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January 24, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-01-24

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Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Friday, Jarnuary 24, 1975 News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

Congress: Musical 'chairs'

crowd of eager young journalists
last December stated that at the 1974
Democratic Convention commitments
would have been acceptable to the
1962 SDS convention.
It appears that Hayden may be
right about the slow but inevitable
change which is coming in our gov-
ernment. With a massive victory in,
the November election the Democrats
in Congress are now catching up with
the times.
The Democrats biggest step thus
far has been to oust older commit-
tee chairmen who have been the big-
gest obstacle to change in the past.
Anyone familiar with the history of
progressive legislation in Congress
knows that civil rights legislation
was held up for a good part of two
decades by committee chairmen op-
posed to equal rights.
The case of Wright' Patman
raises another question: how can an
81 year old congressman represent
his constituents when more than half
are younger than 25.
Age alone is not reason enough to

axe long standing leaders of govern-
ment, but when they are the ones
standing between the traditions of
yesterday and the possibilities of to-
morrow, it is time to turn the lead-
ership over to new people.
What will hopefully be the pattern
of the future is a system not based
on seniority but on ability to stimu-
late progressive legislation.
Among the actions Congress should
take is the establishnent of watch-
dog committees to look at various
government institutions before they
break the law instead of searching
for the facts after a Watergate or
case of domestic spying occurs.
Along with this legislation, cutting
back on defense spending, establish-
ing a work incentive welfare pro-
gram and corporate tax reform
should be high on their list of priori-
A simple change of appearance will
not accomplish this. There must be
more behind the change of leader-
ship in Congress than change for its
own sake.-

I Part One
Layin' lou
"You go to the Jamaa," the girl from Liverpool
continued, "and you stand there for one minute
looking like a foreigner, and so many things will
happen that you'll be dizzy for a week. You don't.
look for things in Marrakech. They look for you."
"Warn them about Jemail," the man said.
"Oh, yes! Jemail you must be careful of. He's
a little Arab boy about eleven years old. He lives
in .the Jamaa. Speaks six or seven languages. And
is the most evil human being since the Marquis
de Sade."
-James Michener
"The Drifters"
"MOROCCO" is the European name for the country,
and is derived from the name of the city Marra-
kech. The natives call their country "El-Maghrib."
This is important for several reasons. First it shows
the remains of the European influence; Morocco was
French protectorate until March 2, 1955, and is now
an independent kingdom. Also, it brings to mind the
mistaken notion that all (or most) of the "fortunate
kingdom" lies in Marrakech.
Ah, Marrakech! Evokes visions of mystical honey-
moons for Europeans, incredible spectacles, exotic
crafts, . . . and DOPE. But Marrakech is only one
of many Moroccos. Perhaps the greatest living cross-
roads of Oriental and Occidental cultures, this nation
has within her boundaries scenes of biblical verisi-
militude palm-shaded estates, wretched p o v e r t y,
snow-capped mountains, and one of the world's health-
iest and most moderate climates, on the Atlantic coast.
MY FRIEND Dotsen Acronym (not his real name)
and I share a taste for the bizarre, and we decided to
travel together into this land of surprises during Christ-
mas break. Preparations actually began last summer
when we both lost the use of one or more arms during
endless rounds of shots and vaccinations, and yet we
both still managed to get violently ill during parts of
our voyage.
But that is getting ahead of the story. After a couple
of days on an insanely overcrowded, snail-paced Span-
ish train, with a timely stopover in Cordoba, Spain, we
crossed on the ferry between Algesiras and Tangier
Christmas Eve. From the moment the huge ship began
to dock, we were immersed in a rhythm of life so
foreign to us that it is difficult to describe.
"HI! HOW ya doing?" A Moroccan boy, no older
than twelve, smiled sweetly and flashed us the "peace
sign" (remember that?) from dockside as we sat on
deck, waiting for the ferry to anchor. Dotsen and I ig-
nored him, but he was quite persistent about being
our "welcome" to Morocco.
He followed us through customs and change, all the
time chattering merrily in English as we tried to
ignore him. Aw, we were tired! And the last thing
we needed was some little kid barely old enough to be
out alone tagging around after us. Every few minutes
one of us would mutter "go away" or "get lost."
Finally I was fed up, the brat was really annoying. I
firmly placed both my hands on his shoulders and gave
him a shove that sent him reeling.
Before I knew what was happening the little bastard
had flicked out a long, gleaming blade and was waving
it menacingly in the air. He was about to go after
me. No sooner had I realized this than another Arab,
this one about sixteen, appeared from nowhere and
had restrained the little geek in a full nelson. "You
f g goddamn American pig," the little one started
screaming at me. "I'll show you to push me. I will
cut your goddamn balls off!"
THE OLDER one loosened his grip, sternly scolded
the boy in Arabic, and sent him away to disappear.
Then he more or less cornered me and said with a
look of violent hatred in his eyes, "Don't f .k around
with anyone here. If you want to stay alive."
From then on in, I pretty much kept my hands to
myself. I was really shaken by the incident, it all
happened so fast, but within seven hours Dotsen and
I were on a train out of Tangier, never to return to
that fabled city again . . . or at least not for a while.
We must have met dozens of "little boys" during
our two weeks in Morocco. There are "sociological

