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January 28, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-28

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 28, 2000

~th irIigr t ]&dg

After a combined seven years, effort goes out the door

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
dailyletters@umich. ecdu
Edited and managed by
students and a monkey at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

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.

To the leter writers:.
For the love of God, don't use passive voice
H ey, do you notice we're not running severe abuse of the 300 word limit. We've
any letters to the editor today? You checked the names attached to these letters,
know why? Because most of you are punks and we've yet to see "Shakespeare" or
and suckas. "Yeats." So we're chopping them down.

Dave: All right, Jeff, here we go, fastest
column ever written. I type a line, you
type a line. It's been a great ride.
Jeff: But sometimes it's been like a tour
through hell. I don't believe in hell, but if I
did, it would involve dealing with some of the
people we've met during
our time as editorial
page editors.
D: Right. OK, I'm
going to change topics
now. Um, so how about,
those Bears?
J: You mean my high
school football team?'
D: You know, we
could save a lot of time
if we wrote this column
in our own handwriting
on the page. Why didn't Jeffrey
we think of that earlier? and Davii
J: First, we're drunk.
Second we've typed all aye l
our other columns. Excellent
Remember, precedent is
a huge part of this page.
It constrains every decision we've made.
D: Jeff, why'd you erase the part about
your handwriting. I had a good joke. I was
going to mention that I could never tell if one
of your notes said "Edit board at 4" or "Quick,
get my pills!"
J: During most of our edit boards, I wish I
had pills. Although I've never been addicted
to illegal substances, edit board always
seemed like the ideal place to start.
D: And many did. Did you see half the
things we ran?
J: I disagreed with a lot of our editorials in
principle, but you have to remember that we
have to follow our page's precedent.
D: And if I bothered to find out what that
means, I would certainly have supported the


J: At this point, I don't know what it
means either. But that's what the alcohol does.
D: Well, Jeopardy night's a little quieter
than I expected.
J: Hey - let's explain to the non-Dailyites
what Jeopardy is. Today is the last paper for
the senior editors. No
underclassmen are
allowed in the building.
The seniors have a
feast, get drunk and put
out a quality publica-
tion. And we also climb
to the attic, which you
only visit on your last
night at the Daily. It's
very Lord of the Flies.
D: I probably
should read Lord of the
Kosseff Flies in case I become
' Wallace an English teacher. You
succinctly explained
d e t-Jeopardy night, and I
Adventure will return to my
thoughts on it in a
moment. Hey, what do
you think happened to all the staffers and
potential staffers we lost along the way?
J: We remember them on the back page.
But I don't care about them. They're wimps.
Hey - you're not going to be an English
teacher. I thought we were going to take over
the New York Times's editorial page.
D: You're right. I completely forgot. Well,
we'll have to gas up the Taurus and drive out
there and take up our offices. We'll change the
quote to "All the news that's fit to print, and
some that isn't."
J: Like viewpoints from those people who
write us every day.
D: Absolutely. You think the New York
Times ever ran a column like this?
J: I doubt it. Maureen Dowd isn't talented
enough. But she's getting there.

D: Yes, she's well on her way. She only has
one more Pulitzer than us, but we're only 21.
Some record. What do you think will happen
to the page when we're gone?
J: It will crumble. There shall be no more
opinions once Wallace and Kosseff are gone.
D: Agreed. All yield to the holy egoism of
our genius.
J: That's what editorial writing is all abou
One part egoism, one part logic, one part clea
writing and one part rum.
D: For the record, I'm not drunk
(Potentially future presidential campaign sav-
ing disclaimer only I think is funny). Hey, I
said I'd come back to the Jeopardy issue. You
know why I think we really put it out?
J: Why, oh sober one?
D: Because we've got nothing left to
prove. After a year, there's no distance left to
J: Wow, you're getting a little too deep o&
me. You sound like a fortune cookie.
D: Just trying to inject some culture into
this rag. Hey, you know, we've still got a few
columns until April.
J: Luckily, that's all we have. The Daily's
been the most amazing experience, but it's
time for a break.
D: Yes. And like everything truly great, it
can't be sustained forever. Last one out, turn
off the lights. Peace.
- Jeffrey Kosseff can be rcached 40
jkosseft@umich.edu. Thank you, Crystal, for
providing moral support and waiting for me
to finish the page (since I always was late).
Thank you, Dave B.,for a bottomless supply
of editorial banter
David Wallace can be reached at
davidmw@umich.edu. Love to Mom and
Dad and the rest of thefamily. Respect to
Craig Barer Wysocki, Costello, Haner Levi,
Ozzy, and all who loved the column. H1a4Ifa
shout out to all who didn 't like the column,
but read it anywa*

