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September 06, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-06

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Number 28 Night Editor: Jim Beattie

September 6, 1970

Back in the

U S.

back in the
The first inkling that we had
were approaching the United Ste
when a stewardess walked up the
the packed DC-8 with an aerosol
of DDT. She was spraying us, she
ed, because U.S. "health" regul
quired that she do so.
That trick may work with a
load of middle class tourists buta
college students, fresh from th
movement's success in instilling
onmental consciousness, were a
Soon a man began to circulat
tion, voices began to be raiseda
>: ~ six and a half hours of trans-atl
comfort, tempers began to fray.
No one was in a very good m
we landed in Detroit and the ai
: >>>>announced that the temperatur
degrees and the humidity 110 per
As we drew up to the Internatio
vals Terminal the doors of the p
opened, and, incredibly, the air ca
was turned off.
The temperature in the plan
rapidly while 260 of us remainedi
ten minutes before it was annou:
U.S. Customs and ImmigrationsN
low us off the plane in batches o
It was two hours after landin
finally managed to get throughY
tion and Customs, climb a cara
back to Ann Arbor.

R In that time I had been treated like an
d that we unfeeling un-person by a humorless Am-
ates came erican bureaucracy. I had been searched,
e aisle of inspected, rubber-stamped and checked
cannister against a list of prohibited immigrants, but
e explain- my, anger was centered on the girl who
ations re- stod behind me in the line in front of the
Immigration counter.
While waiting to be "processed" we had
common been discussing the de-humanizing influ-
x cargo of ence of arriving in the United States. We
e ecology had discussed how, when we arrived at
an envir- London Airport, we were greeted by the
ngered. Immigration Officer with "good morning"
t a peti- and asked, not told, to produce the correct
and, after documentation. We discussed how, less
antic dis- than ten years after John F. Kennedy had
told the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa
ood when that the two nations should be proud of
rcraft PA the "border without guns" to tumultuous
e was 97 applause, Nixon had issued an executive
cent order arming Customs and Immigration
onal Arri- personnel.
lane were It was then, after 90 minutes of sheer
)nditioner bloody murder, that girl behind us, dressed
very properly and looking as immaculate as
e climbed she had when she had been driven out to
inside for the airport six weeks beforehand leaned
nced that over and said to me, "If you don't like this
would al- country, why don't you leave' it".
f 50. The girl was my age. She was the age of
ag that I Allison Krause, one of the girls killed at
Immigra- Kent State, and she belonged, theoreti-
and drive cally to my generation.
I knew that we were back in the U.S.A.


Nature used to be easy to find . .

Searching the South
for peace and quitet"

Some reflections on the







Nixon is crazy'
"NIXON IS CRAZY," the elderly lady informed me
in French, tapping her wizened finger against her fore-
head. "It is foolish for America to keep fighting in Viet-
As our train speeded from Paris toward Switzerland
the silver-haired French grandmother continued her
monologue against U.S. foreign policy for over an hour,
criticizing the President and 'les commandants ameri-
Proponents of the Johnson and Nixon war policies
have always argued that if the United States pulls out of
Asia, people all over the world will doubt America's
word in future crises.
But during a trip through five European countries
this summer, I found many Europeans contemptuous of
the Vietnam conflict and disillusioned because of our role
Not all Europeans are against the war and some gov-
ernments have even expressed lukewarm support for
U.S. efforts in Southeast Asia. An American travelling
abroad, however, cannot help but notice popular amaze-
ment and disgust at U.S. actions in Vietnam, Cambodia
and Laos. ,
any, university students set up information boards while
I was there documenting alleged U.S. atrocities in South
Vietnam and collected signatures on a petition to Chan-
cellor Willy Brandt protesting the war.
'On a farm in the Austrian Alps the side of a barn
was painted "U.S. raus (get out of) Vietnam." One of the
most common graffiti scrawled on Italian walls is "U.S."
and swastikas next to each other.
Instead of increasing U.S. credibility anong our
allies in Europe, U.S. perseverance in Vietnam for almost
a decade has given Europeans doubts about our wisdom,
goals and basic sense of morality.
American withdrawal from Vietnam would not lower
the prestige of the United States among Europeans. Ra-
ther, they would be relieved that a great power had the
wisdom and the strength to admit a mistake and- take
appropriate action to correct the situation.
The alternative is a continuing toll of blood, money
and the loss of U.S. prestige in the eyes of the peoples
of Europe and the rest of the world.,

