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February 14, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-14

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4A - The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, February 14, 2001

beN Birb igrti Eiaiyg

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, M 48109
daily. lettersI9 umich. edu

Valentine's day through the ages - my thoughts,
BRANDEN SANZ ROPPING THE HAMMER

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
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.

o, I'm not going to
bore you with yet
another column on
why Valentine's Day
sucks, as we've already
been there and done that
k together ("St. Valentine:
Capitalist or just plain evil?
You tell me," 2/15/99).
This is simply an honest-
to-goodness look at how romance, relationships
and Valentine's Day change as we get older.
Strange but true fact: I have never in my life
been out with someone (and by "someone" I
mean someone of the opposite sex) on Valen-
tine's Day. Why, you ask? Well, I'm not really
sure. But let's take a closer look. Maybe this
brings back some memories ...
Elementary school. Probably the first time I
was ever actually aware that there was some
sense of romance attached to the 14th of Febru-
ary. V-Day back then was "totally rad," as we
used to say. Everyone brought little envelopes
with Valentines and those annoying little can-
died hearts with the messages on them and dis-
persed them anonymously throughout the
classroom.
Every year there was one girl who had
caught my eye and was secretly rewarded with
a large card and an assortment of the big can-
died hearts. You remember, the ones made by
Sweetarts that were the grade-school equivalent
of crack? It's funny how I still remember the
names of all those girls, sort of a pre-pubescent
version of the modern-day focus girl: Tracy
McGrath in 3rd Grade, Ariana Moreno in 4th,
Heidi Stark in 5th and Renee Stalter in 6th.
Weird.
Junior high. Not as fun as elementary
school during V-Day, but not as bad as high

school either. Hormones are in full-bloom, but
the fact that nobody has a car makes for an
interesting situation: For probably the only
time my life there was no distinction between
going out with someone and "going out" with
someone, if you get my drift. You talked, you
flirted, you pooled your friends for their vast
knowledge of the female gender (pathetic as it
was at this early age), and eventually you
sucked up your courage and asked the fair
maiden those irrevocable words: "Will you go
out with me?"
Thankfully, she said yes the first time and
my fragile little adolescent ego was spared a
disaster of monumental proportions. But V-Day
just wasn't a big deal. You either had a girl-
friend or you didn't, the only difference being
the fact that (after your parents and hers had
first talked to each other) your curfew was
extended by two hours. Oh, did I mention the
Sweetart hearts? Never underestimate the
power they have over a 12-year old, my friends.
High school. The absolute low point in a
guy's V-Day career. As my friend Kevin once
put it so eloquently, "Dude, Valentine's Day
sucks the dick of death." For whatever reason,
throughout four years of high school, I never
seemed to have a girlfriend during the month of
February. Just one of those quirks of fate I
guess, but it was torture at the time. And in high
school, you could never just ask a girl out on a
date during V-Day, because that would imply
too much interest and, once the inevitable
rumors made the rounds, you were tagged as a
soft, sentimental guy. You know, a "nice" guy
- the kind of guy that all the cute, popular girls
avoided like the plague.
Adulthood. For me, the first years after
graduation were spent in the Army and again,
through a strange twist, come V-Day, I always

seemed to be out on maneuvers. Don't get me
wrong, I enjoy crawling around in the tropical
mud of disease-infested Third World countries
as much as the next guy, but there's definitely a
level of coincidence here that borders on the
absurd.
Then came college. I figured that once I
entered the hallowed halls of the University
would never again be dateless on V-Day. After
all, with 17,000 women in attendance, it should
be easy to find one that would say yes. But then
my old friend Mr. Murphy (of Murphy's Law
fame) intervened once again and has managed
to schedule me for work on V-Day three years
running. Not that it's really a big deal anymore.
You see my friends, there is a great equalizer
for the dateless on V-Day and it's called "The
Bar."
A good friend of mine pointed out to me a
few years back that an inordinate number oW
girls got dumped every year on V-Day (and
who says God doesn't have a sense of irony?).
He reasoned that a large portion of these
dumpees would grab their dateless friends and
venture down to the local watering hole in an
effort to drown their collective misery over a
large quantity of adult beverages. He further
reasoned that the defenses of said dumpees
would be down and, once properly identified,
would be easy pickins' for a sexy biyatch (hi*
phrase - not mine) like himself. Now let me
tell you that personally, I have no empirical evi-
dence on this subject, but from what I saw, he
was right on the money.
So go out tonight and have some fun, with
or without a date. Me? I'll be at work.
Do you think Branden Sanz is a sexy biyatch? If
so, e-mail him at hamrhead(Lumich.edu or post a
message at www.michigandaily.com/orum.

