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March 21, 1988 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-21

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L ife and Art MARCH 19RR

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Ham radio junkie scans the world's airwaves

By Jim Black
The Daily Egyptian
Southern Illinois U., Carbondale
"Hotel, Charlie, Two, Golf, Romeo,
Charlie, come in ... from Whiskey,
Nine, United, Italy, Hotel ... over."
The faint signal becomes stronger
and the person on the other end re-
sponds: "Whiskey, Nine, United, Italy,,
Hotel . . . Hotel, Charlie, Two, Golf,
Romeo, Charlie ... over."
This conversation may not mean
much to most people, but to the two ham
radio operators carrying on the con-
versation, this is communication at its
Using the international phonetics

alphabet, ham radio operators from all
corners of the world exchange code
names and other vital information. Kel-
ly Jones, president of the Southern Illi-
nois U., Carbondale (SIIJ-C) Amateur
Radio Club, and other enthusiasts scan
the airways in search of contacts in new
and out-of-the-way countries such as
South America, Africa and such remote
places as Mali.
Greg Rossel, also a member of the
club, said typical topics of conversation
are the weather, what type of equip-
ment each operator has and where each
person lives.
Although ham radios are generally
used for pleasure, they have been very

important methods of communication
following natural disasters, often serv-
ing as the only method of communica-
tion available.
Although the temptation to talk ab-
out politics and current events with peo-
ple from such distant countries is
strong, Jones said such topics are taboo
on ham radios.
"Political situations you kind of steer
away from," he said. "Ham radio is ab-
out world peace." The most important
thing to be gained from talkingto people
from various parts of the world is learn-
ing that people are basically the same
everywhere," Jones said.
Continued From Page 13
ments. Opening this Pandora's Box for
the sake of profiteering is bound to stir
widespread resentment and expose
scars that haven't had time to heal.
There's nothing inherently wrong with
turning pathos into profit, but normally
respectable filmmakers like Stone,
Francis Ford Coppola and Stanley Kub-
rick have compromised themselves and
their craft with all their incestuous pla-
giarism. These are primarily reaction-
ary movies in the worst sense of the
term-they senselessly drudge up a
harrowing past in order to retreat from
an equally harrowing present.
Had the directors really wanted to
make a compelling social statement or
help shape a new American political vi-
sion, all they needed to do was pick up a
copy of the morning newspaper. How
many mainstream films do you see ab-
out Central America, AIDS or South
The real blasphemy of the new Viet-
nam movies, though, is not their patent
derivativeness, but their spurious claim
to speak for those who actually fought
the war. All the films present a grunt's-
eye view of what it was really like in the
jungles of Da Naang. But of the three,
only Stone stepped foot in Southeast
Asia during the war, and he served a
one year tour of duty to escape the shel-
tered life of Yale. Kubrick and Coppola
were safely ensconced in the groves of
academe, student exemptions clenched
firmly in hand, conveniently insulated
from the toils of combat and the'stench
of corpses, plastic bags and pine boxes.
You needn't be an apologist for the
American cause in Vietnam to deplore
the obscenities of Stone, Coppola and
Kubrick. But, something other than dol-
lars and cents had to motivate the
simultaneous release of all these war
flicks; these intensely personal films
struck a visceral cord with the public at
Sensing a raw nerve, the corporate
bigwigs moved in for the kill. Now
they've flooded the market, and they're
laughing all the way to the bank. But
the biggest losers in all this are the ex-
soldiers. In classic American fashion,
they're receiving a double screwing.
During the '60s they were duped by gov-
ernmental red-baiting, and now they're
being manipulated by the rhetoric of a
film industry that also purports to rep-
resent their interests.
Ironically enough, the glittering prizes
of the war were good old laissez-faire
capitalism, and its trustworthy side-
kick, licensed public deception. The
ostensible defenders of economic free-
dom have now become its victims. My
how times change. Or do they?

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