The Race to the Bottom

The political blogs were ablaze this weekend following some rather questionable statements made by two candidates for governor right here in Texas.  Our state is no stranger to having the dumb things our politicians said gracing the airwaves for the media to mock.  Clayton Williams was made famous for comparing inclement weather to rape by suggesting that “if it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”  And of course there is my all-time favorite Bush-ism, “is our children learning?”  Just because our political history is rife with stupidity is no reason to continue the trend.

 

Debra Medina

Debra Medina (and her pistol) smile for the camera.

In an interview with Glenn Beck, Republican candidate Debra Medina was lobbed an easy question…and quickly struck out.  Beck asked Medina if she was a 9/11 truther, she dodged the question stating that “the American people have not seen all of the evidence.”  I understand that one of the popular political positions now-a-days is to question the federal government, but for Pete’s sake, does she really believe that Texas’ former governor let thousands of people die in a terrorist attack?  I’m no fan of Dubya, but I can’t accept that he would let an attack like that happen.  Up till now Medina’s poll numbers were climbing; several polls put her only a few percentage points behind Senator Hutchinson.  With Governor Perry hovering around 45%, the collapse of Medina’s campaign makes a runoff less likely.  If Perry survives the Primary without a runoff he, ironically, will have Debra Medina to thank.

 

Farouk Shami poses with one of his blow-dryers.

Farouk Shami is also packing heat.

The Texas Democrats were quick to respond to Medina’s gaffe.  Not to be outdone by Texas Republicans, Farouk Shami decided to agree with Medina’s take on 9/11.  When asked if he thought 9/11 was an inside job, Shami stated that he couldn’t say either way.  In the worst case of damage control I’ve ever seen, his campaign quickly rolled out a statement that he simply “responded with the fact that he did not know.”  This only tied the Democrats with the Republicans.  Shami took it a step further and commented that “[He didn’t] find, you know, many white people really willing to work.”  As if dishonoring the 9/11 dead wasn’t enough, Shami felt the need to resort to racism.  Former Houston Mayor Bill White has been at or near 50% in the most recent polls.  Shami has been desperately trying to gain ground on White.  His campaign has resorted to negative ads and has attacked White’s record as the Mayor of Houston.  Attacking White’s record is one thing, but attacking all whites is another.

 

Both Debra Medina and Farouk Shami were long-shot candidates, but in 24 hours they have gone from being long-shots to having no shot at all.  With the polls closing on March 2nd, I can only hope that the remaining candidates can keep their mouths shut and stick to the issues.  While I do consider myself an optimist, I’m sure that the race to the Governor’s mansion will grace us with another embarrassing sound-bite before the final vote is counted.

SU Student Shares Story Of Stay in Danish Hospital

Please Wait Here And Be In Pain To Be Treated.  Courtesy of Georgia LoSchiavo.

Please Wait Here And Be In Pain To Be Treated. Courtesy of Georgia LoSchiavo.

With possible change in the health care system and an insurance reform bill in the process, many are looking at other nations for examples. Most countries in western Europe currently have a universal health care system. One of these nations, Denmark, is the temporary home to Southwestern student Margaret Durham. Unfortunately, upon arriving in her new home, Durham suffered an emergency and was brought to the local hospital. Though there were many challenges faced during her first day in a new country, Durham did not need to worry about paying any hospital fees. Following is the story of her first couple of days in Copenhagen, Denmark:

While on the airplane I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic I was prescribed before I left the country. There was some swelling in my throat and I began having a little bit of trouble breathing as the plane was descending.

The first responders met me at the airport gate and did basic preliminary procedures, such as giving me oxygen and taking my blood pressure. Then the first responders for the ambulance and the EMTs arrived and took me to the hospital.

Denmark offers emergency transportation and the EMTs then took me in an ambulance to the hospital ER.

I arrived at the ER on a Saturday morning and I was the only patient in the ER for several hours. The nurse brought me food herself and helped translate the one item of paperwork I had to fill out.

All of the health professionals with whom I interacted (2 first responders, 2 EMTs, 4 nurses, and 4 doctors) were extremely helpful, efficient and attentive. I felt very well taken care of.

I shared a quite large room with two other patients. Each patient section was separated by a removable wall-like divider.

