Chinese band ‘Rose’ gives vibrant performance

By Matthew DeFeo
Staff Writer

 They came in with street clothes. They came out with make-up — well, at least one of them did.

Second Hand Rose, a Chinese band, briskly walked on stage for its performance on Thursday, Oct. 16, preparing for a chaotic display that would soon ensue on stage.

They are a self-described folk band despite being labeled mistakenly as a punk band by other listeners. And yet the misconception doesn’t seem to bother them at all.

Beginning with an apology from the percussion player Jeroen Groenewegen-Lau, the band relayed to the audience how the concert was delayed due to problems with amplifiers and microphones.

Professor Jiayan Mi introduced the band as the “hottest, biggest Chinese glam rock band.” However, he forgot to say “the loudest.”

Second Hand Rose like to play their music loud: the suona, a traditional Chinese instrument, loud; the drums, loud; the bass, loud; the lead guitar, loud; the vocals — you guessed it — loud. And with influences like Michael Jackson, Metallica and Nirvana, how could a band not be?

Before the show began, the band’s manager Eric de Fontenay assured the audience that Second Hand Rose “was not a bunch of Chinese guys playing rock music.”

So when a man dressed in a pink jacket adorned with splashes of green and yellow polygons stood on the stage, shook his shoulder tassels, showed his lipstick and flicked his eyebrows, de Fontenay’s caveat was completely understandable.

This man, Liang Long, shrieked and moaned from falsetto to chest voice while mimetically touching the fourth wall.

In between songs, the percussion player Jeroen, due to the other members lacking proficiency in English, would read off of a Prezi presentation to educate the audience on their music.

Long started the band because he became dissatisfied that “many bands were trying to copy western music,” Jeroen said.

The name Second Hand Rose is a jab at many bands that just want to copy western rock without any innovation. Instead, the members of Second Hand Rose wanted to combine the sounds of Michael Jackson and Metallica while also keeping the elements of Chinese opera and traditional music intact.

Although their dress might seem to be an elaborate stage gimmick, Jeroen assured the audience that the red and green garb was to symbolize the color of the Northeast region of China where the members are from, the classical mixed with the modern. This hybridity, Jeroen said, is very important to the band’s identity.

On the Prezi, the band gave the song titles in Chinese and English. Such titles included “Is the East Brighter than the West” and “After Basking in the Setting Sun, I’ll Wallow in Lament,” beautifully crafted song titles that resonated with periods such as the Tang Dynasty golden age of China.

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Long performs vocals with eclectic and authentic energy. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Editor)

The band came on for an encore, due to a gasping Professor Mi jumping on the microphone and prodding the band to deliver.

After a resounding response, the band’s manager said he would do his best to book Second Hand Rose for next year. Professor Mi invited Second Hand Rose to showcase the best music China has to offer, and he has been teaching a class on the subject since 2010.

kim's declassified lib

Kim’s Declassified: The 6 Stages of Going to the Library

If this semester hasn’t reduced you to tears quite just yet, then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. During midterms, the College feels like Stress City, U.S.A. population: you. One would think after 12 plus years of schooling we would have foolproof study habits and work ethic. But alas, here we are, the night before a major test or project is due, holding our head in our hands and muffling screams of “WHY ME” while sitting on the fourth floor of the library.

We came here early in the morning with one mission — get shit done. So what happened?

  1. Unapologetic Optimism: You woke up this morning with a strong sense of determination. You rolled out of bed at a reasonable hour, made sure to grab a bite to eat and, heck, I bet you even took pride in packing your book bag with all your homework, supplies and snacks. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the library looms in the distance like a beacon of hope that good grades truly are obtainable. You quickly approach the entrance and take your first step inside….
  2. Slow Digression: …and the joy slowly drains out of your soul. This isn’t so bad, you tell yourself. You’re still determined enough to walk up four flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator but immediately regret it. You search for an open seat only to be dismayed that practically all of campus is here at the same time. Finally, you grab an armchair looking out over Green Hall in a cozy back nook. Now you’re really ready to start your homework…

    kim's declassified lib
    (Photo Courtesy of
  3. Passive-Aggressive Overload: …that’s when a group of overly rowdy kids strolls in and turn your cozy nook into the confessions room of a reality television show. Their gossip about last night’s shenanigans may be interesting but certainly not at full volume. And yes, they only interrupted you watching cat videos on YouTube (study break), but still. Can’t you watch kittens sneezing in peace and quiet? For the next 20 minutes you’ll shoot them dirty looks that scream, “quiet down or this pencil is going straight into your ear canal…”

