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November 13, 1987 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-13
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'60s children have grown up
Over the past month it's all been few years after I did.
coming together... I was born into a world where the
JOHN space race was considered more
First my lava lamp died. This important than the arms race. As a
was my fault, really. I dropped it. LOG I E child, space was a challenge, an
Several times. Now the red stuff is opportunity for exploration. We
all clumped around the pencil I used have since moved from Trek to
to try and it break up with. Wars to SDI. When I think of
Then my TV died. It wasn't just happening, and it freaks me out." N.A.S.A. I think of Neil
any TV. It was a family heirloom. And then Douglas Ginsburg Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Wally
During my formative years, this prompted arch-conservative Newt Schirra. I'm sure many "children of
bulky, black-and-white monster Gingrich to admit that he had the '70s" think of Christa
brought me thick-lined images of bogarted that joint. Newt Gingrich! MacAuliffe.
Caped Crusaders, Banana Splits, Finally, I read the writing on the I was born into a world where
astronauts, and Muhummad Ali. wall. The decade that spawned me is Presidents died in office more often
Then Dan Rowan died. I used to dying. My past is becoming the than they lied in office (at least as far
Weekend/ Karen Handelman watch Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In basis for nostalgia. as we knew). For the first nine years
with my parents on the now-defunct Next New Year's Day, all of the of my life, the suggestion that the
J e anStelevision. Say "good-bye," Dick. "children of the '60s" will be at least President might lie was grounds for
("Good-bye, Dick.") eighteen years old. Next September, a fight. For the children of the '70s
Then I saw Musket's production most incoming students will have the suggestion that the President
Wve of Hair (the American Tribal-love been born in 1970. We are separated might not is grounds for laughter.
With entensive legal and political experience, Rock Musical). Midway through by only five years, but we grew up And they can't remember President
the wife of Democratic Presidential Candidate the show I realized that the in different worlds. Nixon, a man I grew up hating -
Paul Simon has many ideas of her own. undergraduate performers were every I will try not to argue that my the spiritual godfather of the Reagan
bit as close to the material as I was world was better. Hair and BVD Administration. Ray Donovan and
INT E RVIEWyears ago when I played Johnny reminded me of the social malaise, Gary Hart remind me of Spiro
Casino in Grease. lunatic rhetoric, appalling politics Agnew and Thomas Eagleton.
Then I saw Beyond the Valley of and, of course, majestic fashion Walter Mondale reminds me of
Jeanne Simon, the wife of Democratic Presidential hopeful Paul the Dolls. BVD is Russ Meyer's failures, which surrounded me during George McGovern. And Al Haig
Simon, was recently in Ann Arbor to speak at a Soview Jewry forum twisted vision of psychedelia, filled my formative years. But I can not still reminds me of Al Haig.
and a meeting in support of her husband. As a lawyer and former with "hip" lines like, "Don't bogart help arguing that I am different from
Illinois state representative, Mrs. Simon takes an active role in that joint," and "This is my people who became sentient only a See LOGIE, Page 13
advancing national education and working for human rights all over the
world. During her brief stay, she was interviewed by Daily staffer SteveV
Blonder. ____T_____A________N_
Daily: How do you view the role of the President's wife? OFF THE WALL
Simon:I elly don'tlikenthe temFistLa dIwthnk ts u t oo-
down to every other woman in the United States and I would just prefer PARK RA 4% ON )POL, DOWN4TWN AN AM
to be called the President's wife. The term First Lady has been in use (m ignorance is bliss, why aren't . ga T NA
ever since Martha'Washington and I guess what gripes me is that it is a there more happy people around BWAV' t uvIT 9. NO, i&M IN
title that has been handed down from our British ancestors. And being here? S MEKWM4 NIf .UKON
personally Irish by background, I regret titles. But it's not American, it f"$ON WY? -WOSt.
truly isn't. Jacqueline Kennedy, when she was in the White House,
detested the term and asked her staff never to use it in her presence. re
Nowadays, it's a word of art, and if someone calls me a First Lady, BECAUSE IGNORANCE IS
I'm not going to pull up my hand. But I'm going to try and insist that BLISS ONLY WHEN APATHY IS
I have an identity of my own as a President's wife. Jeanne Simon, Mrs. TOLERABLE WEAP H
Paul Simon, I don't care. But to make a contribution as Jeanne Simon, T
not as the wife of - I think I can do that. I think that Rosalyn Carter
and Eleanor Roosevelt are two excellent examples of what President's (in reply)!
wives can do. They were both women who were unafraid to tackle And apathy is tolerable only when
tough issues. I think that there's a role out there, and that the women of boredom is inevitable. NETUTA [ REI
America, and the men, want to see a woman in the White House who is
making a contribution.
D: If you were in the White House as the President's wife, what (in reply)
issues would you choose to focus on? BOREDOM IS INEVITABLE
S: I really care about basic education, and that means libraries. I'm WHEN ONE IS IGNORANT.A-
not a librarian, but I really want to see better library service. Not for Hub MONK
large libraries, but mainly to see that the people out in the small towns (in reply) ot t"g"?
and villages across the United States have access to libraries. That's And one is ignorant only when one
very, very important. refuses to learn.
We're from southern Illinois, and there's lots of coal mines down r e a
there. The health and safety of coal miners has long been a serious'
object of study for me. I found out that federal regulations are not in (in reply) s I,
place for exits for air shafts in a lot of mines. And we have lost many ONE REFUSES TO LEARN
miners because of that, and I think it's a shame. WHEN KNOWLEDGE HAS NO
But I really care, I guess mainly about women's issues. About the VALUE.
restoration of Title IX, which means there will be no discrimination on
account of sex in any federally funded educational program. The effect of
Title IX was largely wiped out by the decision in the Gross City (in reply)
College case a few years ago, that the Supreme Court handed down. Therefore, ignorance is bliss.
Women's issues have not faired well in this administration.
All the above graffiti was taken'
See INTERVIEW, Page 13 from a wall in the Freize Building.

