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April 11, 1988 - Image 27

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-11

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APRIL 1988 Life And Art


Not just another Brit 'Bonfire' a classic 'Hairspray' Dancer goes pre-med
English pop star Trent Tom Wolfe chronicles John Waters entertains Professional ballet dancer
D'Arby's catchy new LP big-city corruption in latest with this latest cinematic lays down slippers for
transcends hype. novel. sicko. stethoscope.
Page 20 Page 24 Page 19 Page 24

Leisha Dunn once forgot how to
break an egg. The Bowling Green
U. junior was demonstrating how
to bake chocolate chip cookies when
her mind went blank.
Most people would rather die
than give a speech, professor Carl
Kell said.
Death placed sixth.
"We have a certain fear of expos-
ing ourselves in public," Kell said.
Speakers fear audiences will reject
their ideas. Whenever people get in
front of their audience, their self-
esteem is at risk. 'This person now
becomes terribly concerned with
what other people think," said
Joseph Cangemi, a psychology pro-
The more anxious speakers get,
the more likely it is they will fail,
Cangemi said. Anxiety restricts
creativity. Speakers worry about
what the audience is thinking in-
stead of focusing on the content of
their speeches.
"This restriction," he said, "ends
up in the outcome of a poor per-
formance." He added that growing
up in a home where parents dis-
courage talking in public leads to
greater fear of public speaking in
adulthood. Kell said students real-
ize they need good speaking skills
to compete in the job market. Both
Kell and Cangemi said good prepa-
ration insures good speeches. "If
you haven't prepared," Cangemi
said, "prepare to bomb."
Cangemi said speakers can over-
come anxietybypracticinga speech
on a few friends or by going over the
speech in front of a mirror to be-
come comfortable with the mate-
By watching the audience for
cues such as restlessness, yawning
and whispering, speakers can de-
termine if their speech is going
well. Cangemi said speakers
should try a new approach once the
audience gets bored. "A good speak-
er is a sensitive person," he added,
"because he or she can change the
speech to meet the reaction from
the audience." .
One student said she imagines
everyone in her audience is naked.
"You see them as human," she said.
"It alleviates a lot of the nervous-


'80s youth:
By Meg Spilleth
The Minnesota Daily
U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
It's hard to be idealistic when you're
18 years old. Especially if you're a col-
lege freshman, watching the honeyglow
of the Reagan era set in the west. Our
generation (I speak as a 20-year-old)
has lived through four Soviet leaders,
assassination attempts, nuclear disas-
ter, stupid television, rampant illitera-
cy, school closings and divorce. Having
spent childhood torn between Disney
and Rambo, we find that the idea of a
"meaningful philosophy of life" leaves a
saccharine taste in the mouth.
Small wonder, then, that the annual
UCLA-American Council on Education
survey found American college fresh-
men to be more concerned with money
than with spiritual outlook. Of the
290,000 freshmen polled, 75.6 percent

think that "being very well offfinancial-
ly" is an essential or very important life
goal. In 1970, only 39.1 percent of the
students polled felt strongly about their
bank accounts.
In contrast, the 1967 survey found
that 82.9 percent of the freshmen be-
lieved that "developing a meaningful
philosophy of life" was an essential life
goal. Twenty years later, less that
half-39.4 percent-still feel that way.
Fickle youth! We'll never please our pa-
The results of this survey will be read
in certain quarters as evidence of the
mediocrity of the average college fresh-
man. After Allan Bloom's tirade (The
Closing of the American Mind) about
the strangulation of the liberal arts and
the shallowness of our generation, "phi-
losophy" has become a buzz word for all
that young people lack.

I haven't got a "meaningful philoso-
phy of life." Hell, I still don't know how
to drive. But the survey question asked
if developing a meaningful philosophy
of life was an essential life goal. Such a
question assumes the respondents'
faith in the future. But our generation
has had little guidance, and less ex-
planation of a world in upheaval.
Born during the social revolutions
that rocked America in the late '60s, we
grew up amidst a confusing dichotomy
of images-television, for us, was
Sesame Street in the morning and battle
footage on the evening news. Although
otr protected everyday life was made up
of kindergarten, puppets and cartoons,
kids in the late '60s were aware that
something strange was going on in the
incomprehensible adult world. Parents,
teachers, and Big Bird never bothered
See IDEALS, Page 23

'Letterman' comedy writing duo lets humor loose

By Mark R. Brown
and Julie Shepard
The Pitt News
U. of Pittsburgh
Gerry Mulligan and Jeff Martin, the
Late Night with David Letterman com-
edy-writing duo, spoke to Pitt students
recently about the life of a Late Night
staffer. They showed video clips from
various shows, along with offering their
own insights into the mechanics of writ-
ing comedy. One of the topics they dis-
cussed was censorship.
"We had an idea for a Rude Breakfast
Cereal. You add milk, and it goes 'snap,
crackle and f-- you,' but that wouldn't
flush," said Martin and Mulligan. They
also mentioned that sometimes they
cannot satisfy the censors, and the
shows are not run. "We then have to
show reruns," said Martin.

"Working with Dave can be trying
sometimes," Martin said. "He can be dif-
ficult and tends to be a worrier. He's a
smartass who has to get his two cents in
on everything. Dave also gets rough
with some of the guests; he just tears
apart youngsters. Sometimes, he feels
badly about it."
Several videos were shown including
the famous velcro suit routine in which
Letterman, wearing a velcro suit,
jumped from a trampoline onto a velcro
wall and clips of Letterman throwing
large objects off tall buildings onto tele-
vision sets.
The writers occasionally appear in
several skits on Late Night. Gerry Mul-
ligan performs in a skit with Chris
Elliot called "Gerry's Baby," loosely
based on Mulligan's young son Kevin.
Martin has appeared on the show as
"Flunkie," the Late Night mail clown.

Comedian avi dLetterman

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