    (Photo Courtesy of
  4. Deep Rooted Denial: …you’re starting to lose touch with reality. At this point you’ve completely convinced yourself that unless you stand up RIGHT NOW and get a coffee and pastry from the Lib Café then surely, you’ll die. A boost of caffeine is exactly the thing you need to really focus on this work and get it done once and for all. And who doesn’t love a banana nut muffin? Maybe you’ll see a few friends there. You could definitely use some moral support right now and it’ll only be a few minutes…

    (Photo Courtesy of
  5. Utter Despair: …and by minutes I mean two hours. You spent more time refueling than actually getting work done. Now you’re sitting in a ball in your chair, covered in muffin crumbs staring at your reflection in the window — it’s already nighttime. Did you need to talk to your friend about your pizza preferences? (They like sausage and onions but you’re more of a pepperoni person) No. But did you talk about it ad-nauseam? Yes. Yes you did…

    kim's declassified book
    (Photo Courtesy of
  6. Acceptance: …somehow you’ve allowed size 12 Times New Roman font to ruin your entire being. The essay guidelines are impossible. The midterm study guide is now just a blur. You hang your head in shame. It’s time to pack up your things and emerge back into the real world. You may have accomplished absolutely nothing, but your efforts won’t go unrewarded. You owe yourself some cuddle time with Netflix. Tomorrow is a new day.

Now that midterms are finally over, we can say goodbye to endless hours at the library and extra review sessions with our professors, and say hello to our Netflix accounts and a social calendar that is actually filled with social events. This playlist is a celebration of the end of exams and the new freedom that comes with it, as well as a reminder that there is still a few weeks left of the semester, so make it count!

Happy – Pharrell

This song is bound to put you in a good mood and capture your emotions now that midterms are over! With its upbeat tone and lyrics, you have no choice but to smile and sing along.

Shots – LMFAO

Hit up Slocs on Tuesday night for bowling; go to Rho on Thursday night; hit up a party on Friday. Cheers to the end of a long week of midterms.

Rock Bottom – Modern Baseball

Now that midterms have ended, it might be time to take a day off. Stay up late and sleep until noon the next morning. The lyrics say, “To hell with class I’m skipping, let’s order food and sleep in. I’ve got so much to do, but it’s OK, ‘cause whatever, forever.”

Break Free – Ariana Grande

We are finally free from stress (for the next few weeks at least). Enjoy this new found freedom, take a deep breath, and relax.

Ways to Go – Group Love

Do not forget that though midterms have ended, there are still ways to go before the end of the semester. I hope everyone did great on their exams and remember to have fun before finals! They’ll creep up faster than you think!

From the Roberts: Dressing for Fall

Halloween candy, pumpkin-flavored everything and bright and beautiful colors are just a few of our favorite fall things. However, our favorite has definitely got to be the cozy casual style that comes with the chillier weather.

from the roberts nicoleThis week, we found sophomore communications major Nicole DeStefano on her way to class dressed perfectly for the fall.

We asked Nicole how she would describe this outfit, and her fall style overall, and she said “laidback. In the fall, you’ll always find me in oversized clothing and my converse.” Here, Nicole rocks a basic oversized white tee, a pair of ripped jeans, converse sneakers, and an oversized flannel. Our favorite thing about Nicole’s outfit? Its simplicity.

Recreate Nicole’s casual fall look by pairing your favorite pair of boyfriend jeans with any oversized t-shirt. The two of us chose this pale gray off-the-shoulder tee, courtesy of Urban Outfitters, because we think it’s the perfect combination of comfortable and cute. Finish off your look by adding a lacey bralette and your high-top white converse sneakers (which are probably old and beaten up if you’re like the two of us… thank you, TCNJ night life). On a chillier day, throw on your oversized flannel or your cargo jacket to stay warm, all while looking adorable.

Nicole’s ensemble, a long with our rendition, is perfect for next weekend’s homecoming festivities. What better way to kick back at TCNJ’s homecoming tailgate and football game then by doing so comfortably, and in style? We can’t wait and hope to see you there!

from the roberts fall

Until Next Time,
From the Roberts

Elephant in the Room: Cum on, let’s talk about female masturbation

By Ruchi Shah

Various issues of gender inequality have recently been brought into the spotlight resulting in dialogue — yay progress! Such issues include positive body image, sexual consent, rape culture and slut shaming, and domestic violence. However, a particular issue that also deserves equal attention has been left in the dark and continues to be perceived as highly stigmatized. I’m referring to an a certain pleasure that usually takes place when you’re alone, snuggled between your sheets, right before you fall asleep. Did you get a guilty feeling just thinking about the phrase? Well, you shouldn’t have. Female masturbation is indeed a pleasure and there’s nothing guilty about it.

There are countless (invalid, as I hope to convince you of) reasons as to why female masturbation remains such a taboo topic, but the common thread of patriarchy connects them all. True sexual liberation for women will not be achieved until female masturbation is normalized to the extent that male masturbation is. In this discrepancy is the inherent implication that males are more deserving of such pleasure and by extension, their gratification is of greater importance.

