t oi0Td 01 rnsUo51D HEAR )+T sAM CA"M 6
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, July 25, 1974
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News Phone: 764-0552
IN KEEPING WITH their latest barrage of obscenity
rulings, the highest court in the land has finally
reached a decision about the greatest ongoing obscenity
flick of them all, "Behind the Oval Office Door" and like
their decision on "Carnal Knowledge," it appears to be
the right one.
The film stars the nation's favorite unindicted co-
conspirator who is thus far 99 and 44/100 per cent pure;
and it is chock full of so much political repugnance and
authoritarian audacity it to make even the devil blush.
The 8-0 decision of the Supreme Court that the
film's action is of no redeeming social merit proves that
the far reaches of this vile plot have not been enough to
undermine all the minds of the nation; and there is a
buzz in the air that the film may be taken off the mar-
ket, thus ruining the star's career forever.
Thus far, star Richard Straightace has had no com-
ment about the decision and the nation waits anxiously
to see if his career, like that of so many other stars, will
be ended by a bottle of sleeping pills.
gURPRISINGLY ENOUGH, the Knights of Columbu,
who have been waging a wicked war against the
unabashed pernicious pollutants of so many minds in
America. was disappointed with the decision.
Local Knights snokesman Harvey Bunker on hear-
ing about the decision vesterday said, "I just don't un-
derstand these robed subversives. They just don't see
that there is bad obscenity and then there is good ob-
scenity. Straiehttace's actions were never obscene to me."
Bunker admits he has seen the film "a couple hun-
dred of times" and says he would see it again and again.
He added that he stronstv believes the American public
enjoys being taken for a ride. "It's time they took ob-
scenity off the streets and left it in the government
where it belones," he said.
On the other hand, local adult theatre owner Jesus
"Greaseball" Jones says he hopes the decision will boost
his business. "I think it's great," he said. "Obscenity, be
it political or otherwise, has no right being on prime
Jones says he has bid to obtain the rights to "Behind
the Oval Office Door" in hopes of retiring at an early age.
Candidate as product
By BETH NISSEN
IERIODICALLY THROUGHOUT each y e a r
American voters are asked to curtain them-
selves into a voting booth and pull a lever or
check a box next to the name of the candidate
striving for some public office. Each election day
is the final move in the uniquely American game
of political campaigning.
The textbook description of the political cam-
paign has aspiring and perspiring candidates ear-
nestly shaking hands and convincing prospective
constituents of their Ivory Soap political motives.
The paradigmatic voters lend an attentive ear
to the candidates' claimactic speeches and com-
prehensively examine their campaign litera-
ture. Having gathered all pertinent information
necessary to make an informed choice, the de-
cisive citizen polishes their voting registration
card and awaits the opening of the polls.
Yet when the public is scrutinized through a
cold and clear statistical lens, the Informed Vot-
er becomes an almost mythical creature.
HUGE CHUNKS of our citizenry stay cemented
in front of the Movie of the Week on election
day; of those who do manage to walk through a
polling gate, only a statistical thimbleful are
satisfactorily "informed." The rest of the voters
are either confirmed political party-goers, voters
who have heard from spouse, friend or co-work-
er who the best candidate is, or relatives of the
The object of the political campaign game -
especially in local and state elections - is to
extract from this yawning moronic public enough
approving votes to send the player to the office
of their choice.
The moves of the game toward that object
have been revised since the early days of talking
to over-alled neighbors from the gnarled vant-
age point of a tree stump or the height of a soap
box. Today's campaign is a hybrid of an adver-
tisement for a product and a beauty contest.
THE SUCCESSFUL candidate is marketed like
a new breakfast cereal and selected like a pag-
eant contestant from a field of throne contenders.
The political contestant with the biggest cam-
paign spending chests and best personal income
tax figures or the packaged candidate with the
largest advertising exposure will most often win
the attention and the subsequent votes of the
Public standards for political choice are high-
lv infuenced by projected image. A sleek and at-
trative candidate has a far better chance of
naking it to the Senate floor than pit-faced and
flabby one, just as an imaginatively packaged
product has a better chance of making it into the
cupboards of the consumer than a drably boxed
Like a manufactured product, the candidate re-
lies on promises, claims and distinctive adver-
tising for voter attention; like a beauty contest-
ant, the candidate attempts to show their best
side, smile constantly, and play flirtatious cat
and mouth with the voting audience.
CANDIDATES in our unenlightened age of poli-
tics do not compete with other candidates so
much as they compete with the rest of the world
for that all-important second of a voter's un-
divided attention. Campaign money, the life of
the party, is spent to plaster the candidate's
name on the rusted crome of local bumpers,
tack it to neighborhood telephone poles, wave it
on the air waves, somehow manage to file it
into the electorate's embryonic political recall so
that confused or undecided voters may try a
'vell-promoted candidate in the polling booth just
as they might put a well-advertised new product
into their shopping cart.
Skin deep analysis of a candidate does not
give a voter real insight into the candidate's
moral or politcal character. And a voter cannot
exercise consumer power by not continuing to
buy a product that has failed to live up to its
advertised promises; once a politician is elect-
ed, the voter can do little about a poor choice
except regret it.
THE BUSINESS of politics demands more than
the meager amount of attention Americans give
it. The American mind is continually nagged with
The business of politics de-
mands more than the meager
amount of attention Ameri-
cans give it. The American
mind is continually nagged
with demands for attention,
and the predictable reaction
is the gradual turn-down of the
volume and apathy toward the
drone of all incoming bids for
time or interest.
demands for attention, and the predictable reac-
tion is the gradual turn-down of the volume and
apathy toward the drone of all incoming bids for
time or interest.
Though inundation of demandS for our atten-
tion and our short political attention span, we
have lost our ability to be discriminating and
shrewd political shoppers. We rationalize by say-
ing that all politicians can be bought for the
same price, or that all brands are alike. To
preserve some modicum of a responsible govern-
ment we must first find and revive a respon-
sible or at least moderately awake public.
Voters are intrinsic to the political campaign
game, yet seem unaware of the very existence
of the game. Instead of complaining because the
political product bought by miscast votes is in-
ferior or over-rated, voters can take the time
to read the political fine print on a candidate's
packaging and refuse to be so readily persuaded
to award their valuable vote to the candidate with
the Day-Glo campaign poster, the most Redford
face or the most delectable political -surface ap-
CHERYL PILATE .... ... ,...
BARBARA CORNELL .......,
DELLA DIPIETRO ..........
ANDREA LILLY .................
STEPHEN HERSH ...a...........
DAVID WHITING ...............
KEN FINK ........ .
a 1EvE KAGAN ... ..
.................. Night Editor
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Ass't. Night Editor
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