Monday May 30, 2000 - The Michigan Daily - 5
eComerica Oil real target University
park true of U.S. in does not
piece of crap Columbia need Nike
To THE DAILY:
I was appalled to read Peter
Cunniffe, in his column, "City of
lumps and dreams,' (5/22/00)
refer to Tiger Stadium as a "piece
of crap" Obviously the author
has never visited Tiger Stadium,
so he knows nothing of the close
proximity of fans to the field, the
palpable history in every inch of
the stadium, and the joy that it
has brought - and continues to
bring, through memories and sto-
ries-to countless fans through-
Anyone who has visited the
*new "piece of crap" - a.k.a.
Comerica Park - knows that the
welcoming, home-like ambiance
of Tiger Stadium has disap-
peared. Fans are now farther
away from the field, with the sta-
dium's emphasis on off-field
activity more than on the game
itself. Judging on looks alone, I
can see how one would pick
2omerica as the park of choice,
but in reality it is the true "piece
TO THE DAILY:
Regarding Christopher A.
Josephs' excellent letter, "Drug
War An Unnecessary Scam,"
(5/22/00) it should also be noted
that our "free press" has appar-
ently chosen not to inform the
American people that U.S inter-
est in Columbia has nothing to do
with drugs and everything to do
Americans should not over-
look that fact that narco-dictator-
ships are long time allies of the
U.S. government and the busi-
ness interests it works for.
For the last year, U.S. oil
firms have been lobbying the
Clinton Administration to inter-
vene in Columbia's civil war. The
rebels have taken to attacking the
oil companies operations and
have stated that they will nation-
alize the natural wealth of
Columbia and use that wealth to
lift the Columbian people out of
poverty. That is the only "crime"
that the oil companies' servant,
our government, wishes to attack.
To THE DAILY:
As an alumnus of the
University of Michigan, (B.S.
'63 and M.S. '64) I want to
express my support for the WRC
on the Nike controversy.
I was incensed when the
swoosh first appeared on the
clothing of the coaches and play-
ers. The exploitation of workers
around the world gained focus
for me when I read of Michael
Jordan's receipt of more money
in one year than was given to
workers in Indonesia who manu-
factured 38% of Nike's shoes.
When the stories of the
sweatshop conditions were
brought to public attention by
many - including the WRC - I
was very proud of the Ann Arbor
student contributions to this pub-
The University ought to feel
shame for their greedy associa-
tion with Nike and the WRC
ought to feel nothing but pride
for their involvement. Keep the
People who need to just shut the hell up
sually when someone is saying something I women's issues and how oppressed the fairer sex is
don't want to hear, I ignore, avoid, tune them like it's the latest fad. And this is after I've already
out or change the channel. Even though they have said I agree with a lot of their points.
as much of a right to say what's on their minds as I Go verbally assault those wearing the Freshmen
do, I have just as much of a right not to give a damn. Girls shirt instead of us who were willing to listen.
This is a pretty good non-confrontational way of Besides, this crusade has become a little too melo-
going about life. They stay in their world, I stay in dramatic. I doubt daddy's little girl with mommy's
mine and I refrain from telling them why credit card, whose father is a doctor and
they're the only person in their world. mother is a lawyer, is that oppressed.
Most people are pretty good about this, Clipper's fans: Enough said. No use
but there are always exceptions to the beating a dead horse.
rule. Those who speak at such volume . Christina Aguilera: The mute button and
that it takes a monumental effort not to her videos go together better than PB&J.
listen to them. But anymore Christina exposure and she's
These people need to just shut the going to end up going down the same road
hell up. Mariah Carrey is on. She's half-naked on
They just don't get the hint. Nobody . TV so much she's beginning to look trashy.
cares about their meaningless drivel or Christina had a video special on MTV
what they're babbling about doesn't JON where she picked Eminem's video as one
apply to the group it's being aimed at. ZEMKE of her favorites, called him cute, and then
But these people prattle on with the -T. M wl HAdEL. proceeded to rip on him for spousal abuse
tenacity of a Diag preacher. ilEA l'NG because of a song he made. If the point of
So I've compiled a list of people who you're job is to look good, breathe and not
really need to get off their soapbox, be quiet and lis- eat then please don't speak.
ten for once. Bill Walton and John Madden: Two people who
Will Smith: He's now the parent that just doesn't feel it's their purpose to point out their firm grasp of
understand how kiddy friendly he's become. Will is the obvious on national TV, because they're naive
trying to be the next Bill Cosby, only with a plastic, enough to think that we don't know it.
