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February 21, 2001 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-21

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 21, 2001

able Stich igFat jDativ

daily. letters@urnicli.edu

A farewell to arms (or, Exit the arena)

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.

t is not the critic
who counts, not
the man who
points out how the strong
man stumbled, or where
the doer of deeds could
have done them better.
The credit belongs to the
man who is actually in
the arena; whose face is
marred by dust and sweat and blood; who
strives valiantly; who errs and comes short
again and again; who knows the great enthu-
siasms, the great devotions, and spends him-
self in a worthy cause; who, at the best,
knows in the end the triumph of high achieve-
ment; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least
fails while daring greatly, so that his place
shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat. "
- Theodore Roosevelt
I have always loved that quote. Along
with "Who Dares, Wins" (which, not coinci-
dentally, is tattooed on my back) it probably
encapsulates my philosophy on life better
than anything else I've ever heard or read.
I have always endeavored to be the man
in the arena. I think it stems from the fact that
so much crap happened to me as a child that I
had no control over. I'm sure I somehow
came to the determination that I would live
my life on my own terms, dependent upon
nothing and beholden to no one.
I never really wanted to be a public figure
- it just sort of happened. I had always been
an "action, not words" type, but constant
bombardment by a barrage of sanctimonious,
uber-liberal drivel prompted me to action
and, as I soon learned after arriving at the
University, I was fighting in a new battlefield
and I needed to adopt new tactics. So, instead
of whining amongst my peers, I decided to

go out a give myself a voice. I decided to
write for the Daily itself, the very bastion of
political correctness and monument to shel-
tered idealism.
What followed was a three-plus year
odyssey full of love, hate and hundreds of e-
mails. We have been through a lot together,
you and I. You have seen me funny, happy,
serious, angry and everything in between.
You have seen me at the heights of irony and
the depths of self-loathing and I feel like
many of you know me as well as you could
know anyone they've never met. Likewise, I
have tried to get to know you as well - a
fact that might explain why I have answered
every single e-mail (save two) that I have
received since I started writing for The
But it all ends here. As of tomorrow, my
employment at the Daily ends - although
you couldn't technically call it "employ-
ment" as (I'm proud to say) I have never
taken a single check. So as I fade back into
obscurity, I'd like to leave you with a few
First and foremost, I don't know what
will become of me. The wisest man I have
ever known once told me, "There is only one
rule for being a man: Whatever comes, face it
on your feet." To that end, I have thrown the
life/career road map in the trash and am tak-
ing life as it comes to me. That's okay - if I
die tomorrow I will die a happy man. I have
seen and done things that most 40-year-olds
have not and have already lived what could
be considered a "full" life in my short time
on earth. That's as it should be. I have never
had an overwhelming desire to be rich - all
I wanted was a wife, kids and a house on the
beach with a fireplace and a dog. That's it.
Not too grandiose, but it would suit me just

No, my big desire has always been to
experience. To go out and see what things
really look and smell and feel like in the first
person. Granted, this way of thinking has
gotten me into trouble a time or two. I sup-
pose I could have avoided the stumbles, the
cuts and the bruises (not to mention the bar
brawls, arrests and broken bones) if I had
chosen the path of least resistance, but that is
a course of action I could never bear. My one
true fear in life is to live until I'm 100 and
then, one day far from now, be sitting on my
rocking chair lamenting all the things I never
did, never saw and never will. The thought is
truly terrifying.
So this is it. You may see me around Ann
Arbor. And no, the picture looks nothing like
me. Just look for the guy sitting quietly in the
corner with the furrowed brow and hard.
green eyes - that's me. You may see me at
Charley's on Thursday nights or at Champi-
ons Gym or perhaps at Zydeco Louisiana
Kitchen ("cause if you're not sweatin' -
you're not eatin'). Perhaps some day youlI
see me SCUBA-diving the Great Barrier
Reef or standing along the banks of the old
Wounded Knee Creek, listening to the ghosts
of the Lakota in the wind. Perhaps you'll find
me riding a Harley through the Nevada desert
or standing at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro,*
looking out over the great Sahara and the
blue of the Mediterranean beyond.
But until that day comes, do me one
favor. Find your own arena and place your-
self in it. Say "Fuck You!" to all the doubters
and naysayers and live your life like you
think you should. That, my friends, is what
it's all about. Goodbye.
Give Branden San feedack at
wwwnichigandaily.com/forum or via
e-nailat hamrhead umich.edu.