Las Vegas, Nevada:
Business is business

a good eye opener for people
huddled in the womb of Ann Ar-
bor or any other university town
where ideals are not so read-
ily smashed. In these places,
the populations are less hetero-
geneous and people are inclin-
ed to at least espouse the ideals
most of us embrace.
In Las Vegas, however, no
such protection exists. Never-
theless, four weeks ago two
friends and I wending our way
across the United States decid-
ed to take on the city, turning
right off Route 66 at Kingman,
Arizona, and heading through
the mountains for the desert
Las Vegas, of course, is known
for its gambling casinos, open
24 hours a day, its ostensible
cream of the crop entertain-
ment and for its watts and
watts of neon lights virtually
destroying the belief that night-
time brings darkness. But what
struck me the most in the short
time I was there was the abund-
ance of attention heaped on the
female body.
We entered Las Vegas from
Boulder City 13 miles away,
driving in about 10 p.m. Aug. 6.
Boulder City springs out of a
mountain, Las Vegas is on flat-
land below, and it is indeed an.
amazing sight to encounter the
galaxy of lit-up hotels that
emerge as one descends from
the hills.
I think it is possible to de-
scribe the "business district"
of the city, Las Vegas Avenue, in
one word-garish. One hotel is

larger and flashier than t h e
next, and each has it's own gim-
mick like the gigantic fountains
(big enough to hold a 12-foot
motorboat), and the Roman
artifacts dotting Caesar's Pal-
ace; or the Big Top shows on
the ceiling of the pink and
whitestucco Circus Casino.
MOST OF the people filling
the casinos look equally opulent.
One sees quite an assortment of
what appear to be diamonds and
other gems strewn around necks
and placed on every conceiv-
able finger. And most of the
tourists, male and female, seem
concerned to dress according to
the Latest. In August that was
bell bottoms for both sexes, and
matching tops.
At this point I would add ano-
ther adjective to my Las Vegas
description - depressing. I
would think Women's Liberation
would be set back a good many
years if they could see what kind
of atmosphere prevails t h e r e.
Women are indeed an integral
part of the set up - they help
bring in the dollars and subse-
quently reap the benefits but
not in a manner Women's Lib
would care for.
Great emphasis is placed upon
nothing but the female's sexual
attributes. Waitresses, for ex-
ample, are always attired in
Bunny outfits meant to be a
little too small to show how
large the woman inside might
be. Similarly clad females stalk
the lobbies and bars in search
of brief employment, and else-
where in the hotels, endless
burlesque and peep shows bring
in the customers.
ONE CANNOT castigate Las
Vegas, alone, for these pheno-
mena. Instead, the problem lies
with all of us, with society at
large who makes the exploita-
tion of one's body so financially
profitable compared to the less
profitable jobs open to women
like a secretary or teacher.
The women in Las Vegas, and
no doubt in any other entertain-
ment mecca are strippers, cock-
tail waitresses, peep show per-
formers and prostitutes presum-
ably because they want to be,
and they want to be because it
is well worth the effort. Pro-
stitutes, for example, can make

