NYU Local http://nyulocal.com The Blog of New York University Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:45:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Local Stops: Renee Zellwegger, Puppy-sized Spiders and Skrillex Sports http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/21/nyu-local-stops-renee-zellwegger-puppy-sized-spiders-skrillex-sports/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/21/nyu-local-stops-renee-zellwegger-puppy-sized-spiders-skrillex-sports/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:45:36 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124568 Pictures of Renee Zellwegger. Just cause. Skrillex is popping up everywhere. Like as The Chicago Bulls mascot. There’s a puppy-sized spider somewhere in the world, and you’re never safe. No, Jesus will not pay your tab. Photo of the Day by Rishi Bandopadhay.

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Pictures of Renee Zellwegger. Just cause.

Skrillex is popping up everywhere. Like as The Chicago Bulls mascot.

There’s a puppy-sized spider somewhere in the world, and you’re never safe.

No, Jesus will not pay your tab.

Photo of the Day by Rishi Bandopadhay.

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Momofuku, Raise The Bar! http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/10/21/momofuku-raise-bar/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/10/21/momofuku-raise-bar/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:30:15 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124556 When I started writing this, I wanted to cast a critical, gimlet eye on Momofuku. To me, David Chang was talented, sure – but his talent was in marketing his fast-growing food empire of Milk Bars and fusion cuisine, not in the kitchen. My intent was to write a lightly critical piece on how gimmicky... Read More

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Momofuku-Medium-Full-Logo-4When I started writing this, I wanted to cast a critical, gimlet eye on Momofuku. To me, David Chang was talented, sure – but his talent was in marketing his fast-growing food empire of Milk Bars and fusion cuisine, not in the kitchen. My intent was to write a lightly critical piece on how gimmicky crack pies and kimchi bacon was, and how cheaper and equally good ramen in the East Village can be found just a couple of avenues across from Ramen Bar, before admitting that yes, even yours truly is guilty of lining up for an hour in the heat of summer just to get a cup of cereal milk soft serve. Boom. Job done.

But now, I’ve decided to turn that into something a little more interesting. Race. Precisely, how Chang’s successfully riffed on Asian food to turn it into something exotically cool, even a craving for some, and how this actually explains my reluctance to endorse Momofuku to the same degree as I would, say, St. Anselm.

David Chang has made his multiculturalism work for him in two ways. Firstly, it made his cooking unique. Chang was raised by Korean immigrants in Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia, so he’s familiar with two very disparate cultures and cuisines. He’s managed to integrate Korean and American Southern together, and these are not flavors that easily complement each other. But growing up with both cuisines must have given him enough confidence to wave his culinary wand over both fried chicken and kimchi, with oddly pleasing results.

Secondly, he’s made Asian food – albeit a contemporary version of it – accessible and desirable to a discerning, mass-market crowd. Before, Asian food was the domain of broke college students, quick takeout jobs and foodies in the know. Heck, you had to know Chinese – and possess a great deal of confidence – to order at a legit restaurant in Chinatown. But now customers could, in the safe and familiar environs of a Western restaurant, feel free to experiment with new foods and flavors, guided along by a menu that often went to great pains to explain exactly what was included in that foreign-sounding dish. This gastronomic gentrification persists in New York today in various forms, from Ngam Thai to Mission Chinese Food.

And this, I think, gets to the root of my reluctance to completely embrace Momofuku in all its forms. I may not be Korean, but I come from a cultural background where eating Asian food, sans bells and whistles, was the norm. So, much of Momofuku is already part of my heritage. Cereal milk soft serve? Tastes just like the Horlicks (a malted drink) I used to drink as a child. Pork buns? I’d have them every Chinese New Year. Ramen? I was practically raised on the stuff. So when I first had my first experience with Momofuku it didn’t blow me away. I came expecting to be blown away, but came out a little disappointed. This was food done well and obviously with love, but the flavors weren’t as innovative and original as I expected.

I am not dismissing Momofuku as irrelevant in the restaurant scene. Hardly. Momofuku has provided a sanitized, comfortable way to introduce contemporary Asian flavors to individuals who would otherwise remain in their culinary comfort zone. I remember having a “large format rotisserie duck” meal at Ssam Bar some time back. “This is so original and fun – I can’t imagine why we didn’t do this earlier!” some of my friends commented. But growing up in an Asian household, every meal was a large format one for me anyway.

So, if you’re looking to introduce friends looking to get their ramen cherry popped, or are general newcomers to the Asian food scene, anything Momofuku is likely to be a good option as opposed to going full-on in Chinatown or Koreatown. But if you’re already familiar with the various nuances and flavors of Asian – specifically East Asian – cuisine, don’t expect to get your mind blown. I enjoyed my first Momofuku experiences, but I’m not sure if I’ll take the initiative to organize a return trip.

Except that cereal milk soft serve. I’d do anything to feel 9 again.

[Image via]

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Ukraine Is Still Relevant http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/10/21/ukraine-still-relevant/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/10/21/ukraine-still-relevant/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:45:35 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124517 All is not quiet on the Eastern front. Soon, Ukrainians will be marking a year since they started their fight for freedom against a corrupt government during Euromaidan, which was followed by a full blown war in the eastern part of the country against Russian-sponsored “separatists.” Euromaidan is no longer physically present in the streets... Read More

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All is not quiet on the Eastern front.

