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September 25, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-25

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Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

deep greens and blues
All that is revolution is not sweet

#i

4

by harry henpert

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-05521

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1971

NIGHT EDITOR: MARK DILLEN

The case of John Sinclair

THROUGHOUT THEIR collective his-
tory, Americans have been a people
plagued by fear..
They fear the Indian, the Asian, the
black man, the communist - and they
have tried everything in their power, in-
cluding murder, to eradicate from their
collective conscience the fear these
groups instill.
The basis for this fear, while quite ir-
rational, may lie in the uncanny appre-
hension Americans feel for anyone who
lives differently from them. Anyone who
wears different clothes or comes from a
different background or holds a differing
set of beliefs has "foreigner" branded
across his soul; and he is tuckey away
In the conscience as somehow theaten-
ing the peculiarly American individual-
ism so many have cultivated, and come
to cherish.
Most recently, many youhg people have
come to fit this classification; for their
sensitivity to American commercializa-
tion -- wherein people, the environment,
and basic values are treated as market-
able commodities - has caused in them
a revulsion to American culture and, as
a consequence, they have sought a life-
style which insists fundamentally upon
respect.
But, like other groups who have refused
to calmly boil in the melting pot, the
young have had to. pay a price.
IN MANY WAYS John Sinclair is an
example. A poet, a founder of the De-
troit Artists' Workshop - a center for
writers, artists and musicians creating
new culture motifs - and a founder of
the commune, TransLove Energies, Sin-
clair can be seen as an exemplar for what
is very best about the new culture.
And yet he presents a threat to the
American culture, for Americans have
learned to distrust people, to keep to
themselves, to live in cubicles hopelessly
Editorial Staff
ROBERT KRAFTOWITZ
Editor
JIM BEATTIE DAVE CHUDWIN
Executive Editor Managing Editor
STEVE KOPPMAN Editorial Page Editor
RICK PERLOFF Associate Editorial Page Edito
PAT MAHONEY Assistant Editorial Page Editor
LYNN WEINER . Associate Managing Editor
L CRRY LEMPERT .. Associate Managing Editor
ANITA CRONE .. .............. Arts Edito
JIM IRWIN ............ ........ Associate Arts Editor
JANET FREY .. ...... ..Personnel Director
ROBERT CONROW .. Books Editor
JIM JUDKIS .. . ...... Photography Edito
NIGHT EDITORS: Rose Sue Berstein, Mark Dilen,
Sara Fitzgerald, Tammy Jacobs, Alan Lenhoff,
Jonathan Miller, Hester Pulling, Carla Rapoport,
Robert Schreiner, W. E. Schrock, Geri Sprung.
COPY EDITORS: Lindsay Chaney, Art Lerner, Debra
Tha,
DAY EDITORS: Pat Bauer, Linda Dreeben, Jim
Irwin, Hannah Morrison, Chris Parks, Gene
Robinson, Zachary Schiller.
ASSISTANT NIGHT EDITORS: Ric Bohy, Kenneth
Cohn, John Mitchell, Beth Oberfelder, Kristin Ring-
strom, Kenneth Schulze, Tony Schwartz, Jay Sheye-
vitz, Gloria Jane Smith, Sue Stark, Ted Stein,
Paul Travis, Marcia Zoslaw.
Business Staff
JAMES M. STOREY, Business Manager
RICHARD RADCLIFFE SUZANNE BOSHAN
Advertising Manager Sales Manager
JOHN SOMMERS ............ .. Finance Manager
ANDY GOLDING .......... ...Circulation Manager
Sports Staff
MORT -NOVECK, Sports Editor
JIM KEVRA, Executive Sports Editor
RICK CORNFELD ...... Associate Sports Editor
TERRI FOUCHEY . Contributing Sports Editor
BETSY MAHON .....,. .. Senior Night Editor
SPORTS NIGHT EDITORS: Bill Alterman, Bob An-
drews, Sandi Genis, Joel Greer, Elliot Legow, John
Papanex, Randy Phillips, Al Shackelford.

