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March 26, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-03-26

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Page 4-Wednesday, March 26, 1980-The Michigan Daily
Greeks are Greek to this Greek bar-

It really waste innocent mistake. I read in
the paper that a local bar was having a "Greek
Night" last Thursday. Hell, I thought, time to
meet some nice Greek girls. So I called my
friends Stavros and Demetrios, and we headed
We faced trouble from the start. The bouncer
asked us if we were Greek. We answered in the
affirmative. He eye us suspiciously, so I gave
him a few lines of Greek. He eyed us with more
suspicion. He called the other bouncer over,
who whispered something in his ear.
"WHERE ARE your baseball caps?" he
"Beg your pardon?"
"All Greeks wear baseball caps," ex-
plained the bouncer. "Some have 20 or 30 dif-
ferent ones." News to me, I thought. So after
useless bickering, we paid the full price, sat
down at the table, and hailed our waitress.
Four women approached the vacant table
next to us. They wore cordurays or Levi's, and
shirts with buttoned-down collars. A necklace
bounced daintily from each of their necks and

each sported a monogrammed sweater of a dif-
ferent color. I always knew sororities bred
diversity. We watched with interest.
"CAN YOU BELIEVE Laurie?" asked the
blue sweater. "She's going out with a... "and
here she leaned over the table and whispered,
"an Alpha Nu."
Mouths dropped in unison.
"Oh, God," moaned the rust sweater.
"Yucchh!" exclaimed the kelly-green
"How disgusting," said the pink sweater. "I
mean, a Delta Phi, yeah, but an Alpha Nu?
Alpha Nus didn't even have an IM football
"Here's more gossip," said the blue sweater.
"You remember Jim, that Beta Chi who
always dated the Sigma Beta at the same
time he was going out with two Omega Alphas?
Well, he's dating a Zeta Zeta now."
"I'M LIKE, REALLY bummed," sighed the
pink sweater. "That's almost as bad as what
happened to that Gamma Kappa. Did you
hear? They found out her father makes less
than $42,500 a year."
"You're kidding," said the kelly-green
sweater. "They're going to have to expel her,
The women agreed the action would be ap-
propriate, and then the maize sweater, the
quiet one, spoke up.
"This discussion is like, depressing. Let's
talk about something else. I heard that the

By Nick Katsarelas
Lambda Sigmas were having their pledge
formal at.. ." and here she stopped suddenly.
"Look, here comes Laurie!"
THE WOMEN- STARED as Laurie and a
young man strolled up to theif table. The man
had on an alligator shirt and topsiders, clut-
ched a pitcher of beer, and snapped his fingers
to Bruce Springsteen. The women smiled, and
began to tease Laurie:
"Na na na na NA na.
You're going out with an Alpha Nu.
You're going out with an Alpha Nu."
"Girls! Girls!" exclaimed Laurie. Mike here
isn't an Alpha Nu. He'a a Delta Nu! Say hi to the
girls, Mikey."
Mike tipped his baseball cap to the women.
"Hey there, babes."t
Mike can do tricks," bragged Laurie. "Mike,
give them your house motto."
MIKE PUT down his pitcher, took off his cap
and held it over his heart. Closing his eyes tight
in concentration, he started slowly; his voice
rising to a crescendo.
"A man like me is proud to be,
A Delta Nu. And unlike you,
Is smart and strong and large andlong.
Who loves his brother more than his mother.
Who knows his fate (it holds no fear),
And I can hold my weight in beer.

If the girl is pretty, and if she's right,
A Delta Nu can go all night.
And because like us, there are damn few,
That's why I'm a Delta Nu."
Mike bowed his head, and pinched Laurie,
who smiled. "Isn't he a hunk?" she squealed.
"Well, girls, I have to go show Mikey around.
THE WOMEN HUDDLED together when
they left. "He was no Delta Nu',, said the pink
sweater. BDelta Nus have bigger necks."
With that, I could stand no more. I had to tall
to them. I mean, were they for real?
I sat down with my mug of beer. "Hi," I said.
They looked at me curiously. "What arc
you?" asked the rust sweater. I told them my
She repeated her question impatiently.
"What are you?"
"Oh," I mumbled. Confused, I racked my
brain for the right answer. "A ... Beta Gafn,'
The women laughed, pounded on the table,
and began to chant:
"Bread and butter, toast and jam. Nothing
worse than a Beta Gam! Bread and but-
"HOLD ON!" I shouted. "What's wrong with
Beta Gams?"
"Oh, nothing, said the kelly-green sweater.
"Except where was your homecoming display
this year?

