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April 24, 1964 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-04-24

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Seventy-Third Year
Truth Will Prevail"
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in ad, reprints.

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Strong Disharmonies
Mar 'Macbeth' Film


FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 1964


The War in South Viet Nam:
Certain Defeat for the West

THE PRO-WESTERN government is go-
ing to be ousted from South Viet Nam
-it doesn't matter if the event comes to-
morrow, next week or even next year, but
such a culmination to the war being wag-
ed there appears to be inevitable.
President Johnson and Secretary of De-
fense McNamara have hinted that the
war might be extended into North Viet
Nam if Hanoi continues to supply the Viet
Cong, but such a military move will have
no effect on the final outcome.
The United States, rather covertly, has
supported two coup d'etats in less than
-tlree months, but more of the same really
isn't going to make any difference.
THE UNITED STATES has futilely giv-
en South Viet Nam close to two billion
dollars in either military or economic aid
in just a few short years; an additional
billion would also be wasted.
Even an outright military defeat of the
Communist guerrillas in a few major en-
gagements wouldn't stem the tide.
The finger of guilt for this -preposter-
ous mess can only be pointed in one di-
rection-Washington, D.C.
United States policy-makers since 1945
have apparently been blind to the events
of history because they have chosen to
ignore one basic fact in a guerrilla war
against the Communists-you have to
have the nation's people on your side in
order to win.
THE UNITED STATES, lilfe the French
before them, has poured arms and
money into Indochina since the culmina-
tion of World War II in an effort to stop
Communist expansion; yet no one, it
-seems, has ever really sat back and asked,
"What does the peasant need? How can
we best help him to improve his own lot?"
By ignoring such basic issues, the West-
ern powers have supported corrupt and
inefficient regimes not just in Asia, but
throughout the entire world. The peas-
ants want reforms, but if the little rice
grower in a rural village bordering on the
jungles of South Viet Nam can only see
government bureaucracy with no social
improvements, it's quite obvious that the
peasant and all his friends are going to
support someone who promises exactly
what they are lacking and so desperately
. The Viet Cong has been making such
promises; consequently, the peasants have
harbored and supplied it for years. If
this had not been the case, the guerrillas
would have been rounded up and shot a
long time ago.

AS LONG as the United States tends to
ignore this problem, bombing Hanoi
or perpetrating another coup, or dump-
ing more money into the country will do
no good. Even if the pro-Western gov-
ernment were to win the war, the latent
hostility of the peasantry would even-
tually swell up into a new opposition
The United States now finds itself
faced with but two choices in South Viet
Nam. It can either pull out completely
and, simultaneously, draw another "line
of deterrence" in the area; or it can ini-
tiate all-out warfare; including direct U.S.
military intervention. If the pro-Western
government should win, it would have to
begin immediately instituting on a mas-
sive scale, economic and political reforms.
The latter proposal sounds good, but
the U.S. isn't going to beat anyone. U.S.
military officials still don't completely
understand guerrilla warfare, and if the
large-scale confrontation which the Com-
munists instigated last week is any in-
dication of things to come, the South
Viet Nam army is due for more and bigger
losses in the very near future.
tolerate the extensive use of American
troops, a complete withdrawal is the U.S.'s
only hope of at least saving the remainder
of the Indochina peninsula from Com-
munist domination.
By pulling out, the United States will
be admitting its defeat, but if, at the same
time, it publicly recognizes that the rea-
son for this defeat was that it had failed
to understand the problems of the peas-
ants, then it will have realized a valu-
able lesson.
This recognition would mean that the
United States could redraw its lines of
defense and immediately begin encour-
aging reforms in the other Southeast
Asian nations so such a mess would never
have an opportunity to grow to such pro-
portions again.
True, this country will lose face, and
some nations around the world will begin
doubting its promises of protection from
the Communists, but this point can be
overshadowed by increased efforts to al-
leviate the economic, social and political
problems which now exist in these other
IT IS USELESS for the United States to
fight a losing cause. It would be best
for it to pull out, draw another line and
then tackle the real problem at hand,
namely, helping the peasants to help
themselves. -GARY F. WINER

