Archive for the ‘ZONE — syracuse’ Category

Last night, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama opened the One World Concert with his peaceful, spiritual charm, his contagious laugh and the Syracuse Orange visor he wore for his entire speech.

Prior to admitting that he is not the right person to ask how music affects the soul because he simply “is not interested in music,” he spoke on the idea of teaching our younger generation morality through education.

“Our system is lacking moral education,” he says as the crowd applauded in approval. His Holiness stressed that religion is and will never be a universal form of teaching morality, but education can, and each of us have the potential to help fix this issue. With education, he says that we can use science and purpose as a method of instilling this idea among our youth.

His Holiness concluded his speech around 8:50pm (which was well past his 7pm bedtime) and Whoopi Goldberg took the stage as emcee. After cracking a few jokes and warming up the crowd Whoopi introduced all of the night’s performers. Once they were all on stage, they proceeded to play a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to celebrate and remember his birthday. There are hardly any words to describe the experience – having this performance follow the Dalai Lama had emotions running high. I found myself tearing up and chills running down my spine while feeling empowered and motivated to make a difference in the world. I’m sure this was an experience that everyone in the Dome that night won’t forget.

Following the united performance, artists such as Dave Matthews, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips, Matisyahu, Nelly Furtado, and many more performed number one singles that pictured the idea of peace, acceptance, strength and forgiveness. One by one, each song seemed to swell the emotions of the crowd. Dave performed his recent single “Mercy,” after confessing that he has taken a lot of his better lyrics from His Holiness. Matisyahu sang “One Day,” which expresses hope for a day where there would be no wars and all of our children would be able to play together without discrimination, hate and violence. Clearly reflecting the ideas of the Dalai Lama, Matisyahu seemed to hit home. The crowd continued to roar with excitement when artist Andy Grammer, American Idol winner, ran through the audience during his hit single “Keep Your Head Up.” The inspiration did not stop here, the concert was expected to end at 11 PM but instead lasted until 11:46 with no sign of the crowd losing their energy.

Even though each artist moved us with their music, before the concert, singer Natasha Bedingfield said “I think music is quite a powerful thing, it crosses cultural boundaries, it speaks in different languages and touches you in a way even if you don’t understand what they are singing about, you can feel the emotion.” What Natasha said truly summed up the entire concert before it even happened. Even if you had never heard the songs played that night or understood the language they were singing in, you felt those same emotions that every other person felt at that moment in time.

After all of the moving songs and speeches given by the artists and the Dalai Lama, I want to leave you with one statement by His Holiness that I hope every person took from that night –

“You should not consider tolerance and forgiveness as a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.”

-Chelsey Perry

Editors Note: Unfortunately, this article was a victim of oversight. I apologize for the lateness to Chelsey and the readers for the delay in releasing our coverage of the One World Concert. -Charlie

Advertisements

Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ‘Modern Family’ visited ‘Cuse last week, and was well-received by a crowd of over 1200 people in Goldstein Auditorium. The evening kicked off with Ferguson talking about his ‘Tie the Knot’ campaign, with conversation topics moving from marriage equality legislation to New York theater to the experience of sharing a bed with George Clooney (“…delicious”).

All the indie fame generated by ‘Modern Family’ has pros and cons attached, though. Jesse Tyler mentions a brief (read: borderline traumatic) experience. A woman who was in the process of getting felt up by a TSA agent at the airport did a 180 degree turn to petition him for a picture and/or autograph. “I was like, uh….I’m gonna wait until you’re done”. Despite the occasional awkward fan encounter, Ferguson loves and appreciates his fans. He remarks, “I hope that everyone in this room will have the chance to have a complete stranger come up to them and say ‘I love what you do’”.

For more information about the Tie the Knot campaign, visit www.tietheknot.org and follow @TieTheKnotOrg

-Mikala Stubley

Keep Calm, Rage On.

Posted: October 13, 2012 by jerkmag in ZONE -- syracuse
Tags: , ,

As much as the title says it all, and elaboration is not necessary, don’t doubt I will spend the entirety of this article bitching about how difficult it is to go out under the stiffening practices of increased DPS officers.

