Track opens new Scot Center

Track opens new Scot Center

John McGovern

Viewpoints Editor

The Fighting Scots broke in the College’s new indoor track last Saturday, hosting the Yeomen of Oberlin College in a closely fought dual meet. The inaugural competition showcased the speed Wooster’s runners will bring to NCAC opponents throughout the season.

The men’s team dominated in sprints, finishing first in the 60m, 300m and 500m. A depleted Oberlin squad declined to compete in the latter event. However, they ran unopposed in the mile race, highlighted by Stephen Williams’ quick time of 4:32.93. The Fighting Scots excelled in the 3000m, taking three of the four scoring positions. Luke Hutchings-Goetz ‘14 paced off Oberlin’s Matt Bernstein until about four laps to go, pulling ahead to win with a final time of 9:13.65.

The men fell short of victory with a tea

m score of 64 to Oberlin’s 73, but came away with a positive feeling about the new Scot Center. “The track is such high quality you don’t even realize it’s indoors,” remarked co-captain Casey Green ’12. Green was part of a packed 1000m which, despite ceding first and second place to Oberlin, featured a tight pack of Wooster runners finishing 3-8 in a gap of less than nine seconds.

“With the spectators watching and the general excitement, it really added to the energy and made for a spectacular experience,” added Green.

The women’s squad stayed on par with the Oberlin athletes throughout the afternoon. Individual wins included Stephanie McShane ’13 in the 60m, Amy French ’14 in the 60m hurdles and Meredith Shaul ’12 in the mile.

Shaul took off with a lead in the race and increased it with every lap, finishing with a time of 5:20.88, more than 10 seconds faster than her closest opponent. Shaul said “I felt confident going into my event, but I also had set a goal and ended up surprising myself in a good way.” Shaul also praised the quality of the new track, adding the surface felt like “a springboard for each step.”

Field events noticeably contributed to the team effort, with Wooster notching wins in high jump, pole vault, triple jump and a close match in the long jump.

Ellen Sandin ’15 sprang a little over half a foot farther than Oberlin’s Marissa Clardy and Melissa Elie to a final distance of 15 feet six inches. The women’s team combined to score 74 points, just one shy of Oberlin’s 75.

The Scots will host the NCAC Quad this Saturday, with field events beginning at noon and running to follow two hours later.

Paterno deserves respect, not hatred from public

Paterno deserves respect, not hatred from public

Matt Magoon

A person who has exceptional character may be described as possessing honesty, courage, and integrity. These three qualities are often difficult to find in a human being.

Last Sunday, Joe Paterno passed away at Mount Nittany Medical Center with his family at his bedside. Paterno was undergoing treatments for lung cancer since Jan. 13 until the disease became too much to handle.

Just 74 days before his death Paterno was fired from his position as head coach of the Penn State football team, due to accusations of child rape regarding his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. There has been a mix of emotions from fans and members of the Penn State community since Paterno was removed from the program. Many people believe that he did everything he needed to by telling then-athletic director Tim Curley about what he heard involving Sandusky.

When Sandusky ruined his own life and the reputation of the program, he indirectly put an end to Paterno. The former head coach was one of the most hard working coaches in football who instilled character in both his players and everyone around him. Football was Paterno’s life. Sandusky took that away from him due to his selfish, disgusting actions.

The 74 days between Paterno’s firing and his death was a prime example of a man dying from a broken heart. Imagine being a coach and a role model for nearly 46 years at one of the most prestigious programs in Division I and then losing everything in one week. Many individuals would have given up their will to live, but not Paterno. After his death, his family stated: “He died as he lived…he was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.”

Paterno was a man of true character that every individual should aspire to imitate. After losing one of the most important parts of his life, he continued to be an inspiration to all until his very last breath. Paterno did not take anything in his life for granted because he knew that life is a blessing that no one should waste.

Joe Paterno had an important impact on hundreds of lives and because of this, he died a true hero to all, including myself, that has followed his life and all of his great accomplishments.

Williams’ Monroe elevates inconsistent biopic

Williams’ Monroe elevates inconsistent biopic

Lee McKinstry

A&E Editor

For her turn in the film “My Week with Marilyn,” Michelle Williams has nabbed over 30 nominations and 13 wins, including her recent win for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy at the Golden Globes. No argument here. As Marilyn Monroe, Williams has never been more buoyantly charming or more desperately fragile. In a year full of great actors playing great historical figures (Leonardo DiCaprio in “J. Edgar,” Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” etc.), Williams’ performance is one of this year’s best, a deft portrayal of the bombshell and the erratic woman inside that carries this sometimes inconsistent movie.

