April 15, 2004
Test Spin: They Might Be Giants
| April 15, 2004
Since 1982, They Might Be Giants have been churning out their own special blend of pop, folk, polka, disco, and rock to eager fans and fanatics. Here again, existential lyrics and happy-go-lucky beats combine to form the trademark hilarity that sets The Giants apart. In “Am I Awake,” John Flansburgh’s apathetic voice melts over the words like margarine: “Am I awake?/ What time is it?/ When I get through this day/ Can someone tell me how/ And how much longer now/ Am I awake?/ The coffee’s cold/ Did I forget to drink it yet?/ Did I forget?” Flansburgh sings the melody to techno beats and punctual drum punches. The combination is catchy and excellent.
“Memo to Human Resources” exemplifies the absurdity so critical to The Giants’ act. It’s a scene out of Office Space, minus Jennifer Aniston: “I’m searching for some disbelief that I can still suspend/ But never mind the furthermore-the plea is self-defense again.” A crazy kind of jazz exudes from “Au Contraire”: “Jodie Foster held two pair/ Bach had three of a kind/ Gandhi said, ‘With my full house/ I will blow your mind.'” For “Ant,” a lullaby of sorts, John Linnell whispers and shouts accompanied by a tuba-led marching band. The Giants have been playing some version of the Beach Boys’ “Caroline, No” in concert since 2000. This live recording echoes the surfers with edgy whimsy. In short, They Might Be Giants serves up another brilliant taste of what’s to come.
Archived article by Daniela Galarza Red Letter Daze Contributor
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April 16, 2004
122 Rockefeller was packed to the brim with students and two faculty members who gathered for an emergency meeting of Cornell’s chapter of the NAACP at 5 p.m. yesterday. The meeting was held in response to two recent articles — one regarding an incident which occurred after last semester’s Ludacris concert appearing in the Cornell Review, and the other regarding affirmative action in the Cornell American. During the meeting, participants planned a rally to take place today at 11:30 on Ho Plaza in reaction to the recent publications. In addition, a petition was passed around requesting that both newspapers be denied funding from the Student Assembly Finance Commission. The meeting began with a presentation by Nathan Shinagawa ’05, in which he discussed the articles. “[The Cornell Review] are trying to say that blacks are going to act violently against whites,” said Shinagawa. He went on to discuss the manner in which the fight between the four black Ithaca residents and the white student was portrayed by the Review. The article accused the Cornell community of ignoring racism against white students. Shinagawa moved on to discuss the affirmative action piece by the Cornell American. The cover of the American contained a large photograph of African-American students in academic robes with the word “unqualified!” above it. “These conservative arguments will be perpetuated,” said Shinagawa. He also expressed concern that the picture with the label promoted stereotypes of African Americans as unqualified because of affirmative action. “I wouldn’t want my picture under that label,” said Jason Morgan ’06, publicity chair of Cornell’s NAACP. “There is a thin line between freedom of speech and being responsible. When you are stereotyping and putting people into groups that is a problem,” said Sarah Elliot ’06, president of the Cornell chapter of the NAACP. Shinagawa then passed out posters to the audience, which parodied the headline in the Cornell American. He instructed the audience to place them next to the locations where the American is distributed. After initial discussion by the group leaders, the floor opened up to the general audience. The multi-racial group of about 80 people discussed various related topics. There was a debate about the merits of the Cornell Review’s stance on the incident at the concert. Making reference to an incident at Ithaca High School where students brought white supremacist paraphernalia to school, Elliot compared that situation with the incident at the Ludacris concert. “When someone comes to a school with a KKK robe, that is clearly racial, however the fight in the Ludacris concert was a different incident,” she said. Cherise Glymph disagreed. “I think its problematic to deny that it was not a racial incident, but obviously there were racial implications.” She referred to the allegation that one of the black females said “I’m going to fuck up your pretty white face.” Discussion then moved to plans of response, when the idea of a Ho Plaza rally was proposed. Some group members, however, were hesitant to take such a move. “It’s so easy to react on emotion, they want us to fall into the stereotype about being angry. We need to react coolly,” said Elliot. Other members disagreed. “They’re affirming their belief in racism, we should affirm our belief as well, not negate theirs,” said Patrick McLeod ’05. “This is a larger thing they are doing, this is a coordinated assault on the civil rights movement and minorities,” said Shinagawa, referring to the fact that both papers came out around the time of diversity hosting week, when prospective minority students visit campus. On the same topic, Raymond Dalton, director of the Office of Minority and Educational Affairs/Committee on Special Education Projects, told the group that he has witnessed these kinds of events before. “You really need to let your hosting students know about the environment they are coming to,” he said. In the audience, one prospective student told the group that she was impressed by their response to the incident. Others viewed her statement as further rationale for holding the rally. The group leaders ended the meeting around 6 p.m. with some members staying behind to discuss further plans of action. “This is not a white-black issue, this is a right-wrong issue,” Elliot said.Archived article by Teah Colson and Ted Van Loan Sun Staff Writers
April 16, 2004