While I do appreciate the commitment to student safety that DPS undoubtedly has, it is more than annoying that every party for the past two weeks has been shut down after merely 20 minutes. We get it, gang violence, though they will not admit it, has DPS worried. They have increased their staff, lengthened their hours, and cracked down on practices. But where in their new and improved safety contracts does it say that on and off campus parties are a threat to be reckoned with? If they are worried about gang members, or any other non-students making their way into parties, then have DPS monitors at the entrance, requiring a SUID for entry. That procedure was practiced by DPS last year at major parties, and from what I remember about one of those parties, is that there were no problems whatsoever.  If parties need to be more closely monitored this year then so be it, but don’t shut every single one down!

Partying is a necessary part of college life here at Syracuse University, and for over 50,000 a year we deserve the right to do so. We have an incredibly active Greek life on campus, as well as major Fiesta Frog party networking, so the chances of us not partying are slim. DPS is just making it unnecessarily harder, by breaking up even the most innocent of gatherings for absurd reasons. We understand safety of campus events is in jeopardy, but we are students here and if were not too worried about it then others shouldn’t be either!

Keep Calm and Rage On.

– Deanna Viel

You can read all the Rick Steves you want but that still won’t prepare you for studying abroad by any means.  One thing I’m sure of is the ease at which I am capable of sticking out—even worse than as the pale, capri-pants and fanny pack wearing, map-in-hand tourists speaking broken English in the middle of Times Square.

The easiest way I can describe Madrid to those who have never been is by saying it is the Spanish equivalent of New York City.  Every metro stop I happen to surface from seems like a different place entirely.  Old Madrid resembles some small neighborhoods of Florence, Tribunal is Spain’s alternative to Brooklyn, while my neighborhood Moncloa feels like a suburb.

My first mistake was keeping my iPhone on a 12-hour clock.  My second mistake was taking my iPhone out of the house at all.  In Spain you get pick-pocketed—not mugged.  While I haven’t been targeted yet, the thought of going through the day not knowing that all my belongings were skillfully snatched hours before is agonizing.  Not to say that I’d rather get mugged…

Attempting to look like a fierce Spanish woman is nearly an impossible feat.  Especially since I’m blonde and my roommate is a ginger—extremely exotic in Spain.  Alas, I have learned the following lessons.  Do not ask for anything ‘to-go’.  It does not exist in Spain.  The idea is if you have 5 minutes, you sit and enjoy your coffee at a table.  Definitely do not bite into any fruit… here they use forks and knives to eat apples, bananas, oranges, and kiwis etc.    You also can’t wear t-shirts, sweats, or workout clothes in public… you will be stared at.

Although, if you’re a girl you’ll be stared at regardless of what you’re wearing.  In Spain the national sport among men is staring.  It’s how they flirt—a full on death rattling intense stare.  If you catch a glimpse its so uncomfortable that I’ve learned to just look at the ground.  There is the occasional time where the guy is attractive… then its oddly flattering but still deeply weird at the same time.  But men will take off their sunglasses while looking you up and down.  And if you run into a particularly ballsy fellow he will wag his tongue at you.

Another aspect of Spanish culture I find hard to understand is the fact that you will find couples of all ages, sucking face hard in public.  Everywhere at anytime of day.  On the metro, waiting for the metro, on a street bench, in cafes, on street corners, in markets and in the parks.  Well, in Spain it is common and quite acceptable to live with you parents until you are married—even if that means into your late thirties.  So that means couples take to the streets of Madrid.

Despite all this, I have managed to fall in love with this city.  How could you not? The park next to my house has Egyptian temple ruins.  Where else in the world could that happen? The culture of Spain is fast and slow at the same time- if that seems possible.  Swimming is a sea of people in the metro, you don’t want to go against the current.  But drowning out the sounds of El Retiro’s vendors, tourists and little Spanish children by taking a nap underneath a tree that mosaics the sun with its leaves nearly makes time halt.

-Sara Freund

Jerks can’t type like this

Posted: September 20, 2012 by jerkmag in ZONE -- syracuse
Tags: , ,

My typewriter sticks when I use it for play. I have just invested in a new MacBook that was shipped to my door; all I had to do was click a few keys, type in some numbers, watch my bank account drop significantly and it arrived. I am too lazy to buy a ribbon and some ‘grease’ for my sticky typewriter.

