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September 10, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-10

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 10, 2004 OPINION
biti U tothedaily@michigandaiy.com QUOTABLE
STUDENTS AT THE Americans are
SINCE 1890 Editorial Page Editor hiding now in
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of trenches and they
the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not refuse to come
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
US 1
D - Ayman al-Zawahiri, top aide to Osama
D r na d + b + bin Laden, in a videotaped message
broadcast by the Arabic TV news network Al
DPS cracks down on underage drinking Jazeera, as reported yesterday by CNN._com
his year's freshman class, just clogging the street. While access
Sdays into its first semester, is for emergency vehicles can be a
the largest in the University's legitimate concern, it simply can y so-called sum m er
history. It is unfortunate that the not be used to justify intrusions
Department of Public Safety greet- into private residences SOWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY AUDI AITERAM P\RI'1M
ed them last weekend byhandig Theclassicargument for enforce-
out a generous number of alcohol ment of underage drinking laws
citations. The number of alcohol- is for the protection of the very "In the real world, noth- in the Marriott Hotel down the street. world, "unpaid intern" really translates into
related violations (mainly minor-in. people who are cited. Supposed- ing happens at the right By comparison, the administration at Geor- gopher/indentured servitude. For the majority
possession and open-bottle citations) ly, if underage drinking rules are place at the right time" - gia State made the facilities seem luxurious. of my time, I essentially performed the grunt
haided out by the on-campus police not strictly enforced, youth may Mark Twain Rude, unskilled and unreliable, they embod- work that paid employees refused to touch with
organization during this year's wel. go overboard and endanger them-- ied the stereotypical "slowness of the South" a 10-foot pole, including answering telephones,
come week dwarfs that of years selves. In reality, very few cases of his summer I in both attitude and action. Resident advisors the occasional sandwich/donut run, hours of
past. Between Wednesday and Sun- underage drinking result in ser- promised to stay and security guards were notorious for over- meaningless data entry into spreadsheets, mak-
day night, DPS issued 66 MIP cita. ous health problems, ~focused, to be charging students, spending more time at the ing tape dubs, going to the library and checking
tions. During the same period last In fact, the efforts of DPS may productive. While my vending machines than on patrol and flat out out tapes, returning tapes to the library, record-
year, only 15 MIPs were strewn actually work against the well- counterparts recouped lying. For instance, when I asked the now-for- ing tapes, sorting tapes and labeling tapes
about. DPS is being overaggressive being of students. When an excep- from final exams and mer (this should be self-explanatory) housing (notice a trend?) Among all this, there were still
in its campaigns to curb alcohol tion does occur, and a student may squandered away time, I set off to kick-start director how far the dorms were from CNN, I bouts of idle time, which were used by making
Sonsumption amongst underage stu- need medical assistance, others my career as a public relations intern at CNN's was informed "only 10 minutes." In actuality, unnecessary trips to the cafeteria, draining day-
dents. may fear legal repercussions and world headquarters in Atlanta. Having no clue the trudge to work necessitated 40 minutes on time minutes on my cell phone and browsing
DPS attributes the increase to neglect the student's needs , what specifically public relations involved and two subway trains and a 15 minute walk over a the Internet, where I currently hold high scores
a rise in boisterous, disruptive In this way, strict alcohol codes the fact that the internship was unpaid - I freeway overpass. in about 10 online games.
behavior and the size of the fresh- discourage students from seeking rarely encourage working for free by the way There also existed an interesting phenom- Of course if anyone asks, I never men-
man class. However, it is hard to help and act as a deterrent to safe- - I was nonetheless confident that the toil enon of laziness, in which jobs that require tion those stretches of unconstructive time.
believe that students' behavior has ty. Students have and always will would pay off in the long run, positioning me one employee were often staffed with several. Rather, I enunciate the good by putting a @
actually changed from years past, drink, regardless of penalty, but in ahead of the curve with bonafide profession- Not to increase efficiency of course, but rather bit of creative spin on the bad. Copying and
and though the freshman class is the face of such policies, students al experience. Little did I know that gaining so that employees could socialize on the job. pasting onto Excel sounds less monotonous
unprecedented in its size, it is may throw prudence to the wind a resume bullet point was the mere tip of the Instead of treating interns with respect as pay- if it's re-phrased as "compiling national
certainly not four times as large out of fear of a drinking citation. iceberg. ing customers, the staff seemed to relish in our media lists for the 2004 Democratic Nation-
as that of last ye ar, when less DYPS needs to re-evaluate its Being my first autonomous step into a wholly helplessness, literally laughing at students who al Convention." Similarly, a tape dub can be
than one-fourth of the MIPs were priorities. The recent trend of new environment, I pledged from the moment got lost after being given incorrect driving embellished as "creating a multimedia news
issued. More likely, this is part of overzealous law enforcement has I arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International directions. I guess that's what you call South- package" instead of the literal pressing the
a disturbing trend that damages already killed otherwise harmless Airport to replace my innate cynicism with a ern hospitality. Never before did I truly miss record button on a VCR.