I was able to leave the hospital Sunday morning after being admitted the previous morning. I spent a little over 24 hours in the hospital. I would have been discharged after only 3 hours except that I had a second occurrence of swelling and difficulty breathing.

The Danish government payed for my care in full. I even got 2 days of an anti-swelling prescription medication for free. This is not typical (usually one would have to pay partially out of pocket for prescriptions), but pharmacies are not open on Sundays and my doctor wanted to make sure I could get the medicine.

I only had to fill out one short form about my emergency contacts and everything else was handled entirely by hospital staff.

Discharge was not rushed at all. I didn’t have any papers to sign or fill out. The doctor just came and talked to me, gave me the meds, asked if I had any questions, and then let me go (after giving me directions to the metro station).

The medical equipment was equal to that I’ve encountered in US hospitals. The main difference was that rooms were typically shared with other patients (although this is fairly common in older US hospitals) and a few amenities were missing (such as tvs in each room) probably to reduce the cost of a hospital stay.

Greenling is Local, Organic and Delivering to SU

The Greenling logo.

The Greenling logo.

Cruelty-free, organic, locally grown, and pesticide-free food delivered to your front door in Georgetown? Say what? I know. It’s real, and it’s called Greenling. Their goal is simple: fresh food.

“[It was] the simple idea that people needed a way to get fresh, nutritious food and we needed to do it in a way that did not damage our environment,” co-founder of Greenling Mason Arnold says on the company’s website.
Greenling features everything from produce to meat to dairy to dessert to baby food. Vegan? They’ve got you covered. Every vegetarian and vegan option is clearly labeled on their website. They even have vegetarian dog treats. Really, I mean it – they’ve got you covered.

For a minimum purchase price of $25, they will literally take care of the entire shopping process for you. You just have to put everything in your virtual shopping cart with the click of a button.

“Food is at the very center of sustainability and we are working hard to make it easy for you,” their mission statement states. “It’s hard to transform your life, and we just want to make this step easy on you – eat well, eat organic, eat local – we can help.”

Come on guys…it’s Campus Sustainability Month. Be a champ, get online, and buy fresh and local.

“Our carbon footprint is so small it’s cute, and our farmers make the land better by farming it instead of depleting the soil with chemicals and intense monocultures.”

That’s right – monocultures. Do you really want to contribute to intense monocultures? I didn’t think so.

“I cannot possibly express to you how picky I am when it comes to produce,” says loyal customer Christine W. “The quality of Greenling is completely amazing! I am indeed eating so much healthier (more vegetarian) than I ever have before – it seems that shopping this way improves the choices I make. What a smart and positive contribution to your community.”

Not a crazy vegetarian like the rest of us? Their meat selection is just as impressive. Organic, free-range, and hormone free, Greenling ensures that their farmers abide by the strictest standards possible.

And as if online shopping isn’t fast enough for you, Greenling also offers the convenient service of pre-packaged baskets filled with fruits, veggies, and various other no-cook snacks.

Think there has to be a catch? There isn’t. The prices are standard, if not cheaper than those you would find at other establishments.

Shipping is free, delivery dates and times are flexible (you don’t even have to be there) and you can cancel your order at any time.

If something is delivered that you did not want, or you cut into your avocado only to find bruises, contact the company and they will gladly refund you, or send you a replacement product.

Have $25? Want to stop ingesting pesticides and hormones? Wondering if Greenling has something unique to offer you?

(The answer is hell yes.) Organic-loving SU students – go get shop happy.

Name Change Would (SU)ck

Southwestern may need one of these.  Courtesy of Google Images.

Southwestern may need one of these. Courtesy of Google Images.

“Where do you go to school?”
“Southwestern University.”
“Oh. Where is that?”

Students at Southwestern probably encounter that little conversation a great deal, especially from curious adults who really could care less about from where we are getting our higher education. When this happens, a variety of emotions can occur from complete indifference to bitter annoyance. Although some people are not particularly overjoyed at attending Southwestern University (but then again, does any college have a perfect percentage of delighted students?), others are enthusiastic about their alma mater and are disappointed that Southwestern University is not a better known academic institution.

