4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 7, 2001
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ANN ARKOR, MI 48109
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Tempted by Lady Nicotine and the Marlboro Man,
JOSH WICKERHAM Ti]-Wor
EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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.
broke off the rela-
tionship three months
.3.. ago, for what I
thought was the last time.
Then I saw her -- every-
where. She was flaunting
her stuff on sidewalks and
nightclubs. She was kiss-
ing everyone. I couldn't
help but be jealous. She
was supposed to be mine! I had to have her
So I made a date. It was a weekend ren-
dezvous really, just a quickie. It wasn't going
to mean anything. We knew that in advance.
She had what I like and I knew how to get
her to deliver.
So I opened her up, a cute little pack of
Camel straights, unfiltered, down at Leopold
Bros. I got a beer and took the first drag.
Harsh. Acrid. Marvelous! Oh, come back to
papa baby! I know how to treat you right!
And boy did she know how to please.
I was swimming in her ocean, in that lan-
guid Sea of Nicotine just off the coast of par-
adise. How I missed that feeling, like a wave
of dulling cotton in my brain. I imagined I
was in one of those pressure chambers for
autistic kids, where the walls close in all
padded and secure, like a little closet of
solipsism. Too sweet. I became the tobacco.
But this was not the same feeling I'd had
three months before, nor was it the same
woman I had left three months ago after com-
pleting a smoking cessation course to rid me
of her cancerous presence. She was strong,
like a long-lost cousin in the tobacco family.
More potent, more primal, more pre-industri-
al or pre-Columbian --- more psychotropic,
like tobacco grew before its strength was
bred out for commodification. This little dar-
ling had slipped through Big Tobacco's
addictive infrastructure to reclaim my alle-
giance with a renewed vengeance. I chain
smoked to take her all in. And that's when
things got weird.
What follows is cloudy, but I'll try to
relate this tale as a warning to those who
would succumb to this seductress.
Lady Nicotine waltzed on like a banshee,
doing a curtain dance from across the room.
She had an illusory female presence, all Hol-
lywood like Ingrid Bergman.
I said "show yourself," in a voice that was
all but controlled by her. "Tell me who you
"I am you," said she.
She winked and placed her arms around
me. Claws deep. Those hooks I remembered.
Addictive sensuality had me and I gave in,
taking in the sweet smell of her worn leather
drenched in stale smoke. I closed my eyes.
Lady Nicotine gently bit my lips and plunged
an ashtray tongue into my mouth. As our lips
prayed, I met a mouth framed by a rich stub-
bly ruggedness. Stubble? What is this?
I opened my eyes to the beautiful demon
and took him in. His broad, scruffy chin
rubbed mine. His thin cheeks brushed past
mine and his pungent was breath in me.
"Who are you," I scoffed. "The .Marlboro
"Come here cowboy," he heaved as he
grabbed my waist and pulled it toward his
own. "Are we really gonna do this thing?"
"You're a man," I wheezed, as my mind
flooded with all the memories of an abusive
His eyes pierced me to my nicotine-
addicted core. "You sound surprised queenie*
You've been sucking my big white wand all
"But didn't you die of cancer?" I said,
He grabbed me tighter. "No, the actor
who played me on TV died. But my presence
lives on," he said, offering me another ciga-
Suddenly I wanted him. He had me and 1
had no choice but to run, willy-nilly like an
angel in love to the wall of the bar. And I
gave him the deepest drag I've ever given
man. Finished and relieved, I lit another ciga-
rette and the player vanished into the night.
It hasn't been the same since. I taste him
every time I hack up a wad of mucus. And
every time I slip into a Marlboro Country
consumer fantasy, I know that I was used.
Do me a favor. Don't give in to this
seducer/seductress. Every time you see a
Marlboro ad, give my friend a little kiss and
throw him in the trash. Let's erase this bas-
Josh Wickerham's column runs every other
Wednesday. Give him feedback at
wwi.michiandailyr.com rum or via
e-mail atjwickerh mich.edu.
Thcr .ar~ eX er.oJI9 4ire. vsrit.'C
Code problems not
fault of student
TO THE DAILY:
Although I commend the Daily's
attempt to protect student rights by high-
lighting some of the many flaws in the
"Code," its March 5 editorial ("A call to
action: Students should unite to oppose
Code," 3/5/01) was ridiculous.
If the Daily were truly familiar with the
history of Michigan's student conduct
code, you would know that the name
change to "Statement of Student Rights
and Responsibilities" is not really a
change, but simply a reversion to the origi-
nal title. (The title "Code of Student Con-
duct" was adopted in 1995, during the first
round of major revisions.) Furthermore,
although they are critical flaws, the
allowance of hearsay, lack of advocates
and use of the clear and convincing evi-
dence standard have been part of the Code
since its inception; they are not the fault of
University President Lee Bollinger.