The film follows the 1956 British production of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” a light romantic comedy directed by Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), and starring “the most beautiful woman on the planet,” as one reporter eagerly notes. Monroe arrives with her new husband, playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) and method acting coach Paula (Zoe Wanamaker),  in tow, and quickly lives up to both her reputations — to the adoring press, a giggling goddess; to the cast and crew, a self-doubting schoolgirl and drug-addled mess, perpetually late and flustered. She’s the girl that every man wants to save; her husband, who admits he feels “consumed by her;” Olivier, the quick-tempered director that had once played with the idea of making Monroe his mistress; and the helplessly doe-eyed Colin Clark, the third assistant director who quickly falls into a romance with the emotional beauty.

Branagh is perfect as the frustrated, self-important Olivier, who adds some much-needed humor to an often plodding script. This movie was oddly nominated in the Musical/Comedy category at the Golden Globes, and the only discernible reason I can see is Branagh. Olivier is prone to cutting sarcasms and long Shakespeare monologues, which he speaks into his dressing room mirror as he applies stage makeup.

His scenes with Williams are the best in the film. Both actors received Academy Award nominations for their performances, and any scene featuring the two together proves why; his domineering pontifications triggering her keen vulnerability after he asks her why she can’t just “shut up and be sexy”; the way she directs a well-timed shimmy just at him during their first press conference together.

Terrific performances aside, the movie does have several cloying stumbling blocks. Centered around a memoir by Colin Clark, a British documentary filmmaker who served as an assistant on Monroe’s “The Prince and the Showgirl” (when he wasn’t servicing the star in other ways), the source material has been called out by various media outlets as being factually shaky, at best. The young Clark (Eddie Redmayne) has very few discernible personality traits besides being “sweet” and “adorably naive.”

Of course, the real star of “My Week” is and should be Marilyn, but it wouldn’t hurt to have her romantic interest be developed as more than an emotional napkin. But he’s just there to give hugs and look pretty, for which the script gives him ample scenes to do. Their “romance” is a clunky plot device, and its eventual end is not really a climax so much as a speed bump. A really lame speed bump. Bummer.

The film wastes a number of good actors, including the aforementioned Scott, Judi Dench, plus Dominic Cooper and Toby Jones as Monroe’s snarky handlers. Why is Hermione even in this movie, when all Emma Watson’s stagehand does is hold clothes and pout after Colin. There’s too much going on, and director Simon Curtis knows it, so he speeds through all these extra characters’ plot lines in a messy surge to get the camera back on Williams, and face it, that’s who we all came to see.

Still, the movie as a whole is a solid one. Besides impeccable performances all-around, the story moves quickly and enjoyably, and offers a few new, insightful perspectives on the politics of moviemaking in the 50s. Though at times “My Week With Marilyn” is structured more as a character study than a narrative, when you’re studying Marilyn Monroe, I don’t really have many complaints.

 

The Scene — Powerful Language

The Scene — Powerful Language

Whitney Siders

Sneetches, zillo, thneeds, wocket, kwigger, diffendoofer and floobooberbabooberbub. Chances are, these words, or perhaps similar ones strike a cord deep down in your memories. These words were created by none other than Theodore Geisel. While I have always admired the stimulating words of Dr. Seuss, I recently became aware of the actual impact of these words on language.

We instinctively begin to experiment with language from the first day we enter the world. We start the developmental process by listening to the world around us. Without the ability to communicate by forming our own verbalizations, we are forced to constantly listen to those who do the talking. Speaking quickly becomes a natural behavior that we learn just as we learn to walk.

However, it is slightly more complex. While the functions of walking do not change over time, the language that we use every day is always under the influence of a continuous evolution. It is probably impossible for most of us to trace back to our very first verbalization of language, but sometimes we are able to track down some sort of origin. A book or story being told by the voice of a parent or relative is probably a common trend. I, for one, distinctly recall “The Foot Book” by Dr. Seuss. Seuss’s rhyming flow of sounds was my first attraction to language.

Who else could tell such outrageous stories with so few words? Seuss’s minimal vocabulary accompanied by incredible adventures is appealing to most individuals because of qualities of ease and entertainment. Children specifically like the stories because the limited vocabulary matches their own, while outlandish stories also nurture their already limitless imaginations.

