Review Category : Opinion

The Maturing Moviegoer: “Traffic” and Drugs Today

Pot. Weed. Devil’s grass. Hell shrub. MJ. Doug. These nicknames (several of which are unique to my own vernacular) are among the many terms used to refer to the common drug, marijuana. In this column, we’ll look at Steven Soderbergh’s 2000 drama “Traffic” and how drugs are now, more than ever, a poignant part of coming of age. It’s my hope that we can create compromise on the effects of drugs, an area so devoid of middle ground. So go ahead, light a bowl of Doug. Relax. We’ll get started. Drug culture can be extreme. Not in the Nancy Grace sense, where a puff of hell shrub makes a person hungry to murder. But in the sense that drugs have the tremendous power to underscore the thoughts and actions of young adults. In “Traffic,” they do just this, dramatizing the relationship between the United States Drug Czar, Robert Wakefield, and his heroin addicted daughter, Caroline. The film feels like a documentary that has access to an uncanny truth on the... ...

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Editorial: Blood drive boycott — Bloodclot

On April 22 and April 23, the UC Davis Community Service Resource Center and Clinica Tepati sponsored the spring blood drive. BloodSource “bloodmobiles” were on the Quad from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days, and students and community members with a valid ID could stop by any time to donate blood. Because of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy created in 1983 that bans gay and bisexual identified people from donating blood, the ASUCD Gender and Sexuality Commission (GASC) is leading a boycott against the blood drive. On its Facebook page “UNBAN THE BLOOD: Boycott the Policy,” GASC claims the boycott is a response to the outdated and discriminatory FDA policy. Volunteers will be distributing flyers and brochures with “#bloodboycott” and other information regarding the ban and the boycott leading up to and during the blood drive. While we fully support equal rights for all LGBTQIQA communities, we believe that this blood drive boycott is an ineffective method of obtaining these rights. The opposition to the ban is not... ...

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The Maturing Moviegoer: Magnolia is the biggest flower

If you’ve been reading my column for the past couple of weeks, you are probably a brave, intelligent and interesting person. I thank you. As a reward, I’m going to talk about one of the finest movies ever made: Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 Magnolia. I cannot say enough about this movie in the narrow confines of this column. It’s a film that relies less on plot, and more on story. This distinction helps us play up the importance of the many characters and the way their lives intertwine in the course of a single day in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. In the many stories presented in this three-hour tale, there is one that gives a beautiful and sad depiction of a young boy’s coming-of-age. His name is Stanley, and he’s a boy genius whose talents are used by his father for monetary gain via a game show. Stanley’s got it rough, but he doesn’t show it. He loves learning more than Fox News loves miseducating. He pursues... ...

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Breaking Norms: Robots or ninjas?

Robotic. That’s essentially the type of movement people seem to expect from you. If you don’t conform to the norms laid out and you instead spring to life like an actual human, then there might be something … off. Take walking around campus for instance — everyone seems to blend together quite seamlessly. There aren’t students running and jumping around like ninjas, nor are there any who really stand out in an obvious way (as far as body language and movement goes). So, how come this is our reality? Well, the rules of social conduct tell us that bursting out spontaneously would frighten those who don’t do that, and acting wild is for savage animals. But we are savage humans. So, I decided during my daily routines around campus to test this social norm. When people don’t expect me to transform my slow-paced, run-of-the-mill walk into a full sprint ending with a ninja kick, their visible response portrays their confusion. I think that general members of society think that if... ...

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Modern Bey Feminism: Sexy feminism

The camera zooms in on a French manor in the countryside. It’s an average morning for Beyoncé as she eats breakfast and then dances sensually in a diamond bustier. After watching the video for Beyoncé’s song “Partition,” there is no denying that Beyoncé is sexy. But the motivation behind this sexuality has often been questioned. Is Beyoncé an innately sexual being and merely expressing this through her music and videos? Or has society forced her into sexualizing her music in order to sell records? Or, is she consciously using her sexuality to make money? Her newest visual album titled “Beyoncé” features 17 videos and not a whole lot of clothing. But I would argue that her videos do tell a story, and she’s not just being sexy to be scandalous (or profitable). Unlike many women featured in the hip-hop videos of her male counterparts, Beyoncé uses her body to express herself and her music. While you may not experience love the same way as Beyoncé does in her “Drunk in... ...