too politically correct, Abercrombie and Fitch tinge. The greater New York City area sports fans:
In his bid to become the next king of all media, Every year I hear about how it's the Knicks' year,
he's everywhere, self-righteously proclaiming how and every year I see that aging, played-out and over-
perfect, rich and talented he is. He's even taken it paid team go down in flames.You can't help but feel
upon himself to become the hip hop family values sorry for their fans. The Knicks have basically
crusader. I just can't relate to him anymore, because become the NBA's version of the Bills.
he doesn't have a fault. And every year New York fans go on about how
I miss the Fresh Prince and more importantly DJ great mediocre teams like the Mets, Jets, Giants and
Jazzy Jeff in front of the Fresh Prince that kept Rangers are. But in the end, even the most diehard
Will's ego in check. Will has lyrical flashes of what Mets fan will fall back on the Yankees who have
he once was, but most of the stuff he produces today always bought their championships just like they
I just can't get 'jiggy with.' bought the best player of all time.
The radical campus feminist's movement: Most -Jon Zemke can be reached at
feminists I run into insist on lecturing me about firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Memorial Day used to mean something. It used
to mean prayer and remembrance, marches
and ceremonies. Military pageantry. The sun rising
on a band as taps are played on the hill of a ceme-
tery. Tear-choked veterans mourning their lost com-
rades. It used to mean pausing to honor those who
died for the freedom we take for granted.
We all know the dying traditions. Most
of us no longer trust the wom platitudes.
I don't even know what's worth saving.
When I was in elementary school, I
remember carrying a miniature
American flag to the annual Memorial "
Day parade. I was even patriotic as we
honored the veterans of Bush's oil war.
That was when Memorial Day meant
service to country and flags overwhelm-
ing the eyes. It meant something more
than the fleeting myths it now signifies. WICK]
High school meant marching in the :1 \
band and waiting hours to play the M
National Anthem at VFW ceremonies. W
Standing, with knees locked at attention
made freshmen drop like flies in the morning sun.
Few of my band mates listened to the veteran's
heartfelt speeches. We had little understanding of
their pain. We had no point of reference. But at least
we didn't laugh at the veterans as they collapsed in
the grass, flailing unconsciously. So it seems not
laughing as the paramedics hauled these loyal elders
away was the extent of our patriotism. Restrained
giggling was the only respect we youngins held for
those who were willing to give their lives for us.
While this angered me at first, I have realized that
no one is to blame. The respect we once had for a
militarized society is fast becoming a relic of some-
one else's past. Our grandfathers or our fathers
fought enemies abroad. But we are approaching a
global society that must leave behind the myths of
nationhood. We're beginning to realize the world is
just too small to be blowing each other up.
Memorial Day has become little else but a reminder
of how much larger the world once seemed, when
we were secure in our national boundaries.
Yet it seems ever more that we're slipping into a
crisis of apathy. We are enveloped by a culture that
respects novelty over reverence. This culture helps
maintain the blind faith that our freedom
is secure. But our enemies are not terror-
ists or communists. The establishment
perpetuates these fears, but avoids exam-
ining them. We're still looking for the
bogeyman, but he isn't there. Wars are no
longer fought over land. As is ever more
the -case, we fight over the space of the
mind. If we fail to realize this, we become
the victims of someone else's game.
It concerns me that our freedoms are
JOSH only as secure as our vigilance, and we
RHAM brush aside the idea that they can be taken
from us. In fact, we give them away every
iDRN day without realizing. When we surrender
'RI our personal liberties to an unconstitution-
al war on drugs or accept the smirking
faces ina presidential election process that offers us
the "choice" between the evil of two lessers. When
we accept the parceled soundbites pasted between
commercial breaks that pass for news. When we
buy into the shallow myths of consumerism or sit in
front of the tube and drink our beer and try to forget
about our problems. When we go to our jobs and
kiss up to the power establishment or pray to a patri-
archal god. Or when we do not recognize the
approaching specter of unchecked global capitalism
that operates outside the boundaries of constitution-
ality. When we compromise like this, we give away
the freedoms brave men and women have fought
and died for.
Memorial Day may have lost its meaning, but the
spirit of democracy lives on. Somewhere.
-Josh Wickerham can be reached via e-mail