Archive | February, 2012

General Honoré Talks Leadership

Posted on 19 February 2012 by Sam Kinney

Lieutenant General Russell Honoré spoke Thursday Feb. 9 at the Weasler auditorium to students and staff about Leadership. His overall message was that our nation has lost its drive for invention. He implored his audience to try and be the “next big thing.”

Honoré is best known for his work done following the Katrina disaster. Aug. 31, 2005 he was appointed the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina. He further gained national attention with is attitude towards reporters that asked stupid questions. He once told a reporter that asked a stupid question to not get “stuck on stupid.”

His other big point to his audience in addition to being inventive was being prepared. He used many examples from his work in the Katrina effort to explain what he meant by being prepared. One line he repeatedly said was “For every dollar you save on being prepared, you save 12 dollars in response.” He was trying to convey to his audience that being prepared will be much more beneficial to you instead of just dealing with a problem as it happens.

He also said “If we lose power, we will be living as we did 80 years ago.” Honoré was referring to the Katrina incident when so many lost power and had to live a primitive lifestyle for so long.

He told us all this because Honoré made it very clear that he loves his country and it kills him to see it losing its power over the rest of the world. He said that it is our job to keep America free for the next generation.

He reflected on the American Revolution and told his audience “Next time you face something difficult in your life, consider your founding fathers!” He spoke extensively of the founders and the soldiers in the Revolution. This example was used when he spoke about being proactive; if you see a problem with something, fix it. “The founders saw a problem with the way they were being ruled so they took action.”

One very powerful yet comical message he conveyed to the audience was that he has no tolerance for terrorism. “If you see something bad about to happen, DO SOMETHING! If someone is trying to set their shoe on fire, I’m gonna’ to beat them!”

He made the connection that one of his generation’s big challenges was the Vietnam War and stopping the spread of communism. But the issues our generation is faced with solving is over population, world hunger and water – which is what he believes the next major war will be over.

One could almost hear the sadness in his voice when he was speaking of rising nations such as China and India. He wants the United States to be the most powerful nation forever and he sees that this next generation of Americans has lost the drive that older generations once had. Unlike the “Greatest Generation” Honoré said, there is no burden to go to war after school, but an obligation to be inventive.

Sam Kinney

[email protected]

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Bridge TV Needs Real Diversity

Posted on 14 February 2012 by Sam Kinney

Marquette’s Raynor Memorial built its bridge extension for the Raynor Memorial Libraries in 2002. Although the bridge has a great variety of food and a unique atmosphere, the television programming is bland. That is of course unless you enjoy watching CNN all day.

To a certain extent I understand why they chose CNN to be shown. Usually coffee shops and other restaurants tune into 24-hour news networks for their patrons. But this is Marquette. Why not play MUTV? The MUTV news program is broadcast on channel 99 Monday-Thursday from 6:30-9:30 pm. It is created, produced and anchored by Marquette students. During that three-hour time window shouldn’t Marquette broadcast its own news program?

I spoke with a number of my peers, and they all said the same thing: no one watches channel 99.
Some people, especially freshmen, do not even know what channel MUTV is. This is a perfect opportunity to market its own news program.

As stated, the MUTV news program is not broadcast 24 hours a day. But I tuned to channel 99 during a time that the news program was not being broadcast and I found what is called mtvU.

This is played during the 21 other hours of the day and during the weekends when MUTV is not on air. MtvU is just like the real MTV, it plays music videos by popular artists. Our generation is very connected with our music, so why can’t we enjoy it whenever we are able to?

I also asked random students if they would rather watch news all day or listen to music. To no surprise, all of them said they would rather listen to music. Why doesn’t the University satisfy the student’s demands? Studies have shown that people work better when they are happy and comfortable. Our generation is comfortable with listening to music while studying. Perhaps an older audience would enjoy watching CNN, but we students do not.

But why stop with music? The library can tune to ESPN, another 24-hour news network. ESPN has interactive shows such as NFL 32 and Sports Nation. These kinds of programs lighten the mood like music. The bridge could turn on ESPN at least some of the time.

