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October 13, 1989 - Image 17

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-13
Note:
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0

0

It's a cynical day in the neighborhood

Chicago proves you
can't go home again

. _ ,t... _
..--

R w r

As if it isn't miserable enough to
be a kid today, George Bush has
gone into children's television.
You remember George Bush.
He's the "anti-drug president" - as
well as "the education president,"
"the environmental president," and, I
think, "the Cajun Style president."
Anyway, a few weeks ago, alarmed
that a large number of registered vot-
ers were becoming addicted to drugs,
he decided to take decisive action: He
pushed for job programs, so less
desperate poor people would turn to
drugs, and cut off U.S. support to
the Contras.
Ha, ha! No, of course not.
Actually, he took a creative, gutsy,
and politically risky move - he
went on television. First he pulled
out an envelope of crack on prime-
time TV, then delivered a televised
daytime speech to children in
schools across the country. The ef-
fect was immediate: the White
House switchboards were flooded
with calls from concerned children
who had seen the envelope in the
other speech and wondered if George
could score for them.
Mind you, I'm not saying presi-
dential TV speeches don't have a role

in fighting drugs - I'm sure drug
treatment centers could use them
with quaalude addicts much like
methadone for heroin junkies. But if
you want to target the kids, you need
to entertain them. Nancy Reagan hadx
the right idea - kids laughed hys-
terically at the slogan, "Just Say
No" - but you can only get so
much mileage out of a one-liner.
No, the problem is that Sesame
Street and the Smurfs don't prepare
kids for the real world. Sure,
spelling, counting, and killing alien
beings with photon disruptor rays
are all valuable social skills, but to
cope with drugs, crime, and divorce,
what kids really need is a stiff shot
of reality. So let me present what
children's TV really needs:
(Calliope music. Sound of ex-
cited children.)
ANNOUNCER: Are you ready,
kids? It's time for... Stan the
Cynical Clown!
KIDS: Yaaaaaaaaay!!!
(Enter Stan: a middle-aged man in
a polka-dotted clown suit. He wears
no make-up, chain-smokes Camels,
and looks like Tom Waits.)
STAN: (Holding his hand to his
forehead and squinting his eyes)

PO JIM
UNI
°Z
'K
Wha-? Aw, Jesus - hey, look,
kids, could you hold it down a little?
Stan had a rough night and he's not
feelin' so hot. Hey, kids, look who's
coming - it's the female role model
the ACLU forced us to get!
(Enter Cowgirl Sadie, Stan's
sidekick:)
STAN AND KIDS: Yippie-ki-
yay, Cowgirl Sadie!
SADIE: Ah, go to hell.
STAN: Life got you down,
Cowgirl Sadie?
SADIE: Sorry, Stan. It's just
that my government subsidy didn't
come through yet, and my ex-hus-
band's got some shyster lawyer to
try and screw me over on the child
support. Think of that bastard ever'
time I geld me a horse.
KIDS: Awwwww!
STAN: Well, that, too bad,
Cowgirl Sadie - but you know
what Stan the Cynical Clown says
about that, right, kids?

KIDS: There's no such thing as
love!
SADIE: Ain't that the gospel
truth. But that don't do me a lot of
good now.
STAN: Well, maybe we can help
you, Cowgirl Sadie. Because today's
Friday, and you know what that
means...
KIDS: It's Put Your Problems In
Perspective Day!
STAN: Yep! C'mon, Sadie, let's
you and me mosey on over and visit
Conductor Casey.
(Stan and Sadie walk across the
set to Casey's house - a wooden
shack by the railroad tracks with a
rusted-out '72 Bonneville in the
front yard. Moaning sounds can be
heard within. Stan throws the door
open.)
KIDS: Toot, toot, Conductor
Casey!
(Casey is crying in the corner,
drinking from a pint of Old Crow,
half of which spills on the floor. His
speech is slurred.)
CASEY: It ain' - ain' - ain'
goddam Conduc'or Casey no more.
STAN AND SADIE: What do
you mean, Conductor Casey?
CASEY: Got canned. (Sobbing.)

