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January 30, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-30

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4

OPINION

Page 4 Sunday, January 30, 1983 The Michigan Daily
NR students: Revolutionary tactics
T HE ACTS of desperate men are sometimesothe Regents in November 1981. Although some
crazed. Certainly those School of Natural But you should have seen them last week. Regents have expressed dissatisfaction with
Resources students feeling the cold steel of the Pacing and fretting. That's when they thought the proposal, Regent Deane Baker admitted
University's budget axe appear to be growing the University might lose as much as $13 that a little University triage has already been
irrational. million in the state's reshuffling. During all of batted around. Baker said the University had
that fiscal terror, President Harold Shapiro, promised to consider enrollment reductions
For them, the battle against the huge and caught during a moment of particular suggested by the state in exchange for state
erfladmiistration, likethat of hebooy weakness, admitted that the concern made him support of another critical patient - the
rdpill re nry srugle ag quite excited." Replacement Hospital project.
repression in Central America, looms huge _____________________
before their meek, yet determined, proletarian
eyes. Since then, however, Gov. James Blanchard Gimme shelter
backed away from earlier forecasts of doom
Like the freedom fighters in Nicaragua and and proposed a 1.5 percent hike in the state's
the terrorist peasants of Cuba, the students in income tax. The money from that hike, he told OU CAN'T always get what you want,
natural resources have decided to defer their relieved administrators, would cushion cut- especially when renting in Ann Arbor. But
tuition checks in a move which defies the very backs in higher education. He'll still have to this year it seems students may be able to get
spiritual foundation of our university. They will trim $25 million from the state's colleges and what they need.
universities, but only $5 million will have tow t n
Scome from the University. The housing market was shattered by a more
Blanchard's plan still has to be approved. So than 13 percent vacancy rate and landlords are
University administrators are likely to be a lit- under the thumbs of student renters. Univer-
te edgy until the final okay comes through. But sity Director of Off-Campus Housing Jo Rui
at least the frenzy has subsided for a while in sey says students have time on their side whe
edm t frny picking out next year's living quarters. And
the administration building. landlords won't be too proud to beg students to
sign their leases. They may have to come up
Dear doctor with incentives to convince students to spend
the nights together at their rental units.
earmark their revolutionary checks for only Shapiro: Anxiety attack Frye: A 'cutting' cure
the school's general fund, not that of the tyran- F'I HE MEDICAL history of the patient has Though landlords are more hesitant this year
nical University. been bleak for the past four years. An en- to announce their rates, eight management
TemyW orried about croaching malaise - whose symptoms in- Although the cure may be painful to students companies said they haven't raised their prices
They may say in the words of that great cluded dwindling federal and state support - with hopes of attending medical school, it's from last year. So, despite most students'
revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, "defer and resulted in a 15 percent budgetectomy. become a fait accompli for medical schools meager budgets, the housing market has
become mighty, write-off tuition checks to the throughout the state. Wayne State University become a beggar's banquet.
school's general fund and topple the ancient T HE UNIVERSITY'S top administrators, And now, the prognosis for the University has set 18 percent for its enrollment reduction
and murderous regime of the University exciteable people that they are, are calm medical school looks grim. The deterioration in goal, while Michigan State University has
bureaucrats." again now. Michigan's new governor has academic quality cannot be checked, school of- decided to curtail enrollment and call off an
assured them that he does not want to hack: ficials claim, without some drastic measures. expansion project. All this trimming down has The Week in Review was compiled by
Like many revolutionary movements,away wildly at their school. He told them that been done at the prodding of state officials, who Daily News Editor Andrew Chapman,
;however, the struggle of the natural resources aa idya hi col etl hmta
students ses estied o te crusd beah he wants to cut the University's state ap- The only way to save the patient? A little predict a doctor surplus in the state by 1999. Student Affairs Editor Ann Marie Fazio;
the huge legal apparatus which is at the beck propritin s only about $5 million. That's surgery - in the form of a 25 percent Vice President for Academic Affairs Billy Opinion Page Editor Julie Hinds, and
gnd c istttinlze ei !good news to administrators and it's made enrollment cutV. F rei ntfoges ademioss irs lpision-Cage
nandcal ofinsituionlizd Aeria !1 !! ,Frye first suggested the possible reductions to Editor-in-Chief David Meyer.
01 thm apygan

