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October 21, 1993 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-21

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, October 21, 1993 - 5

U

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DSTATES

Remember,.ning Sim

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POSTASE
D N
* S
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RW CE

This is the old U.S. Postal Service logo. Look for the new and improved version, coming to a post office near you.
A sexy-%f"* new style fr the post ofie

Entangled in the slew of miscon-
tion that continues to consume
erica, the United States Postal
Service earlier this month announced
its plan tobe thenextcombatantin the
post-modernist image war. Sure that
bad image, and not laggard service,
sits at the root of its ever-increasing

I will always remember that day. The whole house
seemed like one raw nerve, exposed and painful to the
touch. It was as if something somber and morose had
snaked and entrenched itself into their voices, their atti-
tudes and their demeanors. Strange, twisted, even
horrorstricken expressions blanketed their faces. Grisly
masks to what-
ever tragic emo-
tions they were
feeling. What
had transpired to
bring such an ef-
fect?
Itprovedtobe
abitdisorienting,
disconcerting
and confusing.
The adults did
nothing to satisfy my curiosity. They merely baited the
little curiosity bug that buzzed just behind my ear by,
carefully and swiftly, deflecting my questions. I guess I
was figuratively and literally talking to a bunch of knee-
caps. Their voices pointed upstairs. And getting to the
center of all this commotion would shed some light on the
situation. So I found myself climbing the stairs in pursuit
of the answers they could not or would not give me.
En route to my destination I encountered people who
gave me the usual warning speeches. Mere distractions
and temporary barricades. I was undaunted by statements
like "you shouldn't go up there", "you're too young to see
this" and"... can't believe Simon did this to himself." My
need to know was just too overwhelming and powerful.
I eventually made my way upstairs, weaving through
my taller adversaries, into what was my Nana's kitchen.
No one here. Not letting this opportunity pass me by I took
a looksie around. Nothing of interest. Just the same ol'
cupboards, countertops, pots, pans and even that "god-
awful" tablecloth that I hated. Same with the rest of the
house; nothing out of place. So with a shrug of my
shoulders I made my way to the bathroom.
It was then that I knew. It was then that I knew what
everyone was being so secretive about. It was unthink-
able. It was unbelievable.
My cousin Simon had taken his life in the night. His
death-knell was a loud blast that sent parts of him hurtling
toward the four walls. That simple. In the heat of the
aftermath no one had gotten to the flecks of blood, brain
tissue and bone that stood stark against the white walls and
porcelain pieces. Swollen with grief and sorrow no one

had cleaned the bathroom. I was staring at his shrine.
I stood there, 10-years-old, amazed and horrified at
the power and the decadence that swam in front of me. Yet
to this day, it is not what I witnessed in that bathroom that
sharpens the taste of this memory. Nor was it his death.
Not to sound cold but we weren't that close. It is what I
have figured out about my cousin, his relationship with his
mother and why he killed himself that is truly frightening.
Let me explain.
He was bent upon pleasing his mother. He fell glar-
ingly short of her standards. Try as she might she never
forgot to remind him of that. In their arguments about his
"worth" she remained incessantly and relentlessly hateful,
even venomous. He buckled under that pressure. Try
dealing with this all of your life. Maybe it feels like a
permanent boot ground into your back? Or rather a very
deadly pump?
As I said before there was something about this whole
scenario that bothered me. It's a statement about humanity
... or lack thereof. You might think I'm referring back to
my aunt, but I'm not. I'm referring to Simon and why I
believe he killed himself. You see, like I said before he'd
do anything to please her. Sometimes just getting her
attention was what he wanted. But in this case he was
going for the exact opposite effect. I think he wanted to
hurt her, to lash out at her. He wanted to show her his pain.
He wanted her to feel his pain.
I can picture him him sitting there, his mind wheeling
from the daggers of pain, anger and hate. Plotting, dream-
ing of some sweet revenge in a tiny, far away part of
himself. Don't think about where he got the shotgun, just
the fact that he got it.
I picture him fingering the shells nervously from index
finger to thumb, thumb to index finger and index finger to
thumb and so on. He's sweating, jittery, nervous. Every
right to be, since this is final. Do it and do it right or you'll
wind up a vegetable ... and you'll have failed again. Lock
and load. He's putting the barrel up to his head. Fingering
the trigger. I half expect him to say "See what you made
me do mommy, see what you made me do. Now you'll be
sorry." Click.
I forget who said "from the depths of hell I stab at thee,"
but it fits. It's a shame that someone has to devote the last
breath of his life to revenge especially upon his mother. No
serene thoughts, just hatred. I've come to expect the worst
when dealing with others and I've grown accustomed to
the smallness of our humanity. Sometimes I think about
what he was dealing with.
I wonder if she thinks about it too.

