4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 10, 2002
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I am God."
- Message found written on a tarot card
representing death at the scene of the
latest sniper shooting in Washington as
reported yesterday in the Washington Post.
SA.M BUTLER SOAPBOX CLASSIC
do' Jr e C.oo. besde , The. Notr ac~
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Nfu York City Rock -it ain't that smart
LUKE SMITH THERE IS NO I IN COLUMN
I guess I should've So, Is This It came out and has sold very of the next big thing tag and approaching back-
been a little more on well. The first single "Last Night" was a success lash are all decent bands.
top of things a year on both MTV and rock radio. Comically, the Don't fault the Strokes because they made a
ago. It was my fault, I Strokes swore they would never make a video couple videos, folding underneath the pressure
couldn't resist; for so - they have since finished their third. So much of making their record label (RCA) craploads of
long there had been so lit- for sticking to your guns, eh? It's kind of like money - fault the people who think they are
tie. In July 2001, I was pulling a song off of your record because you the next big thing. Yeah, fault me and the rest of
ready to lead the hunt for don't want to offend anyone. And the pulling of the music world who heralded a band with a
the next big thing and if I a song because of your sensitivity as an artist batch of songs that sound pretty much identical
couldn't lead, I'd follow. I isn't the sin - it's replacing a good song with a - good, but nonetheless identical. No one
ain't too proud to beg. When the Strokes decid- terrible one that demands a "Hail Mary." should have to live up to that tag.
ed to drop "New York City Cops" off of their In the wake of the Strokes' success, the When I saw the Strokes last fall at St.
now-gold-certified debut Is This It, replacing it bandwagoning began for the title of next big Andrews (before they were big, I'm so indie!)
with "When It Started" I should've had a clue. thing, with the White Stripes being tossed into they debuted another "new" song, the first song
I did not. the salad last year - the same salad which has they'd written since "When It Started." It was
The soiled mediocrity of "When it Started" since seen the addition of the Hives and the called "Meet Me in the Bathroom."
tainted Is This It, an album whose merits are Vines this year. N-garage, garage revival, yada Seriously, read that again.
slimmer than most writers (this one included) yada gabba wha? Call it what you will, but, all No not that part, the sentence with the
believed when the record wowed much of the of the sudden, a huge deal was being made "Bathroom" song in it. It's for effect.
press upon its release. The song was (at the about these bands, all of whom carry the tag of OK, onward.
time) the newest song the band had recorded "rock's next big thing." It was one of the last songs they played that
and judging from its astounding lack of good Therein lies the problem. They can't all be night; coincidentally, it was also the worst song
this should have been a sign. It should have been the next big thing, can they? SPIN magazine they played. So much for saving the best, right
a warning. The band decided to can the "contro- slapped the White Stripes on the cover and the Vanessa? Between "Bathroom" aid "When it
versial" "Cops" because of its refrain "New Stone had the Vines grace their glossy cover. Started" it would seem The Strokes are poised
York City Cops / they ain't too smart," especial- SPIN spun their story, focusing in detail on the for a sophomore slump. Maybe since then The
ly in light of Sept. 11. This simply-put Televi- "budding," but so-un-new-to anyone-who- Strokes have set to work with a new batch of
sion-cover-band (thanks Brad) had a great cut in knows-anything Detroit garage scene. tunes, something completely different than their
"Cops" and nothing in its replacement. What the Strokes did was launch an epidem- straight-forward "garage-rock-revival-launch-
Thankfully, "New York City Cops" and the ic. I'd be hard pressed to make a case that the ing" Is this It.
original album art (if you haven't seen it, go Hives, Vines, Strokes or Stripes will even be It had better be, because while I didn't lead
find it online) were still available on the U.K. remembered in 20 years, let alone five (Your the charge championing The Strokes, I'd be
version. So I bought it, deemed it superior and window is closing Mr. Nicholls, The Vines are more than happy to lead a backlash against
gave the free one Big Hassle sent me to Toys on the slippery path to obscurity). NYC's rock poster-boys. Writers always want
for Tots, or Giving Tree, or something noble. And really, the worst part of all of it, is that to lead the next big thing, don't they?
Unfortunately, most of you have never aside from the Vines - who are absolutely ter-
heard the true version of Is This It - the rible (see: MTV Video Music Awards live per- Luke Smith can be reached at
U.K. edition. formance for proof) - the other three martyrs email@example.com.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
U alum eXpresses dismay number of objectionable and debatable remarks. In fact, we in the United State saw on
First, I would like to ask Cole to heed his one day what just 19 of these 3000-5000
at conferences, reminisces own advice. In it, he states that "In a democrat- could do. It seems that despite knowing
ic society, when you dislike an argument, you these languages and having a doctorate in
produce a counter-argument. You do not Islamic studies, Cole still cannot present an
TO THE DAILY: announce, 'Be careful, I'm watching you!"' accurate portrayal of Al-Qaeda.
