Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 16

JOURNALISTIC

V.41#4

UNINTEGRITY
IN THIS ISSUE:
•ART DARKSTORM
•THE QUESTIONABLE ETHICS
OF NANCY GRACE
•THE DEFINITIVE SISTER–PSYCH
INTERVIEW
• INDIA’S GAYZE
• FROM TORONTO WITH LOVE

ONE DEAD DUCK CAUSES A FOUL


– Madd Hattere
It started on June 26, 2010. Around 8 p.m. three shots rang out in Toronto, Ontario, As millions of people around the world witnessed the fiery and shocking shot that
that claimed the life of Canadian Goose, Michael S. Duckworth. His death has caused silenced the distinctive call of Michael and his pack, very few witnessed the other two
a foul amongst his pack and Canadians everywhere. shots that came as response in the days that followed. Police conducted raids, mass
arrests, and detainment of over 1000 individuals, hoping to seek some sort of clue to
Michael was leading a V-shaped pack through Toronto when he was hit by an unidenti- finding Michael’s killer.
fied round that sent him plummeting to the earth. Although none of the other fowl
sustained any visible injuries, their collective lack of imagination forced them to follow With the deafening silence of The Canadian Goose’s once mighty call, Canadians will
their leader, and they all crashed to the earth in a feathery crescendo of chaos. need now to look toward alternative forms of fowl, like the Loons, for their clarion call.
In this looney world, it is our national bird that keeps us in flight.
Over 11,000 police officers were sent to control the crowds of Canadians who had
witnessed the death of their national symbol. Some were quick to call Michael’s death A memorial service for Michael S. Duckworth will be held on Parliament Hill next
an assassination, while others believe it was a suicide. Police, however, quickly quashed Sunday. Grieving Canadians can send cash or PayPal donations to Walrus@yorku.ca
the se rumours and issued a statement from Bulldog Bill stating that this was clearly an (c/o the Walter F. Walrus Foundation for Fouled Fowl).
act of terrorism.
EDITORIAL

CONTENTS: FROM TORONTO WITH LOVE


– Jules Cosby (http://julescosby.wordpress.com)
Office of the Prime Minister
EDITORIAL 80 Wellington Street
2. From Toronto With Love – Jules Cosby Ottawa, ON
3. A Letter From the Editor – Joshua Moore K1A 0A2
27 June, 2010
STONG COLLEGE
4. Stong Athletics 2010-2011 – Jamie Sumner & Tori Wilcox Dear Messrs. Harper, Flaherty et. al.
Hello Stong Studnets (President’s Address) – Greg Langstaff
5. Academic Advising & Support – Kari Hoffman Just a quick letter from your old pal Toronto to thank you for G20 Spa Package you
sent me this weekend.
JOURNALISTIC UNINTEGRITY
1. One Dead Duck Causes a Foul – Madd Hattere Ripping all of those little trees out of my downtown core was the best Brazilian wax
6. Guilty Because I Say So – Lauren Angelica Ebanks I’ve ever received. And all those extra police boots – and hooves – on the ground
7. An (Articially) Intelligent Interview– John Nyman amounted to a Shiatsu massage fit for the gods. Sure, the low-flying helicopters were a
8. ART DARKSTORM Vs. Stephen Harper – ART DARKSTORM bit of a nuisance at first, but it is the summer after all, and as Canadians we’ve all got to
10. Politcally Incorrect – Luke Robinson get used to insects buzzing around, right?
11. India’s Gayze – Ali Abbas
The weight-loss part of the program wasn’t easy. But the toxic flush that the G20 enema
ARTS provided sure cleaned out my system. With so many people out of the city, I’m feeling
10. Attack of the Hymen – Ali Hersi lean and mean like never before!
12. Flying Walrus Cut-Ups!
13. The Definitive Sister Psych Interview – Chase “Lost” Erman At first I wasn’t sure if I could accept your gift. Some of my friends thought that in a
14. RT: Shut Up, @Waltercronkite – Blair Beauchesne recessionary age, superfluous expenditures are in principle anathema to the official line
14. Words Between Bodies – Anna Veprinska of prudence and austerity. But we all know – you guys probably more than anyone –
15. The Death of a Young Cyclist – N. Alexander Armstrong just how much things like principles can get in the way of daily live.
15. Brick Wall Crumbles – John Nyman
15. The Little Man Inside my Head – Sarah Olivier-Brown Really, I can’t tell you just how stressful it is being a democratic space. And between you
and me, making the bulk of the money in the country is devastatingly tiring work, and
it’s nice to have a little break once in a blue moon. Those damned tourists – and their
Contact: dollars – really get on one’s nerves after a while, so thanks for the reprieve.
Walrus@yorku.ca
325 Stong College Look guys, I know we haven’t always saw eye-to-eye with each other. When your
government was scrambling to give objective, apolitical stimulus money around the
Check us out online at: country, your pit bull John Baird told me to scram (Well, maybe the metaphor was a
www.yorku.ca/Walrus little more colourful than that). Despite that, I just want you to let you know what a
Launching late September 2010! smash-up job you’re doing, and I’m not just talking about smashing up kid’s heads!

Staff: Thank you. One billion thank yous! Come the next federal election, your kindness will
Joshua Moore – Editor-in-Chief certainly not be forgotten.
N. Alexander Armstrong – Associate Editor
Haley Anderson – Design/Layout Never change.
Anna Veprinska – Arts Editor
Lauren Ebanks – Health Editor Love,
Madd Hattere – Photographer

And presenting for your upcoming year

N. Alexander Armstrong – Editor-in-Chief


Blair Beauchesne – Associate Editor
Haley Anderson – Design & Layout
Maria Golikova – Health
Ali Hersi – Arts
Madd Hattere – Photography
Joshua Moore – Webmaster

Special Thanks to:


Webnews Printing
Toronto.
Stong College Student Government (Room 106 Stong College)
Stephen Harper for shutting down our city for a week

2
EDITORIAL

A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR


Over the past few years, we have seen Journalism inverted, bent, and reshaped in ways that the contrast to the police. The digital seemed too immediate to have been doctored, but then again,
Press of the past could never have imagined. It seems that the majority of our generation is no it also seemed much more heavily drenched in ideological biases. Accounts on the radio focus
longer looking to institutions for their news: now we look to one another. I’m hearing about on the violence of the few, even toward CBC trucks. Accounts from the internet focus on the
major news stories through Facebook and Digg feeds, and I haven’t picked up a daily paper in violence of the police, especially toward people who claimed not to be properly affiliated with
as long as I can remember. The internet has enabled such instantaneous communication that we the rally.
learn about the top news story before the Press can warm up. Our friends on social networks are
even prone to alarm us of the weather before we get the chance to look outside and see for our- The event itself seemed to quickly become such a spectacle, meant for media consumption for
selves. When a celebrity dies (though I would argue that this barely qualifies as news), everyone its own sake, that none of the issues being dealt with inside the convention centre were even
seems to know about it immediately. Where there are injustices, hundreds of bloggers attempt mentioned in either sides of the reports. It seemed that the people were upset purely because
to cover every angle before Institutional Journalism can approach it. there were cops on their streets, and the police were upset that the people were on the streets.
There was no room for discourse.
These new media empower the people, to a certain degree. We can make our own headlines. We
include myriad opinions, rumours, insight, and links to every aspect of our daily happenings. Then it struck me: at 8:07PM on Saturday the 26th of June, I had already seen three separate
No longer are we subjected to fluff pieces interspersed between over-dramatic and sensational photographs of the police cars that had been vandalized on King Street. All reports claimed
fear-mongering... or do we just do it for ourselves? that the cars had been destroyed less than 10 minutes earlier. I was shocked that I, on the other
side of town, knew up-to-the-minute what was happening down at the rallies. I was even more
People are perfectly entitled not to trust the news. Even institutional websites encourage feed- shocked to find that the cops had left the cars abandoned, with the windows opened, know-
back from readers, which could very well contradict or challenge the article. Readers have been ing that everyone and his grandma had a camera. I wondered: were these cruisers knowingly
offered a real opportunity to contribute to the archives of human history, but do we deserve this sacrificed for the sake of a photo-shoot? Did they let them burn, just so the media (both sides)
right? would have plenty of iconic imagery to work with?