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At the Campus Theatre
GOING TO A Shakespearean
play made into a movie is
somewhat akin to going into a
voting booth: you know pretty
much what's going to happen be-
fore you get there.
Last night's "Macbeth" suffered
from strong disharmonies. The
crux of the problem lay with the
language. The movie did not ruin
the lines, rather it was too good
to them.
As any English 350 lecturer will
tell you, Shakespeare's language
is fantastic: it can create daggers,
storms, pity, horror, laughter-
the whole range of human emo-
tion and environment with ease.
But it requires suspension of dis-
belief to attain reality.
The problem with the "Mac-
beth" at the Campus is that belief
cannot be suspended. The picture
is so full of background - from
genuine castles and vistavision
hills to neatly-sculptured goblets
and low-cut gowns-that the lan-
guage can't begin to do its magic.
* * *
detail isolates actor from aud-

ience. The audience becomes self-
conscious of the lines-the char-
acters do not then move in har-
mony with the action and back-
ground of the film. The actors
come to be pretty statues in front
of a bizarre tapistry.
A few of the more blatant
violations that brought the house
to razz-berries in the waning
minutes: the nurse sounds like a
politician rather than a frighten-
ed girl; Macbeth drips tears of
sorrow rather than showing the
isolation from grief that is a pre-
lude to the famous "Tomorrow"
soliloquy; Macbeth dies at Mac-
duff's hand, not in a forest, but
after 1) symbolically having his
crown fall off; 2) winding his way
to the top of the castle where 3).
his banner is symbolically chop-
ped down and he 4) falls full-
Hollywood fashion to his death-
screaming all 60 feet of the way.
- Shakespeare was a commercial
playwright: 4hen he made his
money he went home. Last night's
"Macbeth" played to a full house
and at*least, satisfied the owners.
Shakespeare would have liked
-George A. White




What Lies Ahead?

IQC at the Crossroads,

URING THE PAST several weeks, pet-
tiness, quibbling and blatant disre-
gard for democratic procedures have' pre-
vented the Interquadrangle Council from
fulfilling its obligations to the men living
in University residence halls.
IQC is supposed to represent residence
hall men to both the student body and the
'administration and to work with prob-
lems and projects involving the several
quadrangles. Yet, since the present exec-
utive officers of IQC were elected at the
end of January, the council has taken
only one major action, the proposed es-
tablishment of a house presidents' assem-
bly. This step is entirely procedural in
Some contend that the nature of IQC
dooms it to inefficiency. Others maintain
that the council, when staffed with re-
sponsible members, can indeed serve a
useful purpose. At the moment it is im-
possible to form a judgment on the ques-
tion, for the ill-advised behavior of some
IQC representatives would have prevent-
ed action in the most effectively organized
THE ISSUE that triggered the feud cur-
rently stymying IQC is that of litera-
ture distribution. The representatives of
East Quadrangle proposed a change in
,current distribution regulations at the
council's March 12 meeting. When it be-
,came apparent that their proposal was

going to fail, they left the meeting, an-
nouncing that they would boycott IQC.
Without East Quad attendance, the coun-
cil does not have the quorum necessary
to carry on business.
The representatives were acting accord-
ing to a mandate from East Quad Coun-
cil which stipulated that they participate
only in council business advantageous to
East Quad, until the body took positive
action on the literature distribution is-
Since the boycott began, East Quad has
returned to only one meeting at which
constitutional revisions, the house presi-
dents' assembly proposal and mailbox reg-
ulations were considered. At that time,.
the council decided to send this latter is-
sue to committee for further considera-
tion. No action has been taken on it since.
WHETHER FAST QUAD is right about
literature distribution is entirely ir-
relevant. The point is that, by boycotting
the council because it failed toact in ac-
cordance with their wishes, the represen-
tatives are disregarding the basic demo-
cratic principle of majority rule. They are,
in effect, saying to IQC and all the men
represented by it that if the group refuses
to play the game as East Quad wishes,
they will pick up their marbles and go
home. This attitude is destroying what-
ever potential effectiveness IQC may have.
IQC is no place for petty politics and
parliamentary maneuvering. Representa-
tivac ,',,,l yiPocC thAir ninionn in

