Dornon’s Index 2/4/2010

Creator of the Index.  Courtesy of Facebook

Creator of the Index. Courtesy of Facebook

16 – years since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” replaced the ban on homosexuals serving in the armed forces at all.

13,389 – the number of service personnel discharged because of the DADT policy.

363 million– the number of dollars spent on recruiting, training and transporting the replacements for those dimissed due to DADT.

18 – the number of countries that ban homosexuals from military service. On that list: Iran, North Korea, China, Cuba and the good ol’ USA.

Soon – that might just change. And if so it’ll be–

One – military civil rights abuse down, a shit-ton more to go.

Ill-conceived protest held

Protest!  Protest!  Protest!

Protest! Protest! Protest! Courtesy of Google.

The Students for Sensible Drug Policy ineffectively attempted to disrupt the day-to-day business of Southwestern University by staging a sit-in at the Debbie Ellis Writing Center last Thursday. According to SSDP spokesperson Beau Konger, the sit-in was meant to “serve as an expression of our frustration at the Administration’s ill-conceived policy change as well as to bring attention to our rights as individuals who have a voice within this institution.” The demonstration, which began at 4:20 p.m. and lasted until midnight, was described as “mildly annoying” and “somewhat inconvenient” by the two students who visited the center during those hours. One of the students, sophomore Kera Kingsley, was on her way to edit the final draft of a paper when she witnessed the demonstration. “It was odd to see so many people in the Writing Center. It was somewhat upsetting because I thought I would have to wait a while to have somebody look over my paper, and then I realized I was the only one in line.” Kingsley added, “It was kind of irritating to have to step over people, though.”

The group, which was formed in response to the now-infamous “drug scare” incident earlier in the month, is part of a nationwide organization that advocates drug legislation reform, focusing on  college campuses as both a place for recruitment and a “proving ground” for policy implementation.

According to the group’s president, Amie Wolfenkreneck, a number of places were considered before the students reached the ill-advised decision to demonstrate at the DEWC.

“At first we wanted to sit-in at the Business Office,” stated Wolfenkreneck, “but we were all scared of the two ladies who work the desk. Then we thought about staging it at Korouva, but we realized that everyone already did that anyways. Finally, we decided to do it at the Debbie Ellis Writing Center because Ian wanted to work on his paper, and then that moron forgot it!” DEWC proctor, James Allen, praised the demonstration, claiming that he “finally had something to do.” Allen described chatting with group members, a number of whom were in his Intro. to Anthropology class, as well as partaking in a rousing game of Uno with SSDP Vice-President Bill Maplewood. “The demonstration didn’t really disrupt much of anything,” Allen said. “In fact, it made my job a little bit more tolerable. I was thinking about quitting so that I could get a serving job at Applebee’s, but all of the excitement last Thursday has inspired me to stick it through until the end of the semester.” When asked for a comment about the sit-in, Dean of Students Mike Leese expressed mild surprise, stated, “Huh, nobody had really said anything about that. I guess I can look into it, if you want.”

Quinoa & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

mmm peppersThe weather is teasing me with this sunny-hints-of-spring days and harsh bitter (mid 40s!) nights regiment. To combat my nostalgic spring-fever, on Monday Night #1 we decided to have a quasi-Mexican style evening {{ quasi because there were [very unfortunately] no margaritas.}} however, we [ possibly mostly I ] managed to eat something like 20 avocados worth of guac and spill [clearly hyperbolic] gallons of tomato sauce all over elJ’s floor (( because everyone deserves a Jersey Shore-esque “nickname”. )) thus the evening can still be deemed a success.

Anywho here’s the recpie:

[{ i learned a little too late in life that reading a recipe All the way through makes a huge difference. }]

Mmm...peppers.

Mmm...peppers.

* = I stole it from the commons and it worked out just fine for free.

** if you are doubling this (because leftovers are the best) make sure to have extra big pots/pans/etc.

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions in olive oil for 3ish minutes, until onions are translucent.

2. Add garlic (lots!) and mushrooms; sauté about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture– when they shrink up.

3. Stir in the chili powder (to taste) and salt.

4. Add the quinoa and 1 cup of the tomato sauce (reserve the rest) and the water; lower the heat and cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring once.

5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350º F, or have your friends do this.

Finished peppers!

Finished peppers!

6. Put a pot of water to boil the peppers in on the stove.Cut the tops off the peppers (but keep them if you want cutesy caps) and remove the seeds and ribs.

