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September 03, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-03

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 3, 1997


tI~e Ski gu &u Il


420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

f:; r.:. ,y .;
C a ..


Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by
students at the Editorial Page Editor
;University of Michigan
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion ofthe majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

'I always believed the press would kill her in the end.'
- Charles Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana, stating his
belief that aggressive paparazzi played a role in her death


......_ ,. I-A -


F ootball, Inc.

Students deserve priority for season tickets

or University students and alumni,
football Saturday memories are revered
afhd deified, persevering once individual
classes are long forgotten. Thanks to the
Athletic Department, some incoming stu-
dents, instead of making the traditional trek
to Michigan Stadium on Saturday morn-
ipgs, will be forced to watch home games
huddled around residence hail television
sets. These ill-fated first-year and transfer
students will be issued split-season football
tickets. The Athletic Department's decision
id unprecedented and unacceptable - stu-
cents should have priority for season tick-



One of the best schedules in University
history increased student season-ticket appli-
:ations from 14,000 to 20,000 this year. The
thletic Department refused to take season
kkets away from anyone who held them
*eviously and did not increase season-ticket
locations for current season-ticket holders.
p applying this flawed policy, demand for
udent season tickets could not be satisfied.
.onsequently, 3,200 first-year and incoming
raduate and transfer students will receive
>lit-season tickets' to attend only three or
ur of the seven home football games.
niversity students should be the Athletic
kpartment's most important constituency
Fin recent years, alumni and loyalists'
gher ticket prices and large donations have
tewed the department's priorities.
Other options would appear far more
tractive. Why not give split-season tickets
those alumni and University loyalists
ho have held their tickets for the fewest
ears? Giving tickets to students and alum-
i while making all others last priority
iakes more sense than the present scheme.
enior Associate Athletic Director Keith
lolin said the goal was to "try to find the
ast unfair option of unfair options," and
aimed there was "no (decision) totally

free of inequity." However, the Athletic
Department followed its recent precedent of
selecting not the fairest, but the most finan-
cially advantageous alternative.
Handing out split-season football tickets
exemplifies what is wrong with an athletic
department that places the mission of
increasing revenue ahead of the needs of
student-athletes and the student body at-
large. While a strong business acumen is
necessary to run the athletic department,
the department must refocus to make stu-
dents first priority and to avoid the athletic
scandals that have become all too common
at the University.
Incoming Athletic Director Tom Goss, a
former University football player and suc-
cessful executive, appears to have the prop-
er background to transform the department.
But the web of NCAA regulations grows
larger each day and these rules cannot be
learned overnight. Goss should surround
himself with people who have Division I
athletic administration experience. Goss'
team, instead of forging new deals with cor-
porate America, should focus on strictly
adhering to NCAA regulations and restor-
ing the University's status as a national
leader in high quality and clean athletic pro-
grams. Goss must also ensure that students
will be treated fairly; giving out split-season
tickets to freshman is a precedent that must
not continue.
Some students' closest friendships are
solidified at a tailgate or marshmallow fight
on football Saturday. At many large public
schools, such as the University of
Massachusetts at Amherst, football tickets
come free with tuition. At the University of
Michigan, students get no such perks.
Tickets here come at a hefty price - but for
some they simply do not come at all. And
this is unacceptable for students - the
University's loudest and most loyal fans.


This summer, the Internet
and the literary world met
head on in two splashy,
strange events worthy of the
famous names involved. They
may not have been the stuff of
front pages or network news-
casts, but these separate
events (involving novelists
Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas
Pynchon, forged e-mails, a
London newspaper and a
much-desired photograph)
portray in neon-colored letters
the provocative powers of
technology and its effects on
the written word.
The Pynchon incident
came first. A London newspa-
per used an Internet site to
track down the great writer's
New York address. Living in
carefully kept seclusion,
Pynchon's life has remained
as elusive and puzzling as his
intricate, dizzying novels. But
this year's success of his novel
"Mason & Dixon" brought
Pynchon's work to wide-
spread attention. Address in
hand the London photogra-
phers snapped pictures of
Pynchon as he escorted his
young son to school one
morning - the first con-
firmed photographs of the
writer since his college days
at Cornell in the 1950s.
This event sparked my
curiosity. The idea of writers
living in seclusion, toiling for
years on weighty novels, is
one I have always found
appealing. Pynchon, Don
DeLillo, J.D. Salinger and
Cormac McCarthy aren't bet-
ter writers because they shy
away from press and atten-
tion, but somehow they seem
like more compelling people,
and their books feel more
momentous. Their works
become absolute - mysteri-
ous in origin, attaining an all-
encompassing weightiness
somehow not possessed by
recognizable folks like
Richard Ford or John Updike.
When Pynchon's seclusion
was suddenly shattered, if
only briefly, a sense of his dis-
tance and power went with it.
The incident was given an
additional twist- of irony by
Pynchon's work. He is icono-
clastic, populist and liberal.
For a while, he was rumored
to be the Unabomber. In a
New York Times piece from
1984 titled "Is it OK to be a

