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December 03, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-12-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 3, 2003

OP/D

ape bthigttn ttilq

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 screamed,
'Stop, don't step on
her, my sister is on
the ground,' and
nobody would
listen."
- Linda Elizey, sister of Patricia Van
Lester, who was knocked unconscious and
trampled by shoppers at an Orange City,
Fla., Wal-Mart last Friday, as reported
Monday by WKMG-Central Florida.

- ,
.v
-
w
} M1
1 (
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,"
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°'
:,
:.. _ .- d

You gotta pull
them sumbitches
out by the roots.
64
1, 1

t

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

Life in the post-post-post-Sept. 11 era
JOEL HOARD COLD LAMPIN'

I

he post-Sept. 11
era was supposed
to be one of
unprecedented harmony
in the United States.
American flags were to
cover the land in a spec-
tacular show of patrio-
tism. Complete strangers
were to greet one anoth-
er with friendly smiles and hellos. New
Yorkers were to be polite to each other.
Everyone was to root for the Yankees in
the World Series. Racism, sexism and all
the other negative "-isms" were to be for-
gotten. Police, firefighters and servicemen
and women were to be elevated to the hero
level typically reserved for professional
athletes. Rudy Giuliani and George W.
Bush vere to be treated like gods. America
would finally be a utopia. From adversity
comes strength.
And it all happened. At least for a few
days. No one could have reasonably
expected it to last any longer than that.
Beneath the veneer of national pride that
the average American sported during that
time there still teemed hatred, bitterness
and contempt, and it was only a matter of
time before the veneer wore off.
So things returned to normal once the
post-post-Sept. 11 era arrived. The flags
got old and were put into storage,
strangers started glaring at one another,
New Yorkers realized that they hated each
other again, everyone remembered that
Brett Favre was really, really good at foot-

ball and it became clear that all Giuliani
and Bush did was make a few inspiring but
empty speeches. Oh well, the few days of
harmony were nice while they lasted.
But the post-post-Sept. 11 era didn't last
for long, either. We now find ourselves
mired in the post-post-post-Sept. 11 era.
Goodwill has dropped to a level well below
that of pre-Sept. 11 times. In nearly every
aspect of society, over a broad spectrum of
issues, Americans are more divided than
ever. Depending on whom you ask, George
W. Bush is either the greatest president ever
or the biggest fuck-up in American history.
Gay marriage is either a great step toward
equality or a sign of impending doom. The
war on terror is either going to make the
nation safe from its enemies once and for all
or it will make us even more enemies that
we had pre-Sept. 11.
This post-post-post-Sept. 11 era that we
are living in began rather abruptly with the
war in Iraq. The last remaining bits of
post-Sept. 11-ist goodwill passed on as we
took sides on the war and started yelling.
The Left's respect for (or at least toler-
ance of) George W. Bush was lost, while
the right still touted him as a savior of
mankind, and what began with the war
quickly shifted to the president himself.
Over the past several months a remarkable,
rift has formed, and never has the nation
been so divided over its president. Half
love the guy, half hate him and only a neg-
ligible amount are indifferent (at least
count there were three of us). It's gotten to
the point where every move the president

makes is both heartily praised and scorn-
fully criticized. Take his Thanksgiving
visit to Baghdad, for example. In truth it
was a nice gesture of thanks to soldiers
placed in a most difficult situation, but
beyond that its implications are few. But
to hear it from the Bush supporters, it was
a demonstration of extraordinary resolve
from a heroic commander in chief. And for
the Bush haters, it was a lame attempt to
drum up support and cover up the fact that
all is not well in the war on terrorism.
Even Democrats and Republicans in
Congress are having a more difficult time
getting along than usual. As The Wall
Street Journal reported Monday, the parti-
san divide in Congress is nearing a level
not seen since the Newt Gingrich years,
with votes split more and more strictly
along party lines. The dividedness has
become such an issue that Reps. Ray
LaHood (R-Ill.) and Charles Stenholm (D-
Texas) have formed a Civility Caucus in
order to organize social events aimed at
healing the rift between the two parties.
It sounds nice and good, but can a wine
and cheese party or a trip to the beach really
resolve such mutual hatred? Probably not,
but at least someone in Congress is trying to
fix the problem. Meanwhile the rest of the
nation is ready to explode. We could be one
more Dixie Chick outburst or Toby Keith
song away from civil war without even real-
izing it. Something's got to give.

4

Hoard can be reached
atj.ho@umich.edu.