"Hey, excusp me," I replied, backing myself
into a corner, "but I guess we were too busy
sending a poor kid from Bloomfield Hills to
"Yeah?" the maize sweater challenged. "We
didn't see you at any football games. All thee
Greeks go to football games."
"I'll tell you something," I said,
pointing my finger at her. "We were holding
our charity ping-pong marathons then."
"What for?" asked the blue sweater.
"WHY, TO RAISE money for our charity
danceathons!" I snapped. The women looked
down at the table, and the rust sweater said,
'Maybe we had you all wrong."
Suddenly, Mikey was back, and spilled beer
on me as he settled into his chair. He looked at
the girl in the kelly-green sweater.
"Listen," he said. "You don't know me, but I
just have to tell you this. You were fantastic in
the Mudbowl. Really fantastic!"
All eyes stared at kelly-green. She blushed,
tried to suppress, but then let loose, a wide
s.She held het pitcher up. "Hail to the Mud-
bowl!" she cried.
"Hail to the Greeks!" I cried. "Hail to the
Victors," we cried.
"Beer! Waitress, hey waitress! More beer!"
Many of Nick Katsarelas'former best
friends live in fraternities and sororities.
Kat's Play appears on this page every


Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom

Iran hostile a terU.S. abuse


Vol. XC, No. 138

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan-
e e
e n s move 1 nto Hebron

S signals ag
T HAS BEEN frequenty noted that
history proceeds as does a
pendulum. Ideas and leaders first
swing in the direction of one set of
ideas, and then, as the failings of those
ideas (or perhaps of the leaders who
expound them) begin to become
evident, the mood of a nation, at first.
gradually, then with increasing speed,
moves toward the other extreme.
This model for political behavior is
far from perfect; it does not take into
account all the unpredictable factors
that can effect a population's attitudes.
Nor does it recognize catastrophic
events that can reverse the
pendulum's swing before it has fully
run its course.
Oscillation has been witnessed not
only in the U.S., but in foreign
countries as well. Of immediate
concern is a trend in the beleaguered.
country of Israel toward policies and
tactics that look to be truly frightening.
Menachem Begin was elected in the
spring of 1977 in a wave of militaristic
enthusiasm that made Israel's voters
want a hard-liner at their helm.
Begin's rhetoric, both before and
immediately after he came into power,
greatly worried those who saw
moderation as the only hope for
Mideast peace. Though he was aging,.
he still sounded very much like the
spirited bomb-throwing firebrand he
had been in his youth, while fighting
for Israeli independence.

hward rend
What followed his election was a
series of strange and unpredicted
events that seemed utterly to defy
pendulum physics. The sequence of
events started with President Sadat's
visit to Jerusalem; it culminated with
the accords reached at Camp David.
All the while, Israel's liberal Labor
Party members looked on in awe. They
had not known hard-headedness could
get one so far.
At long last, though, Begin has come
home to the kind of action expected
of him from the start. He and the
majority of his Cabinet have
sanctioned plans for two Jewish
schools in the city of Hebron.
Begin correctly argues that Hebron
was at one time in the distant past
peaceably inhabited by the Jews; he
chooses to ignore the fact that for Jews
to settle that territory now, when
Hebron stands as the nerve center of
the occupied West Bank, is the most
provocative act he could possibly
There is hope yet. The Cabinet's
plans for annexation of Hebron will
have to be approved by a Parliament
that is resisting, or at least lagging
behind, Begin's swing to the
right. Let us only hope that most of
Israel's leaders do not join in the
foolish Begin initiative: This swing
may be one from which there is no

As the prospects for release of
the hostages grow ever worse,
ordinary Americans might do
well to try to view their nation's
role in the Mideast from the per-
spective of ordinary Iranians.
The chief issue at stake in
diplomatic negotiations concern
such direct actions as the U.S.
overthrow of the Iranian gover-
nment in 1953, or the CIA's
training of SAVAK, the Shah's
brutal secret police force.
BUT TO THE man on the
street-and the chanting throngs
outside of the embassy in
Tehran-the chief source of
hostility toward America may
have less to do with U.S. policy 25
years ago than it does with
something more immediate and
less specific.
For the ordinary Iranian,
everyday experience is full of
evidence that American
business, American workers, and
American economic principles
have had an insidious influene
on Iranian life. Our real role in
their country,.as Iranians per-
ceived it, was one of uncom-
plicated exploitation-motivated
by a desire to enhance American
fortunes no matter what the cost
to Iran.
As an oil producing nation, Iran
was a prime market for the sale
of American technology and'ser-
vices. The Shah wanted instant
development, and the U.S. was
only too happy to oblige, if the
price was right.
BY THE TIME of the oil price
increase in 1973, seat-of-the-pants
American entrepreneuers were
descending on Iran in droves. The
U.S. embassy turned into a kind
of industrial brokerage firm.
Hardly a day passed when the
ambassador did not have impor-
tant business with one or another
American industrial concern.
The embassy cocktail party cir-
cutiwas a virtual bazaar for
business dealings.
Though joint business ventures
required "Iranian control," that
merely meant that Iranian par-
tners provided 51 per cent of the
financing through government
loans. The best partners were, of
course, the =r.oyal family and
other high government officials
who would meet no bureaucratic
opposition in their finacnial
dealings. Soon, Iran was not only
awash in money, it was awash in
new industry. The country
seemed to be booming.
The view that Iran could be
persuaded to bankroll almost any
U.S. project extended to all sec-
tors of U.S. society, including
universities. Over 200 institutions
in the U.S. had cooperative
arrangements with Iranian in-
AMERICANS working in Iran
were generally paid at rates far
exceeding those paid to Iranian
workers. American indusrial
concerns often had multiple pay
scales: U.S. citizens received the
highest wages, followed by
Europeans and Japanese; native
Iranians received the lowest
wages of all. ITT paid its
American staff up to seven times
what it paid the Iranian staff,
even though in some cases the

perience. The refinery city of
Abadan was divided between
luxurious air conditioned housing
with manicured lawns for
Westerners, and two room mud-
brick dwellings for Iranian
In fact, perhaps the greatest
source of tension between

