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November 29, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-29

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 29, 2000

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On mental illness and little fat kids ...

"420 Maynard Street
'Ann Arbor, MI 48109
aily.letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
.students at the
;-University of Michigan

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief

'C-
-C-
II

EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

Vnless 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.
FROMT DIY
aEyeon HI V/Al eD
TWeek's activities promise to educate 'U'

T his morning was pretty typical. I wake up at
8 a.m. to the blaring of my alarm clock,
muscles screaming in pain. After jumping out of
my beloved queen-size bed to silence the irritat-
ing "BEEP! BEEP!" my sore hamstrings carry
me -- limping - to the kitchen where I quaff a
huge glass of water,
some multivitamins, vit-
amin C, aspirin andk
assorted other goodies'
including caffeine and
ephedrine.,
After ten minutes of
relaxation and Sports-
center, I am off to the
gym. By this time the
caffeine and ephedrine
are kicking in; my heart
is racing and I'm start-
ing to twitch with ner- Branden
vous energy. An hour of Sanz
grunting and sweating
later, I am exhausted.
Half my body feels like
Jello, my tank-top is
soaking with sweat, my breath is ragged and my
eyes are bloodshot from exertion. I drag my ass
home and pound down a protein shake along
with some dextrose in the form of powdered
Gatorade to spike my blood sugar and insulin
levels, all in the hope that the extra insulin will
help shuttle more protein into my muscle cells.
I have time for a quick shower and clothing
change. Then I make myself another shake, bot-
tle it up for later, grab my backpack and head off
to class. I will eat - or drink a protein shake -
every three hours for the next twelve hours. I
will consume all kinds of stuff you've probably
never heard of; creatine, HMB, glucosamine and
chondroitin sulfate, ZMA, L-Glutamine and oth-
ers. I will drink almost two gallons of water.
A scientific experiment, you ask? Some
crazy new diet? Naaah ... just another day in the

life. You see, I've been doing this for more than
six years.
On the surface I suppose I would appear the
poster child for health. I am strong and fast. I
can swim a mile in 40 minutes and run two
miles in 11-flat. Despite a ridiculously skinny
bone structure (which I curse my parents for
almost daily) that makes me appear thin in cloth-
ing, I am actually pretty muscular.
But it's all a facade. I am definitely one sick
individual. And I'm not the only guy on campus
like this.
I have a little experience with eating disor-
ders. You see, I once had a girlfriend that was
bulimic. We dated for more than a year and I
didn't even realize her condition until we had
been going out for three months. Lest you think
me merely unobservant, please keep in mind
that it was me that informed her parents -
whom she lived with - of her condition. So I
got to see first-hand the effects of such a baffling
and insidious disease.
It's not pretty.
As I've gotten older, I may not have gotten
any smarter, but I've certainly gotten wiser. And
I've come to the conclusion that my own version
of that neurosis is pretty similar. Although I
thank God that the physical effects are more
benign than bulimia or anorexia, the driving
mental illness behind them is no less malefic, no
less baffling and no less insidious.
Ifyou're sitting there shaking your head in
disbelief at my audacity to draw such a correla-
tion, please think for just a moment. For the last
six years, over 80 percent of my caloric intake
has come in either the form of protein powder,
milk or oatmeal. The ephedrine I take so regu-
larly as a diet-aid is a mild amphetamine (the
same stuff found in Mini-thins or "Trucker
Speed") and several people overdose and die on
the stuff every year. A few years ago I even did
a six-week cycle of steroids. I gained 30 pounds
and felt more a King of the World than Leo ever

