Saturday, September 29, 2007

A few weekend musings...

They'll be followed by a more lengthy update later tonight, but for now...

-What is the deal with College Library? These beanbags are relaxing - and certainly allowed me to take a brief nap before my History discussion at 8:50 in the morning - but where are the all the chairs and tables?

According to this helpful little "New Tables Soon!" sheet....

New, larger tables with outlets (similar to the one in the center of this room)are being delivered and installed next month...Since we distributed most of the furniture in this room to other places in the library, we haven't actually lost any seats overall. It just looks a little thin right now!

Hmm. It actually feels a lot like high school, Very informal, chilled out. Now if only they could actually ACTIVATE the other outlets that are just useless blocks in the ground.

-Hey Badgers. shape up. It wasn't a pretty victory.
-Hey, Fix your website. I don't want to see a picture slide show of the last week's near disaster when I know you have photos from this week's near disaster. I know you're not that handy with technology and you're still getting ahold of this blogging thing, but you can surely use ONE photo from the game, can't you? Uploaded during halftime, even? Come on. If you can alarm the public about a guy who's not even in this state in a matter of minutes, surely you can take a few more to post one picture of the Spartans and the Badgers smashing into each other. If you can't do that, then don't insist upon photos of last week's game in hopes that you look "savvy." You don't. You look lazy.

-Note to the general public: Don't take ILS 252 if you think you're getting an easy science course out of the deal. Or if you think ILS is a haven for liberals, given the material or public figures who've majored in the field (i.e. Russ Feingold). Tim Allen is far from liberal and he'll explain as much at the onset. And he'll explain a lot more, without any structural framework as he impersonates any manner of mating animals during his "lecture." Interesting class if you're feeling schizophrenic.

-Speaking of liberal bastarizations of education, the Isthmus article on Steve Nass sounds to me like it's ripe for an early opinion piece on this "Student Bill of Rights" business...Monday, maybe?

-I'm still working feaverishly on homework, but I expect to get a post out about this Friday's "Segregated Fee Review Committee," as soon as possible. I was only there for a little less than half of the proceedings (four hours long), but what I saw didn't look too promising. More on that tonight.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Well, that was quick...

Update (1:20 p.m., Sept. 28): The incident involving an armed robbery on the campus border has been resolved.

A suspect is in custody and the area can return to normal operations.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


Another Security Concern?

This just in from UWPD:

An armed robbery occurred in the City of Madison, along the border of the
University. The suspect was seen entering the 21 N. Park Street Administration
building. Smith and Ogg Hall, two residence halls were immediately locked and the
search of 21 North Park Street began.

Students and Staff are asked to remain out of the area. Students in the Ogg and
Smith Halls should find shelter in a safe place. Persons in or around 21 N. Park
should follow the on-scene police instructions.

Tune to local media or visit the homepage for additional

What the fuck is happpening to this city?

Hey, remember that whole Seg Fee Committee?

Well, I guess they're finally going to do something! Sure, it might just be talking, but they're doing it today.
3pm, Van Hise, room 1820.

Of course, you wouldn't know that because they don't publicize these meetings...

Here's my question: is that because it is closed? I sincerely hope not.

Monday, September 24, 2007

If you're a glutton for punishment..l.

check out the live blog of the SSFC meeting tonight at the Badger Herald. We have Polygon, MCSC and...Students for Tenant Resource Center.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Question to any readers:

What should be the direction of the video in the Herald Blog? I don't really have a camera - everything that you watched from the CAN protest was done on a very old Sony Cybershot. However, what is worth covering, what would you like to see done with this?

Every suggestion is welcome.

And the Anti-War machine rolls on...

Just saw this on Wispolitics. I guess CAN is far more organized than I anticipated, if this is them. Which, I'm not clear on whether it is.

Iraq War veteran will return his medals

On September 26, 2007 a demonstration will begin at 2PM in Library Mall. We will march up State Street to the Capitol and return Josh Gaines' military service metals to the Governor. Josh Gaines is an Iraq War Veteran. He will return his Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and National Defense Service Medal to Gov. Jim Doyle.

Protesters will be calling for the de-federalization of the WI National Guard. We believe it is in the best interest of the country that the National Guard remains in the U.S.A. for use in disaster relief and border control. Organizers are asking that other Veterans return Military Service Medals to the Governor along with Gaines.

The demonstration will end with the demand, Mr. Doyle have a public meeting with anti-war students and the public for the de-federalization of the WI National Guard.

Ryan Olander

First off - Defederalization of the National Guard? Wow. Not only is that just way out there, but it's treating this issue like the states are just part of a "coalition of the willing." Sorry guys, but this isn't a volunteering of forces.

