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February 06, 2014 - Image 10

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2B -- Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

2B - Thursday, February 6, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Braving the Arctic
col d conditions
ofAnn Arbor

baked.-buzzed. bored.
in this new series, three daily arts writers
in varying states of mind visit the same
place and write about their experiences.
this week's destination:

L ast Tuesday, Jan 28,
the University of
Michigan canceled
classes due to poor weather
conditions. The decision broke
the Univer-
sity's 36-year
streak of
not closing
classes due
to weather.
Some alumni
were upset,
personally JOHN
offended you BOHN
could say, BOHN
that they had
to brave the
weather in years past whereas
present classes supposedly
dare not tread.
I can't help but think, how-
ever, that their visceral reac-
tion to these events could only
emerge from a fundamental
misunderstanding of the situ-
ation. Given the real underly-
ing causes of the cancelation,
however, it may be the bravery
and strength of these fearless
winter warriors that is needed.
First off, the canceling of
classes was not a "snow day."
On this point, the alumni and I
agree. As we all noticed, there
was a shining sun that Tues-
day and no snow in sight, save
what was already frozen to the
ground. A more appropriate
term might be "global warm-
ing induced freeze-over." I
stress the term "global warm-
ing" over "climate change,"
one, because the situation is
more dire than mere "change,"
and secondly, because it is
the melting of polar ice caps
due to rising global tempera-
tures that allow frigid arctic
winds to drunkenly swerve
south into Ann Arbor during
the winter months. While I'm
sure it was a playful comment
that our alumni made - claim-
ing that Wolverine territory
extends into the Arctic - it
is true, in a horrible turn of
events, that Arctic territory
has extended into so-called
"Wolverine territory."
As much as Big Oil has tried
to literally buy the truth about
"climate change," securing
a monopoly in the market of
ideas by funding think tanks
that pump out an impressive
amount of analyses denying
global warming (and there-
fore helping to secure the
continuance of our environ-
mentally destructive oil-based
economy), everyday anxiety
grows within the scientific
community. I'm not an alarm-
ist in stating these facts. It's
become common recourse
at conventions, as highly
respected journalist Naomi
Klein has shown, for climatol-
ogists among others to discuss
more immediate responses to
climate change than presently

employed due to growing fears
about passing a sooner-than-
expected threshold for human
life on Earth.
Ever since the NSA docu-
ments leaked, as The Guard-
ian reported this summer, it's
been no secret that even the
military, since 2006, has been
preparing to combat and sup-
press what it fears will be a
rise in "civil disturbance" over
encroaching "environmental
destruction" and its ensuing
"cataclysmic mega-disasters"
(to borrow the military's poet-
ic language). Given the pro-
liferation of papers at science
conventions with such color-
ful titles as "Is Earth F**ked?
Dynamical Futility of Global
Environmental Management
and Possibilities for Sustain-
ability via Direct Action Activ-
ism," the military might not be
too far off in its paranoia. Of
course, granting the military
legitimacy in its fears is to
ignore the sheer comedy of its
intervention to stop protests
rather than the destruction
of the conditions for life on
If nothing changes in our
present economic system and
radical shifts in global climate
systems inevitably generate
a scarcity of resources, only
the strong, and the strongest
of the strong at that, would be
able to persist under the living
conditions on an Earth that
has become two degrees hot-
ter than any previous period in
human history. The military, in
that future, could undoubtedly
use the company of our furious
alumni, and the alumni would
need them just as well. Togeth-
er, they would certainly be the
promised children of a new
world order. Funded by the infi-
nite coffers of American budget
deficits, the military would
provide its members with ben-
efits and access to resources
and technologies unheard of
in our neoliberal order. Such
connections would certainly
allow anyone to march to class
in arctic weather and remain
healthy - physically and psy-
chologically - in those final
moments of humanity before
it's self-catalyzed extinction.
Just as well, since not every
Tom, Dick and Mary would do
well in that environment, even
if life were eked out for several
more decades. The end of life
on earth can really take its toll!
But not on a Wolverine! (Go
So please, take Ann Arbor
back from our feeble hands.
Honestly, many of us probably
wouldn't want it. In the short
term (before martial law goes
into effect, of course) many
more of us just simply wouldn't
be able to afford living here.
With rents spiraling out of

control as the University and
city government make cozy
accommodations for wealthier
and wealthier students, the
increasing frequency of "polar
vortexes" could hurry along
the processes of gentrification.
(Admittedly, there is most like-
ly a threshold where enough of
the population has died that a
money economy becomes obso-
lete and living space in Ann
Arbor becomes more available,
but until that point, things
would certainly continue on in
the direction of gentrification.)
In this brave new world, to
not be a weakling who fails to
attend class, one would need a
steady, high income to afford
housing close in proximity to
one's destination so as to avoid
the 15 to 30-minute exposure to
Arctic winds that could result
in frost bite; or, if one is at a
considerable distance, be able
to afford reliable transporta-
tion into town from afar. See-
ing how the Ann Arbor City
Council continues to prolong
a decision on extending AATA
services countywide, the exclu-
sion of many from attending
the University would increase,
as they cannot afford to pay
for classes and the expenses of
driving to them. This is to not
even go into, it must be said,
the plight of University faculty
and staff and wage laborers of
Ann Arbor who must commute
to their jobs downtown in these
Can you handle
some killer
satire? Huh?
Can you?!
With that said, our brave
alumni and whoever else
remains in Ann Arbor during
the end times - the military,
the wealthy, those much older
alumni who speak about how
much colder it was "back then,"
and probably those mythic law
students who, rumor has it,
sued the University for closing
classes in the '70s ... enjoy!
I'm sure, of course, that it will
be beautiful. I'll never forget the
trees of Ann Arbor burgeoning
with a thick layer of snow, and
the large, solemn icicles that
hang from the rooftops with
a sublime indifference to the
human life below. Hopefully
those left will be able to appre-
ciate the beauty of those coming
winters. Maybe Chris Traeger
and Ann Perkins
Bohn is getting his Jonathan
Swift on. To encourage him,
e-mail jobohn@umich.edu.


