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September 29, 1994 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-29

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, September 29, 1994 - 7

'M11outh 2
Mouth' revives
fanzines for
Generation Y
I had a wonderful idea to compare
various teen magazines of today with
the classics of our youth (i.e. "Tiger
Beat"), but I discovered the general
Ann Arbor area had given up on this
market. There was nothing greater
than hanging out in a drug store and
wondering if Johnny Depp was really
so innocent, or if River Phoenix was
0st a "regular guy who liked to hang
The Magazine Column
out." The current lack of good glossy
, nzines might be a sad comment on
e more sophisticated tastes of the
so-called Generation Y.
Youth marketing has shifted dra-
matically, trying to incorporate ev-
erything from alternative music to
gender neutral readerships in an ef-
fort to capture a multibillion dollar
industry. Almost every month a new
teen magazine comes along and fails
badly, because it treats its audience
*ke morons.
However, the September/October
issue of the Time/Warner ownqd
"Mouth 2 Mouth" ($1.95, bimonthly)
appears to be one of the first success-
ful magazine marketed for both girls
and boys; there is fashion, music,
celebrity interviews and many beau-
tiful models interwoven into one col-
orful, fast read.
Whe high point (of
'Mouth 2 Mouth') is
photo layout, five
supermodels posing
with large artwork
renditions of famous
Marvel superheroes.
The high point, is photo layout,
five supermodels posing with large
artwork renditions of famous Marvel
superheroes; the always captivating
Claudia Schiffer climbs city walls on
the back of Spider-Man, while Elle
MacPherson strikes a sexy pose with
the X-Men in a two-page spread. It's
any 14-year-old boy's wet dream
come to life. OK, even at 22 it's my
antasy come to life; this is by far the
most erotic layout ever created.
Trying to strike a delicate balance
with girls and boys is tough, and their
excited vow to "Slip inside Steven
Tyler's pants!" as a contest reward is
more of a turnoff to all genders and
sexual preferences than an enticement
for kids. If you can get past this and
some awful attempts to identify with
*e younger generation (an excerpt
from the cheerily titled "Prozac Na-
tion"), there are some wonderful sur-
prises, the most notable being Nicolas
Cage's talk with underground artist
Robert Williams, and a quick review

ofDarwinism by Bad Religion's Greg
Unlike other painfully self-con-
scious attempts at alternative market-
g, "Mouth 2 Mouth" fills doesn't
onfine its focus to the latest bands
getting time on 96.3; there are several
good reviews of lesser known bands,
and sections for movies, comics and
TV. This is one teen magazine I would
actually consider buying again.
Unfortunately, other attempts to
be hip and on the edge are failures.
There's "Sassy," ($2.00, monthly) the
best-titled magazine in the world and
till going strong; I guess you couldn't
have a magazine called "Despondent"
or "Malaise" and expect a large audi-
ence. As a letter in the beginning puts
it it's an "oh-so-hip" magazine for
young women, so I expected a certain
brashness to match the title.
Unfortunately "Sassy" is just as
bad of a guide for figuring out teenage
girls as "Cosmopolitan" is for exam-
ig the life of the modern woman.
'How realistic is 'Models, Inc.'?" is
one of several fluff pieces. There is
something seriously wrong with a
trendy magazine that still publishes a
horoscope and crammed its pages full
of only white people. It's the'90s, the
trend is sutnosed to be diversitv. At

Stir-fry stirs stomach, not taste buds

200 S. Main Street (at
Hours: Mon-Thurs 5-11, Fri 5-12,
Sat 4-12, Sun 4-10
(Lunch beginning Oct. 3)
Price: Includes all you can eat
salad, soup and stir fry
Adult $10.95, 12/under $4.95,
Tots $1.95
Vegetarian friendly (but tell them)
All non-smoking, except large bar
Visa, MC, (AmEx soon)
Carry out available all day
Handicap accessible
Dress: Casual