The root of this issue can be traced back to a fear of disrupting the status quo of male dominance. The patriarchy fears the attainment of female sexual satisfaction without male stimulation. Female masturbation is a self-determining act — one that solely addresses a woman’s needs. In addition, masturbation permits sexual exploration without having to seek validation. Male masturbation is regarded as a coming-of-age rite of passage for teenagers. In fact, the absence or lack of acknowledgement of masturbation is an anomaly for boys and is a cause of concern.

In contrast, female sexuality has a long history of being repressed and this discrimination was particularly prominent in the early 19th century where notions of nymphomania were ubiquitous. According to nymphomania, which was considered a disease, any interest in sexual activity expressed by a woman was automatically classified as an extreme case of abnormal, insatiable sexual appetite. The existence of female sexuality was permissible in reference to male sexuality, with the role of the former being to fulfill the needs of the latter.

The dichotomy between the normalization of male and female masturbation is incredibly problematic. It is notions such as these that lead to victim blaming in situations of sexual assault and extends to the dehumanization of prostitutes. Female sexuality needs to be destigmatized — let your hands do what they want and dance all alone in the dark.

Students storm the stage during a lively performance from The Front Bottoms. (Michael Cort / Photo Assistant)

Students contribute to the chaos at fall concert

Students storm the stage during a lively performance from The Front Bottoms. (Michael Cort / Photo Assistant)
Students storm the stage during a lively performance from The Front Bottoms. (Michael Cort / Photo Assistant)

By Kimberly Ilkowski & Sydney Shaw

Review Editor & Opinions Editor

Wacky inflatable arm-flailing tube men, vicious mosh pits and broken equipment — and that was just the opening acts. The College Union Board’s 2014 fall concert featuring We The Kings, The Front Bottoms and New Politics cranked the volume up to 11 in Kendall Hall on Thursday, Oct. 9, for a show filled with beloved songs — old and new — screaming and a hint of debauchery.

Opening the night was We The Kings, whose breezy attitude and contagious energy persisted throughout the band’s nearly hour-long set. Frontman Travis Clark, bassist Charles Trippy, guitarists Hunter Thomsen and Coley O’Toole and drummer Danny Duncan exuded effervescence as the high school friends played hits like “Skyway Avenue,” “Say You Like Me” and “We’ll Be A Dream.”

During “I Feel Alive,” the band filmed the crowd “sorority squatting” and flailing their arms like wacky inflatable tube men during the chorus, footage which was posted on the members’ YouTube video blogs and will be used in their upcoming music video for the track.

In an interview with The Signal, Clark discussed how the band has evolved since 2007, when it released its self-titled album filled with vibrant pop hooks. Six years later, the band produced “Somewhere Somehow,” complete with electronic elements and hip-hop influences. Clark attributes the musical transition in part to an evolution in the band’s roster. Trippy and O’Toole officially joined the band during the release of  2011’s “Sunshine State of Mind” and have since contributed their own unique musical styles to the band.

We The Kings closed out the set with its 2007 bubble gum rock single “Check Yes Juliet,” a song that propelled audience members right back to their days of middle school crushes and Myspace mirror selfies.

“‘Check Yes Juliet’ was one of our biggest songs ever, but I don’t want to write that same song over and over again,” Clark said. “I want that to live in the present of where it was and just be the song that people fell in love with.”

Next to take the stage was indie-rock unit The Front Bottoms, returning to the College after making its debut at the Rathskeller in February 2012.

Vocalist Brian Sella slid around the stage, acoustic guitar in hand and rainbow socks on his feet, as he belted out songs off the sophomore disc “Talon of the Hawk” such as “Skeleton” and “Tattooed Tears.” The band — comprised of Sella, drummer Matthew Uychich and touring members Tom Warren on bass and Ciaran O’Donnell on keyboard, trumpet and guitar — also performed “12 Feet Deep” and “Lipstick Covered Magnet,” tracks originally on the unmixed and unmastered EP “I Hate My Friends.” The songs were professionally recorded for the band’s latest effort “Rose.”

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A moody performance from The Front Bottoms engages the audience. (Michael Cort / Photo Assistant)

“I think in the beginning, me and Matt didn’t know so much about how it was supposed to be done,” Sella said. “We didn’t really know how to mix and how to master. We didn’t have the equipment or anything, but I remember we always felt very strongly, like, ‘These songs are good as hell. Who cares if they sound shitty … We’re not going to be famous or on the radio, so who cares? Let’s just let the people listen to it.’”

