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Entertainment News

Through
January 20

The Rocky Horror Show at the Jackie Gleason Theater. Call 305-673-7300 for info.

January 19

“Male Call: A Study in Male Power,” a forum designed for men who are ready to embrace change at 10 a.m. at the Wallflower Gallery, 10 N.E. 3rd St. in downtown Miami. For info, call 305-579-0069 or visit www.wallflowergallery.
com.

SciFly electronica concert featuring DJ Marky, renowned Brazilian dj. For info, visit www.8track.net.

January 22

The Strokes and Har Mar Superstar at Billboard Live. Tickets are $18. Call 305-358-5885 for info.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back at the Bill Cosford Cinema. Call 305-284-4607 for info.

January 23

Shockrockers Gwar at Orbit. Tickets are $13.50. Call 305-358-5885 for info.

Janury 25

Barbara Muze and The Voz, Sandra Dohnert, to perform at The Wallflower Gallery, 10 N.E. 3rd St. in downtown Miami, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively. Tickets are $8 for each show. For info, call 305-579-0069 or visit www.wallflowergallery.
com.

January 26

Floridians For Medical Rights medical marijuana campaign’s fundraiser from 9:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. at Tobacco Road, 626 South Miami Ave. For info, call 305-374-1198. Admission is $ 10.

January 29

Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman at the Bill Cosford Cinema. Call 305-284-4607 for show time and info.

February 5

Sneak preview of Collateral Damage starring Arnold Schwarz-enegger at the Bill Cosford Cinema. Call 305-284-4607 for show time and info.

February 8-9

Jerry Seinfeld at Sunrise Musical Theater. Tickets are $47.50-77.50. Call 954-523-3309 for info.

February 9

Bob Marley Festival with DMX, Foxy Brown, and the Marley family at Virginia Key Beach. Tickets are $22.50. Call 305-358-5885 for info.
The Dead Kennedys without Jello Biafra at Orbit. Tickets are $16.50. Call 305-358-5885 for info.

French cuisine thrives in Gables

After plans to dine at a Coral Gables restaurant fell through, a friend and I cruised Ponce de Leon Boulevard, scoping out the numerous restaurants that line the avenue. My goal was to find a restaurant where I could enjoy food and ambience on a student budget. We settled for Les Halles, a French bistro near the corner of Miracle Mile and Ponce. I did not have reservations, and though it was a Saturday night with a nearly full house, I had no trouble finding a table.

Wine enthusiasts with a budget constraint can indulge in the demi-bouteille(half-bottle). Depending on the wine, it can actually come out cheaper than ordering two glasses. We chose a 1998 Medoc with a very light finish. Meanwhile, conversation at the surrounding tables had reached airport-landing-strip-decibel levels, in essence matching the loudness of a true bistro.

The waiter advised us to choose quickly. I selected two appetizers, the calamari and the escargots, again keeping in mind the student who wants taste on a budget. My friend opted for the opposite side, the student who wants a sizable plate, no frills, and ordered the steak au poivre (pepper steak, accompanied with french fries). The cost of the two appetizer portions were equivalent to that of the entr

Swollen Members

Los Angeles’ Swollen Members hone a delivery and lyrical style on their new album, Bad Dreams, which cruises hypnotically through the purple REM doldrums of the mind.

Splicing the nitid visuals and shadowy karma of Kool Keith’s Dr.Octagon with the fiery braggadocios and addictive beats of a slimmed down Wu-tang Clan, “members” Mad Child and Prevail add yet another solid tier to the growing reputation sported by Battleaxe Records.

Upon first listen, the slightly nasal rhymes of Mad Child might catch a listener unfamiliar to independent hip hop off guard.

But all it takes is an attentive breakdown of the lyrics to fall into the bleak, post-911 poetics that he buries all over of the CD like a thousand verbal land mines.

Bad Dreams takes off immediately with a Dilated Peoples’ beat courtesy of Evidence on Full Contact and then snaps into the jumpy boasting of Take it Back, in which Prevail declares “It’s just a slight of hand, like Penn & Teller/ The mighty dollar is taller than the scholar/ Ask your neighborhood martyr about the firestarter.” On this track Swollen Members begin to stress a bold loyalty for their label more commonly seen with major label collectives like Rockafella and the Queensbridge family. Fortunately, they use these candid proclamations to complement their skills and promising future instead of threatening other rappers with cardboard death wishes.

