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February 01, 2001 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-01

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4A -- The Michigan Daily - February 1, 2001

icg Sirigun -afig

daily.letters@umich. edu

The greatest story ever told (by Chris Columbus)



SINCE 1890

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.

S ometimes when I
read the daily
paper or watch the
evening news, I openly
weep for the children of
Not because they're
facing new dangers in
drug use or because the
quality of a public
school education is rapidly diminishing or
because they're confronted with violence in
every direction they turn.
No, I shed my tears for a much greater
injustice: Today's children are not being
offered the same brand of excellent kids'
movies that were commonplace a genera-
tion ago.
If your grade school years fell between
Gibby in '84 and Joe D. in '90, you should
consider yourself very lucky: You were
firsthand witness to one of the most dynam-
ic periods in the child-adventure film indus-
try (not to mention Michigan professional
sports at their finest).
Back when we were still having recess
twice a day - not unlike today's average
Kinesiology student - the major studios
were churning out one kid-oriented epic
after another. "The Goonies." "The Flight
of the Navigator." "Adventures in Babysit-
ting." "SpaceCamp." "The NeverEnding
Story." "WarGames." "Iron Eagle."
These were movies that placed children
in the role of protagonist and showed them

to be just as capable of solving
problems/saving the day as their adult
counterparts. The kids of today simply do
not experience the same kind of positive.
portrayals as we did and I have to believe
that it will make a difference in their adult
If you just stop for a second and think
what we learned from those films, you'll be
glad you were a child of the Reagan era -
you know, as if possessing the title "child
of the Reagan era" wasn't enough to make
you whistle Dixie.
From "The Goonies," the sterling flag-
ship of the '80s child-adventure film fleet,
we learned that a group of 12-year olds
could not only outsmart evil Italian crimi-
nals and circumvent underground booty
traps (booby traps, that's what I said), but
also show acceptance for large, chocolate-
loving freaks suffering from severe birth
defects. I'm referring, of course, to
Just as "The Goonies" featured the
always-popular "rag-tag bunch" approach
to casting, stock characterization was also
used to great success in "SpaceCamp," in
which each member of the teen-aged crew
aboard the runaway shuttle was able to step
up and use their unique, individualized tal-
ent at just the right moment to narrowly
avert disaster.
These "Lea Thompson, only you can
land the shuttle!" scenarios showed children
of the '80s that every person has one special

ability. That or a robot named Jinx.
Every pretentiously artsy English major
who's ever donned the black turtleneck will
tell you that, in their youth, they found a
quality teacher in the Bastian character
from "The NeverEnding Story." To wit:
Valuable Lesson One: To spend all of
your time reading mystical fairy tales isn't
necessarily "gay" or "fruity" or "indicative
of a homosexual lifestyle."
Valuable Lesson Two: The same can't
always be said for guys named Bastian.
And the secrets don't stop there, Mr.
If there's trouble brewing overseas,
don't trust your government - trust an old
black man named Chappy. He'll get you the
fighter jet you need to instill peace in the
Middle East. Chappy.
Twenty-one years of age is in no way
too old to still be waiting for a babysitter@
who looks like Elisabeth Shue. Please tuck
me in.
If someone ever asks you to play a game
called "Global Thermonuclear War," you're
probably going to want to decline and stick
to more non-apocalyptic recreations like
Candyland, Connect Four and Chutes and
Ladders. But, if you're really bent on risk-
ing life and limb for a cheap thrill, might I
suggest Hungry Hungry Hippos?
Chris Kula 's column runs evervy Thursday.
Email him at ckula@uinich.edu and
ask him to do the Truffle Shuffle.

