Monday, May 21 2001- The Michigan Daily - 5
SL E TT0E3S TO THE EDI0TO
TO THE DAILY:
What do you have to do with the
bombing on Vieques? It's obvious that
you know nothing about it, but that
b doesn't seem to prevent you taking a
stance and espousing an uneducated,
I have lived here for seven years
and have found Vieques to be one of
the hidden treasures of the Caribbean.
The island was quiet, laid back and
full of friendly people, most of whom
welcomed or at least accepted the
Navy presence here. (You should do
some research on how the Navy came
to be here.)
There is no evidence that there is a
!higher incident of cancer here. There
is no proof that if there was a higher
incidence of cancer it would be caused
by the Navy. The Navy is not killing
off the sea life or the animal or plant
species living on land.
What is harming Vieques? It's the
irresponsible reporting by the media.
A few radicals have started the "Fuera
La Marina" movement and fed sensa-
tional propaganda to the media who
have jumped on it like stink on shit.
When the media hype begins to die the
protestors rekindle the fire with new
One thing that is correct: The peo-
ple of Vieques are suffering, but not as
a result of the Navy's presence.
Tourism, the main industry here has
dropped off significantly since the
adverse lime light has shone here. And
everyone has been suffering either
directly or indirectly from it. Thanks to
articles like your editorial.
That's what happening here. I
would you suggest that you get your
facts in order, possibly do a little
research, prior to picking up the ban-
ner and waving it. If you're interested
in the truth, sometime you have to
hunt a little. If you're interested in
media hype ... keep up the good work.
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Taking aim at the business-as-usual Life Sciences Initiative
D on't ask me why I did it. Some- ered springboard laser beam attachment matter to create new form and fu
times the rules need to be bro- at home. And in the view of Western
ken. Sometimes creative thought So I concentrated my efforts on the everything is waiting for our v
and risk-taking needs to come into play, other tower, which was protected from discovery. Yet no other cult
especially when we're talking about life. outsiders somewhat more medievally. I assumed it can compile a rigo
Sometimes the forward momentum of found the foundation of this crane in a of understanding life by pinning
consensus reality needs to be examined stony pit some thir- as geneticists do. Likewise, noc
from a different vantage point - on the ty feet below, sur- tare has encountered the risks in
outside, from afar, from the top. So I rounded by a moat. Charting the genetic code
climbed to the top of the crane of the Life I almost turned gous to the Manhattan project.
Sciences construction site, risking my away. I couldn't entists involved in that project
own life to understand the future of life. hide from the pass- they were advancing humani
I was trying to imagine how a big ing traffic. researched without knowled
hole in the ground would translate into a Now my heart eventual use as an implement of
some-say-necessary $700 million-dollar was pounding. I same unforeseen consequences
expenditure that purports to some day waited patiently for uncharted territory of life. Th
connect Central Campus with the Med- the traffic to clear. genome has given us our firstr
ical Campus and provide a cross-discipli- josH After a nerve-rack- new landscape, but we're still i
nary approach to the new science of life. WICKERHAM ing moment in the of fools stage.
Gaining entry to the site was a s .I '; spotlight, I slogged Whereas the construction o
breeze. Without warning, I was trans- - C;'y through the mud ing and the assembly of a kick-
ported into an imaginary digital reality and sat at the base ty resides entirely in the real
akin to something from Goldeneye, the of the metal erector set of yellow lad- understood, the unraveling of lit
James Bond videogame, which was fine ders. Thoughts raced. owed in mystery. We must m
by me. I was be better off with the con- Premonitions ofgenetic mutants. Up. for the holistic. And we must
viction that my actions didn't have con- Go up. Don't think about it. Just climb. for surprises. We must fostet
sequences. Plus, while channeling the Humming, light, power being gener- acceptance - or, if need be
spirit of James Bond, I'd be harder to ated. Hands shaking, partly from exhaus- resistance - to the LifeS
spot while snooping around that forbid- tion, partly from adrenaline and fear. machinations and manipulat
den place. Courage swelled and, hand-over-hand cannot sell life to the highes
Tiptoeing through the mud from the like a comunando, the ladder was taken. However unlikelj this is to ha
freshly fallen rain, I clung low to the Damn, I shouldn 'have wornmy cannot stay locked within oar
ground as I worked my way toward the Bir kenstoclo. digms.
