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Continued from Page 9
All the answers for a
successful weekend party
Cassette Recorder. In just 10 years,
the VCR has invaded the homes of
an entire television generation.
"It has given viewers the ability
to control the screen," says the Free
Press' Duffy. In 1979, the VCR was
a novelty. Less than 3 percent of
American homes had a video cassette
recorder or a similar device. Today,
the VCRs are present in over 64 per-
cent of homes. It took the television
itself a generation longer than that to
establish itself as an "important"
and necessary luxury.
But with videotape rental
"supermarkets" on every street corner
and the cost of VCRs becoming
more affordable, a home without one
is like a house without a refrigerator.
Tape rentals, especially those of mo-
tion pictures, have had a noticeable
effect on the motion picture industry
in the last decade. Studios now have
an opportunity to re-release films in
the home after their theater runs are
complete. This translates into more
profits for Hollywood, and more ac-
that you c
If you'd i!ke to write for
books, dance, visual arts, film, or music,
MC - VISA-"
An array of party kegs at Blue Front
By Alex Gordon
Humans first gathered together
for means of survival. Eventually
complex societies arose throughout
the land. Cities were built, the
cotton gin was invented, and John
Tesch landed a job on Entertainment
Today, however, human beings
still need to gather en masse for sur-
vival. No longer are the enemies a
saber-toothed tiger or a nasty
nomadic tribe of barbarians. Today's
natural enemies are mid-terms, five-
to-seven page, double-spaced papers,
and job interviews.
And, unless you're kind of pecu-
liar, you probably don't sit around
the fire recounting the day's hunt
while making clay pots and atl-atils.
No, today we gather on weekend
nights around the keg recounting the
week's tests while pouring beer
down our throats.
Today we hold a party.
Now parties have been with us
since Beowulf and his men sat
around the Mead Hall celebrating
Grendel's demise. Today's parties,
however, have taken on much more
complex dimensions and require
more elaborate planning.
Last weekend, I and my five
housemates threw a party that we
would like to think was a success.
Unfortunately, in our cut-throat,
world, for every good party there are
five bad parties you never hear
"So Alex, what can I do to make
my party a success?," you may ask.
Before you look up my name in
the phone book and pester me at odd
hours, I think I'll tell you.
Start with invitations. Remember
your birthday party in third grade
that was a huge hit? How did people
find out about it? Word of mouth or
a rumor there was a party on your
block? No, they had an invitation.
Invitations are not hard to make.
Simply find a computer with many
different fonts, throw them all to-
gether, take the print out over to
Kinko's, run off a hundred or so on
some funky colored paper and hand
them out. VIOLA! Instant empirical
proof you are planning to throw a
An invitation does not guarantee
the invitee will show up, but if you
hand out enough of them, you
should get some kind of crowd.
Even ants will leave a picnic if
the potato salad runs out, so you
need something to keep your guests
at your place. Super Glue will do the
trick, but I think a half-barrel of
Busch is a much more reasonable
way to keep them.
Buying the keg, or kegs, is the
quintessential activity in any party
planning and maintaining. Although
you can purchase a keg at any
number of the the fine liquor stores
in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area, The
Blue Front on the corner of Packard
and Arbor is the place to go. Prices
are reasonable, they have over ten
different beers in kegs in stock, and
-best of all- you get to load up
your car on Arbor St., see who else
is buying, and size up your fellow
The rules of beer-etiquette are
fairly simple. Consider the
following, put to the tune of
Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Teach
Tap your keg well, or your
party's health will slowly go by.
And fill their cups with beer, the
one's they'll drink, the one's they'll
want re-filled. Don't you ever ask
why, if you run out of beer go out
and buy, just hand out more money
and sigh, and know your party-goers
will love you.
Of course you may want to serve
punch. Punch usually doesn't have
to taste good. If it's potent, punch is
inherently consumed by the merits
of being punch. For a variation, buy
some dry ice from the Washtenaw
Dairy on West Madison (or the
Chemistry Stores in the Chemistry
Building if you can convince them
that you need it for a class) and add it
to the punch for way-cool effects.
You may want to have a theme
for your party like "toga,
"Halloween," "sock hop," or, my
personal fave, "humans are
inherently evil." All have worked
See Alex, Page 13
Rows of televisions for sale.
gain the momentary attention span
of millions of viewers.
Television commercials have
changed their "look" as well in the
1980's. As our fascination with
television has diminished since its
birth in the late 1940's, so has our
"Commercials (in the 1980's) re-
flect our short attention spans,"
Duffy said, "Whereas 10 or 15 years
ago, commercials may have averaged
a minute, today they are now 30,
even 15 seconds."
In order to get our very valuable
attention, advertisers have glossed,
slicked, polished and modernized
their roles. Entertaining and even en-
joyable commercials are an advertis-
ing phenomenon that has only really
emerged in the last decade.
As advertisers grope for every
possible way to make their products
attractive to the public, product
wars, not surprisingly, have devel-
oped. Burger King put its "flame
broiled" image up against Wendy's
"Where's the beef?", Chevy took on
Ford, Tide took on Cheer, and
AT&T took on MCI.
Television has become a natural
theater for ad wars in the 1980's as
manufacturers attempt to produce
better, more controversial commer-
cials that will translate into more
dollars in the marketplace. Over 20
percent of the television we watch
consists of commercials. The con-
stant commercial bombardment of
comedy, (Miller Light), statistics
(Dentyne), and yuppies (Nissan)
have effected our viewing habits as
well as our images of the products
As the look of advertising has
changed in the 1980's, so has the
cost. TV advertising is by far the
most expensive of any other popular
media. The Super Bowl is often used
as a barometer to measure the chang-
ing costs of network advertising
prices. Ten years ago, a 30-second
commercial during the Super Bowl
would cost a mere $180,000. Today,
it's nearly $600,000.
Advertising cost in prime time is
generally comparable to this, depend-
ing upon the popularity of a show,
said Charren and Sandler.
The price-tag is only one aspect
of the radical change television ad-
vertising has endured in the '80s.
Whether James Coburn is paid
$250,000 a word for saying "Schlitz
Light" or Michael Jackson gets $3
million for having his claymation
likeness sell California raisins, the
look and feel of advertising have
changed because of the changes to
television as a whole. We live in an
MTV/Miami Vice culture, and
commercials reflect that.
VCR and the Cultural
(The VCR) has been a lifesaver
with our son, Jeremy, who is seven-
teen months old. I taped 'The Mup-
pets,' and every time he's crying I
put it on. It does wonders.
-A young mother
Any list of appliances in the his-
tory of technological achievement
which have so completely dominated
their eras must include the Video-
+ PACKAGING AND SHIPPING
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Packing envelopes, boxes, tapes,
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Stamps, labels, and much more.
9 INDEPENDENT P051
Faculty and Student
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1756 Plymouth Rd.
Presents Coupon S
St Pauli Girl $4.99 +dep
Budweiser $2.99 +dep
Busch $1.99 +dep
- - --mm-- -" (I-
Voortman Cookies11 Na
I $1.19/ lb. I 79
I with coupon II
limit3tbs. expires11/17/89 ) reg
Liter bottles fCh
Pepsi, Coke, 7-up and
assorted other flavors $1.
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(limit 1) exires-11/17- -
Page 6 Weekend/November 3,1989
VCRs have become a vital part of today's entertainment systems. *