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April 08, 1979 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-04-08
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The Michigan Daily-Sunday,

Page 2 Sunday, April 8, 1979-The Michigan Daily

RAMLINGS/ron gifford

HAVE YOU ever wondered why
people do really inane things?
Take applauding at the end of a
movie, for example. Why would
anybody do such a thing? One ex-
planation is that members of the
audience so disliked the movie that
they're clapping because it's over. If
that's the case, however, why didn't
they just leave in the middle? Not only
would that have been a more powerful
social statement, it would also have
saved them money on popcorn.
Of course, they may have been clap-
ping because they liked the film. So?
The actors sure as hell aren't going to
hear the applause, because, as far as I
know, the theaters don't record it and
mail it to them. "Oh, Mr. Allen, here's
the applause from the Angell Hall
showing of Love and Death. Not as good
as Annie Hall, but better than
"Well," says Mr. Film Lover, "my
applause is a sign of my appreciation of
fine art." Oh really? And do you ap-
plaud everytime you see a painting by
Renoir or Van Gogh?
Absolutely not. That's totally
unreasonable, you argue. Yet why is it
acceptable for a movie audience to ap-'
plaud the celluloid gods? It is for no
reason other than social norm.
Sometime, somewhere in the history of

film, "Society" deemed it acceptable to
clap in the theater. And so, without
knowing why, you've applauded nearly
every movie you've seen since
Going to the Hash Bash for no other
reason than to go is another example of
this "Gosh, I don't know what I'm doing
or why I'm here" attitude. We all know
why the high school kids go to it. In or-
der to understand, revert back to your
own high school days, when secretly
drinking a six-pack during lunch was
cool and smoking a joint was the
ultimate. The Hash Bash is a great way
for pimply-and-peach-fuzz-covered kids
to meet pimply-and-mascara-covered
kids, who then get high together and,
become "mature."
If you're in college here, and go just
to watch the high school kids make
asses of themselves, then you have a
good reason for being on the Diag. I
personally enjoy watching the kids, and
to bring back the fond memory of my
first public beer.
But what about the other people, the
bookworms and pre-meddies who never
smoke pot and who aren't even there to
watch the spectacle? Why do they go?
"Well, if I went, then all my friends at
home would be really impressed with
one," one nerd, ah, engineer told me.
Oh, come on, now. I mean, really, how

much prestige can a person acquire by
standing on the 'M' surrounded by 17-
year-olds drinking-warm beer and
smoking crummy dope? Who do these
members of the so-called intelligentsia
They have no desire to get stoned, the
atmosphere repulses them, and they
find the people nauseating. Yet they go
to the Hash Bash, not because they
want to, but because they are expected
to go. The "social conscious" of this
University dictates that you must
patronize the Diag on April 1 or you're
"not with it." This follow-the-leader at-
titude pervades more areas than just
the Diag.
C ONSIDER THE social phenomenon
that occurs in elevators. On the
second floor of a seventy-floor building
nine people walk into the elevator. Six-
ty-nine floors higher, nine people with
stiff necks who cannot lower their
heads leave the lift. Why? They all
stared at the little numbers above the
door instead of acting sociable and
looking at each other. What would hap-
pen to our society if someone decided to
design elevators without those num-
If you defy the norm and look around
the elevator as it ascends, people will
react as if you've just walked into their
bedroom in the middle of the .night.

Women will scream, men will threaten
you, and little children will cry. Well,
maybe they won't react that violently,
but you get the point. Of course, if you
really want to blow their minds, start
singing the "Hanes makes you feel good
all under" song. At least three people
will leave the elevator before their
proper floor.
The Elevator Rule of Avoided Eye
Contact also applies to crowded
establishments like MacDonald's or
Burger King. Oh, it's okay to scan the
place once to look for friends or possible
FBI agents, but after that, you must
stick to looking at the menu or get dirty
looks from people. Well, after the Hash
Bash not too many people followed the
rule, but that was probably because the
munchies transcend traditional social
Unfortunately, very few other things
do. Like Pavlov's dogs, we are con-
ditioned to accept everything we are
told, whether it means applauding a
movie, staring at little elevator num-
bers, or standing in line all over cam-
pus to make it through school here.
We human beings aren't the only ones
who do totally inane things for no ap-
parent reason, however. Even the
Creator does unexplainable things.
Think about it for awhile. Have you
ever wondered what eyebrows are for?