pnvacy on
Luddite?" Pynchon discusses,
among other things, the van-
ishing lines between literature
and technology.
"Demystification is the order
of our day, all the cats are
jumping out of all the bags
and even beginning to min-
gle,' he wrote.
Sure enough, the cats did
jump out of the bag, landing
on the sidewalk across from
Pynchon's apartment.
"When technology reach-
es a certain level, people
begin tofeel like criminals."
- Don Delillo,
"Running Dog," 1978.
Soon after reading about
Pynchon's ordeal, I sat down
at a computer, resolved to
find information about other
famous names. It was a lark at
first, something I did because
I was bored one Saturday
afternoon. But then names
and information started piling
up like a stack of declassified
CIA documents: the home
phone number and address of
Robert J. Dole; the same for
Cormac McCarthy. I'm not
sure if I found J.D. Salinger,
but I found "J. Salinger" in the
appropriate New England
locale. Next came a few ran-
dom celebrities, like "Jerry
Maguire" director Cameron
Crowe. I couldn't get any
information on the Reagans,
but Ambassador wannabe
William Weld? Check.
Former House Speaker
Thomas Foley? Heck yeah.
None of this qualifies as a
grand revelation. Plenty of
news organizations have
reported the proliferation of
private information easily
obtained on the Internet. But
it's one thing to read about,
and another thing to have this
knowledge radiating out from
a computer screen, seamlessly
. Pynchon was not the only
famous writer foiled by the
Internet this summer: In late
July, Kurt Vonnegut became
an unwilling player in a seem-
ingly innocent forged' e-mail
scheme. A mass message
began to circulate, purporting
to be a commencement
address delivered by
Vonnegut at MIT. The mes-
sage was widespread, received
and re-sent by friends of mine
(as well as perhaps hundreds

the 'Net
of thousands of e-mail affi-
cionados) who were oblivious
to its lack of authenticity. The
alleged address is witty and
charming, full of suggestions
on how to lead a fun and ful-
filling life. (Example: "Keep
your old love letters. Throw
away your old bank state-
ments.") It was so good that
Vonnegut's wife did not doubt
the speech's authenticity.
Yet the speech was actual-
ly a column written by Mary
Schmich, a writer for The
Chicago Tribune. Vonnegut
had nothing to do with the e-
mail. He never addressed
MIT. He doesn't even like the
"How can I know whether
I'm being kidded or not, or.
lied to?" Vonnegut said to the
New York Times. "I don't
know what the point is except
is how gullible people are on
the Internet."
Gullible, and petty.
These two incidents are
amusing, but they bring up a
larger point. The Internet is a
great equalizer - it redefines
celebrity. And in the Vonnegut
and Pynchon incidents, it
changed the way fiction, fame
and reality interact.
They are moments worthy
of their victims' works. Yet
how valuable is their work in
a world where busting their
privacy becomes entertain-
ment? When tidbits of flashy
information overshadow
thoughtfulness and creativity?
It was tempting to call up
and chat with Cormac
McCarthy, or telephone the
tantalizing "J. Salinger." But
the work of these writers
should be satisfying enough
without their snapshots being
published, and without giving
their fans a false sense of
immediacy from a forged e-
mail. The creative and practi-
cal wonders of the Internet are
undeniable, but as the infor-
mation game evolves, celebri-
ty casualties, in the literary
world and elsewhere, are des-
tined to stack up.
I don't.know about you,
but DeLillo had it right-- it's
hard not to feel a little like a
criminal these days.
Jeff Eldridge is a Daily
news editor He can be
reached over e-mail at

'%~O~, 1~Nt% y
S ~ *d*,

Welcome to the
S'U':An open
letter to New
York students
A s a public institution. U of M is
home to more than its fair share
of out-of-state students. Of these stu-
dents, a large portion come from the
greater New York area. Given that your
homeland has
such a strong per- '
sonality, I thought
in my capacity as
a native, I would
give some advice
to the advancing
New Yorkers to
make your transi-
tion a little more
Dear fellow stu- JAMES
dents, MILLER
A few things to Mgw
keep in mind: TP
I didn't makeI
the goddamned bagels. Walk to
Zingerman's or shut up. Baked goods
don't make you cultured.
It breaks my heart that your exile
in Mayberry RFD takes you away
from important things like New York-
style pizza slices. You probably won't
be able to find other things you are
used to having, like seething hatred,
open racial strife, rampant street
crime, six-foot-tall, gun-toting drag
queens, $5 cups of coffee and vast
stretches of people sleeping in their
own urine.
Most in-state students are simple
farm folk. When you speak of wit-
nessing such culturally significant
events as Blues Traveler at the
Wetlands, we may gawk at your cul-
tural superiority.
At first you may find that there is
nothing here in Hooterville hip and
erudite enough to suit your
advanced tastes. Don't worry, you'll
think of something. In fact, native
Ann Arbor students often forget just
how boring their city is. They may 3
even think, "Gosh, if my town sucks
so hard, why would someone travel
hundreds of miles and spend thou-
sands of dollars to live and learn
Dispel this foolish notion simply
by wandering around the halls of
Markley whining through your
nose, "There's nothing to do
El.f. at first you have trouble:
naking 'friends, try this. Talk to
anyone who will listen about the
really excellent rave you went to
this one time in "The City." Brag
about your consumption of whatev- '4
er Rolling Stone says is the drug of
the month. If your mark exhibits
mollified admiration at your cultur-
al depth, congratulations! You've
found a friend. If not, the poor kid
probably has not been to anything
more exciting than a barn raising
and therefore does not have the fac-
ulties to cope with you.
Remember, having lived in one
state all their lives, in-staters will be
weak in the geography department. If
you live anywhere from 15 minutes to
an hour from New York City proper, w
just say you're from New York City
anyway. This will avoid confusion and
embarrassment for all parties con-
cerned. Remember, to the barbarians,
Rome could have been any outpost of
civilization. By the same logic,
Westport, Conn = New York City.
As the standard bearer for the civ-