the University's reputation by por- student activities. Hash Bash and positive outlook. Here I was living on my own the relatively effective and caring University And perhaps here lies the crux of my entire
traying students as irrepressible the Naked Mile, two Ann Arbor in one of the most hip, exciting metropolises; administration! summer, the notion of taking a bad situation
alcohol abusers. traditions that posed little danger I was going to "live it up" in all senses of the Although these factors are enough to dis- and shaping it otherwise. Being an unpaid
An bn A o'lss tie T e force to the community, are almost non- phrase. suade the common intern, I refused to be shak- intern with no car, living in a squalid hell
S ee le iAnn existent because of DPS actions, That mantra wore away quickly once I saw en. After all, the purpose of the summer was was not glamorous, but that does not under-
Arbor Police Department broke up While theoretically promoting my housing accommodations at Georgia State not where I lived but all that would be accom- mine the experience as a whole. I learned a
an annual block party on Green- public safety through the aggres- University. Known as the Olympic Village, plished at work. CNN, the possibilities were great deal by leaving the secure confines of
wood Avenue, issuing 23 alco- sive enforcement of alcohol laws, what was once home to world-class athletes endless: lunches with Wolf Blitzer and Larry Ann Arbor about just how difficult, boring
hol-related violations. The AAPD DPS has failed to actually secure during the '96 Olympic Games now stands as King, international conference calls, gaining and sometimes idiotic the real world can be,
pointed to the large crowds spill- students' well-being or serve any a dormitory fully equipped with no lighting advice from infamous founder Ted Turner; I where things don't always turn out as rosy
ing into the road, saying they were worthwhile' purpose fixtures, a broken air conditioner, bug infesta- was ready for my camera close-up from the as expected.
tions and even included the proverbial inebri- outset.
hS ated roommate. I soon came to the conclusion These grandiose dreams were quickly dis- Krishnamurthy can be reached at
O9 t1I em U p , W L' that American athletes probably opted to stay pelled after realizing that in the corporate sowmyak@umich.edu.
Bush, Congress let assault-weapons ban lapse America TM 2004
S arring a legislative miracle, with a high-capacity MAC-O. An
5as of midnight on Sept 13, overwhelming majority of Ameri- ZACK DENFELD 8-BT CRITIC
the firearm market will play cans realize that an assault weap-
unrestricted host to some of the ons ban simply restricts weapons arshallMcluhan terrorists cells and the advent of the World Wide ceive that the neocons, many with direct ties to
world's most. deadly armaments with no conceivable nonmilit ary istheKarl Marx Web in 1990. Israel, desperately wanted this war and that the
the true avant-garde of military purpose. of the 21st cen- For good and bad, the Internet, and especially Bush administration would make unfounded ties
hardware and assault weaponry. Nonetheless, Congress and Presi- tury. Althoughthe Canadi- the Web, lets very specific and fringe elements between al-Qaida and Iraq and weapons of mass
The 1994 AssaultWeapon Ban, a dent Bush have passively watchet an media theorist has fallen of any cultural landscape gather anonymously, destruction to justify it.
je wel of the Clinton Administra- as the bill's expiration d ate has in and out of favor since his make connections and share information, while What was an entirely avoidable, or at least, a
tion and one of the most conse- drawn near, and neither has dem- groundbreaking work in unwieldy top-down power structures begin their multilateral-justified war became an inevitable
crated guncontrol laws to ever to onstrated any inclination to act the 1960s, and especially great tumble. unilateral pre-emptive invasion as a result of
pass through Congress, is staring decisively and save the ban. House during the rise of the World Television ended the Vietnam War. The web maximal coverage by American mainstream
death in the face. If the bill is not Majority Leader Tom DeLay, for Wide Web,itmay betimeto birthed the war on terror. media.
re authorized by Monday the ban example, has continued to voice revisit some Mcluhanisms. "NBC and CBS could easily become the polit- Of course, I doubt any of this would have been

will expire and gun manufacturers his willingness to drive the reau- Here's a few in relation to brand America: ical 'parties' of the future." possible without everyone being scared shitless
S(who are already salivating) will thoization campaign, but main- "At the speed of light political policies and While Mcluhan didn't live to see the rise of by random and meaningless color changes in the
inundate the market with a torrent t ains he willonlydoso1Upon a parties yield place to charismatic images." the FOX News Channel I am sure it would have terror-o-meter, and vague and unfounded rumors
of semi-automatic killing contrap- direct request from the president I feel bad for citizens who were hoodwinked come as no surprise. that always happened to coincide with important
tions. himself. For his part, lush has by the CNN clip-art propaganda onslaught that American media outlets have always had par- political events.
