The Michigan Daily/
Wednesday, September 25, 1991
An honest look at MS
Award-winningfilm captures a mother's strugge
by Michael John Wilson
7Sometimes it takes a novice film-
=maker to step back and show us the
true power of film. 21-year-old Ann
Arborite Natalie Sternberg has ac-
complished just that with One Ba-
nana, Two Bananas, a documentary
about her mother's bout with mult-
iple sclerosis. Its raw, unsenti-
mental honesty provides a much-
needed antidote to the mind-numb-
ing, high-concept products of televi-
sion and feature films.
Sternberg shot 35 hours of video
footage as a record of her mother's
declining health. Edited down to a
half-hour, the video presents inter-
views with Sternberg's mother, as
well as everyday events such as the
often grueling ordeal of helping her
mother use the bathroom.
The result is, at times, painfully
real. The few light moments, pro-
*vided by Sternberg's charming
grandmother, are constantly tem-
pered by an awareness of the disease.
The video's unpolished production
makes it even more difficult to
watch. Sternberg simply sets the
camera on a tripod and presses the
record button - no flashy cutting,
no sappy music and no typical movie
conventions relieve the tension.
The honesty of Sternberg's per-
Suburbia's Dead End Kids
In Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids,
journalist/ sociologist Donna Gaines writes about New
Jersey's "losers," "dirt" and "burnouts," focusing on
an area where a number of young people recently com-
mitted suicide. Though her premise is to explore the
situations in which these kids lived, Gaines concen-
trates more on those who didn't kill themselves. In
this way, Teenage Wasteland encompasses both groups
of teens, explaining their motivations and their lives.
Throughout the book, Gaines uses a hip writing
style to relay her encounters with the kids. Often, she
relates their lives to her own youth on Long Island. In
New Jersey, Gaines was able to fit in with the
teenagers well enough to be able to show adults how
these young people view their world. Unlike many au-
thors writing popular sociology, Gaines had experience
as a "troubled" teen, giving her book an air of sympa-
thy and intimate knowledge. For example, the terms
used above ("loser," etc.) are usually inaccurately
lumped together as one and the same, but there is a dif-
ference between dirt and burnouts.
At times, though, Gaines' insider point of view
reads as haughty and overbearing. She regards her taste
in metal/hard rock/thrash/etc. as slightly more
"sophisticated" than the kids'; thus, any attempts to
interest the teens in her music were usually unsuccess-
ful. The problem lies not in the concentration on music
itself - music is one of the most important factors in
the lives of these young people - but rather in Gaines'
constant boasts (every couple of pages) about her vast
knowledge of music. Her insights into the music and
into the teens' lives are thought-provoking, but she
doesn't always work the ideas into her text in a mean-
ingful way. Readers unfamiliar with metal might need
some background or some landmark to help them un-
derstand some opaque points.
Gaines' book is largely successful because it effec-
tively develops the characters, personalities and life
situations of the people she is studying, instead of ana-
lyzing data in cold, percentile fashion. Her conclusions
are not unexpected - the kids become human and re-
spected, not just the high school losers to whom most
aspiring college students would never speak. They're
victims of the system and of society, people whom
many adults would like to forget. Gaines offers no
suggestions for change, simply acknowledging that
these people exist and that their needs should be ad-
dressed but probably won't be.
it takes to be a Marine Corps Officer and
lawyer, talk with the Marine Corps Officer
Selection Officer when he visits your campus.
More than 190,000
Jive Marines could use
Lynn Sternberg's life and death of multiple sclerosis is depicted with
raw honesty and a rare dignity in One Banana, Two Bananas.
sonal expression is refreshing and
exhilarating. With such a powerful
document, she reveals that video can
be used for purposed other than tap-
ing birthday parties or submissions
to America's Funniest Home Vi-
deos. As Sternberg said in a brief
interview, "I think it's terrible that
people are so passive about tele-
vision... It dictates our cultural
ideals of what beauty and happiness
are, of what our goals in life should
be. I'd like to see people making
their own TV."
