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November 03, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-03

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4

4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 3, 2003

OP/ED

Bk

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

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

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
Editorial Page Editors

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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
They that live in
sin shall die in sin."
- Quote attributed to former President
Ronald Reagan about AIDS and HIV
patients, which is under contention
by members of the Republican
Party, as reported by CNN.com.

his consecration (of Gene Robin-
the first openly gay bishop) pro-

SAM BUTLER rTt SOAPBOX

"If t
son,

ceeds, we recognise that we have
reached a crucial and critical point in
the life of the Anglican Communion ...
the future of the communion itself will
be put in jeopardy."
- Official Statement of the 37 clerics of
the Anglican Church

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Halloween for the postmodern generation
STEVE COTNER MY BACK PGIES
his Halloween I and Abrams tanks, the latter of which President that it's possible to find a bit of humor even in
had almost Bush called "the most effective armored vehicle the darkest things, simply by assuming the role
resigned to going in the history of warfare." Opium output in of someone or something else. Suicide bombers
as myself, the lamest cos- Afghanistan is rising, bolstering warlords and aren't funny, but for some reason, it's funny to
tume of all, when I found terrorists, so much so that the U.N. Office of dress up as one.
an old alarm clock in the Drugs and Crime has warned that the country At one party, the people dressed as military
back of Value World and might soon turn into a failed state and fall "in personnel didn't understand this ironic element.
the idea hit me: I'll be a the hands of drug cartels and narco-terrorists." The World War II soldiers and S.W.A.T. team
suicide bomber. I tore up It's all a bit much, but it helps to explain guys seemed unhealthily attached to their plastic
an old red shirt, wrapped why college students aren't dressing up as rifles. One of them paid too much attention to
the cloth around paper-towel tubes to make ghouls and werewolves. We have scarier things his drinks and lost his M-16, and for a long time
TNT, and then duct taped the clock, the dyna- to think about. At one of Friday night's parties, I the music was drowned out by slurred screams
mite and a mess of wires and phone cords to my did see a vampire. But he was very dapper with of "Where's my fucking gun?" I could tell he
chest. By 9 p.m. I was ready to go. a black suit, sharp red tie, and hair greased up. was ready to fight over it until his friend pro-
The world is a strange enough place nowa- The fear, it seemed to say, lies somewhere duced the piece from behind his back.
days that we don't need to shock ourselves with underneath the appearance of civility. But isn't there an added level of irony to
ghosts or monsters. Harper's Magazine reported But many students don't dress up to scare. see the meatheads dressed as soldiers? In this
this past week that FBI agents at the Norfolk, They go as The Dude from "The Big Lebows- manner, Halloween becomes the ideal post-
Va., airport took anal swabs from a mechanical ki," Marilyn Monroe with Reynolds-Wrap modern form of expression. We wallow in the
farting dog to make sure it did not contain boobs, men wearing fake breasts and sorority layers of ambiguity. We spoof our sexuality,
explosives. The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical girl shorts, cowboys, Batman, Superman. At one our authority over others, our favorite child-
Review Board announced that the government's spot, Princess Leia stripped down to a bikini and hood role models, even our religions, and for
plan to bury nuclear waste near Las Vegas is gave Luke Skywalker and the rest of the room one drunken night the horrors of the world
dangerously flawed. The Berkshire Mountain an interesting show. It was risque and sexual, but become a strangely happy joke. Eventually,
town of Egremont, Mass. voted to block its only frightening if you don't dig skinny girls. the place is a giant Rocky Horror Picture
roads with sandbags to keep plague-ridden New So what is Halloween today? Is it really such Show, and if you didn't see it at midnight at
Yorkers away in the event of a bioterror attack a dark experiment, or is it neutralized by the ten- the State Theater, you're missing something.
on the city. dency to dress up as pop stars? The answer lies Much like this column, a big portion of
And there is no shortage of blood and gore. in the ironic approach that some students take to the film is for shock value. But it also turns
New York's Staten Island Ferry crashed into the their costumes. My girlfriend suggested I dress old associations upside down, and by the end
docks two weeks ago, decapitating two people up as genetically modified corn, which sounded of the movie, when the bisexual dominatrix
and cutting in half some of the eight others who dumb until I saw the U.S. Department of Agri- transvestite is laying in an inner tube in a
died. Several people lost limbs and the captain culture report of genetic experiments combining swimming pool, floating above Michelange-
fled the scene, slashed his wrists and shot him- plants with genes from humans, chickens, cows, lo's picture of Adam and God touching
self in the chest with a pellet gun. I saw a man in mice and other animals. Some examples of their hands, you get an odd feeling that everything
the "Today Show's" outdoor crowd tell Al projects include Corn plus Hepatitis B plus you've ever known has been reversed. And if
Roker, "Our town's the one that makes the new Simian Immunodeficiency Virus; safflower something like that only happens one night a
ferries," and the host seemed appreciative. mixed with carp; wheat and chickens; and rats year, that's not such a scary thing.
And in Iraq there is a higher rate of suicide and soybeans.
among U.S. troops than during the Vietnam war. I don't get it. But that's why we dress up. Coner can bereached
Guerillas are destroying Black Hawk helicopters Everything is so weird and incomprehensible at cotners@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Daily wrong not to endorse
Rick Lax for City Council
TO THE DAILY:
I cannot believe that the Daily's editorial
board has the audacity to encourage its readers
to vote for Green Party candidate Robert Haug
in the Nov. 4 City Council election, as was sug-
gested in the editorial Ward war I and IV
(10/30/03). The Daily is clearly ignorant about
the dynamics of this election and has taken no
steps to educate itself before impressing its opin-
ions on the public. Rick Lax is not only the
strongest candidate but the only student candi-
date who has taken this election seriously. The
editorial dismissed Lax as "inexperienced,"
whereas Haug's lack of council experience was
cited as "freshness." Lax's nightly door-to-door-
ing in the communities of Ward 1, resulting in
increasing community support in addition to his
concrete student following, was not mentioned
in the article. Lax's political debates and tele-
vised election interview were omitted from the
article, as was his extensive voter registration
initiative, which resulted in literally hundreds of
registered student voters.
Lax, who holds weekly campaign meetings
consisting of both students and long-time com-
munity members, most certainly does not "lack
concrete initiatives," as was cited in the Daily.
For example, Rick Lax opposes the Washte-
naw/Hill Historic District expansion. If elected,
he will work to prevent this expansion, thereby
preventing further increases in property value of
the student housing of this area. He will work to
put an end to unnecessary spending like that
which occurred last year in the State Street
restoration. These are just two examples of
Lax's initiatives, both of which are much more
"concrete" than Haug's hope of "retaining many
of the city's beloved artists, musicians and
unique flavor." Haug's hope to bring additional
residence halls to campus lies outside of the
jurisdiction of a City Council member. Haug's
plan to encourage the use of bus services, only
to then spend city funds to buy more buses,
makes no sense. The bus system was recently
restructured and has yet to be fully utilized.
The Daily has been invited to several of
Lax's campaign events and may have been bet-
ter informed to write its editorial had it attended.
Lax is the only viable student candidate. If the
students of this University want a student on
Citv Conncil thev hould r1llv hehind the cndi-

