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October 31, 1986 - Image 20

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-31
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Show how you feel with ...
Michigan Daily Personals
Symosium on
Soviet Jewry
Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry presents a Symposium
on Soviet Jewry focusing on the effect the summit will
have on Soviet Jewry and the current situation for Soviet
Jews. The Panel will include such keynote speakers as
Sister Rose Thering, reknowned human rights activist,
and Glen Richter, the National Head of S.S.S.J. For more
information, call Phyllis at 665-6693.
Sunday, November 2 ,07:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Rackham Ampitheatre
. 1429 Hill Street " 663-3336
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Continued from Page 10

"Hunan Gai
of fine pre
. MMMf

rden reaps the rewards
from Detroit Free Press, March 21, 1986

Sean Connery plays a Franciscan monk in the film, based on the novel by Umberto Eco.

exhilerating. What I especially liked
was that that process seemed to
minimize note-taking in the
classroom, seemed to minimize the
importance of' examinations and
grades. And what was learned
seemed to have a greater personal
significance. I recall that in those
years, I attached to several courses
that I 'taught optional film
programs and I invited people to
come out on Wednesday evenings,
with the result that I often had more
people attending the films than
were enrolled in the course.
Well, I realized that values in
country had shifted when several
years later, students began to ask if
the materials in the films would
appear on the examinations. Ad
when I said, 'No, of course not,'
they would say, 'Well, I'm sorry,
I'm too busy for an optional
evening film program.'
The movement of social concern is
surely cyclical. Arthur Schlesinger,
Jr. has recently said that it arrives
in thirty-year cycles, that we can
recall Theodore Roosevelt and his
reform movement of the early
1900s, Franklin Roosevelt in the
early 1930s, and John Kennedy in
the early 1960s, and I suppose
Arthur Schlesinger would have us
look for a return of social concern,
then, in the early 1990s.
But I've never thought that change
that I've experienced here was due
to the simple replacement of the
Vietnam generation by the 'Me'
genertation, by a more selfish
group of people. So I've been wary
of those who say how much better
it was in the late 60s and early
1970s. There was a considerable
anger and some discourtesy and
some insensitivity and among a few
of them, there was an impetus to
violence, these things together with
that social commitment and that
sense of engagement and that
excitement that I enjoyed so much.
It's often forgotten that the
economic framework of life was
quite different then. It seemed more
spacious. It seemed to offer
oppurtunities for middle-class
young people to commit
themselves to social causes, at least
in part because they knew they
could take up professional careers
when they chose to do so. That
range of oppurtunity narrowed, I
think, quite dramatically in the
1970s with its economic recession,
and it was soon clear among
students that no good jobs awaited
them when they left Ann Arbor.
The view, then, became much more
inward and rather narrow. People
asked 'What must I do here?' and
the answer was 'Qualify for a career
that will above all, offer me
Teaching in that kind of
atmosphere, at least for me, was
less pleasurable. Teaching became
more a matter of career preparation
and career advancement, at least if -

you offered what was asked of you
as a teacher. I worried about that,
and I still worry about that.
Economic security' and personal
satisfaction are hardly synonomous.
And I'm afraid for those graduates
who will have the salaries and the
houses and the automobiles, but
may only, at the age of 30 or 35,
grasp that the distinction between
the two is a necessary one for
Economic and career tensions have
eased a bit in recent years, 1?ut I
continue to believe that there are,
perhaps, too many students who
continue to ask themselves 'What
am I going to do?' and too rarely
ask the questions, I think, central to
the undergraduate experience, such
questions as 'Who am I?' and 'What
is the nature of the society in which
I find myself?'
Does that make any sense?
D: Perfect sense. (Linderman
laughs heartily.) Were students
working harder in the '60s? Were
they more intensely involved with
the material of the course?
L: No, I think students today are,
in some strict academic sense,
working harder than students did in
the 1960s. But there was in those
years, a much better sense of the
whole. They worked less
rigorously, but they worked more
energetically, to integrate a variety
of subjects into a full sense of
themselves and of their society. I
think that's the distinction. The
tendency these days is for an
application of the books,
sometimes I worry, not so so much
as an end in itself, but as a means
to graduate school entry or to
professional career admission.
D: Are we more like the students
of the 1950s?
L: Well, I was one of those
students of the 1950s, and the
atmospere then was perhaps a bit
different than either of those about
which we've been speaking. It was
a naive and (laughs) wonderfully
comforting sense of certainty-
how shall I say?- it was a
confidence in the perfection, or at
least the perfectability, of social
institutions, a confidence in
government, a dedication to a future
within the corporate world. We
didn't mch worry (laughs again) in
the 1950s.
D: Students' attitudes about war
have definitely changed from 1969.
L: Yes, they have changed, and
significantly. We are today in a
period of revisionism of the sort
that I think appears after most
American wars. It's true that no
revisionism, either historical or
popular, much dented common
views of the Second World War as
'the good war', but I think that's an
Clearly, dominant thought
regarding the war in Vietnam is
today changing. The president's role
has been very important. His
insistence that Vietnam was a war
of honor, that it should. be
remembered with pride, has been
quite influential. Military analysts
now suggest that the war was won

