Monthly Archives: October 2012
Tina Fey’s autobiography, “Bossypants,” gives the reader a look into the world of sketch comedy through a series of sophisticatedly sarcastic stories.
I have always felt as though Tina Fey, star and writer of NBC’s “30 Rock,” can do no wrong. Therefore, I went into “Bossypants” with the highest of expectations and the only disappointment was that the autobiography is only 275 pages long.
Tina Fey wrote the book as if telling her story to an old friend over drinks and a large amount of fried appetizers.
Fey shares stories starting from her childhood, such as when she had her face cut open by a random maniac, and continuing on to when she was simultaneously filming and writing a television series while planning her young daughter’s birthday party.
Mixed in with her personal stories, Fey shares her opinions on topics, such as body image vs. Photoshop, meeting Sarah Palin (the woman that she famously impersonated), motherhood and fashion.
Scattered along with the stories, Fey includes pictures from her childhood and family, the set of “30 Rock,” and magazine covers, as well as original scripts from “Saturday Night Live.”
“It’s a fair representation of Ms. Fey’s self-image as a smart, unyielding woman who has forced her way to the top of what is usually a man’s profession,” wrote the New York Times’ Janet Maslin. “‘Only in comedy,’ she writes, about interviewing for a writing job on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 1997, ‘does an obedient white girl from the suburbs count as diversity.’”
From beginning to end, “Bossypants” will keep a smile on the reader’s face with its witty and intelligent writing.
In my experience reading “Bossypants” there were many occasions where I had to set the book down to have my own little laugh riot and then calm myself down before continuing.
However, not all of “Bossypants” is comedic gold. A number of Fey’s stories are focused on her experiences and how she got the world view and morals that she has, which forces the reader to think about how they feel about some controversial topics.
Hopefully now, with the last season of “30 Rock” underway, Fey will spend more time enriching the world with her literary works.
Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” is definitely a feel-good read that will brighten anyone’s day.
The Fred Meyer Lounge was dimly lit, Halloween- themed and packed with fans as the band Jack Ruby Presents performed during the Pro Cat Cab on Oct. 25.
The band includes members Chris Hernandez, Melissa Davaz, Aaron Owens and Jesse Hughey. The event marked their five-year anniversary of performing at Linfield College.
“It was really great to hear some of Jack Ruby’s newer songs, along with a handful of songs from their first album,” junior Melissa Green, an avid fan of the band, said in an email.
Throughout the concert, the band passed percussion instruments out to people in the crowd, and all the while, audience members sang along.
A crowd favorite was Jack Ruby Present’s original song, “Strange Fruit/Three Men Hanging,” during which members of the audience appeared to become mesmerized by the music.
“Every time I’ve seen them perform that one live, the whole room goes dead silent as soon as Melissa Davaz starts singing,” Green said. “It’s beautiful.”
Green has been a fan of the band for a few years and has been to other concerts around McMinnville where it’s performed at, such as the concerts at McMenamin’s and at friends’ houses.
“I really love the energy at all of their shows. They’ve got a killer folk rock sound,” Green said. “With Jesse Hughey’s rougher voice contrasting beautifully with the pure sound of Melissa Davaz’s voice, it definitely speaks to me and gets me dancing.”
During the Cat Cab, Hughey mentioned them being ideally a house party band, with that being the environment they are completely in their element in.
“They are truly talented song-writers and musicians, and we are so lucky to have this connection with them,” Green said.
Samantha Sigler/ News Editor
Samantha can be reached at email@example.com
A group of Linfield students were invited to be in the audience of a live radio show featuring author Sherman Alexie on Oct. 24 in Portland. The show was held in the Literary Arts Space in downtown Portland so the audience could be involved and ask questions.
Alexie’s literary works include a dozen books of poetry, four novels, four short story collections and two screenplays. He is often described as the greatest explorer and exploder of Native American stereotypes.
He began the program discussing what it means to be a “real” Indian and what kind of implications that stigma has.
“I was the first person in the family to leave the reservation,” Alexie said, addressing what he calls a necessary betrayal.
“I had to leave to survive. The alternative would’ve been substance abuse and emotional suffering.”
The only way to survive on a reservation is to be traditional, he said, embracing the roots of the tribe and practicing old ways. “I’m not sure I would’ve been that guy,” he said.
Alexie said Indians are obsessed with authenticity. People’s ideas often drift in and out of what authenticity actually is.
“It makes you question what you are and aren’t,” Alexie said.
Stereotypes dictate that Indians are supposed to love nature, but Alexie is “so allergic to the outdoors.”