We're sure many of you are upset not to

Nothing personal,

see more letters on abor-
tion, but we really think
you've kind of exhausted
the topic. It's time to quit
being in love with your
name in print.
Anyone can write a
letter to the editor, but
few can write a good let-
ter to the editor. After a
year at the helm, we can
spot the sloppy keyboard
tappings of an engineer
from a mile away (kilo-
meter for you engineers).
If there's one thing
we're sick of, it's the little
"potshot at the Daily"
section so many of you
like to include. You know
what it is. "Of all the
pointless articles I've
read in the Daily ..." or
"Finally, the Daily has
written a worthwhile arti-
cle." How many articles
have you written? Did
you ever fill an entire
newspaper page in one
hour at 2 a.m., with a
midterm in a few hours?
You should think
before you write.
Indicting the Daily's con-
tent indicts yourself. If

A glossary for
letters to the editor
Because most letters to the editor
misuse simple terms, we re defining
them for you as a going-away gift. Save
Emily some time and learn these.
Editorial: Any unsigned piece on the
left side of page 4. This is the opinion of
the Daily's editorial board. It is, not a
"story,' "article," "column" or "view-
Letter: The drivel we receive from the
University community, which runs on the
right side of the page, under the column.
Letters are not editorials or articles. This is
the most common mistake you make. And
the Daily is not responsible for the content
of letters (if we were, we'd send all of you
to some introductory composition refresh-
er classes). Also, they have to be signed;
your ideas are so great, take responsibility
for them.
Column: These are the pieces that run
in the top right-hand section of the page
with the pretty pictures of people. Not
everyone has a divine right to have a
column. You must apply by the deadline,
and you must write well.
Article: These run in the news, sports
and arts sections. They are unbiased and
aren't loaded with political agendas.
Viewpoint: Bloated letters from ego-

but space is money.
Please stop lecturing
us on what you consider
journalistic integrity.
We're surprised most of
you can spell it. We
have a hard time believ-
ing you learned journal-
istic integrity in EECS
100. As a first lesson,
the editorial page must
loudly state its opin-
ions. Secondly, journal-
istic integrity does not
mean you agree with it.
Our predecessors for
the past 109 years have
fought for the right to
publish unsigned, opin-
ionated editorials. They
are the voice of the
paper. Editorial writing
is the greatest freedom
a journalist has. We're
not going to stop doing
it because it hurts your
Fortunately, the



nobody other than the
editors - has no con-
trol over what we pub-
lish, because we're
financially indepen-
dent. Sure, members of
the administration may
influence when their let-

our articles are boring, that's because we
cover you. In that case, you're boring. We
can't help it if all the exciting people on
campus work at 420 Maynard St.
If you send so many letters that we begin
to recognize your writing style, you proba-
bly should re-prioritize your schedule. Get
another job, or enroll in a fifth class. If writ-
ing letters to us is your hobby, you're pretty
pathetic. There's a whole world out there,
outside of daily. letters@umich.edu.
Experience life, and if you find something
interesting along the way, send a letter. The
letters section is not a space for your week-
ly column.
Another species of letter writer enjoys
sending us 10-page diatribes on whatever
editorials they disagree with. This is a

occasionally try to

ters to the editor run, but we never let them.
It's our call, not their call or your call. And
that's'the greatest thing about the Daily.
That goes for every letter to the editor. Just
because your letter doesn't run the day after
you send it, don't send us another one telling
us how much you're being censored. You're
not. We get letters by the stack, and some are
better than others. But most run; if yours did-
n't, don't take it personally. We don't have
enough time to hold vendettas. Also, if we
censored the letters so we always looked good,
we wouldn't run any letters. Only the outraged
pick up the pen.
As Dennis Miller said, "I vent. Therefore
I am." You've given us a lot to vent about.
But we've loved every minute of it.

