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October 22, 1999 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-22

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 22, 1999
(7I didligt Batill
420 Maynard Street HEATHER KAIINS
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
daily.letters@umich.edu xu

Killing centipedes for world peace

Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

6 ,W

Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority oflthe
Dailv:s editorial hoard. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily
Comed aher 'round
Daily called for a unified student movement

After you have hied with someone for
awhile, there is not mauch you don't
know about him or her. Mi roommate and
I swere friends when we cere little, so we
came to school already knowinc a few
vital pieces of Infor-
mation about each
other. I remember
her as the girl at
summer camp with,
curly brow n hair
who had the same x
name as me (Jen),_ k
the same favorite
color as me (purple),
and who Pit ketchup x
on everything she
ate (everrthin).f
After a year of ]It-
tng in the dorm with Strausz
her and a fens
months of living in
our apartment. I
have come to an
even greater understanding of my room-
Not only doll know more about what it
is that she likes, I have also come to know
about and be compassionate towards her
dislikes. She definitely has the same
understanding of mine.
I was thinking about this the other day
while I was standing, shivering, in a
towel. with the water from my hair drip-
ping all over the copy of The Michigan
Daily that was on our kitchen table While

Jen is not sery experienced at killing
insects. I have a feeling that her "trap the
centipede in a blue plastic cup" imethod
would not be recommended by the coun-
trv's best insect killing schools. It does
not seem very tuie-efIficient, it is diffi-
cuii to tell if the centipede is actually in
the cup and there's the problem of decid-
tng shat to do sith it once you're pretty
sure it's there. You can't flush a plastic
eup d ossn the toilet.
But regardless of her technique, the
poitt is that my roommate took care of
the situation forime. She knows that an
itsect sthin 10 feet of me. especially a
big scary one, is my absolute least
tan orite thing in the whole world. except
maybe for Sarin rap (I hate the way it
sticks to itself).
So when I came out of the shower and
said "centipede," she did not give it a
moment's thought. She paused her game
of FreeCell, grabbed a plastic cup and got
to work. She took care of the centipede,
made sure that the rest of the bathroom
was safe and even checked the insides of
my shoes for insects (I have nightmares
about that).
When I thanked her afterwards. Jenjust
smiled and said. "We look out for each
I guess we do look out for each other,
but my jobs seem much easier than hers.
I do things for her that I really don't mind
doing. I'll look out the window to see
what the mailman is wearing if Jenis

to call). She'll have the steamed seggie@
chipati on wheat, please, with no mush-
rooms. extra tomatoes and raspberry
s inaicrette.
She will mo e 'Dance Parts '99' out of
our living room if I am trying to study for
a midterm. She'll answer when people
ask us questions about han ing the same
first name ( )Cs. it does per a i/ttle ui con-
usin' especial/y wO the phone, hur ito.
it 's not tio a. Thank eou mr asking).
and she will tell them about the three
Omars that lived together in Markley last
near. If there's something moldy in the
refrigerator, she'll get rid of it for me.
And if there is a centipede in the sho\ er
Jen Roth completely understands.
It came to me, suddenly, while I was
standing there, that in order to chatnge
world problems and overall negativity.
maybe grand solutions should only he
part of the plan.
I think that world attitudes sould
change if everybody felt completely
understood by someone else. Everybody
needs someone who knows about the
small things that they dislike most in the
whole world. And if they dislike insects,
everybody should find someone who dis-
likes insects a little bit less than they do
- someone who will stop what they're
doing to take care of the problem.-I think
that outlooks and actions would start to
change. We wouldn't feel alone.
But for now, Roth and I have a world
problem of our own: We're more than

