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March 15, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-15

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4A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 15, 2004

OPINION

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANARBOR, MI 48109
£pinion. michi gandaily .com
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

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

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

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
He's the best
dad anybody could
ever have."
- Serafino Wesson, on his father, Marcus
Wesson, who was charged with nine
counts of murder, including those of two
children he fathered with his daughters,
as reported yesterday by cnn.com.

~j44eC$~l

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

The Floridian facade
ZAC PESKOWITZ TINE LOWER FREQUENCIES
remember when the souped up with a vitamin aisle. At the Ann worship of celebrity, buzz and physical beauty
first natural-foods Arbor Whole Foods there is no mere vitamin where the more pedestrian concerns of the
supermarket opened aisle - there is a vitamin honey comb, swarm- poor and the unemployed are forgotten. This
near my childhood home. ing with innumerable patented medicines prom- seems to be the pattern in New York, where a
It was called Fresh Fields ising a life free of stress and filled with vitality, high-flying financial sector has initiated a
and within a few years These are some of the most powerful advances revival of eating out, catered parties and the
would be acquired by in consumer psychology since Gustavus Swift high-end housing market. The Washington
.u. Austin-based Whole Foods realized he could get Americans to buy all sorts Post's Michael Powell had a fascinating dis-
Market, Inc. For us square of horrid cow parts if he packaged them in patch from New York in yesterday's paper that
East Coasters, this was a appealing shapes and invitingly displayed them chronicles the plight of Gotham's working
strange trip. Goodbye Wonder Bread and at the front of a butcher shop. Whole Foods has poor during this supposedly buoyant time.
Ovaltine. Hello focaccia with caramelized not only built a buying machine, it has built a Gauging economic health by the concentra-
onions and Ghirardelli hot chocolate. way of life. The contented shoppers noshing on tion of the young, the rich and the fabulously
On a lark, I recently went to Ann Arbor's kalamata loafs and Yemeni mocha in the caf6 educated and supporting the creative class's
mega-Whole Foods on Washtenaw Avenue. area, the macrobiotic cooking lessons and the tendency toward narcissistic self-importance
The genre has upgraded itself in the interim. At lectures on living a healthy lifestyle give the in the process can only exacerbate this trend.
the neighborhood store back home, the maga- sprawling store the look and feel of a self-con- Florida, to his credit, recognizes these net-
zine racks overflowed with ditzy magazines tained polis. Jane Jacobs comes to the strip mall. tlesome contradictions. "Affluent Creative
promising valuable fashion tips. How gauche. In fact, the lessons of Whole Foods and Class people who move into racially, ethnical-
Ann Arbor's Whole Foods sports Mother Jones the other companies that have made a killing ly or economically diverse neighborhoods
and Utne magazine. Behind the marble cus- by selling design as the centerpiece of a holis- cannot simply assume that their presence
tomer service counter you not only find beam- tic consumption experience are being applied automatically 'revitalizes' these places. For
ing associates who are happy to help you to cities. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has turned many Working Class and Service Class resi-
navigate through the massive store, you also to the ideas of Richard Florida, a public poli- dents, it doesn't. Instead, all it usually does is
have Whole Foods's latest stock quote, with cy professor at Carnegie Mellon University, to raise their rents and perhaps create more low-
NASDAQ ticker symbol WFMI, which closed restore Michigan to long-term economic end service jobs for waiters, housecleaners
at 73.98 for modest gains on Friday. vibrancy. Florida's popular 2002 book "The and the like." Florida offers a few half-baked
These strange juxtapositions aren't the secret Rise of the Creative Class" has a broad scope; solutions, but, on the whole, his book offers a
to Whole Foods's success, the aesthetics are. The everything from regional industrial organiza- grim picture. Mickey Kaus writes in his won-
store is a marvel of lighting, with an intricate tion to the cultural repercussions of the 1960s derful book "The End of Equality," "What
array of fixtures beating down their light to is grounds for discussion. One aspect of the was striking about the American 1980s ...
accentuate the warm displays. The produce sec- book in particular has caught Granholm's was not that people with money affected
tion effortlessly spills out toward the floral sec- fancy: urban economic revitalization. Florida superiority. People with money will eventual-
tion, obligating customers to stroll about the is an enthusiastic supporter of government- ly make that attempt. The question is whether
store aimlessly. Whole Foods's design team has private sector cooperation to improve the these affectations are rejected or affirmed by
engineered the environment so that you actually local music scene and create "third places" the larger society." There is no need to reaf-
feel guilty if you refrain from buying, as if you where people can congregate between work firm those pretenses of greatness.
are neglecting your civic responsibility. That and home. At its best, this is a promising
organic, granola, hippy-dippy supermarket of model for constructive civic participation and Peskowitz can be reached at
my youth was nothing more than a grocery store innovation. At its worst, it is recipe for the zpeskowi@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
WOLV-TV strives for WOLV-TV news editor Lauren Averitt, Angell Hall flyers were
with no definitive questions. Galardi was
fairness in programming, not going to release the questions, but hoax; story was not clear
MSA debate no different rather just let us know if we were making
clear and appropriate questions from the TO THE DAILY:
TO THE DAILY: position of someone who has gone through Last week, the Daily published an arti-
Your article regarding the Michigan our debate process in the past. The goal cle about some flyers that were posted
Student Assembly debates sponsored by was simply to make the best questions around campus in the early hours of
WOLV-TV (Candidates for MSA to debate possible so we could really do a service to Thursday morning ('U,' DPS finish flyer
on television, 03/10/04) was well-written, the community. Unfortunately, in the end, investigation, 03/12/04). These flyers con-
yet the spin put on the issue was unfair this was misunderstood. As servants of the tained accusations of sexual harassment by
We at WOLV News strive for one goal and community, we feel this needs to be recti- a member of the faculty. Although you
one goal alone - fairness. We go above fied. We did try to solve any problems by included details that might help the readers
and beyond to try to accommodate every sending the same e-mail to all candidates of the Daily understand that this was a
the at had confirmed their attendance at the rank - you described people wandering
University. We are also dedicated to mak- debate, so that if the questions were map- around in the bushes at 3:15 in the morn-
ing the best product possible, which is how propriately leaked a level playing field ing, to which one might add that three
this issue began. MSA President Angela would be maintained. Furthermore, Averitt women who were connected with the flyers
Galardi and WOLV were under an agree- was removed as a commentator and served were also seen in Alice Lloyd Hall dressed
ment for her to take an advisory position, as the host of the debate. Questions were in dark clothes with masks on - you did
because there was concern over the cre- asked by a WOLV member and a Daily not make it clear that this flyer was a hoax.
ation of questions in last year's debate. editor that were not on Averitt's list, and Because you named the faculty member,
She was already overseeing the debate's had never been prepped with Averitt prior you should also have made it clear that no
development by securing a room and giv- to the debate. We also worked hard to give complaint has ever been filed against this
ing us the candidates' contact information. everyone an equal chance to talk, and we person. By naming him, you were exposing
She had asked to see the questions before- feel that in the end, we produced a debate him to unnecessary embarrassment, and, by
hand so that she would feel more comfort- that the student body deserves. We cordial- doing so, simply forwarding the aim of the
able with her involvement. From her ly invite each and every student to tune in perpetrators of this cruel hoax.
suggestions, we would decide whether or on Comcast channel 22 or channel 70 in DAVID POTTER
not to make any revisions based on the the Residence Halls, tonight at 10 p.m. Director, Lloyd Hall Scholars Program
validity of her point. The list that she EXECUTIVE BOARD MARTHA VICINUS
received was a sample list, written by WOLV-TV Director, Sweetland Writing Center
VIEWPOINT
Let's kill democracy!