Several tracks discuss how the affects of watching terrorism on television can infiltrate your dreams.

In Camouflage, Prevail’s verses drip with wartime paranoia when he says, “Your currently tuned into NBC/ The only channel you get is from an M16/ I lace my boots and place my troops/ I’m more afraid of mosquitoes than I am of the paratroops.”

Their lyrics certainly don’t present solutions to our current plights, but it is still refreshing to hear two hip hop artists unwind on such topics without any artistic boundaries.

The disc features guest appearances by underground hip hop staples like Planet Asia and Son Doobie as well as tight-knit Battleaxe artists like Buc Fifty and Moka Only, whose soulful croon on Fuel Injected is enough to make you want to give a listen to his own full length album.

Dreams’ most impressive accomplishment lies within its production, where the Alchemist, DJ Babu, and DJ Revolution have unleashed top quality beats and scratches that make for an eerie midnight escape on your headphones.

Swollen Members’ decided on their name while drunk and eating breakfast at a Denny’s. Since then they’ve come an awfully long way and are in the middle of sparking a hip hop movement that could possibly rival the early days of Rawkus. The Battleaxe warriors and their extended family, which includes everyone from Kut Master Kurt to Chad Muska, are swinging hard on the West Coast. Check them out at www.battleaxerecords.com.

The Best of the Best

1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer -TV-(WB/UPN):
In the fifth season of Joss Whedon’s brilliant comic-book, crime-fighting drama, Buffy Summers’ arch-enemy was a goddess from a demon dimension named Glory. Buffy’s enemy, though, wasn’t just a goddess, but God in general.
The most risk-taking show on television took even more by pummeling Buffy with abstract enemies she couldn’t deal with by use of pointy sticks. How does a protector of man protect her mom from cancer? How can she deal with being brought back from the grave by her best friends?
She does, and she saves the day, and in the end more questions are raised than answered. And we all watch: an eerily quiet episode named The Body, Buffy’s final encounter with Glory, ending with Buffy’s death in The Gift; Buffy and her friends singing the emotions they couldn’t express with mere words in Once More, With Feeling.
It becomes apparent, as this show grows stronger and stronger with each season, and as reruns on FX help show, how premeditated the characters’ paths have been. Perhaps it could be considered one of the best TV shows of all time.

2) Hedwig and the Angry Inch-Film-:
In a jumbled year for film, in which no movie collectively stole the critics’ hearts , a transsexual glam-rock, post-punk musical about a flamboyant boy/girl’s quest for love stole, at least, this critic’s heart. It takes a kind of self-aware camp factor to be able to pull the kind of stops John Cameron Mitchell pulls off without seeming pretentious or obnoxiously self-conscious.
Mitchell realizes he needs a character as over-the-top as his sets and musical sequences in order to not seem ridiculously garish, and Hedwig is most definitely the perfect character. Vain yet self-loathing, s/he’s the most fun character to come out of film all year. Plus, the movie bodes the most killer outfits and soundtrack

3) Get Your Freak On-Song- Missy Misdemeanor Elliot:
More than any Strokes CD or pop diva tour, Missy Elliot’s killer track is not just the freakiest song of the year, but also the best thing about music to come out all year. With killer beats and mile-a-minute lyric spouting, Elliot created a hip-hopping, pulse-pounding, heart racer. The remix with Nelly Furtado and the African jungle-d video add to the bonuses that this song kept popping up with all year long.

4) Wit -TV-(HBO):
A TV movie about a woman with ovarian cancer becomes one of the best movies of the year? Sounds a little like “disease of the week,” but the wonderful thing about Wit is just how much it rises above and acknowledges the much rivaled genre. Literary and humane, Wit’s best asset is Emma Thompson. Thompson’s graceful performance teaches us about her character’s love of words, and makes us cry over her life-long loneliness as she faces imminent death. It’s the only movie I’ve cried so hard and so long at, and not just because she dies. The film is much more affecting than that.