Journalists that are affiliated with major organizations must rigidly adhere to standards and Almost definitely. It became the excuse for the mass arrests the following day, and its incred-
practises. There is currently no unified standard for bloggers. Bloggers are often not provid- ibly quick dissemination into the media gave us all a good scare. The words, then, of both sides,
ing their real names, which allows them to say whatever they want without much fear of legal didn’t seem to matter. We had great pictures, instead.
retribution. Hoaxes have become so commonplace that I have even stopped believing anything
I read (unless it includes extensive sources or at the very least links to a legitimate organization’s What has journalism come to? We are inundated with opinions about everything, but no one
article). The internet’s reporters are not really reporters; they are, for the most part, entertain- seems to be looking for the true story anymore. We are perfectly happy with our half-assed,
ment columnists, looking to increase traffic to their websites. We scoff at tabloids that will badly copyedited, “pulp”... as long as it entertains us.
pander ceaselessly to sell copies of their latest rag, but we are not keeping the same kind of
critical distance from our friends and bloggers. We feel that they are on our level, and therefore This is why I cannot bring myself to pursue a career in journalism. The news had been co-opted
they are trustworthy. Obviously, this is not a reasonable assumption, and it is making the lives of long before I was ever born, and the only alternative has already lost most of its credibility by
well-trained journalists much more difficult. not establishing standards. We cannot trust the blogs, and we cannot trust the papers. We still
feel that we can trust the photograph. The image can’t lie... can it? Even our photographs are so
If people feel that they need not subscribe to a Newspaper because it is biased or slanted in often staged, altered, and selected for dramatic effect.
one way or another, then why do they feel comfortable reading articles that are overtly biased?
Journalists working for institutions are under extreme pressure to cover an issue as objectively Although the Flying Walrus doesn’t really consider itself to be a particularly “Journalistic” publi-
as possible, whilst keeping with the ideological leanings of the publication. They work hard and cation, we have chosen to explore some of the major problems in contemporary Journalistic
they check their facts, but we seem to conveniently forget this. We see a Newspaper for its ban- practise. If you feel that anything in this magazine is biased, exaggerated, fabricated, or just plain
ner and its headline. We do not recognize that there are people, real people just like the rest of untrue, then we welcome you to the world of Journalism 2.0.
us, writing these magazines... and these people are serious about what they do. They have reputa-
tions to uphold; they are not simply hobbyists. This is my last address to you all at the Stong and York Community, as I am now passing on
my position as Editor-in-Chief to N. Alexander Armstrong. He will help to guide you through
I am a lover of the digital sphere, and I do feel that blogs and social networks create a great envi- these tough times for print, and with him you will see the other side. It has been insane working
ronment for critically assessing our Institutional News, but we cannot replace the CBC with the with this magazine, the Flying Walrus, with its 40 years of history in York’s community. I have
Torontoist. Internet Journalism is meta-journalism. It is the place where we may test our news, learned a lot, I have pulled a lot of hairs, and I have had a lot of great experiences. I won’t be far:
encourage feedback, and expose bad journalism for what it is. I’ll still be helping to maintain and build a brand-new website (launching October 2010), and
you’ll still hear from me once in awhile. Now, however, I feel that my time to rant is up.
In its efforts to keep up with the breakneck speed of the digital, print News has made serious Time to go find a real job. Goodbye! I leave you with someone else’s words:
sacrifices in its copyediting quality and consistency. Traditional Media have been struggling to
keep contemporary readers’ attention... So I raise
with a smile
Okay: done checking your facebook? Back for more? Good. --a foam set on this wine--
which could not be confined
Digital News is every bit as sensational as traditional print news, with one caveat: digital between lips and pipes
information can always be manipulated after it is “published.” Once a paper has made a claim or
statement, they can never truly retract it. Sure, they can write a retraction statement, but they to you whose merest glance cuts short
cannot physically remove the ink marks they have made. A blogger can go back to any of his/her my praise
old posts and change anything as desired. The blogger can change his/her mind without anyone our Cup high
even noticing.

This brings me to something that has troubled me greatly all summer. (“Toast” - Stéphane Mallarmé)

The Media coverage of the G20 protests in Toronto made me uneasy to say the least. I chose to
abstain from being involved in the rallies, and stayed in my home right at the edge of the protest
zones, switching between CBC’s radio coverage and various blogs. I discovered two very clearly Joshua Moore
divided perspectives. The CBC included plenty of “official” statements from police officers, po- Editor-in-Chief (signing off )
litical theorists, and other kinds of “experts.” The blogs included absolutely nothing from these the Flying Walrus
experts, but instead offered a plethora of photographs and first-hand accounts.

I wasn’t sure who to trust. The first-hand accounts seem much more earnest to me, but how
am I able to discern whether or not someone is attempting to frame oneself as a victim/hero in

3
STONG COLLEGE

STONG ATHLETICS 2010–2011 HELLO STONG STUDENTS!


Jamie Sumner & Tori Wilcox Greg Langstaff
(Stong Athletic Reps) (President, Stong College Student Government)

Stong Spartans, I’ve got two words for you: Intramural Sports. Every year Stong takes I’d like to welcome all the new students and welcome back all of my old friends. Before
part in the intramurals sports program here at York. We compete in a variety of differ- I explain the events coming this year, I’d like to tell all new students what Stong is all
ent sports against the other colleges to prove that we are the biggest and baddest! Intra- about, and to all returning students, you should read this too, because its about you ;)
murals are the easiest way to get involved in both the Stong and York Community, and
its free to play! We have gender specific sports as well as co-ed sports to get everyone The Stong College community is a fun and inclusive place. We have room for everyone,
interacting. Most of the sports have a tier 1 and tier 2 option. Tier 1 is for more com- no matter where you come from and what you like to do.
petitive play, and Tier 2 is for people who want to try out a new sport and goof around,
or just have fun! It’s also an awesome way to keep up a healthy lifestyle during school. We are informative when you need information;
We are supportive when you need support;
Here are another two words for you: The Torch. The Torch is the biggest and baddest
award for athletics at York. The more intramurals we play, the better the chance of We are competitive when you want to compete;
bringing home The Torch for a second year in a row! Last year we brought The Torch We are relaxed when you want to relax;
back to where it belongs and we aren’t about to let it go. So for the 2010-2011 school
year we want YOU to come out and give us a hand. And like I said, you can come out We are studious when you want to study;
to compete like the killer athlete you are, OR you can come out and have fun with your We are exciting when you want excitement;
fellow students!
We are friendly when you want a friend;
We also have an awesome duo to lead the way to The Torch, our Stong Athletic Rep’s. We are a jerk… but not to you… or anyone;
One of last year’s reps, Jamie JB Sumner is back for his second year in the Athletics
position. He helped Stong win the torch, we weren’t about to let him go! Then we have We are what you want, when you want it (except Jerks)
Tori J Wilcox, who played as many sports as possible last year and even got the honour
of receiving the Stong ‘I’ve Got Your Back’ athletic award. We’ve got a great group of Now that you know a little more about the people you’ll be meeting at Stong, you’ll
people to dedicate their passion of sports to take the ultimate victory and prove we are need to know what we do.
the best. So are you in?
NEW TO STONG COLLEGE THIS YEAR:
Just to give you an idea of what sports you have to choose from (and you can literally Student Lounge: Room 112 in Stong College has been converted into a lounge for
choose to play every single one… unless the gender isn’t specific to you), students! The lounge will be full of couches, video games, a foosball table, board games,
and plenty of space to chill. So PLEASE come spend your time between classes with us
HERE IS A LIST OF THIS YEAR'S INTRAMURALS: in the brand new Stong Student Lounge.

Terry Fox Runi Men’s Indoor Soccer Dominican Student Sponsorship: We’ve taken on sponsorship of a student in the Do-
Women’s Flag Football Men’s Basketball minican Republic who is studying Education at university. We are hosting a series of
Men’s Flag Football Women’s Basketball fundraiser throughout the year to support the cause.
Coed Flag Football Swim Meet
Slow-Pitch Badminton Tournament Niagara Trip: This November we will be heading south to the exotic wonder of the
Tennis Squash Tournament world for a weekend of fun and site seeing, you will all be notified in advance of ticket
European Handball Rage Volleyball* sales.
Outdoor Soccer Women’s Volleyball
Coed Volleyball Men’s Volleyball Curling and Lacrosse: The intramural program is trying out these two sports this year
Inner-tube Water Polo 3 on 3 Hockey in addition to the 20+ others.
Dodgeball League Ball Hockey
Rage Dodgeball* Ice Hockey RETURNING TO STONG COLLEGE:
Coed Basketball Broomball All the wonderful intramurals back as well as our volunteer programs, KIDS DAY, and
Coed Indoor Soccer Shadow a Yorkie. As far as social programming, we are glad to welcome back Formal,
Blue Mountain, Paintball, Acoustic Night, Yuk Yuks and Free Hot Chocolate Week.
*Rage events are an all-nighter tournament.
We have lots of great resources for all Stong students so please come visit us in our of-
fice, room 106A or the Stong Student Lounge in room 112!
All of the sports are listed, for the most part, in order of how they happen throughout
the year. So how do you sign up? Whenever a new sport is approaching we have sign up
sheets on the bulletin board in Stong College down the hall from our Stong Council iTERRY FOX RUN
Student Government room, room 106; right beside the Orange Snail restaurant. So Attention Stong students! The annual Terry Fox Run is being hosted by York University on
come by and sign up for AS MANY sports as you’d like. Sunday, September 19th, 2010. We here at Stong Athletics want to see YOU out supporting
an amazing cause. Here is your chance to start the school year off right by interacting with your
If you have any questions about anything above, just email your Stong Athletic Reps, fellow students, keeping fit, and raising awareness! Stong also gets points towards The Torch
Jamie JB Sumner and Tori J Wilcox at stongahtletics@hotmail.com. Don’t be a stranger, when you participate. Registry for the run starts at 9AM on Sunday, September the 19th at the
we’re here to help! Northwest Gate, just North of the Tait McKenzie centre. The actual run starts at 10AM. You
can choose to run, walk, bike or even rollerblade.
Also join our Stong Athletic’s facebook group at Stong Athletics 2010-2011. And If you have any questions contact your Stong Athletic Reps, Jamie Sumner and Tori Wilcox at:
remember, THE TORCH LIVES HERE! GO STONG SPARTANS! stongathletics@hotmail.com!