reasons" for their existence: over half the population
is under twenty and there is a desperate shortage of
jobs, so it is natural to expect a certain number of
hustlers running around, everywhere you go.
BUT I HAVE a hard time swallowing the notion
that the "laws of necessity" alone can dictate an abun-
dance of children skilled in the ways of the street
and able to speak six or seven languages! Children who
can produce in the flash of a moment, a switchblade
half a meter in length, soporific little green hash cook-
ie, or an 18-karat gold ring to sell you.
But there they were, all the time, working on Jap-
anese tourists one minute and German vacationers
the next. And hissing at each other in Arabic in
I had already made a mental note to call an early
truce with the untold numbers of them we would meet
in upcoming days. Soon Dotsen and I actually learned
to enjoy them and recognize them as individuals, each
cretively different in his own slimy, crooked little
LATER THE next day, after a blistering ride through
the winter tropic sun on wooden-benched trains (which
are required by law to stop for crossing caravans of
camels), we arirved in Fes, a bustling town con-
sidered to be the intellectual and spiritual capital of
Morocco. But not the dope capital: for that we would
have to wait until Marrakech.
Fes was the 17th century capital of the notorious
sovereign Moulay Ismail, a decadent and corrupt sul-
tan who reigned at the same time as France's Louis
XIV. The coincidence is hardly insignificant; Ismail
was a smart cookie and he seized the moment, also
seizing Tangier away from the English, Larache and
Merhia from the Spanish, and thousands of black Afri-
cans from their sub-saharan homelands into service as

v on

and whispered to me, "I think I'm going to pop
his bloody little eyeballs out."
"Probably not a good idea," I replied in a whisper.
"He'll slice us both to ribbons."
Then I had a flash. "Your mother's calling you," I
chided him.
The kid was definitely not fooled. "Aw, c'mon!" he
pleaded. "I take you to a nice hotel, five dirhams,
with a beautiful Moroccan girl you can take a bath
with. Not for money, I assure you, I do this-for friend-
ship. You my friend!"
It sounded like a mightly appealing offer but I
wasn't buying. "Okay friend," I improvised, "Now just
listen. I've already got a hotel reservation so I don't
need any help. So please, just go away."
"YOU PAY too much there. I don't want you get
ripped off. Come with me. It is better."
I finally pulled out my reserve. "Aji, aji!" I said in
Arabic. "Seer!" (C'mon, GO AWAY!)
The kid looked at me with disappointment. Ile trailed
off slowly, and when he was at a comfortable dis-
tance he grinned, flipped me the bird and screamed,
"Honky American!"i
It was a hell of a lot safer that way. Play along with
them and stay alive.
I won't go into detail to describe the others, but they
were numerous; an elegant "jeune homme" who spoke
in proper French and was appropriately insulted when
Dotsen stung him with the chilling riposte "j'en ai pas
besoin, merci quand meme!" and left us to our busi-
ness; and there were the two cast-offs from a CS & N
album who were so glad to see us, but alas I said
I was sorry, but it just wasn't cool ...
IT WAS Christmas Day. We checked into the Olym-
pic, clean, well furnished and cheap: about $2.50
a head, bath in the room (but no Moroccan girl) and
breakfast included. We cleaned up and crashed out -
and we slept for 18 solid hours. Up around noon the
next day, we decided to see Fes.
Still wary of the hustlers, we thought it might be
safer to get an official "guide" from the government
bureau of tourism. You know, someone we could trust.
Three hours with the official guide shot that idea
full of holes. At first it seemed extremely reasonable:
a half-day personal guided tour of the "Medina" (old
city) for 15 dirhams, about $3.50. Everything else was
so cheap anyway, so why not ...
But soon we found out that an "official guide" was
no more than a hustler with enough skill and pull to
land himself a, license from the State. First he sug-
gested a taxi - only three dirhams. We said OK, but
I could tel Dotsen was getting suspicious. I got sus-
picious too when the guide led us to a shiny new Re-
nault and said, "My car is the same as a taxi, so we'
can take it instead, OK?" You're the one who's doing
all the taking, but you ain't gonna take no more from
me, I thought.