7. Boil the peppers for 5 minutes, then drain them, then place them in a baking dish to await filling.

8. When quinoa is finished simmering, combine the beans and maple syrup with the cooked quinoa mixture.

9. Stuff each pepper with the filling, and stand them upright in a baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the peppers, put their caps on, and bake for 15 minutes.

10. Remove from oven; garnish (envelope) with cilantro, and serve.

    Austin hosts 3rd annual Fashion Freakout

    The promo used for Fashion Freakout.

    The promo used for Fashion Freakout.

    Movies like The Devil Wears Prada or shows like Project Runway foster our perceptions of the fashion culture to be elitist and high in standard and designer price tags. A February fashion show in Austin annually fights against this very stereotype in breathing life into the creativity that comes with everything that is retro, vintage, crazy and exciting – unlike the placid and fluidly chic atmosphere that dictates rigid definitions of what is “in” or “out.”
    So ladies and gentleman, get ready for the third annual FASHION FREAKOUT, “a catwalk collaboration of rock-minded trendsetters hell-bent on outfitting Austin’s most fashion backward.”

    This Friday, Austin’s Mohawk will morph into a haven of timeless rock ‘n’ roll sewn together with the vintage styles that are an inherent image of Austin’s identity. Styles from Prototype Vintage Design, New Bohemia and Buffalo Exchange will collide with tracks from Ben Blackout, Angel the Ripper, and The Carrots to make for a unique statement of ingenuity and brilliance.

    At only $10 a ticket for an event that embraces all ages in celebration of art and music, it’s a shindig that – as has happened the past two years the event has been in operation – is sure to be sold out. The doors will open at 7 p.m., and the catwalk lights up at 9 p.m [Web Ed. Note: The event is on February 6, 2010.]

    Audrie San Miguel, co-owner of Prototype Vintage Design, and Jason McNeely, a local producer, created this fashion show that defines the very essence of Austin culture.

    “Being in the vintage and rock ’n’ roll realm, I thought that there was definitely a party that needed to happen, and I think that is what separates Fashion Freakout from different fashion shows,” San Miguel said.

    This show is rebellion against the norm in its most basic and raw form, much like the nature of the Paris Commune of 1871 defined by how it exemplified the idea of  radicalism over what had previously been conventional in French government and society. It was termed as being “the greatest festival of the nineteenth century” when “everything was interesting and thus everything was possible” (Lipstick Traces) because in the grand scheme of the event, it was but a few moments of revolt and freedom that actually yielded products in the long run. The Commune, Debord’s Society of the Spectacle that fought against conformist society, the haunting and harsh tones of artists like The Sex Pistols, Sonic Youth or Van Morrison’s “Gloria” are all moments that ignite fires of revolt against the establishment, the core foundation of what it means to be rock ‘n’ roll or be a member of the coined “hipster” scene. This is the mental collage of ideals Fashion Freakout seems to be based on: A cry for something that deviates from expectation and, in doing so, creates something that could only be born out of passion for revolution.

    Mike Wiebe, vocalist for local band the Riverboat Gamblers and the official emcee for Fashion Freakout last year, stated “Ultimately, what rock music is supposed to do is push things and hopefully offend the right people and coddle the right people … and I think that is what some of the fashion scene is intending to do… it’s supposed to be really divisive.”

    This year, Fashion Freakout is sure to replicate its dedication to the immortality of rock ‘n’ roll and the looks of yesterday for tomorrow.

    It will be an event ensconced in a feeling that everyone who had a part in creating it and everyone witnessing it can have simultaneously, leaving with an inward sense of understanding and satisfaction in making some noise in the world.

    Looking ahead to the Brown Symposium's exploration of the past and present

    brown_header

    The flyer for the Brown symposium.

    From Feb. 11-12, Southwestern will host the thirty-second annual Brown Symposium. This year’s event is named “Imperivm: The Art of Empire in Rome and America” and will explore the ideas and extent of the influence that the dynamic Roman empire has on today’s society and politics.

    The various and what is promised to be very interesting presentations will discuss the many aspects of the Roman empire that still fascinate people to this day as they analyze the complicated “art of power.”

    The Brown Symposium is a two-day event, first established in 1978, which the SU community has faithfully kept alive. Geared to those wanting to be educated, the Brown Symposium has explored a broad and wide range of topics such as “The Human Genome Project: Advances, Repercussions and Challenges,” in 1998, to “Gods, Giants and Monkeys: The Ramakian in the Arts and Culture of Thailand,” in 1989.

