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October 20, 2005 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-20

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That groupie love
Between the Sheets j Sex Column
By Brooke Snyder

- -- -- - ~ - r - r - -'- .rsa



Prof calls for diversity in te
Ralph Williams, EngliE
By Doug Wemert | Daily Maga

qty Cent and G-Unit have them.
Every conceivable rock star has
f them. Kobe Bryant undeniably
has them. Even the average fraternity,
' sorority and campus celebrity has a few,
here at the University. They abound at
clubs, concerts, and red carpets, flocking
around those whom they worship, trying
to act as if they know somebody. They are
the reason for the back door at Club Oz.
They are fanatical, infatuated and maybe
even obsessed. You know who they are:
those ubiquitous and inescapable group-
ies - the bane of my existence.
A groupie is defined as an enthusiastic
young fan, especially a woman, who fol-
lows celebrities around in order to meet, be
associated with and generally have sex with
them. Today, any person with the slightest
amount of celebrity status is sure to have a
few scantily clad and licentious stragglers
lurking behind his or her every step.
Recently I scored VIP passes to a club
party hosted by Doug E. Fresh in Detroit.
I noticed a young woman wearing hair
extensions, fake nails and a skin-tight,
seriously undersized dress - clearly a
groupie. With no pride, she trotted over
to Mr. Fresh and started getting low on

his Gucci loafers. Then she slipped him
a piece of paper and sauntered back to
the bar, swishing her hips as she went.
The shocking part: this girl had the nerve
to rub her booty all over Doug E. Fresh
while he was holding his wife's hand! She
was a typical groupie - trashy, ruthless,
out of her element in VIP, and a master of
creeping past security.
Groupies relentlessly try to have sex
with celebrities in the desperate hope that
some of their superstar statuses will rub
off amidst all the grinding. They enjoy
the popularity and attention celebrities
achieve, but experience it vicariously,
instead of working toward their own
fame. Maybe they just want to tell their
friends about who is packing and who is
lacking, or maybe they view the sex as
some grand achievement. Regardless, it
is clear that groupies have no limits and
won't even yield to wives and children.
Sadly though, groupies don't only pur-
sue international icons; they slither about
this very campus like hungry snakes.
Campus celebrities have come to expect
and depend upon groupie love. I literally
gagged when a football-playing friend
told a groupie that he would only see her

if she promised to have some form of sex
with him. "I need to know right now. Yes
or no," he demanded. And the worst part?
Even though he had a serious girlfriend,
the groupie complied with no hesitation.
That particular groupie was just one
out of no fewer than 50 girls on his hit-
list. There is six degrees of separation
between every student on this campus,
and he is having sex with the rest of her
groupie friends to this day - behind his
girlfriend's back.
Groupies are everywhere. Everyone
has heard of "that girl" who has had sex
with every member of a fraternity, or
every member of the hockey team. They
flock to athletes like seagulls swarm to
scraps of food in a Meijer parking lot.
It only takes one glimpse of a Big Ten
Championship ring, with the diamond
"M" glittering under dance floor lights at
Touchdowns, and groupies lose all sense
of rationality. Even if he is a busted one
on a scale of 10, the average boy in a var-
sity jacket can get some action without
even working for it. As one athlete put it,
"They throw themselves at me."
So, there it is. Groupies use sex as a
means of social advancement, even if it

is all an illusion. Remember the unpopu-
lar kid in middle school who desperately
wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch?
It's the same thing, only post-pubes-
cent. Women possess tremendous power
because of their sexuality, and groupies
are ruining this mystique with each sexual
conquest they initiate. It has become an
epidemic to the point that certain individ-
uals are spoiled into thinking they deserve
to get some action from every girl on this
campus. What's even worse is how group-
ies abandon all self-respect to become just
another notch on some (campus or interna-
tional) celebrity's headboard.
As women, groupies need to stop
fostering the disrespect of women and
instead should attain eminence in the
world by positive means, which no doubt
will generate man-groupies of their own.
Social status is gained by earning respect
as an intelligent, accomplished and genu-
ine person who is fun to be around - not
by .having sex with the next hot boy on
campus just to say you did.
Brooke hopes to get some groupie love
from this column. She can be reached at

