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September 14, 2000 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-14

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 14, 2000

ije 3~irbiun 4 &il

Coming soon... "
HJere's a fun one: Try to think of as many
classic college movies as you can.
"Animal House" is undoubtedly the first
thing that comes to mind, most likely because
a good seven out of every 10 houses on cam-

Unsung Ann Arbor: The Movie"

420AMaynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 MIKE SPAHN
daily.letters@umich.edu _ .Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by EMILY ACHENBAUM
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editor
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials refect 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.

pus are always decorat-
ed with some variation
of that Belushi-in-a-
"Col lege"-sweatshirt
poster. And not far
behind "House" would
be the fabled "Revenge
of the Nerds" films,
because, c'mon, you've
gotta give props to
Robert Carradine.
But then you start to
tail off in your list.
John Singleton's
"Higher Learning"
came out in the mid-
'90s, but who would
choose to endure a 90-
minute statement about
striving for racial/sexu-
al/social harmony when

s (currently) leg
'U' should not block Napster

it doesn't even count

The cast of thousands - thousands of
stereotypes, that is - will include such highly
identifiable favorites as:'
The Nice Guy: Quiet yet charming; works
part-time in the dorm cafeteria; possible histo-
ry major; is heart-broken when he learns that
his long-distance girlfriend has been cheating
on him; longs for comfort from The Sorority
Girl. Played by any number of young actors
currently appearing on the WB.
The Sorority Girl: Conventionally cute,
wears her blond hair in a ponytail; member of
the haughtiest house on campus, but has a
heart of gold; psychology major (she really,
really wants to work with children); feels
unfulfilled with her Frat Guy boyfriend.
Played by any number of young actresses cur-
rently appearing on the WB.
The Frat Guy: A dude; social chair at
Alpha Alpha Alpha; wants to attend the B-
School (and then accept a job at his father's
contracting firm when he's not admitted); owns
"Steve Miller Band's Greatest Hits"; feels clos-
est to God when he's grilling brats on football
game days. Played by Keanu Reeves.
Of course, the incredible cast isn't limited
to just these few characters. You can't forget
about the star quarterback dealing with his
closeted homosexuality, the sweet, young
raver chick dealing with Ecstasy, and the
token minority dealing with the fact that he's
been cast once again as the token minority.
And despite the fact that these characters
seem to be of vastly different academic realms
and social worlds, they'll inevitably find them-
selves together in class and at parties (what I
like to call "Saved by the Bell Syndrome").
There's one class in particular that they're
all taking, an intro to sociology seminar, and
it's taught by that one wacky but wise profes-

sor that every university possesses. (Yay,
nay?) It's a lecture of more than 300 people,
yet the prof knows each of the main characters
by name, and, over the course of the movie, he
teaches them valuable lessons about the world
around them.
Oh, did I mention that the professor is
played by Pat Morita?
Of course, being a major studio epic, the
film will be packed with plenty of gratuitous
sex ("You'll never feel the same about the
laundromat!"), violence and drinking. The
producers will come under major fire for the
infamous "keg-stand scene" when a young
man is hospitalized after a similar incident at
a certain midwestern university that we'll call
Michigan State.
It goes without saying that the soundtrack
will be packed with today's hottest pop stars
and Aerosmith.
And did I mention that the professor is
played by Pat Morita?
Last but not least, here comes the knockout
punch of my movie pitch. Instead of the typi-
cal cut-and-dried kind of narrative that might
make this flick seem like "Can't Hardly Wait
Part 2," my movie would get a shot of post-
modernist flair.
All the characters, all their wacky shenani-
gans, all the touching revelations - they'd be
told through the eyes of a columnist at the
school's newspaper. This clever young man
would frame these unsung stories in the form
of a weekly column that is read by many,
enjoyed by a select few.
I can already see it in lights...
"Unsung Ann Arbor: The Movie": Coming
soon to a video store near you.
- Chris Kula can be reached at


Possibly in retaliation to Nap ster's
CEO's decision to sport a Metalli-
ca T-shirt on the recent MTV Video
Music Awards, but more likely due to
the massive copyright violations that
have occurred using Napster soft-
ware, an attorney representing artists
opposing the site recently wrote a let-
ter to several universities asking them
to restrict student access to Napster.
Since the University was included
among the few to receive the letter, it
has until September 22nd to decide
how it wants to respond. The Univer-
sity should not be intimidated.
Even if the University believes
Napster violates copyright laws, it
should not restrict student access to
Napster over and
above any possible The Universi
restrictions placed by
the government. Stu- consider Na
dents should not be
subjected to higher until proven
restrictions than those
placed on every other - _
citizen. This is an
issue that should be decided in court,
not in the dean's office.
It seems that University students
are already quite familiar with Nap-
ster. The company offers a software
program that connects millions of
users and allows them to exchan ge
digital music files at no cost. As
many artists - specifically Dr. Dre
and Metallica - do not want their
music to be distributed in this man-
ner, they have filed a lawsuit against
Napster alleging that the company
intentionally facilitates copyright
Regardless of whether the Univer-
sity agrees with the suit, it should not
restrict its students' access to the
Internet. Free access to information is
at the very foundation of the informa-
tion revolution that characterizes
modern intellectual freedom. It goes