the Mo

rocco trail
and is heavily sweetened. The tea is served in a glass
held by the thumb and forefinger; and taken in loud,
appreciative slurps. It is very soothing to the throat,
and the proper accompaniment to smoking hash or
keef - but more on that later.
One shopping experience -is worth remembering.
In one "souk" Dotsen fell in love with a large, beauti-
ful camel's hair blanket. Being no dummy himself, he
immediately pretended to have lost interest in it and
tossed out the ridiculously low price of 50) dirhams.
Eventually they worked him up to seventy, out there
he stopped. The tactics the shop owner used were
incredible; after about ten minutes of "How can you
insult such fine merchandise" and "It took mountain
weavers many months to make this," the "souk"
owner brought out his "smoking pistol", a doddering
seventy year-old man who he claimed was his broth-
er, and who started wailing in a mixture of Spanish
and Arabic about making the blanket.
DOTSEN stayed at seventy. On the verge of cardiac
arrest, the old man fell on the ground, clasped my
knees and begged for a cigarette. Dotsen remained un-
impressed and impasive. I gave the man a cigarette
and shortly afterwards, the sale was made, for seven-
ty dirhams.
After three hours of this nonsense the guide drove us
back into town. We made a rapid survey of the res-
taurant situation and, by dint of a passionate wave of
patriotism, decided to leave the Third World temporar-
ily; we strode out to lunch at the Fes Holiday Inn.
Looking back, I would have to say the movre was
instinctive. After the severe culture shock we had
suffered in the last 48 hours, it was our only realistic
The Holiday Inn was . .. more than we expected.
We had hamburgers in the coffee shop. Huge brass
doors, plush leather chairs, gargatuan Moroccan bel-
lows hanging on the walls . . . tasteless American de-
cadence at its best. Refueled and once again ripped
off, we forged our way back into Morocco.
BY NOW we knew we were here to stay for a
while, and the culture shock was quickly tapering
off. We spent a day in Fes on our own, talking with
quite a few people and brushing off just as many.
Then we moved on to neigh'boring Meknes.
This city was more relaxed than Fes. We stayed at
an even cheaper place and spent a lot of time just
wandering around, stoping at the cafes for "the a la
menthe", and being told for three days in a row
that tomorrow was the "Festival of the Lamb" and
that we'd better get to the "souks" today if we wanted
to buy anything, since they would be closed tomorrow.
We never did make it to the "souks", but we did
find something about "la fete du mouton". Morocco
is richly blessed with arable soil, and raises sevenfold
more sheep than cattle. Once a year each religious
Islamic family slaughters a sheep and feasts for four
days. We were apparently permitted the leftovers when
a cafe waiter suggested a "br6ohett de mouton" -
huge quantities of barbequed limb on metal skewers
- at an unbelievably low price. Delicious.
MEKNES IS ONE of the few and fortunate cities
in Morocco that has movie theatres. Dotsen and I took
a night out to go see "Borseline and Co.", a French
gangster film based in Marseilles, but at least as im-
pressive as the flick itself was the Newsreel that
preceded it. Out of twenty news items, nineteen were
about "his majesty the king Hassan II". I had never
been forced to take royalty so seriously before but
there it was.
The movie was monstrously gory. Nevertheless, I fell
asleep halfway through, but Dotsen wouldn't 'top talk-
ing about the terrifyingly brutal ending for a long
time. We ate vegetarian for a few days.
Then we packed up again and moved along to Casa-
blanca. The romance Bogart and the Marx brothers
have given to this port city is largely unjustified.
Anyway, Dotsen and I agreed that we had money to
blow, since tat is the only way to properly tackle a
big city and we were only passing through, leaving
the next day for Marrakech.
WE PICKED out the "Bellerive", an oceanside hotel
which obviously dates from the colonial days. Get-
ting there was quite a hassle; the only way was by

taxi, and the Casablanca hacks, while officially of-
fering very cheap transport, only seem to show up
at the train station when their meters are broken.
Agreeing on the price was like being in the "souks"
all over again. Finally the cabbie and I came to
terms, but only after he delivered us the prime insult,
calling us A.W.O.L. German soldiers.
So Dotsen and I mumbled in French about our exper-
iences in Stuttgart in the back seat, throwing in terms
like "operation taxi-driver" and "target-practice" just
for effect.
If we had a New Year's Eve celebration, it was a
couple days early at the "Bellerive" in Casa, because
we passed New Year's in Marrakech completely flat-
tered by local super-stuff - but more about that
later on.
THE "BELLERIVE" was filled with real, live French
bourgeois tourists - certainly the most oblivious and
obnoxious creatures known to man. We sipped out-
rageously priced bloody mary's, a mutual passion,
at the seaside bar in an ambiance of extreme dis-
comfort. Dotsen had on a pair of white cutoffs, which
was apparently "unacceptable" to the suppository-
laden crowd. Later however, the same pair of shorts
induced a tall handsome Moroccan to invite Dotsen to
his apartment for "a couple of drinks" as we walked
along the beach on the Boulevard de la Corniche.
Acronym told him he was sorry but he was tired and
he didn't really have time for that since we were
leaving next morning anyway. But he told me later that
he was very flattered by the proposition.
At our hotel we were forced to take "demi-pension"
which meant dinner and breakfast. We grudgingly ac-
cepted it, but it turned out to be more than we
bargained for.

