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February 16, 2001 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-16

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 16, 2001

cat be 9 lkbtwu ailg

daily lettersaurnich. edtu

Goodbye, old friend

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

n case you haven't
y heard the most dev-
astating news for
44music enthusiasts since
the end of the vinyl era,
.y Napster got the can this
week. The 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals ruled
that the "company
encourages and abets the
wholesale infringement of copyrights." Yeah
they do, as much as I hate to admit it. I am
one of many who live and die by the unpar-
alleled ease and availability of the service.
That creates a sort of dilemma for me,
and for everyone else too, I hope. Last year,
when Napster was getting its start, I lived in
the dorms. For all my bitching about dorm
life, you've got to like the connection
speeds. That being said, downloading from
Napster was ridiculously easy. So along
comes Napster, and my friend Brian tells
me that I can get any song I want, com-
pletely and immediately, for free.
My first instinct was "hot dog!" But after
very little thought on the issue, I realized that
Napster was about as kosher as a cheeseburger
with a side of lobster (that's a little Jewish
humor for y'all). I decided then to take a sort of
moral stand against Napster. I refused to use it,
and gave all my friends an angry tirade against
it, and them, whenever the issue came up.
But little time passed until I caved. About a
week after learning about Napster, I would
secretly download songs and not tell anyone. I
continued to hypocritically speak out against it.
Slowly, my dirty music-sharing secrets were

revealed, and since then I've been all about it.
When this legal battle came up, I was
singing a very different song than that of a
year ago. I believed that it was Metallica,
their cronies, and the record industry who
were being hypocritical.
What is an artist? A true artist? A true artist
is someone who doesn't care about making
money. It is someone whose primary concern
should be that their art is heard - their mes-
sage is heard - by as many people as possible.
That their music can reach more people as a
result of Napster should be enough to pledge
their support to the file-sharing software.
For the young, struggling artist, you
should definitely want as many people to hear
your music right off the bat. For the estab-
lished musicians (Metallica and the like),
you've got more money than you could possi-
bly know what to do with. You've already
benefited from a society that pays its artists
inordinate amounts of money. Now you're
trying to hustle the system for some more.
And if you ever run out of money, sell your
souls to Microsoft and let them use Enter
Sandman, or whatever, to sell Windows '03.
For you middle of the road, flash in the pan,
one hit wonder bands, Napster must scare the
shit out of you. Good. If you don't have enough
confidence in the rest of your album that kids
are going to be satisfied enough by only down-
loading your bubble gum pop hit, then you
don't deserve to call yourself a musician.
The other side of this story is one of
greed. There is a paradox in making one's
living as an artist, but that's another issue.
Our country is hell-bent on this capitalism

thing, and that's not going anywhere. That
explains the ruling of the 9th District Court,
and probably spells doom for Napster and its
progeny in the long run, because from a legal
standpoint, they're in the wrong, or at least
facilitating those who are in the wrong.
The other part of this that troubles me is that
it seems that the record industry is unfairly
picking on Napster. Why didn't duel-deck cas-
sette players get taken to court when they came
out? I'll tell you why. Because Sony made
them, and they make records too. Why aren't
CD burners - the real root of the problem -
at all to blame? Someone tonight suggested to
me that they might as well go after the radio.
You can tape off of it, after all. It's primitive
and ridiculous, but it's possible, and would vio-
late the same copyright infringements that the
faithful users of Napster (including myself)
have done and will do until next week, or*
whenever they take away our baby.
Music copyrighting has always been a very
complex and challenging issue. But the verdict i
against Napster is hypocritical, shortsighted and
hopefully not permanent.
As I write this column listening to burned
music, let's hope that Metallica and other
artists remember why they got into music in
the first place, when they couldn't get 20 peo-
ple to show up at the club they were playing in.O
Let's hope they remember that and appreciate
'that Napster plays a huge part in the realization
of the idealistic notion of art for art's sake.

David Horn's column runs every other
Friday. Give him feedback at
www.michigandaily.com/forum or
via email at hornd@umich.edu.

Phelps' hatred
extends beyond
the Diag
While this is not another "Here's what we
should do!" letter regarding Rev. Phelps' visit,
consider this as another aspect of his visit. The
University community has concerned itself
with Phelps' protest at the Queer Visibility
Week (QVW) Rally, and understandably so.
However, others of us are not so lucky to worry
about his attendance at a rally in a huge public
Along with other members of my church's
congregation, I am genuinely nauseated know-
ing that he will be waiting for me when I arrive
for worship on Sunday morning. The Rev.
Phelps' original reason for attending Ann Arbor
is not even remotely related to QVW.
He is coming because Rev. John Rollef-
son, pastor of Lord of Light Lutheran
Church, led the ordination of a qualified and
called minister, Donna Simon, a lesbian.
I attended Rev. Simon's ordination in Mis-
souri, and I will not back down from supporting
her and Rev. Rollefson.entirely. Indeed, I am
the undergraduate with the greatest personal
involvement in the protests this weekend, as I
hope to be in Rev. Simon's shoes some day.
Though I do not wish to portray myself
as a martyr of sorts, I hope that the Univer-
sity community will remember where else
Rev. Phelps will be taking his message of
hate this weekend. While most students are
resting in their campus homes Sunday
morning, I will be standing before Rev.
Phelps, defending my right to be a queer
Please make no mistake that those are the
toughest shoes to wear on this campus today.
LSA senior
SCC's retrospective
comments untrue
I feel that I must object to a statement made
by SCC member Diego Bernal in the Daily's

