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September 28, 2000 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-28

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 28, 2000

Cbe iricua &zltg

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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.

here's a popular book titled "All I Ever
Needed to Know I Learned in Kinder-
garten." It basically explains that all of the keys
to success in life - sharing, friendship, blah,
blah, blah - are taught in that all-important
first year of elementary school.
But if I could
rewrite that production'
to fit my own life, it,
would be called "All I
Ever Needed to Know I
Learned from Televi-
sion Commercials."
Don't get me
wrong: I pretty much
loathe commercials.
Most are irritating, grat-
ing and worthy of hat-
ing - and we haven't Chris
even mentioned the
hideous "I'm going to Kula
talk in the most annoy- Unsung
ing, canned-ham voice
for a solid 30 seconds A" A bi
and, maybe if you're
lucky, throw in some zany sound effects" style
of radio advertising.
It's just that every once and a while, a com-
mercial will come along with such great wis-
dom to profess, you can't help but feel like a
changed person after viewing it. So I just
thought I'd share some of the knowledge I've
gained in more than 20 years of television
The most obvious choice is always the
best choice.

If you and your group of five racially
diverse friends are done playing volleyball and
need a moment to reflect on the great afternoon
you just spent together, an icy beverage is
always the way to go. But rather than wasting
your time in listing off the entire contents of
your fridge, just give 'em the Sunny D. There's
no question that they'll choose this tasty citrus
punch over any milk, soda or ambiguously
titled "purple stuff" that you may have.
(And if you really truly care about your five
racially diverse friends, don't even buy the pur-
ple stuff- mark my words, man, that shit will
mess you up. Bad.)
You can get away with anything if you
have confidence - and mints.
Let's say that you're on trial for murder.
You don't have an alibi, you don't have a quali-
ty lawyer and you don't have a prayer of getting
off. Until that is, you flash a package of mixed
fruit Mentos. How many self-respecting juries
won't fall in love with that "I'm so darned
clever, I just sneaked into a rock concert with
only a keyboard and a headband" smile of
yours? The answer is very few in the U.S., and
absolutely none in the Netherlands.
More is always better.
Imagine this scenario:
Paul: I've got a meeting tonight to go over
chicken and first quarter profits.
George: Hey, I'm discussing chicken and
first quarter profits at my meeting, too.
Paul: What time?
George: 5:30 p.m. You?
Paul: 6 .p.m.
Both: Hmrnm...

If Paul and George are smart, they'll lie,
cheat and steal their way into both meeting
because you cannot...get... enough chicken ands
first quarter profits.
Preface your important announcements.
Need to tell your parents that you're on aca-
demic probation? Need to tell your boyfriend
that you're pregnant? When you're dealin'
with a serious matter like this, don't just spring
it on them.
Pick a date when you'd like to make your
announcement, and then for a full week befor'
keep saying things like, "Join me for a ver.
special episode of dinner next Tuesday at 7/8
Central," or "A bedtime conversation you'lt
never forget- This Wednesday, all questions
will be answered."
Hang out with your hot, identical twin.
If you should be so lucky as to have arr
attractive identical twin, spend all of your time
with him/her, because you will, without fail
keep running into equally attractive, equally
identical twins of the opposite sex. And yout
have no idea how many of these gorgeous se
of twins are out there, just waiting for you t
take them tandem-biking and gum-chewing.
Don't believe everything you see on T\
You know those guys sitting in some;
majestic wilderness setting who say, "It doesn't
get much better than this"? Well, they're drink"
ing Coors Light, and I'm afraid that it doesn't
get much worse than that. Except for the purple
-Chris Kuila can be reached vict
e-mail at ckula@umich.edu and h
accessories are sold separately;

Abortion issue deserves rational debate

Jue to the anti-abortion exhibit by
the Genocide Awareness Project
(GAP) and protests against them, it was
nearly impossible to pass through the
Diag with out being bombarded by
shouting, pamphlets and politics earlier
this week. Considering the construction
going on around Angell Hall as well,
the lack of walking (or even breathing)
room was an unwelcome surprise.
While every group has the right to exer-
cise their First Amend -_______
ment rights, the extent Better Di
of the disruptive atmos-
here could have easily a
een avoided. an
A little more plan- matter of
ning and enforcement
b of existing rules from administi
the Office of Student
Activities and Leader-
ship concerning Diagr
space allocation is necessar
needed. The type of
group - and the future deb
response it will gener-_
ate - also needs to be
seriously factored in. Groups should not
be able to totally monopolize the Diag
to the point that students are completely
altering their path to avoid an offensive
assault on the senses on their way to
While no group, controversial or not,
should et to rule our shared student
space, the nature of the GAP display
demonstrated how such displays can be
unproductive anyway. This blockade
was clearly not a situation that lent
itself to the formation of productive dia-
logue. Was GAP's grotesque propagan-
da display alone supposed to change
students' stances on abortion? It did
provoke irrational dialogue and knee-
jerk reactions, with a near cacophony of
disgust from passersby and protesters
These groups obviously had a legiti-
mate right to argue against GAP, but