IOU one good vacation
HUSSAIN RAHIM NARCOLEPTIC INSOMMNA

oy oh boy did I
blow it. After
months of antici-
pating mother's Thanks-
giving dinner, fit with
all the home trimmings,
I finally arrived in New
York sometime during
the early afternoon of
Thursday. I smirked the
whole way through, from the descent into
my native city, to the ride leaving
LaGuardia en route to the Brooklyn side-
walks - littered with old detritus and
whatever else us Brooklynites no longer
want to hold in their hands.
As always, the home improvements
multiply once you're out of the house and
I was met with a new door that my old key
surprisingly opened. I was back in NY.
And I had plans. After turkey binging and
digestion I was to be out. Thanksgiving
night is prime party time and there were
stories to be created for the grandchildren.
There was really no reason I couldn't con-
quer the city that very night except for the
persistence of some chatty family mem-
bers. I guess I didn't mind it all that much,
so I stayed. Bullet bitten.
Now it's Friday. Things are different
and I'm really ready. I was seriously fit for
some good ol' Dubya-encouraged con-
sumer whoring. My four cent tax-return
was to single-handedly reignite the econo-
my and stop terrorism. Debt-filled credit
cards and hard cash in hand, there was no
chance for 34th Street. Lucky I didn't just

buy Macy's. It was Black Friday, I'm
black and it's Friday. It was my duty. I
procured all types of clothes that I will
never wear and shuttled them back home.
I'm so NY. Day turns night and the
mission shifts towards reuniting with old
friends for some catching up and then a
repeat of the dinner with my friend's fami-
ly I had before I left for school, where I
got all the United Nations updates and
insider information. Following the meal,
we mastered and commanded with Russell
Crowe but I felt the first hit and deep
down inside I knew it was over.
The next day I realized that what I
knew wasn't really that deep so much as it
was right on the surface. My inability to
eat combined with the great difficulty it
took to stand and breathe simultaneously
told me it was all wrapped up. For the rest
of that day and what amounted to the rest
of my vacation, my temperature fluctuated
like the download time on that naughty
KaZaa file. This meant no Broadway
shows, no exclusive NY/LA only movie
viewings and no trendy fusion restaurants.
I had to take a raincheck on the receptive
downtown bar folks and the invites to the
'80s parties and the New Rochelle festivi-
ties. I had to say nay to Golden Krust and
shrimp roti's (a firm handshake to you if
know what those are). Over was the sight
of watching neophyte turnstile hoppers get
busted (even I saw that cop), blind pan-
handlers walking towards money with no
indication of where to go and being
solicited with stolen Rolexes in Midtown.

I simmered in my own juices, while
being spun every half hour all with ther-
mometers protruding from wherever there
was room to stick one. All in all, not too
different from the turkey I ravaged a few
days back. But that brave turkey's suffer-
ing was for a purpose. What greater pur-
pose did my illness serve? None. There
was no lesson, no'edification and no moral
purpose. It was just a sick cosmic joke.
In the end, like everything else, I some-
how manage to convincingly blame Michi-
gan for my little flu. Yes, I contracted it in
Brooklyn, but I was made soft by this little
palm-shaped state. The dearth of nighttime
activities has relegated me to the role of a
hermitic homebody who looks upon dust
particles with trepidation. Laziness and the
over consumption of generic sandwich
products has made me susceptible to ill-
nesses that my little brother laughs off as
immunization. I'll bide my time and store
up. I'll be doing my jumping jacks and sit-
ups as well as taking my Flintstones. I'll
take notes on Sex and the City and get into
the New York State of Mind, because when
I go back I'm going everywhere and I'm
taking whatever drugs I need to stand up.
Sadly, as this goes to print I'll be feel-
ing better in time to finish my work and
well along the path to concluding this
semester's studies. But I wonder, is there
anything truly crueler than being healthy
in Michigan?

I

Rahim can be reached
at hrahim@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Article an inappropriate
discussion of regional and
religious stereotypes
TO THE DAILY:
I was extremely disappointed to read
the article entitled "Snobs v. Slobs: Stu-
dents debate East Coast, Midwest
stereotypes" (12/01/03). The article starts
out as an analysis of regional stereotypes,
but uses this pretense to hide what is
largely a discussion of religious stereo-

either "Jewish" or "non-Jewish" was irre-
sponsible reporting.
While stereotypes exist, it's difficult to
categorize a compilation of a few of those
- mostly negative - stereotypes as a
legitimate piece of objective journalism.
The article shows a lack of effort to either
confirm or debunk these stereotypes and
no attempt is made to analyze what these
stereotypes might mean or how they even
came about.
If the Daily wants to write an article
about regionalism, then write it, but don't
use regionalism as a facade to give legitima-
cv to misconceived religious stereotves.

stereotypes" (12/01/03). I understand the
importance of freedom of speech and
whole heartedly support it. However with
that being said, the Daily should have
shown a more complete picture of the
"visible social rift," as its portrayal of the
"rift" is degrading to both Midwesterners
and East Coasters, and is merely perpetu-
ating stereotypes.
The article's derogatory comments
toward Jewish students are extremely
offensive. I am sincerely baffled that a
community that is so diverse could be so
discriminatory. It upsets me greatly that
people could be so ignorant as to blatantly

I

~_

,
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a

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