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February 04, 1979 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-04
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Page 6-Sunday, February 4, 1979--The Michigan Daily

-- -.

The Michigan Dafy-Sunda
Prop D:Te morning!



New directions for

By John Updike
Alfred A. Knopf, $8.98,
299 pp.
COLONEL HAKIM Felix Ellellou,
expatriate deposed president of an
insignificant famine-ridden African
nation, chronicles his spiritual, sexual,
and political experience in John Up-
dike's new novel The Coup. The book,
which takes the form of a giant memoir
recounting the events before, during,
and after a coup d'etat in the small
country of Kush, ranges from unchar-
ted desert wastes to snowy Wisconsin,
from rides in a silver Mercedes to near
death by thirst on camelback, from
lyrical eroticism to copulation in a dit-
ch, and from complete political power
to usurpation and imprisonment.
Ellellou's character progresses in
harmony with the narration, which
makes frequent skips globally and
temporaly. He is erudite, mystical.
fanatically anti-capitalist, and
cpable of a self-deprecating humor.
He appears.curiously removed from the
events of his life, describing death,
triumph, love, and destruction with a
distant nonchalence reminiscent of
Didion's A Book of Common Prayer.
Ellellou terrifies American diplomats,
who label him a "schizoid paranoic,"
and is alternately worshipped and
ignored by his tribual constituency. Yet
he remains a noble and graceful man
throughout, sure of his religion, secure
in his cultural and ethical principles,
certain of his inherent superiority, and,
thus, capable of being humble.
Kush is an undeveloped nation which
Ellellou struggles to keep undeveloped.
He lists the country's assets as "twen-
ty-two miles of railroad and one hud-.
nred seven of paved highway. Our
national airline consists of two Boeing
727s. . . . Average life expectancy is
thirty-seven years, per capita gross
national product is $79, the literacy rate
is 6 per cent." After describing the
paucity of industry, agriculture, and
exploitable resources, he adds,
ironically, that diseases, of which Kush
boasts "an ample treasury," should
perhaps be listed among the nation's
natural resources.
In spite of Kush's quagmire of pover-
ty he rejects the proferred American
aid, because he forsees consequences of
destruction, expolitation, and shame.
He points out past deleterious results of
foreign aid in the neighboringcountry
of Zanj: "I am told you favored its suf-
fering citizens with tons of number two
sorghum, a coarse grain grown for
camel fodder, which gives its human
consumers violent diarrhea . . . (You
dug) deep wells, which disasterously
caused the herds to stay until the
grasslands around the wells was
reduced to dust." Even these most
altruistic of foreign contributions have
detrimental effects; other attempts at
aid, such as the donations of boxes of'
"USA USA USA Kix Trix Chex Pops"
and powdered milk to a country with no
water, are ludicrous and irrational.
for pragmatic reasons; he sees it
as engendering a self-propogating
Anne Eva Ricks is a senior in
the Honors Engis/z program.

By Anne Eva Rick

dependence on Western nations. By
keeping foreign aid from his borders,
he hopes to maintain the integrity and
pride of his starving people: "A
barefoot man is not poor until he sees
other people wearing shoes. Then he
feels shame. Shame is being smuggled
into Kush."

wiped out thi
Heyneman con
the best forei
third world co
alone or event
tiveness of a W
stead of repl
with the lowes

is not o)
search iM
love an,

John Updike
propriate pomp: "Our technical boys
can mop up any mess technology
Screates. All you need is a little
developmental input, some dams in the
walls, and some extensive replanting
with the high energy pappas grass the
teir natural predators. guys in the green revolution have come
ncludes that, "Sometimes up with..." The diplomat fails to men-
gn aid we can offer the tion that the ostensible "green
untries is to leave people revolution" is dependent on petroleum
try to counter the attrac- base fertilizers and foreign irrigation.
Vestern style of life. . . In-
acing cultural patterns A MERICANS ARE, in Ellellou's
t level of another-which eyes, insidious, insipid, and shal-
low; he resents the importation of
American values and materials in lieu
of Kushian tradition. He tells his
people, "The world groans beneath the
voracious vulgarity of these un-
believers. They suck dry vast delicate
nations in the service of the superfluous
lou s journey and the perverse." He ridicules
.s r American women as "obese brides
n ly political, fatuously trying to beautify themselves
(with hair curlers) while they parade in
'ona?, a soul- supermarkets," in comparison with the
naturally elegant beauty and grace of
S quest for "the long round brow of the Tutsi royal
line, as erotic, as meek and glistening
' intim a , as the twin bulges of a (Kushian
C" woman's) buttocks." American men
are "puerile, -awkward, winning, and
hopeful," and function in a world based
on "glut and obscenity."
Ellellou's journey is not only
political, but personal, a soul-searchng
quest for love and intimacy. Updike's
precisely delineated scenes of confron-
tation, rejection, and reconciliation ex-
plore the possibilites of the marriage
relationship. Each of E~lelou's -four
wives and mistress suggest crucial
outcome of development components of a working marriage,
ly a euphemism for although he loses them all- through
1-we might try to retain neglect, death, and disappearance. His
,community and family happiness is finally achieved with his
and individual ethnic independent and cheerfuly unfaithful
ditional culture while in- third wife.
powerful tools of our Ellellou's personal mid-life crisis and
successful self-discovery move parallel
forts to preserve his but contrary to his political failure and
itions and social struc- the corruption of his country. These op-
in light of his willingly posing movements, interwoven with the
nment and the facile, rich cultural heritage of Kush, con-
lance of the American. tribute to the fascinating complexity of
mats, who act like this beautifully written, highly en-
diplomat states with ap- joyable novel.

