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November 30, 2001 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-30

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 29, 2001



Ageism takes center stage
in Lee ansnwFoul'rn

Cleveland given
fictional forum in

By Ryan Blay
Daily Arts Writer
On December 2, 1996, 64-year-old college
football coach Joe Moore found out that he
wouldn't be returning to coach Notre Dame foot-

Richard Lieberman
Grade: B-
Academy Chicago

ball's offensive line once his
contract ran out. This is a
normal occurrence in sports,
but in coach Moore's case,
something was wrong.
According to Moore, head
coach Bob Davie refused to
keep him on staff because of
Moore's age.
Moore turned to Richard
Lieberman, an attorney who
generally only represents cor-
porations. But he made an
exception to take the case of
Moore against Notre Dame, a
considerable giant in the

connected with Notre Dame, including new offen-
sive line coach Jim Colletto and Father William
Beauchamp, the Notre Dame executive in charge
of the athletic department, is a slimeball.
Lieberman saves his best mudslinging for
coach Davie. The impression the reader gets from
Lieberman and Moore is one of a Bill Clinton-
esque politician, a man around whom you must
watch your back. With each casual mention of a
Notre Dame loss, each contradiction at trial, the
fearless attorney sticks another skewer in the
handsome but evil football coach. By the end of
the book, it's amazing this man isn't imprisoned
for cruelty!
Without the objectivity an author can normally
provide, the work relies on two foundations:
Lieberman's writing skills and the suspense of the
trial. The trial is indeed quite fascinating, as are
the events - via the media and in court -- lead-
ing up to the actual trial. Lieberman's writing,
however, leaves something to be desired. Besides
overplaying the David vs. Goliath issue, some-
thing a fun legal author like John Grisham would
try to avoid, Lieberman also tends to let his emo-
tion seep through and bog down his narrative.
Using football metaphors to rally troops is fine,
but readers don't need these heavy handed literary
devices to see that he is defending the little guy
from the forces of athletic evil.
But if Davie is the devil in disguise, then Joe
Moore must be a saint, right? Well, maybe, maybe
not. Moore did have some blemishes on his
record (Lieberman, like a good lawyer, glosses
over these blemishes), which proves what every
sports fan should know: There are no angels in

By Carmen Johnson
Daily Arts Writer
So why did Mark Winegardner
write a 561-paged novel on Cleve-

Mark Winegardner
Grade: B+

sports world. "Personal Foul" is Lieberman's
account of his struggles to bring Moore's case to
trial and secure the coach a reward against the
football powerhouse.
When "objectivity" is mentioned, the first word
to come to mind is definitely not "attorney."
Lieberman even states in his introduction that he
is telling Moore's side of the story, and invites
Notre Dame to disclose its side. This was a wise
thing to do, because to present this account as
anything more than one-sided would have been a
joke. It's surprising how everybody associated
with the Moore family is "warm" and everybody

athletics - college or pro. This seems to be the
lesson everyone should take away from this book.
It's sad, but also necessary, to remind sports buffs
that behind the scenes not everything is as rosy as
it seems in the stands or on TV. It was pretty
much certain that, whether or not Notre Dame
won the trial (I won't spoil the ending for those
who aren't aware of the decision), it lost simply
by having its dirty laundry exposed.
In the end, the book is probably worth a read
for the sake of learning about some interesting lit-
igation. Age discrimination is a difficult case to
prove. Convincing non-sports fans to pick up the
book will be difficult, although Lieberman does
do a fair job explaining the football jargon. "Per-
sonal Foul" is a fair read, but hardly stands out
from the pack, save for its authenticity.

land? And why
are people read-
ing it?
'Cause he
obviously likes
the place, and
he's proved to be
a good story-
teller, even
though he may
tell a familiar
In "Crooked
River Burning,"
Winegardner fol-
lows the lives of
star - crossed
lovers David
Anne O'Connor,