(|'f ~ Michigan Daily: You started
| iching in 1970. How do you think
tie culture of Ann Arbor has changed
from when you first got here?
RW: Mostly in ways which in so far
as the University and its constituents are
concerned, there are very many positive
changes. When I came, the faculty was
much less diverse than it is now. The stu-
dent body, while more diverse than when
I was at Cornell, was much less diverse
than it is now. The shift in the University
in those ways, not only in demographics,.
but in the general sense that there is a Uni-
versity goal to have here as faculty c, d
student body - that is a goal it seems to
me is much more emphatically and foith-
rightly a goal. And for myself, that meets
my wish profoundly. One of what I call
Old Williams' Maxims, of which there
are about 613, this one is in the top ten:
We can't live what we can't imagaine, and
unless we have here folks who are drawn
from all those segments of our society,
how can you imagine a common future
and therefore have a commitment to our
common future? We simply won't make it
and there is a wider sense of that at the
University now.
TMD: With the recent budget cuts that
are facing the University, do you think that
will affect the University's ability to get
the best professors and resources?
RW: We're going to need to be
extremely agile in achieving both of
those goals. In fact, the idea of drawing
here creative, thoughtful, distinguished
investigating minds - students and fac-

ulty - is not alone a matter of financial
resources, though that counts deeply. One
of the things about the best people on the
faculty is that you can draw them almost
anywhere in the world where intellectual
excitement (meets) good social goals and
financial support will be on their minds,
but it won't be the first thing on their
minds. The task of those who know best
how to deploy those resources is to make
possible that coming and to try to make
the conditions for the most exciting intel-
lectual adventure possible here. Yesit will
surely make an impact, but Michigan can
still be the place where people find their
lives defined by intellectual richness, by
artistic richness. That can be done.
TMD: With so many forms of media
available today for people to choose, do
you think the classics are being forgotten?
RW: Time goes on and more and more
works of really extraordinary value are
being produced. Even an English major
here is not required to take the Shake-
speare course before graduation. In an
open market, Shakespeare is going to fare
very well. On the other hand, there are oth-
ers whose works I think need to be read if
one is to (consider) himself as humanely
literate in this century. If it should happen
that a student escapes out of English evad-
ing me somehow and hasn't read Shake-
speare but has read Toni Morrison, that's
all right. Certain of those which we'll call
classics may not be read as much but oth-
ers which future centuries will think of as
classics and have not yet found that stage
amongst us yet - they'll be read and one of

the benefits of Michigan is that we're read-
ing them now. I would deeply regret that a
student might not have the wonder of read-
ing Homer, of reading Virgil, of reading
Dante, of reading any number of books
that we call classics. At the same time, I
deeply regret if a student in this country
didn't read Douglas, Whitman, Ellison,
Toni Morrison.
TMD: You came out last year as a homo-
sexual. Why did you choose that time?
RW: This is a matter about which I am
profoundly reticent, but let me mention
to you what, in a public way, might be
appropriate. The timing is related to the
fact this is one of the profound ironies of
my life. For decades, I didn't understand
myself. I live myself honestly as I under-
stood myself at any one time. I grew up
and progressed through my life in many
ways with profound ignorance. I never
was closeted as they say. I live out of my
honesty. I can't conceive not being hon-
est. I'm married, I have a child who I am
enormously respectful of and loving of
my son and my wife - magnificent person.
Understanding myself as I did then until
relatively recent years, I wasn't the person
to climb up on the rooftops and talk about
my sexuality. With the discourse in the
country surrounding people whose desires
and self-expression are same-sex, the talk
has been evasive. When, as it happened,
a student of mine came to me and said
"Would you speak about honesty?" at the
National Coming Out Day, I thought about
it. Quite frankly, not as a matter of self-
expression so much as my own preference

in style is just to go about w
do, but I also wouldn't stan
and let people I care about
TMD: You won the Gok
Apple in 1992. Do you thin
the University should lool
at teaching ability more thai
research (with regards to ter
ure) or do they have a go(
balance right now?
RW: I do think that the
sity does take a hard look al
ing. I really do. My own s
that the University is in i
very diverse place. If any
there is a danger in making
arship and teaching and ser
sort of one-third, one-third
third ,and people get loppec
they don't fit that sort of me
think there are people whi
University could and shou
a place for, who shouldn't
a classroom. I think that i
others who devote less o
time to writing who are
active part of the commu:
would rather hope that the
versity would find ways of
ing folk who are crucially
at scholarship who might
find a place because they a
so good at teaching. I'm
pleading that we become
collection of eccentrics, bul
we need to find a place for
those voices.

