Friday, November 8, 2002

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Friday, November 8, 2002
Volume 7, Number 45

Write to us!
Photo of the day:

Today’s issue:


1) Legendary folk musicians to perform, teach today

2) Ruach to sponsor Shabbaton, host talk on eco-theology

3) Weekend roundup

4) World news roundup

5) Campus events


1) Upcoming contests


Today: Sunny and warm. High near 60.
There was one thing I did not appreciate enough at Swarthmore:

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low in upper 30s.
I could take a day off without having to call ANYONE and make a lame excuse.

Saturday: Mostly sunny. High in mid 60s.
That will never happen again in life. Enjoy it.

Sunday: Partly sunny. High near 70.
I’d like to thank you all for the opportunity to try my hand at the DG
weather again. People asked me then (and still do now) how I kept writing
jokes that, while not always funny, rarely provoked enraged mob response. I
believe that the true secret, and one that has served me well over the
years, is paralyzing laziness until faced with a deadline. It worked for
all my papers at Swat, too (really–just ask anyone who knew me then).

So, get out and enjoy the last beautiful, relatively warm weekend of the
year, courtesy of Yours Truly. The work never ends, but perfect Ultimate
weather sure does.

(Rafi Dowty ’98, the last person to graduate from Swarthmore without having
taken a single lab science, can be reached at
. Really.)


Lunch: Tortellini di fiesoli, lattice cut french fries, cajun black beans,
spinach, corn, wrap bar, cheesecake

Dinner: Veal parmesan, pasta, eggplant parmesan, greens and white beans
saute, zucchini, italiano, broccoli, potato bar, fruit pies


1) Legendary folk musicians to perform, teach today

by Jeremy Schifeling
Co-Managing Editor

In what one fan is describing as possibly the “biggest folk music event of
the year,” renowned folk artists John McCutcheon and Holly Near will be
playing the LPAC Mainstage this evening, in addition to conducting a peace
activist’s workshop this afternoon.

Allen McBride ’03, who proposed the performance as part of the Cooper
series, is encouraging folk fans and newcomers alike to attend the events.

McBride notes that Mr. McCutcheon is proficient in many instruments,
including the autoharp and hambone (“the art of slapping oneself
percussively”), but is most famous for his work with the hammer dulcimer.
For those who are uninitiated into the world of the hammer dulcimer,
McBride describes it as “an ancient Middle Eastern instrument…shaped like
a trapezoid and set up like a table with lots of strings strung across,
sort of like a harp set on its side.”

“It sounds a little like a harp, only with a sharper, higher sound,” said
McBride. “People sometimes describe it as a Christmassy sound.”

With these many instruments, McCutcheon creates a sound that ranges from
the Indigo Girls to Pete Seeger to “old-time Appalachian sounds” (think “O
Brother Where Art Thou?”), according to McBride. And these eclectic tastes
are put to diverse uses, with McCutcheon just as famous for “intelligent
children’s songs like ‘Rubber Blubber Whale’ and ‘Mail Myself to You’,” as
for his well-known anti-war ballad, “Christmas in the Trenches.”

Meanwhile, McBride describes Ms. Near as “a progenitor of modern feminist
and queer-rights songwriting and…a leader in recording women songwriters
around the world.” Her sound is reminiscent of Paul Simon–“modern songs
with a basis in folk and influences from jazz and world music.”

McBride is predicting that when these two talented musicians get together
on-stage tonight, they will create an entirely new experience, “a sound…
that a lot of folk fans around the country have never had the chance to
hear” due to the rarity of their shared appearances. Nevertheless, the one
thing that is certain is that the show will have a fair share of their
patented “damn funny storytelling,” says McBride.

The other thing that McCutcheon and Near have in common is their commitment
to activism. Thus, McCutcheon will not only play 1986’s “Christmas in the
Trenches” tonight, but also a number of new songs that he has written in
response to current events. Additionally, both Near and McCutcheon have
been involved in the fight for queer rights, with the former being one of
the first famous female singers to come out as a lesbian in the 1970s.

