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July 18, 1969 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1969-07-18

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Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of ;Michigan


Pennario: Power but not enough


420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in al reprints.

FRIDAY, JULY 18, 1969


Having confidence
in the, NiXon OHadministration

THERE USED to be. an old tradition in
the United States called having confi-
dence in your president.
It stemmed from the belief that the
chief executive was a bright, perceptive
man who knew what he was doing and
could understand most situations. Or if
not all, at least he surrounded himself
with capable men who could.'
Franklin D. Roosevelt with his famous
"brain trust" may be the first important
example of such a set up. In addition to
his cabinet he selected well qualified ad-
visers to aid him on domestic and foreign
problems and to help him formulate the
programs which eventually brought the
nation out of the depression.
Most presidents since -then have fol-
lowed suit, some of them picking seem-
ingly better advisers and assistants than
others. John F. Kennedy is probably the
best recent example of a president who
put together a remarkably able staff in-
cluding men like McGeorge Bundy, The-
odore Sorenson and Arthur Schelsinger
Whether or not it was the Harvard de-
grees of these men that did it, one felt
confident that somebody in Washington
had a solid brain in his head and could
think, not merely r'eact. And one' knew
as well that these men were close to the
president and could make their percep-
tions and analyses his.
But good things.never last forever. And
Richard Nixon seems to have put a damp-
er on the confidence, respect and pride:
the public can feel for an administration.
One of the prime reasons/may be found
in the person of Frank Shakespeare,
former vice president of CBS and one of
Nixon's chief public relations men dur-
ing the, 1968 campaign.
SOME INTIMATE a n d perplexing de-
tails about Shakespeare have been
noted recently in the press. Most signifi-
cant are the items mentioned in a soon-
to-be published book by Philadelphia
news reporter Joe ° McGinness who ob-
served the campaign frojm the inside.
In one incident, Mc inness recountsk
how Shakespeare was dissatisfied with a
piece of campaign film and was told that
one problem was the absence of a black
face in the,crowd. Shakespeare countered
"But we've got an Indian."
Another more illuminating incident oc-
curred after the Soviet Union invaded
Czechoslovakia last summer. "W h a t a
break," Shakespeare said. "T h i s Czech
thing is just perfect. It puts the soft-
liners in a hell of a box."g

When one of Shakespeare's associates
said he didn't think the invasion was an-
alagous to Stalinist activity 20 years ago,
Shakespeare countered that "The Rus-
sians are just as brutal as they e v e r
were." He was sure they had already shot
reformist leader Alexander D u b c e k
though no information about the leader
was known.
"Everybody conceives of them (the
Russians) as humanitarians. L i k e us,"
Shakespeare claimed. "And it's simply not
true. They're murderers."
"You can't coexist with .men who are
trying to enslave you," he concluded. "All
that's happened in twenty years is that
Americans have allowed themselves to be
deceived by the leftist elements of the
What is most disturbing about all of
this is not merely the distorted viewpoint
but the knowledge that it belongs to the
man who is now the Director of the U.S.
Information Agency. This agency is the
government's public relations man, the
agency responsible -for telling Americans
and foreigners what the government is
To have someone like Frank Shake-
speare directing this agency is terrible.
One wonders why Mr. Nixon would en-
trust the position to someone who appar-
ently cannot listen, learn, perceive pr ap-
IN THIS LIGHT, one wonders how much
the U.S.I.A. can be trusted. If Shake-
speare utilizes his sensationalist anti-
communist tactics in his new job, one can
assume that releases from the informa-
tion bureau will be tinged with this same
type of simplistic interpretation.
Most certainly Shakespeare is not alone
in American history for having question-
able qualifications for a high governmen-
tal position. Perhaps if other newsmen
had been as persistent with other presi-
dents' activities as Mcginness was, more
examples of Shakespeare-type would
have been unearthed.
THE FACT REMAINS, however, that we
know about t h i s, one. And whether
Shakespeare has company is unimpor-
tant. That he is the director of the
U.S.I.A. and that he views the world as
he does is both dangerous and frighten-
ing. Perhaps Mr. Nixon should seek a re-
placement le s t the president, himself,
c o m e under suspicion for "communist
activity." You just can't be too careful,
you know.

