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July 26, 1995 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-07-26

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Wednesday, July 26, 1995 - The Michigan Daily - 5

inn Markey/Markey's Malarky


e birth of CHZ
Back in high school, Inaively believed that Ihad
astered the artof procrastination.I was exceedingly
roud of the fact that I could start any paper at
'dnight and finish it by five. In between time I
ouldleisurelysipPepsiandtake breaksby watching
The Three Stooges." I thought I was so clever.
Alas, I was wrong. I didn't explore the full
pabilitiesofprocrastinationuntil Icametocollege
acquired roommates.
Now some people will say that a procrastinator
s anyone wastes valuable time with nonsensical
aversions,(such as testing out aroommate's blender
y making chocolate ice cream floats the night
fore a column is due). I, however, am not so
enient. In order to be deemed a true Procrastinator.
ne must not merely put off work, but one must
nvent an entirely new activity, of questionable
ntertainment value, to pass the time. This lofty goal
s easily accomplished through the intervention of
eroommate. It is, after all, the responsibility of the
mmate to prevent any school work from ever
etting finished. (The second highest duty is to
creen for any unwanted phone calls.)
Last year, I was fortunate enough to have
oommates responsible enough to join in my
rocrastinating so that it became a group activity.
ssisted by my trusty roommate Nancy, I stopped
riting a paper long enough to concoct an idea for a
ew television channel - CHZ, The Cheese
etwork. I elected myself president of the network
fter all I was the one sacrificing writing a paper)
d got down to business. CHZ's mission was to
ring back all of the truly worthless TV shows from
the 1980s that are so cheesy that they are no longer
preserved through reruns. In order to achieve this
goal we worked out an elaborate plan. The first step
was to make a list of possible shows. Each candidate
underwent a rigorous inspection by two judges-
consisting of Nancy and myself. Any show exhibiting
Also, "Punky Brewster" was banned because it was
way too annoying- even though in a controversial
cision we approved "The Gong Show."
Step one consumed my life for almost an entire
semester. Soon, word of our project leaked out and
people were calling at all hours lobbying for their
favorite bad TV shows. (My brother called long
distance one night because on his airplane trip he
suddenly remembered"Hardcastleand McCoruck
and thought it couldn't wait till morng.)
Step two involved some sort of implementation
phase that had we done it, might have made us rich
and successful. However, since we aspired only to
* Procrastinators, we skipped this step and began a
new project altogether. We branched out to found a
radio station consisting solely Eighties songs from
now forgotten groups.
Now that I am a whole year older and Ihave even
more roommates, procrastinating has reached new
levels of maturity. Last week, one of my roommates'
visitors fell asleep sitting on our couch, snoring with
his mouth wide open. The sightinspired someone to
balance a French fry across his open mouth. I was so
impressed that the fry remained despite the snores,
at I quit writing to snap a photo. In a moment of
ehilarity, someoneposedwithoursleeping victim.
The real fun began when another came up
with the brilliant idea of coaxing our dog, Sandy,
to eat the fry out of our guest's mouth. By this
time I was the only one who had any film, and
received the grave duty of capturing the stunt
for posterity. To my dismay, I pressed the button
before Sandy was ready. Fortunately, someone
fished out his video camera and caught the
entire process on film. After a grueling and
*tense 30 minutes of training, Sandy snatched
e fry. Soon, we were taking turns bouncing
fries off of our sleeping visitor for Sandy to
snack on.
Then it hit me. We had all the makings of a new
sitcom for CHZ. Maybe I'll start working on that


Normu Qurmu
"Back when I was at the University I had
fond memories of being In the Sig Ep house."
-Regent Shirley McFee (R-Battle Creek)