did. Furthermore, if you asked me, "Would you
do it again?" my honest answer would be: "In a
heartbeat."
Sound healthy? I didn't think so. Obsessive;
perhaps dangerously obsessive is more like it.
But why am I - and other guys like me - in
this condition? I can't speak for anyone else.
Maybe for some guys it was because they got
slighted by a girl or didn't make the cut for the
football team. I'm not going to bore you with
details of my story, but it was basically a matter
of being fat and being taunted and picked-on
because of it. The honesty of children can be a
cruel thing sometimes.
So I made a vow to myself that I was never
going to feel ashamed or inadequate because of
my physical condition. It almost worked.
Almost, but not quite.
You see, despite the positive commentary I
get from friends and all the athletic accolades
I've since accumulated over the years, I can't let
that little fat kid go. He's always there - wait-
ing - in the back of my mind. And, strangely
enough, I need him.
When I'm at the gym and running on five
hours sleep and I have the squat bar loaded with
400 pounds, it's the little fat kid that surges to
the fore. He taunts me, he mocks me, and he
enrages me to the point where I can get up the
motivation to do what I have to do. On the rare
nights when I say "Fuck it," throw the diet to the
wind and go out with friends for dinner or a few
beers, the little-fat kid is waiting for me the next
morning in the mirror. Despite the rational part
of my mind telling me my six-pack is still in
place, the little fat kid fills me with incalculable
self-loathing at the gluttonous sloth I've become.
I hate him, but I need him too. For without
him I fear I could become him.
Rational? No. But I guess that's why they
call it a neurosis.
- Branden Sanz can be reached via e-mail
at hamrhead@umich.edu.

he 13th AIDS Awareness Week
2000 is already underway. For
- any, the word AIDS is just another
alsease some people are unfortunate
:enough to contract. But for the 34.3
v illion people with AIDS or HIV, the
44ronyms mean a shorter lifespan and
lifetime of pain and suffering. Uni-
,ersity students and staff and Ann
rbor citizens should honor the spirit
World AIDS Day on

pating in the activities set up by
awareness organizations can help
spread the word and help AIDS
patients.
Despite advances in AIDS cock-
tails and years of research, the disease
remains fatal and unchecked. Also,
despite years of education, many peo-
ple still have misconceptions about

HIV and AIDS.

zlcember 1 and unite
:M educate one another
about AIDS, its costs
""and its nnssible cures

Last year alone,
54 million people
SI NIm i mi mr Ae/

pll LL VOUGU . Wti f~
Last year alone, 5.4 HlV/AD
million people were
infected with region O1
W HIV/AIDS, according
k to the Website HIV AIDS has
InSite, a global report deadly to
on AIDS. More than
70 percent of AIDS patients live in
sub-Saharan Africa, an area where
bt;:,IDS is spreading at alarming rates.
4Azwhole generation is affected by the
tbreak, yet their voices often do not
reach the United States. Still, a full
,.00,000 live on our continent. In
,.,vecry region of the world, AIDS has
, 1eft its deadly mark.
Groups are making an effort to
educate, handing out red ribbons, dis-
playing films, readings and art to the
public to make the aftershocks of the
disease vivid. A monetary donation
to Simon House, a Detroit based
organization for mothers with AIDS,
could win you a dinner gift certifi-
cate and other prizes via a condom
raffle. The contest runs Wednesday
through Friday in the Union. Partici-

CS. In every
f the world,
left its
lark.

It is their responsibil-
ity to learn and to
protect themselves
from the disease.
University Health
Services estimates
that around one half
of one percent of
University students
have contacted AIDS
or the HIV virus.
This number can eas-
ily be reduced by

'She was a beacon of light for the ANC Women's
League, one of several key movements in the African
liberation struggle."
- School ofInformation Prof Derrick Cogburn on WinnieMadikizela-Mandela,
ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, who cancelled a Thursday visit to the University.

I "W

safe sex and through testing. On
Wednesday, anyone can be tested in
the Pond Room of the Union from 10
a.m. until 1 p.m. Provided by UHS, it
is free and anonymous. This is the
most significant event of the week
and could save lives. All in all, it will
be difficult to miss all of the events
happening campus-wide this week.
By the end of the charity ball on
Saturday, the Golden Key Honor
Society and many other organizations
campus-wide and around the world
hope to educate more people about
HIV/AIDS and perhaps raise money
for a cure. Money from the dance will
go to a summer camp for AIDS
patients. Give them your support and
help combat the disease at multiple
levels.

