news

By Colleen Harrington
Imagine shelling out hundreds of dollars for meals that you may never get to eat. It’s not a charity or a food drive. It’s a fact of life for many resident students at the Stony Brook Southampton campus. All students who live at the small satellite campus are required to purchase one of three meal plans each semester. Prices range from $1,739 to $2,487. But there’s only one dining hall on campus, and it closes every night at 7 p.m. Worse, there’s no breakfast on weekends; instead, brunch begins at 11 a.m. On the off-hours, hungry students are stuck to choose from eating snacks out of campus vending machines, hoarding groceries in their dormitories, or traveling off campus for food, despite having already paid for a semester’s worth of meals. Students who work or have classes that overlap with the 5-7 p.m. daily dinner slot say the skimpy schedule of the Student Center Café leaves them hungry. “I miss dinner all the time,” said Candice Gersch, sophomore at Southampton. “Sometimes I just don’t eat because I don’t have a car.” Gersch said she once complained about the dining hall to a Stony Brook dining services official, who directed her to a website to fill out a formal complaint. “The times are all messed up. It’s ridiculous because we already paid for three meals a day.” Gersch says that the cafeteria workers don’t let you make up for missed meals, either. “The ladies yell at you for taking more, like if you try to take an extra sandwich or something. I’m like, ‘I’m stocking up for when I miss dinner!’” For the more than a dozen students, the experience was the same: all had missed out on paid-for meals. “Seven o’clock is way too early to close,” said Michael Geddes, a freshman who’s studying sustainability at Southampton. “There’s no where to go for food if you don’t have a car.” Marine vertebrate biology major Joe Baillargeom, who reported missing meals a couple of times, said many of his fellow students complain about the dining hall hours, but just deal with it. “Sometimes people will make Easy Mac or Cup-of-Noodles in the microwave downstairs, or they’ll just go off campus for food” when the café is closed, he said. Some of Southampton’s more accommodating professors have been known to allow students to eat in the classrooms, or to briefly pause a lecture so students can dash down to the dining hall before it closes. The Student Center Café’s website includes a mission statement which says that “…the dining services program will rely on extensive involvement of the campus community to continuously refine menus and practices.” But dining hall officials were largely unavailable to discuss the issue. After initially agreeing to an interview, Assistant Services Manager Aaron Persaud later reneged, saying he had been instructed “not to talk to anybody

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Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

Southampton Doing What?

at The Press.” He referred questions to Angela Agnello, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Faculty Student Association, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Previously, dining officials have said the café’s schedule was crafted with students and money in mind. In an interview about the café’s hours last year, Dining Operations Manager Joseph Glorioso said, “As with most small colleges, meal hours are set by when students normally eat,” and that financial

NOT FOR EATING!!!!

challenges coupled with a small student body are what limit the café’s operating hours. He also said that the dining hall receives no money from the SUNY system or New York State to operate. “Obviously, we cannot have our café open 24-7, as supply versus demand isn’t there yet,” Southampton spokesman Darren Johnson said in an email. He said the campus’ current residence of about 200 students doesn’t justify an always-open dining hall, but that hours would expand in response to the growing student population. “As it is now, our café hours almost exactly match those of the previous owner of this campus, Long Island University, which served up to 1400 students, 800 of which were residential,” he said. “We feel that we have been very flexible thus far and will continue to put student concerns foremost as we continue to expand our offerings, hours and services.” But the students who have pre-paid hundreds of dollars for meals they consistently miss feel that an extension of café hours is already overdue. Several students suggested that staying open until at least 9 P.M. every day and opening earlier on weekends would be a vast improvement. “I could understand why they have to have short hours, but we have to eat, too,” said environmental sciences major Joshua Gelbwaks. “There has to be some sort of compromise.”

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How NYPIRG Got Its Groove Back
By Natalie Crnosija
The USG Senate approved its contract with advocacy group NYPIRG by a unanimous vote after nearly two years of negotiations.  The contract, drafted by a budget subcommittee, stipulated that the USG would be able to audit NYPIRG’s spending and demand requisition forms from the organization. The USG previously did not have this right, which led to the Senate’s removal of NYPIRG’s USG funding, said Senator Moiz Khan. Until the November 19 Senate meeting, NYPIRG had not received line budget support from the USG since 2007. “I am glad we can get to work,” said NYPIRG’s Board of Directors Chairperson Patrick Krug.  “Considering what’s going on with the tuition hike, I’m glad we’re back.”  NYPIRG is a non-profit, studentdirected, environmental and governmental reform organization, according to its website.  On 20 college campuses across the state, NYPIRG promotes and teaches students how to become activists.  With the approval of the contract, NYPIRG will receive $32,000 to fulfill its mission statement for the year, as well as pay an on-campus program coordinator and increase recruitment. Though NYPIRG’s mission statement on SBU campus was not in question, its financial structure was suspect. As a statewide organization, NYPIRG is completely unlike any other studentrun entity funded by the USG, said Khan.  Though NYPIRG at SBU acts like a club in that it must follow the USG constitution, pay for office space and receive USG funding (in theory), its ultimate authority is in Albany, not in SAC 202. Two years ago, NYPIRG’s USG funding was withheld because the USG was unable to ascertain whether NYPIRG was spending USG money at SBU exclusively or if NYPIRG was using USG money on other campuses, said Khan.  NYPIRG is obligated to send their original receipts to the IRS, not to the USG, which also requires original receipts from its clubs. “We want to make sure our money is going to us,” said Khan.  “We shouldn’t be paying for someone’s salary up in Binghamton.” The committee that drafted USG’s contract with NYPIRG discovered NYPIRG had not distributed USG funds statewide, said Khan. Had NYPIRG used USG funds outside of SBU, they would be subject to legal action. Established on SBU campus in 1979, NYPIRG was funded by various incarnations of SBU’s student governments, including Polity and the USG before it lost USG funding.  During the November 13 Senate meeting, NYPIRG’s On-Campus Coordinator Brendan U. Colling argued for the necessity of approving the contract as soon as possible. At the time, the sub-committee had not finalized the contract. “We can’t consider a vote on the contract,” said Senator Syed Haq, a member of the drafting committee. Khan said the committee’s extensive efforts to create a comprehensive contract with NYPIRG were the reason that an agreement had been reached, effectively ending the two year stalemate. Though the contract does have to be renewed every year, Khan said efforts were made to make sure the contract is as thorough as possible so it will not have to be revised. Colling echoed these sentiments and added that NYPIRG will be recruiting students at SBU soon. A week after the contract was first brought to the floor, some amendments were made to clarify the language of the contract by the sitting Senate and the contract was finally put to a vote. “After extensive talking with our lawyer, we addressed every single concern,” said Treasurer Matthew Anderson.  “They are a good organization to have on campus.”

The Cartwheels Seen ‘Round the Tubes
By Najib Aminy
To many, soccer is a sport that is only popular when the World Cup floods the programming on ESPN 2 every four years. But when Stony Brook University’s match against Hartford University came down to penalty kicks, all that changed, at least for a brief moment. A sport that everyone around the world adores caught the attention of many Americans, and better yet, gave recognition to Stony Brook University. On November 11, the Stony Brook Men’s Soccer team faced off against the Hartford Hawks in the America East semifinals in a game that would be decided by penalty kicks, one of the more exciting parts of soccer. Stony Brook senior Collin Geoghegan scored against Hartford goalie Nenad Cudic, a senior from Novi Sad, Serbia, only to have the shootout tied 11 after Hartford forward Carlos Villa scored against Stony Brook goalie Anthony Rogic. However, Cudic did the unthinkable—he did cartwheels. The six foot two inch Serbian dressed in a bright yellow jersey and black shorts performed four cartwheels, the first two of which could actually pass for good form. The third and fourth cartwheel lacked consistency and would make Olympic gymnast coach Bela Karolyi livid. But that didn’t matter. This was soccer after all. For roughly 10 seconds, Stony Brook freshman Berian Gobeil stood there watching Cudic dance around from side to side before getting the signal from the referee. Gobeil shot to the upper left corner of the net and immediately after watching the ball go in, Gobeil performed some of his own cartwheels. Gobeil’s cartwheels were both consistent and better in style than Cudic’s, and Stony Brook would end up winning the game, going on to face the University of Maryland Baltimore County in the America East Championship. They would win that game too. Yet, a video of the shootout posted on the Internet became a sensation, with more than 1 million views. The video found its way onto ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption program, a half-hour sports program that covers current events in sports. Later in the week, the video would be shown again on ESPN, only this time on Sportscenter’s “Not So Top 10 Plays,” a segment of the show that highlights obscure events in the week of sports. The cartwheel warm-up was number one. The video was also hosted on Deadspin, a sports blogging website. Cudic, who said in an interview with The Hartford Courant, had trained in gymnastics for two years and saw what Rogic was doing to warm up, which involved jumping up and down touching the cross bar. “I didn’t want to try to impress people with the beauty of my cartwheel,” Cudic said. “I tried to make [Gobeil] feel uncomfortable. Make the goal seem a little smaller. It was just a mental game. I was close to saving that goal. I picked the right side. If the ball had gone a little lower, I would have gotten it.” Gobeil went on to score and so did Senior Oscar Leis, who solidified the win against Hartford. Gobeil, an Arts and Sciences major from Montreal, Quebec, was unavailable for comment. The Stony Brook Men’s soccer team ended their season losing to Brown University, 1-0, in the second overtime in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Though their season ended, the win over Hartford remains an internet sensation.

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Editorial Board
Executive Editor Andrew Fraley Managing Editor Najib Aminy Associate Editor Natalie Crnosija Business Manager Erin Mansfield Production Manager Tia “Quark Ate My Soul” Mansouri News Editors Raina Bedford Laura Cooper Features Editor Ross Barkan Arts Editor Doug Cion Sports Editor Jason Wirchin Photo Editor Eric DiGiovanni Liz Kaufman Copy Editors Kelly Yu Katie Knowlton Iris Lin Webmaster Roman Sheydvasser Audiomaster Josh Ginsberg Ombudsman James Laudano Minister of Archives Alex H. Nagler Layout Design by Jowy Romano

editorials
In only their second year of conference play, the Stony Brook Men’s Football team won a very close game against Liberty University to become co-champions of the Big South. The Men’s Soccer team, after cartwheels and such, defeated the University of Maryland Baltimore County, a team that usually dominates the America East Conference in most sports. The Women’s Cross Country team ran their way to their third consecutive America East championship earlier this year. But are Stony Brook students even aware about any of these feats? For an Athletic Department that is able to generate funds for a new scoreboard and lobby for a new basketball arena, which is taking longer than expected to build, the connection between the more than 20,000 students that attend this univer-

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

The Woes of Champions
sity and the teams on campus is broken. The attendance at the football and soccer games has increased, sure, and the basketball games seem to be packed, but these increases are not representative of the larger student body on campus. For one, the basketball stadium is only filled up because it is much smaller than a high school gymnasium. Add to that the fact that security forces all the students to sit in the crowded and packed student section where roughly 300 hundred sit in a space designed for 150. That may be an exaggeration, but that’s surely what it feels like. Regardless of how the Athletic Department spins the successes of these three teams, as well as other programs, these are huge accomplishments for a young Division I program. But when the only time the program, let alone the university, gets recognized for its athletics is through an unsportsmanlike, though humorous, cartwheel, or a highlight game of pity, such as the case between the Men’s Football team versus the University of Maine Black Bears last year, then one is left to question how much attention and recognition the Athletics department is bringing to the University. In this economy, where Albany is expected to cut SUNY funding and affect the way students enroll and learn in this university, where does an athletic program belong? While student apathy is a recurring problem at Stony Brook, both the University and the Athletic Department need to look beyond the small yet growing crowds they attract and target the entire campus before they can start calling any of their championships victories.

Friday Night Lights, Please!
We have a rag tag group of champion softball players, and we meet every Friday—weather permitting—to play softball for as long as there’s enough light to do so. But it’s getting later in the year, so we’ve had to quit earlier and earlier. We usually see groups of other students playing soccer, rugby, football and other exotic sports. One week, we were lucky enough to have the lights on! They left them on until 9pm, and we got to play well into the night. It was awesome. But this led to the question: why not leave the lights on every Friday? People would be more encouraged to stay on campus if there were actual things for them to do. This question may seem like a self-serving complaint from us, but it’s really indicative of larger problems on this campus. The seeming lack of any regard for student entertainment during the weekend—or during the week, for that matter—is one of the reasons this campus becomes a ghost town with the departure of the 4:17 train on Fridays. If the issue is money, then let us ask another question: why were the floodlights kept on for construction of that new Geometry Physics building when nobody was working on it? And not only that, the basketball courts have a switch if people want to play after dark, why can’t the softball and soccer fields? There should be switches you can activate that automatically turn off after an hour or two, just to make sure nobody leaves them on all night. Or maybe something sensor based. It can’t be that difficult. Ultimately, yes, this is a selfish request. But I’m sure we’re not alone in this. Many other groups of students use these fields, and there would be more, if they were more available. And that’s just one small step in increasing overall student happiness. So do us a favor, and leave the lights on!

