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September 30, 1993 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-30

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Not my parentis
When my mother was a student
at the University of Michigan dur-
ing the early 1960s, she was sub-
jected to a rather paternalistic cur-
few system by both her dormitory
and her off-campus sorority. When-
ever she returned home after her 11
p.m. curfew, the Resident Advisor
or House Mother assigned her time
penalties. For every five minutes
she was late, for example, she would
have to return an hour before curfew


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the next time she went out. The
University didn't consider it appro-
priate for women to live in off-cam-
pus apartments, so my mother had
little choice but to submit.
Throughout most of its history,
the University has fostered its role
of in loco parentis. When it was
founded, that meant the University
made sure students attended church
regularly. Later, it meant that the
entire campus was "dry." In its most
hateful form, during the '60s, it
meant the Dean of Women kept tabs
on white women who were dating
Black men, informing their parents
when this behavior occurred.
Throughout its history, the Univer-
sity maintained a role of proscribing
improper student behavior, backed
up by specific punishments.
Many of these powers eroded
under student pressure in the '60s
and '70s. Now, universities across
the country are snatching them back.
Students must again deal with ad-
ministrations' intent on interfering
in theirprivate lives, and sortthrough
often redundantregulations that for-
bid even legal behavior.
A story that appeared in this
month's Spy magazine outlines the
growing restriction of student be-
havior at several prominent univer-
sities. Policies regulating everything
from dating between students and
professors to alcohol use to criminal
conduct on university campuses are
now commonplace.
The most recent addition: the
sexual offense policy of Ohio's
Antioch College. The policy de-
mands, among other things, that a
person "initiating" sexual contact
receive explicit consent for each
"new level" of sexual contact. Ex-
actly how the appointed judicial
panel determines whether a touch, a
kiss, or an ear nibble constitutes a
"new level" remains to be seen.
University of Michigan students
have seen a proliferation of regula-
tory policies during the last few
years. In fact, there are so many
policies that some overlap. The
University Housing policy, which
punishes various bad deeds, may
conflict with parts of the Statement
of Student Rights and Responsibili-
ties, the University's conduct code.
The University spent the better
part of the summer drafting an alco-
hol policy, even though the code
established guidelines regulating the
use of alcohol and other drugs.
The federal government is partly
to blame. Congress passed legisla-
tion forcing universities to adopt
policies governing sexual harass-
ment and the use of drugs and alco-
hol. Here, the legislation provided
an impetus for stricter guidelines -
a comprehensive code of conduct.
But that does not begin to ex-
plain the University's regulatory
zeal. Some of the motives may be
sincere. Daunted by growing crime
statistics, and fearing public recog-
nition that campuses are not always
safe, administrators, like politicians,
want to appear tough on crime.
They may feel a genuine obliga-
tion to curb dangerous alcohol use.
Even the University's unconsti-
tutional speech code, struck down

Videos that Suck
B1ancSlim Whitman, "Paloma
"This guy looks like a serial
2. Michael Damien, "Rock On"
"This video should have a warn-
ing label: Parental Advisory, what
you're about to see sucks."
3. Culture Club, "Karma Cha-
"It's Boy George, is he a man?"
4. The Jacksons, "Torture"
"Where's Tito? Tito's the only
cool one."
5. Winger, "Seventeen"
"This is Joey Buttafuoco's theme-
6. The Nelsons, "H-ere She
"These chicks look like guys."
7. Huey Lewis and the News, "I
Want a New Drug"
"'Anaaaahhhhhh ... this sucks,
Butt-head, turn it!"
8. Dead Milkmen, "Smokin' Ba-
nana Peels"
"This is musical masturbation."
9. Big Country, "In A Big Coun-
"These are those guys from that
10. VanHalen "Right Now"
"Words suck. If I wanted to read,
I'd go to school."
Videos that Kik Ass
1. Ministry, "NW~O"
"If I got a hat like that, ! could be
a lead singer."
2. Jane's Addiction, "Mountain
"You know, this guy has a really
good voce"
3.~ Soundgarden, "Outshined"'
and "Rusty Cage't
"Is everybody in Seattle cool?
Yeah, if you ever go to Seattle, any-
one you see is cool."
4. White Zombie, "Thunder Kiss
"They should play this video all
day long. That chick is cool."
5. Kris Kross, "Warm it u,
~"What were we born to do?"
6. Helmet, "Unsung"
"If yoo like, saw these guys in
the street, you wouldn't even know
they were cool."
7. Golden Earring, "The Tw.-
light Zone"
"They hit the guy, then they bring