Soon, Ukrainians will be marking a year since they started their fight for freedom against a corrupt government during Euromaidan, which was followed by a full blown war in the eastern part of the country against Russian-sponsored “separatists.”

Euromaidan is no longer physically present in the streets of Kyiv as it had been for about six months beginning November 2013, but the ideals and beliefs that hundreds of people both stood and died for in the dead of winter during clashes with riot police and unknown snipers continue to echo in the every day lives of Ukrainians.

Ukraine’s current government was the result of an early election and is supposed to reflect and implement the ideals of the Euromaidan. There have been many positive advances towards meeting the demands of the protestors made by the new government, led by President Poroshenko, but of course the war in Eastern Ukraine and uncooperative sentiments from Russia make any progress slow and painful.

One of the biggest demands of Euromaidan from the start was a complete restart of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. In August, President Poroshenko dissolved the parliament completely which called for early parliamentary elections to determine who will be a part of the new and more democratic government. The elections are scheduled to take place this week and since the dismissal, the candidates have been hard at work campaigning and trying to win back the hearts of Ukrainians who now distrust most politicians that worked under the Yanukovych government.

Speaking of Viktor Yanukovych, the ex-President of Ukraine that fled to Russia after being ousted by the Euromaidan itself: it was announced on Saturday that he would be giving a press conference from Russia on Monday. The press conference was supposed to be about Yanukovych’s views on the election taking place this weekend, but it never happened. His speech, however, was supposedly leaked online through social media.

In the supposed speech, Yanukovych accuses the government of Ukraine of being under foreign influence and, as he has done in every press conference he has held since being ousted, insults Euromaidan. He compares himself to the people living in Eastern Ukraine and writes that he understands what it is like to be under fire and having to leave your home and seek refuge. He is referencing his own secret escape from Ukraine on February 22 when he got onto his private plane after stuffing it with as many of his valuables as he could and destroying receipts of how he spent government money – which is completely insulting to the people living in a war zone in Eastern Ukraine which is being shelled by military equipment most often coming from the region of Rostov, where Yanukovych has held his riveting press conferences and is reported to be living in comfort.

In the last part of his speech, Yanukovych gives his endorsement to members of his former political party Party of Regions and members of the Ukrainian Communist Party that will be running in the parliamentary elections this weekend. Yanukovych seems to be blind to the fact that he is the most hated man in Ukraine right now (yes, more hated than Putin), and his endorsement is quite counterproductive.

Perhaps his last minute decision to cancel or postpone his press conference has something to do with a report on the findings of Germany’s federal intelligence service (BND) in reference to downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The outrage and controversy surrounding the tragedy has been eerily quiet recently, with Australia and the Netherlands declining to comment on who they believe the perpetrators to be.

BND’s report concluded and announced to the public that pro-Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine had used Ukrainian missiles they had seized to shoot down flight MH17. Ukrainain officials at the time were hesitant to admit military technology had been seized by the “separatists” but they later reported that the military technology was in a state of disrepair and inoperable. Later, a video surfaced in which a “separatist” supporter talked about how repairs were being made to a missile system taken from Ukrainians.

For the average person, this is enough evidence to say that the men fighting for Russia in Eastern Ukraine are at fault for killing all 298 people onboard flight MH17. As of right now, there is no guarantee justice will be served because the international community is increasingly afraid to anger the man in the Kremlin, Putin.

Also on Monday, through Twitter, the self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the nonexistent Donetsk People’s Republic in Eastern Ukraine called off a ceasefire in the area due to intense fighting. However, a ceasefire never really existed despite numerous peace talks and documents signed from both Ukrainian and Russian sides. Since the downing of MH17, there has never been more than a span of a week where there were no casualties.

Monday evening in Kyiv, Ukraine an assassination attempt was made on a representative of the “People’s Front” political party of Ukraine, Vladimir Borisenko. Only a few hours later, Russian media reported the death of Christophe de Margerie in an airplane accident at a Moscow airport. De Margerie was the CEO of Total, a French oil and gas company that worked closely with Russia.

[image via]

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An Exhibition To Remind You About America’s Scary Eugenics Movement http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/21/exhibition-remind-inform-americas-scary-eugenics-movement/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/21/exhibition-remind-inform-americas-scary-eugenics-movement/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:54:08 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124520 The Haunted Files Project by the Asian Pacific American Institute at NYU reproduced the space and files of the Long Island Sound Eugenics Record Office owned by eugenicist Harry Laughlin in 1910, in a small room at 8 Washington Mews. The exhibition is disturbing, but like most things, history has its dark parts. The room... Read More

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The Haunted Files Project by the Asian Pacific American Institute at NYU reproduced the space and files of the Long Island Sound Eugenics Record Office owned by eugenicist Harry Laughlin in 1910, in a small room at 8 Washington Mews. The exhibition is disturbing, but like most things, history has its dark parts.

