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December 01, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-12-01

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s4e SidAi4n Pai
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Sheehan swaps city woes

for sunshine

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552


SGC takes a giant step back

pal finance officer bid the city and
its scarlet-scarred ledger goodbye
last week.
Neither of them shed any tears
over the parting.
The local fiscal picture is no
brighter. Of course Asst. City Ad-
ministrator Kenneth Sheehan no
longer receives pay checks here.
But that insignificant cut in ex-
penditures won't placate state
officials who have ordered the
city to shore up the worst money
crisis in its history.
Likewise, the crusty Sheehan
expressed no sorrow when tender-
ing his resignation. The only folks
who may be happier about Shee-
han's departure than he himself
are several City Council members
who often lambasted the adminis-
trator as an incompetent; a liar or
a crook depending on the situa-

As the financial expert for a city
$1 million in debt, Sheehan has
justifiably had his share of critics.
The most vociferous, Jerry De-
Grieck (HRP-First Ward), has de-
manded his dismissal for negligent
if not dishonest conduct by not
keeping council informed of the
city's fiscal staus.
Other council members have
commented that the charges are
out in left field. Maybe, but that
still puts them in the ball park.
he warned other officials and coun-
cil about impending fiscal prob-
lems. For some reason the mayday
signal never got through - if ever
clearly issued.,
The man gave council reports
that consisted of page after page of
numbers with little explanation.
Verbal explanations were often
couched in equally technical terms.
Most of the council members are
not financial experts and the abs-

truse communiques didn't clarify
matters much. However, a council
which does not realize how bad
the budget situation is cannot pres-
sure the administration about the
In that respect Sheehan has mas-
tered the bureaucratic shuffle and
the administrative quick reverse.
He could make those budget fig-
ures prove just about anything.
A portable calculator seemed to
be his constant companion and he
punched the buttons with the same
finesse Van Cliburn demonstrates
on the keyboard.
cial condition was bad before
Sheehan arrived here several years
ago, it has gotten steadily worse.
Some of the blame must fall on
council, the administration as a
whole, and that old nemesis infla-
Despite his other talents, Shee-
han cannot halt inflation, antici-

pate the unpredictable, or spin,
straw into gold.
Still, the city's crisis developed
slowly and while Sheehan alone
could not have arrested the condi-
tion, he sho'ild have diagnosed the
disease and directly told the pa-
The budgetitis has now become
a particularly virulent epidemic
making the rounds among various
city officials. Sheehan packed his
bags and took the top financial
job in St. Petersburg, Fla., before
the virus infected him.
St. Petersberg with its sultry
climate, consistent surplus bud-
gets, and "extremely sound finan-
cial base" is a veritable paradise
compared to Ann Arbor. Sheehan,
will probably have to spend more
time worrying about sunburn than

