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November 07, 1986 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-11-07
This is a tabloid page

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Make Momma proud she raised a man
Kiss your momma goodby. We're all dressed in fatigues,
No, this isn't some far-off mud smeared on our faces for
foreign jungle. It's your own state. M\KE camouflage. The sun is just a
But these are your buddies. The memory. Fog takes over where the
guns are real. And so is the FISCH sun left off. We're slogging
adventure. through a river. Muscles pumped.
You're part of the 450,000-man Have to be when you're carrying a
backbone of American resolve. The sub-machine gun the size of a
Army National Guard. Fringe Benefits-The guns are microwave oven. Water's ice cold.
You work part time. The pay is real. The pay is good. It will make Can't think about that. We've got
goodmy momma proud. America to protect, but she's worth
True, duty in the Guard won't be Job fulfillment: The adventure is it. And anyway, it's fun. A couple
the easiest way to spend a Saturday real. Chance to be backbone of of days ago a Commie put a
afternoon.. American resolve, truncheon through the forehead of a
But it will make your momma Experience: They don't ask for guy from one of the other units. He
proud she raised a man, it, they give it. sure looked silly- like a human
I haven't decided what I'm going Cons: shishkabob. I'm having a great
to do after graduation, but the above Any job that sounds this good time. I love being a man. What an
advertisement (printed in Rolling must have a hitch. If I decide at adventure.
INT E RVIEWStone, Issue 483, Sept. 25) has me some point that I would prefer to
thinking. Maybe I can use the work in some foreign jungle, is it Sometimes I wonder if being a
Army National Guard as a possible to get a transfer? Would it National Guardsman might be
springboard into a full-time job as be possible to use my Spanish tougher than I've imagined. But Pa
an American warrior. As with any skills in Nicaragua or El Salvador? just says, "The guys in Top Gun
A counselor at Career Planning didn't complain," which is true, and
its pros and cons and Placement advised me to Tom Cruise came away with a'
cPros imagine myself at the work-place, pretty sweet-looking babe. I forgot
involved in the day to day routine, to put that in the fringe benefits
Ex-Philadelphia g n leader turned Independene-I can kiss my '"se se i''eo~~ sc~~'*Cb*mu"~*e1a$
E Ph adihagangledrt nd moma goocndkisym to see if it seems like a job I could section- babes, multiple babes.
to documentaries, then tried comedy Location-This isn't some far- enjoy. So I imagined that I was The way Pa figures it, if a wussie
off foreign jungle. leading a National Guard unit in a like me is ever going to become a
David Brenner is one funny-and lucky-guy. He escaped from the tough Work Environment-These are foray against a Commie man he'll need a sub-machine gun
part of Philadelphia where he grew up and got a start in documentaries. my buddies. entrenchment. to do it.
After reaching success there, he took a drastic jump into stand-up
comedy. He started in a small club in Brooklyn and has since risen to the
pinnacle of comedic success: his own television show, Nightlife. THE WALL PRINT FROM THE PAST
According to the Book of Lists, Part II, he is the most prolific talk show _FFT_ HEA____RNFM__HE___T
guest, ever. Ann Arbor has him now. On November 8th, Brenner will
perform at the Michigan Theatre. He was interviewed by Daily staffer Ode to Midterms
Seth Flicker. I think that I shall never see
Daily: You were a leader of a gang when you were younger. You seem A student sleepier than me
like such a good guy, though. My teachers pile the homework on
Brenner: I was a good guy then, too. It was actually a necessity of life. And without sleep I look so wanu
In that kind of neighborhood, you had to move in packs or groups or you When will my teachers let me rest?
were in a lot of trouble. We all grew up together and just stayed together They give me homework as a test
as a gang. A gang leader isn't necessarily the best fighter. He is someone Of my endurance and my will
who can disarm a fight; can talk his way out of it. In case there is Will I give up, or just get ill? ..
trouble, he can use his head and stay cool. We weren't offensive; we were When the work seems much
defensive. We took care of ourselves, the neighborhood, and the people in too hardr
the neighborhood. I'm lured by the words "report card'
D: How did coming from a background like that decide and help your Of sonnets I may not know much
career? But my predicament is such
B: It gives it your whole basis, your whole raison d'etre; your reason for That I would rather write than learn
being. That's it-you're driven to get out of the neighborhood. That Material for this midterm.
became the whole purpose, just to get out of the neighborhood and to -A Metallurgist Parking has always been a problem in Ann Arbor, as this photograph
stop being poor. The goal was freedom. (for obvious reasons) frmte15sho.
D: Did you ever think, coming from this neighborhood, that you would -Graduate Library from the 1950s shows.
rise to the success you are today?
B: I counted on it. It was the essence of me. Everything thatI thought, GOD IS A COMEDIAN TO AN
felt, believed in, worked on and worked toward was for that one goal. I AUDIENCE AFRAID TO LAUGH THE DAILY ALMANAC
became uni-purposed to get out of the neighborhood. -Angell Hall
D: Did you know then that you wanted to become a comedian?
B: No. That wasn't even in the back recesses of my mind then. BOY, AM I GLAD I'LL HAVE 20 years ago-November Communists." Reagan's victory
D: Well, what did you first want to be? MY PHD (ECONOMICS) IN 8, 1966: Republican Ronald was helped by what observers saw
B: I never really focused on things but I did think about becoming an TWO WEEKS! Reagan captured the governorship as a white backlash-he opposed
architect. I just couldn't imagine anyone from the neighborhood (in reply) of California in a decisive victory California's Open Housing Act, the
becoming anything. I didn't want out get out of it the way most guys TOO BAD YOU NEVER RATED A over tworterm Gov. Edmund G. Civil Rights Act of 1964, the
got out of it. That was the shadey side of it all. I didn't want to PRIVATE CARREL "Pat" Brown in a hard-fought Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the
participate in that. I went to college and tried to find myself there and -GraduateLibrary campaign of issues and insults. 1966 Civil Rights Bill, saying that
happened to major in mass communications. I knew what I didn't want Brown called Reagan an he favored solving racial problems
to be. I didn't want to be a nine-to-fiver. I didn't want to be a Where is Mr. Know-it-all? Oh, "extremist," and Reagan accused on a private basis rather than by
businessman or wear a suit and tie or go to lunch at a certain time. I there he is. Late! Ha, ha! Brown of being affiliated with legislation.
knew what I hated. I wanted to work creatively, work with a lot of -Angell Hall organizations "to the left of the
Continued on Page 11


