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October 27, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-10-27

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is blowing
rERHAPS IT WAS because I was weaned on a
long series of bad novels like "The Wall" and
"'Mila 18."
Maybe it is because in the midst of an age of
extreme impotence and irrelevance I long for a time
of action.
In any case, it is difficult for me to find a really
convincin g rationale for my unabashed devotion to
the anti-Nazi films of the late thirties and early
Perhaps my faorite examples of this Late Show
genre is Lillian Hellman's "Watch on the Rhine." I've
read the play 'and thrilled through a't least two late
night showings of the movie based on this almost
classic work of propaganda,.
The'story is kind of simple.- A courageous family
of professional anti-Nazi refugees from Germany
returns during the late thirties to'live with relatives
in isolationist America. And they carry with them
this simple message, "America must join the fight
against fascism. For Hitler'threatens us all."
late 'thirties mood depicted by Lillian Hellman is
I. F, Stone, ^vho visited the campus earlier this
Stone, befitting an iconoclastic journalist of the
left, gave a well-executed speech about the multiple
' evilslthat beset America and the multiple idiocies that
populate Washington. In fact, the only really novel
part of the speech was its almost religious con-
"For myself I can only offer a kind of existential
faith," Stone told the audience resting in the tomb-
like elegance of the Rackham Lecture Hall. "Take
joy'and pleasure in our Almst hopeless struggle, but
remember that it is a struggle that one day will-
be won."
Refleting a truth far older than the epigram,
"If there wasn't a God, man would have to invent
one," Stone explained the obvious functional ad-
vantages of faith, saying, "People have to believe
deeply in something, put their lives behind some-<
thing, and live by it."
THIS UNDERLYING truth was perhaps most in-,
sightfully perceived by an almost forgotten, turn of
the century French political thinker, Georges Sorel.
'While Sorel wrote his best known work "Reflec-
tions on Violence" during his Syndicalist period, he
Regress ie
'r education
EDUCATION IS the cough syrup of the student:
sticky sweet, hard to swallow, but eventually
However, it is hard to take steady dosages of
this kind of mediciri9. And ignorance is by far
one of the most blissful diseases to suffer from.'
So the question becomes an academic one: to
study, or not to study.
- MY ROOMMATE keeps reminding me, "You
have papers due, but you don't seem to be making
Sny effort to get-them done."
"You speak the truth," I reply. "One was due
three weeks ago, another one last Thursday, ano-
ther this Thursday. But I can't bring myself to do
I haven't always had this aversion to scholarly
pursuits. In fact, I used to enjoy studying. But now,
writing papers seems to be about as interesting as
enumerating the infinite dates on which they are due.
"Well I can't help it," my roommate says de-
fensively. "I feel 'guilty if I don't get my papers done,
even if they aren't interesting. I hate the English
Renaissance poets."
I CAN'T HELP it either and I feel guilty too. Al-
though I can look at courses with a great deal of
nonchalance, I am still quite certain that unpalatable
education will win out in the end.
"And in the end, I will give you a mark," the
philosopher lectured. But I hardly think this is
the best way, and it is not the only way, for educa-

tion to take place."
For three years now, I have heard perfectly ac-
ceptable, and often stimulating lecturers berate their
art. They should know. '
"How else could universities have endured?" the
professor demands. "Coercion is the best way to
liberally educate a student."
I AM ABSTAINING from coercion this semester.
But my first existential act in my 20 years of exist-
ence is causing as much pain as the advent of my
wisdom tooth.
The vision of life in the outside world which has
filtered through to me is anything but promising.
And the prospect of perennial unemployment seems
more forbodingin its emptiness than that of endless
due dates.
"Well then, you better start working," mother
And she's right.. I won't be happy if I don'ts get
good marks. Only I have the powerful desire to an-
chor my life in this moment, or some obscure mo-
ment of comfortable infancy, and not proceed with
mny liberalizing education.
Education is like taking cough syrup all over,

