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November 21, 1989 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-21
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Life ant * NOVEMBER 1989

NOVEMBER 1989*ollars and Sense



Student collects used clothes to sel


in Gha

Once-proud MWV
is a big-time bore

By Hank Stuever
The Loyola Maroon
Loyola U.

gy that's hard to deny. Lead singer
Shane McGowan and his band-
mates also deliver some interesting
lyrics about living, loving, drinking
and dying in a world full of stupid-
ity, vice and innocent beauty.
Although McGowan contributes
some of the album's finest
moments, his fellow Pogues also
hold their own in the songwriting
department. The Pogues sing
about fallacies and frauds, but still
make it all seem like a party
instead of an apocalypse. Jesse
Fox Mayshark, The Daily
Collegian, Pennsylvania State U.
Various Artists
Young Einstein Soundtrack
What a strange mix we have here:
everything from R&B and gospel to
post-punk and mid-'60s British
pop. You don't have to see "Young
Einstein" (which flopped in the
United States following a lucrative
run in Australia) to appreciate its
soundtrack. Unconventional
instrumentation and rhythms
punctuate the songs. Paul Kelly
and the Messengers offer "Dumb
Things," a buoyant R&B number
with trumpet and a cheesy '60s
organ. Big Pig serve up a slice of
gospel, "Hungry Town," which
sounds like a rootsier version of the
Pointer Sisters' "Neutron Dance."
The record is marred somewhat by
the interspersed dialogue from the
movie, which becomes tedious after
repeatedlistenings, butonthe whole
this is a fine collection of Australian
music. Tom Dahlstrom, The
Minnesota Daily, U. of Minnesota

Music Television exploded into the
American consciousness onAug. 1,1981,
with a rocket blasting off and a neon-ized
version of the lunar landing. Back then,
it seemed so revolutionary, yet so
painfully obvious: all day, all night, in
stereo - FM radio with pictures.
In its earliest days, MTV was a trendy
secret of the cable sect, an offbeat chan-
nel flipped to between
reruns, HBO movies
and ESPN.
The original VJs
were soon-to-be-leg-
endary pioneers of the =
new medium. There
was J.J. Jackson, a ~
roly-poly soul brother'
designed to attract a _
black audience to a
station that would for
years be painfully
white-oriented. There MTV's ever-mutati
was Nina Blackwood,
MTV's mistress of the night, with her
shag hairdo and death-warmed-over
approach to TV commentary.
There was geeky Alan Hunter, the
class cut-up who never managed to be
funny. There was Mark Goodman, the
FM blow-dry guy who tried unsuccess-
fully to promote MTV's video offerings as
real music meant to be taken seriously.
We saw right through him the whole
time, of course
Ana re was Martha Quinn, the
squeaky High Priestess of MTV, with her
trivia questions and poodle earrings.
By 1982, the network was popular.
Musicians and the record industry
began to regard the music video as the
essential to the marketing of the 45 sin-
gle. MTV's success revitalized a sagging
recording industry that had sleepily
stalled at the starting gate of the decade.
MTV saved - and, some still argue,

ruined - music.
Culturally, the network has grown to
personify the decade and everything
that's wrong with it. In his popular book
"The Closing of the American Mind,"
Chicago Professor Allan Bloom main-
tained that MTV was specifically to
blame for several problems with today's
students and the way they think.
The key to understanding MTV's fall is
to realize that the station tinkered with
the formula that initially sold the prod-
uct. Simply put, they now show fewer
videos. They
A _____lYSW4____ also canned
their VJs and
failed to replace
them with
equally inspir-
ing people.
Once set in a
friendly, junk-
=,strewn, attic-
type studio,
MTV now has a
cOURTESY mrv dull, high-tech
ig logo feel. The five
original VJs
each had their little nook on the cluttered
set; today's replacements are superim-
posed against forgettable moving pat-
Today, MTV relies on just three VJ's
who are effective only at making viewers
hate what they're watching.
There's Julie Brown, perhaps the most
distasteful factor in MTV's decline, a
cockney lass with an acute ability to
make her audience want to gouge out
their eyes. Equally offensive is Adam
Curry, the daytime VJ who attempts to
make the 5 p.m. countdown show, "Dial
MTV," a matter of world importance.
It is harder to judge the nightime VJ,
Kevin Seal, because he is MTV's obvious
attempt to reach a college audience.
Plucked from the U. of Washington, Seal
is in the time slot where one can see
videos that the network considers "pro-
gressive" while avoiding as many Poison

