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February 18, 1979 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-18
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Page 6-Sunday, February 18, 1979-The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Doily--Sunday,, Febr

IOKS
God and man at Harvard

Washington's best-kept se

c f/

By Brian Blanchard

HARVARD HATES AMERICA
By John LeBoutillier
$7.95, 161 pp.
T fHE SOBER Chronicle of Higher Education,
read by the higher-ups in the business,
recently carried an item entitled "Right-Wing
Students Exert Growing Influence on Cam-
pus/Even their foes say conservatives are well-
organized, well-financed." Running two pages,
the article reported that the Young Americans
for Freedom, the College Republicans, and a
crowd of other young rightist interests are fin-
ding considerable audiences for their well-known
"anti" stands: anti-Red, anti-Welfare State, an-
ti-abortion, and anti-women's, as well as anti-
gay, rights.
Nervous liberals are quoted. "We must stop
them," muttered one student, "before they stop
us." And a not unsympathetic spread of neocon-
servatism, focusing on its ringleaders and
quoting their aphorisms, fills out an Esquire
v Brian B/anchard is the Daily
z University Editor.

currently on the stands. Soon, if they haven't yet,,
the editors at Newsweek and Time will run
"Special Reports" on this New Right: "Campus
Conservatives Back in the Saddle."
As a matter of fact, a new book by a Harvard
Business School student, which amounts to a
tract for the crusade, has already made
Newsweek. The author, we learn, is a new en-
fant terrible in a movement to clean up after
that wild party thrown back in the Sixties. As one
who generally sides with the liberals, it's my
hope that that writer, John LeBoutillier, is their
most articulate young foe. Terrible, he is indeed.
When, by the way of background for Harvard
Hates America, I began skimming LeBoutillier's
model, William F. Buckley's God and Man at
Yale (1951), I expected a generalized essay
lamenting, in Latinate vocabulary, the passing
of the Tory traditions and the failure of our fight
against Communism and its sympathizers. It
was that.
It was also, however, a carefully written, ex-
tensively researched condemnation of Buckley's
Alma Mater. He focused on specific lectures and
See HARVARD, Page 8

By Julie Rovner'and
Julie Engebrecht
T HE HOSTESS at the Campus Inn looked up from
her reservation book wearing a puzzled express
sion. "You're supposed to meet who?" she
asked.
"Mark Russell," the reporter replied, slightly taken
aback. The hostess mumbled "Russell" to herself,
glancing at the list again, and came back with her an-
swer: "Nope, I don't have any Russell here." And she
was doubtlessly far from the only one in Ann Arbor
unaware of the arrival of Mark Russell. In fact, the 57-
year-old comedian has often been called Washington's
best kept secret.
Judging from the response of the boisterous crowd
that mobbed Rackham Auditorium one cold Monday
night last month, though, that secret seems like it may
just be getting out.
"I may have to re-evaluate everything I thought
about college students after tonight," Russell was
saying after the performance, a drink in one hand and
a pipe in the other. On stage he looks surprisingly
young, but now the fatigue betrays his age, as he pon-
ders remarks he made earlier on the'"apathy" of the
seventies generation. "I always equated apathy with
me not getting any laughs," Russell says. "Can they be
apatheticand well-informed at the same time? I don't
think so." A glimmer of a smile crosses his face. "Or
*maybe I'm being egotistical when I say that if they
laugh, that means they're well-informed."
Mark Russell emerges as an unassuming original in
the ubiquitous world of seventies comedy. First of all,
there is his stage presence: he appears in a suit and tie,
and his sole prop is a piano, on which he periodically
accompanies himself. What truly sets him apart from
the mainstream, though, is neither his delivery nor his
Julie Rovner is co-director of the Daily edi-
torial page; Julie Engebrecht is the Daily MSA
reporter.t

U

'When Nelson Rocke-
feller was a little kid he
had a lemonade stand just
like every other kid, only
his was the only one listed
on the New York Stock
Exchange.'

bright singing voice. It is the fact that his material is
drawn almost exclusively from politics.
Russell has been hailed a verbal Art Buchwald. On-
stage, his conversation seems completely spontaneous,
giving him the aura of a businessman who's had a little
too much to drink. One need listen not only to what is
said, but to the ingratiating enthusiasm with which
Russell performs. His act is really an hour-long string
of political one-liners, punctuated by songs with titles
like "Rule Reagania," or "I'll go to the Ends of the
Earth for You, But I'll Never Go Metric." Onstage, he
appears to be a perfect cross between Tom Lehrer and
Walter Matthau.
In Russell's hometown of Washington D.C. politics is
everywhere, even in the Marquis Lounge of the
Shoreham Hotel, where Russell has been the mainstay