5.) Primetime Glick -TV-(Comedy Central):
From the despairing to the joyous. And yes, Martin Short’s fat suit is incredibly offensive. And yes, all of the fat jokes are extremely dumb and offensive also. But that’s not what had me hooked all year. I was hooked on the satiric, circularly confusing interviews with people like Regis Philbin or Jeanane Garofalo. The complete and utter development of the silly, weird Jimminy Glick (from his interactions with his wife, to his voice fireworks). No other character on Comedy Central has ever made me laugh as hard or as long as Jimminy Glick.

6.) Hannibal-Film-:
The most underrated movie of the year. Critics were expecting a Silence of the Lambs II-and got instead a neatly observed, grisly character study on the very interesting Hannibal Lecter. Yes, there are holes in the story – but the one thing one has to remember is that Hannibal Lecter is smarter than everybody else in the world. His daring feats are believable because he is the smartest man alive, and once one accepts that (which Anthony Hopkins makes very convincing), then one can enjoy the movie as much as it should be enjoyed.

7.) Is this it?-CD- The Strokes:
After the hype, the backlash, and the backlash to the backlash, we’re left with a snappy, quick, energetic CD. Despite the fact that The Strokes are brats posing as street kids, and that every time I saw the CD on a top ten list this year I rolled my eyes, I must admit the music is splendid.
8.) Gosford Park -Film-:
A classic “Clue”-like whodunit with undertones of Upstairs, Downstairs. Robert Altman’s story of the wealthy British elite and their servants’ non-lives is at times both touching and funny. The audience is dropped into the many lives staying at a mansion for a couple days where the murder of an unpopular man takes place. There’s plenty of gossip, and most of the time you feel as though you’re a part of all the dirty talk and backstabbing (literally).

9.) You Can Count on Me -DVD-:
The multiple Academy Award- nominated film about a brother-sister relationship worked even better on the small screen. Dialogue has never sounded as good as it does in this movie, with characters who actually talk like real people. Two smart performances, a clever, well-developed script, and unpretentious directing make this a DVD to watch over and over again.

10.) The Sopranos – TV- (HBO):
While not as interesting and whacked out as season two, and missing the very wonderful Nancy Marchand, season three of David Chase’s wildly popular gangster hit kept popping up with great scenes and plot all year long. Most note-worthy is the scene in which Tony and Gloria have it out all Fatal Attraction-style, making Michael Douglas and Glenn Close look like Harry and Sally.

RUNOVER

Intramural Sports

Soccer:
UMSM Women- 4
Women Free Agents- 3

Knee Breakers- 6
PT Players- 0

Knee Breakers- 1
Women Free Agents- 0 (OT)

PT Players- 2
Hui Aloha- 0

PT Players- 2
Kickin Canes- 0

UMSM Women- 5
Hui Aloha- 1

Gables- 2
Genocide- 0

Sherm- 5
UMSM- 2

GBSA 2- 2
UMSM- 1

Sherm- 1
Genocide- 0 (forfeit)

Genocide- 1
UMSM- 0

GBSA 2- 1
Gables- 0 (forfeit)

Alpha Sigma Phi- 4
Sigma Alpha Mu- 1

Zeta Beta Tau- 1
Sigma Phi Epsilon- 0

Zeta Beta Tau- 1
Pi Kappa Alpha- 0

Sigma Phi Epsilon- 5
Sigma Alpha Mu- 0

Zeta Beta Tau- 3
Sigma Alpha Mu- 0

Alpha Sigma Phi- 1
Pi Kappa Alpha- 0

Kappa Sigma- 2
Phi Delta Theta- 1

Alpha Epsilon Pi- 1
Lambda Chi Alpha- 0

Lambda Chi Alpha- 4
Sigma Chi- 0

Phi Delta Theta- 1
Alpha Epsilon Pi- 0

Lambda Chi Alpha- 1
Phi Delta Theta- 0 (forfeit)