Simple and sturdy, manual typewriters are returning to the tips and taps of people’s fingers. Despite not being able to do anything more than type, they have returned as vintage machines – some especially cheap – commonly used for letters, novels, and often times for blogs.

There’s a punch. Typewriters are more like luggage; the typing sound is more of a loud note on the musical scale and mistakes are apparent even after they’ve been deleted. But the distractions of YouTube funniest videos, surfing the Internet and Skype have been eliminated. The importance of font, typeface and size are concerns for the more advanced machines. And if one were to try and hack into a typewriter, they would only get to the ribbon.

Yet for some, the typewriter creates an almost romantic experience with one’s words – watching character after character take shape on the paper. No automatic spell check to interfere with one’s creativity; the lines of green and red underlining words and sentences with mistakes and more often then not, pressing ‘ignore’ to get rid of those distracting squiggles. It is the content that matters and without the bright computer screen, the instrument becomes this physical thing, not a thinking thing, but a fosterer of words that perhaps makes what one is trying to say more clear.

But while I write here, I’ve taken several breaks to check my e-mail. I’ve searched online to see why on earth people are using these obsolete machines that in this century will perhaps foster one’s creativity but makes everything else more difficult. Without a doubt, if you’re one to use this machine, you’re going to fall behind with technology because no chance are typewriters coming back to compete with Apple’s newest designs.

-Beatrice Schachenmayr

Photo courtesy of the observer.com

When College Democrats approached us about co-hosting a talk from Rolling Stone sweetheart Matt Taibbi, we nearly pooped our pants. Through wit and careful analysis, Taibbi has slowly made the spread of information sexy again. And we love him for that. Knowledge, disguised by a little snark, is the media industry’s best weapon to combat apathy—especially political. Our Noise editor Shea Garner sat down with Taibbi before his talk in Maxwell last week. Enjoy their conversation—verbatim, no bullshit.

Jerk: Your recent string of articles in Rolling Stone about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital have garnered a lot of attention. While it’s great to inform the public, some people say giving Romney any publicity is like giving attention to a screaming baby. What do you say to that?

Matt Taibbi: Well, that’s an interesting question. When I decided to do that article, I actually tried not to get into these Blue versus Red political debates. The articles I write, I try as much as possible to write about these things that resonate for people on both sides of the aisle, and this was an article that I thought was really less about Mitt Romney as a person than it was about private equity business and financialization—this whole idea that American business used to be about making stuff and selling it, and now, the new way of doing things, is just about making financial products and squeezing value out of things that we’ve already built. That’s what I was trying to write an article about. The consequence of it is that it turns into this gigantic anti-Romney article, and that’s why everyone is reading it, unfortunately. But that’s more of a marketing thing than my intent.

Jerk: On the flipside of Romney, Obama has seemingly made it one of his very publicized missions to cut student loan rates. A lot of politicians promise these things and never deliver. Do you see this getting any easier for college students like us?

MT: My next assignment is actually about student loans, believe it or not, and I actually haven’t started delving into the issue. I think that it’s clear that the way that students are burdened with lifetime debt for educations, that half the time don’t result in a guaranteed job after you get out, is an incredible burden on kids. I think it’s awful. It’s one thing for med school students who borrow a ton of money, but they’re going to be able to pay that money back. It’s not hanging over their heads for their entire lives because that’s part of the return for being a doctor. But ordinary kids who go to liberal arts schools and get bachelor degrees get out and are just sort of left to find their way in the world. It just sort of becomes this life-crushing thing for a lot of people and end up into their late-thirties trying to find a way out of it. Debt is a gigantic political issue that’s not talked about enough, and most of the country has either zero net worth or negative net worth, and that’s because one part of society is lending and the other part is constantly having to get into debt. And it starts with student loans.

Jerk: Speaking of debt, we see a lot of discourse back and forth about four increments and bark about results within term limits, when economically, it seems like a lot of trends are decades in the making (a major point in your latest book Griftopia). What do we need to do to stop things like bubble economics and change that in the short term?

