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October 28, 1988 - Image 18

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-28
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-M-1

GG. Allin batters himself, his audience, his music

Sado-masochist's
latest is the same
old thrash/trash
grunge-oid noise
G.G. Alini
Freaks, Faggots,
Drunks, & Junkies
Homestead Records
G.G. Allin is the (il)logical ex-
tension, extrapolation, and end re-
sult of the self-and audience-abuse
school of music exemplified by
Iggy Pop, Sid Vicious, Stiv Bators,
etc. G.G. Allin takes everything to
an extreme. Onstage, his act con-
sists of masturbation, defecation,
urination, rolling in broken bottles,
wrist-slashing, and using a micro-
phone stand to batter himself and
the audience. Oh yeah, he, uh,
sings, too. The man is just too
fucked up not to be real. The music
is standard MC5/Stooges
thrash/trash grunge-oid noise and
sounds like it was recorded on
G.G.'s jambox in his basement
(which it probably was). His lyrics
are obscene, scatological, and
misogynist. They're also not quite
muffled enough because you can
still hear what he is saying. G.G.
makes an amazing spectacle out of
himself and as a consequence, has
been banned from nearly every place
he has ever played. If you want to
check out the far, far side of mu-
sic/performance, here's your man.

Continued from Page 9
preconceived notion of a particular
behavior. Vandermeer gave an ex-
ample of this type of hypothesis by
citing a human sociobiological
proposal that, according to him,
suggested that low-income people
find themselves in the lower stratas
of society because of their genetic
make-up. "Evolutionary theory was
developed to deal with traits that are
inheritable. Human behaviors, in
general, are not inherited and thus
the large battery of evolutionary
theory, which is in general correct
and sophisticated, does not apply to
human behavioral traits."
But EHB Program Post-Doc Paul
Turke said that human sociobiolo-
gists do not say that human behav-
ioral traits are inherited. "If you
have two groups and they're doing
things differently - I.Q. scores,for
example - we can't say those dif-
ferences are genetic - because there
simply is no evidence for this -
and we don't." In
response to Vandermeer's assertion
that theories about lower-income
groups and a genetic correlation had
been proposed, Alexander disputed
that such a proposal had been ad-
vanced, saying the idea was once
suggested by a Harvard pyscholo-
gist not a sociobiologist.
And here we get down to the
nitty-gritty in understanding this
controversy. Kitcher's critique
seems to suggest that the work
Alexander and his colleagues in the
EHB program are doing should be
either halted or - and this is cru-
cial - they should make an appeal
to other fields for help, drawing on
the work of "evolutionary theorists,
developmental biologists and psy-
chologists, sociologists and
historians, cognitive psychologists,
and anthropologists. Any resultant
discipline," he concludes, "would be
a real synthesis" [alluding to Wil-
DURANT
Continued from Page 10
As I was typing, the computer
burped or something and a bunch of
vertical lines flashed on the screen
and stayed there. I don't think I need
to say any more except "thank you"
to a very understanding professor
who believed me when I said, "But
honest, I swear, the computer ate
I recommend that to any student
who goes in to take a test, READ
THE QUESTIONS! You'd be sur-
prised how many students on all
types of tests - English, science,
math, etc - don't do that. Some
people can write circles around
Joe's theory of X and be correct,
but what if the question only asks
you, "What is Joe's middle name?"
Just think of the points you might
loose if you don't complete that
last step when solving those chem-
istry and calculus problems or fail
to solve for what it asks for.
All have left to say is keep your
ears open, be alert, and good luck!
Oh yeah, a little studying never
hurts. 2

