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November 06, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-06

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OMMMMI

4

4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 6, 2003

OP/ED

Ulb A khgan at

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
I don't think
OutKast is really
breaking up. Andre
3000 and Big Boi just
cut solo records,
that's all."
- Democratic presidential candidate
Wesley Clark on the future of hip-hop
duo OutKast, in a prerecorded video
which aired during Tuesday's Rock the
Vote candidate forum.

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STEVE COTNER AND JOEL HOARD OPERATION PUSSYCAT

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Keep your MTV, I want my NPR
LAUREN STRAYER IN THE AcTiV, VOICE

as -s

4 i
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Eat your heart out,
Carson Daly.
When 5 o'clock
rolls around, I'm
not watching "Total
Request Live"; I'm lis-
tening to National Pub-
lic Radio's "All Things
Considered." I don't get
my news from MTV's
modishly-dressed Kurt
Loder and Gideon Yago, but instead from
NPR's faceless Todd Mundt and Diane
Rehm. On a Saturday afternoon, I'm more
likely to be listening to NPR's news quiz
"Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" than to be watch-
ing "MTV Cribs."
As I am only one member of the so-
called MTV generation, it would be easy to
write me off as a nerd or even a media snob,
but I am not alone in my I-want-my-NPR
habits. It turns out that there are lots of us
listening to NPR and tuning out the mind-
less media consumption that MTV has come
to represent. Our generation - despite
growing up with "The Real World" and
"Beavis and Butt-Head"- may be better
known by the letters NPR than by MTV.
When it comes to young NPR listeners,
there are two groups. First, there are the
stereotypical collegiate NPR junkies. They're
easily identified by their lofty ideals and cof-
fee mugs or shoulder bags bearing the call
letters of their local station. These enthusiasts
also possess an uncanny ability to relate any
conversation to an interesting segment on
yesterday's edition of "Day to Day." The

final defining characteristic of NPR addicts is
their twice-yearly week-long moodiness dur-
ing the obnoxious, but necessary, NPR fund
drives. By nature, these junkies categorically
defy the characteristics expected of the MTV
generation. They aren't politically apathetic;
they do appreciate thoughtful news analysis;
and they don't robotically buy the products
or people set before them.
Though NPR addicts play an important
role in the deconstruction of the myth of the
MTV generation, there is a more noteworthy
population among today's late-teens and
early-twenty somethings - the balanced lis-
teners. As this second group of NPR loyalists
is less fanatical and less pigeonholed than the
junkies, it encompasses a larger range and
number of people. Still, just like the NPR
junkies, this group of listeners isn't numbed
by the marketing creation that is MTV and its
subsequent culture. These listeners may not
be members of the Diane Rehm fan club, but
they demand news coverage beyond Yago's
"Journeys in Kuwait"- and that's what is
important. It is that widespread and unrelent-
ing demand for serious news that will help
our generation beat the bad MTV rap.
I have to admit that, until recently, this bal-
anced section of the NPR listening population
wasn't on my radar screen. A few weeks ago, I
was in the unlikely situation of having dinner
with the kid brothers of two high school
friends. Even though said brothers are in col-
lege now, I still associate them with the antics
of MTV's "Jackass." Growing up, I saw them
act more ridiculously than quintessential Jack-
ass Johnny Knoxville. While these little broth-

ers were definitely entertaining back home, I
was curious and a bit skeptical of what a meal's-
worth of conversation with these guys and their
friends would bring today.
Whatever expectations I had going into this
odd evening, I can safely say I did not think we
would bond over NPR. In fact, I thought public
radio programming would be at the very bottom
of any list of possible conversation topics I
might expect. Nevertheless, half way through
our beers and our meals, we ended up arguing
over which hokey NPR show awards quiz win-
ners with Carl Kasell's voice on their answering
machines. When no one could definitively say if
it were "Wait Wait" or "Whad'Ya Know," we
steered discussion to the history of Diane
Rehm's unique speech pattern and lauded the
nightly broadcasts of the BBC's "World Ser-
vice." I was quite taken aback. Who knew that
little brothers and their friends listen to NPR?
I'm not claiming that MTV, as a news and
entertainment source, is entirely inane or banal.
I'm sure it introduces important issues to our
nation's teeny-boppers, and I can't deny that I
do enjoy an occasional countdown of the top
100 moments in rock history indexed by some
obscure characteristic an MTV lackey invented.
Still, I'm pleased to report that our generation
isn't limited by MTV's breed of media. It turns
out that a few bad cable networks can't numb
the minds of an entire generation.
Am I too hopeful? Maybe - but I can't
help but feel good that more of my peers than
I ever expected are listening to NPR.

