Thursday, January 22, 1981
The Michigan Daily
MY 'GA TOR AND ME
Preppy Handbook-life among the Izods
Lease on Life
By JULIE SELBST
Once upon a time, man, Ann Arbor
was the place to dump your hangups
and get rid of all the psychospiritual
*ensions society gives you.
But, those days are over with. You've
gotta make a place for yourself. Might
as well dress the part because you
gotta find a job.
And so, conveniently, comes Lisa
Birnbach's The Preppy Handbook, not
only to dressing the part, but to eating,
sleeping, living, breathing, and yes,
even duck-hunting the part.
If there is a single flaw in Birnbach's
thesis that anyone can look prep with
the proper effort, it is that she also
tresses the importance of bringing off
the appearance of preppiness by second
nature. The minute one has to make an
effort to be prep is the moment prep
becomes elusive. Prep is, quite simply,
being without trying.
Lest that begin to sound like something
Martin Buberes'que say, (rumor has it
he'owned no less than four button-down
oxfords), let me hasten to explain why
this is such a crucial issue in prep-
pitude., Birnbach herself says the true
prep or preppette must look above all
as though everything he is done with
the greatest of ease and spontaneity.
Therefore, making an effort toward
prep defies the quintessence of the Ivy
League look. This does not imply that
anyone cannot achieve prep (Birnbach
is the daughter of Jewish immigrants
and she seems to have arrived), but
anyone who achieves it has to look as
though he hasn't put the slightest
4odicum of thought into the process.
Nevertheless, Birnbach seems to
have picked up on most of the essential
features that constitute good prepdom,
even some most good preps might not
have recognized as important. Who
would have realized the importance of
ducks, for instance, as a motif for neck
ties, andirons, director's chairs, and
any number of other important
possessions? (Birnbach says the duck
s important because it suggests hun-
ting, water, and Maine, all worthwhile
thoughts for the mind of truly prep
possibility of having to forego a drink
(before surgery, say) on some oc-
casion, which is simply unheard of in
prep etiquette. There is, therefore, no
need to explain prep medical attire.
The terms are mutually exclusive.
The Preppy Handbook also gives an
extensive guide to that most fundamen-
tal portion of prep life, preparatory
school, and of course, college. This sec-
tion contains advice on how to pick 'em,
(Michigan is out because not only do
people go to football games, they
sometimes follow what is happening on
the field), how to decorate dorm rooms,
(they should be adorned with empty
beer cans, a map of Nantucket, Dad-
dy's Dartmouth banner, and skis, even
if the occupants don't ski), and how to
behave at parties (of Paramount im-
portance). Preps must be fun-loving,
with a touch of devil-may-care, but to
be too eccentric is the kiss of death in
prep social circles.
According to Birnbach, there is very
little kissing other than the kiss of death
in prep circles. There is a chapter en-
titled "Prep Sex: A Contradiction in
Terms," which speaks for itself, and all
sections on female attire admonish
females not to reveal figures, and even
to wear clothing from the men's
department when possible. \
For the prep-at-heart, all is
docksiders and crewnecks from birth to
death, with little else in between. Bir-
nbach's guide is amusing-but for
myself, I'll stick to dumping my inner
By MARK DIGHTON
After the disappointing, geriatric
Drums and Wires, XTC's latest album,
Deep Sea is a breath of fresh'air and a
lease on life for this group. Sure, it can't
quite match their impeccable second
album, Go 2, but it may well reaffirm
their status as the most important pop
band in years.
The paradox of this album is that it
contains some of XTC's most in-
teresting along with their most
ignorable work. "Living Through
Another Cuba," 'Burning with Op-
timism's Flames," and "Sgt. Rock (Is
Going to Help Me)" are fire-breathing
pop songs that could rival anything on
Goz. One of their best recent singles,
"Generalsa and 'Majors," is also in-
cluded, along with "Love at First
Sight," which (if America had any
musical vision) could be the most in-
teresting single of 1981.
However, there are some dubious in-
clusions on Deep Sea, like the ho-hum
single "Towers of London" and two
other throwaway cuts, "Respectable
Street" and "Paper and Iron (Notes
and Coins)." Why these tunes were in-
cluded on this album I will never know.