The band performed in front of its own version of wacky inflatable tube men, as well as giant “TFB” blow-up letters as they sang about inconvenient love, regretting tattoos and other emotionally charged lyrics with enough teenage angst to make your parents roll their eyes.

During the band’s final song of the night, “Twin Size Mattress,” a female student burst onto the stage to sing along with Sella. What seemed like an isolated occurrence turned into an absolute riot as students flooded the aisles to climb onto the stage. The passionate final verse was shouted over an uncontrollable crowd. Several particularly rowdy students had to be escorted out of Kendall.

With such fiercely loyal fans, it’s no big surprise they turned out this way.

Such a dramatic finale was hard to match, but headliners New Politics managed to wrangle the crowd right back in with its set of dynamic songs and impressive break dancing skills. Vocalist David Boyd and guitarist Søren Hansen moved to New York from Denmark in 2009 after being signed to RCA Records. Long Island native Louis Vecchio joined the band shortly after their arrival.

Boyd leads New Politics with soaring vocals and endless charisma. (Michael Cort / Photo Assistant)

“When we suddenly came to America and we didn’t know what direction we should take the second album in, the only thing we knew was that if it doesn’t mean something, we were gonna scratch the song,” Hansen said in the pre-show interview.

After trying to pen hundreds of different tracks, the trio finally settled on one that meant something: “Harlem.”

The band played other songs from its album “A Bad Girl in Harlem” including “Overcome” and “Goodbye Copenhagen,” a tribute to Boyd’s and Hansen’s hometown. The set also included two tracks that had never before been performed in front of an audience — “Everywhere I Go (Kings And Queens)” and “Loyalties.” The latter was co-written with Fall Out Boy, which the band opened for during the summer Monumentour with Paramore.

“It’s really inspiring to see where (Fall Out Boy has) taken it, if you just believe in yourself and work hard for it,” Boyd said. “They’ve been a band for what, 10 or 12 years? Sometimes we have rough days and it’s nice to see it all pays off at the end if you work for it.”

After the animated finale, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” students went home with ample amounts of sweat, life-long memories and bruises — lots and lots of bruises.

Thanks to our friends at LTV, the Campus Television Station, for videotaping the interviews with the bands!

Erini – perfect dinner for a special occasion

By Jenna Ryan

Recently, my family came to visit me: another visit, another restaurant. Where to, you ask? Well, Erini of course! The restaurant is not far from the College at all, a mere 10 minutes away. The exterior of the restaurant was really nice, lined with tiki torches and a chiminea in the center. It felt like I was on a tropical island.

Upon entering the restaurant, I immediately felt like I was in a fancier version of my dining room. Because it is October, they also had nice Halloween decorations up. We made a reservation, and I do recommend making one if you decide to go, especially on weekends when it can get a bit crowded. My party was seated and the waitress told us the specials. Everything on the menu sounded delicious — we decided to get the Caprese salad and corn chowder as appetizers, and baked chicken, stuffed shrimp, ribs, chicken piccata and grilled salmon for our entrees. The mozzarella cheese in the Caprese salad is made fresh in the restaurant, making it one of the best tomato and mozzarella cheese combinations I have tasted. The corn chowder was also tasty and satisfying.

My grilled salmon was delicious, and although I did not try any of the other dishes, my family raved about them. Although I am trying to think of some displeasing aspect of Erini’s in order to balance my review, I cannot think of a single thing. Everything was beyond delicious, and I am already planning my trip back there.

With a meal so delightful, it would be insulting not to finish it with dessert. We ordered the crème brulee and a flourless chocolate cake. The crème brulee was just exquisite, and I am dreaming about it as I write this. The service was also fantastic. Our waitress, Leni, was very accommodating and made sure everything was safe to eat due to my younger cousin’s peanut allergy.

Overall, it is a bit pricey for a college student’s budget, but if you have a special occasion coming up, I highly suggest dining at Erini. The venue exuded class and coziness, which resulted in a very interesting and pleasant combination.

Erini Restaurant

1140 River Rd, Ewing Township, NJ 08628

Phone: (609) 882-0303

Community and legacy

By Lily Kalczewski

Members of the College community – past and present – come together to celebrate Community Fest and Parents’ Weekend. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Editor)
Members of the College community – past and present – come together to celebrate Community Fest and Parents’ Weekend. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Editor)

Two huge white tents were set up on the field in front of Kendall Hall this past Saturday, Oct. 18, hosting local organizations, groups and vendors that were all gathered to participate in the annual Ewing Township Community Fest.

Community Fest abounded with a variety of organizations and plenty of entertainment flourishes. The Ewing Green Team set up a table to promote recycling and environmental sustainability. Even the Ewing High School Robotics team made an appearance. For entertainment, there was live music, inflatable slides and bounce houses, accompanied by face painting and George the Magician. More importantly for foodies everywhere, food trucks lined the festival, providing attendees with a number of dining options.