By Leslie Hueholt
The North Texas Daily
U. of North Texas
A U. of North Texas graduate student
has purchased 16,000 articles of used
clothing to sell in Africa.
Akwasi Botang will be on his way
home to Ghana, West Africa, to accom-
plish his mission of selling clothing in an
impoverished country.
For more than a year, Botang visited
garage sales and searched for unclaimed
clothes in laundromats. Botang's find-
ings have left him with enough clothing
to make a difference in a place that is
close to his heart.
"I've been thinking about doing this for
a long time because when I first came
here (in 1983), I noticed an abundance
of waste. I grew up in a society where
there was so much poverty. Here, people
throw away usable stuff on a daily basis.
"Incomes are low in Africa and many
people can't afford to pay even $15 for a
pair of jeans," Botang said.
"I saw what Goodwill stores were
doing. Goodwill is a multimillion dollar
industry and it survives on used cloth-
ing. I figured inexpensive jeans would
make it big in the African market,"
Botang said.
Botang's clothing collection consists
primarily of blue jeans, he said. "I think
there's a market for jeans everywhere. A
friend of mine goes all over Texas and
gathers large amounts of jeans (3,000
pairs) for me."
Botang said he hopes to return to West
Africa this summer with five or 10 times
as many articles of clothing as he has
right now. He said his luck in finding
inexpensive deals and contributions

should improve during the s
"Spring and summer ai
times to go to garage sales I
weather is good and people 1
and get rid of old clothes d
times," Botang said.
Botang has received severa
help him maintain his bu
transport the cargo to Africa
"I borrow here and there a
dent loan helps. I don't ever
I'm going to pay my rent n
because I put everything in
ness. I'm a student and I hav
Transportation of the clot
most expensive part of Bot
"It costs about $4,000 t
clothes to Africa. I'm paying
of 22 cents to ship each pair


MTV VJ Downtown Julie Brown


clips as possible.
An inordinate amount of time is now
devoted to packaged programs like
"Remote Control."
Designed to be a spoof on the classic
American game show, "Remote Control"
is an indicator of two things: how stupid
fraternity and sorority members nation-
wide actually are and how desperate
MTV is to get them to watch.
"Music News" is suddenly important
enough to be programmed like an "ABC
News Brief." The show is anchored by
"newsman" Kurt Loder, a Rolling Stone
staffer who ought to have something bet-
ter to do.
More recently, MTV actually began
celebrating its own demise with a show
called "Deja Video." Martha Quinn has
been re-hired to show "oldies" from 1984-
85, an era when MTV still lived up to its
original claim.
Musically, the channel now regularly
lumps innovative music in with the non-
progressive. In its prime, everything
MTV showed was progressive in one way
or another.
Once an outlet that took chances and
broke new groups, MTV is now a ponder-
ous, conservative station.
Whether ratings plummet or not,
MTV's fate is sealed. All it would take
now is for some bright network to come
along and do the innovative thing; show
rock videos interspersed with dialogue
from likeable hosts. How innovative,


But It

Akwasi Botang collected 16,000 articles of used clothing to sell in Ghana, West Africa.