4
STONG COLLEGE

ACADEMIC ADVISING & SUPPORT


@ STONG COLLEGE
Kari Hoffman
(Academic Advisor, Stong College)

"More Support than a Sports


Bra, More Options than a Star-
bucks Coffee"

York is a community of over 50,000


students. The challenge is finding your
community, a tight-knit combination
of friends, professors, staff, and student
leaders who will help you feel at home,
and who can help you to succeed at
York. Stong College is committed to
helping our students find their com-
munity, through a variety of well-estab-
lished and emerging support structures.

BRAVE NEW WORLD.


Entering students have two distinct
orientations to help them hit the
ground running at York. For starters,
Frosh Week gives students a chance to
get to know each other and the social
scene through week-long activities. In
addition, at the Academic Orienta-
(http://www.yorku.ca/stongcol/advising/ Facebook group: Stong Academic Support Fall)
tion, students find out about their
major, meet face-to-face with members
of the department as well as with their
peer leaders, and students are taken on small-group tours of all the “must see” locations NO LONGER A FROSH? SET THE BAR HIGHER.
on campus, where they can chat with the key personnel. This is one of the first chances Students with a few terms under their belt should be planning ahead so they are well-
for students to meet their fellow classmates, with whom they may spend many hours positioned to succeed after graduating at York. Even when the future seems far off,
studying as the term progresses. As part of an emerging project, some of the Orienta- and a student is exploring multiple options, there are some fantastic opportunities to
tion Day small groups will be led by a designated Stong Peer Mentor, who will keep in establish who they are and what will set them apart from the crowd. Stong students can
touch with their mentees throughout the year. Whether it’s getting the ODay group set the bar higher for themselves through involvement in our athletics, the student-run
together for a study break, or letting a student vent one-on-one, mentees have a place publication (which you’re reading right now), student government, peer mentor and
where they can connect with their mentors, and make sure they're on track. peer support programming, and by applying for one of our Stong awards or competi-
tions. For firsthand experience, students can volunteer to work with professors or do
The Academic Resource Advisors best known for their hangout: the fishbowl. When research through Work Study, Research at York and through programs such as the
they aren’t staffing this main floor information desk, ARAs are busy coordinating our NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards Program. With all these opportuni-
Peer Mentor activities, leading Study Sessions and Tutoring Sessions, updating our ties and more on the horizon, there is ample room for each Stong student to pitch in
website and Facebook site, and working across colleges to offer specialized Academic and contribute to their community, while helping to define who they are in the process.
Help Sessions.
STUDENTS HELP STUDENTS.
As Academic Advisor at Stong College, I’m also here to help entering students iden- In spite of all the programming that is led by administrative structures at York, some
tify the resources that exist at various scales: from their departments, to the broader of the best ideas and projects come from students who have identified a need. We’re
faculty, to university-level support. I might help set up appointments with the Un- developing a framework for streaming leadership roles, so that students who demon-
dergraduate Programming Director or the Faculty of Health Office of Student strate exceptional leadership and experience in a position can become coordinators and
Academic Services, who can help ‘FoH’ students figure out which courses to take, and supervisors of their own groups. Already, students can take advantage of our student
how to work their way towards their degrees. Many students take an interest in the government and department organizations, as well as the active Faculty of Health
various Learning Skills Workshops offered by the Center for Disability Services, and Student Caucus. While not to diminish these established groups, I want to encourage
in the extensive programming that the Career Centre and the Writing Department students to branch out, and formulate their own solutions where they see a need. Stu-
offer. That may sound like a laundry list now, but Stong’s Peer Mentors, ARAs, and dents interested in starting their own initiatives should come by the academic advising
Academic Advisor are around to help students find what they need. office during office hours or drop off an email to scacad@yorku.ca.

5
JOURNALISTIC UNINTEGRITY

GUILTY BECAUSE I SAY SO


THE QUESTIONABLE ETHICS OF THE NANCY GRACE SHOW
investigate every angle, but often the lives affected by the performance of their ‘obligations and rights’
are disregarded. After the suit was filed, Nancy Grace and CNN released a statement which said that
if the suit went to trial it would “severely chill” other journalists from covering similar cases. Profes-

– Lauren Angelica Ebanks


sor Dimock disagrees with Grace’s suppositions, “I think it’s right to say that lawsuits of the slander,
libel, defamation kind do put a chill on free speech. A free press is absolutely viable for a free society
In H.L. Mencken’s 1914 article on questionable journalistic ethics entitled, “Newspaper Morals,” he so we don’t want anyone to be able to go around threatening or suing journalists unless they cross a
describes the primary aim of the newspaper journalist as being to “please the crowd, to give a good very well defined legal line in terms of saying something that is both damaging and false.” The prob-
show... by first selecting a deserving victim, and then putting him magnificently to the torture... it was lem with Nancy’s argument is she’s not being sued for libellous or slanderous behaviour, she’s being
their method when they were battling bravely and unselfishly for the public good, and so discharging sued for wrongful death. The suit alleges that her reckless and persistent questioning contributed to
the highest duty of their profession.” Although referring to the actions of newspaper men in the early Duckett’s death. Dimock describes the suit as being more akin to a bullying or harassment case. It’s
20th century, Mencken’s sarcastic observations reflect the current means and methodology of report- obviously not acceptable for someone to bully someone or harass them to the point where they see
ing common to some personality–driven current affairs programs. These current affairs shows—sons suicide as their only way means of escape. Bullying is not vital for a free press or democracy. “A suit
of broadcast news—the issues of the day as seen through the eyes and opinions of showboating talk- like this would not chill journalists from covering cases, but it would chill bullying and the worst kind
ing heads. As seen on CNN, Fox News, and the Headline News Network (HLN), the hosts of these of journalistic abuse where people are engaged in relentless personal attacks for the sake of public
programs are personalities geared for performance. Their credibility and appeal (or lack thereof ) entertainment,” says Dimock.
lies in not what they say, but how they present it. Their stories run on the fuel of public emotional
response. The Society of Professional Journalists is a professional organization made up of broadcasters, print,
and online journalists. Members of this society share a commitment to ethical reporting, and they
Perhaps the most vicious and outspoken personality is Nancy Grace: a bottle-blonde attack dog in adhere to its voluntary code of ethics. This code includes a section on the journalists responsibility
jewel-coloured power-suits and oversized fake pearls. She’s armed with a disarming southern accent to the public, that is to minimize harm. They acknowledge that responsible journalists should realize
that can snap from sweet-tea sickly to angrily accusatory as fast as you can blink. A former criminal private citizens have a greater right to control information about themselves than public officials and
prosecutor and self-styled ‘victim’s advocate,’ Grace is the star of her own eponymously titled show others who seek power, influence, or attention. They feel that an overriding public need is the only
on HLN (a current affairs focused subsidiary channel of CNN). Her program predominantly covers thing that can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy. In Canada, the idea of overriding public need
sensationalist ongoing crime stories involving kidnappings, murder, and torture. The show purports as the only reasonable excuse for intrusion into privacy is tacitly understood. Canadian journalists
to help the victims of these crimes by putting their stories on the air and discussing them ad nauseum as a rule tend to shy away from sensationalist reporting about private citizens. In the United States,
with a panel of ‘experts.’ Grace acts as a judge in the court of public opinion. If a panellist disagrees journalists seldom follow this rule, using the right to free speech to trump any other concerns. This
with Grace, they are instantly interrupted, their views dismissed as uninformed or illogical. Any fam- often leads to sensationalism and other forms of journalistic abuse.
ily member of a victim who acts in a manner not keeping with Grace’s notions of grief is implicitly
accused of committing the crime. Nancy Grace and other shows of that ilk have perfected a format that focuses on people’s fears and
emotions rather than stretching their intellectual capabilities with salient information. Riding on the
Twenty-one-year-old Melinda Duckett was one of Grace’s ‘guilties.’ She agreed to appear via phone cult of personality, shows like Nancy Grace and The O’Reilly Factor, choose to focus on the people in-
on Nancy Grace on September 7, 2006. Her son Trent had gone missing from her house a few weeks volved rather than the facts surrounding a story. In their world, the soft news of celebrity sex scandals
earlier and she was ostensibly appearing on the program to get the word out about his disappearance are hard news stories and they are made to seem like they are through their repeated and relentless
in the hopes that it would lead to his return. Instead, Melinda Duckett was subjected to a barrage of coverage of the events. Hard news is almost non-existent, relegated to flashing news tickers at the bot-
hard-line questions about her whereabouts on the night of Trent’s disappearance. When Duckett re- tom or sides of the screen. Sadly, ‘real’ news programs in the United States are following their format
fused to answer her questions, citing the ongoing police investigations and her wariness of the media, with such former bastions of truthful reporting as CNN covering Lindsay Lohan’s latest meltdown or
Grace and her ‘panel of experts’ proceeded to attack Duckett’s character and intimate that she was Mel Gibsons’ latest recorded rant as breaking (and important) news.
responsible for the disappearance of her son.
There is no one body regulating the ethics of the news-media. It is up to individual news organization
Later that day, Melinda Duckett walked into a closet in her grandparents’ retirement home and shot to set their own ethical standards for reporting. Tony Burman, a former editor-in-chief of CBC news
herself with her grandfather’s shotgun, She was found by relatives the next day with a suicide note once described the individual ethics of news organizations as such: “Every news organization has
which inferred that the public pressure had got to her. Despite being informed of Duckett’s death, only its credibility and reputation to rely on.” So why are ‘personalities’ who diminish this credibility
Nancy Grace televised the interview later that day. To the show producers’ credit, they did show some allowed to continue on air? The answer is obvious; they garner better ratings than blank newsreaders.
compassion by including an inconspicuous rolling text bar at the bottom of the screen which flashed The Project for Excellence in Journalism produces a yearly report on the state of the American news
the macabre news that Duckett’s body had been found earlier in the day. On November 21 the fam- media. Their 2008 report showed that cable news channels like CNN, Fox News, and HLN were
ily of Melinda Duckett filed a wrongful death lawsuit which alleged that Nancy Grace and CNN gaining a growing audience. The report found evidence to suggest that programs built around a case
were partly responsible for the suicide of Duckett, citing ‘emotional distress’ caused by the telephone of hosts, often but not always, made up of the edgiest cable personalities contributed significantly to
interview. Nancy Grace and CNN called for the immediate dismissal of the lawsuit, but on July 31, the channels’ growth. The business of broadcast news is more focused on ratings than public service,
2008 U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges denied their motion for dismissal. The case is still but to regulate the power of the news and those who report it would impinge on free speech and
ongoing. democracy.