Akjust i~n tie or*pr n *c,

Hunting saves
animals from slow
death, is 'way of life'
Emily Achenbaum's column ("Hunting:
Wasteful, cruel and definitely not a sport,"
2/19/01) about hunting was incredibly false
and offensive to an avid outdoorsman like
myself. Hunting is a positive activity and
indeed is not a sport. It is a way of life for
many of those who live in rural areas. Fur-
thermore, I've never hunted in a game park
where the animals are fenced in (and know
no one who has) as Achenbaum implies
most hunters do and I have stitches from
getting a fishing hook in my shoulder -
something that would deter a fisherman
from returning to fish again, according to
her column. I am sorry to disappoint every-
one who believes that, but my favorite
activities are still hunting and fishing.
Likewise, I hunt for the meat, not the fur
or the antlers. Meat is the only reason I
hunt. Until I came to school here I rarely ate
any meat except wild game, just the same as
anyone would eat beef from a cow. Another
reason hunting is positive is because it con-
trols the animal population.
Currently in Michigan, there are too
many deer because of an increased food
supply from better farming techniques.
Without hunters, car-deer accidents would
be an even larger problem than they are now
and farmers would have many more of their
crops destroyed.
Finally, as an example, there are so
many deer that even though there is more
food during the growing season, many deer
still starve to death in the harsh winters of
the north because there is less food per ani-
mal at this time of year.
So, many animals that die in seconds
with hunting, would die in many months'
without hunting - slowly and painfully
from starvation. I hope this gives everyone
an intelligent argument in support of hunt-
Engineering first-year student
Hunting requires
skills, should be
considered a sport
Emily Achenbaum's Feb. 19 column
("Hunting: Wasteful, cruel and definitely
not a sport," 2/19/01) claims that hunting
has no sporting value and yet she spends
precisely one paragraph talking about the
skills necessary to hunt.
First, hunting begins months before any
season with hundreds of hours of scouting,
equipment preparation and planning, from
logistics of the trip to in the field strategy.
There is always a very large chance that a
hunter may come home empty handed, even
-r 1--II.C1 - ..-+. r.. I +1- ,.-+-r

{he' n Aror wddIteer1 er9ts*



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Lastly, the fun in hunting comes from
the camaraderie and bonds made between
the people who hunt. Not from the sacrifice
of the animals.
LSA first-year student
Students should
stand behind Ellerbe
This letter is in response to Chris
Duprey's column ("Ellerbe's legacy should
be loyalty," 2/20/01) regarding Brian Ellerbe.
I thought his column made a much needed
statement. I think that too often the public, the
fans, forget that first and foremost the players
on any college sports team are basically
"kids" who are doing things that most of us
don't have the talent, drive or desire to do.
They deserve our respect and loyalty, win or
lose. Some goes for college coaches. Yes, it is
a chosen profession, but how many other pro-
fessions are open to public humiliation.
How many of the people heckling,
yelling "Fire Ellerbe" are in or will ever be
in careers where people can publicly criti-
cize them and tell them, their families and
the nation that they are doing a lousy job.
And Ellerbe is not doing a lousy job, the
University is just having a non-winning sea-
son. I am sorry, but I can not give much
sympathy or gripe about a losing season, as
I am recent graduate of Northwestern Uni-
versity, or what most people at the Universi-
ty probably feel is the joke of the Big Ten in
regard to sports. But win or lose, it is impor-
tant for every school to stand behind its
teams and coaches.
School of Social Work
Recording can work
with Napster, profit
After reading David Horn's column about
the demise of Napster ("Goodbye, old friend,"
2/16/01), I felt compelled to write. The solu-
tion to the whole Napster controversy is so

easy access to the music we want. Of course,
there is the potential for abuse under this sys-
tem, such as artists downloading their own
songs to generate revenue, mislabeling files,.
etc. But the overall idea is sound. Record
companies should acknowledge the inevitabil-
ity of Internet-distributed music and they must
realize that this system of royalties per down-
load is obviously'preferable to never-ending
legal action against every Napster clone that
pops up.
University alumnus
Graduate program
affirmative action
does not make sense
Why is race considered in college admis-
sions decisions at the graduate level? From
what I understand, there are race-based
admissions at the undergraduate level to
account for the potential academic and
socioeconomic advantages that some stu-O
dents may have over others before college.
However, once we are all accepted and
have attended a college or university, isn't
the "playing field" leveled? How does a
majority student have an advantage over a
minority student after undergraduate educa-
tion? Wouldn't a minority student feel more
accomplished if he or she were accepted on
his or her merits rather than simply the color
of skin? These are open questions to the Uni-
versity community that I think should be con-
sidered carefully.
Engineering sophomore

,w . - -


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