The room is subtly lighted. Desks where viewers can sit are covered with genetic maps, articles and flyers as if a Eugenics pioneer had just exited after days of intense research. Walking around feels like going back in time to 1900s America, when the whole concept and aim of Eugenics was being developed and popularized.

Eugenics is the scientific study of the belief that through controlling which groups of people reproduce and which don’t the human race will be improved by passing on to the next generation only “desirable” genes.

Through quantitative data eugenicists tried to prove a relationship between genes and behavior. They determined certain unbeneficial traits among certain races and groups (i.e. poverty, feeble-mindedness, alcoholism, criminality, prostitution) and stated that the only way of diminishing the cost society incurred because of their existence, was to sterilize them so they didn’t pass those traits on to the next generation.

Eugenics is usually associated with the Nazis and their goal of systematic purifying of the German “Aryan” race. But the ERO exhibition highlights and prompts viewers to realize that the scientific current has roots in America and that before it became internationally recognized after the WWII, it was actually a very popular movement in America.

The American Eugenics Society was founded in 1921 in an America where many racial tensions remained after the Civil war and the end of slavery. The organization had a monthly publication and published treatises where they presented how they proposed going about the project of racial cleansing (they suggested euthanasia and gas chambers.)

The movement’s aim was to create the “Nordic” perfect, tall, intelligent and talented race through quota based immigration restrictions and sterilization. Victims would be anyone that was mentally deficient, to children of alcoholic parents, to the homeless. Although Americans never went as far as the Nazis and their aim to bring Germany’s population back to its “Aryan Origins”, the roots were there and the movement was supported by prominent Americans like Alexander Graham Bell and the Rockefellers.

Between the 1920s and the 1950s, 30 states had implemented legislation to permit sterilization of people who were “unfit” for reproduction – mostly the mentally ill. In California there was even permission to sterilize people in jail.

In 1927 Carrie Buck and her mother Emma (and Emma’s 7 year old daughter Vivian) were both judged to be “feebleminded” and “promiscuous” and thus forced sterilization was to be implemented on them. The case is famous for Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ statement: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

The ERO exhibition brings the American eugenics reality close to viewers who are either discovering it for the first time or don’t know that the research was so thorough and detailed (although scientifically proved completely false.)

According to the APA at NYU who organized the exhibition, the obscure aspect of American history should be further explored and understood because of the current amount of immigration from around the world and the stereotypes it has caused, as well as the problems it has brought on the political and public policy levels. It encourages thinking about how eugenics research continues to be “re-crafted and re-deployed.”

If interested in experiencing this eery but noteworthy historic reality by seeing and touching the documents that evidence American Eugenics, take a break from Bobst and walk to 8 Washington Mews. The exhibition runs until March and the APA at NYU is hosting a lecture on the topic on November 18.

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[images via the author]

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I Hugged Marina Abramović http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/10/21/hugged-marina-abramovic/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2014/10/21/hugged-marina-abramovic/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:45:53 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124503 BERLIN–In August of 2013, performance artist Marina Abramović announced plans for the Marina Abramović Institute, a center in Hudson, New York dedicated to performance art. Despite being an accomplished artist she decided to utilize Kickstarter to seek funds for the building to house her new institute. Working since the late 1970s, Abramović is widely considered... Read More

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BERLIN–In August of 2013, performance artist Marina Abramović announced plans for the Marina Abramović Institute, a center in Hudson, New York dedicated to performance art. Despite being an accomplished artist she decided to utilize Kickstarter to seek funds for the building to house her new institute.

Working since the late 1970s, Abramović is widely considered the grandmother of performance art. She was one of the first artists to develop the medium, staging long durational happenings in Europe. Abramović began approaching pop-culture celebrity status after her 2009 retrospective at New York’s MoMA, where she performed “The Artist is Present,” a long durational work over three months in which she sat in a chair for eight hours a day totaling 736.5 hours. Since then, she has become friends with James Franco, posed for Givenchy campaigns, and even appeared in Jay-Z’s Picasso Baby video.

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As the art world becomes increasingly flirtatious with pop culture and vice versa, the artist-celebrity is an increasingly popular role. The characteristics of what makes a working artist sellable, much less worthy of celebrity commodification, are ambiguous, arbitrary, and almost always political. The quality of an artist’s work is not necessarily one of these characteristics. For this and a variety of other reasons, the concept of an artist celebrity becomes complicated. It questions how art is valued and traded as a commodity and the institutions that it circulates.

Regardless, this archetype has rooted itself in the art world where Marina Abramović is the art celeb du jour. Many critics cite her omnipresence in the art world as the beginning of the drop in the quality of Marina’s work. Whether or not her later/current work holds the same weight and merit as her earlier performances is hotly contested. Despite the onslaught of recent criticisms, Marina is an artist that means a lot to me personally.

After watching an accompanying video explaining the idea of the Institute and looking at the building plans, I scrolled down the webpage of the Kickstarter. The cheapest donation reward was receiving a hug from Marina for a dollar, to be delivered on or before December 2014. The unbelievable nature and novelty of this prospect were too much for me to pass up, so I backed the Kickstarter with my hard-earned $1USD.