Zielinsky and

Dorothy Fuldheim and newspaper
mogul Louie Seltzer are also men-
tioned. Even the Cuyahoga river has
a part in this story. "The Cuyahoga
clotted with black freighters, kinked
as a great beast's spilled intestine,
glowing green and yellow. It was a
beautiful damn thing."
However, this novel is not unbe-
lievable or too consequential, it's just
a new way of looking at Cleveland.
We know it's America's greatest joke
but we may not know especially why
or why not. Winegardner avoids just
explaining why this is such a fabu-
lous city, because he doesn't lie, the
city isn't that fabulous. "As far as the
eye can see stretched a crooked val-
ley: A tenebrous wonderland carpet-
ed with smokestacks and tank farms,
drawbridges, ore trains, and every
stippled color of smoke and fire you
could imagine." Cleveland's eras and
social change merely drives the plot
Winegardner, whose influences
include Raymond Carver and John
Updike, has written mostly non-fic-
tion. Preferring fiction, he suggests
that more stories with a Cleveland
backdrop is on the way. After
researching for five years, even
speaking to Congressman Louis
Stokes about his brother Carl, the
first African-American big-city
mayor, he's got enough details.
Growing up in Ohio, but never actu-
ally living in Cleveland, Winegardner
is now a professor and director of the
creative writing program at Florida
State University in Tallahassee, Fla.
From reading this novel, you'll get
more than a love story or a Cleve-
land social history lesson, you'll be
entertained. Written with footnotes,
humor and often sarcastic under-
tones, it's worth all 561 pages.

Ginsberg serves up life of a Waitress'

By Marie Bernard
Daily Arts Writer
If you've done it, then you know
how it is, and it has changed the
way you dine out forever. You are
aware of the subtle psychological
games that servers play with their
guests. You can recognize the mis-
erable families or bickering Valen-
tine's Day dates at your tables. You
are familiar with the curse of a
slow kitchen, the horrors of Sunday
nights, the people-who-want-con-
drink-refills and the sexual tension

that runs rampant through restau-
rant staff.
Waiting tables is one of the most
popular jobs for young people; it
offers great pay, immediate cash,
and lucrative nighttime shifts. In
fact, many people find this so
appealing that they end up waiting
tables for their entire lives. Debra
Ginsberg is one of those people,
and she has written it all down in
her memoir "Waiting: The True
Confessions of a Waitress."
As Ginsberg states, late in her
novel, "Waiting tables had support-
ed me nicely for a long time. So

long, in fact, that I'd made no
attempt to do anything else."
The book is an engaging and a
fun read. It chronicles nearly 20

Waiting: The
of a Waitress
Debra Ginsberg
Grade: A-

years of wait-
ing tables, from
the Catskills
owned with her
parents to a
five-star Italian
restaurant. As
she switches
boyfriends and
r oomm at e s,
one thing

tion of the meal." she recalls. "I
doubt that some of these patrons
would expect the same from their
closest relatives."
In the epilogue, Ginsberg recalls
meeting a waitress at a book sign-
ing in New York City. "I bought a
copy of your book," she said, "and
all the waitresses I work with
bought a copy, too. It is our
bible." It is not hard to see how
this could happen.
The stories of sex in the walk-in
freezer, the terror that is Mother's
Day, presenting dirty silverware to
guests and the false personalities
servers develop for the table.
Although the strength of Gins-
berg's anecdotes could carry the
book, the addition of her personal
life makes every page richer.
"Waiting" is not a literary mas-
terpiece, but it is an admirable and
well-written chronicle of a profes-
sion and a life. Debra Ginsberg's
voice is logical and consistent; her
story is entertaining from start to
finish. And we are constantly
aware of the double meaning
behind her title; waiting tables as
we wait for our "real" lives to

