The Statement columnists give their opinions on Ann Arbor's best
Best Textbook Store
By Eileen Hengel / Daily Staff Writer
By Kistin XMacDo nald
here is a hairless, diseased squir-
rel running loose around cam-
pus. Perhaps you've seen it? Its
skin is gray, tough and wrinkled and
it has bloody spots on its legs and head
from scratching itself.
A squirrel disease expert has diag-
nosed the creature with notoedric
mange, a condition where mites bury
themselves under the squirrel's skin,
causing all of its fur to fall out. Usu-
ally, squirrels with this disease die
from exposure in the winter months.
But this particular squirrel will live,
7 ou know spring has hit Ann
Arbor when the ranks of the
.;harmonica-playing dudes out-
side tlhe UGLi swell from one or two
solitary shiverers to a whole drum-
banging crew. Their Diag takeover is
one of Ann Arbor's finest fair-weath-
er hallmarks, and you'll appreciate it
all the more in light of the crap to
which the rest of the country is made
mercilessly subject - namely, the
chart-topping, genre-crossing and
disturbingly catchy "Honky Tonk
Badonkadonk," a country hip-hop
single currently lowering IQs across
the nation courtesy of Nashville
star Trace Adkins. It may seem like
shooting fish in a barrel to laugh at
this little ditty, but hell, get out your
What, you may be asking yourself,
is a "badonkadonk" anyway? Con-
however, because the winter months
havL passed. It will become immune
to the mite and grow all of its fur back.
The squirrel's clothing (its fur) has
been taken from it by a terrible dis-
ease. What does the squirrel do? It
doesn't stagger around the Diag in the
early winter months with its hair fall-
ing out, eventually keeling over and
dying a pathetic, lonely, naked death.
It perseveres through hardship.
The squirrel fights, and one spring
day, it wakes up and realizes it is going
sensus definition pegs it as a woman's
particularly ample posterior, though
Urbandictionary.com provides no
less than 70 reader-submitted inter-
pretations which range from a butt
that is "off the international 'Boo-
tyscale' " to "possibly the lamest
synonym for 'booty' in the history of
lame synonyms for 'booty' " (open
Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia.org
recommends "junk in the trunk" as
an appropriate synonym and addi-
tionally refers interested readers to
see "J. Lo" for further information).
For those of you still foreign to
the wonders of Adkins' actual song:
a.) Congratulations on steering clear
of the Billboard Hot 100, a chart on
which this cultural masterpiece has
been safely aboard for the last twen-
ty straight weeks, and b.) Download
the video now. Your jaw will drop.
to live. It rubs lotion on its gray and
wrinkly skin, wraps its wounds in
bandages and drives its car to the store
for the latest issue of Vogue. It grows
back the thickest, most beautiful fur in
Ann Arbor, so shiny you can see your
reflection in it.
So what does this have to do with
fashion? The diseased squirrel is sig-
naling a change. School is ending,
spring is here, and what else could that
mean but rebirth? If you need reinven-
tion or rejuvenation in your wardrobe,
don't be afraid to make it now. This is
Your eyelids will lower in incredu-
lity. Your head might even explode.
Let me paint the scene: a dark,
neon-lit club. Scantily-clad women
in every corner. Cigars and brass
knuckles as accessories. Yeah, it
could almost be every rap video ever
made - except for the cowboy hats,
that is. Despite any discussion of
"Badonkadonk" as crossover break-
through, this video is unapologetical-
ly country - Adkins forgoes Cristal
for beer, spouts the barest of rhymes
("She's got it goin' on / like Donkey
Kong") and restricts his bling to his
oversized belt buckle.
It's enough to make you wish the
claymation Celebrity Deathmatch
was still up and kicking. Remem-
ber when the Spice Girls skewered
Hanson during the 1998 Super Bowl
halftime? I can just picture 2006's
the season for change. Scared to bust
out? Just think of yourself as a mang-
ey squirrel with open wounds on top
of your bald head. Ready for change
Maybe this was just an excuse to
talk about the squirrel I saw the other
day. Whatever, you can decide for
yourself. The squirrel loves it. I love it.
You love it. We all love it.
- Faria can be reached
worst-of-pop installment - Trace
Adkins steps into the ring with his
trail of cowboy-hatted chicks in
badonkadonk hot pants. Enter Chuck
Norris to slice down Adkins with an
easy roundhouse kick to the face,
while R. Kelly descends from the
ring-top scoreboard for a bullet-rid-
dled finale with his trusty Baretta.
