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Sketch comedy group Lenny Dee opened their winter show “Dee by Lenny for Lenny Dee” last night in Little Nourse Theater and will continue to run Friday and Saturday nights.
Each year during Winter Term, the Carleton community puts on Eve Ensler’s 1996 play “The Vagina Monologues,” which highlights topics of sexuality and violence against women through a series of monologues.
This past Tuesday Carls gathered in the Chapel to take part in the second annual Break the Silence, organized by The Mental Health Awareness Collective (MHAC).
Controversial speaker James Fetzer made his appearance in Northfield Wednesday evening at the public library after the cancellation of the Cowtalks speaking series of which he was to take part.
An Emotional Male Response to the 50 Shades of Grey Trialer
Steve: This is a huge moment for both Nick and me. We’ve both lived sheltered, safe lives amongst our Lutheran brethren, free of sin and corruption. That’s about to change. We’re about to embark on a journey together, through the 2:25 of devilish pleasure that is the 50 Shades of Grey official trailer.
Nick: That’s right, Steve. It’s time we caught up with the rest of the country, and put on the handcuffs. And since we would never stoop so low as to see this movie in theaters, I guess we’ll stick to the trailer (speaking of trashy, let’s ignore the fact that the last movie I saw in theaters was Fast and Furious 6).
Steve: Mine was Guardians of the Galaxy. A true work of art.
Nick: Chris Pratt for president.
[The trailer begins]
Nick [0:10]: We’ve learned that she’s a journalist. I identify with the main character already. I wonder if she would write for the Mess?
Steve: It’s great to see that we’re going to finally see a film about an intellectual woman fighting her way through a patriarchal society. I’m sensing that this is going to be an empowering film for all the young women out there.
Steve [0:23]: Oh, we’re seeing an executive male standing by a big window behind a desk looking out the window at the big city. This is some brilliant and original cinematography right now. I just haven’t seen anything like this before.
Nick: And he’s dressed in gray. Subtle connection to the title there.
Steve [0:32]: “He’s polite, intense, smart and intimidating.” Sounds like a real gem of a guy. If there’s one thing I look for in a companion, it’s someone that I’m too scared to make eye contact with. What a catch.
Nick: I second that.
Nick [1:00]: “I exercise control in all things.” Direct quote from Christian Grey. Definitely a psychopath. Or a Pub Safe officer.
Steve: The music is scaring me a little. I vote psychopath.
Nick [1:10]: They’re making out in an elevator. Is this movie about sex? Based on the title, I imagined choosing paint swatches at Home Depot.
Steve [1:20]: Mr. Grey is so mysterious. One minute he’s creepily sitting by a piano, the next he’s chilling in a helicopter, and then he’s running through the park with his hoodie on. I still see no hint of a plot besides the fact that this guy is a pretty versatile, creepy male.
Nick [1:27]: ”I don’t do romance.” And this was the country’s most popular Valentine’s Day movie?
Steve [1:35]: All he does is take his shirt off and say semi-threatening things. Wait, he’s in a helicopter again. This is so weird.
Steve [1:52]: Mr. Grey just unlocked a door. Now somebody is tied to a bed. I’m scared.
Nick [1:57]: Well…that was explicit.
Steve [2:07]: Oh, they used a Beyoncé song! That’s nice, isn’t it? Makes up for all the weird chains and whips shenanigans they had going on earlier.
Nick: First reaction: Is that fun for her? I think there’s something in the Geneva Convention against some of that stuff.
Steve: My main emotion is that I hate the world. Do you think that’s the reaction the producers were going for?
Nick: I’ll take a hard pass on this one.
Steve: I think I’ll just stick to Pixar movies.
On Thursday night, the loudspeakers crackled on, and the CSA debate began.
Loki is back with a brand new rap and I don’t mean rap as in a new case of sane horoscopal accusates. Buckle up and chuckle up for a brand new semester of incredibly accurate horoscopes. Now, I know you’ve been lost without me, but fear not: I’m prepared to lead you into the deepest, darkest recesses of your future and then abandon you without a roadmap. Enjoy, and if you’re looking to employ, Loki will most likely be out of a job very soon.
Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)
Start off the semester right by showing the entire campus how cool you are by ingesting 200 cookies in a row. Chewing and swallowing is optional, but stuff those bad boys down your gullet as fast as possible. Consider feeding your friends with this task by reguritating the cookies into their mouths, mama-bird style, during meal times for the next week.
