Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Friday, May 10, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552
How can you run
when you know?
PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT ways of remembering the
passage of years. Some recall where they went for
holidays and vacations, some think back to birthdays
or school years or places that they lived. I remember
time by where I was on May Day, observing the spring
ritual of my tribe.
And since we were bound for Kent, the Dienbienphu
of the American peace movement, one memory was
especially clear: the day I stood on the New Haven Com-
mans, May 4, 1970. Bobby Seale's Birthday Party, a gath-
ering for the man who was bound, gagged, and chained
to a chair for demanding his constitutional rights, and at
that point under indictment for murder.
The sun was hot, three fat Huey helicopters bristling
with machine guns snarled above the rally, the air still
stunk with the tear gas they'd thrown at Allen Gins-
burg the night before, the speakers were intense and
angry. I remember my disgust when Jerry Rubin grab-
bed the microphone from the woman who was speaking,
but the disgust changed to horror and fatigue when I
heard what he came to say: "They've shot a bunch of
students at a place called Kent State-it's in Ohio, I
think-I don't know yet if they're dead." We realized
then that America was still a colony, like Vietnam and
all the others, as long as the powers that be can
murder those who dissent.
FOUR YEARS LATER, the situation has changed enough
to inspire some hope for those who care about the
victims at Kent and Jackson and the others. But the
war rolls on: more people died this year in Indochina
than ever before, and the American taxpayer footed the
bill. We've come a long, long way, but there's a long way
yet to go.
THE RECENT THREAT by the Board of Regents to ban
all film screenings on campus because of the alleged
obscenity of one particular screening represents such an
abortion of reason that one begins to wonder exactly
what it is that ticks in the minds of University admin-
istrators. Do the Regents honestly feel the need for
censorship here at the University?
Apparently they do, though they would rather call it
something else, such as forced "self-regulation." While
demanding that certain films be banned from the cam-
pus, the administrators are unwilling to stand up and
admit what they wish to be: censors. Instead, they would
rather use their nearly ubiquitous power to foist this
ugly role off onto the students.
Unfortunately, more is at stake here than the right
to watch Ms. Lovelace's victorious suppression of the
gag reflex. If nothing else, some very fine movies are
Ford's, Ann Arbor visit
an all around failure
sounded like warmed-over Angewisms.
Ford made only one reference to Watergate and
attendant troubles in Washington. "I would in-
sult your intelligence and the vote which is yours
if I remained silent of the political torment which
our country is undergoing with its center in Wash-
ington," said Ford. He then proceeded to do
exactly that - insult our intelligence and keep
silent. He made an attempt to defend the presi-
dent "for taking his case to the people" and
was met with a cacophony of boos and hisses.
It was understood that the inevitable would
happen sooner or later. Ford is the first Michigan
graduate to "hit it big" and it was expected that
the university Regents would honor Ford in some
way. The usual such fare is, of course, an hon-
orary degree and a speech. In normal times, this
-4 rrobably be accepted by the public,
BUT THESE are not normal times. Gerald
Ford is the surrogate for a president who is ac-
cused, at the very least, of criminal negligence.
To try to keep such a public appearance apoliti-
cal is absurd, not to say impossible. But that
is exactly what happened.
The visit backfired. For one day, the pollu-
tion of Watergate hung over the university like
a noxious cloud devoid of any silver linings. It
was as if Richard Nixon himself came to campus
to speak and talked about football, avoiding the
issues of the day.
The word I'm looking for to describe that day
is, I suppose, boring. Even the demonstration
against Ford lacked cohesiveness and organiza-
tion, resorting instead to hackneyed chants left
over from the Vietnam protest era. Although it
was a sincere effort to call attention to an issue,
cliches on either side of the political fence are
So the day ended, for me at least, with a
cold beer that helped to wash away the stale
taste left in my mouth. That, at least, helped
to drown the political sorrow I felt Saturday.
By GARY THOMAS
LYNDON JOHNSON was right about one thing
in his life: Gerald R. Ford cannot walk and.
crew gum at the same time. And if the avowed
purpose of this institution of higher learning is
to turn out intelligent, informed, educated in-
dividuals, then somehow, some way, one of
Michigan's products came out all wrong.
This is not to say Gerald Ford is dumb; far
from it. The man is a calculating politician who
knows which side his bread is buttered, even
with the ersatz margerine of Richard Nixon.
But if this country's first instant vice-president,
were really smart, he'd offer some palatable
fare for public consumption instead of the pap
delivered here Saturday. His visit showed that
mediocrity is no bar to success.
The team of Ford and Fleming gave a com-
mencement show that, quite frankly, bombed. If
dullness could kill, then they would have been
carting bodies out of Crisler Arena by the
Robben Fleming delivered a short speech of
insipid platitudes and trite cliches for which
any professor of speech would have flunked
him. "There are problems with which we will
simply have to learn to live with," said Fleming.
"If this is the best inspiration that can be offered
to graduating students, then I'm afraid President
Fleming himself is a perfect example of his
THEN TO THE headliner, Gerald Ford. His
act consisted of a badly ghostwritten speech
muddied by references to Chairman Mao and the
American political system. For an added zing,
he added a few references to the protestors that
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