May 26, 2008 • 130/3 • FREE www.the-peak.ca | I know you are but what am I since 1965
STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY
How this simple virus
can kick your ass any
day of the week
FEATURES pAgE 10
3 | Do we still need the Queen? 8 | Twenty questions with Stephanie Hendy
May 26, 2008 • Volume 129 Issue 1
Maggie Benston Centre 2901
Simon Fraser University
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COPY EDITOR Stephanie Orford
PRODUCTION EDITOR Bryn Hewko
NEWS EDITOR Shara Lee
FEATURES EDITOR Maia Britt Odegaard
ARTS EDITOR Deanne Beattie
OPINiONS EDITOR J.J. McCullough
PHOTO EDITOR Andy Fang
HUMOUR EDITOR Stacey McLachlan
Glamour shot! The Japadroids pose for their Peak exclusive, part two in our Music Waste series. Martha Essek / The Peak WEB EDITOR Jason Sunder
BUSINESS & ADVERTISING MANAGER
Larry van Kampen
AD DESIGNER/PRODUCTION RESOURCE
Larry van Kampen
HUMOUR NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR Andrew Yang
DISTRIBUTION & ARCHIVES COORDINATOR
No more Do we need the What “Jane” KRAZY! Comics
Adam Cristobal, Dave Roberts
Diamond for Queen? didn’t know . . . Comic books, graphic ASSOCIATE STAFF CONTRIBUTORS
Carolina Dubanik, Cam Smith
lunch At 140 years old, Canada One woman’s story about novels, and video games are
The Diamond Alumni is old enough to move a misdiagnosis and how it on show at the Vancouver
out of Mom’s basement. Art Gallery for KRAZY!, the THIS WEEK’S CONTRIBUTORS
Centre will soon no longer changed her life. LAST WORD Mohammed Amir, Chris Brown, Rose
serve lunch. By J.J. McCullough By Rose Dickson cultural event of the summer. Dickson, Brett Kelly, Caitlin MacDonald,
By Mohammed Amir Jordan Potter, Jyoti Sahato, Ken Sakamoto.
By Shara Lee Maegan Thomas
NEWS OPINIONS FEATURES ARTS
6 3 10 12 www.the-peak.ca
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May 26, 2008
opinions editor J.J. McCullough
Letter of the week:
Kudos to SFU for using real students in campus ads
During a recent session on Facebook I current and past SFU residents. I myself
stumbled upon a tagged picture of one of was even pictured on the cover of a pam-
my fellow students. The picture in ques- phlet awhile back.
tion was of her at a bus stop, posing be- Over at the University of Manitoba,
side an ad for SFU’s Open House taking a scandal erupted a few years ago when
place at the end of this month. However, it was discovered that they had hired an
the tag was placed on the ad — not on actress (the infamous “Everywhere Girl”)
her. This was because she was actually with buckets of cash to be pictured on
pictured in the ad itself, along with sev- their website and other promotional ma-
eral other students I recognised. Judg- terials, until the fact was brought to light
ing from the comments on the photo, by a student. Likewise, last semester, the
these ads are placed in several locations CFS was slagged for picturing non-SFU
throughout the Lower Mainland, in sev- students on several of their ads aimed at
eral high traffic areas. keeping the SFSS within its membership.
This is not the first instance that I At a time when image seems to be
have seen of my fellow students displayed playing an ever-increasing role in the
on various SFU paraphernalia. Brows- daily functions and transactions of our
ing through an informational book for society, it makes me feel great that SFU
SFU Surrey’s programs, one of my fellow has no qualms about proudly display-
students was able to name nearly every ing its varied and beautiful students out
student pictured in the book. Over at there to the rest of the world. Kudos for
residence there are tons of informational that. SFU promo ads such as this one use real students as models rather than actors.
brochures and pamphlets featuring many —Earl Von Tapia
Let’s talk about the monarchy
remind us that our government still officially the western world is because he — and he stronger, more autonomous House of Com-
defines “becoming Canadian” as promising alone — gets to exercise near-complete au- mons. I’m not a fan of citing international
feudal fidelity to a foreign monarch. thority over the so-called “royal prerogative” precedents to justify what “should work” in
J.J. The republican cause in Canada is one of the British Crown. this country, but for those who need the as-
McCullough that’s easy to dismiss as trivial or fringe, per- The PM appoints judges, senators, gen- sent of foreigners to validate good ideas, I can
Opinions Editor haps mainly because it’s an issue that’s easy to erals, ambassadors, and the heads of count- point out that most Western European coun-
avoid thinking about. Yet the older the pres- less boards, committees, and corporations tries are parliamentary republics of the sort
I have a stupid tradition that I do once a year, ent queen gets, the more pressing the mat- all by evoking 17th century notions of royal I’ve described, and the system seems to func-
I’m not really sure why. Every summer, on July ter becomes, and the closer we edge towards privilege, just as all Canadian rulers since the tion pretty well for them.
first, I make an early-morning trek to down- — whether we like it or not — the uncom- colonial era have done. On paper, it’s actu- Canada’s obsessively well-organized mon-
town Vancouver and watch a gang of new Ca- fortable business of having ally the governor general archist lobby groups are found of tut-tutting
to decide what should come republicans by declaring that “if it ain’t broke,
nadians get sworn in at Canada Place.
“I swear I will be faithful and bear true al- after her.
In the year 2008 I who formally signs off of-
such decrees, but that
don’t fix it.” On the other hand, I don’t know
legiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the In the year 2008 I would would like to think fice long ago ceased to act how anyone can look at modern Canada, a
Second, all her heirs and successors,” the im- like to think it’s hard not to be it’s hard not to be a as any sort of check on country in which we have a tyrannically pow-
migrants recite in uniform monotone, before a republican. Even if we dis- prime ministerial power. erful prime minister, an unelected talk show
segueing into the second stanza in which they count the obvious symbolic republican. And perhaps understand- host serving as our impotent governess, and
additionally (and thankfully) also promise to weirdness of the fact that the ably so, when we consider the nation’s senior generals taking loyalty
“obey the laws of Canada” and “fulfill my du- legal head of the Canadian state is also the who appoints the governor general. oaths to the Queen of England and not con-
ties as a Canadian citizen.” And that’s the en- head of our former imperial ruler, or all the Presuming that none of us wish to re- clude that the status quo is, if not broken, at
tire recital. That’s how you become a citizen. bizarre superstitions of the House of Windsor, turn to an era of politically-involved royalty, least poorly-functioning and fairly ridiculous.
Maybe I keep going to this mundane with primogeniture, divine right and the like, an easy way to curb the powers of the prime Every time I go to one of those Canadian
ceremony because I’m a cynical republican constitutional monarchy is simply a bad sys- minister in the modern era would be to intro- citizenship ceremonies, the various masters
and I enjoy being occasionally reminded of tem of government. A constitutional monarch duce a separately elected executive “president of ceremonies almost inevitably try to down-
the bizarre fact that 21st century, 140-year- is, by definition, a person who does not exer- of Canada,” who would be able to do a lot of play or minimize the monarchy’s role in the
old Canada remains, officially, a dominion of cise any real political power, which in turn, things the governor general is supposed to proceedings, clearly uncomfortable with the
Her Britannic Majesty. Indeed, the contrast somewhat paradoxically breeds an extremely do, yet never actually does, such as veto bad concept, yet also too timid to speak frankly
at Canada Place could not be more pathetic; strong executive branch. The correlation is laws and scrutinize patronage appointments. about it. That’s basically Canada’s relationship
outside we have all manner of fun Canada not often made, but part of the reason why Or we could make the prime minister the of- with the Crown in a nutshell. We know some-
Day festivities, awash in patriotic revelry, the prime minister of Canada occupies one ficial head of state, but take away a few of his thing’s wrong, yet we don’t speak up. Maybe
while inside we have a depressing spectacle to of the most powerful constitutional offices in powers in the process, diffusing them to a it’s time to start.
Interviews and photos by Andy Fang
Should Canada cut its formal ties to the British monarchy?
Masoud Ashley Rosemary
Ross Weaver Chad Indcio Nosihei Nijjer Messmer
5th-year 4th-year 1st-year 4th-year Health and
Poli Sci Business Engineering Soc. Science Counseling
I think the monarchy is an I think the queen is a symbol I’m not interested in politics and The royals are pretty useless. I have no opinion. No opinion at
anachronism that has no place that represents Canada’s tra- I don’t know much about the They don’t do much, they’re ba- all.
in Canada. Having to swear alle- ditional values and culture. If Queen of Canada. The thing that sically just a symbol. I’m pretty
giance to the queen is something you take the Queen out of the is most important is improving indifferent.
that sort of deters me from want- system you’re taking out years the country no matter who does
ing to become a citizen. and years of culture. this, prime minister or queen.
4 May 26, 2008 OPINIONS
While waiting patiently in line outside of the Roxy not
too long ago, two sassy young ladies discussed what
they thought to be their normal aspirations. “What is
your ultimate goal in life?” Shara asked. “It’s so cheesy,
but I want to make a difference,” replied Katie.
It was only later in my conversation with Katie
that I discovered that our aspirations were not like
those of certain others we knew. She told me how
her childhood friend, currently working a modest
job with no dreams of promotion, was settling down Vancouver author Douglas Coupland, who spoke at SFU last week.
and getting married — and was perfectly content in
The fine art of the anecdote
“That’s what normal people do,” said Katie. “They
settle down, they get married, and they’re happy.
