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November 07, 1968 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-11-07

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INEA~t\L DBKRUSS

lye 1Mf1tan&u Dail
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

Suburbia:

Gizmos, gadg ets and grass

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1968

NIGHT EDITOR: PHILIP BLOCK

ixon' Svictory:
The Demrocratie obstacle

IT IS VERY DIFFICULT to take the idea
that Richard Milhaus Nixon will be
the next President of the United States
seriously.,
Nixon has long inspired such visceral
reactions in so many of us that we have
ceased to regard him as playing any more
significant role than the villain in a
Herblock cartoon.
Now we are all faced with the reali-
zation that Nixon will be running the
country for the next four years.
Nixon's- narrow and rather blurred vic-
tory is in many ways a fitting climax to
a tedious and hopelessly murky political
year. Ideally, emmanating from this nar-
row mandate will be Presidential caution
and restraint, two qualities sorely lacking
during the Johnson years.
F OR A FEW moments early yesterday
morning as the computers struggled
futilely to deal with tight vote totals,
one succumbed to the vision of a Humph-
rey Administration which would tran9L
form America both internally and ex-
ternally.,
A quick recollection of the events of
the past four years, however, quelled this
facile delusion, brought on by the theat-
rical competiveness of election night.
The real rationale behind the fervor of
most of Humphrey's supporters was not
millenialistic dreams but rather long-
standing fear of the damage that Nixon
would wreak in the White House.
T h r o u g h o u t the campaign many
warned, probably with a high degree of
accuracy, that Nixon would reassert the
fervent anti-Communism of John Foster
Dulles, build a $50. billion anti-ballisti'
missile system against Russia, and raise

unemployment to Eisenhower levels in
a futile attempt to curtail the Republican
chimera of inflation.
IF NIXON'S narrow mandate does not
deter him from attempting to carry
out these time-worn Republican fanta-
sies, it is likely that solid Democratic
control of Congress will pose a formidable
obstacle.
It will also be highly therapeutic for
the 'political system that, the Democrats
have become the opposition party. For
now American foreign'policy can be tem-
pered and modified' by the kind of
critique that has been sorely lacking for
these past three years, as Everett McKin-
ley Dirksen merely encouraged the worst
excesses of the Johnson Administration.'
WHILE ONE'S FAITH in the ability of
the Democratic Party to reform itself
after this narrow defeat is small, it is to
be hoped that at least they will use the
next four years out of power to re-
examine 'their intellectual underpinnings
and free themselves from outmoded lib-
eral cant.
Admittedly America can ill afford four
years of relative Presidential impotence.
The national problems which have been
papered over by the liberal rhetoric of
the past are far too acute to be success-
fully ignored.
But undoubtedly this is too much to
expect.
In an election year that has been as
depressing as 1968, one ought to be more
humble and just be glad that it's finally
over.
-WALTER SHAPIRO
Associate'Editorial Director

Suburban man takes to the woods

':¢}' rvtjJA MES WECHSLER...a;:t-- '7 °
F t
One ood ear tsn tenough

'v

SDS's false consciousness

"iE MOVE by SDS and the students who
took over the second floor of the Ad-
ministration Bldg. Tuesday afternoon to
exclude all working press except for The
Daily and WCBN was an act of censorship
which should be tolerated by none of the
media - the favored or the unfavored -
nor by others interested in the general
freedom of expression.
This attitude reflects not only on their
own general totalitarian approach to pol-
itics, but raises as well' relevant questions
on the meaning of the freedom of the.,
press and its own responsibilities.
The crowd in the east side of the second
floor of the building, filling most of the
area near President Fleming's office, con-
sidered at the beginning of the meeting
which press representatives should or
should not be allowed to stay. Both The
Daily and WCBN - despite what Bill Ay-
ers called "poor coverage" of SDS activi-
ties by The Daily - were thought of as
"safe," unlike other media = 'the Ann Ar-
bor News, WAAM and some Detroit sta-
tions - which they thought would distort
the proceedings.
THERE IS clear validity to their charge
that the media are not objective, that
each presents the news through its own
prismatic and distorted view, and t h e
students - and SDS non-students -
merely wanted to select the distortions
that represented their meetings. But the,
handling of censorship at the meeting' in
that matter casts serious doubt upon the
integrity of the media involved and re-
flects poorly on the integrity of SDS.
No honest journalist now claims that
his publication is "objective." Political
and social events are too complex to be'l
treated with sterile indifference, the out-
pofuring of facts is too great to allow a
newspaper to print them indiscriminate-
ly. Inherent in every decision on how and
where'to play a story in a paper is a value,"
decision that is controlled by the editors'
decision on what is important, which is
colored by their own political views. All
newspapers are subject to -such effects.
But for a newspaper to concede it is not
scientifically objective - because it is
humanly impossible - is not to ally it-
self with any political ideology. There is
great value in a newspaper retaining to
itself the political and social philosophy
it will follow, and no paper should be
swayed by its advertisers, readership or
news sources to change its honestly de-
termined decisinns. It is. simnlv. a matter