I

4

4

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

Vol. XCIII, No. 99

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

PEOPLE WORY NEEDLESSLY
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14

t

Toward better trains

4

ABOUT 100 people gathered at Ann
Arbor's new train depot yester-
day, celebrating the latest addition to
Amtrak's empire. At about the same
tine in Washington D.C., hundreds of
bureaucrats and consultants were con-
templating the 1984 budget - and its
newest round of cuts for the nation's
passenger rail service.
The'disparity is not new; in fact, if
anything, it's typical. Since its creation
iq 1971, Amtrak has been treated by the
government as a kind of parasite - a
legacy which must be subsidized to ap-
pease eccentric train buffs. The ser-
vice seldom has been recognized for
what it is: a viable, economically
sound transportation system.
Instead, Amtrak has languished at
the hands of the budget-cutters. Even
in the best years - before the Reagan
administration - Amtrak has received
inadequate subsidies, and under the
Reagan regime, things have been even
worse. At the beginning of the Reagan
administration, Amtrak supporters,
narrowly defeated an unconscionable,
administration-backed proposal which
Would have wiped out more than 90
percent of all long-distance passenger
rail service in the United States.
Members of the Reagan ad-
ministration, in urging cuts to Amtrak,
insist that the free market has
declared trains obsolete. They argue
that American consumers have swit-
ihed to other forms of transportation
because they are faster or more
economical, and that trains are just
another victim of innovation and
technological development.
But the administration's analysis is
seriously flawed on a number of major
points. First, a free market has not
existed in the nation's transportation
sector for decades. American tax-
payers provide billions and billions in

subsidies to the modes of transpor-
tation which compete with the trains.
Various governments pay for nearly
all of the roads in the United States;
railroads, including Amtrak, are
responsible for maintaining their own
roadbeds with relatively little tax sup-
port. In addition, many expensive
facilities for air travel - such as radar
installations, airports, air traffic con-
trollers, and air safety programs -
are paid for through taxes; railroads
have to depend on revenues to cover
the costs of their facilities.
Second, in the context of today's
energy shortage, rail travel makes
more sense than ever. Per passenger
mile, rail travel is more efficient than
planes, buses, or private automobiles.
It just doesn't make sense, then, to
continue to cut the already modest
subsidy to a program which has enor-
mous potential to give Americans a
fast and efficient alternative mode of
transportation.
No one suggests, of course, that the
nation should try to return to the 1930s,
when railroads crisscrossed every
county in the nation. No one suggests a
return to the days when, in Iowa, no
location in the state was more than 12
miles from a railroad grade. No one
suggests a return to the days when the
lonesome whistle heralded the
inexorable march of a thundering
locomotive across the rolling prairie.'
What we do suggest, however, is a
wise and prudent policy of building the
nation's rail infrastructure. In its own
way, the dedication yesterday of the,
new Ann Arbor depot was a step in that
direction. The new station, while
devoid of the charm and character of
the old depot building, is large, clean,
and efficient - well-suited to the
growing needs of the area for rail tran-
sportation.

