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February 28, 1994 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Short Takes
& Updates
AUBURN, ALA. - "You don't pull out a
semiautomatic pistol and start firing in
an apartment complex at a dog," says
Auburn U. senior Brian Murphy, making
a point that's hard to argue with.
The comment came after Auburn
Police Officer Lavarro Bean shot Luke,
Murphy's two-year-old Chesapeake
retriever. Bean says the dog approached
him in a "threatening and aggressive
Not so, says Murphy. "That's not even
remotely close to what happened. Luke
goes trotting up to merely greet the
police officer. I could tell he was scared,
and I said, 'It's OK officer, he won't bite,'
to let him know the dog was merely
greeting him." Bean shot the dog three
Luke spent nearly seven hours in
surgery, but now, both dog and officer
are doing fine.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One U. of North
Carolina, Charlotte, student will never
look at laundry rooms the same way
again. In November, she nestled herself
into one of the university's dryers and
was unable to get out.
According to police reports, the sopho-
more "just wanted to see if she could fit
into the dryer. She got her body in and
realized she couldn't get out of it."
Joe Johnson, director of police and
public safety, says the student was tall
and "evidently her weight threw the dryer
off sufficiently so the door was jammed."
Two campus police officers removed the
student before the fire department
arrived at the "rescue effort."
The student was uninjured, but the
dryer will cost $100 to repair. Residence
Life refused comment on whether the
student will be charged in what campus
police call the Downy Case.
ANN ARBOR, MICH. - To be a loyal fan
these days you have to stay on top of the
game. Buying school-sponsored sports-
wear, license plates and candy aren't
enough anymore. Now you need to smell
like your school.
Peter Klamka, a 1990 U. of Michigan
graduate, is selling his 10 collegiate
colognes in stores across the country.
Licensing agreements have been signed
with Florida State U., Pennsylvania State
U. and Harvard, among others.
Klamka sold 100,000 bottles of the
cologne last year, and more school
scents are on the way.
The colognes, which are aimed at men,
have been described as rather strong.
And at $28 a pop, they have yet to win
over Michigan State U. senior Nat Evans.
"I'd rather have a sweatshirt," he says.
continued on next page
6 * U. Magazine

Internet useA love
to play in the MUDs
It's not quite like hanging out at the
local coffee shop.
But visiting Multi-User Dungeons
- fantasy, role-playing computer
games - is a real enough distraction
for many college students. So much
so that several universities, including
the U. of Tennessee, Indiana U.,
Clemson U. and the U. of Erlangen
in Germany, have banned MUDs
because of concerns about the com-
puting time - and studying time -
being consumed by avid MUDers.

havehecom e latest place to hang
out and meet people. "They are ahle
to open up to each other faster
because they aren't being distracted by
whether they are talking to a 4-foot-
tall fat black woman or a tall Russian
man with one arm or whatnot," says
Devon Tuck, software engineer at
Visual Engineering, Inc.
But there is one possible drawback
to MUDs - their addictive nature. U.
of Virginia third-year student Mick
Stone describes them as being "great
for procrastination, worse than televi-
sion even." Stone found a novel way to
end his dependency. "What I did was
run amuck killing other players at ran-
dom and shouting obscenities. They
kicked me off [the MUD]."
Some operators of MUDs
have even taken to setting
automatic time limits on
their games, says techno-
culture analystJoichi Ito, an
.- ~ independent computer con-
sultant. But some colleges
and governments have
imposed more drastic limits
on MUD time. The
Australian government has
banned MUDs outright,
and the U. of Erlangen shut
down access to MUDs on
university computers in
October, after noting that
many students spent six to
eight hours a day playing them.
"To prevent our students from fur-
ther addictive behaviour... we are not
able to provide you with copies of files
from this MUD-server," reads an
announcement from university
administrator Juergen Kleinoeder.
Students interested in MUDing -
and willing to run the risk of MUD
dependency - should check with
their school's computing services
department, and get a copy of "The
Totally Unofficial List of Internet
MUDs" from Scott Goehring at
scott@glia.biostr.washington.edu on
the Internet. Sanford Clark, U. of