uring the Cambodian invasion of 1970,
campuses all over the country exploded
in protest. Thousands of students angrily
denounced the Nixon administration, and
these denunciations had a substantial effect.
No longer could the United States govern-
ment commit open atrocity and proclaim it to
the world as a victory for the forces of free-
Whatever one's political outlook, it is dif-
ficult to challenge the fact that anti-war
demonstrations have had a major effect on
policy implementation in this country. And
most of these past demonstrations have
occurred through a "spontaneous combus-
tion"- an eruption of outrage at a particular
course of action.
Yet there are many weaknesses with this
First of all, it leaves the anti-war move-
ment in a state of virtual rigor mortis when
there is no conspicuous immorality to protest.
Thus, we have seen a mood of apathy prevail
over the campuses during the last year, with
profile of the war dropping lower and lower.
The administration has learned that a
purely visual "winding down" of the war can
be as effective in stifling dissent as would vir-
tual end to the hostilities. With fewer
American casualties and more soldiers com-
ing home, the administration can throw up
the facade that the war is drawing to a close.
More than anything else, this has illustrat-
ed the problems of spontaneous demonstra-
tions, yet the fact that U.S. atrocities are not
quite as blatant now should not serve to
thwart the anti-war movement. The move-
ment must be an ongoing activity, which con-
stantly points out the interconnection of gov-
ernmental policy. It must, for example, link
the war to economic stagnation at home, and
show the connections between overseas

n >.
.a ~s
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a ,l , ' ' a
" <z


The 'G0s and '70s Nikhil Kumar's letter to the editor curious about the weather (last Friday the halfway done with our second bottle of
("Reader: Drag show was undeserving of mailman was wearing shorts: now he's in ketchup. I'll be right back - I'm going to
See page 12 for more stories coverage," 1018/99) was getting soaking long pants and a cardigan). I will fan the go swing by the grocery store so my
wet, my roommate was in our bathroom smoke alarm if it goes off while she is roommate has something to eat.
pansion and domestic poverty. Although a trying to capture a centipede that was blow drying her hair. I'll call Pizza House -Jennifer Stris: can he reached
'monstration may be temporarily exhilarat- running laps around the shower tiles. to order delivery for her (she doesn't like oier e-mcil ct jstraus:(umich.edi.
g, when it constitutes the only focus of he
ti-war movement there is something defi- THOMAS KULJURGIS '1"A . AK'i
ely wrong. . T_
Thus, we must concern ourselves with 'NE RR)5L* R1MA~l S (OR, 1<m& 09 'NCMouNTs
veloping a larger perspective. Right now, HiTO
ere are a great multitude of groups working
progressive causes - women's liberation Penn State letter
oups, anti-war groups, welfare rights orga-
zations, people working for the rights of was immature
isoners and any number of others.
However, there is no unity between these TO THE DAILY:
oups. Occasionally they may come togeth- au writing itsresponse to Rackhas
Student amid Penn State enthusiast Jason .
for short periods of time, but they do not Neiss's letter to the Dailyv("iaimyease 'false

have any common approach. '
It is quite obvious that a unified group of
people - working on particular issues
because they have been judged as important,
and cooperating with each other to the fullest
extent - can accomplish many times as
much as scattered sects.
A unified analysis, taking into account the
mistakes of the past and the realities of the
present, can provide the key to eliminating
the apathy both on campus and in the com-
- This editorial originally appeared in
the Daily on Oct. 12, 1971.

Standard procedure?
Health insurance should not exclude abortion

impression'of Penn State 10 19/99). His letter
concerns the Daily's brutal attack on Penn
State University 'suntarnished reputation
I snould just like to ask Neiss one question:
If you like Penn State so much, why don't you
marry it? Thank you.
Reading article on
replies to all ri
dwragshow was sihen it is best1
op ionalamid not clutterc
optional "''tede
Point being.
waste of time,
TO THE DAILY: reminder of ho
I am writing this letter in response to community tor
"Drag show undeserving of coverage" the year and pet
(10 18/99). In case it wasn't obvious. Coming show with mor
Out Week is an important event on campus. It
gives students a chance to express publically
thoughts and feelings they rarely have the
chance to express. Part of this year's activities
was a drag show. that gave participants a
chance to challenge the social construction of W ithd r
gender that can be so confining.
Perhaps this event isn't significant to misei
some. Perhaps they prefer that the
"University's self proclaimed queers remami is cens
in the closet. In that case, there is no need to
read the article that is adding so much "credi-
bility to the liberal agenda." I would assume TO THE DAILY
that the author of the letter to the editor ofwho in respons
I am referring to is the type of person who about the cut

ecipients on forwarded email
to simply ignore the message
everyone's mailbox.
if you think the article is a
don't read it. Your letter is a
w important it is for the gay
maintain visibility throughout
'haps have an even bigger drag
e media coverage next year.
im's funding
e to Mark Powers's letter
ting of the funding for the

