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November 29, 2001 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-29

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V V. V V

V V W w w V

. -"W


6B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, November 29, 2001


A s many of you know,
Thanksgiving was last week.
These are the things I'm
thankful for:
1) I'm thankful that I was born a
2) I'm thankful that I live in the
United States of America, the great-
est nation in world, where women
aren't required to completely cover
their bodies in public, and men
aren't required to have a beard long
enough to be grabbed in a fist. It's
not that I don't dig facial hair, it's
just that I can't grow any. I'm not a
hairy person.
3) I'm thankful that I'm not aller-
gic to any specific foods.
4) I'm thankful that my girlfriend,
D-Town Dana, is of the physical
type that other men find attractive.
Personally, looks don't matter to me
in a life partner; I've been with
women of all shapes, sizes, colors
and levels of society-defined
"attractiveness," and the only things
that matter to me at this stage in my
life are kindness and the ability to
hold a conversation. But it does

make me feel like a big man to walk
into a public place and have all the
guys jerk their
heads around as
if to say "Who's
the big dirty
pimp with the
hot blonde?"
It's me, fellas.
I'm that big
dirty pimp.
5) I'm thank-
.,i ful that I'm a
student at the
Ben University of
Goldstein Michigan. No
matter what the
Sick! newspapers,
college guides,
travel books and residents say, this is
a great place. And as if Ann Arbor
didn't have enough going for it,
Ypsilanti - or as I like to call it,
"Paradise City" - is only a short
bus ride away. On a related note, I'm
thankful that I'm graduating on
6) I'm thankful for my wonderful
family. True, my mother starts drink-

ing the moment she gets out of bed
(or more often, pulls herself off the
bathroom floor), I can't talk to my
father without it resulting in an argu-
ment which escalates into a physical
fight and I haven't seen my sister in
six years, but compared to my
friends' families we're the god-
damned Cleavers.
7) I'm thankful for vinyl windows.
They help reduce energy costs,
they're durable as hell, they maintain
their beauty for many years with
only a minimum of cleaning and
care and they operate smoothly in
any weather. They're God's win-
8) I'm thankful that I have mob
ties and can have people killed.
So that's it, eight things. Now,
onto the column.
Thanksgiving day, I'm at my
cousin Susie's house in lovely
Romeoville, Ill., cold kickin' it with
the extended family, when one of my
pagers goes off. It was a number I
had never seen before. I dial it up on
the cell, and it turns out to be D-
Town Dana, calling from a pay

phone. From the moment I heard her
nervous, heavy breathing, I knew
what had happened. Other than
being a tiger in the sack, D-Town is
also a degenerate gambler. She bets
more than she can afford to lose; it's
a problem.
"I'm in trouble again," she says,
"big trouble. Benny, you gotta help
"How much?" I'm trying to b6
patient and understanding, but I get
a call like this from her about every
other week, and there I was just a
moment ago, completely at peace,
eating some great food, surrounded
by my loving family, with my girl-
friend's gambling addiction as the
thing furthest from my mind. "Is it
more than last time?" I took her
silence to mean that it was. "Well?
How much?"
"God damn it, who woulda
thought the Lions would lose ten
straight? It was their last
Thanksgiving at the Silverdome, for
crying out loud. They were due for a
"Dana, tell me how much."
"Fifty thousand. The gangsters
want it in small bills. I told them
you'd be here in six hours."
"Well, I don't know if I can help
you this time. I'm a little low right
"Benny, you have to! They said
they'd kill Tahoe and, and ... they
said they'd break my legs!" Tahoe is
her golden retriever. Nice dog.
"They were probably just bluff-
"OK, OK, fine, jeez. I'll be there
as soon as I can."
As you probably could have
guessed, I folded yet again, made
some excuse as to why I had to leave
everyone so early, made the trip
from Romeoville, Ill., to Royal Oak,
Mich., in just under five and a half