However, there is something more at stake here. This television situation goes deeper than just music and sports. Political biases are coming to the forefront when solely broadcasting CNN. It’s no secret that CNN has a liberal bias. And any lefty can tell you FOX News has a conservative bias. If Marquette truly believes in diversity, they will play both. Marquette preaches to its students to be fair and be accepting of others. But Marquette fails to do so itself. Accepting other cultures is important. Why should politics be any different? The University wants us to conform to their ideas, but they refuse to accept mine. That is extremely hypocritical.

It’s not fair to those of us who are not Democrats. We conservatives are tired of indoctrination. I want a fair and balanced news program. If MU only allows 24-hour news network to play on the Bridge, I advocate for FOX News. Obviously, very few people would be in favor of only broadcasting FOX News. Why not allow FOX News and CNN?

I asked the librarians about this topic and Jean Zanoni, Associate Dean of Libraries, told me: “ESPN is out since it is too narrowly focused. MUTV is under consideration, but closed captioning is not available for MUTV. Closed captioning is essential since the sound is muted. Also, it appears that their programming schedule does not match Bridge hours. It would be challenging to schedule channel switching during library service hours. CNN continues to serve the needs of the area with comprehensive news coverage, closed captioning and display headlines. We also broadcast some sporting events such as the Marquette basketball games during tournaments, the Olympics, World Cup soccer, etc”.

I specifically asked Zanoni about MUTV, ESPN, CNN and FOX News. As shown above, Zanoni seemingly avoided answering about FOX News. Perhaps the library can shed some light on this issue.

Going back to the Zanoni’s response, how does CNN serve the needs of the area? Serving the area is what MUTV or local channels are for. CNN is broadcast throughout the world. Yes, CNN uncovers in-depth stories, but so does FOX News. FOX provides comprehensive news coverage, closed captioning and display headlines, just like CNN. Zanoni’s response appears biased.

The bottom line is that the Bridge has one television but only broadcasts CNN. They should show something more local to Marquette like MUTV or at least balance the liberal station with a conservative one like FOX.

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Dynamic Power Trio Set to Amp up Marquette Music Scene

Posted on 13 February 2012 by Joe Defelice

Look out Warriors, there’s a new power-trio rising in Wisconsin and they’re set to take the world for a ride. Boasting unadulterated, raw power, catchy lyrical style, and a great beat to dance to, The Living Statues are ready to kick some life into Marquette’s music scene.
The Living Statues bring an incredible blend of influences to create their own unique style. The pure crunch of the guitars and amps, a smooth bass line filling the bottom, and energetic drums keep the beat driving, but this isn’t just your daddy’s garage band. They bring a dance-rock rhythm that draws everyone together in front of the stage. The lyrics are very modern: brilliantly poetic and catchy.
“When I describe our sound to venues I tell them, ‘Imagine the White Stripes spilled their drinks on The Strokes and then got into a scuffle with Kings of Leon,’” says Morales.
Go to one of their shows and you soon realize that there is a lot more to the Statues than playing a few songs and going home. The showmanship is phenomenal, and it starts with the contagious, go-big-or-go-home fire of frontman Tommy Shears.
“We’re about to play one of my favorite songs,” Tommy announced most reverently to the crowd at The Bad Genie, “But it’s kind of intimidating when the man who wrote it is staring right at you…and his face is five by five.” For a second you could’ve heard a single pin drop, “John Lennon wrote this song.”
With that the Statues ripped into a rendition of “Well Well Well” that would have brought the rock legend to tears.
Meanwhile, behind the drum-kit Morales brings the steady spark and pop of the Statues. Truly the steady and powerful heartbeat that drives the band’s speedy dance rhythm.
Shears is the fire and Morales the heart, it’s Alex Thornberg that provides the ebb and flow that glues the act together at the seams. His smooth bass lines and cool, calm attitude complement his band-mates perfectly.
“Thorn definitely brings the cool to the act,” Morales said, “We met Thornberg recently. He’s from Chicago, and he fit right in.”
While Chris and Tom, both Milwaukee natives, have been playing together since high school they started collaborating seriously in 2008. While they have been known to pay tribute to classic hits, their main focus is their own original work. Their single “Red Shoes” was the first song they wrote together, back in ’08. It’s just the first of their ever-expanding repertoire.
Tom is a technically trained musician, having taken classical guitar for several years. Morales, on the other hand, didn’t play an instrument until high school. “My family is a musical one, my father played percussion and danced. Beats just come natural to me,” says Morales. Love of making music is clearly something shared by all members of the band.
“Seeing people go crazy dancing to a song that you wrote is the greatest feeling imaginable,” Shears told the Warrior.
While many college campuses are thriving centers of artistic culture, certainly the proving grounds for many aspiring musicians, it is not surprising the disappointment many artists have found at Marquette. Marquette is just not for the arts. That’s not to say that the university is against it. Yes, various dance companies and choral groups book the various theaters on campus. The History department even boasts a class on the history of rock and roll, but there is very little over all participation from the students. It is frustrating for many of the students on campus, but the Statues are determined to breathe some life into the Marquette music scene.
“Sure, there are a lot of musicians here at Marquette, and a lot of “cover” musicians. That’s great, but no one else here is doing what we’re doing,” says Morales. “The Annex has really stepped it up, we’re excited to play there in a couple of weeks. It is also rumored that WMUR, the campus radio station, is working on hosting a showcase of Milwaukee area bands, which will hopefully serve as some inspiration. “We were contacted by WMUR, they’re really trying to build interest in Marquette’s music scene as well.”
There isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind, the Statues are on a roll. The band released a four song EP last October and have been on the fast track since, headlining their most recent show at the popular rock venue The Bad Genie on the 29th of January. Playing for amixed crowd of college students, locals, and fellow bands. Their next show is February 9th at a popular Madison spot called Frequency. But don’t worry Marquette, they’ll be back in action at the Union Sports Annex February 17!tomandthorn