I It all starts when we're on the porch, I'm midway through doing my thing,
and a girl asks me to help her move her car. Much pushing and awkward slip-
page later, and we're almost ready to getgoing with the Yeezus.
Except - well, you don't really realize this until your assignment is solely
listen to something and get baked, but nobody just stares at a wall and listens
to music for an hour. People are active creatures. And, considering we've all
heard Yeezus innumerable times since it came out, it's not that exciting to sit
down in the living room and just watch each other listen to music.
So, we end up playing "Mario Kart" with Kanye's synths beating in the
background. It's kind of a trippy experience - I'm racing in this colorful
wonderland, Kanye is screaming and rapping about his massage, someone is
shooting lightning at us. The game is fun, though, I'm getting pretty into it -
holy crap, I have ashot at 1st? One race left.
Aaaand the last track of Yeezus comes to a close. What? How did that hap-
pen? Somehow, during our two four-race cups, we managed to listen through
all 40 minutes ofKanye's latest and greatest. No, that won't do - we'll just put
it on again so we have something to write about.
So we're halfway through a game of Euchre before I realize again, crap, we
forgot to listen to the damn album again. I mean, it's still on, with "Guilt Trip"
fading away, but do I just drop out completely whenever Yeezus is playing?
Makes me wonderwhat's goingthrough myheadwhenever I walkto class.
we went to noodles & co because that is exactly the perfect place to start
a night. i was pretty excited because i hadn't even seen Jerry in like amonth
and a half I was also pretty excited because i wasdrunk. so. after noodles, we
go to espresso because EVERYONE WANTED TO, we were all on the same
page and brianne got a hot chocolate that was like the best she has ever tasted
which was incredibly surprising and heart breaking at the same time. then
we got to jerrys house only his roommate, or maybe friend, was stuck in the
driveway so everyone was helping her, except brianne and i, because we went
inside because it was FREEZING. Then elliot came in asnd was like "MARIO
AKRT LET'S PLAY" and brianne and i had noooo idea how to do it but we
did except i beat her because i was in 11th place and she was in 12th. yeezus
was playing in the background--that's the point of this whole BBB, so yeah. It
was lively. It was background music to our fun. Then we played Euchre and
Dylan (shit i hope that's his name) and i won. Then we played....assholes and
prisoners, and i also won. so. NEVER PLAY ME IN CARDS I WILL WIN. I
love Yeezus because it's such a classic even though it's been like seven months
since it's come out.It was agood time.
By the end of"Black Skinhead," I've drowned twice, knocked into four pen-
guins like bowling pins and hurtled over the edge of a cliff thanks to a swerv-
ing Baby Luigi. Yet, I am the sober one here.
Camped out around "Jerry" 's TV with controllers in hand, we abandon
Yeezus-fest for a round or three of Mario Kart. Granted, Kanye West has his
place at Jerry's side, demanding the delivery of his damn croissant from the
confines of Jerry's laptop, but I'm too preoccupied with selecting the perfect
vehicle for Princess Daisy to notice. I settle for a peach-tinted motorbike,
feeling confident in my tasteful ode to "Bound 2," and quickly speed into the
ocean to drown.
I never said I was good at anything.You understand, don't you, Kim?
An hour later, Yeezus is on itsthird round, I'm still No.13 on the scoreboard
and Jerry and Anna are arguing over whether this circular, brown blob of a
character is a duck.
"I'm tellingyou," Annainsists, "It's aduck."
"Ducks don'tlook like that, Anna!" I say, "It's like a coconutwith legs."
"You're a coconut with legs," she whispers. I can't win, not at races or
Drunk-Anna logic.
Jerry scrolls back to "On Sight," and, for a fourth time, we try to listen to
... Instead, we play euchre at Jerry's dining table as Kanye continues to
bemoan, again, "I'm in it and I can't get out." As Jerry's partner on a team los-
ing1:6, Iunderstand Kanye's pain.
"Ohhh," Jerry whines, slapping his cards onto the table in defeat, "Oh, fuck
a duck."


Whether it's rooting for the
competingteam,watching the
commercials or even just eating
the nachos,
mostpeople A
can findsome
funintuningin New Girl
every year on
Sunday night Season 3
to watch the Episode14
multi-million Fox
dollar produc-
tion that is the
Super Bowl unfold. This year, its
the post-game episode of"New gl
Girl"provided the same kind an
of entertainment, drawing25.8 he
million viewers for 30 minutes G(
of laughs.
If the opening scene featur- by
ing Schmidt, Winston and Nick b)
debating the correct pronun- cc
ciation of the word "panties" se
didn't do it for you, hopefully, bo
Jess'entrance and announce- in
ment, "We're going to a party Je
at Prince's!" did. The central sit
conflictof the episode reveals tit

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