The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday. February 2. 1995 - 3
Better Nate Than Never
Before anything wasn't
Last week on "The Simpsons,"
Marge declared a one-hour ban on TV
viewing, which she called "family
time." The cartoon clan gathered
around a photo album to see son Bart
growing up, with a TV set in the
background of each photo.
Bart and I finally have something
in common - besides the hair.
The first TV shows I remember
watching were "Sesame Street" and
"Mr. Dressup." It was almost a daily
ritual for my mom to march me and
Wny sister downstairs and warm up the
set. We watched our "programs" in
the basement because that TV got in
the Canadian station better. This was
important for us to watch "Mr.
Dressup" and Canadian "Sesame
Mr. Dressup was a middle-aged
man who lived with two puppets -
Casey the boy and Finnigan the dog
and often wore clothes from the
costume chest in his living room. It
was kind of like Mr. Rogers, except
he changed his clothes more often
and didn't sing.
Canadian "Sesame Street" is basi-
cally just "Sesame Street" with French
segments instead of Spanish ones.
Since I didn't speak French or Span-
ish at age 4, I couldn't really tell the
Evil TV executives use these in-
nocuous shows as a stepping stone to
game shows, sitcoms, made-for-TV
movies, local news and the omnipres-
ent talk show, multiplying faster than
kids in a math competition.
But not all TV is evil. Some of it is
actually good. Like the public-ser-
vice announcements mandated by the
FCC for the station to keep its license
to emit "Jenny Jones" reruns.
There was the "Conjunction Junc-
tion" that showed me where "and"
went in a sentence. But my teacher
had already explained that. The first
lady came on TV to tell me drugs are
bad, which I guess was a good thing.
But my parents had already told me
that. Yet certain messages bear re-
peating and not everyone is fortunate
rnough to have the same parents and
teachers I did.
Another nice thing about TV is
that you can turn it off.
After progressing from a morning
"Mr. Dressup" viewer to a full-scale
TV-dependent high schooler, I found
myself in the land with no TVs. It was
also known as South Quad, my first
year at the University, before cable.
There are lots of other things to do
4besides watching TV. Sleeping and
listening to the radio are two. Some-
times I would combine them, taking
afternoon naps with RushLimbaugh's
commentary fading in and out.
But don'tgetme wrong. lam in no
way advocating that you stop watch-
ing TV. I'm merely suggesting that
there is life outside the living room
couch, regardless of what Beavis and
utt-Head may, uhhhhhh, think.
The TV set is a backdrop to a lot of
memories. One day I came home from
elementary school to find my mom
fixed on the TV set. This was unusual,
because she didn't particularly watch
that much TV.
A news anchor was talking and
then they cut to a picture of a space
shuttle taking off like I had seen many
times before. Then the shuttle ex-
Wloded right in the air. They kept
showing the footage over and over,
and each time I kept thinking, "This
can't be happening."
Then, a few years later, an anchor
came on TV and said that Northwest
Flight 255 out of Detroit Metro Air-
port had crashed during takeoff. Later
in the evening came more details and
pictures of ambulances rushing to the
*cene. The anchor said it didn't look
like there would be any survivors; but
he was wrong. There was one. A little
girl, whose mom had put her arms
around her and protected her during
the crash. The TV set framed pictures
0.J. Simpson was really having a tea party at the time of the murders.
e e s
By Karl JonesT
Daily Arts Writer
If you've heard a giant sucking
noise lately, it's probably the sound
of your money being swept into the
vortex of Perry Farrell's pocket. (Well,
either that or the sound of his current
band Porno for Pyros playing). For
the past four summers, former Jane's
Addiction head honcho Farrell has
tooted the horn on his Lollapalooza
money mobile and proceeded to run
down every angst-ridden, alternative
teenager in his path.
In the beginning, the summer fes-
tival was something good. It was a
celebration of music that was getting
little airplay on major radio stations.
It was a place to vent the rage that was
part of the "alternative" music move-
ment. Unfortunately, it was also the
beginning of the end for Jane's Ad-
The band decided to call it quits
just as (cringe) "mainstream" atten-
tion was heaped on their 1990 release
"Ritual de lo Habitual." In a way, this
makes it seem ironic that Farrell now
presides over a festival where thou-
sands of fans pay three dollars for a
cup of water. Oh well, laugh if you
must. For fans who remember a little
Triple X Records release from 1987
called "Jane's Addiction," the irony
is of a sad sort.
"Jane's Addiction" is nowhere
near as polished as later releases like
"Nothing's Shocking" (1988) and
"Ritual." That rawness, however, is
exactly what makes it attractive. A
live, acoustic version of "Jane Says"
stands out in sharp contrast to the
calypso version on "Nothing's Shock-
ing." This original track is faster and
less technically impressive, but beau-
tiful in its simplicity.
The original version of "Pigs in
Zen" also graces the album. Basi-
cally, the sound on this track is the
same as the "Nothing's Shocking"
version, except it's a little higher, a
little faster and a little more in your
face. "Oh, I know about war / but I
just wanna fuck," Farrell declares to-
ward the middle of the song. "I know
about pain and suffering / and being
cold / but I just wanna FUCK!" Sure
ya' do, Perry.