These activist interests will be expressed through their afternoon
“Teaching Peace” workshop, which focuses on educating children about
alternatives to violence. In regard to this, McCutcheon says, “we teach
mathematics as though the future of the planet depended on it, yet give no
instruction in nonviolent responses to violence in our schools, our
streets, our world.”

Nevertheless, even this seemingly-heady event will not be far removed from
the performers’ love of music. “Come prepared to sing,” says McCutcheon.

Workshop: Scheuer Room, 4:30 p.m.
Performance: LPAC Mainstage, 8:00 p.m.


2) Ruach to sponsor Shabbaton, host talk on eco-theology

by Jeremy Schifeling
Co-Managing Editor

This weekend, Ruach will be presenting a Shabbat like no other–in other
words, a Shabbaton.

But what, you ask, is a Shabbaton? Well, Michael Cohen ’05 of Ruach
describes a Shabbaton as “a gathering in the Jewish tradition, lasting the
entirety of the Sabbath (from sundown on Friday to Sundown on Saturday),”
complete with “good food, singing, and study.”

In addition to traditional prayer services on Friday evening and Saturday
morning, the celebration will feature Jewish stories, games, and a special
keynote lecture.

Rabbi Dr. David Seidenberg, noted as “a scholar, activist, and frequent
lecturer on topics of Kaballah, Rabbinic Thought, Ethics, and Ecotheology,”
will give a talk tomorrow afternoon entitled “Transcending polarities: the
kabbalah of ecology and the justice of Shabbat.”

Though the title may seem intimidating, Malika Krasik-Geiger ’03 wishes to
assure potential lecture-goers that Rabbi Seidenberg, who hails from
Berkeley, will make the topic interesting and accessible.

“I’ve heard David speak before and he’s wonderful and wise and engaging,”
said Krasik-Geiger. “He’s not what you think of when you think about a
member of the clergy. He’s young and down-to-earth and he loves working
with people our age. He’s also well-rounded and very knowledgeable about
things other than Judaism, which allows him to draw connections that other
religious scholars overlook.”

And for those who are completely unfamiliar with the subject matter,
Krasik-Geiger offers the following definitions:

“Kabballah is a body of literature comprised of ancient writings by Jewish
mystics… It’s seldom taught because it’s esoteric, but also because the
rabbis were afraid that people who studied it would get too caught up in
the mystical realm and loose track of reality. However, kabbalah has
enjoyed a recent resurgence among celebrities such as Madonna and Roseanne,
as well as among everyday folks like us.”

Shabbat, meanwhile, is “a time when Jews take a break from the material
world. Although it’s a beautiful and replenishing practice, many people
only associate Shabbat with its tremendous number of restrictions. Many
people view it as synonymous to a blind adherence to arbitrary laws.”

Krasik-Geiger says that despite the seeming inaccessibility of these two
practices, “Rabbi Seidenberg will show how these topics are related to
social justice and ecology–issues that are important to many Swatties.”
She encourages people to “come to the talk if they’re curious about why
there’s all this fuss over kabbalah, or if they’d like to know how
progressive politics can be inspired (or even prescribed) by an ancient

Meanwhile, Cohen notes that even if such high-concept discussion is not
your cup of Manischewitz, the event is worth attending due to the presence
and co-sponsorship of the Jewish groups at Bryn Mawr and Haverford.

“You’ll get to meet Jews from Bryn Mawr and Haverford, get to know Jews
from Swarthmore better if you don’t already,” said Cohen. “What if this is
where you meet that nice Jewish boy/girl that your parents want you to
find? You never know…”

For the complete Shabbaton schedule:


3) Weekend roundup

by Evelyn Khoo
Living & Arts Editor

The weekend starts early this week! Get your dose of peace (since you can’t
anywhere else it seems) from the Teaching Peace Workshop at 4:30 p.m. today
in the Scheuer Room. The workshop will feature famous social activist folk
musicians, Holly Near and John McCutcheon, who plays the guitar, banjo,
autoharp, piano, fiddle, and hambone (the art of slapping oneself
percussively). Later, ease your worries with their calming vocals at the
concert, 8:00 p.m. in LPAC’s Pearson-Hall Theater.