Brooklyn Museum of art ("Offensive art
should not be funded" 10/13/99) -_
couldn't agree more. Elected officials are
elected to "uphold the standards of soci'
ety." And what a relief that there is such an
easy and simple concept and "the stan-
dards of society"
Maybe, for the sake of simplicitywe
should just let Mark Powers and the
Business Leaders of American, Defenders
of the Moral Fabric define what those stan-
dards are. So we won't waste time on look-
ing at things that are bad for us, or that
make Mark Powers feel yucky.
Here's the bottom line. Governmenhs
have no obligation to fund objectionable
art. But since they already fund the muse-
um, the withdrawl of those funds is noth-
ing short of punitive and censorship..41
actually may be possible that something
you don't like may still have some value.'

t seems that Michigan womens' right
to choose could receive yet another
severe blow. Republicans in the state
Senate are moving to exclude abortion
from standard insurance policies in a bill
containing provisions for private and pub-
lic insurance companies.
Sponsored by Sens. David Jaye (R-
Macomb), Beverly Hammerstorm (R-
Temperance) and Philip Hoffman (R-
Horton), the bill aims to decrease the
number of abortions in Michigan, making
it more difficult to get the operation while
appeasing pro-life supporters' concerns
that they are paying for a procedure they
strongly oppose.
The 1973 landmark Supreme Court
decision Roe v. Wade won women nation-
wide the right to a safe, legal abortion. By
passing this bill and thereby making abor-
tions more difficult to obtain, the Senate
is opening the door for successful restric-
tions of other constitutional rights in the
The bill requires that women purchase
the option to be covered for abortion as a
separate policy. But the situation requir-
ing an abortion, like any emergency pro-
cedure, is unplanned. Women do not
anticipate the need for an abortion, just as
people do not plan for the removal of a
tumor, but should they need an operation,
they will be financially secure.
While the bill does not prevent women
from receiving insurance to cover the cost
of an abortion, the separate purchase
requires an extra fee and is a clear step to
infringe upon a woman's right to choose.

The people bound to suffer the most from
the bill's provisions are those living at the
lower end of the socio-economic scale. It
might lead those without adequate funds
to revisit the dangerous back alley abor-
tion clinics so rampant in the past, where
women died as a result of abortion.
The financially stable will always find
the means to have an abortion. But poor
Americans could be forced to resort to pre-
carious and life-threatening operations.
In recent years, numerous attempts to
indirectly outlaw abortion have made the
procedure increasingly inaccessible for
women. Various states have implemented
two-parent notification for underage
women seeking abortions, even if they do
not have legal custody of the young
In 1991, the Supreme Court ruled that
all pregnant women be referred to prena-
tal care providers and be told that abor-
tions are inappropriate, rather than allow-
ing federally funded family-planning
clinics to provide information and make
referrals for abortion.
In proposing such a bill, the state sug-
gests there is something wrong with the
abortion procedure - a prohibited line to
cross. Roe v. Wade gave women the right
to choose.
A woman's right to abortion is protect-
ed under the same Constitution that pro-
tects anti-abortion activists' right to free
speech. It is contradictory and, hypocriti-
cal to protect one right and not another.
The right to abortion must be protected
from dangerous legal attacks.

