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October 06, 1967 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-06

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Sevent y-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
EDrrED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICY'n AN
UNDER AUTHORITY OF BOARD IN CONTROL OF STUDENT PUBLICATIONS
Vhere Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH. NEWS PHONE: 764-0552
Truth Will Prevail
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

3 -

AT-LARGE
Voices of Two Civilizations
Ly NEIL SHISTER

i '

EIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1967'

NIGHT EDITOR: NEAL BRUSS

The 8-Month Lease:
It's Now or Never

1'

THE NEWLY INSTITUTED eight-month
lease at University Towers is probably
the most significant development in the
Ann Arbor apartment market since the
building boom began about five years ago.
The lease change has filled University
Towers, which last year faced a large
vacancy rate. More important, it has
caused some serious thinking on the part
of students and ladlords alike about the
desirability of the.12-month lease.
The time for passive thinking is over.
Tlhe University's Off-Campus Housing
Bureau has reported that only a few
landlords have shown a definite inter-
est in switching to the new lease. And
certainly no more will change until it
becomes obvious' that a switch is an ab-
solute economic necessity.-
This is a role that can and should be
played by Student Housing Association
and Student Rental Union with the firm
backing of Student Government Council
and the general student body.
INN ARBOR LANDLORDS find them-
selves in a -unique situation this year.
The construction of Bursley Hall and
the Baits complex have siphoned off
about 1800 students into the University
residence hall system, some of whom
might be living in apartments.
Furthermore, though the building boom
in apartment units is about over, its leg-
acy remains. The enrollment increase has
remained steady but the rate of apart-
ment construction has skyrocketed. The
net effect this year has been vacancies
in nearly every apartment complex:
Charter Realty's new Albert Terrace, par-
tially due to construction delays, faced
nearly a 50 per cent vacancy rate.
Though the figures on the average are
much lower, somewhere between five and
10 per cent, the story is typical of all
landlords.
Thus, for the first time in anyone's
memory, Ann Arbor actually has an over-
supply of apartment units. The signifi-
cance of this to implementation of ef-
fective sanctions against the landlords

Though many justifications for the 12-
month lease have been offered by real-
tors, ranging from "economic necessity"
to the trimester, none seem quite suffi-
cient. SHA has examined the rental rates
and lease situation on campuses of near-
ly 10 Midwestern universities and the
University of California at Berkeley. The
study revealed that Ann Arbor rent was
significantly higher than any other sim-
ilar college town, and this computation
was made before the adjustment for the
12-month lease which further soaks the
student.
The study also showed that without'
exception the standard lease for students
on all these campuses was either eight or
;nine months, dependiig upon what term
system was used. Even those on the tri-
mester-Western Michigan, for example
-operated' on an eight-month lease.
THE TIME for vigorous action is now.
With the falling construction rate and
the increased enrollment, the oversup-
ply may be wiped out within two or
three years. By then it will be too late
to promote any change.
The Ann Arbor apartment market is
finally a buyer's market. Student con-
sumer power must be used to boycott
certain landlords, as SHA has made ten-
tative plans to do, A boycott of one or
more select landlords, offering to fill the
building in return for an eight-month
lease, could thus be extremely effective.
Students should realize that with the
current oversupply, they will not be shut
out of an apartment next year. They
should wait to sign any lease until near
the end of next semester. The good that
might result from concerted action with
SHA and SRU-keeping Ann Arbor apart-
ment buildings as empty as possible for as
long a time as possible-would be worth
the effort and the wait.
The Ann Arbor landlord this year is
vulnerable. Next year he may not be.
The time to institute the general eight-
month lease is now.

THEY CAN'T possibly be talking about the same
things, and it is becoming increasingly evident that
they aren't. Their vision of the world is too profoundly
different, and the Diag speakers of Wednesday midnight
cannot help but be pitted absolutely against the Wash-
ington of Dean Acheson.
The problem for the still uncommitted, however,
should be clearer now than it was before the week be-
gan. The University has been alive this week with what
a university worth its salt is supposed to be alive with,
and out of the discussions and debate has come a sharp
picture of the 'constructive dilemma.'
This dilemma is no longer one of trying to reconcile
the two visions, for there appears no basis for reconcilia-
tion }other than vague, hollow rhetoric. It is one of
choice.
The difference between the Dean Acheson and John
Gerassi schools of thought is belief in the possibility
of an Apocalypse. Gerassi is a believer, Acheson isn't.
And the uncommitted, the 'good liberals' of sincere
intentions, are hung-up in the middle wanting to share
the faith in a new order of men and yet secretly fear-
ing it.
THIS IS NOT to imply that Acheson is a hopeless
reactionary. On the contrary, the one-time secretary to
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis is an extremely
warm and gracious man whose credentials as an advo-
cate of genuine liberalism (the word is less disreputable
than some maintain) in the historic Western tradition
are quite good.