they give in the meantime. And no mat- 4
ter -how honest a newspaper, subjecting
itself to such pressure offers a needless
chance' to subvert its integrity.
Clearly the operations of newspapers
and television news staffs involves a great
deal of dealing to get privileged material.
But where t h i s applies - presence at I
closed meetings, access to private recdrds
- are all at the discretion of the news-
paper to choose as they will. For a politi-
cal group to try and sway a paper by such
blatant favoritism is a disservice to that
paper which it should not tolerate.
But there is another separate issue to
be raised, one which does not concern the
media but SDS itself. Inherent in its at-
tacks on the media's integrity is the im-
plication that in some way, SDS holds
the key to truth in the incidents sur-
rounding its existence. At the close of the
meeting o n e speaker declared, after a
short explanation, that "this is the way it
was," and media that did not print it as
such were lying. They fail to concede their
own humanness, to allow of any interpre-
tation of events but their own.
This arrogance carries over into their
politics, and reveals clearly why they can
be so authoritarian and anti-democratic.
By sanctioning exclusion of t h e press,
partial or otherwise, and by the undemo-
cratic conduct of their meetings, t h e y
show a willingness to exercise the tyr-
anny of the majority over the minority.
Their leaders feel they hold the truth and
can interpret for pothers as well as them-
selves. Anyone who doesn't. agree with
t h e m is quickly dismissed as suffering
from "false consciusness" a n d left to
fend for themselves.
THE DEMISE of the. democratic ethic is
difficult to accept. It is clearly in re-
action to the undemocratic and unrepre-
sentative nature of American society in
general. But to compromise t h e earlier
principles may be ethically as w e 11 as
tactically wrong. In any event, it cannot
be anything but a challenge to the integ-
rity of every individual who comes in con-
tact with it, and each who does find SDS'
attitudes so intolerable will be forced to
react against them, as much as against
American society as a whole.
Their new authoritarianism is belied by
their attitude toward all the proceedings
yesterday. The SDS revolutionaries find
it acceptable to take over a section of a
public building, hold a public meeting in
which, they admit, they might well con-

AMID THE ANGRY frustrations
and ominous fallout surround-
ing the teachers' strike, I found
myself belatedly reading a re-
markable book called "336 Child-
ren" published early last winter.
Written by a young man named
Herbert Kohl who spent two years
(1962-63) teaching sixth grade
pupils in an East Harlem school,
it attracted favorable literary ,no-
tice for a few weeks and was soon
filed and forgotten. But it is
cruelly relevant now when so many
well-intentioned, bewlidered peo-
ple seek a clue to the deep ten-
sions touched off by the clash be-
tween the UFT a n d the Ocean
Hill-Brownsville board.
Kohl's memoir evoked no ela-,
tion among either bureaucrats of
the Board of Education or union
functionaries who r e a d it. This
was a lyrical outcry - much of it
recited in language of the kids he
taught - against a bloodless
school establishment alternately
unresponsive and hostile to the
chaotic lives and longings and
suppressed aptitudes of s I u m
children.
He didn't beat the system in
any enduring sense: at last pub-
lished report, he was teaching at
comparatively serene ;Berkeley but
hoping to return to Harlem next
year. subject, one assumes, to the
vagaries of life and Livingston St.
It would be unfair to offer his
book as a partisan commentary on
such current strike issues as the
uses a n d abuses of community
power. But it should be pondered
by those who. querulously ask of
Rhody McCoy and h i s cohorts:
"What do they really want?" What
the wiser of them clearly want -
no matter how' debatable and
troublesome their tactics - is
something better than the smoth-
ered. smouldering prison of futil-
ity Kohl encountered w h e n he
started teaching in East Harlem.
THOSE WHO HAVE seen the
book will recall that Kohl offered
a series of findings not wholly
novel, but his documentation was
peculiarly vivid and moving. The
orthodox curriculum was des-
perately dull and remote; after a
few weeks. he threw away the ob-'
solete scrints and broke the sound
barrier. He conducted a kind of
exercise in two-way education; he
learned about the kids by liberat-