IN THE SPRING of 1970, approximately
70 per cent of this campus boycotted
classes in a strike to support the Black
Action Movement (BAM) demands of 10
per cent black enrollment by 1973, and
the necessary supporting services.
In direct contrast, Thursday night Stu-
dent Government Council took a giant
step backwards by censuring the alleged
University use of "quotas." Matt Hoff-
man, who submitted the resolution, ad-
mitted that the target was the.BAM de-
In doing so, Hoffman and the resolu-
tion's supporters have placed themselves
in opposition to the commitment this
University made in 1970 to eliminate ra-
cism in admissions policies. *
Hoffman attacks the BAM demands on
the basis that it is a "quota" rather than
a "goal."
Hoffman bases his argument on his
ideology of the perfection of laissez-faire
policies in all aspects of life.
WHATEVER ITS underlying ideology,
the implications of Thursday's vote
and its supporting arguments are racist,
for they ignore the hard facts of reality.
For unless large institutions like this
university take strong stes, the cumu-
lative effects of 400 years of racism can-
not and will not be overcome.
The argument that there should be no
quotas implies that such decisions should
be made on the 'good old American"
basis of qualifications and credentials.
In the past, however, the terms "un-
qualified" and "lack of credentials" have
been used to blithely deny rights to mi-
norites and women.
Furthermore, basing admissions on so-
called "qualifications" is effectively ra-
cist, because American society has often
denied to minorities the same education-
al opportunities it has provided to the
white middle class, which this University
so strongly represents.
minority students are denied the
U Corporate
UNION OIL, profits up 62 per cent.
Exxon, up 81 per cent.
Crown Central Petroleum, up 262 per
Gulf Oil, up 91 per cent.
All but one of the nation's oil compa-
nies raised its profits during the third
quarter of this year (July through Sep-
tember). Taken as a whole, oil company
profits were up 63 per cent from the
year before, to the tune of more than
$2.4 billion in the three month period..
While these happy statistics continue
to float in, new industries report each
day that they are- threatened by the oil
shortage. Chrysler has announced a brief
shutdown of four plants due to the lack
of available plastics; , the deficiency of
crude oil for the petrochemical industry
has already made penicilin scarce.
Our hearts can hardly go out to
Chrysler and most of the rest of the cor-
porations affected by the energy squeeze,
as they have experienced a widening pro-
fit margin themselves. The 105,000 work-
ers who may be laid off by General Mo-
tors, however, are in a far different posi-
'THE AUTO WORKERS lay-off is merely
the first omen of what many economists
now say will be a general economic slump
next year. Herbert Stein, for instance,
chairman of the Council of Economic Ad-
11t rjial ai

Editorial Staff
Co-Editors in Chief
DIANE LEVICK ......... .............. Arts Editor
MARTIN PORTER . .... Sunday Editor
MARILYN RILEY. ....Associate Managing Editor
ZACHARY SCHILLER ..........Editorial Director
ERIC SCHOCH ........... ... Editorial Director
TONY SCHWARTZ ................... Sunday Editor
CHARLES STEIN,... ........... City Editor
TED STEIN Executive Editor
ROLFE TESSEM ....Managing Editor
Wilbur, David Yalowitz
STAFF WRITERS: Prakash Aswani, Gordon Atchesonr
Dan Biddle, Penny Blank. Dan Blugerman, Howard
Brick, Dave Burhenn, Bonnie Carnes, Charles Cole-
man, Mike Duwack, Tea Evanoff, Deborah Good,
William Heenan, Cindy Hill, Jack Krost, Jean Love-
Josephine Marcm'ty. Cheryl Pilate, Judy Ruskin,
Ann Rauma, Bob Seidenstein, Stephen Selbst, Jeff
Sorensen, Sue orephenson, David Stoll, Rebecca

right to obtain are irrelevant, and poten-
tial becomes considerably more import-
This newspaper believes social justice
is a goal for which we must all strive to-
gether. To ignore the rights of those who
are oppressed is both.immoral and sui-
The University; being an important
contributor to society, must therefore
work to improve society, or else its exist-
cnce is pointless.
Some student may react emotionally
to affirmative action policies, feeling
that they are being denied opportunities
due to preference given to minorities.
Such attitudes may be understandable,
but they are not very helpful. If this
country is to progress socially, making up
for 400 years of oppression to blacks, there
will have to be some costs to, the de-
scendents of the oppressors.
UNFORTUNATELY THE 10 per cent en-
rollment has not even been reached.
Moreover, the programs for student serv-
ices that were to accompany the increas-
ed black enrollment have never been
adequately funded.
Hoffman has admitted that he has no
evidence that quotas are being used by
the University. But the issue of termin-
ology, whether it be quotas, goals, com-
mitments or whatever fades in import-
ance to the fact that the University has
agreed to take steps toward equality by
increasing black enrollment.
Thus the SGC-passed resolution has
the basic effect of attacking the basic
ideal of increasing minority access to this
With the 10 per cent goal unfulfilled'
and the assistance programs underfund-
ed, SGC should be working positively for
social justice rather than setting itself
and the students it supposedly repre-
sents back 20 years. The first step should
be to repeal the Hoffman resolution.