WHERE CAN YOU ROAM, if you choose, if you simply wish to
wander, to look, to enjoy nature? Within the woods perhaps, hunting
down the romantic remnants of. pristine simplicity in the thankfully
non-human. The woods, perhaps, but where?
Where, today, when everything is-infected with human ration-
ality, when everything must have a meaning, including precisely that
whose beauty lies in its defiance of such a concept.
Here we were, Bob and I, stopping at a campsite in southern
West Virginia, kind of hoping to do things on our own, to cook meals,
explore the forests, the whole crack of dawn bit, after summers in
our cities.
The woods were there, all right, covered by trailers the size of a
pot-bellied elephant, plus the modern cookery, easy chairs to evade
the grass and all of middle-class luxury. The radios rattled out their
monotonous staccato, boys whipped motorcycles up and down the
hills, and the trailers, the cars were one next to each other, just like
The woods to romanticize were sparse and there was the nagging
fear of roaming too far, getting lost and bumping into a TV set.
The young people-high school age-had come with their fami-
lies, and hung about the campsite office, asking the phantom univer-
sal: "Where's the action?" They stood there, several together, some
lighting up cigarettes-the youth cult of the area.
Two girls leaned against our car and we began a. conversation.
"This place is dead," they confided. Bob mentioned he had a guitar,
the two were interested and he returned with it.
THEY WERE STILL THERE, this time slouched against another
car and a guy had joined them. We moved opposite them, Bob brought
out his guitar, and they looked up at him waiting for him to begin.
Why don't you play for us, they asked.
Bob replied softly that well, he preferred to sit around and let
everyone sing, not wanting to be'"the sole entertainer or leader of the
Such community they didn't understand. "Wha don't ya just
stand there and purrform," the fellow drawled and Bob reluctantly
agreed, but was stopped by a breakdown in his G-string.
As Bob slipped his guitar into the case, a fellow asked to take a
look at his "git box." HVnave it a cursory smile and began combing
his hair. The lad was apparently making it with some babes near his
tent, which won the immediate approval of some fellows nearby,
reminding them too that, since after all there was no action around
Nature, they best start looking for some women to pass the, time.
Such were the woods we encountered. The solitude, the aesthetics,
were remiss. The campsites had restrooms, vending machines and
alas, running water. Perhaps it is possible to find sequestered spots,
but the effort makes it seem futile to try.
And yet, as we neared the middle of the trip, though we were
scarcely alone with the trees, were hardly smelling the grass, I felt
pangs of yearning. I wanted to jot down thoughts on paper, to revert
to a Smith-Corona.
IT WAS, IN FACT, quite pleasant as we entered Tuscaloosa, the
home of the University of Alabama, for we found civilization to greet
us and we wanted somehow to be entertained ourselves: we wanted to
see a movie.
It was nice to return to "solitude" as we stayed in our pup tents
the next night, in the quasi-woods. And yet, I realized this was hardly
reliving pioneer romance, nor was I so sure that I would be able to.
It would be nice, but we may be condemned to modern living, and,
alas, to viewing a rainbow from the car along the highway amid the
comment that most of the spectrums you've seen before have, come
to think of it, appeared from oil slicks.



view of Israel's

military society

the traveller lands in a strange
new world - of yellow stone
and skies that never seem to
rain - of milennia of history,
and of guns. Always guns. El
Al planes go down much sharper
than other planes, and yourcan

Searching for security. Dan-
ger always, but little open fear.
I had bought two paperback
books, and when I went into a
theater later in the day, the
soldier at the gate looked in-
side my little paper bag to check
for bombs. Quite normal.
At Kibbutz Shamir, next to the

mountains from which Syrians
fired down at their-valley. Now,
guerrillas based in Lebanon kill
4 people in the nearby town in
two weeks.
violence in tle old city of Jeru-
salem. Stone houses that must

monade, please. Fifty-five agor-
ot. You look at him.' OK, he
laughs, twenty-five. Just cause
I'm an American doesn't mean
I'm stupid. The Arab salesman
laughs and asks why you wear
blue jeans with holes in them.
You are an American. Y o u
have much money.

He warns us about pacifism and
the fall of the Roman Empire.
He says the barbarians are at
the gates - the Arabs, the Chin-
ese, the Africans, the Russians.
must face Soviet advisers aid-
inl'y 35 milliorn iFvvnAn OVsm


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