Music Gallery concerts are archived at York

Predictable and unimaginable. High and low. Polished and rough. These distinctions get left at the door of The Music Gallery, one of this city’s few safe havens for experiments in new music, wrote the Toronto Star May 28 in a story about the gallery’s “33-1/3 birthday".

Now that the organization is back on a solid footing, Jonathan Bunce has had the time to look at the future. It turns out that every single Music Gallery concert since 1976 has been recorded on a variety of media, from reel-to-reel tape to CD-R. Part of the collection is stored at York University, the rest at The Music Gallery’s offices.

Sexting like spin the bottle for cyber age

When a teenaged girl knowingly sends provocative pictures of herself to friends or a boyfriend, is she guilty of child pornography or simply practising self-expression?, asked the National Post May 28 in a report from the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa.

Teenagers sending provocative and even pornographic images via cellphones – a practice known as sexting – is really just a modern variation on “playing doctor or spin-the-bottle”, Peter Cumming, a professor in York University’s Faculty of Arts, argued in a paper on children’s sexuality.

Cumming was one of only a handful of researchers to present on sexting and child pornography at the largest annual gathering of academics in Canada, a part of a small but growing body of research aimed at understanding this new, and sometimes feared, phenomenon.

Researchers such as Cumming and Amy Hasinoff, a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois who delivers her paper tomorrow, decry much of the current approach to sexting as overreactions that defy common sense.

“It would be very unlikely to see dozens of news stories announcing that some children were caught playing spin-the-bottle, or doctor, or strip poker,” Cumming said in his presentation on Monday. “Yet many of the cases brought forward have been on the same level of innocence and experience as those activities. In other words, kids are playing spin-the-bottle online.”

  • The presentation by Peter Cumming on teen “sexting” was discussed on Ottawa radio station KISS FM May 27. Cumming also spoke about the study on Calgary’s CHQR radio May 27. 

Anti-Zionists banned from Pride parade

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA), an anti-Zionist protest group that made corporate sponsors squirm by flying banners at last year’s Toronto Pride parade, has been banned this year, along with any other group that would advance a political agenda, wrote the National Post May 28.

QuAIA’s most prominent member, filmmaker and York University Professor John Greyson, said he wonders whether yesterday’s decision signals that social justice activism is being “wholeheartedly cut out of Pride”. “To take activism out of Pride really takes it back to a place of shame,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Pride where I wasn’t part of an explicitly political action, and we were trying to be as militant as possible…. The whole purpose of Pride was about visibility and fighting for our equal space in society, so for them to start saying ‘Oh, but you don’t have equal space’ just turns back the clock in an extraordinary way.”

Jewish students ‘targeted’

Historian Gerald Tulchinsky claims that the Canadian Jewish Congress does not “resonate” today with young people. As a Jewish student of York University, I have come to support the work of CJC and its strong advocacy on behalf of all Canadian Jews, young and old alike, wrote Simon Marmur in a letter to the Toronto Star May 28.

Of course there are no longer signs saying “no Jews allowed” on the streets of Canada. However, I have witnessed the daily hateful propaganda of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) that is in contempt of Jewish history and attacks the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. Several members of SAIA and the student government have directly targeted Jewish students.

Kinesiology grad teaches yoga in Moncton

Priscilla Cole (BA Spec. Hons. ’03), a kinesiologist/personal trainer for the YMCA of Greater Moncton, came to yoga instruction through her education at York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, wrote Fredericton, NB’s Here weekly May 28. She smiles when she talks about “macho football players twisting themselves into pretzels.” She sees yoga as the missing piece of the fitness puzzle. “People come to the Y for cardiovascular endurance training and to strengthen and tone muscles but without yoga they are neglecting an important component of the total package. Yoga provides flexibility, relaxation and focus.”

More than just music to Sainte-Marie

Iconic folk artist Buffy Sainte-Marie has spent most of her life battling for the rights and future of Native Americans, wrote The Mississauga News May 27.