It may be classified as a
"bodice ripper" or "sweet,"
depending on how much sex is
tucked between its covers, but
the American romance novel no
longer is considered lowbrow
pulp. Suddenly a mainstay of the
U.S. publishing industry, roman-
ces also may be a good
barometer of what Americans
think-and fantasize-about their
personal lives.
U.S. publishers shunned the
romance genre as cheap trash
until about three years ago, when
they noticed that a small
Canadian publishing house
named Harlequin had built an
empire on romances that exten-
ded to 18 countries.
EAGER TO share the market,
American publishers jumped in.
By 1981, romance accounted for
45 percent of all U.S. paperback
sales, and Publisher's Weekly
estimated that some 20 million
American women read romance
novels. The "average reader,"
according to the magazine, buys
20 to 30 of the books per month.
The basic ingredients of all
romances are the same: Girl
meets boy, they fall in love,
develop conflicts, overcome the
conflicts and end up happily
together. Beyond this, the
possible number of variations is
infinite-as long as there is that
most essential of elements: the
happy ending.
Until recently, American
romances followed the original
Harlequin formula, which told
the story of an 18-year-old
English virgin who falls in love
with a tall, dark and rich con-
tinental Adonis while on vacation
in an exotic location such as
Venice, the Caribbean or Moroc-
co. There is no premarital sex,
and even the marital variety is
confined to the reader's

The American
romance

novel:

Sweet,

savage pro fit
By George Paul Csicsery

revolution," would respond to the
glamour of romance combined
with a healthy dose of sensuality.
When Dell launched its Ecstasy
line in 1980, the books included
passionate love scenes, heroines
over 25, minorities, and male
heroes who were less than perfect
millionaires-one was a Vietnam
vet who had lost an arm.
Ecstasy books shot up to rank
among the four best-selling
romance lines, and other
publishers quickly joined the
trend to inject more "realism"
into their romances. Soon older,
more sexually experinced women
with serious professions began to
appear, much to the satisfaction
of many readers. The latest line
to push at the boundary between
fantasy and reality is Ballan-
tine's Love & Life series. In-
troduced this July, Love & Life
says it will feature "heroines
aged 28 to 45 and written without
formula plots. Love & Life will

10 years ago. They couldn't
relate to the contrived plots."
With more specialized lines ap-
pearing to meet every type of
romance readers' needs, the in-
dustry has mushroomed. There
now are more than 150 new
romance titles published every
month, and several more new
lines will appear before the end of
this year.
All of this has created a bonan-
za for professional writers, and
an opportunity to break in for the
neophyte. With publishers
willing to pay advances of bet-
ween $1,500 and $7,500 for a first
novel, thousands of aspiring
novelists have emerged from the
woodword. They are driven by
dreams of becoming another
Janet Dailey-the secretarial
school graduate who has
published 72 books since 1976 and
now ranks among the top four
best-selling authors of all time.
As one New York editor

Rita Clay Estrada, who has read
7,822 romances, written and sold
eight, and was the first president
of the RWA, says "the macho
man is practically dead and
buried. He was created by male 4
writers anyway."
For now at least, publishers
and writers agree that women
want a more sensitive male hero
who can respect a woman's
professional life. In a current
example, a man leaves his job
and home city to be near his love;
the lovers agree the woman's
career is more important than
his. In romance, that is
something that could not have 4
happened five years ago. Yet it is
a reflection of real life situations
faced by men and women today.
While the publishing industry and
most writers are excited about
more realism in romance, and
see it as an opportunity to im-
prove the romance genre's
lowbrow image, there are signs
that not all readers are happy
about the influx of sex, realistic
men and the other trappings of
the day-to-day world they know
all too well. For these disgrun-
tled readers, too much reality
means no escape and may
disrupt the soothing effect of the
romantic fantasy. As author Dot-
ti Corcoran explains: "You'ved
got the baby down for a nap.
You've got dirty diapers. The
house hasn't been cleaned. You
need that half hour to completely
obliterate the chaos around you."
BARBARA =KEENAN,
publisher of Affaire de Coeur,
one of several newsletters
reviewing romances, doesn't like
the sex incidents, particularly
when they involve rape or
promiscuity. "I don't sleep
around," she says, "and I don't
want my heroines sleeping
around. I don't like them

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