But it is hard to picture the former Secretary of
State standing on a flood-lit Diag imploring the people
around him to 'start turning on for the principles that
are within you, break-down the IBM machines and
forget about moderate pragmatism" as did Gerassi.
Forgetting about moderate pragmatism means re-
jecting the Western brand of liberalism practiced by
Acheson and contemporary Washington as something
not only out-dated but also horribly perverted. For it
emanates from an industrial capitalistic context, the
essence of which is harsh competition and human ex-
ploitation.
HOW FAR WE have all come since the first teach-in
two-and-a-half years ago, when the Vietnam war didn't
yet seem real and the country was basking in the con-
tentment of having rejected Goldwater.
Then Vietnam was looked on as something, isolated,
its legitimacy and conduct debated in terms of efficacy,
common sense and human compassion. The war was
approached as a single piece of policy-assailed or de-
fended in its own right.
But now, with the rise of the Negro rebellion in the
United States and the inability to do anything in Viet-
nam but wage war more intensely, the nature of dissent
has changed dramatically. The war is now viewed as
part of a larger pattern, as a natural expression of the
Western practice of suppression and racism in the guise
of the "white man's burden."

ALL OF WHICH is a position that Acheson, who was
the first to mention Dean Rusk to Kennedy, could
never tolerate. For his west is the west of enlightenment
supported by economic well-being, the general theme
implicit in the formal speeches he has made here. He
is the antithesis of the apocalyptic man, saying that
events take years and decades to work themselves out
and that by-and-large things aren't so bad now.
Still quite concerned with Europe, he said in an in-
terview yesterday that it is being neglected in policy
considerations because of the bresent preoccupation with
Asia. "France will serve notice within 18 months of its
intention to withdraw from NATO," he said, "and when
this happens we had better be doing a lot of thinking."
Unlike many others, Acheson feels that Russia may
again make its presence felt intensely in Western
Europe, perhaps by rechallenging Berlin.
IN THE RACIAL program, though, there is virtually
no thought at all any more about Europe, The concern
is with the Third World and revolution, imperialism
and its overthrow. There were many who felt Acheson
had nothing to say that wasn't 15 years old and a re-
statement of America's 'superman' mission.
While there were others who gave him 'a standing
ovation Monday night at Hill Auditorium.
Therein is reflected the division of the two views.
You can stand up for Acheson or you can believe in
Staughton Lynd when he says "RESIST."
But the time, when, it could be had both ways is
rapidly drawing to a close, and the 'voice' of today's
civilization may not be too relevant tomorrow.,

N'
A
I

4

ON BOOKS: An American Nightmare

not bo u

nderestir ated. -GREG ZIEREN
Sororities and Grade-Points

IFTEEN SORORITY presidents struck
a blow against their own system last
eek when they voted against raising the
Zitiation grade-point requirement from
.0 to 2.2.
While Panhellenic Executive Council's
esolution to raise the standards was a
eeessary step toward validating the
reek system's self-proclaimed empha-
s on academics, the council's six votes
lus those of eight progressive house
residents 'were not enough to stifle the
arful "no's" of the 15 other presidents,
ho presumably anticipated losing pledg-
s. if the average were raised.
Are the houses so afraid of missing
ieir quota that they are willing to sub-
ert high academic standards to accom-
odate girls who can't muster a 2.2?
ast year's pledges had an overall aver-'
ge of 2.67. The all-sorority average was
88 while only -one chapter had an aver-
ge below 2.2-and this house voted in
avor of raising the requirement!
Inter-Fraternity Council has already
uled that fraternity pledges must have
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Editorial Staff
ROGER RAPOPORT, Editor
MEREDITH EIKER, Managing Editor
MICHAEL HEFFER ROBERT KLIVANS
City Editor Editorial Director
JSAN. ELAN.........Associate Managing Editor
TEPHEN FIRSHEIN.... ,Associate Managing Editor
AURENCE MEDOW...... Associate Managing Editor
)HN LOTTI.ER....... Associate Editorial Director
ONALD KLEMVPNER .... Associate Editorial Director
USAN SCHNEPP ...............Personnel Directoi
EIL SEITER.............. Magazine Editor
AROLE KAPLAN...... Associate Magazine Editor