labor ofW
Afratbrothershows off
his pride and joy.
Senior Jason Holeman didn't feel at
all like himself.
He stretched his legs out behind the
March of Dimes table at the U. of
Florida. "I feel embarrassed and humil-
iated," he said, looking at his "preg-
nant" stomach, protruding through his
Pi Kappa Alpha T-shirt. Holeman was
wearing a pouch for "Men Have Babies
Too," an event scheduled in November
by Greek organizations to benefit the
March of Dimes.
The March of Dimes received the
donations from their fund-raiser before
WalkAmerica, their biggest annual
event in which volunteers walk in cele-
bration of the money they raised. All
together, the Gainesville area chapter
brought in $233,000.
"WalkAmerica is our largest fund-
raiser, and what better group to get
involved than ones that are closest to
becoming the next set of parents," said
Betsy Trent, Gainesville's March of
Dimes community service director.
According to first-year student Kari
Goetz, who offered support to
Holeman during his "pregnancy," rais-
ing money and awareness was a lot eas-
ier than finding men to wear the
maternity suits. "A lot of them just
weren't comfortable putting on those
pouches," she said. Holeman said four
other fraternity members were sup-
posed to wear pouches with him, but
they chickened out. "This was sup-
posed to be a bond," he lamented.
For more information about
WalkAmerica, call (800) 525-WALK.u
Sandra L. Nortunen, The
Independent Florida Alligator, U. of

A censorship crusade blames the media for society's ills


hey're talking about a revolution: an explosion of electronic pathways that will
give you access to the media, computer, communication and entertainment
industries at the flick of a remote. But how can the information superhighway
be a marketplace of ideas if it's littered with the speed bumps of prior restraint?


MUDs are played over the Internet,
a worldwide network of public and
private computer systems. They
sprang into existence in 1979 at the
U. of Essex in England, according to
technology writer Roy Trubshaw.
Similar to games like Dungeons and
Dragons, MUDs allow players to
assume character identities and go
adventuring in labyrinthine worlds.
Players can log onto a MUD from
anywhere in the world, and MUDs
can range in setting from virtual uni-
versities to simulations of the Star
'Trek universe.
As more and more students pour
into the Internet's digital web, MUDs

In recent years, both government officials and con-
cerned citizens have waged an all-out war against
what they consider objectionable entertainment. By
calling for warnings, guidelines and ratings systems,
they have declared that life imitates art. Instead of
seeing entertainment as a reflection of society, they
see it as a bad influence, a cause rather than an effect.
Ironically, the targets of those who would censor
include some of the most successful and profitable
entertainers/forms, of entertainment in their respec-
tive fields:
* The nation's most listened-to shock jock, Howard
Stern, has been condemned and fined more than
$1 million by the Federal Communications
" The critically acclaimed NYPD Blue was
banned by approximately 40, mostly south- B
ern, ABC affiliates for being being too vio-
lent, vulgar and sexually explicit.
" Songs by rappers Snoop Doggy Dogg and F
Ice Cube, among others, have been banned
by popular radio stations KPWR in Los
Angeles and WBLS in New York for lyrics {
advocating violence or expressing hatred of
* Chain store Wal Mart banned Nirvana's
album In Utero due to its "distasteful" cover.
* Video game maker Acclaim has been
chastisted for the violent themes in its best-F
selling game Mortal Kombat. The Sega ver-
sion of the game, which employs digitized
blood and celebrates victory by ripping off
the opponent's head, outsells Nintendo's
more tame version of the game 2 to 1. Sega
now employs a warning system similar to
that used for movies.
Though these measures might seem
extreme, some say the entertainment industry
is expanding the boundaries of acceptablity for
profit and must be accountable for its prod-
"Although I am wary of any form of govern-
ment censorship, there must be self-censorship
within the entertainment industry," says Josh
Feltman, a junior at Harvard U. and president
of The Perspective, the school's liberal maga-
zine. "The industry... is taking the lead by pre-
senting more and more violent and shocking
forms of entertainment in order to present L
something new and to continually outdo both
themselves and their competitors."
Others insist these boundaries are not
extended by the industry, but by society itself.
"Shows like Beavis and Butt-head are more
reflections on society than they are products of
corporate moguls trying to fill their wallets,"
argues Adam Shapiro, a junior at Yale and
managing editor of Counterpoint magazine.
"Kids today simplify the world down to things The contro
that suck and are cool." Mortal Koi

Like many, Shapiro thinks this latest crusade targets
the symptoms of reckless and violent behavior instead
of examining their causes.
During the fall, Beavis and Butt-head quite literally
came under fire when a handful of children around
the country committed arson after supposedly imitat-
ing the pair. And a similar incident occurred when the
film The Program was released late last year. In one
scene, macho football players lie down on a busy
highway as cars rush by them. After an 18-year-old
was killed mimicking the scene, Disney pulled it.
To what degree should entertainment be held
responsible for the actions of its viewers? If every
scene is cut that could possibly offend or be danger-
ously imitated, college staples like The Simpsons or In
Bia as- Do