Incarceration: To reform or punish?
By Adrienne Janney kids need is one on one. The kids don't get it."
Maurice Thompson is a youth specialist at Despite all the money spent for corrections, and the
juvenile detention facility Maxey Boys Training provisions made for reform, the system is falling
School,inthe maximum security Green Oaks Center. short of its goal. Many people feel that prisoners get
He works on D-wing, ahallfor sex offenders age 14- special perks, but these perceived benefits are not
21. When asked if the "unreformable" still deserve doing much to alleviate the problem. In fact, prison
a chance to try to change post-incarceration he sighs seems to perpetuate the problem.
and says that two years ago he would have said yes. This leads one to question whether society
"Since the murder, I feel no," he said. possesses the tools to reformcriminals.Is punishment
Two years ago a female teacher was murdered a means of reform? Sarri said, "All evidence is to the
by an inmate-since then the staff is very protective contrary. That's not how people change."
of whoever is brought inside to volunteer or tutor. How do people change, then - by being sent to
Thompson said, "I knew the victim, and I knew the their cells tothink about what they have done?Inside
kid that did it." The boy who committed the murder a prison, especially an adult facility, little is done to
was one of the five who were regularly under facilitatetruereform. BecauseofGlover vs. Johnson'
Thompson's care. higher education ismandated for incarcerated women
Understandably, Thompson's outlook has been in Michigan. But the bulk of the prison population,
altered by his experience. The issue he grapples with the men, have provisions for nothing beyond a GED.
is the same for all who work in the criminal justice Furthermore, any type ofemotionalsupport comes in
system: Should the system reform or punish? the form of volunteers who run self-help groups such
Itis unclear which is the focus today.Washtenaw as Alcoholics Anonymous, which is available on the
County Prosecutor Brian Mackie said, "In many outside.
cases it does a poor job of both." He outlined the Reformable, not reformable or reform at all -
objectives as he perceives their importance. The first which is the best tack to take? It seems that society
is "to try to ensure the safety of people in society,"the holds a certain responsibility to reform if it is at all
second is "to punish wrongdoers" and last is "to help possible. If some are not reformable, do we lock them
reform wrongdoers." However, he said "anyone who up, throw away the key and forget to deliver the bread
can be reformed, we should make the effort to (reform and water? Of those deemed unreformable, Mackie
them)." said,"Whatthey deserveishumane treatment.Beyond
Mackie's statement implies that some are that I don't know what they deserve."
reachable, while others are so far gone that they For those who can be helped, the programs need
cannot be reformed. "It can work for some people. to be improved drastically. For those who cannot -
It's a fairly small percentage of the criminal who istosaytheycannot behelped?Whathasbeendone
population that are just evil to the core," he said. totry?Thompsonsaidthat formanyoftheboysheworks
School of Social Work Prof. Rosemary Sarri, a with their empathy for their victims is "wellhidden."
faculty associate at the Institute of Social Research, And for those who truly cannot be reached, they
would contend that social policy creates these deservethechancetotry-becausehumanetreatment
impossible conditions,thenpunishes people because includes a shot at rehabilitation.
of them. The criminal justice system does little to Punishment may feel good. It may feel like
foster a solution to these problems. Sarri said, "Our something is being accomplished. But it sets a poor
prisons are ugly sensory deprivation." example. And it sets society further back.
Maxey activity therapist aide Denise Thomas Arevision of Mackie'sobjectives: first,to protect
said, "Society has made us animals and monsters ... society and secondarily, to salvage every bit possible.
(but) you can always trace it back. There's always a Taxpayers should be willing to make the investment
patte'." She spoke of a particular inmate who had if the investment is in human beings.
raped and killed a two-year-old. "Ihatedhis fucking "I wish we could change other people's view,"
guts ... and then there was that'mom' partof me that Mackie said. "I wish they had more information."
knew he had probably been raped as a baby." - Janney is an LSA junior and
Thomas said in a juvenile facility that "what the a Daily editorial page editor
By Matt Wimsatt


Jean Twenge/The Erasable Pen
Rise up creatively
In the traditional telling, the American colonies
revolted againstEngland to gain their freedom from
an oppressive government. In truth, we revolted
against their tax laws - because we were
Almost all of the Great American Sayings were
written by cheapskates. A penny saved is a penny
earned; never buy it new when you can buy it used;
use i up, wear it out, mnake it do or do without. That
evenleavesout the ever-popular"Pile intotheinto,
everybody, we're going to Wal-Mart!"
My grandfather lived through the Great
Depression. andhe seemedo have passed on to my
father the idea that you never know when you're
going tobe living in acardboard box, so you'd better
buy your clothes at Goodwill now. Better yet, don't
buy any new clothes at all, so your daughter can
inject humor into any situation by saying, "Hey,
dad, isn't that the shirt you were wearing in my baby
pictures'?" (During the 80s, my dad insistedthat bell
bottoms would come back in style, a suggestion that
sent my brother and Irolling on the floor in laughter.
Guess who's laughing now?)
As the cheapskates in my life have taught me,
saving money isn't really very difficult. All you
have to do is follow a few simple rules:
Screw yourroommate by making him pay the
extra penny on the utility bill when it's an odd
number. They add up, you know! Oneof my favorite
cheapskates was a roommate who'd buy a quart of
milk for 99 cents and come to me and our other
roommate for our one-third shares. We'd each give
him 35 cents instead of bothering with the pennies,
and he'd walk away with a victorious gleam in his
eye,sure he'dcheated usoutof ourmoney. "Chicken
fried rice - cheapest thing on the menu!" was his
constant motto.
You don't really need that $10 your mother
gave you for dinner on the train - pack a lunch
when she's not looking, and voila! you've saved the
job. Tax free, too!
Trashcans are your friend! Michigan's 10-
cent deposit gives just about everybody an excuse
for digging through sticky recycling bins for those
precious aluminum finds. Although Texas doesn't
even have a bottle deposit, my father has made
digging in trashcans his weekend hobby. The
aluminum is still worth a penny or two a can, but
more important are the myriad wonders found in
business and apartment complex trash cans. Before
deregulation when phones were big, heavy, and
obtained only from the phone company, my father
found two phones in a trash can. We used them for
years,especially aftermy momaccidentally dropped
our other phone in the dishwasher and, for years
afterward, it gurgled when it rang.
Judging from my father's finds over the years,
people also tend to throw away vast numbers of
beverages. We rarely buy beer or Coke at my house;
my father finds plenty, unopened, in his weekend
forays to the trash bins. Of course, you usually have
to wipe the dirt off the can first.
Garage sales. Whether you're giving one or
goingtothem, theseare acheapskates' paradise. My
dad likes giving them: anything he found in thetrash
cans that our family doesn't want he sells on the
garage sale, bringing new meaning to the saying
"One man's trash is another man's treasure." The
best garage sales are the multi-family undertakings
- that way you can buy the neighborhood kids'
unwantedtoys andthey can buy yours, leaving you
basically the way you started. There's also no better
place to shop if you're into 1970s decor; on the
averagesummerday in suburbia,the avocadogreen
and burnt orange of garage sale furniture is almost
At least our parents got rid of the plaid pants we
wore in first grade a long time ago. However, our
mothers probably have pairs of platform shoes
hidden in the back of theirclosets -and you know
those will never come back in style ...

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