rape/assault/theft/peeping tom incidences
would ravage our hallways if we were
allowed access are unfounded and also
ridiculous. I am very confident that most of
these crimes were not committed by stu-
dents at the University. It's not like the
current rules protect us, because what are
they protecting us from, other students? We
already live with hundreds upon hundreds
of other students. I think the locks are great
for keeping out the general public, but the
students living inside my hall are no better
than the students living one residence hall
over. Keeping certain students out is not
going to do any good. Absolutely nothing
about a residence hall is private, and allow-
ing access to other students would not
infringe residents' rights. Also, it's a huge
annoyance having to stand outside, usually
in bitter cold, having to wait for someone
to open a door. The locks can also be a
safety hazard, as students have to stand
outside all alone, sometimes for 15 min-
utes, before the door can be opened. And
not all the entrances have phones to call
your friends so they can let you inside, not
to mention the fact that students sometimes
don't know their phone numbers. Nothing
awful will happen by allowing students
universal access to residence halls.
RACHEL BURNS
LSA sophomore
Giving residence hall access
to all students 'ridiculous'
TO THE DAILY:
Allowing 24-hour access for all Univer-
sity students to the residence halls is ridicu-
lous. Residents pay room-and-board fees
for the services they have access to, and
opening up these facilities to students who
don't pay just plain doesn't make sense. I'm
not calling for all University students to
show their Mcards and have access to all
off-campus housing facilities, such as
kitchens and big-screen TVs, am I? No! As
a stranger, allowing me 24-hour access to
your home and its amenities is preposter-
ous! Something the Daily casually left out
of two pieces in relation to this (Open door
policy, 10/29/03) and (RHA: student access
to res halls won't change, 10/24/03) is that

Another overlooked security issue is that
students could come in during all hours of
the night and cause problems for the resi-
dents and resident staff living there. Do you
remember a time some September when
off-campus students came into your build-
ing and ran loudly through halls, banged on
doors and pulled fire alarms? With all the
controversy that has surrounded hazing
incidents lately, I would urge the Michigan
Student Assembly and the Daily to rethink
their positions, which clearly give the green
light in terms of hazing practices.
The Daily's wish of 24-hour access for
all University students to the residence halls
will create convenience for some students at
the expense of the safety and well being of
the paying residents. As a representative of
Alice Lloyd Residence Hall to the Resi-
dence Hall Association, I will represent the
wishes of my fellow residents and vote
against any legislation brought in favor of
24-hour access to the residence halls.
CARRIE RHEINGANS
LSA senior
Daily should not praise
Smoker's battles with drugs
TO THE DAILY:
Courtney Lewis's article (Smoker's
return warrants respect from every fan,
10/30/03) telling the tale of Michigan State
quarterback Jeff Smoker's dramatic come-
back was so very heartwarming, but let's
remember what Smoker did last year. I
know addictions to drugs are classified as
diseases. His decision to put personal plea-
sure in front of his team destroyed what
was a promising team and affected the suc-
cess of his surrounding players (i.e. former
Michigan State wide receiver Charles
Rogers). And yes, he has since come back
and been amazingly successful and gotten
his life back under control, but it was his
decision-making that caused him to lose
control in the first place. Next time the
Daily is in need of a heartwarming sports
story try writing about Michigan running
back Chris Perry doing so well while his
mom battles an illness or any other tale
where somebody manages to succeed
under the most extreme pressures from

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