We’re the weird ones Shara.” As she told me this, it
finally struck me that it wasn’t them but us who were
the oddities of our generation. time in my life is just around the corner party with Michael Stevenson, and defi-
Katie and I both agreed that we could not imagine (the next 25 years are bound to slip by nitely not while discussing Douglas
settling down with average jobs, getting married, and quickly) but I want to be interesting in Coupland’s favourite restaurant in the
being happy about it all. Yes, we thought of ourselves Maia Britt social situations now. Instead, when I Burnaby area. Maybe my adventures
as high functioning, very involved people, but cer- Odegaard am standing there eating tiny pieces of are just naturally inappropriate and the
tainly not that different from the mainstream. We Features Editor pineapple surrounded by a special col- only way for me to rectify this would
just viewed ourselves as average 20-somethings and lection of poetry, ready to ask a famous be to start hanging out more civilized
assumed that our dreams matched up with others There are a few things in my life that I writer a carefully constructed question individuals. This is a bit of a catch-22
our age. hope to accomplish by the time I am about his literary work, all I’m able to do though, if I hang around ‘normal’ peo-
All of our friends are go-getters. Among them, a wilted old biddy — graduating from is eavesdrop like a kid at the grown-up ple, the likelihood that any adventures
some are currently acting as state coordinators or vol- university for instance, or being able to table. will ensue greatly diminishes.
unteers for the Barack Obama campaign, many are roast the perfect turkey — but the one How is it that I wasn’t the one who Coupland did tell a good story about
active student politicians who, on weekends, can be thing on the top of my list, the one thing thought up the idea of photocopy- constantly taking notes when he was in
found presenting arguments in front of various legis- I would really like to have under by belt his 20s (something I am a big fan of)
latures, others are editing weekly student-run news- by the time I am considered a respect- and eventually being able to take men-
papers, still others are presidents of this association able adult is the ability to deliver appro-
I don’t have any tal notes rather than recording every
or that political youth party, and many are recipients priate anecdotes. I’m not terribly bad quirky stories I thought or event of intrigue. I suppose I
of service awards, scholarships, and stellar references at telling anecdotal stories in social set- can use to answer have my solution then, I merely have to
from high-ranking officials. tings, and when things work out (timing commit to a nerdy existence filled with
I’ve always been fired up with mad ambition but and audience wise) I am usually able to questions about my pocket protectors and coffee-stained
lately it has become apparent that a lot of people are get a few laughs. But there are still many faith, or whatever. note pads, until finally I am able to con-
perfectly content leading much more humble lives. occasions when I find myself at a com- jure up interesting anecdotes at the drop
To those types, people like us are probably plete loss for words. of a hat. Hopefully my 27 cats have good
strange. They most likely see us as a bunch of crazy, One such instance occured just last ing the last two pages of 40-something dinner parties as they will be the only
power-hungry people, constantly jumping from one Wednesday when I attended a lecture by novels, just as a means of experiencing ones left in my social circle.
elitist group to another, always sniffing out power and a relatively famous local author, Douglas 40-something endings? This was one of
eagerly snatching it up. Coupland. To be clear, this is not some- his answers and his point was some-
This may explain why there is so much crossover
from The Peak and the Simon Fraser Student Society,
thing I do regularly; it was free, it was ca-
tered, and I hoped it would impress my
thing more existential, but it’s a good
idea just in the interest of researching
for instance. Involved people just want to get their
hands dirty in everything. Of course, it could also be
professor. I was warned ahead of time
that the author I was about to listen to
conclusions. I’m pretty sure I don’t have
any quirky stories like that, which I can
argued that we’re the only ones stupid enough to take for two hours has a reputation for being use to answer questions about my faith,
on so much unnecessary extra work. considerably underwhelming. Now bar- or whatever the original question was.
Certain people are inclined to embrace respon- ing this is in mind, I was fairly certain I I would likely start talking about the
sibility, and as such become natural born leaders, would think less of the author after at- time some friends and I stuffed two kids
but for others responsibility is a frightening thing, tending his event, but on the contrary! in the trunk of a Honda Prelude and re- TESOL/TESL Teacher Training
so they’re happy to just stay in the background. And If this were an ordinary lecture, I fused to tell them where we were head- Certification Courses
maybe they have a point. Maybe there’s a case to would not have been as impressed — I ing, all the while recording the entire • Intensive 60-Hour Program
be made for living a more humble and modest life, expect lecturers to keep their audience adventure. The better part of the story • Classroom Management Techniques
perusing a small job and spending more time with engaged throughout the length of their being our attempt to have a screening • Detailed Lesson Planning
friends and family, rather than endless projects and talk. But the fact that he had a bank of of our home movie in our teacher’s of- • ESL Skills Development
clubs. personal stories at his disposal and that fice behind locked doors. When she at- • Comprehensive Teaching Materials
Neither of these two types are better than the he seemed able to relate one to each of tempted to enter the room to see what • Interactive Teaching Practicum
other. Neither is an exemplar of the types of people the questions posed was truly enviable. we were doing and we refused to open • Internationally Recognized Certificate
• Teacher Placement Service
we should emulate. Maybe it is a skill one develops over the door, she inevitably grew suspicious.
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Katie taught me an important lesson that night at time; maybe I won’t be good at this until Did I mention that the video was filmed
• Thousands of Satisfied Students
the Roxy. From that point on I’ve been slow to judge, I am middle-aged, and it is the only during a field trip to SFU?
because I’ve come to the conclusion that at the end of thing that keeps people hanging around But my point is that I don’t know OXFORD SEMINARS
the day we’re all pretty damn weird. me and my 27 cats. I hope it doesn’t when this type of story would ever be ap- 604-683-3430/1-800-269-6719
come to this though. I know that that propriate, certainly not at a fancy dinner www.oxfordseminars.ca
OPINIONS May 26, 2008 5
The Small Talk Project
— we all do it!
makes me wonder if our collective
unrestrained online habits are start-
ing to cross over into real life.
It is probably best to avoid spec-
ulating as to why some people en-
Adam Cristobal gage in blatant ogling since everyone
Columnist has their own subjective reasons.
Wandering eyes, raging hormones .
Etiquette is a strange thing. It has . . the reasons for staring vary based
the ability to provide a natural order on personal disposition and one’s
to social procedures and simplify level of shamelessness. I, personally,
them, yet, ironically, it can also have never been ashamed to admit
make them a hell of a lot more com- the latter motivation since it’s sim-
plicated than they need to be. Right ply the truth. At the same time, I am
now you might be having visions of only able to confess to such creepy
plate settings which look more like behaviour since I am ridiculously
rows of shiny, pointy things at an skilled at keeping my stare-ees igno-
operating table (FYI: move from the rant of my staring. While it is prob-
outside inwards) and and Mozart’s ably true that I would have great
Eine kleine Nach- deal more in-
tmusik playing in I am ridiculously teresting stories
the background, to tell if I wasn’t
but etiquette is
skilled at keeping so, shall we say
J.J. McCullough / The Peak
more than that. my stare-ees . . . talented, I,
like most peo-
With all its rules
ignorant of my
Quote of the Week and conventions it
has an unpleasant staring.
ple who state,
would also like
The one thing that unites all human beings,
way of making one to avoid getting
feel like an idiot in commonplace caught. Alas, it is clear that not all
regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnic settings on an everyday basis. of us are as professional as I when it
Netiquette is a lot easier to deal comes to ogling.
background, is that we all believe we are above with, mostly because the internet is So, what does one do when one
not quite the real world. Facebook gets caught gawking? Usually, un-
in particular has come to embody less one actually wishes to endure
—Dave Barry a glaring truth of contemporary a restraining order, one probably
society: everyone is a stalker. With stops and tries to promptly reoc-
Facebook, it’s no longer a faux pas cupy one’s eyes with some other
to track down that hottie from the fascinating phenomenon. What
hallway and gawk away, since now is interesting to note, however, is
even your grandma is able to eas- that it cannot necessarily be said
Woohoo! / Boohoo! ily find her drunken party photos that people stop staring simply out
online. With personal information of personal embarrassment when
By J.J. McCullough flying about like never before, Fa- caught. In a day and age when stalk-
cebook users (easily 95 per cent of ing and gawking is so prevalent and
Woohoo! Boohoo! SFU students) have become easily increasingly normalized (thanks to
accustomed to constant stalking the wonders of Facebook), it is scar-
McDonalds’ Big Breakfast People who order a and endless voyeurism. Of course, ily possible that some people just
all this is not without its own fun aren’t that concerned about their
They say there’s no better way to start your
day than with a well-rounded breakfast, and
Big Breakfast but then little corelational ramifications in own shame as much anymore. This
the real world — you know, the provokes the question as to why a
you can’t get much more well-rounded than painstakingly put world where people don’t need to stare-ee should feel so uncomfort-
McDonalds’ famous “Big Breakfast.” be identified by tags, and mystics able to begin with, the reasons for
With a hearty heap of scrambled eggs, a all of its component are shifty folk with crystal balls in- which are easily identified. For start-
sassy sausage patty, a crisp hashbrown, and stead of ridiculously clichéd astrol- ers, it’s damn creepy to get gawked.
two fluffy English muffin slices, the Big Break- pieces together into a ogy applications? But, more importantly, it makes
fast represents an apex of breakfast food deli- Assuming that we’re all Face- people feel objectified, or as the ste-
ciousness. Plus, according to the McDonalds sandwhich, thus forming book stalkers, I am going to boldly reotypical feminists say, “like pieces
online health guide, it’s also the single most state that stalking from behind a of meat.”
calorie-laden item on the menu, even surpass-
a crude Egg McMuffin, computer screen is perfectly fine These people need to get over
ing the Big Mac, so you know it will give you
the energy to confront a busy day.
which makes no sense and good — provided that one fol- themselves. God knows they’ve
lows basic netiquette protocols, probably been stalking people over
These days I get up too late, so I often miss because it would be such as properly using quaint little Facebook too, and are therefore
the 11:00 a.m. cutoff for McDonalds’ break- keyboard operations such as “<3” guilty of ogling a person in a fleeting
fasts, but nary a morning goes by that I don’t cheaper to just order a and refraining from excessive spam- moment just like the rest of us. In
pine for the sweet (and savory!) sensation of ming and mindless flaming. On the other words, if it wasn’t for all this
the Big B. normal Egg McMuffin in other hand, blatant and uninhibited gosh-darned etiquette, perhaps we’d
stalking of an actual, living, breath- all go around freely gawking at each
the first place. ing person — and not just pixel- other with absolutely no complaint
lated representations of said person or quarrel — just like we do online.
