4A - Friday, September 14, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
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JOSEPH LICHTERMAN and ADRIENNE ROBERTS ANDREW WEINER
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Think with your heads
NCAA should work to prevent concussions
fter only two weeks of collegiate football, USA Today report-
ed 15 concussions among injured NCAA players. In 2008,
the Boston University School of Medicine released a state-
ment linking repeated concussions to Chronic Traumatic Encepha-
lopathy. Describing CTE as "a progressive degenerative disease of
the brain," the university connected CTE to "the development of
memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, paranoid and aggres-
sive behavior, depression, dementia, and Parkinsonism." With thir-
teen weeks left, the NCAA should take action to reduce the number
of concussions and protect players.
An apology for America's values is never
the right course."
- Republican Presiderial candidate Mitt Romney said in criticism of a White House
statement responding to the recent U.S. Embassy attacks in Libya on Wednesday.
Get caught in the act
With such serious consequences, any
number of concussions - let alone 15 - is
too many. In early 2011, retired NFL player
Dave Duerson, complaining of symptoms
similar to those of CTE, shot himself in the
chest. Prior to his suicide, Duerson left a mes-
sage requesting that his brain be studied for
CTE. The condition can only be diagnosed
postmortem. The BUSM concluded that, at
only 50 years old, Duerson had been suffer-
ing from "moderately advanced CTE." Since
then, former NFL players Junior Seau and
Ray Easterling have also committed suicide,
unable to cope with the onset of symptoms.
Easterling was discovered to have devel-
oped CTE, and Seau was suspected of having
developed the early stages.
Football fans must also be made aware of
the gravity of injuries like concussions. The
fact that concussions can cause serious, long-
lasting effects is an unfamiliar concept to
fans and players alike. Even fewer are aware
of how frequently concussions occur. Retired
NFL safety Miles McPherson explains,
"There is no football player - maybe a punt-
er - that has not had multiple concussions."
Awareness needs to be promoted among
youth, since many of these long-term effects
can be incurred at a young age. In 2009, a
BUSM study showed that CTE can develop
even in college players who never go profes-
sional, finding "early signs of the disease" in a
deceased 18 year-old.
The concussion epidemic is substantiated
by a strong desire to win that may be misinter-
preted by players as a responsibility to play. At
the University especially, the importance of
a winning season can become inflated. Such
an environment can create unreasonable
expectations for concussed players to return
to the game, further risking their health and
future. While winning is not the responsibil-
ity of players, football fans are responsible for
offering a level of understanding and concern
to the players they root for.
Just as fans are accountable for a compas-
sionate football culture, the NCAA is respon-
sible for player safety. The NCAA must focus
on refining its rules to reduce the likelihood
of injuries and clarify its definition of concus-
sions to improve sideline detection of con-
As Dr. Robert Cantu of BUSM observes,
"Young men and women are voluntarily
exposing themselves to repetitive brain trau-
ma without full knowledge of the potential
consequences, and the rules of the games are
designed without an appreciation for the risks
carried by the players." This is a problem that
requires the cooperation of all those involved
in NCAA football to develop a cohesive solu-
tion and promote safety.
The Daily u
year. We have
ist spirit, femi-
student, social justic
tal activists and acti
Clearly activism i
our culture at the '
we mean when we
What are the acti
people take? What
activist? Some of th
used for illustrative
'take a stand' and 'pc
are a little too aml
vide a guide. Let m
catch some activist
reviewing some pas
A March 24, 201
a panel discussion
ist backgrounds of
faculty. These wer
phrases: "acted as
translate," and "wc
lize." Additionally, t
panel speakers im
action. Kristen Has
of American Culture
acts of thinking al
good, thinking abou
of language," and c
set of keystrokesa
ised the word on-campus component of the Mil-
over 80 sepa- lion Hoodie March in support of
s in the 2011- Trayvon Martin last spring. The
piece implies that the event had an
"activist spirit," but refrains from
explicitly calling the 150 students
and community members that
marched-activists.' However, in a
report on the Take Back the Night
march that took place last April
the acts of walking, chanting, and
holding signs are further bolstered
MICHAEL as signs of activism. In the article,
SMALLEGAN the reporter uses the term "femi-
s__ LEGA__ nist activist group" to describe the
student organization the F-word,
whose members were encouraged
ce, environmen- to join in the marching.