From the College community, students and parents visited the College and Community Fest as a part of Parent’s Weekend. Several visiting parents has once been students themselves and explored the College and reminisced about its path over the years.

The turnout at Community Fest showed that although the College has undergone many changes since it was established, it still maintains a larger sense of community. After contacting alumni who currently have children attending the school, it was clear that their favorite attribute of their alma mater was the close community feel.

As Michele Prescavage, class of ’91, observed when she was a student, the College “always had a small town feel,” and she believes that this remains the same even now. Having such a close community allowed the Alumni to meet lifelong friends and even spouses, as with the case of Susan and John Infosino, class of ’79 and ’77, and Michele Prescavage and her spouse, Jim, ’93.

“The enduring friendships I’ve kept up are no doubt the best thing from the past,” Ken Baumann, ’82, said. 

“What my child likes most about TCNJ is the tight knit community,” Susan Duthie Warwick, ’89, said about her daughter’s experience so far at the College. “She can walk on campus at any point and see multiple friends, and the tight-knit community definitely rolls over onto the professors and staff.”

The Prescavages’ daughter agreed adding that the school offers “a very welcoming campus.”

Nonetheless, the alumni noticed that along with the name, the College has undergone many alterations, specifically to the buildings which have changed in both amount and appearance. Warwick remembered the diversity of the buildings and how some “were very old with a lot of character while others sported what was considered a more modern look.”

“Today the campus is redesigned with many new buildings in the Georgian Architecture style,” she said.

Alumni are also relieved when it comes to parking. According to both Warwick and Susan Infosino, parking has definitely become a lot easier since they’ve attended.

Furthermore, recognizing the quality education they received, many alumni agree that the education at the College has since been enhanced. Comparing their education to their children’s now, some alumni believe that the curriculum is more challenging, and that even getting accepted to the College is harder. As the Prescavages observed, “The reputation of the College has improved since our time.” This can be attested to the recent ranking by U.S. News and World Report listing College the top public school in the northern region.

Overall, the alumni look back on their college days with happiness, gratitude and pride. Due to the education they received at the College, all the alumni have been successful in their careers. Infosino credits her time at the College for discovering her passion in life, which is “serving young children.” She says it’s where she “learned about persistence, patience and not giving up.”

The alumni have all had fantastic experiences at the College, and now, it’s their children’s turn to make some memories. Warwick and the Prescavages each currently have one daughter attending the school. The Infosinos’ son just graduated from the school, and their daughter is currently a freshman. Lastly, Baumann has two sons currently enrolled. Despite the alumni’s children having family ties to the school, it’s not the only reason they chose the College.

“TCNJ would have been on our son’s short list of schools even if both of their parents hadn’t attended here,” Baumann said. “You cannot dispute the well-deserved national rankings the College has received.”

Furthermore, with the construction of Campus Town, the coming renovation of the Brower Student Center and the introduction of the STEM Complex, the College is continuing to change physically as well. But as both the alumni and their children would agree, the campus remains ever beautiful.

Dads and The Moms command the Rat stage

By Kimberly Ilkowski
Review Editor

It was a family affair at the Rathskeller on Friday, Oct. 10, where the musical forces of Dads combined with The Moms for an evening of indie rock.

New Jersey drunk-punk trio The Moms started off the night channeling its rough and rugged style through its music and appearance, donning torn-up T-shirts and thick facial hair.

The bands rage-filled set was led by vocalist and guitarist Joseph Nester, bassist Jonathan Stople and drummer Donny Saraceno.

The night’s songs included “Arrest Me” off the 2013 “Viva!” EP as well as “Blow Me” and  “NJ Transit Blues” off the 2014 “Blow Me” EP.

With such provocative titles, it was clear from early on in the set that the band is out to make a statement. According to its Facebook page, “the genre-bending album’s socially-charged prose touches upon subjects such as prescription drug abuse, private bomb brokers, joining the navy and the potential for a better post-apocalyptic U.S.A.”

The Moms are embarking on an extensive fall tour across the country with Everything Ever in support of it’s first full length album “Buy American,” which was released last month on Paper & Plastick Records.

In stark contrast to the night’s loud, in-your-face opening act, the indie, emo duo, Dads, were next to take the stage.

The noticeably darker set — in feeling and in lighting — began with an ambient opening track with moody bass and cricket chirps.

Following the first few slow songs, the band, comprised of John Bradley on vocals and drums and Scott Scharinger on guitar, picked up the pace with faster tracks featuring skilled instrumental solos.

The rest of the band’s set followed suit, shifting from sweet to sour, hard to soft and dark to light. The band toyed with audience members’ heart-strings with gentle melancholic guitars then smacked them in the face with pounding drums.

