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March 30, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-03-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

, .

I

fa ,

the

sundacy

daily

It is only the great men r who are
truly obscene. If they had tot
dared to be obscene they could
nerer have dared to be great.
--Havelock Ellis

I

Number 4 Night Editor: Martin Hirschman

March 301 1969

And all the tra vel posters are 10 years old

A

By JIM KAHNWEILER
and JIM HECK
ANN ARBOR'S train station was designed by
the Newport Society's estimable architect
H. H. Richardson 'for monied elite who could
afford jaunts from Chicago and Detroit to the
Huron River Valley area. It Is the sort of train
station F. Scott Fitzgerald's college students used
to pass throughi on their way home from the
East.

Now few Ann Arbor students even take
train home to Detroit because it doesn't
regularly. The benches inside the !station
dirty; the lavotories are dirty; the cups in
soft drink machine are dirty.

the
run
are
the

No major track repairs have been made since
the war. Bridges are weak and tressles light.
During heavy rains last summer, a track between
here and Chicago was damaged and the railway
link cut for a while.
ONCE THE RAILROAD belonged to men
with vision who could look through mountains
and see the afternoon sun shining through.

time when there were a lot more crews. It is
grimy from years of coal-burning steam loco-
motives-passing outside.
Men from other crews sit at wobbly tables
on old chairs and sofas from abandoned pas-
senger cars. They are overweight and need
shaves. They dress in khaki, and zip! their in-
sulated jackets all the way up.
They talk baseball, pinoccle, kids and rail-
roading.
"You go to school, son?"
"Yes sir, University of Michigan."
"Yeah, I never went to college, but my boy,
wants to. Driving a train ain't so good. A man
should do better things, with his life."
"Uh-huh."
"If I hadda do it over again, I'd 'a stayed in
school."
ONE OLD BRAKEMAN on a freight from
Chicago to Detroit wears heavy hobnail boots
and blue denim overalls with suspenders and
a red bandana around his neck. His high peaked
cap is also denim. And -he carries a kerosene
lantern just like the one Casey Jones must have
used.
But the railroad companies are hiring
young drifters to replace the dying dispatchers
and old operators. Penn Central hired 20 last
month and. claims it will hire as many more
as apply. This is a safe bet because kids are
cheap labor and usually quit after a few months
anyway.
Richard says the railroads are in such des-
perate need to replace "the men who are drop-
ping dead every month" that they no longer
care about the applicants' moustache, beads or
Army shirt. He says that men died within hours
of his arrival at three of the places he has
worked since joining the railroad.
Richard wears beads and speaks in a jargon
that antagonizes the engineers who report in
for work details. He works in the same room
with the ticket seller and the ten-year-old
travel posters.
Before joining with Penn Central, he worked
for the American Medical Association, sold
clothes, and cleaned jails. In the last eight years,
Richard has taken 35 jobs and "still gets very
bored." '
Richard's vision is outside the railroad. "Look,
I'm only for the bread .. . a temporary thing
until the new reality changes everything and
we go out holding hands or something.

4

I

-Daily-Jay Cassidy

This is Richard of the new generation

But the vision has become clouded like the
sight of an old man with cataracts.
The 70-year-old ticket taper down at Penn
Central station has stood diligently behind the
counter for over 20 years.
"Oh, yep, the trains will come back. Why
in the war I had 25-30 people standing in line
from morning to night," he says to the now
empty room. "They'll come back."
But the people don't come back and the old
railroaders have only the low moan and faraway
rumble in the half-light to listen to.
If you work for the railroad for a summer
you can learn how each engineer has his own
way of pulling the long-long-short-long grade
crossing warning.
"SAY, HOW DO you know when to blow the
whistle?"
"See the little signs marked 'W' on the side
of the track? That's when."
"Why are they marked with the 'W'? They're
the only things arc#nd."
"Men who drive trains are dumb."
The layover station where crews relax be-
tween runs is a huge building constructed for a

"Actually the railroads will probably die be-
fore the new reality."
RICHARD has a storehouse of facts to back
up his prediction that railroads - "which are
just extensions of the ocean" - are sinking.
Most of the railroad revenue comes from the
charges they get on petroleum lines, he says. Oil
and gas companies use the railway's right of
ways for their pipelines.
"There is only a 3.4 per cent profit on the
trains," he contends. ,
Steel companies don't want to build locomo-
tives anymore, he explains, because if people ride
trains they won't buy cars and then fewer high-
ways will be built and fewer steel guiderails will
be bought.
Richard attributes the railroad's demise to
men who have embraced "the theory of linear
thinking."
"The poor schleps don't think of the train
system as moving through all that physical med-
ia but only as moving along straight lines."