ivist families. Last March, Vidhi Bamzai, a
s a large part of former public policy senior and
U,' but what do chair of the South Asian Aware-
use this term? ness Network, wrote a viewpoint
ons that these about activism. Bamzai stated that
makes you an he considered himself an activ-
e catch phrases ist, but that he never would have
e purposes like done so if the leaders of his orga-
olitically active' nization hadn't challenged him to
biguous to pro- think differently. Actually, in his
e briefly try to words, one of the largest drivers
s in the act by of his shift of identity as an activ-
t reporting. ist was that his SAAN co-chairs
2 piece covered "forced [him] to accept things as
of the activ- they come." However unintuitive
a few of our that may be, Bamzai learned a key
e the operative lesson in adaptability which ulti-
cross-cultural mately led to his identification as
ed," "aimed to an activist, initiating lots of action
orked to mobi- in the meantime. At the close of his
he words of the article, Bamzai suggested that this
plied dynamic change in thinking and the general
s and Matthew mindset that he brought away from
iate professors his time in SAAN impacted his
e, discussed the career choice, his day-to-day deci-
bout the social sions and even his leadership style.
at "the problem A quick tally: walking, chanting,
onsidering the authoring, thinking, translating,
ct that a simple mediating, mobilizing, tapping a
actually allows keyboard, holding signs, changing
aent. your mind.
detailed the How mgany of these things do you
Though I'm aware - sometimes
painfully so - of wrongs that need
righting, institutions that need
guidance, lessons that need trans-
lation and liberation, relationships
that need mediation and at times
have taken action, I've not consid-
ered myself an activist. Taking a
look though at that list of activist
behavior, I'm struck by how many
I already employ, and I further-
more know that I strive to do more
of each of them. With the case of
vidhi Bamzai, the identification as
an activist came first, while huge,
meaningful action followed. Per-
haps it is time for me to change my
mind as well. Done. Iam an activist.
On the other hand, I'm no futur-
ist, but I will venture this: huge
positive cultural change is coming
in our lifetimes. It's true that it's
really not much of a stretch, since
many flavors of activism already
reside in our campus community.
We know that the Leaders and Best
take care of business. What's left
to speculation is what role we each
will play. We all keep in mind spe-
cific domains in which we would
dearly love to see positive change -
there is room for all of us to "take a
stand." So, do you consider yourself
- Michael Smallegan can be
reached at email@example.com.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Kaan Avdan, Eli Cahan, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Caroline Syms
Women with direction
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The glass ceiling seems to be thinning.
More women are accepted into medical
schools and are on their way to becoming
lawyers and business owners. Women have
even made a considerable dent in the world
of CEOs, but one frontier women have barely
grazed is the world of film direction.
In the 83 years of the Academy Awards only
four women have ever been nominated for
Best Director: Linda Wertmuller for "Seven
Beauties," Jane Campion for "The Piano,"
Sofia Coppola for "Lost in Translation" and
Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker." Out
of 413 nominations for Best Director, only
one woman - Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 - has
In2011, only5 percentoffilmdirectors were
women. Even fewer are actually employed by
major Hollywood studios. Most female direc-
tors gravitate toward documentary or inde-
pendent filmmaking. Only 18 percent of all
backstage work in the film industry is done
by women. It's hard to find another industry
where women are so chronically absent.
Hollywood is a male-dominated indus-
try and most Hollywood movies target male
audiences. It's a perfect example of an "old
boy's network." Most director gigs are given
because of connections or are based on repu-
tation, and no formal interview is ever con-
ducted. The people who are respected and
have the most pull in Hollywood are men.
Age, achievements and esteem are extreme-
ly important in film, and these can only be
achieved with time, time most women have
not yet attained.
Hollywood is a business of money. The
highest priority of any studio is box-office
profits. Most blockbuster movies involve
guns, violence, sex and female nudity. While
movies like "Magic Mike" and the "Twilight"
franchise showed that male bodies sell just as
well as female ones, these movies were still
directed by men. Employers don't believe
that a female director could pull off the level
of gun-toting nutheads needed to produce
the desired profits. Female directors are least
likely to be involved in action, horror and
animated features, the backbone genres of a
profitable summer blockbuster.
Additionally, directors are burdened with
the task of translating a screenplay into a
visual experience. Directors have to make
quick decisions. As a woman, I can tell you
that I rarely make a decision without look-
ing at every possible outcome, talking it over
with at least three different people and tak-
ing a night to sleep on it. Many women are
much more in their heads than men, analyz-
ing and over-analyzing everything - not the
most efficient quality in a director.
A director is in charge of numerous people.