Trade cutoff: No winner

LAST WEEK, the United States and
the U.S.S.R. nullified their 1978
trade agreement, including the pro-
vision that would have allowed an
increase in Jewish emigration from
Russia. Considering the more press-
ing problems facing this country, it
is not surprising that cancellation
of the pact passed with very little
notice. It seems that neither coun-
try felt that it had that much to
gain from it and the U.S.S.R. in par-
ticular felt it had a lot to lose in the
emigration provision. The real losers
are the 130,000 Russian Jews who
have applied for emigration to Israel
and whose status now remains in
The United States would have re-
ceived a mere $722 million in pay-
ment of the $11 billion Russian World
War II debt. Since this is just a frac-
tion of the total sum owed, the U. S.
treasury will not miss it. The greatest
advantage in trading with the Rus-
sians would be the importation of en-
ergy in the form of oil and natural
gas. The lesson of the Arab oil em-
bargo should have taught the U. S.
that it can not afford to become
dependent on foreign energy sources.
Thus, the major product that the
U.S.S.R. has to offer and that which
the U. S. most needs can not be used
in trade. The vast potential for ener-
gy trade between the two great pow-
ers disappears in a cloud of idealogi-
cal smoke.
THE U. S. S. R. WOULD sorely like

machinery, especially computers,
could be put to good use in helping
the Russian economy. Since the
trade of these goods would in most
cases have to be reviewed by the Pen-
tagon for their possible military ap-
plication, it seems what the Russians
-want most, they will not get. The
possible threat to U. S. security
would prevent trade on this front.
The U.S.S.R. would also like to ob-
tain American agricultural goods
when shortages arise in their own
farm .system. The "great grain rob-
bery" should be a lesson that this
type of big wheel dealing will hurt
the American consumer. Though the
U. S.'S. R. gained help with its grain
shortage, the resulting shortage in
the American system from the deal
caused food prices in the U. S. to
skyrocket. It seems rather stupid
to sell grain to another country at
the bargain basement price of $2.20
a bushel, when the price in one's own
country is caused to rise to $5.00 a
OF COURSE, talk about profit, loss,
and trade seems petty in light of
the much more important cause of
human freedom. The real losers in
the nullification of the trade agree-
ment are the minorities in the U. S.
S.R. who so desperately want to
leave. The U. S. will get its energy
from safer sources. The U.S.S.R. can
get technical equipment and food
from other Western powers who are
dependent on foreign energy by ec.o-

AS WE drove through the town, in our guide's per-
sonal "taxi", he asked us every conceivable question
that could be used to find out how much money we
had. How did we arrive? Where were we staying?
Which restaurant in town did we like best? How
many brothers and sisters did we have? What were
we planning to buy in Morocco?
That tactic failed miserably; we gave him no straight
answers and often answered his questions with another
question. Finally in desperation he turned on a power-
ful radio, with music so loud that it was impossible for
Dotsen and me to communicate. Then he spit a few
times out the window.
This is going to be interesting, I thought. I was
not mistaken. Even though we were wary, since a good
hustler never gives up until the bitter end, we were
offered a "genuine Morocco meal -at a special price
(which was far too 'high)" a panoramic tour of the
city in his "taxi", and he even had the gall to suggest
that we should pay more than the agreed upon price.
"JUST A MINUTE,' I howled at him, "we agreed
upon fifteen dirhams for the tour and three dirhams
for the ride each way. And that's it!"
He laughed and put a hand on my shoulder. "Be
calm," he said. "I was only kidding. A joke, you
Some joke. Anyway, as I should have suspected, the
tour consisted of a couple of token stops at historical
tourist spots and the rest of the time, being paraded
in and out of "souks".
The "souks" are the famed Arabian markets where
you can buy everything from rugs to opium. We were
taken only to the "best" places, where, as we found
out later, the prices were highest and the salesmen the
"In Morocco there are no fixed prices, so we always
bargain. Comprenez?" said a smiling metal-craft sales-

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