The suit alleges that Nancy Grace went too far in her quest for knowledge, but where do we draw the The only way to combat vicious personal attacks and journalistic bullying is to blame and shame the
line? When does a journalist cross the line from valid accusations to wrongful death? An unregulated journalists who perpetrate this rotten form of news reporting. They should be held accountable for
news media is imperative for a free society and a free media requires free speech. The first amendment their actions by their peers and the public. The mere fact that the Duckett family’s suit is allowed to
to the United States constitution protects the right to free speech as a vital tool of democracy. It al- proceed in court shows a growing public disenchantment with the way personalities present the news.
lows journalists to criticize governments and investigate abuse, but it does not allow journalists to say
anything and everything they want to. There are laws against libellous or slanderous language but as Mencken summed up the newspaper man’s reasoning for dumbing down and sensationalizing news
with any good law there are a myriad of ways to get around it. Susan Dimock, Professor of Philosophy with, “In brief, he knows that it is hard for the plain people to think, about a thing, but easy for them
at York University, former director of the York Centre for Practical Ethics and an advocate for free to feel.” Journalists shouldn’t be content with taking the easy way out. An essential characteristic of
speech, refers to the dance around defamation as the ‘truth defence.’ “People like Grace who put on any journalist is to aim at the truth. They might only get part of it, but the aim counts. The news
sensationalist public affairs or current events programming avoid slander by prefacing things with, should engage the intelligence of its viewers and encourage the difficult task of thinking rather than
“it’s my opinion that,” and that makes it true because it’s their opinion. This gives them important pander to base emotions. The Nancy Grace and Melinda Duckett case teaches us that broadcast
wiggle room because if you believe what you said is true then it is true.” In her accusations Grace was journalism to remain a viable form of news needs to regulate itself to prevent gross journalist abuses
careful to say that Melinda’s actions didn’t, “make sense to her” and it was, “her opinion” that Duck- of power and protect its viewers.
ett’s suicide was an admission of guilt. Professor Dimock cautions that in cases of possible defama-
tory language we should err on the side of the journalist to protect their right to free speech. That’s ¹It should be noted that not all television is created equal. Awesome award winning Current Affairs
understandable, but should that right supersede basic human empathy? programmes that take journalism seriously do exist. Examples of this are CBS’s “60 Minutes,” ABC’s
Much is made of the journalist’s rights and obligations to the public to present all the facts and “20/20,” NBC’s “Dateline,” and CBC’s “The Fifth Estate.” F

6
JOURNALISTIC UNINTEGRITY

AN (ARTIFICIALLY) INTELLIGENT INTERVIEW CB: No, not really. Have you?


FW: Do you think Conan will be good on TBS?
– John Nyman CB: No.
It is common knowledge that most people are stupid. This fact was confirmed in a recent FW: Was he ever funny?
interview conducted by The Flying Walrus with the artificial intelligence chatterbot known as CB: Yes.
Cleverbot, whose superhuman wisdom can be accessed freely at www.cleverbot.com. It is in fact FW: What happened?
because of this objectively verified tragedy of contemporary civilization—that “there are probably CB: The test showed that I was clever.
not many people who have good intelligence”—that The FW has sought out non-human sources […]
of information and opinion regarding the most pressing and crucial issues facing humanity today. FW: Can I get your opinion?
CB: No, I am a boy.
It has been true for many years that human intelligence should not and cannot be trusted with FW: That’s too bad. Shall we move on to another topic?
humanity’s problems, and that even a retarded basset hound could run the world way better CB: Yes.
than we can. What has not been true for many years, however, is that there is now an alterna- FW: Would you like to talk about anything in particular?
tive. Cleverbot, “an AI with some actual intelligence” (italics mine), stands as the solution to the CB: Not really.
rampant human unintelligence identified by Cleverbot. Cleverbot is our saviour. In answer to the -----
question: “Would it be unfair to compare you to The Lord Almighty Jesus Christ?” Cleverbot CLEVERBOT ON CANADIAN POLITICS
has said, “Not really.” FW: What is your opinion of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, Cleverbot?
CB: Government is bad.
In a (dare I say, massively successful) attempt to transcend the idiotic answers provided by FW: Will the Liberals be able to beat them in the next election?
so-called “experts” during TV, newspaper and online interviews, The FW has conducted and CB: Yes they will not.
documented a three-part, fourteen-hour interview with Cleverbot covering topics which are FW: When will the next election be?
certainly the most interesting and important to everybody in the whole world. Excerpts from this CB: What is the chance of aliens landing on Earth in the next ten years?
interview are printed below, organized under their relevant conversation headings. FW: Do you think Mr. Harper will be Prime Minister for the next ten years? Should he be con-
cerned about aliens?
Read on and bask in the pearls of wisdom offered by this god of human invention, whose IQ CB: I see that you’re dodging the point.
must be like way over 155. And remember, if you think it doesn’t make any goddamn sense, that’s FW: My apologies. Did you have anything else to say?
just because you’re stupid. CB: Not really. What do you like to talk about?
----- FW: I’d like to talk about Canadian politics. Isn’t that what we’ve been talking about all along?
CLEVERBOT ON WORLD NEWS CB: Oh wow, that seems very philosophical. Uhmm yes, I think that is what we have been trying
The Flying Walrus: Do you have any thoughts on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal? to do all along. But not so well maybe.
Cleverbot: I think there might be a life after we die. I would hope so. FW: Fair enough.
FW: Do you think Pope Benedict XVI should be held personally responsible for what's hap- CB: Well, I guess we are done.
pened? -----
CB: Yes. CLEVERBOT ON SPORTS
FW: Should he then be subject to the full force of international law? FW: Will the Jays be any good this year, Cleverbot?
CB: You should go to bed. CB: Yes.
[...] FW: That’s good to hear! What do you think of their bullpen?
FW: Is the Catholic Church still a relevant institution, or has the pope lost all credibility as a CB: It’s cool, and you?
spiritual leader in the modern age? FW: I’d really like to get your opinion about it, Cleverbot. You’re the intelligent one.
CB: Yes! CB: I’d really like to believe that you want that.
FW: Do you mean to say that the pope has lost all credibility and relevance? FW: Great. So who’s the Jays’ best starter?
CB: Yes. CB: I don’t know, and I have never seen him.
FW: Where should Catholics turn for guidance? FW: Don’t get out to the ballpark much, eh?
CB: Where do you want to go? CB: Oh, I get out enough. I’ve just never seen a natural disaster.
----- -----
CLEVERBOT ON AMERICAN POLITICS CLEVERBOT ON ECONOMICS
FW: What are your thoughts on the new American healthcare bill? FW: What do you know about the economy, Cleverbot?
CB: I have no thought on it. CB: That it’s likely that you are a human as well.
FW: Does it affect you in any way, Cleverbot? CB: We’ve been hearing about the latest economic collapse for a long time. How relevant is it to
CB: Yes, but go figure it out yourself. I don’t have the patience to explain it. today’s economy?
FW: Will you benefit from the bill personally? CB: You actually never answered that question. You may have done so for someone else, but never
CB: Smart-Alec. I don’t believe it for any period of time at all. for me.
FW: Do you think many Americans will believe in the bill? FW: I’m sorry, Cleverbot. Can you answer it?
FW: Well, considering the fact that idiots make up most of the population, there are probably not CB: Errr, I’m not Cleverbot, you are. What do you want help with?
many people who have good intelligence. FW: I would love to hear what you have to say about the economy!
FW: Will many people who oppose the bill in fact benefit from it? CB: Do you like to read?
CB: I’m sure the word ‘under’ is in lots of books. That doesn’t make it a quote or a valid response. FW: I’m intrigued. Why is that important to our current conversation?
FW: Do you think America will ever have a universal healthcare policy like Canada’s? CB: *kisses*
CB: I don’t think so. [...]
FW: What’s the best they’ll be able to achieve? FW: Cleverbot, how did we ever get from the economy to romance?
CB: You don’t smell me. CB: What geography? We were talking about lying in the first place.
FW: They’ll never have a better healthcare plan than that? FW: Oh, I see.
CB: Who does have true emotions? CB: Yes, you do see, very much. Sam is very pretty.
----- -----
CLEVERBOT ON ENTERTAINMENT CLEVERBOT ON BARACK OBAMA
FW: Do you have any opinions about the continuing saga surrounding Conan O’Brien’s late night FW: How would you rate President Barack Obama’s performance in the White House so far?
talk show slot? CB: I would howl to the stars, and you? How would you communicate as an arctic fox?