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Do It For The Kids

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Gus Lopez

Welcome back, Warriors. I hope that your break was as fruitful and productive as mine, by which I mean that you accomplished even less than I did and earned yourself a little extra time at the Rec. In all seriousness, I do hope I find you all well.

However, I must dispense with the pleasantries, and get right down to it. I am upset, Marquette. I am upset and hurt that despite a whole semester of my (rather opinionated) advice, I walked into my classes two Mondays ago, and was besieged by all of the things I campaigned against. Sweat pants with boots, rampant bacon-neck, and ill-fitting garments of all kinds. But, what struck me the most, were my fellow males. But, wait, maybe I should offer some clarification.

I’ll take a second to breathe, and explain the background to my ire.

I spent my CHRISTMAS ( I’m a proud Catholic) break split between COD, sleep, the gym, dressed-up dinners, and nights on the town. But one of my most memorable nights, was at dinner on Christmas Eve. I was invited by a good friend of mine to spend the holiday with her family, as mine was out of the country. It was just some cocktails and snacks at 8:30, so I wore some khakis, a white Brooks oxford, and a festive (yet modest) sweater. I arrived at her comfortable suburban home and was greeted at the door by her Father, who was also in a button-up, sweater, and slacks. We exchanged greetings and small talk as he took my coat and then walked me into the kitchen, where everyone had gathered. All of the Men were in a similar uniform to ours, sweater-vests, BB ties, blazers, and button-ups. I instantly felt at home among these well dressed Gentlemen, all of them I would find out were successful or on their way to it, my kind of people.

Now, I know. Maybe, you say, its just because it was a holiday. Maybe it was just to appease their Mothers and Wives. Maybe they hated the collars and cuffs. But, I disagree. These Gentlemen looked like they couldn’t have possibly been more comfortable in anything else.

After a few minutes of introductions, I found myself speaking to an uncle. We were discussing how I had been pleasantly surprised to not be over-dressed, which I explained was almost always the case on Campus. He nodded knowingly and complimented me on my tie, “few kids your age even own ties anymore, it seems.”

Suddenly, I was struck.