Work Abroad
Continued from page 12
Britian" program is co-sponsored by
British Universities North America
Club and the exchange.
Northern Arizona U. freshman
Kerry Ann Chapely discovered the
BUNAC program when she was
searching for a job overseas. She was
primarily interested in living and
working in England.
"I looked into a lot of different oppor-
tunities before I decided on the BUNAC
program," she said.
After working in Northern England
from July to December 1988, Chapely
said, "You experience a whole different
perspective by actually living and work-

ing there than you do just traveling."
In England, a participant earns as
much as a British worker would for per-
formng the same task.
A former Michigan State geography
major, Ann Callanan, went to London
last June for six months through the
Council on International Educational
Exchange and found a job in two days.
Students should obtain passports in
advance because they sometimes take
as long as eight weeks to process.
Council Travel, a travel division of the
exchange, helps students obtain I.D.
cards, airline tickets and reservations.
Student I.D. cards provide additional
"My I.D. card came in handy,"
Callanan said. "Especially in Ireland
and Italy. I used it for discounts on my

rail tickets on the continent and ferry
tickets to the islands."
Chapley worked in Northern
England, a depressed area. Most people
who worked in London made two to
three times more money.
To apply for work in countries where
English is not the primary language,
proof of language proficiency must be
demonstrated before students are
admitted to the program. The process
usually takes three weeks.
Each country has specific time periods
in which work visas may be issued: West
Germany, Costa Rica and Jamaica
begin June 1; New Zealand begins its
program in the spring. All four coun-
tries' work visas expire October 1.
In Great Britain, students can work for
six months at any time during the year.

Even solo, Bob Mould stays loud and powerful

By Josh Sparbeck
: South End News
Wayne State U., Michigan

Bob who?!
The wheels of justice grind slowly in the music indus-
try, so don't worry if you haven't heard of Bob Mould.
For the better part of the decade, the singer/songwrit-
er/guitarist was the frontman for Husker Du, a
Minneapolis-based post-punk trio. The Huskers, along
with bands like R.E.M. and The Replacements, gradu-
ally helped edge the loose, powerful, do-it-yourself ethic
of independent rock toward the mainstream.
Unfortunately, Husker Du never got the chance to
enjoy their growing impact. After a half dozen stunning,
ambitious albums (the last two on the Warner Bros.
label) the group packed it in early last year. The
breakup was attributed to those two perennial rock &
roll hobgoblins: drug problems and creative differences.
Mould's solo LP on Virgin Records, Workbook, is his
attempt to rummage through the emotional debris left
in the wake of Husker Du's breakup. Given the low-
level sparring in the music press between Mould and

Grant Hart, his former Husker drummer/singer/co-
writer, I was expecting Workbook to be something along
the lines of an LP-length version of"How Do You Sleep,"
the vengeful vendetta John Lennon hurled at Paul
McCartney after the Beatles' split.
The record has its moments of accusation, to be sure,
but in comparison to Mould's merciless bitterness of
earlier years, it's a relatively easy pill to swallow. Most
of the pieces I've read on Mould and Workbook have
fixated on the idea that the album somehow presents
a more "mellow" side of the guitarist than was apparent
in his work with Husker Du, but this hardly seems the
case. Mould had already been experimenting with
broader, acoustic-based songs on latter Husker LPs like
Candy Apple Grey and Warehouse: Songs and
Stories. Some of the songs here, particularly the open-
ing instrumental, "Sunspots," and the uplifting "See A
Little Light" do seem exceptionally cheery, given
Mould's usual penchant for angst. But Workbook is far
from mellow.
One can only hope Mould can keep up his momentum
in the future by drawing on circumstances less horrible
than the breakup of one of rock's best bands.

Continued from page 12
run lights, milking machines and motors
costs $400 to $500 per month.
Lehman estimated the process will
save Mason approximately $30 per
While the biogas helps shrink energy

bills, another product of the process
helps grow plants.
The sludge left after the biogas has
been siphoned off can be further separat-
ed into a liquid and a solid.
The liquid part of the sludge is a high-
grade fertilizer, which Lehman said is
actually better than raw manure.
Changes occur during the breakdown
which make the nutrients in the liquid

sludge more available to plants.
The solid part of the sludge is a rich
foamy material that can be used for ani-
mal bedding or potting soil.
Lehman said that since the solid still
has some nutritional value, it can also be
used as a feed supplement for the cows.
Although this may not sound very
appetizing, the cows don't seem to be
offended by the broken-down manure.

. __ __

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Bob Mould formerly played with Husker Du, described as one
of the post-punk movement's most significant bands.



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