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February 03, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-02-03

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Sunday, February 3, 1974 '

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Non-Native Speakers of English
All Speakers of English ds a Second Language* Are
Invited to Take Part in an . Experimental Test of
English Language Proficiency to be Given in RACK-
OF FEBRUARY. You Will Receive $5.00 for Approx-
imately, 1 V2-2 Hours of Your Time, If Interested
You Must'Coll and Register at the Following Num-
ber: 764-2416 on or before February 6th.
*No ELI Students Currently Enrolled in the Intensive English
Courses Are Eligible for the Test at This Time.
II - ___________
8-10 p.m.
West donference1
Room, 4th Floor
what the oldest building on campus is?t
how many bricks there are in the law quad?
who Samuel Trask Dana was? t
If you'd like to work with new students, sign
up to be a fall orientation leader in the UACs
Office (Room-2N) in the Michigan Union,r
starting January 31. Interviews begin Mondayl
February 4 and continue through February 22.
The University of Michigan is a nor-discrimi- ri
notary, affirmative-action employer. ; s
i e

Behind the smile of
your bank president

The travels of lsadora Wing:
searching for love and freedom

BANK, by David Leinsdorf and
Donald Etra. New York: Gross-
man Publishers. $10.00.
"N MOST advertisements f o r
banks, bankers are shown
as smiling and friendly. After
reading the latest Ralph Nader
Study Group Report, Citibank,
you will quickly know why they
are smiling and that they are
certainly no one's friends.
David Leinsdorf and Donald
Etra, two of Nader's corral of
lawyers, provide a portrait of
corporate cunning and- social ir-
responsibility that is mind-bog-
gling - at least to those not
previously weaned on such Nad-
er projects as Unsafe at Any
Speed, The Company State, and
You and Your Pension. Their fo-
cus is First National City Bank
(FNCB) of New York - Citibank
- the second largest bank in
America, in terms of assets (a
somewhat misleading ranking,
since the top bank, California's
Bank of America, operates on a
state-wide basis while FNCB is
restricted to New York City and
its surrounding suburbs), but per-
haps the front-runner in poor cus-x
tomer service and community in-
"Because most people b a s e
their choice of hank on conven-
ent location and because Citi-
bank had 25 per cent m o r e
branches than its nearest com-
petitor," write Leinsdorf a n d
Etra, 'slovenly service c o s t s
Citibank very little." In terms of
a trade-off between the cost of
mproving service and the pos-
sible business lost by not doing
so, FNCB finds it immeasurably
more profitable to continue ba-
ooning in size and complexity'
without caring about service.
Poor service for consumers is
reflected in the inability of bank
personnel themselves to under-
tand the host of bank services
and finance charges, let alone to
explain them. A 1970 study by a
consulting firm found less than

half of the branch bankers could
score "affirmative ratings" on
opening checking and savings ac-
counts, the two basic retail trans-
actions. There were equally dis-
turbing scores in the more com-
plex checking, loan, and credit
card services, with the best per-
formance (78 per cent of person-
nel) in explaining Citibank's mul-
titude of personalized, mod-col-
ored checks and Pucci-decorated
YET BANK employees show lit-
tle shame in flaunting their
ignorance since they receive cash
'incentives for selling as many
bank services as possible. The re-
sult is that consumers using spec-
ial checking and credit privileges
for which they are not prepared
to pay.
FNCB'c Checking Plus service
provides a good example. The
bank's 'brochures play up t h e
fact, in typical Madison Avenue
style, that overdrawing on a
checking account can make
dreams come true, but they ex-
clude any mention of the 12
per cent interest rate involved.
A typical ad reads: "Let's say
you have $250 in your check-
ing account. You see a once-in-a-
lifetime buy. Or you have an
emergency. And you want to
spend, say, $300. Just write a
check. Automatically. With no
advance notice at all.
Leinsdorf and Etra have more
than syntactical objections to
this ad. What it doesn't mention
is that all borrowings (overdraw-
ing is essentially taking out a
loan) must be made in multiples
of $100. Therefore, to overdraw
$50, the user must borrow $100,
and thus pay interest on $50
which he or she will never see.
The borrower is then effectively
saddles with a 24 per cent in-
terest rate (12 per cent on $100
rather than on $50).
Since loans (along with in-
vestments) are the bank's great-
est source of profit, bankers en-
courage people not only to go in-
to debt but to stay there; over
40 per cent of FNCB's retail
loans are for refinancing existing
debts. Credit cards keep middle

