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October 17, 1985 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-17

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OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, October 17, 1985

Coping with the

ripe old a

Chuck Swellguy turned 20 last week.
Naturally I felt bad, since Chuck is an old
friend of mine, but what could I do?
The whole thing was tragic. Never again
would Chuck be a nutty, kooky teenager. No
more wild teenage pranks. No more
irresponsibility. No more fun.
Eric
Mattson
I sympathized with Chuck, because I too
am planning to turn 20 sometime soon.
That's 140 in dog years. If I were a golden
retriever, I'd probably be dead.
But back to Chuck. He had always been a
fun-loving, wacky kid - the sort of fellow
who makes fun of the teacher by making
grunting noises. Now he faces an extraor-
dinary change.
Not many people know this, but it's been
clinically proven that the human brain
begins to decay after about 20 years, which
can lead to marriage, children, impotence,
and death - not necessarily in that order.
Working under laboratory conditions,
researchers have found that a critical hor-
mone called "lotzo-arrogance" stops being

secreted by the pituitary gland. When this
happens, people gradually become
"adults."
This process occasionally begins before
age 20, and it produces what we call "Young
It's been clinically proven
that the human brain
begins to decay after about
20 years, which can lead to
marriage, children, im-
potency, and death - not
necessarily in that order.
Republicans." (Sure that's a cheap shot,
but I'm allowed - I'm still a teenager.)
Usually, however,the loss of lotzo-arrogan-
ce occurs over a long period of time. Thus,
parents seem to become crazier as they get
older, although they claim they are just
getting wiser.
We can only see our parents getting
crazier up to a point, and then their sanity
seems to level off. What really happens is
that we get crazier along with them, so it

looks like they're just standing still.
Naturally, older people keep this whole
program a secret, because it could lead to
out-of-control mass hysteria. They want to
make sure that they maintain their power.
Part of their power consists of making the
rules for us to follow, and one of those rules
enforces an ancient pagan ritual called
"birthdays."
They mask the ceremony by throwing
parties and giving presents, but the real
idea is to make you feel bad about losing
your lotzo-arrogance. To make things wor-
se, they hype up certain birthdays - 10, 16,
18, 20, and 21 - to really rub it in. If you
don't think so, just ask Chuck.When I put
some effective mind altering drugs in his
Maalox, I found out what "adults" do to im-
press this on us.
Chuck recalled what had happened to him
over the last decade, starting with when he
was six.
"I was a precocious child. In kindergar-
ten, when all the other kids were just lear-
ning how to paste, I was already into
staplers. Because of this, I was promoted to
head crossing guard, which naturally tur-
ned me into an object of awe and fear.
"Then I turned 10," he said, his hands
shaking a little. "I don't know what hap-
pened. I was blowing out candles on my bir-
thday cake, then everything went fuzzy.
When I woke up, I was in high school and my

voice had changed."
"I was a rambunctious a
said, his hands gently slappin
got into trouble by going outt
lunch and bringing back b
friends. 'If you're going to
We only see our
getting crazier to
and then their
seems to level v
really happens is
get crazier alo
them, so it lo
they're just stand
school, you have to hav
everyone,' they told me."
"Suddenly, without any wa
college. I was 18, and I wa
with lotzo-arrogance," he sa
cheeks with his palms. "I
about, minding my own bus
being collegiate - I boug

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVI, No. 31

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Human rights gesture

f l
,l
-
p
,
"

The Michigan Daily
ge of 20
Playboy because they had a story I wanted
idolescent," he to read. I accidentally dropped the
to Taco Bell for magazine, and it opened to the Playmate
uritosTa for y data sheet. There were all kinds of numbers,
urritos for my but the only one that I really understood was
eat burritos in the birthdate.
"I was older than she was."
Now Chuck was getting goofy, banging his
head on the padded walls and wailing
r parents piteously. I comforted him by telling him
) a point, that Playmates don't really exist; they're
projected onto a screen by computer
r sanity technology. (You can see this for yourself
off. What because first, none of the playmates have
body hair, and second, nobody in the world
Sthat we would list "mornings, sipping wine on the
)ng with beach, and moonlight" as their own turn-
oks like ons).
Chuck was inconsolable. "I'm too young to,
ing still. be 20!" he screeched. He snapped out of it
when I told him what time it was. "My God,
I'll be late for class!" he said, then, com-
posing himself, he started off toward Angell
Hall.
e enough for I walked with him part of the way. We
stopped in at Taco Bell, where Chick bought
a dozen burritos. He gave me one.
lrning, I went to "Everything changes, but nothing else
s still dripping does," he said. I laughed, not knowing what
id, swatting his he was talking about.
was just going
siness, when - Mattson is a Daily reporter. Hs
ght a copy of column appears on alternate Thursdays.
r 'I
4= - -
L-
Y-
~s