For those more into dancing their troubles away, make your way out to
Paces, which will be transformed into “Temptasian Island,” a SAO party,
from 10:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.

On Saturday, if, according to their slogan, “you like good wine…and
murder,” head out to Olde Club to check out “The Cask of the Amontillado,”
adapted from the short story by Edgar Allen Poe, which will start at 8:00
p.m. Still thirsting for more manners and mystery? The Movie Committee will
be showing “Gosford Park” in LPAC at 7:30 p.m. and again at 10:00 p.m.

On Sunday, get the heck out of campus (you know you need to!) and be among
the first to sample the opulent delights of West Philly’s latest movie
theater, The Bridge: Cinema De Lux (at 40th and Walnut), which opens
Friday. It has six houses of about 250 comfy, spacious seats, a bar, a
restaurant and–restroom attendants. Go and get pampered!


4) World news roundup

* Intelligence officials reported that the area of South America known as
the tri-border region most likely served as the site for a meeting to plan
terrorist attacks against the U.S. and Israel. Representatives from groups
sympathetic to al Qaeda met under the leadership of Imad Mugniyeh, who has
bases in Iran and Lebanon.

* Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that Virginia will try the two
sniper suspects first, before Maryland. The two men will be tried
separately on various charges. It is expected that prosecutors will try for
the death penalty. Meanwhile officials linked the men to another killing in
Atlanta, Georgia on September 20.

* The FDA announced on Friday that they had approved a new method of
testing people for HIV. With the new test, results can be had in as few as
20 minutes and are generally 99.6 % accurate. Officials hope that it will
encourage more people to get tested, which will in turn slow the spread of
the disease.


5) Campus events


Teaching Peace Workshop with Holly Near and John McCutcheon
Scheuer Room, 4:30 p.m.

Shabbat Services, led by Rabbi David Seidenberg
Bond Memorial Hall, 5:30 p.m.

“The Cask of Amontillado”
Olde Club, 8:00 p.m.

John McCutcheon and Holly Near in concert
Pearson-Hall Theatre, 8:00 p.m.

International Club Movie
SCCS Lounge, 8:30 p.m.

SAO party
Paces, 10:00 p.m.


SWIL 24th Reunion
Bond Memorial Hall, 9:00 a.m.

“Visions of the Moral Life”
A Celebration of the Contributions to Swarthmore College of Jerry Frost and
Don Swearer
Upper Tarble, 9:00 a.m.

Ruach Shabbaton: Shabbat Morning Service
Lodge Five – Beit Midrash, 10:30 a.m.

Shabbat Kiddish/Lunch
Mephistos, 12:45 p.m.

“Transcending polarities: the kabbalah of ecology and the justice of Shabbat”
Ruach Shabbaton keynote address by Rabbi Dr. David Seidenberg
Scheuer Room, 2:00 p.m.

Torah Study
Lodge Five – Beit Midrash, 4:30 p.m.

Havdalah Service
Mephistos, 6:45 p.m.

Film: “Gosford Park”
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.

“The Cask of Amontillado”
Olde Club, 8:00 p.m.

Student Chamber Music Concert
Lang Concert Hall, 8:00 p.m.


SWIL 24th Reunion Movie Marathon
Martin 201, 8:00 a.m.

Breakfast and Meeting for Worship
Friends Meeting House, 9:30 and 10:00 a.m.

Celebration of Mass
Bond Memorial Hall, 11:00 a.m.

Protestant Worship
Bond Common Worship Room, 4:00 p.m.

Lang Scholars presentations
Scheuer Room, 4:00 p.m.

African Xylophone (gyil) and drum music
Kakraba Llobi, accompanied by Valerie Naranjo and Barry Olsen
Lang Concert Hall, 4:30 p.m.

SAC meeting
Trotter 303, 10:00 p.m.



1) Upcoming contests

There are no contests scheduled for today.

Swimming v. Widener, 2:00 p.m.

There are no contests scheduled for Sunday.



“Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving
cabs and cutting hair.”
–George Burns

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Lola Irele
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Greg Leiserson
Megan Mills
Nelson Pavlosky
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Aude Scheuer
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Holice Kil
Pat Quinn
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