"The thing to do is get the damn things off
the ground."
Richard says linear thinking extends to the
railway's book of rules' he was asked to 'memo-
rize: Don't stand in front of a moving train,
don't put your feet under the wheels of a train
and don't talk.
UNCOORDINATION and inefficiency are the
most serious effects ,of linear thinking, P e n n
Central, which owns everything east of the Mis-
sissippi, says Richard, "can't even coordinate the
movement of one train."
And because the railway hierarchy has such
incompetent thinkers, he adds, they don't be-
lieve in computers which could figure out the
mess.
Senility in railroads is sometimes funny,
sometimes dangerous. The railroad trackswhich
run directly across 1-94 outside of Ann Arbor
is one example. "They might as well have a flag
man out there yelling, 'stop, stop'.
Richard smiles, awaiting his new reality while
those about him grapple for' the remaining bits
of their old reality.

I

Michigan

State's rights
a board's minority rule

and

of

a

student newspaper

By HOWARD KOHN;
Last of a three-part series
EAST LANSING
IN A WORLD where shades of gray
obscure . even the cobwebs of history,
journalists play divine arbitrator telling who
is more right and what is more important.
In East Lansing, like everywhere else; the
deities are getting a little tarnished.
Enter fallen angel and avenging spirit:
Ed Brill and Dr. Anne Garrison.,
Brill is the likeable editor of The Michigan
State News. He now regrets that his paper
got bogged down in the murky swamp of
dirty words. And he worries that his skin
allergies won't keep him out of the Army.
Prof. Garrison is the argumentative chair-
man of the advisory board 'which acts the
role of publisher for The State News. She
complains that the paper does not print
citations for faculty members. And she is a.
lady lawyer who teaches a course in business
law.
The State News is the only daily in East
Lansing. Its reputation has traditionally
rested on innocuous and unimaginative news
coverage, best reflected by its record six
Pacemaker Awards presented to "quiet"
papers by the conservative American Col-
legiate Press Association.
DESPITE ITS growing liberalism in the
last few years, The State News has seldom
been more than a syrupy, sometimes sticky,
lollipop flavored to the tastes of the uni-
versity.
But conflict born of .controversy has
matched Brill against Miss Garrison.
During demdnstrations in February for
Bert Garskof, a radical psychology pro-
fessor denied tenure by MSU, one black
speaker electrified a rally with a harangue
that included a string of obscenities.
Brill printed the quote and set off a series
of explosive reactions.
The advisory board, without consulting
anyone on the staff, censured Brill for "mis-
handling the news." James Brown (R-

tal combat, each after each other's job.
Brill would like to see the limits of the ad-
visory board severely restricted. And Miss
Garrison would like to see Brill driven from
the editorship.
Ironically Brill and Miss Garrison helped
each other to their present positions of
power one year ago in a twisted, symbiotic
cycle.,
Brill, 1967-68 editorial director, and Larry
Werner, 1967-68 managing editor, were the
two candidates for the 1968-69 editorship.
The advisory board, replacing the old pub-
lications board, was newly-constituted under
a university academic freedom report. Four
faculty members, including Miss Garrison,
and four students sat on the new board.
Framers of the academic freedom report

senior editor who had voted for him. Miss
Soden, then Brill's girlfriend, is now a WAC
officer and his fiancee.
She also revealed the intended perfidy.
And an incensed advisory board rebuked
"this act of bad faith" by overturning the
recommendation for Werner and appointing
Brill.
Two of the student board members were
close friends of Brill's, but the board's
motivation seemed to be more an assertion
of its power than a payoff to personalities.
Werner brought his case to the Student-
Faculty Judiciary, which agreed to arbitrate.
But the advisory board rejected all media-
tion, flatly insisting that its reasons be kept
secret.
"We were just doing our job as best we
Trinka Cline: "I'm running
as the 'Peace and Freedom'
candidate for editor. I think
the advisory board should be
abolished. Some platform
appoint me and I'll get rid of
'I
you.
could," explains Miss Garrison. "Having to
give explanations for everything would be
just like having to tell Nixon why you voted
against him."