It certainly is not for a lack of better
material. The inclusion of songs like
"Smokeless Zone," "Don't Lose Your
Temper" (both from the Generals and
Mideast expert: US.
must leave Iran alone
Don't let the Humane Society get you
for gator abuse. Lisa Bernbach's 'The
Preppy Handbook' will guide you on the
appropriate clothing, schools, friends
and lingo to be a full-fledged preppy. In
no time at all you'll be ready for life on
proteges.) And who but the most Izod-
hearted would have known the proper
'approach to displaying wedding gifts at
Of course, Birnbach and her
colleagues (dare I say it?-the old
boys) also choose a number of crucial
issues to expand upon. These Begin with
the most obvious-the proper attire
during various stages of the prep life
(The College Years, the Young
Executive Years, the Country' Club
Years, etc.), all of which the astute
reader will note, are predicated on the
assumption that certain patterns of
behavior define given phases of life.
There is no question,, for example, of
the prep becoming a physician. It
requires too much thought, necessitates
getting messy with all those dirty
cadavers, and inherently threatens the
XTC's 'Deep Sea'
Majors LP) and "Take This Town"
(from the Times Square soundtrack:
LP) would have guaranteed this album
a place in the league of revelatory pop.
As it is, some bad song choices leave
this a rather questionable album, Iii'.
general, it falls prey a little too often to:;
uncomfortable phrasing and forced
B~eatlisms. Well over half of the album.
is in the "Must-Own" category which
makes the less interesting cuts at least
ignorable. For those who want to keep%
abreast of intelligent and invigorating-
pop, I recommend it.
(Continued from Page 8)
adding that the Saudi Arabian gover-
nment has "largely succeeded" in its
attempt by surpassing the legal produc-
tion limit of 81/ million barrels of oil per
day during the Iran-Iraq war.
AKINS WARNED the audience of
possible repercussions of the Reagan
Administration's pro-Israeli policies.
He also expressed concern over anti-
Arab statements made by Reagan
during the presidential campaign.
Quoting Reagan as saying he would
need proof that the Palestinian
Liberation Organization truly
represented the Palestinians people,
Akins commented, "There is no
question that it (the PLO) represents
the Palestinians and that it must be
"President Reagan's comment
'Islam is becoming a religion where you
get to heaven by killing Christians and
Jews' scares Arab leaders," the former
AKINS ALSO discussed a gover-
nment study on the feasibility of a U.S.
invasion of Mideast oil fields and the
possible outcomes of the plan.
Akins told the audience of a certain
off-shore oil field. containing 35 wells
which could be opened by the Saudis
under threat of an American invasion.
Opening the wells would pump 3.5
million barrels of oil per day into the
Starits of Hormuz.
.If the Saudis ignited the oil, which is
high in hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous
gas, Akins said the straits would be
rendered impassible and the ecology of
the world would be affected.
If, on the other hand, the Saudis did
not burn the oil fields, U.S. oil produc-
tion in the wells could begin in two
years, according to official estimates,
"The only conceivable victor in this
plan would be the Soviet Union," he
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MURDER BY DECREE
Dir. Bob Clark. CHRISTOPHER (HOLMES) PLUMMER, JAMES (WATSON)
MASON, DONALD SUTHERLAND: Why would a radical group hire Holmes to
track down Jack the Ripper? Who is killing witnesses? Is it The Ripper, or
someone else? A nasty bit of business, this, and Holmes and Dr. Watson are
up to their starched collars in a case that has plagued the best deductive reo-
soning minds in the world for a hundred years. "What condition are the
organs in, Doctor?" "Like they have been stampeded." Victorian England
may not be so Victorian after all. In color.
7:00 & 9:15 at LORCH HALL
Friday; THE BLACK STALLION. Saturday: SUPERMAN
CINEMA GUILD-Everything but the Kitchen sync.
with CHET LEACH, PAUL RAMS and JACK ZUCKER
reading from their works
THURS. JAN. 22-7:30 p.m.
GUILD HOUSE-802 Monroe
HOMEMADE SOUP AND SANDWICH
ANN and DON COLEMAN, Guild House
"THE MORAL MAJORITY AND THE LEFT"
FRI. JAN. 23
GUILD HOUSE-802 Monroe
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