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March 24, 2004 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-24

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Wednesday
March 24,2004
arts.michigandaily.com
artseditor@michigandaily.com

ARTS

8.

mw

THE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
The Changing Garden: Four Centuries of European and Ameri-
can Art - The University of Michigan Museum of Art's reflection
on the evolution of European garden is ridiculously comprehensive
for each ornate stage. With the help of paintings, photos and blue-
prints, visitors can see how British, French and Italian garden styles
all influenced American landscape architects.
"Graceland" by Chris Abani - This searing new novel about
I growing up in the massive slums of Lagos, Nigeria, pulses with a
desperate humanity. Even the author is dramatic; Abani caused such
an uproar with his first novel that he was exiled from Nigeria. In a
book with recipes, haunting description and painful lessons, every-
thing has aftershocks.

a

When will a spirit break? What are the fac-
tors that describe a person's soul, and when
does the label that society assigns to you come
to define who you are?
"Slave Moth," a beautiful narrative written in
lyric verse by English Prof. Thylias Moss, tells
the story of a literate, confident and proud
young slave named Varl. Neither submissive
nor passive, she is the opposite of everything a
slave should be. Varl's
refusal to allow herself to be Slave Moth
defined by her circum-
stances makes her conscious By Thylias Moss
of the wonders of living. Persea Books
Her master is painfully
fascinated by the deformed and the unusual.
His twisted obsession with the misshapen leads
to his fascination with Varl. He cannot under-
stand her inherent resistance to the confines of
slavery, but is drawn to her more because of it.
Through one of her master's books, Varl
learns of a special creature, the Luna moth, that
transforms itself from a drab caterpillar into a
luminous silver insect. Upon this discovery, she
is determined to lift herself out of oppression
and into an existence of freedom and joy. Varl's
mother - a powerful woman who secretly
rebels against slavery by teaching other slaves
to read - has given Varl the means to under-
mine the misery of her slave life. With no
paper, she makes a special cocoon by stitching
letters onto pieces of fabric by moonlight.
Pinned under her dress, the fabric makes her

Courtesy of Persea Books

Six score and 19 years ago ---

3

Emeka Okafor's lower back - It's amazing to see that a small mass of
bone and tendons can reduce grown men to tears at
the slightest mention of the phrase "swelling
around the vertebrae." Here's to hoping that the
Connecticut star center's lumbar region doesn't
become the ultimate bracket buster.

feel safe and protected from the world. With
each movement, she is reminded of those she
loves and is sheltered from the darker moments
of her life. Through the transformation of her
romance with a fellow slave, her building
desire for freedom and the culmination of her
master's growing obsession, the cocoon is used
as a plot device to weave the story together.
The story is compelling, and the poetry of
the novel adds another level to the already
poignant narrative. Moss writes a well-crafted
story. Its unusual structure of poetic verse pro-
vides appeal to readers of both genres of litera-
ture. Much human experience can be found in
the simple words that weave a complex story of
spirit, endurance and fortitude. It explores
human identity and both protests the limita-
tions of the human condition and gives insight
beyond the boundaries of the present.
This book is inspiring and thought-provok-
ing, drawing the reader into the characters and
events without limiting the objective scope.
The story highlights the potential strength of
the human spirit and the power to free oneself
from any limits.

Petey Pablo, Still Writing In My
Diary: 2nd Entry - Rap's best guilty
pleasure, the average MC with the boom-
ing voice, is set to drop another collec-
tion of bumper-bubble jams with help
from Mannie Fresh and Lil' Jon. Try
not to spin articles of clothing like
flying machines when the first few
bars come on.

Anthony Hamilton - Hamilton is
the best-kept secret in neo-soul.
This former D'Angelo backup
singer's debut album is a throw-
back-in the best sense of the
word-to the slow-burning soul
men of yesteryear. Months
after its release, it has received
a disturbing lack of mass-
media love. Listen, and feel
the North Carolina sunset.