sunny south, Sheehan got
word with council in a

for the
the last

Letters to, the Daily

so what
To The Daily:
FOR THE PAST few days I have
observed Bo "lashing out" and
"players stunned," local politic-
ians "ripping decisions" and De-
troit sportscasters wrinkling their
noses at the foulness of it all. I
have been treated to various ru-
mors of "Somebody was bought,"
and have read the charges of pet-
tiness made by this paper against
the athletic directors of the Big
Ten. Perhaps I too could join in
this communal indulgence of self-
pity and self-congratulation were it
not so obviously misplaced.
In amateur athletics, we are re-
peatedly told, "'tis not the winning
but the taking part," that we can
say, with Plato, "Virtue is its own
reward." In view of this flood of
childish yowling, the virtuous tak-
ing part is obviously not enough -
for Bo, for this paper, for the city
council, for all those stunned ath-
letes, for Al Ackerman, and above
all for that great overbearing boo.
boisie which engulfs Ann Arbor
every damn football Saturday.
Taking part would probably be
enough for amateurs, but then, the
Big Ten does not play amateur
football, but minor league. Why
the University and not the NFL
supports the minor leagues-that
is, carries athletes as students in-
stead of allowing students to work

as athletes - is a question too deep
for this-letter. After all, sports fa-
cilities to students have been cut
back. And ask your local T. F. the
last time he "made allowances" at
the request of members of the Ath-
letic Dept. so that a track star
could keep his eligibility.
But this should be no real news
to anyone. Virtue was not reward-
ed because virtue wasn't enough
and indeed was never the question.
That is, not until recently when the
Great Ann Arbor Fan brought him-
self to believe that he deserved the
vicarious thrill of an assumed
Bowl Win, and the Athletic Dept. a
cut, I presume, of the Pasadena
As a member of the University
academic community, I can feel no
more sympathy for the Ann Arbor
football establishment than for the
Green Bay Packers, since both
stand in the same essential rela-
tionship to the University- ab ex-
tra. Breast - beating and mewling
and "We Deserve" all for the semi-
pros indicates that hyprocrisv is
not confined to the Athletic Dent.
Let Woody have his game. It's
done damn few of us proud.
Steve Schwartz
Nov. 28
affirmative action
To The Daily:
IN ITS STAND on the Affirm a-

tive Action Programs The, Daily
has once again shown that it is
out of touch with both student
opinion and the laws of logic.
Your editorial of November 17,
1973 claimed that when students
criticize Affirmative Action they
do sobecause not enough is being,
done. This is categorically false. A
random survey taken in Alice
Lloyd, East Quad, and South
Quad last year showed 42 per cent
of the students against the pro-
grams, 38 per cent in favor, and
the rest undecided. I hate to shat-
ter your dreams but a substantial
number of students are thus,
against 'the .programs.
You have attacked my attitade
against quotas as being "disgust-
ingly similar to that expressed by
V.P. felon Spiro Agnew." As you
probably realized but chose to ig-
nore, simply becausetan evil per-
son believes in something doesn't
necessarily make that idea false.
That "logic" leads to arguments
like: "Since Hitler was bad and he
liked Social Security, Social Se-
curity is bad."
Finally, the Affirmative Ac-ion
programs arp not an attempt to
make whites compete with minor-
ities, as The Daily stated. These
programs provide that minorities
are to be given preference in hir-
ing, admissions, etc.

I believe wholeheartedly in free
competition but these programs
make -special efforts towards mi-
norities. Competition is blind to
race and looks only at ability.
These programs look mostly for
race and then consider ability.
That fits the dictionary definition
of racism.
Now, The Daily may argue tnat
since minority groups have suffer-
ed in the past we have to treat
them with kid gloves now and pro-
vide them with special treatment.
But if you must take this unjust
position at least be honest enough
to admit that you want to use :ac-
ist means to mollify the effects of
-Matt Hoffman
SGC Member
Independent Housing