Sigma Chi- 2
Kappa Sigma- 1

Latin America F.C.- 2
ACS Men- 1

Reggae Ruffians- 3
ISUM- 0

Soccer for Dummies- 4
Men Free Agents- 0

ISUM- 5
Men Free Agents- 0

Soccer for Dummies- 3
Latin America F.C.- 1

Reggae Ruffians- 5
ACS Men- 0

Reggae Ruffians- 2
Soccer for Dummies- 1 (OT)

Latin America F.C.- 3
Men Free Agents- 0

ISUM- 6
ACS Men- 0

Kirk Tracy Memorial F.C.- 3
GBSA 1- 0

Almost Legal- 2
Predators F.C.- 2

High Rollaz- 1
Almost Legal- 0 (default)

Kirk Tracy Memorial F.C.- 6
Predators F.C.- 0

Kirk Tracy Memorial F.C.- 2
Almost Legal- 0

GBSA 1- 3
High Rollaz- 0

Delta Gamma- 1
Sigma Delta Tau- 0 (forfeit)

Tri Delta- 5
Zeta Tau Alpha- 0

Delta Phi Epsilon- 1
Zeta Tau Alpha- 0 (forfeit)

Tri Delta- 1
Sigma Delta Tau- 0 (default)

Zeta Tau Alpha- 2
Sigma Delta Tau- 1

Delta Phi Epsilon- 5
Delta Gamma- 1

Soccer Playoffs will begin on Wednesday, January 16. Playoff Captain’s meeting will be held at the Wellness Center on Tuesday, January 15 @ 6pm.

Volleyball Playoffs:
Co-Rec Championship:
Category 6- 2
Hui Aloha- 1
Women’s Championship:
Scrubs- 3
Tri Delta- 0

Panhellenic Championship:
Tri Delta- 2
Delta Phi Epsilon- 1

Men’s Championship:
Island Styles- 3
Lambda Chi Alpha- 0 (forfeit)

Fraternity Championship:
Lambda Chi Alpha- 2
Sigma Phi Epsilon- 1

The overall Volleyball champion:
Category 6 = Co-Rec
Scrubs = Women’s
Island Styles = Men’s

Game of the Week: A New Type of Hurricane Sweeps Through the Co-Rec Volleyball Championships
The co-rec championship showcased one rag tag team that was just thrown together, Category 6, and the powerhouse Hui Aloha. Category 6 had fight in them. Reave Bell, affectionately called “Da Man” by his teammates, is the heart and soul of the team. Hui Aloha also has its star, Mike “The Big Boom”. Hui Aloha came out of the blocks 10-6 and won the set 21-10. Hui Aloha again started fast with a 5-0 run. Then “Da Man” called a time-out . Whatever “Da Man” said, it worked and they made a comeback to save the match and their season, winning the set 22-20. In the last set, the score was tied 19-19 and Hui Aloha’s “Big Boom” was directly across from “Da Man”. The battle between these two titans was won by Reave with a devastating block on Mike’s kill shot. It was then match point for Category 6. They serve and the ball is immediately hit back over, setting up another kill shot for Reave Bell. Reave crushes the ball as Mike and company jump with arms held high for the block. The crowd grew silent as the ball hits off of Mike and lands out of bounds to give Category 6 the championship.

Sports Briefs

FOOTBALL
The top-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes, led by Conference Player of the Year Bryant McKinnie, placed a league-best 10 players on the Big East All-Conference Football Team by Football News magazine, the publication announced. McKinnie was also named a finalist for the 2001 Outland Trophy, which honors the best interior lineman in college football. Miami placed seven players on the offensive all-league team led by junior quarterback Ken Dorsey. Others honored were sophomore receiver Andre Johnson, junior tight end Jeremy Shockey, senior guard Martin Bibla, senior tackle Joaquin Gonzales and junior placekicker Todd Sievers. Three Hurricanes earned spots on the defense, including linebacker Chris Campbell, cornerback Phillip Buchanon and free safety Edward Reed, also a first-team All-America selection by Football News. In addition, punter Freddie Capshaw was named a finalist for the Ray Guy Award recognizing the nation’s top collegiate punter.

