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January 29, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-29

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 29, 2002

OP/ED

0

C4be irbih1Wau &uttlg

4Z0 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
t If the Americans
keep our countrymen
in better conditions,
then we will better
the conditions of Mr.
Pearl and all other
Americans that we
capture."
The National Movementfor Restoration of
Pakistani Sovereignty's ransom note for
Robert Pearl, the Wall Street Journal's
kidnapped south Asia bureau chief; as
quoted in The Times of London.

bjrkex-5 Z k

exac{Atcoat\
AAA to'arn

O O

------

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.

do we

iV

A

0

The thrill of conspiracy, the agony of Salt Lake
GEOFFREY GAGNON G-OLOGY
ry spending seven indictments for bribery and conspiracy - oh ing Committees Code of Ethics that stipulates
years and over a bil- yeah, it also led to Salt Lake being awarded the that the Olympics would not institute land bar-
lion dollars to throw 2002 games. tering - not to mention facilitate property
an international athletic During the next seven years Olympic orga- exchanges worth tens of millions of dollars as
party with thousands of for- nizers spent more time in courtrooms than on this one reportedly was.
eign guests and hundreds of ski slopes as the Department of Justice launched Technical land deals aside, the excitement
thousands of spectators and an embarrassing and costly investigation. To of the games was again on display as tempers
'><you're bound to run into a date the Salt Lake Organizing Committee has flared in November 2000 when the U.S.
few snags along the way - forked out a full million dollars more to pay Olympic Committee and Brighton Ski Resort
for Olympic organizers, the attorneys than it has spent on training over - scheduled home to the games' ski events -
challenge comes with the game, so to speak. 26,000 volunteers for the games. In sum the took a disagreement over a promotional web-
Yet when the 18th Winter Olympics stum- SLOC covered a legal tab of over $4.2 million site to district court. This came on the heels df
ble into Salt Lake City in 10 days it'll be the on scandal-connected fees including payments the resort's posting of billboards in Salt Lake
culmination of months of controversy and years to a squad of attorneys that could have manned City that made fun of the city's polygamist
of scandal over the Salt Lake games that appear several countries' bobsleds next month. roots as well as signs that poked fun at the bid
to have been surprisingly forgotten even before But the Olympic thrill hasn't stopped with scandal with phrases like "You don't need an
they've started. But before you shed tears for the the Department of Justice's probe or with the Olympic Committee to get into this school," -
Olympic Games that never bloomed, consider shame of buying the games. The flames of elec- apparently playing off of news that Salt Lake
the exciting path they took to get here. trifying excitement that only the Olympic games Olympic promoters paid for the children of
Say what you will about the glory of intema- can provide 'have been fanned by bogus land some International Olympic Committee mem-
tional competition, about the thrill of victory deals, wild charges of road rage against an orga- bers to attend college. Brighton Ski Resort mar-
and the agony of defeat set against the mani- nizer who beat a pedestrian in the street, petty keting chief Wes Spiker told the Salt Lake
cured backdrop of television booths and sappy lawsuits over misguided jokes and claims last Tribune that research showed that consumers
music-laden slow-motion highlights - for this week of abuse from animal activists who've only remember ads that are really funny or real-
year's games, the excitement was played out been chasing the Olympic torch across the ly awful - "We wanted to be remembered as
simply in the journey to Salt Lake. country. one of the really funny ones."
The thrill of competition for Olympic fans Critics of the Salt Lake organizers, many of And try as they might to legitimize the
began nearly a decade ago when Salt Lake City whom are Salt Lake City residents themselves, games and forget years of scandal, it seems that
officials began their efforts to bring the have long been vocal in pointing out just how the journey to this year's Olympic games will
Olympics to Utah. That's when federal prosecu- unscrupulous event organizers have been. be remembered the same way; as one of the
tors say that Salt Lake executives, anxious for Beyond the initial bribery that brought the really funny ones. If anything, the folks in Salt
their own chances at Olympic "gold," bribed games to Utah, critics point to quieter scandals Lake are learning to be careful what sort of
Olympic organizers with vacations and hun- like a questionable land deal between local busi- mess you conspire, bribe and scam your way to
dreds of thousands of dollars in order to secure a nessman Earl Holding and the federal govern- earn - you might just get it.
bid to host the 2002 games. The scandal rocked ment who conspired, critics say, to trade over
the formerly altruistic world of amateur athletics 1,000 acres of Forest Service land. The deal Geoffrey Gagnon can be reached via
with a trail of money that eventually led to reportedly violates the 1994 Salt Lake Organiz- e-mailat ggagnon@umich.edu.
Engendering respect
AUBREY HENRETTY NEUROTICA
've always thought of We said hello to our friend, who thanked us somes and all the requisite appendages- but
the ladies' room as a for coming and told us that Fred "God Hates I think it's great if you like girls. Really! I
sacred institution: A Fags" Phelps was in town; he'd been snooping mean, more boys for me, right? Ha, ha. Love
haven, if you will, for around while they were setting up. They invit- those biological males. In fact, I have two
blind date refugees and ed him back for the show. Saved him a seat at boyfriends right now. Three, actually. Do you
unabashed tampon front and center. He stayed away the rest of the have any girlfriends? Just the one? That's
exchanges. A place to night. great!"
laugh, a place to cry ... a Our friend introduced us to his friends. I I told myself to cut it out. The show was
place to give (and receive) smiled and silently vowed not to say anything starting.
impromptu self-esteem cri- dumb. It took me a few minutes, but I eventually
sis-aversion therapy between classes. Race, For the first time since middle school, I was calmed down and stopped trying to figure out
religion and economic status are of little conse- terribly concerned about how I looked to whether the people in the show were "really"
quence in the ladies' room; as long as you have everyone else. Would they all hate me if they male or female. I realized my ten minutes of
to sit when you pee, your neighbor will gladly knew I was thinking these ridiculous, needless- itchy silence about my affinity for boys paled
pass the toilet paper under the stall without so ly defensive thoughts? Could they tell just by in comparison to the years of silence many of
much as a snicker. Estrogen is thicker than looking at me? Now that I thought about it, the people in this room probably spent hiding
water, is it not? why was I thinking those things? First of all, I who they were from the world.
Around this time last year, I removed my knew that "gay" and "transgendered," while That's when one of the emcees made the
head from the clouds just long enough to catch not mutually exclusive identities, were not the crack about getting kicked out of bathrooms. I
a glimpse of a different perspective. A friend same thing; it was possible that none of the don't remember exactly what she said, but it
invited my brother and me to a Queer Visibili- people I met were gay. was something that made everyone laugh sym-
ty Week event called the Gender Bender But even if they were, what was the big pathetically, as though they got kicked out of
Revue - a variety show minus all that silly deal? Why the sudden urge to profess my sex- bathrooms - because their genders didn't
socially constructed gender stuff. "I'm reading ual orientation like it was my religion? I had appear to match the labels on the doors - all
poetry," he said. "Bring friends." gay friends (not in a "some of my best friends the time. I was taken aback. It seemed such a
So we went: Two confused-looking gen- are gay" sort of way) and I was completely grave injustice to ask a lady to leave (or attack
der-unambiguous straight kids at a Lesbian, cool with their gayness. Wasn't I? Was it all an her or drag her violently from) her sanctuary
Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered event. My act? Was I homophobic? Xenophobic? Panto- when all she needed was a tampon or a pep
brother asked me if I was nervous at all. I phobic? Did I have a future lugging signs talk or a good laugh. Denying any lady these
responded the way any self-respecting sister around with Phelps and his band of unwitting bare necessities is tantamount to withholding
would: I teased. "Ha, ha! You're afraid of all pre-pubescent accomplices? toilet paper: Vindictive, selfish and disgraceful
the gay people!" Apprehensive? Me? Certain- With each introduction, I felt an over- to my gender. Sacrilegious, one might say.
ly not. More like open-minded and accepting whelming desire to grin goofily, stick out my Remember to worship peacefully.
and perfectly secure in my gender identity and hand and blurt something like, "Hi, there!
sexual orientation, thank you very much. Per- Nice to meet you! I like boys, myself - I Aubrey Henretty can be reached via
fectly. Shut up or I'll kick you. mean actual physical boys with Y chromo- e-mail at ahenrett@umich.edu.
V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