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A

Love, loss in Cheever' s suburbia

THE STORIES OF
JOHN CHEEVER
By John Cheever r
Alfred A. Knopf, $1S
693 pp.
T HIS COL{ECTION of John
Cheever stories, 61 in all, offers
a chronological study of the .author's
development. The stories vary greatly
in locale, narrative viewpoint, and
tone; yet despite this variety, there is a
fundamental continuity to them:
Cheever is concerned with the nebulous
discontent of the upper-middle-class
suburban dweller, the resident of the
commuting Westchester suburbs of
New York, the advertising man, and
the rising executive.
In Cheever's cheerfully disparaging
introduction to the anthology, he
writes: "Naive, provincial in my case,
sometimes drunk, sometimes obtuse,
almost always clumsy, even a selec-
ted display of one's early work will be a
naked history of one's struggles to
receive an educaton in economics and
Anne Eva Ricks is a senior in the
Honors English program..W, .

By Anne Eva Ricks'
love." The stories develop from the exist, in the majestic houses and
viewpoint of "a young man truly spacious lawns of the New York subur-
shocked to discover that genuinely bia. But all is not well with the residen-
decorous men and women admitted into ts. Despite their success (or actually
their affairs-erotic bitterness and even because of it) they suffer from anxiety
greed," to that of an elderly urbanite and nostalgia for simpler, more in-
surprised by nothing. An evolution of nocent times. Their sorrow is found in
subtlety, the ability to negotiate bet- the very nature and structure of their
ween poignancy and being maudlin, is lives; there is no stability in either
evident in this progression of stories, locations or relationships. Every
but along with increasing sophistication promotion means a move to a better
comes a loss of the crude power of per- house or a higher-status suburb.
sonal impact-the later stories of Cheever documents the effects of
defeat and disillusion are sad, not suburban instability on friendships with
tragic. 'neighbors, on children's security, and
Cheever delineates the disconerting on marital continuity.
mixture of pride, bitterness, and affec-
tion many suburban dwellers feel HEEVER IS a social and domestic
toward their cities; he understands the U writer. His novels Falconer and
natural ambivalence toward the Bullet Park, as well as these stories,
rewards and demands of success. concern the relationships between
Cheever knows . that domestic parents and children, husbands- and
frustration, hatred, and' get i7;aaIe6 Wtves, and between siblings. Here, he is

sad, and painfully truthful in "Goodbye
'My Brother," a story about the dif-
ficulties of trying to like an intolerable
brother. He delights in the rewards of a
good marriage in "The Pot of God,"
and chronicles the wreck, of a destruc-
tive one in "The Season of Divorce."
Cheever is funny and often wise about
the embarrassments and joys of love:
stories about falling in love with the
right people, like one's patient and loyal
wife, are sweet and cheery; stories
about falling in love with the wrong
people, like one's babysitter or
someone else's wife, alternate between
the hilarious andrtheatragic.dSome
stories are bizarre, about drastic
measures ("The Housebreaker of
Shady Hill") or serious neurotic or para-
sitical behavior ("The Season of Divor-
ce,' "The Children").
He has often been accused of having a
limited subject and style, but he is
similar to William Faulkder in making
the choice to explore one theme and one
situation from every possible angle. His
prose, singular in its clarity and sim-
plicity, complements the subject-he
See CHEEVER, Page8...,,

'It's so nice to be here
at the University of Mich-
igan ton igh t. Yes, sir, the
University of Michigan,
where football is inflated
and ex-presidents are un-
elected. '

since 1961. He currently divi
Shoreham, roadtrips, special
which runs in over 100 papers
Mark Russell didn't plat
comedian. As he tells it, thint
way. He originally wanted to 1
heroes were such jazz greats
zy Gillespie. He began his ei
series of Washington pubs, r
with jokes and other varieties
His break finally came wil
Carroll Arms, at that time a p
across the street from the Ca
he find out what was going
discovered a gold mine of mat
THE WAITRESS at the i
rupts to take the ordei
types order non-alcot
ders vodka. When the remain
a beer and the waitress doesn
the remaining five change t
grinning Russell announces tc
wishes to change his order
waitress gives him a strange 1
There is little contrast betw
Russell the performer. He si
the table, leans back, lights]
charge. He-claims he hasn't
how he achievedahis success
eyed, "I'm just a fun guy;
laughs - like a political Henn
He readily admits, however
his career came with Waterg
when Nixon finally left office,
to writing my own material. F
rip from the wires and read.'
last several years, particular
national following, continues
niche," says Russell. "I reall;
petition. I don't, for instance,
these guys do who are just sta
rooms in New York and Holly'
I mean, if I had to depend on
plate here, I'd be in troubl
without a newspaper, I'm in tr
Mark Russell says that hi;
involved individuals. Richard
perfect example. "You don't'
is naturally funny himself i
"You want someone who take.
While he claims Republica
more readily than Democra
have a choice there for a whil
his own political leanings, anc
he doesn't remember specific
can't generalize about son
declares. "It seemed like
See RUSSELL

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