SWIMMING AND DIVING
The University of Miami Swimming and Diving team put forth a dominating performance at the Pittsburgh Invitational on Nov. 16-18. The Hurricane men’s diving team swept the three-meter event with senior Imre Lengyel taking first (604.60), junior Kyle Prandi in second (594.90) and freshman Miguel Velazquez in third (575.80). The men also dominated in the one-meter diving event with Lengyel taking first (359.70), Prandi in second (324.30) and Velazquez third (294.10). In the platform diving competition, Lengyel took his third first-place finish with a 627.00 score. Velazquez finished second (509.75) and Prandi third (508.40). The Miami women’s diving team answered with sophomore Melanie Rinaldi. Rinaldi capturing first-place in both the three-meter diving competition (549.85) and the platform (436.30). Sophomore Manon van Rooijen finished first in the 200-yard freestyle swimming competition with a time of 1:51.10. The team returns to competition at the U.S. Open in Uniondale, New York on Nov. 30-Dec. 3.

VOLLEYBALL
Head volleyball coach Nicole Lantagne announced the signing of three players from Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida to national letters of intent. It is the second recruiting class for Lantagne. Joining the program are Karla Johnson from Houston, Texas, Robin Lewullis from Allentown, Pennsylvania and Francheska Savage from Ft. Myers, Florida. Johnson was MVP of District 15-5A at Westfield High School in Houston. Lewullis helped lead Allentown Central Catholic High School to a 27-3 record this season and a state title. The 6-1 middle blocker/outside hitter also played basketball for Central Catholic which won the 2001 State Championship. Savage was named All-Conference for Ft. Myers High School. She was also named Most Improved the past two seasons.

Lady Canes fall in first road contest

The University of Miami women’s basketball team got off to their best start since 1992 by winning their first three games. Then their momentum faded as they moved away from their comfort zone at the Knight Sports Complex.

On Tuesday, the Hurricanes fell to fellow unbeaten South Florida (5-0) 76-68 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. The loss dropped Miami’s record to 3-1 and marked the first time that a Hurricane squad fell to USF in thirteen years. Despite Miami’s three home victories over Iona, Northwestern and IUPUI to start the 2001-2002 campaign, the players were somewhat concerned over the Hurricanes’ debut showing away from Coral Gables.

“This was our first road experience and we have a relatively young team,” said guard Sheila James. “At the same time, we need to learn that we have to play better on the road because any team there can beat you on any given night.”

Against South Florida, the Hurricanes fell victim to the Bulls, suffocating full court defense and turning the ball over a season-high 27 times. Seventeen of the giveaways came in the first half, which had Miami trailing 35-26 at intermission. The Hurricanes were able to fight back for most of the second half, tying the game at 57 on a Hutashi Wilson jumper with 6:34 in the game. However, South Florida responded with an 8-0 run and never relinquished control from that point on.

James and Meghan Saake led the Hurricanes with 16 and 15 points respectively, but it wasn’t enough for a squad that shot just 39 percent from the field.

“Tonight we just didn’t have it,” Wilson said. “We had all trouble controlling turnovers, and even though we played hard, it was still a loss that shouldn’t have been a loss.”

Despite the loss, Miami has discovered several pleasant surprises to start the 2001-2002 season. Wilson, who averaged just a point a game in spot duty last season, led Miami with 16 points in the Hurricanes’ 71-52 victory over Iona on Nov. 18. And in Miami’s Nov. 21 86-69 thrashing of Northwestern, Wilson turned in an even better performance, leading the Hurricanes with 19 points. For now, the point guard spot is Wilson’s to lose, and the sophomore from Canada likes it that way.

“Coming in, point guard has been an opportunity for me and it’s been a big thing gaining confidence from the coaching staff,” Wilson said.

Last Friday, Miami defeated IUPUI 72-58, holding the Eagles to just a 39.6% clip from the field. The defense has been solid in the Hurricanes’ three victories, and according to Saake, improved defense means better results.

“We’ve been working a lot on our man to man defense,” Saake said. “I think between that and us being an athletic team, that’s where our defense is better.”

Miami leaves this morning for Lexington, Kentucky, where they will take on the Kentucky Wildcats tomorrow night. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. at Rupp Arena.

