Wednesday, July 5, 1995 - The Michigan Daily - 5
- . .- - No'riw QuoErAsEl J Knutson/Editor's Note
ntoxicating revivals "... it's the offensive speech that is particularly protected by America the mall
Attheageof23,I'vebeendrunktwotimesinmylife: the First Amendment. Speech that causes reaction needs Asmy friendsandIcelebratedtheFourthofJuly
ne days ago, and nine years ago. ,, this past weekend and yesterday, I couldn't help but
There are not too many opportunities fora 14-year- the most protection- feel a little down on the state of things in America.
ldtogetdrunkfromalcoholinmyhometownofIrving, Congress is working feverishly on passing an anti-
exas. The ity has been dry for many years, a suburban -Joan Lowenstein, who teaches the course flag burning amendment, while scores of the hard-
nclavesurroundedbyaringofliquor storesjustbeyond Freedom ofExpression at the University rightists want to declare war on the federal
e city limits. However, the town also has more government. Meanwhile, President Clinton
undamentalistchurches percapitathan anyother town continues to kowtow to nearly every congressional
Texas,allofwhichofferagreatmany opportunities for F whim, such as the recently passed "Free steaks for
tered states of consciousness. the wealthy" bill to be paid with cuts in Medicare -
I went to my first Southem Baptist revival when I " " just in time for the Fourth of July.
as 14,somehow talkedintoit by aguy whohadadeep, C ow ing aw ay m ore m oney eaCh But the Fourth of July is a specialtime.It's aday,
unalterable, and very annoying crush on me. He wore " " amidstallthefireworksandbeer, thatshould remind
pants with elastic waistbands, followed me around the year for questonabie COITeCLLOnS SyStem us all of the privileges of being an American. For
halls, and wrote notes to me on lined paper which he me, all it took was a trip to Briarwood Mall on
would staple furiously and then hand to my brother in Monday to reaffirm my faith in what is not, as Norm
gymclass.I'mprettysuremybrotherreadthemanyway. PART ONE OF A SERIES new source. Prison increases are a recent trend that OlsonoftheMichiganMilitiaclaims,anationinthe
Likemostjuniorhighschoolgirls,Ihadmy sightsset By Adrienne Janney promises to continuesteadily;educationexperienced grip of tyranny.
onthecutestandmostpopularguy intheclass-theguy The town of Kincheloe, Mich., in the Upper a one-time boost in 1994. Proof of all things positive about the good ol'
who, if landed, would prove that ireally waspretty, and Peninsula holds four prison facilities within thefour In the long run it is inevitable that prison costs U.S. of A. can be seen by a trip through the mall. Let
will increase exponentially. Each time anew facility
ell-liked,and agreatperson. Unfortunately, Iwasnone corners of an intersection. In fact the UPholds many iilt itcust hetaffed and tie - ty me explain with a few examples of why America is
of these things at 14. But I'd absorbed enough Southem of Michigan's state prisons.But the problemextends it will continue to incur operational costs, from still the greatest country in not only North America,
belle culture to know that a guy with elastic-band pants beyond the isolated, underpopulated section of the the northern hemisphere, but the world:
was better than noguy at all. Besides, he told me I was state: Michigan's prolific prison industry is feeding inmates to employee benefits. In 1983/1984 1 InAmerica,free-marketcapitalismisthriving,
guy state: Michigan's prlific prison industry is classified corrections employees averaged at 4855; .nmrcfe-aktapaisithvng
beautiful in those little notes with all of the staple holes, flourishing at an unprecedented rate. by 1993/1994 it had jumped to 14,592. ; resulting in competition which assures the People
and where else was I going to hear that, me of the short According to the fiscal digest published by the Corections tmly has me a l4,592 t the best possible quality at the lowest prices -just
hair and braces and astronomy books read alone in my State Fiscal Agency in the fiscal year 1983/1984 atrMichin Mxum securt ality ju like Economics 101 told us. Take Girbaud jeans: At
room on Friday nights? 14,000 people are inhabiting state prisons; by 1993/ y venile Hudson's they will be over $70. At Jacobson's they
On the way to the revival, Jeremy and I sat in the 1994 the state prison population has swarmed to facility Maxey Boys Training School activity will be over $70. Same thing at County Seat. Even
backseatofhis parents'car,playingthe songshe'dtaped 37,000 inmates. These figures do not include local therapist aide Denise Thomas has worked in the the Buckle, Dejaz and Merry Go Round are capable
offtheradio: the Thompson Twins, Starship, Madonna, or federal prisons - only state facilities. state corrections system for 22 years, including as a of getting in the action, with more $70-plus jeans!
il Tuesday. (In a moment of true junior high school When the failry static state population is guard at Jackson, a maximum security facility. It's so good to know that corporate America feels
hilarity, my friends once changed the lyrics of "Voices considered, the increase is overwhelming. Not only Thomassays thatthesysteminteally istoofocused the sting of competition! Who are the winners? The
Carry" to "My butt's hairy.") has Michigan hovered around the same numbers for on job security and benefits, and ignores safety and consumers!