I

Supreme Court's decision protects rights

Economic status-quo
perpetuates injustice,
ecological destruction
TO THE DAILY:
Emily Achenbaum's defense of corporate
consumer capitalism ("Capitalism and con-
science face off," 11/27/00) is a frustrating
and disturbing ramble of fuzzy and circular
logic. I think most people agree with her
summation that "no one should be penalized
for success," but her column defines success
as being born into a middle-class, white
American family in good (physical and men-
tal) health. According to Achenbaum, "suc-
cess" can be identified by excessive and
conspicuous consumption.
She acknowledges that in our economical-
ly stratified society people do suffer unjustly
while others, including herself, have more
than enough. She acknowledges that wanton
consumerism can be a hollow attempt "to fill
an emotional void" and a waste of environ-
mental resources - but she can only tell us
who or what not to blame.
Don't blame Ray Kroc and McDonald's.
They only "succeeded" (success defined as
being wealthy and omnipresent) because they
have the "best" product and marketing. She
ignores the fact that they have also been the
"best" at externalizing costs to maximize
profits. So what if the rainforests burn, the
cows are raised in torturous factories, ecosys-
tems are imperiled by factory farms, landfills
overflow and rates of cancer and heart dis-
ease skyrocket? Who cares if workers at
McDonald's don't earn a decent wage (or at
least health benefits)? As long as McDon-
ald's (and Meijer and Microsoft) is "success-
ful," why should they be penalized?
And she's right. Don't blame Kroc, don't
blame McDonald's, and don't blame Meijer
or Microsoftor even Bill Gates. Blame the
system that rewards destruction of our envi-
ronment and compromises of justice. Blame
the apathetic attitudes that refuse to even con-
sider that a solution might require change.
Achenbaum attempts to justify apathy in

order to assuage her "privileged white guilt."
Instead, perhaps, she should ask us to consid-
er fundamental, progressive change to create
a more just, ecological and sane society.
Scon TRUDEAU
LSA SENIOR
Capitalism's critics
use 'smoke screen
rhetoric'
TO THE DAILY:
I'd like to thank Emily Achenbaum for
writing something honest and straightforward
in her column ("Capitalism and conscience
face off," 11/27/00). Many people on this

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campus echo the sentiment of pity and show
their outrage at the dominance of a few indi-
viduals in the capitalist economy, all whilel
talking on their own cell phones and making
plans for their own socioeconomic flight to
the upper ranks.
How many back up their words with
action? How many would sacrifice their
comfy cappuccino Ann Arbor lives for the
sake of another "less fortunate" individual?
None, and little is done for their predicament.
The only thing that is more repulsive than
this fact is that people try to hide behind 0
smoke screen rhetoric of socialist idealism -
a plan that does not include action. Saints are
hard to find but sanctimony abounds; thank
you for not falling prey to this hypocrisy.
DAVE HODGE
LSA SENIOR

he Supreme Court upheld private
citizens' rights yesterday in an
important ruling against the City of Indi-
anapolis. In a 6-3 decision, the Court
struck down the practice of random
police roadblocks designed to hamper
drug trafficking.
The Indianapolis City Police have,
since 1998, set up six ran-
dom drug checkpoints and With th
stopped over a thousand lndianaj
people. The stops last
about five minutes and the interpre
police officers try to make
sure that no more than six
or seven vehicles are police
stopped at one time. James able to
Edmund, who felt his rights
were violated by these anyone
stops, sued the city withI
the help of the Indiana
Civil Liberties Union. A USindg tl
federal trial court found in
favor of the program, the progra'
United States Seventh Cir- actviity
cuit Court of Appeals
found the program unconstitutional. The
City of Indianapolis then asked the
Supreme Court to reverse the ruling. Yes-
terday, they were wisely denied.
Checkpoints along the border U.S.
border with Mexico for the purpose of
curbing illegal immigration are legal, as
are checkpoints that ensure immediate
safety (such as sobriety checkpoints and
roadblocks in response to a bomb threat).
However, the Circuit Court ruling likened
the drug checkpoints to setting up "a