I mean seriously, come on. — usually causes a lot of problems Imagine it: a whole world of visual
because of the much stricter rules of freedom and a new level of satisfac-
real-world etiquette. Yet many peo- tion for curiosity. Hotties aside.
ple continue to stalk and gawk and That is, unless that sort of thing
stare despite it all, and the fact that is too weird for you.
this is occurring more and more
May 26, 2008
news editor Shara Lee
A Diamond plucked from the
The Diamond Alumni Centre will soon cease to serve lunches
be offered with prices ranging from $15 to
$55 per head. “It’s still very reasonable . . .
for a complete lunch,” said Brown.
Shara Lee While this may be an unavoidable
News Editor business decision, it is also one that cer-
tain students are less than pleased with.
Starting June 1, the University’s Diamond “I’m pretty sad about it,” said SFSS
Alumni Centre will cease to be open for Member-At-Large Jonathan Brockman.
patrons seeking classy lunch options. “The first time I ate there was only a few
According to Richard Brown, director months ago. The food was quite enjoyable
of food services at SFU, the lunchtime clo- and the service was excellent.”
sures are due to a lack of interest in the Residence Hall Association presi-
dining service itself. dent Gurjeet Singh felt that the Diamond
During the summer, only an estimated Alumni Centre could have done more to
10 to 15 customers come in daily for lunch. advertise within the residence community.
Brown noted that the Diamond Alumni “If it is losing money, then it makes sense
Centre would probably not reintroduce to shut it down but I don’t think many
this service in the fall. residents actually knew about the DAC’s
Instead, the DAC will be moving to- lunch,” said Singh.
ward a more event bookings based ser- “They should have tried harder be-
vice and will rent out space and provide cause their food is really amazing and
catering for small and large groups. “The their prices are reasonable. For students
bulk of our business really is catering,” said on the meal plan it’s a nice break from
Brown. The lunch trade only accounts for the ordinary food you get from the other
about 10 per cent of business. Chartwells establishments,” he said com-
Brown noted that the Diamond Alum- menting on the little known fact that resi-
ni’s lunches were a “very costly way of dents on the meal plan could in fact use
doing business” that had been struggling their meal card at this eatery.
for the past four to five years. Third-year Business student Geoffrey
“We tried many different things,” said Brockman was also among the many who
Brown. The Centre had tried to promote had previously not heard about the Dia-
their services heavily within the SFU resi- mond Alumni’s lunch offerings. “I’ve never
dence community as well as within the been there, but I guess I would have gone
larger university community with buf- if I had known there were lunch specials,”
fets and sandwich specials. Despite this, he said. “It’s disappointing. It being the one
the lunchtime option still did not gain classy place on the hill to take people.”
momentum. Student Senator Aman Bains echoed
“It’s just really a matter of economics,” similar sentiments. “I’m very disap-
said Brown. pointed. It was one of the best places to
Groups wishing to book the Diamond eat on campus and it had a great view.
Andy Fang / The Peak Alumni Centre can do so with at least 48 It was one of SFU’s well kept secrets,”
The Diamond Alumni Centre. hours of notice. A catering service will still said Bains.
Advocacy Committee revitalized
Shara Lee was decided upon that several semester thought to be some- The only group which ap- residence you’ll see townhouses
News Editor subcommittees would be cre- what useless and had been on peared to have a clear man- with broken washrooms, doors
ated under the umbrella of the brink of decomposition. date was the Residence Issues that don’t lock, and couches
A controversial Student Soci- advocacy. Many previous Executive direc- Working Group spearheaded held up by microwaves. This
ety committee on the brink of These groups would include tors had favoured dissolving it by Brockman who had previ- working group is the first step
dissolution has been revived a residence issues working completely. Even SFSS staff per- ously served as the president of to change,” Brockman told The
thanks to an innovative new group to be chaired by At-Large son Hattie Aitken had voiced the Residence Hall Association Peak.
proposal. Representative Jonathan Brock- her concerns about the relative and whose premier campaign Several other directors
During the ‘70s and ‘80s the man, a university issues group ineffectiveness of the Advocacy promise was to give voice to the seemed to be interested in
committee was largely used to to be chaired by University Re- Committee in recent years. residents. working within this group, in-
coordinate radical protests and lations Officer Ali Godson, an Many directors favour the A mandate prepared by cluding Tapia, Godson, and
activism, however, declining in- elections awareness group to be Advocacy Committee’s new Brockman stated that the Resi- Law.
terest in overtly political causes chaired by External Relations structure. “I like this new ap- dence Issues working group It was decided that at the
saw the committee slowly de- Officer Natalie Bocking, and a proach,” said Member Services would “investigate how the next advocacy meeting that the
scend into little more than a humanitarian issues working Officer Earl Von Tapia. Others Simon Fraser Student Society terms of reference be adopted.
group that would occasionally group to be chaired by At-Large were not certain this new struc- can actively advocate for resi- “These working groups are
give cash handouts to off-cam- Representative Mona Law. ture would succeed. Internal dents’ rights and issues.” open to all SFU students. It will
pus events and conferences. The Advocacy Committee, Relations Officer Andrew Fer- “Residents have been ig- be exciting to see the new faces
At the most recent Advo- which currently has a $28,000 gusson noted that these groups nored by the SFSS for many at upcoming meetings,” said
cacy Committee meeting, it budget, was earlier in this were still “too broad.” years. If you walk through Brockman.
NEWS May 26, 2008 7
What are we paying Are we in or out?
you for? Two months after vote, SFU’s status in CFS
Pay logs of Student Society directors made public
Shara Lee charges that the referendum was fraught
News Editor with procedural irregularities have been
Is the Simon Fraser Student Society still Regardless of the outstanding court
a member of the Canadian Federation of case, the SFSS has already declared itself
Students? Despite the fact that students independent and is not planning to pay
voted 66 per cent in favour of leaving the CFS membership fees for the coming
organization in a special referendum in year.
March, the question still seems to lack a Yet outwardly, the Student Union has
clear answer. been sending mixed signals. At recent
Legally, a member school of the Ca- public events the SFSS has continued to
nadian Federation of Students, a national use posters and banners with a logo con-
lobby group, can only leave the organiza- taining the words “Local 23 of the Cana-
tion by holding a special “defederation” dian Federation of Students,” and wait-
vote held under CFS supervision. The ers at the SFSS Pub still wear uniforms
SFSS held a vote in March, but did so uni- emblazed with the slogan. Matters were
laterally after talks between the CFS and further confused by ERO Natalie Bocking’s
SFSS broke down. The CFS has since ar- recent attendance at an CFS-BC execu-
gued that the vote held was not binding, tive meeting, in which she claimed to be a
though the SFSS maintains it is. “guest from Local 23.”
Anticipating that the March vote Bocking stated that the attendance
would not be accepted by the CFS, the there proved to be useful. “It was a good
SFSS Board of Directors voted to petition chance to learn about how the funding
the Supreme Court of British Columbia to cuts are affecting other students’ unions
formally affirm the legality of the referen- and other colleges and universities, and
J.J. McCullough / The Peak
dum, and, by extension, confirm that SFSS find out what strategies people are taking.
is, in fact, no longer a member of the CFS. As for the SFSS’s current status in the
Shara Lee bylaws,” and attending two meetings. The process remains tied up in the CFS, she told The Peak that the Student
News Editor Some of the duties the directors have legal proceedings, however, and could Society had petitioned the court to rule
been clocking as “working” hours are take months before a clear resolution that the referendum be declared valid.
A new timesheet system implemented by bound to provoke controversy. Many direc- is reached. Based on past statements, it “Currently we’re not sure until we get the
the Simon Fraser Student has made it pos- tors logged in a lavish dinner at SFU Presi- seems likely that the CFS will contest the results of the court case,” she said.
sible for students to see exactly what their dent Michael Stevenson’s penthouse apart- results of the vote on a number of fronts, Internal Relations Officer Andrew
elected politicians are getting paid to do. ment as work, including Internal Relations including challenging the SFSS’s refusal to Fergusson who, like Bocking, had been a
Under the rules of the student union, Officer Andrew Fergusson, Treasurer Anna abide by CFS election regulations, and ac- strong CFS supporter, shared much the
the 14 elected members of the SFSS Board Belkine, Members-at-Large Mona Law and cusing the SFSS election managers of gen- same opinion. “It’s a matter before the
of Directors are paid after submitting Jonathan Brockman, and External Rela- eral sloppiness and corruption. Though courts,” he said. Fergusson also noted that
completed time sheets to the Society’s tions Officer Natalie Bocking. Interestingly, SFSS insiders generally acknowledge that he no longer had any ties to the CFS.
treasurer, who must approve them. Execu- the directors seem to have some disagree- March’s vote was purposely not held in SFSS President Joe Paling could not be
tive-rank directors earn $1,750 per month ment as to just how long this catered meal complete accordance with CFS rules, reached for comment.
if they can prove 120 hours of work per took; according to Fergusson and Bock-
month, while non-executive directors earn ing, the President’s dinner took only two
$875 if they can prove 60 hours. hours, while Brockman logged two and a
Until now, such time sheets have been half hours, Belkine one and a half, and Law Campus News
paper-based and largely confidential, three and a half.
rarely leaving the office. Newly elected
Treasurer Anna Belkine has changed all
that, however, posting digital versions of
The controversy that ensued after the
SFSS Board voted to support a contentious
student protest at the University of To-
the timesheets online for the first time, ronto has also provided ample work hours
making their contents public. for many directors. Director Ada Nadison
Though the Student Society is tasked claimed to have spent 2.5 hours “research-
with providing services to students, ing” the protest on May 10, and recorded
judging from the timesheets submitted further “research and discussion” of the
thus far for May, the Board has spent the same matter four days later as part of a
majority of their time either in meet- four-hour work block.
ings, answering e-mails, or performing But if some directors’ hours seem dubi-
vaguely defined office duties. Of the over ous, several directors have yet to clock in (Your article here.)