Staff
Kotei Aoki Vincent Barone Laina Boruta Matt Braunstein Michelle Bylicky Alex Cardozo Mike Cusanelli Caroline D’Agati Krystal DeJesus Joe Donato Brett Donnelly Lauren Dubinsky Nick Eaton Michael Felder Caitlin Ferrell Vincent Michael Festa Joe Filippazzo Ilyssa Fuchs Rob Gilheany David Knockout Ginn Evan Goldaper Jennifer Hand Stephanie Hayes Andrew Jacob Liz Kaempf Jack Katsman Samuel Katz Yong Kim Rebecca Kleinhaut Frank Loiaccono Kenny Mahoney Matthew Maran Chris Mellides Justin Meltzer James Messina Steve McLinden Samantha Monteleone Roberto Moya Daniel Murray Frank Myles Chris Oliveri Ben van Overmeier Laura Paesano Grace Pak Tim Paules Rob Pearsall Aamer Qureshi Kristine Renigen Dave Robin Jessica Rybak Joe Safdia Natalie Schultz Jonathan Singer Nick Statt Rose Slupski Lena Tumasyan Marcel Votlucka Alex Walsh Brian Wasser Matt Willemain Mari Wright-Schmidt 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 organization funded by the Student Activity Fee. The opinions 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: editors@sbpress.com

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E-mail your letters to sbpressnews@gmail.com
Good Evening, I would like to address some misconceptions and poor reporting rampant within two articles recently published in your 5th issue (dated November 11, 2009). The opinions in this e-mail are wholly my own and do not reflect any other department, agency or entity. The article ‘E-Lack-Tricity at Stony Brook’ by Daniel Murray states that the ‘residents living in Roosevelt Quad were hit especially hard... They had no hot water, heat or electricity for two days.‘ Power to Roosevelt and Chapin Quads was first lost on Monday night. However, this power was restored within three hours as, from what I understand, each building is normally served by more than one feeder. When the primary feeder is compromised, a secondary, or backup, feeder is activated in its place. The second outage occurred the following night (Tuesday), where power was unable to be restored and emergency generators had to be ordered. These generators were operational by 5AM Wednesday morning. Therefore, it is incorrect to state that residents of Roosevelt Quad were subject to conditions of hardship (power, water, heat loss) for a full two days. It is interesting to note the contradiction between the above and below article, as the Murray piece states “two days” and the editorial piece puts the October 25 outage as “two hours”. Secondly, the article ‘Campus Residences Takes You to the Cleaners’ presents an inaccurate assessment of the situation, going as far as to assume that Campus Residences is responsible for issuing an apology to students. I will address each issue in chronological order: 1. “...unlocked buildings without fire alarms. Resident Assistants confirmed that they had to spend the night patrolling the hallways for fires.“ If I am not mistaken, numerous University emergency response agencies were on-scene assessing and supporting the situation. The safety of residents was quite secure. 2. “Campus Residences has made no form of apology to these students...“ How is this the responsibility of Campus Residences? Campus Residences is not charged with the maintenance of electrical transmission lines on this campus, especially in the location where the failure occurred. Further, when you lose power at your home, does the local utility company issue an personal apology? I know mine doesn’t. Unfortunate incidents like the outage are prone to happen, especially when infrastructure is aging. It is inappropriate to blame any specific University department for such incidents. 3. “..scoff at the incessant construction, that can’t finish one project before starting another...“ Clearly, the author(s) of this article are unfamiliar with the procedures of Capital Planning. Despite these issues, I admire your approach to lobbying the prevalent issue. There are far too many ‘arm-chair warriors’ today, and at least The Stony Brook Press attempts to discourage this act by providing contact information for those wishing to express their dissatisfaction. Thanks for your time.

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Good Evening, First off, thank you for your feedback. It’s always good to hear from our readers, even if it’s criticism. About our ‘E-Lack-Tricity’ article, you got us. Our oversight will not soon be forgotten, and all responsible parties will be beaten severely. Regardless of that, however, we hope you can understand our mistake. While the power did not last for two days, the occurrence of problems did, if we’re not mistaken. Regarding your point about what we said in our editorial about Resident Assistants, the point we were trying to make was that they were put through the additional burden of patrolling dark hallways for safety hazards. But yes, we are sure that it was quite secure. Thanks for the heads up. In terms of an apology to the students for this, to whom would you suggest we go to demand an apology? Campus Residences still falls under the jurisdiction of the SUNY system, so we could suggest taking it up with them for not using student funds to maintain the school’s inadequate infrastructure. And yes, Con Edison did apologize for the power outages of the 2006 blackouts around New York City. They even gave $100 to those affected by it. If the money students pay for housing doesn’t go to its maintenance and upkeep, where does it go? The money people pay in rent for houses and apartments goes to the upkeep of those residences. It’s not unreasonable for students to expect the same of their dorm rooms, especially with the amount they’re paying. Lastly, when we said they scoff at the incessant construction, we probably should have instead said, “They scoff at students’ frustration at the incessant construction.” Thanks for clearing that up. Again, thank you for your feedback. Keep reading The Press, and we’ll keep writing. We’ll even work on our editing, too.

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Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

The Devestating Power of the Corporate Lobby
When lawmakers hollered and wrangled over the historical health care legislation in the House several weeks ago, Ross Barkan they often sounded like a corporate echo chamber. Turns out, that’s exactly what they were. According to the New York Times, Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies, ghostwrote statements for more than a dozen lawmakers. Simply put, they regurgitated facts fed to them by Genentech without even bothering to analyze or edit the information. They spoke with one voice, the voice of the lobbyist. This story is a microcosm of how politics have come to work in the United States. Lobbyists, people who try to influence politicians on behalf of a special interest group, now dominate U.S. politics in ways that were unheard of even thirty years ago. Today, all political debates (including the current health care clash) are driven by money and information from the private sector. According to OpenSecrets.org, a non-partisan website that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effects on elections and policy, the strongest lobbying industries are finance, insurance, real estate, and health. In 1998, a total of $1.4 billion was spent on lobbying. In 2009, that figure ballooned to $2.5 billion. In our society, money talks. Campaign contributions shape the way our representatives create and reform policies. Politicians will argue from the heart and rely on fact and instinct to make decisions, but they will also rely on dollar bills. There is a reason that the struggle for universal health care has been far more difficult here than in other industrialized nations. In Britain, the National Health Service is a way of life. In Japan, even the poorest citizens can expect good health coverage. In America, the drug industry holds sway. In America, the lobbyists, for better and worse, can plot the future course of our nation. Do not interpret this as purely a screed against the power of the American lobbyist. Lobbyists are capable of profound good. Look no further than the Civil Rights movement, women’s rights movements, and labor reform movements in the 20th century as examples of what a powerful lobby can do. Lobbyists ensured everyone would be equal in the eyes of the law. Today the power of the lobbyist has been taken to new levels. The power grows from the corporate lobby, an entity with nearly unlimited funds and an unwavering interest in self-preservation. The health industry, which has seen its premiums jump from 1.5 percent of the GDP in 1970 to 5.5 percent in 2007, will not be willing to pave the way for more affordable health care because their bottom line is at risk. They will infuse Capitol Hill with their version of the truth to defend their coffers. Democrat and Republican lawmakers are equally susceptible to the corporate lobby. Lawmakers from both sides were guilty of quoting directly from Genetech. Anyone thinking critically about their representatives in government should be concerned. When lawmakers aren’t even willing to re-word a statement dropped blindly into their hands, something is amiss. Recent events only further underscore the disturbing amount of influence corporations wield in the U.S. Bailouts went to corporations first and not to the desperate homeowners, unemployed, and scuffling middle class. Employees of Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup received the swine flu vaccine before millions of New Yorkers. Despite the 100,000 lives lost from medical-hospital negligence per year and the World Health Organization rating U.S. health care the 37th best worldwide, privatized health care is championed and defended here because the lobby has the dollars to fight. And fight they will. “Town hall” meetings, planted with representatives of the corporate lobby, will continue to create the illusion that the masses disapprove of more affordable and universal health care. “Centrist” senators like Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota will continue to oppose a public option even though industrialized capitalist nations around the world offer this same option. They will continue to paint it as a radical plan for something called “socialized medicine.” Conrad and other lawmakers are increasingly thinking with their wallets, not brains. Lobbyists and politicians often trade places. Before becoming vice president, Dick Cheney was a member of the oil lobby. These two groups of people are interwoven and, as evidenced by the Genetech revelation, speak as one. When money becomes the impetus of policy decisions and good sense is thrown to the curb, we have a stagnating, ineffective government. We have the wealthiest nation in the world with the 37th best health care system in the world.

The Stony Brook Press

features
ucation Arne Duncan says, “We’re looking to drive reform, reward excellence and dramatically improve our nation’s schools.” Like any good reality TV show, the judges have a select set of criteria for determining who will be crowned the winner. The goals have been set as reaching “internationally benchmarked standards,” in preparation for careers, training better teachers, creating better methods for tracking students’ grades using computers, and generally improving the performance of schools where marks have traditionally been low. The deadline for the first round of entrants is the end of 2009, with prizes being distributed in the beginning of 2010. The goals remain the same for the second round (unfortunately not dubbed Season Two) that has already been planned for June. Duncan stresses that this gives states “plenty of time to learn from the first-round winners, change laws where necessary, build partnerships with all key stakeholders and advance bold and creative reforms.” The program also allocates $350 million to provide for new tests that are standardized across the country, an effort the White House hopes will limit the differences between states’ education systems. Additionally, thanks to the FY 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, even more grant money will be distributed through other programs. These include $297 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund, $315 million for the expansion of grade tracking programs, and $3.5 billion to help the lowest performing schools across the country. Even more money is being distributed for improvements like technology. Here at Stony Brook, there are mixed feelings about this plan. “I think producing an extra incentive for educational institutions is a good idea, but incentives seem to work better on smaller scales; the state level is too large. Perhaps applying them at the institutional level would be better” said freshman Rafael Lizaralde. Writing professor Patrizia Benolich expressed different doubts, but doubts nonetheless. Her problem stemmed in part from the sense of competition. “It’s too much like business,” she protested. “Business has no place in education.” However, the feeling that money needs to be given to education is widespread on campus. Whatever Obama is doing is certainly better than doing nothing, but the question of whether or not this is the best way is still prevalent. Nevertheless, both winners and losers will see what happens when the decision is made next year. Chances are it will still attract less press than the finale of American Idol.

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Big O Wants You At the Top
By Evan Goldaper
These days, America has plenty of problems. We have a terrible economy, terrible health care, terrible ecology, and terrible war troubles. One issue that has been plaguing America for years though is our educational system. Other countries race ahead of us, especially in math and science, and many feel the educational system does not properly prepare students for a career. But with all of these other problems hurting the nation, how can Obama possibly get states to start thinking about education? Pretty much the same way Fox got Americans excited about singing, CBS got Americans thrilled about deserted islands, and NBC got Americans to love eating gross bugs and worms. Complete with a cheesy name and a competitive bent, the Department of Education has set up a brand new plan that bears a slight resemblance to reality TV. Obama’s new education plan, called the Race to the Top (or the less catchy State Incentive Grant Fund), challenges each state to make creative improvements to their education systems. Whichever states make the best changes win a portion of $4.35 billion in grant money. The tagline? As Secretary of Ed-

Terrorists, Not Criminals
September 11, 2001 was one of the worst days in American history. Almost 3,000 innocent people lost their lives in the heinous acts that were carried out by Daniel members of Al-Qaeda. I Murray know that you most likely already knew this, but sometimes it seems as though people forget. The Obama administration can’t seem to wrap its head around the fact that these were terrorist acts and not criminal acts. Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to call what were doing over in Iraq and Afghanistan the “War on Terror”. He claims that what happened at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in the field in Pennsylvania was a man-made disaster. He can’t seem to understand the concept of terrorism, and he may be putting the country in danger. Now he’s bringing five of these men, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind to New York so that they can get a fair trial. Are you kidding me? Were the innocent people who lost their lives on September 11 given a fair chance to live? No, they weren’t, and it’s sickening to realize that these five terrorists, especially Mohammed, will use the courtroom as a way to mock America. The scary part of this all is that there is a chance that they could be released, because a few of them were tortured for information. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded numerous times in order for Americans to find out pertinent information about terrorists and to keep American lives safe. Is that a crime? I’ll let you decide. Also, once the trial begins, American secrets about the “War on Terror” will have to be released to the five being held, and may become public knowledge, and that will only serve to help the terrorists around the world. We all know that the Obama administration wants to distance themselves as far as possible from the Bush administration. They’ve shown this by attempting to close down Guantanamo Bay, by refusing to call this the “War on Terror”, and by going after the C.I.A., which may have used torture techniques to obtain vital information. What this may turn into is a trial of the Bush administration, even though President Bush and his advisors kept America safe over the past eight years. The Obama administration needs to realize that these people are terrorists. What they did on that horrible day was an act of terrorism. They are not criminals, they are terrorists. They were arrested for war crimes, and were arrested outside of the United States. It’s not like they committed a robbery at the local convenience store. The proper way to handle these terrorists is a standard military tribunal. That is how America, and the world, handles acts of war against their country. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham summed it up best during the hearing on whether or not these terrorists should be brought to America to face trial. He repeatedly questioned Holder on what he would do if Osama Bin Laden was caught today. Graham asked, “Would you try him? Why would you take him someplace different than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Would you read him his Miranda Rights?” Holder didn’t have much of a response, but said, “Bin Laden is an interesting case, in that he’s already been indicted in federal court. We have cases against him.” This is a huge mistake that the Obama administration is making. Just imagine the families who lost loved ones that day, and how it must make them feel to know that these terrorists will be getting a trial here in New York.