Of course, they must realize how unlikely and impossible this is, but it's actually a smart move on their part. First Halliburton, now the Governor's Office. Looking for press to cover you, aren't you? As much as I figured the anti-war movement would pickup pretty quickly, I didn't imagine it would have demands this nuanced. Simply chanting "Get out of Iraq" is one thing, asking for a principled redistribution based on other needs is something I didn't expect. These activists are finally becoming organized.

I think what we could be witnessing is a return to the Vietnam era style protests. Maybe not this year, but perhaps next year if this thing drags on. Now you have Lori Berquam coming out in favor of these protesters (which I'm surprised she still has her job, actually. Perhaps they'll force her out with a scandal if it continues? I hope not, she actually is making a pretty bold move here.)

However, it all scares me a little bit. Not because it could result in a big mistake on the part of certain protesters and force others to use violence. No, it's because this could actually result in the whole campus joining. And other campus joining. It could result in basically every productive unit of academia shutting force and end to this war. And that could mean serious national tension, which at this point has only two ways out: appease or repress.

Ok, maybe I'm getting ahead of the whole thing. However. It is interesting. And I think I might cover it.

Yet, there is a bigger problem with these protests. On the day of the Halliburton protest, there was a rally (or at least there was supposed to be one) against tuition increases at the Capitol. Ok, now maybe that's not the most pertinent local concern considering the fact that our legislature is still acting like a bunch of babies, (Even after the Healthy Wisconsin drop has been offered, Nice stubbornness, Heubsch.)
but it was something that directly effected students. Instead, more students were drawn to the allure of the CAN protests. Bigger, better.

Lori Berquam was right. We need a return to activism on this campus. However, activism doesn't have to mean protesting for nought. It can mean being a guerrilla lobbyist at the capitol and demanding change where it might actually happen.

Oh well. Wishful thinking I guess.

Friday, September 21, 2007

and's done.

And by the way - no sleep. I am getting no sleep.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In case you're wondering...

I'm blogging today over at the Herald. Check out occasional posts throughout the day and wait for the video footage tonight. As soon as I compile it.

Hyperlinks aren't working for some reason, so just go to and click on Muckrakers.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

And after a nice football game...

...why not follow it up with a nice bar fight? To anyone who was around State Street Brats around 9:00 pm, what were the specifics?

When I came up, there was a huge crowd on both sides of the street, along with about 3 cop cars, an ambulance and a fire engine. Seems like a bit much for one bar fight, but in State Street Brats on a Saturday, I suppose you need to prepare back up in case something gets out of control.

When I passed by, the police just had one man, in a Steelers coat and incredibly trashed, outside in cuffs as police poured a pitcher of water over his head to clean him off. Lovely. Takes me back to the good ol' days in Sellery.

On a slightly related note, a vote on the alcohol license density plan is coming up on the 18th.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A few updates..

First off, in case you haven't seen it, the Herald opinion page has a blog, named after our fallen radio show, Muckrakers. We started live blogging last night, at the Students for Obama kickoff and the arrival of the Venezuelan ambassador. Go check it out.

As for the kickoff itself, it was a little underwhelming. Certainly nice to hear that Obama is coming to Madison, but I expected that to happen anyway. What I really want to hear is their reasoning for why I should vote for him, something that was lacking a compelling argument. Sure, Eli Judge supports him because of his defense of LGBT issues, but that's not a compelling reason in and of itself.

Apparently they were supposed to show a film? What kind of film, Erik?

What I find quite strange about all of this hoopla over Obama is the amount of messianic talk I find in the rhetoric. On the fliers around campus, one of the most noticeable words is "faith." Without looking at the picture in the flier, I thought they was trying to drive up numbers for PrimeTime or a Christian organization. I mean, even that logo invokes the divine.

If not divine at least bombastic.

I suppose it's inspiring that these students are that enthusiastic about throwing their efforts toward change the country. However, hanging your hopes on a charismatic leader has a mixed results. That's why it's good these events are kicking off now - give us time to investigate. I'll probably do some live blogging from Students for Hillary as well. See if that's any more interesting.

Oh, and as for that spitting match comment on Something Verbose: meh. He's got his job, I've got mine. They conflict sometimes. So it goes.

I'll leave you with this - care of another Herald employee. I know we're not supposed to criticize, and I promise this will be the last time (unless something major happens) but...well, take a look.

Look at the staff list. Which of these things just doesn't belong?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

3PM: A Brief History of...Origins of Rock and Roll

Just to let you know, today's show on WSUM 91.7 fm will be an hour long spin through pre-rock and roll. The influences of Blues (Robert Johnson), Jazz (Django Reinhardt) Jump Blues (Fats Domino), Country (Merle Travis) and Gospel (Sam Cooke) will all be on display at 3pm today. Tune in by radio or by webcast.