FRECKLE-FACED 19-year-old
knocked at the ice cubes floating
at the top of her mug of Coke.
"This is the first time I've ever come to
Dooley's on a Saturday night and been
able to get a table right away," she
said, peering over the balcony rail at
the relatively quiet clusters of people in
front of the huge TV screen, which was
beaming the MSU-Iowa basketball
game. Cozy couples nestled together in
front of the fireplace, and waitresses
glided between chairs, rolling forward
to the pounding of recorded music.
There were no tables free, the pinball
machines were monopolized, but the
frenzy that a weekend night at Dooley's
used to mean was missing. "I guess it's
crowded enough in here," shrugged the
young woman with the Coke, poking
again at her ice cubes. "All the insanity
is gone."
Though they're -still allowed inside
the gracious confines of their favorite
locals, many students are staying out of

their establishments, and most local
gathering placesdhave taken to using
hand stamps to identify legal drinkers,
serving non-alcoholic drinks in special
glasses, and marking the drinks with
straws in an effort to keep a close eye
on the underaged. Still, those in the 18-
20 bracket frequently send older friends
to the tap to buy for them, and
propriotorial surveillance over such ac-
tivity is apparently rather slipshod.
So the bars have not turned into pop
stands; they don't like to talk much
about their soft drink sales, but it's a
singular table that boasts no booze.
Managers and owners don't seem too
inclined to come down heavily on those
who sneak a few sips, and they
generally say that they give a first of-

ONG-TIME fraternity-sorority
favorite The Village Bell was vir-
tually vacant two weekends ago,
with yards and yards of open wood
where elbow-to-elbow students used to
slosh drinks and lie about their sex
lives. A cheerful bartender presided
over about a dozen customers, and had
plenty of time to wipe the bar again and
again while explaining the new bar,
which was to be installed the next week,
the fine tape system in the works, and
plans for a late-hour restaurant service
which, it is hoped, will attract an older
There's-still a line in front of Bimbo's
restaurant, which never did rely
heavily on the 18-20-year-old customer
anyway, but the boisterous, mug-

By Eric Zorn

ti l
- . , .
' , .
f /
' v " Y


want to
an ass of
in the doi
during t)
ignore ti
tors, wh
and don
the stud(
of enfor
and the
dly than
rarely t



'., t

His tenacious stand against the en-
croachment of foreign values has
documented 'historical precendent: in
the February 1979 Human Nature, Dr.
Donald Heyneman, a professor of
parisitology at the University of
California at San Francisco, documents
the ecological tragedy of the Aswan
Dam, resulting in the salinization of
soil, erosion, arid uneradicable
epidemics of schistosomiasis. He men-
tions other unintentional disasters of
Western technological intervention,
such as the flourishing of lice, roach,
and mosquito populations after DDT

is so often theo
and frequent
political contro
cultural values
pride of the tra
troducing the
own. "
Ellellou's ef
country's trad
tures are futile
corrupt govern
ignorant arrog
career diplo
salesmen. Onec