You come to a University looking to be
challenged, in search of stimulus and brilliant
minds. You want to be entertained with cre-
ative energy, humor and independence. You
crave freedom, but still hope for support and a
helping hand.
I have found all of that at Michigan - at
the Daily.
I cannot count the thousands of hours I
have spent in the Student Publications
Building during the past three years, but I
know that I always will wish there were more.
I entered the Daily very shy and quiet. In
three and a half years, this place, this building,
this institution has corrupted me, motivated
me and driven me. I've learned to write, to
speak up, to strive for better.
Besides finding out how a bunch of stu-
dents "playing newspaper" could create one of
the finest publications in the nation 'e met
people here who have taught me how to think
and how to love.
I 'm forever thankful.
Daily I'll miss you.
When I tell people I'm an editor at the
Daily, I 'm usually met with a look of sympa-
thy and a joke about the paper's quality.
Those reactions rarely annoyed me. The
Daily is the best college newspaper in the coun-
try. I'm living proof of that. I went from a fresh-
man who was terrified of reporting to someone
who has interviewed (and often challenged)
four cabinet members, a former U.S. president
(twice), three U.S. senators, the current U.S.
vice president and presidents of the top colleges
in the country -just to name a few.
I also made life-long friends while order-
ing Pizza House at 3:30 a.m., worked with
people who are destined to be leaders in jour-
nalism in the near future and played in the
snow with Yachnin. Thank you, Daily, because
I don't remember who I was before you.
"I can scarcely bid you good bye even in a
letter I a/ways made an awkward bow"
-John Keats
Like Keats, I don't know how to say the
goodbye I want to say. I came to the Daily for
an extracurricular activity; I leave it as the best
part of a great college experience.
My respect to those who came before.
My pride to those who come after.
My effort to the editorial page.
My deep admiration for my colleagues.
For the next staff, the words of John
McCrae: "To you from failing hands we
throw/The torch; be yours to hold it high"
Forever is three years in 500 words. I did-
n't know a piece of your soul could be so
One of the things that always pushes us
around here - even when people storm into
our offices, call us profane names on the
phone and declare that every article we've
written is obviously backed by some hidden
political agenda - is that we only get to do
this once.

So here's the better part of a college career,
neatly encapsulated in a space, I'm told, which
cannot exceed four column inches. That's one
of those things you learn fast at The Daily.
What you don't even learn until you're
almost gone is how much your time in this
building meant to you, what good friends you
made and how much you'll miss it. A friend
told me yesterday that in a year, I'll forget all
the stupid fights, arguments and petty unhap-
piness this place caused.
Instead, I'm told, I'll remember only the
good times. Laughing in the press box with.
three friendsnext to me. (Not the way most
newspapers work, I'm told). I'll remember
every road trip - from Iowa City to State
College. I'll remember sitting around the
newsroom, the paper already finished talking
to friends I found by doing something I never
thought I'd do until I finally did it -- joining
the Daily.
After spending four years at this
University, I can't help but to remember the
times when life was much simpler. I remember
a time when waking up at 8 a.m. didn't mean
taking an exam or digging sleep out my eye as
I entered Angell Hall. No, 8 a.m. meant wak-
ing up on a Saturday and sitting in front of the
TV, watching Alvin & the Chipmunks while
eating a big bowl Apple Jacks in my pajamas
with the feet attached. And then after Alvin
came, the Smurfs and more Apple Jacks. Bring
back the times when I could come home and
brag to my mother about getting an A on a long
division test. Now I am lucky enough to brag
to my mother if a professor remembers my
name. Hi to Mike M., Monte, SCG, Joe B. ,
Joe J., Eboni, Pretty, D.H. and R. (Love you
A copy of The Michigan Daily lay on my
bed. I felt the thin sheets of print between my
fingers as I folded it and tossed it on the floor.
I read the bylines of friends, coworkers - peo-
ple whose collective creativity, drive and
vision has always awed me. I cannot explain
fully what the Daily has meant to me. It has
been my one constant, with all the emotional
highs and lows, chaos of deadlines, tough deci-
sions and perfect moments. It's like some of
the most intense relationships, a balance of
love and hate. But, I wouldn't change a single
minute of this wild ride.
To all the people share memories of the
Daily, may we always have the passion of our
experience. To my girls, with love, thanks for
listening to me tell you how much I wanted to
leave that building and understanding even
more why I couldn't stay away.
Throughout the last three-and-a-half years
at the Daily, I really never thought that this
would happen; that this crazy, psychotic, excit-
ing ride would ever end.
But that day has come. It is over. I could go
through the list and thank everyone that I have
ever worked with or enjoyed being in the com-
pany of individually, but that would take this
,,lli, no ap