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Crash the 100 Days March. If you’re not a senior, crash the 100 Days March by putting on 300 pounds, painting youself gray and renting a crane to swing you through the crowds of seniors while “Wrecking Ball” plays on full volume from your iPhone 5s. If you are a senior, crash the march by stealing one of the escort cop cars, putting a brick on the pedal and have everyone sing in unison as the car cannonballs into the Canon River.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Bring back the feudal system to St. Olaf. Make the serfs (first years) do everything for you. I’m taking to you sophmores, juniors and seniors. If you’re a freshman, revolt! Lets get some good ol’ peasants’ revolt up in these hallways.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
It’s on you to bring spring early this year. So burrow into the hard terrain and then groundhog up. Start breathing on all the snow very rapidly. If you pass out you won’t be able to be scared of your shadow and spring will come early.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Run a social experiment. Over the course of the next few months, start acting more and more like a robot. See how long it takes before your classmates believe you have machinery inside you.
Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22)
It’s time to make some new friends in all your new classes. Be the kid who can fart at the exact same time every day. People always love that kid! Once people have gotten over the stench, they’ll be impressed. New friends are just a can of beans away.
Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22)
Retake the classroom. Let your professors know who runs the course. Walk in late for two weeks straight. Make them want you. Leave early. Let them know your time is precious. If they try to silence you, make them eat chalk for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Soon they will beg you to come to class because they adore you or because they want you to graduate so they don’t have to see your flaky booty anymore.
Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)
Conquer the next Pause dance. It’s your time to shine. Take one step into that place and just freeze. It’s called the “Pause” for a reason.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)
Still sad about being alone on Valentine’s Day? That’s okay; just think about Nemo’s mom dying at the beginning of Finding Nemo. Even sadder now? See, you’ve forgotten what you were sad about in the first place.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)
For better grades, pull a Weekend at Bernie’s type situation with your sleeping roomate. Wait until your roomate falls asleep for the night and then gently haunt your professors with his or her sleeping body. They will be scared into giving you good grades.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)
It’s time to get active. Demand a spot on the basketball team. If/when Coach Koz refuses, show him Space Jam and tell him that if aliens can play basketball, so can you.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)
Praise Loki for the entire week.
The St. Olaf women’s tennis team opened the spring season with an impressive show of force on Feb. 14, defeating a stout squad from Luther College in all but two matches.
Alisa Hall ’16 led the Oles in the No. 1 singles match, letting up only one game and winning 6-1, 6-0. Kristi Kroker ’15 won the next match in a similar fashion, followed by Margaret Zimmerman ’18 winning over her Luther competitor in a tiebreaker game. The Norse gained some ground on the Oles as Maya MacGibbon ’16 ultimately came up short in a closely contested match that sparked some hope in the opposing side’s ranks.
Luther’s attempts to level the meet were in vain, with the Oles winning the remaining two singles matches. Erin Hynes ’15 defeated her opponent 6-4, 7-5, and Bailey Kent ’16 followed up with another tiebreaker victory, eliminating any chance that the Oles would fall. St. Olaf was defeated in the first doubles match, as Hall and Zimmerman fell to the duo across the court. Kroker and MacGibbon took the next doubles match in a closely contested battle, winning 9-8.
The final match of the day saw Erin McDonald ’18 and Kent winning with a strong show of force, 8-3.
The Oles’ victory is a good sign as to what fans expect to see in the future, and hopefully a representation of the play the Oles need in order to have a strong season. St. Olaf’s play was impressive, and with plenty of veteran leadership along with plenty of skill amongst the younger players, victories should come easily to the team.
With that being said, tennis is unpredictable, full of surprises, and anything is possible as spring approaches. There is plenty of room for improvement, and it will be up to the players to decide just how good they can be this year. One thing is certain, though, and that is that we showed our fellow Nords down south just who owns the court, and hopefully this victory has shown other teams just what the Oles are made of.
By Feb. 15, the members of the St. Olaf Orchestra and Choir had returned to St. Olaf College, a national tour completed per respective ensemble. Tired but grateful for their adventures, both groups held their final performances for their fans back on the Hill.
“Playing home concert in Skoglund is similar to any home game for a sports team,” said Christina Solensten ’16, St. Olaf Orchestra second violin. “It’s great to have the community support and see all the familiar faces. And after so many concerts, we’ve definitely matured in our interpretation of the repertoire.”
The St. Olaf Orchestra’s bus toured from the Twin Cities and Rochester, Minn., down to a concentration of six performances in Florida, one in Georgia and a finale at St. Olaf. They performed at high schools, college campuses and churches. Along the way, they collaborated with the Lassiter Chamber Orchestra in Marietta, Ga., and the Harrison School for the Arts Symphony Orchestra in Lakeland, Fla. However, a running favorite location was Naples, Fla.