in the past
differs from almost all other revolutionary thinkers
in that he was not really interested in the actual
general strike or in the post-revolutionary society
that would emerge after the victory of the. prole-
Instead, Sorel was primarily a moralist disguised
as a political thinker. He therefore tried to create
a revolutionary myth, the epic general strike, which
would give some purposeful direction to the lives of
the proletariat, who represented for Sorel the only
unsullied class in an industrial society.
In a way it would be better for Sorel's vision of
a purposeful proletariat if the general strike was
perpetually scheduled for tomorrow.
UNFORTUNATELY IT IS not nearly as easy as
Sorel would wish to create a viable myth, potent
enough to propel today's generation of fundamentally
disenchanted students.
While some cherish revolutionary-visions created
by themselves or- others, they represent a small, and
perhaps pathetic, minority of the students on. Amer-
ica's college campuses.
For the legions of others who have found
nothing to replace the outmoded materialism of
their parents or their lost faith in the possibility
for meaningful political or social change, there
remains only a terrible restlessness, a terrible root-
Once one rejects the routine or millenialistic
answers provided by religion and politics and once
one refuses to sanctify materialism, there seems to
be nothing left save an almost numbing emptiness,
-A RECOGNITION of this personal emptiness is
necessary to understand the underlying meaning
behind the eagerly fearful discussions of the rumor-
ed "Repression" that have swept the far left
during these past few years.
Now with the rise of George Wallace and the
triumph of "law and order" Republicanism, ther
are many liberals who also believe that a new Ad-
ministration, regardless. of who's elected, will usher
in an era of increased repression.
It is ironic that the conservatives and the "law
and order fetishists fail to recognize the thera-
peutic value a "Repression" would have for those
who have despaired of political solutions.
There is a certain exciting anxiety about imagin-
ing yourself being called before a Congressional in-
vestigating committee to answer for your political
activities and beliefs. There is a certain romantic
flavor in talking about "going underground" and
really meaning it.
A GREAT SIMILARITY exists between this pre-
dicted "Repression" and my fascination with anti-
Nazi propaganda of the late thirties and early for-
The fight against fascism became an all-en-
compassing end in itself, and few had time to brood
over tvhat meanings would exist with a return to
normalcy. For. all the inhuman brutality of the
struggle, the battle against tryanny provided the
kind of simple faith that is so therapeutic and so
lacking today.
A return to the national mood of the McCarthy
era might, of necessity, create answers to some of
the psychological dilemmas of today's disenchanted
But the cost which any return to a simplistic
faith comparable to that of the late thirties would
be fyightening.
Since the eighteenth century, man has blithely
assumed that there exists no ceiling on human
But what seems to be the message of this de-
,pressing decade is that only through societal re-
gression can we hope to maintain our individual


E!lLe 3W1dl4ZW Daihi
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This'hust be noted in all reprints.




On the seventh day,
they remi1nisced

OLD GRADS, either before or after get-
ting plowed, always gaze mystically at
East Quad or the Union on Homecoming
Student years at the University, wheth-
er positive or negative, are a rather sub-
jective barometer of the person you are.
Sometimes, if you are lucky, those years
are earnest and honest enough to let you
be that person after you leave the Uni-
Students have always been granted a
lenient level of irresponsibility which is
at once both exhilarating and demanding
For after you resolve , your priorities
among TGs and midterms, you ask deep
personal challenges.
HOW MUCH of yourself do you give to
any one cause, any one ambition, or
any one person? Almost, invariably the
profundity of these questions is never
equalled by the answers. But you do find
some answers, if vaguely unsettling.
After standing in line for hours to get
concert tickets why do you then miss the
concert for any one of a dozen stupid rea-
sons including staying up the previous
night playing with a frisbee?
Your answer can't follow the traditional
lines of decision-making (unless you be-
lieve everything everywhere is decided on
totally irrational precepts). And so you
accept the conclusion that you can only
lastingly care for one thing or one some-
body and that the rest is trivial.
YOU BECOME even more certain of this
when there are clear, critical dilem-
mas in that world you can't ignore and
when y o u r university experience fades
from social salvation into moral baptism.

But even without the issues of your day
your student years would still be the same
strange symbiosis of awareness and nai-
vete - a multi-dimensional feeling of be-
ing free.
When you leave you automatically nar-
row your openmindedness, especially of
yourself. You hold to societal definitions
for personal phenomena, especially yours.
WHEN YOU, return to the University at
Homecoming and think a b o u t the
things you didn't take seriously then and
the things you take seriously now, you
sometimes remember.
And'then on Monday you walk past the
wager fountain and into your office and
you kick the adding machine and you say
"What the hell?"
I -- 3-
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Editorial Staff
Managing Editor Editorial Director
DAVID KNOKE, Executive Editor
WALLACE IM MEN . ,. News Editor
CAROLYN MIEGEL .. . Associate Managing Editor
DANIEL OKRENT ......... Feature Editor
PAT O'DONOHUE.. ..................News Editor
WAL'IER SHAPIRO .... Associate Editorial Director
HOWARD KOHN I...:......Associate Editorial Director
AVIVA KEMPNER ..,..... Personnel Director
NEAL BRUSS......................Magazine Editor
ALISON SYMROSKI .......Associate Magazine Editor
ANN MUNSTER .................Contributing Editor
ANDY SACKS......... ........Photo Editor
DAVID DUBOFF.............Contributing, Editor
Sports Staff
DAVID WEIR , , .:.......sAorts Editor,
'DOUG HELLER..... .Associate Sport Editor
BOB LEES .... . . Associate Sport Editor
BILL LEVIS....... . .. . Associate Sports Edito l
Business Staff
RANDY RISSMAN, Business Manager
KEN KRAUS ..... ... Associate Business Manager
DAVE 'PFEFFER..... .... .... . .Advertising Manager
JEFF BROWN...........Senior Circulation Manager
JANE LUXON..................Personnel Manager
MAR'II PARKER..................Finance Manager

Sunday morning.

