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October 07, 1980 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-07

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OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, October 7, 1980 The Michigan Daily

Ei t dbt a nyMichig an l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCI, No. 29

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Higgns
JUST GOT THE PHOTOS
OF YOUR CHINA TRIP
PEEPING LOOKS BEAUTIFUV

THAT'S PEKING, E .MASTFSAY,
ROK. ES, IT IS MAO !LOOKS IN
PRETTTY GOOD HEALTH.

Editorials represent a majority opinion of The Daily's Editorial Board
Save Viewpoint Lectures

iU

A S OF YESTERDAY afternoon,
about 200 tickets for tonight's
battle of the barbs between Shana
Alexander and Jack Kilpatrick had
been sold.
It will tale the sale of 3,300 more by 8
p.m. to give Viewpoint Lectures a new
lease on life.
The problem can't be stated any more
dramatically than that. In recent
years, the only student-run lecture
program on campus has had ltrouble
filling auditoriums-with the notable
exceptions of programs by Gloria
Steinem and Jane Fonda and Tom
Hayden.
Only 136 listeners attended Ralph
Nader's September 22 Viewpoint lec-
ture. Last week, one listener showed
up for a Viewpoint lecture by state
Rep. Perry Bullard (D-Ann Arbor)
despite, extensive publicity efforts.
And, while the relative dryness of his
topic (he was to speak on tax cut
proposals) may have kept many
away, certainly it is, difficult to under-
stand why hundreds are not flocking to
hear Alexander and Kilpatrick, the
pair of political pundits made famous
by their acerbic bouts on CBS' "Sixty
Minutes."
-Viewpoint Lectures is a non-profit
organization-ticket receipts are used
to cover costs for renting auditorium
space and to pay speakers' fees. The
University Activities Center, of which

MAO'S DEADRON.
THATSTENG.

Viewpoint Lectures is a part, has been
able to bailout the speaker program in
the past. But UAC officers have in-
dica ted that assistance may not con-
tinue if Viewpoint cannot begin to at-
tract audiences. A large audience at
tonight's lecture is considered crucial
if Viewpoint is to survive.
Without Viewpoint Lectures, noted
speakers like Fonda, Hayden, and Ab-
bie Hoffman (expected to be here
soon) would seldom appear on cam-
pus. Individual 'departments and
colleges have little money to invite
speakers; what lectures they do spon-
sor are often narrowly focused toward
specific disciplines.
It is of course distressing to watch
Viewpoint slowly fade without being
able to offer any suggestions for its
revival, but the problem is, quite sim-
ply, confounding. To attribute it simply
o apathy is to ignore other significant
signs this. term that students are
growing more active and activist.
We only hope students realize before
it's too late that a student-run lecture
program is important and worth sup-
porting.
Think twice before going to the
library or a bar tonight. Spend a few
hours in Hill Auditorium instead, en-
joying the sharp, witty repartee of
Alexander and Kilpatrick-and
helping save Viewpoint Lectures.

WOWI NICE SNOT OF YOU Two
ON THE GREAT BERLIN WALL,
...JUST LIKE NIXON!
*1

4I~
0

UH.
HU.

SAY, GEORGE, ARE THEY
STILL ANGRY OVER THE
THAILAND ISSUE?
t~A
~~ELi

THATtS
RONfo

TAiwAN)

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Of letters,llamas, and 'amour

A Gun
A gun is made of metal,
just like a tea kettle.
A gun is made for killing,
not drilling.
It was one of my greatest sonnets, written
at the age of 10, during my blue period. Unfor-
tunately, just as Bruce Springsteen forgot the
lyrics of "Jungleland" Friday night, I have
forgotten the rest of "A Gun."
There is a way to recover it, however.
Richard Nixon has a copy. I sent him one, at

Freedom not to speak

Witticisms
By Howard Witt

P ROFESSOR JAMES Dinnan of
the University of Georgia was
freed yesterday after serving a 90-day
sentence for contempt of court.
His "crime" was refusing to reveal
his vote on a faculty promotion case to
Circuit Court Judge Wilbur Owens.
There are certainly 'instances of
misbehavior on the part of private and
public institutions that demand the in-
trusion of the judiciary: Jim Crow
laws, sexual harrassment in the work-
place, and overly harsh penal systems
are but a few. But in the Dinnan case,
the professor's description of the
judge's actions is appropriate: The
contempt charge did indeed amount to
an unacceptable "intrusion of federal
government."
The confidential proceedings of an
academic institution are confidential

for good reason. Faculty members
must feel free to express their views
about a potential colleague without
fear of recrimination or em-
barrassment. If Dinnan had known
that he might eventually be required to
reveal his vote for the public record, he
might have been more constrained in
his criticism of (or support for) Maija
Blaubergs, the faculty aspirant who
brought the suit. Such constraints
could lead to a lower caliber of faculty
at Georgia and elsewhere.
The precedent Judge Owens has set
with his excessive punishment of Prof.
Dinnan-a $3,000 fine on top of the jail
sentence-is a very unfortunate one.
Those who care about quality in in-
stitutions of higher education can only
hope some wiser judge in a higher
court sees things differently.

