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February 09, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-09

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4 -- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 9, 1999

JIbe d~i┬žun ?Dadg

And the Academy Award

goes

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily letters@umich. edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

HEATHER KAMINS
Editor in Chief
JEFFREY KOSSEFF
DAVID WALLACE
Editorial Page Editors

O urs ianation ofawards particuarl for
the performing arts. We've got the
Golden Globes, the Emmys. the Blockbuster
Awards, the Grammys. the TV Guide Awards,
the MTV Video Music Awards, the VH 1
Fashion Awards and my personal favorite, the

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

Academy Awards,
whose nominees were
announced today. The
Oscars are probably
among the most presti-
gious of the bunch,
though they're just as
likely as the others to
give popularity and
box office returns
weight they don't
deserve. How else
could "Titanic"'s
seplast year be
explained?
But there's always
been something miss-
ing in the line up for
that night in March.

Step into tesolu
Chicano/a History Week celebrates culture

Siam It to
the Left

Bst ueoperson holdng sevred
appendage: "Saving Private Ryan" -
Nothing like a man walking around holding
his detached, blood-gushing arm to really get
me in the movie-watching mood. I think it
was shortly after this scene that I left to go
throw up.
Best attempt to meld male camaraderie
theme with glitzy British sitcom:
"Hurlyburly" - Though I realize I am defi-
nitely in the minority in this view, I still think
this movie is, in many ways, a male film ver-
sion of the BBC's "Absolutely Fabulous."'
You've got the story of an "adequate" friend-
ship between two characters (in Kevin
Spacey's words) mixed with a couple dozen
lines of cocaine, excessive drinking, smoking,
an oversexed live-in Anna Paquin and a nude
performance artist with a balloon (see below).
Patsy and Edina would be proud.
Best film a genre will likely ever pro-
duce: "Shakespeare In Love" Far, far, far bet-
ter than your average Tom-Hanks-loves-Meg-
Ryan-but-can't-deal-with-it romantic come-
dy, "Shakespeare" is alone in the genre as the
type of movie that doesn't incite one to grab
for the nearest garbage can, barf bag or other
vomit receptacle.
Most overly gratuitous, self-serving ref-
erence to the size of star's anatomy:
"Buffalo 66" -As if it weren't bad enough
that we had to look at the dirty mess that is
Vincent Gallo and try to figure out why the
hell Christina Ricci would ever fall in love
with him, we get subjected to the wake of his
Oedipal complex. And what do you know, as
the screenwriter, he got to make the decision
to include those lines himself.
Worst use of Sandra Bullock: "Hope
Floats" - OK, she should not be in a roman-
tic comedy. Ever. She is living proof that
every ugly man, woman and child will some-
day be in a multi-million dollar movie. She

needs to rte.'Nuff said.0
Best use of Meg Ryan: "Hurlyburly"-
For once, she's not doing the dupe-who-falls-
in-love routine. Instead, she plays a small role
as a woman who gets paid to dance around
naked with a red balloon (of course they never
show said act) and occasionally takes time out
to use large amounts of cocaine.
Most over-analysis by 20-somethings:
"The Last Days of Disco" -- This movie
would have been a million times better if the@
characters would have just shut up once in a
while. I know that their near obsessive-com-
pulsive discussions were kind of the point, but
after all, it was only disco. Perhaps it would
mean more to me had I lived in the '70s, but I
didn't, and listening to a handful of whiny lit-
tle dips discuss how disco could never die did-
n't exactly drive a point home.
Most Redundant Theme in the '99
Movie Theatre: "War is hell" - Why, thank
you Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Malick, I haven't
seen "Platoon" in 10 years. The excitemen4@
over the fact that these men's films, particu-
larly "Ryan" portrayed the "real" World War
II, as opposed to the glamorized version, was
lost on me. 1 don't know why, but I never
thought that the WWII was fun in comparison
to Vietnam.
This last one isn't really a category, just a
suggestion:
Former Best Actor who should have his
award revoked for recent performances :
Jon Voight - The fact that he got second
billing under James Van Der Beek in "Varsity
Blues" is bad enough, but add performances
in such cinematic masterpieces as "Enemy of
the State""The Rainmaker" and "Anaconda"
and you have a formula that makes his perfor-
mance in "Coming Home" almost impossible
to remember.
- Jack Schillaci can be reached over
e-mail atjschilla@umich.edu.
A LOOK BACK