at least 2.2 to be initiated. The require-
ment was raised this year even though
the all-fraternity average last year was
.2 lower than the all-sorority average.
And yet sorority pledge programs in-
form the pledges that their primary con-
cern is scholarship. Chapters should thus
expect not minimal, but maximal per-
formances from their pledges. They
should not encourage "slipping by,"
which, in effect, is what they are doing
when they set 2.0 as the "academic chal-
lenge" to these freshmen.
One president who opposed establish-
ing the higher grade-point minimum ex-
plained, "The University only requires a
2.0. It isn't fair for us to require more
than the University does. We've taken a
month away from their studies already
with rush."
The pledges do have three months to,
catch up on the work they missed dur-
ing rush, and a well-oriented pledge pro-
gram should give them the motivation to
do more than the minimum.
Another president argued that "It's not
the sorority's position to provide this kind
of- incentive factor. Grade point is such
an external thing, when it should be an
individual thing. Incentive can be pro-
vided in other way§." -
But if a sorority doesn't have the back-
bone to push scholarship, what does it
push? Or perhaps the president meant:
grades aren't a true indication, and there-
fore should not be stressed. Grades cer-
tainly don't spell IQ's,r but they tell much
about the individual's orientation into the
university, her assumption of, responsi-
bility and her self-respect.
Another protest from a house - presi-
dent echoed the cry, "But this is a hard
school! The competition is higher!"
Exactly. This is a competitive institu-
tion, which merely points up the fact
that nobody here is mediocre. And medi-
ocre work is not the norm and should
certainly not be the norm in a sorority
house, where it is essential that an active
have at least a little lee-way for an aca-
demic slump. Because living in a house

By RONALD ROSENBLATT
Daily Guest Writer
WHY ARE WE IN VIET-
NAM? by Norman Mailer, G. P.
Putnam's Sons, New York, 1967,
$4.95.'
NORMAN MAILER, I would
contend, is the most interest-
ing and important author at work
in America today, not because he
is polished, or tasteful, or pleas-
ant, for he is none of these
things, and in spite of the fact
that his latest novels are crude,
offensive, and clumsy. Mailer is
important because he is real, be-
cause he has the almost fantastic
courage to confront and to in-
corporate into his korks the hot,
bleeding reality of today, of right
now, in a way that transcends
the merely fashionable or topical.
If Ernest Hemingway and Scott
Fitzgerald between them created
the most recent installment of
the American Myth, Mailer is
our best and truest interpreter
of it, and his sensitivity to what
he feels are the deep throbbing
undercurrents of the American
reality is magnificent.
And Mailer is important to the
whole world, because America's
nightmares keep the rest of the
world awake at night, and Mailer
seems to know' better than any-
one else what the true horror of
those nightmares of our collective
American unconscious is.
MAILER'S LAST novel before
the one reviewed here, "An
American Dream," was vulgar,
ugly, horrifying, absurd. It was
also fascinating, and in some un-
definable way, impossible to ig-
nore. Mailer is a man obsessed
quite unashamedly with Power;
he is a new' Machiavelli, a theo-
retician of the Inside Scene, the
Wheels Within Wheels.
He is utterly serious about his
obsessions, often to the point of
absurdity. Yet, even as we snicker
at Mailer's apparent mania about
the Mafia, the CIA, the Negro
hipsters, and the rich white
WASPS, whe secretly suspect that
maybe he has got a point to
make, after all.
Mailer is a student who has
taken all America as his province,
and no contemporary writer has
a better feeling for what America
is, for the sheer, raw vulgar
beauty and horror of the place.
Mailer, though much dominated
by the memory of Hemingway,
has been truer to America than
was Hemingway, who devoted
most of his life and writing to just
about anyplace on earth but the
United States. Mailer has not
taken the expatriate's way, and
has gone no further afield in his
writing than Mexico (which is
inextricably 1i n k e d up with
America's fantasies and fears,
anyway).
MAILER IS a fantasy figure
himself, self-created, to be sure.
He is the man equally at home in
the pages of Commentary and the
pages of Playboy, the curly-
headed wonder-boy who mixes
with New York socialites, prize-
fighters, and intellectuals, who
pals with James Baldwin and gets
invited to Hugh Hefner's fan-
tasy-mansion.
He is an incorrigible social-
climber and name-dropper, but