The most recent controversy surrounding this issue is the possibility of the name change of Southwestern University. This has caused an uproar in the student body whether students have considered it a good solution or a haphazard move on the university’s part. One name that has been travelling through the grapevine is “Sarofim University,” which follows suit from our newest addition of the Fine Arts Building. According to the Southwestern University website, in 1999, the building was named after the very generous Sarofim family who contributes a great deal in endowments to the school. Naming a building is one thing, but a whole college is another and bigger commitment.

An overwhelming consensus has disagreed on the name. One freshman boldly stated, “Sarofim is a stupid name,” whereas another student more diplomatically commented, “Southwestern is already an established school despite its lack of fame. [Changing the name] would just complicate things; it [would] actually do the opposite of what [the school] is trying to achieve.” A sophomore stated, “It is a bit selfish for the Sarofim family to expect a school to be named after them even though they have contributed generously to the school.”

Although the whole name change idea has not gained much popularity, it does have some reasoning behind it. The administration has claimed that the name change would help improve the number of submitted applications. In this case, Southwestern University is trying to take a leaf out of Rhode College’s book. Rhodes was known as Southwestern at Memphis until it changed its name to Rhodes College in 1984 and as a result, the admissions rates apparently shot up drastically.

Southwestern University is also trying to differ itself from other schools with a similar obsession with directions such as Northwestern, Southeastern and Northeastern. Understandably, Southwestern University is trying to gain notoriety, in order to increase the population of the student body, in order to acquire more funding, in order to achieve its goal of being a great academic institution. Indeed, this is a vicious cycle – kind of like heroin.

However, there are also some problems to this possible solution. This plan requires money to create money. We would have to utilize our school’s already struggling financial budget in order to change everything accredited with the school. We would have to change our sweatshirts, our paraphernalia, our brochures, our school seal, etc. The recent graduates would lose some credibility when asked about a non-existent school’s name etched across their diplomas.

Southwestern, although not very recognizable, is still an established institution—we are known as the oldest academic institution in Texas. We would essentially lose all of that authority and have to start over which is counterproductive to the idea of expansion.

Another important point involves the alumni who would most likely be adverse to this transformation because of their loyalty to Southwestern University. If this choice does not sit well with all of our benefactors and not just one, we would be in danger of losing all of the other patrons.

This leads to another important and avoided question of whether or not Southwestern University is really a liberal arts college that caters to its students. Our school concentrates a great deal of effort in proclaiming its dedication to its students and making sure that the school creates an atmosphere that helps prosper the students’ own academic pursuits and interests. However, small private institutions tend to struggle financially and sometimes have to resort to a business orientation of thinking and, as a result, may stray from its idealistic purpose.

As a first-year at Southwestern University, I have only experienced about a semester and a half of the school which really is not a long time. However, in my time here, I have had experiences that highlight both the strengths and faults of the institution. Southwestern University does seem to try to foster a desire for learning in the students. It keeps the student body small in order to keep the environment as close-knit and personal as possible. From my experience, both the student body and faculty are very friendly. Indeed, there is a great amount of strength and merit to the liberal arts education that Southwestern tries to offer.

However, there is also a depravity in the system. There seems to be a hierarchy that students must go through in order to get to where they need or want to be. For instance, I took a photography class last semester and when an independent study was proposed for the entire class, it was turned down immediately due to insurance problems. If students are paying such a high tuition in order to attend school with such a commitment to its students, would there not be some other way of dealing with this issue?

One anonymous student commented that Southwestern reminded her too much of high school in both academia and extracurricular activities, stating that there “is a lack of [commitment]” in many of the students. Another undergraduate said that his biggest concern was the relationship between the teachers and students because although the school prides itself in having such approachable teachers and reasonable student to teacher ratios, it is not really so.

When someone hears the term “liberal arts school,” they might think of hippies, high tuition and low-paying majors. However, the phrase should also call to mind academic pursuits, dedication to undergraduate students, boundless opportunities and a fulfilling learning experience. Although Southwestern University has achieved a great deal with good intentions towards its ultimate goal, it has still got a long ways to go.

If Southwestern University wants to be known as a great school worthy of students vying for acceptance, a name change is not necessarily the best solution but rather a persistent strive to become a better institution for the sake of its students. Our school was named as one of the “Colleges That Change Lives” and hopefully we can continue to prove why this is so.

