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September 23, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-23

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 23, 1998

U i E a ttn ttil

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'In the past, infidelity didn't get exposed
in the public sphere. But as an American
historian, I would say they could do the same
kind of Starr Report for every president.'
- University history Prof Regina Morantz-Sanchez

r Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
School's out
Schoolkids' closing marks a dangerous trend

IIfln7EmYmnOamr& r M rh4aN IY W . -

L ast Monday, the Ann Arbor communi-
ty lost one of its valuable music
sources when Schoolkids' Records, which
has provided rare albums to local music
connoisseurs for 22 years, closed its doors
for the last time. Since the arrival of
Borders Books and Music on East Liberty
Street - right across from Schoolkids' -
the independent store fought hard to stay
open, but eventually found it impossible.
In fact, Schoolkids' is only the latest in a
number of independent stores closing due
to competition from large chains - an
unfortunate business trend that threatens
the diversity of products available in the
A marketplace.
Although small stores often carry
material not stocked bytheir larger com-
petitors, their main source of income
remains with the sale of mainstream
material. For instance, Schoolkids' may
have stocked rare and otherwise unavail-
able records, but popular artists like the
Dave Matthews Band and Mariah Carey
are what kept it in business. But since
mainstream material is also readily avail-
able at chain stores, many consumers are
less likely to shop at the independent
shops. In time, the loss of customers takes
its toll on 'the smaller stores. In Ann
Arbor, this type of situation has occurred
on several occasions in recent years.
The problem with this scenario is that it
reduces the number of options available to
consumers. Since the large chain stores
attract all customers, they have the ability
* to control the products that make up the
market. But the selection of rare items

suffers because they fail to ring up large
sales, putting them in even more of a
niche market. These rare recordings often
have value the goes unrecognized by the
general public. When smaller stores go
out of business, these important records
are not as easily available to the commu-
nity. At the present rate, the market will
continue being dictated by the suppliers
- the more hard-to-find material will
become increasingly difficult to obtain.
Unfortunately, independent stores' loss
of business to national chains is a reality of
free enterprise. But the trend toward chains
pushing independent stores out of the mar-
ket limits the variety of products available
to consumers in other ways. For example,
independent stores like Schoolkids' (which
once supported its own record label) are
more likely to support lesser-known artists;
for instance, Schoolkids carried albums by
many groups whose CDs were usually not
available in big stores. If smaller stores con-
tinue to go out of business, local artists may
find it more difficult to make a name for
The closing of independent stores
because of competition from large chains
is an alarming trend. While chains have
the right to seek business, it is unfortunate
that their success should come at the
expense of independently owned estab-
lishments. A larger number of stores
allows consumers to have more variety at
their disposal and can help local artists
sell their works. Because of this pattern,
the community should make an effort to
support independent businesses.

All talk
Race panel does not live up to its goal

L ast year, President Bill Clinton
announced an initiative to investigate
the sources of racial division in the United
States. Delivering his speech in California
-- a state that had banned any form of affir-
mative action - sent a strong message to
the public regarding his commitment to end
racial inequality. A seven-member, non-
partisan committee began looking into
issues of racial injustice, inequality and
division. But after years of task force-like
agendas, questions regarding his sincerity
and the work of the task force should be
Last week, the task force conchjded its
work by issuing a report to the White House.
What is striking about this report is its indi-
cation that the panel has not made any real
progress during its 15 months of work. For
instance, one of the major recommendations
that the board made to the president was that
he create a permanent body - to be known
as the President's Council for One America
-- to do almost exactly the same thing that
the original group was supposed to be doing
for the past year. This is an admirable and
necessary step toward healing the wounds
that discrimination has caused, but it, unfor-
tunately, is not enough. Talk has bred only
more talk instead of concrete proposals for
the implementation of actual political and
economic reforms.
Part of the problem can be traced to the
panel's composition. Its staff had little
experience in policy-making and was in
fact discouraged by White House officials
from making suggestions and recommen-
dations that might seem too bold to be
politically expedient. For a president who
has received strong support from minority
communities during both of his election
campaigns, Clinton's latest effort to
respond to the needs of those communities
may have amounted to an empty promise.
Speeches and committees may help bolster

