Drug war an
TO THE DAILY:
In a recent article on Uncle
Sa'"s push for biological war-
fare in Columbia's drug eradi-
cation efforts, President
Clinton uses the following
logic to justify support for the
aid package: "Fifty-two thou-
sand Americans die every year
When one takes into
account the number of people
who die each year from legal,
non-prescription drugs, why
aren't we sending the National
Guard to shut down Anheuser-
Busch, Philip Morris, and
Proctor & Gamble just to
name a few?
The numbers (look them
up yourself) point to a big
piece ot wool that's been
pulled over our eyes. Why
doesn't the press ever bring up
this disparity in numbers, and
the faulty logic that keeps this
so-called 'war' machine lubri-
cated with our precious tax
Legal drugs seem to be a
much worse and more wide-
spread problem that needs of
our attention, while our
resources are drained by keep-
ing hundreds of thousands of
unnecessary soldiers and their
immense support structure
employed in the largest public
works scam since perpetual
potholes in our roads.
We're not keeping a finger
in the dike of an epidemic,
we're making a mountain out
of a mole hill and destroying
our constitutional freedoms in
CHRISTOPHER A. JOSEPH
g~To T, TO
Monday, May 22, 2000 - The Michigan Daily - 5
"You know that melodrama?... I wish it would end."
Last Wednesday, as I watched the final episode of a California CberAlles. This idea really took shape
"Beverly Hills, 90210," I felt my childhood slip in my head in the last few episodes when several of
out of reach (that feeling might have actually been the characters were faced with the possibilities of
gas). Ilam, or was, as devoted a "90210" fan as there leaving L.A. for better jobs in other cities.
has ever been. I defended the show to all who told First, David was offered a job as a D.J. at a
me that it was crap, telling them that it might not "major" New York radio station. Later, Kelly, who
have been the most intelligent programming, but at had been engaged to marry Matt, was encouraged
least it was dependable - Donna would to move to Seattle so her fianc could get
always get into fights with her boyfriend a job in a "major" law firm. There's no
about sex, Steve would always be up to question that the moves would have been
some sort of sophomoric shenanigans, - major steps up for all three characters.
Kelly would always be... well, beautiful. But Spelling and his team felt it neces-
I can intellectualize my attraction to sary to keep the entire gang together in the
the show, saying that it served as a nice good old ZIP, and in the process write
balance of low culture to the high culture peripheral characters out of the story -
I was expected to enjoy. But in the end, like the lovable Matt - who would stand
the fact is, I was a "90210" junkie, in the way. (As if it would really matter if
addicted to the sports cars, the deca- these characters moved away after the
dence, the tight pants of lily-white AARON show was on its deathbed. It's not as if
Southern California. I craved my fix RICH they're too poor to pay the phone bills. )
once a week for 10 years (I was known TOUCH0 F By doing this, Spelling and his crew
to convulse and sweat uncontrollably in CLASS are dangerously continuing the myth that
those rare two-week hiatuses). But hey, having close friends means that you
at least it was cheaper than smack, right? should not only remain within a three-mile radius of
Well, maybe, but watching the last few episodes them, but you should marry them when possible.
this past month proved to me that the show was They apparently missed the humor in their proto-
especially taxing on my morals, if nothing else. fascist series finale when Kelly thanked David for
It was always clear that the gang only frater- "making her best friend her sister." I never knew
nized with each other. They each had a total of eight inbreeding was so popular in such swank circles.
friends at any given time. Obviously they were all It is not as if I think old friends should be broken
white (there were only a handful of characters of up, but the Voltarian "we-must-cultivate-our-garden"
color in the 10-year run of the show), they were all mentality seems especially old-fashioned - espe-
heterosexual and all but two were Christian (Andrea cially on a show about cosmopolitan kids growing
then left after a few seasons). If any of them did up in a supposedly globalized world. No, Toto, we
befriend an outsider, the newcomer would either be are not in Kansas anymore, and that's a good thing.
inserted into the group or written off in no more that I always thought that the once-central Walsh
three episodes. family were the smartest ones on the show. Now the
Maybe Aaron Spelling knows something about fact that they all moved out early shows how smart
the world that I don't know, but it seems to me that they were.
such a lifestyle does not make for a happy existence. -Aaron Rich can be reached via
In retrospect, Beverly seems more like a prison than e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of dumps and dreams
W hen a friend and I recently found ourselves decrepit buildings, but I didn't expect the number of
heading to downtown Detroit for job inter- trendy restaurants, nice stores, law offices and other
views, I thought it would be a quick trip. As with well-kept businesses we encountered. I also felt
most suburbanites, I don't think about Detroit much completely safe the entire time, even though the two
and was even a little apprehensive about going of us were obviously from out of town, gawking at
there. The only part of Detroit I have any real the mustard yellow and hot pink suits in store win-
knowledge of is the Cultural Center around Wayne dows, and obviously lost most of the time.
State and the Detroit Institute of Arts We went up to the top of the
because I took music lessons down there Renaissance Center and looked out on the
every week when I was a kid. This was city from 73 floors up. Seeing Comerica
the first time I was heading downtown Park and Tiger Stadium from above made
unaccompanied by my parents or not just it really obvious why they decided to
passing through on the way to Canada. replace that piece of crap. I could see the
After parking in an somewhat shady- casinos and the place where the new foot-
looking lot, my friend and I set out to ball stadium will be built. I could see the
find the location of our future employer. opera house, the cluster of museums
After hiking past the giant hole where the around Wayne State and Orchestra Hall.
Hundson's building used to stand, we Detroit, while still riddled with trou-
passed some dilapidated, though occu- PETER bles, is really better than most people
pied buildings, rounded a corner and CUNNIFFE think it is. It's a great place to spend an
came face to face with a scene neither of ()NE FORI afternoon or an evening. And the more
us expected in Detroit: a well kept row of - E R '; people who realize that, the better it will
coffee shops and Italian restaurants. In get. I never had a lot of hope that Detroit
front of them was a small plaza ringed by trees, would recover, but it seems to be proving me wrong.
containing a few modern art sculptures and even a I hated the idea of casinos in Detroit when I first
little fountain. The plaza was fill of people in suits heard about them. But I'm starting to think that
having lunch and chattering on cell phones. whatever drawbacks they have, anything that lures
Our interviews were across the street in an aban- people into the city is great. And the new stadiums,
doned-looking building that contained a series of which I originally considered a waste of money,
large, trendy-looking lofts inside. As we walked out should also help. And I'm sure even all those kids
after our interview, my friend, a Kalamazoo native dancing in the Packard Plant and abandoned ware-
with even less knowledge of Detroit than I, saw a houses all night are helping somehow.
nearby People Mover station and said we should go I love cities. I liked nothing better than spending
for a ride. So off we went in the our creaking, weekends in Chicago or Toronto when I was grow-
screeching and shaking-though clean and safe - ing up and was always disappointed that the big city
transportation, while checking out downtown. 1 lived near was such a dump. But actually spending
We got off in Greek Town and from there wan- some time in Detroit has given me some hope that
dered down to the Renaissance Center. During the it's improving. Detroit is a great place and what it
walk, it occurred to me that my mental caricature of really needs is people, so get down there everybody.
Detroit as a dangerous and rundown dump was If you're anything like me, you're in for a surprise.
completely wrong. Sure, I was in the nicer part of - Peter Ctinnffe can be reached
town and there were a still a decent number of at pcunmf umich.eda