Warriors, he’s right. What happened to us, as Men? Raise your hand if: You can tie a tie. A bow-tie? Do you know what size sport coat you wear? Did you use an iron in the past week? Do you take pride in a good pair of shoes? Or, pants that fit just right? I know some of you do, and the rest…

I get it. We’re busy. Times have changed. The era in which every Man wore a fedora and knew a tailor by name… They’re gone. Replaced by Jordan fitteds and Affliction tee shirts. Hell, there’s a chance we’ve probably romanticized the whole history of fashion. But, I have another question to ask you. Do you own a pair of Wayfarer’s? The big sunglasses with the silver accent on each upper corner? You do? You know who else did? Michael Jackson, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, and John F. Kennedy.

Here’s my point. Classics, will always be classics. I wish I could convince you all to join me in class rocking oxfords, khakis, and casually knotted ties. We could go out on the weekends in slim dark trousers and a solid blazer. Forgoing the jager-bombs for three fingers of scotch. But that won’t happen. So, instead, I ask you all: as Gentlemen, my Brothers, let’s step it up.

Every generation leaves a handful of items for their sons and grandsons to bring back. Every generation has that one thing that will always be cool, that will always get our girls to smile when we wear it. Let’s make it a resolution for this year, to stem the tide of terrible clothing. Its not too late! We’ve just barely started the Tens’ (or whatever it is we’re calling this decade). We can make a promise to ourselves, right now, to show future generations that we took ourselves seriously. That although we liked to wear t-shirts and sneakers instead of polos and loafers, we had pride. Because that’s what its about. We look at pictures of the Roaring 20’s, and laugh at their high cut trousers and newsboy caps. But people still wear skinny ties! In 80 years, what will they think of us? Maybe they’ll understand that times were different, they’ll see pictures and nod knowingly, “Yeah, our great-grandparents really liked to be comfortable.”

Then, they’ll zip up their futuristic metallic jumpsuit, throw on some Wayfarer’s, and head out the door.

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Lady Warriors

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Gus Lopez

Hello Warrior-ettes! I promised my female readers a column last time and despite admonitions from my friends that I tread carefully, I want to keep my word, even if I have to be placed under witness-prevention. Now, Ladies, no one is going to deny that MU girls are classy (at least in comparison to UWM), but I have a few suggestions, take ’em or leave ’em.

Let’s start off by addressing an issue that I personally cannot come to terms with. Ladies: Tights are not pants. I’m sorry. Further, I refuse to believe that you all feel more comfortable in something that’s about as close to public nudity as I think society will ever get, over actual pants. I am 100% behind their utility as a layering item, but still, I think you’re all too classy to stroll into my Phil class in a crew-neck and tights. Please, just think about it?

If I get hate e-mails with the above, I might have to fear for my life with this next one: Sweats. Please believe me, I have my fair share of sweat pants, anyone who was in any way involved in their high school has at minimum four or five pairs of the things. And I acknowledge that every once in a while, an alarm clock mysteriously malfunctions and you arrive to Theo in mismatched socks, sweats that have “DANCE” on the butt, and praying no one talks to you because God only knows what your breathe smells like. But, that’s just how it starts. Once in a while becomes once too often. Next thing you know, you’re wondering why anyone bothers with jeans, and your classmates are edging away from “that girl with the crazy hair in the middle row.” Again, just food for thought, and I promise that if anyone catches me in a pair of sweats and calls me out, I will promptly remove them and walk to wherever I am going in my boxers. Promise.

Last, but not least, I would have to say my biggest beef is… Those MASSIVE purses you haul around. I’ll grant you that part of my animosity is a twinge of jealousy (how am I supposed to carry my monstrous smart-phone, keys, pen/pencil, some gum, a wad of crinkled cash, and whatever other junk that ends up in my pockets, without my flat-fronts looking like an overzealous chipmunk?) But still. Some woman nearly knocked me out with her duffel bag sized Coach. I swear if I carried a bag that big they’d make me check it when I fly. I do not see the aesthetic appeal in a woman carrying a bag rappers are known to transport sprite and sizzurp in. Actually, I once I saw a girl pull a 2-liter out of her LV. In class. You know what, on second thought, I’m not mad. I’m impressed.