WASJ~xNGOoNSE
1970
Dear 110~d
stn,
den texo Ydo .
letter, n Lasked Youe to w
Wee th ritetd
+ it e P rcik ounyoeiae.
SicerelyL~
a r c
President esaar
1243 Cceit
Higlad par vehue

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the suggestion of my fourth grade teacher, in
January, 1970.
AND I KNOW he read it-Rose Mary
Woods, his personal secretary, said so on
White House stationery. Nixon was just too
busy planning the invasion of Cambodia to
write me himself, thanking me for my anti-
war poem.
Rose Mary Woods. Ah, what memories.
Where is she today? Working in the quality
control section of a Maxell recording tape
plant? Selling jeans at The Gap?
She wrote me such a nice letter. "It was
most kind of you to write and President Nixon
asked me to thank you for your letter. He ap-
preciated receiving your poem."
I CAN PICTURE it perfectly: Nixon
shooing Spiro out of the Oval Office so he can
read his morning mail in peace, opening my
letter, reading my poem, reading it again,
reading it a third time, putting Henry
Kissinger on hold so he can concentrate on
committing my poem to memory, sum-
moning Rose Mary on the intercom, and
directing her to fire off a letter thanking me.
He was a great president.
I've carried my Woods letter with me for
years, kind of as a good luck charm. It's got
everything a good letter should have: a six-
cent stamp with a picture of the flag and the
White House, a nice white envelope with a
simple return address (The White House),
perfect note-sized, heavy weight stationery
stock, and a concise message. It's the kind of
letter you like to get in your mailbox.
I love to get letters (How about that last
paragraph for a transition, huh?). Last week
I got two real good ones. 1
FIRST CAME THE small blue envelope
with huge, illegible scrawling across the front
of it-from my grandmother in Chicago
whom I don't call often enough. I get a similar
envelope every month, always with a five
dollar check inside ("Oy, so you shouldn't
have to pay for phone calls, god forbid! ") and
a letter which sends me instantly to the phone
so I can spend the check immediately.
Her favorite paragraph, usually placed just
after the comment about how I don't call often
enough, goes something like: "The weather is
beautiful here. I went for a long walk yester-
day. The doctor said the tests are negative.
Tonight I'm playing bridge with Priscilla."
Sometimes, for fun, she varies the key line
a bit. "The weather is beautiful here. I've
hen wihing Intl of ftdvisinn The dnetnt.

c

She sends my brother letters, too, but he
gets different ailments. We compare notes
frequently.
SO THAT WAS my first good letter. The
other one came to the Daily offices, and has
caused me to shower every morning and chew
with my mouth closed at every meal.
This one was from "two fans" of "Wit-
ticisms" (probably the only two not counting
myself, my fellow staffers tell me). They
didn't sign their names, but their letter did
contain several clues about their identities.
First, they are female-I can tell that from
the handwriting. Second, they eat at the Pan
Tree restaurant (they said that's where they
laugh over my columns). Third, they are
Jewish-they said my columns help "leaven
the oppressive, studious atmosphere of this
BIG U." Note the matzo mataphor. And
finally, they live in West Quad-they said they
see me eating lunch there on Thursdays.
THE MYSTERIOUS PAIR instructed me to
include the word "llama" in my column, im-
plying that I might get to meet them if I did.
So in last Tuesday's column, I put "llama" in.
Tuesday at lunch, I got all dressed up, expec-
ting the two to pop out of anonymity and
reveal themselves. They didn't.
Wednesday at lunch I got dressed up again
and nurnoselv didn't take any soun because I

themselves again.
Thursday at lunch I avoided the hot dogs
because sometimes all the mustard and relish
and ketchup drips out onto my lap and I knew
four eyes would again be upon me as I ate.
They didn't show themselves a third time.
FRIDAY THE CAFETERIA served messy
tacos, and I just ate a piece of Wonder Bread.:
I dropped some crumbs. They didn't appear.
As you can probably understand, I was get-
ting pretty discouraged. Here for the first
time in my life two women (hopefully-
beautiful) are ogling at me every afternoon at-
lunch and I am forced to ogle back at every'
woman in the cafeteria just to make sure I ogle
at the right two.
I had almost given up hope of ever meeting
these two fans until yesterday, when I
received word through a sports staffer that a
large picture of myself was requested by my
two fans. He wouldn't tell me anything more;
except that the two were not Daily staff
members ( I had had a troubling suspicion*.
that someone was playing a great joke on-
me).
So today I'll get a picture of myself taken. I'
really want to meet you, my two fans. Llama.
Llama. Llama, llama. Llamallamallamalla-,
mallama.

01

I'

Howard Witt is the co-editor of The'

.IILd~ ~

.

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