Having backed a handful of other Kickstarters before, I knew that the rewards promised often arrived late or not at all. I was not holding my breath to cash in on my donation. Much to my surprise, on June I received an e-mail from the Marina Abramović Institute staff notifying me that the dates for the “Embrace” event were available. Two dates were listed, one in London and one in New York City. I chose the London event in October, since I had opted to attend NYU’s Berlin campus for the fall semester. A few weeks ago I boarded a budget flight and set off to London for the weekend.

I walked through the sprawling green Hyde Park on a warm afternoon to find Serpentine Galleries, nestled in the middle of lush groves, next to the lake from which it got its namesake. I quickened my pace as I remembered that Marina’s MoMA retrospective drew lines that lasted overnight.

I showed up barely on time for my appointed slot to hug the artist. The sun glared in my face as I walked up to see Marina seated on a chair outside, literally bathed in glowing light. Clad in a black turtleneck, she addressed an intimate group of people who sat crisscross in a semicircle around the art star. She fielded questions from the audience as well as other Kickstarter backers who submitted questions online. One of the members of the MAI Team gave a short explanation of why they chose to fund the institute through Kickstarter as opposed to private investors. She explained that through Kickstarter, MAI hoped to gain not only seed money, but to create a community of people around the institute. The majority of the rewards offered to donors were ephemeral or intangible, in line with the principles behind much of Marina’s work.

After much chat, Marina giggled in her Serbian accent that she knew about the “big gorilla” in the room and said those who had not yet received their hug could queue up to do so. Third in line, I felt like a small child in line to ride a rollercoaster. Finally, security asked me to remove my jacket and backpack and I approached Marina who was grinning with her arms fully extended outward. We embraced. Marina whispered, “thank you” into my ear and I could only muster a feeble “no, thank you” in response. As my body went limp to pull away, she pulled me closer; it was clear that I was getting the extended remix. Afterwards, she grabbed my hands and asked where I was from. Grinning from ear to ear, I looked into her valiant but weary eyes as she said, “We’ll meet again soon.”

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[images 1 and 3 via the author, gif via]

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This Is Going To Be A Weird World Series http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/21/weird-world-series/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/21/weird-world-series/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:00:25 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124527 There are pros and cons to parity in baseball. On one hand, more teams find success than in other professional sports leagues, and there’s a chance that an underdog can go very far – you’re simply more likely to watch a sport where any team can theoretically win any game. But, that also means that... Read More

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kansas-city-royals-vs-san-francisco-giants-10082014There are pros and cons to parity in baseball. On one hand, more teams find success than in other professional sports leagues, and there’s a chance that an underdog can go very far – you’re simply more likely to watch a sport where any team can theoretically win any game. But, that also means that every now and then you will get match ups that simply do not entice national audiences. This year’s World Series, pitting the upstart Kansas City Royals versus the experienced San Francisco Giants, is a fine example of that scenario.

It’s hard to hype this pair of teams to casual baseball fans. You can attempt to appeal to the tendency to root for the team that has had years of terrible results, in this case the Royals, by detailing the hardships of fans and the shock around what the club accomplishing. Then, you can try to explain the historical significance of the Giants perhaps winning their third World Series in five seasons behind a Hall of Fame manager and impressive front office.

This might not work as a marketing strategy and understandably so.

Although KC has managed to defy expectations and win the American League pennant, it has done so in thoroughly dominant fashion, sweeping both the Los Angeles Angels and the Baltimore Orioles on its way to the Fall Classic. We can hardly call them an underdog. The Giants, on the other hand, wiped out the Washington Nationals, everyone’s favorite to win it all, in four games, and the St. Louis Cardinals, last year’s National League champ, in five games. Needless to say, this year’s first two rounds of the MLB postseason were fairly anticlimactic.

However, I have high hopes that the World Series itself will be fun to watch. Both teams have a lot of players that came up through their farm systems (as Jayson Stark notes at the end of this column). There’s something to be said for homegrown success in lieu of signing the most expensive free agents (both LA teams). It is the mark of a top-down great organization, from scouting to development. Purists and everyday fans alike can appreciate the rosters that the Royals and Giants have.

It’s also the typical storyline of experience in one corner and lack of experience in the other. Bruce Bochy has rode a roller coaster of highs and lows as manager of San Fran, and is unarguably amongst the top managers in all of baseball. Ned Yost? Not so much, but he sure likes to bunt. The general consensus is that KC has done what they have done despite Yost being at the helm. There’s a chance that Bochy seriously outclasses Yost throughout this series.

If I had to, I would pick the Giants to win in six games. Then again, the Royals haven’t lost a game this playoffs, so what do I know. This will be a packed week of games, and as fans all we can do is sit back and enjoy whatever happens.

[Image via]

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The “Labyrinth” Sequel May Not Be Happening, But We’ve Got Some Manga http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/10/21/living-without-labyrinth-sequel/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/10/21/living-without-labyrinth-sequel/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:15:00 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124512 Last week was a great time to be a Bowie fan. It all began after Variety first reported that the Jim Henson Company was planning a sequel to the beloved cult classic film “Labyrinth.” Unfortunately, the excitement was short lived. Two days after the news broke it was revealed to be a mistake, and while... Read More

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labyrinth

Last week was a great time to be a Bowie fan. It all began after Variety first reported that the Jim Henson Company was planning a sequel to the beloved cult classic film “Labyrinth.” Unfortunately, the excitement was short lived. Two days after the news broke it was revealed to be a mistake, and while a follow up to Dark Crystal and a Fraggle Rock adaptation are underway, we wont be getting Magic Dance 2.