While students anticipate this year’s Slope Day, extensive preparations are being made to ensure the success of the event and the safety of all participants. Many safety precautions are being taken in an attempt to minimize accidents and also to accommodate injured and severely intoxicated students if necessary. Planning for this year’s Slope Day is centered on “a comprehensive approach, part of which involves reshaping the environment of the event,” said Tim Marchell ’82, director of alcohol policy initiatives. The main components of this approach include regulating access to the slope and serving alcohol instead of allowing students to bring their own and the concert, which will feature OAR, Kanye West, Dilated Peoples and Matt Nathanson. Marchell hopes that the presence of the bands will discourage students from drinking excessively, early in the day so that they can enjoy the bands, which will perform through the afternoon. Consistent with last year’s structure, caterers at Slope Day will only serve alcohol to students over 21. However, a significant amount of the drinking, for students both over and underage, occurs away from the slope. “Our main concern is what happens off the slope,” said Steve Blake, president of the Slope Day Programming Board. Sharon Dittman, associate director for community relations at Gannett noted the same concerns. “We want to caution people about pregaming … for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people drink too much too fast and that’s when they really run the risk of alcohol poisoning,” she said. It has been argued that the prominence of pregaming and drinking off campus runs contrary to many of the safety features of Slope Day. Since the problems surrounding excessive drinking often occurs off campus, the catering services and fences do not address the real problem. According to Blake, the fence only “deflects drinking as supposed to actually changing it.” Blake encouraged students to drink safely and use common sense. Marchell suggested that students “set a limit on how much to drink, pace yourself and keep track of how many [drinks] you’ve had.” Despite these warnings, preparations to cope with possible Slope Day incidents at Gannett have begun as well. “It starts with … posters and conversations going on among students. We really want people to be thinking about what they want Slope Day to be like for them. We want them to understand the rules and the timing of the day,” Dittman said. With all the available information on what Slope Day offers, Dittman hopes that students will plan accordingly and safely. “Planning for the day is one of the most important things students can do for their health,” she added. On Slope Day, Gannett will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. the following day. According to Dittman, Gannett is also preparing with extra supplies and briefing its staff on procedures. “Our lobby is turned into a triage unit” with I.V. pulls and mattresses on the floor, Dittman said. Students who need further medical attention will be sent to Cayuga Medical Center. In addition to Gannett, Bangs Ambulance, the CUPD and Cornell EMS work to ensure everyone’s safety on Slope Day. The EMS will be directly on the slope in golf carts with emergency bags to provide immediate assistance, Dittman added. Hundreds of volunteers, divided into Type 1 and Type 2, are also trained to provide assistance. Type 1 volunteers include those who “provide a positive presence on the slope, interact with students and call for appropriate help should the situation arise,” Blake said. Those in Type 2 are “more seriously trained volunteers, who staff the event, handle ID check and gate procedures,” Blake added. With typically 600 to 1000 volunteers of students, staff, faculty and administrators, Blake credited them as an important part of Slope Day. “Without the [staff and volunteers], we couldn’t put the event on,” he said. The University’s medical amnesty protocol which urges students to call for help when necessary will remain in place on Slope Day. “We don’t want people to think twice if they have a friend who’s in trouble or if they’re in trouble and medical care is needed,” Dittman said. Under the protocol, students involved in disorderly conduct or underage drinking will not face judicial action if they complete the BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) program at Gannett instead. Dittman described the policy as a “non-punitive approach.” Last year on Slope Day, 19 students were treated for alcohol related emergencies at either Gannett or Cayuga Medical Center, according to Marchell. While approximately half of these students were underage, there were no high school students. Dittman cited stricter access and regulations to the slope as the reason. Students will only be permitted entry to the slope with a Cornell ID or as a guest if they are over 18 years of age. Aside from the 19 students who were treated, Marchell added that a larger number of students received medical attention but did not require transport from the slope. The majority of these cases that were brought to Gannett’s attention occurred in the middle of the afternoon. “The common denominator is that they typically start drinking before coming to the event and [usually consume] hard liquor,” Marchell said. However, Marchell acknowledged that these statistics only reflect those students who actually sought help. “We’re even more concerned about students that we’re not identifying,” he said. Because of this, Marchell hesitated to interpret the slight decline last year in the number of students who needed treatment and reported drinking at extremely high levels. Although there is drinking in residence halls and at fraternities, he noted that the highest percentage of drinking occurs at “private parties off campus.” Another concern, related to heavy alcohol consumption, is sexual assault. Nina Cummings, victim advocate at Gannett, said, “Of course it’s hard to talk about sexual assault [on a college campus] without talking about alcohol.” While Cummings noted that “you have to guess the risk is greater” with the presence of alcohol, she said that there are no statistics to show an increase in sexual assault on Slope Day. However, statistics only represent victims that sought help. “What we know is only what people choose to report … [there are] lots of reasons why people choose not to talk about it when they’re assaulted,” Cummings said. Regardless of whether sexual assaults increase on Slope Day, Gannett will offer the same medical and psychological resources and services. Marchell encouraged students to call Gannett’s 24 hour consultation line (255-5155) if necessary.Archived article by Diana Lo Sun Senior Editor