Thechurch waslarge,with sloping aislesandalarge quite some time, the little fluctuations cannot begin reform. She lefi Jackson after surviving a prisoner 2. In America, you are free to move about and
baptismtankatthe front.Therevivalspeakerwasalarge to account for the number of state prisoners, who attack, which was able to occur because she was associate with whomever you please, without fear.
manwithafabulous,ringingvoicewhosangsongsatthe originate andservetimein Michigan--thenumber understaffed and undertrained. In her opinion to Thisisindicatedbythosewhomovefreelyacrossthe
piano and preached fire and brimstone mixed with deep is 2.5 times larger than it was ten years before. improve the system there would have to be whole floor without regardto fellow man, cuttingoff
emotional appeals. As he spoke I felt my normal life In conjunction with an enlarged population, ebetter training of staff a better selection of anyone in their path with their diagonal strides. And,
drifting away - things around me became fuzzy and corrections appropriations alsohave soared.In 1985/ employees (and) a more serious commitment to of course, when we see a group we want to associate
distorted, and suddenly I didn't care what anyone else 1986 $389 million was alloted to corrections; in firing employees who don't do their jobs right themselves with, we have the freedom to stop in the
thought about Jeremy. Until nine days ago, I didn't 1994/1995 the amount rose to almost1.2 billion. A Whetkerthemot e .e middle of a group of people and cause a pile up just
alize what that feeling was: I was drunk. 226. lpercent increase in corrections spending has t e mo ny i et be to say hi to someone working in Structure. After
What happened in the next half-hour explains why apaced over 10 years, while there has only been being shoved into a planter by a group of thirty-
appeared ~~~~~~~Correctional Facility, one of the two state women's wmnhrnnrnomoltso
wehavelawstopreventl4-year-oldsfromgettingdrunk, a 75.2 percent increase for social services, 121.3 ft something women whoran in frontofmeonly tostop
and why we should have laws to prevent junior high percent for health, 47.9 percent for general facilities, is undergoing investigation, afer andwaveatafriendinWamerBrothers(notthatthey
couples from getting anywhere near a Baptist revival. government, 59.8 percent in higher education and accusations that health conditions were atrocious actually went in, of course), I could only smile.
After a critical song on the piano, the speaker asked 330.8 percent in allother areas combinedexcept for andthatmaleguardswereperpetratingontheinmates 3. In America, public acts of violence are not
everyonewhowasnotsavedbyJesustocometothefront K-12 education. . bytradingdrugsforsexualfavors.Iftheseallegations only discouraged, they are illegal. Thus, when a
of the room - or anyone who wanted to renew their Spending in the latter appears to be bloated at a are true, the system is hardly paying for highly roving pack of high-schoolers feels the need to cut
faith,or,hehinted,anyonewhodida'twanttoburninthe 391 percent increase. However,this figure is skewed trained professionals. in line at the cookie store, or cash register at the Gap,
etemal flames of hell. by the March 1994 Proposal A. At that time, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie they may do so without fear of physical retribution.
Needless to say, almosteveryone in the roomended state lowered property taxes, and was able to do so said, 'I think a prison is a very important resource 4 In America, the People have unparalled taste
that's got to be used very wisely." He said that the i
p down there, because it shifted the burden of K-12 education art. That is why malls come in such nice pastel
"money spen peproanh oeso ehne clr. Tameias w oumald ote alow malls to be
Tutotheperson beside youandholdtheirhand," support from the local property tax to the state sales done per person the hopes of real change colors. Americans would not alo ats by
he instructed. It was amonumental step in ajunior high tax. In order to squeeze the money out of the state anything if not artistic. e also support the arts by
romance, one that should have been weighed carefully budget, the sales tax rose from 4 percent to 6.25 So the question to pose in light of excessive proudly exhibiting even the most controversial
and considered in all its implications for popularity and percent. In effect, the extra education money could corrections spending: to what end? displays of ornate scribblings and finger painting by
image. But we were drunkon the promises of salvation, only be found because money specifically allocated Janney is an LSA junior and a Daily third graders throughout the mall.
and his hand slipped easily into mine. for that purpose was added to the state budget from editorial page editor 5. In America, there is no class war. We are not
"Now turn to the person beside you and say 'I love --- ----_-------separated by income. Evidence of this is that in
you,'" the speaker said next. Somehow I spoke the By Matt Wimsatt Briarwood I stood in line to buy socks behind a
words, and so did Jeremy. After that I was so dazed that newly wealthy Jimmy King.
when the speaker finished. I forgot to let go of Jeremy's 6. In America, the environment is protected and
hand. cared for by the People. In fact, Americans have
0 "So, are you two dating?" asked the guy in what I such a yearning to be close to nature that each mall
supposewastherecoveryroom, theplace wheretheygot must consist of a loud fountain, just to remind us
your phone number so they could bug you forever. "I how important clean water is to all of us.
guess we are now," I said. "Does that mean yes?" I --' 7. In America, driving is civilized. Americans
remember Jeremy asking eagerly. - know that people will stop for each other when
The relationship turned out like most forged under someone comes barreling through, running stop
the haze of drunkenness -badly. Jeremy managed to - - f signs and going the wrong way while flooring it to
holdustogether with flattery andStarshipconcert tickets 72 miles per hour before slamming on the brakes to
for about five months, but I was fated to pursue the - --- get into the last parking spot by Hudson's. Also, we
popularguyswhowouldmakemelookgood,andhewas respect the sanctiity of human life. Americans
fated to get dumped. - generally make an earnest effort not to run over
r I wrote him a breakup note sealed with staples, and T 1 pedestrians and wheelchairs when flying through
promisedmyselfnevertogetdrunk with aguyuntilIwas AT _ the lots at a mall like Briarwood.
sure Iloved him. TwoweekendsagoIkept mypromise, -- m U Ah, Ifeel much more confident inourcountry-
and 'mhappy tosay that althoughmy significant other -W 0 , - reassured that the soul of America will be safe as
hasneverbeentoaBaptistrevival,hehas alargesupply long as it can be bought in a mall at whatever is
of Molson. between the Sunglass Hut and Eddie Bauer.