Ed Brill: "No{
board should .** .r ;i:::<">>.. ""?
have the power to
arbitrarily tell an
editor how to run
a newspaper.
quickly followed when they too were offered
positions on a trial basis.
Last fall the three renegades teamed up to
launch The Campus Observer, a weekly tab-
loid published on Sunday when The State
News is idle.
The first issue featured a smart set of
news commentaries, but later issues became
a compendium of fraternity-sorority events
in a compromise to stay alive financially.
After five issues The Observer died.
WITHOUT BRILL'S knowledge or con-
sent, financial advisor Berman then hired
the three Observer editors to study the feasi-
bility of using The State News plant to
produce a weekly.
When Brill discovered the mini-conspi-
racy, he invited Sarri and Miss Gortmaker
to rejoin the staff. Brill's fall recruiting
drive for personnel had paid off. But 55
of the 77 paid staffers were new to The
State News and lacked experience.
As reinstated elder statesmen, Sarri and
Miss Gortmaker have been training fledgling
reporters, as well as editing and writing.
Werner, who has been freelancing, is con-
centrating on getting married.
By no stretch of the imagination did
Brill recruit lackeys to obey his personal
whims. Nor did he revolutionize the paper's'
editorial policies.
In fact the five State News editors en-
dorsed Hubert Humphrey in the national
election.

Dr. Anne
Garrison:
"Someone has to
make sure a
student paper
remains respon-
sible to the
university
community.
"The excerpts were part of the required
reading list in English courses," Brill ex-
plains. "We wanted to show the double
standards used in assessing a newspaper."
He did that. An infuriated Berman called
the quotes "an insult to decent people" and
withheld salary checks from the editors.
Berman also single out Trinka Cline, then
campus editor and now executive editor,
for "sneaking those words past me and the
printer."
THE STUDENT-FACULTY Judiciary fi-
nally ruled that Berman had to sign the
checks.
Relations between Berman and Miss Cline,
although outwardly placid, deteriorated from
the fall through the winter term. Each ac-
cused the other of petty harrassments and
Berman reported called Miss Cline "an in-
competent tramp."
Mutterings among the faculty against The
State News also surfaced. One professor
sent out a memo telling his secretary to
throw out the paper before he came to his
office in the morning.
"I guess it spoiled his day to read- it,"
chuckles Miss Garrison.
Brill brought the conflict to a head on
Feb. 12 with the "obscene' quote. Unfor-
tunately for Brill, his reporter made an error'
in attribution (which was corrected the next
day), giving Miss Garrison an additional
trump card.
"The quote was completely relevant to
covering the demonstrations," Brill insists.

#i

was trumpeting himself as Brill's interim
successor.
And metro newspapers throughout the
state were chiding Brill's "youthful impe-
tuosity."
Brill and Miss Cline, justifiably upset and
uptight, wanted to ask for Berman's dis-
missal. But the other three editors hesitated,
arguing for a five-point list of complaints
against Berman. They settled on the latter
alternative.
Closed hearings were held by the advisory
board- "clearing the air" according to Miss
Garrison. But ndthing substantial happened.
Berman called the charges "pack of lies."
And the censure of Brill stayed on the
record.
"Garrison begged off by saying it was our
word against Berman's," Miss Cline steams.
"But she wouldn't let us bring in dozens
of people who could have testified."
The advisory board cannot fire Berman
but could suggest to the president that he
be replaced.
OPEN ANIMOSITIES have quieted down.
But the "picky-picky' attitudes still resound
in The State News offices.
Brill has been trying to install a Telex
wire service, which would link The State
News to nine other students newspapers.
Yet despite the paper's affluence, (for which
Berman deserves credit, since the paper was
almost bankrupt when he took over), Ber-
man refus.es to okay the order.

a
S

had urged that the board be used only under
extreme circumstances. But the language
of the report rested ultimate power of the
press in the board, should it choose to wield

i

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