

GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE
// Patricia Carnahan

FACULTY LIAISON
// Kelly Hobson

ASSISTANT FACULTY LIAISON


// Samir Kashyap

MTP REPRESENTATIVE
// Carolyn Irwin

MPI REPRESENTATIVE
// Kaely Danahy

WEBMASTER
// Caileigh Kyle

OPENWIDE EDITOR IN CHIEF


// Chris Ling

ALUMNI RELATIONS COORDINATOR


// Rachel Wong

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
// Chris Pandza

CHARITY COMMISSIONER
// Erin Hofmann

FIMS LOOKING FORWARD JORDAN PEARSON


Incoming FIMSSC President
1. WHAT RELEVANT EXPERIENCE DO YOU BRING TO THE FIMSSC? I think I bring a lot of valuable experience to the proverbial FIMSSC table, probably a few talents, but no superpowers unless you count the ability to make a mean poached egg. I think my experience with OPENWIDE over the last two years have allowed me to hone my skills in overseeing and working with a team of editors - and executives. It also gave me an opportunity to get to know a lot of really great people in FIMS, whether they be students, faculty, or administrators, and gave me a feel for the faculty. Of course, being a voting member of council this year has also made me acutely aware of how council operates. 2. LAST YEARS FIMSSC SAW A RADICAL CHANGE IN DIRECTION WITH JORDAN COOP AND KELLY MARKS VISION. HOW DO YOU HOPE TO BOTH CARRY ON TRADITION AND DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF FROM THIS PAST COUNCIL? This year has seen a marked departure from previous councils under the leadership of Jordan and Kelly, and we will carry it forward. We've seen a lot of great things like an information campaign on the proposed fee freeze, feedback sessions, and an amazing series of academic speaker events. I think the greatest thing is that we have a foundation thanks to this years council, so now we can hit the ground running in September and kick these things up a notch. Every council is different, so of course we're going to do certain things differently and with our own twist, but continuity of vision is important. 3. CURRENTLY ASSISTANT DEAN AMANDA GRZYB IS CONDUCTING HER STUDENT FEEDBACK GROUPS REGARDING THE STATE OF FIMS. WILL YOUR NEW COUNCIL USE THESE COMMENTS TO GUIDE YOUR OWN FEEDBACK SESSIONS NEXT YEAR? Absolutely! "Student feedback" has become a bit of a buzzword in the heat of elections, but FIMS has really taken it to heart and put it into action on the council and administrative levels. Collective action begins with a collective dialogue, and it needs to start from day one. That's what it's all about. 4. WHAT WAS FIMS TO YOU AS A FIRST-YEAR STUDENT AND WHAT IS FIMS TO YOU NOW AS AN UPPER-YEAR STUDENT? Lots of coffee, some beer, early mornings and schedule juggling during the hellscape that is March. Steven's an awesome guy and it's been great getting to know him so far and craft what we want next year's council to look like. Personally, I'm looking for a solid understanding of what FIMS is all about, an interesting perspective, some knowledge on what council has been up to lately, a willingness to work collaboratively, dedication, and a healthy FSU attitude. 5. WEVE HEARD THE PHRASE THROWN AROUND LIKE ITS AN EXISTENTIAL THEORY, BUT WHAT WAS FIMS TO YOU AS A FIRST-YEAR STUDENT AND WHAT IS FIMS TO YOU NOW AS AN UPPER-YEAR STUDENT? As an impressionable first year student, FIMS was scary and fantastic and so interesting all at once. I was hearing and reading things I had never encountered before, and slowly realizing that I wasn't going to be a social media coordinator for Pepsi after four years. I guess it really isn't all that different for me now. I'm still learning new things every day in this faculty. FIMS for me now is a space I can learn and say things I can't anywhere else, and maybe never again. It's unique, and full of unique people. It's a brilliant outlier, a wonderful anomaly, strange and exciting and full of promise.

FIMS LOOKING FORWARD STEVEN WRIGHT


Incoming FIMSSC Councillor/VP External
1. WHAT RELEVANT EXPERIENCE DO YOU BRING TO THE FIMSSC? Regrettably, I dont have much to offer with regard to superpowers, unless you consider being able to balance a spoon on my nose a superpower. I think thats just called having a big nose, though. My ability to foster an inclusive and empowering environment is the greatest thing I can bring to council. My two years as a residence staff member have shown me that being a leader is just as much about making those around you feel like they can do great things as doing great things yourself. 2. LAST YEARS FIMSSC SAW A RADICAL CHANGE IN DIRECTION WITH JORDAN COOP AND KELLY MARKS VISION. HOW DO YOU HOPE TO BOTH CARRY ON TRADITION AND DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF FROM THIS PAST COUNCIL? I feel that the changes Jordan and Kelly made to the FIMSSC regarding openness and inclusivity were things that FIMS students were waiting for. Im looking forward to being able to continue the things that have been done this year and take them even further. Something new Jordan and I plan to bring to council is our focus on advocacy. We hope to build upon the momentum started by this years councils student fee freeze campaign in order to let students know about things that affect them. 3. CURRENTLY ASSISTANT DEAN AMANDA GRZYB IS CONDUCTING HER STUDENT FEEDBACK GROUPS REGARDING THE STATE OF FIMS. WILL YOUR NEW COUNCIL USE THESE COMMENTS TO GUIDE YOUR OWN FEEDBACK SESSIONS NEXT YEAR? Were going to take every chance that we get to garner feedback from students. To me, this may be the most important aspect of our positions. Her survey will be an indispensable resource, as it will give us a better idea of what students want and how they feel about the program. Moreover, we can use this information to supplement our feedback sessions because well know the right questions to ask. 4. WHAT WAS FIMS TO YOU AS A FIRST-YEAR STUDENT AND WHAT IS FIMS TO YOU NOW AS AN UPPER-YEAR STUDENT? Jordan and I have learned so much from Jordan and Kelly in the past month or so. Each time weve met with them, we leave with greater confidence about our ability to do great things in our new roles.Jordan has come into the role with a clear idea of what he wants to see from next years council. Im glad to say that we agree on many things, which has let the two of us cultivate a collective vision. Weve been working together and with the current council to come up with ways to make this vision a reality. At the same time, we are looking for a diversity of opinions and outlooks on next years council to constantly challenge us in a constructive way. 5. WEVE HEARD THE PHRASE THROWN AROUND LIKE ITS AN EXISTENTIAL THEORY, BUT WHAT WAS FIMS TO YOU AS A FIRST-YEAR STUDENT AND WHAT IS FIMS TO YOU NOW AS AN UPPER-YEAR STUDENT? My amazing sophs in first year showed me a FIMS that has a wealth of creativity and a tendency to challenge the status quo. But to be honest, FIMS sort of came off as the hipster faculty, which made me feel a little like I didnt fit in with the crowd . However, as I continued through the program, I found a lot more diversity than I expected. I now see FIMS as a collection of students with diverse and often opposing viewpoints. I think this is what makes our faculty so unique. FIMS is really what you make of it. OPENWIDE v12 // 7