ernments of the United States
of America, a new national stu-
dent organization founded last
weekend in St. Louis, has had a
shaky start and faces a question-
able future.
However, despite this, the Uni-
versity ought to keep a close
watch on developments within the
organization and offer it encour-
agement in its attempt to estab-
lish itself.
ASGUSA is constituted as an
apolitical organization of student
governments designed to promote
the exchanging of ideas between
these governments. However, one
immediate problem is whether
ASGUSA will become merely a.
conservative counterpart of the
United States National Student
liam Feathergill of Vanderbilt
University, who formulated the
ASGUSA idea, asserts, "USNSA
attempts to fill one need: that of
-expressing student opinion.hOur
group has no such goal. We are
trying merely to improve the mem-
ber schools through providing a
medium for exchanging ideas
about student government. The
only possible reason USNSA mem-
bers would not logically be able
to join would be for financial
However, the concept of ASG-
USA as a conservative political or-
ganization, or at least a potential
one, is not easily dismissed.
At the St. Louis meeting which
drew up an interim constitution
for the body, a row ensued among
delegates about establishing a
committee to discuss civil rights
problems "from a non-political
-When this plan went down to
defeat under a barrage of drawled-
out "nays" from Southern dele-
gates, the University of Illinois
delegation walked out of the meet-
ing and the Grinell College rep-
resentative charged that the
Southerners had voted according
to their own political interests.
the charge. However, the delegate
from the University of Aikansas
later admitted that politics had
been a consideration in his vote.
"If a civil rights committee were
written into the constitution, I
doubt that anyone on our Student
Senate would approve it. We had
to vote against it."
If ASGUSA's leaders are sincere
now in their claim to being apoli-
tically inclined, there is always
the possibility that political con-
servatives may infiltrate the or-
ganization in the future.
With USNSA liberally oriented,
conservatives may naturally be
attracted to ASGUSA and could
attempt to put the organization
on a more political basis. Also the
geographical distribution of the
schools attending the St. Louis
meeting was decidedly conserva-
tive with nearly 40 per cent of

Nothing but the Facts

of March 7:
"Saigon, March 6 (UPI) Viet-
namese Chief of State Nguyen
Khanh has been quietly carrying
out a major shakeup in this coun-
try's military command . .. to re-
ward close supporters of his Jan.
30 coup.
"Khanh's shakeup was disclosed
on the eve of a new Saigon fact-
finding visit by Defense Secretary
McNamara. The reorganization
was reported causing concern as
the new Vietnamese chief of state
had assured Ambassador Lodge
there would be no major shakeup
which could interfere with the
war effort . . . almost all the new
appointments have been made for
political reasons ...
"Qualified U.S. military observ-
ers believe in some cases the new

commanders are as competent as
the ones they replaced. But in oth-
er cases the military qualities of
the appointees. are unproven, while
in still others they are definitely
inferior. The most prominent ex-
ample of the third category is in
the vital fourth army corps, which
is responsible for the southern half
of the Communist-dominated Me-
kong delta."
* * *
FROM the Associated Press wire
the day after McNamara's ar-
"Hoa, Hoa, March 9 (AP) . . .
McNamara told newsmen that he
feels there has been progress in
South Viet Nam since his visit
here in December. He credited
Khanh's reorganization of the na-
tion's leadership."
--I. F. Stone's Weekly

discussing how a national organ-
ization would be run. Most dele-
gates assumed that the problem
would work itself out.
ASGUSA President Lawrence
Blankenship is fairly capable, and
most of the delegates present were
* *' 4
not in its principles but in threats
to these principles. If it adheres to

Student Exhibit Seeks Religious Meaning

its constitution, it could be a
valuable organization. By working
for strict adherence, the Univer-
sity would be doing itself and other
member schools a service.
No final decision need yet be
made. ASGUSA will probably not
hold its first convention until late
next fall. Until then the Univer-
sity needs merely to keep its eye
on the organization and see if it
is living up to its potential.

