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February 16, 1989 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PERSPECTIVES
The Michigan Daily Thursday, February 16, 1989 Pages

Be s
BY MARK SHAIMAN
On one of my shoulders sat a
little angel and on the other shoulder
sat a little devil. The angel whis-
pered sweet thoughts in my ear. The
devil murmured terrible things in my
other ear, so I turned to it and said
g "Shut the hell up." To this he just
smiled, looked me right in the eye,
and replied "See, I have you in my
grasp already."
"No, you don't. That's just a
phrase. It doesn't mean anything," I
retaliated. The angel started to quiver
l and I stood up straight so that it
wouldn't fall off.
The devil however was perfectly
steady - it already had its pitchfork
rooted in my shoulder, giving it
aplenty of support. "Of course it
means something, or why would
you say it?"
"Because it comes naturally."
"My favorite excuse" grinned the
imp, "I just love it when evil comes
'naturally"'.
The sting in my shoulder began
to increase into a true pain and the
,angel on the other shoulder, who
was beginning to fade away, strug-
"gled out a few words: "Be careful
what you say, he is a crafty one."

ure

to

I didn't find this advice too
enlightening, or reassuring. My
shoulders started to tilt, and every-
thing seemed to be on a slant. I was
slouching toward the devil.
"What do you want?" I cried out
angrily.
"No, the question is 'What do
you want?'
"To get that pain out of my
shoulder!" I yelled at the imp. And
as soon as I finished my sentence,
relief came. By this point the little
angel had vanished altogether. In-
stinct told me to rub the sore spot,
but the spot was no longer sore. No
marks, no redness, nothing. The
pitchfork once again rested in the
devil's little hand, points facing up,
not in.
Funny, but when a pain is
removed you feel better than when
you had no pain at all. "See how
easy that was? Just ask and you shall
receive."
"I'm no Doctor Faustus, you
know. I'm not going to fall for that
scam." But images did float through
my mind at incredible speeds.
Things I could never have hoped for
were now within my grasp, arms
length away in fact. And what would

give
I have to give for that?
The devil had been through this
before, had anticipated my question.
"No, I wouldn't ask for your soul."
"What then?"
"I have something special in
mind. I have more than enough

the

Devil

spelling teacher, Mr. Sims. It is said
that when you die, your whole life
flashes before your eyes; this was far
worse because I saw only the bad
parts.
I felt flushed, afraid, and angry.
These creatures that I hate were

'And with that statement, the devil became Jack
the Ripper, then Dracula, then my fourth-grade
spelling teacher, Mr. Sims.'

his

filled with detest for the little beast.
I hated that it could make me hate.
Hated with all my heart the word
'hate.' It's a vicious cycle, hate is.
But the image that bothered me
most was that of Mr. Sims. Why did
I hate him, and even worse, why do I
still feel that way? I know now that
he was really there to help me.
Back in fourth grade the biggest
influence on my life was Star Wars.
Everyone wanted to be Luke Sky-
walker, to be a Jedi, to learn the
ways of the Force. But none of us
really knew what that meant.
The omniscient imp metamor-
phosized again, this time breathing
through a respirator, dressed all in
black. Darth Vader. The Dark side of
the Force. This time I began to
shake, not due to fear of this alien,
but because there was little difference
between him and I. Evil through
ignorance, through ease, incarnate.
And again I thought of my

due
childhood. Obi-Wan Kenobi's words
flowed into my head "Trust the
Force, Luke" and I put my trust in
these words. The little angel began
to reappear, his form was now that
of the young Jedi. As he took form,
became opaque, the devil's shape
became transparent. Soon there was
nothing left of it.
The angel type relaxed a bit. But
not much. It would be too easy to
give in again. "Now wasn't that
easy?" asked the angel, with a bit of
sarcasm in his voice. Then he too
vanished from whence he came,
somewhere deep inside of me, where
I know the battle continues.
I watched George Lucas' master-
piece again the other day, in a
throwback to my childhood. The
lesson it teaches is simple. Simple
to learn, simple to apply, and just as
simple to forget. No need to see Star
Wars again, we all know what it is
really about. Don't we?

souls already. I gave up canvassing
for them a long time ago. What I
want is your loyalty. I already have
some influence on you because,
obviously, you believe in me since I
am here. You even used the word
'hell."'
"But I believe in neither Heaven
nor Hell. I am not at all religious. I
say 'Oh, God' and it doesn't appear."
"Who said anything about reli-
gion? Not I. I just take the form you
fear." And with that statement, the
devil became Jack the Ripper, then
Dracula, then my fourth-grade

forced upon me solely because I hate
them. At points in my life I've
wanted to kill each of them.
The devil returned to his first
form and was grinning even more
than before. "See how easy it is to
hate. It's a natural thing."
It sure was easy because I was

TO TAKE TH1b TIME TO
ASK. CHAR OF THESENATE
ARMEP SERVOc S COMIT'EE)
SAMtUMM -ABOUT THE

WJEAL i.NWE SENATOR.S UKE.
To TtjlSK OF EvEKY
INE' [4A 1N NlVIUA ...

WHN4T WE'RE DALU.GW WTH
NEJt IS NOT '3IMPLV
A FILC of NAM1ES
ANDNUMBurERS...

NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Ann Arbor's Prime Properties
Available for 1989-1990 School Year

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DELAEDI' OWARCONFIRMATIO N.'!"r-
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Ethics: Cornerstone of the Public

The 1989 Neil Staebler Conference
Presented by the Institute of Public Policy
Thursday and Friday, February 16 and 17,

St
1s

Trust
udies
989

For further information, contact
Prime Student Housing
610 Church Street Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (313) 761-8000

Thursday. February 16. 1989

11:00

Keyrite Address

Rackham Amphitheatre

I

Archibald COA-, Chairman of Common Cause
Formerly Watergate Special Prosecutor
2:15 Opening Panel Rackham Amphitheatre
The Office of Government Ethics: Past, Present,
and Future Directions

FINAL 1.LFO
FIN A ...I.FOI
CAN
Get ivlewihMA
and yo: :4"v men
Candidates needed for:
President and Vice-President of MSA

t

7:30

Dinner

Doug Ross, Director of
Co-Founder
(STUDENTS:
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)

a

9:00

Concurrent Seminars

Rackham Fourth Floor

The Power of PACs: The Ethics of Campaign Finance
Personal Protection and Government Accountability:
The Ethics of Whistleblowing

11:00

Concurrent Seminars

Rackham Fourth Floor

Ethical Dilemmas in Policy Reporting
Intimate Partners: U.S. Government & Defense Contractors

A

1:00

Luncheon

Michigan League Vandenberg

Andrew

Stark, Policy Advisor to
(STUDENTS, FACULTY,

the Prime Minister of
AND THE PUBLIC: $10.00)

Canada

3:00

Concurrent Seminars

Rackham Fourth Floor

Ethics in Government: The State and Local Experience
Ethics, AIDS, and Privacy: Who's Right to Know?

* LSA

* Natural Resources

* Rackham

* Art

5:00

Neil Staebler Lecture

Rackham Amphitheatre

L

I - /1 7 . _ t.. r- - - -- 2--s! O - -2- -A- - - - w1

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