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April 20, 1993 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-20

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Rosenblatt sees creativity in journalism

by Joshua Keidan
Roger Rosenblatt, current editor-at-
largefor"Life,"was excited tohear that
he'd be addressing today's Hopwood
lecture to an audience made up pre-
dciminately of creative writers. About
tli title of his lecture, "Nine Antirules
of Journalism" Rosenblatt said, "I be-
lidve that the best journalism is done
through creative impulses - not fic-
tionalizing impulses, but the same sets
of mind that control the best of imagina-

Editor-at-large of "Life" magazine gives

yive writing also control the best of
journalism. The antirules all pertain to
Rosenblatt, who has spent the last
sixteen years as a journalist, credits his
entry into the field to "dumb luck. A
colleague of mine at Harvard bought
'The New Republic," and he needed a
literary editor, and I don't know if he
knew anybody else:' Still, there was
more at work than just opportunity,
"When he askedme, hereminded me of
first principles. He reminded me that
while I enjoyed teaching at a university,
I really wanted to be a writer first."
Of his career in journalism,
Rosenblatt said, "I was always very
lucky in being able to follow whatever
pursuit interested me." As a columnist
for "The Washington Post" and an es-
sayist for "Time," he was able to write
on any subject he desired. The same
held true forhisbooks: "Witness,"about
the bombing of Hiroshima, "Children
of War," dealing with growing up in
war-torn areas and most recently, "Life
Itself: Abortion in the American Mind."

As for the subjects that interest him,
"What I prefer to do, and I think most
writers prefer to do this, is to be in a
difficult situation where people are in
trouble, and then try to translate that
troubleintoprose thataffectsareaderin
a way that the reader is moved to do
something. The challenge of that is re-
'I know that I feel most
comfortable in
situations that I
anticipate I will feel
least comfortable in. I
hate traveling. I don't
like leaving my home
and family ...'
-Roger Rosenblatt
straint. You want to make them see. If
you can make them see, and a con-
science is operating, they will act. Jour-
nalism, if it is doing its job, at its besthas
an ethical effect, a moral effect."
In the last three years, Rosenblatt
has turned to playwriting. "It was a

Hopwood lecture
longtime desire thatl came around to in
avery slow arc. Thelastplay I'd written
before was my high school senior play,
so I waited 30 years between plays -I
didn't want to rush it." Rosenblatt first
wrote a monologue, "Free Speech in
America," which he performed him-
self, which he terms"more an entertain-
ment than a play." His firstplay, "And,"
is playing currently in New York, and
he's working on a third.
Still, Rosenblattseeshisplaywriting
more as a breather rather than a new
career direction. "For one thing you
can'tmake aliving from it, for the other,
I wouldn't do it if I could exclusively,
because the journalism I've been al-
lowed has been a pleasure." Refreshed
by his dramatic hiatus, he recently jour-
neyed to Sudan for "Vanity Fair." "I'd
never been to Africa, and I'd never seen
asituation as bad as Sudan, although I'd
seen some bad things doing 'Children
of War.'"
Regardless of how bad the situation
he enters is, "I know that I feel most
comfortable in situations that I antici-

pate I will feel least comfortable in. I
hate traveling. I don't like leaving my
homeandfamily, I always compare itto
a kind of death where I am leaving the
people I love, going to a place where I
don't speak the language, generally,
going to something quite alien, some-
times potentially dangerous. I hate the
idea of it. And then once I'm there, all
those feelings leave me and I feel as if I
ought to be nowhere else."
"I think what it is, and I don't think
I'm idiosyncratic, what you feel is that
life stripped of all its possessions and
luxuries gets down to commonalties
that are not only recognizable but al-
most pleasantly so. You tell stories to
one another. You find that you smile at
the same amusements. You need the
same things. The same things are hard
on you. It's a recognition, really, of the
species. And when that happens, then
you feel you're doing something valu-
able and worthwhile with your time. If
you can describe that accurately, if you
can tell that story to others, then it's a
ROGER ROSENBA TT will present
the Hopwood Lecture at 3:30 at
Rackham Auditorium. Free.

For those of you that have been
losing sleep andpulling outyourhair,
desperate for any information on
Lollapalooza 1993, fret no more. We
here at the Daily have the scoop. You
won'tsee thisin theFreep, the Snooze
or in any of those other Michigan
publications who claim they know
what time it is. Here it is -the
Lollapalooza Festival 1993 will roll
into the Detroit area on Thursday,
July 8th. It's being held at (now hold
on) the MilanDragway, in Milan, MI.
Capacity is a whopping 25, 000
alternateens, so no need to sleep out
for frontrow, because there isn'tgonna
be one. The official line-up is Alice In
Chains, Arrested Development,
Fishbone, Front 242, Rage Against
The Machine, Dinosaur Jr. and
Primus. Tool and Babes In Toyland
will open the show, trading places
halfway through the tour. With 25,000
screaming fans in attendance, things
could easily get out of hand, so let's
attempt some kind of common cour-
tesy, alright kids? There's no ticket
info at presstime, but as soon as we
know, you'll know. You're welcome.



_. j. J V _.. . .

Anthem' tries to fit inI

by Jason Carroll
"NationalAnthems"captures aday
in the life of Arthur and Leslie Reed, a
yuppie couple from Birmingham. Af-
er hosting a party for a few of their
brendy friends, the Reeds get a visit
$rom one of theirneighbors, Ben Cook.