“The audience was highly invested in our music-making, which inspired me to invest in them throughout the performance. The musicians developed a great camaraderie with the audience even though we never verbally spoke to one another. That’s the power of music,” said Solensten. Another second violin, Anja Pruim ’17, said: “The atmosphere of a concert is infinitely more energetic and moving when the audience is appreciative, and this audience was.”
The St. Olaf Choir traveled around the northeastern seaboard and upper Midwest, stopping in Carnegie Hall, Princeton University and Yale, to name a few of the venues. Like the orchestra, the choir performed in a mixture of colleges, churches and local schools.
In terms of orchestra repertoire, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” was championed among several members of the ensemble as the favorite touring piece.
“Although all of the pieces are amazing in their own way… [Scheherazade] is a massive musical work that covers a huge range of emotions from playful to passionate. Rimsky-Korsokov uses the entire orchestra to tell an amazing set of stories. It’s like a music journey for 45 minutes; who wouldn’t want to hear that?” Pruim said.
The choir featured a four-part program of nearly 20 traditional and new songs, including two premiere performances: “With What Shall I Come,” composed by Rosephanye Powell and “Flight Song” by Kim Andre Arnesen, which were sent to Dr. Armstrong as Christmas and birthday presents. The choir also sang “Pilgrims’ Hymn” by Stephen Paulus as a tribute to Paulus’ memory, triggering an appreciative response from the mourning musical community, especially in the northeastern states. And the adventure of busing around America with a bunch of fellow musicians?
“Imagine finding a group of people who are all united in one musical goal, and yet are so diverse. Then put them all together: living, eating, practicing, playing and even breathing together. You get closer you than you thought possible, and you see each other at your best and your worst moments. Ultimately, it is an amazing bonding experience that brings the entire group closer, which fosters friendships that last a life time and an orchestra that works together,” Pruim said.
Sparrow said: “I was kind of dreading spending two weeks with the same 75 people, but it turns out I had an absolutely fantastic and made some really wonderful friends.”
Solensten said: “The Ole Orch community has arguably been my grounding point for life at St. Olaf. I can’t imagine my college experience without the people I have come to know and the music we have played together.”
At the end of it all, the Orchestra performed in Skoglund Auditorium on Valentine’s Day and the Choir in Boe Chapel two days later, rounding out successful tours with full audiences.
“The Ole Orchestra changes lives… it touches all of our audience members. Every night of tour there are audience members who make a point of telling us how moved, or amazed or awed they are by the performance. Of course, it was bittersweet to say goodbye to tour, especially Florida, but everything about the home concert is great. It is like coming home,” Pruim said.
Both the orchestra and choir concerts can be streamed at stolaf.edu/multimedia. The St. Olaf Choir performance also includes an intermission interview with Sigrid Johnson, the conductor of Manitou Singers, about her personal journey with music and the Manitou Singers, ending on a final message for her successor: to cherish their time with the choir’s members and to learn to understand and care for them.
Conspiracy theorist raises free speech debate: Canceled at the Cow, Jim Fetzer divides Northfield community
Northfield is generally a quiet community – a place where the year’s biggest event involves grown men running around dressed as cowboys. But the past several weeks have seen the town divided over the issue of free speech, accusations of anti-Semitism and political conspiracy theories. “Cows, Colleges, and Contentment” indeed.
The Contented Cow, the popular pub overlooking the Canon River, sponsored a series of community discussions in January. These discussions, called “CowTalks,” were meant to address relevant political topics and engage Northfield’s academic communities.
Norman Butler, owner of the Cow, described the talks as a chance to “discuss politics over a pint and help us cope with the winter.”
Controversy arose, however, when Butler invited Jim Fetzer to lecture at several of the CowTalks. Fetzer is a former professor at University of Minnesota-Duluth, but is most well known as a conspiracy theorist.
His theories range from the somewhat odd to what many consider blatantly offensive. He has argued that Paul Wellstone (the Carleton professor turned progressive Congressman who died in a plane crash, was assassinated by Republicans), that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax and that the U.S. and Israeli governments were responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
He is also a Holocaust denier, stating that the number of Jews killed by the Nazis was just in the thousands, and that no Jews were killed in the gas chambers. His denial is based on the argument that Zykon B, the chemical used by Nazis in the gas chambers, should have turned the dead bodies pink. Since there were no reports of pink bodies, according to Fetzer, the massacre could not have occurred.