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Features

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

A Plan For A Dream
By Amanda Douville
Imagine going through 14 years of your life as a pre-college student. You work as hard as you can in the hopes of getting into the college of your dreams in order to receive an education that will one day unfold into a successful career. Now imagine taking the same steps, working just as hard for just as long only to find out one day that your hopes and dreams of higher education are almost impossible. To Monica, this is her reality. Monica is your average 17-year-old teenage girl. She attends high school, visits the mall frequently with friends, and has a boyfriend she hopes to marry someday. You would never be able to tell that she is any different from anyone else. But in actuality she is an undocumented student, an illegal immigrant that has spent her entire life in the U.S. Monica is amongst the nearly two million undocumented students currently living in the United States today. She and four other students were featured in a presentation of the movie Papers, the untold story about undocumented youth and the situations and circumstances they face every day. The Social Justice Alliance in affiliation with Long Island Jobs with Justice held a pre-screening of the film here on campus. The goal of the film is simple: to inform those unaware of these problems, while also giving hope and inspiring those who are faced with this issue. Each of the featured students came from different countries and faced different hardships. The one thing they did share was the fear and paranoia of deportation, along with the struggle of continuing their education after high school. All five students of the film, as well as most undocumented youth in the United States, came to this country under two common circumstances: they are either brought here by their parents unknowingly at a very young age or they flee their country of origin due to adverse conditions. Regardless of their situation, background or status, they are all nonetheless illegal citizens. However, their immigration status and whether or not they are able to obtain citizenship will determine their chances not only to pursue higher education but also to prosper in this country. Like Monica, undocumented students are everywhere and blend in with everybody else. Nicholas Montanez, a Stony Brook junior, is just like you or me, the only difference being his citicouraging side to the story, many students go down a different path when faced with these struggles. Another featured student talked about giving up and joining a gang when told about his citizenship status. A lot of students lose motivation to do well in high school once they find out that their chances of attending college are slim to none. “[Underclassmen] are not as affected as you see with juniors and seniors because of the question of what they’re going to do afterward,” Montanez said when asked about his personal experiences with the subject. “Those questions matter a lot.” And in fact they do. Not only are many people standing up for and supporting immigrant rights—various programs and efforts are also on the rise. Many social justice organizations offer scholarships and opportunities for undocumented students struggling financially. Long Island Jobs with Justice is an organization that supports the rights and justice for all workers regardless of citizenship. Charlene Obernauer, an organizer for LIJWJ, talks of opportunities for these struggling students. “We started a scholarship program both to highlight the struggles that undocumented students go through and also to highlight the DREAM act.” Applications for this scholarship covered a table in the back during the presentation. Now what exactly is the DREAM Act? DREAM stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. The act, introduced in the Senate on March 26, 2009, will do basically two things. One would be granting immigrant youth a temporary citizenship where they will be eligible to attend two years of college or military service. If completed successfully, immigrants will be granted a full citizenship in due time. It would also get rid of laws that prohibit in-state tuition for immigrants. For undocumented students this would be a miracle, to say the least. “A lot of people would be affected by it,” Montanez said. The DREAM act is certainly something to keep an ear open for. “It set on the Obama Administration’s radar to be attributed in 2010,” Obernauer said. Immigration is said to be the next thing dealt with after the health care issue gets resolved. And there’s no doubt that the DREAM act won’t be looked at and decided on during this discussion. “It’s going to be a really big fight.” A big fight but one that can change the lives of millions.

zenship status. Having emigrated from Colombia as a child, he is currently awaiting his immigration papers to officially be an American citizen. “It’s different for a lot of people; little things make a big difference,” Montanez said regarding his opinion on immigration and legal status. If it wasn’t for his pending papers, his admittance to SBU might never have been granted. Regardless of state or legal status, the decision of acceptance is solely up to the school. In certain states, mainly along the west coast, it is against the law to deny illegal immigrants in-state tuition. Others, like South Carolina, ban illegal immigrants from attending schools that receive state funding. High school, however, is a different story. As illegal immigrants, these children are allowed to attend high school in any state they desire. It is actually illegal for a school district to deny admittance to an illegal youth. A case in 1975, better known as Plyler vs. Doe, was

brought to the Supreme Court by Texas officials who were against the funding of public education for undocumented students. The law, eventually passed in 1982, made it illegal for states to deny funding for education for illegal children. Although many argued against the decision, the court reinforced the fact that many of these children are brought to this country unknowingly or unwillingly, and pleaded that it was a clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Not only that, but without education, these children will likely grow up to add to unemployment and welfare costs, as well as the crime and poverty ratio. Yo, a student featured in film, recalls being denied acceptance to every school he applied to despite graduating at the top of his class and taking numerous AP courses. After countless rounds of resubmitting his applications, Yo was eventually accepted into college. Although Yo demonstrates the en-

Meynardo Garcia

The Stony Brook Press

Features

9

Paterson Destroys School Forever
By Ross Barkan
Gov. David A. Paterson took the rare step of addressing a joint session of the Legislature during its traditional offseason, underscoring the need for deep cutbacks to the state budget. Gov. Paterson’s plan—already approved by lawmakers—will effectively cut school from the State University of New York (SUNY) budget. Stony Brook University, a flagship university of the SUNY system, is serving as a testing ground for the budget measures by phasing out education from the university. Beginning in February 2010, all classes will be cut from the Stony Brook course bulletin. Nothing will replace them. “It’s a real shame, you know,” said philosophy professor Hymland Dinkins, one of every single Stony Brook professor who will no longer have a job. “It’s gonna be tough having a philosophy department, or any department really, without classes. But what are you going to do? The economy’s rough.” After the decision to cut school became final, Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley immediately took additional cost-cutting measures. He began closing down every eating establishment on campus, turning off electricity, and converting the Melville Library into a hotel complex for eccentric and independently-wealthy big-game hunters. In addition, the bookstore was immediately burned down to earn the school insurance money. “We have to do what it takes to ensure Stony Brook is in sound financial shape,” said President Stanley, draped in a cape cobbled together with the hopes and dreams of every student. “Though there won’t be as many electives next semester—or any electives for that matter—we are encouraging students to take winter and summer courses to meet any major requirements they are having trouble meeting.” President Stanley later announced all summer school year. I might literally die. Plus, I sorta miss class, ‘cause I could look at “big tit” Stabler’s (freshman Margaret Stabler) big tits.” Though classes are gone for the foreseeable future, President Stanley has proposed alternative educational methods to ensure Stony Brook doesn’t slip in the U.S. World & News college rankings. He is encouraging students to “read more books with big words” and “watch arty films or something.” Rather than play Call of Duty 2 nine hours a day, President Stanly suggests “five to six hours of mayhem.” In order to supplement the lack of science and mathematics being taught, President Stanley has urged students to smoke more weed. “It stimulates the something or other in the brain, I think. They can see all sorts of metaphysical shit,” he said. Educational psychologist Lauren Obberman agrees. While she understands why “traditionalists” would be upset with the demise of school, she believes that alternative, cost saving measures are the right way to go. “They made the right decision to cut the SUNY budget completely,” said Obberman. “Research shows that most college students barely care about college anyway and spend most of their time trying to score chicks, chug 40s as fast as possible, smoke marijuana, and half-assedly read novels to add a sad amount of intellectual depth to their lives. College students will be better off digging holes and sleeping inside of them until they hit their mid 20’s. Wet holes build character.” Gov. David Paterson expressed no regrets about cutting school from the SUNY budget because he “hadn’t seen any progress anyway. You know, because I’m legally blind. That’s the joke. Get it? I fucking have terrible eyesight. Har, har.”

Go go Gov Pat!

and winter courses would be discontinued. The drastic cuts were met with mixed reactions from the student body. Some students bemoaned the lack of class offerings (zero) for next semester while others celebrated a reprieve from the academic grind. Sophomore Andy Tortelino cheered after the announcement, glad not to take anymore calculus courses. “It’s about time this school did something good,” said Tortelino, while rocketing down an empty hallway on a swivel chair. “Now I can finally realize my dream of masturbating in an empty Javits Lecture Hall.” Other students fretted about the ab-

surd amount of free time. With no classes, every student will have an empty five day a week schedule. This ample amount of partying time terrifies Junior Tim “Party Time” Grubberstein, who now fears for his own life. “I mean it (expletive deleted) rules that there won’t be any annoying classes next semester,” said Grubberstein. “But I already party hard on thirsty Thursdays, ferocious Fridays, sick Saturdays, and beer Sundays. I need like a day or two to recover and sometimes go to lectures. Now, I can basically drink beer out of little red cups and tag myself in drunken Facebook photo albums called “Party All The Time” or “College Rulez” every single day until the end of the

arts & entertainment
By Alex H. Nagler
The Charles B. Wang Center’s night of comedy, “Yes Arabs Can” put on a show of “brown” comedy that was meant to entertain both those similarly situated and those who were, to quote the comics, “the token white folks in the audience.” The show was comprised of three comics, Saad Sarwana, Maysoon Zayid, and Dean Obeidallah. They were there to prove that Arabic comics have their own voice and should be listened to. And to make us laugh. They succeeded on both counts. Saad Sarwana served as the opener. Saad, a native Pakistani, is a graduate of Stony Brook with a masters in Superconductivity. Physicist by day, he’s a comic by night, noting that as a male Pakistani who came to the United States on a student visa to study physics, he’s suddenly considered to be dangerous. And with that gift comes the ability just to stand there and look suspicious enough to freak people out, despite the fact that, given his research, “he’s as dangerous as Pikachu.” His best bits may have come at the expense of Stony Brook, pulling out the manual given to foreign-born students who are being thrust into the position of Graduate Assistant. Among other Saad Sarwana things, this manual details English phrases and how to use them, or, in the more comical situations, when not perman and Lex Luthor—are not that to. different. This evening was the equivaMaysoon Zayid was next. A Pales- lent of the part in the movie where the tinian woman with cerebral palsy, she champions of the opposing sides realize detailed the trials and tribulations of they’re essentially the same. Humor is both and the difficulty of finding a fi- one of those forces that makes people ancé. Eventually she found one; a Palestinian man who had been arrested in Israel on numerous occasions. This was a man, she mused, who could point to various scars on his head and go “First Intifada, 1997, 1999, Second Intifada” and yet was scared to death of rats. It was at this point that something began to become evident: brown jokes and Jew jokes, though possibly ideologically opposite in their nature—like Su-

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Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

We’re Not So Different, You and I
look inside of themselves and realize that they’re all just people, even if they are physically divided by a massive wall. The third comic, Dean Obeidallah, had the most interesting personal story. He is half Palestinian, half Sicilian. He looks white. A former lawyer, he started his comic career doing clearance work for Saturday Night Live and managed to write some jokes for Weekend Update. His jokes dealt with the fact that up until September 11, he was an observer to the Arabic world, but after that day, he chose to become a part of it. He also blamed the Mets most recent catastrophic season on Al Qaeda. Following the sets, there was a question and answer session where the first question was simply, “What does ‘brown’ mean?” Those assembled took it to be a term of endearment; a word that, when used properly, signifies that those to whom it applies are part of a mutual struggle and should be empowered by it. Obeidallah noted that, to him, Brown was something he had to find out, as he was someone who could “pass” for white, but chose instead to fully immerse himself in his father’s culture. One of the more interesting questions came from an audience member as to the relation between the brown comedians and predominantly Jewish audiences. From their experiences, older Jews see the situation Arabs are going through as reminiscent of their own during the days when Jewish businessmen would travel under assumed names in order to appear non-Jewish. Sarwara joked that he loved playing temples because the food was always kosher. As an observant Muslim, this was fine by him because it was close enough to halal. Zayid chimed in that they’re not normally booked by organizations that are anti-

Maysoon Zayid

Palestine, and that progressive Jews love their sets. They also admitted that a good deal of all modern comedy shtick comes from the Borscht Belt and Jewish comedians. The evening ended with a call for peace on all sides and a rattling off of charities to donate to and organizations to get involved with. The comics assembled urged the college students in the audience to become active, noting that this may be the only time in their lives they can spend time on a cause.

A Review of What I See In My Room
By Henry Schiller
commisioned by Ross Barkan The television is not even on. Ross (who sits on my roommate’s bed) laughs, his voice rings across the far wall like in hollow tin, and I resent him secretly. I slam my hand down on the radiator and find that this angers me too. To begin with what is visible of the living room: the couch extends from behind the doorframe and a sliver of refrigerator is visible between the two (couch and doorframe). It is not necessarily an unpleasant view – it is not necessarily offensive – there is something to it that I find very redundant, of other, older views of a similar nature. I don’t count myself as an elitist when it comes to views of rooms (and partial views of living rooms), but there is certainly nothing about this one (at least in terms of what lies beyond the periphery of the doorframe) that strikes me as particularly unique. Coming closer to the bed (my side of the doorframe) one finds a greater number of points of interest, and this is where the view most readily succeeds. My ocular panorama is most accessible either at the closet (fully visible) or the television (visible from the side), which juts out into the doorframe; though I suppose where the view succeeds most is the small collection of books above the desk. From my bed corner seat, one could spend up to a half of an hour guessing at the titles and authors of these books, as the full spines are not fully visible. The cover of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is almost fully visible from the bed corner, but the chances of this being the cornerstone of any lengthy conversation are small. Ross has at this point left; admittedly, he has taken any hope of intellectual pleasure with him. As stated before, I do not count myself as an elitist in these matters, and I am content to give myself up to the lowbrow pleasures of my now empty room. I recline and the television tries to orbit in typical halfassed fashion, around the music stand being used as a table. I find that if I blink my eyes fast enough for several consecutive minutes I can give myself a small seizure. 7.5/10 A review of this review: I am told it is not funny enough. 4.0/10

The Stony Brook Press

arts & entertainment David without Goliath
A Review of These Shining Lives
ing the strong. A woman battles the sexist system, an individual against the corporate giants. The David and Goliath story is one of literature’s favorite themes. The image of David walking down the valley of Elah, as it is described in the book of Samuel, while swinging his slingshot, is a storytelling favorite. One can guess why such a story would be compelling nowadays. With the general public’s outrage against Wall Street’s behavior, a individual versus corporation story would seem fitting. As private interests threaten to shape public legislation These Shining Lives seems to touch on an area of contemporary anxiety: the fear of the individual being oppressed by powerful system. However, the play is weak when it comes to portraying the villians that make such a story so compelling. The villains in the story are either nowhere to be seen or lack sufficient nuance. Take the first half of the play, where Catherine and Tom argue about her wanting to pursue a career. Tom is portrayed as a simple-minded young chap who is horrified at the prospect of having to cook dinner. Later, when Catherine tells him about the news that the radium she works with is potentially harmful, he is surprised that she thought that a job she gets paid for would be safe. After all, he claims, “This is why people like them pay people like us. It’s called work.” Tom is portrayed as indifferent to her struggle and is easily appeased by a box of chocolate. Tom’s character seems like it was taken straight out of a 1970’s feminist pamphlet. At one point Tom says to Catherine, “Your coming home late is not like my coming home late.” While this quote might be what went through many men’s minds at the time (and even today), it fails to convey the enormity of the challenge that accompanied the shift of women into the workplace. What women in the 1930’s were up against wasn’t just basic preconceptions about gender roles. What was challenging was a social structure designed around the assumption that a women’s place is in her home. A woman in the 1930’s didn’t just have to struggle with her husband’s sense of masculinity or femininity; working against her was a social paradigm that “demanded” her to comply with a larger plan. Yet, in These Shining Lives the counter argument to the women’s quest for independence, “the masculine beast,” is presented by a meek man lost in a Kafkaesque world who possesses little complexity. He is a figure few people would find threatening, let alone identify with. Catherine’s husband Tom is a man easily dismissed as simply insecure and unaware. When the story turns to the struggle of Catherine against her company, the company is represented in the play by a supervisor named Rufus Reid. While we don’t learn much about Reid in the play David’s act, but from the contrast between the reputation of Goliath and the status of David amongst his people. Without the image of a giant powerful Goliath, David appears to be little more than a slingshot swinging school boy playing in the valley of Elah. It is the towering frightening figure of Goliath that makes David’s character so appealing. With its villains reduced to simple minded inarticulate beings, the environment that the characters in These Shining Lives find themselves in appears to be significantly less threatening and even a bit friendly. If there is a lesson to be learned from this play, it is that if the feminist and social rhetoric want to remain viable in today’s age, portraying their opponents as simpletons runs the risk of relegating the discussion to the archives of irrelevance. David is only David so long as there is a Goliath he is up against, and the more people realize how much Goliath isn’t really the giant he pretends to be, the less there is a need for a David. If the Hebrews were to pretend that Goliath is no giant, a person of lesser strength than David would have taken to the valley and the story might have had a different ending. It is only through the acknowledgment of Goliath’s power that the story called for David to take on the giant. Likewise, only an acknowledgment of the complexity of our social injustices will call for the continued discussion and need to counter it. In issues of gender, the same thing holds true. Sometimes by simplifying and downplaying the opposite side, the argument seems so simple as not to need any mentioning or internalizing. The story of Catherine Donohue would be much more important if we got to see what giant she had to take on. We identify with the David and Goliath story not because we know what it is like to be a hero like David; we identify with the story because we can feel what it is like to stand in front of Goliath and be afraid. If for just one moment in These Shining Lives, we were to be challenged by the views of one of Catherine’s opponents, just her struggle would have resonated much more. In the absence of that, Catherine appears as a mere princess in a fairytale she claims never to have taken part in.

