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January 29, 1988 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-29
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MICHELLANY
T# - - -- Some thoughts on turnin 21
. . .+ C.. . . . . .
Today I am a boy. Tomorrow, I "You bet," I shot back in a deep
am a man. voice, springing out of my slouch.
At least, that is what I am told. JOHN My parents, having been this age
Tomorrow, I turn 21. once before, knew exactly what I
Of the 25,000 or so days we will SHEA wanted cash and a set of keys to
live on this planet, it is said, this mythe family car. Surprisingly, I got
one particular day is the most spe- d & both. I remember how proud I was
cial - the day when the proverbial taking Susie to the Almeda ball in
spring ends and the proverbial sum- Dad's Pontiac. So proud, in fact,
mer begins. It is a day my parents knowing smile and told me she un- that after doing some doughnuts in a
have pointed me to for the last ten derstood, but she never bought me parking lot, I let Susie get behind
birthdays. another wagon. the wheel. Big mistake.
"Oh, honey, if you think this is Okay, fie. It didn't matter that "Listen, Dad," I explained to him
special, just wait until you turn 21," much. I was in my formidable years, later that night. "Susie and I were
my mother used to whisper. anyway. Things went in and out driving down this really dark road,
"But Mom, I'm only ten years with lightning speed. Riding wag- and we were going real slow,
old." ons became passe pretty quickly, and and..."
"Yeah, yeah. Here's your red soon after, so did hanging out in tree Before I could finish the sentence,
wagon. Go have fun. Play with it forts, watching Saturday morning he had raced out the door and into
while you can." cartoons, and getting Kid Pales at the garage. Although he didn't yell,
I had no idea what she meant by McDonald's. All gone. he did look as if I had killed one of
that, but frankly I was pretty damn Now, perhaps some of you expect his children.
excited about that wagon. It was me to break down and cry about the "I'll pay for the damages," I told
Renowned folksinger discusses political nice and shiny and red and perfect for passing of youth. Well,.in retro- him.
awareness and the entertainment business going down West Hill Road. And spect, it was pretty sad to lose the "When are you going to grow
sure enough, later that day I was tree fort, but with every loss there up?"he asked me.
hauling down the street in my red comes a gain. One of them was It seemed only a week later that
wagon with my good friend Jimmy Susie Horowitz, and it wasn't a bad my 18th birthday came. There was
and we smacked right into a tele- deal. no big party or anything just a
INTERVIEW phone pole. Fortunately, my good Before I knew it, I was staring at a small family gathering. As we
friend Jimmy was sitting in the cake with sixteen candles, right in sipped wine with dinner, my parents
front. the face. "I'm so proud of you," my started talking to me about the fu-
Folksinger Holly Near, will be headlining tomorrow night's 11th an- "Hey, Mom, I trashed the wagon. father told me. ""You're going to
nual Ann Arbor Folk Festival. Near founded Redwood Records after frus- It's all Jimmy's fault." She flashed a make one helluva man." See SHEA, Page 9
tration over the major labels' refusal to record her sharply worded po-
litical songs. She continues to write match strong social and political
commentary with beautiful, uplifting melodies. Near, who will sing with _KT___I___________
Ronnie Gilbert, spoke recently with WEEKEND Editor Alan Paul. OFF THE WAL LV 7 IN
Daily: Do you play a lot of festivals?
Near: Yes, they're a great opportunity to hear other musicians because Are men who perform cunnilingus W OU Y:
if you tour a lot, you never get to. At a festival you do your own set and making a futile attempt at re-entry
then you hear everybody else's work. It's a nice luxury. This sounds like into the womb?AMH5TITOTONA.ZED RAG1W SRAMPANT
a very fun lineup. I'm very excited. He's tanned Angell Hall ONT41 CAMPS. AbMNIS1 A10N t$S
D: How do you feel about headlining the festival? He's rested.
N: (laughs) I'm torn between being humbled and being honored. The He's ready. ?) tST KifinUb%& E. 4w I:EUGATttfA!.
thing about headlining is, someone has to go last. I feel that in the com- Nixonin '88. -OP DRTI'NES & . M ES LbNG ENoU(A
pany of some of the players we're appearing with, we're not headlining N.- Angell Hall -I AT gp0lfM
as far as fame and fortune goes, as much as we were just the act they de- i come from a land down under g HlNOT sEV TE*w
cided to have be the finale act.I-
D: Does it put pressure on you? (in response)
N: No, I don't get competitive with artists. Part of that comes from IS IT WARM THERE?
working in the alternative music. No, I'm going to be in the audience (in response)
enjoying the music and when it's our turn to play, I'm going to jump up Where? In hell?,
on stage and entertain. It's not pressure, but excitement for me.. To me, - Angell Hall'
the purpose of a live performance is to make something spontaneous I'm glad you made it to class. Your"' "
happen that involves the energy of the audience. We're very much tuned notes make lecture more interesting.
in and aware of what the state of mind of the audience is and we work (in response) WMT V
with that. For instance, if we have a set list and the audience is going in ANTHING WOULD MAKE THIS
a completely different direction, we have the ability to throw the set list LECTURE MORE INTERESTING.
out the window and go with what's happening here. - Angell Hall
D: Your writing has been very political. Do you ever feel it's hard to How do you make a vanilla shake? A4 1 AA1
make sure your concerts don't become rallies?y
N: No. I don't think there's a danger of that. It's also a matter of opin- (in response)
ion. Some people ... if I sing two political songs and make one com- -TAKreIpTonA
ment about something, they think I've turned it into a rally. So, I can't -Graduate Library A &AR su AA k
defend myself against people who basically don't want to hear anything Roses are red, - Gradute LibrArNi S A 1
but instrumentals or " I can't live without you, baby, baby" love songs. violets are blue...
If that's what someone wants to hear, they're obviously going to be crit-
ical of what I do. But from a musical point of view, we try to keep it (in response)
extremely entertaining, full of surprises. A good political song is not ISN'T THAT THE MOST"
meant to put people to sleep or to bore them. It's meant to interest and CLICHED CLICHE.
excite them about their potential. So when I write political songs that are
putting people to sleep, you can bet I don't ever sing them again. (in response)"
(laughs) You bet your bottom dollar. e
See INTERVIEW, Page 9 - UgliT
PAGE 8 WEEKEND/JANUARY 29, 1988