National Anthems
Purple Rose Theatre
ipril 14, 1993

Ben isn't like everyone else on the
block. He doesn't own an expensive
sports car and his house isn't a huge
imansion. In fact, he isn't rich at all; he
dad lived in Birmingham long before it
,ot its affluent reputation.
After complimenting the Reeds on
heir fabulous home, Ben comes in for
a chat. Arthur brags about his new
banish stereo as Leslie boasts about
the Japanese garden that she wants to
plant on their "one and a half" acre
:Things beginto turn sourwhen Ben
mlistakes Arthur's BMVW for a Toyota.
den then decides to play a drinking
dame, thinking that then they might be
able to get along, but it only accentu-
ates their differences. Anxiety builds
upwhen Ben spilled adrinkonArthur's
(Leon Flagg) Armani suit.
Wanting to use Ben as a bridge to
introduce them to the "important
people" on the block, the Reeds letBen
"tay. After bragging about his high
school football days, Arthur challenges

Ben to a football match in their living j / '
room. While playing the game, some-
thing inside of Ben snaps and he goes "
hysterical, ranting and raving abouthis (,
abusive father and losing his job. - x " .o,
Phillip Locker's Ben was brilliant, .,."
especially during these scenes. The ," k "
moment he went crazy his face went '
pale then turned crimson red. Also, he'
delivered his lines with the strength of. . .. .,
araging bull. , ,'
Barbara Coven portrayed Leslie as
calm and demure. She didn'tjust walk
around the house - she floated with ."-
grace and style. Acting like the stereo- .
typical snob, she laughed obnoxiously '
loud whenever something remotely
comic was said. 6
Flagg's acting was less.than im-%
pressive.Hisacting falteredmostwhen-h
ever he was supposed to get upset. He,
lacked the intensity one needs when
about to beat the shit out of somebody.
PeterBeudert'sbright,airylighting ,f
combined excellently with Gary
Decker's smart, upper-crusty set. The.
modern living room (complete with °
parquet floors and tall columns) had an:
open ceiling which created the illusion-
of a larger acting space. The set re- .
flected everything about therich couple
and their marvelous belongings, right "' "n
down to the alarm company stickeron "National Anthems" plays at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea.
the front door.
Although thescriptispepperedwith topics are universal. way - even the people;
Michigan references, this was the first Because "NationalAnthems"deals least expect it to - elitist:
time that "Anthems" was produced with a problem almost everyone en- NATIONAL ANTHEMS is.
within the state. Ithas been able tohold counters in life, trying to fit in, it is a the Purple Rose Theater ti
up outside of Michigan because its story that touches everyone in some May 23. Call 475-7902.

'Beat' manifestation
by Andy Dolan
Metro Detroit concert fans had quite a few options before them on April 2nd.
Downtown, House of Pain and Rage Against the Machine rocked the State
Theater, and just down the street, Belly and Velocity Girl brought their majestic
sound to St. Andrew's Hall. But in far-off Pontiac, Meat Beat Manifesto were
playing at Industry for the second time injust five months, opening for Manches-
* ter, England's dance gurus, 808 State.
-Meat Beat Manifesto's Jack Dan-
Meat Beat Manifesto gers explained that "the tour was set up
808 State by 808 State's agents ... it wasn't defit-
April 2, 1993 nite that we were going to do it until
three days before the first show." Even
after five months of non-stop touring through Europe, Jack, along with partner
Johnny Stephens and drummer Simon Collins, was still anxious to promote
"Satyricon," their latest masterpiece. "We're definitely in 'gig mode'," admitted
Jack, "After this tour we're going to Australia, and then back to Britain. Besides,.
if we weren't doing this, we'd just be sitting at home doing nothing, really."
It was clear that touring has not caused their show to lose any of its intensity.
Opening with a furious dance-stomp that Jack said was "a remix that we did for
a band from Chicago called DHS," they went on to play some amazing noised-up
versions.oftheir club mega-hits, including "Psyche-Out," "Mindstream" and
"Radio Babylon."
On stage, Jack alternated between the roles of vocalist and mixing engineer,
remixing and adding effects to songs as they were being played with his on-stage
mixing desk and effects processor, a task which he attempts to vary from show to
show. He alsomanaged tofind time during instrumental breaks toplayhisoctopad
set-up, with which he triggered samples at an alarming rate. Meat Beat have been
noted for theirheavy useofsampling in the past,especially on tracks such as "Your
Mind Belongs to the State," which features a collage of post-modernists talking
introspectively, and the hilarious "That Shirt," which parodies a British shirt
advertisement ("That shirt is something else!").
In both cases, the statements are taken out of their contexts, and end up
sounding ridiculous. "The way we find ourselves living in this world is pretty
ridiculous in itself sometimes," observed Jack. "You can apply [our sampling] to
the surrealist movement, which was always very 'tongue-in-cheek."'
However, on tracks like "Edge of No Control," Jack chooses to take a more
direct lyrical approach. "Lyrically, we touch on subjects that are important to us
...we're not forcing views down people's throats, but at the same time we want
to create some sort of awareness, whether its of political issues, environmental
issues orwhatever," explained Jack. On top ofall this, they manage to create some
of themost innovativedancemusicaround, with atypicalbreak-beats thatkept the
crowd moving non-stop.
Closing the set with "Original Control Version 2," their scathing response to '
rave music, Meat Beat Manifesto left the dance music world with yet another
standard to attempt to live up to. Butjudging from this show, it's going tobe along
time before anyone comes close.


you would
playing at

Looks like a
Vivarin night
It's 10 PM. You've crammed for finals
otic all week. Took two today. And
athed th~enow you've got to pack an entire
t ei S}. - semester's worth of Philosophy into
ad e° reve d ceSSone take-home exam, in one night.
par l0OgYas d a as But how do you stay awake when
C e ere ga b°ks -you're totally wiped? Revive
e, blewith Vivarin. Safe as coffee,
egd Vivarin helps keep you awake
- Se and mentally alert for hours.
So when you have pen in
hand, but sleep on the brain,
make it a Vivarin night!
. :....'
A . " I
..~~~ a4 L? .


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