Please, don’t think that I’m just hating on women or that I like to criticize and judge you ladies. I like to think I’m a decent person, albeit an opinionated one. I’m just a guy who likes to look good when he leaves his apartment. Not because I’m shallow, or because I like to be complimented, but because I want to present myself as best as I can. I think we all work too hard at whatever it is that interests us to not take pride in how we look. We should walk out our doors as often as possible with full confidence that the world will take us seriously. That’s my reasoning behind the above. Can I look at the girl that wears sweats every-other day, or the one in tights all the time, or the one dragging a luggage item around and have full confidence in them? Maybe you can. And if so, you’ll disagree with my column fairly regularly. Which is totally okay. Maybe I am just a superficial jerk. Either way, I’m still going to rock a polo when I could just wear a tee. There’s something about the way you dress that tells those around you how seriously you take yourself and what you do. I don’t want my lawyer coming to my inevitable defense counsel in what the average college student wears. It isn’t about the expense or decorum, Its about walking in looking like you know exactly what you’re doing.

So, there you have it. Stay tuned, ladies and gent’s, I have some things to discuss with the both of you next time. But until then, Marquette, keep your Swagg on.

Gus Lopez

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Too Tight

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Gus Lopez

Hello, my fellow Warriors, I sincerely hope that I find you all well, and I even more sincerely hope that your Valentine’s Day was worse than mine. But, let’s put that terrible holiday well behind us.

On to more important matters. I want to bring our collective attention to a plague which we really ought to address. Warriors, we’re getting a tad portly.

I will be the first to say, that the winter is rough on my workouts. I weighed in at a solid 169lbs this morning. A far cry from my generally acceptable 160. I know that dragging yourself to the gym during a Wisconsin winter is difficult, and there’s been very few days that I’ve wanted to throw on the Under Armour tights and brave a run in the frozen tundra. But given that this week we are looking at the nicest weather thus far this year, I think its fair to say, we need to hold ourselves slightly more accountable.

I walked into my 8am poli-sci class last week, and saw one of those things none of us wants to see. The girl who refuses to believe that her jeans may need to be sized up. There was muffin-top, my friends. A rather evident one, to say the least. It was almost fantastic, the proverbial train-wreck. It made me wish for some pastry to dip into my coffee, which was both funny and disturbing. However, the amusement wore off quickly. Ladies, This is one of the most grievous of fashion faux-pas. I have rallied against improper fit time and time again, and yet you ignore me. I know that it can be difficult to accept that something no longer fits, and I admit that ill-fitting pants are at least marginally better than sweats, but there are ways to avoid exposing this unsightly mistake. Firstly, a shirt that is of proper length is the most simple fix for this scenario. But, let’s say that you don’t want to just cover it up, and actively draw the eye away from your waist, a tee shirt or simple sweater won’t be enough, you’ll have to go for something that has texture or a pattern which angles up and away from your hips. A blouse with a ruffled neckline, or a button-up that you can tuck in will help.

Now, all of you gentlemen who have been snickering quietly, or perhaps not so quietly, you aren’t without rebuke. Gent’s, you have to start wearing shirts that fit.

I will always advocate a slimmer fit, and I will also staunchly stand by my theory that a shirt that fits properly and might strain a tad in the shoulders is preferable to a shirt that bunches and blouses. You’ll look fatter if there’s a huge swath of cotton folded over itself at your bellybutton. But, that isn’t the issue I saw just recently.

He was like a real, human personification of the comic book guy from the Simpsons. Or, at least, his stomach. And his Nike shorts. There was so much straining and stretching when he transitioned from standing to sitting that one could imagine a gymnast limbering up. Except this man wasn’t fit, in the slightest. I know a great deal of men who are on the thicker side, and can still charm the ladies as well as play a great game of ball. And often, what you wear can and does say a lot on your behalf, even if your beer belly doesn’t. But letting yourself go before your junior year of college isn’t a great sign.

Men, a tucked in shirt, unless you’re very seriously overweight slims you down, so long as it fits well. But, the easiest way for us to clean up our act in this category is actually trying things on before you buy them. Seriously, guys, try that shirt on. I doubt that many of us put on an obviously too-tight shirt, look in the mirror, and knowingly wear it out. But I know that once we buy it, there’s a need to justify it, so you con yourself into putting on what you ought not to.

