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November 30, 1984 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-11-30
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CO0 V E R
. Chad good stewardship-such as soil conser-
Population in need: 800,00() vation-although Wagaw believes it
Popuatin i ner: Y 1''would be possible under a Marxist
million system.
E v il 6.rPoulatiP ige)a. Et op in neej: wFuel for cooking is also a problem.
(Continued from Page 3) anThe need for firewood has reduced
during this period of social upheaval. Ethiopia's forested land from 40% at the
In their book Ethopia: Empire in _ . _ "turn of the century to a rapidly dwin-
Revolution, they argue that rural land 6 x'Djibouti dling 2% now, according to Wagaw.
nationalization largely failed because it """o ""io iRapid deforestation alters watersheds,
happened too quickly ("change was not -7 diverts rivers, and further erodes
the result of carefully guided reform") 2Ethiopia's soils.
and because it ignited ethnic conflicts. - 3 The destruction of habitat sometimes
Peasants were charged with setting I -' causes wild animals to become
up cooperative farm associations, but <. senegal 10 agricultural pests. Wagaw recalled
the ambiguity surrounding their P" tn4.that bands of monkeys often ravaged
autonomy created massive confusion. 5 Mali _- Ethiopian cornfields and "multiplied
stdetslhoofeka4.ned. 8Kenya
University students, who often spoke a Ppuaton in ned:1)0 Population in ned: like rats.
different language, were sent to 12 Unknown West African countries that border
educate and implement these changes . Sao Tone Principe 1the Saharan desert in a region known as
but were largely unsuccessful. .",'f","12""Tananaa the Sehel face the additional ecological
The former landlords, dispossessed 10- v' 7 Poulaton in'need: 3000 problem of desertification. In this
and often of yet another ethnic origin, lo. Zamia f ti 11iv\ process, chronic overgrazing by cattle
formed roving bands of terrorists and Ppul'tion i nce 90),000 ,. Mozambique transforms valuable pasturelands into
created more chaos. Lack of price sup- "r"' """"pt a " rmiio" barren deserts.
ports, credit, and distribution systems ; Macklem noted that Western agen-
further frustrated agricultural im- "".uaionned,000 cies have often contributed to deser-
provements. tification through well-intentioned but
Amartya Sen, author of Poverty and ill-conceived development projects. He
Famine, argues that the Ethiopian cited deep tube wells built to provide
economy continues to be an appendage Source: Red Cross, October 1, 1984 water to West African herdsmen and
of international capital in spite of land their cattle as one example.
nationalization. Sen notes that cotton, Initially, the steady supply of water
sugar, and coffee, all sold as exports, down of their churches have made con- grown in the settlements, give the from the wells allowed the herdsmen of
are still planted on Ethiopia's most fer- ditions intolerable for them according Dergue (Ethiopia's government) cash the region to increase their herds, but
tile soils. to Teferi Fufa. to pay for its arms purchases-to carry higher grazing pressure quickly
And, according to Ethiopian studen- Clearly all this internal strife has on the hostilities, thus creating more degraded the fragile grasslands and
ts and relief workers, the peasants still siphoned money and energy away from refugees." forced herdsman to move their cattle to
do not reap the profits from the land. agricultural development and famine Swenson also said she believes the more distant pastures, perpetuating the
Amleset Tedla claims, "the money relief. Recent media reports, for exam- Ethiopian armies have repeatedly destruction. Macklem estimated that
goes to Mengistu" (Ethiopia's military ple, repeatedly note that Ethiopia owes diverted food aid from rebel-held areas. land in a 75 mile radius from these tube
ruler). Lois Swenson, a relief worker in the Soviet Union $2 billion for weaponry "Defectors from the military main- wells is now desert.
Sudan, said that Ethiopian refugees and devotes a huge portion of its GNP tained (that) food assistance was con-
who had worked on a coffee co- (variously cited at 11 and 50%) to the tinuously used by the 1 EEDING THE starving is the im-
operative told her they were threatened military. military....Freedom fighters told me mediate necessary step toward
with imprisonment if caught possessing Most of the Ethiopian students and they often saw famine relief food when ending famine in Africa, maintains
more than 2 lbs. of coffee. relief workers claimed to agree with they raided the Ethiopian army camps. Julie Prohaska, a representative of the
In the northern province of Tigrai, these contentions, but some went a step Others maintained that they had Ann Arbor chapter of the Red Cross.
subsistence crops-such as wheat, further and accused the Ethiopian worked in loading docks where the gift Cash donations to private relief agen-
beans, sorghum, and millet-are also military of using famine as a weapon to food was shipped to the Soviet Union." cies working in Africa are desperately
exported, according to Yared Berhg, a starve out the resistance. In addition to direct destruction and needed throughout the upcoming year