Why is John Baker
at Plymouth Cent
By Mary Gaitskill

sunda, iagazine iCRUSTIC PUZZLE


N 1 L 1 0 13
r 3 J F 3 L 36
F ' 5 V 5 H 59t
L R B 81 V R S N 84t
A13 0 131J13 T133
H 154 , 15 N 15 T 15 D 158

14 I
T 3? R

u 60


N 86

I 87
0 111

F 49
IA 112

D 17 L 17R 179

A. Radiation produced by electrically
charged subatomic particles
travelling through water
faster than light does
B. Reflex: mechanical
C. Place; locality
D. Key to measuring relative
motion (2 words)
E. Passion
F. State of the frequency of
light from an object
moving away
G. Welsh competitive arts
H. English scientist (1642.1727),
who invented concept of
gravity (Full Name)
I. Pulsar (2 words)
J. Physical reality determinable
by a four-dimensional
coordinate system (Comp.)
K. Hypothesized faster-than-light
particles never found
L. Passage of a fluid outwards
through a propous septum

5 1112 72 124 196 99 163 89
27 42 46 48 81 107 171 203 117
7 66 162 185 205
- - - - - - - - - - - -
10 22 111 158 136 141 148 172 13 91 176 71
2 94 25 47 123 156 212
23 76 35 68 56 88 100 126 147 169
9 57 65 75 95 175 181 115 138 194
8 59 74 86 113 134 143 21 154 166 193
15 73 49 87 98.101 108 125 140 153 189
165 5 3 61 132 160 198 106 218
29 192 62 18 55 97 204 184
19 177 12 3 36 45 64 80 139

M. Something identical with
something else in form
or structure
N. Danish physicist who applied
quantum theory to atomic
spectra (Full Name)
0. Originator of the theory that
black holes are worm and
capable of exploding
(Full Name)
P. Insufficiently baked
Q. Type of health camp
R. Illuminative
S. Action of rendering invalid
T. Element with atomic number 99
U. Object customarily used to
represent space in a curved
space analogy (2 words)
V. Now discredited osmological
rival theory to the Big Bang
(2 words)
W. Quality of being coarse,
dull, unrefined

14 146 121 137 127 92 6 69
11 84 156 167 190 32 161 182 216

Copyright 1979
Guess the words defined at the
left and write them in over
their numbered dashes. Then,
transfer each letter to the cor-
responding numbered square
in the grid above. The letters
printed in the upper-right-hand
corners of the squares indi-
cate from what clue-word a
particular square's letter
comes from. The grid, when
filled in, should read as a
quotation from a published
work. The darkened squares
are the spaces between words.
Some words may carry over
to the next line. Meanwhile,
the first letter of each guessed
word at the left, reading down,
forms an acrostic, giving the
64 author's name and the title of
the work from which the quote
is extracted. As words and
phrases begin to form in the
grid, you can work back and
forth from clues to grid until
the puzzle is complete.
Answer to previous puzzle:
"The more a person con-
centrates on feeling
genuinely, rather than on
the objective content of
what is felt, the more sub-
jectivity becomes an end in
itself, the less expressive he
can be. Under conditions of
self-absorption the mnomen -
tary disclosures of self
become amorphous.
(Richard) Sennett,
The Fall of Public

OHN BAKER has spent half of his
22 years incarcerated in the Ply-
mouth Center for Human
Development, a home for the retarded.
According to Baker's record, he was
committed because he was not
receiving schooling and because his
mother had a "serious drinking
problem" and could not adequately
care for her five children. But John
Baker, whose badly crippled legs con-
fine him to a wheelchair, doesn't
believe he is retarded. He feels his
placement in Plymouth was a terrible
mistake, and he's angry about his con-
tinued confinement there.
It's difficult for a layperson to judge
whether or not a person's intelligence is
"normal." But even if I hadn't seen the
record, or talked to thehauthorities at
Plymouth, I would not have believed
John to be retarded. He was just too
sensitive, too receptive to subtleties in
For example, when introduced to me,
he quickly picked up my awkwardness
at meeting him. Instead of' becoming
uncomfortable or annoyed, he tried to
reassure me. "You feel shy, don't
you?" he said. "Let's just relax and
listen to the music for awhile, and then
you can ask me anything you want."
Plymouth Center became notorious
last February when the Detroit Free
Press did an expose on the incompeten-
ce and child abuse going on there.
Plymouth has been suffering upheavals
since then: First, a series of in-
vestigations, court hearings, then the
mass firings of abusive staff and
resignation of some administrative of-
ficials. Many new staffers and ad-
ministrative people have been hired,
some of whom have filled newly-
created departments to handle patient
rights and placement services.
One resident is easy to overlook
during such massive bureaucratic
changeovers. But John does not intend
to be overlooked. He feels his
placement in Plymouth was wrong, and
he's angry about his continued con-
finement. He wants to be given a chan-
ce to have "a normal life in the com-
Interviews and investigation suppor-
ted his claims. Virtually everyone con-
tacted at Plymouth, from volunteer
staff to placement officials, agreed that
he should be placed out. Officials also
agreed that he hasn't been released
because there's just no plac6 for
someone with his particular
background and problems to go. His
medical record states that he is not
retarded. Through some 11 years of
case conferences, social workers and
doctors have repeatedly, on the record,
recommended that Baker be trained
and placed in the community. Yet it
hasn't happened.
;Jjw did sgumesne like John get.p aced.
;Varo kai sall4 5 d u n j1ig