Next Thursday, Sainte-Marie will share her experiences with a Mississauga Convention Centre audience as part of Interim Place’s annual Her Life, Her Words speaker series. It starts at 6pm. Education is extremely important to Sainte-Marie, a former adjunct professor of music in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

York grad displays personal stories, struggles in pictures

None of the portraits currently hanging in a gallery in the Robert Watson Lofts are posed; they are moments true to two women’s lives, wrote May 27. All About Her is two different series of portraits documenting the queer community and relationships as witnessed by Rosalinda Graziano, 38, and 26-year-old York grad Chelsey Lichtman (BA Hons. ’08). The link that brought these two women together was the fact they’re both lesbians and also have an inherent curiosity to understand people and themselves.

Lichtman compiled her photos over the course of a year after she graduated from York University’s Faculty of Arts with a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies. She is a performer and multidisciplinary artist and she said her art focuses on finding an agency to create her own community, one that was lacking in the suburban neighbourhood of her youth. “Since I came out I have been sort of desperately searching for that representation, so I got to the point where not finding it meant that I had to create it,” she said. “I feel like I am capturing what I would want to see if I walked into a gallery.”

The inspiration for Lichtman’s photographs, she said, is creating a representation of women with different bodies and different looks compared to mainstream culture. “(When) photographing people who trust you, you can get really intimate and vulnerable images,” she said.

All About Her is housed in an amenity space in the Robert Watson Lofts located at 363 Sorauren Ave., Toronto. It is open to the public between 6 to 9pm until June 7.

Gradating FES student looks to help youth at alternative school

Tania Portelli has been a familiar face in the Stanstead area as one of the Stanstead College teachers who was always involved in humanitarian projects, wrote Sherbrooke, Que.’s The Record May 28. Now employed by the Eastern Townships School Board at The Learning Centre, in Lennoxville, Que., she has turned her attention to a group of students in this alternative school designed to provide academic programs and cooperative education work-placement opportunities for adolescents, aged 12 to 21.

Portelli was at the Monday evening meeting of the Rotary Club of The Boundary in a quest for support for a new program that she is developing called Look to the Mountain…to help students discover their individual path to success by restoring hope in the lives of young people at risk.

“When I left Stanstead College, I went on to take my master in environmental studies at York University. During this time, I found ample time to reflect on my own life and circumstances. Imagine, in all those years from 4 years old to Grade 13, I could recall very few instances where I could actually say I was excited to go to school. In Grade 11, I had a teacher who told me that I would never amount to anything. What my teacher said to me so many years ago still affects my self-esteem today. The very concept of the Look to the Mountain program responds to this problem – finding new ways to reach those young people who have become discouraged by life, teachers, family members or personal challenges of one kind or another!” explained Portelli.

‘The Tripper’ reluctantly gives up the ghost

One particular anecdote followed criminal law legend and Osgoode grad David Humphrey (LLB ’50) around like a faithful hound for 50 years, although it had no attachment to law, wrote The Globe and Mail May 28 in an obituary.

The story took place on a brisk, autumn day in 1957. The silver-tongued Humphrey had persuaded some Toronto police officers to let him stand on the sidelines to watch a Grey Cup final between Hamilton and Winnipeg. Fortified by liquor and his unrivalled combination of self-confidence and bonhomie, Humphrey stuck out his foot as Hamilton’s Ray (Bibbles) Bawel sprinted down the sideline toward a certain touchdown.

Thanks to the police and some Winnipeg players, Humphrey escaped and went on to achieve lasting fame, both as The Tripper and as a towering presence in the defence bar.

On air

  • The search for York student Shane Fair continued, as reported May 27 on CP24-TV, Citytv, CTV and Global TV, and radio stations CBC Toronto, CFNY, CFTR, CHUM-FM, EZ Rock, FM92.1 (Brantford) and CJCS 1240 (Stratford).
  • Alan Middleton, marketing professor in York’s Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about how companies respond to consumer complaints on CBC Radio’s “Ontario Today” May 27.
  • Paul Delaney, professor of astronomy & physics in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, spoke about Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk and the York space experiments he is taking part in on CTV News May 27. Heather Jenkin, contract faculty member in York’s Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, and member of the University’s Centre for Vision Research, also spoke about the experiments on CBC Newsworld May 27.
  • Krisna Saravanamuttu, president of the York Federation of Students, took part in a panel discussion about the aftermath of the long civil war in Sri Lanka, on TVO’s “The Agenda” May 27.