BY STUART WAGNER,
JANU LAKASHMAN
AND ANDREW YAHIND
Democracy has always rested on two pil-
lars: representation for all and ethical leader-
ship that abides by notifying constituents.
Both are being threatened by possibly your
last fully elected government. LSA Student
Government teeters narrowly on the edge of
sleaze, moving toward replacing democracy
with autocracy and injustice. As such, the
end of our democracy is unquestionably in
view. The lingering question, however, is not
if our government will crumble to democratic
faiir _huft ifu an an e it.

tion: you. Furthermore, when "your new presi-
dent" meets with the president, regents and
other leaders of the University, they have no
obligation or accountability to uphold your
interests, effectively undermining the entire
point of government. Underrepresented
minorities will have significantly more trouble
making it to the top. Corruption and political
favors will take the place of true democracy.
Ultimately, the people who are supposedly rep-
resented, you, get screwed.
As if disenfranchising you from the two
highest positions on government is bad enough,
the situation intensifies severely. Without receiv-
ing the input of a single constituent, the presi-
dent appoints the executive board, give voting
memhers .rantino him full control over the fun-

your government. Amidst five president-
appointed votes and two more indirect votes,
an effective voting bloc will form, holding
more than 25 percent of all yotes in the assem-
bly with 50 percent needed to pass most
motions. Thus, the problem that the amend-
ment attempts to solve, conniving politics, will
be exacerbated to a new high concurrently as
full democratic representation is eradicated.
As representatives and members of this
constituency, we will not take this sitting
down, and we implore you to do the same. In
possibly your last election for president, it
has become most imperative that you vote.
On March 17 and 18, VOTE NO on the pro-
posed amendment in the LSA-SG election to
steal your renresentation out from under your

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