D uring the month of February, many
groups on campus will take the time to
celebrate the diverse cultures and back-
grounds to which University students belong.
One of these cultural celebrations is
Chicano/a History Week, which began Jan. 30
and will continue through this Friday. The fes-
tivities include an art exhibit, theatrical and
dance performances, a
cultural dinner and other Chkicna 1
presentations of Upcomir
Chicano/a culture. The
goal is to give students -- r aiis
whether of Chicano/a "by Chicauola ar1
background or not -- a Trwttet Housi
chance to immerse them- Feb. 14, 'spons<

selves in
American
University

Mexican-
culture..
students

ence of students at the University.
By coming into contact with other cul-
tures, students may gain insight and ideas that
they may not have encountered in a more
homogeneous community.
Events such as Chicano/a History Week
help to educate students about other cultures,
and demonstrate why diversity is so important
to the University -- it fur-
tory Wieek Kthers education in a way a
~Events 'classroom setting may not
be able to accomplish.
fatUring Work The celebration of
ts. Chicano/a History Week is
odythrOUgh being organized by La Voz
i4 by' La VOZ Mexicana and Alianza, two
campus groups for
nm Art LbUnge~ Latino/a students. They
y I 3 p)Onsred deserve to be commended
for their fine work in set-
Hood"ting up events. Their efforts
,Feb. 12, to organize a celebration of
Chicano/a culture are prov-
a Loya ing to be quite successful.
angIk L* VidR" Chicano/a History
K, F~eb. 13 ~ Week is one of the many
................... cultural events occurring
on campus at this time. The
organizers of these events have put together an
excellent celebration of Chicano/a heritage
and its contribution to American culture.
University students of all backgrounds
should take advantage of the chance to learn
about Chicano/a culture. Experiencing anoth-
er culture may help people understand why
diversity is so crucial to the University com-
munity.

They have categories for best this and best
that, but they often miss the things that really
make a movie great or just horrific. And so,
dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences, I submit the following suggestions
for new categories for this year's Oscars,
along with who I think deserves the golden
statuette.
Most repulsive use of middle-aged back-
hair: Robin Williams in "Patch Adams" - I
mean, come on. As if it weren't bad enough
that this film's producers wanted us to buy
that Monica Potter would actually fall in love
with Robin Williams, they had to expose us to
the latter's butt. (I know it was based on a true
story, but for some reason I think that the
directors took a little cinematic license with
this couple.)

MATT WIMSATT

should take advantage of 1Dy Alai1za.
the opportunity to learn "JeISu Ia thk
from these events. East QWad Ai
The University prides 6:30 pi..
itself on its diverse stu- .' toryteller O]
dent body. The events of "DaICkIngfTl
Chicano/a History Week Eas QI1ad A
give students of 7P.
Chicano/a descent a won-
derful opportunity to share their culture with
their fellow students, and offer other students
the chance to experience different cultures.
At a time when the University's affirma-
tive action policy, which helps to ensure a
multicultural student body, is under siege, it is
important to demonstrate the ways that diver-
sity enriches the campus. Diversity on campus
contributes greatly to the educational experi-