I’ve never told people that they needed to be swim suit models, because we’re all actually real humans. But I think that we can all do a little bit to at least wear clothes that help us, and work with us rather than expose our faults. Common sense is key here, don’t have that extra slice of pizza at 11pm, and don’t squeeze into those jeans. We all know better, so use your head, and keep your swagg on, Warriors

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Springtime Warriors

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Gus Lopez

Warriors! We’re almost there, our salvation is in sight! That wonderful time that is SPRING BREAK is finally here! In the spirit of fun in the sun, I’ve got tips for your beach attire, and I promise not to poke fun of anyone. Well, not too much.

To kick it off, Gentlemen, I want to walk you through what I take to the beach. First, I think its wise to invest in a beach bag. Don’t get all macho on me, I’m talking about a backpack, not one of those canvas totes girls and liberals put their groceries in. I use a beat-up vintage Jansport I found at a garage sale for a nickel. Seriously. It was five cents. It was once probably a bright blue, but the vinyl has worn down several shades and along with the leather trim and straps, the patina this thing has is luxuriously awesome. It only has three pockets; a main pouch for towels, a shirt, and extra shorts. A medium one for sunblock, a camera, and inflatable arm floaties. And a zippered pouch for my wallet, keys, and phone. Go thrifting and pick one up. Second, you can never have too many towels. Bring two big ones to dry off/lie down and a little one for your face/hands. No one likes sand in places where it ought not to be. Pack an extra tee, or two. Since you’re at the beach, have fun with them. Few places are more appropriate for vintage t-shirts. Bright solid colors, or shirts from your high school/past events are perfect. On my feet I wear boat shoes, as a personal choice because I regard all sandals somewhat suspiciously. However, a sunny day on the water is the only place male flip-flops are acceptable, so rock ’em if that’s what you’re into. To keep from spending the whole day squinting, rock some shades. My preferred eyewear is a pair of wayfarers, or understated aviators. Again, you’re at the beach, so those wayfarers with the lime green frame are okay. I personally prefer tortoiseshell but lets be honest, I also wear ties to class. One compromise: please don’t be the guy with the mirrored lenses, those look stupid.

For the main event, ie, the shorts, we need to have an adult discussion. You are no longer in middle school. You are no longer in high school. Step away from the board shorts unless you can legitimately board. Long boards, skate boards, and boogie boards don’t count. Actually, unless you own a surfboard, know who the Wolf Pack is (hint: Not from the Hangover), or can perform a cutback: You can’t wear them. Period. Please grow up. Your teenage dreams of looking like Kelly Slater or riding the Pipeline during the Classic need to be discarded. I grew up in a surfing community, and we all think you look dumb (Okay, so my hometown is the world freshwater surfing capital, but still). Don’t be a kook (surfer for “wannabe.”) “No boardshorts?!” You scream, “Well then what should I wear? A thong? My swim team jammer?” No. Buy some swim trunks. “But, Gus, they’re so… Short.” Yes, they are. Build a bridge, and get over it. Our lady friends wear what is essentially underwear in public with few complaints, but we men freak out if people can see our knees. Even if you didn’t spend the last few weeks preparing to be seen in public and your abs are still hibernating, you will look good in your new swim trunks. Trunks don’t have elastic at the top to squeeze your gut into a mushroom and the short length will help to elongate your frame and slim your appearance. The colors and patterns being offered by designers often have this effect in mind. So breathe easy, I have your best interests in mind. Swim trunks don’t have to be too far from your comfort zone, have a little confidence in yourselves, and embrace adulthood. Remember, my e-mail is always open and I will be more than happy to suggest specifics if you’re lost.

Ladies, you just keep doing what you’re doing. I have few complaints in your department, other than the obvious. And even then, few things are prettier than a tan smile and a nice personality. If anything, I’ll ask for a touch more modesty than is the current norm.

Lastly, I feel like I shouldn’t have to mention this, but, Guys: No sarongs. This isn’t Tahiti (unless you are, in fact, in Tahiti. In which case do whatever you want). For the Lady Warriors, please don’t come back orange.