openwide // western life

STAFF WRITER //

Living, Breathing Advertisements


Bar photography in London and immaterial labour

Molly McCracken

ts Friday night. Youre drunk and dancing on stage at Jim Bob Rays. Youre in a booth at Jacks having a pitcher with the gang and enjoying live acoustic classics. Youre at the Barking Frog, the Ceeps, Tap House, maybe even a keg party. Youre having a great night out with your pals and, oh look, how convenient! An on-site photographer with a professional camera is here. You can have this memory forever. The integration of photographers in bars is now a seamless and welcome addition to the nightlife industry. People flock to the camera and various gestures come out to play: the bro point, the bitty lean, the fist pump, the stuck-out tongue. Contrast is upped, red-eye is fixed, a watermark is planted, Facebook is updated. Its a value-added feature of coming to the barprofessional photos of you having fun and being social. Club photography is essentially the proof of being social to the rest of the world. If youre there, youre in and photos verify that. This narcissistic self, the one we all pretend we dont have, is what makes club photography so successful. Plus, lets be serious

the bar is dark, everyone is drunk, great outfits translate into far better feedback on Facebook than they do on the dance floor. One student tells me, I like it. People dont have to bring cameras to clubs anymore, and its exciting to look at pics from your night out. Another remarks, You dont have to stop and take pictures at the bar and look ridiculous. You basically have someone doing it for free. But is it really free? Sure, you dont pay a photo fee with your cover, nor do you (usually) tip the photographer. In a traditional sense, there is no monetary exchange. However, believe it or not, youve sold ourselves in exchange for having that picture taken. FIMS Associate Professor Alison Hearn identifies this practice as a form of ambient marketing. Having unpaid representatives who are pleased to trade their identity for club endorsements is greatly beneficial for the organization. Were a generation raised on media and reality television. And creating a microcosm of red carpet lifestyle amid night clubs and social circles serves as an excellent

marketing method because, as Hearn points out, we live in a culture marked by the ubiquity of promotional discourse. In an atmosphere where customers feel like they are superstars, they do not consider their promotional actions to be work at all. This concept constitutes actions considered to be immaterial labour. Liking pages on Facebook to be entered in draws or retweeting the Spoke and Wave for free concert tickets are everyday examples of immaterial labour. While the surface exchange may be retweet for a chance to win concert tickets, dig a little deeper and youve just sold your social media soul as a discrete form of corporate labour. When Lays and Starbucks have name our new flavour contests or Doritos invites you to make a commercial to win a big cheque, youre giving even more than a like or a retweetyoure working for them for free. You are a marketing tool and the potential perks are your payment. When we have our photos taken, we are voluntarily engaging in the activity in that moment, but the photos

are then used separate from us for marketing and promotional purposes. In this process of labour exchange, the subject of a club photograph gives up control of the way their face and body are used for the lifespan of that photograph. A customers face, watermarked with a club, photographer, or other promotional logo, becomes corporate property. Now that youre on the venues website, youre a representative of a great time at Jim Bobs or Jacks. In that picture, you arent you anymore youre who someone could be if they came to the bar. Consider this via Marx 101: Just as a factory line worker is alienated from the final product, you, working on your self-brand, are alienated from that photographic representation of yourself. Its a bit of a trip, but its the same concept applied to immaterial labour. Why does it matter? Capitalisms evolution has left us unsure when were working and who were working for. The reality is, were working all the time. Were working on who we are online to our friends, and being used by our favourite brands as marketing

pawns. Were working on who we are to the stud across the bar and being used by that very bar to advertise online at the end of the night. Were always working, but were never getting paid. Photographer and FIMS student Chris Pandza is leery about the direction that the practice is moving. As he occasionally does club photography, Pandza notes feeling overwhelmed when logging into Facebook by the number of his photos that are used as profile pictures, a persons main identifier to the digital public. Being photographed is now no longer just a bonus feature of a night out, but rather it is the main objective alongside drinking and dancing. And club marketing representatives realize this. As Pandza says, some promoters will point out particular individuals or groups and ask photographers to follow them and make sure to show them having a good time because their social clout will reflect well and garner attention. Similarly, a marketing manager at one local London bar remarks that three reasons they photograph are to: provide a memento of a great night, brand [the bars]

name and drive business through [their] doors and to our social media outlets. As much as its a value-added feature for customers who want to be photographed, it certainly pays dividends back to the club in the form of hundreds of willing, eager, undemanding, and, most importantly, unpaid models and promotional representatives. The consumer culture we live within does not simply mean that we like to buy commodities; its that we are commodities. We are expensive things, made more valuable by the more connections we have, the more we interact with the market, the more we consume. Club photography is only one instance of the massive trend in the commodification of human interactions, but its an important one because its hidden. We realize that were overtly branding ourselves when we wear a Western t-shirt or carry an iPhone, but when we walk into a club its not so obvious. If you ignore the facts, its not a problem. But when you acknowledge the system, you realize how were increasingly becoming living, breathing advertisements.

8 // OPENWIDE v12

openwide // Western life

lets talk about

Cindy Ma

STAFF WRITER //

sex-really
eading the Gazette sex issue this year, I learned a number of valuable things. For instance, if I want to arouse a man, it doesnt matter what kind of fanny flosser I choose to wear because, as long as my pants are off, my body and thong can speak for themselves. Forcing a man not to masturbate for a month may motivate him to attempt to start a meaningful, fulfilling relationship because the basis of any meaningful relationship is the assumption that a woman serves as a substitute for a mans own hands. Oh, and back in the 1950s, being sexist was a-okay. Imagine sexism ever being acceptable today! In a laboured show of political correctness, the cover of the issue depicts three couplesone lesbian, one straight, and one gayin a photograph that screams, Look how inclusive and risqu we are! While the photographs were a valiant effort, superficial representations of diversity are no substitute for truly diverse and probing content. Out of the thirteen articles in the issue, only three were written by women. From the article comparing womens thongs to boy shorts (it doesnt matter, just get naked), to the one on pubic hair removal (nothing unnatural about having hair down there, as

feminists on film
Why Westerns Film Community Needs Women

Emily Stewart

long as youre not a woman), to the experiment in masturbation abstinence (dont do it, man), the vast majority of the articles were coded male. Throughout the issue, seemingly innocuous jabs such as, even if youre a spitter, here are a few liquids you simply must swallow, revealed a distinctly male perspective that unwittingly degrades and isolates female readers. While the Gazettes male contributors no doubt had the best intentions and were reporting from the only perspective theyve ever known, a sex issue written almost entirely by male students will inevitably only reflect half of Westerns student body. Furthermore, the issue was utterly lacking in substantive, well-researched articles that tackled the controversies surrounding sexuality and gender today. Reading a sex issue of a university newspaper, I would expect any number of interesting and taboo topics to be raised: slut-shaming, racial exoticization, changing gender identities, sadism and masochism, asexuality, STDs the list goes on. Many of these topics remain outside the realm of everyday discussion and, on a campus where many students continue to feel isolated because of their sexuality, the Gazette sex issue provides a rare opportunity for taboos to be addressed and myths to be dissected. On this front, the Gazette fell short. A majority of the articles were based on personal observations and anecdotal evidence that made no reference to broader issues of contemporary sexuality. The ones that did retain journalistic rigour were short and, as a result, superficial: a brief interlude about birth control, 200 words on the representation of female sexuality on television, and less than a quarter of a page on the sex toy market. The Gazette sex issue has the potentialperhaps even the responsibilityto initiate a meaningful dialogue on a subject that is deeply personal and often troubling to many students. This year, it squandered a valuable opportunity by taking a profoundly limited and superficial approach to the topic. If Im looking for instruction on How to Please My Man or Finding the Right Bra, I will happily consult a Cosmopolitan magazine. From my university newspaper, I expect quite a bit more.