Men’s Basketball 5-0

The Miami Hurricanes entered Monday night’s game against Florida Atlantic with an unblemished record, but at a terrible rebounding disadvantage.

But as the schedule gets tougher for Miami, players are changing many things about their play to become a top-tier team.

The Hurricanes (5-0) grabbed 60 rebounds – 31 on the offensive end – en route to a 74-48 win over FAU at the Miami Arena. It was only their second game all season (Eastern Michigan) in which they out-rebounded their opponent.

“Our team is so talented offensively, it’s hard to change the mindset of a player and get him to want to crash the boards,” said forward James Jones, who had a team-high 15 rebounds. “That’s something that personally and as a team we’ve been working on – doing those things that we aren’t comfortable with that we need improvement.”

Four UM players scored in double figures, led by Jones (15) and Darius Rice (14).

FAU, on the other hand, shot only 28 percent, including a dismal 2-for-27 from three-point range.

The Owls jumped out early, however, going on a 7-0 run to start the game. The Hurricanes came right back, cutting the lead to one, and most of the first half went back and forth. But Miami closed out the half on a 12-2 run and took a 38-25 lead.

Then four minutes into the second half, the Hurricanes went on a 15-2 run to break the game open. Miami took advantage of 22 FAU turnovers, converting them into 26 points.

The Hurricanes finish off their homestand against FIU on Monday before heading to College Station, Texas for a Dec. 8 matchup with Texas A&M.

The Hurricanes have had several players help them to their best start since the 1997-98 season. John Salmons was named the Most Valuable Player of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, leading Miami to victories over Eastern Michigan, UAB and Clemson. Salmons averaged 17.7 points and 6.3 rebounds over the three games.

Rice has led the team in scoring and rebounding for the season, averaging 16.2 points and 7.8 boards per game.

Over the past two games, Michael Simmons has come off the bench to give Miami a spark. Against FAU, the red-shirt junior scored a career-high 13 points, two days after scoring 11 against Lafayette.

The oft-injured guard is helping the Hurricanes step up their game, while finding new life as UM’s sixth man.

“I think he sacrificed a great deal,” Clark said. “He put aside his ego for the good of the team.”

Many players have done that for the undefeated Miami Hurricanes.

Hip-hop’s roots are lost in glamour

Five or six years ago, as hip-hop was evolving under a less hyped and commercial aura, you’d walk around downtown’s Washington Square Park or the corners of the Lower East Side and see some future MCs sliding down the vigorous streets of New York, chugging forty ounces of Olde English, sparking a blunt of smoke, sitting on a brownstone’s stoop and passionately engaging in a rhyming freestyle session. Growing up in New York City and hanging out with local artists and graffiti crews, I was witness to the evolution of a style of music that emerged from underground street poetry with a gangster ethic to poppy, catchy party anthems, delineated by redundant themes and subjects. Times have changed, though, especially in the context of rap music and concerts.

Luckily, there still is a notable underground scene in New York that lives up to its name quite firmly, but it has become a minor sector of current rap trends that are turning up every time you turn on MTV. One seldom finds MC’s grouped up in a circle on a corner, huddling in the cold of the winter to express their feelings and views through rap lyricism. This is partly due to the recent “renovations” undertaken by Giuliani to “clean” up the city, which have led to the sweeping away of struggling street artists, beggars and wanderers who really contributed to the charm of downtown’s bohemian lifestyle.

Hip-hop has created a specific culture that values independence, rhyming, poetry and artistic integrity. Lately though, rap has been driven to an influential and universally preponderant style of music that glamorizes the life of stardom, the use of drugs and expensive alcohol, the demeaning role of women and the unbounded power of money. Hip-hop artists have, in a way, accomplished the American dream of success, defying the inconsistencies of the system. While rap has always touched upon the subjects of sex, drugs, alcohol and the struggles for money, the problem here is that it has become glamorous and now creates trends in the style of music itself as well as in the lifestyle of listeners.