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Co-op Bonanza: Cloyne Wars

Imagine that someone comes along and tells you you can’t live in your house anymore. Imagine they are going to kick you out and undo all your work and keep you from being a part of that space. *Sings* Imagine all the people… When I think of this happening to my own home, I see the art created by friends and residents being eliminated. I see the collection of posters ranging from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to a Periodic Table of Produce in the trash. Worst of all, I see how empty the house would be without my housemates’ laughter and poetry and out-of-tune renditions of “The Imperial March.” And what about the cat? Oh Zuni… For the residents of Cloyne Court Co-op in Berkeley, this devastating picture is becoming a reality. I know there’s a group of us that have something in our hearts against Berkeley students, but the issue surrounding Cloyne is one that transcends grudges. When a Cloyne resident died because of a drug overdose... ...

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Modern Bey Feminism: Not just his little wife

On Dec. 13, 2013, the world changed forever when Beyoncé released her fifth album, titled Beyoncé. The Queen’s musical baby came into the world less than two years after her actual baby, Blue Ivy, was born. The surprise album left fans stunned (and so so happy), but also piqued the age-old question: can women really have it all? Beyoncé was a success according to both the critics and the charts — Apple announced that it was the fastest selling album ever on iTunes, after 828,773 copies sold in the first three days. From my perspective, Blue Ivy has been a success as well. She is dressed to the nines every time she’s photographed, and is featured on two chart-topping songs (“Glory” by Jay-Z and “Blue” by Beyoncé). So it would seem that Beyoncé, at least, can have it all. Her success so soon after becoming a mother shows that women can make achievements while simultaneously raising a child. However, Beyoncé is not your average mom. With what is likely a... ...

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Editorial: Intercollegiate Athletics – Clear as mud

In March 2003, former UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef announced that UC Davis would shift its athletics program from Division II to Division I. This move, which has been funded by student fees, was initiated by the passing of the Campus Expansion Initiative (CEI) in November 2002. The CEI “put the students on record as supporting an increase in student fees to help fund the move to Division I and the Big West Conference.” It has been six years since UC Davis entered into “the big leagues” of college athletics and received full Division I certification by the NCAA. Instead of reaping the rewards of a successful move to Division I, the University has struggled to adapt and has been unwilling to follow the guiding principles of the move. These principles state: “UC Davis cannot reduce its broad-based program, but rather must seek to add sports” and “There can be no ‘tiering’ among UC Davis sports,” as well as a few other requirements. To many students and affiliates of the... ...

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The Maturing Moviegoer: Breakfast Club Wisdom

I could not write a column on coming of age in film if I did not make reference to The Breakfast Club, the famous 1985 John Hughes comedy-drama. That would be harder than criticizing Donald Trump and not mentioning his terrible hairdo. Such an omission would ignore the fact that this film has resonated with many young adults and has become a symbol of what it means to grow up in a society that stereotypes and categorizes. Last quarter, I was fortunate enough to find myself in Psychology 1 with over 500 other undergraduates. I loved the class because it helped me judge people in ways I never thought possible. I love judging people. I also found myself with a masterful, new, more whole and more insightful view of the way people work. Now, upon reading that last sentence, I’m willing to bet my two cents that you categorized me as one of those pretentious assholes who thinks they know everything about the world after one psych class. We make... ...

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Editorial: Graduation gown change – Now we’re feeling blue

Starting Spring Quarter 2014, graduating students of UC Davis will no longer wear the traditional black cap and gown for commencement. Students will have to rent a blue gown with gold piping with the addition of the UC Davis emblem on it. The new gowns are made out of 100 percent recycled fabric, and this is the first time Herff Jones, the company that sells graduation materials, will offer sustainable graduation materials — meaning the way they’re laundered and what they are made of are better for the environment. Last year, the rental price was $42. This year the price is $52. This price is still among the higher graduation costs of the UCs, and Davis students don’t get to keep their gowns. For example, UCLA’s price for a black cap, gown and tassel is $37. UC Irvine’s is $58 for the same items — except their students don’t have to return their purchase. According to UC Davis Stores Director Jason Lorgan, the reason the price has increased is due... ...

