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February 05, 1996 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-05

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8A - The lRchigan Daily -- Monday, February 5, 1996

Ex-member Chris Farley and current member David Spade are aiming to be the black sheep of the Saturday Night Live cast.
'Sheep' for stoners and losers only

The Folding Star
Alan Hollinghurst
Vintage International
The plot synopsis on the back of the
book caught my eye immediately: unat-
tainable and unquenchable love, a com-
plex and interweaving story, and con-
troversial/sexual subject matter. And,
in truth, the author makes good on these
vague promises. Unfortunately, such
promises prove liabilities rather than
highlights for "The Folding Star,"
Hollinghurst's second novel.
What initially seemed to be interest-
ing, in the end formed an annoying and
essentially disappointing work. The
book has, actually, not three fascinat-
ing points, but three mortal flaws. It is
an accidental insult to a life-style it
seeks to humanize. It is a perhaps con-
scious insult to theidea of eloquence.
Most sadly, it is an absolute mistake
insofar as choice of plot.
At one point in the book, Hollinghurst
shows terrific poetic ability by having
Manners (the protagonist) combine the
style of Gerard Manley Hopkins with
homoerotic sex-chat. It is entertaining
and, quite honestly, ingenious. Why
then, I ask, if Hollinghurst can give his
protagonist such lyrical prowess, could
he not, himself, demonstrate some sort
of eloquence, as well. The prose of this
book is simply boring. When he tries to
be poetic, Hollinghurst ends up verbose
and tiresome, invoking trite language.
In these best moments, he essentially
describes a sunset and then, acciden-
tally, defecates upon it.
These failed attempts at eloquence
are a foreshadowing of Hollinghurst's
failed attempt at humanizing a gener-
ally unknown or misunderstood life-
style. Although Hollinghurst deals with
very intimate and important aspects of
male homosexuality and seeks to give a
broad picture of the modern gay
lifestyle, he succeeds only in scandaliz-

ing it. The would-be gay hero, Edward
Manners, for the most part, is a very
intelligent, interesting and good
hearted man.
As we eventually learn, the story of
his life is a fascinating, somewhat ex-
ceptional tale, but at the same time
contains a great deal that almost any-
one could relate to. His personal inse-
curity about himselfand his relation to
other people is presented in genius
detail (the reader can hear Manner's
thoughts as they stream across his mind
and, at the same time, imagine those
same questioning thoughts arising in
his own mind).
In many ways, Manners is a typical
man of the '90s who happens to be
gay, and thus, a bit more complex. But
then it all goes awry. Hollinghurst de-
stroys this fascinating character by
making him not simply an intellectual
and gay but adding to the pot a ten-
dency for pedophilia and a bizarre
scatological fetish.
Is the book made more interesting
by these additions? No, it is merely
made longer. These two traits are never
actually reconciled with the rest of
Manners' character. They simply stick
out as unbelievable anomalies. The
worst part is that these "anomalies" are
central to the plot.
Much of the book deals with the
33-year-old Manners' desire to sleep
with his 17-year-old student, Luc.
When Manners seeks to quench his
hunger the result is inane: he fanta-
sizes about Luc urinating on him or
defecating on him (the list is ab-
surdly long), and when these fanta-
sies are not satisfied, he steals pic-
tures of Luc as well as his soiled
underwear and socks (which he pro-
ceeds to wear). All this is presented
as a sign of Manners' love. But the
fact is, this obsession is for a boy that
Manners' hardly knows. He wishes
to tell Luc he loves him before they
had even exchanged a few words.
Annoyingly, Hollinghurst spends the