If I-banking is 'socially
dubious', so is the
medical profession
To THE DAILY:
I think everyone at this university owes
James Yu ("No pity for B-school students: I-
Banking 'socially dubious,"' 1/23/02) our
gratitude for not choosing a "socially dubi-
ous" path such as I-Banking. Obviously
Yu's enrollment in the medical school is
based solely on his philanthropic nature, and
has nothing to do with the sizeable income
of many doctors.
Please. The only thing more offensive
than Yu's labeling of I-Banking (or any pro-
fession) as "socially dubious" is the
hypocrisy Yu demonstrates when he sug-
gests that I-Bankers ask for forgiveness for

of time.
Perhaps Yu is made of a character most
of us are not. I have a sneaking suspicion
though that this is simply a case of an "ide-
alist" thumbing his nose at another for
something he himself would do.
Ironic how easy it is to criticize the faults
in others what we overlook in ourselves,
isn't it?
ERIK HELGESEN
LSA freshman
Students, educators
need to push for
elimination of DMCA
To THE DAILY:
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
has had a chilling effect on technology, edu-

The result of the DMCA is enormously
expensive legal battles with industry giants
like the Recording Industry Association of
America and the Motion Picture Assocation
of America and infringement on the fair use
and first-sale rights of the consumers. One
example of this infringement worthy of seri-
ous concern is copy protected CDs. These
CDs are purposely created with corrupt sec-
tions of data. Most audio CD players will
skip over this, but it does prevent most com-
puters from reading the CD for playback,
copying, or conversion to MP3. Of course,
this leads to two immediate problems. First,
the CD is no longer a true CD as it is corrupt,
like buying a scratched CD. Second, the
sound quality is decreased by the errors. This
is where the power of the DMCA becomes
truly overreaching. The DMCA says that if
we try to correct these errors or skip over
them, we are breaking the law because the
errors are a form of copy protection. I

-,.,

a

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