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December 09, 1973 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-12-09

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Sunday, December 9, 1973

I HE Ml(:HIUAN DAILY

r uge ?lve

Sunday, December 9, 1973lHEMI(.Hl(~AN L)AILY uge ?-ive

PERSPECTIVE

DUETS
a concert in dance and mime

SURVIVAL
Energy crisis: How
it may be lifesaving

By TONY SCHWARTZ
A COUPLE of weeks ago I had
to stop making believe the en-
ergy crisis didn't exist. Not read-
ing about it wasn't making it go
away, and more and more it was
staring me in the face, stopping
thoughts dead in midstream. It
seemed absurd to make plans, to
look at the future with any pe--
spective when a whole mode of
existence was on the brink of
radical change.
The seriousness of it all came
in a paranoid flash. I remember-
ed sitting in a friend's apart-
ment, in a bit of an alcoholic
haze, on a beautiful day last
spring. I was listening, bemused,
to the kind of Ann Arbor lomnie
I'd come to appreciate runnng
into occasionally, those fringe
types who make for provocative
interludes. This calm-looking
young man was running down
his theory about the imminence
of the end of the world, describ-
ing a community of fellows he
had joined. They were buying
land in Indiana, stockpiling food,
natural resources and other lfe
necessities. The notion was sim-
ple: the world was so mindless-
ly and quickly depleting its lim-
ited natural resources that the
day of a vicious survival-of-the
fittest showdown was fast ap-
proaching. With too little for too
many, this guy reasoned, the re-
silt would be a torrential war in
which everyone (else) would die.
fM NOT ONE, however, to
maintain a pessimist's stance
for long, and this ominous me-
mory was followed by a mellow-
er, mixed one. I remembered .ny
high school years in New York
City, when the curious phenom-
enon of shortage first took hold.
In no particular order, I re-
called living through resour'ce
shortages (water, electricity),
food shortages (milk, bread,
meat), and people shortages (bus

drivers, firemen, United Parcel
drivers, policemen, etc.). There
were hassles to be sure: won-
dering if you'd be able to show-
er the next day, getting stuck
in an elevator during a blackout,
watching garbage pile up onto
the streets. But there was always
a saving grace, the knowledge
that any shortage was ephemer-
al; an annoyance, but only a tem-
porary one.
And truthfully, there was some-
thing positive about the crises -
I kind of liked the serviceless
times. The cold, hard, distant
New Yorker seemed to magically
transform. Policemen struck, but
crime didn't increase. Blackouts
descended, but people directed
traffic on streetcornersdrather
than looting stores. When the bus-
ses and subways stopped, norm-
ally locked car doors opened,
people gave each other rides.
There was a spirit, a camraderie,
a sense of mutual caring among
the millions who had to cope to-
gether. I remember wishing it
would last.
f LEFT NEW YORK four years
ago and since then, the mo-
ments of large-scale camraderie
have become increasingly few
and far between. Values have be-
come individual rather than col-
lective. We are atomized, divided,
and even groups which tradition-
ally worked together - c i v I l
rights advocates, anti-war act v-
Have a flair for
If oar e itere.t
ed in reviev na
poetry, and nkuit
or writing feature
stories about the
drana. dance, film.
arts: Contact Artf
Editor, c/o The
Michigan Daily.

ists, SDSers - have splintere1
and gone their own ways.
The most obvious reason for
the change is that we have s.)
little to believe in now. I'm not
treading new ground by saying
this is a time when heroes and
ideals are in short supply. None-
theless, in the otherwise intend-
ed words of the man who makes
me most aware of the loss, I feel
it "now more than e v e r".
W a t e r g a t e in general and
Richard Nixon in particular have
taken the issue a step further.
The only choice now is to dis-
believe; put another way, to
trust in the primacy of deceit.
People are looking instead for
their own truths. It is a cele-
bration of self-centeredness: f
I don't rock the boat too much, if
I just try to find my own hanoi-
ness, advance my own limited
cause, make a few good friends,
then things will be fine.
Which might be ok, if the over-
lay wasn't a gluttunous turn to
gimmicks , gadgetry and con-
sumption. Personal enjoyment
for many has come to know no
limits; the watchword is w>>'it
feels good at a given moment.
I'm not trying to pass my~self
off as a pristine ascetic, immune
to the prevailing way. I think o,
my car guzzling away gas, of
grabbing the telephone indis-
criminately, leaving lights on
thoughtlessly, gettinguaccustom-
ed to an overhot house in t h e
winter and a freezing cold on.,
in the summer. I have often
bought clothes not because I
need them, but because they lit-
ed a momentary need, gave a
spark of pleasure. And clties

