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February 07, 2002 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-07

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10B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend M cite - Thursday, February 7, 2002

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The Michigan Daily - Weled Magazine
BEN GOLDSTEIN - SICK!
"CLOSING THE DEAL"
REUBEN AND THE BUSINESS OF SEDU

EPISODE I: CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE REBEL ALLIANCE
BY JEFF DICKERSON - DAILY ARTS EDITOR

Scenes of space battles between
Rebel X-Wings and Imperial Tie
Fighters have been imprinted on the
__minds of our entertainment savvy gen-
eration. Simultaneously, these sci-fi
images cater to the white majority
while ignoring minority interests.
The numerous characters in the
"Star Wars" universe are ruled by the
human species, more specifically
white males. Two of the main charac-
ters of the saga, Luke Skywalker and
Han Solo, epitomize the image of a
narrative genre severely lacking in
social diversity.
The grandiose award ceremony fol-
lowing the Battle of Yavin illustrates
the problem at hand. Hundreds of mil-
itant rebels stand at attention, not a
non-white face in the crowd, applaud-
ing the medals given to space crackers
Luke and Han..
After the glaring omittance of

minorities in "A New Hope," creator
George Lucas wisely put a minority in
a supporting role for the next install-
ment, "The Empire Strikes Back."
Billy Dee Williams played Lando
Calrissian, a space-age pimp with a
suave mustache and flowing blue
cape. His ghetto was the picturesque
Cloud City, a sterilized villa filled to
the brim with Ugnaughts and ethnic
security guards.
Calrissian never grew out of the
supporting moniker. His appearance in
"Return of the Jedi" may seemed to
have expanded the role of the man, yet
he still served a supplemental position
in the Rebel Alliance even with his
newly acquired title of General.
Never was racism more evident than
in "Return of the Jedi" during the cli-
mactic space battle. The first rebels to
perish are an Asian, an African-
American and a husky pilot.

Courtesy of Lucasfilm
Lando and Han pretend to be fiends.
Meanwhile, the Caucasian pilots slay
numerous Imperial ships with some
fancy flying. Is this how the rebels
define equality?
There is only one way to kill a white
person in "Star Wars" without offend-
ing the ticket paying majority, - slap
on white body armor and snazzy look-
ing helmets and call them
Stormtroopers. In doing so, Lucas
makes the audience comfortable by

labeling these unnamed soldiers "the
enemy."
The societal turmoil of humans in
"Star Wars" are inconsequential when
compared to the ills faced by non-
human characters. Prior to entering
the Mos Eisley Cantina, white knight
Obi-Wan Kenobi declares "You will
never find a more wretched hive of
scum and villainy." As the characters
enter the seedy bar, a pan reveals the
eclectic montage of bizarre aliens. The
proclamation reveals the Jedi Master's
lack of appreciation for the Cantina
regulars, most of who are non-
human.
Wicket, Chief Chirpa, Logray
and the rest of the tree dwelling
Ewoks are relegated to throwing
spears at Imperial scouts in the
forests of Endor. Their assis-
tance is paramount in the bat-
tle against the Empire, yet
Rebel humans look down on
the furry creatures as a prim-
itive species.
Perhaps the most disturb-
ing relationship in the "Star
Wars" saga is between the
stuck up, half witted, scruffy
looking, nerf herder Han Solo
and his devoted accomplice
Chewbacca. The epic master-
slave relationship highlights the
superiority of humans in the "Star
Wars" universe. Close analysis of
the award ceremony reveals
Chewbacca, although standing
alongside Han and Luke in front
of the uniformed mass, does not
receive the honorary medal
bestowed on his friends. Civil
rights tossed right outside the Da:
Millennium Falcon window. kec

Going further down the civil liber-
ties ladder, droids have few if any
rights in the universe fought between
the Rebel Alliance and the Empire. To
illustrate this theory, we must go back
to the Cantina on Tatooine. "We don't
serve their kind," utters the bartender
as C-3PO and R2-D2 come in with
their human counterparts. If the aliens
are "scum and villainy" what does that
make droids?
The Rebel Alliance is no better than
the evil Empire it so vehemently
opposes. Until Asian pilots earn
medals, Chewbacca gains his
freedom and R2-D2 can enter
the Mos Eisley Cantina unoc-
costed, civil rights in the
Rebel Alliance
will remain a
galaxy far,
far away.

