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February 15, 1989 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-15

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The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, February 15, 1989- Page 9

Continued from Page 8
were faced with during this period,
And the outgrowth of racial con-
The Scottsboro Boys were among
the 20,000 people across the nation
who were hopping freight trains to
find work. With the Great Depres-
sion, economic conditions soon pro-
duced both anger and unrest. Modest
but important atempts were being
made to organize Alabama share-
croppers and workers. A union
organized by the Communist party
claimed a membership of 5,000 dur-
ing that period. But by reviving old
Southern fears about white women
being raped by Black men, the state
found a powerful way to create ani-

mosity between poor whites and
Blacks. This rationale led to the fab-
ricated charges against the young
These historical photos also cap-
ture the surprising turnaround in the
case when the two women who
charged the men with rape dropped
their charges and confessed to the
fabrication. Preserved in the exhibit
are the significant moments when
these women joined in the campaign
in support of the Scottsboro boys
Organized by the International
Labor Defense, the campaign to free
the nine Scottsboro Boys involved a
multi-racial group of thousands and
lasted for 19 years. The strategy ofJ
the ILD was to carry out expert legal
work while organizing huge protests
of Black and white people that linked'

the Scottsboro Case to the country's
social and economic system.
While the legal system still sen-
tenced these men to over 75 years of
prison, great strides were made
through the organization of the peo-
No, this exhibit doesn't coax its
guests with wine, cheese and spa-
cious galleries. Rather, its allure is
the opportunity to remember those
who made fighting racism a central
priority during the 1930s in "just a
little place."
In celebration of Black History
presently showing at the Ella
Baker/Nelson Mandela Center for
Anti-Racist Education (3 E. Engi-
neering) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
daily through February 28. Admis-
sion is free.

p V F Vs

Continued from Page 8
arrangements full well, they don't bother to ex-
plain them, and neither does Lowndes, leaving it to the
reader to pick up on what's going on. The story itself
,- the adventures of aliens in their own culture - is
extremely strange, and Chekago requires concentration
to fully understand the story.
But Chekago is an excellent book, probably the
best I've read since Mona Lisa Overdrive. It's difficult
tO begin but equally difficult to put down, once the
story begins to become clear. Natalya Lowndes knows
the Russian people intimately, so well that she can
craft a soap opera and at the same time teach the
American reader what the people we call our enemies
ore really like -Ian Campbell
Merely Players
By Gregory McDonald
Hill & Co / $17.95
Ever see Fletch? It's one of the funnier movies
around, but the book is far, far better. There are seven
or eight other Fletch novels and most of them are just
as good. Gregory McDonald is the author of all of
these along with another half-dozen equallyrfunny and
offbeat novels. Merely Players, his latest effort, is
nothing like the rest, however; it is a poignant, dra-
matic story about how people learn that they don't
want to live up to what is expected of them.
s Dan Prescott and Janet Twombly were the Boy and

Girl Next Door. In the Maine countryside, they grew
up together and were high-school sweethearts; every-
one, including Dan, knew they were going to marry as
soon Dan finished seminary and returned to take over
his father's position as town minister.
Janet, however, realizes that the destiny that has
been drawn up for her isn't necessarily the destiny she
wants. On the spur of the moment, she runs off with a
musician, David, whom she meets in a bar. As David
and his partner, the idiot-savant saxophonist Chump,
become quickly more and more popular, famous, and
wealthy, they and Janet move to Paris. With a kitten
and a laconic poet, they take up an increasingly fast-
paced and dissolute life of tours and drunkenness.
Five years later, Dan anives, pursuing Janet in the
hopes that everything will be the same again. He not
only learns that this is untrue, but comes to the con-
clusion that he would be unsatisfied with his planned
Merely Players is a moody novel: glitzy light,
strong emotion, and impulsive action are all overlaid
with a grey pallor as the characters create new dreams
for their futures and subsequently realize that they
aren't interested in these dreams anymore. Gregory
McDonald has an excellent grasp of both characteriza-
tion and mood asrhis story floats back and forth across
the Atlantic. Merely Players would be an excellent
novel in any case, but if you have ever read any of the
Fletch books, this novel becomes even better when
you understand the scope of McDonald's talent.
-Ian Campbell