Dornon’s Index 2/10/10

Creator of the Index.  Courtesy of Facebook

Creator of the Index. Courtesy of Facebook

1 – the number of National Tea Party conventions to date

$549 – the price for a ticket to the entire event

$349 – the price to attend a dinner at the convention at which Sarah Palin spoke (mumbled? read from notes on her hand?)

600 – the number of “people” who paid actual money to listen to her “speak”.

63, 501– the number of views on the most popular music video of Hi-Caliber, a Tea Party rapper.

55,512 – of those aforementioned views belong to people laughing at how much Tea Baggers don’t like rap.

3,894,782 – the number of views on the most popular Dead Prez music video.

Brush Up On Your Greek Life Knowledge

Greek Letters.  Courtesy of Google Images

Greek Letters. Courtesy of Google Images

Think Greek Life is all about superficiality, rampant sexuality and getting wasted every weekend? You’re WRONG. Brush up, Southwestern University students, and take the time to learn some Greek.
This sophomore journalist decided to go on a three week journey through the process of what it’s like to go through Rush Week at SU. (No, not like on the TV show “Greek” where Jen K exposed all the dirty little secrets of every house for a national publication. I just shoved a camcorder in people’s faces and asked them questions.)

The results weren’t what I expected, but they were certainly what I wanted to see.

Southwestern University students like to claim we’re different. We like to claim we’re special in a number of ways, like how we are charitable and wholesome. We like to claim that because of our small school status, everything we do is done differently (and better) than it would be at a large school like oh, I don’t know, UT.

While this may or may not be true in all of our endeavors, it’s difficult to deny that Greek Life is pretty unique here.

“When I first got to this campus, I didn’t think I would want to join a sorority, just because of a lot of the stereotypes based on what Greek Life can be sometimes at big schools and what I’d heard about that. But, after getting here, and I guess having a semester of meeting the people who were actually in Greek Life here, I just realized it was a lot different,” said sophomore and active member of Zeta Tau Alpha, Anna Malone.

“It just kind of dawned on me that this was family,” first-year Winston Myers said of his first impressions. “This was more people that I could come to when I needed help, and they would help me. It’s really great to have that when you’re out on your own and figuring your own stuff out.”

It was this sense of brotherhood and sisterhood that drew so many people to the idea of joining, even if Greek life hadn’t appealed to them when they first arrived at SU.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a frat guy by any means at all. To see that guys who were like me could live that way was really cool,” said Myers.
While Greek Life does tend to take up a good majority of any free time that a heavy Southwestern University workload ever allows, pledges and actives don’t seem to mind the time commitment. Across the board, everyone is always happy to donate their time and effort for their respective houses.
“It gives you an outlet at Southwestern, because it’s so academically difficult,” said sophomore and active member of Delta Delta Delta, Sarah Chatfield. “It makes all the difference in the world to have some social outlet. Even though a lot of our events are mandatory, it’s fun to do, so it’s kind of just a way to get involved and have fun doing it.”

Whether you’re interested in extending your social network, finding like minded people of faith or increasing your philanthropy opportunities, Greek

Life at Southwestern University has something to offer every single student on campus – whether they’re aware of it or not.

Web Ed. Note: And here is the titillating footage we promised!

Untitled from SU Megaphone on Vimeo.

Cosmo/Men's Health Breakdown

Two men...at a bus stop...reading Men's Health and Cosmo...Courtesy of Ellen Anne Burtner.

Two men...at a bus stop...reading Men's Health and Cosmo...Courtesy of Ellen Anne Burtner.

Rather than sitting alone on national S.A.D., we have boiled down Men’s Health and Cosmopolitan to clue you in to exactly where you were led wrong and why exactly your rocks are still on.

Cosmopolitan

1.  When your man is happy, you are happy.

2.  Your man is not happy.

3.  If you are not starving-fit, you aren’t having sex.

4.  3 essential sex positions can be infinitely manipulated into over 365 positions, and since you are clearly not having sex on top of your refrigerator while baking a cake and cooling some whip cream in the freezer, you are not making your man happy.