Strolling down Main Street, you
will find an enticing variety of food
and fanfare. The latest addition to this
family, The Mongolian Barbeque,
born and raised in Royal Oak, invites
Ann Arborites to try yet another eth-
nic cuisine - mongolian stir fry. But
the only thing that stirred was my
stomach, as I left hungry and upset.
The menu is given by the friendly
hostess staff, but pay attention to your
server who will guide you along this
buffet-like meal. He/she will provide
directions, suggestions and enthusi-
asm. In fact, throughout the meal, the
wait staff (at last count numbered in
the hundreds) and hosts continually
checked to make sure everything was
satisfactory. Unfortunately, they could
not do anything about the cuisine.
For$10.95, you have aplethoraof
options at this all-you-can-eat, cre-
ate-your-own dinner, complimented
by an extensive beverage list. Wine,
non-alcoholic concotions, 23 interna-
tional beers and the usual soft drink
are all available.
Let me forewarn you. If you have
a weak stomach you may want to pass
on this nouveau routine. As I ap-
proached, I don't think I believed
what I was seeing. Vats of raw poul-
try, beef, turkey, seafood (shrimp,
calamari or "fish") and tofu welcome
you before proceeding onto a more
pleasant assortment of fresh veg-
etables such as bok-choy and sugar-
snap peas. All of this is a help-your-
self portion placed into an inadequate,
small bowl. I did not like the raw meat
juices dripping onto the counter, nor
did the appearance increase my appe-
You are instructed to use two ladles
of sauces, mostly oil-based, like the
spicy black bean, barbecue, and to-

mato-N-herb. Also, they suggest a
ladle of oil (olive or garlic flavored)
and a dip into a variety of spices
including ginger, garlic (both a disap-
pointing powder rather than fresh),
rosemary and cajun spice.
Then it's onto the 650-degree cir-
cular grill. One of three chefs, who

a bowl of steamed white rice and a
plate of flour tortillas. 016! No wait,
that's not Mongolian, but only a poor
substitute for oriental pancakes. Con-
fused, I left the table for greener pas-
tures - the salad bar.
Yet another medley of fresh salad
greens and trimmings awaited, ac-

bowl. This time I tried one of their
recipes - Matt's Cajun Inferno. In-
stead of turkey, I substituted the
prawns and then mixed in the veggies,
two ladles of bbq, I ladle of tomato-
N-herb, 1 ladle of olive oil, 2 spoons
of cajun and finally one spoon of
cayenne. Call the fire department!
Admittingly I had skipped the oil
the first time around, but hoped it
would make for a more edible treat.
As I watched them cook my food -
that's the entertainment value of the
Mongolian Barbeque - I became
upset seeing the same wooden sticks
that had just grinded beef into the
grill, carry the remnants into my pot-
pourri. That was probably the most
irksome experience of this evening.
The decor is a bit juxtaposed, with
mirrored pillars accentuating the lo-
cal flair of flags (appealing to Big
Ten, Eastern Michigan and Ann Ar-
bor Pioneer fans alike). As customer-
friendly as they are, they clash with
the wooden tables, cream walls, and
navy ceiling drapes which hang above.
Don't mind them though; I dismiss it
as an attempt to absorb the sound
from this spacious restaurant.
This is not a designated date-place
or group gathering site for anyone
who thinks they might enjoy a casual
night of fun. Although, there is some
variety and freedom in the menu, be-
tween the servers and customers scur-
rying around, it's likely to cause a
traffic jam on a weekend night. Be-
sides, if you have a date, chances are
an inherent awkwardness will ensue
as you wait for one another to get his/
her food.
Looking for a good meal? Look-
ing for a well-priced evening out?
How aboutjust some grub to cure that
insatiable appetite? Well, don't go to
The Mongolian Barbeque.