entire book expecting us to accept*
erotic dream or a quick screw as a sign of
eternal love. While this aspect of the
book does offer an interesting, though
probably inadvertent, commentary on
how society's condemnation and rejec-
tion of open homosexuality results in
limiting the possibility for a more "tra-
ditional" love among gays, in a legal
sense - that they can not get legally
married, for example - it does a better
job atportrayinghomosexualsas amo
lithic block of little-boys' underpants
wearing, shallow and unlovable men. In
other words, no matter Hollinghurst's
intent, his book is the stuff bad stereo-
types and senseless bigotry are created
from.
The saddest part about "The Fold-
ing Star," however, is that is does have
some very good parts to it. A good
100-page block, which is mostly ex-
traneous to the central plot, is al
lutelyhwonderful but, unfortunately, it
is right in the middle of this dense
swamp of a book. The story begins
with a few essential issues (first among
them, the obsession with Luc) then,
wisely abandons them for a subplot
history of both Manners' life and of
the fictional painter Edgard Orst. But,
alas, the old issues are reintroduced,
nearly solved, then, a moment-too soon
(or perhaps, a novel too late), a1&
doned for new issues in an obnoxious
twist of melodrama.
Hollinghurst shows some real talent
in this novel, but it comes in flashes
both rare and far between. The novel's
high points are simply drowned out by
the over ambitious, poorly constructed,
clumsily delivered bulk. Hollinghurst
tells us in the book that the "Folding
Star" is the star shepherds look for at
night as a sign to bring in their fol f
sheep. Perhaps Hollinghurst shc i
have kept his eye out for such a star
while writing this novel - no doubt it
would have told him to stop much
sooner.
- James Wilson

By Christopher Corbett
Daily Arts Writer
The promoters of"Black Sheep" have
tried to hail Chris Farley and David
Spade as the next great comedy team.

R EVIEW
Black Sheep
ZERO
Directed by Penelope
Spheeris; with Chris
Farley and David Spade
At Briarwood and Showcase

But Laurel and Hardy they're not. These
feebs aren't even Lenny and Squiggy.
"Black Sheep" has just two funny
sequences - nowhere near enough to
recommend the film. But the two mo-
ments can crack you up. Both scenes
occur when the guys are high. In the
first one, Farley smokes up at a concert
and goes on stage, uttering such solilo-
quies as "Kill Whiteys!" as he does a
speed-metal head-thrashing (all we see
is a blur of stringy blonde hair). MTV
films it all - they mistake him for his
running-for-governor brother, Al.
The film offers nothing special; its
laughs certainly are no different than
those we'd get from a good episode (a
RECORDS
Continued from Page 5A
Jude Cole
Idon't know why Iact this way
Island Records
If music made you feel completely
apathetic, then chances are you prob-
ably wouldn't listen to it. Well, it's a
good thing our ears have other musical
options besides Jude Cole. This CD
lacks what every solid band has achieved
- that is, heartfelt music. The slow,
soft and boring melodies combined with
cliched lyrics are a great choice if you
can't fall asleep.
Hailing from Los Angeles, it seems
as if Cole set out to find a middle
ground between the likes of Sting and
Chris Isaak. Unfortunately, he comes
up a bit short, turning out stale tunes
that simply don't grab one's attention.
However, on a few occasions, a certain
potential is heard that tells the listener,
"I'm not that bad. People dig my music
at that small, smoky bar in uhh ... Little
Rock, Arkansas."
Jude Cole certainly makes use ofplenty
of eclectic instruments in the majority of
histracks-although theaccordian, cello,
hammond organ, calliope, wurlitzer and
chamberlain all take a back seat to the
acoustic guitar. Maybe if there were less
singing and more playing he could add
some integrity to the music. The band
should emulate what they've done with
"Move if you're goin'." Here he picks up
the pace and adds some catchy guitar
licks to the background vocals. Ifhe would
sticktothis style instead ofthe love songs,
then maybe he'd have a future. It's just
too bad that the name Jude Cole sounds
a lot cooler than the music.
- Aaron Huppert

rarity) of "Saturday Night Live."
In the only other funny sequence,
Farley and Spade inadvertently inhale
nitrous oxide fumes in their stolen po-
lice car. A cop pulls them over, and
after Farley guesses that he was driving
65, the officer raises his eyebrows, say-
ing, "You were driving seven." Spade
and Farley try to play it off and keep
their giggling in check, and we laugh at
them.
Like a loser who only feels good
when high, "Black Sheep" is only funny
when the guys are stoned. Otherwise,
well, when they discover a vampire bat
in their log-cabin, what do you think
happens? Does Spade do something
clever like try to catch it with two metal
pots? Does Farley get the bloodsucker
stuck in his hair and knock the cabin
apart like a bull? Does the scene take
forever to end? Does the moon go around
the Earth?
The film, chock-full of slapstick com-
edy, focuses on brutalizing Chris Farley.
Somebody please tell director Penelope
Spheeris ("Wayne's World") to grab
the reins. Once we've seen one scene of
Farley retarded, ravished and ravaged,
we've seen them all. He just seems to
get fatter and sweatier and fatter as the
film goes on. After 5 million times of
watching Farley roll down hills and
slam car hoods on his thumbs, we real-