separate from one another. But Sinclair,
in his communal living, his zest for crea-
tion, his dedication to change, opposes all
this - intensely. He lives differently -
very differently - from most Americans.
Because he is different, he is feared.
And at least it can be rationally under-
stood why John Sinclair has been sent-
enced to a term of 91/2-10 years on the
charges that he possessed two marijuana
cigarettes.
THE STATE SUPREME Court recently
agreed to hear an appeal of Sin-
clair's case, after refusing to do so two
years ago. And while on Thursday the
court denied Sinclair release on bond,
Sinclair's lawyers have expressed some
optimism that the court will rule favor-
ably on the appeal.
Indeed it should.
A man is sentenced to ten years in jail
because he possessed what the state be-
lieves to be a narcotic, a dangerous drug.
And yet, most medical authorities do not
classify marijuana as "dangerous"; at
best they are skeptical of its dangers -
and ten years is a long punishment for
possessing something whose danger is un-
proven, unclear; and quite likely, imag-
inary.
This also is the view of 27 state govern-
ments, which have modiifed their mari-
juana laws. And it is also the belief of
Gov. William Milliken.
Milliken has proposed drug legislation
which would change the crime for pos-
session of marijuana from a felony to a
misdemeanor and would lower the pen-
alty for first-time possession to 90 days
in jail or a maximum fine of $500.
MILLIKEN'S PROPOSAL passed t h e
House in May and is expected to pass
the Senate by a close vote. And yet, un-
less the court decided to abide by the
spirit of the new law, or the Governor
commutes the sentence, Sincair will re-
main a victim of the archaic law that im-
prisoned him over two years ago.
He will remain a victim of a law which
also jails a person 20 years 'for selling
heroin - a drug whose danger is f a r
clearer. Sinclair has been punished in
a "cruel and unusual manner;" and this
marks a violation of the U.S. constitu-
tional ban on such punishments.
Originally, Sinclair was charged with
dispensing marijuana to an undercover
agent, but this charge was, thrown out
because it was based upon evidence ob-
tained illegally - the agent trapped Sin-
clair into selling him the joints. But the
possession charge stuck - though based
on evidence obtained in exactly the same
manner.
That is indeed interesting.
Clearly the Detroit Recorders C o u r t
and its judge, Robert Colombo, grew des-
perate when it became clear the dispens-
ing charge just would not stick; for it
then submitted to bending the law in
order to nab its man. As Colombo said
himself, prior to the sentencing: "J o h n
Sinclair is out to show that he and his ilk
(can) violate the law with impunity.
Well, his day has come. You may laugh,
but you will have a long time to laugh."
HOW LONG THIS prejudice will last is
uncertain. One can only hope the
State Supreme Court will consider t h e
issue, the law and the man who has been
convicted and then judge accordingly.
-RICK PERLOFF
Associate Editorial Page Editor

DON'T GET ME wrong, s o n.
My name isn't Aesop and I'm
not in the business of telling par-
ables with a big punch-line moral
at the end.
You want to charge out a n d
change the world and I want you
to be prepared; it's not as easy
as you think. But that's neither
here nor there - I'm not telling
you this to make a point or any-
thing.
I'm telling you this because it's
true, son, that's all. And the truth
isn't something you should thumb
your nose at.
You may not believe this, but
I was young once, I had i d e a 1 s.
But people get older and t h e y
lose a lot of their ideals. There's
an old saying of your Un c 1 e
Herman, son - "Fine ideals don't
get you meals."
But that's neitherup nordown.
People's don't lose their ideals by
letting them slip behind the sofa
or by leaving them behind at the
library by mistake. They lose
them, usually, when one big, ugly
pin pops the old balloon. Y e s,
something big happens and it dis-
courages you, makes you lose your
faith in fellow man.
And as a matter of fact, it was
yourUncle Herman who popped
my balloon, your Uncle Herman
and a candy machine.
Do they teach you in school
about the Great Wage-Price
Freeze of "71? Yes, it was a long
time ago. I'll never forget it -
they kept telling us things were
getting better, but each month,
the cost of living climbed higher.
The Freeze lasted for well over six
years, as I recall. But that's nei-
ther right nor left.
IT WAS IN '71 that Herman
led the campaign against the can-

