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February 17, 1994 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-17

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, February 17, 1994 - 3

Veteran talks of Battle of the Bowls

Nothing fosters dissonance like
an unwashed cereal bowl. The crusty
bran adheres to the white ceramic,
and in the name of Palmolive, all hot-
and-bothered-hell breaks loose. The
Gulf War was nasty, but it was never
any match for the battles in my house:
The War of the Dirty Dishes.

II

fingerprinted..." I trail off.
They look at me eagerly. I con-
tinue. "Then, whenever there's a dirty
dish in the sink we can take it to the
police and find out who the real cul-
prit is!"
Housemates One through Six
break out in applause. I ring the Ann
Arbor Police Department. "Criminol-
ogy lab please," I request demurely.
"Criminology," answers an of-
ficer.
I explain my predicament. He
sounds sympathetic, but cannot help
me. "We're busy giving parking tick-
ets. Try the FBI," he advises.
But I have done enough work on
the issue; it's only fair that the others
do their share. I write a note on our
message board. "Someone call the
FBI about getting fingerprinted."
"I took out the garbage this week,"
writes Housemate One in response.
"I called about snow removal last
month," writes Housemate Three.
"I picked up the remote control
when it fell off the TV stand three
days ago," scribbles Housemate Five.
Obviously, we have all expended our
share of chore energy for the semes-
ter. The FBI will have to wait.

So the war rages on, and I hurry
home to the front every day after
class. Of course, if I can't make it,
CNN has very good coverage. Opera-
tion Dessert Spoon, they are calling
us. Catchy, no?
"Today an Allied soldier took all
the dishes from the sink and put them
in a grocery bag in the middle of the
family room," reports Peter Arnett.
"The Axis and other Allied soldiers
have been slow to react."
I go home to check this out. Sure
enough, there sits the bag, filled up
with crusty macaroni bowls and
stained tea mugs. Housemate Four is
staring into it intently.
"I would have put them on people's
beds," she says with a nasty grin.
Shell shock, no doubt.
I walk into the kitchen where
Housemate Six perches over the sink.
She starts to pick up a dirty cup to
flash in my face. Battle fatigue upon
me, I grab for the white dish towel to
wave in surrender. But stained with
grape juice and embedded with
cornflake crumbs, the towel is no
longer white and she misunderstands.
"It's about time someone washed
that rag," she says.

I come home to find Housemate
One deep in the trenches, metal spoon
in one hand, plastic plate in the other.
"Hello," I remark amicably.
"Grrr," she growls at me.
I make a quick break for the stairs.
"Housemate Four and I saw you
using this," she yells after me, "You
can run but you can't hide."
None of us are sure at what point
war became inevitable. Maybe with
the sinking of the Lusitania, perhaps
upon the assassination of the Arch-
duke Ferdinand. Of course, it could
have begun with the spaghetti sauce
pan that sat on the stove for three
days, eight hours and 47 minutes.
Taking sides becomes part of the
plan. Housemates One, Two and Three
against Four, Five and Six. Two, Four
and One against Three, Six and Five.
The gangs are always different, though
the battle remains the same. No time
of day is sacred, and there is no sanc-
tity of a no man's land.
"These dishes are yours," the Al-
lies scream.
"No, they're yours!" respond the
Axis. Plates and bowls fly, exploding
against each other in midair. Custard's
Last Stand ends with eight casualties
- two plates, four bowls, one mug
and one shot glass.
In effort to quell the tension, we
hold a peace conference.
"Why don't we each have a day of
the week when we're responsible for
doing all the dishes?" suggests
Housemate Two. Everyone glares at
her.
"We could start using paper and
plastic," says Housemate Five.
"But who will take out the extra
garbage?" says Housemate Six, al-
ways quick on her toes.
I have an idea. "What if we all get

U

Paul D'Amour, Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones and Danny Carey became Tool while in college.
Tool tours with hardware in gear