Ralph Nader
income' money coming in, and
haphazard loans, made in viola-
tion of the bank's own credit
guidelines, keep the poor in tow.
Indeed, 35 per cent of Citibank's
retail loans are made to those
earning under $8,000 and 11 per
cent to those under $6,000.
The authors are quick to dis-
pel any magnanimous motives
on the bank's part. "While Citi-
bank is to be commended for
its willingness to lend money
to people of modest means, the
fact remains that people earn-
ing less than $6,000 a year ac-
count for only 11 per cent of
Citibank's debtors, but almost
70 per cent of the debtors sued."
CITIBANK is New York's larg-
est plaintiff, filing over 25,-
000 lawsuits in a two-year per-
iod to recover debts. Its methods
of serving summonses a n d
comolaints, however, are so slip-
shod that most debtors never
realize their case is coming up
in Civil Court. And when a case
does come up, a 25 per cent addi-
tional charge is tacked on the
debt to cover court and attorney
New York City also suffers
from bank policy. Though units
of government are excellent cre-
dit risks, FNCB and others as-
sign them less favorable credit
ratings than some cororations
receive. While FNCB gets to hold
enormous amonts of city funds
in interest-free accounts, it uses
this money more for coroorate
investments than for rechannel-
ing it back into the community
in forms of city loans and mor-
gage credit.
LEINSDORF and Etra give in-
numerable, detailed illus-
trations of Citibank's failings and
iimproprieties. They also provide
a long list of recommendations
designed to penetrate the secrecy
that surrounds the banking indus-
try and to increase regulations
by the federal government.
Like most Nader reports, Citi-
bank is unsparing in its criticism
of corporate America. It pro-
vides another act in Ralph Nad-
er's morality play, with bankers
stepping forward to take the
role of evil incarnate. While tak-
ing aim on FNCB, there is no
doubt that the whole banking
community is the larger target.
Ralph Nader writes in t h e
book's foreword: "What banks do
anddo not do should bematters
made interesitng, ,understand-
able, pertinent, and engaging of
people's efforts as citizens and
consumers." Unquestionably, Ci-
tibank goes a great way in reach-
ing this goal, providing a read-
able, referable, consumer prim-
Chanles ,Sorch is a graduate
student in journalism.
20% to 30% off
Turkish Arts & Crafts
c>c<o= k-> o.o

Jong. New York: Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, 340 pages, $6.95.
tended a Hallowmeen party
where some of the guests were
bobbing for apples. Never having
seen this done before, she asked
a companion to explain. "They're
ducking for a p p 1 e s," he said.
Dorothy immediately replied,
"There but for a typographical
error is the story of my life."
a similar problem. For all the
excitement about big penises be-
ing the ultimate, there are an
amazing amount of limp ones be-
tween the sheets.
Isadora Wing, five years into
her. second marriage, has the
itch. She wonders if it is time to
settle down and begin having
b a b i e s, or time to move on.
"After so many years of being
half of something (like two back
legs of a horse outfit on a vaude-
ville stage)," she wants to know
if she can be whole.
She travels with her psychia-
trist husband to Vienna for a

Congress on the opening of a
museum for Freud. She plans on
writing a satiric article on the
Congress' activities, but the re-
sult is a parody of her own fears
and desires.
She meets Adrian Goodlove, an
expedient analyst, who she hopes
will satisfy her prurient appetite.
The Freudian fantasy falls short,
but encouraged by his insouciant
manner she trades in her con-
jugal blandness for the possi-
bility of concubinal bliss..
In a bibulous whirlwind they
motor through Europe; and like
impulsive new lovers try to dis-
cover their future through an.
illumination of the past.
ISADORA TELLS the story of
her first husband whose fervor
for the Second Coming led to his
impotency and insanity; and of
her present spouse Bennett, an
automaton, who "knows every-
thing about life except that hav-
ing fun ought to be part of it."
She reaches-even further back,
relating the frustrations of her
mother, whose artistic impulses
were stifled by a father who
paited over her canvases; and


On man's weakness
and nature's beauty

. .

Isadora's sisters who perform the
function of baby machines with
alacrity and efficiency, angrily
questioning why Isadora cannot
make the same commitment.
But Isadora wants to control
her own fate-a survival requir-
ing rebirth of self rather than
the creation of new souls.
In her poems she tries to se-
duce the world and to provide a
balance for her audience. In real-
ity she is more often the seduced
than the seducer and her own
life lacks the equilibrium she
creates for her readers.
She makes sharp distinctions
between love and sex. The for-
mer is "serious and sober;" the
latter "yummy and delicious."
Love is lasting security, sex is
brief, without power games or
ulterior m o t i v e s, a "platonic
ideal" and something she has
yet to taste. Love requires an
obligation, sex implores freedom;
but Isadora is too altrustic to be
totally independent.
AS HER NAME implies, Isa-
dora Zelda Wing is a schizo-
phrenic romantic and despite her
(Continued on Page 5)




Monday at 8:00 p.m. Our Common Council will vote
upon a proposed McDonald's Restaurant in the new
Maynard Street area. We urge the Council to reject
this proposal as being inimical to the spirit of our com-
0 whereas the historic League House across from Lane Hall was destroyed,
giving way to Gino's, Inc.
* Whereas the proposed McDonald's, Inc., is upon the now-standing Hall
House beside Nickels Arcade and
* Whereas Burger King will soon be building a two-storied structure at the
end of Maynard Street
" Therefore, an affirmative vote would allow the existence of three out-of-
state based food chains within 1H blocks of each other in the traditional
State Street area. This intensive and needless concentration would result in
increased traffic snarls, excessive litter, and in general do detriment to the


