The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 30, 1991 - Page 7
Continued from page 5
has been realized as a ballroom gig,
complete with dancing girls,
wherein Prince can close the fissures
of his rock star/sex symbol self-
invention to an almost impermeable
Prince sings to everyone and no
one. The two pearls stare with
unparalleled boldness into the
this video, Prince's admitting lust
and paying homage to white women,
becomes little more than an inert
pastiche. The detached statements
made of and by his indomitable sex-
ual identity just float in a sleek vac-
uum of sterility. As a reporter says
in the beginning of the clip, Prince is
having sex with these two women,
and we know it.
And the Imp's harshest sting
comes with the defining of this
Continued from page 5
attend lectures about the historical
significance of Black leaders.
The political explorations,
though admirable, cannot be
supported by the shallow characters
and plot, and ring false in their cut-
and-paste nature. House Party 2 does
stand apart from much of African-
American pop culture in its
recognition of feminism and the
oppression of women at the hands of
men who wax eloquent about their
own racially-derived experiences of
discrimination. But the movie itself
dresses women in tight spandex, and
the male protagonists continually
objectify female characters. The
purported ideology of the film is
very overt, but it is implicitly
undercut by the movie itself.
House Party 2 is, at the least,
interesting. It's trying to do
something that hasn't been done
much before - depict African-
Americans in higher education
dealing with intellectual as well as
personal experiences. But it fails the
first House Party miserably. Even
in the worst of hip-hop films, the
music and dance scenes entice young
viewers and entertain despite
nonexistent plots. In Clouse Party
2, even the party scenes fizzle.
Visually, this romp through the retronuevo
has been realized as a ballroom gig, complete
with dancing girls, wherein Prince can close
the fissures of his rock star/sex symbol self-
invention to an
almost impermeable luster
HOUSE PARTY 2 is playing
Showcase and Fox Village.
camera, as if their very existence
hinges on our recognition of their
beauty (which they're already
absolutely convinced of), closing a
circle of assumptions tightly. We
have little choice but to hate them.
Yet the true center of purpose in
"Cream" and its origins, ending the
video with an extreme close-up of a
pearl's smiling lips and mouth. The
powers of implication and assump-
tion come full circle in a calculating
way that America needs to see.
-Forrest Green III
Prince's new video, "Cream," is brilliant. The above shot is a preview of
his next effort, a remake of U2's latest single, "The Fly."
Continued from page 5
aspect of his writing. "It is
primarily social/political commen-
tary, and less surrealistic than my
other work," he explains. "I work
on a few different levels. I write a
fair amount about the experiences I
had growing up. I write about
,;political issues that seem important
to me. My short stories deal a lot
with middle class suburban life...
The older I get, the more I get back
to my roots, the rebellious teenager.
By the time I get to Ann Arbor, I
should be fifteen."
Lawrence Pike has a considerably
different style of writing. He has
published stories, poems and essays
in many different magazines, and he
has a recent book, Pierced by Sound.
Pike's writing, usually told in the
first person, inspires an empathic
feeling in the reader, as in "On
Dying": "'Hang on,' I said, before
the coma, / as if there was a chance. /
I'll try, she told me. 'It's what I'm
good at now,' is how she put it. /
Later, when she lay still, / skin gone
cold, / I slid my hand along her
"If my work has such a personal
feel, then I'm hitting on some-
thing," Pike says. However, he says
that his writing does not come di-
rectly from personal experience. "It
doesn't require me," he explains. "I
borrow, but not always. I want the
stories to be taken by themselves."
There are several other themes
that Pike deals with, particularly
the way in which male-female
relationships occur. Pike also writes
about "what you're supposed to be,
and what you are."
"When I write, I find that
humor is as significant as grief, and I
like it if they tell me I cut one with
the other," he says.
I found Gay Ruben in the midst
of a struggle with her family's new
puppy, Murphy Brown. The prob-
lems faced by the modern family are
what she frequently explores in her
prose. "My stories often deal with
people struggling to find their place
in families and people who leave
their families," she says. Ruben's
work has appeared in several
periodicals, including the current
issue of The Bridge. She is currently
writing fiction exclusively. "I
write about the ironies in people's
lives," she says, "about what they
expect versus the realization of the
Despite these themes, however,
Ruben sees humor as being of the
greatest importance. "Humor is im-
portant to my life as well as my
work," she says. "In my new collec-
tion, many of the stories have a
comic resolution. Humor is the uni-
fying element." She goes on to ex-
plain that the humor is often subtle,
All three writers stress the
importance of entertainment in a
reading. "I give readings the way I
like to hear them," says Liebler, ex-
pressing a thought reiterated by
both of the other writers. "I try to
make it interesting. There is
definitely an aspect of showmanship
that is important. The performance
must be relevant to the audience."
Liebler feels that the growing
interest in poetry and poetry
readings he has seen on college
campuses is the result of an abstract
yearning in the human soul. "In the
sixties and seventies, people needed
music," Liebler observes. "Now
people need poetry. There's
something being said that people)
need to hear."
Check out the WRITERS SERIES
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Date: November 18, 1991