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July 02, 2012 - Image 3

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Monday, July 2, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Famed producer memorialized

Monday, July 2, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Synthetic drug laws affect
University policy review

Nora Ephron leaves sible considering the sheer mul-
titude and expansiveness of her
behind important writing. Though aging became her
go-to 'theme in much of her later
legacy through film work, Ephron has written about
everything imaginable - from fine.
By KAYLA UPADHYAYA dining, to presidential debates, to
SeniorArtsEditor raising (and eating!) children, to
being the only White House intern
Last week, novelist-director- J.F.K didn't make a pass at.
screenwriter-playwright-producer- The common thread? An unfail-
all-around-badass-feminist-her- ing, super-ability to make me laugh
oine Nora Ephron died following and laugh and laugh. And think.
complications from acute myeloid And cry. And laugh some more.
leukemia. For a celebration and For somewhat obvious reasons
remembrance ofher most acclaimed (two, to be exact), "A Few Words
work, you won't read anything bet- About Breasts" remains a personal
ter than the obituary published in favorite, and I think I'll always be
the NewYork Times. searching for the opportunity to
This is not anobituary. I wouldn't end an essay with "They are full of
even call it a eulogy. No, this, I shit."
believe, is the closest I've ever come Though I have a strong attach-
to writing a love letter. ment to Nora Ephron's essays and
I can't remember where I was short stories, they are not where
or what I was wearing or how old our relationship began. No, it was at
I was when I read my first Nora a sleepover in middle school when
Ephron essay. Dammit, I can't even I was first introduced to her work
remember which one it was. I think - her movies to be exact. And it's
I might have an even earlier-onset her movies that first came to mind
case of severe forgetfulness, which when I heard of her passing, mov-
« Ephron once wrote - in an essay, ies that influence - more than any
part of her "I Remember Nothing: other work by anyone else - my
And Other Reflections" collection own attempts at screenwriting
- has plagued her since her thir- (emphasis on "attempts"), movies
ties. "I know this because I wrote I've fallen for despite all odds.
something about it at the time," she My relationship with the roman-
wrote. "Of course, I can't remember tic-comedy genre is not an easy one.
exactly where I wrote about it, or I tend to pass over feel-good for-
when, but I could probably hunt it mulas like "Definitely, Maybe" and-
up if I had to." "He's Just Not That Into You" in
In any ease, it doesn't really mat- favor of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
ter which one I read first; because and "American Beauty", which I'm
by this point, I feel like I've read told don't really make the rom-com
them all ... which is probablyimpos- cut.

In fact, when I found out the
theme of Crystal City's (where
I'm currently living) summer film
series would be romantic comedies
this year, I was disappointed. That
is, until I saw the schedule and was
reassured by the presence of Eph-
ron's rom-com trifecta: "You've Got
Mail," "Sleepless in Seattle" and
"When Harry Met Sally."
I love these movies. Yes, all three
of them, though "When Harry Met
Sally" takes the cake (or pie) as not
only my favorite of the three, but
as one of my favorite comedies of
all time. It's the one that I saw at
that middle-school sleepover, at
a time when my parents probably
wouldn't have permitted me to
watch such a raunchy, grown up
film. And fittingly, it's the very last
film scheduled for the Crystal City
film series.
I'm constantly told "You've Got
Mail" isn't a good movie - that
it's trite and clumsy. And while
that's probably true, I don't care.
I still secretly dream of bouquets
of sharpened pencils and not so
secretly quote the movie as often as
the others,'" 'The Godfather' is the
answer to any question" are wise
words to live by. I'd be lying ifI said
I've never walked into a Starbucks
and ordered a "Tall! Decaf! Cap-
pucino!" And I really do love New
York in the fall.
Ephron's rom-coms are far
from perfect representations of
real-life romance: impossible
in the unwavering wit of their
characters, too-neat in their con-
clusions and about as subtle as a
super symbolic butterfly on a sub-

TERRA MOLENGRAFF/Daily
Ann Arhar residents enjoy Ramyage Swine on Satarday oatside of Rackham Aaditorium.