140 timesheet entries so far, at least 50 any hours at all. As of press time, directors
include mention of a meeting, while an Henry Liu, Daniel Carter, and Sara Olson (Your article here.)
additional 50 mention answering e-mails have yet to submit any time sheet entries.
and 36 mention “office work” without fur- In terms of sheer hours worked, Presi- (Your article here.)
ther elaboration. dent Joe Paling leads the pack at 102
It’s difficult to track the precise hours, followed closely by Andrew Fer- (Your article here.)
amount of time the directors spent gusson at 94.
performing these tasks, however, as in The SFSS directors, for their part, (Your article here.)
many cases directors log multiple tasks have sought to downplay the vagueness
in a single entry. In her May 8 timesheet of some time sheet entries, insisting that (Your article here.)
entry, for instance, SFSS Member-at- once their monthly work reports are pub-
Large Mona Law claimed she spent eight lished the precise details of their work (Your article here.)
and a half hours “cleaning [the SFSS] Sur- — and the resulting benefits to students
rey office, e-mails, reading policies and — will be made clear.
8 May 26, 2008 NEWS
20 questions with Stephanie Hendy
The SFSS science representative talks about just how she got those dreadlocks
Photos by Andy Fang
1) What do you consider your 6) What is the attribute you most issues. I always have to be con- 16) Name a famous person you 20) What provoked you to get
greatest achievement? look for in a romantic partner? stantly moving because if I stop would like to someday meet. dreadlocks?
then there’s stuff I have to deal
I would say having a better qual- Compatibility of sense of humour. with, and sometimes I’m not ready Stephen Hawking. I used to have really, really long
ity of life as an insulin-dependent so I have to keep myself moving at straight hair down to my butt and
diabetic than most of the people 7) What is your greatest this insane pace. 17) What’s been your greatest I used to only get it trimmed once
I know that don’t have a chronic extravagance? struggle in life? every six months. So it looked re-
illness. 12) What’s your greatest regret? ally terrible. The bottom six inches
Food and dining out. I spend a lot There are a few things that come of hair were all split ends and
2) Which political leader do you of money on dessert. I don’t have any regrets. A regret to my mind, it’s hard to isolate just every time I would get it trimmed
look up to the most? would be something that you one. Let’s just say trying not to hate it would cost, like, 50 bucks. And I
8) What kind of people annoy you would want to undo, and there’s all of the people that made my really, really hated the way that my
Elizabeth May, hands down. the most? nothing in my life that I would childhood an absolute hell. hair looked. Eventually I started to
want to undo, because that makes get my hair done in little cornrows,
3) What is the most recent book People that make character gener- it not worth learning from. 18) Name something you’ve pur- but those would only ever last for
you’ve read? alizations based on my behaviour. chased that’s given you buyer’s about six weeks before I’d have to
13) What was the first job you ever remorse. get them combed out. And when
Brave New World by Aldous 9) What talent would you like to had? I did that I also managed to comb
Huxley. have? My bike. I bought an “as-is” bike out a lot of my hair that was still
Doing concession at the race track. and now I’ve had to buy a whole attached to my head. So it was a
4) As a child, what was your favou- The ability to get A pluses in all of bunch of other things to make it very painful process. After doing
rite TV show? my classes. 14) What living person do you hate useable. it the third time I was like, “Shit
the most? man, I’m going to go bald if I keep
Double Dare, where they put the 10) What’s your favourite dessert? 19) List something surprising peo- doing this. I might as well just keep
slime on people. And American I don’t hate anybody. I know that ple may not know about you. my hair.” So I got dreadlocks so I
Gladiators. I still dream of being Gelato. sounds way too hippie and new- would not have to do anything to
an American Gladiator and hitting age but it’s true. Despite being very headstrong my hair and it would look the same
people with oversized Q-tips. 11) What’s your least favourite and passionate with my opin- every time. I thought that it was
quality about yourself? 15) What’s do you consider life’s ions, I’m also flexible. My opin- a great way for me to exercise my
5) Favourite toy? most overrated value? ions are actually a lot more lack of care of putting a lot of ef-
I have to keep myself going quickly pliable than people would fort into appearance, but also look
Eight-bit Nintendo. to distract myself from internal Having babies. believe. pretty damn cool.
NEWS May 26, 2008 9
The Peak spoke to Jerry Yon and Vin- fall, so during the summer we will can get really involved in and enjoy, VL: I started piano when I was five,
cent Lo, president and vice president be having a separate group for plan- and get stress out as well. and I’m 20 now so I’ve been playing
of the SFU String Ensemble ning it in addition to the string en- for 15 years, and I also love to com-
semble. The orchestra will be a little P: Do you find you have a lot of pose, so I thought joining this club
The Peak: Tell me about the SFU bit more advanced, so we will be interest? would help me learn more about
String Ensemble. holding auditions. Right now in the the capabilities of the instruments,
String Ensemble, there is not a lot of JY: Yeah, we had quite a few people so it’s really interesting.
Vincent Lo: We’re basically a group auditioning, we accept all members, walking by when we first started in
of people who play string instru- so our music level is intermediate; the fall, we had around 60 mem- JY: I’ve been playing the cello, I
ments. We love music, and we want it’s not too high. bers that signed up, but we only had started when I was eight, and it’s
to promote music by sharing with around 15 to 20 active members. been 11 years. I was just very musi-
the community around us. So far P: Have you found there to be a cally involved throughout my life. I
we have had only one concert, and lot of interest for the chamber P: What exactly is a chamber thought it would be nice to have an
that was in March. We have around orchestra? orchestra? orchestra that represents the uni- to run both, the String Ensemble is
17 members, mostly violins and versity, because even high schools going to be the branch-off group, so
a few cellos, and we’re looking for VL: Yeah, this idea started because JY: There’s a lot of different types have orchestras, it’s sad to see that we are going to keep both going.
violas. when we first started our club sign- of orchestras. A chamber orches- we don’t have any chamber music
ups, we were only accepting string tra is where the size of the or- groups. P: What skill level are you looking
P: How many members do you instruments, but we found out a lot chestra is made up of around 30 for?
have? of people played other instruments members. We have a general wind P: So are you going to still have a
and still wanted to join, so that’s section as well as the brass, the spring ensemble in the fall? JY: For the String Ensemble we ac-
VL: We currently have around 17. why we’re expanding in the fall. tympani, and the string section. cept any skill level as long as you
But we recently had a few more sign So it’s made out of four groups, JY: My vision was to create the can read and play music, however
up P: What inspired you to start the and usually the biggest group in chamber orchestra in the first place, for the chamber orchestra coming
String Ensemble? this orchestra is the string sec- that was my vision, but because up for this fall we need at least a skill
P: What is the chamber orchestra? tion, and then the wind and brass we can’t refuse people from joining level of, I would say intermediate,
Jerry Yon: I saw people going around even. clubs, and seeing how many people because if you’re too beginner you
VL: Basically it’s all instruments, through university not knowing were interested, we had majority can’t play the music.
strings and also woodwinds and what to get involved in, and music P: How did you guys get involved string people so I turned it into a
brass. We want to expand for the I found is one of the things that you in music? String Ensemble. So we’re still going Interview by Carolina Dubanik
Wednesday June 4th, 2008
May 26, 2008
features editor Maia Britt Odegaard
You Rose Dickson
Malaspina University-College (Cup)
to its hiding place.”
The herpes simplex virus is passed through contact with an affected
area. It dies very quickly once off the body. There are two types of the
virus, herpes simplex one and two. Although it is herpes simplex two that
is most often associated with genital herpes, either one can infect the
mouth or the genital region. In fact, any mucous membrane, such as the
eyes, inside the nose, and even cuts can become infected with the virus,
causing herpes sores to show up in those areas at any time after the initial
It is also possible to get herpes on your genitals from receiving oral sex
from someone with herpes on their mouth and vice versa.
“There is a huge stigma around genital herpes,” says Jane, “I remember
right after I first found out that was what I had, a friend was making fun
of people with herpes. I felt so humiliated, but angry at his ignorance. It
wasn’t like I was a slut. Anyone could get this. Yet I was still too new to it,
“Jane” still remembers the day, many years ago when she felt a strange, too ashamed, and I didn’t speak up to defend myself.”
prickly, stinging sensation around her genitals, the source of which Because herpes can remain dormant for many years after the initial
seemed to be a strange bump. She visited the doctor, expressing a exposure, it can be very hard to determine exactly where it came from.
concern that she might have herpes. The doctor said it sounded more Often, though, initial outbreaks show up anywhere between a few days to
like an ingrown hair to him, but he took a swab of the area and sent a couple of weeks after infection. Jane doesn’t know exactly who gave her
the test off to the lab. herpes. Because of her misdiagnosis, she doesn’t remember the exact time
Jane never got a call back, and so she assumed everything was fine. frame, but that it showed up around the end of one relationship and the
However, every so often since that visit, she has been plagued by a beginning of another.
familiar stinging sensation. In the last few years, Jane noticed a sharp “I was always monogamous, and I would use a condom, at least at first
increase in the frequency of her mysterious outbreaks. in a relationship. But I would usually end up having unprotected sex with
“It was just last year, over eleven years after that first visit, that I boyfriends. I think most people do, once they get to know someone and
finally went to another doctor about this again,” says Jane; ‘“looks like feel safe.”
herpes to me’ said my doctor. I was stunned. I mean, I knew all along None of Jane’s boyfriends ever had visible symptoms of herpes, and
it wasn’t just ingrown hairs, but I couldn’t believe it was really herpes none ever mentioned it.
after all.” “I suspect it was one of two people who I got it from,” says Jane. “The
Like many people, Jane had been misdiagnosed, or rather, not one guy was just a short-term fling, and I have no idea where he is now.
diagnosed at all, and had been living with herpes, a lifelong viral infec- The other guy, I went out with for two years, and I don’t remember him
tion. It isn’t uncommon for swab tests to come back negative for the ever getting an outbreak. I am afraid of asking him so many years later if
herpes virus. That’s because the virus isn’t always hanging out on the he is infected. If he is, did I give it to him, or did I get it from him? I just
surface of the skin. In fact, a second, more recent swab from Jane also don’t know.”
came back negative, but a blood test confirmed that she had antibod- One of the mysteries about herpes is the way it acts so differently in
ies to the herpes virus — it just didn’t show which type. different cases. There are many reported cases of couples where one has
“My doctor explained that the virus lives in my central nervous the virus and the other never gets it. Other times, just one sexual encoun-
system,” she says “and comes to the surface of my skin at the place ter can result in transmitting the virus.
where it originally entered. During that time, it is contagious, but the Similarly, some people get just one or two outbreaks in their lifetime,
thing is, it is impossible to know for sure when that is. It could be at the while others get them all the time. Jane considers herself extremely lucky.
surface, I could be ‘shedding virus,’ as they say, but not even having an She is now married, and her husband has never shown any symptoms of
outbreak. On the other hand, I might get an outbreak, but by the time herpes.