son's book, S&ciobiology: the New
Synthesis].
For now it's important to see why
Kitcher believes human sociobiol-
ogy should take an indefinite leave
of absence. Because of the prepon-
derance of errors, the speculations
that "feature a yen for casual opti-
mization and the parading of gossip
as observational data," and due to
the political implications inherent
in sociobiological inquiry, Kitcher
suggests Alexander and colleagues
are not doing real science and
should go back to the drawing
board. ,
The naturalistic fallacy
Kitcher seems to side with the
early critics - even though he ad-
mits their hastiness - by suggest-
ing that whatever possible self-
knowledge can come from the
enterprise of human sociobiology,
it can only impede the efforts being
made to correct social injustices,
and can only work against move-
ments dedicated to changing the in-
stitutions that foster oppression,
racism, and sexism.tAlexander sees
this argument as part of the
"naturalistic fallacy." Those who
employ the "is-to-ought fallacy,"
Alexander writes, believe that by
looking into the evolutionary pro-
cess, one can determine how we
ought to proceed because what is
"good" in evolution, they think,
must be ethically good. Alexander
maintains that those in the EHB
program are conscious of this and
stay away from it in their work. If,
for example, chopping off the head
of a competitor increases one's fit-
ness, the argument goes, it does not
follow that this practice is
"naturally good."
In this regard, Kitcher's fears
stem from certain sociobiological
postulations. For example, it has
been observed in hunting-and-gath-
ering societies that women gener-
ally stay near the home-unit while
the males cooperate in groups to
hunt and deal with neighboring
tribes. This human social behavior,
it is then hypothesized, is the type
of behavior that maximizes their
ability to survive and reproduce.
Here Kitcher sees scientists like
Alexander suggesting that there is a
biological basis for "political insti-
tutions that many people would
like to alter." But as EHB program

post-doe. Paul Turke points out,
"evolution doesn't tell us how we
should live," but rather, why, using
an evolutionary explanation, we
might behave in the ways we do.
Kitcher, it seems, is implying
that sociobiologists are saying cul-
tural variations have to do with ge-
netic variations among peoples of
the world. This, according to
Wrangham, is something those in
the EHB program simply do not
say. Furthermore, says Wrangham,
this misconception has generated
many misleading ideas about what
human sociobiologists are study-
ing. "I don't see any evidence at all
that cultural differences are due to
genetic differences. And it is a key
point that sociobiologists are con-
cerned more with genetic conse-
quences than genetic causation."
Another flaw in Kitcher's argu-
ment, Alexander adds, is related to
the first. By encouraging the dis-
mantling of human sociobiology
based on its possible "political
implications," Kitcher is bordering
on "political censorship." Critics
who judge a theory based on its
political implications, as many
writers during the debate have
pointed out, effectively abandon the
standards of science in deference to
political ideology. These question-
able criticisms notwithstanding,
Kitcher does find specific errors in
Alexander's methodology.
Predictions and
methodology
Kitcher concerns himself with 25
predictions Alexander makes in a
previous work (Darwinism and
Human Affairs) - predictions
based on the idea that patterns of
social behavior maximize the
inclusive fitness of the participants.
Kitcher extracts four of the predic-
tions and goes on to show that
Alexander's list is full of "banal
facts about ourselves that are only
loosely connected with his central
claim," and hence "the large claim
that human beings act so as to
maximize their inclusive fitness
does not predict much about the de-
tails of human sociality." Kitcher
suggests that Alexander's entire list
should be thrown out because the
four predictions he cites - which
happen to be the weakest - destroy
the entire idea from which they
came.

This is crucial because <Kitcher's
approach to Alexander's predictions
represents a critical methodology
that he uses through his critique.
That is, he cites the weakest argu-
ments, presents them as illustrative
of the particular program, and then
argues that the entire package be
thrown out. Traditional scientific
criticism, on the other hand, locates
the strongest arguments, tests
them, and depending on the out-
come of the tests, determines the
underlying theory as either provi-
sionally correct or incorrect. Kitcher
indeed repeatedly locates the worst
arguments that have been made -
and there have been many - in-
stead of citing, for example, the
sociobiologists most, responsible
for the later work of Wilson and
Alexander.
If we are to deal with a new ap-
proach to human behavior - and I
think it is catching on - then we
must criticize it not using an