- bl Y
, dark on lighting
is interesting to observe that quickly to the lighting problems i
Administration has no dif- these national figures were to ap
lties focusing efforts and get- pear on the campus at night.
work done for media events -Rebecca Felton
h as Vice-President Bush's Steve Heym .
t, or repairing the Graduate Debbie Kohnstam
rary steps for Bryant Gum- October 10
s appearance. We wonder Felton, Heyman, and Kohn
ether the University Ad- stamm are LSA represen
istration would respond more tatives to the Michigan
Student Assembly.
y should be typed, triple-spaced, and
al authors. Names will be withheld only
ces. Letters may be edited for clarity,
.
by Berke Breath

E SSENTIALLY that's all it is
- a gesture. The news that
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is
considering the release of dissident
physicist Andrei Sakharov is at
best bitter-sweet. Sakharov's
release, if it occurs, would be
merely another propaganda ploy to
finance Western public opinion.
French officials with whom Gor-
bachev visited last week stressed
that the possibility of Sakharov's
release did not indicate any
significant change in the internal
Soviet policies regarding human
rights.
The fact is that this seemingly
promising move is only a sym-
bolic concession to the pressures of
the West. Such propaganda will,
however, be celebrated with han-
dshakes and headlines that will
signal a new progressive policy,
when in fact the plight of dissidents
and refusniks will remain
unaltered. In anticipation of the
Geneva summit in November,
Gorbachev is clearly attempting to
present himself and Soviet policy in
a more flattering light.
The U.S. government and people
should not be satisfied with such
transparent political maneuvering.
Unfortunately, however, many
Americans are unaware of the ex-
tent to which Soviet Jews and in-

tellectuals are still repressed in
their country. Emigration has
almost come to a complete stan-
dstill. The number of visas granted
to Jews in the U.S.S.R. dropped
from 51,000 in 1979, to 9,431 in 1981
- finally reaching an all-time low
of 1,315 in 1983. In addition to
which, intellectual dissidents ands
continually monitored and
harassed despite the publicity
surrounding Sakharov and others.
Speculation on the deteriorating
state of Soviet human rights invites
an examination of American effor-
ts to affect Soviet domestic
policies. Two major attempts, the
Helsinki Agreement of 1975 and the
1974 trade-relations Act that man-
dated high emigration quotas,
never instigated any major chan-
ges in Soviet attitude. The situation
has only worsened.
Apparently, previous intentions of
U.S. foreign policy to mandate ac-
tion have been minimal as well as
unsuccessful. President Reagan is
pledging a renewed effort to putthe
issue of human rights back on the
agenda in the upcoming peace
talks. The issue of human rights
should maintain a permanent
position at the top of the agenda in
every discussion with the Soviet
Union. Mr. Gorbachev must be in-
formed that a "gesture" is not
enough.

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i

LETTERS
A dministration

in th

To the Daily:
The recent prolonged absence
of central campus lighting is ut-
terly unacceptable. Since Thur-
sday, October 3, the safety of all
University of Michigan students
has been jeopardized by the
negligence of University officials
in this matter.
Although repair of campus
lighting is technically under the
jurisdiction of Detroit Edison, the
University has an inherent
responsibility to ensure the
safety of the campus for its
students. The fact that entire
blocks of lights are out for even
one night is totally inexcusable.
The fact that many of these lights
are still out across campus is
outrageous!
Such blatant disregard for the
well-being of students significan-
tly diminishes the Ad-
ministration's claim that it has
committed itself to a comprehen-
sive safety program. We recom-
mend that the University modify

squawk about (t
faster they will ge
"Diag relit, but S.
in the dark," O
mediate repair
lighting should nt
upon student com
it is incumbent u
sity Administral
"squawking".

he outages), the
et fixed" (Daily,
. University still
ctober 9). Im-
s of campus
ot be dependent
plaints. Rather,
pon the Univer-
tion to do the

It
the
ficu
ting
suc
visi
Lib
bel'
whe
min

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.4 V v w 4

-1

Letters to the Dail
signed by the individu
in unusual circumstan
grammar, and spelling

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,
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1
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