point of interest: A phallic, metal appa- Band over hand. Band over hand. No one knows what to exp.
ratus a few meters wide, cemented in the Monotonous like a scientific experiment. other side of our take on life. S
ground and climbing to the sky. The At the top, I perched and surveyed. which has for most of huma
crane. Yes, the crane, with its over 150 There was nothing below me but a been out of our control is nov
feet of modernism, towered ahead of screen-like metal floor and 150 feet of within our grasp. We must take
me. free fall. I was higher than the bell tower hand and understand it, nots
But there was only one problem. The and Dennison. There, above it all, I saw highest bidder. Otherwise, th
perimeter was secured via high-voltage the construction site as an allegory. ences initiative is obsolete befc
chain link fence. Normally I would just The Life Sciences Initiative is a way gets off the ground.
burn my way through. But fiddlesticks, I of putting the pieces of life together in
had forgotten my specially outfitted new ways, just like the construction of a Josh Wickerham can be reached
Handspring Visor with Palm OS-pow- building is a way of displacing earth and atjwickerh@
g it down
ge of its
f war. The
he in the
maps of a
a the ship
f a build-
.m of the
fe is shad-
>eel on the
e it by the
sell to the
e life sci-
ore it even
justified in ousting United States
F rom its inception, the United
States was intended to be
beacon of freedom and justice.
It was a place where those being per-
secuted could seek asylum and those
being oppressed could seek justice.
Unfortunately, over the years, capi-
*alistic greed has taken precedence
over environmental and human
rights, and American politicians
have let their selfish desires dictate
policy. Earlier this month, the rest of
the world took a bold stand against
the United States by not reinstating
them into the UN Human Rights
Commission. This is a positive step
for the world as a whole and should
be taken as a sign by the United
States to shape up.
Most recent on the list of U.S.
defiance is the proposed Bush plan
addressing the energy crisis. This
plan would rely on oil, coal and
nuclear power resulting in the
destruction of Alaskan wildlife. All
of this follows Bush's rejection of
the Kyoto protocol, a measure
intended to fight global warming.
Without the United States in the
mix, there is a serious threat that the
protocol will fail. Although many
countries are environmental crimi-
nals, we are on our own level. The
effects of U.S. actions are the most
threatening to the environment and
the United States' environmentally
disastrous proposals are only further
distancing us from the rest of the
The United States has used its
seat on the UNHRC as a way to
expose the human rights violations
of unfriendly countries, while clos-
ing their eyes on the crimes of allies.
Israel, with perhaps the worst human
rights record, is exempt from inter-
national sanctions and monitoring,
all this being ensured by U.S. veto
power on the Security Council. In
fact, UNHRC director Mary Robin-
son led a delegation in November
into Israel and the Occupied Territo-
ries where Israeli soldiers shot at her
car. Her report was fair in its criti-
cism of Israeli crimes and consistent
with Amnesty International and
Human Rights Watch; yet the United
States rejected it. And as a result,
violence and war persists in one of
the most volatile areas of the world.
