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September 28, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-28

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Monday, September 28, 1987 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII, No. 13 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
B ef ams rhetoriC

Rubin

clarifies metaphor

AFTER YEARS OF HOSTILITY
toward Moscow in the face o f
Soviet arms control proposals, the
Reagan administration rhetoric
indicates that the president might
sign an agreement to eliminate short
and medium range missiles from
Europe. If signed, this accord
would be unique in its elimination
of two classes of missile from the
European theater.
Any reduction of nuclear missiles
is a positive step. However, no
credit should go to the Reagan
administration which has
orchestrated the largest defense
build up in history and doubled the
deficit to achieve it.
In seven years as President,
Reagan has continually promised
arms reductions while actually
modernizing and increasing
American stockpiles of weapons.
On the foundation of m u c h
unpopular policy, most notably the
Iran-Contra fiasco, t h e
Administration has- seized upon
Soviet leader Gorbachev's offer as
a face saving gesture.
The crescendo of anticipation over
a major arms reduction treaty has
been built over the last several
years. At the same time the Reagan
administration has broken the ABM
treaty, scrapped SALT II, and
ignored the unilateral Soviet nuclear
test ban which was offered to the
U.S. government several times.
Administration propaganda is
frequently hypocrisy such as
Reagan's 1981 "zero-zero"
proposal to limit nuclear
deployment in Europe. During
negotiations on the proposal the
U.S. deployed Pershing 2s in
Europe.
Even an actual signing of a
nuclear reduction treaty is likely to
be meaningless. At Reykjavik in

1986, both sides agreed to a limit of
100 warheads outside the European
theater. Gorbachev expressed a
readiness for an immediate signing
while the U.S. backed out of the
proposed treaty.
Although Gorbachev is expected
to come to the U.S. in November,
there is no definite date for the
signing of the treaty. While the
proposal to remove dangerous and
useless weapons from Europe is
commendable, it is possible that
Reagan may suddenly evade
ratification by inventing another
condition as he has done often.
Further, if the treaty were signed
it would take three years for the
removal to take full effect. The
West German short range Pershing
lAs would not be eliminated until
after the Soviet removal was
complete. Any reduction in either
the West German arsenal or the
U.S. warheads there is covered
only by an oral guarantee from
Chancellor Helmut Kohl and an
informal assurance from the State
Department, not the treaty.
Hopefully, both superpowers will
avoid domestic and international
political barriers and work to
produce intelligent alternatives in
the 1990s. The Government must
cast aside military buildups and
misinformation as a means of
attaining advantages.
In order for these first steps
towards increased international
security to succeed, U.S. must be
able, to credibly introduce future
proposals on other nuclear
problems. In addition to signing
this European treaty, the U.S.
should strictly adhere to the 1972
ABM treaty which prohibits SDI
research and development. Any
government serious about arms
reductions needs to follow through
on their rhetoric.

By Mike Rubin
A few off the cuff remarks:
I have been accused of being a crook. I
can assure you that I am not a crook.
By not quoting the above statement and
claiming it as my own, I have just
committed the crime of plagiarism. It is, I
can assure you, my first attempt at such
an offense. Of course, the aforementioned
sentences were made infamous by former
President Richard Milhouse Nixon, one of
the most notorious folkheroes of the
1970s (along with Charles Manson, Gary
Gilmore, and Rod McKuen). To attempt
to pass off such an obviously well-known
quotation as my own would be reckless,
foolhardy, and downright silly.
In a letter published in the September
23rd issue of the Daily and headlined
"Both Daily and Biden plagiarize,"
Dominick J. Perrone attempts to accuse
me of plagiarism in the form and fashion
of former Democratic Presidential
candidate and admitted plagiarist Senator
Joseph Biden. Mr. Biden was accused of
plagiarizing during law school, falsely
exaggerating his academic record, and
borrowing liberally (of course) from the
political speeches of such figures as
Robert Kennedy, Harry Truman, and Neil
Kinnock without attributing his sources. I
stand accused of attempting to pass off a
passage from the Doors' song "Peace
Frog," written by vocalist (and Detroit
Tigers utility infielder) Jim Morrison, as
my own.
Well, Mr. Perrone, as the definition of
plagiarism goes, I did nothing of the kind.
It seems ridiculous and needless for me to
have to answer these charges and explain
my metaphor choices when my usage and
intent is readily apparent, but if you
missed the point in print, you'll probably
Mike Rubin is a Daily Arts staff
writer.