Furthermore, Seuss writes in a way that includes the reader. “You” are always involved in the stories. While being warned that the world is a tough, crazy place, you are encouraged to dream great dreams. Like Seuss’ fantastic language, his preposterous characters also stretch one’s mind. As children, our imaginations are comfortable with this stretch, but with age, this becomes a bit more distressing. Seuss speaks to kids in a language that is as young and innocent as their minds and hearts are. He encourages them to change the world, before their hopes are dulled by adulthood. We like our world that is definitive and anchored. Essentially, we like being able to understand the world around us without posing questions. We don’t want to challenge what we know to be true of our reality.

Instead of being caught in this dull, unimaginative continuum, perhaps we should revisit the tales of Seuss. Though more structured, our world still revolves around communication and at the heart of communication is language. Maybe we can relearn how to love words and language as we did when it was first discovered.

 

 

CWAM opens with architecture and videos

Emily Timmerman

Editor in Chief

The College of Wooster’s Art Museum (CWAM) has opened this semester with two new exhibits. The Burton D. Morgan Gallery features the Finnish artist Antti Laitinen self titled, multi-part video installation Antti Laitinen: It’s My Island. In the Sussel Gallery the work of the LTL Architects Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki and  David J. Lewis are on display. Both shows offer alternative artistic representations through less than conventional mediums, which create a uniquely interactive viewing experience.

The LTL Architect exhibit is the gallery’s first architecture exhibit in over 25 years. Featuring the work of the architects who designed the exterior of Bornheutter Residence Hall, this exhibition includes that project’s drawings and plans, as well as 17 other architectural designs, both complete and speculative. Ambitiously modern, the drawings and accompanying models illustrate the firm’s imagined urban reality of the future.

The group explained in an interview that their designs’ intention is “to intensify and expand the impact of a reduced set of operations, asking less to be more, through the interweaving of functional engagement and material conditions.” While ultimately interested in designing integrated spaces that are multi-functional in the most simplistic way, it seems as though many of the resulting building plans lose their overall cohesion, arguably consistent with and reflective of their blatant modernity. Intricate in detail and seemingly invested in both purpose and functionality, the buildings fully embody the stark, streamlined nature that is so often the modern vision.  The presentation of the exhibit on the whole was very successful. I could not help but want to examine the sketches, maps, diagrams, floor plans and models all lining the walls one after another. Personally, I found the content of the exhibit unrelatable, yet still an interesting insight into what could come to be, architecturally. Undeniably, the firm has creative,  yet slightly extreme, solutions for our use of space in the future.

The second exhibit “It’s My Island,” is a three-channel video that shows the Finnish artist building his own island in the Baltic Sea over a three month period.  As explained in the press release by The College of Wooster Art Museum, the “repetitively absurd performance…suggests complex questions about masculinity in nature, cultural identity and nation-building.” In the midst of crashing waves, the exhibit features 200 pilied bags of sand and tests the imaginative capacity and patience of the viewers.

Explaining his work, Laitinen rationalized that, “in my performances, I place myself in different absurd situations that underlie an ironic and personal take on various social and cultural phenomena.  The absurdity comes from the seriousness with which it is performed.”

Overall, I was distracted by the monotony of the piece and thus found myself losing its context and larger intentions. However, the accompanying panel explaining the exhibit was successful in reiterating the larger meaning.

In addition to the gallery talk held this past Thursday, there will be a Faculty and Student Roundtable event on Thursday, Feb. 9 from 7-8 p.m. in the Burton D. Morgan Gallery, as well as a lunch and talk in the Gallery on Wednesday, Feb. 22 given by Kitty McManus Zurko, Director and Curator of The College of Wooster Art Museum.

The museum is open Tuesday-Friday from 10:30 a.m-4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. and is closed on Mondays. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.

For more information on the museum or the exhibits specifically, please visit www.artmuseum.wooster.edu, or visit The College of Wooster Art Museum’s Facebook page.

 

The Voice picks its favorites: Best Albums of 2011

The Voice picks its favorites: Best Albums of 2011

With 2011 behind us, it’s time to take a look at the studs and duds in the music industry from the past year. In a year where Adele’s “21” sold more than 15 million albums worldwide — the most in any year since 2004, according to the New York Daily News — many of the world’s lesser known musical artists put out great LPs for fans new and old to enjoy. Unfortunately for listeners, music historians and anti-torture activists everywhere, Metallica and Lou Reed did collaborate on perhaps the worst album of all time, titled “Lulu,” but not even the tarnishing of the former Velvet Underground member’s reputation could overshadow some of the great tracks and albums that came out in 2011. Below are three editors’ favorites.