I din't meanna do it, Stan. Swur God
I din't. Guess it was the bottle did it
to me. I - I was havin' me a little
swig in the coal car wi' Boxcar
Bobbie - y'know, 'jes steady my
nerves - an' I guess I los' trackka
time. Forgotta slow down at th' Big
Foggy Mountain bend. Next thing I
know, I come to, an' there's twisted
metal an' bodies all overra place.
Fifteen dead. What'm I gonna do?
I'm a murderer, Stan. A murderer! A
MURDERER!!! (Wails uncontrol-
lably.)
STAN: Wow, that's rough.
Don't you think so, Sadie?
SADIE: I'll say, Stan - I feel
better already! Gee, reveling in other
people's misery sure is an effective
coping mechanism! (She and Stan
turn to leave.)
CASEY: Hey, whur you goin'?"
Don' leave me, Stan. Stan, you
gotta he'p me!
STAN: What do we say to that,
kids?
(There's a clattering sound as
dozens of excited little hands throw
dimes on the stage.)
KIDS: Call someone who cares!
Ha, ha, ha!
See Poniewozik, Page 13

By Alex Gordon
There's no place like home.
When Dorothy said those famous
words, she was only talking about
Kansas. Imagine the way I feel about
my home, Chicago.
Few things are more refreshing
than a weekend away from Ann Ar-
bor in one's nuptial abode. Luckily
enough for me and my fellow
Chicagoans, we can make the mecca
to Chi-town in less time than it
takes you drive up Hill Street in the
afternoon.
Making the four hour drive down
I-94 is the prefered route home for
many, but for those times when the
old station wagon just isn't feeling
up to par, there's always McAirline,
Southwest.
From Detroit Metro to Chicago
Midway, in the same amount of
time it takes for a Cultural Anthro-
pology lecture, McAirline will show
you their version of the friendly
skies.
Forget about going to the travel
agent and making those concrete
reservations. Buying a McAirline
ticket, if you have a major credit
card, is a lot less frustrating than
making a deposit at the Automatic
Teller machine. (Especially when
there's dork in front of you who
can't figure out that the deposit door
won't open because he's pressing the
withdrawal button.)
And you can't beat the price -
that is, if you can figure the price
out. The cost of a round trip ticket
fluctuates between $19 and $34, de-
pending, it seems, on the ticket
agent's mood.

Alexp
About 'Town
There are no reserved seats on
Southwest, so don't dilly dally at the
newsstand. Quakers, no less, have
been known to come to blows grap-
pling for a plane seat.
There are, however, several pit-
falls that come with all this conve-
nience. For example, beware of pi-
lots with fast watches. I once made
it to the gate with five minutes to
spare, only to be told by the gate
keeper that I would be unable to
board the flight because "the cap-
tain's watch says 2:15."
Her watch, my watch, the airport
clock read 2:10, but we were all
slaves to the ambiguous monolith of
the "captain's watch." Luckily they
have TVs at the gate, so I settled
down to an hour of Oprah before the
next plane was scheduled to leave.
Of course, I would have been on
time had I not been standing in the
Midway Airlines line for 15 minutes
talking to Mike "The Living Years"
Rutherford. Why he and the Mechan-
ics were flying Midway I'll never
know, but the point is I myself
wasn't even flying Midway, so I
don't know why I was in the Mid-
way line.
But I digress. Let's talk Chicago,
the city of big shoulders, hog
butcher to the world. (Can you
imagine if you had that nickname in

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-

I I

YEKENb
SINCE 1989
4LMAN NC

a

l t
Seventy-two Years ago... October 13, 1917
"Because of his pro-German attitude, Dr. Carl Eggert, assistant professor
of German, was removed from the University faculty yesterday afternoon by
the action of the Board of Regents...
"Various students in the German department taking work under Professor
Eggert were incensed by his unpatriotic utterances in the class room and
filed statements with the Regents...
"One of the statements declares that Professor Eggert said, 'The German
government is far better than the United States. It is more democratic. The
president is more absolute and more despotic than the German kaiser."'
Twenty-nine Years ago... October 13, 1960
"United Nations (AP) - An uproarious General Assembly debate over
colonialism exploded last night into an unprecedented table-thumping Gen-
eral Assembly session highlighted by Soviet Premier Nikita S. Kruschev
waving his shoe in the air...
"Kruschev staged one of his most bewildering displays, amazing the
Assembly by calling a fellow delegate a jerk and a stooge, and at one point
banging the desk with his shoe."
Fifteen Years ago... October 13, 1974
"Washington (Reuter) - Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski
yesterday announced he is resigning - only a day after the jury was sworn
in for the Watergate cover-up trial....
"Jaworski emphasized that his resignation - effective October 25 -
was in no way connected with the controversial pardon President Ford
granted Mr. Nixon last month."
Items in the Weekend Almanac are culled from past issues of the Daily on
this date in history. All articles are taken from Daily files which are open
to public perusal in the Daily's library.

