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November 21, 2013 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-21

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2B - Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


Addiction doesn't

Is Natalie Portman
worth the hype?

drop of
my bod
the pas
years ...
I remer
her wh
I could
er thre
in life t
far - at
my reco
est achi
isn't po
to dire
It's an e
It's per
time to
as one c
as it's o
cially t
case so
relate to
I use
were h
even fu
The "go
and my
and fur
It's n
drive di
ing to t
asks yo
ing suit
And it's
spend t
same re
end, so
not nor

n Nov. 3, I celebrated middle-aged homeless guy with a
three years sober - yes, brown bagsleeping under a park
in a row. Not a single bench? At the time when things
alcohol or iota of a mind- really began to go south,I was
g substance has entered fresh out of a privileged, middle-
ly for upper-class upbringing and a
t three student-athlete at an Ivy League
and school, soI coldn'tbe an alco-
m- holic, right?
en "What's a nice young girl like
n't you - Bloomfield Hills, Wharton
ogeth- School of Business, Division I
e soccer player - doing in the back
CARLY of my car?" the cop asked as he
accom- KEYES led me to the station, took my
a lot - mug shot, handed me a pair ofjail
bus scrubs and locked me up in a cell
cademically, athletically, with nothing but a toilet in the
ally and beyond - but corner and a cold, hard cement
overy is by far my great- floor for the next 12 hours, or so,
evement, for without it, until my .14 BAC dropped below
g else would be possible. the legal limit.
m isn't possible; life itself Good question, sir. It wasn't
ssible. that - deep down - I didn't
been writing this health believe I had a problem with alco-
for nearly a year, and I've hol. That was pretty obvious given
eously touched upon my my track record when I drank.
with depression, but I've yet ButI thought I was goingthrough
tly discuss my alcoholism. a phase or something. I needed
ven tougher topic to tackle. more proof.
sonal. It's complicated. It's AndI certainly got it.I trans-
lerstood. ferred to the University that fall,
I feel that now is the right and things got even worse. Even
share my story (or as much on probation and facing random
an when cramming a sev- breath testing,I couldn't stop
'struggle into 1,400 words), drinking. During my lectures in
ne of the mostcpressing the first two weeks of the semes-
l and mental health issues ter, I went from sitting sober in
oung people today - espe- the front row, to hungover in the
he college-aged - and in back row, to drunk on my couch at
meone reads this and can home, to disenrolled entirely.
o my experience or knows I withdrew for the term and
re who probably would. checked into a rehab facility called
Caron Treatment Center in Wer-
nersville, Pa., where they offered
r pa program specifically for young
adult females ages 20-25.
r alcoholism . WhenI showed up, they asked
me, "What's your D.O.C?" and I
didn't understand.
"What's your drug oftchoice?"
d to thinkI was a crazy one of the other young women
or maybe just a morally asked me.
pt individual. Some of the "Alcohol,"I said plainly.
I did in my drunken states "... And what?" she continued.
armless, entertaining and Again, I didn't understand.
n, but this portion of my "Just alcohol," I said.
g career was short-lived. "You don't do coke? Shoot up?
rod times" quickly faded, Pop pills?" another young woman
life morphed into a fast asked me.
ions, embarrassing and My revelation about drug use
ting saga of poor and dan- and youth continued when we had
choices. a support meeting that night, and I
ot harmless when you discovered that there was an ado-
runk. It's not entertain- lescent program for 13 to 19-year-
he police officer when he olds, and while I was there, they
u to step out of the car, and had to make an exception in order
wearingnothing but abath- to treat a 12-year-old who was
and a hooded sweatshirt. addicted to heroin.
not fun when he slaps It began to seem like I was the
ffs on your wrists, and you only one who hadn't abused a
he night in jail. drug other than alcohol ... yet. But
st turned 20 whenI got "just" alcohol was bad enough.
d for my first DUI. I'd been "Just" alcohol had gotten me
g since 15 and, from the in a rehab center at age 20. And
I knew I didn't have the according to a recent surveyrof
'lationship with alcohol as eighth, 10th and 12th grade stu-
ne else.I couldn't ever get dents done by The Monitoring
. Soon,I grew frustrated the Future Survey funded by the
to wait to get drunk until National Institute on Drug Abuse,
popped up on the week- alcohol causes nearly seven times
I began hiding bottles of more teen deaths than all other
Bacardi in my closet and illicit drugs combined.
drunk by myself. That's With addiction, it's not always
mal - for a 15-year-old, for as much about whatryou use but
how you use it. Alcohol is a drug,
isn't an alcoholic like a too, and it can be just as lethal as