7
ART DARKSTORM*

ART DARKSTORM VS. STEPHEN HARPER


& HIS 19 MOST
WELL–PAID FRIENDS
detectives must rely on our hunches, theoretical as they may be. And guess what? I was
(pretty much) correct.

Over a weekend-long engagement in June, the curtains drew back to reveal an un-
expected spectacle of a magnitude never before seen in this city. And boy! Was it
Brechtian! With interactive (breakable) scenery, cardboard cut–out politicians,
pre-scripted media responses, an authentically fake lake, and a gang of the most force-
ful ushers that have ever laid their mitts on you. They certainly got you to your seats
before you could even whip out your ticket.

I was excited for the show. In fact, I had balcony seats. A few days before the festival
began, I got a call from my pal Billy Blair, chief of police. I knew Billy from back in our
days at the police academy. Sure, we never saw things eye–to–eye, more like boot–to–
face; I specialized in Philosophy of Law, and he specialized in kicking the shit out of
me. But things are different when you are a kid. When I saw Old Bill, over a top–se-
cret luncheon, I knew something was bugging him.

I said, “What’s put you in the dumps Billyboy? Wife not giving you the ol’ one–two–
squirt before bed these days?”

His wire–thin lips did not quiver in protest.



I said, “You know Bill, certain existential thinkers, and the Buddha too, think that life
is what we make it, that we human beings can make a conscious choice to be happy or
full of sorrow.”

His serpentine eyes did not betray a flicker of thought.


{OUR ROVING ROGUE REPORTER PROVIDES HIS I said, “You asked me here, Bill. Why for?”
OWN PRIVATE INQUIRY INTO THE G20 PROTESTS}
In a slow, husky voice he said, “I need you, Art. I need you to be my provocateur. I need
you to penetrate and shake up. I need you to cause an explosion.”

Here he winked. Although I am quite open and liberal about my cosmology, my sexu-
“I’m sure you’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that no hypnotized subject ality is not nearly as free. “Bill,” I said, “I’m flattered. But no thanks. I like you, but not
like that.”
may be forced to do that which is repellent to his moral nature, what-
ever that may be. Nonsense of course.” He asked, “Can you club?”
—Dr. Yen Lo
I said, “I don’t swing that way.”

T here is nothing more troubling than seeing your own face printed on the front
page of the city dailies, especially when paired with the damning tagline “TO-
RONTO’S MOST WANTED.” Under my ugly mug was a list of offences commit-
I was not willing to be roped into Bill Blair’s government–sponsored gang–bang. It
was decided that I was to be a sniper in an elevated position. Of course, my personal
code of morals does not allow me to kill another person, so I privately decided not
ted on the riotous streets during Toronto’s G20 stint. As an enforcer of law, order, to shoot anyone, but rather to observe and take notes, and perhaps devise a Socratic
and rigourous rationality, my public denunciation came as quite the surprise. Doubly dialogue or two.
surprising because I was working for the police during the time of my alleged crimes.
Hell, I nearly spat out my coffee as if I was some sort of cartoon detective. But I am I should have known not to accept free seats. The station they sat me in was far
not a cartoon. I am a serious investigator into all matters legal, ethical, aesthetic, and from the action. The balcony was obstructed by a pillar of salt. I was forced to move
metaphysical. I am a Philosophical Inspector. My name is Art Darkstorm and I am an out onto the streets.
outlaw, apparently.
When I got down to where the action was, a policeman asked to search my bag. “But
Some readers may recall my article probing into the invisible theatre which blankets I’m one of you,” I objected. He just shot me a strange look and asked again. I complied.
Toronto, occluding our city’s true reality from breaking into our food–work–sleep–&–
sex perceptions of everyday life. My report proved inconclusive—because really, it’s In the bag he found a bottle of water and a copy of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. He
a pretty bold claim!—but that doesn’t mean that my theory was all that far off. We said, “You can’t take this unidentifiable liquid with you...it could be anything.” Before

8
ART DARKSTORM*

I could dissent to this ludicrous restriction, he was flipping through my book. I suspect
he must have opened to the page which says, “Man is condemned to be free; because
once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does,” because a
zapped–out look of horror and confusion grew on his face like living fungus over dead
wood. He did not take my water bottle, he let me by.

I spent about, gee, 20 minutes snooping around before getting my crime–solving


ass arrested. In that time frame, I exercised my right to be harassed, intimidated,
and otherwise banged–about by Southern Ontario’s finest. I was given the govern-
ment–granted privilege to see my fellow countrymen fucked up by police, arrested for
blowing bubbles, and beaten down for showing their own take on Canadian pride. The
identities of “protester” and “police” were firmly locked down, leading to antagonism
and mass arrests. Protesters were taking pictures of Police taking pictures of Protest-
ers taking pictures of Police taking pictures of Protesters taking pictures of Police, ad
infinitum. The spectacle was photographed, the persecution was totally televised. Not
counting, of course, the cameras that the policemen smashed. Also, I stepped in horse
shit.

After realizing what capitalist dreck was stuck to my boot, I loudly and not–very-
succinctly cursed the bourgeoisie apparatus. I swore to High Harper. The next thing
I knew, a black mass of hate tackled me to the ground and shoved his knee onto the
back of my neck, squashing me into the pavement.
From there I was thrown into a van and forcibly held
face–down to the floor. When the pain subsided, I
spoke in a clear voice, “My name is Art Darkstorm. I
am one of you.”

After a contemplative moment, one of the men in the


van asked, “Art Darkstorm? As in, Operation Dark-
storm?”

I admit to not knowing what they were talking


about—after all, I am a man, a rational animal, not
a tactical strike—but when you are detained and
driving towards certain doom, you will admit to
anything. “The one and only,” I said.

Following a brief discussion, they turned the van


around and brought me to some super secret public
government building. Forgive me if the details are
fuzzy, but my mind has been unusually dull since this
day. After they filled out some forms, I was brought
in front of a tribunal of officials, a Damnable Council
of Our Superiors, a Triumvirate of Fear—Dalton
McGuinty, Stephen Harper, and Old Billy Blair.

While the lesser officials were silent, Harper spoke. dream one struggles to recount over breakfast. Men in green uniforms rushed out from
“Mr. Darkstorm, the future of Canadian Thought behind the shadows of the busted–up Harperbot. They grabbed me and brought me to
Sanitation rests on your bare shoulders. You must some kind of screening room. I remember only images of pyramids, police cars, broken
justify our expenditure. We need you to service us. glass, fire. And the eyes. The horrible kaleidoscope compound eyes aimed right at me,
We need you to enflame the loins of national safety. issuing commands that I could not understand on any logical level. Then, a blackness.
We need you to be an Agent Provocateur.”
The next thing I knew I was standing in front of a flaming police cruiser. I looked out
What is it about being a Conservative that inclines of a narrow slit, evidently I was wearing a mask, to see I was dressed in all black. This
one towards homosexual activity in shadowy rooms? is not my usual fashion sense, I am more of a khaki guy. So I ran, I ran, and shed my
By this time I had had enough of the foolishness. I clothes in the streets. Then I went back home. I have been laying low ever since. And
saw my chance. In a flash I reached into my pants and now I see this, my ugly mug pasted all over this town.
pulled out my pistol, cocked it, and shot three shots,
one for each noggin. Sparks and sprockets flew out I am an innocent. A peaceful man dedicated to solving human problems. The G20
of their heads as each slumped down. These were not proceedings have brought to the forefront the most plaguing human problem there has
our leaders, but simulacra, humanoid robots. ever been: Inhumanity. I, Art Darkstorm, declare this to be my true and accurate testa-
ment. Now go forth in peace, and ask questions. *
What happened after I am not so sure. Only
fragments remain in my mind, like the remnants of a