But all hope isn’t lost for anyone who wanted to know the future of little Toby or of the romance between Sarah and Jareth. Between 2006 and 2012, Tokyopop released 4 volumes of an English language Manga titled: “Return to the Labyrinth.” Even better, you can read the whole thing online. To deal with the loss of what would have been the best sequel of the year, NYU Local read and reviewed the first volume so you don’t have to. Enjoy!

“Return to the Labyrinth” promises “an original story set in the world of the hit movie!” and that’s pretty much what it is. The prologue even gives a brief rehashing of the original, if for some reason you were reading “Labyrinth” fan fiction but hadn’t actually seen the film. The story opens with a teenage Toby forgetting his lines in a school play, seemingly about the goblin king, and setting fire to the theater. We get to see Sarah then, and she takes Toby home and they eat salmon filet and eggs together. After she leaves, Toby plays a game called “KOG,” or “Kingdom of Goblins,” and he notices that someone’s been sending him fake gold. Toby learns that Jareth (who appears disguised as a school guidance counselor) has secretly been granting wishes for him, for everything from fake gold to free bikes to answers for math tests. After a few more mishaps, Toby gets his paper on the War of 1812 stolen, and he ends up in the Labyrinth.

After that the story–for the most part–follows the original, minus the borderline pedophile romances and tight pants. Toby meets a cast of colorful characters, overcomes obstacles, and ends up lord of the Labyrinth. Maybe because it was just the first in the series, but without the music and Jim Henson’s puppetry and David Bowie, “Return to the Labyrinth” fell flat. That was the opinion some commenters on Goodreads had too–with a reviewer named Goblin finding it “Pretty lame” and someone named Ellen claiming, “’Labyrinth deserves better than this.” It’s hard not to agree. Then again, Volume 2 says it will answer a series of intriguing questions, including: What do goblins eat? Where did Ludo come from? And “what is par for the course on hole 18 of the Bog of Eternal Stench?”

There have been other attempts to revive Labyrinth, with a book penned the same year following its release, the resurfacing of some insane fan theories, and a graphic novel supposedly in the works. For now, we’re left with what we have. Hopefully in the future, through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, Jim Henson Company might reboot their old classic. Until then, we’ll take what we can.

[image via]

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Local Stops: The Simpsons, Clowns Rights, and Fake Injuries http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/20/local-stops-10202014/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/20/local-stops-10202014/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:00:53 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124484 Happy Monday. Local alums doing great things (like writing about fish sex). Monica Lewinsky is now on Twitter! Let’s hope for some juicy drunk tweets. So many players pretended to be injured that the referee had to end this soccer match early. Clowns do not approve of the latest American Horror Story giving them a... Read More

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10-20-2014 - Bandopadhay

Happy Monday.

Local alums doing great things (like writing about fish sex).

Monica Lewinsky is now on Twitter! Let’s hope for some juicy drunk tweets.

So many players pretended to be injured that the referee had to end this soccer match early.

Clowns do not approve of the latest American Horror Story giving them a bad name.

This story was a wild ride from start to finish.

Photo of the day by Rishi Bandopadhay

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Career Tips And Tricks From A Former LiveNation Executive http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/20/livenation-former-ceo/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/20/livenation-former-ceo/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:13:16 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124410 Jason Garner has seen it all: After serving as the CEO of Global Music at LiveNation Entertainment for seven years, the 37-year-old entrepreneur now dons the titles of author, blogger and world-class yogi. In a new tell-all memoir called“…And I Breathed,” Garner recounts his ups and downs as an executive in the star-studded music industry. Along... Read More

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Jason GarnerJason Garner has seen it all: After serving as the CEO of Global Music at LiveNation Entertainment for seven years, the 37-year-old entrepreneur now dons the titles of author, blogger and world-class yogi. In a new tell-all memoir called…And I Breathed,Garner recounts his ups and downs as an executive in the star-studded music industry. Along with tales from the front lines of a Coldplay world tour and love letters to green juice, this book offers some solid career advice and spiritual guidance to all types of readers.

We caught up with Garner to hear about his experiences and how they’re relevant to our daily lives. “I assume college students are pretty sick of all the people they already have giving them advice about how to live their lives,” he told NYU Local, encouraging readers to take away “whatever lessons or conclusions are authentic for them.” After a lengthy conversation about Garner’s career, his spiritual outlook and the challenges he faced upon the death of his mother, we walked away with the following tidbits of wisdom:

It’s never too early to begin your career: If you want to be a musician, don’t wait for the perfect moment, start making music now. If you want to be a promoter start this weekend promoting local bands. Or if you want to produce, find an artist and produce a cool track. We live in a time where we really can do all those things from our homes, but sometimes we get caught up in what we believe the “system” to be. The truth is, nearly all of the people you look up to in the music business paved their own path by going out and doing what they were passionate about.”