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The freedom bus doesn't stop here

By CYNTHIA STEPHENS and she'd just as soon sit alone any- waited u
F YOU CAN afford a cab, or a car, way. Her bosom is ample and droop- she got o
you don't take the bus. Buses are ing; her hair greasy and black. Her We roc
for stopping and starting and taking skin is unblemished and only slightly ing for
the long way. lined, around her sharp, clear brown spoke. I
eyes. She has broad nose and pursed smiled, s
But around 5 p.m., when everyone lips. And she carries the shopping bag But we
gets out of work, a lot of people of her trade. sat alon
take the bus because there isn't any Sack in hand, she waddles into the nize the
faster way home. People pile in and sparkling kitchens of the white ghet- simply s
try to find as private a place as pos- to. Every morning, she and about six
slother cleaning ladies leave their ONE D
They sit under aisles of red and neighborhood for the suburbs. said "Go(
green and yellow ads and think most- things to
ly about dinner and the dress in Peck SHE ALWAYS takes the bus. One great day
and Peck's window that they would I didn'
like to buymorning while she waited, a drunk "in
on the corner started yelling ob- pretty th
PEOPLE DON'T like to have to scenities to her, but she didn't twitch "Hey,t
sit next to the short, thick black lady, or budge or turn around. She just blouse yo
Discourse on cherries
and ofther frui
By NADINE CO;HODAS of cherrie
LIFE IS just a bowl of cherries, it ed carrot
is. Why just the other day ;1 best.
asked my uncle who deals in whole- "I hate
sale produce quite often, "Uncle what "but you
is Life?" And he said to me, "Dear, just a bo
Life is-just a bowl of cherries-when After a
they're in season, of course. However, cast a c
during the off season, I'd have to say, vironment
I guess, that Life is just a bowl of and peop
k"' apples or pears-for they're in season around,"
in autumn and winter."
Now mind you my uncle is a fine WELL,
fellow, a veritable dynamo, and who right, an
am I to distrust his judgment. If he them told
says Life is just a bowl of cherries, a bowl of
then by god that's what it is. plant. TI
' = ;: ;:" aound


ntil the bus came and then
de the same bus every morn-
several months., Finally we
called her "M'am" and she
aying "Morning, how you.";
e never talked; She always,
e, silent. She didn't scruti-
ads, or the secretaries, she
at and looked.
DAY, I sat next to her and
od morning, M'am, how are
)day? Isn't it like a really
y to be alive?"
t really mean it.
thank you. Yes, it's real
is morning," she said.s
that's a really lovely print
ou've got on."

"Mrs. Schlein give it to me. She do
that sometimes."
"Is that who you work for? Does
she have any kids?"
"She got two sons and a girl. Nice
kids. They treat me like an aunt or
OH, YOU'RE just like one of the
family, I thought. Nice lady. Where've
you been old woman?
"Her kids are about the same age
as mine. Seventeen, nineteen and
twelve. They about the same age as
my youngest. " I got two married
daughters and four grandchildren."
Smiles are funny things to watch
on normally unlined, passive faces
like hers. And she smiled.
"My 19-year-old goes two days a
week at Mrs. Schlein's sister's house.
She's going to be a nurse. She works
so she can go to school at night."
SHE SMILED, and I couldn't think
of anything to say. So I flipped
through the paper and I found
Brother Carmichael's picture. - I
stretched out the page so she could
"He's at it again," I said, chuckling
for her benefit.
She bent toward the page and
wagged her head. "That boy, he's
gonna get himself messed up. He got
good ideas, but he don't go at it
"What way is the right way," I
YOU'RE AN Uncle Tom, cleaning
"Work, child. You got to work. It
takes time. I don't expect to wait
fn,.n'rc,, T ai4n 't rrnannn .rapn'n


es but rather a bowl of cook-
s or soggy brussel sprouts at
to be an iconoclast," I said,
people are wrong. Life is
wl of cherries."
ll I thought to myself, just
ursory glance at your en-
t. Look at all these nice trees
le and playful dogs. "Look
I said to them.
THEY looked around all
d after five minutes, 17 of
J me again that Life Was not
cherries but a bowl of egg-
hen they told me to look

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