dy machine. They'd conquered
most of the other outposts around
the University already. The dorms,
the Union, Angell Hall.
We at The Daily building were
the only holdout. Do they teach
you in school about the Alamo?
Well, we were like the Alamo -
the last stronghold of the 10-cent
candy bar.
Christ, thehworld knew it too.
We used to have kids coming' in
there at all hours of the day and
night - used to trip over the little
bastards half the time.
But what could we do - it was
the price we had to pay for a
relic of the past.aBetween t h e
candy machine and the nickel
Coke machine - that's right, can
you imagine Coke for a nickel? -
well, The Daily would have ground
to a halt without those machines,
that's all there was to it.
We worked hard at The Daily,
that summer of '71. We worked
so hard, as a matter of fact, that
they snuck in the 15-cent candy
machine while no one was look-
ing.
They must have been warned in
advance about the Great Freeze,
because they made the switch just
before the Freeze froze. A n d
Christ, did they catch us off
guard.
We'd heard rumors about a new
Coke machine, and we focused all
our defensive strategy on that.
The Cokes were more outrageous-
ly cheap, so we thought they'd
strike there first. That's your first
lesson, son: never underestimate
the establishment.
Now, have you ever seen y o u r
Uncle Herman's teeth, son? That's
right, he doesn't have any. And
do you know why? He's a candy
freak, that's why, always has been.

AND OF ALL the candy bars
in the world, Herman's an abso-
lute sucker for a Payday. They
made them smaller, he didn't
care. The FDA found rat hairs
in them, he didn't care. He just
couldn't resist a Payday.
Along with everything else, the
price of Paydays rose to 15 cents.
Rat hair was one thing, but more
money was another. Herman had
his principles - we all did; back
then - and it was Herman who
immediately rose to lead the op-
position.
"No violence!" he cried as we
rallied, Coke bottles in our hands.
ready to trash the insultinghmetal
intruder.
Holding us back, Herman sug-
gested we hide the machine in the
girls' jon downstairs. We did, but
it was back up the next morn-
ing, laughing at us with haughty,
15-cent Chuckles.
We gathered, muttering obscen-
ities, and someone gave the ma-
chine a swift kick from the rear,
But Herman called for patience
in the ranks. With a sweeping ges-
ture, he slapped a sign over the
front of the machine- B O Y-
COTT.
A tense, determined atmosphere
settled over the building. We
went about our work, always
ready to snap into action, waiting
for a move from the other side.
We waited a week, two weeks, and
The Great Freeze began. "Look at
the bright side," said Herman,
"They can't raise the price a n y
higher."
BUT HERMAN was suffering
more than anyone. We organized
as the seige continued, sent out
details to buy large quanitities at

a discount. But no store in town
was carrying Paydays - it must
have been a conspiracy.
Herman grit his teeth -- he
had teeth then - and tried to
suppress his desire.
Meanwhile, those goddam candy
people had all the time in the
world. They figured we'd break
down sooner or later.
I won't draw this out, son -
you can imagine what happened,
We were working late one night,
I took a break from my t y p e-
writer for a brief foray to the
jon.

And what did I find when I
went downstairs? I opened the
door to the toilet stall, and there
was Herman, huddled behind the
toilet, nervously and quickly shov-
ing a Payday into his mouth.
Herman was our leader - when
he broke, we all began to break,
One by one, we'd steal over in-
conspicously and drop our coins
into the waiting slot.
Thehboycott fell apart - we
knew when we were beaten. We
stuffed our mouths with 15-cent
candy, awaiting the day, soon to
come, when they'd move in a 15-
cent Coke machine.

d

4

Left-handed people:,
victims of prejudice
By LINDSAY CHANEY
GEORGE CADAVER, local restaurant proprietor, has recently been
criticized for allegedly refusing to serve lefthanded customers.
To get his side of the story, we talked to him at his restaurant,
located in the basement of the School of Music.
"Mr. Cadaver, you have been."
"Please call me George."
"All right, George. You have been accused of refusing to serve
lefthanded potential customers. Is this true?"
"Absolutely not. That used to be our policy, but we changed when
the University promulgated its dextrosity equality ruling.
"So now you serve lefthanded as well as righthanded people."
"That's right. We serve lefthanders just like they were normal
people."
"I see. But tell me George, I notice on your sign at the entrance
- Rules of the House - rule 25 says: 'No Lefthanded Person Will
Be Served.' Why do you have that sign, if, indeed, you serve left-
handers as well as righthanders?"
"Well, it's all a question of loot. We didn't have enough money
to make a new sign, so we had to make do with the old one. And
after all, most of the sign is still correct. Only one rule out of 30
is wrong."
"BUT DOESN'T that tend to discourage lefthanded people from
coming here?"
"I honestly couldn't tell you. We don't have many lefthanders
who want to come here-they don't seem to fit in very well."
"I see, George. How many lefthanders have you served, since
the University passed the dextrosity equality rule?"
"Well, actually, none. That is, none that we know of. There may
have been a few' ambidextrous patrons, but they're normal enough
to get by."
"Have you had many lefthanders apply to the restaurant?"
"Yes, we've had a few, but they were all disqualified for other
reasons."
"You mean they weren't conforming to one of the Rules of
the House."
"Yes, that's correct. For example, the other day, we had a left-
handed fellow come up here who wanted to eat. But he broke rule 21
-Male Patrons Must Have An Average Hair Length Between One
Inch and Three Inches."
"His hair was too long?"
"NO, IT WAS too short. He had a crew cut. Looked like a real
deviant."
"A question just occurred to me, George. Exactly how do you
tell whether a person is lefthanded or righthanded?"
"Well, that's been something of a trade secret, but I'll tell you if
you promise not to breathe a word of it to anyone."
"My lips are sealed."
"Okay. We do it by rule 19-All Patrons Must Copy The Pledge
Of Allegiance In The Guest Book Before Being Served. We can tell
whether they're lefthanded or righthanded by which hand they use
when they're copying."
"That's pretty clever, George. I would have never thought of