I make it in to the doctor for the swab test, the virus has retreated back “We’ve obviously had unprotected sex, lots of times, before I had any
FEATURES May 26, 2008 11
idea that I had herpes. I don’t know why he’s never had any outbreaks.”
Jane has also had kids, something she feels like she may not have done
had she known she had herpes. Many people with herpes have success-
ful vaginal births, but it can be dangerous if they have an active outbreak.
The virus can get into the infant’s eyes, causing more serious problems
than it does in adults. In cases where an active outbreak is present, doc-
erpe b a d ,
tors perform caesarean sections.
“I didn’t know I had herpes,” says Jane, “so I never took any precau-
ving t h a t r
tions. But I was just lucky to not have had any outbreaks during my
Ha y ove
pregnancies.” She went on to say, “I feel like if I got pregnant now, the
rea ou al shock
stress of worrying about getting an outbreak would surely cause one, and
I wouldn’t know what to do. I feel so lucky that I went through it and ev-
nce otion ne. “I
erything was fine.”
em Ja s to
It is commonly believed that stress increases the frequency of out-
the ” says
breaks. While scientific studies on the topic are inconclusive, Jane has
g w eaks
noticed that it seems to be the case.
find outbr nd
“My outbreaks increased after a death in my family, and I think I also
had some post-partum depression. For a long time, I barely remember
am y ,a
ep m nimum uch
even having outbreaks, but it was this sudden increase in outbreaks that
sent me to the doctor about it again.”
Jane now treats her herpes with herbal remedies and tries to maintain
a positive attitude.
re tty al. .
life on as no
“When I was first diagnosed, I felt so dirty and disgusting,” says Jane,
“but I realized I didn’t do anything wrong. I was still the same person. If I
stay healthy, I am fine, but if I let my immune system get run down, sure
enough, I get a sore.”
Jane has noticed that things like coffee, lack of sleep, and poor diet
seem to contribute to her herpes outbreaks. Coffee is often a culprit in
frequent outbreaks because of its effect on the central nervous system,
where herpes lives in the body.
“Herpes doesn’t like coffee,” says Jane, laughing; “it makes [it] mad.”
The other major influences are anxiety and anger.
“One time, I had a minor little sore. I remember getting really angry
that day. I was yelling at my kids and feeling super stressed out about
some things in my life. When I got home, the sore was really raw and
bleeding. It sounds gross, I know, but it was telling me something. Getting occur in areas around the genitals, areas a condom doesn’t cover. And
freaked out about stress isn’t worth it.” although it is usually the case, it is a myth that herpes is only conta-
Jane takes herbs like St. John’s Wort and Lemon Balm, both of which are gious when there is an active sore present.
known for easing depression and calming moods and for being antiviral. “Most people with herpes, maybe up to 70 per cent, don’t get
“I know there are some pharmaceutical antiviral treatments that a lot noticeable outbreaks,” says Scipio. “You may be having sub-clinical
of people find success with, but I thought I’d try natural remedies first,” (subtle) outbreaks or may be shedding virus asymptomatically (with-
Jane says. Nothing will ever take away the virus, but through taking care of out symptoms). You could be infecting others with herpes without
herself, Jane has managed to greatly reduce the frequency of outbreaks. knowing it.”
Vancouver-based herbalist, naturopath, and carrier of the herpes As Jane said, none of her partners ever exhibited symptoms that
virus, Christopher Scipio, estimates that 60 per cent of the sexually active she noticed, yet she caught it somehow. Using an antiviral gel like the
population has herpes. He has developed a number of herbal treatments one Scipio has developed, with a condom, abstaining from sex during
for herpes, and even a seaweed-based gel that, when used with a condom outbreaks, and taking measures to prevent outbreaks all reduce the
or dental dam, is very effective at preventing the virus from infecting risk of transmitting the virus.
sexual partners. Jane says, “the biggest challenge for people, I think, is how to be
He has a very holistic view of the disease, and writes about it in his sexually active once they know they have herpes. For me, I’m already
blog, HerpesNation.blogspot.com. married. My husband isn’t scared because he figures he’s already got
“The herpes virus has been a great teacher to me. I wrote in a previous it, or else will never get it. But I can’t imagine being single and having
article that having herpes taught me how to be humble for the first time this. Imagine having to tell a potential partner before having sex?”
in my life. Struggling with my own outbreaks during the early years of my Jane shudders at the thought, and she is not alone. Scipio says
infection taught me that I am not the dominant lifeform on this planet. A about his clients, “Some are so shaken by [rejection] that they stop
simple virus — which is not even technically a living organism — can kick dating for years or ghettoize themselves to only dating others with
my ass any day of the week,” says Scipio. herpes.”
Scipio encourages anyone with herpes to take treatment into his or He goes on to point out that “herpes is a great litmus test to let
her own hands. He acknowledges that there are some very effective drug you know who really cares about you and desires you. No one who
therapies for treating herpes. However, he maintains that a better under- really wants a person, and I do mean wants the person, the whole
standing of your body is most important, and popping a pill will never get person and the package that comes with them, will reject them just
you that. because they have herpes. Who would want that kind of superficial
He also expresses concern about some of the so-called natural cures love anyway?”
being promoted for herpes; warning that products like lysine and dimeth- “Having herpes isn’t really that bad, once you get over the emo-
ylsulfoxide can do more harm than good, especially with long-term use. tional shock of it,” says Jane. “I am finding ways to keep my outbreaks
“Real management of herpes means strengthening your immune sys- to a minimum, and life pretty much goes on as normal. It was really
tem so that it can keep the virus in check, which is what your body is de- important to me to share my story, because a lot of people out there
signed to do,” writes Scipio in one of his many articles on the topic. “Real seem to think that this is some rare illness that only affects gross
management of herpes also means making the effort to eat an appropri- people or something.
ate diet, stress management, and working on your emotional and mental “I want them to know we are normal people. Also, I want people to
relationship with the disease.” be more cautious. When I was sexually active, I mean, other than with
It is important for anyone with herpes, be it on their mouth or genitals, my husband, I used to worry a lot about AIDS, but I never gave herpes
to tell their partners that they are at risk of getting herpes, and to take pre- a second thought. If I’d known how common it is, I might have been
cautions to lower that risk. Condoms alone don’t prevent it, as sores can more careful.”
May 26, 2008
arts editor Deanne Beattie
KRAZY!: from frame to game
Mohammed Amir only distinctively gravitate toward either (1894-1975), Pac-Man to Spore, or Girl in arbitrariness to the whole venture. The
The Peak end of the exhibition’s overall dichotomy: Mirror to Strawberry Voice. Within each 600-plus works are overwhelming, but in
still art versus moving art. genre, there is evolution, but there is also the grand scale of things, “everything” is
KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + As the brainchild of VAG senior cu- a certain cultural progress between the excluded in this exhibit by sheer virtue of
Comics + Video Games + Art shows at the rator Bruce Grenville, KRAZY! draws on genres themselves. there only being 600 works. In fact, KRAZY!
Vancouver Art Gallery until September 7. a very influential who’s-who of co-cura- In short, KRAZY! is a journey. Each sec- does not try to be exhaustive, as doing
tors including Grenville himself (visual tion is displayed in an environment best so would be missing the point. Rather, it
It starts with a single drawing. Stained glass arts); Tim Johnson (animated cartoons); suited to its genre. The comics leap off the intellectually frames the evolution of the
windows. Newsprint. Television screens. Kiyoshi Kusumi (manga and anime); page and frame themselves onto the walls. images that occupy and assault us today.
