Review Category : Opinion

Tunespoon: Do What U Want

Music is sound. It’s also a cultural, social, emotional and economical phenomenon. I want to explore them. Welcome to Tunespoon. “Let’s turn this into a dance party.” I was at a tUnE-yArDs concert last June, and front-woman Merrill Garbus prefaced dancy anti-vigilante anthem “Stop That Man” with the above command. It was Saturday night at San Francisco’s Fillmore, the city’s counterculture Mecca, and I was ready. Everything about her performance of the song played into the perfect go-wild atmosphere. The frenetic lights and kooky laser patterns, the relentless funky clackof a looping drum beat and everyone on stage jumping up and down like robots fueled by the energy of a quarter-note groove. It was fantastic. And then I saw around me: People standing still. Well, not perfectly still, but it wasn’t the dance party she asked for. I do not call the minute baby-bobbing of knees a dance. I was thinking, “Why wouldn’t this audience comply with her? The money they paid surely should let them own this night.” I... ...

Read More →

The Maturing Moviegoer: Fin

This is it — this is the end. For the last 10 weeks, I have had a wonderful time watching and rewatching some of the classic movies of our time in an effort to learn something about what it means to come of age today. I have learned a great deal about myself in the process of writing this column, and it is my sincerest wish that some of my readers feel the same way about themselves. To conclude a topic as expansive as the one that I have chosen is no easy task. So I’ll take the easy way out and not give this column a nice and tidy ending. After all the ambiguities that we’ve considered thus far, would coming up with one steadfast thesis on aging really be appropriate? For me, self-deprecation has been a fun tool to use for humor. I amuse myself thinking that someone may actually take what this 18-year-old has to say to heart. It’s part of the reason that I have no... ...

Read More →

Guest Opinion: As Graduation Approaches, A Call to Service

Days from now, the Class of 2014 will begin their lives beyond UC Davis leaving behind the infamous egg heads scattered around our school, the very distinct cow smell of Tercero, the delicious coffee of the CoHo, the bike crashes by the Silo and many other important landmarks distinct to our beautiful UC Davis campus. A year ago, I stood where they will, thinking about how my four years on campus had prepared me for the challenge I was about to take on. Now here I am, a Resource Specialist (RSP) for the Sacramento Unified School District and a first-year corps member for Teach For America. As any first-year teacher will tell you, those early days in the classroom are exhilarating and intimidating. In those first few weeks, the importance of the work ahead of me came into focus. All of my students receive special education services and I am only one component of their education. My students are placed with a general education teacher and I go into their... ...

Read More →

Letter to the Editor: Hate Speech on Campus

Dear UC Davis community, Today, Wednesday, May 28, I witnessed a group of men holding up signs, some of which said “You deserve to die” and “You’re going to hell.” I’m all for free speech, but where do we draw the line between free speech and hate speech? On a campus dealing with the issues of violence and hate, and as seen tragically at the recent events at our sister campus UCSB, how can we let this group disrupt the very point of this University: to educate? I am a TA for several courses and had several students unable to attend discussion section due to being emotionally upset by both the shooting and the group on the Quad. Aren’t our Principles of Community about instilling tolerance and respect and most of all, to create a safe environment to learn for all our students? How can we abuse the title of “free speech” on a campus that could very well face the same issues of violence and hate seen at UCSB?... ...

Read More →

Editorial: Safer communities — Call for change

On May 23, six UC Santa Barbara students were killed and 13 community members were injured after a Santa Barbara City College student went on a rampage. Like the many mass shootings that have occurred within the last few years, this incident is tragic and horrifying. The occurrence of incidents like these have prompted discussions regarding what can be done to prevent them in the future. Over the weekend, we all received emails from Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and UC President Janet Napolitano expressing their sympathies to the UC community and the friends and families of the victims of the attack. Katehi said that it is our responsibility “to seek out those in need and to make our campus safer in thought and in deed.” While we agree with these sentiments, we cannot help but feel that their words leave out many of the deeper issues raised in light of this tragedy. Although the assailant’s state of mental health was debatably at play in his actions, we cannot ignore that... ...