Not to pull out stereotypes, but as manag-
ers, studies show assertive women are liked
less than men. I don't want to put the blame
on men and come off as a radical feminist. I
am educated enough to know that men and
women's minds work differently. Some might
say it's harder for a woman to execute a large-
scale film. But this is refuted by the fact that
female CEOs outnumber female film directors
by three times. It is my thought that powerful
women are not drawn to the arts. Instead, they
go into business and become those CEOs.
Films directed by women are also more
likely to pull in female crowds. The 'chick
flicks' of the Hollywood scene are therefore
directed by women to attract a female audi-
ence. Nora Ephron's "Julie and Julia" as well
as Anne Fletcher's "The Proposal" are per-
fect examples. The romantic comedy has long
been dominated by female characters, direc-
tors and audiences. However, it's not uncom-
mon to see a man directing a romantic comedy
like Adam Brody's "Definitely, Maybe," but
you would be hard-pressed to find a woman
directing Michael Bay's "Transformers."
My view is that as society continues to
promote more women to executive positions,
the gender gap in the film world should nar-
row, just like everything else. This should be
especially true as women become presidents
of major film companies and increasing the
hiring of female directors.
Jesse Klein is an LSA sophomore.
Three days ago was the 11th anni-
versary of September 11th, a mind-
blowing, horrific and tragic day.
Every year, families mourn the loss
of loved ones who, for no reason
other than the flag on their lawns, or
maybe just the geographical location
of those lawns, were put to death.
I use "put to death" because that's
what it was - an execution. The
term "homicide" has some room for
accident or mishap. "Execution" is
fully and decisively intentional. So
it was an execution of innocent citi-
zens who, for all we know, may have
been perpetuating a Middle Eastern
economy with their trades. They
clearly didn't deserve to have their
lives taken. I honor the lost, those
who died in the frame of fifty stars
and thirteen stripes.
I remember that day - it was the
first day of third grade at my private
school on the Upper East Side of
Manhattan. Just as the teacher had
gotten one ofthe girls to stopbawling
over her separation from her mother,
we were instructed to remain seated
at our tables. Our parents were com-
ing to pick us up, said the teacher.
Sweet deal, I thought. So I waited.
And waited. And waited. Finally, my
friend's dad came to get me. This day
just keeps getting better. Igleamed.As
I strode through the park with my
friend, his dad and my twin brother,
we spoke of Star Wars. We walked
into his house and rushed to the bed-
room, glimpsing at the TV, which
seemed to be broken. The screen was
black and seemed fuzzy. We found
a board game and hustled back into
the living room only to realize that
the TV screen wasn't black, but was
showing a gray image. All gray: a
video feed from a helicopter circling
the Twin Towers, which lay col-
lapsed, smoke so dark and so expan-
sive you'd think you were watching
Lost. Or maybe you wouldn't think
that-but that day meant little more
than a play date to a nine year-old.
So in retrospect, what was the
significance of that day? What is the
significance of that day now? Well,
there is something about tragedy
that seems to create community -
something about loss that allows
us, for one brief instant, to appre-
ciate what we have. Funerals unite
families and wars unite countries.
But it always seems a melancholy
gathering, one in which fifty stars
don't twinkle so bright and thirteen
stripes blur together.
Days lce September 11th remind
us to stop and stare and soak it all
in. In 2001, it was a stunned stop,
and a frightened stare. I, for one,
am still soaking it all in. Appreciate
what you have, because it could be
gone in an instant. That's the mes-
sage - life lasts for a long while
and disappears in a fleeting solemn
second. So, appreciate your life as it
lasts. Not "while,"but "as." "While"
indicates that you have something
else going on. Life is all that mat-
ters - embrace it every second
of every day. Appreciate the lives
around you, because death is not
dealt based on "deserving." No one
deserved death less than the vic-
tims of 9/11.
Instead of mourning death 11
years after, we must learn to honor
and celebrate life. Those who died
in the attacks wouldn't want us
to suffer in remembrance of their
executions for crimes they didn't
commit. We must take life - ours
and others' - seriously every day.
Don't live it like it's your last, that's
too much of a cliche. How- about
you live it like it's your first - your
first time meeting the person you
love, your first time discovering
something you love, your first time
visiting a place you love, your first
time seeing a sight you love so very
much. It's about what you have, not
what you don't.
Eleven years later, we're still here
though those we love may not be. I
invoke the phrase "Never Forget."
I think we should always remem-
ber - remember to live and to love,
to learn and to listen, to see and to
hear, and to touch and to be touched.
Eli Cahan is an LSA sophomore.
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