A

Strayer can be reached at
lstrayer@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Suburbs not to blame for the presents under the tree on Christmas morn- Since he is so concrete in his beliefs, I
ing. encourage him to do the following: Upon start-
decline of cities; Piskor should Furthering the negative portrayal of the ing a family, move into the city, into the worst
raise kids in inner-city Detroit common parent, he blames exodus to the neighborhood he can find. Leave his kids with a
suburbs for the decay of the city. Had he sitter while he pickets on the steps of city hall.
been raised in a place where safety was a Remain indifferent to their accomplishments
To THE DAILY: major issue, I doubt he would have much because his mind is occupied with the latest
I was dumbfounded upon reading Jess of a problem with the idea of sending chil- news of potential war. And when his three-year-
Piskor's column, You are responsible for your par- dren to "safe" schools. If he is so con- old daughter asks him why she can't have a tri-
ents' apathy (11/04/03), Piskor is quick to declare vinced that this fear for safety is cycle, simply tell her that daddy is an
everything from lawns to Christmas signs of the unfounded and destructive to cities, I anti-materialist.
further consumerism-driven degradation of soci- encourage him to raise his family in inner- AMANDA MCALLISTER
ety, and in the process manages to disrespect the city Detroit. LSA sophomore
work of an entire generation, work he has obvi- He feels guilty for his upper-middle
ously profited from. class, privileged upbringing in the heart of DEAN? $MOKED POT.
Piskor, claims that "Nothing is perhaps more suburbia, and therefore has become an
selfish than having children." What he perceives "activist." Has he ever thought of why he
as selfishness is in reality called responsibility. It has the privilege of being an activist, KERRY? YOU BET.
is probably much easier to support a family though? Had his parents not sold out to the
working for a corporation than running an man and worked to give him a good life,
organic farm. Besides, his assumption that would he be standing in the Diag holding EDARDS? INHALED,.
everyone joins the corporate world, as well as up a sign or would he be too busy working
the claim that those who do join corporations three jobs to put himself through college?
hate their jobs, is unfounded. Did a life insur- Would he be in college at all? Had his par- CLARK?' JUSTSAID NO.
ance conglomerate build his house? In actuality, ents always been off at protest rallies,
our parents secure stable jobs because they grow instead of attending his kindergarten grad-
up and realize that it's rare to make a decent liv- uation and little league games, would he.DAILY OPINION?
ing selling hemp necklaces off of US-23. This have the sense of self-worth and confi-
portrayal of the good provider as an evil entity is dence to spit in their faces, as he !is doing.YOU DECIDE.
completely false. I highly doubt Piskor minds now?
VIEWPOINT
With blood on their hands

4

BY ALIYA CHOWDHRI, RAHUL SAKSENA AND
IRFAN SHUTTARI
The annual cultural show of the Indian
American Student Association never fails to
impress its audience, especially Indian Ameri-
can students who witness in a unique way a
breathtaking fusion of their Indian and Ameri-
can backgrounds. This year's show, which took
place last Saturday, was no exception: perfor-
mances were fresh and diverse, and the perform-
ers were brilliant.
Embedded in the show was an interesting
informational video clip of Indian current
events, at the forefront of which was the emerg-
ing alliance between the governments of India
and Israel. It is an alliance that should not be cel-
ebrated, it should be denounced.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Indi-
an Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee have

giously affiliated governments who can work
together to suppress self-determination move-
ments and the basic human rights of religious
minorities, especially Muslims.
Trinity College Prof. Vijay Prashad wrote in
an essay entitled "Namaste Sharon," that "Sha-
ronism, Hindutva, and the Evangelical Imperial-
ism of the Pentagon disgust the ordinary people
of India, Israel and the United States. Our oppo-
sition to this entente is fueled by that disgust -
and by the politics of retaliation and fear that
keeps you in power."
The politics of retaliation and fear, the mes-
sage conveyed by the Israeli and Indian gov-
ernments that terrorism is the common enemy
and that violence must be used to stop it, is
fundamentally repressive and anti-Muslim.
Fear is used as an excuse to retaliate: to justify
the bulldozing of civilian homes because their
owners have relatives who committed an atroc-
ity, to justify the denial of basic human rights,

not unlike Vajpayee, for being too kind to
India's Muslims.
With blood still on his hands from Lebanon,
from Sabra and Shatila, from the bulldozers and
the "strategically aimed missiles," from yester-
day, today and tomorrow, Sharon wrote in the
site's visitors' book, "From Jerusalem, the city
of peace, eternal capital of the Jewish people, I
bring you a message of hope and peace."
Back in Delhi, with blood on his hands
from Ayodhya and Gujarat, Vajpayee wel-
comed Sharon, who announced, "We regard
India as one of the most important countries
in the world."
As the spectators watched the IASA show
video, very few of them probably realized the
implications of an Israeli-Indian alliance. Few
probably thought of the instability that such an
alliance would bring to South Asia, where a sig-
nificant population will feel threatened by the
partnership of two governments that respect the
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