I

Courtesy of Arista

'Stones'
sinks to
bottom
By Abby Stotz
Daily Arts Writer
In CBS's new comedy, "The
Stones," Mr. and Mrs. Stone are split-
ting up after 25 years of marriage but
decide to still live under the same
roof. They drive each other nuts, just
not enough for either to want to move
out or to stop having sex. Also living

'R Type' fails to evolve for the PS2

Don't blame me for this crap.

in the house are
the 20-something
kids, creating a
bizarre dysfunc-
tional mix that the
show's creators
hope will be

The Stones
Wednesdays at
9:30 p.m.
CBS

funny. Unfortunately, the show falls
flat on its face.
Judith Light ("Who's the Boss")
returns to sitcoms as brittle Barbara
Stone with comedian Robert Klein
("Mad About You") playing her
deadpan soon-to-be ex-husband. The
Stones' fighting is pretty tame, with
a major bone of contention being a
petty dislike of each other's unwant-
ed body hair. Klein and Light are
funny enough actors but are seriously
in need of some good writing. It
seems like the Stones would be per-

fectly happy staying married and just
arguing often.
In the pilot, the Stones tell their
children that they are divorcing dur-
ing their own 25th wedding anniver-
sary celebration. This disturbs the
grown son and daughter, prompting
them to go home and show their
parents a slide show of happier
times. Even after this, the parents
still decide to divorce and be friends
with benefits.
The younger generation of Stones
doesn't come off as well as Barbara
and Stan. Daughter Karly (Lindsay
Sloane, "Bring it On") seems flighty
and clueless when she's supposed to
be smart and free-spirited. Her broth-
er, Winston (Jay Baruchel, "Unde-
clared"), is a brainy scientist who
goes overboard with the awkward

dork act. He's a neat-freak graduate
student who can barely speak to a
member of the opposite sex, making it
obvious why he's still living at home.
Winston squeaks and gestures wildly
every time he talks, becoming more
irritating with every scene.
Regardless of bland writing and
sub-par acting, "The Stones" finds
its biggest problem in its premise.
Even though they like to fight, the
Stones still seem to be attracted to
each other and their divorce winds
up feeling pointless. They might as
well still be married. Karly says in
the pilot, "It's like everything
changed, but nothing changed" and
she's right. There's no real change in
the characters' situations, so the
show seems pointless and becomes
very boring as a result.

By Jared Newman
Daily Arts Writer
"w
It's tough not to use the label "old-school" when discussing
a game such as "R-Type Final." The side-scrolling space
shooter that has spanned four generations of consoles con-
jures up so many memories that avoiding the cliche term is
nearly impossible.
But sometimes memories are better left that way.
In a time where total immersion is the ultimate goal, "R-
Type Final" doesn't measure up to its three-dimensional
peers. To be fair, "R-Type" is certainly a decent game, but
aside from the intense visuals and gorgeous environments,
playing the latest installment isn't much
better than dusting off the classic Ninten-
do system and playing the original.-yp F
The graphics have the same "three- PS2
dimensional graphics in a two-dimen- Eidos
sional world" feel seen in games such as
"Ikaruga" and "Contra: Shattered Soldier." Some flashier
gunfire from the main cannon would have been nice, but the
lack thereof may be a subtle hint that the charge beam is the
best way to fight.
Players are given three ships to start and can unlock a fleet
of up to 99. Each ship comes equipped with a charge beam,
which is unique to each vessel. Using this weapon is the only
feasible way to get through the game, making the decision on
what type of ship to select extremely important.
Unfortunately, this is the only incentive to keep players
coming back throughout the numerous "try-and-die" situa-
S_ __ _ __ _
1 2 <} b x'

tions. Since gameplay is totally linear, one is forced to
replay the same missions numerous times just to get back to
that one problem spot. It's not always a satisfying challenge
either - deaths often come in the form of accidental colli-
sions or stray bullets.
Adding a non-linear element to the game - such as a
mission select - would have made these frustrations much
easier to deal with. Instead, players are forced into repeti-
tion, If there is any lesson to be learned from games of the
Nintendo generation, it's that repetition is boring. Staunch
videogame conservatives will probably refute this viewpoint
as well as this review, but those who crave new and exciting
adventures will instead see "R-Type's" strict adherence to
the old style as a failure.

May be hot upon re-entry.

"

Courtesy 0ofEios

High Oil Costs Harm All Americans
T ID A n . - ma .4

headaches per month. A total of
three clinic visits are required. Visit 2 is a four to six hour

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