representative of the Relief Society of Amleset Tedla waved away diversion of food resources, the to ensure a steady supply of food to af-
Tigrai (R.S.T.) who left Ethiopia six suggestions that drought and military indirectly stifles food produc- fected areas. The good news for
years ago. Now after four years of inadequate agricultural methods were tion in rebellious regions through University students is that a little
drought, 90% of the livestock-in- leading causes of famine in Eritrea, her military conscription. With able-bodied money can feed a lot of people.
cluding oxen used for plowing-is dead native province. Tedla insisted that farmers removed from their homelan- Because milk, grain, and oil are simple
and the seed for next year's crop has Eritrea is rich in resources, has a well- ds, old people and children are left to non-processed foods, Prohaska em-
long been consumed. "The people," developed transportation system to work the fields. Amleset Tedla said phasized, "you can feed a child for a
Berhg states, "have nothing." distribute food, and could have an that anyone in Eritrea-male or week with the money you spend on a
adequate system of irrigation to female-between the ages of 18 and 40 hamburger and french fries."
mitigate the effects of drought, but could be forcefully enlisted by a late- Insisting that the U.S. government
W hile growing and distributing "People are working on war night knock on the door. Refusal to release aid to all suffering countries
more food has not been high on instead. . . Mengista always puts war comply brings imprisonment or death. regardless of their political stance is a
the Ethiopian government's list of first. War is hunger....People need the In 1979, fears of military conscription second way individuals can help get
priorities, increasing military strength peace." forced Tedla herself to leave her family food to the famished; according to
and suppressing ethnic liberation Comparing people's suffering under in Asmara and flee to Sudan-a 10 day Thiemann. The director of Publc Af-
movements has been, Tedla and Swen- Mengistu and as subjects in Selassie's trip by foot and camel. From there she fairs for Lutheran World Relief,
son said. empire, Tedla said, "Both them the made her way to the United States. Had Thiemann said he was not convinced the
When the dethroned Emperor same. They have the same game." she stayed in Ethiopia, she said she is Reagan administration has been living
Selassie was driven out of town in a This game, Tedla explained, is an at- sure she would have been imprisoned, up to its professed policy-"Hunger
Volkswagon on September 12, 1974, he tempt to destroy Eritrean resistance by "The innocent people in prison, they knows no politics"-in its reaction to
left behind him a hungry nation torn by depriving them of food. She said, have a lot...without reason...they don't the African crisis. He noted that half of
civil war. Initially it was thought that "Mengistu says, 'I need the Eritrean know how many." the long term economic aid allocated to
his Marxist successor might grant in- land, but not the people.' Africa has gone to only four nationsall
dependence to successionist provinces According to Tedla, the government's NDEPENDENT of drought, with pro-Western leanings.
which had been forcefully annexed into armies bomb fields and villages and economics, and war, "use without Because there is no African con-
the empire. Instead, Col. Mengistu burn storage bins of grain. She recalls concern for conservation," said stituency, Congress has also been slow
redoubled efforts to put down these in- that the people of her village could walk Wagaw, can explain why the land in his to respond, Theimann added. In his ad-
surgencies and consolidate his power. and plant their crops only at night for native Ethiopia cannot feed its people. dress to members of Concordia College,
Mengistu faces opposition from many fear of aerial bombing. Dr. Wagaw said he believes that he called on the American people to
fronts. In the north, Eritrean and Fufa and Tedla's accounts echo those Ethiopian peasants have never ex- become "sophisticated Samaritans"
Tigrean liberation armies continue to told to Lois Swenson during her resear- perienced "a feeling that it is their who act politically for those who have
battle government forces. Another ch mission to Sudan last spring. Swen- land." Always at the brink of no political voice. "Let your hands do
movement among the Oromo people son said she learned from Oromo desperation, they strive to maximize the talking," he said.
has gained momentum in the south. refugees coming out of central-western short-term profits and cannot afford to Purchasing food for politically-
Under the current regime, governm- Ethiopia that "the region continues to practice techniques of land preser- corrupt Ethiopia may be easier than
ent resettlement plans that forcefully be terrorized by the military, arrests of vation that might ensure long-term ensuring that it gets distributed to the
displace many Oromos, the outlawing church people and imprisonment and yields. Neither system of government people who need it, many relief workers
of their language, and the shutting torture continue....Cash crops, now has provided advice or incentives for See EVIL, Page 11
4 Weekend/Friday; November 30, 1984'