farewell performance, as he pre-
sented a five-year budget projec-
tion showing the city will be in
for some tough times.
During the presentation, one
co'ncil member interrupted the
finance minister to pose a ques-
tion. Instead of answering, Shee-
han set his jaw, glowered at the
challenger, folded up his notes, and
stalked out muttering, "I have the
right to talk without being inter-
runted . ..
He also pulled a perfect disap-
pearing act after the unprecedent-
ed outburst, which several council
members condemned as inexcus-
ably insubordinate. Retrospective-
ly the gesture appeared to reek of
premeditation - Sheehan's way of
telling the critical voices to
'cram it.'
Since council finally grasped the
seriousness of local money woes
about four months ago, a stream of
derogatory remarks have been
poured on Sheehan.
group's ire when he told them the
present budget - which he pri-
rasnly authored --failed to in-
chide appropriations for severance
nav and sick leave. Consequently
$300,000 originally 'earmarked for
debt rad,,tion would be unavail-
abg for that purpose.
Sheehan's exolanation for the ov-
ersight w-s characteristicly vague
and needless to say pacified no
If the criticism was not enough
to cause the administrator's hasty
derrtire, nredictions that budget
problems will get worse - bring-
ing a reduction in municipal serv-
ices and the distinct possibility of
a local income tax - before im-
proving, certainly is.
Sheehan should not be blamed
for leaving when he did. The move
was quite beneficial for him from
a personal stand point. And as the
old maxim goes "If you can't stand
the heat, get out of the kit-
chen ...
.Sheehan's ghost will be made a
scapegoat for the money malades
dring next April's city election.
Which is not to say that if' the
real McCoy were here instead of
in St. Petersberg, he would be ex-
cused from a similar bludgeoning.
Still on balance, Sheehan, unlike
the city, has ended up in the black
- the guy has left a commissary
where the beans are burning for
one featuring vichyssoise as the
house specialty.


Nov. 23

Letters to The Daily should
be mailed to the Editorial' Di-
rector or delivered to Mary
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications. business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Letters
should be typed, double-spaced
and normally should not exceed
250 words. The Editorial Direc-
tors reserve the right to edit
Al letters submitted.


Gordon Atchesow
er for The Daily.

is a staff Writ-


black gold
visors, now forecasts a sharp increase in
the unemployment rate due partly to the
cnergy shortage.
Stein notes that a recession was a pros-
pect anyway regardless of the energy sit-
uation, an estimation which was prob-
ably correct. The shortage of oil has
just brought the crisis on quicker and
Less jobs, less heat and less gasoline
are not the only effects of the energy
shortage. Last month's jump in the con-
sumer price index was in large part due
to skyrocketing oil costs.
WHILE THE American people suffer
from the effects of the shortage, in
other words, oil company profits leap to
higher levels. The same corporations
who helped bring the crisis on by refusing
to build new refineries (there was no
"economic incentive") are the very ones
to profit by it most.
This situation makes a mockery of
Presidential pronouncements that the
cnergy crisis is something we must all
suffer through together.
War powers
RECENTLY, STATE Department offic-
ials have been suggesting that the
recently passed War Powers bill may give
President Nixon the right to resume the
bombing of Indochina if the North Viet-
namese launch a military offensive.
In the past Nixon has need no authori-
zation at all to drop record amounts of
bombs on the people of Indochina, yet it
is not particularly surprising Nixon ad-
ministration analysts are attempting to
find anything that will "allow" the Presi-
dent to resume air attacks if he finds it
The American government still believes
that it in its interest to keep South Viet-
nam under the yoke of a repressive dic-
tatorship in the name of democracy, free-
dom and the "Free World."
The war in Vietnam has been and re-
mains a civil war in which the United
States should have no part. To resume
the bombing in Indochina would be in-

Graff iti' Moldy

American Pie'