Awav dame exDerience mirrors social issues

m = w w Inv= J C:Pmww w w ww - - ff w

By Seth Fisher
Daily Editorial Page Writer
With 20 bucks. a 6-pack of Mountain
Dew and a bag of Doritos, I hopped in the
car two weeks ago en route to what was
sure to be the best Big Ten match-up so far
this fall. The Blue/Green rivalry promised
a great afternoon of football and I had a
student section ticket waiting for me at the
Trowbridge exit of 1-496. My younger
brother, a first year student at State, came
through big time on the ticket and I have to
admit that the anticipation of being present
for a Wolverines road game ruined -my
concentration for days prior to the trip.
Donning my favorite blue bucket hat, the
traditional navy Michigan T-shirt and a
gray sweatshirt to keep warm, I believed
this game would be like any I've seen in
the Big House. Hah, welcome to the road.
In East Lansing, things are done a little
differently. The Spartan pre-game ritual
begins with tailgating at the crack of dawn,
your tickets are merely vouchers and
instead of lines to get into the stadium the
gates host unruly mobs chanting. "Go
Green, Go White:' Granted I took the
opportunity to shout "Blue" at strategic
intervals, hoping to find an echo of anoth-
er emigrant from Ann Arbor. None came.
As we made our way tup to our row 62
seats - that's five from the top at Spartan
Stadium -- my brother suggested I take
off the hat and keep the sweatshirt on so as
not to draw too much negative attention.
The hat stayed on and so did the sweat-
shirt, but it was warming up. To State's
credit, I had a lot more elbow room than at
Stadium and Main, but it was hardly com-
fortable. The accommodations were pleas-
ant however, the fans didn't take kindly to
Michigan folk around there. With no other
Wolverine fans in the general vicinity. I
became a target for drunken Spartan fans

wishing to emphasize the fact that their
football team was creaming mine. The
experience was new for me. Having grown
up in a sheltered Detroit suburb, I had
never been subject to such outright bigotry
before from people who didn't even know
me. That's what was the most astounding
of the whole situation; I was being judged
and despised simply by the color of my
shirt. These people who now believed I
should be aware that my entire existence
was offensive to them didn't know a thing
about me except that I wasn't ecstatic that
Michigan State would be six and zero by
this evening. Different people reacted to
me in various ways - none of which made
me feel very at ease. Many who hadn't
instigated the actual taunting joined in as
part of the crowd. A couple people ignored
me. Yet only my little brother and the State
alumni sitting next to us didn't contribute
to my growing sense that something very
bad was about to happen.
I honestly didn't know how to react.
Part of me longed to move to the upper
deck among the mass of maize and blue
shirts, but that was hardly feasible.
Common sense kept me from shouting like
a maniac as I often do in the Big House. I
thought of stuffing the hat in my cargo-
pants and throwing the sweatshirt back on
despite the heat, but something told me
that would only provoke further provoca-
tion. Besides, shouldn't I be as proud as
ever of sporting my school's colors? Back
home I could rebut such offenses with' a
well-placed, "sorry you didn't get in," but I
was obviously in no position to make such
a statement. When the whole student sec-
tion sat down for their signature rowing
cheer - better than the wave, we ought to
try it sometime - I simply stood in the
middle of it all, wishing I could be any-
where but there. And as the clock was
being run out in the final seconds of the

fourth quarter, the majority watched thei
dreams come true before their eyes whileI
planned an escape before their loathing
turned to violence.
The sad part is, we do the same thing
back here. I can't remember how many
times my buddies and I shouted, "do you
feel a 'Brees"' or other semi-intelligent
catch-phrases at Purdue fans only a week
before. When I'm in gear, I preposterously
believe my attacks are helping to motivate
the team or at least make it harder on th
visitors. But the players don't think along
the same lines as their fans. When they're
out there, there's a certain respect for the
guys in another color. They realize that
every athlete is out there for the same pur-
pose while emotions are simply poured
into the game. Perhaps we fans should take
a cue from them.
By the way, this article is not just about'
how fans at a football game. The lessons I
learned in East Lansing are applicable ti
the real world. In society today, a lot of
people feel like an away fan in the student
section. After only four hours of bigotry. I
didn't think I could take anymore. Anger,
frustration and the futility of trying to be
accepted had put me in a defensive and
paranoid state of mind. But for many citi-
zens of this country, there is no merciful
fourth quarter or hometown haven front
the unwarranted ridicule. Having had just a
taste of what some may go through every
week, 1 can see many issues plaguing o*
society in a new perspective.
By the way, this article was not merely
about fans. A lot of people feel the way I
did on a consistent basis for reasons that
have nothing to do with football. I gues
my trip to East Lansing puts it all in per-
spective. Is it possible that society-s
minorities feel like away fans?
- Seth Fisher can be reached over e-
nmi/ at fishersma itumich.edi.

y, SCi .NC
cc y\ Ro N\ q... SCIEN IST

101 Sp y ck a



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