growing up with different back-
grounds in Cleveland. Starting in
1948, the year the Cleveland Indians
won their last World Series, Wine-
gardner describes the contrasting
lives of David and Anne. David was
raised by his aunt and uncle in a
working-class area and Anne was the
daughter of a Cuyahoga County
political boss.
David and Anne meet as teenagers
because of a mutual enthusiasm for a
brand new type of music called rock
'n' roll. Yet their class difference
keeps them apart. David goes
through a rocky marriage with a girl
from his neighborhood while Anne
pursues her ambition to become a
war correspondent. David, who had
always dreamt of being mayor,
becomes a reformist city council-
man. When they meet years later,
change has dissolved many social
barriers. Anne and David can love
each other as equals.
Yet this love story is only a part of
it. At times, the city of Cleveland
and its history seem to overshadow
the main characters. Winegardner
weaves in famous Clevelanders like
Alan Freed, who deejayed at the
world's first rock concert in 1951 in
a hockey venue, and Bill Veeck, who
owned American League teams in
Cleveland, St. Louis and Chicago
from 1946-1980. David and his
uncle even have lunch with Eliot
Ness one afternoon; only years later
does David realize who the "hollow
cheeked man in a once-fashionable
suit" is. Carl Stokes, Satchel Paige,
Jimmy Hoffa, murder suspect Dr.
Sam Sheppard, pioneer TV anchor


remains the
same: She is
always still
She chroni-
cles a "behind-the-scenes" look at
restaurants that will seem familiar
to fellow servers and offer a titil-
lating view for those who've never
ventured past the dining room. She
recognizes that a restaurant is not
only a place to work, but also a
perfect lab in which to investigate
the human condition.
"As a general rule, consumers
expect their servers to be emotion-
ally available enough to pamper
them into a feeling of well-being
that will last for at least the dura-

Lollipop rockers
The Rants at the Pig


Every Saturday eening, join the
Canterbury House for an eclectic mix of
Ann Arbor's best sound art, free jazz,
contemporary classical and new music.
Dec. 1
Jazz and beyond
Dec. &I
Mixed media and Improvisation
Dec. 14
Graduate recital
Dec. 15
Contemporary cello duets
Dec. 22 & 29
Show5Sstart &pm. Mmrission is $5,
$3 for students, with proceeds benefitting
the Ann Arbor Hunger Coalition.
Sunday evenings at 5pm., alternative worship
featuring the music of Sun Ka, Mingus, Coltrane
and others, with live music by Stephen Rush
and Quarrex
progressive Christianity:
Open, Curious, LGOT Friendly
0 t

By Shelia McClear
For The Daily

Come see The
mer Dinosaur Jr.
The Rants
Blind Pig
Tonight at 9:30 p.m.

Rants open for for-
frontman J. Mascis,
who they say is a
Wait, just kid-
ding. Local
twister - pop
favorites The
Rants, make
music that's so
candy-sweet and
exuberant, they
could never say
such a thing.
The Ann
Arbor quartet's
snarky version of

the American rock 'n' roll dream
salutes '50s rock, winks at '60s pop
and then gives the both of them the
finger and decides to do their own
thing. Pay attention, class: If Sly and
the Family Stone were white and spent
all their time hanging out at the roller
rink listening to Beck's Midnite Vul-
tures and Devo, sucking down home-
made acid tabs and caffeine, what
would that add up to? Correct -- that
would be The Rants.
They're like the 1983 Adidas socks
you bought on ebay: Cheap, warm and

damned good looking. Oh, and almost
- but not quite -- retro.
Their nod to kitsch is a musical ver-
sion of pop art. Lyrics like "muscle
cars and cheap sunglasses/bobby socks
and fake mustaches," roll off their
tongues in the same deadpan-yet-cele-
bratory spirit that inspired Andy
Warhol to paint 32 nearly identical
cans of Campbell's soup. Did Warhol
really like those Campbell's soupg
designs, or was he just being sarcastic?
Do The Rants really like doo-wop
melodies and the Talking Heads, or are
they just being clever?
Who cares? As Andy himself said,
"I don't know where the artificial stops
and the real begins." And with lyrics
that take the listener on a journey
through god knows where, like "head-
ed out west, tried to rearrange/sold my
best cowboy shirt for a burrito and
some change/living with hookers,
thugs and toilet seats/drank so much
whiskey, thought that it was drinkin'
me," it's a lot more fun not knowing.
So, everybody's going to be there
this Friday, and we've got our mom's
station wagon and a fake ID. Grab
your best friend and snazziest pair of
shoes and go! The Rants' music won't
prevent you from becoming a scourge
and a menace to society, but they will
slap you silly if you don't dance. Are
you out, or are you in?
' { ''ti p

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