5.  Stilettos in bed is a good idea for everyone.

6. Your man needs more sex.

7.  Close your legs during from-behind sex.

8.  Keep your legs together for doggy style.

9.  Don’t separate your legs when he’s penetrating you from behind.

10.  Doggy style is best when there is more friction, so keep your thighs touching.

Men’s Health

1.  You will not be happy until you are built.

2.  You need to eat lots of meat to keep your testicles intact. Look at this picture of meat you’re not eating.

Oh!  The Horror!  Courtesy of Ellen Anne Burtner

Oh! The Horror! Courtesy of Ellen Anne Burtner

3.  Chicks will love you when you’re built.

4.  Listen to chicks when they speak, it’s the key to getting laid.

5.  Chicks get moody. If she rolls her eyes when you prompt her for sex, it’s that time of the month—you’re just going to have to pretend she doesn’t look bloated.

6.  Obesity leads to a lower libido, so work out more and have sex more.

7.  Working out more gets you laid.

8.  Chicks want you to enjoy sex.

9.  You look yummy covered in sweat, but not quite as hot as this guy.

10.  Eating meat & spinach = being Built = chicks = self-validation = happiness.

(Please note that this advice is universal, necessary, and sufficient for fulfillment. Deviance is discouraged and considered “unhealthy” or “unworldly”, especially for the procreating population.)

Supreme Court Did the Right Thing Regarding Corporations

America loves our corporations. Courtesy of Adbusters.

America loves our corporations. Courtesy of Adbusters.

Recently, the Supreme Court overturned two legal precedents that banned corporations from contributing money to campaigns. The issue, according the majority opinion, went beyond electioneering. According to Anthony Kennedy, it was about freedom of speech. As he stated in the majority opinion, “When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought, This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”

Many leftists and supporters of more stringent governmental control on business see this Supreme Court Decision as a tragedy, but the truth is that they are wrong. The Supreme Court supported liberty and made the right decision in support of corporations’ rights. First of all, contrary to what many dissenters say, the First Amendment does indeed protect corporations’ right to free speech. The text reads clearly: “Congress shall make no law…. abridging the freedom of speech.” The last clause applies to freedom of speech by any entity, not just persons.

The very idea of capitalism states that corporations can have full control over what they invest in and where the direct money. Furthermore, the very idea of free speech entails freedom to spend money as one pleases. To think, if the government could truly control where a corporation’s money went that would give them effective control over the entire process of free speech. Who is to say they couldn’t encroach further and eliminate to an individual citizen’s right of free speech as well?

To those that claim this will contribute to corporate control over electioneering, you need to wake up. Every election is bought and sold. Now special interest groups can just do them out in the open, which is a good thing. There will probably be less underhanded funneling of money to campaigns. Barack Obama foolishly stated, “This is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” Hasn’t this been happening in every election?

The other argument made against this Supreme Court decision is that it will harm democracy. No, it won’t! The electoral process has not changed. It’s not like we are going to revive voter proscriptions to keep certain individuals from having the right to vote. In fact, in many ways the electoral process has been enhanced. Now, individuals can know who is really supporting their candidates and to whom they are making allegiances. Sure, there might still be underhanded deals to prevent voters from knowing the origins of private finance, but chances are this cumbersome process will be avoided and replaced by the more immediate process of direct contribution.

So this entire political hullabaloo leaves me with one question that illustrates just how absurd the dissenters’ opinions are: If groups can organize and protest to change policy, why can’t they donate money to candidates to do the same thing?

Improvise This!

Cooper Street, the Improv Group at Southwestern.  Courtesy of Lauren Lansford

Cooper Street, the Improv Group at Southwestern. Courtesy of Lauren Lansford

Cooper Street – a thoroughfare not known to any city in our country, but familiar nonetheless to us Southwestern students. As the university’s resident improv troupe, the group’s members have been instigating hilarity on campus for as long as many of us have been here.


The idea for an improv comedy group initially came from junior Zac Carr. “I asked a bunch of guys in the theatre department if they would be interested in starting an improv group”, remarked Carr. Together with seniors Matt Harper, Evan Faram, Alex Caple,  Edward Herman and Connor Hanrahan, the troupe debuted at the tail end of a Cove open mic night in fall 2007. As member Harper recalled, there were “not too many people watching. We basically ran in, cleared everything out of the way and started performing”. Since then, the group’s choice of venues has grown to include the Korouva Milk Bar and the Salvage Vanguard Theater in Austin. Their popularity, too, has blossomed, with each show packing a near-full house and booming laughter from the audience. The group’s success came to a head this year when they were selected to compete in the College Improv Tournament of the Chicago Improv Festival. They would eventually go on to compete against improv troupes from UT and NYU. Though they would eventually end up falling barely short of the requisite votes required in order to advance to the national levels, Cooper Street nonetheless rallied an unprecedented level of support given how small the Southwestern community is. Regardless, the group continues to perform and entertain the campus.