The ban, which once enjoyed yet to repudiate his support of the preceded the Iraq war, and especially by the tisan leanings, but FOX News seems to have With Dick Cheney rumoring on Tuesday that
bipartisan support, outlaws such prohibition, and has reiterated ridiculous image of President Bush's action-hero lost any semblance of journalistic integrity or electing John Kerry may lead to another terrorist
dangerous weapons as collapsible he will sign the ban only if Con- landing on aircraft carrier to announce the end of perspective, and panders purely to a viewer base attack, I wonder if the current administration has
st ock assSault rifles, high capacity gress passes it first. Un fortt ntey, combat operations in Iraq. that is not interested in objectivity, but rather in any respect for the democratic process at all.
ammunition magazines, bayonet- because both sides claim they are However, if one got past the imagery and belonging. "Instead of scurrying into a corner and
tipped chambers, etc. If unleashed waiting for other to act, nothing is looked at the Bush administration's policies in While "Outfoxed" was an interesting but lim- wailing about what media are doing to us, one
on the open markets, these weap- getting done. the context of Iraqi history and information from ited response to FOX News Channel's purposeful should charge straight ahead and kick them in
ons risk increasing already stag- Not surprisingly, this mutual the field, and the philosophy of the neo-conser- misinformation, it did cite the oft-reprinted inter- the electrodes."
gering gun-related crime numbers; recalcitrance is a political ploy: vative cadre that pushed for the Iraqi invasion, nal memos from FOX news chief John Moody. I am heartened by groups such as Adbusters,
the United States always surpass- flush needs the support of both the the run-up to the war and the last six months in Media ethicists: Read these primary source doc- MoveOn.org and the diverse range of tactical
es the rest of the indnstrialized National Rifle Association, which particular should have come as no surprise. uments if you dare. media artists such as the Institute for Applied
w orld in gun-related homicides, has lobbied strongly against the "The coverage is the war. If there were no cov- "Rapid changes of identity, happening sud- Autonomy, Billionaires for Bush and Critical
and a legal arsenal of ultra-modern ban, as well as moderate voters, erage ... there'd be no war. Yes the newsmen and denly and in very brief intervals of time, have Mass that have taken Mcluhan's advice and
assault weapons will hardly func- who overwhelmingly support it. the mediamen around the world are actually the proved more deadly and destructive of human used low- and high-tech media to kick the
tion to curb the tren. If t make a dcision On fighters, not the soldiers anymore." values than wars fought with hardware weap- media where it hurts.
The lapsed ban is not an example the ban, he would inevitably land Although some may be comforted by images ons." "We have become irrevocably involved with,
of a legislative proposal failing himself in an unfortunate political of the president wearing a flight suit, smiling, With the advent of television the American and responsible for, each other."
in the face of merited and c ogent position. Howeverthe current situ- surrounded by tech and patriotism, I prefer sound rugged individualized citizen morphed into the This country desperately needs a new leader
opposition. Truth be told, there is ation assures that Bush will kill policies any day, but good policy is only possible cool corporate consumer. It will be interesting to start fresh in the global village. I hope all of
no widespread opposition to the the ban while never actually veto- when the mediamen on the front line point their to see what the Internet changes Americans into. the political excitement generated in progressive
ban; most voters and legislators ing it. In ese , as the pre-elec- cameras at the right targets. "Only puny secrets need protection. Big camps to defeat the Bush administration spills over
re alize that while it is reason- tion game of political hot potato "The Medium is the message." Secrets are protected by public incredulity. You into pushing for and implementing actual policy
able for citizens toivke their st t Weapons BaI Q: What is a nonhierarchical decentralized can actually dissipate a situation by giving it initiatives that can help the forthcoming Kerry
constitutional right to bear arms, will slowly fade quietly into the interconnected system of networks that transfers maximal coverage. As to alarming people, that's administration re-enter the 21st century with a
not all weaponry should e pub- background. information where actions are emergent? done by rumors, not by coverage." fresh perspective, and begin to make sense of the
hoily available. The risk of govern- Congress has never had such an A: The Internet or al-Qaida. Only public incredulity can explain the months Information Bomb that the whole world is trying
ment t yranny is remote enough ampl prtunity to make u The rise in Islamic fundamentalism has many in 2002 and 2003 when Iraq transitioned from a to deal with.
for the average household to be streets, sch oos ad homes quan- geo-political explanations, but I can't help but see troubling secular fascist regime to public enemy
safe t t AK-47, and though tifiably safer. Letting this ban a direct correlation between the decentralized number one in the "war on terrorism." Denfeld can be reached at
a licensed recreational sportsman expire is letting election tactics network of al-Qaida and other contemporary For most people it was impossible to con- zcd@umich.edu.
may have every right to indulge the endanger the lives of thousands of
hunting season, he need not do it Americans. TrTT R P Tr T . .IrTTM

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