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April 10, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-10

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40

OPINION

Page 4

Friday, April 10, 1981

The Michigan Daily

1fie 3 id gt a n iv an
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Patriots in the wrong age

Vol. XCI, No. 155

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M148109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

F er Now for the work

E VEN BEFORE THE dust settles
after the Michigan Student
Assembly election, President-elect Jon
Feiger and his running-mate, Amy
Hartmann, must begin working to
uphold the ambitious platform they
have built for their campaign.
The two have demonstrated a
willingness to tackle tough University
issues; but it will take more than good
intentions to create a viable student
voice in budget cuts, step-up minority
recruitment efforts, or improve
minority counseling services.
As a student on the Budget Priorities
sub-committee investigating Michigan
Media, Hartmann has experienced the
frustrations and often the impotency of
the student voice. As numerous
segments of the University face
dramatic cuts, MSA officials must
establish and work toward developing
strong, sound student input.
Now, more than ever, the Univer-
sity's tight financial situation calls for
efficiency in every area. Feiger has
said he would like to see centralization
in the minority counseling and support

services at the University. Not only
would such a change benefit minority
students who try to sort through the
maze of services currently offered, it
would prove cost efficient. As the cam-
pus student government, MSA can
work to ensure the University provides
both cost efficient and beneficial coun-
seling services.
Feiger and Hartmann have em-
phasized the need for stepped-up
minority recruitment. The cry is not
unfamiliar to the University; it has
echoed throughout the campus for
more than a decade. Identifying the
problem, however, will not solve
it-MSA must develop specifics to in-
crease the ever-dwindling minority
enrollment at the University.
Unfortunately, Feiger admits he has
no specific proposals. If the.Assembly
and its new leader wish to have any
impact on the University's minority
enrollment, they must come up with
concrete, reasonable recruitment
proposals.
Feiger and Hartmann have set high
goals for themselves. We laud their in-
tentions; now its time for results.

At dawn on a Sunday in November 1956, a
small country in Europe began to die.
Although the bulk of the adult gibberish on
our family radio went over my head, I was
still old enough to glean a dim awareness that
something was horribly wrong somewhere
else in the world; that someplace far from the
Coming
Apart
By Christopher Potter
autumn-leaved security of our house and
neighborhood, people were being murdered
and none of us could help them.
I remember listening with my father as
CBS impassively relayed the Hungarian news
broadcasts in Budapest: "Russian gangsters
have betrayed us; they are opening fire on all
of Budapest ... they have opened fire ... on
everybody ... I stay open and continue with
the news ... we shall inform the world about
everything. We are under heavy machine gun
fire .. . the Russian tanks are now in the
streets."
CEASELESSLY, THE Hungarian broad-
caster implored the world's help: "Have you
information you can pass on. .. tell me.
Urgent. Urgent. I speak in the name of
Premier Nagy. He asks help ... the whole
people ask for help ... long live Hungary and
Europe.. . any news about help? Quickly.
Quickly."
TWO HOURS LATER, no rescuers on the
horizon, alone in a burning city, the broad-
caster composed a final adieu, destined to be
etched forever on the conscience of the free
world:
"Goodbye friends. Goodbye friends. God
save our souls. The Russians are too near."
We all sat in our respective dens and living
rooms, helpless to do anything to reverse this
far-away horror. America's moral im-
perative for intervention was strangled by the
priorities of internatonal politics: The Suez
War was raging, our own presidential elec-
tions loomed only two days away, and always
the omnipotent threat of The Bomb hung like a

guillotine over any idealistic imperative. To
intervene militarily was to invite Doomsday;
civilization had scientifically outstripped its
ability to check the political brute in its midst.
So Americans sat that Sunday, each in his
or her private agony, as a people's will to live
free was murdered. I still remember my
father murmuring "terrible. .. terrible," as
he listened to that nightmare broadcast.
America was the mightiest nation on earth -
yet the stakes had already gone far too
high to sound a metaphorical cavalry charge.
A QUARTER-CENTURY has passed, and
the Russians are once again too near. Once
more the great leviathan bullies a small
neighbor whose people desire nothing more
than a voice in governing themselves as they
see fit. The paranoia of the Russian psyche
once again runs amok: The chieftains of the
most awesome military machine and land
expanse in human history quake and fret
because a diminutive, non-belligerent nation
named Poland wants a* small measure of
social and labor autonomy.
What feet of clay these aging Soviets have!
Do they so doubt the primacy of their own
political gods? Do their private hearts tell
them Lech Walesa has a point or two? Must
they crush this insolence as the only means of
philosophically justifying themselves for all
the world to see?
What an ironic blasphemy it all must seem
to the Kremlin - this swirling movement
spawned not by Poland's intellectuals but by
the very working class Marx and Lenin
deified as the inheritors of the earth. By its
very nature classic Marxian dialectic cannot
even concede the existence of such heresies;
such unreal anomalies must be supressed,
says Moscow, before their very illogic turns
the world upside down. Smash the infidel! -
else socialism and Mother Russia will cease
to exist.
AND SHOULD THE monolith once again
smash the heretic what, again, can anyone
else do about it? In 1956 our global
preeminence was unquestioned; yet our.
response to the Hungarian massacre amoun-
ted to little more than verbal broadsides and a
tangible (though temporary) chilling of an
already glacial Cold War.
In the fragmented, depolarized world of
1981, America's one-time dominance has

