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March 30, 1995 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, March 30, 1995

'Young' full of Brit rock

[. .

Wtelcome to Netcape

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By Scott Plagenhoef
Daily Arts Writer
What happens when a 40-some-
thing ex-drill sergeant played by Burt
Young of "Rocky" fame and a teen
prodigy played by a mostly pre-
Feldman Corey Haim share a fresh-
man dorm. It's "Roomies" the odd-
couple situation comedy in which two
complete opposites share the ups and
downs of being unconventional in the
wacky, hijink-laced environment that
is college.
Sounds great, huh? Well someone
at NBC thought so. Misfit, one-di-
mensional roommates don't typically
make for quality television. Beside
"Roomies," there has been "Double
Trouble," "Good and Evil," and even
the anthropomorphic "emotions" pent
up inside "Herman's Head."
The vast majority of these pro-
grams are entirely empty because they
are one-joke formulas. Those who
have to live so close are so different
and their incompatibility is the foun-
dation of all of the show's humor.
"The Young Ones" are four quite-
different, quite simplistic characters
who have nothing in common except
that they each represent a sub-strata
of youth culture: a hippie, a nihilistic
punk, a leftist would-be poet and a
coifed, straight world, self-appointed
ladies' man. Excepting for a barrage
of hippie jokes, their disparities are
not the source of the comedy. There is
no odd, cruel twist of life which has
tossed them together; why they live
together is never explained, but never
contemplated either. They simply
share the surrealism which encom-
passes them and the show.
"The Young Ones" debuted on the
BBC in 1983 and appeared on MTV
late Sunday nights in the mid-'80s. Its
12 episodes have been resurrected by
Comedy Central to be aired Saturday
nights at 11:00 p.m. and undoubtedly
repeated too often throughout the
week. Each episode works only as a
slice of these four student's lives. The
narrative begins odd and gets odder,
but never grasps hold of a nice, neat

structure. When Theo had girl trouble,
the Cos explained the birds, the bees
and made a few obstetrician jokes in
a neat 30 minute package. Jack Trip-
per could find the girl of his dreams,
be engaged, and have her find out that
either he lives with two girls or that
Ralph Furley believes him gay (which
he couldn't deny in front of Ralph or
he'd lose his apartment, which con-
sidering he is about to be married and
presumably leaving the domicile of
Janice and Chrissie/Cindy/Terri
doesn't seem like much of a conse-
quence) therefore breaking off the
relationship, never to be spoken of
again in future episodes in the same
30 minute period. "The Young Ones"
doesn't purport such rigidity or con-
trivances, which may turn off many
viewers.
The four do encounter a different
obstacle in each episode whether it be
Vyv (the punk) planting, Neil (the
hippie) in the back-yard, finding a
nuclear bomb propped up against the
refrigerator or simply changing a light
bulb. Yet the events are never treated
as problems to be solved. In the
Brunei-like landscape of their North
London apartment, the unusual is
commonplace, we only peek into their
lives for a short-period of time before
our voyeurism is terminated abruptly.
Each episode also features a guest
appearance by a British post-punk
group. The Damned, Nine Below Zero
and Dexy's Midnight Runners are
amongst the featured musicians, yet
the musical highlight is certainly
Lemmy arching his back, straining to
reach the microphone whilst he and
the rest of Motorhead churn out "Ace
of Spades" in the flat's kitchen.
"The Young Ones" isn't for ev-
eryone, thank goodness. If itwere, it
would mean it was typical, safe and
accessible. It doesn't ask any ques-
tions like "what happens when..." The
gang doesn't get the willed riches of
Vyv's long-lost spinster aunt provided
they can spend one weekend in a
haunted house. Neil is never trapped
in an elevator with a pregnant woman.
Only a hodgepodge of surrealism, a
healthy dose of anti-establishmentism
and the feeling that you never quite
know what will happen next, and if
you do, so what; it won't have any-
thing to do with what follows after
that. If only Corey Haim portrayed
Vyv.

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This Is how a computer.running Netscape looks. Isn't It beautiful?

Welcome to Netscape: Future now

By Josh Herrington
Daily Arts writer
Have you ever wondered about
the indie music scene in Western
Australia? How about the possibili-
ties of music therapy for the visually
impaired? How about interviews from
your favorite glam-rock heroes? These
are just snippets from the wealth of
music-related information one can
find through Netscape.
For those of you who haven't
peered over at a neighbor using the
system at any of the campus comput-
ing sites, Netscape is a massive
Internet program installed last No-
vember on the University server - a
larger version of the previous net fo-
rum Mosaic. It has the capacity to
access literally millions of files on the
"web," connecting a student procras-
tinator with information in areas rang-
ing from aviation to cooking.
One of the most heavily-used and
largest area on the web is music. The
area of popular music in Netscape is
intense. If you like, you can ask ques-
tions of Sebadoh (and they'll respond
personally), print out the cover of
your favorite Pixies album (many al-

bum covers and candid photos are
scanned into the program), or copy
the lyrics of your favorite Neil Dia-
mond tune. You can even listen to
sound bytes of music - although you
wouldn't want to disturb any students
around you who are actually doing
work (bring headphones). The mean-
ing and content of song lyrics incite
pages of forums where ideas merge
from around the globe. Interviews
can be found from the most obscure
sources, along with letters from art-
ists explaining their works. It's enough
to absorb you so thoroughly that hours
will go by completely unnoticed.
And believe it or not, Netscape
isn't hard to use. It childishly guides
the viewer through each step in the
fact-finding process. To access the
main directory you have to click the
word "YAHOO," as if surfing the net
was like watching a rerun of "Bo-
nanza." From there, clicking on "En-
tertainment" and then "music" will
open up this part of the web. Just like
that. The most frustrating problem
occurs when stumbling upon a file
that looks delicious, only to find that
Netscape is somehow "unable to lo-

cate" it. This happens quite frequently.
However, some "missing" files
through which other files are accessed
can be bypassed by using the "search"
feature; here, Netscape acts much like
Mirlyn does in the libraries, finding
all files which contain the requested
key words. Once you get to a musi-
cian or group (or anything), you'll
encounter a "home page" where lists
of addresses and topic headings can
be located and opened with a mouse
click. For the most part, you don't
even have to touch the keyboard.
Much of this information can be
found by looking up individual artists
(using "directory" or "search"), and
branching out from there into various
Internet locations (hence the name
"web"). However, now that we are in
an era where identifying with a hip
indie label or an oppressive, evil ma-
jor label is crucial to the consumer,
many put out their own home pages
- starting points where official ad-
dresses containing discographies, art-
work and other information can be
accessed. For example, one could use
the 4AD home page to download files
about the Breeders, the Pixies, Belly

boarding
and so on. Some labels give addresses-
one may write to purchase albums-of
featured bands, like an Internet ver-
sion of the Home Shopping Network
Of course, major labels also have been,
using home pages to peddle new prod-
ucts, including samples of entire songs
off upcoming albums. This is no sur-
prise; the color photos and song blurbs
are obvious ways to reach a world-
wide audience very inexpensively.
This, of course, raises an issue
which has yet to come to the fore-
front; the establishment and enforce-
ment of illegal activity. Anyone with
the proper technology can scan in.
pictures or sample songs, potentially
infringing copyright laws in the pro-
cess. Once installed, one can print out
anything from Netscape that appears,
on the page. Such prospects may not
seem as controversial as the Jake
Baker case, but nevertheless many
foresee the potential for legal may
hem. Nevertheless, the impending
prospect of legal consequences does#
not seem to be curbing the ever-grow-
ing list of pirated music goodies. Until
the government and judicial system
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thrift/used clothing _
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