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August 16, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-08-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

The lazy, crazy
days of summer
W E BID FAREWELL to another summer at
the University, and our emotions are mixed.
On the one hand, it has been a refreshingly
peaceful and enjoyable season - the schizophrenic
atmosphere which pervades the fall-winter school
year has been noticeably absent. In its place, the
feeling around campus has been one of frivolity.
Instead of hosting demonstrations and protests, the
Diag has instead been filled with roller skaters and
frisbee flingers over these past four months.
Yet, there has been something aggravating about
all this - at least from the perspective of the
student newspaper. While the absence of tangible
student activism has provided us all with welcome
contentment (relatively speaking), the issues
which inspire such activism have certainly not
disappeared. Oppression still reigns in South
Africa; nuclear energy has yet to be dismissed by
our leaders; the hostages remain captive; two
unacceptable presidential candidates have been
nominated; many students have registered for the
draft. And on the local level, tuition hikes and
program reductions are a reality. It is distressing
to see comment on these issues grind to a halt on
campus, comment which is an integral part of
University life during other seasons. In this
respect, we'll be happy to see the student stampede
hit Ann Arbor during the next few weeks.
Out of curiosity, we look to the fall, and we see a
wide variety of imminent issues, most of them
listed above, suggest a full-scale resurgence of
campus activism may be in the works. Students
have been sedate during the past decade, and the
prospect of renewed activism is very appealing to
us. It beats unqualified contentment. Au revoir.

.
1
i

'Another Brick'The
new youth anthem
make some kind of response. The
"We don't need no education By William Sievert song has not led to any significant
We don't need no thought protests-at least in this coun-
control try-because the current
No dark sarcasm in the In the U.S., educators in generation of high schoolers
several states have tried-with doesn'ty much believe in
classroom some success-to have the song protesting. From the statistics
Teacher, leave those kids removed from the play lists of we're seeing, they're more likely
alone." radio stations. According to Hope to drop out than to demand
The British band Pink Floyd's Antmen, national director for reforms when they feel they have
"Another Brick in the Columbia Records in New York, been wronged in school."
Wall-from which these lyrica "The radio resistance has been ACCORDING to Department of
come"-hasmbeenhbanneisth surprisingly strong. stations star- Education figures, about one-
Ac-aig ndbyandinoton ted getting angry calls and letters million teen-agers of high-school
in the U.S., and attacked by from teachers and principals and age have quit school, leaving the
school teachers all over the school boards claiming that average graduating class this
globe. Yet the song has become Another Brick in the Wall' was spring with one-fourth fewer
the world's most popular rock creating a crisis in their members than it had at the out-
record of 1910. classrooms." set.
recrd f 180.AT LEAST a dozen rock Interviews with numerous
Sung in an eerie chant by stations in major cities either high-school students in the
members of a children's chorus stopped playing the record or Washington, D.C., area indicate
who back up the band, "Another refused to add it to their play that Pink Floyd's song has struck
Brick in the Wall" is the center- lists. The resistance was even a chord of anger and frustration
piece to a gloomy concept album, stronger in smaller towns, Aut- with which many students
lyricist Roger Waters charges man says. One teacher in strongly identify.
lyricistRoer Waityers hrgs Chicago went so far as to cut his "Pink Floyd is talking to me in
that western society uses its own record as a rebuttal to Pink that song," says Mark Jenkins of
schoolstand other public i- Floyd, changing the lyrics to "We Alexandria, Va. "I've made it
penetrable wall of destructive ALL need an education." through two years (of high
peia netgwallodestucive The rebuttal was an instant school), but I don't plan to go
social conditioning around the in- flop, whie Pink Floyd's attack on back. The teachers know I'm
dividusl g. the schools has dominated the not-what do they call
WHILE the song is not the first sales charts for months. Accor- it-college material,' and I don't
example of the anti-education ding to the entertainment trade care about college. I want to get
theme in popular music, it comes paper Variety,th "Wall" album o sa prniemcai
at a time when increasing num- arVriyte"a'abu on as an apprentice mechanic
aers of students are questioning was number-one in sales for 20 somewhere. I don't need two
the value of their educationand consecutive weeks this past win- more years of homework and
the alure of therteducastian ter and spring, and "Another abuse from teachers to do that."
are aware of the often drastic Brick ...." topped the singles PAT PENDERGRASS of
cutbacks i youth services. Thus, charts for six weeks. Both have Arlington, Va., agrees. "I'm not
young people are responing remained firmly entrenched in dumb, but the teachers treat us
unsettling enthusiasm.m the top five from February to like animals. So we become
Last month the South African e, although "Another Brick" animals. They're only interested
government took the extAriar never made the top five in in the ones who are going to
diary step of banning the Variety's list of the most-played college. The rest of us herd
song-and thealbum because records on radio. Album sales around from one dumb class to
"Another Brick.. " adehave passed the 3-million mark another. It's a waste of time."
become theanthem of. had worldwide, with the single not far Other students say they like
seetuentastriem bya national behind. Pink Floy's song because it
student strike by more than "That's an unprecedented ac- releases the tensionsbcaused by
10,000 colored (mixed), African, complishment for a record that school pressures. "It's good
and Indian high school students, has received so little radio ex- music," says Susan Bain of
as well as their supporters. The uirsySsa Bino
studentsaeeeir proestng posure," says Antman. Alexandria. "I don't think school is
inequality of spending on So, why has "Another Brick in awful as the words say, but I
education for the various races, the Wall" produced such an out- think all of us get frustrated with
and "intimidation" by teschers, cry? For one thing, it is far school at times. When I go home
whose authority the Pink Fa angrier in tone and content than and put on 'The Wall' real loud it
shallerngyes Pik oyd its anti-school predecessors. As relaxes me. I sing, 'We don't need
Rolling Stone magazine's Kurt no education,' at the top of my
r RLoder put it in reviewing the lungs, and it feels real good. Then
record last February, Roger I can calm down and face my
Waters is contending that "in books and teachers again."
government-run schools, ButevenstudentssuchasBain,
children are methodically tor- who is on the college track and
mented and humiliated by who vows to "stick with it," ex-
teachers whose comeuppance press concern that their
occurs when they go home at education may not make a
night and 'their fat and / profound difference in their lives.
Psychopathic wives would thrash "I want to have a good job, a
them/Within inches of their profession, and the only way that
lives.' This is very tough stuff, seems possible is to go to college.
and hardly the hallmark of a hit But sometimes I wonder whether
Y ±_6tips album." it will help all that much. A
tbwNWtjr Teachers found such vehemen- couple of my older sister's frien-
'l > )J ce especially troubling. "Many ds went to colege, and they're not
- educators, particularly in the ur- making any money. Sometimes I
~, ban areas, were not only angered think Pink Floyd's right. It's all
by the song's attack on their hopeless-school, society,
profession, but were afraid it everything. But I'm not going to
would lead to a wave of student buy that line, at least not yet."
protests this past spring," says
an official of the National William Sievert is a former
Education Association who asked editor of the Chronicle of
that his name not be used. Higher Education's arts
"Teachers were worried because
their students were singing it in magazine. He wrote this ar-
the corridors and quoting it in the tide for the Pacific News Ser-
classroom, andthey felt a need to vice.

4

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