The real enemy:'Ri

By Lisa Pollak
Russkies, a red, white, and blue
cliche directed by Rick Rosenthal, is
more than just another lousy movie.
It's our enemy.
Underneath the sappy script, the
rotten actors, and the laughable plot,
Russkies is really a formidable,
well-funded, and dangerous foe. It's
an antagonist ready to prey on the
weaknesses of our media-warped
American attitudes. It's an enemy
that tries to brainwash us with sub-
versive stereotypes of Russian and
American people, and then has the
nerve to call itself the "truest mean-
ing of the word detente."
I'd laugh, but it really isn't
funny. Danny (Leaf Phoenix), Jason
(Stefan DeSalle) and Adam (Peter
Billingsley) are three army brats,
(translation: no-talent veterans of
assorted chocolate syrup commer-
cials) who beY - in Rambo, wear
dog tags, and play soldier games ad
nauseum. They find a kind-hearted,
shipwrecked Russian sailor with an
artificial accent (Whip Hubley)
washed up on the beach. First the
kids want to blow his brains out.
But corny lovestuff triumphs over
ideology, and the young lads gear up
in camouflage and race against time
to send the sailor home. Aww.

Now, it would be really easy for
me to make fun of Russkies as one
of the year's corniest movies. We're
talking ABC Afterschool Special,
here. We're talking cutesy kids,
stupid love scenes, and lots of
touching silhouette-against-the-sun-
set shots - all wrapped up in plenty
of red, white, and blue smarm.
But the truth is, when I think
about Russkies, I don't see red,
white, and blue. I just see red -
from anger.
I found Russkies' hypocrisy
outrageous and enraging. Rosenthal
actually had the nerve to think his
movie about "how the worst of en-
emies can become the best of
friends" would teach us that Rus-
sians and Americans are really the
same deep down inside. There's just
one problem: someone forgot to
teach him.
You see, in Russkies., Americans
and Russians really aren't the same
at all. The communists and capital-
ists have their own distinctively
clich6d characters. Take the Russian



Leaf Pheonix and Whip Hubley star in 'Russkies'.

'Less Than Zero'


By Andrea Gacki
Examine the title of the film Less
Than Zero. Is it from an Elvis
Costello song that assesses life's
worth by some overprivileged youth
of Los Angeles ( like the Bret
Easton Ellis' novel of the same
name)? Or is it a rating of the movie
(as in a scale from one to ten, ten
being the highest, etc.)?
Since the movie makes no men-
tion of the Costello song, and little
else the book from which it was
adapted, one is inclined to agree with
the second proposition.
Since I read the book, it is diffi-
cult to refrain from comparing the
two. Less Than Zero,"the movie, is
not entirely awful, It is however, an
awful adaptation of the Easton Ellis
novel. Though this literary work is
far from my favorite, it has certain
moods and convictions worthy of
portrayal that are conspicuously ab-
sent from the movie.
. All that remains in the midst of
a rather dull movie is a glib, moral-
izing sermon upon the perils of
drugs on today's super-rich young
The beginning of the movie was
promising - I was almost expect-
ing a faithful literary adaptation. Our
first glimpse of the characters is at

their high school commencement
exercises. As the speaker urges them
to follow their dreams in life, the
crowd replies by shouting "We want
money!" This marks the first expo-
sure to this superficial, materialistic,
albeit glamorous, culture of Clay
Easton (Andrew McCarthy), his
girlfriend Blair Kennedy (Jami
Gertz), and his best friend Julian
Wells (Robert Downey, Jr.). The
book focuses only upon Clay.
Since three characters are placed
in the forefront, Clay must share the
spotlight, and tends to be trivialized.
In Ellis' -novel, Clay ultimately
found that the drug-laden, apathetic
world of youthful of L.A. repugnant.
In the film, he's more of a prude
from the outset, completely sepa-
rated from the drug culture, and self-
satisfied at not having his friends'
The turm6lU and introspection
formerly omnipresent in Clay's
character are subverted by selfish-
ness. Instead of musing over his
meaningless existence in a vapid
culture, Clay now focuses all of his
energies on winning Blair back.
Blair, in turn, concentrates on saving
Julian, who has a fifty grand drug
debt owed to an old high school
buddy, Rip (James Spader).
The movie .suffers in the

alls flat
weakening and trivialization of Clay,
its only character with depth, and the
illumination of Blair and Julian,
who should only be supporting
forces, only serves to detract further
from Clay. All that is left are three
rather shallow characters, none of
them garnering much sympathy.
One of the book's strengths was
its barrage of trendiness - from the
sickeningly cool character names to
the casual mention and presence of
every fashionable sort of drug or
clothing. Yet, Less Than Zero, the
movie, revels in its trendiness. In-
stead of portraying shocking events
with disconcerting apathy, the film
languishes in Architectural Digest-
like settings with little action and
nothing even mildly upsetting.
If you have not read the book, the
movie will be less annoying, though
still shallow. You will watch as
Clay and Blair chase and protect Ju-
lian the despondent junkie, who in
turn spends his time running from
the bad guy Rip (whose badness is
untapped and ineffective) and Rip's
henchman/goon Bill ( the only char-
acter with a boring name).
The performances are adequate,
but none salvage 'the movie. The
tension that supposedly surrounds
the clam nature of Andrew Mc-
See FILM, Page 11


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