Bush's National Missile Defense
is nothing but detrimental to world
stability. It is an unproven technolo-
gy that will cost taxpayers billions
over the years and in the end could
possibly lead to another nuclear
arms race. Our opposition to a treaty
banning anti-personnel mines (Israel
left 130,000 of these in Lebanon last
year) and an international criminal
court (a slew of Turkish officials
would qualify to be tried in this
court for their oppression of free
religious expression) to prosecute
war crimes fueled more internationalj
There is a great chance that the
United States will regain its UN seat
in 2002. However, until then, we
need to change our mentality and
stop feeding into a downward spiral
of inhumanity and environmental
injustice. As a progressive and not
some pansy crybaby kissing any
political party's ass, I say kudos to
the international community for not
bowing down to the great oppressor;
and I say grow up to the U.S. House
which responded to this stand by
voting to withhold the $244 million
of back dues owed to the UN.
Daily Editorial Writer
Flirting with disaster
Dorothy Parker, when asked to
use the word horticulture in a
sentence, replied: "You can
lead a whore to culture but you can't
make her think." Funny. But after all,
she was a writer, and who to preserve
the sanctity of high culture but a
But Dottie also said, "Men seldom
make passes at girls who wear glass-
es." She's sending a bit of a mixed
message here. Which am I supposed
to be: The Cosmo girl or the four-eyed
recluse? Do I really have to make a
choice between sex and smarts? You
wouldn't think so. But it might be fun
to test this theory.
Here's the scene: a party on North
Thayer. Miles Davis, glasses instead
of red plastic cups, boys in black
turtlenecks. I don't know anyone here.
I heard about this party in an e-mail
forward. I stand at the chips and
drinks table looking for victims. A
few people are attempting to dance.
I'll leave them alone. Couple guys
talking about imported beers. Nah.
Wait. Here we go.
There's a certain kind of "smart"
guy I've encountered at this Universi-
ty. He excels in his field of study -
business, economics, history, law, lit-
erature, philosophy - but he usually
dates total zeros. I'm talking brain
dead. Pretty, pretty girls with the self-
confidence of brine shrimp. I've also
encountered girls who like to play
I know at least a few brilliant
women who turn into Twinkie filling
when one of these "smart" guys walks
into the room. Instead of bragging
about their latest paper on the Post-
Romantic Consciousness of XYZ they
blush, trill and del-
icately sip beer
from plastic cups
(or glasses!) while
on his particular
flavor of neo-Clas-
sicism. If they're
lucky, the music at
the party is loud
KATIE enough that every-
MULCRONE one's happy. Also,
sRAT 1C : beer tastes better
\KN when you're
ly, these guys seem a little less pedan-
tic when you're drunk.
Not to say that all smart guys are
jerks. Some of them are adorable and
let you make up little songs about
them and play with their hair. Some of
them like to go bowling. But these are
not the guys I'm here for.
So here we go: Three guys stand-
ing in the corner, one in a black turtle-
neck, two in sweaters. They're talking
about Joyce. Think mixed messages!
First I'll stand here and look pretty.
I'll nod at appropriate points in the
conversation. I'll sip my beer. Good.
Now it's time to throw them off: "If
you think about it, a lot of Joyce's
work is literally masturbatory. Think
about what this means for the art of
writing. Dubliners, Portrait, Ulysses.
It's there, guys."
I should mention that I'm wearing
a pink dress and lots of gooey make
I wander over to the drinks and
chips table and do two shots of vodka.
They're watching. Ooh, they're con-
fused. Should I wander back over
there yet? No, I'll wait until they lose
interest. When I wander back over
they're talking about postmodernism.
I twist the ends of my hair around my
fingers and flutter my eyelashes. It's
working! One of them smiles. It's the
perfect synthesis of Cosmo, Ms., and
Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Confuse
the hell out of them.
The only problem is that those
shots of vodka are starting to get to
me. Time for a coup de grace and then
a quick exit.
I make my way back to their little
corner. Ingratiate myself with smiles
and nods. "Actually, I think that Fred-
erick Jameson was basically writing a
bunch of crap." Polite, cold stares. I
decide not to bother following that
one up and drop my purse instead.
"Oops." Giggle. Not one of them
moves to pick it up. So much for
- Katie Mulcrone's column runs every
other Monday. She ran be reached via
e-mail at email@example.com