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By Samuel Katz
“My story is not a fairy tale, though it begins like one, it’s not a tragedy, though it ends like one.” This is how Catherine Donohue, the heroine of Melanie Marnich’s play These Shining Lives begins her story. These Shining Lives, which was produced by the Stony Brook Theater Department at the Staller Center, is a play situated in the 1920s and 1930s. The story chronicles the lives of women who began working in factories that used radium in their products. As news of the dangerous effects of radium became known, the companies denied the danger and had their workers exposed to what they knew where harmful conditions. The employees eventually sued the company. By then it was already too late, and many of them were dead or dying from the lethal chemical. The story is told through the eyes of Catherine Donohue, a young and energetic woman happily married with two children. Donohue wants to go to work at a local watch factory to help out with the family finances. Tom, her husband, doesn’t like the idea. Catherine tells him that she will quit once the money is no longer needed. As Catherine begins to develop strong bonds with the other women in the factory, she discovers the world outside her kitchen. Catherine starts to hang out with the other women of the factory while leaving her kids to the care of their grandmother. And as her life begins to seem more and more like the kind that would make Betty Friedan proud, her husband Tom certainly isn’t. Catherine calms her angry husband by bribing him with a box of chocolate, which he gobbles up like kid in a candy store. With that problem out of the way, the play’s focus shifts to the new villain: corporate CEOs. As news of the danger of the radium used in the factory becomes known, Catherine begins to feel weaker. While the company doctor tells her that it’s OK, Catherine learns that the effects of the radium are irreversible and she only has a limited amount of time left to live. With her body degenerating, Catherine begins a legal battle against the company. Catherine wins the case, yet her body is not something she can get back. In a slow and heavily stylized scene, Catherine slowly dies alongside her grieving husband. The story attempts to follow a David and Goliath plotline with the weak fight-

he seems like a simple and ambitious man trying to climb the corporate ladder by impressing his superiors. The play points a finger at Reid after Catherine dies when her husband Tom tells him “Every morning I wake up I want to kill Rufus Reid.” Yet it is hard to tell what Reid did wrong. He always appears to be saying something his superiors told him to say. Reid appears to be way more lost than the workers he supervises. Even during the court case for the lawsuit against the company we don’t see a prosecutor. All we get to hear is Catherine’s testimony, which while painful and sad leaves you wondering who you should be angry at. Reid, like Tom, seems like a weak and lost person, with too little power to be called evil. These Shining Lives is a story that in its attempt to glorify its hero undermines the enemy it is up against. As a result, the heroism of its protagonist is underscored. The David and Goliath narrative gets its appeal not just from its portrayal of

12 Arts & Entertainment

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

AFI: is Past Weekend
by Kenny Mahoney

When I told our Executive EditorIn-Chief Andrew Fraley that I had seen AFI this past weekend, he responded with, “Isn’t that the band that sang that song ‘I like girls that wear Abercrombie & Fitch?’” No, Andrew, that was LFO, a crappy boyband from the mid-nineties. AFI is a punk band from the early nineties turned slightly-less-punk band who recently released their new album, Crash Love. Like most bands, with a new album comes a new tour, and seeing as my girlfriend is absolutely in love with AFI and they very rarely tour, we went to see them on Friday the 13th at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. I first heard about the band back in 2001 while playing Tony Hawk’s Pro

Skater 3, and their song “The Boy Who Destroyed The World” was one of my favorites on the soundtrack. Skip ahead to 2003 when they released Sing The Sorrow, the album that launched them into mainstream popularity, which is when I began listening to them extensively. Three years later they released Decemberunderground, and have remained quiet until the release of their latest album, Crash Love in late September. The opening band was a British punk band by the name of Gallows. They put on a pretty good show, lots of yelling, lots of power-chords, pretty standard fare. What really stood out most about their performance was that the lead singer spent 90% of their set

singing from the audience. After the first song he just jumped off the stage and never looked back. He spent most of his time inciting mosh pits and a few pretty respectable circle pits. Unfortunately, he was using a corded microphone, so every now and again you had to duck as a mic cable whizzed over the top of your head. After Gallows was finished, AFI took the stage. Lead singer Davey Havok looked like an effeminate Elvis Presley, donning an all-white glittercovered suit complete pompadour haircut. To my dismay, they only played two songs from their “punk days,” one off of 1995’s vinyl edition of Very Proud Of Ya called “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing”, and another from Shut

Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes called “Triple Zero.” The rest of the songs were a mix between their three latest albums. They also played an iTunes exclusive song from Decemberunderground entitled “On The Arrow.” The sound quality of the performance was inhuman; you would have sworn you were listening to the studio recordings if it wasn’t for guitarist Jade Puget’s minor slip-up during “Medicate.” Havok’s vocals were truly astonishing, and his ability to go from all-out screaming to a soft vocal melody is one of the many reasons the band is still popular today. Now here’s my chance to sound like way more of a badass than I am in real life. About halfway through AFI’s set I noticed a man pushing his way through the crowd, doubled-over and groaning. At first I thought that he needed medical attention, and I asked him if he was alright. He responded with slurred speech, “I jus wanna jump off the front of the stage, brah.” “Fine,” I told him, “but you’re going to have to go behind me.” Like hell was I letting this guy smash his elbows into my girlfriend and screw up my place in the front of the crowd. The incessant pushing continued for about another minute until the other people in the immediate vicinity grew tired of his antics. They called for security, and as they guards began to grab him from over the barricade they shouted “grab his legs!” so that he would make it over the barricade. I then reached down and grabbed him by the ankles and began to lift. At this point he began to flail wildly, ripping at my shirt, knocking off my glasses and landing a punch on my right eye. I was eventually able to toss him over the barricade and he was hauled away by the security guards. Everyone around congratulated me, and I was given many high-fives and thumbs-up from my neighboring concert-goers. And for the next few minutes, the pressure of the crowd pushing on me was relieved, almost as if everyone in the audience had a newfound respect for the tall, dorky guy with glasses. All in all, it was the experience of going to a punk show without the intention of seeing a punk band. Maybe AFI has lost some of their punk credibility after making it in the mainstream, but that doesn’t mean they don’t put on one hell of a good show. Here’s to hoping I don’t have to wait for another new album to see them again.

The Stony Brook Press

Arts & Entertainment

13

Minus The Bear: The Crazy Donkey
by Nick Statt
It’s not very often you get to attend a concert at Farmingdale’s Crazy Donkey venue without fearing for your life or having to prepare yourself to see people beat the living hell out of each other. But on Sunday, November 15, Minus the Bear and supporting act As Tall as Lions rolled through to present indie kids everywhere a chance to see what the inside of the Crazy Donkey actually looks like…oh and enjoy some music too. Whether it was some purposeful joke or just a wild coincidence, the opener for the two main acts also had an animal in their name. Before starting the show, the venue proceeded to blast house music from their speakers until the curtains opened up. Twin Tigers from Georgia played a thirty minute set that started at roughly 8:15 PM, despite the venue opening their doors nearly an hour before. Despite that annoyance, Twin Tigers were actually pretty solid. Their sound set-up was plagued by an inability to hear the lead singer’s guitar and an annoying reverb effect on his mic. That left much of the crowd turned off, but it was easy to see they were a talented group that could have fit right in at a cheap Brooklyn venue. As Tall as Lions, who hail from Long Island, played a rather amazing set. Having never seen them live before, I was shocked at both their appearance and incorporation of different musical styles that’s utterly absent on their studio work. For one, their albums are characterized by all the traditional indie elements – fast, hihat-heavy drum beats, melodic guitar with a number of effects thrown in, and lulling vocals that reach a crescendo during the chorus. However, the group got on stage, all donning suits, and began with a straight jazz jam. They had one of their keyboardists soloing on the trumpet and their bassist wiggled up and down the stage like he was purposefully making fun of the 1950s. Either way, it was awesome. So was the rest of the set. The whole band was having a blast during their unfortunately short stay and it radiated from the stage. Although they played a set that was equal in length to the much lesser known Twin Tigers, they had the whole crowd reverberating with applause and cheers. Finally, at roughly 9:30 PM Minus the Bear took the stage. Following almost a year long break with some scattered shows here and there, the Seattle five-piece emerged from the studio with their fourth LP recorded. They decided to plan a fall tour that skipped over the big cities and focused on smaller venues, which brought them to the Crazy Donkey. When you listen to a band like Minus the Bear, you have to wonder if they can pull off all of the musical prowess and complexity that goes into their studio work. Lead guitarist Dave Knudson and lead singer/rhythm guitarist Jake Snyder are known for incorporating pedal boards so vast that it’s almost comical to think they actually use them all until you see them live. It turns out they can actually replicate their songs beautifully and with every single element working at full force thanks to the array of looping and sound manipulating pedals. In between songs, Knudson will swell his volume down and record a looped backing track to be played over his and Snyder’s leads and keyboardist Alex Roze utilizes a number of pedals and even a Mac laptop to assist the guitarists. It was an astounding spectacle to watch them play one of their best songs of the night, “The Fix,” which involved both guitarists utilizing a Line 6 DL-4 pedal to speed up and harmonize an intro solely with the rhythmic stepping of their feet. As always, Knudson’s signature two-hand tapping guitar techniques and Snyder’s ability to sing and play complex rhythm parts were delights to both musicians and fans.

Because they were the headliners, Minus the Bear played a fulfilling twohour set with a good number of brand new songs from their unreleased album. They even came back for two extra tracks when the crowd chanted, “One more song” for a seemingly-long two minutes. As to be expected, the show was littered with some exciting Crazy Donkey moments. An overweight guy who had way too much to drink pushed his way to the front and apparently got right in the way of an extremely diehard fan’s girlfriend. Little did he know that this would quickly turn into a pushing fest. As myself and a few of the people around me tried to diffuse the situation, a borderline psycho security guard with a shaved head hopped down from the box he was standing on to drag the drunk man away. According to the re-

ports of several of the people near the back, this man was dragged outside where he proceeded to try and fight two of the security guards. The guards fought back, far too aggressively of course, and members of the band As Tall As Lions actually got involved. You gotta love the Crazy Donkey. If you’ve never heard As Tall as Lions or Minus The Bear, treat yourself to some highly satisfying music that will push your boundaries. If given the opportunity to see either of them live, especially given the circumstances of the absurdly cheap show that just passed, do so for the sure fact that both bands are simply amazing on stage. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to seem them in a place that regularly holds blood-onyour-shirt death metal.