Dads’ engaging performance was resemblant to the indie rock band The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, back when they played a similar style of music at the Rat in March.

Not only did Bradley impress students by seemingly effortlessly drumming and singing at the safe time, but also seemed to speak to them in a cryptic manner — often adding in an existential lament like, “there’s no explanation for life,” before smashing his cymbals and starting a new song.

The band recently released a full-length album “I’ll Be The Tornado,” which came out last Tuesday through 6131 Records and will be touring around the country with Tiny Moving Parts, Nai Harvest and Choir Vandals this fall.

Former student at the College John Wolf stuck his claim in the front row all night, bobbing his head and yelling along.

“The Moms and Dads are two of my favorite bands, so it was awesome to see them play together,” Wolf said after the show. “My voice has never been so sore from singing lyrics so loudly.”

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The Moms song lyrics highlight controversial issues. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Editor)
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Dads debut dramatic new music for students in the Rat. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Editor)

Flynn, Fincher and Pike trifecta electrify ‘Gone Girl’

By Jonathan Edmondson
Arts & Entertainment Editor

“I will practice believing my husband loves me, but I could be wrong,” writes Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), the central character of “Gone Girl,” in her journal toward the end of the first act of the film.

Pike’s voiceover is filled with sickly sincerity and enough ambiguity to make the audience squirm in their seats.

Does her husband love her? Or, better yet, does she love her husband?

These questions help frame this narrative drama based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. Flynn, who rose to literary stardom after readers everywhere could not stop talking about “Gone Girl” and its ‘you-won’t-believe-it’ twist, also penned the screenplay.

David Fincher, an Oscar-nominee and currently one of cinema’s most popular filmmakers, directed the film, which also stars Ben Affleck as Amy’s husband Nick. Through his modernized scope, viewers are able to watch Flynn’s expertly crafted story come alive in a fiercely captivating way.

The plot, it seems, is very straightforward. Nick comes home from work one afternoon and Amy is missing. He calls the police, and within a matter of hours, all eyes are on him as the prime suspect. It does not help that Nick is utterly apathetic and seemingly detached from the entire situation.

The first act of the film is layered with voice-over diary entries from Amy, recounting tales of her childhood in which she grew up with famous parents. Her mother and father co-wrote a children’s book series called “Amazing Amy,” based on their daughter’s life — or, rather, what they wished her life would be.

Amy also chronicles her romance with Nick, tracing their journey from New York to Missouri, where the young couple would move after both lose their jobs in journalism and Nick’s mother grows ill. Shortly after they move out West, his mother passes away.

The loss of his mother and his job weighs on Nick. He grows increasingly irritable with Amy. In one of her entries, she recalls a moment where he hit her during an argument. As the search for Amy continues in real time, diary entries reveal that just weeks before her disappearance, Amy was afraid that Nick was going to kill her.

What happens next (spoiler alert) is what makes “Gone Girl” one of the most innovative thrillers of the 21st century. Flynn flips the plot on its head when the viewer sees a shot of Amy driving in a car, a bandage around her arm.

“Let me tell you how I did it,” her voice over says.

The rest of the film jumps between Amy and Nick’s story. Everything you originally thought has changed. Nick’s guilt is put into question in a big way.

Of course, the rest of the world does not know Amy is still alive, or that she framed her own disappearance to make her husband’s life a living hell. Part of her master plan involves cutting and dying her hair, ditching her old identity and even hitting her cheekbone with a hammer to dramatically alter her face. Her ultimate goal is to make sure Nick suffers, and Pike pulls off the role of Amy with delivilsh force.

In flashbacks, Pike plays the socialite Amy with misty allure. When she’s hiding away in a cabin after her disappearance, she has biting sarcasm and a tough outer-edge. Her acting dynamics are superb. Pike never falters in a role that is physically, emotionally and mentally demanding. She slips into the role of Amy with such ease that it’s clear why Pike beat out bigger Hollywood names for this coveted role.

Despite Amy’s psychotic nature, Nick is not exactly guilt-free. He has been having an affair with his student, Andie (played with humorous naivete by Emily Ratajkowski), and planned to ask Amy for a divorce the morning she went missing. Affleck is perfectly scummy as Nick, slipping into the role with disinterested ease.

The combined force of Flynn and Fincher help to breathe cinematic life into a novel beloved by millions across the globe.

And the ending?

It’s Pike, aided by Fincher’s stunning direction, at her absolute psychotic best.

Watch out, Oscars — Amazing Amy is coming for you.