From one static frame, to a sequence Seth (comics and graphic novels); Art The graphic novels are spread out on draft- Consider again the comic frame: that
of drawings, to the animated manufac- Spiegelman (comics and graphic novels); ing tables, and cozy reading pods allow you single drawing that broke western art ta-
ture of movement, the illustrated images boos by tightly juxtaposing words and
of ever-pervasive media overload and In fact, KRAZY! does not try to be exhaustive, as doing pictures, serves as origin to the graphic
bombard us daily. We live in the throes of novel, manga, anime, visual art, animated
a visual revolution to an unprecedented
so would be missing the point. Rather, it intellectually cartoons, and video games. That single
disorientation of human history. By its in- frames the evolution of the images that occupy and drawing, dwindling as a mass medium
trinsic qualities, the images are consumed assault us today. to the hegemony of film (and the spe-
rapidly and haphazardly, often without cial effects that could recreate the power
context or critical consideration for the Toshiya Ueno (manga and anime); and to enjoy the novels. The manga is displayed of comics on a more sensational level),
fullness of their craft. Will Wright (video games). Don’t worry, in several connected dojos, and the anime chose reinvention as art over death. This
In its current exhibit, KRAZY! The De- if you don’t recognize the names, you’ll battles itself for attention with several fea- reinvention validated the intellectual in-
lirious World of Anime + Comics + Video recognize some of the art. tures being projected onto the walls of a tegrity of not only the comic itself, but
Games + Art, the Vancouver Art Gallery Whether it’s the Benday dots of Roy dark maze. The animated cartoons provide the offshoot media of visual culture.
provides a contemplative arena for the Lichtenstein, the strobe effect created by a bright viewing atmosphere of animation From this, the commercial and critical
histories, interrelations, and future trajec- explosions in Akira, or the richly textured cells, original sketches, and film on sev- success of video games, exemplified by
tories of the different yet fluid compo- interactive environment of Grand Theft eral flat-screen televisions. Video games the Grand Theft Auto and Halo series,
nents of this mudslide of visual culture. Auto III, KRAZY! masterfully frames some flicker on box televisions that sit on the now threatens the hegemony of story-
Connected by a series of seven sections of the most poignant images of contem- floor, like the many people who play them, telling and messaging of traditional film.
defined by medium (comics, graphic nov- porary visual culture in a narrative guided while a wall displays a smorgasbord of And so, that single frame of words and
els, manga, anime, animated cartoons, by media and time. But it’s not just a sequences from Quake, and visual art, or pictures thrives in its evolution.
video games, and visual art) and occu- nerdy familiarity with the material that pop art, opens up space in an appropria- In the delirium of KRAZY!, there
pying two entire floors of gallery space, draws you into KRAZY!, it is the exposure tion of comic culture that links you back is a lot to be said about visual culture
KRAZY! exhibits over 600 works of art in to unconsidered, yet similar, media that to the start of your journey in this massive — a conversation that is usually miss-
the first ever single survey exhibition of provokes the most interest. exhibit. ing in the consumption of those images.
the art forms that will dominate the new As such, the more intriguing aspect of Sounds delirious? It can be, if you aren’t KRAZY! does not complete that conver-
century. While separated into genres, the KRAZY! is the lesser-documented histori- careful. This isn’t an exhibit to be dragged sation for you, but rather, sets a start-
sections — though clearly marked — blur cal development of each genre, whether through, it’s one to savour. The feel- ing point, making it an essential cultural
into each other with loose borders, and traced from Krazy Kat to George Sprott ing that eventually lingers is a particular event this summer.
Graphic courtesy of Vancouver Art Gallery; photographs Muhammed Amir / the peak
ARTS May 26, 2008 13
The Producers rack up laughs
I had a great time and laughed my socks off — if you’ve got any sense of humour at all, so will you
Caitlin MacDonald have done to make it better that wouldn’t Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden but I felt that there was an intelligence
The Peak have broken copyright agreements. The Swanson (or Ulla, for short) enters the that the actress brought to the stage that
direction by Bill Millerd is a bit bland in stage dressed all in white, with a cracking she just could not get rid of to play the
The Producers shows at the Arts Club The- places and a bit extravagant in others, Swedish accent and a very bad blonde part. Ulla needed to be thick as cheese-
atre’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until but as a whole it works very well, bar a wig, much to the delight of Leopold cake, but I’m afraid she was trying to hide
July 13. few minor opening-night hiccoughs that Bloom, and the two begin to fall in love. that she was actually one of the brightest
can be ironed out quite easily. As they had only a short amount of time crayons in the box.
The Producers is one of those musicals The partnership of Brazeau and Ep- to do this (a couple of minutes or so), it Should you go and see it? Yes. I had a
that I’ve never been that bothered to see, stein in the title roles has its own unique wasn’t too convincing, and could have great time and laughed my socks off. If
to be quite honest with you. It seemed to charm to it, and the two of them acting to- been made much funnier than it was. you’ve got any sense of humour at all, so
be one of those slapstick-loving, repeti- gether is, indeed, a whole a lot greater than Ulla (Terra C. MacLeod) was rather good, will you.
tive joke-after-joke musicals that makes the sum of its parts. I don’t think either of
people who enjoy a bit of subtlety want to them could have carried a show on their
have a fit, and I (being one of those peo- own, Brazeau especially, but the combina-
ple) never really wanted to subject myself tion of overpowering large man and shy,
to that. But when I saw that the Arts Club inoffensive skinny fellow warmed my cold
was doing something as substantially little heart to no end. The one thing that
large and famous as this, a little part of me did bother me about their performances
kept nagging away to go and see it. (and I don’t know whether to blame them
The story is thus: down-and-out or the sound technicians — possibly a bit
Broadway producer Max Bialystock (vet- of both) was that between the actors’ bad
eran actor Jay Brazeau) is told by his ac- diction and the crummy sound system,
countant Leopold Bloom (the delightful half the time I couldn’t hear a bloody word
Josh Epstein) that they could make more they were singing.
money off a flop than they could off of a The one fantastic, beautiful, brilliant
hit Broadway play. So they set out to find thing about this production was the Nazi,
the worst play ever written (enter the füh- played by zee marvelous Jackson Davies.
rer-frenzied Nazi writer, Franz Liebkind), His stunningly funny version of Der Guten
and the worst director in human history Tag Hop-Clop had absolutely everybody
(Roger De Bris, played by Mark Burgess) rolling in the aisles and wetting ourselves
to complete the madness. Safe to say, lu- to an almost embarrassing degree. A spec-
nacy ensues, song and dance advance tacular actor in his own right, he fit the
the plot, and slapstick reigns supreme. character of a deranged ex-Nazi pigeon
Did I enjoy it? Simple answer: yes. keeper with total ease, and was the only
More complicated answer: not as much totally convincing actor on the stage.
as I would have liked to. The plot was the Of course, in a play such as this, there Courtesy of Arts Club Theatre Company
plot; there was nothing else they could has to be a love story. Ulla Inga Hansen Max (Jay Brazeau) and Leopold (Josh Epstein) belt it out.
The Visitor packs stories full of heart
to disappear into a role. It’s not intrigued by Tarek’s musical mas-
uncommon for these kinds of tal- tery of the African drums. The
Cam Smith ented actors to spend an entire duo’s bond over a shared love of
Associate Staff career lost in the background. Oc- music is abruptly put to an end,
casionally though, with proper however, when Tarek is arrested
support, they find themselves oc- and placed in a detention centre.
The Visitor opened in theatres on cupying the lead role in a truly While Walter searches for a
April 11. wonderful piece of cinematic legal answer to his friend’s in-
artistry. creasingly serious troubles, Tarek’s
You probably don’t know Richard It is to our benefit that Jenkins fiercely independent mother ar-
Jenkins by name. He’s one of those has done just that, starring as an rives. Played by Hiam Abbass, she
reliable character actor types who introverted economics professor further stirs Walter’s emotional
can always be depended on to in the powerful new film The Visi- growth, and we are treated to
add a certain amount of low-key tor. His character, Walter Vale, is a one of the most subtly powerful
professional quality to star-driven man who has withdrawn into his romantic relationships in recent
vehicles. Whether playing Jamie own skin, and become removed cinematic memory.
Foxx’s CIA boss in The Kingdom, from the world around him. It The brilliance of The Visitor is
Heather Graham’s quadriple- isn’t until he discovers illegal alien its effortless aptitude for present-
gic stepfather in Say It Isn’t So, couple Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and ing a stirring political statement,
or Charlize Theron’s conflicted Zainab (Danai Gurira) squatting the frustrations with the post-9/11
dad in North Country, Jenkins in his New York apartment that U.S. immigration system, through
has been working steadily and the seeds of spiritual rebirth are the lives and interactions of its
Courtesy of Alliance Films skillfully, showing an impressive planted. A frustrated wannabe characters. Writer and director
Richard Jenkins and Haaz Sleima star in The Visitor. range and chameleon-like ability pianist, Walter grows increasingly Continued on page 14
14 May 26, 2008 ARTS
The Japandroids are coming
Vancouver band Japandroids speak about musical forces and taking over the stage
okay. But Japandroids is addictive. Japan- intriguing. The second EP Lullaby Death sounds they like, let alone what they sound
droids is awesome. Listen to Japandroids. Jams is tighter and more technically sound, akin to. Rather, they “cherry pick who’s
The components of Japandroids are but “less cohesive” in that some songs slow doing [any style] best,” valuing music that
Maegan Thomas also fine human beings. Brian King and to give you a breather before the next bash- invests “every last speck of energy.” Over a
David Prowse met me at Stella’s on Com- ing. Like their previous records, their up- second round (this time Midnight and, ap-
mercial Drive and over extra-strength, ,
coming LP yet untitled, is being recorded propriately cherry garnished, Baked Apple
Vancouver-based band Japandroids per- turquoise Starry Night martinis they con- “live off the floor”: “It’s not about the take Pie martinis), they also offer Taxes and
forms in the independent music festival, firmed the impression their music leaves: that hit all the notes best,” says King, “but Twin Crystals for our consideration.