Rap artist Ludacris, for example, finished off the homecoming celebrations with a show at the UC patio. I didn’t expect too much from the performance, knowing that Ludacris is not a very talented MC, but he does have the vitality to stir up a crowd with his catchy and well-known songs. Occasionally, he would try to excite the crowd by generally asking about “all the pretty ladies out there,” shouting out to “all the fellas smoking weed” and to all the college “alcoholics,” and inviting everyone to “throw their middle finger in the air and say, ‘f*** the cops.'” The concert defied the purpose of true hip-hop. It satisfied only the hunger of mainstream rap listeners who may very well believe that Ludacris encompassed the realm of a hip-hop concert with his cliched shout-outs and explicit, party-going tunes.

Rap had greatly affected the aesthetic culture of the mass public. These days, kids of all classes and races sport rap apparel, try to talk with a ghetto, hip-hop lingo, bump too loudly the daily hits of the radio in their cars, smoke and drink to oblivion, and dream of “living like a baller.” A decade ago, this wasn’t happening, but now hip-hop has become trendy. In my early teens in New York, I would see the Lyricist Lounge show, where local talents would gather on stage and exhibit their rhyming skills in intellectual and often poetic battles that portrayed the artistic aptitude of the artist. Yes, there were also shout-outs to the smokers in the crowd and to the beautiful ladies, but the performers and the show itself did not stress the current “bling-bling” and bigheaded, sensationalist atmosphere of mainstream rappers.

Hip-hop has always had its gritty, street-life edge, but it originated with songs emphasizing lyricism and independence as opposed to flashing money and nice cars. Classic artists and groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Common and the Roots have put together a number of impressive albums, a lot of which have intuitive rhymes and enlightening reflections on society. It’s harder now to find new albums that can live up to their predecessors.

Omar Sommereyns is a sophomore majoring in print journalism.

Sites and Sounds of Miami

The feelings of car inadequacy have passed. I have come to accept the fact that I drive a Subaru in the land of BMWs, a station wagon in the world of SUVs. I can live with this. In the past semester, however, I have seen some things that have put it over the top.

As I drove to class recently, holding up traffic by actually obeying the 30 mph speed limit was a small bus. At first I was sympathetic. A bus full of kids, short-bus kids no less, a responsible driver driving slowly, blah, blah, blah. Then I began to think: it is 6:00 p.m. What are they doing out at this hour?

I looked at the bus more closely. Although it was painted the traditional yellow, I saw strange lettering on the sides, and a big orange comic strip bubble filled the glass of the emergency window. Definite safety hazard.

I looked closer and read: “Have you taken your dog to our doggie playland daycare yet? www.totallydog.com.”

I was following a yellow school bus full of canines being dropped off at home by the bus driver after a day of games, play groups and personal massage therapists.

I don’t have a personal massage therapist.

Later, while shopping for Armani pants at the thrift store, located, oddly enough, in the same building as the police station where they host the “Weed and Seed” Program in a Miami ghetto, I ran into a gaggle of gay boys preparing for a fiesta in Alabama. I’m minding my own business, thinking how good I feel that my purchase of a $5.95 DKNY sweater will benefit the Jewish Home for the Aged, when one of the guys sauntered up my aisle in an Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt, cargo shorts and white pumps.

The Cuban lady working there told him, “Jou hab great legs.”

“I played football,” he said.

Under his arm, cradled like a pigskin, were the clothes he had stolen from his compadre, who was at that moment penguining around the store, all 6’3″ of him, in a “frumpy” (his word) black dress, barefoot.

This friend was having a hard time finding shoes to complete his ensemble.

You know what they say about guys with big feet: just can’t find a good pair of used stilettos anywhere.

And there’s more. One Saturday, I stepped out of the bathroom stall at Tu Tu Tango, and two bleached blonde flamenco dancers in yellow and gold-sequined costumes were putting on lipstick. Two mirrors. Two flamenco dancers. No, wait, that makes four flamenco dancers. Who’s counting anyway?

Next day, I’m minding my own business again (there seems to be a lot of that going on, huh?), checking out the yellow Lambourghini parked on Ocean Drive right in front of Johnny Rockets, when I spot another flamenco dancer. A male flamenco dancer in a midriff-baring costume, clapping his castenetas and twirling down the sidewalk at two in the afternoon.

Are stress and homesickness inducing hallucinations or is it mass hysteria in Miami? You be the judge.