As for the group’s future, it is a question that is on each of their minds. Herman said that the group’s ultimate aim is “continuing improv education.” Last semester saw the introduction of new members Riley Webb and Chris Weihert. Ultimately, Cooper Street hopes to inspire a “new generation of improvisers.” No matter what the group’s ultimate fate is, they may rest assured knowing that they have made the campus a little funnier

Cooper Street from SU Megaphone on Vimeo.

Amazing Race to Feature SU Alumna

Shannon Foster and Jodie Kelly.  Courtesy of the Amazing Race.

Shannon Foster and Jody Kelly. Courtesy of the Amazing Race.

Have you ever watched a reality television show and thought, “That could so be me!!”? Well, I would like to inform you that that reality is not far from home. Shannon Foster, 2008 Southwestern graduate, nailed a spot on this upcoming season of “The Amazing Race” with her grandmother, Jody Kelly, by her side.


For those who are not aware of what “The Amazing Race” is, I’ll give a brief explanation. There is usually about 11 teams consisting of two members who have a preexisting personal relationship at the beginning of the race.


The goal is to race around the world by different modes of transportation, attempting to be the first team to make it at a variety of “pit stops” for a prize. If a team is last, they run the risk of being eliminated or having a disadvantage. The race continues until there are three teams remaining who then have to make one more pit stop first to win $1 million.


“We wanted time to travel together,” Foster said. “We had done two road trips from Texas to Colorado, along with some triathlons and training.”


Foster, her mom and Jody Kelly of age 72 train and participate in triathlons together. The news about the three generations running together spread and about a year and a half ago, there was an article written about them.


“Someone saw the article and approached us about ‘The Amazing Race,'” Foster said. “We worked really hard for about a week to tape our running and our activities around Austin.”


Sure enough, the tape was a success, and their hard work paid off. Kelly and Foster are making history on the show. Not only are they the first grandmother-granddaugher team on the race, Foster is one of the youngest participants and Kelly is the oldest participant ever.


Ironically, Foster has never been a fan of reality television until the attention and experience of “The Amazing Race.”


“I don’t watch a lot of TV,” Foster said. “I have not watched any reality TV show ever, but ‘The Amazing Race’ is the only one I would consider being on. I am definitely a fan of the show now and will continue to watch it in the future.”


Most people might be shocked that a women of Kelly’s age would participate in such a rigorous competition, but not the Foster family.

“Just because someone is 72 doesn’t mean that they are in a nursing home,” Kelly said. “I was able to be taken out of my comfort zone, and the whole experience was just pretty outrageous.”


As most reality television implies, relationships of people involved are often changed in the duration of the show. Foster and Kelly had only positive things to say about their relationship after the race.


“I definitely know my grandma better now after the race,” Foster said. “It brings out the best in people and the worst in people. We learned a lot about each other and it allowed us to understand each other better.”


“I am glad to have spent this time with a young person,” Kelly said. “It is so nice to see my family is in good shape for the future.”

Season 16 of “The Amazing Race” airs on Feb. 14 featuring Foster and Kelly.


On another note, what has Foster been up to since graduating from Southwestern?


She is now working full-time at a job that she worked part-time for while she was still at SU. She commented that the real world has been a crazy adventure since leaving Southwestern. How many students get to travel to several different countries, by several different modes of transportation, with their 72-year-old grandmother in a race for $1 million?

'Doppelganger Week' Reveals Insecurities

A good doppelganger?  Courtesy of Georgia LoShiavo.

A good doppelganger? Courtesy of Georgia LoShiavo.

The American Psychological Association released a report yesterday over their apparent concern for “the mental well-being of all Facebook users” because of what they called, “Doppelganger Week’s insidious effect of making people feel more attractive than they actually are.”