were just a symbol. I realized not
too long ago that I'd lost toucli
with boundaries, and so had a lot
of people I knew. Whatever felt
good went.
Y * *
YHOPES about the energy
crisis are simple, and two-
fold. The first is that it will
help pull some of the population
out of the clouds, reintroduce in-
to our everyday existence limits
and a sense that individual ac-
tions matter. What matters now
is survival, for it is tangibly
threatened, and the only future
hope, if we haven't gone
too far already, is to cut back,
to seek again the essentials. That
may be a strange notion in our
technologically-obsessed nation,
but the signs are already there
that it will have to happen. Soon
it is going to genuinely matter if
we leave lights on unnecessarily;
the result may be none the next
day. Overpowered, overequipped
cars are falling already by the
wayside, and driving any car at
all is being threatened. In Ihort,
in the not too distant future
we're just not going to be able
to buyunlimited quantitiesbof
nearly anything we want.
My second hope is that people
will see the need to come to-
gether, that the energy crisi;
will act as an equalizer in much
the same way it did during the
mninicrises I lived 'through in
New York. Survival is something
that appeals to people from every
racial and economic group, to
just about every political ati:
social group. When it came to
that in New York City, pe ple
didn't eat each other up a la Dar-

win. Rather they wirned to
gether, the imminence of chaos
producing the best from a huge
percentage of the city'; e i g h t
million inhabitants.
I get a good feeling thinking
about a ban on Sunday driving,
for example. It seems romantic,
a slowing down of a frenetic pace
which I think, particulariv in the
big cities, is getting out of hand.
I fantasy people taking over the
streets, the air getting cleaner;
a time, even though enforced,
set aside for pure reflection and
relaxation.
A1Y THEORY rests on the be-
lief that when sarvval is
knocking on people's back door,
they will respond positiveiv. Per-
haps we can again become, in
the best sense of the word, our
brother's (and sister's) keepers.
It is a heady hope, but o n e
worth thinking about when most
other signs are frightingly nega-
tive.
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Tuesday, December
at 8:00 P.M.

II

A cordial Inv~it ation
to the
C ND ET GTj
SONG SERVICE
CHOIR INSTRUMENTALISTS
CONGREGATIONAL SINGING
STNDAY. December 9, 7:00 pn .
U(Ti i'ersity Lutheran Chapel
0/), ( (o I / Us MoreI ,
(1 1id/he1.0/d
..' :' 30.. *A

PRESENTS
A SHAW

FESTIVAL PRODUCTION

HANUKAH DINNER
and COFFEE HOUSE
LAST DAY OF CLASSES
Relax and enjoy Latkes and other good eating at
our pre-Hanukah party. While you're having a good
time, enjoy some fine entertainment.
DEC. 12-6:00 p.m.
HILLEL-1429 Hill St.
Reservations for Dinner by Tuesday, 5 p.m.-$2.00

R IC HA R D
MURDOCK
You
CAN

PAXTON
WHITEHEAD

IN

NEVER
TELL

by BERNARD SHAW
WITH
PATRICIA JAMES SHELIA
GAGE VALENTINE HANEY
directed by EDWARD GILBERT
. the effervescent Shaw Festival Company . "
-DETROIT FREE PRESS
"An enormously winning, refreshingly civilized delight."
--DETROIT NEWS
DECEMBER 6-9
8 P.M. (Sat. & Sun. Matinees 3 P.M.)
Ticket Information available at PTP Ticket Office
764-0450 Presented in MENDELSSOHN THEATRE

N
"' a

TONI ( III T!

Sun Dec 9
BAULNABY

BYE

1.00

COMING:
TIM BUCKLEY
JAMES COTTON

t ART SALE Ro
.FIFTH FORUM

ek & Roll Imancing:
rS. Ashlcv-Ain Arbor

210 S. FIFTH AVE.
ANN ARBOR
761-9700
ELLIOTT KASTNER presents A ROBERT ALTMAN film
ELLIOTT GOULD in
"THE LONG GOODBYE"

,;
;;:
.,
.
:_ .

"AN INCREDIBLY
REVOLUTIONARY
FILM.. .THE MIND
CAN RUN RIOT!" S ;AT
-N. Y.U Ticker e, Phone662-626.
"FAR AHEAD OF OPEN 12:45
ITS TIME"-Wolf, Cue SHOWS AT 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 P.M.
THE ULT MATE EXPERIENCE.

\ ~ IX U

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