1*

19

4

that."
"Well, when you've been in the restaurant business as long as
I've been, you pick up a few of these tricks."
"I have just one more question, George. How did you start this
business of excluding lefthanders from your restaurant?"

Letters to The Daily

Invitation
To The Daily:
WE WOULD LIKE to reply to
the invitation of Prof. Warren T.
Norman, chairman of the Senate
Advisory Committee on University
Affairs (SACUA), to attend the
Sept. 27 SACUA meeting. We are
women, four of many on the fac-
ulty and staff of the University
of Michigan.
As such we are offended by the
continual invitations and an-
nouncements sent to all Univer-
sity employes on the assumption
that we are men. We have no
wives to bring to functions such
as this, nor to join a "wives'

club." We feel very strongly that
the University should begin to in-
vite "spouses" to its official and
social functions, and that it
should find out the sex of each
faculty and staff member before
inviting his or her wife to join
an organization of wives.
Beverly J. Lingle,
Assistant in Research
School of Public Health
Alvera Barton, Adminis-
trative Secretary
School of Public Health
Metta Lansdale, Assistant
Librarian
School of Public Health
Enid V. Errante
School of Public Health'

(olf course
To The Daily:
WE GET SO little to laugh out
loud at these days that I am deep-
ly grateful to you for publishing
Professor Easter's letter of pro-
test against the use of the golf
course as a parking lot on foot-
ball Saturdays. I have been
snickering obscenely ever since I
read it at the mental images it
conjures up.
Imagine the faculty duffers
seething as the cars roll across the
turf. It would be almost worth it
to pay the fee just to drive out on
it and spin my wheels a few
times. I can only hope it rains so
"the ruts and bare patches" that
Professor Easter dreads will be
burned in plenty deep.
For my money one set of fana-
tics is as good as another, and
between football fans and golfers
I see little to choose in terms
of virtue, so I see no reason why
sheer numbers should not precail.
There are obviously more football
fans than golfers, so I say let the
cars have it.
If a profit can be made into the
bargain, why Right On I say, pave
over the whole golf course and
park 'em everywhere. I hope no
one will be deterred by such self-
righteous posturings as Professor
Easter's. He needs to get his
priorities straight. The football
team contributes a whole lot more
to the University than the golf
course. Think of that alumni
pride, those contributions. Maybe
if the Athletic Department makes
enough money parking cars they
will build a decent swimming pool

"NOW THAT'S A hard question to answer. I guess it's mostly
tradition. Traditionally, we have excluded lefthanders.
"Is there any other reason?"
"Yes. Traditionally, only righthanders have eaten here. Tradi-
tionally, we have served only righthanders."
"Is there anything else, George?"
"No, not really. But I would like to say that, in general, I have
found lefthanders to be a very disgusting group of people."
"How is that?"
"They're usually lazy, unambitious, rude, impolite, dirty, imperti-
nent, don't appreciate anything you do for them, they're dishonest,
and untrustworthy."
"Quite a remarkable observation, George. Is there anything
else?"
"Yes. They're stupid, disrespectful, sloppy, foolish, childish,
selfish, immoral, and complete degenerates."
"I take it you don't like lefthanded people too much."
"Now, that's not true at all. I don't want you thinking I'm
prejudiced against lefthanders or anything like that. In fact, some
of my best friends are lefthanders."
"But . .
"AND I EVEN hire lefthanders. Of course, not to wait on tables,
where the public can see them. But lots of my kitchen help is left-
handed. No sir. Nobody can call me a bigot.

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