    The Brown Foundation endows the forum with the purpose of collecting a variety of distinguished leaders of their respective fields on a certain topic for a wide platform of discussion. The Southwestern University website includes a list of speakers. For more information visit http://www.southwestern.edu/academics/brownsymposium/index.php

    Thursday

    9:15 Thomas Howe: Our very own art history professor who will be starting the symposium with his introduction titled “Sub Conspectu Populi: Senatorial Talent and the  Republican Empire”

    10:30 Karl Galinsky: A professor of classics at the University of Texas at Austin and a prominent modern historian who will be presenting a lecture called “Are We Rome…Really?” that will focus on the differences between Rome and America.

    1:30 Margaret Malamud: A professor of history at New Mexico State University, who will be giving a lecture titled “Consummate Empires: Ancient Rome and Imperial America c. 1900” and has published a book dealing with how the legacy of Rome has permeated itself in America’s history and political sphere.

    2:45 Edward Lucie-Smith: An art critic will be presenting a speech named “Did the Romans Do Post-Modernism?” and has written more than 200 books, including ones discussing artists involved with the revival of classical approaches to art.

    Friday

    9:00 Alexander Stille: A journalism professor at Columbia University will be lecturing on the “Imperial Power in 21st Century Rome,” in which he will be mentioning European politicians who use controversial tactics in their means for political control.

    10:15 Edward Luttwak: A military historian who will be presenting a lecture titled “Rome and Byzantium, Iraq and Afghanistan,” in which he will be discussing how military power is utilized by comparing the Roman military to America’s own modern and developing military strategies.

    Not only is there an overwhelmingly number of respected lecturers available throughout the symposium, there will also be an art exhibit for all those visually creative minds out there. The exhibit will be led by Thomas Howe and Edward Lucie-Smith. It will, of course, showcase impressive pieces of artwork by Lucie-Smith, Francisco Benitez and Mersad Berber. Furthermore, there will be an evening concert by Organographia that focuses on the revival and rebuilding of Greek and Roman music.

    Howe, who spearheaded and organized the event, personally picked the presenters who will be exhibiting their knowledge and work. Howe has much experience in his field, as he has been directing and working on a ten-year long excavation project on a group of villas around Pompeii known as the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation.

    In an interview with Howe, he explains why he chose this seemingly high-brow topic and why he was so eager in introducing it to a wider audience. With his background in art history and archeology, the subject of the Brown Symposium should be of no surprise. In addition, his commitment and work to his excavation project  created an “[interest] in the historical [and] social story behind those villas” which consequently were “villas of extremely powerful Romans.”

    As a result of this fascination, he wanted to give people a chance to explore Rome’s political rising and significant influence on modern social and political spheres. Howe also stated that he was a bit “irritated with the extent to which people buy into the romantic image of [the villas] as being almost places of a superior lifestyle” and wanted to show the true and much more pragmatic reality to it.

    When asked about whether or not this topic was still relevant to today’s audience, Howe fervently stood by his choice. He stated that because “America is now being referred to [...] as the fourth Rome,” there is still a “fascinat[ion] with the Roman empire as a possible model,” although he does not believe it was a perfect predecessor. He states that there is a connection to Rome’s historical power to America’s own modern power because “there is a certain romance to it, there is a certain fear of it, there is a certain attraction to it, there is a certain repulsion to [the idea that America is such an influential power holder].”

    He hopes that today’s audience can not only see that Rome’s process is still relevant but can also be an example from which we can take away from it “ways [that] it was effective and ways in which it was not”. Howe also commented that it indeed takes a “great deal of real talent to effectively create [and operate] power” and there is essentially a fine art to it.

    He hopes that the lectures will not only diversify people’s pre-conceived ideas about Rome, but that they will also pinpoint the idea that creating power is an art form that is constantly evolving and influencing other cultures.

    According to Howe, students are very much encouraged to attend this event. Not only is it right at SU, but the symposium is specifically catered to a “broadly educated student and adult audience,” who are willing to learn something new.

    He promises that those distinguished presenters will not disappoint with their “innovative insights.” He is mostly excited about the speakers and “what [might happen] when they get together” as they react to one another and exchange what is bound to be an exciting dialogue about the past and its direct result to our present and consequently, our future.

    RJD2’s new album disappoints old fans

    Courtesy of Google Image search

    Courtesy of Google Image search

    RJD2 is a bit of a hero in the underground hip-hop circuit, guest-spotting for rappers like Aesop Rock, Murs, Atmosphere and many more on his old label, Definitive Jux. He gained my respect early on in my music listening days for his unique mesh of hip-hop drums, techno synths, folk/indie loops, and a few other tricks he uses that I consider the “special sauce” of DJs—those little details that defy reason. A good example of this would be one of his most classic songs, “Ghostwriter” (off of “Deadringer”), which features, if you listen really carefully, a couple of sped up Elliot Smith loops among big band trumpets and soul-singer wails.