in Plymouth? Why is he staying there?
A spokesman for the Michigan
Association for the Protection of Retar-
ded Citizens, who has investigated in-
stitutions nationally, said John is not
unique. According to him, there are
people with average intelligence
misplaced in homes for the retarded all
over the country. An interview with a
Special Education teacher and a look at
John's file supported his opinion. John
seems to have been committed very
easily, and it's apparently going to be
tough to place him out.
As John tells it, he was committed
when he was 11, after a social worker
made several visits to his mother when
he lived with her in Detroit. He said he
was told by the staff that he was only
there to learn how to walk. When his
mother died of cancer -(his father had
died just before he was committed), he
realized he wasn't going home.
"I don't remember why they said
they were going to keep me there," he
said, "I was too upset to pay attention
to what was going on. I cried for six
days. I couldn't eat or talk to anyone."
John's record bears out his story. It
states that he was receiving no
schooling and inadequate care in an
impoverished home that he shared with
five other children. The record
describes his mother as in "poor
health," with a "serious drinking
problem," and says that she was not
able to take care of John physically. A
social worker noted that John should
have a teacher to come to his house and
work with him, but the school system in
his area was not able to provide this.
After scoring low on his first IQ test, he
was declared "mildly retarded," and it

was ultimately recommended that he
be placed in Plymouth.
These original records seemed to
ignore John's cultural disadvantages.
Developmental psychologists generally
agree now that a child who has never
been in school, who is unable to walk
around and explore life for himself, and
whose mother is unable to give him
proper care, will not do well on a stan-
dard IQ test.
Caseworkers, in notes from a con-
ference later that year, were beginning
to think more about these cultural fac-
tors. Then, social workers noted: "It
seems likely that these scores are the
result of educational and social
deprivation rather than retarded in-
tellectual ability." It was recommen-
ded that John be "taught a useful
trade," and stated that "he should be
able to adjust to living outside an in-
stitutional setting."
- By 1975, the record read differently
than it had originally, John had taken
another IQ test. This time his score was
normal. He was described in the report
as "a well-spoken young gentleman; " it
was urged that he be trained and placed
out. On the psychological section of the
report, a social worker recorded John's
anger and hurt at being separated from
his family and confined. He mentioned
that John had developed a "low self-
image," and that he desperately
missed a family setting.
One caseworker wrote in the file,
"It's time to stop and ask some
questions. Since the opinion of retar-
dation due to cultural deprivation was
1ather widely supported from the start,
why was initial contact not made with a
community facility which would've

suited John's
community o
provide an educ
was not taugh
cording to soci
and program
there is simply
They cite his p
greatest proble
one group hon
retarded hand
they don't see
home as the ul
- they feel he's
tment with a r
him placed in o
adjust to outsid
living skills, sup
doesn't have ne
Verosko says
and are still ex
contact to find
they are "all i
they want to ma
that where he g
Aulds said t
they thought t
John, and deci
because it was
area. "John's 1
she said. "He
very vulnerabl
tage of."
This descrip
mentioned. 1H
anyone suggest
refused to mc
crowded and fi]
See B

17 30 521

131 63 85 104 135 96 24 149 16

4 180 20 105 122 26 168 144 207 187
44 151 77 208 201 103
16 38 67 78 109 116 170 178 183 214 202
142 31 200 40 213 209 83
33 37 79 110 118 129 133 174 195 211 157
28 60 41 54 90 102 128 119 179 188 206
58 43 70 82 53 145 152 159 173 199 215
39 93 130 155 51 114 186 120 210 217

,- . , , . , 1 ,

j ! (f t i ;:r. k

1 .. t . .

John Bakeris an active patnt; he operates th ejymouthCente, :wch oatr4 pd attends shoolii

- -: . S .

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