The St. Olaf and Carleton communities reacted swiftly to Fetzer’s impending visit. Alan Rubenstein, a Carleton professor of philosophy, removed himself from a scheduled debate at the Cow with Fetzer and began circulating a petition protesting Fetzer’s presence in Northfield.
At St. Olaf, Professors Gordon Marino, Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson and Michael Fuerstein were the Cow’s most vocal critics. Marino, Muñoz-Hutchinson and others informed Butler via email of their opposition to Fetzer. Some Northfield residents notified Butler that they would no longer frequent his establishment.
“We definitely have fewer members of the community coming to the Cow,” Butler said.
In response to the disapproval, Butler apparently forwarded the professor’s emails to Fetzer, who posted them, along with an article entitled “The Abdication of Reason and Rationality in Northfield, MN” on a conspiracy theory Web site called Veterans Today. Despite its name, the site does not provide services for American military personnel. Instead, it largely serves as a platform for conspiracy theories, many of which contain thinly-veiled anti-Semitism. Many of the theories blame Jews and the state of Israel for catastrophic world events.
Due to Fetzer’s actions, Marino, Muñoz-Hutchinson and several Carleton professors received hate mail. The threats directed at the Carleton professor were serious enough that the FBI became involved. On Jan. 27, the Contented Cow canceled the talks, citing pressure from the community.
Fetzer sought another venue in Northfield, and the result was his Feb. 18 talk at the public library. He spoke to a packed room. The crowd was made up of a mix of Fetzer supporters and curious residents there to observe the spectacle.
His presentation, entitled “Free Speech and Terrorism: Sandy Hook and the Boston Bombing,” consisted largely of images pulled from YouTube videos. Fetzer, who was introduced by a librarian as an “American hero,” argued that these images proved that the Sandy Hook Massacre was a hoax and that no children died. He also explained that the Boston Marathon bombings were in fact a government ploy to restrict the Second Amendment Rights of American citizens. His presentation omitted his views on the Holocaust.
The reaction from the audience was mixed. Some nodded along at Fetzer’s claims and took notes on the presentation. By contrast, a group of Carleton students challenged Fetzer on a number of his claims.
Gordon Marino has been one of St. Olaf’s most vocal critics of the Cow’s decision to invite Fetzer to Northfield. He has repeatedly rebuffed attempts by Butler, Fetzer and others to frame this as a free speech issue.
“This is like someone claiming that if I weren’t willing to listen to arguments saying that slavery was a good thing, or didn’t happen, or that there was no genocide against Native Americans,” he said, “then I would be against free speech. Of course, I’m not claiming that you should not be allowed to say such outrageous and hurtful things – but I am saying that I don’t want to hang around with or fill the pockets of someone who provides a platform for such views.”
He argued that while Fetzer can hold any opinion that he so chooses, the right to free speech does not mean that the Northfield community must give him a platform.
Marino is something of an odd target for the anti-Zionist hate mail he received. Though a supporter of the Israeli state, he has written articles criticizing Israeli violence against Palestine, and says that he has lost friends due to his critiques of the Jewish state.
Marino was quick to point out St. Olaf’s history of opposition to anti-Semitism. Reidar Dittmann, Dittmann Hall’s namesake, was a survivor of Buchenwald concentration camp, imprisoned for resisting the Nazis in his native Norway.
“We have a history at St. Olaf of someone who was a witness to the Holocaust,” Marino said.
Norman Butler, the Contented Cow’s owner, sees this situation very differently from Marino. He views this as a freedom of speech issue and feels unfairly persecuted by the Northfield community.
“The boycott turned into a fatwa against the Cow,” he said.
He also defends his choice of Jim Fetzer as a lecturer. According to Butler, Fetzer’s views are supported by research and some of his theories are in fact truths that the establishment would rather suppress.
“If you want to know what the establishment’s point of view is, read the newspaper or turn on a television,” Butler said. “It’s refreshing to hear a different point of view that’s backed up by evidence.”
Butler claimed ignorance of Fetzer’s beliefs regarding the Holocaust.
“I knew nothing about that,” said Butler. “He wasn’t asked to speak on the Holocaust. For all I know he might wear women’s underwear. It doesn’t matter to me. I wasn’t asking him to talk about his underwear, or the Holocaust. I can’t believe the absurd reasoning people are using [to criticize the Cow].”
Butler went on to say that he agreed with Fetzer’s theory that the Holocaust’s scale was much smaller than reported. He said that he had no idea how many Jews died, but that “the scale of the Holocaust wasn’t as large as we’ve been persuaded.”
When asked directly whether he agreed with Fetzer, Butler said, “He could be wrong, but so what?”