NRA0 lbyists cannot stop lawsuits

SeX, offenders'
names should be
To THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to the Feb. 5
editorial "Caught in a Web - State police
should not list sex offenders."
avMaking a listp of s ofendefrs'hnames
ideas I've heard in a long time. The Daily
writes, "If there is a problem with the
process of rehabilitation, then it is the
responsibility of the government to ensure
that it is corrected." Although inmates
should be rehabilitated when they are
released from prison, it is hardly the fault of
the penal system if sex offenders have not
responded to treatment and therapy. The sad
fact is that these people cannot be rehabili-
tated, and no amount of government inter-
The editorial also says that sex offenders
"have paid their debt to society and are enti-
tled to live in privacy." Well, I say that theirs
is a debt that can never be repaid. These
people steal children's innocence, their
sense of security and their ability to trust
others. The damage they inflict can take sur-
vivors a lifetime to repair. And what justice
do the survivors receive? The offender
spends a few years in jail and then returns to
his or her life, while the survivor must carry
permanent scars.
Given the choice between defending the
privacy of a convicted sex offender, or pro-
tecting a child from emotionally and psy-
chologically scarring abuse, I'll choose the
child every time.
MEGAN HOMAN
LASOPHOMOR E

(
z
I.

IT

AM

-
1

I

ii-

Several U.S. cities are suing gun manufac-
Sturers nationwide for the health care costs
resulting from gun violence. Six cities -
Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta, Boston,
Bridgeport, Conn. and the Miami-Dade
County government of Florida - have
already filed suits, eliciting fear on the part of
gnmakers and incurring the wrath of the
National Rtifle Association. The NRA, always
quick to oppose any hint of anti-gun senti-
ment - from mandatory waiting periods to
assault weapons bans --have begun lobbying
from Washington D.C. to various state capi-
tals, in an effort to restrict lawsuits against gun
manufacturers before they get to the courts.
Such lawsuits, coming on the heels of recent
success in similar cases brought against
tobacco companies, aim to ease the financial
burdens of cities racked with deaths and
injuries caused by guns.
The NRA is attempting to use its consider-
able political clout to deny these cities their
day in court. In an article in the Washington
Post, NRA's Chief Lobbyist Jay Baker called
the lawsuits "a back-door effort at gun-con-
trol." Implicit in this statement is not only the
highly questionable notion that gun-control is
somehow under-handed and oppressive, but
that these lawsuits impede on the rights of gun
manufacturers. The reality is that the cities fil-
ing these suits are trying to hold gun makers
responsible for the death and destruction that
are directly caused by their products. While
the NRA's attempts to influence federal legis-
lators to prhibit these lawsuits have not been
very effective, their success at the state level
has been.
Legislation is now being developed in
Louisiana that would require cities to get state
approval before filing lawsuits against gun
manufacturers. The law is expected to pass

cial told the Washington Post, "basically
everyone (in the state Legislature) except
those representing an inner-city area ... would
vote for it." Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster's
press secretary echoed similar sentiments: "he
believes thiat these lawsuits against gun manu-
facturers ... are unfair." NRA lobbyists plan
to have similar legislation introduced into 26
more state Houses by the end of the year.
What the NRA and state governments such as
Louisiana seem not to acknowledge is that it
is the role of the courts, not legislatures, to
decide whether such litigation is fair or not. If
gun makers are truly the victims of unreason-
able litigation, then they will be vindicated by
the courts. Any attempt to deny a fair hearing
to a city on this matter is a blatant subversion
of the judicial process and a surrender to spe-
cial interest groups like the NRA.
If tobacco companies can be held respon-
sible for the health costs that result from their
products, then gun manufacturers ought to be
as well. In 1992, the national cost of firearm
injuries in direct medical expenses was esti-
mated at $3 billion. Gun violence has
accounted for approximately 34,000 deaths
and more than 70,000 injuries in the United
States every year since 1989. All of this
amounts to higher health care costs and lost
tax revenues to cities throughout the country
While the NRA would like to make these law-
suits into an issue about freedom and rights,
the fact remains that the cities filing lawsuits
are concerned primarily with public health
costs and it is precisely the compensation for
these costs that they are seeking from gun
manufacturers. While it is uncertain how
these cases will be decided, one thing is clear:
cities should be able to take gun makers to
task for the destruction that their products
cause - and the NRA has no right to stop