Music Waste, on June 7. genuine, passionate, quirky, and eclectic. more about capturing the energy [of] two Being eclectic can be both advanta-
Their laid back demeanour is surprising, guys rocking out as hard as they can . . . geous and difficult. “It keeps it interesting
Okay, let me set this up for you. I work considering the musical one-upmanship where there happen to be microphones.” — we get bored really, really easily.” But,
full-time, as well as going to school, and that drives their face melting sets, as is the King throws around the phrase “ripped not being easily labelled as post-this or
a lot of my “research” is listening to the claim that they’re “a martini band — which off” frequently and light heartedly, admit- neo-that, nor buying into the hype of any
album of the artist on a loop at my desk. is cool because Prince drinks them.” But ting to the impact of bands like the Sonics Scene that Celebrates Itself, Japandroids is
While “researching” Japandroids (or JPN- don’t be fooled. King on guitar and Prowse — one the few “unifying [musical] forces” left to support and promote itself. Eschew-
DRDS) I was told, for the first time in five on drums (both lend vocals and both forgo for Prowse and King — but both insist that ing such “embarrassments” as New Music
months, if I could “please turn that down.” the front man mystique, though King is what draws them to a band or artist is not West, they return to Music Waste for a sec-
Japandroids is NSFW (not safe for work). effusive where Prowse is reserved) liter- the genre but the intensity and integrity of ond year, supporting its grassroots feel;
Japandroids is noisy, cacophonic, and high ally face off across the stage to drive their their method. They don’t seek to do what however, though they have played in and
energy — and at first I wasn’t sure that was sound to a musical space you’d think could another duo has done better already or, with other local bands, they didn’t really
only be filled by a four- or five-piece setup. in King’s words, “you don’t need a shittier, acknowledge the city’s influence until they
“Now we can stand on Their first EP, All Lies, had no falsity Vancouver version of the White Stripes.” started getting out of town and saw how
about it: crunchy, raw, pop-tinged, you In this vein, Prowse’s support of Dead different things were ‘out there.’ “Now we
[a Vancouver] stage and can hear a dozen different influences that Meadow, or King’s obsession with the new can stand on [a Vancouver] stage and feel
feel like we own it.” combine into something distinctive and Nick Cave record, gives little insight to the like we own it.” And they do.
Martha Essak / the peak
The martini band clinks glasses: David Prowse (far left) and Brian King of Japandroids; the bandmates share a laugh on Commercial Drive.
Continued from page 13 A lion’s share of the credit must they gradually transform to mirror and subdued loveliness is a per- attendees (and awards notices) in
Thomas McCarthy, whose sole also be given to Jenkins. Dressed Walter’s acceptance of happiness, fect counterpoint for his drab, the fall season. Regardless, I em-
previous helming credit was in drab colors and owlishly peer- particularly in the movie’s power- reserved mannerisms. It’s a rar- phatically urge you to seek out this
the well received but little-seen ing out through thick frames, ful music scenes. ity in modern films that we can gem for yourself. Sometimes it’s
The Station Agent, shows a star- Walter hides behind a projected The supporting cast is ideal. find enjoyment in the simple act refreshing to take a break from
tlingly well-honed ability to write image of overbearing academic Sleiman is a real discovery, ema- of onscreen conversation, but The the computer-generated explo-
fascinating three-dimensional superiority. However, the actor nating goodwill and warmth. We Visitor makes their verbal com- sions and view something with
characters, as well as a deep un- allows the viewer to see through can understand why Walter is so munications as riveting as any substance and a real comprehen-
derstanding of natural human the illusion, and into the soul of taken with him, drawing Tarek’s blockbuster money shot. sion of emotional truth. The Visi-
comedy. There is not a single the character. What we observe unfortunate situation as all the It’s unfortunate that this film is tor is such a film, and it deserves
false moment over The Visitor’s there, Walter’s innate goodness more heart-rending. The abil- being released now, in this season our support.
entire 104-minute duration. We and longings for love and accep- ity of Sleiman’s character to en- of superheroes and whip-cracking
believe these people and are in- tance, makes Jenkins’s portrait all liven the characters around him archaeologists, as one has to won- . . . one of the most
vested in their hopes, dreams the more moving. Pay close at- is sorely missed when he is sepa- der whether audiences will care subtly powerful
and fears. It is amazing work, tention to the evolution of how rated from them. Equally strong about a story as delicate as The romantic relationships
and will likely lead McCarthy he smiles over the course of the is the impassioned performance Visitor. The performances and
towards a prosperous and cre- film. Initially appearing as insin- of Abbass, who is a perfect match direction are so uniformly fantas- in recent cinematic
atively rich future. cere reflections of his discomfort for Walter. Her determined pride tic that it may have gained more memory.
16 May 26, 2008 ARTS
Strathairn steals the show
new film Steel Toes, directed by court. However, he must also face one second, and on the verge of animal who has lost his humanity
Montreal-based filmmakers Mark the unexpected changes within collapse the next, Strathairn in to hatred.
Cam Smith Adam and David Gow, and based himself that result from peeling fearless is creating a compelling While these performances are
Associate Staff on Gow’s hit play Cherry Docs, is away the layers of deception that portrait of an often distant man viciously engaging, there are a
only moderately successful, but Downey hides behind. whose faith in his own logical and number of elements of Steel Toes
still relatively absorbing. On a purely narrative level, liberal humanist nature is called that prevent the film from being
Steel Toes opened at Vancouver’s David Strathairn, the intense one could easily accuse writer into question. In one powerful as flawless as its actors. The most
Cinemark Tinsentown on May 16. hawk-like presence from The David Gow of simply altering a scene, following a particularly harmful element is the resolu-
Bourne Ultimatum and George winning formula to suit his own expressive meeting with Downey, tion of the film, which features
Films based on stage plays have Clooney’s Oscar-nominated Good needs. We’ve all seen similar tales Dunkleman has a near breakdown Downey’s unconvincing psy-
an uncomfortable tendency to Night, And Good Luck, stars as of violent criminals being re-
rely too heavily on coincidence, Jewish lawyer Danny Dunkle- deemed by tough mentors before,
stagy setups, and histrionic act- man, a fiercely logical and busi- but Gow seems hardly interested
It’s the type of moment that would
ing. A great translation, such as ness-minded professional. He in delivering a sturdy genre en- be endlessly reused on awards circuit
James Foley’s 1992 scorcher Glen- is assigned to plead the case of tertainment. Rather, he uses his performance reels, and the actor makes us
garry Glen Ross, draws the viewer deceptively slow-witted neo-Nazi framing device to delve deeply
closer into its world, providing a skinhead Mike Downey (Andrew into the souls of his characters, feel every moment of it.
deeper comprehension of moti- Walker), who has viciously at- and to engage in endless streams
vation and character. A poor in- tacked and brutally beaten an East of expressive and insightful dia- over the enthusiastic services of a chological breakdown, followed
terpretation, on the other hand, Indian immigrant (Ivan Smith). logue. He’s interested in the true homeless Squeegee kid. It’s a shat- by abrupt emotional changes in
is invaluable in providing the Initially hammering down his cli- nature of hatred and intoler- tering moment, with a beautifully both characters. Strathairn and
viewer with a better understand- ent’s bluster with condescension ance, how it changes people, and subtle shift from annoyance into Walker are committed, and are
ing of the shifts in storytelling that and heavily stated superiority, whether redemption is possible. fury, ending in uncontrollable aiming for the fences, but these
are required in a proper adapta- Dunkleman must go to work in In Strathairn he couldn’t have weeping. It’s the type of moment developments feel too ‘writerly’
tion. The dramatic and powerful preparing his insensitive client for found a better lead. Steely-eyed that would be endlessly reused on and out of character. The scenes
awards circuit performance reels, may have worked in a play-like
and the actor makes us feel every setting, where sudden changes
moment of it. Similarly effec- are more acceptable, but in film
tive is an uncomfortable dinner it rings false.
table scene with his wife (Marina The look of the film, and cin-
Orsini) and two guests, which un- ematography by Mark Adam, is
comfortably swings between irate often darkly beautiful. In particu-
outbursts and silent rage. lar, the prison meeting scenes are
Andrew Walker isn’t quite in filmed in rich brown hues which
the same league as his seasoned provide a sense of misplaced
co-star, but he has enough solid comfort amidst the emotional
material to make his presence chaos. Not quite as effective,
known. The actor is quite skilled unfortunately, is the decision to
in raising the annoyance of the stage Downey’s savage assault in
viewer. His Mike Downey is a sim- a scene edited like a late eighties
mering bully with low self-esteem music video. This particular sty-
who hides behind a cocky smile listic decision badly reduces the
and an unjustified sense of en- horror of the moment.
titlement. He pushes Dunkleman In terms of its content, Steel
towards abandoning logic and Toes isn’t quite as incisive as simi-
words and embracing catharsis larly themed films such as Ameri-
through violence, and shows an can History X or The Believer. It’s
intriguing mastery of manipula- a small film, but one that is defi-
tion and psychological control. nitely worth checking out sim-
Yet the character’s most telling ply for the joys that come from
scene comes when he is in soli- watching two masterful actors
tary confinement, destroying his firing on all cylinders. It’s also a
cell like a dervish from hell be- further testament to Strathairn’s
fore breaking down into melan- position as one of the best char-
choly whimpering. He’s a caged acter actors working today.
ARTS May 26, 2008 17
A circus for people who wander
The Valley of Ashes a music, dance, and theatre spectacular
chalking into dust as it met with unbridled trade their desires, personalities, and lives gave a sense of dependable order to this
materialism. This sentiment of Gatsby — at a river at midnight — no one truly knows circus for the senses. The supporting cast
the colour and luxury, paired with a healthy him or herself. The story’s conclusion and was well coordinated. Despite working on
Deanne Beattie skepticism for the big bad world — is pre- the lesson therein is, without being corny, a relatively small stage with dramatic cho-
cisely the frame of the show, and the best to follow your heart, to bypass the work- reography, the dance performances in par-
way to describe The Valley of Ashes story. obsessed, consumption-oriented, and con- ticular appeared to be smooth and without
The Valley of Ashes was performed by the The play began shortly after we were fused Gatsby world that some people might flaw.