Read More →

Co-op Bonanza: Thanks for all the Seitan

I am an avid journaler. I have 29 journals that don’t shut all the way because they are packed with tickets and pressed flowers and receipts and cards and notes and fruit stickers. Okay, I’m a hoarder. I’m also a sentimental cheese-ball. How is this important? It means that I have a detailed record of my co-op life. The first week of co-op life was a flurry of bike rides, dried lentils, cats and sitting on the porch confused about how to live with 14 people. When I visited the co-ops as an applicant, it was a place to garden, dance and eat seitan. I hadn’t considered what living in that space actually entailed. In the first month or so the main things I learned were how to cook over-easy eggs and that Youth Lagoon somehow feels like a leather sofa, rooftop phone calls, nerve-wracking nights, fire alarm tests, cleaning for 12 hours and the “feelings” meeting agenda item. Over the last nine months in the co-ops, I managed to... ...

Read More →

Breaking Norms: Expect the unexpected

On my quest for answers to the age-old quandary of why social norms exist and how they came to be, I discovered not only that society implemented these standards long ago for arbitrary reasons, but also that they can easily be broken and repaired for kinks. By this I mean that social norms are based off of what a society as a whole deems proper and acceptable — whether that concerns behavior, public decency or mannerisms — and it’s easy to deviate from those standards, but it comes at a cost. And that cost is the judgment that lingers in the air after one breaks social norms, which can also come in the form of weird looks from strangers, peeved responses from friends and an overall adaptation of how people view you. Throughout Spring Quarter, I did some odd things that I’ve personally never witnessed before. I wanted to elicit responses from students on campus when I broke free from the constraints of the (technically unwritten) rules of social conduct.... ...

Read More →

The Maturing Moviegoer: Finding the Nice in Mean Girls

Watching Mean Girls for the first time on Saturday was a bittersweet experience. Sweet in that this movie is just that — a cotton candy pink slide through the humors of adolescence. Bitter in that, once more, I had to accept that I will not be marrying Tina Fey, the one true love of my life, in the near future. But I’m not here to fanboy. This film has resonated with young adults, females in particular, for reasons beyond the clever one-liners so many associate with the movie. It seems to have a deeper, albeit comically exaggerated, understanding of what it means to be influenced by others and how the individual reacts in response. The story revolves around Cady Heron, a girl entering high school after an extensive life of home-schooling in Africa. She falls in with ‘The Plastics,’ a popular clique. Through Cady’s eyes, we see why The Plastics are called such — they exhibit a remarkable ability to be fake, even around one another. Holden Caulfield’s head would... ...

Read More →

Modern Bey Feminism: A Song of One’s Own

“I was spending all my nights and days laid back day dreaming/Look at me — I’m a big girl now, said I’m gon’ do something/Told the world I would paint this town/Now betcha I run news.” True to the lyrics from her song “Grown Woman,” Beyoncé has had great success. Her musical ability is clear — just watch that video of her rehearsing in her dressing room filmed by Jay-Z. Seriously, go watch it, it’s great. But Beyoncé’s success is more than just her talent. Her accomplishments as a businesswoman in the creative world has given women a strong female to look up to and emulate in the work place. However, this success is not always obtainable for women in our society. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, a prominent feminist writer, explores the idea that women can only be successful if they have a room of their own — that is, they can only be successful if they have a certain level of money and time to... ...

Read More →

The Maturing Moviegoer: Be a Cowboy

This week, I had the honor to meet Amat Escalante, winner of the Best Director prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, arguably the most renowned festival of its kind in the world. He was there to screen his new film Heli. As it happens, there is a coming-of-age story in this fine piece of work. It’s a tale that recounts the hardships and trials that 17-year-old Heli has to endure as the Mexican Drug War slithers its way into his home and life. This column will focus on the power of trauma and family in coming of age. It’s a topic I am fearful to venture into — I have had no experience with major trauma in my childhood, and I have made no official inquiries into the matter. In a Q and A session after the movie, Escalante described the film as “A mix of horror, documentary, [and] western maybe.” Perhaps this reflection and the fact that I do have a family can help give insight into the... ...