Living Color would never have been created.
It's not as if previous attempts at censorship and
mandatory warnings have reduced violence or offen-
siveness today - a glance into the past shows a num-
ber of relevant parallels.
In the 1930s, after criticism from the government
and other conservatives, the major motion picture
companies developed the Hays Code, a list of "dos
and don'ts" of appropriate movie content; it later
evolved into the rating system which remains in place
During the 1950s, Frederick Wortham published
The Seduction of the Innocent, which blamed comic
books as part of the reason for America's growing
delinquency. Wortham's book, which claimed, among
other things, that the relationship between Batman
and Robin encouraged homosexual tendencies, led to
the creation of the Comic Codes Authority, which
censored comic book content.
And since the advent of rock and roll, musicians
have been criticized in much the same way that artists
like 2 Live Crew, Guns N' Roses and Ice-T are today.
As soon as rock music was born in the
1950s, it was condemned by psychologists
and the media for damaging the minds of
America's young. Later, parents and critics
watched horrified as the likes of Jim
Morrison and Mick Jagger corrupted the
viewers of the Ed Sullivan Show with their
sexually explicit dance movements and
smutty lyrics.
As technology continues to become more
interactive, the war will continue to be
waged. Video games, in fact, seem to be
the latest contested territory. "They teach
kids that it's OK to be violent, trivializing
human life and death, and equating their
worth with the number of points a player
can rack up," says Gerry Nylese, a senior at
Colorado State U.
According to David Dunning, a psychol-
ogy professor at Cornell U., there is some
debate whether these technologically
advanced forms of entertainment could
affect not only attitude but actual behavior.
But the effects of TV violence, at least in
theory, are less debatable, he says.
"There has absolutely been dramatic evi-
dence in the laboratory, establishing a link
between television violence and behavior,"
Dunning explains.
The history of censorship continues to
be written, and in light of all this apparent
media-inspired viciousness, the informa-
tion superhighway's future is uncertain.
How much fun can a roadtrip be if it's
a planned by your grandparents?
"The supposed effects of entertainment
whave one of two explanations," says Yale's
Shapiro. "Either the public is overly
impressionable, or they are overly willing
to use violent and obscene programming as
a scapegoat. Whichever explanation you
ccaccept, censorship is clearly not the solu-
Stion. It would be better to educate the peo-
Mead, ple and create a society of better free-
thinkers." U

'Zine puts out a Top 10 that would make Letterman shudder

The inaugural issue of Dartmouth College's newest 'zine,
Inner Bitch, includes, among other things, a center spread
on the "Top 10 Things to do with a Severed Penis." The
back page of the journal pictures a pair of bloody shears
with the message: "We're women. Don't touch us. We'll
hurt you. Brought to you by S.N.I.P. - She-beasts Not
Impressed by Penises."
"Our publication gives voice to the feelings of a radical
contingent of women on campus who are usually not
heard," says senior Dominique Ellner, the magazine's edi-
tor. "It is a testament to the empowerment of women."
Twelve female undergraduates contributed to the first 28-
page edition, which came out in January on photocopied
11-by-17 inch paper. Ellner says private donations paid for
production costs. "We didn't want college funding," she
says. As a result of the limited budget, the first issue was dis-
tributed only to fraternities, sororities and affinity houses.
Elner plans to publish the magazine once a term. "There
aren't enough leftist publications on campus," Ellner says.
"Other publications aren't expressing the experiences we

have had, and panel discussions don't do the trick."
Students have given Inner Bitch mixed reviews. Senior
Nathan Saunders says he doesn't find the 'zine offensive. "A
lot of men are disturbed by the references to castration, but
I think that is meant to be taken figuratively. It is a way for
women to empower themselves and cope with the frustra-
tion of living in a male-dominated society."
Saunders posed for the journal as a fraternity brother
crushing a can against his head. His picture is next to a
poem titled "Listen Up Mr. Frat Boy."
Sophomore Anh-Thu Cunnion says she didn't pay much
attention to the new magazine. "It is unnecessary to be so
offensive," she says. "More people would be willing to listen
to their message if they didn't have such offensive atti-
Senior Paul Moore, who found a crumpled copy of Inner
Bitch outside a fraternity, says, "This is not of an intellectual
level that merits response. It should not be dignified with
debate." Jason Casell, The Dartmouth, Dartmouth

mince iaai maca iaa~ U. Magazine * 23

MARCH 1894 MARCH 1884

U. Magazine " 23

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