In their report they stated that there was an excessive degree of misrepresentation on the part of vain and misguided Facebook users. The good thing, according to the report, was that psychiatrists are going to have a lot more patients to treat, most of who have a high degree of narcissism and/or friends who are just complete liars. “We always knew America had a self-image problem,” president of the APA said, “but we never expected they would have a profile image problem.”

Many individuals on Facebook were against the picture alterations though. One user said, “I was so excited when I searched for classmates in my network and saw all these hot babes so I added them all as friends. But now their pictures suddenly got ugly.”

The Screen Actors Guild was also angered by the misrepresentation. David Smith, president of the Guild, said in an official release, “Most of our wonderfully attractive actors are disappointed by the fact so many fatsos, lardos and repugnant self-centered individuals thought they were as attractive as a real celebrity.” In addition to this bad news, President Obama declared a state of emergency. He considered doing a second State of the Union because of the movement but stated he was too depressed to even get on stage. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, said, “It was fine when they had their Pokémon, but this goes too far. A more appropriate movement would have been, Doppelganger Week – Zoo Animal Edition.”

The movement did not incense everybody though. The National Mirror Corporation said, “It looks like most consumers do not have mirrors.” The American Optical Association followed this up by stating, “This means that people aren’t just missing mirrors, they are also missing glasses.” And in a report by a major website consortium, a majority of the dating websites stated, “On our sites, it has always been Doppelganger week.”

Songs of Bilitis Sure to Entice

The logo for the Bilitis Revisisted project.

The logo for the Bilitis Revisisted project.

On Friday night at 7 p.m., Songs of Bilitis will be the main highlight at the Alma Thomas Theatre.  The show, which is a reconstruction of the 12 Chansons de Bilitis by Debussy, is based on its 1901 premiere in Paris, with comments by legendary danseuse Carmen de Lavallde.

“It’s a very compelling story, full of love and heartbreak, as well as betrayal,” senior music major David Li said.

“Lots of good music will be played, from classical composers like Debussy to our very own Dr. Hoogerhyde and composition students. Plus, there will be nudity, too!”

The night will provide the campus a chance to see more music composed by Hoogerhyde, who made his Southwestern debut last spring in “The Color of Dissonance. “

The story of Bilitis dates back to 1894, when Belgian poet Pierre Louys published 143 poems discovered by a German archeologist in a tomb by the side of a road in Cyprus. The poems were found to be that of Bilitis, an ancient Greek poetess who was raped by a goatherd. She then abandoned him and moved to Cyprus, where she became the “purest worshipper” of Aphrodite.

Louys believed society should be able to discuss beauty and human sexuality freely and openly, so he saw an opportunity to use the rape of Bilitis as an avenue for contemporary artistic and social discourse. This theme provided artistic and social sources of inspiration, providing the foundation for a number of artistic expressions, from dance, paintings, theatre, film and music.

French composer Claude-Achille Debussy was one of the first composers to respond to Louys’ challenge through music, producing three separate musical pieces in 1897, 1901 and 1914-15.  They include 3 Chansons de Bilitis for mezzo-soprano and piano, 12 chansons de Bilitis for recitation, mime, and chamber ensemble, and 6 Epigraphes antiques for piano duet. Over time, the word Bilitis has become associated with sensuality, homosexual love, sexual-awakening and self-knowledge.

Southwestern’s Bilitis Revisited is a “twenty-first celebration of an extraordinary artistic endeavor to engender open public discourse concerning some of human society’s most enduring themes and issues.” An artistic endeavor such as this is well suited for a school such as Southwestern, and the campus community should take advantage of this excellent opportunity to expand boundaries and become exposed to a unique collaboration of art.

Southwestern University contributors include Kerry Bechtel, John Michael Cooper, Sergio Costola, Elizabeth Green Musselman, Halford Haskell, Phil Hopkins, Jason Hoogerhyde, Thomas Howe, Julia Johnson, Alison Kafer, Francis Mathieu, John Ore, Victoria Star Varner, Audrey Olena, Brooke Lyssy, Megan McCarty.  Performers include Kiyoshi Tamagawa, Magen Comley, Delaine Fedson, Adrienne Inglis, Kathleen Juhl, Carol Kreuscher, Anthony Tobin and Jacqueline Ridder.