ilized world, you must behave in such
a manner that makes the local yokels
want to imitate you and thus raise their
station in life. For men the uniform is:
huge jeans, wallet chain and Airwalk
shoes. Swagger a lot.
For women: microscopic, ribbed
baby-doll t-shirt, preferably with
something, witty like "Spoiled" or
"Girl" written on the front; tight
black pants; big shoes, something that
looks like an unhappy marriage
between clogs and hiking boots;
finally, earrings, big and silver.
Makeup is good too. And not any of
that Body Shop garbage. Lipstick.
Brown. And lots of it. It also helps if
your skin exhibits the kind of healthy
brown glow normally associated with
drum heads.
Realize you are the keeper of the
King's English as well. The locals will
appreciate a lesson now and again.
Sample sentences like "Yo, kid, ain't
no way I'm gonna be goin' to no class-
es 'n shit today" and "Hey, I gots a
phatty blunt" are simple enough for
the locals to learn quickly. Ladies,
educate your dumpy sisters with a
piercing "I'm a Kappa! Are you in a
Be prepared for some of the farm
people to think that you are spoiled. You
may encounter this attitude at certain
times, driving your Jeep Cherokee or
Ford Explorer to Taco Bell, for exam-
ple. Nip this idea in the bud by telling
the natives how hard you worked to get

Housing wanted

New programs help
s first-year students moved into the resi-
dence halls,.some returning students still
spught a place to live. The city of Ann Arbor is
iot known for affordable, easy-to-find student
l4ousing. High rent, outrageous room-and-
ard fees, profit-driven management compa-
4ies and the bureaucracy of utility companies
n make move-in a headache and foster an
ironment that can make concentrating on
lasses difficult. Many students turn to the
IJniversity's Housing Information Office as a
isource. Two programs new last month could
4iake finding off-campus housing significant-
i$ easier and cheaper. Students should capital-
ige on the new services to make the search for
Iousing a more manageable feat.
Many students turn away from University
IDousing residence halls after their first or
scond year. While residence halls provide
COnvenience and easy access to University
*sources, students often find it cheaper to
iove into off-campus accommodations.
however, Ann Arbor rental rates are high -
tiaking it difficult for budget-strapped stu-
nts to find housing within their means.
ith apartments and houses being snapped
!p as early as October or November, students
unable to secure housing during the usual
iish at the end of the fall semester often find
themselves in a bind for a place to live.
One of the housing office's new programs
allows students to find potential roommates
over the World Wide Web. The Website also
ijas lists of available apartments, houses and
toms around North and Central Campus.
the new service gives students, especially
mpus latecomers, the opportunity to find
r w ith;+m.it hediff1 -1 e- frnta-

those still searching
ing individual management companies and
landlords. The office serves as a clearing-
house of housing opportunities - the
Website extends that service to be accessible
from off-campus locations. Students transfer-
ring from other universities or returning from,
overseas study could find this prevents wor-
rying about housing from afar.
HomeShare, the office's other new pro-
gram, provides students with the opportuni-
ty to work off a portion of their rent, much
like the University's popular co-ops. In
exchange for doing tasks such as shoveling
sidewalks or grocery shopping for an elder-
ly person, students get a room and kitchen
privileges in a senior citizen's house for sig-
nificantly reduced rent. To quell elderly
homeowners' fears, the HomeShare pro-
gram screens all participants.
The program benefits both the students
and homeowners. Homeowners unable to
take care of some of their own basic house-
hold needs receive help. Students not only get
a nominal rent - usually less than $300 a
month - they also are able to give back to
the community. The program will benefit the
community's elderly while providing budget-
conscious students the opportunity to make
their living expenses more manageable.
Many problems face students looking for
off-campus housing. The problems are mag-
nified when students come to campus late or
face significant financial impediments. The
housing office's new services will help stu-
dents with some of the difficulties that face
them as they search for a place to live - it
deserves commendation for offering unique,
;nfl-l ti n..ra.fln..t

Daily columnists - coming soon
to a Daily near you.
We are pleased to present our fall lineup:
Monday: Erin Marsh/ Thinking of 'U'
Joshua Rich/Trivial Pursuits


...... ... ..... ....................

!"'\!1 M .- .f f l1 I iti r W i aM A .Jl W I

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