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Guest Opinion: The Environment Club … more of a social club?

As a transfer student to UC Davis I was unsure of what to expect of the environmental movement here on campus. Unsure of where to look for campus environmentalists, I was sure the Environment Club was a good place to start. However, it was CALPIRG that really snatched me in off the street and got me excited about their “Million Clean Cars Campaign,” which has received a lot of attention from Gov. Jerry Brown as well as other campaigns such as their campaign against “Citizens United.” This important Supreme Court decision has allowed unprecedented amounts of corporate monetary contributions to enter our political system, undermining public and environmental protection efforts. The CALPIRG “Anti-fracking” campaign is part of the brand new UC Davis Chapter of the Students Against Fracking, a statewide coalition with the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC), joining student organizations statewide in support of a moratorium on fracking in California. Many cities, such as San Francisco and L.A. have said no to fracking, which pollutes groundwater and our oceans... ...

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Guest Opinion: For your consideration

It’s usually the same plot: a good-for-nothing rookie is paired with an experienced but reckless renegade to solve a seemingly impossible case to prove to the chief of police that they are, in fact, worthy of their badges. Throughout their case, a handful of screw-ups, a slew of ungentlemanly vocabulary and the jerk on the force trying to cause all kinds of trouble make for a great adventure that ends all too predictably. Along the way, we laugh at the excessive number of exaggerated police stereotypes (some cops like bagels instead, you know) and we celebrate when the perpetrator is caught. We hail the valiant efforts of the unlikely duo and quickly forget that a day in the life of a police officer is not nearly as glamorous as the comedy kings in Hollywood seem to portray it. And let’s not forget about the Oscar-worthy triumphs that uplift spirits and momentarily become everybody’s favorite movies. Trigger-happy law enforcers who seem all too eager to silence criminals. Stone-faced men in blue... ...

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Modern Bey Feminism: Beyonce Knowles Best

Let me set the scene. It’s Friday night and you’re out with your ladies. You’re wondering if it was worth pausing Netflix, getting out of bed and putting on makeup to go pay for alcohol at a bar with mediocrely attractive people. But then, everything changes. “Drunk In Love” comes on, and suddenly you know that this is going to be the best night ever. Why? Because Beyoncé. After making a name for herself as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child in the late 90s and early 2000s, Beyoncé went on to build a successful solo career with her first album, Dangerously in Love. Fast-forward 11 years and Beyoncé is more relevant than ever. She has emerged as a symbol of femininity, sexuality and success, while embracing the idea of being a strong independent woman and feminist. But with this success also comes some heavy criticism. As young women navigate the media on a search for a strong female role model, many question the validity of Beyoncé’s brand of feminism.... ...

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Co-op Bonanza: Beyond the Fridge

How do I even start to talk about where I live? The beginning, yes, but the self-conscious freshman that started hanging out at the co-ops doesn’t quite understand the importance of the whole matter. And starting in the middle is asking for a whole lot of “this is cool and this and this and oh yeah that…” so the beginning it is. I discovered cooperative communities through the on-campus Tri-Cooperatives during the winter quarter of my freshman year. After one dinner and one garden party, I was so hooked that I now find myself in the middle of that cooperative, garden-crusted, compost-making space as a resident, not a visitor. Though I’ve been living there for two quarters now, I know I still have a lot to learn. So that’s what this column is for — I’m hoping to take you on this adventure with me. I aim to delve into all the aspects of the cooperative community that, over the course of the last year, I’ve just accepted and ran... ...

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Breaking Norms: Table Manners

The definition of ‘social norms’ was reiterated to me recently in my psychology class — they are “expected standards of conduct in a society that drive members’ social behavior.” The way I see it, social norms are just begging to be broken. I mean, why do random rules of social conduct even exist and who put them into effect? Was it some sort of collective team effort, devised by a kind of mainstream coalition? Or do social norms come to exist simply out of popularity of performance? One intriguing social norm concerns table manners. There are so many rules around how to conduct yourself at the table, so I thought I’d break a few to see how people would respond. It’s noteworthy to mention that I’m a freshman, so eating at the DC is a daily occurrence and also is the perfect place to break social norms. I spotted two guys sitting together at a table in the Cuarto DC. They were immersed in a conversation and I approached their... ...

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