Monday, August 3, 1998 - TheMichiganDaily - o
They're prisoners. They leave when we say they can leave."
- Gov. John Engler speaking about the truth-in-sentencing law he initiated,
which prevents convicted criminals from receiving parole
before their sentences are completed
tEaT R OTHE EDITOR
uses do not
To THE DAILY:
I have just returned from
Summer Orientation '98 and
was very impressed with the
thorough job done by the admin-
istration in assisting us parents
ith the difficult task of adjust-
ng to college life. I therefore
read the letter from Craig Barker
("North Campus lacks weekend
busing,' Orientation issue) with
interest, as my daughter will also
be ensconced in the hinterlands
of North Campus.
Apparently the problem
caused by the infrequency of
bus service to North Campus is
Ixacerbated when service is dis-
continued altogether at 2 a.m.
(Not a particularly late hour by
collegiate standards I'm told.
My own somewhat foggy recol-
lections seem to corroborate this
fact). I agree there are many
positive aspects to North
Campus, but I also agree that
the limited bus service probably
isolates 0 students unnecessarily
oom the main campus. A shame
or all arties involved.
Good luck with the effort to
increase bus service to this
underserved and very important
part of the U of M campus.
GEORGE J. GELs, M.D.
To THE DAILY:
This response is concerned
with the article "Diversity
Semester Planned" (July 27).
I'm going to make this short
and sweet. Congrats UMICH!
It is finally time that the
University is offering students
a chance to learn about cul-
tures of fellow classmates and
instructors. This should have
been done a very long time
ago. Why did an incident such
as the affirmative action law-
suits persuade University offi-
cials and faculty to devote
some time to diversity? This
University is about as diverse
as a bag of "M&Ms" - they
never come in just one color.
I applaud the University for
finally offering'this in the cur-
riculum. But, may I ask this:
Why did it take so long and
why is it only offered one
semester? Wouldn't the fresh-
man class of 1999 be missing
out on something valuable?
Learning about diversity is as
important as learning biology,
botany and chemistry.
NIcOLE M. YOUNG
TO THE DAILY:
Asia Sherman's article
("LGBT director brings fresh
ideas," July 13) on E. Frederic
Dennis, the new Director of the
Office of Lesbian Gay Bisexual
Transgender Affairs, provided a
well-researched and well-written
overview of Mr. Dennis' back-
ground and the role he will ful-
fill as he leads the office into the
I do have some concern
about Daily Editor in Chief
Chris Farah's comments on sex-
ual orientation in his recent (July
20) column. Such remarks risk
being used as yet another plat-
form from which homophobic
and genderphobic individuals
and groups will launch verbal
and physical attacks on LGBT
For nearly 30 years I have
experienced The Daily as provid-
ing strong and consistent advo-
cacy for LGB individuals and
groups. I trust that this respected
campus newspaper will continue
to voice that advocacy and offer
comparable support for transgen-
dered persons as well.
CONSULTANT, OFFICE OF
EQUITY & DIVERSITY
Road Rules 'and 'The Real World'killed the video star
n 1982, the worlds of music and telvision col- what-you-see-is-what-you-get style of personal
I lided with the formation of MTV. "I want my image management with her unkept hair, bad skin
MTV" became a sort of battle cry for the post- and huge glasses. Jessie "I'm not an idiot, I just
1970s yuppie generation. Though now, it's diffi- play one on TV" Camp has also given every PCP
cult to remember a time when cinematic represen- addict with an eighth-grade diploma and no combs
tation of music was revolutionary (especially con- hope that they, too, can rise to the top.
sidering most of us were under the age of eight), And then there are the shows. "Sif & Olly" -
MTV's genesis marked a unique a more recent addition to the MTV fam-
moment in the country's popular cul- ily - shows the American viewing pub-
ture and changed the way that music x lic all of the entertainment value that is
was made and promoted. hidden in their sock drawer. And then
But over the years, MTV has changed there's the "10 Spot" - or let's-throw-a-
from being a station focused on music bunch-of-unrelated-shows-that-have
to one of the dozens of other tacky nothing-to-do-with-music-together
cable stations with mindless program- because-otherwise-we'll-have-dead-air
ming, albeit with a musical pretense. programming block.