This is a delicate issue, because the Constitutional right to free speech protects unpopular or wrongheaded opinions. For many in the Northfield community though, Fetzer’s views are a version of hate-speech. By denying the horror and scale of the Holocaust, deniers attempt to trivialize what is likely the most horrific event in human history. Marino, Muñoz-Hutchinson and many in the Carleton community believed that providing Fetzer with an opportunity to spread his theories was morally unacceptable.
Graphic Credit: ERIN KNADLER/MANITOU MESSENGER
The Carleton College men’s swimming and diving team is tied for third in the team standings after the first day of competition at the MIAC Championships. The Knights collectively notched five all-conference finishes and captured two victories in both individual and relay races.
After the first day of competition of the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships, the Carleton College women’s swimming and diving team stands fourth overall. Sophomore Maria Wetzel led the way for the Knights, producing a superb individual result as well as contributing to the squad’s solid results in both relays.
Mikayla Becich, Alana Danieu, and Caitlin Eichten each prevailed in both singles and doubles action as the Carleton College women’s tennis team cruised past St. Cloud State University, a NCAA Division II program, by a 9-0 tally.
But Emily Patterson ’15 designed her course that way.
Dawn is the best time of day for birds, after all.
Patterson has a passion for ornithology, and last spring she received a federal permit to band birds in Minnesota. Under the guidance of St. Olaf College Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Kathy Shea, Patterson designed a semester-long research project that combined her love of birds and conservation.
Patterson’s project is just one example of the college’s commitment to fostering independent undergraduate research opportunities across the liberal arts. Students are encouraged to combine academic interests in their various independent studies.
Just as other students have created projects that combine mathematics with ceramics and psychology with linguistics, Patterson used St. Olaf’s integrated approach to learning to gain hands-on experience in the field of avian conservation.
In her independent research course, Patterson — who has worked at the bird banding station at Buffalo State Park near Moorhead, Minnesota, and at the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory near Rochester, New York — focused on the distribution of birds in five sections of the St. Olaf Natural Lands that had been burned in different years.
Controlled prairie burns are a form of prairie preservation. Fire removes dead vegetation from the prairie and allows more plants to flower, make seeds, and grow taller. It also uncovers darkened soil, which heats up more quickly from sunlight, and lengthens the growing season for warm-season plants.
In her project, Patterson hypothesized that different species of birds would occupy different areas of the prairie, depending on the year in which each area was burned.
She set up a total of 10 nets in five different sections of the Natural Lands, and caught birds on 17 days.
Between September 13 and October 27 of last year, Patterson banded 98 birds of 23 different species. She recorded each bird’s species, age, sex, weight, and wing length, and blew on their collar bones and stomachs to look for fat.
“My findings suggest that continuing to burn smaller sections of prairie helps promote a greater amount of biodiversity in the Natural Lands as a whole,” says Patterson.
“I’m grateful that St. Olaf has given me the opportunity to unite one of my passions with research and conservation.”
Despite a game-high 14 points from Michele Arima, the Carleton College women’s basketball team dropped a 64-56 result at Saint Mary’s University.
The most potent scoring option as of late for the Carleton College men’s basketball team is not a member of the starting lineup. Tianen Chen scored his season-high 22 points off the bench to spark the Knights to a 75-59 victory over Saint Mary’s University. Tonight's effort come on the heels of his game-high 18 points in Monday's victory.
Breaking a school record felt so nice, Carleton College's Jerry Cook-Gallardo decided to do it twice. The Knights freshman continued his breakout rookie season last week by winning the 800-meter run at two different meets on consecutive days and set a new school record each time out. He also helped a Carleton relay team run to victory. For his record-breaking performances, the MIAC honored Cook-Gallardo Wednesday with the conference’s Men's Indoor Track Athlete-of-the-Week.
The Carleton College women's track and field team embraced the Valentine's Day spirit and finished second as a team at their Kelly Family Meet of the Hearts Saturday in Northfield. Rookie jumper Damali Britton played a huge part in the Knights' success with a pair of top-two finishes, and she tied one school record in the process. For her performance, Britton was honored with the MIAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week award.
Carleton College moved up to the No. 2 position on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing small colleges and universities across the country. With 17 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers, the school made its fourth consecutive appearance on the list. Carleton ranked second behind Gonzaga University (Wash.) and its 20 alumni among schools and universities of 5,000 or less undergraduate students. Since the agency was created in 1961, 496 Carleton graduates have made a difference as Peace Corps volunteers.
The MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Feb. 19-21 at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Morning sessions start at 10:30 a.m. each day with qualifiers returning for the finals during evening sessions that start at 6:30 p.m.