AATA takeover will
not benefit students
TO THE DAILY:
I have been driving a bus for the University
since 1982 and although I think (perhaps mis-
takenly) that my own job is not in jeopardy, I'm
sure that our bus system is.
We should be proud of this University's
system. Very few schools provide a bus every
ten minutes on a campus this large. The advan-
tages for the Ann Arbor Transportation Author-
ity are obvious, their system is dependent on
federal, state and local dollars which are doled
out to them according to their ridership num-
bers. More riders, more money.
The disadvantages for the University com-
munity may not be so obvious, but let's not
wait for hindsight. More than half the drivers
employed by Transportation Services are Uni-
versity students, each of them working sched-
ules that are designed around their class
schedules. This is a win-win from mission con-
trol. They can drive a couple hours in the morn-
ing rush and still make their 10 a.m. or 10:30
class. They come back at 3 p.m. for the after-
noon rush. They work their way through school
working a schedule that is less than ideal for
older drivers with houses, spouses and children.
There are questions we should ask about
this proposed change in our system. Will the
spouses and partners of students who live on
campus have to pay to ride the bus? What about
the children and grandparents? Will each child
and grandparent have to show identification?
It's hard for me to visualize 85 students
rushing to morning class, who normally jump
on the bus at Bursley Hall, instead filing on,
one by one, front door only, to show their M-
card to the driver.
The AATA needs these ridership numbers
to justify their outrageous spending. The Uni-
versity has had a terrific bus service for a very
long time, this deserves to be acknowledged
and considered carefully before dismantling it.
BARBARA BROWN
Transportation Services
Can a sorority girl,
honor student wear
Mavi Jeans?
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to sincerely thank the Daily for
widening the breadth of my educational expe-
rience here at the University, most recently
through Caitlin Friedemann's riveting explana-
tion of Mavi Jeans ("Mavi Jeans - so many
varieties," 2/12/01). While I often find myself
informed by the few pieces of real news you
offer, it was refreshing to see an entire article
devoted to the most trivial yet important aspect
of a student's life: Denim choices. I am sure
many an inexperienced freshman has wan-
dered into Bivouac, no doubt bewildered by
the staggering fashion possibilities - but
thanks to Friedemann and the cunning decision
by the Daily editors to actually print her article,
trendy shopping has been made easy.
By weeding out the trivial jeans like Sutters
and Diesels and providing an obsessive analy-

valtcxlyV
Dad.

ktf Q C.nA

2. It.ek o, CAO* R ko k cr0

(a crossover? gasp!), am I thus restricted to
Mavis? How can I make room in my life for
Silver Jeans, whose Hipster Sly style flatters
most figures with its fit-n-flare? Please help.
JESSiCA COEN
LSA junior
Status cost water
poio key coach
TO THE DAILY:
I was happy to read J. Brady McCollough's
("Welcome to the limelight," 2/12/01) and
Kristen Fidh's ("Opportunity arises, Michigan
welcomes water polo," 2/12/01) articles
because little to no attention is ever paid to Uni-
versity of Michigan water polo. In describing
the women's team and their successful and
respectable program, one name was missing
from the articles. Scott Russell, Michigan
men's and women's coach of many years left
after last year after spending a long time build-
ing the Michigan program to what it is today.
However, after all his work when it came time
for Michigan women's polo to be promoted to
a varsity sport, Russell was not a candidate for
the coaching job.
Although Title IX has done great things for
women's sports, it also has an ugly side. Scott
Russell is not the coach of the team he built
because he is a man. Ann Arbor lost a great
water polo family when Russell and his wife
Candice, former coach at Ann Arbor Huron,
left. Many of the players on Michigan's team
hail from either Ann Arbor Pioneer or Huron
high schools and through either playing under
Candice or playing over the summers with both
Candice and Scott at Wolverine Water Polo,
became the respectable players they are today.
DAVE SIMISON
RCfirst-year student
Errors marred Bush
tax cut editorial
TO THE DAILY:
I feel I should correct a few inaccuracies in
the Daily's editorial "Divided We Fall,"
(2/9/01).
First, the estate tax burden does not only
apply to "upper-class landowners." Currently,
the estate tax exemption is only $675,000 and
the tax rate on the remainder is as high as 55

Gone are the days when only the wealthy
owned stocks. Now, stocks and stock-based
mutual funds are an element in practically
everyone's investment portfolio. A cut in the
capital gains tax will help parents who invest
in the stock market to pay for their childrens'
college education. Admittedly, a cut in the cap-
ital gains tax rate helps the wealthy more, but
is that alone a reason to deny this tax relief to
middle and working-class families as well?
Third, there is a fundamental flaw in the
Daily's math relating to the proposed cut in the
federal income tax rates. Indeed, President
Bush proposes to cut the top marginal rate
from 39.6 percent to 33 percent, and the bot-
tom tax rate from 15 percent to 10 percent. A
decrease from 39.6 to 33 is a 17 percent
decrease. A decrease from 15 to 10 is a 33 per-
cent decrease. This means that under the Bush
plan, individuals in the lowest tax bracke
receive the higher percentage tax cut. The
Daily's mathematical error renders this part of
the analysis in the editorial irrelevant.
It is perfectly fine to assail Bush's tax cut
plan, but please make sure that the facts con-
tained in your editorials are accurate.
MICHAEL RIELA
Law School third year student
Cheney head of
state, get used to it
To THE DAILY:
How does Stephen Lund ("Comparison of
TV's West Wing, real one utterly ridiculous,"
2/13/01) dare to call Mike Spahn's column ("If
only Jed Bartlett were the real president ...,"
2/12/01) "ridiculous" when his letter to the edi-
tor is lunacy of the sort which adjectives cannotW
describe?'Is Lund really naive enough to
believe that a man who, by his own admission,
does not like to read, says things like "we can-
not let terrorists and rogue nations hold this
nation hostile or hold our allies hostile" and
whose outstanding accomplishment in life is
quitting drinking, is capable of executing the
duties of chief executive of the most advanced
and powerful nation in the world? Dick Cheney
is the head of state now and Lund should get
used to it, because the rest of us have to.
Sure, some countries have a similar system,
where the president is largely a figurehead and
the prime minister runs the show, except that
this isn't how American government is sup-
posed to work. Lund should also learn to differ-
entiate between what he finds "objectionable"

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