Most of the songs are simply typi-
cal Jane's Addiction guitar rock.
"Whores" and "1%" combine whin-
ing, angry guitar riffs with Farrell's
biting commentaries on prostitutes
and the government. "My Time's"
harmonicas and rhythm guitars tone
down Farrell's shrieks to some ex-
tent, but the rage is still there.
Believe it or not, however, the
man does have a sensitive side. "I
Would For You" features Farrell
pledging his undying love to an un-
By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Writer
Perhaps the biggest news event
last week came when Judge Lance Ito
threatened to cancel all live television
coverage of the double murder trial of
O.J. Simpson. One might imagine how
countless housewives, bartenders and
ordinary couch potatoes were disap-
pointed when given the horrible pros-
pect of losing this major TV event.
Afterall, what could provoke so much
gossip and suspense in the lives of
But the truth is: it is not just the
people who regularly watch daytime
television who are mesmerized by
this trial-turned-media extravaganza.
In fact, many more Americans are
tuning in to this gradually unfolding
real-life crime drama.
People who have been football
YU ---". 40
anticipate the latest exciting turn of
So after seven months of pretrial
motions, hearings and jury selection,
the trial began last week. Television
attention has been understandably
heavy. Full daily coverage has, how-
ever, been limited to cable channels.
Court TV - held responsible for
the early trial mishap in which it briefly
showed the face of a juror -- runs an
uncomfortably-placed camera shot of
the trial. Ann Arborites, without Court
TV, have to settle for the full cover-
age of the trial on CNN (which uses
Court TV's group feed). CNN has, in
fact, made this trial into a good show,
even though it is an entirely perverse
use of a truly horrible situation.
Hosted by former tabloid TV an-
chor Jim Moret, CNN has made the
trial of O.J. Simpson into a made-for-
TV drama. Its production is complete
with a clever opening title sequence
depicting the past seven months and
the scales of justice accompanied by
eerie music. There is Moret's usually
intelligent and helpful play-by-play
which tends to be annoying at times.
Also present is interesting, yet fre-
quently irrelevant, commentary pro-
vided by law analysis guru Greta Van
Susteren and a band of other pin-
Regular and in-depth are the
nightly reports that air on all the net-
works and cable news operations. Yet
why all this attention? There are few
commercials during the daily cover-
age on CNN, so revenue from adver-
tisers in not necessarily the reason.
There are other things going on in the
world (many of which are more im-
portant), so this is not the only major
story news organizations may cover.
More simply, this is an event that
has and will continue to interest the
American public because of its Hol-
lywood appeal and people's unique
personal interests in its main players.
Nevertheless, the trial will eventually
end and the media will have to find a
new issue or problem to cover. Until
then - and that day could be far off
- the O.J. Simpson story will con-
tinue to unfold on television. The big
courtroom drama has just begun.
No One Tops
known woman, man, farm animal, o
whatever the hell he is sleeping with"
these days. It is perhaps the slowesC
and most touching Jane's song in ex-
The first song, "Trip Away" and,
the last song. "Chip Away," are the'
only two percussion driven tracks or,
the album. They also happen to be.
polar opposites as far as mood an,
tempo go. "Trip Away" is an upbeat,"
punk-ish song which features Farrell;
screaming "Oh mama lick on me nowt
/ I'm as tasty as a red plumb / baby;
thumb/ wanna make you love!" "Chip'
Away," on the other hand, is a dark;
tribal dance ofheavy percussionquite
unlike any of Jane's Addiction's other:
music. For this reason, the songs tend
to act as light and a dark bookends for
the guitar rock that falls in between.
Aside from original material, hows
ever, the band also manalges a fev
amazing cover songs. Farrell lends
his high-pitched stylings to Low"
Reed's "Rock 'n' Roll," and, believe
it or not, the band's cover of the
Rolling Stone's "Sympathy For the,
Devil" is even better than the Guns
'n' Roses version. (Yes, I know it's:
hard to imagine).
Overall, the album is just a great
throwback to the days when Perry
Farrell and the boys were not too'
cynical and all-mighty to sound a;
little tattered at times. If you don't,;
already own a copy of the album, it is:
definitely recommended listening.
Anyway, Perry needs your money.
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fans since the 1960s, people who have
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and people who remember O.J.'s fa-
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have logical interests in Simpson's
trial. He is a celebrity with whom
many Americans are familiar. Some
of us idolize him, some of us despise
him, but almost all of us care about
him in some way.
This real-life crime drama started
out as a simple news story with a
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rity has been intensive. That is why
this story is already so widely known.
In just seven months the tragic story
of O.J. and Nicole Simpson has be-
come as familiar as any major anec-
dote from American history.
The flock of media outlets follow-
ing this case has, at times, been as
intrepid as it has been offensive. After
countless reports have been aired or
published - including Tuesday's
made-for-TV-movie about O.J. which
showed on Fox - people continue to
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