Indians are often regarded as highly spiritual people. However, Alexie describes himself as somewhat of an Atheist.
He said Indians are either judged harshly or praised intensely for whatever they do. There is often no escaping these kinds of stereotypes.
“I was born for the city. Born to hear helicopters and wander the street with 10,000 strangers,” Alexie said. “The reservation is a white creation, a rural concentration camp.”
He added that most Indian writers don’t live on a reservation.
An audience member asked Alexie what advice he had for writers. He emphasized the importance of reading. Growing up, his father shared all of his books with him. The first literary novel he read, “The Basketball Diaries,” opened his mind to more kinds of books. His grandmother frequently brought him books from garage sales.
“My grandma was always bringing me those romance novels. I thought they were awesome,” he said. “Back then, I thought every book was real. It seemed like a dream world that existed outside of the reservation.” He soon discovered that everybody’s life is valuable enough to write about.
“I loved poetry books, short stories and novels, but I never felt connected to them. It was through reading work by Indians that I realized I could be in there too,” he said.
One particular line by a Paiute Indian poet, Adrian Louis, summed it all up for him.
“‘I’m in the reservation of my mind.’ One could argue I’ve just been writing that line over and over again,” he said.
Alexie was recently named the 2013 Everybody Reads author for Multnomah County Library. To him, this means a chance to reach out to young readers.
“Young, poor, brown males need to be reading the most. ‘It’s the only book I’ve ever finished.’ I hear that all the time,” Alexie said. “The only things that are going to save you are books because it transports you outside your circumstances. You fall in love with the outside and dream about going there. Reading is like a passport.”
Some audience members were Native American, and Alexie picked them out immediately. He made jokes with them and called it identity sharing.
“‘You’re an Indian, aren’t you?’ It’s a tribal identification thing. It’s like the most exclusive club in the world. It’s a connection. Most Indians spend all their time being the only Indian in the room,” he said.
He gave his advice for writing about Indians.
“Quit making us so dang smart. Quit idealizing. We’re portrayed as these incredibly wise, gentle Indians, almost like superheroes. Make them interesting,” Alexie said.
According to Alexie, there are two kinds of writers. There are those who love their writing and those who hate it. Alexie is among those who are never happy with their work.
“I want to abuse my writing about 32 seconds after I write it. Nothing is ever as good as I want it to be, or fits into what I imagined. I’m a self-loathing kind of writer,” he said. “It keeps me motivated, never being comfortable.”
After counting on his fingers, he proclaimed that he only loves four of the short stories in his most recent collection.
“Everything else needs to get punched,” Alexie said.
Miller and Alexie laugh with the audience during “Think Out Loud” on Oct. 24. Alexie joked that he was, “broadcasting to 180,000 vegans right now.”
Kelsey Sutton/Managing editor
Communication or perception by means other than the physical senses. This is how Linfield Activities Board’s performer, Craig Karges, introduced his performance Oct. 27.
As a mentalist, he explained the importance of extrasensory perception (ESP).
“Everything based in the mind is ESP,” Karges said.
For his first acts, he had a student from the audience look through a book and pick a word. Then Karges tried to guess the selected word. He wrote on a white board the word “photographer,” and then the student replied that his word was photograph. The audience was speechless.
Next, he put on a blindfold and asked a girl to bring up a Linfield photo I.D., which she did. He was able to describe the girl pictured in the I.D.’s smile, hair and earrings, followed by her name, only by holding it in his hand.
With the blindfold still on, Karges had a student put a metal spike under one of four Styrofoam cups. He was able to accurately tell which Styrofoam cup had a metal spike under it. At this point in the performance, many students had puzzled looks on their faces.
For his next act, he had people write down their name, birthday and a random word or phrase on a piece of paper, then hold on to it. He easily guessed a girl’s birthday and the word that she had chosen, “dolphin.”
A student had written down the phrase “Not Slytherin, not Slytherin,” which Karges guessed perfectly, as well as the phrase “Nerdy Star Trek guys.” After he guessed the phrases correctly, students were on the edge of their seats in amazement.
Perhaps one of his most astounding acts started with the phrase, “I am going to manipulate the block of wood.” He set a small block of wood slanted against a book. He walked away and began trying to move it. Sure enough, after about 10 seconds, the slanted block of wood sat up straight.
“He’s a witch,” an audience member yelled out.
Later, Karges brought up a student to help him move a wood table. With no magnets or glue, they were able to have the table move, levitate and float with only the tips of his fingers making contact with the top of the table. At one point Karges was holding the table with just the tips of his fingers of one hand. The audience was in pure astonishment.