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11 II AI IIII AIIIIII

Frail1
Brittania
Waking Up With the House on Fire
Culture Club
Epic
Hysteria!
Human League
A&M
How Men Are
Heaven 17
Arista
Wish Thing
Torch Song
I.R.S.
By Dennis Harvey
T HE PREDICTABLE backlash
against the Second British
Invasion is at full throttle, with
everyone eager to extol rugged
American virtues of R.E.M. and their
like at the easy expense of downy
punchbags like Duran Duran.
To be sure, much of the music that's
crossed the Atlantic with significant
commercial success has been a lot
higher in teen-media appeal and
MTV grooming than the stuff that
makes a good record. While some
newer bands like Big Country have
managed to gain nothing but
critical/sales approval (with the help,
it ought to be noted, of a very FM-
rock-influenced sound), the synth-
dance outfits are currently viewed as
dinosaurs ripe for extinction.
There are a few new hopes, like
Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Bron-
ski Beat, but it's questionable how
long some of the currently
established, high-visibility act -
Eurythmics, Spandau Ballet, Wham!,
Duran Duran, the Thompson Twins,
etc. - can hold out with their limited
talents in an overpopulated market.
Along with Heaven 17 (see below),
only Depech Mode and The The have
really demonstrated an ability to
create entire albums of excellent
material - it probably helps that
those bands have kept a com-
paratively low but steady profile amid
all the media darlings and one-shot
chart kings. Here's a view of a few of
the recent imports from the land
where (it sometimes seems) hair-
styles, not Queen Elizabeth, rule.
B OY GEORGE is a flawless singer
in an unfortunate category -
vacuously facile white-boy soul -
and his silvery smoothness
tends to undercut any hints of real
funk or emotion in Culture Club's glib
imitation of various musical forms.
The watered charm of previous C.C.
hits like "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" is laid
bare on a sugar-coated carcass of

Culture Club: Boy George gets old
Waking Up With the House On Fire,
the British group's third U.S. LP.
Gutless in the extreme, Boy George
always seems more concerned with
smoothing to a fine surfin'-heaven
curl his one-dimensionally sweet
vocals than lending any credence to
the barely acceptable songs, all of
which arereduced to personality
vehicles. There's no sense of a band
here - House on Fire is as much a
gilded setting for a teen idol as any
past LP idiocy by a TV fave.
The horrible slickness of the
production (LOTS of female backups,
shimmering bells, et al) only em-
phasizes how frail yet dictatorial Boy
George's media appeal has become.
The other three members of Culture
Club stand out from the mix about as
much as a scoop of plain vanilla ice-
cream would in a sea of french-
vanilla. And B.G.'s vocals have
become a compilation of the dullest of
Stevie Wonder - impressively
streamlined, but about as emotional
as Dionne Warwick on an intensive
diet of quaaludes.
A few songs strike out with some
determination toward raggae ("The
Medal Song") or vague funk (most of
'em), but the heartlessness of the ef-
fort is an instant turn-off. The songs
might have been unexceptionally
OK genre efforts if there had been a
genuine personality punching them
across, but Boy George is a living,
singing, thank-god-not-dancing doll of
neutrality, with the approximate ex-
citement level of the New Christey
Minstrels. "I love my mannequin,"
he sings at one point. How convenient
to allow the performer the last
derogatory word.
Wash all that makeup off and you
get a rather sad void in search of
something to identify itself by.
Culture Club had its marketing
moment, but the thrill of yet another
calculated androgene seems to have
worn off, thank god.
The Human League's long-
overdue Hysteria! failed to
create a whole lot of excitement this'

past summer. The problem was
probably that the excellent initial
"Lebanon" single was too dark-
sounding for both the commercial air-
waves and for the new potential
teenybopper-League fans. The LP's
"I'm Coming Back," another of the
band's cheerful Motown facelifts and a
good one, would certainly have been a
better choice.
The League has certainly struggled
with the rigors of success and failure
lately, taking nearly three years to
release this first LP of original
material after their breakthrough
Dare. Dare looked, at a first glance
'way back in '81, like the ultimate insult
to punk/wave: a record of shamelessly
danceable, inanely simple electronic
hit-type tunes with swoony croonboy
and nymphet-girl vocals. Ugh. Now it
looks more like what it really is-a
completely unpretentious set of nice,
dumb post-disco songs by a band that
didn't know any better at the time than
to gamble on what seemed a sure com-
mercial loser.
The chart takeoff of "Don't You Want
Me" revived the League (whose prior
members had by then split off into the
more ambitious B.E.F./Heaven 17 cor-
poration). in Britain, and eventually
revolutionized American radio play. No
'new wave' group had ever climbed
remotely so high on the charts, or
paved the path for so many legitimate
and/or imitational follow-ups. The
League, in one oblivious sweep,
basically changed the orientation of
American Top 40 radio with one silly lit-
tle song.
No wonder Phil Oakley's revamped,
unpracticed group retreated from a
disasterous first American tour to one
evasion after another-the superb
remix EP Love and Dancing (which
upgraded my opinion of the band from
subzero to some appreciation), a series
of singles and scanty excuses for EPs
(most bolstered by that delightful
brainless anthem, "Fascination").
Now, finally, a real record, a long-
play. One can practically feel Oakley
and the rest of the League cringing un-
der the anticipated weight of critical

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