Read More →

Guest Opinion: The View from Orchard Park: On the Coming Demolition

Before they announced that our homes would be demolished, before they started posting increasingly frequent notices on my door reminding me to leave, before my neighbors emptied out their apartments one by one, the University was already attacking Orchard Park. Over the last few years, the UC has raised the rent year after year after year. Housing needs to cost no more than 25 percent of residents’ monthly income in order to be considered “affordable,” and today, an Orchard Park apartment costs around 60 percent of a TA’s monthly income. A community is considered to have an affordable housing crisis when rent consumes more than 30 percent of a resident’s income. But rather than solving the crisis, the UC plans to worsen it by evicting residents from Orchard and Solano Parks. When the UC first officially announced that Orchard and Solano would be demolished, their announcement hinted at the nature of the proposed changes to graduate student housing when they recommended that Parks residents should “take out loans” to pay... ...

Read More →

Guest Opinion: Justice Delayed

By failing to pass SR #20 in a 5-5-3 vote, the ASUCD Senate has given the University of California’s decision to invest in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine a stamp of approval. With the final senate vote tied at 5-5-2, the tie-breaking vote was given to ASUCD Vice President Maxwell Kappes, who abstained, which was effectively the vote that killed the resolution. Therefore, the University will continue to invest in companies that profit from the demolition of Palestinian-civilian structures, the ongoing Israeli settlement and colonization of Palestinian land, the detention and torture of Palestinian political prisoners and the construction of the apartheid wall that runs through occupied Palestinian territory without condemnation or pressure from ASUCD. The crimes mentioned in the failed resolution are indisputable. Proponents cited United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Court of Justice, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International; all of which conclude that these companies are currently violating the human rights enshrined in international law. Because those who opposed the... ...

Read More →

Modern Bey Feminism: Rap vs. Feminism

For me, the hardest part of reconciling Beyoncé’s life with feminist theory is when I consider the man she is married to. While there is no doubt in my mind that Jay-Z is a very talented artist, his music is often anything but feminist, and from what I can see, the rap genre seems to follow this trend. In the documentary “Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex & Power in Music Videos,” the filmmaker explores how women are portrayed in music videos. In general, it seems that in hip-hop and rap music videos, women are treated as objects rather than people, and are often merely accessories for the artists who are performing in the videos. This documentary also points out that instead of using creativity to tell a story, often artists just throw in some mostly naked women dancing and call it a music video. And don’t even get me started on Robin Thicke’s video for “Blurred Lines.” The lyrics of rap and hip-hop songs also add to the degradation of women... ...

Read More →

Co-op Bonanza: Beet Generation

There are a lot of maps in my house, including a world map (it’s upside down), a bike path map of Davis and a map showing the location of pinnipeds worldwide. But there’s one map that’s missing. I see it as one of those flight maps that has the curvy lines all over it connecting all the cooperatives worldwide, nationwide and statewide. Davis cooperatives hosted a west coast cooperative conference called WestCo last weekend, and co-opers showed up from more places than I expected including Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Eugene, Ore. I’d never considered that co-ops existed in Oregon, then all of a sudden, there were Oregon co-opers staying in my house. It was great. I felt the unspoken, immediate bond of the co-oper because something about being offered “vegan breakfast biscuit things” out of a recycled yogurt container by a stranger warms the heart. Though we were all strangers, everyone helped each other out unasked. It was like having a huge extended family that showed up and started making... ...

Read More →

Editorial: Senate Resolution #20 — Other outlets?

Recently, ASUCD Senate Resolution #20 was seen by the ASUCD Senate.This resolution urged “the Board of Regents of the University of California (UC Regents) to undertake practices of corporate social responsibility through divesting from corporations that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories, violating both international humanitarian law and international human rights.” We applaud ASUCD for the willingness to tackle such a difficult issue and we support the right of students to bring forth pressing matters to their student representatives. However, we do not wish to discuss whether we agree or disagree with the idea of divestment. Instead we wish to comment on the process of bringing the resolution to ASUCD. While students have the right to voice their opinions and lobby their ASUCD senators to take a stance on such an issue, student government may not have been the most effective route to take. The senate resolution, even if passed by the senate, would only have served as a recommendation from the UC... ...

Read More →