    Now, 10 years after his start, RJD2 has retained a few of his signature moves on his newest album, “The Colossus.” He’s still got a thing for brass (as is easily observed by the first track, “Let There Be Horns”), and the drums are still intricate, original products that demand praise. But aside from these staples you have a very different piece of work then classic RJD2. First off, he’s singing. For some weird reason, RJD2 has decided to take up a hand in lyrics along with beat-making, and maybe it is this double-tasking that has caused both to sound a bit watered-down. It hurts me to say this, being a longtime fan, but the guy’s voice sounds like a mix between Sting and Clay Aiken, which, matched with either poppy, shallow lyrics or ones filled with dopey angst, make for a highly annoying addition to a few of the songs.  And the ones that remain thankfully instrumental lack the buildup and crescendo of previous albums, giving you a good beat but not a good song.

    One benefit (or fallback, depending on how you look at it) of this album is its versatility. It goes from cerebral tribal synth-n-drum battledrome in “A Spaceship For Now” to happy-go-lucky summer circle-jerk in the very next song, “The Shining Path”. For both of these songs, I enjoyed them about halfway, and then realized that where there should have been the good ol’ RJD2 climax, it was just second verse, same as the first. Still, RJD2 does a decent job of keeping the mood as unpredictable as Texas weather. Sometimes it gets a little too extreme, though. For example: “Small Plains.” Skip this track. If you have any previous experience with RJD2, hear my words on this one.

    Courtesy of Google Image search

    Courtesy of Google Image search

    RJD2 has made four full-length albums (along with numerous collaborations, EPs, and mix tapes, but we’ll rule those out for now). Among these, you have two camps of RJD2, in my eyes. “Deadringer” (2002) and “Since We Last Spoke” (2004) are in the camp of fuck yeah, this shit is changing my life as I listen. “The Third Hand” (2007) and “The Colossus” (2010) belong to the camp of God I can’t believe I’m even nodding my head to this. Actually, to be fair, “The Third Hand” is more of a transition into this weird, weird funk RJD2’s found himself in. So, if this is your first glimpse of this artist, please don’t buy this album. Buy his first two, maybe even his third, if they touch you like they did me. But forget about this “Colossus” business. Something went wrong in the lab with this one.

    Convenience competes with TV ratings

    TV or Web by Alex Hall

    TV or Web by Alex Hall

    In an article in the New York Times on Jan. 18, 2010, Nick Bilton commented on the fact that many people are now watching recording of their favorite TV shows on the internet instead of watching the show at it’s scheduled airtime.
    He used the example of Conan O’Brien and “The Tonight Show” as a show that is commonly watched on the internet.

    While O’Brien feels that the time slot for television is very important for his viewers, Bilton argued that the host should embrace the internet revolution and work his show into its regular airtime and an internet release.
    Andrew Ivey, a first-year, said, “I love watching shows at their airtimes because I’m a hardcore ‘Simpsons’ and ‘Law & Order’ fan, so I have to watch them as soon as they come on TV. I can’t wait for the recordings to be put on the internet.”

    This view is not shared by all students though.

    Heather Petty said, “It’s not that I prefer to watch shows on the internet, it’s just that I don’t have time to watch my favorite shows whenever they come on. It’s more convenient to watch them on my time instead of whenever they come on.”

    Lexi Cooper agreed that it’s easier for her to watch shows on the internet than when they come on televison.

    Derrick Dolezal said, “I don’t watch TV.”

    So convenience is an important issue as to whether students watch shows during their airtime or a recording.

    But as Bilton said, “I’m sure nothing could matter more on spreadsheets and in traditional advertising meetings.” Viewers who don’t watch the shows during their airtimes will reduce the number of viewers that the stations believe they have, which could affect whether or not the show will stay on the air.

    A majority of students say that they will watch shows on their respective airtimes because they want to make sure that the viewer ratings will be accurate and the shows will continue to be financed. Other students say that they watch the shows on the networks’ websites to give their viewership ratings there as well.

    So does the future of television lie in the internet? With the number of shows that are already aired on the internet, I think it’s safe to say that television is evolving in that direction. But for now regular airtimes are still very important to many viewers, so it is still essential for shows to have regular airtimes.