ing their talents, letting them -
in fiction, essay, verse and draw-
ing - "tell it like it is." Much of
the book is a collection of their
uninhibited works in which, at
last, the classroom assumed rela-
tionship to the world they knew.
Not all the exhibits are memor-
able, b u t his method elicited a
continuing music and animation.
For a while the listlessness of
the bureaucracy ineptly encourag-
ed his experiment; not until the
students began publishing their,
own newspaper did a school ad-
ministrator take notice of the up-
heaval a n d decry the explosive
realism of some of the writing,
typographical errors were also
viewed with concern.

marily proves only how much dif-
ference a teacher can make if he
cares - and if, despite his own
initial insecurities, he extends an
outstretched h a n d (from which
the pupil first flinches as if it
were a menacing fist).
And that, beneath the rhetoric
and the demagogy, must be what
much of the decentralization pas-
sion is about. It must explain why
young new teachers, many of them
white, can walk and talk without
fear in Ocean Hill-Brownsville
even while some racist blacks try
to poison the air,
There are other Kohls still at
their posts in the schools; one of
the tragedies of the present con-
flict is that some are being in-

ERRY CHIAPPETTA, a young well-groomed man who in his inch-
deep tan looks like he's returned to his job at head office from a
month in Palm Springs, has become identified as "the Michigan Sports-
man" by organizing and narrating an extremely popular television show
broadcast at least weekly from a Detroit station.
Chiappetta, a former wire service reporter on a Lansing beat,
brought the great outdoors to Detroit suburbs by putting movie cam-
eras in the hands of some outstate fellers more used to' looking through
the sights of deer rifles.
That's not to say Chiappetta doesn't wear himself to . the bone
taking field trips to hunt for wild sparrows in the Gread Mud Pool
somewhere In the Great North Woods. Chiappetta takes twenty five
outdoorsy trips ,a year, which is why we mention him.
On one of those trips last winter, Chiappetta. who is not a chewer
of Mail Pouch, was scouting out a Northern trail for motorized snow
sleds. He was standing on a snow bank when a snow mobile approached.
Its occupants were so glad to see their television sportsman that they
veered their snowmobile over tothe bank, hitting Chiappetta, pretty
well smashing up his back.
SUBURBAN MAN is insane about his junk, for sure; the electric
carving knife - will it be followed by the electric spoon? - is the sym-
bol of his madness. But he is particularly crazy in regard to the out-
doors. Forget about Daniel Boone or Hemingway. In 1968 there is anoth-
er man trying to run out his thing on the outdoors. He is doing so by
running over it with his junk.
The snow mobile which ran into Chiappetta last winter will be
selling this winter. It will be a fad, as anyone can tell who has seen
snow mobile ads on the back of Kellogg's Corn Flakes boxes or on tele-
vision. The snow cars, which are merchandised under several trade
names, cost from $700 to $1,300 and are gasoline powered. Some have
electric starters and reverse gears.
One can forsee that there will be snow covered hills in Northern
Michigan jammed with these things, that there will be crashes, that
suburban families will spend their weekends shlepping their expensive
gizmos up North, where they will monkey with engines and putter
around and cultivate running noses. Certain purist skiers will be upset.
ONE CAN ONLY remember true life adventure movies of Walt
Disney one saw on the tube as a child, of polar explorations in which
scientists chugged across ice caps in little vehicles that had names of
rodents. Now one can buy much the same thing at a suburban hopping
center.
It is no surprise that the companies that make snowmobiles also
make campers and boats. Campers are small trailers which can be con-
structed into tents. Boats are boats. Both are hauled in back of ex-
