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July 24, 1969 - Image 2

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1969-07-24

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4e :irti4anows
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

The

talk

of

a

Parisian August

By DAVID SPURRa

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 all reprints. -r
THURSDAY, JULY 24, 1969 N1GHT EDITOR: JUDY SARA

ASOHN

M

The bylaws:
Vital for students, faculty

DESPITE OUTSTANDING differences
between Student Government Coun-
cil and Senate Assembly, the proposed
Regents bylaws on the student role in
decision-making have reached a crucial,
and ultimately the only important stage
-- preparation for presentation to the
Regents themselves.
And in this process, the actions and
positions taken by President Robben
Fleming and the executive officers are
destined to prove all-impo'rtant in the
honoring or desecrating of the agreement
which has been built between students
and faculty.
Fleming is thought, in many circles, to
be hesitant to press for approval of the
bylaws - fearful of the possibility that
their implementation could act to dimin-
ish his power in and control over the
University.
Indeed,' the job of the president is to
make the bylaws palatable to the Re-
gents. But Fleming cannot and will not
be allowed to hide behind a cloak of
Regental conservatism,
o comm ent
A MEMO on the Paris peace talks:
..'tis plain, they are only gain-
ing time to become more formidable at
Sea; to form new Alliances, if possible;
or to disunite us. Whatever may be their
object, we, if wise, should push our prep-
arations vigorously; for nothing will
hasten peace more than to be in a condi-
tion for War."
--GEORGE WASHINGTON
Father of our country
1782
Stmer Staff
MARCIA ABRAMSON .. .. .. ....Co-Editor
CHRS STEELE..... ... ..Co-Editor
MARTI HIRSOHMAN .. Summer Supplement Editor
JIM PORRESTER............Summer Sports Editor
LEE K~IRK .......... Associate Summer Sports Editor
ERIC PERGEAUX...................Photo Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Nadine Cohodar, Martin Hirsch-
man, Judy Sarasohn, Daniel Zwerdling.
ASSISTANT NIGHT EDITORS: Alexa Canady, Laurie
Harris, Judy Kahn, Scott Mixer.
Business Staff
GEORGE BRISTOL, Business Manager
STEVE ELMAN .. Administrative Advertising Manager
SUE LERNER .................. Senior Sales Manager
LUCY PAPP .................... Senior Sales Manager
NANCY ASIN ... ........ senior Circulation Manager
BRU69 HAYDON................Fnance Manager
DARIA KROGULSKI.......Associate Finance Manager
BARBARA SCHULZ .............. Personnel Manager

The Regents must understand, and
Fleming must impress upon them, the
importance which the bylaws have
assumed in the councils of students and
professors.
PORN OF TIE CHAOS of the Student
Power Movement of 1966; the pro-
posed bylaw changes are the result of
over two years of weighty deliberation by
scores of professors of all political per-
suasions, and by three generations of
student leaders.
And despite the controversy which has
surrounded them, the bylaws constitute
a landmark of faculty-student coopera-
tion. Certainly it is not surprising that
the chief remaining differences involve
the delegation of authority over academic
standards. But that agreement could be
found on so many substantive issues is
indeed an achievement worthy of being
preserved.
In a real sense, the document which
has resulted is ar revolutionary one. The
creation of a rule-making University
Council, the restructuring of the Office of
Student Affairs and the establishment of
a sound judicial structure will, for the
first time, provide codification for the
hard-fought victories of the students and
faculty in wresting control of the Uni-
versity from the Regents. This is a pact
built on the communion of interests of
the two constituencies which should
rightfully control the University - the
students and the faculty.
.The long sought after pact must not
be squandered by the real politik of the
executive officers or by the politics of
paranoia which has characterized recent
regental action.a
The bylaw proposals that will probably
appear before the Regents in September
are not the stuff of which apathy is
made. Nor are they a discount bookstore
of the variety so easily rebuked with,
twisted arguments of fiscal responsibility
,and budgetary priorities.
NO, THE BYLAWS are to be taken
seriously and handled delicately, even
by the Regents. The revolution in these
paper proposals-the embodiment of the
hopes of 1966-provides only a penumbral
foreshadowing of the strife which could
result if regental approval does not come
swiftly.
--MARTIN HIRSCHMAN