Contributing Editor
The pianist Leonard Pennario
has performed with every major
American and European Orches-
tra. Although he has recorded pri-
marily with the Hollywood Bowl
and consequently never quite lost
the "Pops" image, he was also
chosen by Heifetz and Piatigorsky%,
to perform in their chamber en-
semble-a high honor even if you
do not care for that ensemble's
frenetic approach. Yet, for all of
the kudos that Pennario has ac-
cumulated, you would never think
of him when desirous of adding
some piano work to your collec-
Last night's Rackham Aud. con-
cert, the second in the University
Musical Society's Summer Concert
Series, showed the reason behind
that seeming paradox. Pennario
indeed has a formidable technique,
a sustaining power, and a personal
style that might be called "solid."
At the same time, he exhibited
no extraordinary musical sensi-
tivity and no overt concern with
communicating what must be call-
ed the poetry of music. His sense
of style was little altered from
Haydn to Prokofiev; that is, he
was only 'on top of the music,
never living within it. Consequent-
ly, his performances last night
made for pleasant listening but
hardly comprised a memorable
evening of distinguished pianism.
Pennario began his programme
with Haydn's Sonata in E-flat
major. This last piano sonata that
Haydn wrote appears on the sur-
face asa mere bit of fluffery, but,
comings from the mature Haydn

at work on the magnificent Crea-
tion, the sonata has an exquisite
balance both in form and in idea.
Like viewing a Chinese scroll, it
should not be approached without
a serene mind.
Gary Graffman assaulted it last
year in Hill Aud. and Serkin zap-
ped through it with his special
brand of prestidigigation in a re-
cent recital here. Pennario's rend-
ering last night had little to rec-
ommend it. The opening Allegro
was heavy and marred by a life-
less touch that left little crispness
or clarity. The Adagio, really more
stately than serene, sounded like
a dirge, again vitiated by a truly
monochromatic touch. The most
annoying aspect about the Presto
was the way Pennario speeded up
every time the counterpoint be-
came more complex.
Three Preludes by Debussy fol-
lowed, "La Danse de Puck," "Bruy-
eres," and the well-known "Feux
d'artifice." Here too, Pennario's
playing conveyed the majorpoint
and effect of the music, but it
could not stand against competi-
tion. "Feux d'artifice; it is the
kind of music that could, in its
virtuosic display, bring down the
house-and Pennario indeed play-
ed it that way with admirable
Yet this piece is more than a
flurry of notes; it is a very explicit
picture of explosions of light.
against the }dark, sky.- Listen to
Ivan Moravec play the piece on
Connoisseur Society CS 1866. Mor-
avec has-rightly conceived of the
bursts of notes as specific, sep-
arate phenomena each represent-

ing a specific burst of fireworks:
he even makes the space between
musical phrases act as tangible
black sky enclosing the sound.
Thus Pennario only impressed us
with his virtuosity: Moravec
makes us visualize the music.
Prokofiev's Sixth Piano Sonata,
written during the Second World
War, lacks a listing in Schwann,
and thus Pennario is to be
thanked for programming the rar-
ity. Prokovief, of course, was one
of those musical prodigies that
Russia seems to produce with such
amazing frequency. When he en-
tered the St. Petersburg Conser-
vatory he had already written four
operas, two sonatas, a symphony,
and other piano pieces; he was
thirteen years old. Prokofiev's
music is the music of a prodigy:
at best it abounds in youthful,
syncopated rhythms, a driving
energy, and an exhaustive orna-
mentation For development if you
prefer) of a given theme. At his
least impressive, however, Prokof-
iev, to quote Peter Yates, "ex-
panded upon a limited fund of
ideas . . . the effort exposes the
This criticism might be leveled
at the Sixth Sonata. Except for
some humorous rhythmic inven-
tion in the Allegretto and a seem-
ingly poignant Tempe di Valzer,
the Sonata is motorized music
that keeps turning on the same
shaft. Declamatory and insistent.
it seems to make its point with
roccoco prolixity. The ,Tempe di,
Valzer, however, seemed to con-
tain a poetry of sadness that a
pianist like Ashkenazy could prob-
ably best elicit. Pennario's per-


-Daily-4Achard Lee

formance , was impressive and
virile, if unrelievedly so.
The second half of the program
featured the romantic wanderings
of Schumann and his Fantasie-
stucke, Op. 12. In a rendition that
was not about to be precious or
saccharine, Pennario achieved a
true dignity and forcefulness. In
full control of his skills, Pennario
offered us Schumann with a sense
of granitic underpinning that I

have only heard from the hands
of Claudio Arrau. Like Arrau, too,
Pennario does not soft-sell the
left hand. It was impressive to be
sure, but alas, there is a variety of
expression, a lyricism in the music
that was trapped beneath Pen-
nario's eagle eye and claw. It's
fine to clear the air of sachet, but
living flowers must be allowed to
breathe, and there are many flow-
ers in Fantasiestucke.