the president's reputation as a champion of
civil rights and racial equality, but they do
little for the social and economic ills that
the committee formed to combat.
In an effort to address the issue of
racial imbalance among the American
prison population, the board called into
question the use of racial profiling by fed-
eral and local law-enforcement agencies.
This practice, which uses race as a factor
in determining the profiles of likely crim-
inal suspects, was raised as an issue for
debate, but the panel stopped short of
actually making any recommendations to
the Justice Department. It is hard to know
whether this timidity in proposing actual
policies against institutional discrimina-
tion is a result of official encouragement
or if it is simply a matter of bad organiza-
tion within the committee. But either way,
the result is the same: the panel's activities
have brought about effective policy rec-
Clinton seems not to have regarded the
panel so much as an independent entity that
could cut across political lines to make
legitimately helpful recommendations, but
rather as a kind of information-gathering
committee. He wanted them to research the
nation's racial climate, but he didn't neces-
sarily want them to have direct input into
how the administration was going to handle
what they found. Part of the difficulty with
acting on this report is that much of the
findings are rather murky; its major recom-
mendations tend toward vague language
and recycled platitudes rather than specific
information. The president has stated his
intention to officially respond to his panel's
report sometime early next year. Perhaps
between now and then he will figure out
what, if anything, the committee has
accomplished and more importantly, what
policies can result in actual improvement of
this country's ailing race relations.

should drink
ginger ale
As if President Bill
Clinton thought that the
American public was stupid
enough to not know the dif-
ference between lying and
being legally correct (in his
case there is none), he further
insulted us by drinking
Canada Dry during his grand
jury testimony. Maybe we
could enlighten him to the
tasty pleasures of an
American ginger ale.
Vernor's, perhaps?
Clinton is
easily upset
over small
In reading the Daily's
coverage of "Investigation
of the President" and watch-
ing the interrogation video
on every station, something
strikes me as odd. In the
coverage that I have seen
and read so far, it seems
that Clinton has only gotten
outwardly upset twice.
The first time he got
upset was over the meaning
of the word "is" He ques-
tioned the meaning in regards
to whether he was currently
having an affair or had he
previously had an affair.
The other time that he
objected to the line of ques-
tioning was over the defini-
tion of the word "sex." It
would appear to me that any-
one who gets confused over
the meaning of a two- or
three-letter word, is obviously
full of a four-letter word.
aids sexual
As a doctoral student spe-
cializing in women's health
and contraception, I feel the
need to clarify some state-
ments made in the Sept. 9
article. ("New morning-after
pill sparks debate").
First of all, we call it
Emergency Contraception, or
EC, as it can be used up to
72 hours after unprotected
intercourse, not just the
morning after as the other

name implies.
Secondly, it is currently
available to students at
University Health Services
from a different company
than the one mentioned in the
article. Also, side effects can
be minimized by taking anti-
nausea medication along with
the EC.
Of course, University stu-
dents are exceptionally
bright, but unfortunately this
does not protect us from
birth-control mishaps like
broken condoms or missed
birth control pills, and some-
times we know sex and birth
control are not discussed in
depth by sexual partners.
It would be nice if we
were all exempt from these
stumbling blocks, but while
we work on it, I am very
thankful that Emergency
Contraception is available
and is a safe, effective way to
prevent unintended pregnan-
cy and lower the abortion
I would like to commend
the Michigan Marching
Band on its performance at
the football game this past
As a member of a high
school marching band, I am
always interested in watch-
ing bands at the halftimes
of football games. I've
noticed that in recent years,
bands have gone more
toward "amoeba" shapes
rather than recognizable
This past Saturday's
"Movie Themes" show was
spectacular, with recogniz-
able shapes to the tunes of
"ET," "Robin Hood" and
"Titanic," including a bow
and arrow shooting across
the field.
I believe the highlight of
the show was during
"Titanic," where the band
formed a ship, using fire
extinguishers as steam, and
actually sank the ship on the
After halftime, rather
than the usual fanfare band
touring the stadium from
the field, the band broke up
into several pep bands and
toured the stadium in the
tunnels of each section. This
was a tremendous idea,
especially because it includ-
ed the areas of the stadium
that usually cannot hear the
Congratulations Michigan

should 'lead
from the
Kudos to former Harvard
University President Derek
Bok and former Princeton
University President
William Bowen for assert-
ing that quantitative factors
should not be the only crite-
ria, or even the predominant
criteria, in assessing candi-
dates for admission to top-
ranked universities.
Shame on them for only
taking their stand to the
water's edge and stopping
with minority candidates.
Their position seems to
argue for a veiled "separate
but equal" standard of quan-
titative admissions criteria
for some and mixed criteria
for others.
In as much as their data
points out that minority stu-
dents from Ivy League
schools"and"other top uni-
versities find more success
in their post-graduation
endeavors and concluding
that "success breeds suc-
cess," they inject motivated
By dismissing or ignor-
ing alternative hypotheses
like "pedigree breeds suc-
cess" doubt is cast on their
own objectivity and conclu-
It is indeed refreshing to
see that those at the top of
American academia recog-
nize the importance of
allowing access to elite
institutions from people of
less than elite means or
quantitative achievement. It
is discouraging to note that
those who yell the loudest
represent institutions where
their own advice falls on
deaf ears.
Harvard and Princeton are
hardly models of access with
their acceptance rates of 10
to 15 percent, and use of
quantitative indexes as "the
first cut" before separating
those admitted or held from
those denied.
If Bok and Bowen are
truly serious, they and their
institutions should lead
from the front, not the rear.
Until that time, they should
lock away their rhetoric in
the ivory tower and let
schools like the University
of California at Berkeley,
the University of Michigan,
the University of Virginia,
University of California at
Los Angeles and the
University of North
Carolina take the point in
pushing for greater access
to world-class education.