14 Arts & Entertainment

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

Why You Shouldn’t Hate Pop Punk
By Andy Polhamus
In the years following 1977, the bands that didn’t collapse in on themselves after punk broke were forced to change direction. The revolution never got off the ground, and barely a year after The Sex Pistols released Never Mind the Bollocks, most serious music fans considered the entire genre dead. By the 1980s, the only bands left were those who had done something different. This shift occurred in two different directions. The birth of hardcore came with the rise of bands like Agent Orange and Minor Threat; these musicians played an angrier, faster, more focused form of punk. On the other side of this revolution-within-a-revolution was the first incarnation of pop punk, which took its roots from The Ramones and continued with bands like The Descendents. Nowadays, the names of both subgenres have been sullied: hardcore has largely degenerated into skinny guys with straightened hair and eyeliner, playing super heavy (and super awful) faux-metal songs. Newer pop punk bands wear the same clothes, but have shifted their attention to nasal whining and drum machine driven interludes. This has unfortunately led to many casual music fans to eschew “punk” altogether, with legions more misinterpreting this trend as their only option in contemporary punk. But fear not, would-be punk rockers. Put down that Underoath shirt and start going to shows in basements again because I’ve picked out three recent punk albums that will renew your faith and get you throwing up all over your Doc Martens once again. Teenage Bottlerocket - They Came from the Shadows just the sweaty, dirty sounds of bands like Screeching Weasel and The Queers, bringing back the sound that prepared the world for Green Day and Blink-182. The Steinways - Gorilla Marketing lead on two of the sixteen tracks, but it’s difficult to convey just how much the listener should avoid these. All the same, the entire rest of the album is a spectacular glimpse into the life of an endearing, stoned 24-year-old loser. We Are the Union-Who We Are

Ninety-nine percent of the time, bands who write to a formula are written off as predictable, bland, and generally shitty. This is most noticeable in the new school of hardcore: intro, annoying melodic verse, growled chorus, breakdown, verse, etc. Another dozen or so prime examples include all those horrible bands on your local “alternative” station that are sixteen years late for grunge: vaguely bluesy guitar riff, attempted Eddie Vedder vocals, acoustic bridge, rinse, repeat. But what happens when a band comes along who finds a formula that works every single time? This is exactly what four chord pop punkers Teenage Bottlerocket have been doing for years, and their newest release, They Came from the Shadows, proves once again that the formula that made The Ramones great holds true even today. These Laramie, Wyoming natives play short, fast, unabashedly catchy songs that break away from the current crop of pop punkers; each of these two minute denim clad tunes are punk songs influenced by pop, not pop songs influenced by punk. You’ll find no chin length blonde hair or ironic pink tshirts on They Came from the Shadows,

The Steinways’ Gorilla Marketing is a slightly cuter take on the traditional pop punk sound, but this does not in any way detract from their appeal. Each song ranges from about fifty seconds to two minutes, and the singer’s high voice is pleasantly raspy. Lyrical content ranges from slightly immature to blatantly juvenile, as seen in lines like “In other words, I’m jealous of guys to get to have sex with really really really hot girls” and “I’m feeling all emo since I ran out of weed,” which makes this a perfect listen for fans of skater bands of the late nineties. Except, of course, that The Steinways don’t suck. One of the only downsides to this sweeter, more tongue in cheek style is an all-too-common pitfall of pop punk bands. Subpar female vocals was committed by The Bouncing Souls, and it’s been committed by a thousand ska bands looking for a way to stand out. Thankfully, these mediocre tracks are few and far between. The token girl in the band (a bassist of course) only sings

This Michigan based ska punk band plays horn-driven anthems over 80’s hardcore percussion. This blend forms a nicely familiar hybrid between Lifetime and Less Than Jake. While it may seem strange that they’ve been lumped into this article, the nature of their debut album, Who We Are, reveals an independent sensibility that could only belong to a full-on punk band. Just like the other two albums mentioned here, this album is loud, fast, and short. But unlike the other two, this album is far more serious in terms of subject matter. Most songs are closely related to the trials and tribulations of being in a hardworking band. Others convey anticorporate and workers’ rights messages. Every chord strummed drives home the conviction and careful optimism of a bunch of guys who care about nothing else. By the time the album comes to a close, you have no choice but to want these guys to succeed.

Don’t Know Why I Didn’t Like This Album
By Kelly Pivarnik
Norah Jones released her fourth album, The Fall, earlier this month to some mixed reviews. The common consensus amongst music fans is that this album is relatively darker and more depressing. In all honesty, the change in Jones’ tone is not that drastic. The listener still finds Jones lovelorn with a jazz piano in the background – the same stylistic lounge music fans have grown to love and expect. In it’s entirety, the album is decent, but nothing to get too excited about. There are a few standouts including “Back to Manhattan,” which was also featured in the MTV reality show The City. The song allegedly chronicles Jones’s break up with her former bassist Lee Alexander. The lyrics essentially reveal a love affair, in which Jones leaves her male paramour to go back to her boyfriend and life in Manhattan. The lyrics are not incredibly profound, but sweet and honest nonetheless. “Brooklyn holds you /and holds my heart too /What a fool I was to think /I could live in both worlds.” The sincerity is clear in her voice, and that is what really makes the lyrics meaningful to the listener. “You’ve Ruined Me,” actually lives up to it’s ambitious song title, delivering an image of someone remaining both strong and nostalgic in the midst of a break up. The music is fairly upbeat, contrasting the sadcore lyrics like, “You ruined me now, though I liked it, now I’m ruined/Your child-lit eyes like buttons of lies.” This song does stray a little bit from Jones’s usual lyrical style, using poetic metaphors. Before, her songs were more of a depiction of real life accounts. One could argue she is pushing her jazz-pop boundaries in this sense. The album is a good buy for those who are already Norah Jones fans and maybe jazz/folk lovers, but otherwise it’s probably best to put away your wallets and save your money.

The Stony Brook Press

Arts & Entertainment

15

Animal Collective - Fall Be Kind
By Josh Ginsberg
Animal Collective kicked off 2009 by releasing what may have been their most instantly appealing album and what was undoubtedly the most compelling hour-long stretch of music released in over a year. Merriweather Post Pavilion eclipsed other innovative albums in the 2000’s hallowed canon. Merriweather Post Pavilion felt (and still feels) as if it had combined everything great about the past ten years. It’s aural aesthetic was as mesmerizing as it’s cover art. It’s eleven songs were intensely hooky, earnest and fascinating with most of the lyrical matter focused on warm, domestic matters such as fatherhood, brotherhood and tender, monogamous romance. Merriweather flawlessly combined the surreal, experimental aspects of Kid A and Drums Not Dead with the colorful bombast, production and bottom-end of Kala or I Am Sasha Fierce, while owing neither album any real debt and surpassing them both by light years. Almost a year later Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist have thrown together a collection of songs that should feel like a collection of B-sides and weaker cuts and dubbed it Fall Be Kind. The beautiful joke is that Fall Be Kind’s five tracks stand alongside Animal Collective’s best works. Fall Be Kind is easily their best EP and feels deeply cohesive. From the Disney-esque strings that kick off the first track, seems exhausted and urgent for some kind of release. The song ends with shouts for “comfort” over a medieval melody, suggesting where Avey’s thoughts still lie. tentedness is the best one. Also, hearing Phil Lesh sing alongside Tare and Bear is pretty cool. From a glance at iTunes, “Bleeding” would be the pop-track. It is the EP’s stoneresque lyrics punctuate this song, overtly referencing smoking hash to calm himself down. The one song on the EP that seems to be a “Panda song” is “I Think I Can.” Most of the song has a twisted-sounding processed guitar riff and a series of drum tracks that are quintessentially Lennoxian. The guitar is particularly interesting because it is something that was essential to many earlier AC albums and was more or less entirely absent from MPP. Panda seems sorrowful for most of the song, but leads in an especially happy sounding end part. If there’s one thing that Panda Bear always makes good on, it’s a big finish. Songs like “Chores,” “Derek,” and “Brothersport” are all punctuated b∑∑y a final section that blows its preceding movements away. “I Think I Can” runs its course for five minutes as a dark calypso, but finally opens up into a really saccharine melody, in which he assures himself that he will “get to move on soon.” Like all great Panda Bear songs, Panda urges us to do our best and be happy. It is likely that Fall Be Kind is the last we are going to hear from Animal Collective for a while. Their visual album has been in the works for several years and while I hope to see/hear it by 2010, I don’t know that I’ll have the pleasure. It is also worth noting that outside of the Fall Be Kind songs AC, a band notorious for playing exclusively new songs at live shows, hasn’t debuted a new song since the first MPP songs were debuted on the 2007 tour. Either way, Fall Be Kind is a really welcome bookend to a year punctuated by great releases. This won’t be the end of AC or their great records, but for the first time since their career started they are leaving their fans in the dark with respect to the sounds they will come to explore. I just hope that Panda’s final vocals to “I Think I Can” are an indicator that the band will continue to find new paths and “move on” to something as truly transcendent as their past few LPs.

Animal Collective throws out their samplers and buys a Gibson SG and Fuzz Box to excellent results!
“Graze,” to its sad, trickling middleeight and back again to an ebullient pan-flute barn-burner. The course taken during “Graze” alone is more interesting than the trajectories of any previous AC EP. The lyrics are about waking up, “opening up [Avey Tare’s] eyes and letting the light in.” He thinks about “old ideas worth doing” and not being worried until Panda Bear begins to sing a sorrowful melody, which

The logical single of the bunch is the second track, “What Would I Want? Sky,” a song already beloved by fans and famous for featuring the first licensed Grateful Dead sample, despite the fact the song is nearly seven minutes long. By the time the sample kicks in, the song has been building for three minutes on a phenomenally crisp drum loop and ethereal guitar chords that more or less epitomize everything that makes Avey Tare the most important guitarist of the past six years. The song is beefier than it is live, with Panda Bear contributing some vocals and a more nuanced rhythm track. Avey Tare is caring and inquisitive and the hazy innocence of the questions he poses during the verses endears the listeners. He doesn’t exactly tread new lyrical territory as he muses over how to best detach from intellectuality to enter a transcendent state. Again Avey Tare seems concerned with “floating”. The great line, “Then I got on the river, really can’t make it change,” reminds the listener that sometimes a passive path to some sort of enlightenment or con-

shortest song at under four minutes. It opens with an eerie sample, one that evokes the horror movie soundtracks the band has been listening to since their youth. “Bleeding” is very sparse, consisting mostly of Avey and Panda’s spooky vocalizations’, a brooding lowend drone and some sound effects. The song is cinematic and is akin to old Native American music. “On a Highway” is the fourth track and almost as dark as “Bleeding.” It features a disconcerting, jagged guitar that is sort of like “For Reverend Green” but without the sense of searing heat. Panda’s chorus in the song is ominous and eerie, which is a good way to articulate the mood created with this two song stretch of the EP. Avey describes feeling blinded by sunstroke and it is possible to see the song as a response to the busy touring schedule they have taken up in the wake of Merriweather’s success. The members have gone on record many times citing dissatisfaction with touring, which is a prominent theme in the lyrics to songs such as “In The Flowers.” Avey’s particularly

16 Arts & Entertainment

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

Differing Opinions:
It has

Has Call of Duty Gone Too Far?

Nick Statt In a world where anyone can pick up a controller and beat a pedestrian to death, or nonchalantly execute lines of soldiers with bullets to the head, it’s hard to think that any form of video game violence is taboo. But the recent installment in the Call of Duty war series, Modern Warfare 2, has achieved what was thought impossible–exhibiting game play that is controversial enough that even the most desensitized gamers are questioning their virtual actions. When you pop in the game for the first time, developing team Infinity Ward issues a warning message that lets players skip a mission later on the game. It mentions the controversial content, but doesn’t tell you which mission or why exactly it’s been deemed controversial. That’s the best, and only, option they had to keeping the mission out of the hands of children. For anyone who hasn’t played the game yet and wants to preserve the element of surprise, don’t read on. The mission begins with a black screen and the player has to sit through about thirty seconds of rustling bags and ammo clips being stuffed into automatic weapons. The picture flashes into view as elevator doors open and your apparent associate on the left whispers, “Remember, no Russian,” the quote that the mission title derives it’s name from. The player then follows the leader of gang and three other men out into what is quickly recognized as an airport full of civilians. The automatic weapons you’re all holding pop up and the ability to aim and fire becomes available. Then the shocking scene ensues. As a player, you’re allowed to either partake or watch as the group you’re a part of guns down hundreds of civilians in a bloody and upsetting terrorist attack. Your movement is limited to steady walking, meaning you must keep pace with your partners and watch as each one guns down a different set of civilians, taking no preference to whether one is attempting to drag a shot victim to safety or they’re jerking around on the floor with an already life threatening bullet wound. Cops attempt to stop you, but stand no chance against the brute force of your automatics. The whole attack reaches a peak when one of your partners leans over a banister and literally re-enacts the scene from Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards when Eli Roth showered a screaming crowd with gunfire. Then, a sailing grenade leaves an elevator of policemen trapped until they’re either blown out of the glass or die as the elevator crashes to the ground. So some might ask, “Well what’s so bad about this when games like Grand Theft Auto allow the killing of innocent civilians?” Well, prior to the mission’s start, the player is informed that they are taking the role of undercover CIA agent Joseph Allen, or Alexei Borodin to his Russian comrades. He was placed within direct contact to international terrorist Vladimir Makarov. So in a nutshell, you are an American undercover with a Russian terrorist group who has the option to partake in a terrorist attack in a Russian airport. It is this whole setup, and developer Infinity Ward’s

alarmingly realistic and gruesome display, that really makes gamers wonder if this is going too far. Numerous opinion-littered message boards and YouTube comments have amassed around this controversial mission and there is no distinct verdict on whether or not it’s pushing the envelope too far. But the factors are there for anyone, even one who doesn’t play violent video games that often or at all, to assess the content. By making the character an American, the game is putting players in a moral dilemma. If this situation occurred in real life, which is not hard to imagine given the game’s intense realism and heavily researched geo-political back story, gamers are forced to wonder if they would let all these people die for the sake of not blowing their cover. This decision held so much weight in fact that Infinity Ward pulled the mission completely from the Russian version of the game. Essentially, it’s the realism that makes this mission different from the games of the Grand Theft Auto series, which has become the prime defense for supporters of the mission’s inclusion. Now, Grand Theft Auto is realistic all right, but its violence has a comedic demeanor. The civilians in those games don’t really react like they’re experiencing a mass murderer’s wrath. Sure, they run away and scream and yell, but the game never attempts to assess the seriousness of its own capabilities. It’s littered with undermining events like the absurd jokes of the police during gunfights or the blaring fake radio stations that attempt to constantly poke fun at realism. What this means is that you don’t have to be a sadist to enjoy the game’s violent possibilities. In the end, it can just be funny and over the top, which makes it far from real no matter how good the graphics are. The “No Russian” mission, on the other hand, is totally different. You’re most likely a sadist if you find any bit of pleasure in it. The screams of terror from the civilians are chilling and highly uncomfortable, while the graphics engine exemplifies the pools of blood around the dozens of bodies you pass on your smooth walk through the airport. There’s no dismemberment, nor physical scars of any of the bullet wounds. But you can still watch a dying man groan and clench his stomach up against a coffee kiosk before having the option of putting a bullet in his head. One thing is for sure - Call of Duty is at the forefront of realistic war videogames and they haven’t been, and probably won’t ever, be surpassed. Infinity Ward, one of two main developers under the main owner Activision, made huge wakes with the first Modern Warfareinstallment, but downright shattered the barriers of video game taboos with this sequel. The rest of the game features events that are not as gruesome or controversial as “No Russian,” but still leave your jaw on the floor. If you can’t stomach the cinematic scenes of films like Saving Private Ryan, then stay away from a medium that allows you to practically live and breathe in similar environments. No matter how controversial they become, the online buzz and the enormous sales will ensure that stepping over the line is something a video game developer will never say no to.