with him, it all seems to have a
magic significance. He says the
name "Kennedy" and we are sud-
denly staring into unfathomable
abysses of glamour, intrigue, sex-
ual excitement, and who knows
what else.
Mailer thrives on vulgarity, but
he never ceases to remind us he
is a Harvard man. He is a Jew
and an intellectual, and so out-
side the mainstream of American
life, which he attacks, penetrates,
and investigates with monumental
gusto and pleasure. His heroes
are essentially people nothing like
himself but to whom he is irre-
sistibly drawn: CIA agents, gang-
sters, and millionaires, and in the
case of his latest novel, "Why Are
We in Vietnam," gun-crazy Tex-
ans. These are the people who
make up Mailer's America, and
somehow they form a fabric of
reality.
TEXAS IS perhaps, especially
abroad, the union's most famous
state. We do not smoke Marlboro
cigarettes, wear tan Levis and
boots, and spend millions of dol-
lars annually on guns and am-
munition for nothing.
Texas is the archetype of the
American myth: it is at once the
dark night of the soul of America
and its most treasured fantasy.
Every American male secretly
longs to be a mythical Texan,
just as every American knows
that President Kennedy could
have been killed nowhere but
where he was, not perhaps in the
geographical Texas that lies be-
tween Oklahoma and Mexico, but
in the mental Texas of violence
that lies in the American soul.
And every American secretly
longs for the image of masculinity
symbolizes by the "Marlboro
man": in a society that psycho-
logically castrates and effemin-
izes men, who doesn't yearn to
ride away into the sunset and
never come back?
MAILER'S NOVEL is about this
Texas of the American uncon-
scious. The story is mainly con-
cerned with a group of wealthy
Dallas businessmen and two boys
on a hunting trip in Alaska.
Through the medium of this tale,
Mailer presents his thesis, im-
plied by .the title: that America
is a violent nation, haunted by
its own mad dreams of the past,
which, coming into conflict with
the realities of the present, are
making the country sick.
The story is narrated by a
character called "D.J." He is the
spoiled, wealthy son of a Dallas
tycoon. Not long after the story
unfolds, we become aware that
Mailer has avoided the traps in-
herent in his undertaking. "D.J."
is no drawling stereotype: he talks
like a hippy and thinks nostalgi-
cally of MacDougal Street. In him
the 'old Texas and the new
America meet; he will slaughter
animals from a helicopter as his
father does, but he is at the
same time aware that what he is
doing is senseless, insane violence.
At the same time, he knows he
enjoys it.
"D.J." is a cynical youth, and
the narration of the symbolic
hunting expedition, is interspersed
with his long soliloquies, com-
menting sarcastically on h i s
mother's psychiatrist or the gen-

eral state of Dallas high-society
and its remarkable competitive-
ness, expressed in the primitive
terms which belie the origins of
the socialites before someone
found oil behind the corral: kill-
ing a bear on the hunting trip
will enhance his father's status
in the corporation he controls.
Indeed, it is made only too
clear that the chief motivation
for the hunting trip is the need to
build up prestige back home. The
implication is that people with
primitive backgrounds may now
be acting out their frontier life-
style on the international scene.
MAILER'S BOOK functions re-
markably well on two levels. On
the first level, it is a reasonably
realistic description of an Alas-
kan hunting trip in 1967 style,
with a good deal' of interest in
the interplay between "D.J." and
both his father and "D;J.'s" part-
Indian friend, Tex, to whom he
is bound by strange, compulsive
ties.
On the second level, it is a
symbolic allegory of 'the Ameri-
can experience in Vietnam. Hence

seem. If helicopters and Coca
Cola bottles have gotten to the
grizzly bears' sanity, Mailer seems
to ask, what hope for the people?
MAILER 'DELIBERATELY im-
itates the prose style of, hunting
and fishing mazines. No\ one has
a gun or binoculars; they have
instead a "Model 70 Winchester
.375 Magnum restocked (with
maple Japanese Shigui finish)
. with a Unertl 21'X scope" or
a "Weaver K-4 scope."k
What he is doing, of course, is
satirizing the American's fond-
ness for shiny gadgets and dan-
gerous toys, and the implication
is that the fascination with weap-
ons and engines of destruction
may lead to a desire to see how
they work, on people, with disas-
trous results. He prefaces one of
his chapters with the statement,
'Well, now here, let's give a run-
down on the guns for those good
Americans who care."
The young narrator's father,
Rusty, is a highly symbolic char-
acter. A braggart and coward, he
takes credit for having killed a
charging bear that in reality he