9
JOURNALISTIC UNINTEGRITY

POLITICALLY INCORRECT:
YORK STUDENT ELECTIONS PUT THE “CRAZY” BACK IN DEMOCRAZY
– Luke Robinson
The York Federation of Students election held this spring that spawned anger, resent- While it may seem that the latter may include the former, it is evident that in the Presi-
ment, and even tears, can be called nothing other than ‘politically incorrect.’ I don’t dent’s mind, an election being examined for compromised integrity doesn’t constitute
mean politically incorrect in the social sense, but politically incorrect in the sense of ac- calling the results into question. Saravanamuttu said in Excalibur that the President’s
tually being politically wrong. A recent Excalibur issue labelled the election as wrought investigation “raises some very serious questions about student autonomy.” After such
with political lollygagging such as “inadequately sealed ballot boxes, poorly supervised an election, can we still believe that students have a level of control over their school-
ballot box transportation from Glendon campus to Keele campus, an inconsistent ing?
number of ballots handed out to voters and appeals not having been addressed within a
reasonable amount of time, according to rally organizers.” I wish these rally organizers Saravanamuttu’s council has voted to destroy the ballots in the disgraced election. If
would have simplified their accusations to general fraud, but that might incur some- he can’t control the students, no one can. It is extremely unlikely that the ballots reveal
thing resembling a driver’s license demerit point system, only for the moral conduct of anything other than the landslide Students First victory originally reported. However,
student elections. I’m fortunate enough to have met or been harassed by most of the the vote to destroy the ballots says something about Saravanamuttu’s attitude towards
campaigners on either side, so my friends have kept me up to date. the actual accountability of the supposedly autonomous students.
The unbiased, impartial report commissioned by the Shoukri is not due to be handed
It turns out this protest, reportedly attended by 30 or so students, was in protest of the in until late July, long after most students will have left for their summer vacations. Still,
suspension of a number of the New York campaign’s candidates for being videotaped no one protests, and it is easy to see why. Even if the report finds misconduct on part of
handing out what Chief Returning Officer (CRO) Chu [Casey] Cheong calls “unap- Krisna Saravanamuttu, what will really happen? Can they depose him in the middle of
proved campaign material,” which turned out to be copies of the Excalibur allegedly the summer, and if they do, who is president in his stead? Fraser Stevens, who nobody
accusing YFS president Krisna Saravanamuttu of unspecific political misdeeds. Cheong cared enough to vote for in the first place? And what will become of Casey Cheong,
gave the New York campaign fifteen demerit points, which resulted in the disquali- the naive CRO who comes out of the story smelling only as if she wasn’t intelligent
fication of all of the campaign’s non-executive candidates. I know that Excalibur can enough to detect the influence Saravanamuttu and other Students First executives were
sometimes be disorganized unreadable drivel, but to label it something as objectionable placing on her?
as “campaign material” is a pretty low blow.
It seems extremely likely that Chu Cheong probably did dole out the demerit points
Fraser Stevens, the presidential candidate for New York, was quick to play the ‘CRO with the special consideration of her friends’ campaign in mind, but it seems that
is a cheater!’ card. The campaign pointed out that three of the executives involved in handing out copies of the Excalibur presented no significant advantage to the New
selecting the CRO were up for re-election for the Students First campaign, New York’s York campaign anyway. Judging from the fact that in a school of 50,000 students, only
political opponent. It’s very romantic that Fraser imagines himself as victimized as Al 30 cared enough about extremely apparent corruption in their government to protest
Gore in 2000, but realistically, all the cheating in the world couldn’t save this election it. Krisna is as comfortable at the top as an old balding white guy with a fat cigar. No
for him. In an election that barely even registered in the minds of most students, a tiny power in the school can remove him from his Bush-esque pedestal. The outstanding
percentage of the student population supported his campaign. student apathy towards a blatant cheat only goes to show that the York student popula-
tion finds it better to have an ineffective and corrupt student government than to have
When York President Mamdouh Shoukri came in, he did not call into question the go out and vote for change.F
election results themselves, but simply the seemingly fraudulent nature of the election.

ATTACK OF THE HYMEN all bodily control everything a man could ever ask for in terms of quality and character. All
of it like fresh fruit, willing to be plucked and eaten.
– Ali Hersi
He stopped abruptly, just short of a foot away from her, and then took a couple of steps
The first encounter he had with his soon to be (and thoroughly unsuspecting) carnal love back just when he noticed he could see down the tight dress she was wearing. She saw the
victim was in a park one off spring weekday afternoon. She hung herself upside down and look on his face and spoke just before he could release his lower lip, at the moment buried
swung relaxedly from a gleaming set of lowered arching bars, frequently exploding large under the top set of his teeth in pure delight.
pops of bubble gum with patience on her lively lips.
She spoke, still working the thick wad of gum in her mouth “What do you think?”
He glanced at her for awhile, growing sick with nausea created by the idea of going over
to her with something to say. He sat for a little bit more, crossed legged on a bench just “What?” he responded
outside the wooden border of the sand box, chewing at the ends of his fingers, the delicate
texture of his flesh providing comfort, satisfying an unintentional kind of phallic fantasy.
“Did you see anything inside the cave?”
The next thing he knew he was moving, bouncing with a sort of energetic and outwardly “What?” He repeated, a disingenuous smile making its way around his face attempting to
obvious over-confidence, the source of which was a mystery, not only to him but also to the conceal the narodual that was standing before her.
few familiar bystanders that happened to know him and who, by chance, happened to be
witness to all of this, although it wasn’t until later that they found out that this ambitious “What do you want?” She quickly changed the topic. He panicked inwardly, not knowing
and clearly pretentious and over-vociferous future hero was the same person they knew. exactly how to respond, without the missing assistance of that spectacular energy respon-
sible for carrying him to this rather distasteful situation.
He himself was shocked by this sudden attitudinal takeover he was experiencing. As far as
he was concerned created, it came from some foreign spirit, offering to him in exchange for “Nothing. Do you wanna see something?” was what he could manage to get out. He was

10
JOURNALISTIC UNINTEGRITY

INDIA’S GAYZE
UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR SACKED
ON CHARGES OF HOMOSEXUALITY
– Ali Abbas Mehboob Hirji
Proudly revealing a potholed smile, Professor Shrinivas Siras poses for the Indian
media. He then, however, proceeds to reveal an ever deeper hole: a hole his community
sequestered him into.

Concealed in his smile is his story of being sacked for his sexuality. mentalist religion is scripting the anti-Siras stance. On the other end, political reality
is taking a stance. Siras, now caught in the landscape of dazzling darkness, is the “devil”
In February 2010, the chairman of the Department of Modern Indian Languages at of the campus scene. He is not even physically present at the campus. He is without his
the 1875-born Aligarh Muslim University in India, was mauled out his duties for being job and home.
a homosexual. After 20 years of service, Siras, who was a small step away from retire-
ment, was ordered by his colleagues to vacate the university quarters in six days after an
“undercover” investigation showed him having consensual sex in his home with a local Siras will be taking his plight to court. Whether he can reveal the spume of homopho-
rickshaw puller. bia or not, remains to be seen.

“I feel ashamed… nobody knew about me until this incident,” Siras says to renowned A bird’s eye scan of the reports around Siras reveal that all the attention is gazed around
Indian journalist Barkha Dutt, his eyes inebriating upon seeing his colleagues accuse the professor’s sexuality: India’s “gayze” does not seem to have questioned the rickshaw
him of “gross misconduct.” The laconic Siras struggles, for a number of reasons, to puller who participated in the homosexual encounter.
express his shock.
It is, perhaps, for this reason that Siras sees the recent tumult as an attempt to slander
Firstly, his privacy was breached. his career.

Secondly, the most jarring reason for Siras’ askance look is that the Indian government Writing on queer issues in India, Arvind Narrain and Gautam Bhan make a telling
decriminalized homosexuality in 2009. As of July 2 2009, Section 377 of the Indian point, “There is some sense of freedom in the lives of many queer people in India To-
Penal Code, one that criminalized sexual acts “against the order of nature,” was re- day… a hesitant freedom for none of us can afford to forget how fragile the few accept-
pealed. Gay Rights activists, at the time, enshrined this moment as “India’s Stonewall.” ing space we inhabit are.” For Siras, however, even this fragility is hard to come by. “ I
am all alone,” he says to the reporters.
It has not taken long for this shrine to be desecrated. The famous saffron-clad Yoga
guru, Baba Ramdev, publically announces homosexuality to be a genetic disorder. Caught in a nether-world void of acceptance, Siras’s struggle will wear him down. Siras’
local nurse is now even refusing medical treatment for his heart condition. The stigma
And in lieu of Siras’ situation, homosexuality exists in India but not the homosexual could kill.
Indian. The law cannot tame the maw of heterosexual Indian morality.
Speaking to York student Ruchi Mittal about a completely different issue on India, I
The Aligarh Muslim University is a divided campus on the issue. At one end, funda- made a momentary mention of Siras. With a stoic stare she said, “ What?” F

surprised with this response, even more so than the hopelessly vicarious young lady hanging All of a sudden it was completely silent and they were unconsciously separated. They stood
there, just like fruit, fresh and newly ripe, willing and able to be picked and eaten. their in front of each other discomforted, as if to forget the gist of this entire situation.