And as soon as those damned archives start working again, I'll post the previous episode.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Alright, so it's a bit lo-budget in comparison to the Lips...

but it works.

Or, at least it worked before Leslie and the Ly's took the stage. Cher kept replaying as a mute image on the screen. However, after a little help from some new cords, we're back in business.

They just finished "shoot them in the brains" and the audience is crowding the front of the stage.

Leslie Hall is doing well in her gold pants and now a golden..shoulder pad?

"It's very sci-fi."

That it is, you crazy Iowa kids. You know how to bring the beats.

Ponys are up next.

It's 8:30...

and the 1900's are up and running, fairly well, with two pretty attractive female singers. The occasionally infusion of a casio keyboard is a bit unnerving, but their vocal stylings make up for it.

The Pony's have their things set up on the side of the stage and are ready to go.

We're still looking for Leslie Hall, who said she was going to go "walk around." Hopefully she comes here in time to strap on those gold pants of hers. The amount of props she has is always a good sign.

In true radio fashion, the WSUM DJ's are walking around with microphones, interviewing patrons, band members and other such involved people.

Update 4 - Snake on the Lake

DLO was fantastic

Right now, Maps and Atlases are up playing...and the first problem of the day happens as the drummer's top cymbal just...falls off in the middle of their first song. Whoops.

Still not that crowded, but it's getting there. The front of the stage has filled up finally, but the dancing is a bit...bobble-headed. just going back and forth. I guess that's what indie rock does to people. Oh well.

1900's are here and ready to go.

Map and Atlases sounds "like 70's prog rock" according to Marcus. However, Marcus is pretty drunk.

I think they sound really out of tune from a distance, but the shifting tempos might actually lend credence to Marcus' claim.

More as become available. Everything is running smoothly.

The German Art Students are off...

A nice 45 minute set punctuated by Pixies-pop rock and a spoken word finale. Now DLO and Stink Tank are loading up to bring a little hip-hop to the crowd.

No one's been dancing, and with the way the heat's beating down, that's not going to change for awhile. Channel 15 came by and talked to our station manager, so that's some good publicity, although she said, "I probably sounded stupid."

Maps and Atlases have moved into the load in area and we're in some pretty good shape. Let's hope that smooth movement continues through the day.

Randy is talking to his mom and dad at the merch table right now. what a nice family.

So here's a different question - why has the rathskellar not moved out it's beer to the terrace? It's usually out here by now, but I've seen no movement to suggest they're coming out. Guess that's going to mean one looonnnggg line.

on a seperate note, WSUM is far more prepared than WUD usually is with their events. Good stuff.

DLO/Stink Tank in 5. Stay tuned.

First quote...

"Oh yeah, you look like a German Art Student...what do you do? Oh, guitar? Yeah, I dig chicks who play guitar..." - Marcus

Snake on the Lake Fest - 2:30

It's about 30 minutes before the German Art Students and it's already getting too hot for comfort. The terrace isn't exactly packed for a Saturday afternoon, but it's getting there. Let's hope the students can split their time between the game and some music.

Of course, I know that probably won't happen.

Although, I am looking forward to hearing a few of the local bands, such as German Art Students (who were booked easily as Randy Balwahn, our fundraising director, is one of the members). I don't know much about local groups, but this should give a few primers to me and the other uninitiated viewers. Everyone is pretty lax out here now, but I anticipate that changing rather soon.

More updates throughout the day, pictures at the very end.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Correction to my Wednesday column.

the article that talked about Spencer Black should have said "state Rep. Spencer Black." Don't know why I wrote senator. I apologize for the mistake.

Just a reminder...

My new radio show starts today, at 3pm on WSUM 91.7 Fm. "A brief history of..." will be starting with Old-time country music. If you have a fetish for Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys (despite the fact that they sound like women) or just pine for a return to the days when country was called "hillbilly music," tune in by radio or by webcast.

Good one, Cardinal, Good one.

First off, I'm glad to see the Daily Cardinal has not completely atrophied. After taking a look at yesterday's issue of a whopping eight pages, I was afraid they were cutting back on staff, pages and reporters. Thankfully, today's paper shows that is not the case.

Erik Opsal, of the Hippie Perspective, Students for Obama campaign and the Daily Cardinal, wrote an opinion piece on why old Ogg Hall should just be used to house those we turned away. This part from Paul Evans really deserved a scoff:

According to UW-Madison Housing Director Paul Evans, the university did consider saving one of the old Ogg towers, but eventually decided against it.

“It just isn’t a practical option,” Evans said. “The reasons why we wanted to tear down Ogg still exist. We’d still have to spend a lot of money to get that building to be where we want it to be.” However, with a chronic lack of housing for incoming freshman, keeping at least one tower open—which would provide enough housing for those who need it until new dorms are built—seems like common sense.

