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September 11, 2008 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-09-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 3B

Oprah owes us

L et me tell you the story of two audiences the b
* popular television talk-show capable of deliv
hosts: One is an out lesbian . having Palin on
who brought both presidential can- shying away? R
didates onto her show; the other is a fawn, Democra
black woman who's deeply invested in Oprah will hav
Barack Obama's candidacy and refus- In her press
es to have the first female vice presi- admitted she w
dential candidate on her program. Palin but refuse
Rumors recently flew that Oprah election. She se
battled a large neutrality but h
part of her staff tially been in va
on the decision endorsement of
to keep Palin Oprah the telev
out of Harpo be separated fr(
Studios and has There's simply:
since issued a If she's going to
press statement might as well g
to clarify: "There CAROLINE means inititin;
has been abso- HARTMANN could potential]
lutely no discus- setting ratings
sion about having Sarah Palin on my But the view:
show ... When I decided that I was consideration h
goingto take my first public stance much we'd all o
in support of a candidate, I made the trial before Opt
decision not to use my show as a plat- appearance wo:
form for any of the candidates." . ings for the sho
Oprah's intentions may seem Oprah is in som
nonpartisan, but the reality is that the television n:
attaching her name to ascandidate tisers that allow
is just as influential as lettingthem run. There's jus
walk across her stage, and-Palin is theory: Oprah o
receivingneither opportunity. all its syndicate
Ellen Degeneres went the opposite this makes Opr
route and invited Republican nomi- more deplorabl
nee John McCain onto her afternoon room for negoti
talk show to face the "elephant in the or audience. An
room" head on: gay marriage. A ball- the talk show s
sy move, sure, but according to FOX tain and inform
News, it may have helped McCain As much as I
more than pundits predicted. logue generated
Despite Ellen's pressuring com- with Ellen's wil
ments on equality, the interview was whatever fine li
(though mildly awkward) generally Oprah is trying
shows produce
the public feels
Palin shouldn't to, and a refusa
about issues tha
get shafted. a borderline bet
has hosted seve
sodes, and no oi
well-mannered. The two agreed to any less for it. H
disagree, and McCain concluded his ment is differen
statementsaby saying he wished Ellen that it was hand
everyhappiness - even if he does tion, whereas E
think "marriage" is a sacredbond blatantly, if silei
between man and woman. If talk shows
Bear in mind we're not talk- there's no reso
ing about "The Daily Show" or host (yes, this m
"Colbert"; Oprah and Ellen host Ray) should cut
programs that in no way directly debate. Even if
correspond to a set of political support the gue
beliefs. Maybe some hot-headed tion, they have:
Republicans turn their nose at each bilities to their'
of them for personal reasons - and Oprah to break
some Democrats too - but techni- vention she's bu
cally, neither woman is responsible invite Palin on
for broadcasting her beliefs, political woman to piece
or otherwise. That's not to say their want to do, but:
candid commentary and biases don't television, if no
factor into the show, but in those cir- fucking intervi
cumstances, that's asconscious deci-
sion they've chosen to make. Hartm
Regardless of their own views, and Michelle
though, Oprh and Ellen owe their E-mail her
From Page 1B
are age-old family dishes, like their grandmother's
mushroom barley soup.
"Our grandmother's mushroom barley soup is a
staple when we go there," Eli said. "It's fantastic -
that's why we put it in the book."
Growing up in a family that cooked was also
"The kitchen was where we got familiarized with
cooking because it implied spending time with fam-
ily, which is always important to my brother and
I," Eli said. "You know, like when you're cooking in
the kitchen and everyone is hanging out before the
*meal's ready. That's a big part of our family."
But despite the brotherly ties between Max and

Eli, the two definitely diverge in terms of cooking
styles and, of course, favorite ingredients. Their
favorite vegetables? For Eli, it's squash, but while

est shows they're
ering. If that means
, then why is Oprah
epublicans would
ts would fume and
e done her job.
statement, Oprah
ould love to interview
s to do so before the
ems to be aiming for
her efforts have essen-
in since her public
Obama last spring.
ision host cannot
om Oprah the voter.
no point in trying.
get involved, she
o all the way, and that
g an interview that
ly achieve record-
for the show.
ers aren't the only
ere, no matter how
ove to see Palin stand
rah. Assuming Palin's
uld generate high rat-
w, you'd think that
ae way obligated to
etwork and adver-
rher program to
t one hiccup in this
owns the show, in
d glory. Somehow,
ah's decision all the
e, because it leaves no
ation from her staff
d what purpose does
erve, if not to enter-
a its viewers?
love the cultural dia-
by "Oprah," I side
lingness to breach
ne of disinterest
to tread. Popular talk
TV personalities that
deeply connected
l to open discussion
at matter to viewers is
trayal of trust. Oprah
ral controversial epi-
ne has respected her.
ler direct endorse-
at only from Ellen's in
led asa media sensa-
llen'svote has been
ntly, understood.
remain relevant,
n why any popular
neans you too, Rachel
themselves out of the
they don't personally
st interview in ques-
additional responsi-
viewers. I challenge
with whatever con-
ilt for herself and
her show. Tear the
s if that's what you
for the sake of good
thing else, grant the
nann can't wait for Palin
Obama on "The View."
at carolinh@umich.edu.