The paradoxical


Doctor'~s Dilemma'

The Doctor's Dilemma,' exper-
ienced in performance, is by no
means Shaw's most interesting nor
entertaining play. In another
sense, however, it is a puzzling
and therefore interesting play.
the same might be said of all
the plays of that minor but per-
sistent genre of drama like Mo-
liere's The Doctor in Spite of Him-
self and The Doctor's Dilemma in
which the central issue ostensibly
is satire and criticism of medical
practice and priactioners. I say
ostensibly pecause '.the puzzling
feature of this kind of drama is
that it is never, consistently, sim-
ply programmatic or satiric -
though one may easily be mis-
led because it focuses so concrete-
ly on specific, practical social
Hence the considerable gap be-
tween Shaw's preface to the play
as well as the program note, both,
of which dwell exclusively on the
play as a piece of social criticism,
and the play itself, which is part-
ly in this vein but in part runs
directly counter to it.
In another sense the play is not
so much concerned with specific
medical obsessi'ons and irrespon-
sibilities, nor with the fear of
science or the scientist, nor even
specific social problems, but is
more akin to tragedy which is how
Shaw labels the play, strangely as
that may at first strike us. In this

case, the play deals not with a
fool or an irresponsible individual
or group, but with fa leader of so-
ciety who attempts to control a
relatively. specific social disorder
but encounters unexpected and
overwhelming complexity and di-
lemma. (Oedipus attempts to rid
Thebes of the plague while most
Greek tragic heroes, like doctors.
seek a cure to pollution that
threatens their city.)
In this sense The Doctor's Di-
lemma runs directly counter to
social drama and the problem play
whose thrust is towards a solution
or at least an indictment of social
ills at the risk of over-siinplifica-,
tion, simple-mindedness, or even
inhumanity Instead the play
centers on the complications and
problems that arise when social
action and the reforming impulse
run head on into the paradoxes
and confusions of the normal
range of human motivations and
insistencies and end thrust back
from action into reflection or even
confusion, a process that if grim
is also accompanied by an!appre-
ciation and even admiration for
how we are formed rather than
Hence the straight satire of
medical pretensions and abstrac-
tions promptly gives way with the
entrance of Mrs. Dubedat in the
middle of the first act when they
have to confront a wider and not ,
so scientific kind of realities.

of the heroine, the artist's wife.
All told, the combination of styles
and points of view leave the view-
er puzzled, even a little vexed for
the lack of clarity; but if they are
not the most interesting or en-
tertaining theatre, they are re-
flective of an important kind of
complex experience that art often
prefers to avoid and of human re-
sponses that cannot adequately bt~.
dealt with by indictment and cri-
In performance this mingling of
many strains puts considerable
demands on an acting company.
The University Players do a
thoroughly adequate job, avoiding
most of the rigidities that might
easily creep into production of a
play of this kind, and provide a
solid evening. of entertainment
even if they seldom' manage to
contribute those touches-of 'in-
terpretation or staging - that
make the difference between the
entertaining and a theatre exper-
ience that approaches the mem-
Two members of the company,
Mack Owen -as Sil Colenso and
Chester Smith as Sir Ralph
Bloomfield Bonington, do manage
to achieve a level of expertise,
however. Smith, in particular,
performs his role with a consis-
tency, a sense) of timing, and of
depth of character, and a win-
ningness that is apparent to the
audience from the start.

It is also at this point that The
Doctor's Dilemma becomes not
only puzzling and confused but a
paradigm of the dilemmas inher-
ent in the sensitive problem play
or social action itself as their en-
ergies and confidence are dissi-
pated and checked by thoir having
to acknowledge the fullness -
tragic, comic, etc. - of human
action and reaction, behavior, in
other words, that is not always
easily reconciliable with science.
morals, or even art.