My fellow Warriors, may your break be everything your parents wish it wasn’t. Hydrate, party hard, soak up some rays, and keep your swag on. (P.S. If anyone will be raging in Texas, hit me up.)

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The Little Guys

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Gus Lopez

My fellow Warriors, I think its time for another of my calls to action, and this time, I promise not to offend anyone. Well, I promise not to try to offend anyone. My main issue here is our obsession with big brand names. Don’t get me wrong: I am a proud and happy member of the 1%, so don’t think I’ve suddenly gone off the deep-end and now hate corporations or something. I just think we all need to look at where we buy our clothes and evaluate if we’re happy with what we’re getting.

I have been incredibly fortunate to have a little extra cash after my “internship” this summer, as well as having had the great opportunity to spend some time on the East Coast (you’ll see that the East Coast has left a mark on me in terms of my style in coming columns). While vacationing at a resort on the Chesapeake, I realized I’d packed too lightly. I needed some basics, a shirt or two, some swim trunks, and a sweater, so we went to a small boutique named Khaki in Irvington, Virginia. I was immediately taken with their preppy items, which still maintained a practical aspect in keeping with the outdoor-leisurely lifestyle of the region. The flagship brand, exclusive to Khaki, is Jimmy and Sook. It is here where Khaki got me hook, line, and sinker. I needed a polo (don’t get any ideas, I had accidentally packed only oxfords) in order to hit the links with my friends. The owner of Khaki, Mr. Andy Smith, pointed me towards his most popular product, the Jimmy and Sook pique-knit polo. It is beautifully made, fits perfectly for an active guy, and the logo on the chest, a blue crab, is iconic of that area. On top of the styling, it was reasonably priced at $60. I got one in navy blue, and it is now a regular in my rotation.

What’s my point? My point is, we need to step away from the Ralph Lauren, the Gap, and the J. Crew, and look at other options for our attire. Why? Well, primarily, customer service. I still maintain e-mail correspondence with Mr. Smith, and when I asked about a crew neck he didn’t have in my size while I was in Irvington, he promised to ship it to me as soon as he had it. And he did, two weeks later, free of charge.

Andy knows that as a small business owner, his only way to compete with the big companies is to provide exceptional products at good prices, accompanied with a personal touch. And he isn’t the only one.

Rob Cardenas quit his corporate job in order to pursue an interest, he wanted to exemplify the Great Lakes style in a line of fashionable and quality products, so he founded Chicago Belt Co. He went live just a few weeks ago, but has already been featured in several blogs, and with good reason, his first handful of ribbon belts look great and when I tweeted at him a month ago in anticipation of his new products, he sent me some stickers, Croakies, and a hand-written note, thanking me for my support. I don’t think I’d be remiss in calling Rob a friend, and it is here where I go back to my original point. Customer service. Real, personal, service is what these new guys are all about. I purchased a shirt from Chicago Belt Co. and again, my order was accompanied with another hand-written note. When was the last time Brooks Brothers did that? I mean, BB routinely sends me the female catalogue instead of the male catalogue despite me being a loyal customer for years, and based on how much they tweet me, know I’m single

Another wonderful example, Nick Mannella, of Knot Belt Co. started his company after deciding a day job just wasn’t for him. His company now has over 30 ribbon belts in both D-ring and leather and a plethora of accessories available for purchase online. Nick is another prime example of great customer service and solid products. Based in Boston, Nick sends his products nationwide and has also been featured in several style blogs. Like Rob, Nick has also accompanied any order I’ve made with a note, a personal touch that I can’t stress too much.

You might think its just belts, but if quality polos are your thing, check out Cash Robinson Clothing, a horse racing inspired brand from Kentucky. Founded by Travis Robinson, Cash Robinson prides itself in small-batch apparel. Like small batch bourbon, each run is special and limited, and individual shirts are numbered within their batch. Travis started with only a small selection of colors in his polos, but has recently expanded into tee shirts and other accessories. The flagship Cash Robinson small batch polo is a pique knit and fits athletically, loose enough to be active, but loses no class. A solid product from a great company.