FILM
Film explores inner

By Mark ShaimanI
Take on E. M. Forster novel, add1
an ensemble of fine British acting
talent, a romantic European setting,
and the Merchant-Ivory production
Y company, and you get the wonderful
*.:hA Room With A View. Add a
message and you get Maurice.<
Maurice (pronounced Morris) is
the tale of a young Cambridge
student becoming aware of his
homosexuality - a fearful situation
St;in 1910 England, where homosexuals
were persecuted. But Maurice's
feelings, especially his glorious gift
of first love, are too strong to be
denied.
Ironically, Maurice (James Wilby)
is kicked out of school for playing
hookey. But he firmly establishes
.' ...himself in the business world and
r ?' }s spends as much time as possible
with his lover Clive (Hugh Grant).
Eventually, societal pressures take
their toll on Clive, who cuts off his
ties to Maurice and takes a bride.
Clive's actions are responses- to
the "leniant" penalty of six months
hard labor and a fellow schoolmate's
crushed political career as a result of
Y..nUgcaught with another man. Both
Dean: Look back in Anger

Maurice and Clive come fromI
respected families with much at stake1
if their sexual preferences are toE
become exposed.
In contrast, there is Alec Scutter1
(Rupert Graves), a servant to Clive
who later becomes Maurice's lover.
He too is in fear of the law, but with
far less to lose. These three men
accurately represent a cross-section of
Pick of
the Week
the gay community of the time -
rich and poor, strong and weak.
Most importantly they all share one
characteristic: inner turmoil.
Warnings against homosexuality
are ever present in their lives. A
professor tells them to skip a section
from a classic work because it
contains the "unspeakable vice of the
Greeks." And the arrest of their friend
reinforces the possible consequences.
The choice of what life to live rests
heavily upon their minds and the
audience senses the turmoil.
Maurice is set long before the

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By Scott Coillins
"You're tearing me apart!"
With those words, cried out to the
insensitive parents in Nicholas Ray's
Rebel Without a Cause (1955),
James Dean gave a voice to growing
adolescent discontent in t h e
Eisenhower years, a legacy that no
doubt invigorated the youth move- .
ment of the late '60s as well and still
yields a handy precedent for college
students.
Unfortunately, the revolution had
to carry on without the benefit of
Dean's continued leadership, or, if
you prefer, passive presence, for by
the time Rebel was released, Dean
had died several weeks earlier, on
September 30, 1955, appropriately
seated behind the wheel of his
Porsche. Hollywood posthumously
released one more Dean picture, the
Tex-epic Giant , the following year,
and then watched a nearly
unprecedented phenomenon occur.
On the basis of starring roles in only
three features (East of Eden was also
released in '55), James Dean swiftly
became a cultural legend.
Amazingly enough, over thirty
years after his death, Dean is still
with us; his infamy as an icon of
prepunk, antiestablishment cool re-
mains intact and unsurpassed.

Posters of him still grace the walls
of many dorm rooms, and songs,
plays, and films have been produced
about him or his large cult follow-
ing.
Like Marilyn Monroe, Dean died
an ostensibly untimely death that in
fact could hardly have been more
timely: it crystallized the most
memorable aspects of his youthful
appeal forever, granting him, we
may assume, a sort of involuntary
immortality. Since his reputation
rests almost entirely on his three
films, and those films, in turn, de-
pend almost entirely on his charis-
matic (in even the religious sense of
the word) screen persona, one could
perhaps argue convincingly that
Dean is something of a film auteur
in and of himself.
Yet, now that we are chrono-
logically remote enough to guarantee
some critical perspective, fans -
and maybe skeptics too - might
wish to note that, for whatever else
he was, James Dean was also the
product of Hollywood.
Like most Tinseltown creations,
his public posture and his private
life soon blurred in the eyes of those
whom he captivated with his art. In
recent years, we. have seen that while
in real life Dean was perhaps every
bit as rebellious as the characters he
portrayed in the movies, he was also
a confused young man who had con-

siderable doubts about his newfound
success.
The actress Ann Doran, who
played Dean's mother in Rebel , has
claimed that the actor confided his
emotional distress to her toward the
end of his life, and characterized
Dean as terribly insecure, moving
about lost, "in limbo." The inde-
pendent filmmaker-turned-author
Kenneth Anger, in a sequel to his
enormously scandalous Hollywood
Babylon , has gone even further and
provided surprising insights into
Dean's desperate personal life. Anger
contends, with the weight of
anecdotal evidence, that Dean was
into sado/masochistic sex and spent
his free time cruising West Holly-
wood leather bars, pleading for,
among other things, his masters to
crush lighted cigarettes on his bare
chest.
So gossip too, however mali-
cious or apparently irrelevant, has
become part of the James Dean
myth, and no idle rumors seem ca-
pable of tearing down the work of
thirty years and the enormous social
change they represent. Perhaps Dean
has found in death what his rebel
could not find in life and on the
screen: a deserted mansion, far from
the hypocrisy and cruelty of the adult
world, where he can forever coexist
See DEAN, Page 12

He only made three movies, yet wh)

WEEKEND/JANUARY 29, 1988

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