pensive cars.At one point during a summer holiday, every other ex-
pensive car to cross the Big Mac bridge up North was hauling some-
thing.
Then there are dune buggies. You take a Volkswagen, chop up the
chassis, put on a nifty fiberglass frame and oversized tires. No, you
don't do it. You get some custom designer to do it. Then you put the
thing on a trailer and drive it behind your expensive car to sqme place
up North, where you drive it on a dune buggy trail.
Snow mobiles, boats, campers and dune buggies are the implements
of suburban man's nature craziness. And that craziness has its greatest
symptom in the attempt to make everything a freeway. Boats make
lakes and rivers into freeways; snow mobiles and dune bugges require
special trails: more freeways. They are drawn to the great outdoors
by expensive cars - on freeways. And the great outdoors itself becomes
a traffic jam, for once suburban man has arrived, he packs his trailer,
bumper to bumper, with hundreds of other trailers in trailer camps.
When he opens his camper next to other campers, as he always 'does,
the trailer camp becomes an overnight traffic jam.
IT IS no wonder he needs his expensive car to drag all'this junk,
and of course needs freeways on which to drive, For if this outdoor
stuff is suburban man's weekend insanity, the expensive car without
trapping becomes suburban man's weekday insanity. He spends his
most painful hours in his expensive car on the freeway heading down-
town and then back home.
Suburban ma1 travels to work alone. Most cars in the morning-
evening Ann Arbor-petroit route have a single occupant, the driver.
So the weekday insanity involves loneliness. The only antidote is car
radio. But car radio is a brainwash. Every day the same voices, the
same top forty tunes. At the same time each day. "Cars 'n Comments
with Austin Grant" and "the Joe Garagiola Sports Show" and "the
Evening Business report."
No wonder one cries out for stereo tape deck. And the Tijuana
Brass.
BECAUSE SUBURBAN MAN seeks to dominate nature witir his
freeway culture, he must die. The loneliness of the traffic jam will
reach him in his dune buggy; the urge to floor it in a traffic jam will hit
him in his camper. He must bring his suicide to his vacationland. So
no vacation. His highway culture horror becomes compulsi.re.
Now let us be serious. The white man in America has decimated
the population of the Red Man, who was at one with the land. The
white man has exhausted the soil and even disfigured with clutter the
very freeways with which he broke the back of the land. No need to
mention the beer cans and chemicals in the laughing waters. The white
man in America has always hated the land and anything which flour-
ished on it; he fears it greatly and so violates it.
Too bad, you say, that in the process of his self-destruction subur-
ban man disfigures his world. Too bad he makes more highways for his
cars and pseudo-highways for his boats, dune buggies, snow mobiles and
campers. Too bad the smell of gasoline is everywhere.
But waiting for suburban man to destroy himself is the grass,
the great spirit of life. One notices that the grass, in its great time,

always shatters untravelled highways, that grass edges up to the road-
side of even the most busy freeways, that even in the most polluted of
industrial slums, the grass grows between slabs of concrete.
AFTER SUBURBAN MAN has sank wimpering to the floor of his
vehicle to the tune of Cars 'n Comments, after he has exploded in the
fury of a floored gas pedal in a traffic jam, the grass will reclaim the
earth. The rust of the dune buggy will be absorbed by grass roots. The
abandoned dune mobile will be claimed by leaves of grass resting under
the snow.
It is no wonder that that :calming and civilizing drug smoked by
the new anti-suburban man is fondly known as grass. And one can trust
that there will never be enough gas-powered, tractor-style lawn mowers
to break the will of the grass.

