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May 29, 2012 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2012-05-29
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

T Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
'Mn ant itstndtest of time

Third installment of
well-known series
too late to matter
Daily Arts Writer
Some franchises are best left
dead. Just look at "Indiana Jones."
In two hours, the beloved archae-
ologist went from
crusader to a
lame version Men in
of, ironically, Black Ill
"MIB." Other
franchises, when At Quality16
resurrected, are and Rave
a true return to
form (See "Star Columbia
Trek"). "Men in
Black" has been dormant for ten
years - yes, we are getting old -
and unfortunately, "MIB III" is
too little, too late.
Agent J (Will Smith, "I Am
Legend") and Agent K (Tommy
Lee Jones, "Captain America:

The First Avenger") are back. The
question is, should we even care?
"Men in Black II," after all, was a
lazy and obvious moneymaking
chore. Yet despite low expecta-
tions, "MIB III" captures the zany
charm of the original with clever
gags and an uncanny performance
by Josh Brolin ("True Grit").
This time around, J and K
square off against an alien fugitive
called Boris the Animal (Jemaine
Clement, "Despicable Me").
Recently escaped from prison,
Boris is intent on destroying the
world and goes back in time to kill
the only man who can stop him -
K, or a much younger K, played by
It's 1969, and being a time travel
movie, a multitude of cheap time
jokes are available for use. Alas,
writer Etan Cohen ("Tropic Thun-
der") couldn't resist a few "make
love, not war" hippie moments.
Worse yet, "MIB III" sometimes
makes the same mistake its prede-
cessor made - recycled material.
Fifteen years ago, the neuralyzer
was a smart plot device. Now, after

20 minutes, the neuralyzer wears
out its welcome. It's about as cut-
ting edge as a knock-knock joke.
Still, "MIB III" knows when to
call it quits with the cheap humor.
In its 103-minute run time, there's
playful race humor, self-referen-
tial moments that border on nos-
talgia and Smith is as witty and
charming as always. While the
alien designs are nothing special,
"MIB III" finds ways to surprise
us with imaginative gags that are
both sly and slapsticky.
If there's a character worth
knowing better, it'd be K. That's
somethingtime travel plots can do.
They pull us into another time and
make that period immediate to us
in a way flashbacks cannot. Think
of "Back to the Future" and Marty
McFly's chance to see a side of his
parents he never knew existed. We
were living in the 1950s. We were
taking part in the action.
This brings us to Brolin. He
nails Jones's infamous thousand-
yard stare: K looks as unimpressed
as ever. All of K's idiosyncrasies -
and Jones's - remain intact, yet

Sure, our health care and social security systems are going to
evaporate in five years. Sure, you'll have to work until you're 80
to support 110-year-old parents who will live forever because of
nano-technology...but that doesn't matter."
- Comedian Andy Samberg giving advice to Harvard's class of 2012
at Class Day, as reported by the Huffington Post,
F air pay?


Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
"That sinybitch"

You will not remember how lame this joke was in 3...2...1

there's a lightness in his character
we've never seen before. He glows
at the thought of his love interest,
Agent O (Alice Eve, "The Raven").
But, ultimately, O is little more
than arm candy. Her relationship
to K is interesting, but not memo-
The continuity of this trilogy is
episodic. All three are as strong
on their own as they are together.

The questions the film asks of the
characters would've been more
appropriate to answer ten years
ago when "MIB II" first hit the
It's a shame, really as this lat-
est outing was funny and clever.
Unless the box office can save this
franchise, then it's time to say
goodbye to another part of our

Ultimate comfort show found in Avatar'

ManagingArts Editor
"Water, earth, fire, air," Katara's
voice introduces the four elements,
and benders of each skill show off
their prowess on screen, whipping
air, stomping out earth, harnessing
fire and controlling water.
When I first saw the opening
sequence for "Avatar: The Last Air-
bender," I was convinced that this
animated, pre-adolescent, Nickel-
odeon-produced show was going to

be a disappointment. Maybe it was
my bitterness over the loss of great
'90s cartoons; maybe it was my
childish need to seem "older" and
"cooler" than Nickelodeon. I was
13, and a year after "Avatar" aired,
I was finally forced by my younger
brother to sit down and watch Ava-
tar Aang and his friends explore the
four nations, get into heaps of trou-
ble and help Aang learn to bend all
four elements
The premise of the show is inter-
esting enough. Aang, a 12-year-old