The Mongolian Barbeque may look enticing from the outside, but beware.

informed me they have no previous
experience, will cook the melange
you've created. Each cook makes
about three bowls at a time, while one
tries to scrape down remnants of past
concotions. (You do get a fresh bowl
once your meal is cooked). My first
try resulted in an overcooked, stringy-
chicken-and-flavorless veggie dish.
The waitress brought to our table

companied by a selection of regular,
low-fat and fat-free dressings. The
soup changes frequently and on that
trip it was steak and mushroom. This
was frightening to me, but at that
point I was willing to try it. Eyes
closed, it tasted like any other cream
of mushroom soup.
Knowing the food does cook
down, I tried yet again to fill this

It's sick, it's twisted, and it's invading the Michigan Theater

Continued from page 1.
This year's festival features 22
shorts, 20 of which are new to the
annual festival. The returning shorts,
billed as Spike & Mike favorites' are
Eric Fogel's "Mutilator H" and Mike
Judge's "Frog Baseball," featuring
Beavis 'n' Butt-Head.
The remainder of the new offer-
ings include old festival favorite like
No Neck Joe, the audience participa-
tion short which traditionally kicks of
the evening's festivities and sets the
crowd in motion and Gregory
Ecklund's continuing the adventures
of Lloyd in the premieres of both
"Lloyd loses his Lunch" and "Lloyd's
Lunch Box." In a slightly odder and
decidedly not in the Spike & Mike
tradition bit of scheduling this year's
festival includes a video from that
clown prince of music, "Weird Al"
Yankovic. The video, "Jurassic Park,"
is included because of its claymation
The festival een has a tinge of the
cosmopolitan this year including a
British short, "Beastly Behavior" and,
from Holland, "Safe Sex."
With titles such as "Hole in One,"
"Better than Grass," and "Dr.
Animalus on the Cutting Edge," a lot
of the content is self-explanatory and
all of it wallows in the extreme. Spike
& Mike aren't pussyfootin' around in
living up to their festival's claims. No
subject is too taboo and no image too
grotesque. Because of the extremism,
the shows - which usually run at
9:30 and Midnight but do slightly
alter - are limited to adults only, so
bring your I.D.
If you can't seem to get enough of

Spike & Mike or animation in gen-
eral there will be a table in the lobby
hocking T-shirts and videos ranging
from collections of past Oscar Award
winning animation to a T-shirt fea-
turing past festival short, "Dog Pile."
As the festival continues, the body
fluids spill and the flatulence flies as
each short seems to attempt to top the
preceding one in pure grotesqueness.
If the vomit isn't limited to the screen
Spike and Mike are kind enough to
provide free barf bags with admis-
This animation festival, and oth-
ers like it, continue to be both suc-
cessful and enjoyable because they
are animation, rather than in spite of
it. It adds an odd twist to the humor
when it is presented in a format which
normally presents smurfs or care
In fact, animation has developed
so quickly into a large-scale sensa-
tion because it has shook off these
preconceptions as kiddie fare allow-
ing its versatility to be examined. The
potential of animation is quite simply
unlimited. As long as the human race
has paper and ink (or mouse and
screen), anything can be drawn and
seemingly anything can be said.
Animation has realized its power
to satire society or parody culture. As
a result, Montgomery Burns, Homer
Simpson's boss can pine for his child-
hood teddy bear Bobo in a "Citizen
Kane" send-up or Butt-Head can
queure whether or nor an Amy Grant
video is a pimple commercial.
Because cartoons, unlike live-ac-
tion, are virtually universally recog-
nized as fictional, containing non-
existent characters, they can get away
with things that live-action cannot.
"Spike & Mike's" is the quintessen-
tial example combining elements