ize that we're starting to like the sound
of his agonized screams.
The story line makes Spade a poor
slob, crying, "Whoever said women
Like a loser who
only feels good
when high, "Black
Sheep" is only
funny when the
guys are stoned
like men with no money?! Boo hoo!"
Spade hopes to move up in the world by
offering to keep Farley out ofthe way of
his brother Al's campaign ... Jesus
Christ Superstar!! WHAT story line?!
The film might have been killer had
it shot for complete chaos. Farley and
Spade would have entertained us had
they gone berserk throughout. But the
film force-feeds us a script that fails to
get us to care about the brothers' rela-
tionship. Our reaction is like that of our
2-year-old cousin eating Gerber's
cream-of-squash: "Bleccch!"
"Black Sheep," for any viewer who's
intelligent or not stoned, does what a
vamnire hat would do: sucks.

Win Free Passes to "Leaving Las Vegas" and meet the film's director
In what 1987 movie did Nicholas Cage star opposite Holly Hunter?
Answer this question correctly and win free passes to see Mike Figgis' critically acclaimed drama, "Leaving
Las Vegas," at 7 p.m. this Wednesday at the Michigan Theater. After all, "Vegas" was just named the No.
film of 1995 by the Daily.
Aren't you just dying to see what everyone is talking about? Need a better reason?
Well, we've got one.
After the film you will have the opportunity to attend an informal reception and discussion with screenwriter/
director Mike Figgis. How can you pass this one up? Just stop in to the Daily Arts office of the Student
Publications Building, 420 Maynard St. after Noon today.
Give us the answer and you'll get a great way to spend a Wednesday night.
Remember, no purchase necessary and our supplies are limited, so only one pass per person. Each pass
admits two people. All employees of the Daily and MGM pictures are not eligible to win.

Hell II: Back Into Hell," you might
wonder, how could he ever top those
beauties? But he does!
You gotta love the first single, "I'd
Lie For You (And That's the Truth),"
if not for its ingenious and original
song title, then for its Indiana Jones-
like epic video. Meat on land. Meat
on water. Meat in the air. Meat on
motorcycle. But most of all, Meat
gets the girl. But surely, Meat gets all
the girls.
"Welcome to the Neighborhood"
tackles the same old meaty ground as
the rest of the Loaf's illustrious ca-
reer with new songs like "Runnin'
For the. Red Light (I Gotta Life)" and
"If This Is the Last Kiss (Let's Make
It Last All Night)." The record is
pretty good for any cheese rock al-
bum, and all the girlies will surely dig
it, especially because they all dig the
Loaf, right?
But "Welcome to the Neighborhood"
is, in fact, quite good. Rare is it that
there's an album that you have to either
love or laugh at. No middle meat. Either
way, it's great. Meat Loaf and Cheese.
Or is it Cheese and Meat Loaf?
- Brian A. Gnatt
Speech
Speech
EMI Records
As far as I'm concerned, Speech's solo
album serves one main purpose. It basi-
cally gives away the secret to Arrested
Development - that even though there
were like 46 people in that group, it was
all Speech, and those other 45 decorative
pieces didn't really contribute much to
that two-hit sensation. So Speech decided
to drop the extra weight, get rid of the
name and become a solo project.
Now, let's get one thing straight -