iversity is the lifeblood of FIMS. Whether youre an aspiring journalist, theorist, musician, publicist, graphic designer, or filmmaker, theres a course tailored for your creative needs. One of my earliest memories of our innovative faculty was the widespread critical interest in film studies. For the second year in a row, OPENWIDE held the FIMS Film Festival in conjunction with the Reverie arts showcase. However, out of all the entries submitted, none of them were from women. With the recent rise of female pioneers in the film industry, the lack of submissions from female filmmakers on campus is surprising. After all, we live in an exciting and liberating time for women in television and film. Visionaries like HBOs Girls creator and star Lena Dunham and director Kathryn Bigelow are receiving widespread media attention. On top of winning awards for screenwriting and production, theyre also raising a lot of controversy. Bigelow, known for her films Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, was the first female director to ever win an Oscar in 2010. She has been continuously quoted in the press for her fearless statements: If theres specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that

obstacle for two reasons. I cant change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies. Likewise Dunham, who writes, directs, and stars in her own material, embodies this feminist attitude. In a recent interview for the April issue of Playboy, she takes pride in being a role model for a new generation of feminists. On Girls I like being a mouthpiece for the issues I think young females face today, Dunham says. Its always shocking when people question whether its a feminist show. How could a show about women exploring women not be? Feminism isnt a dirty word. Along with their accolades, the two directors have also received criticism for the gritty subjects they tackle in their work. Still, they remain unshakable in their creative vision. Zero Dark Thirty has been critiqued for the torture scenes depicted in the films, but Bigelow backs up her reasoning with her creative integrity. Likewise, Dunham combats constant negative feedback for her shows lack of racial diversity and graphic depiction of sex. Despite the rise of these powerhouse female directors and a passionate film community at Western University, its surprising that there arent more visible female filmmakers on campus.

Bailey Atkinson, a third year student pursuing an Honours Specialization degree in Womens Studies with a minor in Film Studies, believes the issue of filmmakers on campus goes beyond gender. Atkinson suggests that there is more of an emphasis on theory than production, stating that that there is also a lack of submissions for the events run by WUFS (Western Undergraduate Film Society). I think its hard to get people to come out because we are not a production program and we dont have a sense of community, she says, mentioning that the program is often divided. However, Atkinson notes that there are numerous talented female filmmakers at Western. And with the star power of directors like Dunham and Bigelow, she hopes that these directors will set not only a new standard for the industry at large, but also inspire Western students to create community through their workno matter the gender. Its one thing to admire female filmmakers from afar. But its another to open up the discussion on campus and question the lack of community. After all, there are always future film fests to set the feminist tone.

illustrated by Michelle Yick

illustrated by Kristina rowell

8 // OPENWIDE v12

OPENWIDE v12 // 11

fims after hours


welcome to the

Emily Fister

HIGH RISE
Reflected in the rippling rye the cloudsa distorted mirror of the sky set off by the wind sweeping the surface of the glass that houses the habit I cling to like the bottom dollar of the man a floor below who doesnt know that tomorrow his wife will have left in my hand a cigarette I inhale and spew a nauseating hue of mystic greys from the blue of my lips as I look past the fumes dancing as cancerous plumes on the railing like children round-a-rosie whiskey drips past my chin down to the blurry bustling souls in the streets below waving cabs and wandering Home.

Textbook Forest city

hat if you could give your textbooks back to the trees? Textbook Forest, a new organization on campus that plants a tree for every textbook bought and sold, wants to do exactly thatand their radical roots lie in the innovative culture of FIMS.

After meeting in Digital Creativity 2121, MIT students Bryan Gold and Olivia Kitevsk, in third and second year respectively, combined their passion for environmental sustainability with digital ingenuity. When they partnered with Josh Martow, a third-year Medial Science student, the interdisciplinary vision for Textbook Forest was born. Their rst mission: tackle the corporate textbook system at Western. I was frustrated by the lack of alternatives, says Martow. My science textbooks are really quite expensive, and there arent many good ways to make use of them after nishing the course. This is us, solving that problem. The problem? Well, it lies in the increasing corporatization of the university. And, according to Textbook Forest, Western isnt exactly prioritizing students nancial needs. Tuition is expensive enough, Gold says. The way we see it, the school is taking advantage of the students. Why is there a different edition for textbooks so frequently? Martow echoes Golds sentiment. We may not be able to decrease Ontarios tuition, he says, but if we stay local, we can make a huge impact in our city and hopefully make education a little more affordable. With an official online launch date slated for September 2013, the group hopes to foster an eco-conscious community that directly connects Western to the Forest City. Kitevski cites Textbook Forests partnership with ReForest London and the Million Trees campaign as one recent joint venture. Together, they hope to reach their goal of planting one million trees.

In terms of executing the textbook pick-up in the fall, Kitevski mentions that the organization will maintain an environmentally-friendly operation. Our mentality is green, she says. With everything we do, we ask ourselves if what were doing will have a positive impact on the environment. Were also careful to plant native species, ensuring the rees t in with the local eco-system. ReForest London has been a great partner, helping us pick the best trees to plant. These visionaries are more than just tree-huggersthey know how to seriously FSU. As a hybrid team of both practicality and cultural theory, the FIMS inuence is as evident as a wrench in the works. And who knew that you could jam the corporate machine with trees? But Textbook Forest isnt here to preach to the counterculture choir. One of their most important mission statements is to initiate dialogue beyond campusacross faculties, staff, and in the London community at large. From City Hall to White Oaks and back to the Main Gates, these students hope to pioneer an active and infectious green movement. Although we communicated via e-mail, the group emphasizes classic face-to-face communication as key to their future success. Technology denitely has a place in the Textbook Forest initiative, but dedicated action happens offline. We want students to feel good about what were doing and tell their friends, they collectively say. Were letting this spread via word of mouth. To join in on the eco-community creativity, follow Textbook Forest as they prepare to launch this September. Like their Facebook page (facebook.com/textbookforest) and join the conversation on Twitter (@textbookforest). But most importantly, tell the next person you see IRL.

poetry
apb

OPENWIDE

Stephanie Whitney

This is an all points bulletin, for my missing heart. It has been missing since I first fell in love and has since changed appearance multiple times The suspect is believed to be harmed and dangerous When approaching the suspect be careful, as it has been known to fall in love at first sight. Be aware of its clingy nature and fractured condition The suspect will also not hesitate to brute-al flirt tactics See, in order to effectively take down the heart, you must trick it into thinking it has found its counterpart Surround it with love, warmth and affection then go in for the kill The suspect will not fight back It will not try Believing it has reached its journeys end and found a friend. Go and search the streets now, you must. Be sure to keep constant communication between each other For while we may be many This heart is the stronger one.

Hunter Frigault

OPENWIDE v12 // 13

where the f
openwide // feature

Jordan Pearson

is fsu?
corporation (you knew it was coming), government, university students council, or university itself, has a tendency to exist only for its own continuation. These organizations are big, theyre slow-moving, and theyre resistant to change no matter how well-intentioned their constituent members are. Ive heard the frustration from people who have tried to push progressive initiatives in the past. More and more Im becoming a believer that operating within a given system, using the systems logic, is not a very effective way of changing said system. You need to bust it up. You need to FSU. Dont run into the street and burn a cop car just yet, though, because thats not what I mean. What I mean is that we need to take on the attitude of the principled hell raiser, of the wellpurposed shit disturber. Its easy to go along with a decision when other smart people are telling you its a good one, and when others are hopping on the bandwagon. Just before you vault yourself over the side of the wagon and into a cushy seat, though, stop for a minute and realize the opportunity to FSU. Think it through and hear as many perspectives as you can, and then if you disagree, stand up and say, Fuck this. It takes guts, but its also a lot of fun. I had the pleasure of hearing Chris Hedges speak on March 15th at a speaker event organized by the FIMSSC, and when I asked him what the role of students is in combatting a social, economic, and educational system that is built to condition its participants and silence alternative views, his answer stuck with me: Raise hell. Yes, I am aware that as students we are more or less powerless to make policy decisions that change broader social trends. And yes, student politics can seem like a bit of a circus. Still, as Hedges said, These forces are here at Western, so fight em, and fight em hard while you still can. I was blown away as this brilliant, balding man wearing tweed and round glasses told a roomful of students to FSU.

