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August 15, 1981 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-08-15

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Page 8 Saturday, August 15, 1981 The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCI, No. 63-S
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
The 12 weeks
of summer
You have endured the crazy-certainly not
lazy-days of summer. Given the rampant
flow of head-spinning news events, on the
local, state, national, and international levels,
you should be proud of yourself for surviving
with your sanity intact.
We have witnessed the gory first stages of
the Reagan Revolution, which has progressed
unimpeded, while the more subtle Shapiro
Revolution has taken the first steps of making
the University smaller but better. In a
predominately baseball-less summer, we
have been instead entertained by nuclear
reactor raids and the shenanigans of Interior
Secretary James Watt. The thrills and chills
have never been more abundant.
What we really need, in order to preserve
this festive season for posterity, is a song. A
song that we can join together and sing with
all the spirit that has filled these past weeks.
We'll call it "The Twelve Weeks of Sum-
mer," and we'll use the melody of the
similarly titled Christmas carol. Ready?
On the first week of summer, my real-world gave
to me:
Twelve MX missiles,
Eleven federal tax cuts,
Ten tuition hikes,
Nine James Watt haters,
Eight Saudi A WACs,
Seven humble Democrats,
Six Cuban proxies,
Five neutron bombs,
Four replacement hospitals,
Three states'rights advocates,
Two royal newlyweds,
And a Med. fruit fly in my back yard.
It has been a strange and demented sum-
mer. Enjoy your much-deserved vacations
and we'll see you in September.
Ah, September.
Letters and columns
represent the opinions of
the individual author(s)
and do not necessarily
reflect the attitudes or
beliefs of the Daily..

Goodbye to all that


It's disorienting, to say the
You've found a job. A real-life 9
to 5 job. Within a fortnight you
must pack your duds and head for
Apart _
1 y Ch ristopher P t ter
the faraway Oz of Denver,
Colo. Your dreams of remaining
an educated bum the rest of your
life suddenly lie in tatters. Oh,
my God, is it really time to grow
up? Is that fair?
COME ON, you're a lucky man.
You're getting the chance to
make a living at the very thing
you supposedly dotbest, the very
pastime you most enjoy pur-
suing-and now you can do it
legally. You're a damn good
writer, and now they're actually
going to pay you for it. You've
been spared a life of quiet
desperation. You can create to
your heart's content because
that's what's expected of you.
Could things possibly be better?
Yeah, but... even passage to
a better world means ritual
goodbyes. To friends, to parents,
to edifices and images grown fast
and loving through familiarity.
To the Daily. Especially to the
For the Daily is different. This
aging institution may ap-
proximate something unique in
journalism. True, its
schizophrenic penchant toward
servicing both town and gown
habitually stretches its
capacities well beyond its limits.

Any staff member past or present
who ever searched in vain
some evening for a stapler, a
piece of Scotch tape, or even a.
sharp pencil can testify to the
always-frustrating reminders
that we were working for
something less than a real-life
daily paper, whatever one's lofty
BUT SO WHAT? Freedom was
the essence. My God, you could
write anything here. Anything.
No restrictions, no overt censor-
ship short of outright libel, no Big
Brother looming despotically
over your shoulder, tut-tutting
disapprovingly. It was the First
Amendment in its quintessence.
Only taboo was taboo. Tell it like
is was (your description). If
"fuck you" metaphorically fit the
occasion, "fuck you" it was. Got
a long story? Write it. Restric-
tions? Only those of pertinen-
ce-and hell, what wasn't poten-
tially pertinent in our present
If the Daily did a disservice, it
was that of spoiling its em-
ployees. How could any confir-
med Dailyite be prepared for the
world of strict subject limitation,
size restrictions, deadline tyran-
ny? "Family papers" don't cot-
ton to dirty wordsor controver-
sial subjects; the Daily's at-
mosphere was rarified, to say the
least. We lived in a fantasy world
governed by the principle of "if
you believe it, say it"; in real-life
journalism, things don't work out
that way.
Which is why the Daily was so
special. Maybe we were on to
something othersweren't. Our
relative obscurity was our

salvation; people ignored us-we
flourished. We dug, we ferreted
where others feared to tread.
Perhaps it made a difference. In
any case, it was fun, it was oc-
casionally thrilling, perhaps it
AND NOW, it's goodbye
to all that. Goodbye to the
debates, the ' all-night
bullsessions, the arguments
about politics, about movies,
about sports, about sex-debates
that don't occur very often on
real life dailies.
Goodbye, readers and
colleagues (oh, good grief, spare
the schmaltz). I won't forget the
bullshit profundities that shaped
us for better or worse. Such
moments are icons to be
cherished, to carry one through
the future dark days of the Reagan
Reformation. We were ludicrous
and glorious. How can I separate
from it all?
Goodbye, dead weirdos. Please
keep faith with the future. In the
pit of our good souls we don't
want neutron bombs, we don't
want our news spoonfed, we don't
envision Utopia as an exhulted
extenuation of the lexicon, "Keep
your fucking hands off my
There's more to life, godamnit.
There's more to journalism.
Keep the flame, dear friends.
You just might help keep
America's lurching ship of state
afloat. I love you, Chow, cheerio,
Christopher Potter is a for-
mer Daily editorial director.

Print shop unfair to workers

To the Daily:
We, the former employees of
the Wordprocessors, would like to
take this opportunity to respond
to the letter (August 1) written by '
James and June Smith, former
owners of the business. We
believe that the letter contains
serious, if not libelous, ac-
cusations which must be ad-
It is sad that the Smiths, who
have themselves boasted of their
own "left-wing'' affiliations,
must now drink from Joseph Mc-
Carthy's sad little gutter of red
baiting. We are a group of 29 in-
dividuals, which like any cross-
section of the population,. is
represented by widely varying
political ideologies. The fact that
not one of us is a member of any
communist organization should
be irrelevant. However the
Smiths have chosen to take com-
fort in this pathetic panacea in
order to explain away the fact
that after 2 years in business,
they had so successfully

alienated their workers, that in
April of 1980, 29 out of 35 em-
ployees, and three out of five
managers, walked out of the shop
in a show of solidarity that Ann
Arbor has rarely seen.
Following that walkout, we
filed numerous unfair labor prac-
tice charges with the National
Labor Relations Board. The
NLRB investigators found such
overwhelmingly supportive
evidence, that the Smiths were
charges with dozens of violations
of labor laws. The owners were
not stopped however, and con-
tinued to break the law. In the
months that followed, we filed
more charges; and this time, the
court awarded us with a
bargaining order-a legal dictim
which stated that the Smiths had
committed so many unfair
labor practices that a fair and
democratic union election was
We have maintained a well
organized, law abiding interest in
correcting many wrongs. The

Smiths have broken the law coun-
tless times, and have
mismanaged their own business
to such an extent that their public
bankruptcy records would bring
tears to the eyes of any com-
petent businessperson.
We are truly sorry that things
have ended this way. We would
like to thank the many people
who have supported us. Had the
union had a chance, employees at
the Wordprocessors would have
had decent working conditions
for the first time in the history of
the business. To the employees at
Kolossos, and in other shops in
Ann Arbor, we give our support
and encouragement. A union can
make you strong!
-Employees Against Ar-
bitrary Action (EAAA)
Judy Allen
Aline Clayton-Carroll
Staci Eisenbrey
Cindy Heenan
Micah Kaminer Ben Mattison
Paul Lefray Tony Rein
Mary Mcnamara Kay Slevatz

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