1967 by Ted Hughes. New York:
Harper & Row; pages, $7.95
TED HUGHES is unmatched in
his realization of the tre-
mendous non-human quality of
life. Early in Selected Poems:
1957 - 1967, it becomes forcibly
apparent that human emotions
simply do not concern him. Per-
sonal feelings, attachments, sen-
timents - these seem all mere-
ly expressive to this British poet,
and "expression" is mechanical,
meaningless and nearly deserv-
ing of contempt in his eyes. Un-
like most poets, who catch mere
intimations of other worlds,
Hughes literally presents to us
the unknown, unseen forces of
life in his verse.
No empty rhetoric or false
poetic language here. His voice
is formidable, almost brutal.
Hughes is one of a small group
of poets ultimately obsessed with
survival, whose work is ade-
aate to the cold and destructive
reality man currently inhabits.
The sixty-seven poems which
comprise Selected Poems were
chosen by the poet himself from
his first three books of verse:
The Hawk in the Rain (1957);
Iynercal (1960); and Wodwo
The first fifteen poems, taken
from The Hawk in the Rain, vir-
t ially stink with contemot at
mankind and his inevitable con-
dition of weakness. Hughes
looks at humanity in a cold and
unrelenting bright light as he
tags man helpless and disgusting
in his confrontation with an un-
ensv, iagged world.
rTHEN SUDDENLY, as one is
still shuddering from the un-
relieved cruelty of poems such
as "Six Young Men" and "The
Martyrdom of Bishop Farrar",
Hughes turns his vision to the
world of animals and, amazingly,
he is now his most expressive.
Beasts are documented with the
resnect, the awe, almost with the
tenderness, that he never sees
humanity deserving of.
The style of the poem "Ja-
guar" is very simple. The dic-

tion is almost colloquial, like ev-
eryday speech, but the effect is
one of power, grandeur, and dig-
nity. The verse, though blank
and rhymeless, moves effortless-
ly from the patterns of common
speech to formal iambics and
back again. Nevertheless the a
delicate, alternating pattern ex-
presses with astonishing accur-
acy the relationship between
Hughes' own confused, pierc-
ing thoughts and the sinuous ma-
jesty of the caged jaguars' des-
perate movements.
In the second section of his
book, the twenty-two poems tak-
en from Lupercal, Hughes most
fully enters his chosen domain
of the natural world. The preci-
sion and passion of his view of
stones, otters, thrushes, cats
and skylarks, is both intense and
exciting in its freshness.
Hughes' demand for exactness,
in his nature images is reminis-'
cent of D. H. Lawrence. Nattire
is important to virtually any
poet, but it is generally some-
thing symbolically glimpsed
from the edge of ones' own back-
yard. For Hughes, nature is a
part of ones' consciousness, al-
most a portion of one's own
body. Indeed, it could be said
that Hughes becomes that
which he has touched or seen.
Hughes' heavy touch is re-
lieved. "Thrushes" for exam-
ple, has bits of casual authentic-
ity which are delightful in their
spare bright clearness.
Hughes, at 43, is in the rare
and difficult position of having
been acclaimed as a major poet
while still a young man. His tac-
tical relationship with nature
was undoubtedly influenced to
some extent by the exquisite
countryside landscapes he was
exposed to while growing up in
Yorkshire, England.
Some of Hughes' current no-
teriety is attributed to his for-
mer marriage to Sylvia Plath.
The author of several volumes
of poetry (The Colossus; Ariel)
and an autobiographical novel,
(The Bell Jar), Plath committed
suicide in 1963. Hughes current-
ly lives with their three chi-
dren and his second wife in De-
von, England.
The final poems, from Hughes'
Wodwo, make up the most dra-
matic and diverse portion of the
Here, Hughes seems to risk ex-

Ted Hughes
pression at 4'any cost. Both the
despair attributed to man's
weakness and the glory and es-
sentialness of Hughes' animals
are described in rushing desper-
ate phrases.
HERE IS a fighting tattempt
to e x p r e s a everything.
Hughes wants much more than
an instrument of known mathe-
matical measurement such as
ordinary iambic. Indeed, he
wants more than words them-
But he does not seem com-
pletely successful here. The verse
trips too fast, the reader is left
Yet, aside from their head-
long haste, the words are com-
pelling in the quicksand sense of
life they impart.' And' they make
clear Hughes' continuing suc-
cess with the kinetic line. His
best poems have a combination
of urgency and vividness that
touches the readers emotions di-
Poems such as "Her Husband"
and "Cleopatra to the Asp" are
predominately erotic, yet have
as much scenery in them as
most of the nature poems -- and
atmosphere is perhaps their
most important element.
Selected Poems, like its black
jacket and the six stark pen-
and-ink animal portraits by illus-
trator Leonard Baskin, is power-
ful and undeflected. Very little
delicacy is found within it. In-
stead, there is a direct confron-
tation with a remarkably assur-
ed and impressive style and an
amazing variety of moods and
themes. Hughes' poems are as-
tonishing. They are productsof
the finest intelligence and the
most complete honesty.
Daily staffer Mary Long re-
cently won a Hopwood award for
her poetry.


night is......
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