Take, for example, a day's worth of Of course, quite possibly the wors
MTV viewing and you come up with, at offenders are the magnets of the teenie
most, two-dozen different videos (and JACK bopper audience that MTV so often
about a dozen playings of "The Boy is SCHILLACI courts - "Road Rules" and "The Rea
Mine" by Brandy and Monica). .SL.AM1v1 IT TO World." Indeed, the original idea for th
But Viacom (MTV's parent compa- ItHE LEIT latter was interesting - throwing a bunc
ny) manages to fill the time well, hir- of geographically, ethnically, sexually
ing idiotic vee-jays for its simple-minded shows. etc.... diverse group of people together and jus
It always struck me as an odd career choice to seeing what happens. But now in its seventh sea
become an MTV VJ. At best it's an unstable start son, the idea has been burning on both cylinder
in a tough industry. With the exception of Kurt for years. And after all, every college studet
Loder (who doesn't actually host any shows with who's had to live in a dorm in any part of the coun
videos), none of the station's past VJs have stayed try for the past hundred years has experience
around for more than a couple of years. Anyone much the same thing. And if I have to see on
remember Martha Quinn? Downtown Julie more hunky-dorry, cross-country trip in
Brown? Mark Goodman? Their post-MTV "Winnie," I'm just gonna puke.
careers have really taken off, with one becoming What I pray for would be a few hours out of th
a Neutrogena spokesperson, one spending her day devoted strictly to videos. No trials and tribu
time in front of the camera hosting 'E!' gossip lations of 20-somethings living rent-free, n
sp pcials, and the last trapped in the equivalent of crack-snorting VJs asking Jennifer Love Hewi
cable hell - hosting Illinois State Lottery on about how music has influenced her life. Jus
public access. videos and maybe a few countdowns. Amen.
Some of these ilk have made some contributions - Jack Schillaci is at home watchin
to pop culture, though. For instance, the forlorn VHI and can be reached ov
Kennedy could be credited with initiating the e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
KAAM' 'AAN HAFEEZ AS. IT IHAPPEN
I HAD A DRESS HERE
ON MY DESK?
YES, MR. STARR.
I SENT IT TO
ALONG WITH THE
REST OF YOUR
WHERE DO WE
KEEP THE STAIN
Li fe full of questions, but I'm on the road to find out
t's early Tuesday evening. Or maybe Wednesday we've seen this road or that lake or this bridge
or Monday or Friday, or really almost any day of before; maybe when we were kids, and we drove
the week at all. The humid air is warm, heavy and through the country with our parents.
sweet, as if you could drink it in by inhaling. The A lot of the time, neither of us says a word. We
sun is growing red as it nears the trees to the west, just soak up the evening, soak up the slowness. We
and the light of the sky is thick and hazy. just watch life pass us by, not caring where we're
It's one of those days; one of those evenings. going, and trying to forget about where we've been.
When the whole world seems tobe mov- This has been a hard summer for me. I
ing just a little slower than usual, and life graduated college not knowing what I
is just a little more relaxed. was going to do with my life, and I still
Like many nights this summer, I find don't know. In the midst of this confu-
myself at my friend's house on the out- sion, I turned to the people closest to me
skirts of Ann Arbor, just before the city for support and help. I've learned a diffi-
becomes the country. Like many nights cult and painful lesson - that ultimately,
this summer, we have nothing to do. aside from a very small number of friends
But tobe perfectly honest, that's exact- and family, I have to rely on myself.
ly the way we want it. Nights like this are My life is filled with more unknowns,
meant to do nothing. Ambition and more uncertainty, than ever before. I don't
adventure just wouldn't seem right. CHRIS know where I'll be at this time next year,
So, we go for a drive. FARAH much less who I'll be. People have
We don't run errands or go to the FAAt '8 become very good at telling me what's
movies or pick someone up. We just FA UCEt Tbest for me. But if I don't know, how can
drive. No destination, no nothing. We just . they?
choose a direction and start heading that way, my Some people relish uncertainty. A life without
friend's dusty-brown '83 Cadillac chugging along answers is a life of excitement and adventure, they
lazily, letting faster cars pass on by. say. To a certain extent, I agree with them. I'm the
Almost always we end up meandering down a last person who would look forward to a life of rou-
country road. There's barely any traffic, except tine and monotony. I have a long way to go, and a
maybe the occasional turtle making its way through lot of things to find out.
the dirt. We try to get lost, try to lose ourselves in a But everyone needs a base. Everyone needs
place we've never been before. But somehow we something - at least one thing - that they can
always find our way back, for better or worse. trust no matter what, that they can fall back on
We talk alittle while we drive. I wish I could say we when life gets a little chaotic.
share "deep thoughts" I wish I could say we've Regardless of where I go this year, who I meet,
unlocked the meaning of life, figured out exactly what I do, or who I become, I'll always have those
what's important in this world, what's real and what long country roads. I'll always have my friend, and
lasts. I'll always have those long, aimless drives on those
But mostly, if either of us says anything, it's just lazy summer evenings.
to make a small, unimportant comment. We note No matter what may change, some things - the
the strange way the sunlight seems to reflect off a good things, the best things - will always be there.
certain cloud in the sky. We remember atime when - Reach Chris Farah at cjfarah@:smich.edu.