Huston Thriller Unites
Braggadocio, Schmaltz
JOHN HUSTON'S "Key Largo" (made in 1948) is an object lesson
in how to extract the last drop of entertainment from a conven-
tional cinematic thriller. There are really only two ingredients, suspense
and character. The plot, which is more a situation than a narrative,
employs that old -Agatha Christie device of isolating hero and
heroine (Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall) in a remote hotel
where a Florida hurricane throws them at the mercy of homicidal
mobster, Edward G. Robinson, and his gang.
An artifice of suspense, largely contrived but in part stemming
naturally from situation, builds to a great climax. Bogey single-
handedly routs his enemies; and returns to the tearful embraces of
Lauren Bacall for a conclusion that unites braggadocio with schmaltz.
What more could you ask for?
APPARENTLY a great deal. For Huston and Richard Brooks, who
together wrote the screenplay, attempted to raise their work beyond
the trite art of thrillerdom with some thoughtful character analysis. To
suggest the intricate cruelty of Edward G. Robinson's mobster, his
brutality towards an alcoholic mistress (Claire Trevor won an Oscar
in this part) is given a peculiarly insidious slant:
"Sing for me," says Robinson to Miss Trevor. "No," she replies
fearfully, ". don't make me." "I won't make you do anything,"
says Robinson, "but if you sing I'll give you a drink." Till now, he
has ruthlessly forbidden her so much as a sip. So she sings, gropes
eagerly for a glass, and . . . "No!" says her lover, "No drink. You
were lousy."
The Bogart character is less successful. The immediate heroic
projection is there (as ever), the familiar drawl and half-smile, but
it's little more than a very professional actor going through his
* * * *
IN EVERY RESPECT except the photographic, this is one of
Huston's poorest films. It smells of the studio; and the attempt to
suggest atmosphere, or the hothouse Florida summer, is limited to
potted palms and hat-waving, with a few non-integrated location shots
for good measure.
But it is a masterpiece of functional photography. The camera
is always as close to (or as far from) the characters as continuity
and situation permit. There are no artful art-film longshots or half-
face close-ups, except in one or two cases. And here, the exception
proves the rule.
Practically the only longshot in the film is the opening aerial
view of Key Largo and the causeway linking it to the mainland; this
is a functional and classic cover-shot, setting down at a single gesture
the peculiarity of geography which is to play such a crucial part in the
plot. Similarly the only extreme close-ups of Edward G. Robinson,
revealing every fold and ridge of that wonderfully evil face. Huston's
camera work, in fact, is like a good suit. It is modest, attractive and
superbly tailored.
-Robin Duval

rpIE EXHIBITION presently at
the Artist's Gallery in the
Nickels Arcade has been organized
by the Ecumenical Campus Min-
istry to encourage artists to ex-
periment with the possibility of
m a k i n g religious statements.
While not all the works in the
show can be called "religious" in
any sense of the word, the idea
behind the show points out cer-
tain problems of the modern art-
ist in relation to religion.
Sinceour present society is bas-
ically materialistic and secular,
religion in the formal sense has
been relegated to a small corner
of our lives. But has religion in
the sense of a deeply held set of
values and attitudes about life,
death, love and the meaning of
these to the individual been as
neglected as the Church?
As far as art is concerned in
this question, has it turned its in-
terests and expression from deep
spiritual considerations to more
impersonal ones? Is the rise of
formalist schools and Pop Art in-
dicative of a turn to the less emo-
tional and more intellectual or
superficial aspects of life and a
denial of the spiritual? Or is it a
refusal to recognize the spiritual?
profound analysis of the artist in
relation to his society which is
not within the scope of this small

It denies him the use of a univer-
sal vocabulary of forms which
carry specific religious connota-
tions. However, it opens up to him
the opportunity of expressing his
more personal attitudes in another
universally (and inherently) com-
prehended form.
Jackson Pollack's works, for in-
stance, carry a lyrical movement
and sense of dynamic becoming
which are so personal as to be
holyto the artist. This is a re-
ligious artist in the broadest sense,
but not any less religious than
Fra Angelico for all that.
The similarity between Pollack
and Angelico rests on the deeply
felt and serious piety which both
reveal in their art.
HOW CAN one judge whether
a work of art is religious or not,

if it is abstract? This is a prob-
lem which several people have
tried to solve, but it requires that
one consider the work of art on
a plane higher than that of the
intellectual aspects of composi-
There is no iconography per se
in these works, but the combina-
tion of sensual elements, the atti-
tude ofthe artist expressed in
his approach to the canvas, the
colors, the application of the pig-
ments, all these can convey a
whole philosophy of life.nThe title
of the work is usually-not the key
to its character, as can be seen
in several t works at the Artist's
Gallery which would be as much
at home inan exhibition of atheist
That most of the works in the
student exhibition lack the holy

attitude of the artist toward his
creation can be attributed to many
things, among them the absence
of a deeply felt attitude towards
life whether from youthful inex-
perience or from simple superfi-
ciality of treatment.
One problem in dealing with
student art is the inexperience
factor; these people have just not
had enough training in technical
skills or in life to be able to con-
centrate on personal expression.
However, the idea behind this ex-
hibition and the control for qual-
ity exercized by the judges, as
well as the added incentive of a
purchase prize, may well encour-
age, on a limited basis, a new
search for religious meanings
through contemporary art.
-Miriam Levin




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