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Bold direction from Fincher shapes a chilling narrative for Flynn’s screenplay. (AP Photo)
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Pike delivers an Oscar-worthy performance, showcasing her acting as Amy. (AP Photo)

The Hollyword: Goo-goo Gaga wants babies

By Johnanthony Alaimo

‘Friends’ comes to Netflix on New Year’s Day. (AP Photo)
‘Friends’ comes to Netflix on New Year’s Day. (AP Photo)

YAAAAASS GAGA, SLAY ME IN VITRO is probably what a Lady GaGa fan is saying right now after the Queen of Flopping commented that she wants to have lots of kids.  Gags said, “I want to have tons of kids, actually …  I think at least three. I really want to have a family, and I really want to nurture my children and inspire (them).” Well can you start off raising sea monkeys first and if you don’t eat/try to wear them, I can maybe let you do what you want with your body. Gags as a mother is an interesting concept. The child’s first words will probably be “MA-MA-MAMAMA,” it’ll learn to walk in lobster heels at 2 years old and will probably try to consume Blue Ivy at 3 years old to absorb her powers. After some thought, I welcome a Gags baby. Maybe she’ll go into a cocoon for a few years to incubate. It will serve us all well.

Get ready to never leave your room. Not because of the fear of Ebola, ISIS or Shia LeBeouf, but because “Friends” will finally be available for streaming on Netflix. No longer do you need to steal your friends’ expansive DVD collection or watch an episode on a seedy website next to an ad that’s promoting some erectile enhancement. Soon you will be able to enjoy the entire gang in some real comfort. Watch Joey get his head stuck in a doorframe in the park. Watch Phoebe sing a nonsensical song under the table during family dinner. Watch Rachel and Ross cry over each other while you cry over a tub of ice cream in your room, you loser. You can do whatever you want! The show will debut on Netflix in 2015, the Year of our Lorde.

Want to learn a new language? Forget Spanish, French, or Italian. Throw that Rosetta Stone into the gutter. Download the “Dothraki Companion” app and learn the language only fictional characters speak on “Game of Thrones.” Amaze your friends with your ability to both speak another language and your ability to waste hours of your life learning it. Confuse your taxi driver by giving him directions in Dothraki and, when he tells you he doesn’t understand, simply say “Dracarys.” Talk about your enemies right in front of them without them knowing! They’ll think you’re having a stroke. The possibilities are endless, or as they say in Dothraki … actually I don’t know because I’m not downloading the damn app. I’m too busy trying to match up with people on Binger, the new app that brings you together with people who like things in excess, like TV, food and misery.

Introducing the Collegiatelinks database

Over the course of the last two weeks, Student Government introduced several new programs and initiatives to the campus community.

At the general body meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 8, Director of Planning & Administration Cecelia O’Callaghan introduced Collegiatelinks, an online database for all student organizations and events to promote student involvement. Collegiatelinks representative Andrea Palmer gave a tutorial introduction to the program via video chat.

“Students will be able to browse all clubs and organizations at the College and see all the events going on around campus,” Palmer said.

Students will be able to access Collegiatelinks using their PAWS login information. The site features a current events board, attendance tracking and organization finance applications.

“You can go online and type in what you’re interested in — service opportunity and athletics, for example — and Collegiatelinks uses an algorithm to match students up with relevant groups,” she said.

The program will be integrated with social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Site administrators can embed feeds, Google calendars and more.

Collegiatelinks will be presented to the Board of Trustees in December.

After the presentation, Vice President of Academic Affairs Casey Dowling announced that “Registration 101,” a program that advises students on how to register for classes through PAWS, will be hosted on Wednesday, Oct. 29, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Travers/Wolfe lounge.

At the General Body meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 15, the College’s new director of recreation Robert Simels discussed his plans for Recreation on campus. Simels wants to work with students and meet their needs in a holistic manner.

Later, Vice President of Equity and Diversity Javier Nicasio announced that the first issue of Diversity University has been published. It contains content related to Queer Awareness Month, the I Too Am TCNJ campaign and the Wage Gap Bake Sale that was held on Wednesday, Oct. 15 —  women paid 66 cents for a baked goods item while men had to pay a full dollar to reflect the differences in pay in the workplace.

Vice President of Student Services Navid Radfar reminded Student Government of the T-shirt swap to be held in the Brower Student Center on Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Students can trade in a T-shirt from another college or a high school for a brand new Homecoming 2014 shirt.

Bonnie Watson Coleman presents campaign to College

By Bri Ozalas

The College Democrats invited N.J. General Assemblywoman and Congressional candidate Bonnie Watson Coleman Friday, Oct. 17, to speak on student issues and her political platform in hopes of encouraging students to vote in the midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Watson Coleman (NJ-D), a Mercer County native, the first African American woman to serve as the Majority Leader of the New Jersey General Assembly and also as the chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, made a pit stop at the College as part of her campaign to become the first African American woman to represent New Jersey’s 12th district. She is running to replace long-time Democrat Rush Holt.