Dance, white
girl, dance!m"
(Author s note: M thanks to Dr
Rudolph A. Hein rich, proessor of
ithnomusicology, for contributingo
this piece.)
A bad party is like a fart in a train car..
Everybody in the area is aware of
the situation, but no one wants to admit
responsibility or take any steps to solve
the problem, which would be an admis-
sion of guit in
"People stand
against the walls.ussipwr
beer or iceless, sac- 1
charin gin and ton- N.~
ics. Questions that
all begin with "So,
.." float around the
room. You can feel
everybody hating
the music on the J AM$S
stereo. The party is MILLER
static and dying.
It's time for -'_TAt
action. It's time for
move juice. It's time to get the white
girls to dance.
This is the key to a good party. At a
real party, there are people dancing -
I think that much is certain. White
men either don't dance at all or dance
with massive quantities of liquor mW
them. The math is pretty simple either
The girls are a different matter.
My associates and I have spent years
observing the interactions of elemen-
tary party physics. We have, in my esti-
mation, come upon the perfect mix tape.
It consists of songs that will stroke the
psycho-musical-kinetic center of the
female brain, getting them into a mood
to shake a tail feather.
"Blister in the Sun" by the Violents
This is definitely your lead-off
song. It slashes right at the nostalgia
jugular. This is the song most women
hold in their minds as the point from
which their years as agsuburbanhip-
sterbeatnikbohemian began. When te
Seventeen magazine and Paula Abdul"
records stop, and the bad poetry
The prodigies will have been intro@
duced at an early age, maybe by a sib-
ling. Others will have gravitated to it in
an attempt to be subversive in high
school, as I think a lot of lunchtime
joints were smoked to this one before
sixth period.
This song is the catalyst that will trig-
ger a raft of non-conformist, rebel-with-
out-out-a-bra memories that they think,
mysteriously, are theirs and theirs alone.
"Moondance" by Van Morrison:
It has a walking bass line! A promi-
nent piano part! It's jazz, I guess! Guess
what, Amy?! We like a jazz song! Get
the rest of the tennis team! We can
swing dance with each other!
"Lucky Star" by Madonna:
This one plays to a different part of
the nostalgia muscle than the Femmes
tune. It goes back a little further, con-
juring images from a pleasant child-
hood, either real or imagined. The fear
of adulthood that college spawns causes
someswhite girls to develop a really
interesting and irritating infantile
They wear barrettes and Oscar the
Grouch T-shirts. They drink hard cider
and giggle about "cute boys" with their
idiot, toddler friends. They insist child-
hood is some kind of transcendental
state of being rather than the larval
stage of the human animal. Music from
a time when they were "young and per-*
feet" will make them comfortable and
free to raise their hairy armpits to the
heavens and beat the earth with furious

"Brown-Eyed Girl$'the second half
of the Van Morrison double shot:
Bear in mind that I have the utmost
respect for the Irish Otis Redding and
could listen to him sing the phone book.
White girls, however, have latched onto
him for a number of reasons. The power@
of "Brown-Eyed Girl" comes primarily
from its title.
Often, girls with brown eyes will feel
plain and commonplace when com-
pared with their Aryan counterparts.
Every girl with brown eyes, who's ever
been felt up in the front seat of her
mom's car or had a Lloyd Dobbler, little
sweetie boyfriend is under the impres-
sion that this is her song. Plain and
mousey with bob haircuts and mediocre
cranial capacities, they perfect irony bye
believing a song that millions of their
clones like for the same reasons will
make them different from the rest of the
"Respect" by Aretha Franklin:
The heavy artillery. Woody Allen
once said that marijuana was the drug
that made white girls think they're
Billie Holiday. This song appeals to
the same reflex. White girls love that
little "soul sister" feeling that R&B@
can sometimes provide. The same way
a kid from Bloomfield Hills, after
spending an Alternative Spring Break
in Detroit, will nod with indignation
when someone speaks of white privi-
For WASPs any ethnic coolness we


Marching Band. Keep it up.

y 1 1


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