Wh4N Tt+A7 ALL H~E (Am-rA4U d-V)

article on the Tower ("Then ... and now,"
2/15/00). Bemal is quoted as saying "We hesi-
tated from calling individual people racist."
However, when attempting to enter the
Union during the SCC protests, I was
called a racist, as were two visiting par-
ents, because we attempted to enter the
Union through the front doors.
Simply because the SCC chose not to
accuse Michigamua of racism does not
mean that they in any way restrained their
rhetoric or even attempted to convey civili-
ty to those who were merely attempting to
go about their daily routine.
LSA senior
'Model minority'
myth perpetuates
racial biases
I am saddened by the ignorance that
Chuck Wang's letter to the editor, "Asian-
Americans do not need race-based affirma-
tive actions" (2/14/01) conveys. Obviously,
he too has been sucked into the model
minority myth of Asian-American success.
Wang's acceptance of the myth shows
limited recognition of the heterogeneity of
the APA (Asian Pacific American) commu-

nity. By recognizing heterogeneity within
the APA community, one sees that not all
APAs are "succeeding" but in fact struggle
in sweatshops or fields as migrant laborers.
It is a pity that Wang's memory is
selective, or forgetful of the institutional
discrimination that Asians and Asian-0
Americans have experienced and continue
to experience.
Instead, Wang buys into the dominant
framework and once again puts Asian-
Americans into the role of the "middle-
man minority" and lets himself be used as
a silent pawn in the discussion of race and
inequality in the United States.
Wang's assertion that the success of
Asian-Americans is based upon "simple,
hard work" is completely naive.
If this were true, ideas such as "over-0
representation of Asian Americans" would
never come into play. We do not live in a
meritocracy and people are not rewarded
for their "hard work."
Wang's primary anti-affirmative action
arguments are based upon the American
dream and model minority myth. These
two ideas are tools that society uses to
make people believe that they, and not our
institutional systems, are failing people of*
color and the underclass.
It is unfortunate that Wang not only
buys into these fallacies, but chooses to
advocate on their behalf.
LSA senior

Sorry girls, I'm gay

n the fine tradition of
self-liberation through
public confession,
here's another gay voice
ready to tell the public one
thing: Live with it.
Normally hidden from
hetero view by innuendo
and slogans like "Are you a
friend of Dorothy?" (the
theme of this year's Queer Visibility Week),
queer consciousness is at its zenith today with
the "Kiss-in" and rally on the Diag. Finally, a
chance for queers to be their fabulous selves!
First, let's address the Fred Phelps element
and get that bit of nastiness out of the way.
Thank you "Rev." Phelps! You've done
mnrp fnr mir nic, than anv of nq h mnqn ever

developed a habit of ignoring obnoxious Bible
bangers. More noise, more banners, more slimy
minions aren't going to convert anyone. But if
he somehow gets inside your head and you see
the light, he's putting his life in danger.
If one gives credence to his message that
fags can't repent, no matter how much they
love "God," what's to stop a group of already
damned souls from ripping Phelps limb from
limb? It's only one more sin on the inevitable
road to the devil's paradise. (Note: Don't be
tempted to even look in his direction; he'll
sue your gender-ambiguous ass off). But this
eclipses an even bigger issue.
I can't assume that anyone on this cam-
pus would care to spend eternity with the
likes of Fred Phelps. It's like when the
Cnaniard- r nnA red the NM Wnrld and

consciousness. Is it safe to be queer here?
Am I going to be discriminated against?
If you're straight, and you don't understand
what I'm talking about, turn some of your ques-
tions about queers back on yourself. Oxford's
"heterosexual questionnaire" asks:
"What do you think caused your heterosex-
uality? When and how did you first decide that
you were heterosexual? Why do you heterosex-
uals feel compelled to seduce others into your
lifestyle? Why do you insist on flaunting your*
heterosexuality? Can't you just keep it quiet?"
See how ludicrous these-questions sound,
just because we live in a hetero-normative (and
heterosexist) society?
Queerness is an innate, essential characteris-
tic, determined by events and circumstances
hbvnnd anvo nnep nrnn's rcntrAl Snmenne

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