As university students, we have four years to do almost anything we want with few consequences. We have the opportunity to try new things, make mistakes, put ourselves out there and really find ourselves ... man. Dont waste it just coasting and keeping your eye on the prize - a piece of paper after four years. Its so much more than that. You can say ridiculous things and do even more ridiculous things now that you might not be able to do after you graduatebecause you dont want to piss off your boss, because you dont want to piss off your colleagues, because you dont want to jeopardize your career; the list goes on. The same is as true for future CEOs and social media directors as it is for future professors and academics. Thats the attitude FSU embodies, as I see it. Were here for four years and often dont find our bearings until the final two. If thats the case, then use those final years to cause as much shit as you can for the things you believe in. Resist the tendency to see yourself as an unaffected observer who will be gone soon anyway. Access Copyright

isnt going to go away because of a Purple Paper. Student fees wont freeze because of a single council meeting though it was close. There are no moves left in this game, so we need to play another. The name of that game is studentsus; and it is about us being informed, talking about this stuff with our friends, getting together, and making waves for the people at the top, whoever that may be depending on the issue at hand. Even if were not met with applause and full compliance, at the very least a conversation can be started and sometimes thats as good as a win. In the words of Kate Bush: Dont give up / You know its never been easy; In the words of Chris Hedges: You have to be a radical now, while you still can. In the words of FIMS students past: FSU.

emember FSU? Depending on your year of study in FIMS, you may be saying, Heeeell yeah! or Huh? right now. It used to be everywhere, on the tip of everybodys tongue, so much so that it was essentially the unofficial motto of FIMS. I havent heard it in a long time. I was happy about that fact at one point, because I associated it with recreational bouts of Adbusters-esque activism (Suburban Teens For $100 Shoes And Against Capitalism) and a general culture of faux-rebellion. Ive since begun to understand why it was, and implicitly continues to be, a big part of this facultys student life. It stands for Fuck Shit Up , and we need it really badly right now. Having been a part of the FIMS Student Council (FIMSSC) this year, ventured into the USC council chambers on more than one occasion - alright, two - and spoken with faculty, student leaders, and administrators, Ive seen first-hand how this system works. Any large organization or institution, be it

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OPENWIDE v12 // 15

mashup your education


Information is constantly trying to get free, and corporations are constantly trying to put it behind pay walls and refuse us access to it.

openwide // ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Kaelyn Genevieve Danahy

plice, chop, cut, glue, paste, mash remix. Music, law, and education seem like very different disciplines, but their investment in cultural recycling comes together to affect Western students in a big way; $27.50 a year, to be exact. Electronic music mashups, where artists splice samples of several different songs together, have received a lot of attention over the last few years. Last June, the Canadian government formally recognized the value of remixing by passing a bill allowing artists to create and share mashups online as long as they dont charge listeners for the music. While cultural bricolage is increasingly acknowledged as important, many havent heard of Access Copyright and the price tag it puts on information. Perhaps one of the most well known artists in mashup music is Greg Gillis, known by the stage name Girl Talk. Gillis latest album, All Day, includes 372 samples in 71 minutes of music, recycling melodies from songs like Black Sabbaths War Pigs, Beyonces Single Ladies, and John Lennons Imagine to create an entirely new musical work. Girl Talk is fundamental to us as students of the Internet, says Eric Lohman, PhD Media Studies

student and VP External Affairs & Communications of the Western Society of Undergraduate Students (SOGS). Its a type of music that couldnt have existed 15 years ago, and to lose it would be bad for our society. Girl Talk successfully balances artist acknowledgement (he lists the track and artist names of every sampled song on his website), while using their work to make something new. Giving his album away for free also helps him avoid copyright infringement while he makes his living off live performances. Licensed through the Creative Commons, All Day is available for free download online and listeners are encouraged to both share it and make their own remixes as long as they give Girl Talk recognition. However, he does not seek consent for the use of his samples, which still puts him at risk for infringement. Girl Talk is a continuous thorn in the sides of corporations trying to make money. He gives us music for free because he feels it should belong to everyone, explains Lohman. According to Media, Information, and Technoculture professor James Hildebrand, this is the type of balance that copyright law originally strove to achieve. Its meant as a servant to the betterment of our lives, Hildebrand said. The primary purpose of copyright law is to foster new things in society. Do you really want to restrict the ability of others use of a sound? By day, Hildebrand practices law at the Huron/Perth Community

Legal Clinic. By night, he is an MIT professor for Legal and Ethical Issues in Multimedia. Hildebrand argues that copyright is supposed to be about finding the middle ground between giving a creator what they deserve and allowing new works to build off old ones. So what, exactly, does the law say? Copyright is the exclusive, stateenforced monopoly over the right to copy. In Canada, protection is automatic. This means that once created, a work is protected whether or not it has been officially registered. The part were concerned about in copyright law is the exclusive right to reproduce a work, or any substantial part of it, in any material form, said Law and MIT professor Sam Trosow. The other problem is the way people understand section 27 that its an infringement to do something without the consent of the owner. And notice I said owner and not creator, because those are often two different parties. Eric Lohman echoed that copyright is an old model working in a new era. Information is constantly trying to get free, and corporations are constantly trying to put it behind pay walls and refuse us access to it. However, like any law, there are exceptions to this monopoly. These exceptions fall under what is called Fair Dealing, and outline circumstances when it is legal to reproduce a work without purchasing rights. They are

crucial for maintaining the balancing act that copyright works to achieve, but are vaguely worded and often misunderstood. Last June, Bill C-11 attempted to clarify the breadth of some of these exceptions. Alongside increased rights for remixers, the bill expanded Fair Dealing to include education as accepted grounds for copying. This means that students and teachers are no longer required to pay fees for the use and reproduction of scholarly works. So why should we care? Girl Talk creates great music, but he doesnt simply make music. He recycles ideas, and this kind of recycling occurs outside the music industry as well. Girl Talks music belongs to all of us in the same way that scholarly research should belong to all of us, said Lohman. Access Copyright (AC), also known as the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, is a collective authorized to license copyright to various organizations. In other words, it acts as a middleman between those who want to reproduce content and those who own the rights to do so. When universities sign a licensing agreement with AC, students and professors are granted the rights to copy a specific body of works for educational purposes and the fees for these are usually included in tuition. During his talk at the SOGS forum, Trosow argued that Bill C-11 and the expansion of Fair Dealing makes university agreements with AC irrelevant. It shouldnt be an argument over how much students are paying, it should be zero. Because they shouldnt have to pay anything to exercise a right they already have, he continued. In 2010, AC applied for a general

tariff that would control agreements with all post-secondary institutions. Western, alongside other schools like the University of Toronto, signed on to this tariff in January 2012. Unless it notifies AC that it wishes to terminate the agreement by June 30, 2013, fees for full-time students will jump from $3.75 (plus 10 cents per page for course packs), to $27.50 a year. They were seeking a tariff with a much higher rate, wider scope and broader application; one which would place new burdens on the institutions, their staff and students, w h i c h would also jeopardize many of the rights of academic staff and students, Trosow argued. Students, professors, and scholars all work off each others ideas. We read articles and we write new ones using those ideas. We take old knowledge and we remix it. In effect, we are all versions of a Girl Talk. The information we produce in the university is the foundation of society. Access Copyright infringes on our rights to be good teachers, and to have an interactive relationship with one another, Lohman asserted. Its crucial that as students in the electronic age, we fight for the right to free information. Were getting into a situation that goes against the foundations of learning. So go splice, chop, cut, glue, paste,

and mash. Make memes, mashup videos, and remixed songs. By doing so, tell Western what you think about Access Copyright, and the $27.50 you shouldnt have to pay.