hand in hand with freedom of speech
and freedom of the press today, just
as newspapers have done for cen-
turies. Restricting this freedom would
set a horrible precedent that allows
for further limitations on access to
information Other information poten-
tially deemed unacceptable, such as
websites advertising unpopular politi-
cal or religious beliefs, could easily
be banned using similar logic. As an
establishment that prides itself on
intellectual freedom and independent
thought, the University cannot start
down this slippery slope.
That said, as with freedom of
speech and freedom of the press,
there are limitations. Just as one can-
not yell "fire" in a
y should movie theater, one
cannot violate copy-
ster legal - right law. But
whether a certain
)therwise. product or software
facilitates these
crimes are decisions
for the government to
decide, not the University. As long as
the government does not outlaw the
use of Napster (as there are many
artists who willingly allow their
music to be exchanged using the pro-
gram), the University should consider
the software a legally legitimate form
of information exchange and act
If the University truly wants to
stand up against copyright infringe-
ment - which is clearly understand-
able for an institution that relies
heavily on its intellectual capital -
then it should merely continue its
campaign to educate students about
the moral, ethical, and legal problems
associated with downloading copy-
righted material. It should not
embark upon a path that would overly
restrict its students rights at the
expense of intellectual freedom.

for a distribution credit? And "PCU," while
fairly hilarious, lost all hope of attaining
"classic" status when its producers agreed to
air it six times a day on Comedy Central.
I think it's safe to say, then, that the time is
right for the next great college flick.
Oh, but not just any great college flick! I'm
talking the most outrageous example of con-
trived filmmaking since Bruce "I Sold My
Soul to Jerry Bruckheimer" Willis assembled
a team of quirky oil drillers to destroy an
earthbound meteor. Or was it to steal a bunch
of cars? Or dance atop a trendy bar in New
York City?

'Pedestrians rule in Ann Arbor.'

- Michelle Figueroa
LSA Senior

Gimme shelter
Local homeless shelter much needed

W ith a myriad of concerns facing
Ann Arbor today, its excessive
homeless population is often over-
looked. Although Ann Arbor is only a
moderately sized college town, it has
a surprisingly high homeless popula-
tion; nearly 1,200 homeless men,
women, and children rely on local
charities and students' generosity for
public assistance. Through various
measures, the city is taking a progres-
sive approach to solving the problem
providing the means and tools to get
homeless people off the streets, if
only for a few nights during cold win-
ter months.
The construction of a new home-
less shelter on West Huron Street is
just one of these means. With updated
facilities and govern-
ment assistance, city The new she
officials and local char-
ities are finally piecing Important /i/t
together a solution to a
problem that has Arbor's plan
plagued Ann Arbor for
far too long. homeless off
The new shelter, if
constructed where pro-
posed, will be only one block away
from a similarshelter. The shelter will
be able to house 50 people overnight.
Residents working in the shelter's
kitchen will feed roughly 150 people
three meals a day. Counseling rooms
will also be constructed in the new
Unlike many quick and easy solu-
tions, this facility begins to attack the
roots of the problem. With experience
in the shelter's cafeteria, residents can
ease their way into paying jobs, such
as cooking, cleaning or other work.
Housing residents overnight will keep
them off the streets, especially during
the cold Ann Arbor winters.
Furthermore, the plan incorporat-
ing the new Huron St. shelter will


attempt to shift the shelter's populace
toward low-income, permanent hous-
ing, the final phase of the city's plan
to make a dent in the homeless popu-
While the new shelter will not
instantly eliminate all homelessness, it
is a strong and important link in Ann
Arbor's plan to get homeless off the
Other programs, such as a renewed
push to establish a citywide living
wage, may be helpful, but the focus to
provide more affordable low-income
ousing with more emphasis on job
skills is absolutely necessary. Orga-
nizers of the shelter are wise to
emphasize self-sufficiency, already
covered in counseling sessions.
Although Ann
ter is an Arbor has the finan-
cial and civil
r in Ann resources to provide
this shelter, it is
0 get unfortunate that the
homeless problem is
the streets, almost directly a
result of action taken
at the state level.
John Engler's effective shut-down of
many of Michigan's mental institu-
tions due to budgetary concerns is
closely correlated to the rise in Ann
Arbor s homeless population.
Engler unleashed into Michigan
cities a large populace of people who
are unable to hold down jobs or take
care of themselves. State budget cuts
have forced the problem of caring for
the homeless mentally ill to the local
It is unfortunate that such an
important issue has been left up to
local initiatives, although Ann Arbor's
leadership and focus on concrete solu-
tions to the problem of homelessness
within the city limits is commendable
and effective.

