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December 03, 2007 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-12-03

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8A - Monday, December 3, 2007 1 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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Morphine doesn't sound so appealing anymore.

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>TOS COURTESY OF SUNDANCE

'Neath all that snow lies the beating heart of the Upper Peninsula, pumping the lifeblood of a nation.

Stop that poking and
give me more drugs

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Up north, the
mockery rings hollow

Upper Peninsula not full
of people who wash
their teeth with beer
By JOHN DAAVETTILA
DailyArts Writer
There's a certain image associated with
Michigan's Upper Peninsula:
a barren, snow-covered tun- Nimrod
dra populated by approxi-
matelyl.3 hicks per square Nation
mile. It's a stereotype that Mondays
most native Yoopers have to at 9 .m.
deal with upon their arrival p
at the University. Sundance
"You're from the U.P.? Do
you, like, brush your teeth with beer?"
After spending 18 years of my life up there,
I've never killed a deer or driven a truck, and
I hadn't touched beer until two months after I

moved to Ann Arbor. That's why it's so frustrat-
ing to watch "Nimrod Nation," the Sundance
Channel's new reality show about Watersmeet
and the town's high school basketball team. The
show implies that all Yoopers are complete hill-
billies.
The show itself is dreadfully boring. Even
though at face value it's about the Waters-
meet High School basketball team - purport-
edly the best team in the history of the school
- the show is really concerned with the impact
the Nimrods have on their hometown. Nearly
every person wears a "Watersmeet" or "Nim-
rod Nation" sweatshirt in every scene, which
doesn't exactly dispel the stereotype that Yoop-
ers don't wash their clothes.
After the previous year's run, Watersmeet is
eager to begin a new basketball season with a
team that promises to be good. The pilot docu-
ments the first game against rival-town Bess-
mer, which ends with disappointment for the
Nimrod faithful. It's oddly funny to watch the
disappointed faces of the crowd as the town

grasps the trivial realities of their team's loss.
The main problem with the show lies in how
the citizens of Watersmeet are portrayed. In
half an hour, there wasn't anything very intel-
ligent said; Watersmeet teenagers spend their
free time shooting things on the weekend and
swearing at each other. It's all pretty embar-
rassing. The show's producers are also quick
to focus on the characters' verbal slips. It just
sends the message that Yoopers are idiots.
It's also possible Watersmeet citizens are
playingupthe stereotypesto be more entertain-
ing. If that's the case, not only is it not working,
it's selling out a region of people for ratings.
Some will invariably disagree and find the
program an accurate depiction of Yooper life.
I've spoken to a number of them, both current
residents and University students, and some,
instead of being ashamed by the show, say
Yoopers should resign to how the "majority" of
them act.
There may be boorish people in the Upper
Peninsula, but there are also artists, scholars,
musicians and even people who read books! But
"Nimrod Nation" doesn't show these people
much. Instead, the viewer is led to believe that
everyone who lives there often stares vacantly
into space or actually believes an asteroid hit
Canada and created the U.P.'s atmosphere
- which isn't entirely the fault of the produc-
ers. The word "everyone" is thrown around too
often, and the people act cartoonishly.
There will always be stereotypes about the
Upper Peninsula, just like any other region of
the United States. What needs to change is the
audience's ability to separate what's real from
what's edited. Hopefully, viewers of "Nimrod
Nation" will realize that although ignorant
Yoopers do exist, there are still a great num-
ber of articulate, intelligent people who don't
always wear orange hunting caps.

By IMRAN SYED
Daily Arts Writer
A heart transplant is a pretty
scary thing. They
slice open your **
chest, wrench it
apart and literally Awake
cut your heart out.
How could it pos- At Quality16
sibly get worse? and Showcase
Try being MGM
awake for the
whole thing and feeling all the pain.
Apparently about one in 700 people
have the unfortunate experience of
being conscious despite anesthetics
(whatever, that's what the movie's
producers think at least), percep-
tive of everything happening. They
can feel the unimaginable pain, yet
they are completely paralyzed and
unable to do anything about it.
But this is Hollywood, and so
it must be worse still. What if you
were awake for a very painful sur-
gery and discovered a complex
scheme to kill you?
Such is the unfortunate experi-
ence Clay Beresford (Hayden Chris-
tensen, "Star Wars: Episode III"),
a young, wealthy New York City
businessman with a failing heart.
While on the waiting list for the
transplant, he meets, falls in love
with and secretly marries Saman-
tha Lockwood (Jessica Alba, "Fan-
tastic Four"), a woman working
for his mother. His overprotective
mother is extremely upset about the
relationship - the same night Clay
receives a call telling him his new
heart is ready.
Clay's mother wants the surgery
done by one of the nation's top sur-
geons, who happens to be an old
family friend. Clay refuses outright,
and encouraged by Samantha, opts
for Dr. Harper (Terrence Howard,
"Hustle & Flow"), an average sur-
geon in the city hospital who once