dreamt that I had come to the end of
a long journey. Stumbling out of a
dense forest, I arrived at a small
house with a lake behind it. Inside the
house was a woman I had never seen
before. I walked over to touch her and
when I did she melted like wax.
Dripping apart into a puddle on the
floor, her distorting, deforming face
seemed to blame me, to judge me. I tried
to run, but I couldn't find the door. Then,
my own limbs slowly started to melt off
in the same way the woman's entire
body had, and struggling only made
them melt faster. What's worse, I was
naked and late for school.
I woke up drenched in a lukewarm
fluid that I can only assume was sweat.
"What a nightmare!" I exclaimed, push-
ing away the strands of my luxurious
mane of hair that had gathered on my
face. Lying in the bed next to me was a
woman I had never seen before. When I
touched her she made a sound like an
animal. I realized that I wasn't in my
own bed. Rapidly pulling on my pants, I
beat it out of there, running all the way
back to my apartment in Northwood II,
which I share with my twin brother
Reuben.
Reuben always pretends to be
annoyed when I come home in the mid-
dle of the night and wake him up, but I
can tell he loves to hear about my adven-
tures. Call it twin-brother intuition. I
went into his room still out of breath
from the run and I'm like "Reuben,
Reuben, wake up," and he's all "you son
of a bitch!" Luckily he wasn't with his
girlfriend Xian-Xian at the time,
because she always gets pissed when I
bother them at night. Not that I can ever
tell what she's saying. Xian-Xian doesn't
speak a word of English; as one of the

current GSIs for Math 115, she mainly
communicates to her students through
shrieks and wild hand gestures.
Anyway, so first I tell Reuben about
the dream. He tells me I'm a sick bas-
tard, because the dream obviously
means that I desire our mother, that
these desires are latent but intense, that I
should believe him because he took an
intro psych course his freshman year
and since then has "always been able to
figure people out real easy."
"No way I desire mom, you
douchebag," I said, "you're only project-
ing your own desire of her on me.
Fuckin' douchebag." I had taken the
same intro psych class, and knew all
about latent desires and projecting and
all the rest of that garbage.
"If he were still alive, Freud might say
that the intense denial of your latent
desire for our mother is in itself proof
that the desire exists."
Reuben was always saying dumb col-
lege-boy shit like that; I didn't have the
hots for my mother, end of story.
Quickly changing the subject (and mak-
ing a mental note to get a second opin-
ion of the dream's meaning from some-
one else), I told him about how I had just
woken up next to some random girl and
had to beat it out of there before the
beast woke up.
"You infidel! I thought you were try-
ing to close the deal on the Schafer
account. And now this! Kudos, brother, I
tip my hat to you." Reuben is what you
might call a misogynist. During conver-
sations, when there are no women
around, he refers to them as if they were
business deals, to be negotiated and
closed; he describes Rick's as a "bull
.market," and recently dumped girls as
"junk bonds." By "Schafer account, he

means this girl Rebecca Shafer we
knew from class, who seemed to have
taken an interest in me. He was con-
vinced that I wanted to "close the deal"
on her, or in other words "have sex with
her."
"Back up, hermano," I said, "I killed
the Shafer account, I farmed it out to
another company," meaning I had intro-
duced Rebecca to my friend Simon
Katzinsam, a notorious philanderer.
"And I don't even know what I did with
this girl tonight. Probably nothing. I
must have blacked out again. Hey bro,
do you have coffee anywhere? I need
coffee."
"Coffee's for closers you son of a
bitch!" Reuben said, slugging my arm.
"So listen to this story. I'm at the New
York Stock Exchange on Thursday..."
"You mean Touchdowns?"
"Right, me and Xian-Xian had plans
for that night, but I was able to call an
audible on that shit and pull an end run."
(Reuben occasionally uses sports termi-
nology as well. He had given his girl-
friend the "something came up" excuse
and avoided plans with her.) "So I roll
into NYSE with some of the boys and
we see this smokin' little Betty and
Veronica couple, and I'm thinking these
are some fillies I could definitely put in
my stable, maybe use 'em to build up

my portfolio." In other words, they
came across a blonde and a brunette,
and Reuben wanted to befriend them so
the potential for sex at a later date could
be established, as that would increase
his reputation among his friends.
"This is so boring," I groaned, "can
we talk about me and my problems
some more?"
Reubs wasn't having it. "I had my
accountant run interference on Veronica
while I went after Betty. Sweet Lord,
you should have seen the pork barrels
on this girl. She opened the trading day
high, but about a half-hour before the
bells went off, the price started plum-
meting. I bought low like a pro, you're
goddamned right. I could hear the poor
bastards leaping out of buildings on that
one." Basically, he had his friend chat
up the blonde's friend while he went
after her. She had started the evening
aloof, rejecting the advances of men,
but as 2 a.m. drew nearer, she became
desperate, waiting for someone, any-
one, to take her home. Reuben made his

-11

Are You Feeling Sad or Blue?
Medication free women suffering from
depression between the ages of 18-48
are needed for a 6-10 week treatment
study for depression. Participants will
receive free medication and clinic visits
during the study. For more information
call 936-8726.

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