which cannot physically be filmed
with humor which in live-action (and
probably more widely distributed)
would come under fire.
A television program such as "The
Simpsons" is exponentially more ca-
pable of being a true source of intelli-
gent comment on our lives than all of
the "Seinfeld"s and "Saturday Night
Live"s put together. Unlimited by time
and place, coupled with the ability to
have an entire town full of supporting
characters without the hefty cost of
flying reoccurring characters in and
out of town, "The Simpsons" has de-
veloped from a program about a dys-
functional family into TV's most con-
sistently amusing half-hour.
Guests as themselves notwith-
standing, anyone from Colonel Klink
to Henry Kissinger to Adolf Hitler
can and have "appeared" (OK, so its
not that sweeping a range, they're all
originally from Germany, but you get
the point).
Drawing celebrities into cartoons
isn't an entirely new thing of course.
Old Warner Brothers cartoons used to
have characters either based on film
actors or had the actors on them-
selves. Edward G. Robinson,
Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and
others would often share a stage so to
speak with Bugs Bunny. This was, of
course, simple self-promotion on
Warner Brothers part however high-
lighting their contracted actors. Prob-
ably justifiable promotion because the
cartoon shorts were exhibited in a
movie house along with the full prod-
uct. Bugs even pushed war bonds
during the Second World War while
lambasting Hitler. Peter Lorre inci-
dentally would eventually be the in-
spiration for the high-strung and
nuerotic Ren (Stimpy being based on
Burl Ives). Ren's trademark drawn-
out snap "You Ediot!" has its inspira-
tion in a Lorre tirade to Sydney
Greenstreet in "The Maltese Falcon."
Parodying real life, whether on
"The Simpsons," "Beavis 'n' Butt-
Head" or in "Spike and Mike's," has
probably speeded the new trend to-
wards attempting to "un"-fictionalize
animation and silence it. Because
Beavis mixes in with actual people or
could be an actual human individual
himself (as opposed to Inspector Gad-
get or Huckleberry Hound for ex-
ample) it is seen as a poor influence to
not only children, but society. Most
animated characters are animals or
superheroes, blatantly fictional. When

a 'aO

Beavis 'n'

Butt-Head are back at the Animation Fest with "Frog Baseball."

who either can't do likewise or need
to use television as examples for the
electorate to either pay attention or
just plain understand what they're
talking about.
"Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted
Animation Festival" will certainly not
be the first example of animation
people see this year in the theater.
When all the box-office receipts are
counted this year's four highest-gross-
ing films may all be at least partly
animated. Of course "The Lion King,"
the fourth installment in Disney's
newest money whore marketing bo-
nanza, the "adult musical cartoon"
series is one. The others? No,
"Thumbellina" or "We're Back! A
Dinosaur's Story" didn't do that well.
The answers: "Forrest Gump," "True
Lies," and "The Mask." Computer
animated all.
The newest trend in filmmaking
(well, not really filmaking; there is no
film involved, in fact, no camera) is
the touching up or creating sequences
at George Lucas' Industial Light and
Magic factory. The ILM, a marvelous
creator of special effects is now creat-
ing some not so special ones. Inspired
by the gimmickry of combining live-
action and animation of "Who Framed
Roger Rabbit?" or "Cool World" di-
rectors are now using these techniques
to draw sets, props and backgrounds,
passing it off as inspired staging in an
exercise in just plain laziness. Pretty
amazing how they got that little white
feather to float and dance around to
open "Forrest Gump," huh? They
didn't. (Just as amazing is the peace
rally at which Gump and Jenny em-

of animation's subject and style be-
fore your very eyes in two hours. A
perfect breather from the increasingly
hectic school subject and the eventu-
ally cooling weather (unless all that
ozone crap we were fed really is true)
"Spike & Mike's" is a welcome dose
of the eclectic and the outlandish. It is
a welcome dose of animation that you
don't have to set the alarm Saturday
morning to enjoy.

Sick & Twisted
Animation Festival
All shows are at the Michigan Theater

Friday, Sept. 30
Saturday, Oct. 1
Sunday, Oct. 2
Friday, Oct. 7
Saturday, Oct. 8

9:30 p.m. & Midnight
9:30 p.m. (Student Discount Night)
9:30 p.m. & Midnight


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