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To apply send resume and 1 pag
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Deadline: Nov. 7,1988
General Info Meeting:
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-Chuck Skarsaune

If you think he looks bad here, go see one of his shows.
William

Ackerman
Imaginary Roads
Windham Hill Records
William Ackerman is everything
that about half the students at this
university wish they were - 100%
granola guitar god. Most record
bios are boring, repetitive propa-
ganda; his tells zilch about the
record and deals with his love for
the outdoors, beer, and football.
While most musicians thank their
producers and fellow musicians on
the record jacket, Ackerman thanks
the man who sharpens his chainsaw
blades and the woman who planted
his garden. Incredible.
I bought Past Light (one of Ack-
erman's previous releases) on a
whim about a year ago, and it is to
date, the record which has most
surprised me. He plays a soothing,
beautiful guitar and is way out of
the league of most emotion-grasp-
ing new age musicians today. Re-
ally beautiful music is hard to come
by these days, but Ackerman is

surely one of a handful of musi-
cians with the ability and talent to
turn it out. Imaginary Roads is the
most recent in a long list of Ack-
erman releases, and on it he contin-
ues the high-standard, new age
classical guitaring he is so famous
for. He has truly an easy style, not
really simplistic, but quite relaxed.
It's not hard to imagine him pick-
ing up his guitar after supper and
strumming a few laid-back bars for
the neighbors.
Sadly, Windham Hill and Private
Music have been the only compa-
nies of late churning out good new
age music with any consistency,
but if they keep putting out vinyl
like this, we won't need any other
companies. It still strikes me as
funny, though, that the majority of
his siblings "au natural" will com-
pletely ignore this disc in the record
store and concentrate instead on the
euro-beat section, but I guess that's
just none of my business...
-Robert Flaggert

Devo
Total Devo
Enigma Records
"Just don't say anything bad
about my spud boys, now, OK?"
pleaded my friend Dave with nos-
talgic protectiveness, upon hearing
that I was reviewing the new Devo
album. Dave remembered how the
last major-label release by this
once-essential band, Shout, slunk
away into oblivion. Now, four
years later and on a new label, Devo
has released a comeback al-
bum,Total Devo. An album that
will go down in the record books as
the first-ever commercial release on
Digital Audio Tape.
This may be the only highlight,
though, to an album that contains
perhaps the last word in useless
covers such as "Don't Be Cruel."
But I guess one can hardly blame
the group for the dullness of their
sound now; the zippy synth-pop
formula that once set this band's
non-sequitur futurism on the cut-
ting edge of pop - back in the
New Wave heyday of "Whip It"-

has evolved into standard top-40
fodder. This turn of events leaves
Devo's less than enthusiastic ap-
proach sounding like third-rate
Howard Jones with a bad sense of
humor.
The spud boys might have tried
to branch out from this now obso-
lete style - perhaps, say, into hip-
hop, or country. But sadly, Devo
remains trapped in a gimmick.
With no new future world to sati-
rize, the purpose of Devo vanishes.
And what could have been a new
chapter ends up a mere postscript.
I hate to say it, Dave, but...
--Michael Paul Fischer
Level 42
Staring at the Sun
Polygram Records
Somewhere in northern Europe,
an A-ha tape boarded a plane and
headed south. At the same time, an
old Squeeze album got on a jet and
headed north out of Rome. The two
planes collided and the pieces fell
See RECORDS, Page 6

The word for Fall is

awl,

'pug'Bs

p
pr
r,:

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FULL TRAY SICILIAN N
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with 2 items & 2 Pepsi Colas
approx. 12" x 18"
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"The Michigan Daily" and "T

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Not Accepted at
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Expires 11-3-88 I
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S. University
at
Church
663-2311

MAIN
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665-6005

NORTH
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995-9101

wilitam-AcKerman

---- - - m - -

PAGE 4

WEEKEND/OCTOBER 28, 1988

WEEKEND/OCTOBER 28, 1988

w ,. ' .. a. --. . ..

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