their method of protest was ineffective.
Once GAP set up on the Diag, their
graphic posters comparing abortions to
mass genocides such as the Holocaust
overshadowed any attempts at reason-
able discussion. This was a poor way to
initiate debate, since it was intended to
shock and offend rather than enlighten.
A more reasonable alternative for
abortion debates could involve a public
forum. Representatives from the pro-
__________choice and pro-life
sides could meet and
g space clearly debate their
sa arguments in front of
IS the student body with
mediators. It could be
a huge deal, like the
Diag display, but in
rtiveHill Auditorium -
and iS and more rational. It
would also do a lot
to avoid more to convince stu-
dents of the argu-
Iacle, ments' validity, rather
than disgust interested
students with juvenile
name-calling, disruptive chanting and
gigantic eyesore posters. Reserving
Rackham Auditorium or Hill would
free up space and allow students to sit
down, hopefully encouraging order and,
Both GAP and the people who gath-
ered to demonstrate against them have
their points. But it is obvious that the
demonstrations conflicted with general
space rights for students. It shouldn't
have to come down to restricting allo-
cated space near the "M" or limiting
demonstrations to one day, but the level
of disruption and unproductive dialogue
needs to be taken into account by the
Office of Student Activities and Leader-
ship when two days of prime Diag
space is allocated.
Strict enforcement and interpretation
of existing space allocation rules is nec-

'It makes our campus look ugly. I can't believe they're
going to be here for my last two years of school.'
-- LSA Junior Lisa Graham commenting on the
fence formations around central eampus.4


California's solution
States should assist students with tuition

California is seen as a noncon-
formist state. Known for its orig-
inal ideas and polices, the people of
California have never been afraid to
forge ahead and go against the norm.
Most recently, they are showing this
with their newly proposed college
admissions change.
Having out awed affirmative
action as an acceptable system for
use in California uni-_
versities in 1998, the
state recently pro- Callfornla
posed that those stu-
dents with a B program
average or higher in
high school be g uar- coll~een
anteed a Cal Grant
sufficient to cover the affordable
costs of attending a
state college or university.
Also included in this proposal
would be vouchers of up to $9,708 a
year for students wanting to attend
private state universities and $1,500
for students with a C average and
family income of $33,700 a year or
less who want to attend a community
college. Calling this, "the most ambi-
tious financial aid program in Ameri-
can," state Governor Gray Davis
hopes that this system would help to
give students of all backgrounds
more equal opportunities to get into
top universities and make college
more affordable.
While this system is not nearly as
efficient or acceptable in assisting
minorities in admissions as affirma-


tive action, there are some other
aspects of its policies that would be
extremely helpful to students. Pri-
marily, this program would make col-
lege much more affordable for
students. Although everyone should
have the chance to go to college, and
this would only help students with at
least a C, at least it is a start.
In a time when college tuition
keeps increasing and
minimum wage
s new remains the same,
being able to afford
iakes college is a ver real
issue for students.
ore Many students can't
count on their parents
" to pay for their edu-
cation. And whether
completely supporting themselves or
paying for half of their schooling, the
means to payoff loans and tuition
bills are hard to come by.
National and state governments
need to recognize these problems and
work to better assist students in pay-
ing for their college education. Stu-
dents should be able to educate
themselves to their fullest potential
without worrying about how they're
going to be able to pay off steep stu-
dent loans after graduation or afford
going out of state to attend the top
program for their field in the country.
f education and higher learning is
the key to our future, the least our
government can do is to help to sup-
port that.