As cliché as it sounds, stay true to yourself while navigating through the professional world:I think it’s really about being yourself and then projecting that in the emails, letters and resumes you send around. There are so many intellectually smart people, what’s unique is someone who can operate from the heart and find their own special way to connect with others. That’s what makes magic in business.”

 Find balance and avoid stress with a “daily touchstone:” What I found is that I needed a daily touchstone to come back to. A daily practice that I could count on day in and day out to ground myself and connect to my core … no matter what I was going through externally. For me that is a daily practice of yoga – stretching into the day, meditation – a quiet time of connection with my inner being, and green juice – a nutrient-based message to my cells that they are loved. For me that simple practice is how I balance out the day and ensure that I am taking time to care for myself. I know that I can’t get too out of balance when I have a daily touchstone to come back to which re-centers me.

 When things get hard, don’t be afraid to reach out for help: [After his mother’s death]In the beginning I was just doing my best to keep going. Once I found some great teachers and began to breathe and develop my daily practice of yoga, meditation and caring for myself things got a lot easier. It sounds so simple but I really believe that having a consistent practice of loving ourselves is what can get us through even the roughest of times. After all, here I am.”

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The Internet Is Scary, But It Also Gave Us “Broad City” http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/10/20/internet-scary-gave-us-broad-city-like/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/10/20/internet-scary-gave-us-broad-city-like/#respond Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:30:38 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124418 The internet is pretty terrifying—a fact that is well documented by well… like 90 percent of what happens on the internet. The reason why is fairly simple too: we live in a world where laws and etiquette determine our every encounter and interaction. But the internet is still, in some ways, a lawless and etiquette-less... Read More

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The internet is pretty terrifying—a fact that is well documented by well… like 90 percent of what happens on the internet. The reason why is fairly simple too: we live in a world where laws and etiquette determine our every encounter and interaction. But the internet is still, in some ways, a lawless and etiquette-less place with very few boundaries and constraints. If you are feeling shitty and subversive, the internet allows you to be shitty and subversive with few to no consequences. The internet is one of the few places left that is purely an open forum.

While this lawless, anarchic digital world can create some terrible, terrible things—we’re looking at you, “The Fappening” and anyone who considers themselves a “troll”—it also creates an open creative space for art that’s unable to normally appear on mainstream content suppliers. It’s pretty doubtful that if a few years ago someone had pitched a show to mainstream cable providers about two twenty-something ladies in the city who smoke a shit ton of weed and have no real direction in life that it would’ve been picked up and been a hit. But, here we are with “Broad City,’ a critical darling that also gets some major viewers on Comedy Central.

“Broad City” was born of the internet: it’s wild, filled with quips about sex and weed, drenched in feminism and absolutely absurd. Beginning as a web series, “Broad City” started to gain some traction when Amy Poehler—God bless her soul—took notice and decided the show needed to reach an even larger audience. This completely atypical series was then put on real television and shown to the masses. Media was pushed forward, the unusual slipped into the mainstream and our media became better, more inclusive, and different than it was before.

And while this formulaic means of pushing media forward doesn’t always work—for good reason—when it does work it changes our understanding and appreciation of media. A more recent example can be seen with the movie “Dear, White People.” It’s a project that was completely born of the internet. What started as a short trailer turned into an Indiegogo to crowdfund $25,000 for production, which eventually turned into a full-fledged, high budget movie that’s winning fairly prestigious awards. The topic is brash and different: it’s about something that most major media outlets wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole as it tackles race relations on prestigious college campuses. Yet, here it is, getting media coverage left and right, being praised for the exact reason that it wouldn’t have initially been created. And why?

Because the internet allows it to exist. While the disruptive nature of the internet allows for some horrible things to be created by some horrible people, it also allows beautiful, unexpected things to seep into mainstream culture. The internet can push us backwards in a lot of ways; it can show us the worst sides of humans, it’s dehumanizing, it’s culturally questionable. But there’s some beauty in the fact that anything deemed worthwhile can become a viral sensation: web series can become TV shows, two minute trailers can become full-length movies, or a Harry Styles fanfiction can be read by millions. Without the internet “Broad City” and “Dear, White People” wouldn’t have had a chance to exist and change the landscape of current popular media. Without the internet our media wouldn’t be moving forward at the pace that is now, towards a future of diverse point of view, inclusivity, and uniqueness.

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Rick Rubin And The Golden Age Of NYU Parties http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/20/rick-rubin-golden-age-nyu-parties/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/20/rick-rubin-golden-age-nyu-parties/#respond Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:45:08 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124416 Rick Rubin is sitting on the bed of room 712 of NYU’s Weinstein dorm. His disheveled appearance and Dumbledore-worthy beard contrast violently with the girlie coral paisley duvet beneath him. The image is a magnificent paradox. It has been thirty years since Rubin, founder of Def Jam Records and former co-president of Columbia Records, has... Read More

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Rick Rubin is sitting on the bed of room 712 of NYU’s Weinstein dorm. His disheveled appearance and Dumbledore-worthy beard contrast violently with the girlie coral paisley duvet beneath him. The image is a magnificent paradox. It has been thirty years since Rubin, founder of Def Jam Records and former co-president of Columbia Records, has sat in this room—he’s a few pounds heavier, a few shades grayer, and a few (100) million wealthier—but Rubin sees little change. Perhaps extensive partying has messed with Rubin’s memory or perhaps his sheer success, producing album after album for music industry icons such as Frank Ocean, Iggy Azalea, and Common, has made those three decades slip away. Despite it all, here he is, back where he started, and Rolling Stone has adeptly documented the event in their short film, “Rick Was Here.”