When he says, "where we want it to be" and "up to code" don't seem to be synonymous here. Yes, Ogg is a poorly designed, ratty sort of building. Yet, when I lived there a mere three years ago, it certainly served it's purpose and was able to continue serving it's purpose for some time to come.

UW-Milwaukee has a similar problem with housing, but it's because of lack of money, it's because of lack of space. They just can't build anywhere. We have two towers of empty...nothing that have been used for practice drills by the Firefighters and police officers. So why couldn't we use it to house paying students?

The Herald Ed Board has already criticized the actions of our Republican lawmakers for attempting to nix the Lakeshore plans from the budget, but UW Housing really deserves the blame on this one. We actually didn't have housing issues last year because Smith added an additional 600 beds while Old Ogg was still up and running. Now, they replace Ogg Hall with a new, smaller building and we just decide to go back to shortages because the building is inefficient?

If we knew what they WANT to replace and what absolutely NEEDS to be replaced, then perhaps we could better evaluate housing's decision. Until then, I'm glad people at the Cardinal, including their Ed Board, are finally tackling important issues rather than shaking fingers at UW athletes and giving the thumbs up to religious dietary options.

Edit: I'd link to those Ed Board opinion, but they don't seem to be on the Cardinal Website...a search for "Daily Cardinal Editorial Board" renders "three results," but only shows today's article. Come on!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

And such a long hiatus, a return!

But I'm back. It's been a hectic last two weeks putting together the Reg Issue of the Badger Herald, but it's out, and it's accompanying second edition, full of Badger's victory over Washington State, will be out on Tuesday. We go back to work on that same day, putting out our first regular issue on Wednesday.

However, some things to talk about before then, seeing I've been practically invisible since the Herald started...

-MU Bash is tonight, and it's about an hour before they start. I'll probably post a little round up of their performance, along with what the feeling was of MU Bash in general. I'm looking at the line-up now of activities now, but it seems quite sparse. Perhaps that will change once the Freshmen pack the hallways, but it does seem like there is a lot less to do here than in previous years...

-On a separate note, we had Trombone Shorty, a New Orleans based funk/jazz artist at the terrace last
night, and it was far better than expected. WUD sort of booked it on a whim, and there was talk of trying to get Band of Horses here instead, as they were available, but I doubt they would have energized the crowd more than Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews did. Although there were a few times I gave my usual musical snob snort -- such as when he played Lenny Kravitz tunes, "Runnin" and his cover of the Guess Who's "American Woman" -- I must admit, the crowd was on par with our Hip-Hop menagerie earlier in the summer. In the end, the crowd was feeling funky and they got down. In a show of how well he knew the crowd, he even inserted a little "Jump Around" to satisfy the sea of red that came over to enjoy a brisk summer night.

He was supposed to play two sets, one hour each. Instead, he played for about 2 and a half hours straight. "I don't think we've ever played a crowd this big, or with this much energy. It just makes me wanna keep going!" And they did. I actually heard the masses in front of the stage yell "encore" at the top of their lungs, the second they started to step off the stage. Now, THAT is impressive.

-Just saw ASM at a table where they gave me a little light-hearted jabbing over the Ed Board opinion on segregated fees. It looks like this will be an interesting year for campus politics, but I'm optimistic. Hopefully we'll be able to work together instead of against each other. After all, we're both, as Art Brut would say, "just talking to the kids," right? Maybe I should stop using kids though. I've been told I use that term a lot. That arrogant Smathers!

- So, another point of contention is this weekend's two competing festivals - SoCo festival with the Flaming Lips (21 and up, only) and WSUM's inaugural Snake on the Lake Fest with the 1900's and the Pony's. I'm torn, but having seen the Lips at Lollapalooza and taking part in their orgasmic visual spectacle, I think I'll catch WSUM's festival, especially since I probably owe a radio station that's given me the opportunity to do a show with all British music. Which leads me to....

-New Radio Show! Although we couldn't continue Muckrakers because of scheduling conflicts, I will have a new show this semester. With my friend musical encyclopedia, John Vanek, we'll be spinning through a different genre of music every week, Thursday's at 3pm at WSUM 91.7 fm. We're starting out with a salute to old Western music, then going through a spin of the origins of Rock N' Roll (circa 1953) the week after that. From there...British Invasion, 60's Psychedelia and forward. If you have any genre suggestions, send me an email at and I'll get on it.

Other than that, we have a busy week ahead of us at the Herald, but would enjoy it if the community voice could contribute with letters to the editor, guest editorials, etc. If you've got a desire to sound off on a local issue, speak on behalf of a community org, or just have a beef with us, send it along. We'll print it.

Send pieces, inquiries, etc to either or and we'll get on the case.

And I promise, I'll try and update much more often.