The cheerful sadism of that clos-
ing image sums up the general love-
to-hate feeling towards this year's
lowest of pop culture rungs. How
pleasantly mind-boggling that such
icons exist, but how satisfying to
watch their ridiculous claymation
selves do the gruesome work your
better taste wishes it actually could.
- Kristin MacDonald can be
reached at email@example.com
fst days after opening Shaman
drum bookstore, owner Karl
Pohrt was bombarded by profes-
strs with questions. Not questions about
books, rather questions about how a
bookstore, which caters to graduate stu-
dents and college professors, could sur-
vive. The answer: sell textbooks.
Now, 16 years after its opening and 15
years after Shaman began selling text-
books, the locally owned retailer finds
itself perched above Ulrich's, Michigan
Book and Supply, the Union Bookstore
and most notably, Amazon.com for read-
ers choice in textbooks. With more than
750 different courses selling through
Shaman, many readers find its conve-
nience one of its greatest assets. Well,
that and the free Zingerman's bread
awaiting anyone who reaches the top of
"Most of my professors sell exclusively
to Shaman," senior LSA Alicia Greenberg
said. "I can't necessarily complain though
because all my books are in the same spot.
It's nice not having to run all around Ann
Arbor to get a book."
Despite the perennial lines that
routinely stretch down the block,
Shaman seems to have hatched into
a market that few other bookstores
can claim: loyalty. The store carries
everything thing from the obscure,
such as "Gender Articulated" by Mary
Bucholtz and Kira Hall, required for
Linguistics 394 to the popular with
Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also
Rises" for the English Department's
American Novel course.
"The academic community has
always been very supportive of us,"
Pohrt said. "They basically told me,
'we could help you if you order our
textbooks for us.' In reality, we serve
the professors better than we serve the
But Pohrt was quick to point out
that the reasons teachers order through
Shaman isn't out of mercy or for politi-
cal reasons. According to Pohrt, the
real reason that they choose Shaman is
because frankly, they do a better job,
and the readers seem to agree.
"The lines are annoying, no doubt,"
sophomore LSA Jocelyn Kalmus said.
"But at least I don't have to elbow my
way past half a dozen people to get a
book. Once I get upstairs I know I can
take my time without being rushed."
In fact, the reason that Shaman won
the best textbook store is also the same
reason that it lost the best bookstore
award. The retailer does not pride itself
on selling the next Dan Brown block-
buster or Tom Clancy's latest thriller.
Those books won't even be placed
face-out on its shelves. It has what Kal-
mus calls, a "collegey" atmosphere.
"Many of the same books that we
sell upstairs (with the textbooks) are
sold downstairs in the store," said Ste-
phen Smith,textbook manager. "We've
actually read a lot of the textbooks we
sell to students. Some professors even
find a book they will use for our class
by browsing our shelves."
Still, the textbook and the publish-
ing industry as a whole continuesmto
suffer as more books are sold online
or in box stores (such as Wal-Mart or
Sam's Club) at cutthroat prices, often
making it difficult to turn a profit.
Hence, a new addition of a biology
book is released every semester. As
a result, Shaman has increased the
number of used books sold as well
as coursepacks. But these measures,
according to Pohrt, raise ethical ques-
tions as well. When a book is sold
used, the author and publisher receive
no royalty fees. The line between
profit and morality become blurred
- an issue that the industry has yet
to decide on.
"My responsibility to the students
is to sell them the lowest rate books
versus my responsibility to author to
ensure them profit is something we
have yet to decide on," said Pohrt. "We
don't make much money but the reward
really comes from being a part of this
community and serving those that we
know will appreciate our product.";
Shaman Drum prides itself on an eclectic collection of books.
'. . . . . . #y. S.c .
2 . ." d -
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And Much More!
FOR VOTING US T HE BEST NIGH TCLUB IN ANN ARBOR'
AS A SPE CIAL T HANK YOU1 TO MICHIGAN DAILY R EADE RS, BRING T HIS AD tN
ON T H*URSDAY, APRI ,3T * H R SAT*RDAY, AP*RIL 15TH F *R FREE COV E .4
L O O i i f WVELCME
ANN ARBOR S BIGGEST CLUB NIGHT
5 I6 E U18ERTY, ANN ARBtOR, i48104 | 734.994.5835 j HTTP://fWWWNECTO7.COM | ENO PHO3TOCOPIES ACCEPT ED+
12B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 13, 2006
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