It hasn’t
Kenny Mahoney Modern Warfare 2 has been on store shelves for a few days by now, and as one of the most anticipated titles of the year, there’s no doubt that many of you have played it. There’s also no doubt that many of you have encountered, or at least heard about, the controversial “airport scene” in which your character and a group of Russian terrorists attack a populated civilian airport. While on some level I can understand the outrage many people have about this scene, there are many points that I feel are being ignored. Modern Warfare 2 has done the exact same thing that films, books, and television have been doing for years. It saddens me to think that through all of the progress video games have made as a form of mainstream media that they’re still viewed as simple toys that can’t address serious issues. I feel that a lot of this stems from the ignorant idea that video games are only for children. This could not be further from the truth. Sure, lots of video games are played by children, but many of the children who grew up with games in the 70s and 80s are taking the hobby with them into old age. The games they play now should be able to reflect their new maturity level. In fact, there have been many studies that have shown that the average age of a video game player is somewhere in the midthirties. I’m not here to start a “games as art” debate, but for the sake of argument let us pretend that they are. The objective of a piece of art is to elicit emotion, regardless of what that emotion might be. Joy, sadness, anger, helplessness – these are just a few of the various emotions that art can make you feel. I know many people were angered by the airport scene, but did they ever stop to think that maybe that was the point? Game developers are people just like you and I; they aren’t evil demons who designed this scene out of some sick sense of satisfaction. They wanted you to feel something, and the fact that so many people reacted with such passion shows that they were doing their job. Another question that keeps popping up runs along the lines of “why didn’t they just do this instead of that?” If you think that development of this scene went over without anyone at Infinity Ward or Activision batting an eyelash, then you’re out of your mind. Developers have multiple meetings to simply decide which corner of the screen your health-bar should be displayed in, and I can’t imagine that this whole scene was decided in one afternoon. The bottom line is that there is a reason the scene plays out the way it does, and I assure you that it was not a decision made carelessly or in passing. Most importantly, when the airport scene is taken out of context, it can seem like a display of meaningless violence. So when you see it on the evening news, it makes a perfect lead in story to the rest of the night’s coverage of gruesome murders and apartment building fires. When put into context of the events of the game, it makes perfect sense. In the game, you play as an American infiltrating a Russian terrorist group, so when you go on the airport mission your objective is to stay in cover. In order to stay in cover, you’re going to have to participate (or at least pretend you’re participating) in this attack. You have the option of either shooting the civilians, or making it appear as if you’re shooting them by shooting above and around them. If you don’t, you’ll blow your cover and your inability to infiltrate this group and stop a major attack will result in the death of millions. It’s meant to be a difficult decision – taking the lives of a few to save the lives of many. In the end, it’s up to you how you feel about it. If you decide you don’t like it, then either skip the level or just don’t buy the game at all. But please, don’t tell me what kinds of content I find appropriate for myself.

The Stony Brook Press

Arts & Entertainment

17

A Gentlemen’s Guide to Playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
By Najib Aminy
When Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare came out earlier this month, no one expected it to gross roughly half a billion dollars in just a week. Yes, that’s half a billion. The game, which is sold on multiple consoles and PC, grossed more than $550 million five days after being released and made $310 in North America and the UK in its first day alone. Simply put, the game has produced the biggestselling launch in entertainment history. While the game offers a great storyline, however controversial or short, the multiplayer of Modern Warfare has kept video gamers glued to their couches, kept their eyes dilated, and made them ignore most of their responsibilities. Activision, the company that published the game, reported that 5.2 million multiplayer hours were logged on Microsoft’s internet gaming service, Xbox Live for the Xbox 360, in just the first day. This is an alarming fact because among the many millions playing this game on Xbox Live, there is a growing majority of noobs, campers, and any derogatory term you can think of to identify a player who lacks skill. From using a grenade launcher, a heartbeat monitor, or camping behind a corner, the unskilled frustrate many of the skilled and veteran players. What is lacking is a set of gentlemen’s rules to which all should abide—a what you can and can’t do, if you will. Not any more. The following are golden rules that all players should follow if they are to be considered respectable players in Modern Warfare. Camping. Modern Warfare has a number of levels with dynamic settings that allow players to maximize the use of their environment. Gamers can climb up ladders, jump 15 feet from most ledges and rooftops, and climb their way to certain vantage points. The downside to these settings is that campers ruin everything. There is no fun in chasing down an enemy combatant when a 12-year-old hiding in a high patch of grass guns you down. Camping is simply for the cowardly. That is why if you wish to be considered manly, gentleman-like, and a respectable opponent, the only time you will camp is when you are momentarily tea-bagging your opponent’s dead

corpse. Leave the camping for the people who liked Brokeback Mountain. None of that stuff belongs in Modern Warfare— just pure male testosterone, sweaty palms, and the ambition to win. Talking Communication is everything. Trash-talking is part of the game. However, if a gamer has a below .500 kill per death ratio and is developing a rug burn on his or her knees (that’s silly, girls should be playing with their dolls) then you’re right to talk is suspended. That is, until you go back into the positives. If a player is on the winning team, that player is entitled to entice the opposing and defeated team with insults and harsh words if they choose to do so, no matter how poorly they themselves performed. Though this does not give you bonus points in the game, it motivates teammates not to lose to whatever minorities, sexual-orientations, or females are on the other team. For those that have headsets, but refuse to talk, well, these gamers defeat the purpose in playing Xbox Live, let alone Modern Warfare. It’s no fun talking to yourself, believe me. The main argument is that many people have a hard time listening to high-pitched 9-year-olds who just finished their arithmetic homework and, as a reward, can play video games on the weekdays. The solution—if you have not reached puberty or if your voice exceeds 140 Hz, then give up the headset and stop playing. Chances are, you are too young or not a guy and there are better

things you should be doing like playing with toys or engaging in acts of misogyny.

Attachments Every weapon chosen in Modern Warfare comes with a number of attachments to choose from. These attachments usually have pros and cons to them, such as a suppressor that silences a gun, making it hard for enemies to hear that you are firing at them. The con is that it limits that gun’s firing range. But there are some attachments that have nothing but positive rewards. These attachments are designed for noobs. Take the lamest attachment in the game, the heartbeat monitor, essentially a motion-based radar that spots enemies. One can only access it after getting a certain amount of kills for a particular weapon, however this presents a huge disadvantage to those without the attachment. Combine this radar with those who like to camp and you are in for a multiplayer game of pure frustration and anger. The heart beat monitor is this year’s noobtube, the grenade launcher attachment that gamers use for one-hit kills. The solution, don’t be a doo-doo head. If the attachments are too good to be true, then for the sake of the integrity of the game, shouldn’t use it. Weapons Like attachments, weapons in Modern Warfare have their pros and cons. But certain weapons are designed for the less skilled. The P-90 for example, a sub-

machine gun with a rapid fire rate, is the kind of weapon a Jersey frat boy would use while hanging with his bros, telling them how great he is at the game. Most other people would call it “spray and pray.” While Modern Warfare introduces dual-wielding weapons like in Halo 3, some players find that dual wielding shotguns will decrease their chances of survival and increase the rookie status of those who do decide to use such weapons. Yet, the weapon that tops it all is a sniper rifle with a thermal scope. It’s not so much the thermal scope than it is the ability to combine it with camping. As stated before, camping ruins the game, and in this case, so does using a weapon that encourages it. It is very rare that you will find a sniper with a thermal scope move around the map. Players should avoid using weapons that are noob status. Like steroids, this taints the success one achieves and ruins the game from everyone. Be a gentleman, don’t do it. Ultimately, Modern Warfare has one of the better multiplayer first-person shooter systems among video games that have recently been released. Yet, its downfall lies not in the design but the way some people play it. The game caters too much to new players and inexperienced hacks. Nevertheless, instead of being an employee, one simply has to abide by this gentlemen’s agreement of rule to reach boss status. You can’t reach the top if you’re camping on the ground.

18 Arts & Entertainment

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

Tom Strong is Great!
By Andrew Fraley
Alan Moore has become a household name in the comics world, and for good reason. Most of his familiarity comes from the various movie adaptations of his comic series, from the good, such as V For Vendetta, Constantine and Watchmen (this is a very loose sense of the word; I hated VFV), to the bad, such as From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (also that loose sense of the word; I kinda liked LoEG). Apart from Hollywood’s bastardization of his masterpieces though, Moore has essentially revolutionized the comic industry through his deconstruction and redefinition of the genre, and helped bring the modern comic industry out of the dark ages. Tom Strong is the next comic that continues Moore’s tradition of experimenting with comic book archetypes, and pushing the limits of the medium. First published ten years ago, Tom Strong follows the adventures of its titular character, his wife Dhalua and daughter Tesla in the fictional Millennium City at the end of the 20th century. The series, which collects 36 issues in six trade paperbacks, was recently rereleased as a special ten year anniversary edition in three volumes. The first volume, which collects the first 12 volumes, found its way into my hands thanks to the good people at DC Comics. Holy socks! How lucky am I? To start, this is no V For Vendetta or Watchmen. Many of the newer series released under Moore’s America’s Best Comics line of comics, including Tom Strong, lack the fiery intensity and depth that his earlier works had, such as Swamp Thing, or even Miracleman. That’s not to say that they’re not good; Alan Moore is still one of the best writers in the industry. Tom Strong is still an excellent comic, even if it’s not the next Hellblazer. The first issue starts with a self referential origin story of Tom Strong. Strong was born on New Year’s Eve, 1900, on a fictional island of Attabar Teru to scientist parents. As a young member of Tom Strong’s own fan club is reading the same origin issue back in modern day Millennium City, Moore creates the setting of the technological city. This dichotomy between the Victorian-esque adventure story of Strong’s birth, replete with benevolent and wise natives, and the science-fiction technologies of Millennium City helps create a setting perfect for exploring a myriad of literary and comic genres. The second issue continues the genre exploration, using the reemergence of one of Strong’s old enemies, Modular Man. Our 100-year-old Science Hero—he only looks around 40 thanks to Goloka root, a mystical plant he grew up eating thanks to the Attabar Teru natives—confronts his old nemesis with more than just brawns, and avoids the conventional “pow, biff, bam” beat-up of golden age comics. Modular Man is actually a scientist who’s been dead for nearly 20 years. He broke his mind down into units of information, and created a self-replicating modular robot that, when it created enough of itself, would bring out the scientist’s personality. The story is an interesting study of the nature of intelligence, and the philosophy of technology. It’s reminiscent of Stanislaw Lem’s The Cyberiad, or Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker series. This technological speculation is continued in the third issue, which features dominant Aztec forces from a parallel Earth that possess an omnipotent supercomputing deity called Quetzalcoatl-9. The computational god saves Strong from a gory sacrificial death, and the two work together to re-instill the fear of the gods in the Aztechs (haha, get it?). And the list goes on, each as interesting, if not more so, than the last. From super powered Nazis, to super intelligent primordial slimes, Tom Strong spans the gamut of genres, while creating a unique story of its own. The story also contains archetypal comic elements, such as Tom Strong’s archnemesis, Paul Saveen, an analog of Lex Luthor or The Joker, and an alternate Tom Strong from Terra Obscura, an analog of Bizarro. These aren’t done in an overtly parodical way, but act as tasteful homages to the archetypes. The end result is a comic that feels familiar, but pushes itself to be something much more. An entertaining mix of adventure romps and superhero comics, Tom Strong is an excellent addition to the genre. Tom Strong is published by America’s Best Comics, and is available in a collected special edition hardcover Volume 1.

Gears of War: From Someone Who Never Played it!
By Eric DiGiovanni
Gears Of War is a video game where you fight subterranean aliens. That’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge. However, curiosity compelled me to review the recent Gears Of War hardcover that collects the first six issues of the WildStorm comic series. I never saw the appeal of Gears Of War, other than the fact that the games themselves are well made and have a gun with a chainsaw on it. Seriously, if it weren’t for the Lancer, I wouldn’t give it a second look from all the other action games with gray, brown and muzzle flash on the covers. Any concerns about catching the back story are immediately squashed. Right off the bat, it introduces you to the Locust, a group of creatures who come from underground and kill humans for… some reason. While there are references to stuff like Emergence Day and the Lightmass Bombing (references I had to consult about with staff writer Kenny Mahoney), those events aren’t really touched upon, so if you’re new to the franchise, then don’t worry. We are then introduced to Jace, a new human soldier, or “Cog” as they are called in game. He and the protagonists from the games, Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago, are on a mission to recover squads that control had lost contact with. Everything is pretty much defined for the reader, so those who are green to series can understand the terminology. If you’re looking for anything original, look elsewhere. The story hits on a lot of typical action movie tropes: the distress beacon that turns out to be an ambush, the traumatic back story, and the lost little girl all make an appearance. What it does do, however, is work on expanding the story that the games hint at. A couple of new characters are introduced and the team visits a small refuge village “Fucked,” which I assume hasn’t been seen before. When the eventual Gears Of War 3 comes out, I’d like to see these new elements revisited. Design Director of Gears Of War, Cliff Bleszinski states in his foreword that the world created was supposed to be “large, intricate and sprawling” Cut scenes in the game were short to keep the focus on the gameplay. Such a notion goes against the comic’s strengths, which are the action sequences. They’re gory, tense, and there are a lot of them. Something about a bunch of dudes fighting chainsaw-shooting-spider-worm-tentacle-creatures just shuts the brain off and makes you go, “Wow.” Overall, the comic stays true to the games: great art and great action, all wrapped up in standard action movie fare. Even if you’ve never played Gears Of War, it’s worth a read, especially if you’re a fan of a good “War is Hell” story.