Ashcroft's religion
should not be used
against him
When Al Gore tapped Joe Lieberman for
his vice-presidential pick last August, the
choice of the orthodox Jewish senator was
hailed as exceptional and ground-breaking.
Sen. Lieberman, who uses his faith as a guide
on many political issues, was perhaps the
most important reason why Al Gore came so
close to capturing the White House despite
running an abysmal campaign.
However, while critics and favorites
alike praised Lieberman as a veep choice,
and also expressed n concern in his using
faith as a compass for decisions, the nomi-
nation of former Sen. John Ashcroft for
Attorney General has not received the same
praise. It is hypocritical to praise Lieber-
man's commitment to his faith while
chastising John Ashcroft for his adherence
to his own faith.
It is sad to see that people are disgracing a
man who seems to be religious as well as
honest. Ashcroft's conservative voting record
should not serve as an impediment to his
nomination. Such an appointment should not
be criticized on an ideological basis since
there are no questions about Ashcroft's moral
or ethical capability to enforce the nation's
There is a clear hypocrisy that exists in
the media and at the University in that
Lieberman is congratulated for being reli-
gious while Ashcroft is derided for being
religious. And who knows, maybe after the
last eight years, we need an attorney general
who is honest and uses his faith in helping
actually enforce the laws of the country that
have been so thoroughly neglected by the
previous administration.
LSA first-year student
Article needed to
present all facts on
vouchers plan
In an article ("Promise of education impor-
tant to Bush") printed Jan. 24, Hanna LoPatin
reports on President Bush's plans to improve
the education system in the U.S. She does not,
however, clearly explain the theory behind the
voucher system - the specific point around
which all the controversy stems.
The writer states that the voucher system,
"... directs federal funds away from public
schools in order to provide scholarships
towards private schools"
LoPatin continues to say that under Bush's
plan, the system "(takes) funds away" after a
school fails for a period of time. These state-
ments are all true.
But what she fails to make explicit is that
the "scholarships toward private schools"
would be given to students wanting to disenroll
from the failing public schools.
Additionally, the funds "(taken) away" from
a failing school are also given back to that
school's student body for its use at other
By not making these points clear, LoPatin



On Brian Ellerbe

! *

Michigan basketball
has been embarrassed
enough by coach
What else really needs to be said
about Brian Ellerbe and his coaching
here at the University of Michigan.
"Fifty one point loss to Michigan State
last year?" Or how about six straight
losses to our in-state rival? Or maybe
the 34-2 beginning of our game with
Duke this year?
Watching Tuesday night's contest, I
was shocked and embarrassed to see our
players "quit," as Chris Young would
say it, against one of the top teams in the
We did not play like a team should.
Bill Martin, our athletic director, even
said we looked "unorganized" on the
Take a look on the floor of the Bres-
lin Center next time Michigan State
plays at home. They have a picture of
the state of Michigan on their court, sig-
nifying their dominance in basketball in
The rivalry is not even competitive
anymore. I am a huge Michigan fan, yet
when we play Michigan State, I don't
even think we have a chance anymore.
The talent is there. We have great
big men; an All-American candidate in
LaVell Blanchard.
The question is, when are we going
to get a coach who can handle a major
Division I program, rather than having
to rely on a mediocre coach who led
Loyola College (Md.) to a record of 34-
47? My answer is now.
The University has been embarrassed
enough by a coach that lets his players
quit in a huge game.
How many more "behind the wood-
shed beatings" as ESPN called it will it
take for something to happen? What will
Martin's answer be? Maybe Ellerbe will
make Martin's decision a little easier.
LSA senior
Ellerbe's leadership
hEr te ck.m P t-n



fy this unpalatable situation. How has
this happened? Who is responsible? The
University is supposed to be about
excellence. Where is the excellence in
our basketball program?
I don't think that even Bob Ufer
could find any enthusiasm for a Brian
Ellerbe-coached team. Who dug this
guy up anyway?
Who is it that thinks that the coach of
the Michigan basketball team should
have such inadequate credentials?
Who among you is ready to stand
before the alumni and fans and say that
it is acceptable that Michigan State has
a better basketball coach than Michi-
We deserve better. The honor and
dignity of the many great coaches and
athletes that brought 100 years of "glory
and fame" to Michigan must not be
tainted by allowing this mediocrity, or
in the case of basketball, disgrace and
ineptness, to continue for even another
We deserve a program that we can
be proud of. A program like Duke, with
a coach of intelligence and integrity
who recruits athletes of skill, character
and intelligence.
I strongly urge the University to
replace Ellerbe with a coach of proven
success and high character. The follow-
ing coaches all have the potential to build{
the kind of basketball program that i,
worthy of Michigan: Rick Majerus, Rick



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