THE MONTH of August is al-
most upon us. Here in Paris
half of the native population
leaves town during that month.
They go south usually, to Spain.
Corsica, the Cote d'Azur. Most of
the shops close down. The voices
in the streets and restaurants are
not those of gay Parisians but of
loud, tired tourists. Except for the
familiar tourist attractions - the
museums, the monuments, the sa-
loons - the city stops dead. The
atmosphere becomes stagnant and
lifeless.
But Paris in August will be a
fitting environment for what the
world has optimistically called the
Paris peace talks. Dialogue at the
talks has become so eerily mono-
tonous that observers can easily
get the feeling they are watching
theatre of the absurd.
Every Thursday morning a rag-
ged band of reporters lingers at
the door of the dreary old Hotel
Majestic on the quiet Avenue Kle-
ber. They are surrounded by doz-
ens of cops -,in uniform and out
- who set up'portable fences ev-
ery week to clear a path into the
hotel for the delegates.
One by one the delegations ar-
rive in black cars, each escorted
by three or four motorcycles. They
usually ignore the reporters Mme
Nguyen Thi Binh, head of t h e
delegation from the National Lib-
eration Front's self-styled Pro-
visional Revolutionary Govern-
Ment, smiles disdainfully to on-

lookers and walks bravely into the
hotel.
Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge
steps out of a b la c k Plymouth
with a gray-faced scowl and ig-
nores cries from Oriental report-
ers of "Good morning, Sir!" as he
passes in.
Xuan Thuy, chief of the North
Vietnamese delegation, is the only
one who ever has anything to say
on these dreary Thursday morn-
ings. He turns toward the report-
ers, stops about twenty feet from
the fence that holds them back,
mouths a few worn phrases which
are translated into French for the
press, and walks away before any-,
one can ask questions.
It wasn't always like that, of
course. A year ago the number of
reporters at that door reached in-
to the hundfeds as the e n t i r e
world waited in tense anticipation
for a settlement, a break, any-
thing. The world is still waiting,
but now the weekly drama has
taken on thebstale and blase air of
what might be described as a po-
litical soap-opera. The story is al-
ways to be continued next week,
but somehow the plot is never re-
solved.
THE STATEMENTS m ad e by
the four delegations at every
meeting are almost predictable
word for word.
Lodge typically begins with
something like "The United States
will continue to try to turn these
meetings into serious negotia-
tions," or a variation on that
theme. Then he summarizes "last
week's meeting" and the meeting

before that, throwing in a f e w
quotes from President Nixon's
speeches.
Seemingly on the point of des-
peration, Lodge then exhorts the
Communists to "join us in nego-
tiation and compromise," and to
"greet our proposals with some-
thing' more than a negative re-
action."
All the allied proposals from the
past are dragged onto the table;
or sometimes all t h e points on
which Lodge believes the two sides
have something in common are
enumerated - t h e Geneva Ac-
cords of 1954, prisoner of war re-
leases, the demilitarized zone, all
sorts of odds and ends w h i c h
avoid the central issues. The Com-
munists are pleaded with again
and again to "enter into serious
negotiations."
For what it is worth, the Ameri-
can speeches are always briefer
and more straightforward t h a n
the others. Each of the delega-
tions from Viet Nam issues a 10
to 20 page statement in which
journalists wade through endless
propaganda to come up with per-
haps three or f o u r newsworthy
paragraphs.
SOUTH VIETNAMESE c h i e f
negotiator Phang Dam Lang is es-
pecially adept at slinging mud at
the Communists. His speeches are
full of vicious name-calling such
as "lackeys of internal Commun-
ism" with "brazen and impudent
demands."
Statements made by the t w o
Communist chief delegates, Thuy
and Mme Binh, are equally prop-