Live free ... or die

Apple - C, Apple - V


Tech Column
By Forest Casey


t all sounded like a bad rerun of "The
Twilight Zone:" in my hometown,
.. Casual Corner Furniture closed without
fanfue and was replaced by a store that seemed
too good to be true - a 30-minute clinic that
painlessly cures cigarette addiction.
In the old TV shows, the new tenants would
seem just slightly different than normal - taller,
maybe - but the real wonder would be what-
ever they were selling: a too-good-to-be-true
pill or serum that would trim pounds while you
slept or hypnosis training that would turn you
into Charles Atlas within the hour. The town on
television would instantly be addicted to what-
ever the new shop was selling, only to find out
that the shopkeepers were aliens (or worse, Rus-
So when the Freedom Laser Therapy Cen-
ter opened its doors in downtown Royal Oak,
I expected alien invasion. And why not - its
purpose is certainly otherworldly for a typi-
cal business - using low-level laser therapy
to permanently cure cigarette addiction. Their
store windows shout for pedestrians to "Live
Free" from cigarette smoking, promising an 80
to 85 percent success rate.
Originally, the plan for this column was
for me to take up cigarette smoking, become
addicted and then hope that the treatment would
cure me. I instantly realized what a dumb idea
that would be, recruited a good friend of mine

who is already addicted to smoking and drove
down to Royal Oak.
Walking inside the Freedom clinic is like
walking inside the Men In Black headquarters.
Everything is clean and rectilinear, with space-
age chairs and ambient lighting. The therapists,
while not aliens, are disarmingly beautiful,
and left the two of us to fill out forms while we
watched an informational video covering the
history of acupuncture.- the basis for the laser
Company founder and inventor of the FIN-
DIT Keyfinder (as seen on TV), Craig Nabat
was himself a cigarette addict when he hap-
pened upon laser therapy in Canada, where it
has been available for 30 years. As his website
says, "Nabat's first hand battle with nicotine
addiction sparked a fiery in hin to help other
smokers who have trouble quitting." Freedom's
company goal is nothing short of heroic - to
rid the world of cigarette addiction.
The laser itself is low-level, about as pow-
erful as a 60-watt bulb, and stimulates the
release of endorphins to help the former ciga-
rette addict cope with the first 72 hours of with-
drawal. After that, the former addict needs to
cultivate habits to replace smoking - exercise,
a healthy diet (Freedom provides six different
dietary supplements to help recovering addicts
stay healthy ... ) and more psychological habits
( ... and also provides a water bottle to replace

the arm motion that becomes such a routine for
My treatment was nothing short of sur-
real. I was in what was quite possibly the most
comfortable chair I've ever been in for about
30 minutes while the lights were dimmed, and
my stunningly attractive therapist touched the
laser to pressure points on my hands and face.
A hypnotic video played throughout, speaking
to me over images of waves crashing, of tides
going in and out.
I learned from the video that I was strong
enough to quit smoking, that getting the treat-
ment was the most important thing possible for
me-to do at that time and that every aspect of
my life would dramatically improve after. the I
completed the treatment. Over and over again,
I was told to "live free," to "free myself" and
to "live free for my dependents" - it's a strong
mantra to which smokers should attach them-
selves with a vice grip.
When I talked to Dr. Kent Berridge, pro-
fessor of psychology at the University, part of
the team that formed the most accurate model
of addiction and craving, he was wary of the
treatment's given success rate.
"Neuroscientists increasingly accept that the
real causes of addiction go well beyond with-
drawal. So I don't think addiction neuroscience
leads us to expect this treatment would work.
If it helps at all, it seems likely to be through

helping induce a belief in people that they are
being helped to quit," he said.
He's right. Freedom (the clinic) wasn't just
about the gratis water bottle or vitamin supple-
ments, nor even about the laser itself - it's
basically a psychological spa, a pleasant ver-
sion of the conditioning received by the char-
acter Alex in "A Clockwork Orange."
Psychological spas, belief dispensed by laser
and addiction withdrawal cured in a 30-minute
treatment - what does it all mean? To some
degree, we're still caught up in the fantasies of
the 1950s, yet we still don't have a base under-
standing of scientific principles. Think about
it - we buy Gatorade because it replenishes
"electrolytes" and use our shampoos because
they stimulate "polypeptide bonding" in our
hair follicles. These things sound scientific,
but we don't understand how they work any
more than we understand how a laser increases
endorphin production.
I'm annoyed by my own ignorance, by my
own desire for instant cures and technological
confusion. But there's some point where I just
need to let go, to embrace and enjoy the tech-
nology even when I can't explain it. One way or
another, my friend hasn't smoked since.
Forest is waiting for a day when a laser
can cure his column-writing addiction. He
can be reached atfcasey@umich.edu.



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