saved Clay after a heart attack. That
turns out tobea huge mistake.
The rest of the plot is convoluted
and jammed with twists ,hope-
lessly compromised by hackneyed,
soapy execution. The movie builds
one crazy unlikelihood on top of
another, and it all getspretty absurd
about halfway through. Nonethe-
less, there is energy and drama here
that's been rare of late. Despite its
many flaws - not least of all the
staggeringly bad dialogue - the
film is impossible to turn away
from. Like a cheap, form-written
detective story, you know this is
low-grade drama, but you're still on
the edge of your seat.
We're never going
to the dentist
ever again.
The concept of a person being
awake for a major surgery is scary
enough - the plot twists on top of
that push "Awake" over the edge.
Still, the film is helped along by a
stoic performance from Howard as
a well-meaning physician battling
impossible demons that threaten to
force his hand. In a low-key char-
acter role, Christensen is also at his
best, far from the hammed-up juve-
nile that was Anakin Skywalker.
Dumped into theaters on a slow
weekend, "Awake" is one of those
films that studios regret making,
yet have to release at some point. It
wasn't screened for critics and has
been largely pannedby the few crit-
ics who did see it. But while laugh-
ably flawed at times, this film is far
better than its rating on any review-
aggregation site might suggest.
Those who see it won't soon forget it
- even if for all the wrong reasons.

ARTS ENTERPRISE
From page 5A

Problem-solving processes,
like analogical and logical think-
ing, are equally useful for creative
output. It may seem contradicto-
ry, but the two modes of thought
create a balance.
"It's when the two are in a kind
ofinteractive tension that creative
progress emerges," Booth said.
For example, the logic behind
a marketing plan may be useful to
an artist understanding the flow
of an essay or the structure of a
sculpture. Both types of thinking
allow businesspersons and artists
to learn from each other's prac-
tices.
This activity of trading ideas is
what Arts Enterprise facilitates
through board meetings, work-
shops, community service and
guest speakers. It gives students a
chance to obtain a sense of busi-
ness savvy while thinking in stra-
tegic and creative ways. Music
CLEAR TIGERS
From page 5A
the feel of the entire song. "Won't
Be Back"grooves alongat 3/4-time
with a dirty, bluesy vengeance,
and by the time "Hotel" starts its
thrashing assault you'll be ready
for just about anything.
There are moments of striking
power on Brutal, built on a founda-
tion of contrast and climax. Each
manifests itself in Akin's skillful

students are given the opportu-.
nity to prepare themselves for the
musical marketplace. Business
students are able to strengthen
their artistic mindset as the busi-
ness world becomes increasingly
Broadening
the artistic
experience.
global and as corporations con-
tinue to hire students from vari-
ous degrees, including the arts.
This action-based group will par-
ticipate in an upcoming project
in New Orleans where they will
plan ways to readjust the culture
of New Orleans with resources in
for-profit and government areas
of the economy.
application of the quiet-loud for-
mula. Take "Igloo," for example,
a track that owes much to Animal
Collective. Its sedate acoustic gui-
tar and bouncy synth are gradu-
ally joined by sparse bass drum,
marching snare and wonderfully
fluid lead guitar, culminating in
the sort of moment that makes you
close your eyes and tilt your head
back.
Even "Summer School," which,
with its "Cherub Rock" cen-
tral riff and "Tonight, Tonight"
breakdown - seriously, it sounds

"The main perceived differ-
ence is that the business world is
a for-profit construct, and the arts
world is a non-profit construct,
and the general consensus among
the public is that art groups are
there to produce art, and that it
is not about monetary compensa-
tion," Mauskapf said. "However,
it's not nearly as black and white
as that."
This misconception only wid-
ens the gap between the arts and
business worlds, but Booth's final
point is a good starting point for
change: doing things out of an
intrinsic (rather than extrinsic)
motivation. That is, engagement
in a task should be the result of
a desire one has, not a feeling of
obligation. Being intrinsically
involved encourages us to cre-
atively engage ourselves and bring
to light a problem that's worth
addressing.

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like the Smashing Pumpkins - is
one of Brutal's most mystifying
tracks. It manages to insert a
clean, arpeggiated bridge in the
middle of a chugging modern rock
riff without cheesiness or irony.
That's where the climax comes in:
Akin is proving to be a master of
musical catharsis, specializing in
it-all-comes-together moments.
Though it's obvious that Akin
is still finding his own style, Bru-
tal is an album that's struggling
against that even when it shines
with moments of true inspiration.

DESIGN OUR WEB.
Work for our Online staff.
E-mail grossman@michigandaily.com.

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