For more information on the efforts of SOGS to stop Westerns agreement with Access Copyright by June 30, 2013, visit their Facebook page.

illustrated by Jennifer Feldman

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openwide // ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

STAFF WRITER //

Reinvention
Artistic Freedom in the Music Industry

Lights, Camera,
W
e all know that making it in the music industry borders on impossible. Young musicians starve themselves trying to realize their dreams and only a handful ever see their name in lights. What many may not realize is that signing to a label is not necessarily a sign that their struggles are over. Show business is, after all, still a business. Artists must face the tough reality that being an entertainer with a label means answering to very powerful people. Musicians have to be marketed, and as such cant always have their way when it comes to creating their image. Take, for instance, Lana Del Rey. This Gangster Nancy Sinatra rose to fame after releasing her track Video Games, a song which was highly praised by indie music lovers for having an authentic feel. However, not many of these new fans knew about the sultry songstress past. Rewind to 2010 when singer Lizzy Grants debut album was pulled from iTunes due to lack of sales. The crushed singer erased all traces of such a musical failure and was rebranded as the more glamorous Lana Del Rey a name chosen by her management team. After emerging with an (allegedly) cosmetically-altered face, listeners were left wondering if the new persona was a personal choice or a market-driven rebranding strategy. Did Lizzy Grant cave to the music industrys pressures to produce a sexier, more sellable persona? Or was the change what Lana Del Rey envisioned for herself as an artist? Similarly, British pop sensation Marina & The Diamonds entered the public eye and American charts after the success of her second studio album Electra Heart. Her first album, The Family Jewels, had a number of tracks that painted a rather negative image of show business in the United States through their lyrics and videos. In one track, the singer boldly proclaimed that Hollywood infected your brain / Im obsessed with the mess thats America. After essentially condemning American show business, Marina explores her struggle to retain individuality in an environment trying to fit artists into a mould. When comparing this previous work to her more successful album Electra Heart, the hypocrisy is readily apparent. For the newer album, Marina collaborated with well-known American pop producer Dr. Luke an individual who is best known for his work with artists like Katy Perry and Rihanna. Her newer work created a disconnect between some of her older tracks with her new ones. For instance, Sex Yeah explores the pressures placed on women in music to portray themselves sexually but such concerns seemed to dissolve when filming the video for How to be a Heartbreaker, a video that features a montage of scandalous shower scenes with nearly naked men. Moving forward, comparing the history of these artists careers can be revealing. Both Lana Del Rey and Marina & The Diamonds deal with music industrys pressures in two ways: Del Ray subjects herself to reinvention for the purpose of furthering her career, making no public statements expressing discontent. On the contrary, Marina verbally rebukes the influence of the industry in some earlier lyrics and interviews, but now seems to fall in line with the wishes of her industry handlers. This forced renewal isnt something exclusive to these two women. They are two of many examples of the saddening decrease of autonomy in the one big mess that is the American music industry.

Kyle Simons

HEAD TO HEAD

openwide // ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

POWER W

GIRL

Christine Tippett

STAFF WRITER //

GIRLS
W
hile many are busy adulating the show Girls for being an empowering feminist voice, they miss the series inherent problems. Though hailed as groundbreaking, the show reinforces a certain kind of scopophilia the idea of pleasure derived from an eroticized image of women in film and television. Perplexed by how a woman having her body exhibited on television could be a positive things, I sought the input of a female friend and avid Girls watcher to understand the appeal. She explained that even though Lena Dunhams character Hannah is the heaviest, she still manages to get the most action. Girls seems to encourage acceptance of the female body regardless of its physical weight, but still measures attractiveness according to men. Moreover, if we look towards women of Dunhams size as overweight, we have a problem. Dunham may not be the size zeros we find plastered in advertisements, but she isnt quite a crusader for plus size women. Size aside, the issue of sexual maturity cannot be based merely on the amount of sex on is having. Its even more questionable to call Dunhams character Hannah confident when, in almost every episode, she finds fault in some aspect of her body. This idea of physical dissatisfaction is a common motif in the series. In the very first episode of the series, Hannahs boyfriend suggests they try anal sex; a request she refuses. Defenders of Girls will insist her refusal is powerful, but thats a narrow reading of the scene. Only moments later, Hannahs will to please a man makes her put herself in the uncomfortable situation she previously denied. Ultimately, Lena Dunhams constant nudity, lack of self confidence, and sexual flexibility in Girls makes one wonder how the show can truly be empowering. OPENWIDE v12 // 19

GROW UP

Bradley Metlin

STAFF WRITER //

hile many of us may see the naked body of Lena Dunham more than that of our significant others, that doesnt mean HBOs Girls is anything but an off-beat, hilarious, and refreshingly audacious show. During its debut season, the show received widespread and well deserved praise after being touted as a show with more rawness than a butchers shop after hunting season. What makes Girls great is that the show isnt one that you can or necessarily want to sit down and watch with your family. Girls isnt one-dimensional, and it continues to push the boundaries of what we expect from homogenized primetime television. Above all, the show challenges stereotypes perpetuated in the media especially ones pertaining to women. The shows four main female characters are allowed to deal with real problems that other shows prefer to gloss over problems regarding friendships, relationships, sexuality, body image, and the anxieties of entering adulthood. These problems arent the little bumps in the road that are presented and resolved within the thirty minute time slot that most shows work with. Rather, Girls presents the collective concerns of young women in a originally unrefined manner. Yes, some of the storylines are unconventional or exaggerated, but the show has to get its comedy from somewhere. Maybe Girls is struggling to keep its early rave reviews, but at least Dunham is attempting to put forward an unidealistic and unglamourized depiction of sex, friendship, New York and, of course, girls.