The Stony Brook Press

Arts & Entertainment

19

Paradise Stormed
By Alex H. Nagler
J. Robert Oppenheimer famously murmured, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” at the Trinity test that ushered mankind into the atomic age. Chuck Dixon’s Storming Paradise has him say something more along these lines: “Now I am become Death, the destroy… oh, shit.” Storming Paradise, a Wildstorm title, opens in Los Alamos on July 16, 1945. e war with Germany has been won, but the weapon that was meant to bring about the end of the war with Japan just blew up and took its design crew with it. ere is no chance now of ending the Pacific eater without American casualties. President Truman is forced to give the go ahead on what could have been one of the largest theaters of war, Operation Olympic: e invasion of Japan. Dixon’s story is paired up with Butch Guice, Rick Burchett, Eduardo Barreto, and Fernando Burchett’s artwork. Despite the vast number of superheroes whose origins stem from the Second World War, there aren’t any superpowers to be spoken of here. ere are simply normal people placed in extraordinary situations. ere’s Jimmy, the Japanese-American Marine, Ishi, the Japanese Grenade Boy, Father Danny, the Irish Priest on mission in Japan, and two shadowy German figures who don’t seem to fully comprehend that the Nazi Reich has surrendered. e bulk of the dialogue is in English, but there are occasional dalliances into Japanese and German. e Japanese portions are translated. e German portions are not. Olympic could have easily been one of the bloodiest conflicts in United States history. Here, US forces are met with an entire populace that has been whipped into a frenzy by the fury of the Emperor. ere are no such things as civilians, everyone is an enemy fighter. It doesn’t matter if your air and naval power is superior when the local populace is completely against you. It also doesn’t help when there are two shadowy German figures lurking in the background. We’ll never know what would have happened had America attempted to invade Japan. Moral arguments aside, the Atomic Bomb ensured the immediate surrender of Japan at the cost of the lives of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the dawn of the Atomic era. Dixon takes a fair stab at what could have been. If you’re interested in alternate history or World War II, pick up Storming Paradise. Otherwise, ship out and go kiss a nurse in the middle of Times Square.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Review
By Alex H. Nagler
(sung to the Bad Horse Theme from Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog) Back Story! Back Story! Back Story! Back Story! The cheery folks at Dark Horse Have made a comic book It concerns our favorite Doctor You should take a look It details his beginnings And why Hammer is his shnook A heinous plot, an outcast kid Some singing would be nice of course. Back Story! Back Story! Back Story! It’s good! The Comic is a One-Shot But I would love some more There’s enough to be often The premise does not bore So please, Whedon and Dark Horse Give us more to read A Ph.D In Horrible Better than a JD! Signed, The Press

20 Arts & Entertainment

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

Pick for the Fortnight: The Legend of Zelda
By Nick Statt
As the first installment of the Zelda series for the Game Boy, 1993’s The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a classic in every sense of the word. It introduced dynamic and influential elements to both the plot and gameplay of the Zelda series that would later be integral to the success of champion titles like Ocarina of Time for the N64. It broke away from its predecessors by throwing Link into the dream-like island of Koholint where the ominous Wind Fish, an enormous mythical creature, lay dormant until you, the player as Link, collect the eight musical instruments necessary to wake it. This Wind Fish lay in a deep dream that is causing monsters to sprout up on Koholint and prevent Link on his quest towards the musical instruments. Not only is this plot rather off-beat, but Link’s Awakening is also devoid of the series’ usual components of Princess down. The gameplay places the skill of puzzle solving at a much higher priority than actual sword-slashing or bomb dropping. Even as an aged gamer, I was baffled at some of the puzzles’ complexities and am sorry to say that I found myself groveling at the feet of online walkthroughs to lead me through some of the dungeon and plot progression puzzles. The game is a must-play for any and all Zelda series fans. Its plot is a fresh break from the Zelda norms and introduces some of the series’ most popular and important devices, like the use of the ocarina and mini-games involving fishing and comedic roosteruse. The only problem nowadays is that, the game is annoyingly hard to find. If you can sacrifice the purity of your childhood gaming days, then set yourself up with an emulator and play it on your computer. Ebay is your next best bet if you don’t want to pay Amazon an absurd $99.

Zelda, Evil Ganondorf, and the land of

Hyrule where everything usually goes

Gripe for the Fortnight: Hula Hoops
By Chris Mellides
I never understood the hula hoop. Even in my youth, I failed to see its appeal. Some say that this was a revolutionary toy and the hours of fun it warranted were second to none. Then again, some people are really fucking stupid. Here’s this oversized colored ring. It goes over your head and around your mid section and you’re supposed to gyrate your hips to get it going. If you’re successful, the hula hoop spins ‘round and ‘round, but who really gives a rat’s ass. Not everyone could make it work either, take the fat kid in elementary school that you’d shoot spitballs at, for example. Man, he had it rough. Not only did he posses a weight handicap, but he was also unable to use the hula hoop properly; in part because he could barely fit the thing over his bulbous ass and was likely asthmatic. What a poor bastard. For argument’s sake, let’s say that you had the technique down and you were the fucking hula hoop master. Do you honestly think that that was enough to impress anyone? Were girls standing in droves around the block to catch a glimpse of you looking like a tard in front of your gym coach? I think not. The hula hoop never got anyone laid and it was far from a fun toy. Trying to unlock its secret was bupkis because even if you could get the damn thing to work for you, people would still think you were the biggest loser on the planet. I say take all of the hula hoops that ever existed and melt them down to dildos. Now, those are toys known and renowned for their usefulness and practicality. Sure, why not.

Toy for the Fortnight: Play-Doh
By Mike Cusanelli
Ah, Play-Doh. Was it food or was it a child’s version of sculptors clay? Perhaps both? Play-Doh was the colorful claylike substance that we all know and love and occasionally still take a nostalgic whiff of as we walk past the arts and crafts section of Wal-Mart. You could stretch it, you could smash it, hell, you could even eat it. Play-Doh was the toy of the everyman, God’s gift to the adolescent Michelangelo. But forget it if you got it stuck on your mom’s carpet. That shit doesn’t ever come out. And the worst part of Play-Doh was how it got clogged in absolutely everything. I know a kid, well, I knew a kid, who got it stuck up his nose. He didn’t make it. So remember, eat your Play-Doh with caution. And for Christ’s sake, don’t get it stuck in your hair either. “You gonna eat that?”

The Stony Brook Press

opinion
Medical clinic in Bhopal and to work with the people suffering from this horrific aftermath. We email at least once a week and they keep me posted on what’s going on. They keep stressing the ‘awareness’ factor by relaying facts such as: Union Carbide left 100,000 people in Bhopal with debilitating physical ailments and lets countless slum-dwellers still drink water contaminated with harmful and carcinogenic chemicals like mercury, lead, chloroform, HCH and benzenes. Some of the poorest, most helpless people on the planet, sick, illiterate, without political influence, powerful friends, or funds are struggling for their lives in a combat against the world’s largest chemical corporation. The allies they do have in the Indian and U.S. governments are tycoons and armies of hired lawyers, lobbyists and PR agents. How do we continue to let this go on? The grossness is it all comes down to Union Carbide. They have insane amounts of money and they spend $200 million on ads that portray them in this bullshit humanitarian light. But they still aren’t even close to amending what they did to Bhopal. Union Carbide is known for bullying politicians, twisting laws, attempting to debase democracy, and is a company overflowing with corrupt officials. The dents our country makes in the world with our corporations are mind-blowing. There should be a maximum level of selfishness that every person should inherently have, like once you reach the point where you’re actually slaughtering people and destroying lives to make money. That would probably be a good place to max out. There have been protests, rallies and marches through Delhi for justice to be served for what happened in Bhopal. Every authority in debt to Bhopal has failed them. Protesters have been arrested and beaten by the Indian police. In the words of my beloved friend Dede across the seas, “Here’s how you can stop supporting this killer corporation…speak with your dollars and simply stop buying products that contain Dow chemicals, here are a few: Cover Girl, Clinique, Crest, Matrix, Pantene, L’Oreal Paris, Vive Pro, Bodycology, Secret deodorant, Coppertone, Head & Shoulders, Suave, Dove, Nivea, Fresh Baked, Old Spice, Johnson’s, Samsung and Friskie’s. I have quite a strong feeling that not a single person who reads this is going to boycott, but I’m listing them anyway. I have a half full bottle of suave shampoo in my shower but when it’s finished, I’m going to do my best. According to a 2002 issue of Outlook India magazine: “Bhopal isn’t only about charred lungs, poisoned kidneys and deformed fetuses. It’s also about corporate crime, multinational skullduggery, injustice, dirty deals, medical malpractice, corruption, callousness and contempt for the poor. Nothing else explains why the victims’ average compensation was just $500 - for a lifetime of misery. Yet the victims haven’t given up. Their struggle for justice and dignity is one of the most valiant anywhere. They have unbelievable energy and hope. The fight has not ended. It won’t, so long as our collective conscience stirs.”

21

India As Is
And then there’s India— through all the lenses of all the critics, trapped and tapped by all Aviva the truth seeking Einhorn believers and nonbelievers—a country appraised for its spiritual prophets and a historical river. How can one of the world’s largest, fastest sinking nations maintain such a deceitful façade? Is the world blind? Be aware that I’m not the first to propose this question. India is full of black holes that seem to hover below the radar. One such hole is Bhopal. During a December night in 1984, a factory owned by the Union Carbide Corporation in Bhopal, India leaked poison gas into the surrounding city. Thousands of Bhopalis were killed in their sleep – over 20,000 people died that night. The story of the “Bhopal Tragedy” is reasonably well known, but what isn’t so well known is that after the event, the factory was shut down and abandoned by Union Carbide. The abandonment of the factory left sacks of poison and piles of chemicals at the site that have been contaminating and continuing to poison the residents of Bhopal for the last two and a half decades. Three of my best friends left this year to volunteer at the Sambhavna

Too Early to Tell
There are those who believe that Sarah Palin will be the Republican candidate for president in 2012, and I say, “Don’t Kevin hold your breath.” Sabella As a conservative Republican, I think she will have a hard time gaining the nomination because of her track record. She was Governor of Alaska until she resigned in her first term, which raises the question, “If Sarah Palin could not complete her first term as governor, how is she going to handle the U.S presidency?” It is obviously too early to tell who is going to be the republican nominee. During the democratic primary in 2008, people expected Hillary Clinton to win the nomination; that was before then political unknown and Illinois Senator Barack Obama came on to the scene. The same could happen if Palin decides to run. The legitimate hurdles that will be brought up include her resignation of the governorship of Alaska and the issue with the firing of a state trooper because he divorced her sister. If Sarah Palin is challenged by someone who is a conservative celebrity like Mick Huckabee or Mitt Romney, then she will have a hard time. At this point it is way too early to say Palin will win the nomination because it has not happened yet. Only time will tell.

22 Comics & Games

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

The Stony Brook Press

Comics & Games

23

I’m so depressed, I don’t know what to do...

Go for it, Man!
The Go club meets this semester every Tuesday & Thursday, 7:30pm at the Library Commuter Lounge. Check it out!

Black to move, kill Whitey!

Last issue’s solution

The triangle move is the key move, giving you that first eye. The second eye can be obtained by playing at 2 after white plays 1 to kill the group, or at 1 if white doesn’t play there. Bam! Victory!

24

sports

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

Stony Brook vs. Liberty University

Seawolves Win 36-33

Congrats to the 2009 Big South Co-Champions
All Photos by Eric DiGiovanni

The Stony Brook Press

sports
relax in your girlfriend’s room, have a beer, and watch Shaun of the Dead at 11 P.M. on a quiet Thursday night? That’ll be $1625 and 96 hours of Catholic community service, please. Liberty’s code of conduct is that strict. You can be fined $500 or expelled for such things as “non-participation/disruption/noncompliance” or “involvement with witchcraft, séances or other occult activities” or abortion. Liberty polices the morals of its students. They have a network of enforcers to ensure that their code of conduct, “The Liberty Way,” is upheld. Don’t try to find this code online. It’s securely behind their school’s students only section. They don’t like others knowing about their totalitarian code. Parents are probably fine with it. I mean, they sent their kids here knowing what to expect. You don’t honestly go to a school founded by fundies and not expect your kids to be regulated within every inch of their lives. They keep the kids from growing up because rational thinking adults might realize what sort of bullshit their school is spewing and get out least students allowed to drink and fuck. And listen to music with naughty words. And write this newspaper. And have a College Democrats organization. And learn evolutionary biology. Try doing any of those at LU. Liberty University can suck a choad. They don’t believe in fossils, evolution, or anything that would have been cool with Carl Sagan. They regulate their student’s behavior through a fundamentalist Gestapo that makes Footloose seem tame. Their founder was one of the biggest assholes to ever walk the planet. They think homosexuality is a disease and will “pray for me” as their way of telling me to fuck off. No, fuck you Liberty. I’m a liberal douchebag. I will always be a liberal douchebag. You need to adhere to my society, where people drink, smoke, screw and live. It’s a society where a black woman and a Scandinavian man have lovely crème colored babies and where Muslims are treated with dignity. Enjoy the bus ride back to Virginia. Now get the fuck off my campus, out of my city, and out of my state.