Mi-"1.',N RCIEST
13 ]miles off Breadway
a c.necti.n .t"f cet.eprar Br*a*wa7 hts
uxday, December 2, 7:00pm
Michigax Theater
rickets available at MUTO (Michigax Uxioj
Ticket Office) aid at the doer
c5 for students, M general advissio

hours, and found Dana at the pay
phone booth she had called me from,
which was lit up by the headlights of
the Escalade that was idling in front
of it.
I jumped out of my Bentley, brief-
case in hand. Coming out of the
Escalade to meet me was one of the
gangsters, who, as it happened, kind
of looked like Aaron Lewis of the
band Staind, but edgier. He had a
tattoo of a naked woman on his fore-
arm. She danced when he flexed.
"It's always so nice to do business
with you, Ben," he said, taking the
briefcase from me. "But here's a bit
of advice. If you don't want to be
broke for the rest of your life, ditch
D-Town. She can't be worth it."
I looked over at her - she was
timidly peeking out of the phone
booth - and knew that she was. "It's
all there," I said. "I counted it three
"Well don't worry," the Aaron
Lewis-looking gangster said. "If it's
not, we'll find you." After a
sequence of threatening hand-and-
arm gestures, ranging from the old-
standby finger-across-throat and
equally reliable fist-punching-into-
hand, to a more obscure (yet just as
menacing) elephant trunk impres-
sion, he walked back to his ride. But
before opening the door and getting
in, he turned around and said, "And
another thing, Ben. Your column two
weeks ago sucked." He laughed a
villainous laugh and jumped inside
the Escalade, which screeched back
into the black November oilslick
night from which it came. Dana ran
out of the phone booth, noticeably
embarrassed, talking all kinds of shit
about "this is the last time" and
"never again" and "let me make it up
to you," but I wasn't in the mood to
hear it.
I waited until the brake lights of
the Escalade snapped on in the dis-
tance, . which I knew they would
when the gangsters discovered that
the briefcase was not full of cash. I
squeezed the remote detonator that
was in my pocket. Boom. Bang.
Kablooey. Have you ever seen an
Escalade explode at night? It kind of
reminds you of the awesome power
of God.
So, the gangsters were toast, D-
Town Dana was safe and debt-free
and once again I had saved
Thanksgiving. We rode home in my
Bentley, Dana and I, not saying a
word to each other.
Private to the gangsters: You want
a war? Come and get it.
- Ben Goldstein can be reached at
bjgoldst@umich.edu. Very little of the
above story is true. But yes, ifyou
were wondering, there was a bomb in
the briefcase.
W ...iN't }ND
BAR M:j}'nZVA::SiiS~i::? ! S t}:i itijtJi?$}d

Absolute carnage.
Grade: A
Grand Theft
Auto 3
For Playstation 2
Rockstar Games

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By Matt Grandstaff
Weekend, Etc. Editor
Warning: The following is a review
for the most disturbing, inappropriate
and violent game of all-time.
For those who didn't run off to
mommy, here is what you can expect
from Rockstar's latest installment of
their "Grand Theft Auto" series:

The game
begins with your
character set up
during a bank
heist and caught
by the cops.
Fortunately, while
being transferred
via armored truck,
a group of bad

dudes jack the cops that are escorting
you, allowing you to make a getaway.
Upon escaping from the cops your
quest to make it big in the crime world
begins. Throughout the game, your
character must seek out "jobs" from
pimps, drug dealers and the Mafia. Jobs
include escorting hookers, raiding drug
cartels and killing off anyone the mob
wants you to. Similar to games like
"Crazy Taxi" and "Driver," these mis-
sions are accomplished by driving
around and following a map to get to
your destination. What makes this espe-
cially fun is that you can steal and drive
any car you see. This makes for a great
variety of getaway plans, from hitting
jumps with a squad car to running over
everything in sight with an 18-wheeler.
But unlike "Crazy Taxi" and
"Driver," the game is not restricted to
driving cars. While the insane car chas-
es, drive-by shootings and back seat
action with prostitutes (which replen-
ishes your health) are good enough to
be a game itself, the best elements of
"Grand Theft Auto 3" are done on foot.
When on foot, your character can do
anything he wants: Stop traffic, steal
cars and mess with anyone who gets in
his way.
Saying that you can mess with every-
day people is actually an understate-
ment. While on foot, your character can
beat the living crap out of the homeless,
elderly and anyone else who dares to
walk the mean streets of Liberty City.
To make things more chaotic, your
character has access to weapons that
include various guns, a bazooka, a base-
Food for Thought
Iraq Embargo
Iraq is allowed to import
medical equipment as
an exception to the U.N.
embargo. In 1998 Iraq
ordered 6 lithotripter
kidney stone machines,
and 120 extra switches
as "spare parts". The
switches can be used to
detonate atomic bombs.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors

The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Th
Controversial Grand Theft Auto 3' a must-pl

ball bat and even a flame-thrower.
While these weapons come in handy
when trying to complete a mission, they
can also lead to ridiculous cold-blooded
While going on killing sprees is not
the true objective of the game, it might
be the most fun part of "Grand Theft
Auto 3." This is because as you beat and
kill innocent bystanders, your police
awareness meter moves up which leads
to insanely fun police manhunts. One
star on the meter: A few cops to deal
with ... no problem. Two stars: More
cops ... grab a shotgun. Three stars: A
police helicopter ... bust out the 'zook
and take it down. Four stars: Armored
trucks ... ram them with a fire truck.
Five stars: Here comes the federal
agents ... give them the flame-thrower.
Finally, six stars: Bring in the Army and
expect World War III.
With all this senseless violence and
mayhem, "Grand Theft Auto 3" resem-
bles some of the best known crimes
films, such as "Scarface," "Goodfellas"
and "Heat." This is further produced by
the music and voices in the game. When
driving around, you can flip through the
radio dial to find several songs from the
movie "Scarface" on Flashback FM.
These tunes will have you singing out
"Rush, rush to the yayo" in no time.
Aside from Flashback, the game fea-
tures a variety of stations including a
hilarious talk radio station called
Chatterbox. Aside from hearing decent
tunes and talk radio, the stations include
some of the funniest radio advertise-
ments ever, most notably for
Petsovernight.com, who "bring you lit-
tle bundles of love in a box ... meow."
As for the voice talents in the game,
there are many notable actors who con-
tribute to "Grand Theft Auto 3" making
it more like crime movies. The voice
talents include the likes of Robert
Loggia from "Scarface," Joe Pantoliano
from "The Sopranos" and appropriate
for this game, Mr. Blonde himself from
"Reservoir Dogs" Michael Madsen.
With these actors and the unbelievable
cut-scenes in the game, "Grand Theft
Auto 3" ranks right up there with the
golused .com
W iGeatPrzes
Don't be shy.
wins sumpthin'
real nice.

"Metal Gear Solid" games for cinemat-
ic realism.
As for the graphics and layout of the
game, "Grand Theft Auto 3" is both
beautiful and big. In fact, your character
can explore every nook and cranny of
Liberty City, with each block of the city
detailed to perfection. With such a vast
city holding various missions, the game
will have those able to stomach the vio-
lence playing it for months. For those
interested in buying the game, pick it up
now. Like other controversial titles,
such as "Mortal Kombat,""Grand Theft
Auto 3" is beginning to receive bad
press because of the impact it could
have on kids. Recent occurrences of
youth violence and complaints from
parents are causing stores to pull this
great game off the shelf.
Every Saturdayewning,join the
Canterbury House fr an eclectic mix of
Ann Arbors bet sound art free ja7,
contemporary classical and new music.
)ec. 1
Jazz and beyond
Dec. 5
Mixed media and Improvisation
Dec. 14
Graduate recital
Dec. 15
Contemporary cello duets
Dec. 22 & 29
Shows tart bpm. Mmi5ion is $5,
$3 for students, wth poceeds benefitting
the Ann Aror Hunger Coalition.
Sunday evenings at 5p.m..altemative worship
featuring the music of Sun Ra, Mingus, Coltrane
and others, with live music by Stephen ush
and Quartex
Froqressivc Christianity:
Open, Curious, LGBT FriendIy
721 E. Huron
One block east of State Street
(734) 665-0606
Free Parking (limited space)

Looks like a nice day for a walk with the '

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