anything else. It certainly was for
I wishI could tell you that
whenI got out of treatmentI
stayed sober, but obviously the
math wouldn't add up. It is a very
confusing and terrifying thing to
be told - when you're not even
legally old enough to consume
alcohol yet - that you have to quit
drinking forever, and I wasn't
ready. So, I went looking for more
It took two more years of
enduring a daily existence so dark
and so hopeless and so tragic that
I could never adequately describe
it in words, another withdrawal
from the University, a four-month
stay at a treatmentcenter in Ari-
zona and a second DUI to get me
to do whatI now knowI should've
been doing since age 15: taking
responsibility for my disease.
There are two thingsI really
want to stress with this personal
divulgence. The first: Alcoholism
and drug addiction don't discrimi-
nate. They don't target a specific
sex, race, gender, social status...
or age. Today in recovery, I'm sur-
rounded by dozens of other people
- both young and not so young
- with whom, on a daily basis,
I battle this chronic and, if left
untreated, fatal disease.
And the second: There is hope.
Since hittingbottom on Nov. 3,
2010 and accepting the help I'd
been offered, I've lived a life, drug
and alcohol-free, ofwhich I used
to only dream. I'm pursuing my
passions asa professional singer-
songwriter and aspiring film-
maker (Let's just say, Ihave plenty
of material to work with). My edu-
cation is no longer a burden; it's
a gift. And my right to drive is no
longer just a right; it's a privilege.
Do I have hard days? Of course
I do. I'm in my 20s, andI don't
drink. I live ona college campus
where waking up on the floor in
your own vomit happens all the
time ... just not to the same person
over and over again. I'm sur-
rounded by thousands of people
every day who can have a beer...
withouthaving to worry about
windingup in jail later that night.
But I have a disease called alcohol-
ism, and this is how I have to live
if I want to live. IfI can't change
my circumstances, Imust change
And though gettingaand staying
sober in your early/mid-twenties
isn't easy, this seemingly insur-
mountable challenge is what
makes the positives in my life all
that more enjoyable. Tom Hanks
probably put it best in "A League
of Their Own" when he said: "If it
wasn't hard, everyone would do it.
The hard is what makes it great."
If you or someone you know
is struggling with alcoholism or
drug addiction, don't lose hope.
It may seem like an impossible
demon to conquer, but there's help
to be gotten, and no matter how
much it seems like it, no one is
ever alone.
Keyes is not alone.
To share your story,
e-mail cekmusic rumich.edu.

Daily Arts Writers Akshay
Seth and Jamie Bircoll step
into the salon for a friendly
debate on
Natalie Portman.
Akshay: Whenever I get
into extended debates with my
friends about the Greatests Of
All Time in Hollywood, the big-
gest point of contention usually
ends up being Natalie Portman.
No, she'll probably never join
the likes of Meryl Streep, but is
it really fair to call her a medi-
ocre actress? This underpaid
college newspaper editor says
no. We're talking about the per-
son who, at 12-years-old, in her
first-ever acting gig, managed
to steal the spotlight from the
likes of Jean Reno. Every one
of her performances, even if the
scripts aren't always brilliant,
manages to reflect a deeply
personal side of her identity
that isn't just weighed down by
melodrama. She's a creature of
nuance, and each of her films
is a glowing testament to that
Jamie: Except for "Star
Wars," of course. And "Your
Highness." And "Mr. Mago-
rium's Wonder Emporium." Is
that enough or should I name a
few more? I admit, she has her
moments. But every actor has
"moments," those one or two
movies where the actor can
really shine. But that is not the
norm for Natalie Portman. She
is consistently less than stellar
and rarely lives up to the hype
that always surrounds her.
Akshay: OK, I'll give you
"Your Highness." But let's be
honest, who, in their right
minds, would've said no when
George Fucking Lucas called
you up while you were in college
and asked if you warnted to star
in a "Star Wars" reboot. Even
some of the silly stuff like "Your
Highness" represents her ver-
satility as an actor. They're not
great films, but they give her a
chance to extend her range in
the industry and are a repre-
sentation of how she refuses
to be pigeonholed into playing
the weepy, sentimental type. I
agree that she needs to be more
careful about the scripts she
picks, butI think those debacles
are more a result of bad deci-
sion-making than acting.