MT: Well, in terms of bubble economics, one of the constant threads between the recent bubbles that have come up, whether it’s the internet tech bubble in the 90s, the housing thing in the early part of the last decade, or the commodities in 2008, is this enormous access to sums of money and easy liquidity that’s become a feature of our economy. Sometimes that comes from the private sector, whether it’s junk bonds or securitization of mortgages. They find these get rich quick schemes where they’re able to monetize things that aren’t that valuable, and it creates these enormous sums of money. Other times, it’s the Fed just pumping the economy full of tons and tons of money, which is what happened before the Internet stock boom. It happened before the housing crisis, and it’s happening now. In fact tomorrow, they’re going to announce another round of what they call quantitative easing, which is where they just print a billion dollars and pump it into the economy. And when you have massive amounts of money that is sort of engineered out of nothing, that’s your recipe for an economic bubble because it creates these surges and manias for speculation that encourages everybody to get in on these various booms. If access to the Fed’s trillions were cut off, if you eliminated junk bonds and CLOs for mortgages, it would reduce the mania in the economy.

Jerk: If the US wants to become an actual economic leader again, what key industry do you see as vital within the next decade?

MT: Well, I think right now the thing that is the leading industry for the United States is still the financial services industry. And the reason that traditionally we’ve been the world’s leader in banking is because we have this image around the world of  “this is the safest place to put your money.” Whether it’s dictators in the Middle East or wherever, people felt that the American financial system was sound. They felt comfortable investing here and thought that American businesses were safer to invest in. The problem with that is that we’re losing that competitive edge now because of this newer perception that there is a lot of corruption in our markets. That’s why I think this is a critical moment in our history. When we decide not to prosecute all of these people that committed fraud, that kind of scares people around the world, and it starts to make them think that this isn’t really any different than Russia or Indonesia. That’s a key for us. We could still easily be the banking leader around the world, but we just have to turn that around.

Jerk: Okay, enough about politics. As a magazine, we obviously want to talk about the future of journalism. With the newspaper and periodical industry currently struggling, especially physical publications, where do you see the industry heading? Will we be totally digital soon? As graduates hoping to get a job in that field, what steps are we going to have to take differently?

MT: Well I think there are two things to consider here. One is that people are actually reading more than they used to because of the Internet. So the foundation for some kind of business that’s going to employ people is there. The specific method of how they’re going to be able to monetize that hasn’t been figured out yet. Clearly, newspapers and magazines are on their last legs, or they’re kind of transitioning to a new role in society. I came up publishing alternative newspapers my whole career; I love the feeling of being able to read something in your hands. I think with glossy magazines—it’s kind of like an art form in itself. You know, to try to make it look good. And I think people always will love that, but I think that 90 percent of the people that do read it don’t need that, and it’s going to transition to tablets and stuff. There’s going to be a transition period for people like you when you get out of school where the business hasn’t quite figured out how to pay writers, but they’re going to figure it out eventually. Those jobs are going to come back.

Jerk: As both a writer and contributing editor for Rolling Stone—which do you prefer? Writing or editing?

MT: (Laughs) Well, I edited newspapers for years and years, and I’m a terrible editor because my instinct with people is to tell them not to worry about it, and then I do it for them, which is absolutely what not to do as an editor. It’s two completely different skills. If you’re a good writer, chances are you’re not a good editor, and vice versa. I would prefer the writing. Let’s put it that way.

Jerk: As the Arts & Music editor for Jerk, I feel obligated to ask what’s currently on your iPod.

MT: Oh god, I don’t listen to anything. I listened to rap and hip-hop growing up, and I haven’t bought a new album or anything since like the Clinton administration.

(Yes, you read that right. A contributing editor to Rolling Stone doesn’t listen to music.)

Jerk: Going off what we were talking about with the Internet—social media networks like Twitter are breaking news before many major sources, and it seems like analytical news isn’t as immediate or accessible to the public. The public then relies on humorists—The Daily Show, Colbert—and people like you to deliver some sort of analysis and opinion that’s easy to eat up or more entertaining. Do you see that as dangerous at all?