Ramsey Kincannon

News Editor

 

5. Nine Types of Light — TV on the Radio

A more relaxed and love-filled album than 2008’s nearly-perfect Dear Science, TV on the Radio focused more on seducing their listeners rather than confronting them as they usually do. Exceptional production from Dave Sitek (who also worked on Theophilus London’s album) really shines through on songs like “Second Song,” “Keep Your Heart,” “You,” “Will Do” and “Caffeinated Consciousness.” Unfortunately, the album lags a little bit after “Killer Crane,” a slow, solemn tune that was recorded soon before bassist Gerard Smith died.

4. James Blake — James Blake

2011’s best debut also turned out to be one of its best albums.  The inclusion and layering of some aspects of dubstep may normally make an album seem cold, but the British artist’s product feels exceptionally inviting. The album also makes sure that each song builds to a thrilling peak, which is felt especially in “I Never Learnt to Share,” where halfway through the song a brilliant electronic riff rips through the fog of Blake’s soulful croon. Other terrific songs include “Unluck,” “Limit to Your Love” and both parts of “Lindesfarne.”

3. The Whole Love — Wilco

Okay, maybe I’ve been playing a lot of Chicago’s best band lately, but The Whole Love is such a successful reboot after 2009’s mediocre Wilco (The Album) that I had to mention it in high esteem.  The unique Wilco sound (you don’t really notice how much is going on behind Tweedy’s crooning) is on display after Tweedy and co. had to “forget how to play the old songs.” In “Dawned on Me,” we can see Wilco’s playful side, “Whole Love” shows off a tender, emotional moment for Tweedy, and on “Art of Almost,” Nels Cline proves that amazing solos aren’t only on Sky Blue Sky. Highlighted by the 12-minute closer “One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend),” Wilco reminds both fans and new listeners that they can still pack an emotional punch, too.

2. Undun — The Roots

Philadelphia’s famous rap group features an amazing rhythm section led by drummer ?uestlove, bassist Leonard Hubbard, and pianist Scott Storch, fronted by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter’s smooth flow. They’ve put out excellent albums in years past, but nothing like Undun, a Benjamin-Button-like story of a man dying in reverse. They’ve brought great rappers along with them, like Big Krit, Dice Raw and Truck North, and they’ve delivered on the ambitious project’s potential. Redford Stevens, the man whom the album focuses on, is growing up in a hopeless urban area trying to make something out of nothing.  The album’s tragic conclusion is highlighted by a three-part movement written by indie star Sufjan Stevens.

1. Bon Iver — Bon Iver

Justin Vernon has come a long way from the solemn For Emma, Forever Ago, and he’s no longer isolated himself in the woods.  He’s hung out with Kanye West, headlined festivals, and his album is a dream-like exploration of familiar heartbreaking themes. What’s amazing is that it all feels so new (save for the awkward closer “Beth/Rest,” which sounds like 80s synth-infused love songs). He travels and records with a band, giving his songs the rhythmic and melodic edge that his complex lyrics demand. While almost every track on Bon Iver is impressive, what makes the album so amazing is that it all flows together tremendously, with the transitions between each song — both thematic and musical — continuing to weave all the threads together into a magnificent album.

 

Travis Marmon

Sports Editor

5. Cormorant Dwellings

This unsigned Bay Area metal band has quickly risen to the top of the underground scene, combining aspects of several subgenres (mostly progressive metal, black metal and death metal with a touch of Thin Lizzy-style hard rock) with vocalist/bassist Arthur Von Nagel’s defiantly non-clichéd lyrical style to make a truly unique young band. Songs like “The Purest Land” hit hard with heavy riffing, while epics like the closer “Unearthly Dreamings” weave complex musical paths. This is the best metal band to come out of America in the past five years.

4. Disma Towards the Megalith

“Supergroups” are a rarity in death metal. The genre has only been around for about 25 years, and it does not have aging stars that need to collaborate with others to stay relevant. But Disma, featuring vocalist Craig Pillard of the legendary Incantation and guitarist Daryl Kahan and drummer Shawn Eldridge of New Jersey veterans Funebrarum, released a monster slab of metal that sounds like it was recorded in a cavern—or more simply, they released exactly what the genre needed in this era of young bands trying to outplay each other with pure technical skill. The riffs here are all simple, but effective, and the atmosphere is as dark as it gets. This album can be streamed on NPR.com.