drastically withered; yet the fact that the
Soviet Union has suffered much the same fate
does nothing to aid the fenced-in plight of
Poland, either geographically o
ideologically. If anything, the decline of bo
superpowers simply adds fuel to the Soviets'
determination to cling tenaciously to what
they've already got.
The political irony is hideous: An in-
creasingly chaotic, shades-of-gray world has
astonishingly produced a pure, black-and-
white conflict with a cast of clear-cut good
guys and bad guys going eyeball-to-eyeball.
The Polish dilemma has none of the am-
biguity of such "intervenable" encounters as
Vietnam, El Salvador, or even of a nation-
versus-nation dispute such as the Iran-Ira4
war. It's strictly a case of the big guy against
the little guy, the swaggering bully versus
the kid who wants to play in his own yard. The
injustice of it cries out for a Hollywood-style
rectification - but America can no longer
embody its own mythology.
NOW EVEN MORE than then, we're
reduced to little more than threatening
gestures: Trade embargoes, an end to arms
limitation, world-wide moral vituperation,
the ever-implied threat of nuclea
retaliation. Such measures would, of
necessity, all come after the fact. The Soviets
don't have to invade Poland - they're
already inside; America may rattle its sabres
and howl with rage, yet we remain
pathetically helpless - implanted an ocean
plus a continent away from the fray.
A hundred years ago it was a simple matter
to initiate an unjust war: Any aspiring
Caesar would issuehthe requisite bellicose
statements, rev up his army and navy and
cast off - and damn any far-away con-
sequences. Today's world has turned smal
and perilous, to the point where the imminen-
ce of as just a war as any in human history
will likely provoke no more than a guilt-
ridden paralysis. It's no one's fault - It is the
necessary albatross for an age of sudden
global death. Shed a tear for the little guys,
who no longer matter enough.
Christopher Potter is a Daily staff
writer. His column appears every Friddy.

Nuclear caution imperative

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Ti~ WO YEARS AGO this month,
something went wrong with the
normal operation of the nuclear power
plant at Three Mile Island, Penn. The
nuclear industry lobbyists had said it
couldn't happen, but it did - there was
a dangerous malfunction at a nuclear
power plant.
The TMI accident, however unfor-
tunate, served the very valuable pur-
pose of alerting the Congress, the
White House, and the public to the very
real dangers of nuclear power. Now,
two years later, there is a very real
danger Americans will forget the
lesson of TMI.
TMI taught us that nuclear power is
very fallable. The malfunction pushed
us at last to scrutinize the nuclear in-
dustry - to make up for past negligen-
ce. Following the TMI accident, there
was a backlash of stiffer federal
regulations and any hope the industry
clung to that "bureaucratic red tape"
would be cut'was killed - at least for
the time being.
The TMI accident should not
necessarily spur us to abandon nuclear
power completely. Yet it has confir-
med that nuclear power is, as Ten-
nessee Valley Authority Chairman S.

David Freeman said, "an inherently
dangerous technology," that should be
considered with the utmost restraint
and caution.
The Reagan administration,
however, has not proven itself to be
either cautious or restrained in its
frenzy to hack away at federal
regulations of industry. Rather, the
new administration often seems to cut
government guidelines and regulations
with little consideration of the im-
plications of the cuts. This is the
careless way the administration has
gone about cutting federal standards
regulating the auto industry. If
Reagan, having forgotten the lesson of
TMI, takes this same approach to
doling out "regulatory relief" to the
nuclear industry the results could be
disasterous.
The administration should maintain
the stiff standards that currently
regulate the development of nuclear
power, lest we sadly realize the predic-
tion of Robert Cornell, a New York in-
dustry analyst, who said shortly after
the TMI accident, "I seriously don't
think accidents in 1979 will affect
decisions made between coal and
nuclear plants in 1981.".