MT: I do think it’s dangerous that a lot of stuff that I write about, like politics, that particular corner of our political universe, is now unbelievably complicated, convoluted, and boring. It’s intentionally so. I think they try as hard as they can to make it as inscrutable and difficult for people as possible. So the only way for people to get any kind of grip on it is to do what I do, and dress it up with every conceivable literary bell and whistle to make it swallowable. And that’s not good, because the reality is that people are not going to read about collateralized debt obligations and quantitative easing. They’re just not going to do it. They fall asleep. That’s bad because it makes our politics inaccessible to people, and I think it’s a serious problem. Our media is totally trending in the other direction. It started in the 90s with magazines like Maxim that started with boxes this big, and then boxes this big, and next thing you know it’s like a couple of headlines. Now people can’t digest anything that’s more than just a tweet, really. They’re training a whole generation of readers to not be able to digest modern politics, which is a problem.

Jerk: What’s your favorite drink to talk politics over?

MT: (Laughs) I don’t drink so much anymore since I came back from Russia, but you know, it would be Vodka, I would think.

Jerk: Rolling Stone obviously has its own personality. Writing for a publication, you take that personality into account, but outside of that you don’t necessarily feel the need for that association. How do you portray yourself outside of Rolling Stone or how do you differentiate that?

MT: Well, the only difference is that I’ve been working with those guys for so long that I think probably my style outside of the magazine has morphed into what it is inside the magazine. But when I came to Rolling Stone, I had a lot of really bad habits because I was my own editor before that. You learn in a professional, legitimate, major, glossy magazine that you can’t meander. Every single paragraph has to be pretty lean and concise. Then, there’s the fact checking issue, which is if you haven’t gone through it at that level, it’s like having to go through an IRS audit with every article you write. It takes a long, long time to get used to. I guess the good thing is, now that I’ve been there for so long, I can’t write the other way anymore. When I think about it, I think, “How am I going to source that when I publish it?”

Jerk: How important is a partner’s political views in a relationship to you? Could you ever sleep with a crazed Tea Partier?

MT: (Laughs) If it’s a long-term relationship, I don’t think it works. I guess not all the time though. I met James Carville last year. I went down to his place, and he’s married to Mary Matalin. They’re basically mirror images of each other. She’s a republican consultant. But I guess that’s more like the professional discipline that kind of tied them together. I think one of the problems is that American politics has become so blood sportish that if you’re a genuinely red state person I just don’t see those people tolerating living with a blue state person. My wife isn’t very political at all. She has no interest in politics, and that works just fine.

What do you hope to deliver to a room full of college students tonight a month and a half before the 2012 election?

I talk a lot about Wall Street, but tonight I’m going to talk about campaign journalism, my experience coming to that, and what you don’t see, what they’re not telling you, what some of the illusions and deceptions are in a campaign. I just want to tell people how to watch out for certain kinds of propaganda in campaign journalism. And I sort of tell a bunch of funny stories about my own experience getting there.

-Shea Garner

Unexpected Potpourri

Posted: September 17, 2012 by jerkmag in ZONE -- syracuse
Tags: , , ,

A bunch of drunken jerks and some employees stood in line for one of the fifteen porta-potties that sat neighboring one another at Syracuse University’s Juice Jam event. I stood among these jerks, frustrated that it wasn’t okay that I pee in the woods. I was nervous to enter into a mess of feces and stench – as I would most likely feel ready for a shower immediately afterwards.

Awaiting terror, I was shocked by the flowery scent that leaked out as I opened the plastic green door to step into the luxurious toilet box. Without a doubt, these were the nicest of porta-potties I had ever used at any triathlon or outdoor event.

Potpourri hung from a tack on one of the green, plastic walls in an orange sack that went well with the Syracuse paraphernalia that hung directly above the seat. Fake flowers of blue and orange in the upper left corner and a soft carpet on the ground to console my filthy feet. Hand sanitizer, paper towels, obvious toilet paper was guaranteed.

These may have been some of the nicest bathrooms on campus but only for a short while because in no time drunken jerks were rushing over to use it for other reasons, while employees watched the shift from luxury to mess. Now it only makes sense as to why they chose to hang such a flowery scent.

-Beatrice Schachenmayr