The nine-minute mini-doc hones in on Rubin’s unexpected Upstein beginnings, easily forgotten in Rubin’s whirlwind of success with Def Jam. “I don’t normally look back that much,” says Rubin, “but when I come here I think of, you know, the crazy parties that we had, being threatened to be kicked out because of noise complaints…the adventures.” “The Weinstein Parties,” as Def Jam’s founding fathers refer to these booze-fueled “bangers,” were occasions unlike any which we could now imagine in the TA-policed halls of NYU’s dorms: rappers, rockers, and The Beastie Boys, all getting down to Rubin’s DIY DJ set-up at good ol’ 5 University Place.

Nonetheless, “Rick Was Here” speaks to more than just four years of noise-complaints, mannequin-themed pranks (scroll to 1:19), and illegal substances. At its core, it is the rags to riches tale of a college student with stubborn passion and indefatigable spirit; a boy who turned his sparse and humble dorm room into a musical microcosm for his generation: a recording studio and a label company. “I had never met anybody so focused,” says Adam Dubin, Rubin’s former roommate, “he just had that do it yourself attitude where he would do what he wanted to do and he was not afraid to fail.”

With its funky illustrations, killer tunes, and a blatant show of epic vandalization of NYU school property (check out 8:54), “Rick Was Here” gives NYU students a chance to dream wistfully of the days when our parties were some of the “greatest parties of the era” and to appreciate one of our school’s most widely acclaimed and uniquely innovative alums.

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We Now Have A Polynesian Aquaman And A Queer Flash—So What? http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/10/20/polynesian-aquaman-queer-flash/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/10/20/polynesian-aquaman-queer-flash/#respond Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:00:58 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124423 While diversity in the world of superheroes may be on the rise in comics, Hollywood has taken a tired but expected approach with its portrayal of our favorite spandex-ed figures: most are—unsurprisingly—white, straight and male. Don’t get me wrong, Andrew Garfield and Christian Bale have been great in some of the most recent adaptations, but the latest casting... Read More

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While diversity in the world of superheroes may be on the rise in comics, Hollywood has taken a tired but expected approach with its portrayal of our favorite spandex-ed figures: most are—unsurprisingly—white, straight and male. Don’t get me wrong, Andrew Garfield and Christian Bale have been great in some of the most recent adaptations, but the latest casting news in a onslaught of comic-based films to be released over the next couple of years is something we really should get excited about—well, sort of.

This past weekend news broke that “Game of Thrones” fan favorite Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) was cast in the much-anticipated “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” film (we’ll refrain from commenting on that title). In addition, Ezra Miller is expected to lead another superhero film—playing the Flash in a Warner Bros feature. The Hawaiian-born Momoa is of Polynesian descent and Miller is openly queer. Yes, we should take a moment to appreciate Hollywood’s attempt to break down barriers and bring in two underrepresented faces to spearhead the latest of many money-making projects to come, but if we take any longer than a moment then we’re missing the point of social progress.

This isn’t a time to rejoice or pat a bunch of studio executives’ backs. Their decisions—while commendable—don’t exactly signify a war won. For one, choosing Momoa and Miller to star in these upcoming films can be seen as a choice made less out of a quest for social justice, rather as something that just makes plain sense. The muscly Momoa stole hearts in “Game of Thrones” and Miller was a standout in the young adult film adaptation of the popular “Perks of Being a Wallflower” novel—both huge financial successes. Why not cast the two?

That’s not to say that Warner Bros and the tons of other studios considering people of color, women or those who identify as queer in roles don’t deserve a bit of an applause for breaking the mold, only that we should maintain a healthy level of skepticism when giving our congratulations. After all, these same executives have yet to give Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow character her own spinoff film—a move that even got actress Jessica Chastain wondering. Johansson’s recent “Lucy” was a box office hit and time and time again women have massacred the illogical notion that only a male-leading picture can dominate the charts and bring in the cash.

Not only should we remain hyperaware to the politics (and hypocrisies) at play, but we must also refuse to become complacent when given good news. Momoa and Miller are undoubtedly a welcome addition to the world. Nevertheless, there are over 30 superhero films planned up until 2020 and plenty of non-white hetero dudes ready to fill roles. Sure, “Fruitvale Station” breakthrough Michael B. Jordan was cast in the “Fantastic Four” revival and Halle Berry continues to be a powerful presence in the X-Men universe, but these are only a few people in a world dominated by buff, uninteresting white guys who not only fail to capture some of society’s untapped nuances, but just shatter my self-esteem. If Hollywood is going to continue to spew out over five of these type of films a year, I’d like to see more leads who aren’t Ben Affleck showing off his already overseen goods (“Hunger Games” actress Jena Malone as a rumored Robin may be a more inspired casting choice).