Roundtnip Air "*H

People observe many customs,
both modern and traditional


By Vibeke Laroi
its revolving lights on bodies
dressed in fashionable bright pinks
and oranges swaying to Madonna's
"Like A Virgin." I weaved my way
across the dance floor, craving a
drink. I got the waiter's attention
and stopped. I had forgotten how to
say "strawberry daiquiri."
I was in Japan.
I turned to my two Japanese
friends for help, but all I got were
strange looks. I realized I had to do
this on my own. I asked the waiter
for a "sutoroberi dakeri." He stood
and waited. I footnoted-"red, cold,
frozen, sweet, American, summer,
tasty." He listened, wrinkled his
forehead and left. When he came
back he had three drinks on his
tray- red, sweet, little fruit
cocktails-but not tasty.
As I sipped the red concoction, I
smiled and thanked him. I could
drink a strawberry daquiri at any
modern disco in any big city back
in the States, but only in Japan
could I experience those special
customs and traditions tucked away
and existing side-by-side with a
modern city.
Modern discos stand next to
ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist
temples, where the Japanese flock
to carry on ageless traditions.
Approximately 78,000 temples and
6,000 shrines are scattered
throughout Japan. The ancient
capital of Kamakura is one of the
best-known religious centers, so I
was elated when Mr. Kitmura from
work invited me to his house there.
After an hour-long train ride,
Mr. Kitamura and his family
greeted me with a Japanese meal.
Kneeling on the floor, we ate
tempura (deep fried vegetables, fish,
and shrimp), soba noodles dipped in
soya sauce, and rice balls wrapped
in seaweed. We topped it off with
traditional Japanese tea.
Adorned with umbrellas that go
hand-in-hand with another
wonderful Japanese tradition-the
rainy season-we set off to explore
Kamakura. Mr. Kitamura, his wife,
and their 17- and 20-year-old
daughters were my private tour
We huddled under a red parasol
sipping a special ceremonial tea
served in a big ceramic cup. You
wrap your hands around the cup
while grimacing from the tea's
bitter flavor. Then, with the typical
Japanese love for extremes, we were
given an equally sweet piece of

. ,
.. ,
; <

The Kitmura family poses in front of the 734-year-old Great Bhudda.

white candy. We could now
alternate between the bitter and the
sweet. Though I dreaded the next
bitter sip of tea, I noticed with
relief that Mr. Kitamura's
daughter's cups were more full than
Next, we drove to the "female"
temple of Kamakura. Here, for a
mere 30 cents worth of incense, I
could guarantee myself a healthy
and intelligent life. All I had to do
was direct the smoke toward my
head for intelligence and toward my
body for good health.
Outside the temple stood a
collection of the ubiquitous wooden
plaques, "ema," on which you could
write your wishes. Some people
wish to gain admittance to a
pretigious university, or find - a
All around the temple were
scattered'six-inch high statues of
Buddha adorned with clothes, hats
and flowers. This is why the temple
is known as "female"- each little
Buddah represents a dead baby or
child. Caring for the statues relieves
some of the pain of losing a child.
The Kitamuras said. the figurines
were considered "lucky."
Inside the temple we paid respect
to the golden Buddha. I also tried
my hand at Japanese calligraphy. I

copied one Japanese character on a
small stone and threw it in a small
pit with others. In this way, as each
person writes an individual
character, the Buddhist scripture is
completed. Japanese courtiers of
about 900 years ago spent many
hours hand-copying Buddhist
After visiting the female temple,
we visited its male counterpartthe
Great Buddha. The 734-year-old
statue loomed 44 feet above us. It's
so large we could even wander
inside the figure. As I stood inside,
I wondered what the Buddha was
really thinking behind that serene
At this temple I could choose
from variety of good luck charms,
or "omamori". There are charms for
a newborn child, passing an exam,
happiness, intelligence, and warding
off evil spirits. Mr. Kitamura even
has one for traffic safety hanging
from his rear view mirror. There is
no shrine or temple without them.
(Before I left the country, the
people I stayed with presented me
with a good luck charm for
marriage. I didn't want it, but they
said I had to take it-I was already
21 and not married yet.)
Continued on Page 12

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