He then called for four random students to describe their perfect car. The first student replied with a new Camaro. The second described its color as forest green. The third announced the license plate as MP171, and the fourth listed its price at $56,112.75. He then reached into his pocket, pulled out a note and had a random student read it aloud.
“Today I will visit Linfield College. I will ask for four students to describe a car. It will be a forest green Camaro, license plate MP171 and cost $56,112.75.”
The audience was left speechless by the identical descriptions.
For his last presentation, Karges had Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, bring up his check. He then put it in an envelope and put two random pieces of paper in two other identical envelopes. He had a student randomly number the envelopes and shuffle them behind his back. Then he had the student pick one envelope to hold on to.
Karges then put the other two envelopes through a portable paper shredder. He promised Linfield College that in the event that he had shredded his check, there would be no need for them to pay him. Finally, he had the student open the envelope and, in fact, his check was in it.
It was clear by the audience’s reaction that the show was a huge success. Some students were still skeptical of some of the acts, but there was no clear answer as to how they could be fabricated.
“During the whole show, I was thinking about the science behind his acts. It makes you rethink everything we know about the human conscience,” junior Stephanie Stovall said.
On the weekend before Halloween, the Linfield Activates Board succeeded in mystifying students with their performer.
“We use 10 to 20 percent of our mind. It is possible to communicate with our minds and see things without our eyes,” Karges said. “What capabilities do you hold with your mind? Technology is wonderful, but the most amazing computer is our mind, and it is only limited by your own imagination.”
The chance to study abroad opens cultural doors for Linfield students every year, bringing new opportunities, as well as exciting new experiences. Traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, American and French students prepare for the cultural differences they find waiting when they land in France and America.
Although there are not many customs in France that Americans find difficult to adjust to, there are some changes that the average Linfield student might find hard to make.
Junior Katherine Thomas is studying in Marseille, France, and has noticed little things that she could do in America but has been warned not to do in Marseille.
“Not looking at people when you walk down the street, notably men. If you look a guy in the eyes, even if by accident, it’s an invitation, if you know what I mean,” Thomas said. “Not every guy will try to hit on you if you do, but especially in Marseille, most will.”
Along with the absence of the “Linfield Hello,” other differences include a lack of openness in France.
“The ‘private sphere’ in France is much more private than in the U.S., including the home,” Thomas said. “For example, my host mom has asked me to keep my curtains always closed in my room, so that the neighbors across the street can’t see inside. To me, I don’t care who sees inside my home, especially if it’s my own room. But here, seeing inside the home is the equivalent of seeing inside your private life. For the same reasons, it is not as easy to invite guests over. Of course every family is different, but that’s ‘typical’ for the French.”
While there are many differences between customs in France and America, Thomas has found many things she enjoys in France.
“I think for me it’s the satisfaction and confidence I have knowing I’m creating a little life here. As much as I miss Linfield, after this year is over I know I will have two homes,” Thomas said. “Speaking French every day is awesome. I can never get enough of it. I’ve made some wonderful friends, French and American.
“There’s little aspects of the French and Marseillaise culture that I love, like going to have a coffee at a cafe with friends after school at 4 o’clock, or walking everywhere,” Thomas said. “In the two months I’ve been here I can count the number of times I’ve been in a car on two hands. That’s it! [And] the fashion here and how you greet people [by] kissing each other’s cheeks. It’s really just the simple things.”
Thomas is spending the entire school year in France. There are three other Linfield students attending schools in France for the exchange program this semester and an additional three will travel to spend their Spring Semester there. The students will study in Angers, Aix and Marseille.
This year, there are no exchange students from France at Linfield, but there is one French teaching assistant, Stephanie Ohren.
Ohren describes American food as one of the hardest adjustments she had to make upon arriving.
“There are candies everywhere and some things we do not have in Europe and France, so of course I would like to try them while I’m here,” Ohren said. “The sizes of the packages [are] way bigger, so it implies an adaptation to how to cook and what quantity to buy.”
Another difference Ohren has observed is the living situations and independence of the students.
“There is not as much advice [and] support by the teachers,” Ohren said. “French students are much more independent, especially because you don’t live on the campus. It’s just buildings and students go and leave and have an apartment or live with roommates. Dorm buildings exist but they are managed by public organizations and not by the university.”
While in America, Ohren has come to appreciate what it “means to be an American. The culture of the big cars, the campuses, the landscapes, the food.”
“It’s like watching a movie, but it is reality,” Ohren said.