“We need to be clear who we are and who we stand for,” said Watson Coleman in her speech, which focused on the importance of a government that works together, listens to students and comes up with solutions for a better society.

“It’s our responsibility to go across the aisle and work with Republicans … It’s our responsibility to build relationships and work together,” Watson Coleman said. “Blaming others is not government. It’s not democracy.”

After her speech, the College Democrats named Watson Coleman the “Honorary Chair of the TCNJ College Democrats.”

“She’s long represented N.J. at a local level, and it’s a great opportunity to have her come in,” said junior history and urban studies double major Sam Fogelgaren,  president of the College Democrats. “We wanted to have her speak to students because she represents students and their needs.”

Watson Coleman stated that she, if elected, will fight to support Pell Grants and the N.J. Stars Program, a scholarship program that covers the cost of tuition at New Jersey’s 19 community colleges.

When asked about the introducing the idea of free education like in Germany, Watson Coleman said it would be difficult and not likely, but that she will work for “making higher education more affordable.”

While she did not state whether she was for or against the legalization of marijuana, she did state that she believes in the “decriminalization” of marijuana and that we need to “separate out the threats to society.”

Unlike many “loud-mouth, dysfunctional ultra-conservatives,” as Watson Coleman said, she believes the Affordable Care Act is the “most significant achievement since the start of Medicare,” and although she says it is not perfect, it allows for “opportunities to improve upon from patient and provider perspectives.”

Watson Coleman’s opponent in the upcoming midterm election is Republican Alieta Eck, MD. Eck, a graduate of Rutgers College of Pharmacy in N.J. and the St. Louis School of Medicine in St. Louis, M.O., is the co-founder of Zarephath Health Center is Somerset, N.J and has been in private practice with her husband since 1988.

By lantern light, PRISM honors those we have lost

By Chelsea LoCascio
Features Assistant

Eclipsed by the blinding stadium lights and cheers of girl’s field hockey fans, students shared their darkest moments by the glow of candlelight in the AIMM amphitheater.

What seemed like a seamless shift from laughter and smiles to self-reflection and understanding, PRISM’s Lantern Vigil on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 8:30 p.m. aimed to remind students of those in the LGBTQ community who have passed from hate crimes or suicide as part of Queer Awareness Month.

“There is hope,” said Robin Schmitz, sophomore criminology major and PRISM’s community advocacy chair, in her introduction. “We are not alone in this fight anymore.”

Functioning as a wake-up call for the community, the speakers at the event intended to prevent any more lives from being taken.

PRISM, along with the help of To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), wants everyone to “remember those who we lost (and) to prevent anymore … to keep as many names off the list,” said Mary-Elizabeth Thompson, a sophomore women’s and gender studies major and TWLOHA secretary.

Thompson reminded everyone of this past National Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10 where 395 flags lined Green Hall, each one representing 100 suicides that occur annually, with a quarter of them from members of the LGBTQ community.

Thompson, who has experienced depression for the past 10 years, offered some advice.

“It isn’t always obvious that someone is hurting,” said Thompson. “(I) encourage you to let people help you … reach out for help (from) loved ones. I guarantee they will care.”

When the floor opened up, Jordan Stefanski, a junior nursing major and member of Delta Lambda Phi fraternity, took the stage and recounted a tragic yet uplifting story regarding a fellow brother in need.

Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men, held a ceremony where Stefanski met a fraternity brother from Los Angeles, C.A. This brother later called Stefanski and told him about his suicidal thoughts. For hours, Stefanski listened and persuaded him to acknowledge that suicide was not the answer.

“There’s always at least one person who cares … me,” Stefanski said, repeating a line that helped him during his phone conversation. “Reach out and touch … even if they’re 3,000 miles away. If someone is in distress … you can always do something. I personally believe it is a matter of reaching out.”

Next came Disha Dass, a senior psychology and women’s and gender studies double major and vice president of PRISM, with a memory of watching her best friend perform in the “Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

According to Playbill, this play is about the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay 21-year-old, in Laramie, W.Y.

“There is still a lot of hate and sentiment and violence against qu eer individuals, and we need to talk about it,” Dass said.

Despite the hatred and violence that continues off campus, the LGBTQ community is grateful for the College’s increasingly accepting environment.

Megan Osika, a senior English, secondary education and women’s and gender studies triple major and president of PRISM, gave closing remarks about her appreciation for the College’s concern.

“In the wake of all the destruction (and) violence, I’m so proud of (the) TCNJ community and their support,” Osika said.

Osika let everyone know that when PRISM’s signs were knocked down during Welcome Week, the College’s students, staff, campus police and many others contacted her in hopes that this was not a hate crime.

“People are looking out for us … people have our backs,” Osiak said. “When I leave this campus, that’s a different story.”

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