AP

Ephron was known for her realistic portrayals of women in cinema.

way. Her worlds - in which two
strangers can fall in love atop the
Empire State building thanks to a
persistent 12-year-old, or where
a random chat room meeting can
develop into a wonderfully com-
plicated relationship - certainly
exist within the grander rom-com
universe, where love at first sight
and happy endings are bountiful.
And let's face it, try as I might, nei-
ther I nor anyone in the real world
speaks with the eloquence and
cleverness of an Ephron-penned
character (I'm still waiting for the
right time and place to order a pie
Sally-style and also to meet a Shel-
don, soI can tell him that humpin'
and pumpin' just aren't his strong
suits).
But it's the honest (sometimes
brutally so) moments, themes and
character quirks that populate
her films that I love so dearly, so
unconditionally. "When Harry
Met Sally" gives love a beautiful
specificity - "I love that it takes
you an hour and a half to order a
sandwich," while also treating the
subject as a nebulous, changing
force.
Her screenplays capture the
complexity of friendship, dat-
ing, falling in and out of love, and
ring with a sense of unmistakable
sincerity, the result of influences
from her own experiences. Mar-
ried three times, divorced twice,
she once wrote: "People always
say that once it goes away, you for-
get the pain ... I don't happen to
agree. I remember the pain. What

you really forget is love."
But her rom-coms never forget
love, nor do they forget the thing
that the genre just never seems to
get right: dimensional, developed
women. "I try to write parts for
women that are as complicated
and interesting as women actually
are," Ephron once said.
Romantic comedies like "Morn-
ing Glory" and "I Don't Know
How She Does It" claim to have
"strong" female characters, while
actually perpetuating sexist ste-
reotypes. If I have to watch one
more film that represents career
women as desexualized and
unfeminine ... well, as Sally might
ask: "Why is this necessary in-
life?"
Ephron's women, on the other
hand, are as complex, smart and
empowering as she was herself.
In her 1996 commencement
speech at Wellesley, Ephron urged
the young women to understand
that attacks on Hillary Clinton are
also attacks on them and impart-
ed: "Above all, be the heroine of
your life, not the victim."
The strong female characters
she wrote were indeed heroines.
They're women I can relate to or
who remind me of the women in
my life. I am Sally Albright, I once
insisted to a friend.
But I also see parts of myself in
"Sleepless in Seattle" 's Annie. I
don't want to be in love. I want to
be in love in a movie.
A Nora Ephron movie, to be
exact.

AFFORDABLE CARE
From Page 1A
"(The provision) expands the
scope of the Medicaid program
and increases the number of indi-
viduals the States must cover,"
according to the decision.
University spokesman Rick
Fitzgerald wrote in an e-mail
interview that multiple aspects of
the act are already being carried
out by the University.
"Those (aspects) include such
features as no lifetime limit on
health care benefits; coverage for
adult children until age 26; and
elimination of co-pays on most
preventive health care," he wrote.
"U-M health care did not have a
provision to deny coverage because
of a pre-existing condition."
Kara Gavin, a spokeswoman
for University of Michigan Health
System, wrote in an e-mail inter-
view that UMHS is already taking
steps to lower costs in reaction to
the passage of the law.
"We have been very focused on
using 'lean thinking', a concept
borrowed from the auto industry,
to optimize clinical and support
functions for better efficiency,
quality and patient experience,"
she wrote. "We also continue to
find ways to save money through
energy efficiency improvements
- 15 projects completed in 2011
are expected to save $528,000 in
energy costs this year alone."
Law Prof. Samuel Bagenstos
stressed the law's importance for
young people because its reforms
will grant extended coverage to
people on parents' health care
plans as well as the ability to buy
insurance without a pre-existing
condition.

"(The law) is important to peo-
ple in their twenties in particular,
because that had been a moment
when people lost health cover-
age," Bagenstos said. "They lost
the ability to be on their parents'
health coverage, and now they
will retain that ability."
"A. Mark Fendrick, co-director
of the University's Center for Val-
ue-Based Insurance Design, said
he thinks the age limit change
will benefit millions of students.
"That's one of the most attrac-
tive elements of the Affordable
Care Act," Fendrick said.
But according to Vincent
Hutchings, an associate profes-
sor at the Univeristy's Institute
for Social Research's Center for
Political Studies, the law pro-
vides some good benefits but does
little to change core issues, such
as resolving racial and socio-eco-
nomic disparities.
"The issue is whether it
addresses the fundamental prob-
lem with health care and helps to
address longstanding health care
inequities across class and racial
groups in this country - and I
think the answer there is prob-
ably no," he said.
Hutchings added that Ameri-
cans spend significantly higher
amounts on healthcare than
citizens of other nations, but
he doesn't see that decreasing
because of the bill.
"I don't think this is going to
significantly address those dis-
parities," Hutchings said. "To
the extent that that imbalance
remains, we may have only suc-
ceeded in kicking the can down
the road and not solving the fun-
damental problem."
Lauren Coffman, the commu-