25

Why I Hate Liberty University
By Liberal “Haterade” Douchebag
Stony Brook beat Liberty. Science won. Fundamentalism lost. I hate Liberty University. I hate it with a burning passion. Underneath my hoodie, I wore a t-shirt with a picture of the “Reverend” Jerry Falwell in a coffin captioned “Dick In A Box.” It felt good to win –almost orgasmic. I hate Liberty University. Last time Liberty was discussed, their hatred of science and how big of a douchebag Jerry Falwell were the main topics. As a reminder, they don’t teach evolution or believe that man and dinosaurs existed simultaneously. Falwell also claimed that gays and the ACLU were to blame for September 11. Douchebag statements one and all. Today’s hating on Liberty involves their student code of conduct. At Liberty, you can be reprimanded and fined for doing things that any other college student would think is normal. Want to

But these go up to 667

while the getting is good. Stony may have some annoying conduct regulations of their own, but at

It’s Real When Former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar Gets a Bacterial Infection in His Intestinal Tract
By Matthew Maran
The first ever Ultimate Fighter winner, and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin defeated Tito Ortiz by a split decision in the main event of UFC 106. Ortiz was fighting in the UFC for the first time in over a year and a half, after having a falling out with UFC President Dana and proved that he still belongs at the top of the Light Heavyweight division. He also attained a measure of redemption after his embarrassing loss to Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, who had moved up to 205 lbs for the fight. In the co-main event, Josh Koscheck, coming off a big win over Frank Trigg, beat Anthony Johnson by a rear naked choke in the second round. 46-year-old MMA legend Randy Couture defeated Brandon Vera by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 105, in Manchester, England. The show was aired on Spike TV, as opposed to its usual Pay Per View slot. The decision could have gone either way as Vera and Couture were pretty even. Because the show was held in England, several British fighters were scheduled to fight. Arguably the most popular British fighter, former Ultimate Fighter winner and Coach, Michael Bisping defeated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black-belt, Denis Kang by second round TKO. Last season on the Ultimate Fighter, half of the competitors hailed from the United Kingdom, while the other half were from the United States. The two winners (both English fighters) were in action at UFC 105 in their home country. Lightweight Ultimate Fighter winner Ross Pearson defeated Aaron Riley by TKO and Matt Brown TKO’d WelAs of now, Dan Hardy is considered the number one contender to the Welterweight Championship, a title now held by the dominant Georges St. Pierre. Brock Lesnar was released from the hospital after having surgery for a bacterial infection in his intestinal tract. This puts his upcoming scheduled fight with undefeated Shane Carwin in question, and it is possible that Lesnar may never fight again. In the first quarterfinal fight on The Ultimate Fighter, Roy Nelson defeated Justin Wren by majority decision after two rounds. On The Ultimate Fighter, each fight is an exhibition that lasts two rounds, and a third round if necessary. In the Nelson-Wren fight, victory was awarded to Nelson after two rounds in a fight that many felt should have gone to a third round. In the second quarterfinal fight, Brendan Schaub defeated Jon Madsen. Madsen used his wrestling game to execute several impressive takedowns. However, Schaub was very effective on his back and did not give anything up. When the fight got back to the stand up in the second round, Schaub knocked out Madsen in an overall impressive performance.

Brock Lesnar: FAKE

Brock Lesnar: REAL

White. Ortiz was the longest reigning UFC Light Heavyweight champion in history, holding that title for three-and-a-halfyears. Griffin controlled most of the fight

terweight winner James Wilks. Also, British fighter Dan Hardy upset Mike Swick by unanimous decision. Hardy showed an improved wrestling game and controlled most of the stand up as well. After Josh Koscheck’s victory at UFC 106, he called out Hardy. “There is someone here who thinks he’s the No. 1 contender,” said Koscheck. “He hasn’t fought anyone. He’s sitting over there. His name is Dan Hardy. He hasn’t fought anyone like me. I’m the No. 1 contender.”

26 Sports

Vol. XXXI, Issue 6 | Monday, November 23, 2009

Let’s Go Phils? Phuggedaboutit
By Jason Wirchin
They heard him everywhere - from taxis in midtown to toll booths in Jersey. They listened closely for those defining words, that euphoric outburst meaning one thing, and one thing only. Just before midnight on Nov. 4, they got their wish. John Sterling had made the call. “Ball game over! World Series over! Yankees win! Thuuuuuuuuuh Yankees win!” And with that, an entire metropolis shook to the core. The New York Yankees captured yet another title, their first since 2000 and 27th overall, beating the defending world champion Philadelphia Phillies in six games. Hideki Matsui won World Series MVP with a six-RBI performance in the clincher, a record Bobby Richardson set in 1960, as a packed house at Yankee Stadium watched the Bombers make history in their new home. The team opened the original Yankee Stadium with a World Series victory over the cross-town Giants, also in six games. For the Yankees and their fans, this title represents the fruits of nearly a decade of trial and error lineups and patchwork starting rotations. After the dynasty years of the late 90s-early 2000s, when a perennial trip to the Fall Classic seemed more a birthright than anything else, the club made the postseason in seven of the next eight seasons, but failed to win any prize beyond two league championships. For the Phillies, the loss comes as a shock to many in the Philadelphia area who saw their team work its way from second place finishers in 2006 to National League East champions in 2007 October between a rock and a hard place. Worse yet, they were in a situation where they saw a team that stole back the town they owned no more than three years ago and one that has recently shoved them aside like a playground bully face off in the biggest game of the season. When interleague play began in 1997, the Subway Series generated colossal media coverage and rousing interest from the city’s baseball lovers. With each passing year, the rivalry grew stronger and the debates surrounding the games more passionate. When the teams met in the 2000 World Series, New York zoomed to the brink of pandemonium and back in a playoff atmosphere unlike any other. Close to ten years later, the disputes live on. Who’s got the better catcher? Is Jose Reyes the new Derek Jeter? How do the managers compare? Simply put, plenty of Mets fans hate the Yanks and plenty of Yanks fans hate the Mets. The animosity is part of the fabric of the city. It keeps people spirited when the going gets tough and acts as a release from the tribulations of everyday life. So when the Yankees reached the World Series, Mets fans surely felt a knot in their gut, a painful tweak that screamed, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” But the saga continues. For every Queens-bound aficionado who loathes the Yankees, odds are there are at least two who cringe at the Phillies’ success. They remember the final days of Septembers past when dreams of a playoff spot fell as flat as Oliver Perez’s sliders. Like pulling teeth, Mets fans watched agonizingly as the Phils reigned supreme in 2008 and nearly repeated this November. Should Mets fans have dared to root for their American League counterparts, committing what some would call the ultimate treason, just to see the Phillies struggle? Or should they have cheered on their NL East rivals, risking an offseason of guilt? Where goes the diehard Mets fan in times like these? Where there lies shelter, there likely sits a TV, radio or even a computer where reminders of both rivals’ accomplishments ring loud and clear. With free agency well underway and the Winter Meetings scheduled for Dec. 7 – 10, the Flushing faithful sit idly with fingers crossed and hopes set high. So high that thoughts of another YanksPhils World Series will seem like nothing but a distant memory.

and World Series champs in 2008. With a 93-69 regular season record in 2009, the Phillies flew past the Cardinals and Dodgers in the ALDS and ALCS respectively, reaching the Fall Classic for the second consecutive year for the first time in franchise history. For Mets fans, however, a bizarre conflict of interests waved a doubleedged sword. Intercity rivals with the Yankees and divisional rivals with the Phils, the Mets found themselves this

The Clusterfuck that is the NFC East
By Matthew Maran
It now appears that winning the NFC East will be akin to winning an award for being the tallest midget, having the best tasting urine sample, fucking your best looking cousin, or living in the least disgusting part of New Jersey. The Eagles lost to the Raiders. Enough said. The only thing worse than losing to the Raiders is having to do it while playing on a team from the horrible state of Pennsylvania (See “Why Pennsylvania is the Worst” by Doug Cion from the previous issue). The Redskins are the Redskins. The Giants were good until they started to suck, and their loss to the Chargers was the funniest and saddest thing that I’ve ever seen. Then Bill Belichick had to go and be a dumbass and give the Patriots an even more hilarious and pathetic loss to the Colts. I am a proud Dallas Cowboys fan. Well... I’m a Cowboys fan. They will win the division. They will have a good schedule the rest of the way, having already beaten the Eagles, and because the Giants forgot how to play football. See, the Giants have been utilizing a new defensive system known as the Paris Hilton defense: Score whenever you want. The Cowboys will win the division, which will give their fans a glimpse of hope, and then they’ll devastate them by losing in the first or second round of the playoffs. However, they’ll do just well enough for “the genius” Jerry Jones to justify keeping “the interception machine” Tony Romo and Wade “never won a playoff game, should have stayed a coordinator” Phillips! Then, management will say that the team is on the rise and one win away from a Super Bowl. Isn’t that the same philosophy they had after Tony Homo forgot how to hold a ball for a field goal and Jerry Jones decided his team would be better off without one of the greatest coaches of all time, Bill Parcells, but instead with Wade Phillips? I can only pray that the Cowboys suffer a collapse so demoralizing that Jerry Jones has no choice but to get rid of Tony Romo, fire Wade Phillips, and I don’t know, assemble a team of players and coaches who can win a championship. Well, my Cowboys haven’t had any success in recent years, and I have had to endure the barrage of sickening Giants fans celebrating their nauseating Super Bowl victory two years ago. They played the Patriots, who thinking only about 19 and 0, completely underestimated the Giants, and were not prepared for them. The G-men still needed a miracle catch from a nobody receiver now residing in the “where are they now” category to win. Even 20 years ago, the Giants needed Scott Norwood to miss a 47yard field goal to beat the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl! For those of you who don’t know, whenever the Bills play in a Super Bowl, they get pounded harder than Jenna Jameson in her prime. Two years later, the Cowboys killed the Bills during the Super Bowl, and would have scored the most points ever in a Championship game if Leon Lett had at least the mental aptitude of an autistic fourth grader. The Cowboys have had some of the greatest players and teams in NFL history, and are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins, and they did not need any miracles to do it.

The Stony Brook Press

Sports

27

Get Ready to Smash a Bro
By Eric DiGiovanni
We were all gathered around to watch the brawl take place. Punches, kicks and fire were coming from all directions in a chaotic orchestra of sound and fury. Men were falling left and right, only to come up again later. It was indeed a noble sight, as those fighting shorn themselves of their items, in order to reach that Final Destination those of us who have been there call victory. Like foxes, the combatants darted over and around each other, such quickness, oh, such quickness. At long last the game was set. Compatriots, friends, brothers, faces smashed to all oblivion. Only one man remained. After this scene of raw brutality, a voice from the heavens spoke with a roaring boom, as if it were pleased. THIS GAME’S WINNER IS…. JIGGLYPUFF! This issue’s Fight Club(s) is about the gaming phenomenon known as the Super Smash Bros. series, where everyone’s favorite Nintendo characters beat the crap out of each other. I know, I know, it’s not really a club, and there’s no actual fighting, but I did go around to a couple of the regular groups on campus. Also, next week I’m going to review a concert, but it was just some guys playing Rock Band. The first Super Smash Bros. game came out for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. It was released in the US after it sold over a million copies in Japan. The game is a bit different than most fighting games in that instead of trying to damage the other opponent a certain amount, the object is to knock them off the platform. As the fighters take more damage, they offer less resistance and fly further.
NFC EAST continued from previous page

FIGHT CLUB(S):

The next edition, Super Smash Bros. Melee, came out for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001, and the latest edition, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, is available for the Nintendo Wii. My first stop on the Tour de Smash was the Club Alley, a hive of gamers and anime geeks. Every time when I walk to the Press office to get the camera, write, or watch Arts Editor Doug try to beat Executive Editor Andrew’s high score in Tetris, I poke my head in. At least one version of Super Smash Bros. is always on the TV. Melee is overwhelmingly the game of choice. That’s not the prevalence, however. First, ninety-nine percent of the time, the level chosen is Final Destination, a completely flat stage with one large platform, turning the whole thing into sumo wrestling, but with fireballs and lasers . Also, no items. “It’s too random,” said Paolo, one of the players in rotation. “With certain levels, there’s all this stuff that might kill you. A lot of people here play in tournaments” But why Melee? “ We don’t have a Wii. Like, three times a weeks one will bring it.” Any problems with Brawl? “It’s too floaty.” Don’t expect any crazy matchups either. Every round at least someone picked a StarFox character (Fox or Falco), Captian Falcon from the F-Zero racing series, or Marth from Fire Emblem. This corresponds to a common system in fighting games called “Tiers”, which separates characters into different group, declaring some more effective than others. It’s an arbitrary system in a game where everyone pulls bombs from hammerspace, but some hold it in high regard.

When it was my turn to play, I usually picked Captain Falcon. Why? Two words: FALCON… PUNCH!!! Who would have thought that someone from a racing game no less would have a punch so awesome, he had to patent it. My teammate picked Gannondorf, and started to play. “Oh great, the troll team.” I heard from the crowd “Why’s that?” I asked. “Because [Captain Falcon and Gannondorf] are overpowered.” “So then why doesn’t everyone pick them all the time?” “Well, they’re kinda slow, and they have poor recovery…” “So then they aren’t overpowered.” “Well, I meant, like they have the strongest attack power.” “So then they’re not overpowered, it’s just a trade-off for balance sake.” The crowd backed me up, and I felt like Socrates for a brief moment. The other stop was the Commuter Lounge basement, where someone brought a Nintendo 64, and was playing the original version. Here was the real

blood of the Commuter population. We can’t have our neighbors walk in and pick up a game at home, so we do it here. This is our suite, this is our dorm. The players formed a Great Wall in front of the TV. Out of the N64 games this guy usually brings, Super Smash Bros. far and away gets the most playtime. Unlike the Club Alley, less people seemed to be interested in playing, but there was still a sizeable rotation. Most importantly, though, I saw items being used! There were levels with craziness and hazards! Someone picked Samus? She’s in the bottom tier! Yes, playing in a competitive game is fun, but why bother trying to make Super Smash Bros. like legitimate fighting? Fedor can’t shoot fireballs and George St. Pierre doesn’t pack a laser gun. Or maybe he does, I’ll have to ask Matt, our UFC guy. Maybe we should stop looking at the Smash Bros. series as a fighting game, and look at it like most Nintendo games: an acid trip in video game form.

The Redskins have had John Riggins, Art Monk, and Doug Williams, and won three Super Bowls. Don’t know much about any of those players? Didn’t know that they won three Super Bowls? Don’t care? It’s okay. No one else does either. Besides, right now, watching a Redskins game is more painful than watching an episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashians!” The Philadelphia Eagles cannot ever win an NFC title game, and the only time they did, they lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. However, they are still most known for booing Santa Claus, and Rush Limbaugh revealing to the world that Donovan McNabb is black. Back to current day, the Redskins, who suck more than a third avenue hooker, actually beat the first place Denver Broncos. The Eagles, who lost to the Cowboys, made the Giants look like a pee-wee team, and the Giants beat the Cowboys. I am losing my fucking mind! I think I speak for all NFC East fans when I say, “WHAT THE FUCK?”

Death Egg Zone