Tex run away from the rest of
the party and escape to the
mountains. They are nauseated
by the competitive spirit and lack
of sportsmanship of the hunters
and throw away their guns. In
the mountains, they watch ani-
mals who are as yet not driven
mad by the encroaching tech-
nology and have a psychedelic
experience observing the North-
ern Lights.
But there is no real conversion:
they are too deeply immersed in
American life for any real escape,
and later on, they appear at a
dinner party In Dallas, seducing
married wolpen and, it is hinted,
carrying on some sort ,of black
magic rites with corpses. This last
seems strange enough, but Mailer
is constantly implying that at the
root of Anierica's behavior at
home and abroad is a great deal
of madness and deviltry.
IT SHOULD BE noted that one
peculiar characteristic of Mailer's
writing is his ability to describe
,very attractively people or be-
havior which he osiensibly Is
condemning. One.senses a certain
ambivalence in Mailer's fascina-
tion with the black arts of power
and secrecy.
He cannot help making the
sinister Barney Oswald Kelly in
"An American Dream" a very
charismatic and almost appealing
figure. (After all, the prospect of
great wealth and secret power
has a certain attractiveness. And
we should remember that for
Mailer, real power is always sec-
ret power. He seems to feel that
what we read in Time magazine
may, after all, not be really true),
Likewise, while the hunters are
not exactly seen in a heroic light,
Mailer manages to make the
hunting scenes exciting and co-
lorful. Probably, never before has
the existentialist-Texas-hippy as
big-game hunter ever appeared in
literature, and Mailer does make
it seem all very interesting.
THE BURDEN of Mailer's novel
is clear enough. He obviously be-
lieves that certain traits of
American culture, such as the
fondness for weapons and ma-
chines, the tendency to settle dis-
putes violently ('D.J.'s father
tells him that a "good man with
a good rifle" need never fear),
and a certain unrealistic clinging
to a myth of a romanticized past
when every man packed a pistol
and shot it out With the bad guys,
may have led America into ser-
ious trouble, when these traits
come into conflict with the com-
plexities of the modern world rep-
resented by "D.J.
It is significant that the story
takes place in Alaska, one of the
newest states, and really the last
wild frontier-the only place left
in America where the grizzly bear
and the helicopter, the archaic
and the technologic, can come
into such violent confrontation.
The savage grizzly is a symbol
of the violence within the hunt-
ers, that they externalize and
pursue, and in the end, both men
and grizzlies behave madly.
MAILER'S NOVEL is an im-
portant statement about the sick
and troubled America he hunts
and studies as relentlessly as the
Texans seek their grizzly.

I

a

A

the title, although the word
"Vietnam" is mentioned only
once in the book-at the very end
-when "D.J." contemplates with
great pleasure the prospect of go-
ing to fight in Vietnam.
THE PARALLEL between the
hunting trip and the war in
Southeast Asia is primarily em-
phasized by the use of the heli-
copter, which is a symbol of mad-
ness for Mailer. The Indian
hunting guide Big Ollie describes
what has happened to the wild
animals in Alaska, now that it
has become a state: "Brooks
Range no wilderness now. Air-
plane go over the head, animal
no wild no more, now crazy."
Even the animals in America
have been driven mad by a tech-
nology out of control, it would

was rescued from by his son. He
must, of course, be constantly
proving himself better than those
around him, and drags his son
off on dangerous adventures to
prove his own manhood, no mat-
ter how foolhardy.
The key statement of the novel
comes when Rusty has forced his
son to go with him in pursuit of
a dangerous wounded grizzly.
Both are terrified, but neither
dare admit it. "D.J." comments,
"that Texas will carries Texas
cowards to places they never,
dreamed of being." The implica-
tion, of course, is that Texas will
is at the moment carrying a great
many people to a place they never
dreamed of being.
AT THE CONCLUSION of the
novel, the narrator and his friend

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Letters,* Vietnam, pan the Christian Couscienee
s

To the Editor:

13 American chaplains whom he

to is this: the principle effect of

she should be doing just the op-

tion-be they Christians or not-

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