By William Beeman

ugly incidents began to alert both
government and business per-
sonnel that something was dread-
fully wrong. A well-publicized
street brawl in Isfahan between
American and Iranian workers
alarmed the large American
companies working there. The
response was to create an

in 1973-4, the country was awash4
with money with no place for th
cash to go. The natural result was
horrendous inflation.
BY 1977, complaints about
prices were the chief source of
public discontent, and so the Shah
moved to gain control of the
economy. The government im-
posed tight new regulations and
high taxes on the transfer of land,
established draconian price con
trols for foodstuffs with striK~I
penalties for violators, and, as a
final blow, cut off subsidies to the
clergy and religious institutions.
The consequences were im-
mediate: The land market
collapsed overnight, and with it
the construction industry. In the
space of less than a month,
nearly one million unskilled con-
struction workers were laid off.
Through it all, factory owner
and manufacturers of assembly.-
line goods-sectors in which
American entrepreneuers held a
large interest-were largely un-
To the man on the street; the
.message was brutally clear-the
government was going to control
inflation by cracking down on
those few areas of the economy
in which ordinary citizens could
outright protest, and the banking
system began to feel the pinch.
Ringleaders and prominent mer-
chants in the bazaar were
harassed and jailed. Unemployed
construction workers, many of
who had been attracted to the
cities by high wages, were trap-
Inthis climate of discontent.
the incendiary exhorations of th
chief spiritual leader of Shi'ite
Muslims, Ayatollah Khomeini,
finally began to fall on fertile
ground. Quite predictably, the
bulk of the protesters were from
the young, unemployed males in
the large cities, and the protests
were organized, underwritten,
and financed from the bazaar.
With Jimmy Carter's election
to the Presidency, the U.S. began
to preach its policy of huma
rights, encouraging ally states to
liberalize their governmental
structures. The Shah complied,
and allowed a small degree of
dissent to be heard throughout
1977. When violent protest began
in 1978, however, it was
ruthlessly suppressed. Thousan-
ds died. President Carter's sub-
sequent public statements in
support of the Shah made it see
that the U.S. had set up the
Iranian people only to have them
At the time of the revolution,
Iran was left with a demoralized
population, an economy
sprawling out of control, and a
repressive autocratic gover-
nment that allowed its citizens no
influence in policies that affected
them directly-not even the right
to complain. Worst of all, ta
society had all but lost it
spiritual core; it had become
poisoned-obsessed with
materialism and the acquisition
of moey and consumer goods.
And from the vantage point of the
average Iranian, everything that
Iran had become had been san-
ctioned and supported by the
United States.

AP Photo
AN IRANIAN WEARINGa mask depicting President Carter rattles
the chains locking the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran during a
massive demonstration yesterday. Many analysts believe Iranian


11-i 'S .A TrAJ3DY'
1ArrH ME FOR S.4



hostility toward the U.S. results
ploitation of Iran.
Americans and Iranians was
housing. U.S. companies in Iran
usually worked' under Iranian
government contracts on a "cost-
plus" basis, meaning they were
paid a certain percentage over
the fixed costs of projects. These
companies often moved thousan-
ds of employes into a city in the
space of a month, all of whom had
to find housing immediately.
Working through brokers, the
Americans would swoop down
and rent every available nearby
apartment or house at whatever
price was asked. Since housing
costs were '"fixed costs," they
literally didn't care how much
they paid-the bill would be
picked up by the Iranian gover-
nment in any case.
time rental costs were driven up
throughout the country. In the
period from 1972 to 1974, they
roughly quadrupled on every
class of property. By 1976, they

from past American economic ex-
American compound far from the
city where workers could live in
splendid isolation. Far from
helping the situation, this com-
pound became a local symbol of
U.S. arrogance.
Sadly, even Americans who
were aware of the problems ten-
ded to take a sanguine view of
them. American presence and
profits were rationalized by the
belief that Iranians were
materially benefiting as a result.
Buoyed by the 19 per cent GNP
growth figures during some
years, American officials pointed
with pride to the economic boom
they were helping to create.
BUT THE BOOM was only
superficial. Virtually every new
industrial enterprise in Iran after
1965 was an assembly plant, in
which consumer goods were
fabricated elsewhere and merely
put together in Iran.
Iranian entrepreneurs, faced
with saturated consumer

S TAK<E.Pula..
EPI 500e.

.HOW4hER MY' LA-rM610





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