Effects of word change

To the Daily:
Normally I wouldn't complain
about the misprinting of a single
word in an article I've written,
but this one is important to my in-
tent. In the original copy of what
was printed as "Typing Male-
Hating Essays," I had written not
that "I'm ashamed of my
maleness," but that I'm

"unashamed."
It might seem a trivial con-
sideration, but this particular
misprint interferes with the point
I wanted to make - which is that
being male or female, by itself,
has little to do with being human.
-Doug Shokes
April 2

N
i
'9 :
..
1 i

Letter policies
Letters to the Daily should be typed, triple-spaced,
with inch margins. All submissions must be signed
by the individual author(s). Names will be withheld
only in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited
for clarity, length, grammar, and spelling.

W.,

o'Co

04 "1M4s C04TARV SX 11OLWP$-r174G CISIS MAJAGEM~st.Jr
SETUlP WRKED MCbYr 1SFACe'bqMLYLASIT MOIJ4hY lIr

11

Selfimage of
so many drugs around the cops
By Pauline Craig don't even bother. They hassle
us, chase us through the tunnel at
the beach, throw us-around, and
This article is second in a two- even use their billy clubs on us.
part series. but not because of drugs. It's for
* * * * us being in the race riots. They
How do San Francisco's White tell us that if we're going to act
Punks on Dope feel about them- like punks, they're going to treat
selves? What are their daily lives us like punks."
like? What do they want for W.P.O.D.S ARE also very into
themselves and their future? their cars, Terrasina at Lincoln
A group of Washington High says. "We like Chevelles, Novas,
school's W.P.O.D, gather in the G.T.O.s, Chargers, Mustangs,
dugout by the football field. A few Corvettes, We're high riders."
of them gather wads of clay from Besides their music, dope, and
the ground and roll them into lit- cars, W.P.O.D.s can also be iden-'
tle balls that they throw at the tified by the clothes they wear.
school, breaking a couple of win- "The boys wear ultimate der-
dows and polka-dotting the walls. bys," a black poplin and
SAYS SONJA: "W.P.O.D. also polyester mix jacket with a
stands for 'We Party or Die.' We quilted lining and a seam across
have our own style. We're not into the shoulders and back, "Ben
soul, disco; only rock 'n' roll. We - Davis pants, white T-shirts or
spray paint K.K.K.s and tank tops, and steel-toed combat
swastikas on the school walls and boots," says Kevin.
we don't drive cars that bounce. The girls have derbys abd
On weekends we have 'kegers' on "Bens," too. Many wear multiple
the beach. >We build a bonfire, gold chains. "We like Cherokees
drink some Bud or tequila, smoke (high heeled sandals) or clogs,
pot, make out, dance, talk shit, the girls' version of steeltoed
-M~ cbtn A .rlanrcirtrna hnr-i'nntc, I'annen ha ,wnaan n lar

White Punks

These kids talk tough about
sex, but they speak in general
terms, and rarely refer to them-
selves. "That's because most of
them just talk," says Sonja, "but
" there are those that do, too."
"MY MOM TOOK me to Plan-
ned Parenthood when I was 15 to
get a diaphram," Debby says.
"She said she wanted planned
grandparenthood and that she
wasn't ready for any gran-
dchildren; maybe from my
sisters - they're married - but
not from me."
Like sex, violence, or the poten-
tial for it, plays a key
imaginative - if not always an
actual - role in the everyday life
of W.P.O.D.s, as it does for other
groups. W.P.O.D:s, however,
usually defend their participation
in gang fights as merely defen-
sive.
Brandy, a freshman at Lincoln
High School, carries her pen
knife to school every day in her
"Bens" pocket. "But I haven't
had to really use it yet," she ad-
mits.
DESPITE ALL THE per-

miniature W.P.O.D.s in their
steel-toed boots, tryin' to be bad,
talkin' shit, smokin' dope or even
cigarettes at age seven. They're
just imitating their older sisters
and brothers. They stop going to
school. They're ruining it for
themselves, tryin' to be cook
What are they going to do, earn P
minimum wage all their lives?"
Most W.P.O.D.s are willing to
work, they say, and are trying to
find a credible way into the adult
world. And despite their racism,
their violence, their intolerance
of other kids' cars and clothes,
they say that they can see
through themselves.
"We know we conform," says
Sonja. "We do it to be accepted,
to get along, mostly becaus4
there are so few of us whites in
school. We don't fight it. We're
tired of being shoved around by
other races and we're afraid of
getting into a fight some day we
can't control. We know that in a
couple of years we'll probably be
in college or have straight jobs
where we'll have to dress -nor-
mally.,We won't be able to swear

U

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