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April 11, 1988 - Image 33

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

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APRIL 1988 Life And Art

U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER 23

APRIL 1988 * Life And Art U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER 23

Freshman pens
ovel, wins
book contest
By Danielle Storer
* The Daily Californian
U. of California, Berkeley
Before coming to U. of California,
Berkeley, many students worry about
vhether they will be able to write the
required papers. But before 18-year-old
Michael Behrens came to Berkeley last
fall, he spent the summer composing a
200-page novel.
Late last December, Behrens found
out that his novel had won first prize in
a national writing contest. The book,
which he calls Devil and the Deep Blue
Sea, will be published next November,
and Behrens will receive a $2,500 adv-
nce against royalties. Behrens learned
of the Avon Books-sponsored contest
from a flier in his English class, which
called for "books for young adults, about
young adults." Behrens said,"It looked
so inviting; I figured, 'How many kids
my age write novels?'"
The framework of Behrens' novel is
his own experiences. "I wrote about a
kid moving in his mid-teens from one
side of the country to the other, which is
what I did. It's as good a place as any to
start. Some characters are based on
people I know, and some aren't at all."

White rapper can jam with the best

By Evan Gahr
The Daily Pennsylvanian
U. of Pennsylvania
I may brag but Isure don't lie/I like
baseball and hot dogs and apple pie/
I'm the all-American kid from an Ivy
League school/Who likes to take a
book and change all the rules.
College senior Scott Shahmanesh
claims to be the only Ivy League-
educated rapper in the business, and
says his background provides an in-
novative approach to rap which
makes his success in the industry in-
evitable. He said he is working with
deejay T. K. Blade on some demos to
send to major record labels, and ex-
pects to be signed by one of them.
A friend and member of

Shahmanesh's entourage, dental stu-
dent Jay Selznick, said U. of Pennsyl-
vania students were initially skeptic-
al about Shahmanesh's planned
career in rap "because it isn't one of
the stereotypical professions-busi-,
ness, law, medicine." Shahmanesh
acknowledges he is not the only rap-
per with lofty aspirations, but asserts
his music is not a spurious attempt to
cash in on the growing rap industry.
He added that audiences are some-
times hostile nevertheless when he
takes the stage. But Shahmanesh is
not deterred by their attitude.
So you say I'm white and I should
be black/And you got this idea that
white boys can't rap/This may be true
but not in my case/I'm gonna throw
down now and rap in your face.

Shahmanesh's self-described "all-
American kid background" is not a
sheltered one. He lived the first 12
years of his life in Flatbush, a racial-
ly-mixed Brooklyn neighborhood.
Lorenzo Penn, a Philadelphia-based
rap manager who advises
Shahmanesh, saidthatgrowingup in
Brooklyn gave Scott an understand-
ing of the rap culture. "He has the
culture behind the style," Penn said.
That image will help Shahmanesh
succeed, said manager Penn. He
notes that those people who often use
the ghetto background of some rap-
pers to dismiss their legitimate
musical form as a "second-level
genre" would be unable to dismiss
Shahmanesh as "a second-rate think-
er who's pursuing silly antics."

Ideals
Continued From Page 17
to explain Vietnam to a five-year-old,
and I thought that Watergate was the
name of a farm.
How can we be expected to develop-
to want to develop-a meaningful phi-
losophy of life, when we grew up in a
fundamentally disillusioned society?
And how can we, as the first generation
to grow up with nuclear normalcy, be
expected to have faith in the future?
Money, at least, provides a bit of
security. There's a comfortable routine
in earning it. Skeptics are out there, no
doubt, raging against the gimme-
gimme attitude of today's depraved
youth. But I see the desire to "be very
well off financially" as a craving for sta-
bility. Lacking confidence in the future,
today's freshmen want something
tangible, present, now-and money is
an immediate reward for one's daily
labor. Developing a meaningful philoso-
phy of life seems too much of a commit-
ment, placing too much stock in the fu-
ture. Besides, you can't eat philosophy.
It won't keep you warm. And a meaning-
ful philosophy of life is useless in a
world that baffles the senses.
Pundits predict the trend of the '90s
will be "cocooning" as "coach potatoes."
Meat loaf, gravy, and rice pudding are
replacing mesquite-grilled baby quail
and pine nuts. The very definition of
"financially well off' is changing; in-
stead of providing access to luxury and
status, it's becoming a way of securing
yourself against the cold. Comfort me, n
hold me, feed me. Though that's too
basic to be philosophy, it's essential in,
the sense of being primitively, univer-
sally true..
Is this the meaningful philosophy of
life those freshmen of 1967 claimed was
a "very important" goal? If so, they're
not looking for higher consciousness
any more than my generation is out for
the big bucks. What we all really want is
a safe, warm place to hide.

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