0

Too many innocent men and women are pay-
ing the price for indolence, inertia and insen-
sitivity of the past (including the 'resistance to
integration that preceeded and in some degree
provoked the "black power" era).

But K o h I did not merely in-
dulge the hidden talents and
dreams of those at whom another
teacher had angrily 'shouted in
class: "Animals, that's what you
are, animals" (leading them to
join in the mocking retort: "We
are animals"). He drilled them
hard, often after hours, in read-
ing and other elementary prepara-
tions for tests. His success irritated
some of his colleagues, who cir-
culated the rumor that he was a
disguised black.
THERE WAS NO happy ending;
a few of his proteges gained ad-
mission to such places as Bronx
HS of Science, but many s o o n
lapsed into sullen alienation when
they went on to another grade
(where teachers reverted to rou-
tines and scorned non-curricular
initiative). Others just dropped
out. Later, one was to tell him:
"Mr. Kohl, one good year isn't
enough."
These were not all Jimmy Bald-
wins or delightful darlings whom
Kohl momentarily stirred and
eventually lost; his chronicle pri-

discriminately victimized by a
revolution that has its own mind-
less arrogances. Too many inno-
cent men and women are paying
the price for the indolence, inertia
and insensitivity of the past (in-
cluding the resistance to integra-
tion that preceeded and in some
degree provoked the "black power"
era).
IN THIS SETTING the ancient
slogans of unionism have lost
much of their relevance. It is hard'
to fathom what "job security"
means to a teacher who loathes
his job in a ghetto school, and
waits as eagerly as his pupils do
for the bell to toll the end of an-
other working day. It is equally
difficult to envisage any real
peace and progr'ess in the schools
until a new generation of teachers
-including the kind of young men
and women who have acquired
their experience as Peace Corps
missionaries-emerges to augment
the ranks of those dedicated souls
who do give a damn, and who are
entrapped in this sad struggle.
(Copyright 1968 N. Y. Post)

4
)

Letters: The

President's bullet-proof

14

car

LBJ's car
AN EVENT that occurred on Oc-
tober 21 provided an excellent
opportunity to compare two news-
papers. The piece of news was the
unveiling of a new Presidential.
limousine.
The next day, articles appeared
in The New York Times and The
Daily, both placed underneath an,
Associated Press photograph of
President Johnson standing next
to thecar. The'treatment of the
item by the two papers speaks
itself.
The Times piece. on nage 18, was

ure was completely out of line.
They gave no figure of their
own.
In any event, the cost to the
Government and the taxpayers
will be comparatively trivial. Mr.
Markley (of Ford) said the older
limousine had been leased to
the Government for about $1,000
a year. He said the new leasing
arrangement had not been work-
ed out."
The Daily report:
"In a Congressional year of
slashed budgets, President John-
son found a half a million dol-
i fc or +h neeonc+rnetiono f a

heavy-handed sarcasm of The
Daily in an article about a car is
bad enough.
But when so many matters - of
far greater importance - are dealt
with in the same way, The Daily
is performing a great disservice to
% readership that knows better.
I will continue to r e a d The
Daily in the four years that I am
here at Michigan, but with a New
York Times tucked securely nnCer
my arm.
-Peter M. Schuler, '72
Oct. 22

people leave the plaza. They sim-
ply attacked.
Although there were undoubted-
ly a few individuals who desired
a confrontation the vast majority
of the crowdbdid not. However,
the police clubbed all those who
were unlucky enough to be caught
up in the crowd during the charg-
es. No distinction was made be-
tween those who were just walk-
ing around and those. who had
attacked the police. The 1 a r g e
crowd of Wallace supporters who
were also milling around were un-
molested by the police.
It was simply a case of an un-
na-a n cnA +ri a 4'+nnmr, nnn

Delta Phi Epsilon
To the Editor:
DELTA ETA chapter of Delta
Phi Epsilon sorority wishes to
clarify its position concerning
binding a n d/or required recom-
mendations. Although we have
supported more positive and im-
mediate action, we do recognize
the resolution passed on Oct. 16,
1968, by Panhellenic Association.
However, we hope this is only the
first step toward abolishing any
nntentially discriminatory influ-

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