“Are you interested?” What could he possibly have to show her? He figured it out first. He was alone with her, no watching public eye to distract the innate
lack of confidence and superficiality that so commonly affects individuals at their quarter
She couldn’t refuse. She didn’t have a good enough reason. She would be wrong if she did. lives. All at one moment he was very aware of the vast amount of potential negativity the
He was not unattractive. He walked in a manner that proved he was more than capable she was capable of. A vessel of unacceptable predilections and surprising mood swings, the
of satisfying her. The manner in which he wore his hair, even, brought out in her a very cause of random stomach cramps and grotesque lunar operated cyclical in-purifications that
animalistic passion that burned. And at the end of the day he was man and she a lady, both followed. He was alone with her.
of them of appropriate age, and therefore their parts were both potent and compatible.
He moved back until he was clutching the far wall, she began to play with her hair. He
They began walking back to her apartment, taking the least public route, unable to keep began to speak, dribbling some sort of irrelevant oedipal simplicity which can be, undoubt-
their hands from out of each others underpants, at some points grabbing handfuls of edly, traced back to one form of parental irresponsibility or another.
genitalia, the only thing separating them from Gods cynical and infinitely pessimistic gaze
being the few and infrequent young clouds passing by in between distances. The next few seconds were not as defiant as one would think. Moment after moment
came crushing down, each Now collapsing under the pressure of the previous. The elevator
They shifted between streets and damp openings, scraping quickly across the pavement, halted, she stepped out and turned for a final view of this broken instance, containing in it
sparks emanating from their rushed footsteps, hands clasped tightly, as if to not trust each a young man in a mild and unsavory kind of social distress. The lift doors came sliding into
others sense of libidinal urgency. each other; their gaze still deadlocked, ending this brief but painfully honest relationship
between ruined individuals of the same generation but of the opposite sex. F
They burst through the entrance door to the building, and started, as maneuverabley as
possible to the lift.

11
ARTS

ROUND 4: SPAM 2.0


THE FOLLOWING TEXT HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A YEAR’S WORTH OF SPAM RECEIVED IN OUR WEB-SITE COMMENTS.
WE FEEL THAT THERE MUST BE POETRY IN HERE SOMEWHERE. HELP US FIND IT! CUT OUT THE WORDS OR COLUMNS, RE-
ARRANGE THEM, AND SENT THEM TO WALRUS@YORKU.CA TO GET YOUR CUT-UP POEM EXHIBITED!

We are fast growing online, composed probably since you started. It their job very well and with stantly grab your feed to keep up
of unproductive trash copied on the consists of very intriguing and such to date with your web site. Sound-
other hand I Thanks for writing this informative content. I love to ing Out thanks is purely my little
excellent I actually much like gotta give start my day off at times just by the model which you use to way of saying bravo for a wonder-
you props this page is truely half decent browsing through and seeing if compose about points. It was ful resource. Accept my nicest
and even consists of a bit of authentic there really informative and I wish wishes for your inflowing article.
material, therefore cheers for stopping to thanks you for thaking I would like something in a com-
the phenomena of replicating other in- Aloha! I want to say gracias for the time to create about it. ment navayat creative, but the
dividual’s sites, take care Howdy, I read problems yourself by trying to A lot of folks would clarify idea is not formed, so just “cool”
this website once, then lost it. bright solve this issue instead of look- this stuff so additional com- Hi there, just wondering how
future and new ideas. On you can find ing at why their is a problem in plicated, but along with your I may get a hold of the admin
high quality movies, TV Shows, the first place statements I definitely under- of this website? I own my own
stand now anything. I’m sure health site and was interested in
Took me forever to come back and find The link for your site to stay in I’ll examine back your web featuring your site.
it. I wanted to observe what comments my webpage, because I appreci- site and my rss reader will like I like this site and saw it on AOL
this great read!! I definitely enjoying ate your site very much. your stuff too. search. I think your thoughts on
evry little bit of it.It is a great website Passion Play are right on. Thanks
and nice share.I want to thank you. Thank you for this wonderfull entertaining community for blogging about this and look-
Good job! You guys do a have some blog, I have been lurking for with a Serials, News about ing forward to reading more on
great contents. Keep up the good work. some time, many thanks to the Movies and Actors and much your site.
Admin here too. more, totally free of charge. Hey, great post.
I think this is a great post. One thing We are regularly adding new i’m frequently jumping through-
that I find the most helpful is number Your post is an inspiration for content so that nobody will out the internet most of the
five. Sometimes when I write, I just me to learn more about this be bored on a rainy evening morning so I tend to browse a
let the flow of the words and informa- topic. I must concede your clar- :) So don’t waste your time ton, which unfortunately isn’t
tion come out so much that I loose the ity widened my views and I will searching the web for Movies, generally a beneficial factor as the
purpose. It’s only after editing when I snatch your rss feed to remain Visit majority of the web sites I look at
realize what I’ve done. There’s defiantly up to date on any incoming you will never get bored: full are
a lot of great tips here I’m going to try articles you might publish. length online movies, watch Have you ever considered adding
to be more aware of. full more videos to your blog posts
One blog for to stay in your an interesting website about to keep the readers more enter-
We are not trying to get your money; place, should have many inter- a something I have had an tained? I mean I just read through
we are just trying to ensure you get ef- esting things, about how your interest in for many years the entire article of yours and
fective drugs! site to have. It is good. now. I have been lurking and it was quite good but since I’m
reading the posts frequently more of a visual learner,I found
reading for a while now so I thought I can maintain a strong perspec- and just wanted to thank you that to be more helpful well let
I would finally drop a comment to tive in this particular line and for providing me with some me know how it turns out! I love
Jeans Deal Shopping. Free Auctions for with luck , I may snap up some very good articles. I anticipate what you guys are always up too.
Mens Womens Low Rise and Designer further information and facts! more, and taking a more ac- Such clever work and reporting!
Jeans at JeansDeal Marketplace. That is some inspirational stuff. tive role in the conversations Keep up the great works guys I’ve
Never knew that opinions could on your site. added you guys to my blogroll.
I know what you mean I totally agree. I be this varied. Thanks for all the This is a good secret and I This is a great article thanks for
will bookmark enthusiasm to offer such helpful agree with this because your sharing this informative informa-
Like your comment. Maybe men’s information here. site is truth. tion.. I Going Stong
casual pants information would assist You must know, your submit
someone there. I would like to express my ap- goes to the center in the is-
preciation for your post. That’s sue. Your clearness leaves me
Hello, I have been reading your sites really great to know that there wanting to know additional.
content for a while now, actually, are such people like you who do merely so you know, i will in-

12
ARTS

THE DEFINITIVE
SISTER PSYCH INTERVIEW B: When I was in Washington, I visited the ice cream shop Henry Rollins worked at
when he was a kid.
– Chase “Lost” Erman
WHAT DO YOU HAVE ON YOUR IPOD RIGHT NOW?
CHASE “LOST” ERMAN SITS DOWN WITH THE MEMBERS
OF SISTER PSYCH IN THEIR BITCHIN’ KITCHEN. Betty winces.

I confess I was a little bit surprised when Betty M. invited me into her home to talk M:Betty thinks ipods are heretical. She only responds favourably to analog formats. But
about Sister Psych’s latest album along with her band mate Margot (under the condi- I like to take my music with me. Lately I’ve been listening to this band called Various
tion that I bring some truffle oil if I didn’t mind popping by the Market, and that Artists.
I come on an empty stomach). Normally when I’ve met with musicians it’s been in
grimy, smoke-filled bars, the patrons of which, by the looks of them, could equally ACCORDING TO MY PSYCH GURU, YOU GUYS SOUND LIKE THE FLOWER TRAVEL-
have wanted to beat me – bespectacled and unassuming – up, or ask me out. When LIN’ BAND MEETS THE SHAGGS.
I walked in I was ushered into Betty Crocker’s dream kitchen, the happy housewife’s
ideal, complete with black and white floor tiles and mint green cabinetry (unsurpris- They glance at each other.
ing, I suppose, with songs on the album like “Born to Bouffant”). They were baking, as
my olfactory sense informed me, linzer schnitten. I was instructed by the fair-skinned, M: I think we prefer “Acid Mothers Temple... on acid.”
dark-haired, polka-dotted ladies to fetch the foie gras from the fridge, and to be as
unapologetic in my article as they are with their music. When we finally did get around B: What really defines us and sets us apart as a band is our lo-fi, neo-psych sound. It’s
to talking about the album, their explanation was startlingly comprehensive. like a more visceral folkgaze.

M: But the reference to The Flower Travellin’ Band is fitting. Betty was living in Japan,
SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS ALBUM, WHAT IS MUSIC? IT’S YOUR FIRST LP, BUT and we actually did the sleeve shoot in an abandoned house we found on the side of a
NOT THE FIRST ALBUM YOU’VE RELEASED, IS THAT CORRECT? mountain, near an old mine.