Ticket

in crease

which we will probably be asked to pay yet
again.
REBECCA FERRE~L-
U NIVER SITY A LUMNUS
'U' must sup port
To THE DAILY:
To those who do not support affirmative
action, I would like to present an argument
in favor of it that has been underempha-
sized, particularly in the pages of the Daily.
I believe that diversity is important, not
just in terms of ethnicity, but in terms of
background, aspirations, ways of thinking
and general perspective on the world.
Diversity is what makes life interesting.
Like the University, I value diversity.
waAffirmative actiontreprent a prncipled
University is diverse, at least ethnically and on
the basis of gender. Let's face it, ethnicity and
gender are often somewhat related to an indi-
Affirmative action ensures that University
admissions decisions involve some kind of
standard (based on merit) other than that
which can be inferred (with varying levels of
success) just from an individual's ethnicity or
gender. If we do away with affirmative action,
we are forced to conclude either that diversity
is not really all that important or that diversity
should be the only criteria for admission.
Affirmative action gives us the freedom to
retain all of the ideals of a diverse, merit-based
institution of higher learning. As one of the
great public universities of the world, the
University paves the way for the success or
failure of social programs and ideologies such
as affirmative action. it is our responsibility as
members of the University, to present a well-
reasoned justification for our decision to stand
behind affirmative action.
MATTHEW MURPHY
LSA SOPHOMORE
G EO editorial

increases substantially above 2.5 percent in all
three years:
* 4.6 percent in 1998
* 3.1 percent in 1996 _
Please understand that the 1996 "dea
provides GEO members with an increase
equal to the average increase for regular
tenured and tenure track LSA faculty. The 2.5
percent serves only as a minimum in the event
that the faculty increase is small.
The University believed this to be a ben-
eficial salary increase agreement in 1996
which provided the members of GEO with
the potential of increasing their salaries at
the highest possible rate. The 1/22/99 Daily
headline, '"U' faculty get highest 98-9k
salary increase," would lead one to belie
you also believe that to be true.
DANIEL GAMBLE
A SSOCIAT E DI RECTOR
A CA DEMIC H UMAN R ESOURCES
Lockyer' column*
was 'insensitive
To THE DAILY:
After reading last Tuesday's column by
Sarah Lockyer, I was truly disappointed not
only by the veiled, disgusting anti-Semitic ref-
erence in the piece, but by the insensitivity and
journalistic recklessness displayed by the
Daily editorial staff in allowing the piece to go
to press.
In an effort to be humorous (givi*.
Lockyer the benefit of the doubt), Lockyer
made a patently offensive reference to
Jewish women. While I presume she was
attempting to be humorous, in actuality she
fostered ignorant religious intolerance.
Lockyer has proven herself to be depthless
in the past, but by making the sweeping
reference to Jewish women, she has
reached new levels of bigotry.
Lockyer, if you think attempting to hid-
any religious, racial or ethnic slur with$
some weakly thought out acronym is fool-
ing anyone, I can assure you that all you
accomplished was to show your true nar-
row-mindedness.
The Daily editorial staff is equally to
blame for promoting such religious bias.

is 'gouging'
To THE DAILY:
I am writing to express my disgust with
Tom Goss's decision to increase the already
outrageously high ticket prices by 30 per-
cent. The University Athletic Department
decided that in order to stay current and
look every bit of the football powerhouse
they are, they would install the huge elec-
tronic scoreboards at Michigan Stadium.
This "state of the art" addition was sup-
posed to not only bring enjoyment to the
fans, but revenue to the department. To that
end, the decision was made to use an
Athletic Department surplus just so this
kind of gouging wouldn't be necessary.
Now, less than a year later, Goss has decid-
ed the best way to recoup money for the ath-
letic slush fund is by scraping more money out
of the alumni pockets - what they were sup-
posedly trying to prevent last year.
I'm sure that most people, if polled before
the installation of the scoreboards, would
have been perfectly happy to keep the score-
boards that were in place and keep ticket
prices down. The Athletic Department says

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