3. Foo Fighters Wasting Light

One of the world’s greatest singles bands releases an album that is great in its entirety. Dave Grohl and company gathered at his house, and with the help of a few friends (like Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould and former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic) created what could be the strongest album in the Foo’s discography. “Bridge Burning,” “Rope” and “Walk” stand out among the long line of great Foo Fighters singles, but album cuts like “Arlandria” and “One of These Days” are the backbone of the year’s best mainstream rock release.

2. And So I Watch You From Afar Gangs

This instrumental band from Northern Ireland is too busy writing fun riffs and pounding drumlines to need a vocalist. The band has strayed away from their roots as a post-rock band in favor of pure instrumental math rock in the vein of labelmates like Adebisi Shank and The Redneck Manifesto. Songs like “Search:Party: Animal” are explosive the whole way through, rather than building up to a generic crescendo. Look out for this band in the underground in the next few years.

1. La Dispute Wildlife

For their sophomore effort, this Michigan post-hardcore band took everything that was great about their 2008 debut, “Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair,” and improved upon it. Vocalist Jordan Dreyer makes every word drip with melodrama while showing himself to be a more mature songwriter than before and not taking the focus entirely away from the band’s strong instrumentation. No longer is every song about an anonymous woman ripping his heart out. “Safer in the Forest/A Love Song For Poor Michigan” reflects on the condition of the band’s home state. The climactic “King Park” details a drive-by shooting and the gamut of emotions that both the shooter and the family of the victim run through. Wildlife is certainly one of the most powerful albums of the year, and a sign of great things to come from a young, hard-working band.

 

Ian Benson

Features Editor

5. James Blake — James Blake

I don’t like the term “post-dubstep” It’s how some people describe this album, but it has never made sense and sounds silly. It is an electronic album, but the star of the show is the way Blake used his voice to change the expectations that tend to come with electronica. Standout tracks include the sparse re-working of Feist’s “Limit to you Love” and “I Never Learnt to Share.” The most exciting part about the album is that Blake was only 22 when the album was released. What he does next is sure to be something to watch.

4. Take Care — Drake

“Take Care,” Fucked Up’s “David Comes to Life,” and with the three Weeknd mixtapes, Toronto brought their A-game this year. The standout album amongst the bunch, though, was “Take Care.” From its immaculate production to Drake’s growth as a rapper and lyricist, the album was the best hip-hop release among many contenders. Drake samples Jamie xx’s cover of Gil Scott-Heron’s “I’ll Take Care of You” with terrific results, and Rihanna provides one of the best hooks of the year. The album also gets points for featuring Andre 3000, a figure who has been sorely missed in the music community.

3. Strange Mercy — St. Vincent

Strange Mercy is the fruition of what Annie Clark started in Marry Me and Actor. “Surgeon” is the song that is most striking, as well as “Cruel,” both songs showing off Clark’s vocals and her guitar skill, as well as “Northern Lights” which truly shows the skills she’s got. When Clark unleashes her guitar with a minute left in the song, it is the best moment on an album filled with great moments. “Cheerleader” is another stand out track, and in many other years help secure Strange Mercy asthe top album of the year, were it not for two strong contenders. For those interested, check out St. Vincent live on May 8 in Columbus if you can swing going to a concert during finals week.

2. Father, Son, Holy Ghost — Girls

Girls’ debut album, “Album” was a promising start and the ep “Broken Dreams Club” showed growth, but “Father, Son, Holy Ghost” eclipses them both, at the precise moment when the choir kicks in on lead single “Vomit.” From there, the influences are worn on Christopher Owens’ sleeve. “Honey Bunny” is one of the best opening tracks of the year, rooted heavily in the past, while “Love Like a River” recalls the Beatles, specifically “Oh Darling.” Owens grew up in a cult and still seems to be discovering music that the rest of us are instinctively familiar with, so like Blake, it’ll be interesting to see what he does next.

1. Bon Iver — Bon Iver

Obvious choice. It was the best album of the year from the moment I heard it, and nothing really competed with it. “Holocene” and “Towers” are simply beautiful songs, and make up for the dreadful tone of the keyboard that starts of “Beth/Rest.” In fact, “Beth/Rest” is the only weak spot on the album, but the strength of every other track demonstrates why it’s the best release of the year. “Holocene” is also the second best vocal performance of the year, Justin Vernon’s ghostly falsetto is only outclassed by the best song of the year, “Countdown” by Beyonce.