airbender, is the Avatar - keeper
of peace and master of all four
elements. The Avatar's duty is to
the four nations: Earth Kingdom,
Fire Nation, Water Tribe and Air
Nomads. He is to maintain the bal-
ance and amity between the people
with his abilty to control all four
elements, something no other bend-
er can do. But as Aang realizes his
destiny, the Fire Nation declares
war and obliterates the Air Nomads,
leaving Aangthe last of his kind.
As I was watching the pilot, I
was indeed disappointed - dis-
appointed by my inability to rein-
force my superiority and deem
"Avatar" stupid. Six years later, I
still go back and re-watch old epi-
sodes, finding myself engrossed in
the fictional world.
I watch Katara improve her
waterbending and Sokka fall in
love with the moon spirit. I laugh
at Appa's fondness for food and
the various adventures the group
of friends encounter. It's reassur-
ing, knowing that there's a world
where a 12-year-old can grow up

with tc
his sho
cally, "p
ating t
a lot of
and sin
root fo
and, m
to imp
time So

he weight of the world on in a research lab and trying to
'ulders and still, more than squeeze pre-reqs into my sched-
ng, want to go "penguin ule, I live for moments where
.g." nothing happens. When it's 2 a.m.
ther ironically or dramati- and all my work is finished and I
great TV" usually takes itself can relax by passing out on top of
ly, spending energy on cre- my covers. "Avatar: The Last Air-
he perfect dramatic twist or bender" is the TV version of a nap;
g timely one-liners. Though the show that embodies relax-
" isn't life-changing, it puts ation.
emphasis on being relatable It's not great; it's smart. And
nple. It has characters I can though it can't keep me from
r, a narrative I can follow watching "Breaking Bad," it's a TV
ost importantly, it manages show that feels a little like coming
art valuable lessons while home for Thanksgiving break -
:g viewers to snicker every familiar and forgiving.
:kka trips over his own feet. I admit it: There are times I
feel like a 12-year-old that has no
idea where to start. Everyone has
s not just for expectations - maybe not as bad-
ass as Aang's - and piecing things
year-old boys. together takes time. My life is one
earJold big "Avatar: The Last Airbender"
episode, and the only thing miss-
ing is my own flying bison that
a 19-year-old, soon-to-be will save me from having to fight
my life is usually scattered. the fire nation. If being lost is con-
ering up to the 300- and sidered part of growing up, then I,
vel classes, spending hours along with Aang, am doingit right.

Gender equality is the success
story through which many other
social issues are measured. Most
people don't disagree that a woman
can do anything as well as a man,
minus one area - sports. It's the
one part of society that has been,
and continues to be, separated by
sex with little objection, making it
extremely confusing for transgen-
der athletes.
In the most recent issue of
Sports Illustrated, Pablo S. Torre
and David Epstein explorethe dif-
ficulties of transgender athletics.
The story centers around Keelin
Godsey (formally known as Kelly),
a genetically female hammer
throw star who lives his daily life
as a man. If you saw Keelin in per-
son, you would also think he was a
man. In the past, he's been escorted
from a women's bathroom because
of his masculine looks, but on the
field, Keelin Godsey competes as
a woman: He competes in female
events. Godsey has obtained his
masculine looks without hormone
therapy, therefore making him
eligible for the women's Olympic
team, which he will attempt to
qualify for on June 21.
As transgender athletes become
more prevalent, athletic governing
bodies have begun taking measures
to create clear-cut rules for such
athletes. The Olympics requires
athletes having hormone therapy
and gender reassignment surgery
to compete as their chosen gender.
For a woman hoping to compete as
a man, this means hormone ther-
apy and male genitalia. For males
hoping to compete as women, tes-
tosterone suppression and female
genitalia are necessary. The NCAA,
however, took a different approach.
They decided that "genitalia does
not affect athletic ability," and
therefore only hormone therapy is
The Olympics are the pinnacle
of competitions for most athletes.
The rule to require gender reas-

signment surgery shows a high
level of commitment compared to
those who only complete hormone
therapy, which is a reversible pro-
cess. The pressure of the Olympics
is great, and it would not be out of
the question for an athlete to take
advantage of the rules to gain a
slim benefit.
It also makes sense that the
NCAA requires only hormone
therapy for transgender college
athletes, considering gender reas-
signment surgeries can cost up to
five figures, a luxury that many
transgender college students just
can't afford.
These rules seem fair and logical.
They set in place standards so that
everyone is competing on an equal
playing field, which is the reason
sports are separated by sex in the
first place. Where the line begins to
blur is in the social aspect of sports.
What locker room will Godsey
change in at the London Olympics,
should he make the team? How will
male athletes feel if Godsey choos-
es to shower in the male locker
room? Will opposing players call
foul play on his 5-foot-9-inch, 186-
pound build? What pronoun will
the television announcer call him?
But in a women's event, the choice
is more complicated. Does Godsey
need to ask his fellow teammates
if they feel comfortable with him
showering next to them, or should
there be rules and legislation to
handle these questions?
The answers to these questions
are unclear. I would plead for
decency, for people to be mature
enough to ask Godsey his prefer-
ence and for people to express their
feelings if they feel uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, we don't live in that
world. We live in a place where
decency must be made into law
to avoid lawsuits and confusion.
Without these clear-cut regula-
tions, many people feel they would
not be able to live at ease.
Jesse Klein is a LSA sophomore.