the bars this term because they are no
longer legally old enough to drink.
Campus area taverns are reporting a
clientele which is only about 20 per cent
under the age of 21, and the new com-
position of the crowd has changed the
atmosphere for almost everyone.
Dooley's, erstwhile hangout for the
recently enrolled, no longer sports the
noisy crush of people which made it the
place to get face time on th?4own. "It's
quiter, and there's a little more
sophisticated tone," observed Tom, a
24-year-old graduate student. 'I can sit
and have a nice talk with someone, and
it's nice not to have to fight the teens for
a table."
HERE'S also no shortage of-
bodies inside Don Cisco's disco-
teque Friday and Saturday
nights. Would-be hoofers face the
familiar crunch on the dance floor, and
the game room percolates with ac-
tivity. However, as bar and restaurant
owner Bill Marzonie points out, "Ann
Arbor is a weekend town." There's no
longer. a cover charge on weekdays,
and Don Cisco's has always tried to ap-
peal to a slightly older crowd anyway,
but the fight to survive financially
worries all bars north of Division
No one believes that the new
prohibition is totally effective in
keeping young lips from nipping on the
drop that cheers, and underage studen-
ts report it is difficult, but not im-
possible, to share in the fun at local
drinking establishments. The Michigan
Civil Rights Commission ruled on,
January 23 that bar owners may not
prohibit 18-20-year-olds from entering
Eric Zorn is co-editor of the Daily
Arts page.]

fender a warning and confiscate the
drink in-order to prevent the one- to
two-thousand-dollar fine and possible
suspension of their liquor license for
violations of state law.
Though smaller nightspots like Mr.
Flood's Party and The Blind Pig are a
bit more subdued, they haven't felt the
crunch of Proposition D the way that
larger places have. Second Chance con-
tinues to draw fairly well as a show bar,
but a doorman, shouting to be heard
over the booming power of the band on
stage, said that the four bars that used
to be open on weekends have been
reduced to two, and now it's only one on

smashing groups of new voters who
were such a headache for the waiters
and waitresses no-longer find it as spor-
ting to come in and sing along with "My
Wild Irish Rose." Said one 19-year-old,
"You've got to play it cool if you want to
drink these days, and who wants to be
discreet at the bar?"
It follows that, even though drinking
is possible for, the clever at local bars,
many students don't like the idea of
having to sneak around and play the
same games they played in high school.
Once safely inside and supplied, there
is still the smaller number of familiar
faces and the less frenetic pace that an
evening on the town now offers. "If you

(Continued from Page 3)
such photographs existed, Markley
director Leroy Williams called "an
emergency staff meeting." At the
meeting, Williams reportedly ex-
pressed his anger that he had to
discover this- covert partying through
the media, and then, in his words, "I
found out some things."
"The staff has got to realize that
they're employees of the U of M. . . we
have to dp our job," he said later. The
"crackdown" has come at the expense
of the staff, who have been asked to
watch very carefully for alcohol and
report violations.
The hard-nosed reaction is perhaps
understandable, but shows little
evident regard for the sensitive position
that resident staff have on a hall as
friends and advisors. The realities of
the new prohibition defy conventional
disciplinar actions, and, the :staffs

must devise more realistic
mechanisms for coping with the com-
plex social circumstances. A resident
advisor must simultaneously take on,
the roles of authority figure and peer.
"Either way, we get screwed," sighed
one East Quad staff member. "If there
is a party going on outin the hall and we
ignore it, it might get out-of-hand to the
point that police and security are
called; if we hang around and keep
things under control, we run the risk of
being caught or- blackmailed."
"It's a stupid law and I'll have no part
in enforcing it," said one angry RA who-
wouldn't be identified. "Having parties
only in private rooms is absurd from an
educational point-of-view. I've
already organized two parties this
year, and bought the beer for both. I
won't be a cop."
RAs generally feel much more like
students than staff.-"It's really quite 'a

charade," said a Hill area dorm RA. "I
was at a loss when the winter term first
started, and so were a lot of students.
They stood around a lot and wondered
what to do. But when I saw my fellow
'staffers 'ignoring' parties, buying and
practically pouring drinks into the
mouths of the kids on their halls, I
figured there's nothing to worry about
if we keep it under our own control."
Though the students themselves
generally don't have to worry about
being caught by the building director -
since none of them indicated that they
would not terminate the lease on a
student's first offense - there are other
prgblems which not everyone thinks
about. Ruth Addis, director of Stock-
well Hall, is especially concerned with
the fate of alcohol abuse control
education programs which have been
able to operate in the dorms in the past:
See DRINKING, Page 8

and if th
Most b
ned "how
down," a
said, and
staff mer
"I'm n
run their
taken a 1
noted tha
dance at
and his h
about oth
. Morrov
of West
asking th
efforts at
both mdi
ties are p
RFs are
their flo
sand," ad
hand. we
trouble. ei
One woi
director b
life would
dorms ha(
but that is
where pho
taken. Aft
drinking i

Daily Photo by LISA UDELSON
.1).ards and bar patrons are now subject to careftil inspection.

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