Liberal intolerance
shows in editorial
At first, the Daily's Sept 8th editorial
regarding Ave Maria and liberal intolerance
was a welcome sight. However, upon closer
examination, the editorial itself seems to be a
good example of anti-Catholicism. The basis
of the argument is the Catholic Church is
changing and becoming "more modern" and
doing away with antiquated morals and beliefs.
No one could actually believe that stuff.
It seemed the expressed wishes of the
writer that the graduates of Ave Maria will
become enlightened adults who would shed
those antiquated Catholic beliefs and conform
to the enlightened belief system of the liberal
community at the University. So much for
diversity of beliefs and respect for the beliefs
of others. Bob Jones University isn't the only
place with an intolerance problem.
Thanks, but we can
choose between
football and religion
I completely disagree with the Daily's
assertion that football games should be moved
to accommodate Jewish students. This is a
completely unfair move that should not be
made to appease such a small segment of the
University population. I think it is arrogant for
the Daily to assume that this presents a conflict
for Jewish students. For the truly religious
observant, the decision is simple. For those die-
hard football fans, the decision is also easy.
Why should the rest of the University have to
pay the price for such a small minority?
Should we consult all groups on campus to
see if football games conflict with their sched-
ule? Hey, I have to study for a big exam at
noon on Saturday, can you please delay the
football game for a few hours ? College football
on a Saturday afternoon is as long as a tradition

as Rosh Hashanah itself, or so it seems. It is
unfair and shows complete hubris for the Jew-
ish community, or any community for that.mat-
ter, to make such a request. The University, and
Michigan football is much bigger than them.
A few years ago, when a Michigan-North-
western game conflicted with Yom Kippur, I
didn't whine, bitch or complain that the game
should be moved. I made my choice to attend
the event, and I am perfectly comfortable with
it. There is a reason why the word conflict is
used. It is not an easy choice for those whose
loyalties are split between Judaism and Foot-
ballism, but taking away that choice at the sac-
rifice of millions of other Michigan fans
worldwide is just unfair.
'U' is pro-women,
not anti-male
I am writing in response to Kyle Marshall's

7, n w., r4
r/ I
~c~'~7 -f1
4 ~ '~\"\ "x


letter to the editor "Men's Health is right: 'U'
anti-male" (9/13/00). In this letter, Marshall
comments on Men's Health magazine's ranking
of the University as one of the "Top 10 Anti-
Male" campuses. Hopefully, I speak for a
majority of women on this campus when I ask,
isn't it about time? All our lives women are
told to act this way, do this, do that, all on the
basis of being female. Practically the rest of
our surroundings could be classified as "Top
10 Anti-Female" places. In grade school, mid-
dle school, high school, in jobs and elsewhere
women are degraded and oppressed.
Therefore, isn't it a good thing that women
can come to a university like this and feel as
though they are not in the minority? Perhaps if
the ranking would have been in a women's
health magazine, the University would have
been in the "Top 10 Pro-Women" universities.
It's amazing what a little word change can do
to the context. Women have handled anti-
female behavior for the majority of their lives.
Isn't it time that men had a taste of this too?
Can't Marshall handle a little female unity?

'u' s




s demands

Today, the University will receive a let-
ter from lawyers representing the aging
heavy metal band Metallica and former rap
superstar Dr. Dre, urging the University to
"promptly ban access by your community
to Napster." For the University to comply
with this demand, however, would be a very
unwise move.
The first reason is purely technical: If
the University were to unilaterally block
access to a particular Internet site, it could
cripple the entire University network.
Because the University has a very high
speed connection to the Internet, the net-
wrkine pnninment which cnnnects our

blocking any site whenever someone with
significant influence threatens it, the Uni-
versity would soon end up with a very large
list of blocking rules. This would bring the
network to its knees and make the Universi-
ty's connection to the Internet useless for
the purpose it was intended: The exchange
of information across the world for the edu-
cation of students and the furtherance of
Moreover, it is unclear that a ban on
Napster is necessary or can achieve the
stated goal of Metallica and Dr. Dre, i.e.,
preventing people from making copies of
their songs. Nanster the comnanv will be in

ten today, use encryption to hide the con-
tents of data, and are decentralized: there
will be no Napster, Inc. to sue or to block.
If we walk down the path that Metallica and
Dr. Dre are leading us, we will come to a
point where our only option will be to
block the entire Internet to comply with
their demands.
Clearly, the University must not allow
itself to be dragged into this fight. The Univer-
sity must vigorously defend its role as a "com-
mon carrier" when it comes to providing
Internet access to campus. After all, if we take
responsibility for blocking one site, we will
ooen uo the door to liability for not blocking

Retmember, unkr new state legislationn you must he re istered to vote
--t 4he seme d 'st ' hedress an your fiver'slicense is in



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