More importantly, the Daily seems to
have reached the conclusion that the real
enemies here are the student panelists who
facilitate the arbitration process. In my
experience serving as a panelist for two
years, nothing could be further from the
truth. The panelists with whom I interacted
were all thoughtful individuals who were
less than pleased about the possibility of
sanctioning a fellow student.
Rather than ignoring that the Code
exists, however, panelists choose to
improve the process from within, by ensur-
ing that the process is fair and the assump-
tion of innocence is kept alive and well
during the process. I don't know if this is
still true, but many (if not most) of the ear-
lier panelists were chosen by their respec-
tive student governments precisely because
these were people who opposed the Code
and would protect students' rights when
Again, I applaud the Daily's attempt to
educate students about their rights and
responsibilities under the Code. Next time,
however, the Daily should do its home-
Daily sadly lacking
To THE DAILY:
Well, we're all in that weird liminal
pre-spring, post-winter funk. Our universi-
ty's president is ready to hightail it over to
those Ivy League e wussies at Harvard like
a shallow Fitzgeraldian cotillion date, the
basketball team is sending us to the the-
saurus for "deplorable" (see "horrifying,"
"wretched," "disastrous" and my personal
favorite, "afflictive"), the Royal Shake-
speare Company has apparently decided
that the Ann Arbor landscape is too bleak
to perform "Richard Ill" more than once
and the melted snow has uncovered some
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Thomas, who first came to national
attention in his celebrated role as Ricardo
Tubbs on NBC's hit 1980s drama "Miami
Vice," is out there someplace and with him
resides a little bit of platonic calm and
peace for all of us. Who could squint with
more soulful and introspective profundity?
Who could size up a desperate exigency
with greater cool? Who could better pull
off those dark blue Italian suits than Philip
Michael Thomas? The answer, of course, is
As the Daily staff well knows, it is a
newspaper's ethical obligation to provide
its readership with the most timely and rel-
evant news and Daily - mark my words
- not another week should go by without
some kind of update on TV's Philip
Michael Thomas. He is what we're miss-
ing, he is the cynosure for our collective
happiness, he is the nexus for our broken
spirit, our catharsis-waiting-to-happen, our
through by various bullies and tormentors.
And although some of it was pretty funny,
a small laugh is not worth the psychologi-
cal pain that those kids had to go through.
A lot of meek lives have been worsened
and even completely ruined by such tor-
Charles Andy Williams, who "terror-
ized Santana High School" may just have
been one meek kid who wasn't going to
take it anymore. He ruined (read: Ended)
two students' lives with his little black
revolver, but I think he was acting in the
defense of his own life. And although our
esteemed president calls Williams' act a
"disgraceful act of cowardice" I would
argue that it was actually a timely
reminder. It was a reminder that "blessed
are the meek" and that if you forget this
you may be reminded by the business end
of a black revolver.
Your own morals should tell you to be
compassionate towards the meek, but if
they don't then the fear of getting shot*
might help. Or if that's too complicated for
you then just remember my version of the
golden rule: Don't fuck with others and
they won't fuck with you.
U shouldn't use
OSU to justify ticket
TO THE DAILY:
I find it disturbing that the University
plans to significantly raise ticket prices
again. While a nominal increase every year
or two would be acceptable, that has not
been the case. Poor management of the ath-
letic department has led to significant price
hikes (or at least attempted hikes). I find it
offensive that part of the justification for
raising the ticket prices is that it would be
more in line with Ohio State University
and other Big Ten schools.
Since when did Michigan want to emu-
late OSU in anything? Maybe we should
try and run our programs more efficiently.
Alas as an alumnus, fan and season ticket
holder I will of course pay any increase for
those six precious fall Saturdays. Just
please don't ask me to pay it because the
University is trying to be like Ohio State.
shooting was 'timely
Amaker is wrong
choice for 'U'
To THE DAILY:
I was recently alarmed by the develop-
ment that Michigan is considering Tommy
Amaker as the next men's basketball
coach. Amaker is undeniably a goo
recruiter and that certainly would help
Michigan, as he could potentially attract
top talent from the Midwest. However, this
season, with such talented players as Eddie
Griffin, Marcus Tony-El, Andre Barret and
Darius Lane, Seton Hall has under-
achieved. The Pirates have lacked chem-
istry and almost missed the Big East
Conference tournament. Their own confer-
Additionally, I give Amaker credit for*
Seton Hall's tournament run last year, yet
had Darius Lane and Ty Shine not gotten
hot, who knows if Seton Hall would have
advanced as far as they did. Overall, Seton
Hall has lacked discipline and the players
have been disorganized on the court. Some
would cite the fact that the Hall's three
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