While a University School of Public Well, I think it's only fair for Cole to Cole's viewpoint was drowning in
Health student in the early 1980s, I practice what he preaches and to refrain great self-righteousness and glorification.
observed a rally in Ann Arbor of the Amer- from using ad hominims. When he says, He constantly emphasized his knowledge
ican Nazi Party. I am dismayed to learn regarding Daniel Pipes of the Middle East of a few foreign languages, resorted to
that Ann Arbor is soon to be the site of Forum, "Some sugar daddy has set him up childish insults when making "counter-
another hate filled, anti-Semitic public dis- with a couple of offices and a fax arguments" and groundlessly accused
play, this time disguised as a pro-Palestin- machine," this is childish at best. It certain- Gitelman of endorsing "McCarthyite tac-
ian event. I hope and pray that the fair ly is not a "counter- argument" to Pipes' tics" by not condemning Pipes.
minded, democracy loving people of Ann recent accusations levied against him. There are no McCarthyites here, Profes-
Arbor will turn out to support freedom in Furthermore, Cole tries to discredit Pro- sor Cole. There is only a professor whose
much the same way that we did 20 years fessor Zvi Gitelman's knowledge of Islam- "expertise" is highly suspect and whose
ago. ic terrorist organizations with the assertion analysis of the world's most dangerous ter-
ALAN FELLMAN, PH.D. that since he does not know Arabic, Farsi, rorist organization is laughable.
Alumnus Urdu or Turkish and since he does not have ELI SEGALL
a doctorate in Islam.ic studies, Gitelman LSA junior
Cole's knowledge and " ~could not possibly have the breadth of THE EAMLY IS NOW SEEKING
knowledge in this field as he does.
expertise 'highly suspect' However, Cole's claim that "Al-Qaeda is in APPLICATIONS FOR A NEW
fact a small fringe in the Muslim world" I-WEslY CwLUihws'
despite having, as he himself says, 3000-5000A M
To THE DAILY: members, is absurd and smacks of an apolo- E E-
Concerning Professor Juan Cole's View- gist. This international terrorist organization firstname.lastname@example.org
point (Cole: Gitelman's claims McCarthyite, base- has cells all over the world, capable of inflict- FOR MORE INFORMATION
less, 10/09/02), I would like to point out a ing untold death and destruction.
Terrorism, anti-Semitism and the conference
BY ADI NEUMAN
Freedom of speech is a right protected by
the Constitution and cherished by Americans,
but there are times when freedom of speech
turns into incitement to violence and institutions
that hold democratic values sacred are tested.
The University of Michigan must evaluate
whether the upcoming divestment conference
poses a physical threat to its students, particular-
ly its large Jewish student population. Recent
anti-Semitic riots at Concordia University and
San Francisco State suggest that emotionally
charged events addressing the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict can stir students to violence, and cer-
tainly this event fits that profile.
To evaluate whether this conference sup-
ports peace, as its organizers contend, or in fact
endorses violence, the University should look
first at the conference's lineup of speakers.
Dr. Sami Al-Arian gained notoriety earlier
this year when the University of South Florida
put him on permanent leave with the expressed
intention of firing him. He is still under investi-
gation by the FBI. The documentation of Al-
such as these can continue."
In a widely publicized speech in 1991,
Al-Arian cried, "Let us damn America, let
us damn Israel, let us damn them and their
allies until death."
According to Former Justice Department
prosecutor John Loftus, the Saudi government
used his Florida charities to launder money to al
Qaeda, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. The Tampa
Tribune recently devoted a long editorial to Al-
Arian's case entitled "Facts Leave No Doubt
Al-Arian Abetted Terrorism."
We must question why SAFE feels it appro-
priate to bring such a person to campus to speak.
Claiming that Al-Arian never supported terror-
ism because he evaded the FBI is like claiming
that Al Capone was guilty only of tax evasion.
Other speakers invited to the divestment
conference are no less guilty of anti-Semitism.
At a 1999 conference, speaker Hatem Bazian
was featured in a video shown to the crowd in
which he proclaimed, "The Day of Judgment
will not happen until the trees and stones will
say, O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me.
Come and kill him." This phrase is often used
guiding principles of the conference, displayed
prominently on the conference website.
Principle No. 3 condemns "the racism and
discrimination inherent in Zionism." This is
an old libel of Zionism that has been thor-
oughly rejected. I defer to Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. on the issue, who wrote, "You
declare, my friend, that you do not hate the
Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist'. And I
say, let the truth ring forth from the high
mountaintops... When people criticize Zion-
ism they mean Jews ... Zionism is nothing
less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish
people returning to live in their own land ... It
is discrimination against Jews because they
are Jews. In short it is anti-Semitism."
Pe principle that is the most infuriating is
principle No. 5, which states, "it is not our
place to dictate the strategies or tactics adopted
by the Palestinian people in their struggle for
liberation." Instead of distancing itself from
anti-Senitic violence, the divestment confer-
ence shows here that it is at best uninterested in
the safety and security of Jews and at worst
tacitly encouraging future terrorist attacks.
A " k
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