Cruising for burgers, listening to
the radio, later at the hop, the class
president dancing with the cheer-
leader, getting hold of some hard
stuff and siphoning the booze into
Coke bottles - the American Rites
of Passage.
How does anyone ever make it
out of that world psychologically
balanced? Well, that is not a ques-
tion for this article, for American
Graffiti, now playing at the Mich-
igan, is not too anxious to answer
that one either.
It is in the main a film that is
dream-like in its simplicity, a mon-
tage of Sixties rock with an over-
whelming tongue-in-cheek interest
in the misadventures of a few 17-
year-olds at the peculiar and awk-
ward stage when one is just learn-
Our pecl
depic ted
Precision of characterization and
excellent comic-tragedy timing are
only two qualities of the Univer-
sity Players fine Showcase Pro-
duction of And Miss Reardon
Drinks a Little, enjoying a success-
ful run this week at the Frieze
Arena Theatre.
Playwright Paul Zindel's skill in
presenting strong and complex wo-
men's characters, as previously
shown in his Pulitzer Prize win-
ning Effect of Gamma Rays on
Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, shines
in this production. Through no
fbult of its fine cast, the play
lacks conclusive actions and fo-
cus, unfortunate shortcomings of
the author's product.
The play, which could be called
"The Effects of Perverse Mater-
nal Prudery on the Reardons",
holds up to the audience the lives
of three school teacher sisters each
with their own way of dealing with
the past and coping with the pre-
sent world going mad.
The plot revolves around Anna,
the youngest sister who is losing
all sanity, and how to deal with
Catherine who lives with Anna

ing to mouth the words "This does
not make sense."
But the words never get out.
The film expresses this absurdist
attitude in its brief epilogue, tell-
ing where four of the boys wind
up in later years. One becomes a
truck driver, another an insurance
salesman, one a writer, and of
course, one missing in action in
Vietnam. I say "of course" be-
cause the highly sexual scent of
the euphoric tail-pipe exhaust be-
gins to stink, and it becomes ap-
parent that the "fall" is immin-
en t.
The kids in the film, however,
are hardly tragic heroes. There is
not a sense of a larger wisdom
hidden by their iinocence, as Jam-
es Dean created in Rebel Without
a Cause. They border, for the most
ing deeper peculiarities in all of
them. Even a neighboring couple
who drops by to see the maddened
Anna are soon disclosing v e r y
personal oddities of their spouses
to all. Emotions peak only to be
brought back to their absurd per-
spective by quips of comic-relief
from Catherine. The plot realy goes
nowhere except to bring about the
mass demise of the personalities
on display.
The production is really brought
to life by its players who combine
their talents with director Mary
Pettit for a dynamic result.
Margo Martindale's portrayal of
Catherine contains wit, showing a
comic's sence of the importance of
movement. Her matronly waddle
turned tipler's toddle and adroit
handling of stage-business are
pleasures to watch when other
characters are in the spotlight.
When one tires of Anna's g o r y
allegorical tales embellishing the
reason behind her breakdown, there
is Catherine's nibbing of raw meat
from a candy box available to
watch like a sideshow to the play
The cold, survival instinct of
Ceil is well-played by Denise Koch,

part, on the imbecilic, the whim-
sical attitude of self-indulgence;
painless, complete even.
Director George Lucas, working
in conjunction with producer Fran-
ces Coppola, has tried desperately
to make the film transcend the con-
fining bounds of a boring Saturday
night by taking each of the char-
acters on a quintessential odyssey
through their high school lives,
creating in one night a campy,
cliche-riddlen summing-up of their
experience, thereby indicating the
transience of it all.
The year is 1962, Kennedy has
not been assassinated, one of the
boys, Curt, used to have as his
highest ambition to shake the pres-
ident's hand. But those hopes are
for a frozen past, frozen forever
in those icy graduation photos that
have their way of saying that a
whole culture is over.
Indeed, the small-town s t r i p
where they hang out is quickly de-
generating. As John, of the jack-
ed-up hot rod says, it used to take
a full tank of gas to do the cir-
cuit. But now the girls areugly,
and when he does go out cruising,
he ends up with a 14-year-old wh
wants to know, when he shoves
her head under the dashboard to
save his reputation, if this is what
they mean by "copping a feel."
And there is even a reference
to rock being dead after B u d d y
Holly, giving vent to a whole slew
of mind-benders like Is the Dream
Alive?. Is Don McClean obnox-
ious? etc.
The sheer nostalgic quality, how-
ever, is nicely mediated by a few
lewd words and appropriate ges-
tures (including a genuine, pressed-
against-the-car window moon), giv-
ing the film a texture somewhere
in between the myths it.is explor-
ing and the reality that inconspic-
uously invades it. Lenny Bruce
once said that comedy is only
"tragedy plus ten years.' Films
like Summer of '42 have t.ishered
in a new proverb if nothing else,
that stupidity plus time equals nos-
talgia, the sheer, glossy, gossamer
Graffiti has managed to eschew
this slickness, thanks in, part to
having Haskell Wexler as visual
consultant. The film jumps f r o m
character to character, the Jriving
gets faster and faster, as if the