It's official. The negative stereo-
typing normally associated with
overweight women now applies to
thin individuals
as well. Heavier
women are no
longer alone in
this brutal world
of discrimina-
tion and judg-
ment based on
body size. The -
even sadder part SARAH
is that women SKALUBA
are being judged
for their body
shape, as well
as participating in this judgment.
These twisted actions have become
a normal part of our society, creat-
ing a division among women. This
mustbe stopped.
If we, as women, can't learn
to respect each other and form
opinions of others based on their
accomplishments and personali-
ties, then how can we ever expect
the media to respect us for who we
truly are and what we've achieved?
If we want to be judged for our
individuality and intelligence,
as opposed to weight and body
shape, then it's time we make some
Last week on my flight home
to New Jersey, I stumbled across
a surprisingly interesting article
in Glamour Magazine. And no,
I'm not referring to the columns
enlightening Glamour's readers
on how to magically improve their
sex lives or to perfect the coveted
smoky eye with flawless technique.
This article in particular stuck
with me because it explained how
in today's society, discrimination
not only targets heavier women,
but thin women as well.
Dr. Rebecca Puhl of Yale Uni-
versity teamed up with Glamour
Magazine to create a study focused
on bodyweight stereotypes and the
common biases associated with
slender and overweight women.
The study showed that the nega-
tive stereotypes most often asso-
ciated with overweight women
included "slow," "sloppy" and
"undisciplined," while those asso-
ciated with slim women included
"bitchy," "controlling" and "self-
centered." Even more surprising,

the study revealed that slender
women view other slim women as
"superficial" and "conceited," and
similarly, overweight women view
other heavier women as "undisci-
plined" and "lazy." So regardless
of body shape or weight the det-
rimental stereotyping still holds
We need to break this brutal
cycle of constantly stereotyp-
ing one another. Forming judg-
ments without ever engaging in
a conversation or truly getting to
know another person only proves
degrading and destructive for both
parties. I'll be the first to admit
that I've done it in the past; in fact,
I can't think of anyone I know who
hasn't. Making a quick judgment
about another woman based off
of her body and appearance has
sadly become a normal part of the
society we live in today. And if you
happen to be an exception to this
all too common habit, I truly do
applaud you.
Whether you whisper, "She
looks like a huge bitch," to your
friend at a party or silently judge
the overweight woman next to you
in line at Meijer, you are unfairly
stereotyping a woman for her body
and only adding to this already
vicious pattern.
Just because you're slim doesn't
mean you're a conceited bitch,
and it's unfair to assume that all
heavier women are undisciplined
slobs. So why do we think it's OK to
negatively stereotype people we've
never met or even talked to before?
The world in which we live
today places a huge emphasis on
body size and shape. Whether it's
the super-slender models we see
on the runway or the pictures of
celebrities airbrushed to perfec-
tion in magazines, this unrealistic
representation of woman in the
media is unhealthy and detrimen-
tal to the minds of young women.
In today's culture, so many women
aim for the "perfectbody" through
dangerous plastic surgery and
intense dieting. This concept of the
ideal beach bod, however, is com-
pletely unrealistic considering we
are all shaped differently and have
unique traits and characteristics.
If you've had the unfortunate
opportunity to sit through an epi-

sode of E!'s reality show "Bridal-
plasty," then I'm sure you know
firsthand just how absurd the
series is. On the show brides-to-
be "compete for head-to-toe plas-
tic surgery" and the chance to
become the "perfect bride." Both
overweight and thin contestants
compete against each other for the
chance to win liposuction, breast
implants or, my personal favor-
ite, an invitation to an "exclusive
injectables party."
affects all of us.
The insane message this show
communicates to its viewers is that
the only way to be a happy bride is
to be a perfect one, which is attain-
able solely through mass amounts
of plastic surgery and Botox injec-
tions. Maybe it's just me, but the
concept of "Bridalplasty" as a
whole seems completely degrading
to all women involved, especially
those viewing it on television.
We need to stand up to the unre-
alistic representation of women in
the media and work to break this
vicious cycle of stereotyping one
another based on appearance and
body size. We're worth more than
this and deserve to be judged by
our individuality and intelligence,
not our body weight.
If we want to change society's
norms, it needs to start with us.
Think twice the next time you're
about to silently judge someone
for her body, and speak up when
you hear your friends stereotyp-
ing girls they barely know. It's
time to stop assuming the skinny
girl sitting next to you in class is a
superficialbitch or that the heavier
girl across from you at the library
is a lazy slob. Instead of fighting
this battle against one another, we
should be working together to put
an end to it.
Sarah Skaluba can be reached
at sskaluba@umich.edu.

1112 South University Av nue
Ann #rbor, M 48104 3) 635

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