need to have it spelled out. I certainly had
the Morrison quote in mind when I wrote
my description of Dinosaur vocalist J.
Mascis' singing abilities. Morrison's line
reads: "Indians scattered on dawn's
highway bleeding/Ghosts crowd the young
child's fragile eggshell mind," while my
own parody of this famous lyric refers to
Mascis' aural articulation as that of "a
young child's fragile eggshell mouth
spitting out gobs full of broken Indians,"
a sharing of five words with Morrison's
work. Perhaps I could have described
Mascis' singing voice as "whiny yet
emotionally stirring emanations from the
22-year-old vocal cords of a Western
Massachusetts native who is very much
influenced by the music of the late '60s
and early '70s and has something of his
own to say in a refreshing yet
simultaneously retrogressive kind of way,"
ad infinitum, ad nauseum, ad jective, but I
chose instead to attempt to be clever, not
realizing I would be out-clevered by Mr.
Perrone, who came up with a very
imaginative but totally incorrect
comparison between myself and Sen.
Biden. The only thing Joseph Biden and I
have in common is a distaste for the legal
philosophies of Robert Bork. Biden is an
admitted plagiarist; I am a silly scribe for
a college newspaper wrongly accused by a
reader who misinterprets the meaning and
magnitude of such an accusation.
I did not try to "offer up the artistic or
literary work" of Jim Morrison as my own
(as Webster's defines 'plagiarism'); in fact,
I would be embarassed to have this lyric,
one of the more pretentious and pompous
lines of "poetry" by the self-proclaimed
Lizard King, originally attributed to me.
My intentions were to parody, manipulate,
and otherwise fiddle around with the
flowery verbiage of the Morrison lyric in
order to poke fun at the writing of one of
the 1960s most overrated popular figures,
while simultaneously mocking my own
often self-indulgent writing tendencies and

illustrating the singing style of the
Dinosaur vocalist.
This reappropriating of catch phrases
from the collective consciousness and pop
(music) culture is an integral part of my
approach to writing about music and what
the humor of my writing style is all
about. Consider my article on Screaming
Trees (September 21) in which I describe
their hailing from the backwoods of
Washington state as being "out in the four
sticks " (a reference to a Led Zeppelin
song) and their guitar style as "slashing
straight out to anyplace " (one of the song
titles on their new album). The inclusion
of such musical in-jokes adds depth and
wit (I hope) to what would otherwise be a
pretty dull string of music industry
cliches.
Congratulations to Mr. Perrone for
immediately remembering the Morrison
poem: you're halfway there. Now all you
need to take you to the appropriate
destination is a light-hearted attitude. Your
super-serious, narrow-minded reading of
the statement in question smacks of the
explicit literalism of a religious
fundamentalist and the willful ignorance of
a red-baiting McCarthyite. Where were
you when they were passing out senses of
humor? Pere Lachaise? Plagiarism is a
very grave charge, Mr. Perrone, one that
should not be implied, accused, or bandied
about without real and unquestionable
evidence, the likes of which I most
certainly have not provided you. Shame on
you (but thanks for reading my article
anyway).
Editors' note:
The Daily apologizes for not allowing
Mike Rubin a chance to respond earlier to
the charge of plagiarism ("Both Daily and
Biden plagiarize," Daily, 9/23/87). Rubin
did nothing remotely unethical and the
Daily regrets any confusion that may
have resulted.

0

Wasserman

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4

4

Another blow to peace

LETTERS:

R ECENTLY THE U.S. HOUSE OF
Representatives approved by a 270-
138 margin, $3.5 million i n
"humanitarian aid" to the so-called
Contras - the guerillas battling the
government of Nicaragua. In doing
so, the House displayed the same
ambivalence for negotiated peace in
the region as did President Reagan
when he withdrew U.S. support for
the Arias Central American peace
plan.
While small in comparison to
previous levels, it is not the amount
of funding that is of primary
importance. The real tragedy of
such aid is its claim to be
"humanitarian." Nothing could be
further from the truth. It is not
humanitarian to send U.S.
taxpayers' money to equip and
supply an insurgency spawned by
the CIA, which engages in political
assassinations, sabotage of
hospitals, clinics, and schools, and
random acts of terror against
civilians. It is not humanitarian to
supply food, medical supplies and
uniforms to a group whose
leadership is comprised mainly of
former Somacistas. Every dollar of
that $3.5 million frees up other

funding the Contras at a time the
leaders of Central America are
engaged in peace negotiations.
It is even more disturbing that the
House vote came only a day after
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias
- author of the Central American
peace plan - traveled to Capitol
Hill and appealed to lawmakers to
"give peace a chance" in the region.
When asked what he was prepared
to do if the plan failed, Arias
questioned what Washington was
prepared to do if it succeeded.
Many believe it was the plan's
potential for success which
prompted Reagan's withdrawl of
U.S. support and paved the way for
additional "aid."
For many reasons, peace must
come to Central America.
Hemispheric political stability as
well as social and economic
development hinge upon the
cessation of conflicts and social
reform. By rejecting the call for
additional "humanitarian" aid, the
House would have counterbalanced
Reagan's desire for a military
solution and reaffirmed U.S.
commitment to peace. Instead, the,
acquiescence of lawmakers to an

Woman prosecuting rape has courage

4

To the Daily:
As the Daily continues the
coverage of the trial of Griffith
Neal, I have become more and
more appalled by the tactics
that the defense has used to
discredit the victim. It i s
irrelevant to the case whether
or not she went out that
evening seeking a sexual
encounter. Simply because a
woman may have intentions of
having sex later in the evening
does not mean that she voids
the right to change her mind at
any point. Hence, determining
this information is entirely
irrelevant to whether or not a
rape actually occurred. The
testimony of her sorority sister
that the woman said, "I 'm
going to get f---ed by a Fiji
tonight if it's the last thing I
do," can only be viewed as
character defamation. It is
irrelevant if she was at some
time seen caressing Griffith
Neal. Placing importance on
establishing whether or not
this occurred implies that if she
somehow "came on" to him

drunkeness has been used in
this case is implying that if
she was drunk that s h e
somehow was asking for it or
wanted it, again voiding the
right to say NO. Women
should have the right to drink
and get drunk without it being
assumed that they are
acquiescing to any sexual
encounter. The testimony
attempting to establish whether
or not she had sex earlier in the
week was blatantly against the
Rape Shield Law. I agree with
the prosecution that all of the
testimony described above is
illegal and irrelevant. I think it
completely violates the Rape
Shield Law in spirit, and
probably also in fact as well.
In this particular case, the
only information that i s
relevant is WHAT happened in
that room when the two of
them were behind closed doors.
There were no other people in
the room. Therefore, the
testimony of friends an d
roommates is irrelevant. Just
because earlier in the evening

decide if he forced her to have
sex against her will. This is
where the jury needs to use
their common sense to look at
the medical evidence and see
which story the medical
evidence corroborates. At this
time we start with the fact,
accepted by the defense, that
sex occurred and that she was
left bleeding in Neal's bed. We
take into account the
possibility that some of the
injuries may have occurred
beforehand-at gymnastics
practice. But is it really likely
that she ended up with "dried
blood and bruises covering her
arms, hips, and legs" from
gymnastics practice? Is it
likely that she sustained
internal bleeding and wars in
her vaginal wall from any
consensual sexual encounter?
NO.
I personally feel an
enormous amount of
admiration for the woman who
is on the stand defending her
character and sexual reputation
at this time. I hope that I

would have the same courage
in a similar situation. Her
decision to prosecute in this
case is important to all
women. Each time someone
has the courage to prosecute,
with full knowledge that the
defense will rely on the time-
tested illegal and immoral
strategies used in this case, it
makes it a little easier for the
next woman to take a stand. I,
as a female University of
Michigan student, await the
outcome of this trial with
considerable anxiety. I look to
this case to see if society has
really changed in the last
decade. Are men still granted
the right to use my body in
any way they want? Do I have
to avoid bars and frat parties, to
avoid drinking, to avoid any
situation where I may be
labeled a "slut," and somehow
waive my rights to decide
whether or not I want a sexual
encounter to occur? We shall
see.
-Elizabeth Ar'mstrong
September 25

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