The Doctor's Dilemma is not
summed up, however, even when
we have acknowledged its strange
yoking of satire and tragedy. Its
complexion includes besides strong
inflections of fare and melo-
drama, hence the w;.ole gamut of
literary projections of human ex-
perience. Science and moral re-
sponsibility merge puzzlingly with
murder, mercy, adultery, passions,
naivety, likeable, even culturally
necessary scoundrels like the art-
ist, and illusory but attractive de-
votions and fanaticism like those

Letters: Street people,


and controlling police

(Editor's Note: The folowing remarks
were to have been delivered July 17 to a
meeting of the Awnn Arbor Democratic
Party forum. The subject of the 'forum
was "Street people and polities." Because
of procedural restrictions imposedr'by the
Leaders, of, the forumu, the author with-
drew and submitted her statement to the
Daily, The statement is not intended as
an official statement of Radical Caucus.)
To the Editor: , '
THE UPRISING of the street
people -like those of the students,
blacks and militant workers-reflect
fundamental problems in America.
As a socialist I see these problems
rooted in the capitalist system which
neglects or suppresses the needs of
the majority of its people to secure
profit for a few. Only through the
destruction of this system and the
institution of a more humane one,
will we be able to build a society
where people no longer need to take
to the streets or picket lines to make
their needs felt.
The street people are also sensitive
to America's injustices but have a
different conception of how change
will come and where it will lead. The
demonstration in Madision, Berkeley,
and Ann Arbor are examples of the
kinds of protest the street people
deem effective. They are not organ-
ized efforts to change existing power
relations, but rather the open demon-
strations of the. way of life they
choose which is met with repression
in society at large. Because I am
committed to building a mass move-

between different sectors of society.
He will shy away from fundamental
structural changes to convince the
conservatives that he is not a threat
to them. He may even convince him-
self that there are no fundamental
differences within society, at least.
none which cannot be worked out
through compromise and initiative
from above. This seems to be the
position of our Mayor Harris. The
situation in Ann Arbor clearly shows
the inability of a liberal in office
to enact any real change-and it
shows how holding. office affects
the principles he ran on.
Harris's role in the South Univer-
sity controversy should be condemn-
ed. His early dismissal of the victims
of the police as an "unwashed non-
student minority," the issuance of a
statement (which he later admitted
was founded on ignorance) which de-
nied the brutality of the Ann Arbor
police are examples of his lack of
His only excuse for his silence and
inaction is that he has no power ov-
er Harvey. This comes as a startling
admission from one who ran on a
promise to halt police harassment.
Since in reality he has no such pow-
er, why does liberal rhetoric maintain
that people who want social change
should reject the radicals' call for in-
stitutional change which transcends
the present structure and elect, in-
stead, liberal reformers to the tra-

prove it. Assuming you are commit-
ted to the creation of a police force
which Harris described at Jefferson
Plaza as "sharing o u r principles,"
pressure Harris to enforce those prin-
ciples. Insist that Harris and t h e
Democratic party openly condemn
Sheriff Harvey; offer the complete
legal services of the city to any one
victimized by Harvey's men acting
without the mayor's approval; de-
mand that the Democratic party,
work statewide for democratic com-
munity control of police.
the police are demonstrating the ab-
surdity of viewing them as some sort
of impartial, avenging umpire stand-
ing above politics. They are acting
today as political gangs whose use of
violence is directed against political

targets. Not to side immediately with
those under attack, not to fight for
control over those police is choosing
sides. Your inaction strengthens those
who bonefit f r o m the status quo:
Harvey, the police, and the reaction-
ary politics they enforce.
-Shelly Kroll, '72
July 17
Letters to the Editor should
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to Mary
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Let-
ters should be typed, double-
spaced and normally should not
exceed 250 words. The Editorial
Directors reserve the right to
edit all letters submitted.




ment-that our motives, tactics and
goals differ from the street people's
-ahd that for this reason we must
not assume or attempt to assume the
leadership in such struggles. But
there is a part we can play: We
should join the street movement
when we share their demands and
acts as a left wing attempting to
redirect the movement from below
toward goals which will effectively

stop the harassment of blacks and
students, but also allow the com-
munity to fee the real contradictions
which exist in this society; from
there, other power ,demands would
surely follow.
As for those of you who desire
"a better society" and have chosen
the Democratic Party as a vehicle
for change, you do face a dilemma.
Because today's protests reflect the

power" periodically, for it is obvious
who defines the limits of that share.
FOR EXAMPLE: it was easier to
elect Harris to office than it will be
to establish community control of
police; the second threatens the so-
cial power of property owners while
the first does not. Power relations
remain as they are in order to safe-
guard the sanctity of private prop-

r _*


I -M


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