even though Speech drops a couple
nice rhymes on this album, he's not an
MC, he's a singer who digs hip-hop.
So if you were into Arrested Develop-
ment, you'll definitely be into this al-
bum, 'cause it's way betterthan anything
that Arrested Development put out. And
even though Speech has a lot of shiny
happy things to say, most of the beats
aren't for hippies. In fact, a couple of the
beats have a pretty tight hip-hop edge.
He even samples "Top Billin"' by Milk,
the MC formally in Audio Two.
But the themes of his songs aren t
quite in the same alleyway as the hus-
tIers, pimps and gangstas ruling the hip-
hop scene these days. Speech explains,
"A lot of songs out now are the equiva-
lent of a two-second blurb on the news
instead of a full-length film that reflects
who we really are. This album, in many
ways, illustratesmy frustrations with the
current environment."
Track 9, "Like Marvin Gaye Said,
(What's Going On)" is a sincere tribute
to the late great Marvin, and a genuine
appreciation and understanding for
Marvin's soulful expression and struggle
to accept the hardships that African
Americans, and society as a whole, face
each day. The song interweaves samples

of Marvin from "Inner City Blues"
For those of you who want flowery
rhymes of political and spiritual aware-
ness with a slight hip-hop feel, this al-
bum will do you good. For the rest of us,
this album will get as much play in the
CD player as Arrested Developmentdoes
. none.
-Kimberly Howitt
The Foremen
Ain't no liberal
Reprise
The Foremen must expect that thei
single, "Ain't No Liberal," is going to sell
slowly. Given their grave error in cove
art, they ought to expect negative sales.
The sad truth is that- in light ofthis bein
political parody of the right - they
ugly ol' Phil Gramm on the cover. T ,
being educated, I understand the referene
to Gramm's switching ofparties way bac
when (thus the lyrics, "I once was a liberal,
but I ain't no liberal no more.") However,
in America Phil Gramm equals bad. Tha
means that unless the prospective buye
knows the Foremen intimately, he or sh
will probably not buy this single.
OK, let's set the politics to the side to se
exactly what this song is all about For e
it's obviously a barbershop quartet
pretty standard four-part harmonies. Ad
ditionally, the lead singerembellishes quit
nicely the melody over the gospel-styl
accompaniment. Yet, it's the vicious lyr
ics that draw most of the attention.
"Ain't No Liberal" is like a no-hold
barred cage match, where the bad gu
pulls out the foreign object. The Fore
men pull out numerous foreign objects
insinuating that conservatives want t
end women's suffrage, that all coon
vatives are white supremacists and that
in general, conservatives are hearties
jerks. I'd imagine a liberal would find
pretty humorous. Even I almost laughed
- Brad Havwoo

Meatloaf may be the cheese but he sure scores big time with the ladies.

Meat Loaf
Welcome to the Neighborhood
MCA
Welcome to the world of Meat Loaf.
In Meat Loaf land everything has to be
grand, every song has to have at least 10
words in the title and every song has to
be 10 minutes long. And don't forget
the cheese. It's the cheesiest!
And don't forget that this cheese
has sold more than 45 million records
worldwide and made the Loaf's 1977
"Bat Out of Hell" the No. 3 top selling
album of all time. He also starred in

the original Broadway production and
movie of the "Rocky Horror Picture
Show." Most of all - for all you
Michiganders - he sang lead vocals
on the "Motor City Madman" Ted
Nugent's "Free For All." If that's not
the definition of cool, then what is?
So what's not to like about Meat
Loaf? Whether you like rock epics,
cheese rock, big chunky guys singing
about stupid stuff, or you hate all of
this, you still gotta love the Loaf. With
song titles like "I'd Do Anything For
Love (But I Won't Do That)" and "Ob-
jects In the Rear View Mirror May
Appear Closer Than They Are" on his
1993 comeback smash hit "Bat Out of

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Here we see the now solo Speech.

MMM9

SINGERS
Continued from Page 5A
dezvous," which functioned as a great
crowd pleaser complete with kazoos,
sound effects, knee slaps and a dedi-
cation for the song which made it
into a wedding proposal from some-
one in the audience. The crowd ate it
up.

Also on. stage was the Huron Hig
School A Capella Choir. Their pres
ence amounted to essentially fund-rais
ing musical wallpaper. The choir adde
nothing to the musical experience.$
judging from their constant snickerin
when not on stage, probably game
nothing from the experience either.
Still, there were certainly enough en
joyable moments to make the conce
worth the less-than-perfect moments.

747-9400 1220 S. University
Above McDonalds, Kinko's

SPRING
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100L -.,6
mot
alt.

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-~ 4fqmba

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