The world is new.
I have given the Daily the best I have to
offer, and I've gotten even more in return. To
everyone who helped make that happen, thank
you. I'll miss you.
My friends always wondered why I waspt
The Daily so often. How much time could it
possibly take to write an article? How does a
10-minute trip turn into an all-'night ordeal?
They never understood that the paper they
picked up in the morning was the result of
many hours the night before.
Bitt what we do is as much fo us as it is for
everyonie else. And seeing people reading th.
next day is all the reward we need. Even if t
you guys are doing is looking for the crossword.
Shout out to the Bunker. And I'm out.
After following my brother into the Daily; I
figured I'd learn a lot about many things.
Maybe I'd learn to write an article; maybe'
learn to edit; maybe I'd learn to lay out apg
In the end the most important lesson was real-
izing how hard a figure my brother is to match.
"For a student newspaper claiming to be
objective, it is most alarming how frequently
the Daily attacks the Greek comnunity"
- Maureen Sirhal, the-Publ
Relations chair of Panhel, in a le
responding to my first Daily editorial,
"What's the Rush" (9/10/96).
This early response was only the tip of the
iceberg. Four years later, the Daily and I have
been called nearly every name in the book. But
hey, we all have opinions, right?
Some of us even got to write about them.
Soon after I've left this place, some people
are going to renovate it. I don't know how it'll
turn out, or even if I'll recognize it, but I know
the way it is right now will stay intact in my
memory - piles of trash, temperamental com-
puters, treacherous couches and all. I'll even
volunteer to be keeper of the flame, since it's
something no other rational person would want
to do. I got here late, but I think I've madewn
for it by spending a LOT of time here this year
My co-workers made my life (and me) better,
and helped me produce something I was proud
of I have to get back to them now, so they don't
tear the place down without my help.
Years of free movies, free CDs and fr
DVDs through my many Daily scams has
taught me one thing: never pay for anything.
Some things that need to be cleared up: it's
Jack, not Narrator. I am not a CIA operative
but I do fancy myself as Chuck Barris from
time to time. Exodus 8:2 will set you free. And
I i,. n llf1 n i me

Elitism is bunk
A megaphone does not a student leader make

ith hundreds of student organiza-
tions and a student government
that rivals the Duma in size, many
University students have the opportunity
to coat their resumes and egos with
impressive titles such as president, direc-
tor and chair. Our University even has
special societies and clubs for student
"leaders." This classification of a superi-
or group of students is flawed and unfair.
This inane elitism promotes the untrue

belief that students who participate in
scores of activities have greater leader-
ship abilities than those who don't. We
have one response to that: Get off your
high horses.
A student who volunteers at a hospital
rather than sitting on an MSA committee
isn't any less of a "leader." There is no
way to gauge leadership. No matter how
many protests you hold or motions you
make, you're not superior to your peers.

A sad fact
Daily admits long-time secret

K, we must confess. We've gotten away
wjithi it fn rilthese uer- It keen us un

front page. Most of them have no scientific
hbcking We know this conies as a surprise.

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