Diag display was
attack on community
I am writing to express my outrage and hurt
at the display on the Diag by Students for Life.
The sheer physical domination of our Diag by
this hateful display was an invasion of what
should be a common space for free speech and
free expression.
This display went beyond free speech to
become an assault on us as members of the
University community. I personally felt assault-
ed, invaded and violated by this huge and mon-
strous piece of hate propaganda.
All of us in the University community have
a responsibility to care for and support each
other. When I saw this display, I wondered what
effect if might have on a young female student
crossing the Diag, a student who had recently
made the difficult decision to terminate a preg-
nancy. The organizers of this display, who claim
to be for "life," should think about how their
venomous tactics might seriously affect the
health and, yes, even the life, of their fellow stu-
Daily's editorial
sickening to reader
It sickens me, as it should all Wolverines, to
think that the Daily's Editorial Page has
answered the age old question of, "where does
life begin?" ("An obscene analogy: Students
should avoid Diag exhibition" 9/25/00). This is
a question that philosophers have struggled
with for thousands of years. But somehow the
Daily feels they have solved it overnight.
GAP's Holocaust
analogy was justified
In the Holocaust, millions were brutally
slain without a choice.Thetsame is true with
abortion. The exhibition in the Diag is showing
what really happens to the unborn during abor-
tion. What choice did those in the pictures

ty to preach my opinions on the topic. But what
I can say is that I have never caused a woman to
need an abortion. This is because I think that
condoms are contraceptives and abortion is, for
the most part, an abomination. There are certain
situations where even I feel an abortion is
acceptable. Simply not wanting to use a real
contraceptive is not one of them.
What I find most disturbing is the liberal
pro-choice activists' attitudes. I am by no
means a right-winger at all, but I heard the "lib-
erals" chanting and wondered just how many
people caught the irony. They claim to be
informed and liberal, yet they were screaming
"shut them down" in reference to an opposing
viewpoint. Any intelligent liberal should be
promoting their opposition's right to free speech
instead of trying to silence them. That isn't lib-
eral. That's what has been happening in com-
munist nations. What does it mean when even
our liberals want to take away our rights?
Killing of unborn is
a horrific action
'known as murder'
Were the pictures of aborted babies on the
Diag today disturbing and grotesque? Absolute-
ly. But what I find even more disturbing than
mere photos is the fact that every day, in the
U.S. alone, nearly 4,000 babies are facing grue-
some deaths.
When a woman decides to have sex, she
must also accept the consequences of her
actions, and by giving her so-called "freedom
of choice," we are actually denying the right of
her unborn child to live (otherwise known as
We are not trivializing the atrocities of the
Holocaust - rather, we believe that the killing
of unborn people just as horrific of an action.
Those who talked with the pro-lifers behind
the fences yesterday enjoyed rational debate
and dialogue. On the other hand, the handful of
pro-choice students who marched around the
Diag resorted to name calling.
'Atrocious' campaign
made mockery of 'U'
The events on the Diag this week have made
an absolute mockery of our school. The

grotesque photos on display by the "Genocide
Awareness Project" accomplished nothing sav
shocking our community into a state of disgus
and confusion. That the University allowq
such an inappropriate, not to mention ignorant,
display causes me to question the level 4
integrity and respect on which this institutiq
prides itself.
Comparisons made between abortion a
genocide atrocities such as the Holocaust
black lynching are nothing short of ridiculous
and offensive. Furthermore, projecting imags
of dismembered babies is not a legitimate
means for taking a stand against abortion. Tae
use of shock in public persuasion is an imma-
ture and inefficient technique. GAP's lack Y
scientific reproducible evidence in making,
claim against abortion reveals the elementary
and discreditable nature of the organization.
The University's consent to such an outra-
geous display in the center of campus is bey
my comprehension. The "freedom of spee
argument is legitimate, but so is the University'
right to differentiate between acceptable forn
of opinion and the blatant exhibition of lies. A
line must separate that which is tolerable aid
that which is undoubtedly inappropriate. Tb
representation, or rather, misrepresentation, c
the Diag is equally apropos as a full-blown di-
play of pornography.
The public outcry that resulted from GAIT'
display is proof of the large number of offen
students in the wake of this atrocious campaign.
It is my hope that the University will recognize
this upset as such, and work to protect its'
members from future obscenities.
Illegal abortion has
grisly consequence
As horrified as I was by the exhibition on
the Diag, such sensationalism does not compel
me to take the sort of pro-life stance the ora
nizers apparently hoped for. I challenge tai
organizers of this event to take a truly balance
approach. There should be an equal number p
grisly photographs of the corpses of wo
who have died trying to induce their own a
tions as well as photos of pregnant teenage sur-
vivors. of incest, beaten and bloodied rah
victims, and women suffering from lethal mole
and ectopic pregnancies. Unless the organizers
of this event are willing to step up to the plate
and honestly assess some of the similarly hor-
rific reasons why women have abortions, theii
tactics are simply sensationalistic and weak.



Remember, under new state legislation you must be
registeredt ovote 'in the same district that the
address on your driver's license is in. Don't give up
your most fundamental right!
Go to www.sos.stteni.useL ction for more information.

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