glance that the well-balanced ir-
dividual is insane.
The characters in Graffiti really
have no voice, their expression
handed over to the DJ rantings of
Wolfman Jack, inviting his listen-
ers to "rock 'n' toll themselves
to death."' And when Curt visits
him in the control booth to help
him find the ultimate girl, Jack
denies that he is the Wolfman, in-
sisting He is an ethereal enti: :
"He's everywhere, man."'
With the make-believe settng
crumbling, the choice iyecomes one
of whether to go down with it or,
as Curt must decide, go t) college.
He has won the Moose Lodge's
first scholarship award, but has
trouble deciding whether to go.
His last night is spent in a mad,
comic, fling at juvenile delinquen-
cy, with the Pharoahs, stealing a
car for a joy ride, just as cars fig-
ure in the final scene, the Teen
Apocalypse, where the drag rac-
ers end in flaming autos, and the
Wolfman is nowhere.e
But this is a remembrance if

things past, not the .things them-
selves. Just when one expects the
soundtrack (which goes from
"Love Potion Number Nine" to
"Green Onions" to the Beach
Boys) to break into J. FranK Wil-
son's "Last Kiss", the teens emer-
ge unscathed from the cars and
the lovers embrace. The Midsum-
mer's Night Dream atmosphere Ms
indicative of the way we like to
think of the anguished or chaotic
Perhaps only in Penn's Alice's
Restaurant were the links between
people's musical and romantic con-
ceptions of their culture and how
they actually relate to it cinemati-
cally established. Both Penn and
Lucas deal with a group of people
who are right on the edge of ar-
ticulating what was "in the air."
It is almost time to compare
their premonition of what w a s
blowin' in the wind to what act-
ually has happened, but that is all
very 'sad and who has the time,
and besides, they say Dylan's going
on tour this year.



The Bald Soprano,
performed, superbly

It isn't a very glamorous setting.
The audience sits on folding chairs.
Noise frdm the crowd around the
pinball machine across the h a 11
wafts through the door. There's no
curtain; the stage - or, more ac-
curately, the space at the front of
the room - is lit by only three or
four spotlights. But, of far great-
er importance, the acting and di-
rection is superb, and, consequent-
ly, the Union Gallery's version of
Eugene lonesco's The Bald S o-
prano may just turn out to be the
Ann Arbor dramatic sleeper of the
Director Marilyn Heberling took
on a formidable task - a cast com-
posed entirely of non-frofessionals
attempting an extremely challeng-
ing script. Bald Soprano is a scath-
ing look at our inability at times
to communicate clearly with each
other, told with some of the most
atrocious puns since Shakespeare's

telling stories, but, somehow, the
idea just doesn't suit their temp-
erments. Either one of them does
not get the point, finds it boring,
gets lost in the middle, or is of-
fended by the material.
One can sense the frustration,
tension, and rage building up until,
finally, one ill-timed curse brings
forth a fountain of verbal seman-
tics, terminating in a deterioration
of language to the point where the
cast no longer speaks in entire
words, but in syllables and even
individual letters of the alphabet.
Heberling wisely chose to insert
many facial gestures throughout
the play, underlining the charac-
,ters' need, to find some kind of
substitute for the language they
seem unable to use. She took ad-
vantage of the no-platform, inti-
mate layout, moving the perform-
ers (and, thus, the play) into the
audience at points, especially at
the end: an old, trick, yes, b u t


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