"Do you know I'm wearing a wig?"
Jamie: Don't get me wrong,
I'm the last person to say that
Natalie Portman ruined the
great writing of George Lucas.
But you cannot deny that she
severely underacted those mov-
ies; her "you're breaking my
heart" delivery haunts me to
this day. And face it, her best
movies are the ones where she's
weepy and sentimental. I don't
care if you're being versatile by
being in a bad movie - you're
still doing a bad movie. In
everything she does, she's usu-
ally crying her eyes out or long-
ing for better things. But as a
side note, "Garden State" is one
of the best movies of the 2000s.
Akshay: A lot of people knock
her for being a two-note actor:
Either she's crying or she's
extremely upset about some
perceived wrong. I have a one-
word response to those critics:
"Closer." The film showcases
her ability to be emotionless,
temperamental and capricious
convincingly. In that movie, she
teeters the line between col-
lapsing into the depths of her
own sadness and being able
to move on from a long-lost
romance. She's never quite sad,
but she's also never quite con-

vinced she's happy. The film is
a perfect representation of how
not to overact, and also a tragic
testament to undeserved Oscar
snubs. Foor everyone that's
convinced Poretman can only
scream or weep in movies, I'm
sure you haven't had a chance to
properly examine her last scene
with Jude Law in "Closer."
Jamie: I admitI haven't seen
"Closer," and I'm always willing
to give a decent actor another
shot, so I'll check it out. But
the fact is, up until right now, I
have never heard someone say
"Natalie Portman is the best
part of the movie." Her Oscar
win for "Black Swan" is com-
pletely undeserved - she won
for being committed to prepa-
ration, and if that's all it takes
to win an Oscar then Christian
Bale should've won for "The
Machinist" (by no means a
good movie, but the dude lost 63
pounds). All I'm saying is, she's
frequently outperformed by
the other actors and, with the
exception of one film, is always
crying like the girl in "Jurassic
Park." She's got time to improve
on her work, but until then, I'm
skeptical she'll rise in the ranks
of great actors.






Leslie Knope is out. After
months of slaving away on
the Pawnee city council to try
and make a
as a politi- A
cian, Leslie, Prkand
our Leslie, is
out of a job. Rec
Instead of "Recall Vote"
the perfectly
wound smile NBC
and flaw-
lessly orga-
nized policy
memos, we see her walking
around carrying a perpetu-
ally confused look. She's
unsure how to move forward,
sleeping on park benches and
talking to children about why
it's stupid to ever have hope.
Don't get me wrong - it's
hilarious, reminiscent of that
one "Office" episode in which
Michael Scott decides to
"declare" bankruptcy.
But in every scene of an

I'll get straight to the point
- the trailer for "Dallas Buyer's
Club" is a poor advertisement
for what looks
like a good
Good trail- Dallas
ers draw you
in and then Buyers Club
throw you
away almost Focus
leaving you with a thirst that
can only be quenched when
you watch the movie. This par-
ticular trailer doesn't satisfy
either requirement: It simply,
shows too much too quickly and
doesn't leave a mark in memory.
The little bits and pieces that
we are shown are impressive.
The performances and the story
itself are particularly intrigu-
ing. It's not everyday that we
are told the story of a dying man
providing "unapproved" drugs
to people afflicted by HIV infec-
tion. What bothers me is how

otherwise lighthearted series,'
this episode shows us a side
of Leslie we've rarely seen
before: apathy. She's always
been that person who gets a
drunk tattoo because someone
dared them to, not because
she's lost any and all notion of
optimism. Is it a step forward
for her character? Probably
not, but it becomes a weird

reminder that this show is
nearly at its 100-episode mark.
If there's something to look
forward to, the writers seem
to be setting it up. I don't
think Leslie will never get her
job back, but lim convinced
the people behind "Parks and
Rec" are smart enough to
make the journey hilarious.

much the trailer reveals, both
of the central character and the
Having seen the three-
minute trailer, we pretty much
know all there is to know about
Ron Woodroof. We know how
he lives life before he is told of
his predicament, how he han-
dles thesituation, his unusual
relationship with his business
partner, his romantic feelings
for his doctor, how he cares for
every patient strapped downby
the rules of the FDA and how

he refuses to cooperate with the
authorities. Granted, we don't
know how his saga ends, but
considering that trailers aren't
supposed to give away the end-
ing, that really isn't a saving
Trailers mustbe judged not
on what they show, but how they
show it. Sometimes, even the
ordinary can be made to look
spectacular. It's a pity that in the
case of this trailer, it's the exact




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