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April 20, 2004 - Image 4

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4A -The Michigan Daily -Tuesday, April 20, 2004

OPINION

420 MAYNARD STREET
UaANN ARBOR, MI 48109
opinion.michigandaily.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
"With so many
symbolic gatherings
in the next few
months, we must be
aggressive."
- Homeland Security Secretary Tom
Ridge, at a press conference yesterday,
announcing the government's new task
force responsible for coordinating
security, as reported
by The Associated Press.

COLIN DALY 'HE MICHIGAN DALY
< tt
: 1 1
A

0
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A new American Revolution
JESS PISKOR JOIN THE PISKOR

0

mhe Left may be
fractured, but
thankfully corpora-
tions are taking up the
banner of revolution.
For the last few years,
many people on the Right
have placed the Left stuck
in a quagmire, without a
real message and adrift
without a leader. Seemingly without signifi-
cant power and still stinging from questions
over their patriotism, left-leaning people have
been hesitant to offer a powerful vision
opposed to President Bush. Corporations
however, have not only offered a different
vision, they have almost universally gone so
far as to advocate an abandonment of our
capitalist society.
Tired of a world in which bland culture
and boring ideas ruled, Hewlett Packard
lashed out at the ideals of free trade and the
inevitability of capitalism and reminded us
to, "Invent - everything is possible." The
academic world was captivated by the asser-
tions of Francis Fukuyama, who confidently
stated capitalism was now the only legitimate
way of organizing society and that therefore
we had reached, "the end of history." The
Mazda automobile company was not so ador-
ing. In a stunning rebuttal to Fukuyama,
Mazda argued that we needed to "rethink
what is possible." Mazda was not alone in its
criticism - Apple Computer also gave
Fukuyama a rhetorical slap in the face with
its far reaching "Think Different" campaign.
When Bush told the world after Sept. 11
that you are either "with us or against us,"
and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer warned that
we "need to watch what we say, watch what

we do," many leftists quieted their dissent out
of respect for the trying times our nation
faced. Corporate America only increased its
attacks. It wasn't long before these true revo-
lutionaries again rose up and fought off these
assaults on the Left. Cooper Tire led the way
and told the Left to remain true and reminded
us: "Don't give up a thing." Progressive
Insurance was even more explicit with its
counter to Bush. Its "Think easier, Think Pro-
gressive," slogan refused to buy into the
"with us or against us" dichotomy and sought
to create more safe spaces for dissent.
Nonetheless, leftist activists were slow
to follow corporate America in dissent
against the status quo. Frustrated with the
Left's unwillingness to move toward a bet-
ter world with social justice, corporate
advertisers tested new slogans, designed not
to attack the Right, but to motivate the Left.
This shift from negative "attack" ads to a
more positive coalition building message is
blatant in Home Depot ads. "You can do it
- We can help," the ads said, and the mes-
sage was clear: Home Depot and the rest of
the corporate world was ready to take on
global capitalism, but they needed popular
grassroots support. Gatorade seemed a little
more doubtful at the potential of citizens to
rise up, wondering, "Is it in you?" Enter-
prise car rental seemed primed to act as the
vanguard for the movement, promising that
"We'll pick you up." The new erection drug
Cialis urged people look at themselves and
see if they were truly committed to revolu-
tion, asking "Will you be ready when the
time is right?" To the common people who
thought standing up for the Left was only
for leaders and big corporations, Nicoderm
had the answer, "You're not a superhero -

you don't need to be."
Wall Street and capitalism were prime tar-
gets for corporate America's attack on the
system. While Winston cigarette ads were
obvious attacks on Wall Street, ("Leave the
Bull behind,") other corporations were more
subtle. TD Waterhouse, in a line straight from
Karl Marx reminded the proletariat that
power rested with the people, saying that,
"You're in control." McDonalds argued for a
greater role for labor unions and a reduced
work week, asking, "Have you had your
break today?" American Express demanded
higher wages and an end to sweatshops, with
posters reading, "Make life rewarding."
Well-versed in revolutionary language,
corporations were reminded of Emma
Goldman's famous quote that, "If I can't
dance to it, it's not my revolution." Worried
that too many on the Left saw revolution as
not about a better, more vibrant world, Car-
nival Cruiselines rolled out a simplistic but
effective message that, (revolution is) "just
more fun." Celebrating the joy that would
follow a massive leftist uprising, McDon-
alds saw the tide of activism and awareness
and declared, "I'm lovin' it." Not to be out-
done, Wendy's staked out a position as a
leader-already firmly outed as a revolution-
ary spirit and from its vantage point
declared that "It's better here."
The leaders of this worldwide revolution-
ary message are without doubt Electronic
Arts, Chevrolet and Nike. Their slogans,
taken together clearly spell out what needs to
happen: "Challenge everything." "Start a
Revolution" - "Just do it."
Piskor can be reached at
jpiskor@umich.edu.