nications director for the Uni-
versity's chapter of the College.
Democrats, said she's happy with
the law currently standing.
"I think there were a lot of great
suggestions from members of
the House and Senate before this
bill was passed," Coffman said.
"I think it really ensures a bright
future for our health care industry
and our nation's citizens."
Rachel Jankowski, chair of the
University's chapter of the College
Republicans, said the court's deci-
sion was disappointing because
it allows for an "unprecedented
extension" of federal power.
She explained that college stu-
dents will be unfairly targeted
due to the mandate's requirement
for people to either purchase
health insurance or pay a penalty.
"(Young people) are now forced
into paying for something that they
don't want," she said. "And if they
don't pay for it then they have to
pay minimally a $600 fine in order
to not participate in this system."
She added that Chief Justice
Roberts showed that he under-
stands the predicament this poses
for young people by his use of
the term "targeted class" in the
Supreme Court's majority opinion.
According to Jankowski, while
young people would typically have
lower premiums on health care,
they will now be forced to pay an
estimated 35- to 45- percent more
than they otherwise would have.
"We have to basically make up
for the cost of insurance compa-
nies who now have to cover peo-
ple who maybe impose a greater
cost on them," she said.
Managing Editor Giacomo
Bologna contributed to this report.

Alcohol and Other
Drug Policy and.
Prevention Program
to change
By KATIE BURKE
Daily StaffReporter
Synthesized marijuana and
other synthetic street drugs
bearing the label "not for human
consumption" will no longer be
common items found on Michigan
retail inventories.
On June 19, In the wake of vio-
lent controversies in different parts
of the country alleging the use of
designer drugs, Republican Gov.
Rick Snyder signed a group of bills
banning the sale of synthetic drugs,
including K2, Spice and bath salts
into law. The law is set to go into
effect July 1, influencing the bien-
nial review of the University's Alco-
hol and Other Drugs Policy.
. State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann
Arbor) said the publicly support-
ed legislation is an attempt by the
state to improve regulation of the
evolving culture of drugs.
"It's really a cat-and-mouse
game between the state and the
manufacturers (of synthetic
drugs)," Irwin said. "The state
wants to stop K2 in its tracks."
Irwin said previous legislation
has yet to be effective in preventing
drug activity in the state, and these
laws plan to aid the ongoing efforts.
"The laws the state has enacted
to crack down on (synthetic drugs)
haven't really worked," Irwin said.
Diane Brown, spokeswoman
for the University's Department
of Public Safety, explained that
prior to the passing of the bill, the
sale of substances like K2 in pub-
lic markets was legal for purposes
other than consumption. The con-
sumption of such substances has

already been outlawed.
Brown said establishments
under University security juris-
diction such as stores in the Union
and Palmer Commons haven't sold
the substances included in the leg-
islation.
"What we would have been
adjusting as University police offi-
cers are those people who might
possess something or who are still
dealing with the effects of use of it."
The current University Alcohol
and Other Drugs Policy prohibits
the consumption or sale of illegal
substances.
The policy reads, "Employees,
students, faculty and campus visi-
tors may not unlawfully manu-
facture, consume, possess, sell,
distribute, transfer or be under
the influence of alcohol,- illicit
drugs or controlled substances on
University property."
Mary Jo Desprez, administra-
tor of the Alcohol and Other Drug
Policy and Prevention Program,
said the policy is currently under
review and will be sent out to the
University community in October.
Desprez explained that the
revised policy will include infor-
mation on the health hazards syn-
thetic drugs pose to those who
consume them.
"One of the things we'll do
in response (to the legislation
involving) K2 and the synthetic
drugs that we're hearing more
about is to put the health risks
right in the policy so that people
know," Desprez said.
Brown said the presence and
consumption of synthetic drugs
on campus is not high on the list
of commonly encountered illegal
activities, but will continue to be
monitored with the new laws.
"Quite frankly, I think if our
students are going to use or abuse
some kind of (substance), they're
going get the real thing," Brown
said.

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