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January 21, 1999 - Image 21

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-21

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126 --9he Michigan Daily Weefn Magazine - Thursday,JiNary 21, 1999
® Weekend, Etc. Column

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The Michi Daily Weekend h

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Jan. 21: Take Me Out to the Hal of Fame

A PIsGAH SIGHT OF HEROISM

The soft lamentations of failing society
curl gently in the caverns of my ear and
tug with emaciated fingers at the strings
of my heart. I look across the wide sweep
of contemporary civilization's barren
plains and see no hope of solace, no
source of relief; above me, the dull sky
gives no promise of fertile rains to green
the wasted land. Tongues of dust stirred
by weak wind lick against the shins of
humanity's headless body. In despair, I
begin to turn away, preparing to relin-
quish hope.
But I catch myself, and I think: This is
a latent time in history. There is an
untapped genius sleeping in the flesh of
my frightened fellow human beings. All

we need is something - or more appro-
priately, someone - capable of drawing
that brilliance up from its slumber to set
the world aright. In the '60 and much of
the '70s it was thought that drugs were
the answer, and with great zeal thousands
ingested injected inhaled illicit chemi-
cals, intent on uncovering the truth; but,
while I'm not rejecting drugs as a possi-
ble answer (never believe it!), it's quite
clear that the zealots of yesteryear were
pnsuccessful in their quest: the only last-
ing result of their endeavors is, sadly, us.
So much for the something. We must
therefore direct our efforts towards the
discovery of a someone, upon whom to
place the hopes and dreams of all present

and future genera-
tions.
What I'm assert-
ing here, in some-
thing of an oblique
manner, is that we
lack heroes. We
revolve like motes
of dust searching
for someone to
whom we may
cling while we
move pathetically
from day to daunt-
ing day. Whither
can we turn? We
look to our political

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leaders and behold a randy president,
hate-filled ignorami, and reprehensible
hypocrites, all of whom eclipse the politi-
cians who might be worthy of praise. The
reek of excess and avarice assaults our
nostrils when we consider our Olympian
sports figures. Prominent religious lead-
ers preach hatred and intolerance while
claiming to be the source of compassion
and understanding. In short, our present
idols have feet of clay.
DREW Pull down these imperfect idols, I say.:
ENSEN We need them not. Their time is at an
1)EP AQS end. But to replace them, we shall need to
T GE create new heroes, new heroes with cer-.
AN y tain qualities that place them above the
common man. With this in mind, and
with the intent of alienating the a large
portion of the student body, I have devel-
oped an heroic prototype which I now.
reveal for your consideration.
The first and most outstanding quality
of my prototypical hero is his unfounded
and frequently comical self-righteous-
ness, which he articulates in a language
not quite a recognizable dialect of
English. When he comes under attack, as
he frequently does, for his inscrutable
lifestyle, he responds as any true hero
might, not with violence and rage, but
with calm disdain and astounding inco-
herency. With the help of his fellow
heroes, he artifices unintelligible retorts
to his detractors' attacks. Witness this
example of unbridled - some might say
scathing - wit, elicited by the public's
distrust of the new breed of hero: "In
response to overwhelming ignorance and
imbecility of those who oppose my insti-
tution, I hereby call for an end to unso-
licited (hero) criticism."
Perhaps, readers, you might wish to
take a breather after running unsuspect-
ing into that veritable nest of erudition.

Phew! The shaky grasp of the language
evident in the example is simply stagger-
ing. But lest you think that muddy out-
burst unusual, I present you with the fol-
lowing to prove, unequivocally, that the
prototype harbors'an utter contempt for
the usual vehicle of thought and commu-
nication: "Such behavior is unacceptable
with any other segment of student soci-
ety, and (hero) bashing does not exoner-
ate an individual from providing a lucid,
sensible argument."
Unless, of course, one is a hero.
But this is no shame. Better men than
this particular hero have attempted to ver-
balize the allure of heroism and have
failed just as miserably as he. Despite the
legacy of failure left to him by his prede-
cessors, he certainly does give it the old
college try and retains his essential "hero-
ness' producing by the machinations of
his mythy mind this memorable assault
on prejudice: "Unfortunately, it is this
proclivity of certain students, the tenden-
cy to stereotype and ostracize a particular
segment of student society because arriv-
ing at true means of comprehension
would simply be too difficult or time con-
suming, that directs the uneducated mind
to a similar level of ignorance."
Hear hear! Ignoring for the moment -
check that - ignoring the higher conno-
tations of the above example because it
hasn't any, you must concede that super-
human modesty, shot through with quiet,
misdirected pride, characterize the heroic
sentence. Allow me to clarify: To be a
hero means to be elite. This implies that
most people are not on the same level as
the hero, and hence must be reminded of
their own insignificance, relative to the
hero. For this hero to stoop to our level
and accuse us of practicing ostracism is
the epitome of humility.
Or possibly hypocrisy. But it is not my
place to judge: I fear I haven't an heroic
bone in my body.
And so, faithful readers, I urge you
to prepare to submit your wills to the
more perfect whims of the hero.
Perhaps if we succumb quietly we too
may share in the hero's glory and be
"damn proud."
-Andrew Mortensen looks forward to
ignoring the majority of your e-mail. He
may be reached at
admorten@umich.edu.

Post card courtesy of The Baseball Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame's "Ball Parks" exhibit is just one of the many offerings available
at Cooperstown. It's hundreds of years of history all In one afternoon.

BASEBALL
Continued from Page 483
home runs through 112 games in 1994
before the strike ended what could have
been his date with immortality. Harry
Carey's glasses are on display and a seat
from Old Comiskey sits definitely in all
its paint-chipped, advertising-free glory.
Though nearly everyone agrees 1998
signified baseball's resurgence as our
national past time, it is sort of refreshing
to know that as far as Cooperstown is

concerned, the game never lost that dis-
tinction.
There will not always be a special room
devoted to the achievements of Mark
McGwire and Sammy Sosa, but what
they gave the game will always be there
- with their memorabilia eventually tak-
ing its rightful place beside all the other
history crammed into an unassuming
building in the middle of an unassuming
town. For in Cooperstown, N.Y - $23
million/year salary demands and crip-
pling strikes aside - baseball will always
be king.

Ii

. .

/ What: The Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, N.Y.
J ow to get there: Take 1-94 to the Ambassador Bridge and Can
Elizabeth Way. Use the Peace Bridge to re-enter the United State
Highway 39. Their will be signs for the Cooperstown exit. Once 01
the roundabout. The hall: is on the right and parking is available o
/ Now long: 12 hours
/ How Much: $12 at the door. If you need a place to stay, lots of $3C

'4

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