Dusty Flowerpot Caberet at the Ukrainian ushered into the old hall, decked in patch- try to draw you into, and fulfill your own More impressive still was the combina-
Cultural Centre, May 16 to 18. work fabrics and trinket-laden sculptures. A journey. tion of art forms that took their place com-
costumed off-stage band began to play, and The performances in The Valley of Ashes fortably, side-by-side on the stage. Large
Advertisements for The Valley of Ashes gave the story’s narrator (played by Ari Lazer) were spectacular, and gave sparkle to this puppets and props, shadow forms, film,
very little away, and the audience at this stepped onto the stage in a tuxedo and top simple story. Garton’s exaggerated and animation, music, dance, and acting were
stage production didn’t quite know what to hat. The narrator cracked the spine of a playful performance was winsome, com- each an important component to telling
expect from the show. There would be good leather-bound book, and began to tell the manding attention even in the chaos of this story. The Valley of Ashes was certainly
music, some dance, elaborate costumes, story about a boy and his grandmother. the music, lights, and a stage full of danc- a production to marvel, and a promising
puppetry and a whole heap of collaboration The stage came alive with projected film ers and actors. Lazer punctuated the per- contribution from the collaborative artists
between local artists — this much we could imagery, and the exaggerated mime of the formances with some well-placed wit, and of Vancouver.
gather from each other as we waited on the play’s protagonist, the young boy (played by
lawn of the Ukrainian Cultural Centre for Jack Garton). His grandmother gives the boy
the play to begin, but not much more. a mysterious plant shortly before she dies,
If you’ve flipped through F. Scott Fitzger- and he takes to caring for the plant in her
ald’s The Great Gatsby sometime in the last absence. The plant refuses to bloom, year
handful of years, perhaps you will have after year. The boy becomes obsessed with
caught the literary reference sooner than I a desire to see the plant’s petals, and sets
did. You’ll remember the extravagance and off to find the valley where the plant comes
glamour of Jay Gatsby, the model of the from to see how he can solve this problem.
1920s American Dream — his lavish parties, The boy adventures through a Gulliv-
the riches and the carelessness of his free- er’s Travels escapade, meeting with strange
loading guests, and the flagrant disregard people living interesting lives in each town
for morality that pertained to all of them. along the way. Each place posed a challenge
You might also vaguely remember the and a lesson for this boy with a purpose. He
warning that Fitzgerald stitched into a de- finds himself in a mining town along the
scriptive scene in the book, on the road way, filled with people obsessed with the
between Long Island and West Egg, New day’s work and making money. He hitches
York where the valley of ashes lay under a ride on a pirate ship held in the sky by
the watch of bespectacled eyes printed on a helium balloons, where a debaucherous
roadside billboard. The valley of ashes was a party rages all day and night, and no task
cinder dump for industrial waste, and rep- is ever accomplished at all. He meets with a Courtesy of Oker Chen
resented the American Dream, flaking and town of people who seem quite normal, but Pirates? Hoodlums? Nay! Musical troublemakers at The Valley of Ashes.
Life on Planet Bboy He seems unsure, however, of Battle of the Year in Braunsch- Knucklehead Zoo, dressed like means of survival. Bboy, unlike
whether he wants to weave an weitz, Germany. Lee’s premise rejects from a Justin Timberlake other subcultures like American
interlocking narrative of sto- offers promise, as he interprets video, comes off as brash, ar- hardcore or even goth, embraces
Jason Sunder ries that converge at the Battle ethnicity, culture, and socioeco- rogant, and uncultured. Led by the corporate mainstream. Crews
of the Year in Braunschweig, nomic status through the lens of token half-Hispanic half-black constantly demonstrate how
pontificate on breakdancing’s hip-hop and breakdancing. The bboy Fonzie, Knucklehead Zoo’s much bullshit they’ll tolerate just
Planet BBoy opens at Vancouver’s relevance on the cultural land- social structures of each crew’s dismal showing in the finals so that they can eke out a “le-
Cinemark Tinseltown on May 30. scape, or shoot a John Woo film respective country influence the might be juxtaposed with the gitimate” living doing what they
set to bad RJD2 remixes. Incor- bboys’ interpretations of what U.S.’ loosening grip on the globe love. Battle of the Year promoter
Benson Lee has a lot to say porating all of those elements break dancing and hip hop mean as a socioeconomic power. I wish Thomas Hergenroether puts the
about bboy. Maybe too much. In into a single work is ambitious, to each of them. Phase T’s Lil Kev that Lee had developed these crews up in an elementary school
between epilepsy-inducing foot- but consequently, the sum of lowers his hat over his eyes in concepts further, and provided gymnasium and feeds them slop
age of the world’s best break- its products don’t live up to the embarrassment when his mom in-depth narratives of the film’s because bboy “isn’t about the
dancers tearing up stages with whole, and the finished product reflects on her formerly-racist at- more compelling characters in- money.” The top three finishers
their kinetic pyrotechnics, Lee comes off as a shallow descrip- titudes towards her French town stead of wasting the last 20 min- split a measly 2,500 Euros. I won-
critiques the state of hip-hop, tor of events rather than an en- of Chelles’s black community. utes on poorly shot footage of der who keeps the revenues gen-
breakdancing, and its impact on gaged story. B-Boy Joe, the film’s hero, real- the final “battle.” erated by sponsors Braun, South
the world. Planet Bboy follows five izes that his love for breakdanc- While Lee skims the topic Pole, and cruZe 3. But that’s part
His glimpse into the bboy breakdance crews from Korea, ing blossomed from the same of family bonds and honour of a story that I wish Lee had
crew’s lives through interview France, Japan, and the United outlook that moved his father to through the lens of b-boying, told, not just skimmed over, in
footage and candid moments States, who earn berths in the pursue social work in his rural he ignores some vital questions between ADD visuals of head-
offers potential for great stories. National Bboy Championships’ Korean hometown. Las Vegas’s about the culture’s values and spins and airflares.
May 26, 2008
humour editor Stacey McLachlan
Dressed to Impress Stacey McLachlan, Jordan Potter & Brett Kelly
Brainstorming at the
Salt and Vinegar
Back to School Chris Brown Zucchini
Bacon, Eggs, and Coffee
Steak and Mushrooms
Haiku Circus Ken Sakamoto Halitosis
That is One Sad Pig Stacey McLachlan
ETC May 26, 2008 19
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20 May 26, 2008 LAST WORD
W elcome to Guitar Hero mania, once players are hooked it’s hard
to quit. Guitar Hero is a video game where competitors play special guitar-
shaped controllers, which are hooked up to their gaming consoles. Neversoft
has done a brilliant job in creating the newest version of this interactive
game, and they have certainly reaped the financial rewards. Guitar Hero’s
popularity shows that virtual reality gaming is the latest trend: this is a cur-
rent mainstream craze occurring not just here in Canada, but all over the The complete
world. There are online Guitar Hero tournaments, as well as groups that
players can join. There was even an SFU student tournament that was ad-
vertised at the end of the spring 2008 semester. Thanks to the magic of the
internet, you can see that this interactive game has conquered the minds of
players the world over.
This game is not just for nerds, gamers, or rock fans — any one can play
this game, figuratively speaking though since this game is rated “Teen” due to
the explicit nature of some of the song lyrics. Guitar Hero can be played with
one or two players at a time, but you do need two guitars in order to do this.
The demographic of this video game varies greatly from players in their teens
to those in their 30s. Men and women alike both enjoy this game, whereas
video games like GTA (Grand Theft Auto) have a male-dominated fan base.
According to the official Guitar Hero website, Guitar Hero III: Leg-
ends of Rock is the latest rendition of the game. This is the first in the series
that can be played on multiple current gaming consoles; Legends of Rock can
be played on your Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, or Mac. Three other versions of this
game were also released into the gaming market right after the Legends of
There are other versions of this game that can be played on older or hand-
held consoles. Guitar Hero I, II, and the ‘80s version were all designed for the
PlayStation 2 console. Guitar Hero: On Tour is a game that can be played on
the handheld Nintendo DS console, which also comes with a set of mini keys
that can be plugged directly into the DS.
Players embark on a career with a virtual rock band when they’re play-
ing in career mode. Career mode consists of four levels of difficulty; they are
easy, medium, hard, and expert. It is seems a bit intimidating at first when
prospective players first start watching others play this game, but it’s really
not all that difficult. Obviously, beginners should start playing the game
on the easy mode. Once they begin, players will feel the ease of playing the
game because only the first three keys are active in this mode, and due to its
slow, rhythmic nature, the player is likely to grasp the simple repetitive mo-
tion. As players progress through levels, and battle against characters like
Tom Morella of the band Rage Against the Machine, the game gets much
more difficult. The guitar-shaped controller has five coloured keys, which
you must push in accordance with the matching colour when it appears on
the screen. Once players have beaten all the levels, they earn virtual money
so that they can purchase items such as music videos, bonus songs, charac-
ters, and clothes for their characters.
There are many classic hit songs, and current mainstream songs to be
played in the game. Guitar Hero III has songs from bands such as the Rolling
Stones, Kiss, AFI, Gun N’ Roses, Weezer, et cetera. This could also be a per-
fect way for musicians or bands to promote themselves. Through endorse-
ment they can increase their fame, and the balance on their ATM receipts.
Gene Simmons for example, is well acquainted with this idea of product
The band Guns N’ Roses has partnered up with Neversoft, and are virtu-
ally present in Guitar Hero III. One band member, Slash, can be chosen as a
character for individual players, and also appears as a boss in Career Mode.
When contestants play the Guns N’ Roses song Welcome to the Jungle, lead
singer Axel Rose is on stage singing the lyrics.
Aerosmith has also partnered up with the creators of Guitar Hero, and has
gone as far as launching their own version of the game (Guitar Hero: Aeros-
mith), which can be played on current gaming consoles.
Almost all of these games are easy to find at reasonable prices, but some
By Jyoti Sahota
games, such as the Nintendo Wii version of Legends of Rock, are more diffi-
cult to find due to their popularity. If you’re a fan of mainstream and classic
rock music, or you just want something to kill time between papers and mid-
terms, then perhaps you should venture into the world of interactive band
video games. But beware, they can become addictive.
Photo illustration by Andy Fang and Bryn Hewko / The Peak
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