OFF 11111
WAL L
Conservatism of age is destroying
our youth- open your mind.
(In response)
Fuck you.
(In response)
I rest my case.
Infinity.
Yin Yang.
Ding Dong.
Hong Kong.
Cheech & Chong.
Right & Wrong.
Long Gone.
.-
Ice T
(In response)
A good musician, but I wish he
would stop this trendy
militant/violent image.
(In response)
You should be shot.

SKETCHPAD

F. ZINN

high school? "Hey dude, what's up,
you old Hog Butcher to the World?)
I was craving to get away from
Ann Arbor, the city of Big Bierken-
stocks, falafel maker to the world,
and see what the big city had to of-
fer.
The big story last weekend, of
course, was the Cubs. Here was
something new, a whole town prac-
tically shutting down while their
beloved baseball team was doing bat-
tle with the Giants.
Before I go any further, though,
let me just say I'd rather have Andre
Dawson strike out 1,000 times with
the bases loaded than see Keith
Moreland back in right field.
Forgetting the Cubs' losses, 1
began to cruise the Old

Town/Lincoln Park area. Another
surprise- more and more old build-
ings, shops, and bars were becoming
parts of rehabbed mini-malls, com-
plete with the mandatory neon signs
a la South University.
By now I was getting hungry so I
decided to look for a place to eat -
something I couldn't get in Ann Ar-
bor. Uno's Pizza was out. Ed Debe-
vic's is a glorifed version of the
Fleetwood Diner. Who needs a
Chicago-style hot dog when we have
Red Hot's? Worse of all, the original
Belden Deli, a fixture on North
Clark St., had been replaced by a
huge whole in the ground.
Finally I settled upon a joint
called Pockets. This looked good,

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Partyman Prince is
uncontested ruler of funk

,,.r

Prince
Partyman/Feel U Up (12")
Paisley Park
I recently read that Led Zeppelin,
arguably the greatest rock ' n' roll
band in history, received their due
credit long after their breakup -
after some sort of negative stigma
wore off. Although it might be
downright foolish to hope for a Zep
revival, following the grand sell-out
move of Pete Townshend or the cur-
rent tour by the Stones, the point
remains that Zeppelin, besides boast-
ing two of rock's greatest musicians,
did a lot along the lines of reshaping
the face of the form, by way of dras-
tic innovation and basic, down and
dirty sweat. Zep flew in the face of
crooked-nosed, slitted-eye criticism
and what you'd call unpopular ac-
claim. About a decade later, the mu-
sic lives on.

This brings to mind my main
homeboy, Prince, who currently is
doing a lot of the same things as
Zeppelin - determinedly avoiding
predictability, as well as the genre-
limited sensibility, of the current
music audience that can't stand him.
"Partyman" is a grand example of
Prince in top form. The arrange-
ments on his extended jam versions
defy whatever pop standards are cur-
rently held, whether influenced by
the massive Progressive/House mode
or not. The groove is surprisingly
sublime, until Prince syncopated it
into eighths and musically did every-
thing but wring out a sweatshirt
over the mixing board. I love the
way the beat falls between measures,
and Prince gets into an extended rap
in his wonderfully obnoxious
pseudo-Rude Boy voice, calling on
yet another new band of musicians

to help him groove this one out.
It's hard to say exactly why
Prince is such an underdog; he's
done more to resurrect a dying
form funk, than any contemporary
artist from current Clinton to Public
Enemy. Although it's true that funk
is on the creative decline, no one
gives more to the form. Take a lis-
ten to Prince's most current B-sides,
which have slowly evolved into one
of music's best surprises, you'll get
rude, demented jams like "Scarlet
Pussy",sor the hyperactive "200
Balloons."
This time around, Prince reached
deep into the music vault for the B-
side and found an outtake from Sign
O the Times - "Feel U Up," a
playful return to the carnal subject
matter of his earlier work. The song
See Prince, Page 11The purple Prince of funk has re

- East Engineering

Page .10

Weekind/Octob 13,1989

F

W6ern/Otober 131989

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