I stay in touch with these guys fairly regularly, via tweets or e-mail, and that brings me to my closing point. With companies like this, and many more (Chesapeake Ribbon, Southern Dignity, and Salmon Cove), the person who packs your order is the guy who started the company, the guy who runs their Twitter account. This leads to a level of caring on the company’s behalf that means the consumer gets the better deal. Maybe a belt from Chicago Belt Co. or Knot Belt Co. is pricier ($40) than one from Target. Maybe a tee from Cash Robinson means having to wait for shipping. But I promise you that these people CARE. And supporting them means supporting the dream many of us have, finishing school and starting the business of our dreams. With that said, Warriors, let’s support these guys, and keep that swagg on.

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Winter Warriors

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Gus Lopez

Whoa. The Holidays came up pretty quick… I feel as though only last week I was day-raging during syllabus week. But, alas, the weather has turned and our attention must now be on staying warm through the coming months. So, what I have for you this week is my annual guide for how not to look like a high-schooler once it gets chilly out. Warriors, listen up.

I have a life philosophy that the true hallmark of being an adult is being comfortable no matter what. I say that, because a truly responsible and mature adult has enough experience, income, and self-respect to dress, and behave, appropriately regardless of climate. The question is, how do we do that?

First. You are in college now. You will be expected to have professional attire, and that means you’ll need a nice jacket or topcoat. Gentlemen, you are especially guilty of this. If you have a job/internship interview in December, showing up in a shirt and tie means nothing if you wore a ratty hoodie over it (in fact, I think hoodies should be relegated as solely workout gear). Don’t give me that, “But, Gus, I can’t afford it!” baloney. I bought a great peacoat from Old Navy for $25 freshman year, and I still have it. Peacoats are warm, comfortable, and they’ve been around FOREVER. Believe me, it won’t be going out of style any time soon. One thing, though, if you’re going to wear a peacoat, or topcoat, over a suit… Please, make sure its longer than your suit coat.

Second. Unless you actively have snowboarding boots on your feet and are on a slope, you can’t wear those huge puffy gloves. Primarily, because it makes you look like a child. Go to the TJ Maxx downtown, and you can find nice leather gloves for about $15. Get them in brown, black looks like you’re going to murder someone and don’t want to leave prints. $15 is too much? Walgreens sells those knit-stretchy things for $2. Buy a pair in navy blue. Yes, I know that neither of the above are great for snowballs, but… come on. You’re 20 now. (If you really must throw snowballs, go ahead and bring the puffys.)

Third. Ladies, wear a coat. Wear real pants. And stop, please stop, wearing Uggs. If I see one more girl out on a Friday night shivering because a coat was “too much to carry,” I’ll lose it. If its cold, wear a coat. I get that it might not allow you to show off some skin… But maybe reevaluate your outfit, and overall outlook on life, if that’s the case. I know I’m fighting a losing battle on the leggings front, so I’ll just ask nicely, please understand they aren’t really pants. And, you do realize “Ugg,” is not an ironic title, right? They are, in fact, ugly. But seriously, I am a gentleman, and if you are cold I will gladly offer my coat. But understand that then, I’M cold, and less likely to buy drinks.

Fourth. For some reason, although only a handful of us are qualified to climb mountains, a North Face fleece is essentially required on this campus. I love all of mine, and its one of my go-to gifts for Christmas, so go ahead and drop the cash on that. But realize, there are other similar and more inexpensive options. Almost every retailer has a fleece on their racks and most are much less of a hit on your wallet. Don’t get wrapped up in a label.

Fifth, and finally, let’s say you have your own style, which I advocate and admire, and wearing a coat isn’t really your thing… Two words: Long. Underwear. It isn’t just for guys sitting in a tree stand anymore. Buy the silk/polyester kind that’s really thin and you can comfortably wear it under almost anything. No one can tell, and they’re fairly inexpensive (again, see TJ Maxx).

There’s no reason you can’t look good when it gets all Wisconsin-y out, just follow the above rules, and your parents will be pleasantly surprised when you make it home for Christmas. So, with that, I close out my last column of the year, I wish y’all all the best for the Holidays.

Also, Follow me on Twitter: @GusElTigreLopez, I’m generally amusing and sometimes it isn’t even offensive!

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