The activist marching band Rude Mechanical Orchestra performed Sunday.

Artists take to the streets

Campus activists turn to
creative means to get their
political and social
messages to the public
For the Daily
Attempting to inform people abouta cause
unknown to them can often turn the fight-
ing activist into a pessimist, and constantly
brainstorming new and unique ways to reach
the public can easily burn a person out. Yet
there are those who continue to fight. They
work hard to prove that if people know what
is happening in the world, they might do
something about it.
But is this really true? If the homeless man
sitting outside Urban Outfitters asks pedes-
trians for spare change, a passerby might
reach to his pocket. But ifa protest were held
to fight the poverty putting that same man in
his situation, would that same passerby con-
tribute his efforts? Probably not. This dilem-
ma leads activists to the task of discovering
a medium that creates mass movement and
Author Claire Peeps defines the work of
an activist as "the building of social capital
- the grassroots networks
that enable people to move
information and ideas to
a broader audience, and
ultimately to make change
happen." One medium
powerfully conveying ideas
to the masses is art, in all
Public displays of art
speakto individualsbecause
they evoke people's empa-
thy. Everyone has at least - n.

one significant song, book, movie or painting
that holds significance in his or her life. The
arts have the power to ignite emotions*that
often remain untapped. This is exactly why
the merging of art and activism lends itself
to sparking interest in those who were previ-
ously uninvolved.
Activist art requires a different mindset
than that of a typical artist. Normally, a work
of art is praised for its originality, but when
working to create a movement, the art needs
to be repeatable. Replication allows numer-
ous activists to bring effective artistic dem-
onstrations to all those fighting for the same
cause. Activist art also requires the artist to
create with a contextin mind, considering not
only the content but also the audience, time
and location. While all art aims to provoke
thought, activists need to take it one step fur-
ther. The art needs to provoke action.
By its nature, art permits the audience a
certain amount of subjectivity. Therefore,
activist art defines a space for critical think-
ing without making the public feel like ideas
are being forced upon it. Art is a personal
experience, and when linked to activism, it
subconsciously connects the addressed issues
to the public on an intimate level.
Numerous student and public organi-
zations incorporate activist art into their
stands against injustice. Walking through
the Diag often brings these issues and move-

ments upon Michigan students. Whether it
is a cry for environmental equality, a fight
against domestic violence or the recent anti-
war demonstrations by the Rude Mechanical
Orchestra, this university is a hot spring for
Bearing endless methods with which to
fight, art may not always be in the forefront.
But one person in particular has taken on the
role of furthering art as a means of activism
on this dampus. Carol Jacobsen, a professor
in the School of Art and Design and the wom-
en's studies program and an award-winning
social documentarian, teaches a class encour-
aging students. to use their artistic passions
in connection with the Michigan Battered
Women's Clemency Project to battle the
injustices faced by women in the Michigan
prison system. Students from the class will
plan and execute multiple installations, post-
ers and performance pieces for an upcoming
rally for their cause on Oct. 3 in Lansing.
Art is so often overlooked, yet its power-
ful effects as a means of expression and com-
munication speak for themselves. But who
speaks for those who can't be heard? French
novelist and activist, Emile Zola, said, "The
artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift
is nothing without work." Activist art brings
artists and those who are invisible together;
it keeps alive the hope that if you knew, you
would do something about it.

you may think of it steamed and buttered, he has
a different cooking technique for it: "Throw it on
the grill," he said, with' a little bit of olive oil and
Max, however, stretches the definition of the
word "vegetable" and says his favorite is garlic. But
his passion for garlic is obvious: he has a clove tat-
tooed on his left arm.
"It's great to have that really sharp flavor - the
flavor of raw garlic is really intense. And then if you
mince the garlic and saute it, it reduces its intensity,
but you still get that really rich flavor." And if you
roast the garlic, the taste becomes "almost buttery
and the flavor is really soft."
Their favorite vegetables really sum up their dif-
ferences. Eli loves the hardiness of food; Max loves
the variation. But the two show that living in a col-
lege town next to a fancy restaurant isn't the only
way to find rich foods on both ends of the culinary
spectrum - it just takes a little open-mindedness
and maybe a nice blender for those smoothies.

Get' em while they're freshmen.
They won't be ripe for long.
Advertise your group or organization in the
Campus Involvement Page
Deadline Published
Sept. 18 Sept. 25
Contact a Classified Account Executive
at 734-764-0557
or dailyclassified@gmail.com

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