*

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Students should move
Naked Mile to Big House
TO THE DAILY:
I'm writing in response to Friday's editorial
about the Naked Mile (A losing streak: The
Naked Mile needs to be revived, 04/16/04). As
the Daily correctly points out, law enforcement
officials are targeting the wrong group when
they arrest participating students rather than
protecting them from the danger that is posed
by the drunken and largely nonUniversity
crowd. Of course, arresting the runners is much
easier than controlling a rowdy and widely dis-
persed crowd. And we should also consider the
fact that police officers are ethically obligated to
prevent anyone from breaking the law, even if
it's just in good fun. But instead of eliminating a
cherished campus event by arresting anyone
who dares participate, an alternative approach is
clearly needed.
My suggestion is this: Hold the Naked Mile
in Michigan Stadium. I realize this would dam-
age the spirit of the event, but stopping it would
destroy the spirit altogether. If the Naked Mile
were held in the stadium, only people with Uni-
versity identification would be allowed to par-
ticipate in, or view the event. Cameras would
not be permitted in the stadium. And because it
would no longer be a public event, runners
wouldn't face the risk of prosecution. These pre-
cautions would restore the Naked Mile to its sta-
tus as a carefree campus event and prevent this
University tradition from being terminated by
the presence of unruly outsiders. Such a solu-
tion is better than the alternative.
BRIAN MADDEN
Alum
Efforts to stop Naked
Mile are useless
To THE DAILY:
It is that time of year again. Classes are
winding down, finals are approaching and
I'm sure the University is flooding campus
with signs saying how running the Naked
Mile will result in you being charged with
a sex crime and how you'll be pho-
tographed and such. The purpose of this is
of course to scare people from running. It
has worked, and the number of runners has
- T--- _ -

night.) to avoid arrest. Don't let the Uni-
versity destroy another tradition.
NICHOLAS KoHN
Alum
Daily overlooks fans at
Crisler Arena
TO THE DAILY:
I enjoyed the annual Best of Ann Arbor
edition this year, but I disagree with your
coverage of "Best Sports Crowd" Your article
was well-written and captured the great
crowds at Yost and at Michigan Stadium, but
it completely failed to mention the Maize
Rage and the great crowds at Crisler Arena.
I don't intend to take anything away from
the crowds at Yost and at the stadium; I have
been a participant of all three crowds for four
years. However, I think that the fans at Yost
aren't quite as good as they were in the mid-
to-late '90s or even my freshman year. Going
to hockey games became too popular; too
often I see students arriving late, chatting and
wearing nonMichigan clothing. These fans
are there for the social aspect of Yost and few
of them are engrossed in the game.
In the four years I have been here, I have
seen the atmosphere at Crisler improve dramati-
cally, from 200 to 300 tame students to more
than 1,900 fanatics this year. The general admis-
sion bleachers have forced students to arrive and
make their presence known more than an hour
before game time while Yost crowds arrive later
and later. Crisler had long been one of the easi-
est places to play in the Big Ten (as explicitly
said by Illinois' Cory Bradford two years ago),
but you hear nothing of that now from oppo-
nents or their media. Instead, we were specifi-
cally praised by Minnesota players in January
2003, by the Raleigh, N.C., media in December
2003 and by Hawaii players and media just last
month (a newspaper noted that we "would not
rest at any point in the game"). Coach Amaker
and the players also repeatedly make mention of
the support we provide the team.
I don't necessarily expect Crisler to be
voted or named the best crowd at Michi-
gan, as I'm happy to say the competition is
intense. However, to completely pass over
such a great crowd is a clear oversight.
PETER LUND
LSA senior
Former Superfan and leader
- i n-

Longo expresses that there is nothing
President Bush can do to satisfy Middle
Easterners, as if the Middle East solely
consists of irrational lunatics who continu-
ally reject the United States's goodwill.
The people of the Middle East, like any
other people, respond to injustice with
anger and goodwill with friendship. Mus-
lims are legitimately outrage d by the
recent foreign policy of the United States
and especially with that of President
Bush's administration.Rather than ensure
that every American could have the right
to medical assistance, higher education
and a secure retirement, Bush has occu-
pied his presidential term with the inva-
sion and occupation of two Muslim
nations and has recklessly backed Israel's
every move in its occupation of the Pales-
tinian people.
Dissatisfaction with the United States
is not something ingrained in the genes or
cultures of Middle Easterners - only a
racist/Islamophobe would claim otherwise.
If the United States were to end its policy
of pre-emptive military invasions and held
a balanced position toward the Arab-
Israeli conflict, there would no longer be
strong currents of animosity held by Mus-
lims toward the United States. Longo may
claim that Middle Easterners would still
hold "anti-American" beliefs, but this is
totally absurd. This anger did not brew in a
vacuum: "anti-Americanism" only started
to take hold after the United States started
to commit questionable acts in the Middle
East. Therefore, this displeasure with the
United States is a response to things such
as the 1953 CIA overthrow of the popular
Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad
Mossadegh, the uncompromising support
of Israeli policies, such as the recent
endorsement of Ariel Sharon's disengage-
ment plan, the recent invasion of Iraq,
which has yet to find the weapons of mass
destruction that were allegedly stockpiled
in there and the countless numbers of bru-
tal dictators, from the Saudi royal family
to the Shah of Iran, that have had their
tyrannical regimes stay afloat from strong
American assistance.
Longo also seems to have a problem
with a Pakistani citizen using his free
speech rights in the United States, simply
because Pakistan and other Middle Eastern
nations do not grant these rights to their

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