Hangin' with Beavis and
Illustrations by Jordan Atlas

t was bound to happen. After
an entire year of almost nau
seating political correctness,
MTV has finally gotten the
ome-uppance it so richly
deserves: its highest-rated show is
"hosted" by a pair of immature, sex-
ist, vaguely homophobic idiots who
rake music videos across the coals
and fondle themselves for the bulk of
their half-hour time slot. Beavis and
Butt-Head, the brain-children of cre-
ator Mike Judge, have become the
wunderkind of our generation, and
not many critics have the slightest
clue why.
For the uninitiated who have had
the misfortune to never see an entire
episode of "The Beavis and Butt-Head
Show," here's the story. Two teenag-
ers sit on a couch and flip aimlessly
through the TV channels in search of
"things that don't suck." Butt-Head ,
the one sporting an AC/DC t-shirt, a
bad hair-cutanda wicked set of braces
seems to be the ring-leader, while his
friend Beavis, the blonde pyromaniac
with the Metallica t-shirt and the oc-
casional seizure spends
most of his time try-

Butt-Head and Beavis echoes through
the air ad nausem, even on college
campuses where the intellectual elite
are expected to gather. Funny thing is,
even people with some semblance of
a brain enjoy this show. Beavis and
Butt=Head are both incredibly stupid,
that's true, but for some reason the
inane comments that rumble around
inside your head when you watch tele-
vision have an annoying habit of pop-
ping out of their mouths. And the
feeling you get when that happens is
The Beavis and Butt-Head uni-
verse is peopled with stereotypes, each
with their own little grain of truth
linking them to the real world. Their
red-neck friend drives them across
the border into Mexico so they can
help him smuggle drugs back into
Texas. Of course, Beavis and Butt-
Head aren't smart enough to tie-off
the ends of the drug-filled condoms
they swallow, so the trip ends up
wasted, just like them. Their teachers
vary from a pseudo drill-instructor
who teaches sex education to an eight-
track tape collecting, tie-dye-wearing
hippie English teacher who accepts

package. The Ministry video for
"NWO," for example, has explosions,
fire and acts of nature, but according
to Butt-Head, "what this video needs
is a bunch of chicks in tight shorts,
with close-ups of their butts." You
can't please everybody.
Beavis and Butt-Head are not total
goof-offs. They have jobs at the local
Burger World, where Butt-Head is an
assistant manager. It makes you won-
der where the real employees are,
though, especially when Beavis cooks
dead rats and flies in the fryer and
serves them to customers, and Butt-
Head tells drive-in customers "we're,
like ... closed or something," during

Critics across the country are her-
alding Beavis and Butt-Head as the
voice of a generation .(they rarely
bother to say which generation they're
the voice of, but critics like to make
sweeping generalizations like that).
They compare them to Wayne and
Garth, not to mention Bill and Ted and
the McKenzie brothers. The truth is,
all of these comparisons are meaning-
less. Wayne and

a r e
g ea re d

ing to figure out the following as a haiku:
new and more That was cool uh huh
exciting ways When we killed that frog huh huh
to get high. He won't croak again
It doesn't That same teacher recommends to
sound like it ^ the guidance counselor that Beavis
should be and Butt-Head become poets and at-
popular, but tend a liberal arts college.
it is. The So Beavis and Butt-Head spend
maniacal their time watching music videos and
1a u g h giving the audience their unbiased
p a t - opinions. For them a video either
ented "sucks" or "kicks ass." The prerequi-
b y sites to a "kick-ass" video are usually
fire, explosions, loud guitar riffs,
women in various stages of undress,
animals, forces of nature, women,
fire, more women ... well, you
get the picture. Oddly enough,
r considering that most music vid-
eos are geared towards adoles-
centsjust like Beavis and Butt-
Head, not many videos meet
their approval. It seems hard

the middle of business hours. towards a
When they're not at Burger World, much more lit-
Beavis and Butt-Head do chores for erate crowd than
their neighbor Mr. Anderson. They Beavis and Butt-
steal Anderson's riding mower to go Head, and Bill
joy-riding, but thankfully he's a little and Ted are
near-sighted so when he hires them to both essen-
prune his tree, he doesn't recognize tially innocu- ous;
them. Beavis and Butt-Head wreak they'dnever even
more havoc on Anderson than Dennis consider h i t -
the Menace ever dreamed of doing to ting a frog with a
Mr. Wilson. They steal his credit card baseball. bat or
and hit the local mall with it, they stick- ing an
'prune'his tree with a chainsaw, caus- e le c- t r i c
ing it to fall across his house, they m i x e r
sniff paint thinner and in a stupor down the
paint graffiti all over his house, and back of
they take his poodle to the laundromat someone's
to wash it, until they figure out that a u n d e r -
few minutes in the dryer will give wear. No,
them a concussion-buzz. Beavis and
Mr. Anderson isn't the only Butt-Head
victim of their petty torments. are in a class
Daria, the smartest girl in their by them-
school, is the frequent butt selves.
(huh huh, I said 'butt') of For some
their immature sexist hu- reason, the fact
mor. Refreshingly thatBeavisand
enough, 'Diarrhea' as Butt-Head are
they call her is entirely animated seems
capable of maintain- to have escaped
ing her composure the notice of the
and self-respect critics. Although
even when ..occasional com-
dealing with parisons to Ren
minds as and Stimpy are
infantile made, only both
a s.. hows' nenchant


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