By TED WATTS
Tool is storming the world. Since
last spring they have toured the U.S.
oi Lollapalooza, toured Europe with
Fishbone and Rage Against the Ma-
chine and seen their first full-length
album, "Undertow," achieve gold sta-
tus (with the help of heavy MTV
airplay). Recently, they embarked on
the first leg of their current 20-show
U.S.-Canadian tour with the group
Failure - a tour culminating on Feb-
ruary 26th in Detroit, the day before
they leave to tour Europe again.
Whew. With a schedule like that,
it's hardly surprising that Tool ex-
presses bundles of unpleasant emo-
tions in their work. Anger, hate, dis-
gust and depression are all readily
apparent in their lyrics, as well as in
their deep, resonating metal-like mu-
sic. With this in mind, vocalist
Maynard James Keenan's influences
might seem the tiniest bit odd. They
are as follows: "Steve Martin. 'Kids
in the Hall.' I like the Kids because
they're pretty well thought-out."
While the thought-out aspect of
"Kids" may be an integral part of
Tool, the physical comedy most cer-
ainly is not. They get no-giddier than
ihe darkest of humor in most of their
songs, unless you find physical agony
comical. Their new single "Prison
Sex", for example, is not the kind of
song that would seem to come from a
guy who used to wear a fake arrow
through his head. While Keenan
understatedly describes it as "a sur-
real kind of song," the fact that forc-
ible sodomy is at the root of the lyrics
has a tendency to belie comedic par-
Vlels.
Its video, filmed by guitarist Adam
Jones in the same stop motion anima-
tion style as their acclaimed first video
Sober," will undoubtedly lend itself
more to comparisons to the dark work
of the Brothers Quay than to the
Smurfs. This mindset is reinforced
wvhen Keenan quotes a Grand Rapids
garage band named Lipsmear: "Kill
the Smurfs, kill the Smurfs, they're
ugly and they're sinners. Oswald,
Oswald, he's our man; eat those damn
blue things for dinner." This isn't kid
stuff.
However, Keenan has relatively
little to say about himself or his band,
choosing instead to exude reticence
and surliness which wonderfully fit
the atmosphere that envelops Tool.
When asked how he liked playing
live, he answered "Fun, for the most
part" - a frustratingly simple answer
from the frontman of a band which
amazed audiences during last year's
lollapalooza. Having now played

them to deal with some of the wick-
edly horrible themes they explore.
Maybe it just shows their desire to
keep people from getting easy an-
swers. They are, after all, devotees of
the ideology set forth in the book "A
Joyful Guide to Lachrymology"
(lachrymology being the study ofcry-
ing), which basically amounts to redi-
recting pain to useful ends. They give
the pain, the listener uses that pain for
(hopefully) positive ends. Of course,
they may just be bastards as a result of
their success.
Tool is quick to bite the institu-
tional hands that feed them that suc-
cess. Keenan is proud of the fact that
the band's contract gives them more
or less full freedom to do whatever
they want. More pointedly he feels
free to loathe the thing that is quite
possibly the most responsible for
Tool's success: Beavis and Butt-head.
The loathsome pair took up Tool's

standard by deeming the video for
"Sober" worthy of praise. Keenan is
not impressed. "Now they've given
up saying what sucks and now they're
trying to tell you which ones are cool,"
he complained. "And now they're
selling records. They should just stick
to playing the ones that suck. It's
much more fun when they bag on
videos instead of telling us which
ones are cool." You have to respect
someone so true to himself that he
kills his supporters in expressing his
beliefs.
At any rate, Tool is skilled at their
delightful infliction of painful emo-
tion and beautiful music. It is safe to
say that they can be enjoyable. But be
careful. They may just disassemble
you.
TOOL will play at the State Theater
in Detroit on February 26; Failure
will open the show. Call 961-5450
for details.

Carolyn
Quint
Was named
r4e Jihigan Pai1y Display
Account Executive of the Week.
Congratulations

ATTENTION

Due to Spring Break, there,
the following
Publication Date
Monday, Feb. 28
Tuesday, March 1
Wednesday, March 2

will be early deadlines for
publications:
Deadlfne
Thursday, Feb. 17
Thursday, Feb. 17
Thursday, Feb. 17

Douglas Coupland
. f
$15.30 at Border
Saturday, February 26, 2:00 p.m.

Next semester, broaden your horizons with Beaver College.
You can intern in London, ponder Peace Studies in Austria,
cycle to class in Oxford or study Spanish in Mexico. You can
even stop by a cafe in Vienna or explore a Greek isle. We
also have a wide variety of university programs in the U.K.
and Ireland. For over 30 years, Beaver College has been
sending students abroad for the experience of their lives.
Now it's time for yours.

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