- ,
4 r~~ ~
-6. T
r rTeasadt se rc

agandistic and laden with plati-
tudes. Whenever mention is made
of the Saigon administration, it is
invariably in the context of "bell-
icosity," "p u p p e t s," "perverse-
ness," and "corruption,"
Tbe weekly appearance of the
mn from Hanoi and the Vietcong
at the Majestic tragicomedy can
perhaps best be described as cocky.
In the course of 14 long months
of meetings, they have managed
to dig themselves into a trench
of political intransigence at their
end of the conference room; they
have fortified themselves with an
impregnable barricade consisting
of two simple demands:
-The United States must with-
draw all its troops and those of
puppet governments without pos-
ing any condition whatsoever,
(Every reporter in Paris can re-
cite that phrase word for word
from memory).
-The Thieu-Ky-Huong regime
must be replaced by a "peace-lov-
ing" coalition government in
South Vietnam.
Allied negotiators have launch-'
ed a number of assaults across the
table to either break down that
barricade, crawlunder it, or
squeeze through any holes t h a t
might have worn through in the
last 14 months of negotiation.
But Thuy and Mine Binh are
holding on with all the spirit they
can muster and seem to remain as
firmly entrenched as ever.
IN THE 25TH plenary session
on July 10, for example, Thu y
went through every major allied
overture since the conference's be-
ginning, One by one, he tore them
to pieces. They included:,
-Johnson's bombing limitation
order of March 31, 1968.
-The pledge of non-agression
toward North Vietnam made No-
vember 1, 1968,
--Thieu's call for private talks
with the NLF on March 25, 1969.
-Nixon's eight-point peace pro-
posal on May 14, 1969.
--The Midway meeting of June
8. 1969, and the announcement
of a partial troop withdrawal.
True to form, Thuy denounced
each one as a farce or an act of
deception designed to counteract
the rising tide of public opinion
against allied aggression.
One fallacy that has misled some
American pundits is the notion
that an allied concession shduld
bring something comparable from
the Communist side. On the con-
trary, from a self-interested point
of view (which is, of cotirse, the
only point of view motivating any
of the four teaihs) the Com-
munists have no worldly reason
to compromise.
The only way their present polit-
ical position could be at all im-
proved would be for the Americans
to leave and for Thieu with Ky
and Huong to head for the jungle
.. which are, as a matter of fact,
the Coimunists' only two de-
mands.
THE COMMUNISTS' self-as-
sured political style is reflected
to a certain degree in the way
they live here in Paris.
The NLF delegation headquar-
ters, for example, is practically in-
accessible to reporters. It is a
large, two-story stucco mansion
perched on a terrace lawn in the
sleepy village of Verrieres-le-Bus-
son some 20 miles outside of Paris.
The pastoral serenity of the place

is disturbed only' slightly by the
bright red, yellow, and blue Viet
Cong flag drooping lazily from a
second floor balcony which over-
looks a deep-green duckpond in
the village square.
Privacy is assured by a formid-
able-looking gate of Iron pickets,
but a tug on the old-fashioned bell
cord will bring an Oriental butler
scurrying out to the gate.
Althoughnthey aren't exactly the
in-crowd on the Avenue Foch, the
Communist negotiating teams
have been known to cavort about
in the ballroom of the chic George
V hotel, spilling champagne on
their Mao suits as Hanoi policy
adviser Le Duc Tho leads the
toasts.
The Vietcong and Hanoi dele-
gates are, definitely in a seure
political situation. For a long time,
their negotiating policy has been
to condemn every allied act, dovish
or hawkish, in the hope that Nix.
on will eventually jump ship.
Right now that policy seems to be
working perfectly.
The logic of the policy often In-
volves a bit of doublethink. For
instance, while denouncing the
idea of "Vietnamisation" of the
ground war as basically aggressive,
the Communists point to the siege
of Ben Het to demonstrate that
Vietnamisation isstrategically un-
sound, d in fact works in their
own fav~r.'
BUT THEN again logic has
never been much of a priority at
the 'Paris conference.
At the 26th plenary session July
17 allied negotiators made a last-
ditch effort at getting the Com-
munists' king out of the back row
of the chess board.
They offered a proposal for a
jointly-supervised South Vietnam
election in which the NLF would
have the opportunity to run
against Then's regime.
In his speech, July 11, when he
first proposed the idea, it looked
'as if Thieu was at last opening
the door for real showdown.
The door was promptly slammed
in his delegates' faces at the con-
ference table, however, as Hanoi
and the Vietcong spewed forth
long .series of unpleasant adjec-
tives to denounce it.
However, as even Thuy was
openly thumbing his nose at the
proposal, some observers found a
glimmer of hope in the fact that
he never actually said, "we cate-
gorically reject, this plan." The
talks have sunken to such a level
of propagandistic doubletalk that
little things like that are seized
upon.
AS LODGE said that day, "You
have to say 'no' to me about 25
times or else I think you're saying
'yes'."
And so, far removed from the
bloodshed and the sound of mor-
tars, the talks go on-they are not
even talks, if by talks we mean
communication between two par-
ties. At one recent session, the
Americans asked North Vietnam's
chief negotiator, the same exact
question eight times in a row, and
each time the Communists replied
with the same question of their
own.
It seems inescapable that the
meetings will never end success-
fully as long as Thieu is in Sai-
gon and we are in the jungle.
For the time being, the two sides
can, only agree on one point-
there will be a meeting next week.