,e
t
e
Fd

metal detector outside each person's
home ... in order to determine whether he
was carrying a gun for which he lacked a
permit."
The drug roadblock system was an
extreme measure that violated citizens'
Fourth Amendment rights. Probable
cause was discarded under this program,
as the police were
City Of able to stop cars for
oohs'no reason other than
the suspicion that
aton of anyone may be trans-
porting drugs. The
police needed no
ould be search warrants or
even suspicion of
wrongdoing: The pro-
vith gram treats everyone
as a suspect.
ss of If the police could
Dir e-mail legally do this at
roadblocks, why
would they not have
probable cause to sus-
pect any person walk-
ing down the street of criminal activity?
Probable cause touches many issues.
With the City of Indianapolis' interpreta-
tion of probable cause, the police would
be able to suspect anyone with Internet
access of using their e-mail program for
illegal activity.
A ruling in favor of the drug road-
blocks would have perverted the meaning
of probable cause, discarding everyone's
rights so that the police can catch a few
more criminals.

- - AT,
f w w ~ -.
'- VR11
,. 4WN
-7 i -

S

As an Eagle Scout, a current scout leader
and gay rights supporter I am disappointed
with the Boy Scouts of America's exclusion-
ary policy regarding openly gay leaders. I do
not, however, think that this is reason to give
up on the largest youth organization in the
country. The millions of boys who have previ-
ously benefited from scouting, the millions
more in scouting now, and the countless more
boys who will benefit from scouting in the
future deserve more than a token dismissal.
There were a number of inaccuracies in the
Daily's Nov. 20th editorial ("Deny discrimina-
tion"). First, James Dale's membership as an
adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America was
revoked, not his standing as an Eagle Scout.
Second, while the national office of the Boy
Scouts of America is run by adults, individual
troops are run by the boys themselves. This
opportunity to lead one's peers is part of what

because they do not allow openly gay leaders
some feel that the entire organization should
be tossed to the curb. How does that help the
boys? Being a Boy Scout is difficult for a
junior high or high school student. There are
so many other activities and interests compet-
ing for young people's attentions. Camping
and character education have a hard time com-
peting with sports, clubs, dating, driving and
just hanging out with friends. Athletes are seen
by their peers as cool, Boy Scouts are simply
not. Do we want to make it even more difficult
for boys to join and stick with scouting? The
boys who persevere with scouting should be
commended, not asked to meet elsewhere.
Just who is hurt by excluding the Boys
Scouts from public schools? Certainly not the
national headquarters - they have a place to
meet. It also isn't the leaders themselves. It is,
of course, the boys. But not all boys are hurt
h. h- Azz_:_ Tnc h_ ref2:_ _:Yr;.n+

Getting the national organization to change
it's views on openly gay leaders has to come
from within. After all, the Boy Scouts were
founded partially to promote diversity. Lord
Baden-Powell had the boys wear uniforms to
show them that they were more alike than dif-
ferent. A sad truth of today's society is that
school-aged children don't have many oppor-
tunities to interact with people of different
races and backgrounds. One of the few places
that they do is in an organization like the Boy
Scouts of America where eating lunch depends
on working with the boy next to you regardles.
of what color he is, what his father does, o
even if he is gay. The Boy Scouts will change
with time and insistence from those involved
inside the organization. They now allow
female leaders, all religions and even female
scouts in programs like Venture Crew and
Explorers. I hope that integration with the Girl
G'rt of Amt :nnie_,.far ff ,A _2ibp s

i

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