militarily and lost, if at all, only
politically. General Westmoreland
continues to speak widely on that
I've been thinking about this matter
because I was in Washington for
two days last week, and I visited the
Vietnam memorial for the first
time. I approached it by a long
path, and I first encountered the
memorial as a sliver of marble at
ankle-height, with one or two
names chiseled in it. And at the
outset, the names seemed to be
quite insignificant, but as I walked
on, the marble rose and the names
of the dead multiplied. And by the
time I reached the center of the
memorial, the names stretched
above me, and their number and
their force became overwhelming. I
had no notion that that statuary
would create that kind of effect. One
really feels, in that place, the
weight of the dead.
I thought of our revision of the
meaning of Vietnam because there
were veterans at the memorial.
They were not there to tell others of
the anguish of the combat

experience. They were not there to
express reservations about
participation in the war. They were
there exclusively to mobilize
people in support of the MIAs and
the POWs and that required new
denunciations of the evil of the
enemy, the cruelty of the
Vietnamese. I regret that.
The problem of Vietnam was not
the nature of the adversary, nor of
international Communism. We
ought to look first, it seems to me,
to our own values and to our own
perceptions of other peoples and to
the possibility of a dynamic within
our own society that would propell
us into such conflicts.
D: You've talked of society's
changing ideas of the Vietnam war.
Do you see that change reflected in
students? Are they succumbing to
the "Rambo" ideal?
L: Well, in the last ten years the
whole society has moved
dramarically to the right, so there's
no reason that students would not
reflect that shift in attitudes. I
think, however, that students
remain very thoughtful in matters


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By Benita Jo Green
a new release by Twentieth Century
Fox, is a gory and somewhat dull
film based on the bestselling novel
by Umberto Eco.
The story, a medieval murder
mystery, is set within a 14th
Century Benedictine Monastery.
Sean Connery stars as a visiting
Franciscan monk who, with the aid
of his monkling apprentice, Adso
of Melk (Christian Slater) uncovers
the reason behind the strange deaths
of three Benedictines. A real toss-
up-your-Raisinets kind of film.
Despite the nauseatingly frilled
dialogue of the movie, Connery
somehow manages to maintain his
dignity as Brother William of
Baskerville, a monk devoted to
knowledge and truth who is
supposed to be cutely reminiscent
of Sherlock Holmes. But he still
comes across as 007 in a mohair
cowl. F. Murray Abraham (Salieri
in "Amadeus") plays Connery's old
adversary, the evil Bernardo Gui, a

main man of the Inquisition who
loves to see heretics sweat and
burn. He, too, is able to uphold his
position as a fine actor, when the
audience can see him. There's one
realistic feature in this medieval
drama-darkness. The scenes are so
dimly lit most of the time that it is
difficult to determine where all the
actors are.
Director Jean-Jacques Arnaud
("Quest for Fire") prides himself in
his exacting reproduction of 14th
Century Italy-a pride not poorly
founded, for every aspect of this
generally rotten period in time is
presented with a shocking
vividness. One can feel the dank
chill of stone walls, the itchy dust
of old, handwritten books, and
understand medieval man's hopeless
groping for salvation, his great fear
of being accused of heresy.
Throughout the mystery runs the
theme of faith versus heresv.
Laughteris considered the latter, a
threat to religion. As one fanatical
brother, Jorge de Burgos (played by
Feodor Chaliapin, Jr.), states:
"Laughter kills fear. And without

fear there can be no faith."
Although this philosophy is
repeated several times in different
ways, the laughs in this film are
limited to a few appreciative
Aside from Connery and
Abraham, the cast yields little
exciting talent. Christian Slater,
("The Legend of Billie Jean") as
good as his name may sound, is
mediocre as Adso of Melk. The
other actors are fun to look at,
seeing as they were picked mainly
for their sickly appearance, so
particular of the age. However,
there is one refreshing performance
by William Hickey (the Don in
"Prizzi's Honor") as Ubertino de
Casale, an old mystic who whines
about the evil that lurks in the
creepy cloister.
People who have read the book
have found much lacking in the
movie. I didn't read the book, and
still feel there's a lot missing here.
Worth seeing? Probably not, unless
you're in the mood for watching a
shadowy screen filled with medieval
blood and guts. 9

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