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openwide // FEATURE

STAFF WRITER //

CONFESSIONS FROM THE ATTENTION DEFICIT


...including, but not limited to

Sam Ballard

A D D E R R O L L I N G // C O N C E R T A T R A T I N G // R I T A C U L E

n honour of the recent Mental Health Awareness Week, I thought it would be appropriate to do my part in trying to Stamp Out Stigma. What better way to do so by voicing my personal experience in the world of mental disability? I was diagnosed with ADHD after I made the snap decision to take a year off from school. Before I left, I couldnt decide what I wanted to study - so I procrastinated on putting together my class schedule, and on pretty much every other preemptive step necessary for starting my post-secondary education. I needed time in order to get myself figured out. I dont know the exact science behind the ADHD brain and therefore am not really qualified to give medical advice. From what I understand, my brain works like a poorly choreographed, neverending fireworks display. Honestly, the best comparison Ive made to my thinking process is much like looking at a table, covered with a bunch of different objects that dont necessarily go together. My conscious mind is eager to pick these things up and look at them one by one... But there are too many things, and I cant choose between them. Wait, Im pretty sure I just saw a cool thing I wanted to look at, but now I dont remember where it was. Actually, I just want to look at all the things. Right now. All at once. I always tried my very best to be a good kid. Really, if theres one thing I value from my childhood, its the importance of being nice. So, naturally, I always felt as though being a student with potential, but the inability to get organized (as repeated annually on

my report cards) was a poor reflection on my true character. I understand now that theyre two different aspects of life, but as a child there was no distinction. Hence the integral detriment of ADHD: the guilty aftermath. Nobody likes to be shamed publicly by educational authority. Nobody really likes feeling like theyre a total fuckup. I cant tell you how many times Id answer questions in class, rambling on about some irrelevant story, in the midst of which Id get cut off by teachers or fellow students. My face would turn bright pink as I thought, somebody tape my mouth shut. Please. I never want to speak again. Yeah, I still do this; its another work in progress. But as regular punishment, self-loathing, and distaste for your own mannerisms manifests over time, you may wonder if having SPACE CASE tattooed across your forehead would be a better alternative to the function of the brain behind it. Growing up, I was lucky that both of my parents (as well as my brother) also have ADHD. Through having an immediate network of wonderful, dysfunctional people, Ive come to understand so much about this disorder. Not to get overly sentimental, but Im even more lucky that my parents have accepted the many whims of my impulsive nature: Sure kiddo, chop off all your hair. Pierce your whatever. Turning 16? Heres a fun idea! How about you get a tattoo? Ill get one too, maybe. Really, their liberal parenting has actually fostered what one of my friends considers the gift of a creative imagination. Needless to say, I like his interpretation.

Now, Im not saying that if you smoke weed, you have ADHD. Not at all. Im saying that if you smoke weed from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed, -- or until you get busted worst case Ontario - and find it otherwise impossible to get you (and your mind) to chill out, you might have ADHD. I was hanging out with some friends one night, one of whom also has ADHD, and he was talking about how it affects his daily life. While he explained that hed been taking Ritalin for the

past couple of years, another friend interjected: Ha, ha. So your life is in a bottle. This made my stomach churn. Now, Im not against medicine when absolutely necessary, but the idea of needing a daily dose was a great fear of mine at one point. Im less affected by it now, but its still a sore spot. I understand there are many ways to get your shit together without the help of pharmaceuticals. Usually, this is more effective in the event of isolated ADHD. One of the most annoying statements I hear on a regular basis is that ADHD doesnt exist. Or, phrased in the form of a question: Um, so, dont we all have ADHD? No. You do not all have ADHD. If everyone did, I think marijuana would be legalized by now (kidding, not kidding). Like any mental d i s a b i l i t y, its hard to diagnose yourself - or anyone else, for that matter - if youre not a doctor. Its not as obvious as being that awkward person who shows up to the party under the misconception that it was obnoxiously neon night. Yes everyone gets distracted, everyone gets sad. But not all who say, Im so ADD really mean that it severely impacts their life. Youd know if you needed help, and I urge you to reach out if you do. There are so many people out there (myself included) who will reach right back.

But I bought some Adderall once and it worked soooo well, so I have it right? A thousand times, sigh. Well yeah, of course it did: its a drug but you actually shouldnt do that until youve seen a doctor. I dont mean to nag or patronize, Im just saying: go ahead. Dont use the instruction manual provided with your Super! Fun! BombDiffusing Experiment Kit! Its not only for your brain health, but also for the sake of academic fairness. As Im sure you know, taking unprescribed medication is more than just normalizing -- it gives you an edge. Let it be known that its really likely Ill be tempted to slap you upside the head if you ask me for an addy cause youve gotta study for finals. Think of it this way life isnt perfect, you have your ups and downs. Youre upset about something here and there, but then you forget about it, and life goes on. Generally, youre pretty alright. But if you have chronic depression, this may not be the case. While psychiatrists are often reluctant to dole out medication, sometimes it can be needed and its not as though its an easy way out, youll still need to go on a journey of selfimprovement. Would you start taking anti-depressants if you didnt need them? No, no you wouldnt. Alas, thats the very stigma with mental health: keep it on the down low if you take antidepressants, but hey...has anyone got any Ritalin? Please, people. Show some humility. // Intrigued? Visit totallyADD.com for more information on ADHD

One of the lesser-known facts about ADHD is that those who suffer from it tend to have another underlying mental disorder. Ah yes, ADHD: Anxiety & Depressions Best Friend. The reasoning for this is a combination of two things: brain chemistry, and/or the previously stated social detriments. So, not surprisingly, an addictive personality is another symptom of ADHD. Possible vices include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, other narcotics or all of the above. Because of its relaxing effects, marijuana is most common.

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OPENWIDE v12 // 21

openwide // world

STAFF WRITER //

How We Left the Left AND Why the Rights Not Right ?
The Medias New Political Spectrum

Kevin Chao

t was when a T.A. recently asked me Is Obama a Democrat? that it first occurred to me how badly represented American politics are by the media. Most of us know so much about politics without any of the framework, and the reason is that, overwhelmingly, the media prefers to entertain instead of educate. Though it is impossible to sum up the entire topic of political ideologies in a few hundred words, perhaps I can provide a quick glimpse into the structure of the political spectrum.

Canadian political parties are aptly named: Conservative, Liberal, and the NDP (social democrats). In the U.S., the right-wing conservatives are Republicans and the left-wing liberals are Democrats. The political right believe in a smaller government, while the political left endorse a larger one.

to be entertaining. Commentary and entertainment media caricaturize entire demographics no, Hollywood, not every Russian from the 90s was a terrorist intent on destroying capitalism, and no, Stephen Colbert, you cant write off half of your countrys political views with a crude joke.

Very simply put, the political spectrum has left and right wings with opposing ideas on how much government control is necessary to run the country. The far left believes that a large government with many regulations will ensure the safety, prosperity, and equality of the people. The far right believes in equal rights and individual autonomy without government intervention, and that the free market can meet all of our needs and interests. The centre believes that the free market and individuality are important, but that some government regulations are necessary to keep society running smoothly. In contemporary American politics, from left to right, we have socialism, liberalism, conservatism, and libertarianism. There you have it. Of course theres a lot more to it, but thats the most basic framework required for your mental map of politics.

So how come the news confuses viewers with sweeping generalizations and focuses on personalities instead of policy? Why cant our politicians just sit down in front of the camera and have a rational discussion about what government can and cannot do effectively? Because regular politics doesnt make good TV. So the media had to change politics. In free market capitalism, media corporations have to make a profit to survive. Private broadcasters manipulate their content in order to attract higher viewership (read: increase profits). These techniques mostly involve sensationalizing media (after a modest, low-key first presidential debate, Fox News reported Romney Just Flattened Obama. Finally.), as well as simplifying entire events into four-second clips (such as the binders full of women headlines which obscured the substance of Romneys second debate in favour of a careless phrase). These sensational soundbytes polarize political ideologies in order to make it easy for viewers, who are guaranteed to be amused when the news is constructed

By depicting politics in binaries, the media polarize each and every topic. To keep the news interesting, broadcasters focus on wedge issues that is, specific issues that the two parties cannot agree on even though there are larger issues at hand. For instance, overseas critics report that the United States has oppressed millions upon millions of Middle-Easterners who are ignored by the American media. However, neither Obama nor Romney planned to change that, so election reports focused on gun control laws that affect a fraction of those impacted by American foreign policy. In another effort to draw in ratings, media news sources become more partisan and biased themselves; one only needs to look at Fox News or MSNBC to understand that thorough and nuanced journalism has become an endangered art. The funny thing is that, in changing the dialogue about politics in the US, the media have actually changed American politics. There once was a time when the American right-wing represented only economically conservative values.