Until then, props to these guys.

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We Settle The Migos Versus The Beatles Debate Once And For All http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/10/20/settle-migos-versus-beatles-debate/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2014/10/20/settle-migos-versus-beatles-debate/#respond Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:15:35 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124431 Over the weekend, an age-old debate surfaced on Twitter: who is better, the Beatles, or Migos? Yes it’s true, people on the Internet have actually been pitting the classic rock quartet of Paul, John, George, and Ringo against a trio of Atlanta rappers named Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff. Complex compiled some of the best pro-Migos... Read More

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Over the weekend, an age-old debate surfaced on Twitter: who is better, the Beatles, or Migos? Yes it’s true, people on the Internet have actually been pitting the classic rock quartet of Paul, John, George, and Ringo against a trio of Atlanta rappers named Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff. Complex compiled some of the best pro-Migos Tweets in an article posted Sunday. Though pitting the legendary Liverpool rockers and an up-and-coming Atlanta rap crew might seem a bit ridiculous, we’ve decided to settle the debate once and for all. After extensive research, we’ve compared the Beatles and Migos in several important categories to determine which group is superior…and our verdict might surprise you!

Music Sales

Winner: The Beatles

This one isn’t really a contest. Though their four mixtapes “Juug Season,” “No Label,” “Y.R.N.” and “No Label 2” have totaled a few million downloads, Migos simply have not gotten anywhere near touching the Beatles’ approximately 2 billion albums sold. In fairness, because their mixtapes have been hosted on a variety of music sites, it is hard to estimate the exact number of downloads any of their projects have received, but we’re going estimate with a reasonable degree of certainty it hasn’t neared 2 billion.

Style

Winner: Migos

Yes, we all know about the whole British Invasion thing and how the Beatles became cultural icons for their long hair, and how they evolved into psychedelic music and so on and so forth, but Migos’ name is synonymous with style in a different way. Over their brief career, Migos have not only become indelibly linked with Versace because of their 2013 smash single named after the brand (which eventually received a Drake remix, which The Beatles certainly never had) but the group has also been known to rock brands from Hermes jackets to Maison Martin Margiela kicks.

Substance

Winner: The Beatles

Both Migos and The Beatles have covered a variety of topics in their music, but in general the Beatles seem to focus primarily on songs about a universal love while Migos generally rap about money. A preference for either subject is pretty subjective, but the case laid out by the Beatles “Can’t Buy Me Love” seems to be a perfect counterargument to Migos’ relentless pursuit of wealth, so we have to give this one to the boys from Liverpool.

Creativity

Winner: Migos

The Beatles are widely known for their indelible impact and revolutionary changes to the sound, style and attitude of popular music, Migos definitely have a higher words per minute on average through their popular style of rapping called the “Migos Flow.” Point Migos!

Verdict

It’s a TIE!

Yeah, The Beatles will probably always be known as the biggest band on the planet, but did they have a song called “Hannah Montana?” Didn’t think so.

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Local Stops: Butt Plugs, Putin, And Fat Dogs http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/17/local-stops-butt-plugs-putin-fat-dogs/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/10/17/local-stops-butt-plugs-putin-fat-dogs/#respond Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:13:02 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124405   Paris is now home to a giant inflatable butt-plug disguised as a “christmas tree.” Putin looked like he pooted when shaking hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Is that a scratch on your stomach or did a tropical spider burrow into your skin?! You’re probably stressed out so here’s a picture of a fat... Read More

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Paris is now home to a giant inflatable butt-plug disguised as a “christmas tree.”

Putin looked like he pooted when shaking hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Is that a scratch on your stomach or did a tropical spider burrow into your skin?!

You’re probably stressed out so here’s a picture of a fat dog.

Photo of the day by Rishi Bandopadhay.

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Local Went There: New York Comic Con – Photo Recap [PHOTOS] http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/10/17/photos-local-went-new-york-comic-con-photo-recap/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/10/17/photos-local-went-new-york-comic-con-photo-recap/#respond Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:30:09 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=124391   Over 151,000 people (superheroes, monsters, villains, and plain clothed citizens) attended this year’s New York Comic Con. New York Comic Con has, since 2006, been one of the most well-known and popular events in the metropolitan area, know for surprise appearances by celebrities and beloved authors and directors and of course for the over-the-top... Read More

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Over 151,000 people (superheroes, monsters, villains, and plain clothed citizens) attended this year’s New York Comic Con. New York Comic Con has, since 2006, been one of the most well-known and popular events in the metropolitan area, know for surprise appearances by celebrities and beloved authors and directors and of course for the over-the-top style of NYC residents and organizations alike. Let’s not forget the setting of many famous comics: Gotham. You could say many of the characters at NYCC felt right at home.

NYU Local live-tweeted and Instagrammed during our memorable time there, and even filmed a video engaging with many of the colorful faces of NYCC2014.

We’ll see you next year, NYCC!

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[Photos courtesy of Rishi Bandopadhay]

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