loss of business, the postal service is
giving itself a face lift.
A seven-million-dollar face lift.
In a letter to 680,000 career postal
ployees, Postmaster General
arvin Runyon unveiled what will
soon be the official postal service
logo. Beak leaning into the wind, it is
a sexier version of the present day
eagle emblem. Ooh, la, la.
And it's costing seven million
bucks.
The seven mill will cover the cost
of painting new logos on every postal
vehicle, mailbox and post office in
,e nation, as well as phasing in new
uniforms, stationary, etc.
With a former projected deficit of
$2.2 billion for fiscal year 1993, the
men and woman of the mail have
every reason to take action. And some
of the actions they took were produc-
tive, cutting overhead positions
(25,000 and, according to postal ser-
vice press release, no lay offs) and
Wficer level jobs as well.
But now they've decided to do
some redecorating, sure that the
money spent to do so will pay for
itself, and then some.
"In everything we do and in every
image we project, it is important that
we show our customers that we have
changed - that we have improved
and that we are committed to improv-
g even more. We need to send a
ear signal that we are dedicated to a
new level of quality, customer focus
and competitiveness. So one of the
things we are doing is changing our
corporate identity," wrote Runyon in
a letter to his employees.
Still, many postal employees do

not yet know of the change (at least
the first four I spoke with at the Royal
Oak branch ofthe United States Postal
Service). Maybe they just weren't
paying attention. Maybe their letters
got lost in the mail.
Certainly a switch in advertising
campaign is no oddity for a business
(and the post office, having been made
an independent establishment of the
executive branch on August 12,1970,
is indeed a business). No one well-
versed in advertising - and that is
just about everyone who owns a tele-
vision -would argue the point that a
good ad campaign can rocket an un-
known product to the top.
Just do it. Don't hate me because
I'm beautiful. Melts in your mouth,
not in your hands.
Nike, Pantene and M&Ms have
Postmaster General
Marvin Runyon
unveiled what will soon
be the official postal
service logo. Beak
leaning into the wind,
it is a sexier version of
the present day eagle
emblem. Ooh, la, la.
all been well served by their unforget-
table sales pitches. Perhaps without
the "You deserve abreak today"song,
no one would ever have heard of the
Golden Arches. McDonald's and the
other aforementioned companies
spent their money wisely. They got
recognition. They edged their way
into households and became Words.
So if the purpose underlying logos
and ad campaigns is to get aproduct's
name heard, why does the post office
need them? Is there a letter writing
person in the U.S. of A. that knows
not of the postal service?
Ofcourse, the other reason behind
seven million dollar advertising cam-
paigns is to beat out the competition.
"Coke is it" stood up well against
"The taste of a new generation."

"Keeps going and going and going"
paves its path in annoyance to head
off "the copper top battery" with ev-
ery passing day. If the U.S. mail is
trying to stir up trouble by creating
their own cola wars (you would think
theirbattles with their own disgruntled
workers would fulfill their need for
the fight), someone needs to inform
them that there ain't no Coke to go
head to head with their Pepsi.
Against what does the postal ser-
vice think it's competing? United
Parcel Service? Domino's Pizza?
Alas, the post office's one true
opponent, technology, will never be
conquered with even the most bril-
liant of advertising plans. No matter
the logo on the mail truck, it will
never beat the two-minute delivery of
a fax machine.
Regardless, the post office's main
objective with their new and im-
proved, facing-into-the-wind eagle is
mainly to ameliorate their image. A
noble attempt, but one must wonder
why they are bothering. If Jane in
Michigan wants to spend 29 cents to
mail a letter to her grandmother in
Florida and her image of the postal
service is that they are terrible, she
will still use that very postal service to
get that letter to Grandma. Once again
it comes down to competition. There
is none, making the public's"image"
of the post office irrelevant, if not
downright non-existent (how often
does the average mailbox dropper sit
down and think about the post of-
fice?).
But it is neither the postal service's
waste of money nor its overblown
concern about its image that speaks
the most alarmingly of the society in
which it has come of age. Rather, the
United States Postal Service's attempt
to solve a problem with a non-solu-
tion reflects the most on America.
And that is what makes the new eagle
so menacing.
The post office will undergo a
change of face over the next few years
- a change spawned not by need for
recognition, or threat of competition,
but by the frightening trend of Ameri-
can misconception.

Do you have a passion for plays?
An ardor for acting? A devotion to drama?

Come write for

Theater!

Call Liz at 763-0379, or stop by 420 Maynard
I,______________

Syracuse University
Division of International Programs Abroad
119 Euclid Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13244-4170
1-800-235-3472

t
rP4,
A D ,S

S Y R A C U S E

A B R O

Something to write home about!

'

" Programs in Africa, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, England,
France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Poland, and Spain
* Prior foreign language not always necessary
" SU credit
' Field trips/traveling seminars
" Internships
* Study for a semester, a year, or a summer
" Home or limited apartment placements

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E

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The Investment Banking Division
of
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
cordially invites the students
of THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
to an information session on careers
in Investment Banking.
We encourage all majors to attend!!!
Thursday, October 21, 1993

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Fidelity Management & Research Co.
Equity Research Opportunities
Fidelity's Equity Research Department is very busy
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research associates. They will be responsible for
iriiA llAHll ry.7.. n1 . 4-LT : a... AY^ n4-.Ta' v me...-1rJ Jnwr.,.q ln.,s°a

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