The Republican Party continues to promise that they stand for less government intervention, but during the last two decades they have become associated with maintaining an enormous military and regulating the private lives of citizens. Spending more on the American military than the next 13 countries combined does not reflect small government. Neither does lobbying against abortion, marijuana, and marriage equality. So what changed with the right? As the Republican Party gradually adopted the Christian vote, the medias sensationalist focus polarized the two political parties. Christian objectives such as criminalizing contraceptives began to take form in the Republican platform. The demographic that used to be part of the silent majority burst onto TV screens in the form of radical personalities like Sarah Palin or Todd Akin. By privileging each partys most extreme ideological positions on high-profile wedge issues instead of looking for aspects on which both parties converge, the media have helped shape the Republican Partys agenda of increased militarization and Christian ideals. Of course, caricaturing ideologies has left the left in shambles, too. It is now impossible for any American politician to discuss anything left of moderate conservatism without a public outcry - for instance, Fox News once declared Obama a socialist for

supporting Medicare, despite the fact that nearly every developed country has universal health care. Though Clinton and Obama represent the American left, the Democratic Partys politics have shifted so far right that Noam Chomsky claimed that the Republican President Richard Nixon was the last liberal president nearly forty years ago. Before World War I broke out, the Socialist Party of America had 6% of the popular vote. After two world wars, however, America became so threatened by the communist Soviet Union that they started the Cold War. In order to remove any communist sympathies from the American public, in 1947 the U.S. government authorized the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) to put Hollywood on trial for possibly providing communist support, poring over films to ensure that there was no hidden communist propaganda. Since then, we have been taught by blockbuster films over and over again that socialism is a dirty word. In how many action flicks are the villains Russian? How many times have we been told by movies that socialists support terrible dictatorships that hate their citizens? While Stalinism was obviously horrifying, the media has shaped our perspective of the political spectrum to believe that absolutely anything left of liberalism indicates a totalitarian

dystopia. For instance, the socialist president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez who, like any politician, had supporters and detractors was able to claim some pretty impressive triumphs, such as lowering unemployment by 10% and reducing extreme poverty from 23.4% to 8.5%. But these achievements do not fit with the American medias portrayal of the political spectrum, and Chavezs progressive accomplishments went largely unnoticed. Many believe that he was a dictator instead of democratically elected, and we still equate socialism with poisonous authority. Though I do not mean to defend socialism as a practice itself, I do believe that its meaning is consistently misconstrued by the media, just as the media prefer to link the political right with heavy militarization and radical Christian ideals. The difference is, the right has followed the medias prompting, whereas the far left of American politics has all but disappeared. So the media has changed our perception of politics--now what? For starters, think critically about the news sources you use and the picture they intend to paint. If you still plan to rely on mainstream networks for your news, at least remember to take everything with a grain of salt. The media would rather you believe that politics is a war than a spectrum.

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OPENWIDE v12 // 23

The Error Spring


How the perceived failures of the Arab Spring reveal our cultural biases
eemingly endless reports of upset in the Middle East have resulted in skepticism about the results of their once-lauded revolutions. To many commentators it is increasingly unclear whether the revolutions are moving towards accomplishing their egalitarian goals or if they have been co-opted for political gain by (defined-by-us-asundemocratic) organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood. Unfortunately, the problem isnt whether or not there was an Arab Spring or (if so) what its supposed to be doing. Rather, the problem has been our anachronistic characterisation of the revolutions, in which Western values have from the outset been grafted onto a culture that we dont understand because we havent taken the time to do so. Because we imbibe our own propaganda just as surely as they imbibe theirs. Andrew Marshall, a globalisation researcher appearing on CBCs The Current, informs us that [i]n Tunisia, a [poll] published this last December asked Tunisians how they define democracy. 32% defined it as economic rights to food, clothing, shelter; 27% defined it as the right to criticise government officials, and only 25% described it as changing government officials through elections. While both Arabs and Westerners have agreed that the ultimate goal is democracy, there is a fundamental disconnect between our respective perceptions of what exactly this means. Here in the West, our collective perception of liberal democracy in many ways comes down to our right to vote. Having the people elect a leader can be - and is - interpreted as the unified will of the populace selecting a direction for the country. The very act of voting, then, is a manifestation of other values we see as critical to our system such as the freedoms of speech and association.. For all their merits, however, our democratic ideals stop at the factory doors. Very succinctly, Economic Democracy is a philosophy proposing a shift in power at the workplace from a small group of corporate shareholders to a broader organisation of public stakeholders: workers, customers, suppliers, and other relevant parties. But, as Marshall makes clear, we dont have economic democracy. The economy is left for corporations which are essentially private tyrannies. So even while our country slips ever further into an uncertain future of recession and job scarcity, our elected representatives, in large part, escape direct criticism. Democracy, for us, belongs in the voting booth, not the workplace. Yet, it seems many Tunisians prefer the inverse of our system; potentially, theirs would be a democracy defined by a stable labour sector, even if the country were led by a dictator. Nor are they wrong to want it. For while we are used to championing our so-called superior institution of democracy, it is easy to forget that other interpretations exist and are no less valid. Take a country like Singapore, for example. Singapore is the scrappy hero of an impelling story of modernization. Gaining its independence in 1963, Singapore was initially beset by largescale rioting; the result of its largest racial factions allegiance to historic loyalties instead of the weak fabrication of a budding nationalism. The solution came in the form of sweeping nationbuilding programs (compulsory conscription, public housing, etc.), as well as the decisive vision and subtle power-preserving mechanisms of the Peoples Action Party (PAP) which has received over 97% of seats since independence.

openwide // world

Paul Craig

openwide // world

STAFF WRITER //

obamas drone war The Nobel Peace Prize winner with a Death List

Amir Eftekharpour

Today, Singapore is the worlds second busiest port as well as a hub for banks and company headquarters in Asia, Singapore enjoys the highest number of millionaires per capita ever and its infrastructure is so modern the whole country looks to have been built two weeks ago. When the party that has remained virtually uncontested for many years also (in)directly controls the media and prohibits spontaneous public gatherings of more than four people, does the simple fact that its citizens are allowed to vote outweigh the governments coercive practices? Furthermore, does the fact that the states wildly effective drive to modernise arguably required a strong party with a singular vision invalidate questions of democratic pluralism? Heres another question. Why should the average Singaporean citizen care what Canadian youth think of the quality of their democracy? It was heady to watch as a rash of uprisings spread through the Middle East like a desert wind. It also seemed right to weave the narrative of the Arab Spring overtop of it: to speak of the collective will of the noble protesters overwhelming the crumbling regimes of evil dictators. How glorious the moment when a moderate Islamist defeated an old crony of Mubarak in a now-on-theright-path Egypt. How dazzling as the pluralist Tunisian government came together to build a Tunisia for all . Its interesting that as these facile narratives start to fragment in the face of police brutality in Egypt, political assassinations in Tunisia, and womens oppression across the region, that we wonder if the revolution has failed but not if our understanding is flawed. Perhaps, as Marshall puts it, the way forward is allowing Tunisians to figure out what democracy means for themselves.