Sternberg's video has won nu-
merous awards since its completion
in 1989, including the top prize at
the Chicago International Film and
Video Festival. The work has also
See VIDEO, Page 8
You'll get first hand experience in the court-
room right from the start. In three years, you
could handle more than 3,000 cases in a
wide variety of subjects f
The Reality Of My Surround-
"Fight the youth/ The youth
with poisoned minds/ Ignite the
truth/ Restore sight to these
with the addition of ex-Miles Davis
guitarist John Bingham to core
members Angelo Moore, Chris
Dowd, Walt Kibby, John Fisher,
Kendall Jones and Fish - is
renowned for a musical polyglot
that merges dirty-butt funk, hyper-
kinetic ska, kill-'em-all metal, and
This desperate, fist-clenched plea for
an end to close-minded separatism/
supremacy within America's youth
best summarizes the new agenda for
Fishbone in the '90s
urgent declarations ever made about
being Black, lower class and mis-
understood in America. Statements
on society, police brutality, drug
,addiction and mental anguish, from
an Afrocentric point of view, rival
even Public Enemy at their best.
In "So Many Millions," Moore
uses a cacophony of ska-drenched
horns and buzz-saw guitars to take
us inside the mind of a youth in a
neighborhood where he "cannot
grow up to be President" and "only
drug dealers drive Mercedes-Benz'."
"Sunless Saturday" laments "the
shards of shattered dreams on the
street," while Jones and Bingham
create a wall of warp-speed guitar
noise that would encourage even
Metallica fans to bang their heads in
Thankfully, The Reality isn't
all gloom-and-doom politicizing.
Songs like "Naz-tee May'en" cele-
brate sex-mad indulgence with a
slammin' groove that steam-rolls
See RECORDS, Page 8
blind!" howls Chris Dowd during
"Fight The Youth." The opening
track on Fishbone's new album, The
Reality of My Surroundings is a
sonic assault on an unsuspecting
world. This desperate, fist-clenched
plea for an end to close-minded sep-
aratism/supremacy within Ame-
rica's youth best summarizes the
new agenda for Fishbone in the '90s.
Fishbone - now seven strong,
even some pew-rocking gospel.
They've created a unique sound that
is all their own. This, combined
with the band's legendary live
shows and party-time lyrics, makes
the 'Bone an underground favorite.
With the release of The Reality
of My Surroundings, however, party
time seems to be over. The social
commentaries throughout the disc
are some of the angriest and most
who what where i
Captain Dave and the album entitled Voice of the Wind.
Psychedelic Lounge Cats return Sarath plays the fluglehorn and
to the stage they were kicked off of he'll let you in free.
two and a half years ago. That's Check out the Goo Goo Babies
right, the band famous for their (is this a lame pun on Kajagoogoo or
m"efat showismakingstyimhantawhat?) at St. Andrew's Hall in
return to Rick's Thursday night in a Detroit on Saturday. They're on Me-
must-see Ann Arbor gig. It starts tal Blade, so you know they won't
at 10:30 p.m. be singing "Too Shy Shy," but hey,
Ed Sarath Quartet at 5:01 p.m.
Friday! The 5:01 concert (not spon-
sored by Levi's) happens about once Welcome Students
a month in the lobby of the Mi- - 6 Barber Stylists
chigan Theater. The concerts are free
and usually feature jazz artists. The - For Men & Women
Ed Sarath Quartet, led by the di- - To please you
rector of the University's Jazz Stu- - No waiting
dies program, performs jazz stand-
ards and original contemporary mu- Dascola Stylists
sic. He has also recently released an Opposite Jacobson's 668-9329
they're kind of metally and car-
toonish, and Paul Westerberg loves
'em. Tickets are $6.50 in advance
from TicketMaster (plus evil ser-
vice charge). Doors open at 9 p.m.
Free Plane Rides at the Ann Arbor Airport September 30th & Uctober 1st.
Call Judi at 973-7070 to schedule your flight.
Upon meeting Muhammad Ali, John Lennon told the
& poet (float like a butterfly and sting
"You're not as stupid as you look."
Mon Labatt's Pitchers: $5.00
Tue Bud Light Pitchers: $3.50
Wed Pint Night: 75¢ off pints
Thu Long Island Iced Tea: $3.25
Fri Happy Hour 'til 9:00 in the
Underground. $1.00 off all
drinks, pints, wine.
Muhammad looked at the famous singer and replied,
"Neither are you.
w - ji-"r j 338 S. State - 996-9191
Everyone's entitled to
his or her opinion.
We want yours.
e B e heard.
Write for The Michigan
The University Actuivities Center Presents:
ib an4 tFi 7ootnotts
The 14 - piece funk and soul extravaganza
Thursday, October 10 9pm
Michigan Union Ballroom
tickets on sale at MUTO