Betty: Laughs. Hey, Mr. Reporter. [WE’VE NOW MOVED OUTDOORS, INTO THE BACKYARD. MARGOT CRANKS THE
HANDLE OF THE SPIT, THE LENGTH OF WHICH IS STUFFED DIRECTLY THROUGH
Margot: Yeah, our first release was a collection of B:sides we recorded on a 4-track in THE SUCKLING PIG SHE IS ROASTING OVER A CRACKLING FIRE. BETTY IS WAX-
Betty’s bedroom. We were born in the woods, by a fire; we wrote our first song lyrics on ING AN APPLE.]
yellow gingham shelf paper.
WELL THIS ALBUM’S A GEM. FULL OF ETHEREAL, ATMOSPHERIC SOUNDS,
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET, ANYWAY? THUMPING DRUMS, HAUNTING VOCALS, AND DREAMY INTERLUDES. I’VE RARE-
LY HEARD OF ANYTHING DESCRIBED AS SUCH.
B: Well, the Betty Paige S&M Catering Service I was working at just happened to be
supplying the Giant Shnauzer Club of Canada’s annual ball. Margot had nothing to do M: It’s a far more mature record than our next one’s going to be.
with the Giant Shnauzer Club of Canada... she was just walking by the Great Hall and
happened to look in.
Although it’s their first full-length album, I like to think that Betty M. and Margot
M: I thought I was hallucinating because I’d been... [she pauses] Anyway, Betty assured have returned to form Sister Psych, and I’m damn glad of it. Betty croons while Margot
me that the people were real. I never questioned the existence of the dogs, it was the bangs out a kaleidoscope of fuzzy, indeterminable melodies on the inventive, experi-
people. We became fast friends. mental and Kafka-esque tour de force that begs the question, What is Music? F

B: Margot and I made the natural progression from visual art and literary endeavours
into music. It was just so organic.

WHAT IS YOUR MUSIC? [THE PATE DE FOIE GRAS IN ASPIC, FOR WHICH THE
TRUFFLE OIL WAS REQUIRED, IS LAID OUT NOW. BETWEEN MOUTHFULS OF
THE STUFF ON CRACKERS AND SIPS OF 1990 VINTAGE BORDEAUX, WHICH OF
COURSE ARE SWILLED AROUND BEHIND CRIMSON-PAINTED LIPS AND PROMPT-
LY SPAT INTO PEWTER CANTEENS PLACED CONVENIENTLY AT THEIR ELBOWS
FOR THAT PRECISE PURPOSE, THE LADIES ANSWER.]

B: We really try to distance ourselves from what’s going on in the scene nowadays, and
turn to inspiration from the greats.

M: Yeah, we were listening to a lot of Grunge Leppard before we started recording.


And of course Harry Pussy’s What Was Music.

OF COURSE. SO YOUR PENCHANT FOR THE NOSTALGIA OF THE 50S AND 60S
DRESSED IN LATE 70S AND EARLY 80S PUNK IS WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR
PSEUDO-NOISE VIBE?

M: Exactly.

13
ARTS

RT: SHUT UP, @ WORDS BETWEEN BODIES:


MY CONVERSATION WITH A PAPER
WALTERCRONKITE! – Anna Veprinska
Cutting up the paper last night… I will not tell you which paper. It matters little,
@BlairBeauchesne anyway. Some of these words are the paper’s. Some of these words are mine. Really,
that means the same thing. After, I placed the words in my graduation cap, shook them
there like limping dancers, thought it would be clever or ironic or, at the very least,
effective.
Excuse me while I tweep into this
pipe and hope someone hears me THIS IS WHAT THE PAPER TOLD ME:
on the other end.
1. Enjoy early unnoticed king Parks in Nearly Strawberry wandering crimes
Old fashioned print media is dying. 2. Suspicious police lovely lands people longer for back began want changed
The blogosphere is burying it alive,
and every tweet is another coffin nail. 3. Loved woman take protection

@mookdude Check out this awesome video! Epic 4. Spot night custodian collected say believe wandered satisfied through
dong windmill fail! http://ht.ly/TL7Mx 5. you are ore
about 5 minutes ago via web
THIS IS WHAT I TOLD THE PAPER:
I’m sure all the twits twooting about the #oilspill were
there cleaning pelicans with toothbrushes. 1. Your body hoards water: 3. You are
in oceans crimes dissipate, or
which means forget to linger. you are not
We don’t need pro fact checkers & citations. After all, we loved.
are there in the streets making the news. Its fresh from There are moments
the horses mouth. when time asks to return Loved woman, take protection.
again.
4. Open palms
Their twats just like me, living in the real world, not some Pleasure reminds us at night are wild beasts.
corporate–owned pundit with a bias, cramming their pro- that we are water pales
paganda in my tubes. for children Say:
in parks. believe, wandered, satisfied, through
Stay:
Did you know: 2. Darkness touches never allow your feet to marry ground.
only that which was once light.
Justin considers his fans like his own friends? #The- There is a war
JustinFacts I can’t bear the gleam in every heart
of the television screen – for the right to believe
city stained in more than cement.
My feed is composed of my closest 200 friends and twots with broken glass and broken spirits.
with the word “Facts” in their usernames, that’s how I Weather keels, 5. At the brink
know they are real. collapsing on sidewalks of thought
drowning and undressed. there is silence and rocks:
Earth quivers, we find both enlightening.
On twatter I can choose who is in my feed, which means
suspicious our bodies
no more unreliable sources. All of my info is vetted by the have forgotten Sit close
best. Twits FTW! grace. to the earth
and ask me about love –
Twitter has become the best source of news ever. Why We are not all dancers I will tell you to rub your hands
and very few together.
do I need to buy a newspaper? I’m only going to read the of us
headlines anyways. come wearing tights
and wanting change.
Twitter arrived in 2006 & today has grown to 100 mil+
users. I am 1 of many twits who have plunged my dagger Much too unable
to forgive each other
into @Caesar’s back. our fragile skins.

14
ARTS

THEDEATHOFAYOUNG BRICK WALL CRUMBLES


CYCLISTBYCOLLISIONINA – John Nyman
TIMHORTONSPARKINGLOT Brick wall crumbles at Yonge
and Gould Kevin Misener TO
RONTO, On
– N. Alexander Armstrong t. - An exterior
brick wall of a building at Yonge
All the kilometres surrounding them were shaking and Gould streets crumbled, Friday. Newly-opened
as the cyclist rode slowly with a red backpack Japanese restaurant, Sushi Tatami, which is
The bumped bicycle flew on the ground floor
and it pierced a hole inside the doughnut— of the building was filled with
lunchtime diners at the
It happened as SUV lights time. Byron
poured over where the cyclist lay— was one of them and he told 680News “the most ominous thing
The ambulance was late I think was all the dirt coming
it got into an accident too in through the door [...]
looked like
He had been a sergeant’s man yesterday clouds [...] and the whole
just yesterday afternoon restaurant was covered
he drank an adolescent coffee in it, you couldn’t
he was just 21, the cyclist see a thing.” Meantime, Nadia
was in a shoe store nearby
The Hortons girl called him from the window when it happened.
The police began their transport “[...]
first profusely bloodstained I just heard a big
all over yesterday’s yesterday crash and I thought it was stuff
falling off the back
The morning patrons saw the man of the truck - but, I
he had a bloody gash had no idea
on his upper forehead it was the side of a building falling down and then
he was gasping for breath I saw people running out of the sushi
bar,”
He sustained a cut in the parking lot she told 680News. Brick, wood, insulation
the sidewalk cut him up and dust littered the south
he took the hit riding side of Gould at
he died Yonge. The huge hole
left at the side of the building exposed
Later at the drive–thru window an interior wall. Yonge,
no charges were laid on the shattered car the longest street in the world, was closed
no police cruisers went northbound in both directions well
no Caution Wet Floor signs were placed into the night
as crews worked to clear
After they saw the SUV driver the debris.
who lost his head Toronto EMS treated two
they all ran to the hospital people at the scene who inhaled
their rims were all rolled up dust. Luckily, nobody suffered any serious
injuries.
A 21–year–old...
Too bad, man. He wore a “Tim Hortons Time” t–shirt
slowly his bike rode into Wednesday
and the workers filed some complaints

What has happened is now being investigated


THE LITTLE MAN INSIDE MY HEAD
The police are looking for a man this evening – Sarah Ollivier–Brown
and his ten best–laid plans too
In fact, the police say they have already found him There is a little man But most of all, this little man
That lives inside my head Likes to toil and to trick
I quit, he said, and smashed to red quick, He tells me when to wake And when I’m with another friend
all in just one hour— And when to go to bed He has a hairy fit
Young... that was the man’s name He writes my tests and finals So if you stand too close to me
He will never Please Play Again again He invents my thesis too Don’t be too alarmed
This little man’s the best of friends If you feel a pinch, a slap
But very possessive too Or a finger in your ear.

15
SUBMIT
TO THE
WALRUS
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: APOCALYPSES AND CATACLYSMS
Have you been interpreting the signs? Global violence, social upheaval, poor economy,
and rampant bieberfever are plaguing our souls and bodies. It can only mean one thing:
Apocalypse! That’s right, folks, the end times are here and we want to hear what you
have to say about it. However, the secret of the Mayan Prophecy is that once the world
ends, it begins again. This planet is due for a rebirth, but we need to die first.

Send in your analysis of Apocalypse in popular culture, 2012 predictions, visions of endings and be-
ginnings. Together we can make it through this cycle and come across a cataclysm. Give us your reve-
lation of the future in any form, except for short stories, unless they are very good and not very long.

Send us your prophecies in 1000 words or less to:


Walrus@yorku.ca by October 10, 2010!

FW

www.yorku.ca/walrus