resident Obama campaigned on a promise to reverse the worst of the Bush administrations terrorism policies: torture, the denial of due process to prisoners in Guantanamo, and the rendition of terrorist suspects to black sites around the world. He also promised to include the legislature and the judiciary in oversight of counterterrorism operations, rather than treating that area of policy as an exception. As he commences his second term, however, it is clear that Obama has continued the Bush-era mentality of a forever-war -- a constant American offensive aimed at killing the baddies before they harm American citizens. This mindset has resulted in the continuation of many of Bushs counter-terrorism policies, which have massively limited civil liberties in the United States. Obama has encouraged the expansion of a terrifying new method of killing those who threaten national security: drone strikes. Drone strikes are air-to-ground attacks carried out by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Drones carry out reconnaissance and attack missions in the Middle East, while their operators sit thousands of kilometres away in quiet military bases in Florida or Ohio. Drone strikes begin with a top-secret nomination process. President Obama is personally involved, reserving final judgment on which suspected terrorists are to be designated for kill or capture (read: kill). Every week or so, more than 100 members of the US governments national security apparatus pore over terrorist suspects biographies

and recommend to Obama, a former constitutional law professor, who should be the next to die. As a result of a massive expansion of executive power and the aforementioned Terror Tuesday death conferences, the American government has initiated a series of shadow wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, outside the public eye. These strikes have killed 2400 people in Pakistan alone. At least 551 civilians have been killed in all countries, though the Obama administration has shrugged these figures off, officially referring to all military-age males in a strike zone as a militant. These drone strikes represent a blatant violation of the US Constitution, which denies the President authority to wage private wars on individuals without the approval of Congress. In fact, Article 1 of the US Constitution, often referred to as the War Powers Clause, explicitly vests war-making powers in the hands of Congress, and, as such, represents a conscious effort by the nations founders to limit the Presidents power

to conduct discretionary warfare. The founders would be horrified to learn that Obama has adopted a vast interpretation of executive power, resulting in his god-like authority to decide who lives or dies. This hasnt happened by accident. Obama has worked to expand this executive power by reducing oversight from other branches of government. The constitution mandates that suspects have the right to a trial. Obama, however, maintains that a cursory review of the evidence by the executive branch itself amounts to due process. In doing so, Obama adds judge, jury, and executioner to his list of titles. This precedent set by Obama may be abused in future years by presidents who target foreign nationals or other political leaders at their pleasure. While liberals might be placated by having their man at the kill switch now, one might imagine their horror at having a President Palin or Romney at the helm of drone attacks in 2016. On the other side of the globe, these strikes serve as a recruiting tool for militants, since the families of women or children killed by drones are unlikely to see Obamas America as the relentless opponent of terror and tyranny, and the light of hope to the world. Obamas coldblooded contempt for constitutional limits on executive power has resulted in an expansionary personal war with the potential to spill over into other war zones. It has also reinforced the notion of a President who can kill first and ask questions later. OPENWIDE v12 // 25

24 // OPENWIDE v12

il Mi lust ch r el ate le d Yic by k

Silently wondering, Why bother? since 1906

ZINE CANADA
disappointments and how Glass has been able to turn them for the better. Before Google Glass, I could never really enjoy my urinating experience. Due to poor coordination and physical limitations, I was only able to aim at the urinal properly using two hands; thus, I had never experienced the pleasure of tweeting and peeing at the same time. Now with Glass, my bathroom trips have been entirely revolutionized! Two weeks after sharing his story, Adam filed suit against Google for invasion of privacy after accidentally posting a picture of his genitalia on Facebook. Not every Glass Explorer has been pleased, however. Naomi from California stated, If I wanted to walk around with a camera strapped to my face, Id rather keep my phone, buy some duct tape, and save $1,497. Naomi was later criticized by

London Police to use


St Patricks Day student fines for
First strike scheduled for Homecoming Weekend 2013

new drone squad


Ad Campaign Discourages
100% of Pregnant Teens will be Subject to Public Shaming and Gross Generalizations

Western
Athiest Union books multi-

For real this time, life will never be the same, Google reports
Kevin Chao, Staff Writer
LONDON - With the upcoming release of Google Glass, humankind will no longer be held back by the handheld tools that assisted them during millennia of intellectual and cultural evolution. We will be freed by the wonders of flashing lights half an inch from our pupils. Consumer testing underway with Google fanboys as subjects, and the public response has surprisingly been overwhelmingly positive. I used to only have corporate media and sponsors plugged directly into my body through headphones, said Emily, a Customer Liaison Specialist at Applebys. Thanks to Glass, I can now see the products being advertised as I buy them in the store. Ive never felt so vapid or emotionally unavailable! Glass Explorer and fedora-enthusiast Adam shared his lifes harsh right-leaning media sources as being an anti-capitalist, fun-loving spirit who hates the economy and America. Apple has plans to enter the obnoxious headwear market with the iMonocle in order to compete with Google. An overhyped press release states: This is the most Apple eyepiece ever, especially since its the first of its kind. Youll be amazed by how much you dont see. Apples iMonocle tagline is a string of unrelated buzzwords and phrases: Changing amazing again for newly touching the most Apple Apple again. Ever. Blackberry is expected to enter the market in five years with its own version that only passably improves on the technology of the first generation.

faith space
We just didnt want anyone else to have it.

Teenage Pregnancy by

Threatening to Continue Existing

Chakma to

Rename New

shaves his beard


Finally driven to conformity by failure to repeal USC budget

President Jordan Coop

The Death Star


When faced with criticism, Chakma answered, I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Residence

International Guess Who board game tournament

Effort for
Apathy Floor

Students Lobby

overshadowed by
skating competition
Says one of three skating tourists, It was okay, I guess.

Fizzles
I dont think one apathy floor could really make a difference.

In Residence

Western apologizes: Last Lecture guest a horrible accident


Elizabeth Sarjeant
LONDON - Western University President Amit Chakma came forward last week to publicly apologize for a long series of errors and misunderstandings leading up to the performance given by 2013 Last Lecture guest Harley Pasternak, a popular fitness and nutrition specialist. Chakma explained he was shocked and utterly embarrassed to discover that a spokesperson for brands such as New Balance and Smart Water had been scheduled to host this event, which had the potential to be a meaningful experience that would provide graduating students with a sense of closure and a chance to reflect on years of rigorous academia. Administration remains secretive about the specific causes that ultimately led to a man credited with engineering Megan Foxs hot bod appearing on stage before a captive audience of soon-to-be university graduates. All sources close to the president agree that the occasion was an inexcusable error and ultimately a complete devastation to the once-bright futures of Westerns class of 2013. Chakma lamented, We could have at least had Kevin OLeary. Hes a Western grad, too. Faculty and administration alike are devastated over the deeply regrettable mistake and its implications for Western as an institute of higher education. However, undergraduates who attended the event are relatively apathetic about and generally pretty okay with the mishap. I still dont know what to do with my Bachelors degree, admitted political science major Lindsay Taylor upon leaving the lecture hall Monday, but Im sure as hell going to gain three pounds of muscle this summer.

Flashmob planned for

9pm unsuccessful amidst

actual dance groups practicing in the UCC


It was just like High School Musical!

& one whiteboard

18 laptops, 10 iPhones,
8 stolen iPhones replaced with Blackberry Bolds

stolen from
Weldon library

Adam Fearnall to Publish Memoir On USC Experience

First volume of seven titled Adam Fearnall and the Chamber of Secrets
OPENWIDE v12 // 27

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