Angie Henderson is a graduate student in the School of International Studies.

Letter to the Editor

If someone had told me that the University’s purpose was not to teach me skills which would help me get a job, but – as the dean of the School of Communications put it – to “develop for yourself the richest possible life …” (whatever that means), I would have considered receiving my degree somewhere else.

I am a motion pictures/art student graduating this semester. I’m mostly interested in film editing and illustration. While studying here I found the motion picture production program and the illustration/graphic design program somewhat lacking. For example, in graphic design, there are no courses on typography, an extremely important facet of design. In editing, only two computers are available to our whole class and the graduate class. The fact that only two computers are available to us came as quite a shock, since, according to the school website, it has four editing computers. I’m not the only one with complaints about the program. In fact, I first heard of these problems when students and even some faculty complained about them in class.

Because of these problems, I decided to write a letter to UM administrators. Close to a month passed by without me receiving a response. The only response I received was from the dean of the School of Communication, who gave me a numbered list of why nothing was wrong with the film program. After I’ve paid $20,000 a year towards my education, the lack of understanding I received from the administration astounds me. I feel like I’ve been ripped off. Don’t expect to see me at the graduation ceremony. I don’t consider my degree meaning much, and I honestly don’t want to want to meet the administrators who have ignored me.

Estrella Vega

Intelligent people making stupid decisions

The Question of Common Sense.

When I first came to UM, I hard a hard time getting adjusted to the life and ways of the United States. Life here is extremely different from that of the island on which I grew up; I had a serious case of culture shock, and there are some things that I was rather rudely introduced to and that I refuse to ever get used to. Drugs are one of them.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not naive. I know drugs exist. My family has dealt intimately with substance abuse. I know that it is very difficult to control drug use. Barbados is a big center for smuggling. Too small to grow anything on, it’s used as a transfer point between Trinidad and Jamaica. People have tried some pretty interesting methods for smuggling drugs, mainly marijuana and cocaine, into and out of the country.

Drugs are all over on campus. I personally know many people here who smoke marijuana on a regular, if not daily, basis. It is a fact that there are dealers on campus who sell weed. I know of one who sells ecstasy. There are hideaways on campus where kids go to smoke. Many of them leave campus and go to friends’ apartments to smoke. I have witnessed someone roll a blunt. Not wanting to get involved in a fight with that person, I left the room. I know people who keep a little stash in their rooms. These people, after a night of poisoning their own bodies, boast about how high they were and they report proudly what idiots they made of themselves because they were so wasted. Of course, they just call it “having a good time”.

I knew that I would be confronted with drugs. The way that I was raised was to say “no thank you” and continue about my business. I was taught from a young age how dangerous drugs are to one’s health. We all know this. Not only are they dangerous, they are illegal.

So I do not understand how people whom I know are intelligent can brag about how hammered they got drinking and smoking weed. These people whom I know are intelligent throw it all away by making incredibly stupid decisions.

Some happily excuse themselves saying tobacco is worse for you than weed. Let’s weigh the facts. The nicotine in cigarettes makes blood platelets sticky, increasing the risk of blood clots. Tar collects in the lungs, creating extra mucus and reducing the tissue’s elasticity. Carbon monoxide reduces blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Smoking marijuana also has devastating effects on the body: It affects nerve cells in the brain, interfering with feeling and perception. These nerve cells are eventually destroyed, permanently altering the brain’s learning and memory functions. And scientists have found smoking marijuana also puts users at risk of developing lung cancer. The study findings refute the argument that marijuana is safer than tobacco.

Cocaine is just as dangerous. It causes heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and respiratory failure. Mixing drugs and alcohol is even more dangerous. It speeds up both the highs and the side effects. Reality bites, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, most users have the attitude that “it can’t happen to me.” I cannot respect anyone who does drugs and boasts about it.

How can anyone be proud of the fact that they are abusing their bodies and their minds? What is the point of smoking oneself into oblivion?

It’s the same with alcohol. Where is the fun in getting so drunk that you are violently sick for 24 hours afterward?

Anyone can have fun without alcohol and certainly without drugs.

Amanda Hoyos is a freshman majoring in marine science.