Jet Black Berries
Animal Necessity
The '80s will likely go down as the decade in which
Australia out-Americaned America. Take the America's
Cup. A trophy we won so regularly they put our name
on it, for God's sake. And after 100-plus years, they
snatched it away.
Well, we got it back, or should I say our engineers
beat their engineers. But there's still another chunk of
America held captive in Eucalyptusland, one that no
army of chinless rich boys can buy back for us. It's
garage rock: the three-chords-in-a-fountain, undisci-
plined, feral ungh! that you can either learn in two
weeks or never in your life. The kind that Americans
invented, and that Aussies like the Hoodoo Gurus, the
Lime Spiders, and the Scientists have been - face it
-- doing better than us for the past several years.
The Jet Black Berries are not Australian; they're
American. They're not Dennis Connor, either, but they
have made, with Animal Necessity, the kind of retro-
blast that might be the first stages of the long-awaited
Pacific Armada of American rock.
Almost from beginning to end, Animal Necessity
is one continuous rush of howling guitar and harmon-
ica that, as speaks the title, is true atavism. Songs like
"Tore Up the Tracks" and "Acts of Shame," with their
Western-sounding twang and rifle-crack drumbeats, dis-
play the hard-bitten but still fresh abandon of bands
like Guadalcanal Diary and Wall of Voodoo at their
The Berries use their country-tinged sound as a ve-
hicle for some stern observations on life, but without
the farcical morbidity of, say, Fields of the Nephilim.
Their characters get beaten up by life, spit out a couple
of teeth, and ask for more, as the chorus of "Tracks" ("I
walked until my feet bled/ But I never realized/ Just
how good it all could feel"). "Murder" seethes neurotic

Guitarist and songwriter Roy Stein of Jet Black
Berries overturns that place Down Under.
despair with its tale of a man on the run from - well,
maybe nothing in particular - over a brooding groove
that explodes in the chorus like a manic attack. Not
comfortable music to listen to alone on a Greyhound
With the exception of "Charles Darwin's Dream"
Lord, we don't need another "Subterranean Homesick
Blues" ripoff - every cut on the album works. Animal
Necessity is as fresh as a new $10 bill, nasty as the
cheap bottle of whisky you spend it on, and unsettling
as the bleary-eyed clerk behind the counter who sells it
to you.
-Jim Poniewozik

The Proclaimers
Sunshine on Leith
Chrysalis Records
Wholesome, melodic Scottish
pop to bounce around the living
room in your underwear to. On their
major label debut, the Reid twins,
Charlie and Craig, breeze through a
dozen sunshine-laced tunes with a
complete absence of shame. Who
else could reel off a couplet like "I
can tell the difference betweeen mar-

garine and butter! I can say
'Saskatchewan' without starting to
stutter"? Who would dare to dig deep
into their collective soul and belt
out, "But Jean, Oh Jean, you let me
get lucky with you!"? Besides
Jonathan Richman, I mean.
By appropriating a latter-day
Richman buoyant naivet6 for their
most British, Billy Bragg-esque
tunefulness, the Proclaimers under-
take the charge of filling the niche

created by the (artistic) demise of
Squeeze. While they do, unlike
Squeeze, slip into something
vaguely political at times, these
Scots are never less than fun, fun,
There are eleven originals here
and one sly cover of Steve Earle's
"My Old Friend the Blues," and ev-
ery single one of them skips as
pretty as a yellow-haired Scottish
lass in the summertime. Sigh.
-Mark Swartz

--Sunday, Feb. 19 and Monday,
Feb. 20
Nother Production Co. is holding
auditions at the Performance Net-
work at 7 p.m. for two Sam Shepard
plays, Curse of the Starving Class
and The Rock Garden. Seven males
of various ages and two females, one
,woman and one girl, are needed. No
monologues required. Call Peter at

663-0681 for scripts and more in-
The Comic Opera Guild will hold
open vocal auditions for soloists and
chorus for its production of
Donizetti's The Elixir of Love.
Formal vocal training is not a re-
quirement for chorus. Sunday audi-
tions are at the First Baptist Church,

near the corner of Washington and
State Sts., 7-10 p.m.; on Monday,
at Burns Park School, 7-10 p.m. For
further information, call the Guild at
Auditions and Opportunities runs
Wednesdays in the Michigan Daily
Arts section. If you have items for
the column, contact Cherie Curry at

Ethics: Cornerstone of the Public Trust
The 1989 Neil Staebler Conference
Presented by the Institute of Public Policy Studies
Thursday and Friday, February 16 and 17, 1989

Thursday. February 16. 1989


Keyrrfe Address
CoX, Chairman of Common
Formerly Watergate

Rackham Amphitheatre




Opening Panel
of Government

Rackham Amphitheatre
Past, Present,







Doug Ross, Director of
Friday. February 17. 1989

Michigan League Ballroom
the Michigan Department of Commerce
of the Michigan Citizens' Lobby
$10.00; FACULTY AND THE PUBLIC: $15.00)


Concurrent Seminars

Rackham Fourth Floor

The Power of PACs: The
Personal Protection and
The Ethics of Whistleblo

Ethics of Campaign Finance
Government Accountability:
ars Rackham Fourth Floor


Concurrent Semin


in' Policy


U.S. Government

& Defense



Stark, Policy Advisor to
Concurrent Seminars
in Government: The State


Michigan League Vandenberg
Prime Minister of Canada
THE PUBLIC: $10.00)

Rackham Fourth Floor
and Local Experience

Ethics, AIDS,

and Privacy:

Who's Right to


A comedy about one nice guy who got pushed too far.

I _



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