4.

.

music

Alexis

Weissenberg:

A

very

doubtful

display

By R. A. PERRY
Contributing Editor
The Bulgarian p i a n i s t Alexis
Weissenberg was the University
Musical Society's third summer at-
traction last night in Rackham Aud.
Weissenberg was magnificent like
the Mothers of Invention are mag-
nificent; he was Vulgar in a grand
manner.
Born in Sofia in 1929, the pianist
made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1947
after having studied with no less
than Artur Schnabel and Wanda
Landowska. Following his New York
debut, Weissenberg won the Leven-

tritt Competition and appeared with
the major symphony orchestras. Like
Horowitz, the pianist occasionally
withdrew from the concert circuit to
study and supposedly meditate upon
his craft. His return to the stage in
1967 was much heralded, as were his
most recent recordings of the Rach-
maninoff Third Piano Concerto for
Victor and the complete works for
piano and orchestra by Chopin, pn
the Angel label.
There could be no doubt in any-
one's mind last night that Weissen-
berg) possesses two of the strongest
hands in the business, nor could

there be much doubt that he can use
those hands like rivet-hammers and
hurdle every technical challenge with
bravadeo. Yet Weissenberg's aesthe-
tic inclinations are toward what may
be called burning up the piano, and
sadly, like the astronauts jumping up
and down on the moon for two hours,
the most incredible events can too
quickly lose their ,charisma.
Schumann's Symphonic Etudes
showed Weissenberg at his most
magnificent and most garish. Al-
though labeled as his Opus 13, Schu-
mann's Symphonic Etudes under-
went many editions. Begun in 1834

and taking as its basis a theme by a
Baron von Fricken, the father of
one of Schumann's early loves, the
work was soon dropped when Schu-
mann met his future wife Clara. The
"12 Symphonic Studies" were taken
up by the composer a few years.later
and published by him in two versions.
A posthumous version, published in
1861, is the one normally known as
the Symphonic Etudes, but Weissen-
berg included five seldom heard
variations that had also been pub-
lished posthumously. These five ad-
ditional etudes, which rather make
the work longer than its interest
can carry, were inserted by Weissen-
berg before the usual Finale.
The Symphonic Etudes is in itself
a rather vulgar work of heaving ges-
tures and, to this listener, often
empty proclaiations. It potentially
suffers from the Romantic penchant
for left hand rhetoric which too of-
ten acts as an anchor to the lyrical
desires of the right hand, as it does
especially in the second variation.
There is too little melody and too
much orchestrating in the work, and
for all its flashiness, it is not as suc-
cessful as the Op. 15 Kinderscenen,
where Schumann's melodic gifts are
so evident.
All of the potential vulgarity of the
work was brought out grandly by
Weissenberg's precise pummeling of
the keyboard and in his essential dis-
interest in a singing and thus bind-
ing line. The Finale of the work,

as in Satie), and which takes such a
laissez faire attitude toward the list-
erier. The contrast between the Ger-
man striving for self-professed pro-
fundity and the French penchant
for unpretentious pleasure was made
clear last night as Weissenberg of-
fered Ravels Le Tombeau de Couper-
in following the Schumann.
.Ravel's Le Tobeau de Couperin was
completed in 1917, and its six move-
ments-Prelude, Fugue, Forlane, Ri-
gaudon, Menuet, and Toccata-were
each meant as a memorial to one of
Ravel's friends killed at war-yet the
music is not melancholy. Perhaps no
Frenchman could ever write a Re-
quiem that could impress one with
the terror of Death (Verdi) or the
portentous mystery of D e a t h
(Brahms). A French Requiem, like
Faure's, will probably always be
somewhat wistful and sweet.
That noted music critic and Fran-
cophile Virgil Thomson, whose gusta-
tory concert reviews for the New York
Herald Tribune exemplified finishing
school sophistication, wrote that
French music valued "quietude, pre-
cision, acuteness of auditory observa-
tion, genteleness, sincerity and di-
rectnes of statement." In Ravel, sen-
suality and intelligence are united
in these qualities.
Alexis Weissenberg's rendition of
Le Tombeau de Couperin was as
French as crepes suzette smothered
in sauerkraut. In general, his touch
was very, very heavy and monochro-

}

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