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July 02, 2012 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2012-07-02
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Monday, July 2, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
The irc(Jimn A M ai

Pure beauty

Monday, July 2, 2012 T
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 7
Old-fashioned ideas in new' Girls'

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.-
Ann Arbor, MI 48109




Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorialboard.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solelythe views of their authors.
Victory isn',t enough
Michigan needs to set up health insurance exchanges
A ccording to the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranks 37th
in the world for its health system but spends more on it than any
other country. For years, this deficit has been apparent through
sub-par health care, leaving millions of Americans disheartened with
their health insurance companies. President Barack Obama has been
working to change this, and with the help of the Supreme Court on June
28, he has gotten one step closer. It's now imperative that states take
action to bring the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to their citizens. In
particular, the state of Michigan must take action to set up health insur-
ance exchanges because they have the potential to benefit many citizens,
especially those who are lower-income.

I don't want to protect Michi-
gan's environment because of
political leanings. The part of me
that wants to protect the Sleeping
Bear Dunes doesn't particularly
care whether our nation's next
president is Barack Obama or Mitt
Romney or whether taxesshould
be raised or lowered. Of course,
decisions of that kind are some-
times relevant for the prospects
of vital environmental protec-
tions, and it's important for con-
servationists to understand any
connections that truly exist. Still,
the heart of my desire to protect
Michigan's natural beauty cannot
exist within the political realm. In
fact, it can't exist in any realm of
inherent conflict.
Think about this: each of us
spends a significant portion of our
time in some realm of conflict.
Take an hour to walk through a
city. Surely, there will be beauty.
There will be seemingly impossi-
ble feats of engineering. But there
will also be conflict - lots of it.
Even our greatest developments
don't quite know how to exist nat-
urally in nature. The same goes
for our brains. Moments of soli-
tude or reverence are all too rare.
Michigan's protected nature
areas provide an escape from all
of the conflict. I can walk through
Nichols Arboretum by my home in
Ann Arbor and observe life in har-
mony. I could plan a weekend - or,
if I was lucky, a week-long - trip
through Michigan and experience
a vast array of natural beauty that
is simultaneously halcyon and
exhilarating. During such a trip,
I could witness as much natural
beauty as any person could at any
location in the world.

Having recently visited north-
ern Michigan with a group of
friends from Brazil, Austria, Ger-
many and Colombia, I was not
surprised to see Facebook pho-
tos of the area receive numerous
comments in Portuguese, German
and Spanish. And though the lan-
guages varied, the messages from
all over the world were strikingly
consistent: I want to go there.
It's shocking and sad that our
legislators cannot see what people
from around the world perceive
so clearly. Michigan's natural
beauty is world-class. In the past
month alone, our state repre-,
sentatives have passed multiple
bills eroding protections on sand
dunes and placing harmful lim-
its on nature areas. In a time of
immense struggle for many parts
of our state, areas such as Sleep-
ing Bear Dunes, Tahquamenon
Falls and Mackinac Island serve
as a sort of fallback. These places
- along with various state parkss
inland lakes, beaches and nature
areas - have always been there
for us. They provide an escape for
Michiganders and serve as much-
needed tourist attractions. The
world wants to see Michigan.
This is why I love my state.
This is why we all love Michi-
gan. This is why we should join
hands across the political aisle
in hopes of preservingnatural
beauty so stunning it transcends
all political barriers. Our legisla-
tors apparently don't understand
this. So we should ask ourselves
one question: If our "representa-
tives" don't value our state's most
precious resources, why should
we let them represent us?
Jeff Sorensen is a LSA senior.

Gritty, realistic
moments in HBO's
20-something drama
Editor in Chief
Recently, my friend Nick and I
discussed HBO's "Girls" over ham-
"I really like it," he said, his voice
trailing off. "But my parents, they
hate it. Any time I watch it with
them they go on, like, a 30-minute
rant about how it's not supposed to
be that way."
"Not supposed to be what way?"
I asked.
"Your twenties. They're always
talking about how they loved their
twenties and how it makes them
sad how miserable the people are
on that show." He paused. Then,
as though guilty about something,
he said, "And then I'll notice simi-
larities between me and people on
'Girls'... man, if I'm ever living like
those characters, it'll be the worst.
The absolute worst."
After a moment of forced laugh-
ter where we both likely thought
about the dreaded possibility of a
post-collegiate life that in any way
resembles that of Hannah Horvath,
he added, "And my parents'll kill
I've heard that Lena Dunham -
series creator and star - is the voice
of our generation. Hailed as "raw"
and "real," "Girls" which recently
completed its first season, is sort of
like "Sex and the City" aged down
about 10 years with a cast of charac-
ters more likely to make you cringe
thanogle at their sexual and roman-
tic exploits: They are, as one critic
points out, diametrically opposite
to the "sleek eye candy" typically
seen on cable television.
While it's true these characters
are at times cerebral to the point of
paralysis, I can't help but wonder
if this is really what one's twen-
ties looks like circa 2012. Do those
of us entering the work force today

actually belong to a generation so
trapped in our heads that some-
thing as visceral as sex becomes a
platform for over-intellectualiza-
tion? "Girls" (supposedly) presents
life as we truly live it, complete with
the job-interview screw-ups, the
college friendships that can't sur-
vive past graduation, the endless
worry of paying rent. But it seems
important, I think, to remember
that when talking about such a
phenomenon, we're still looking at
heightened reality, albeit one that
glorifies the ironic and the absurd
over the glamorous.
Though the young Manhat-
tanites' lives do bear a kind of
resemblance to the awkwardness
of my own experiences, these char-
acters are still fundamentally cine-
matic, archetypes drawn to compel,
to draw you in and make you feel
something toward the people on
screen that you also, see in yourself.
It's good art, but it's not the banali-
ties of our day-to-day encounters.
Which means this so-called ultra-
modern, post-feminist cable show is
in fact old fashioned; the stuff that's
always filled our very best dramas.
Take Hannah's boyfriend Adam
(a wonderfully endearing Adam
Driver, "J. Edgar"). In many ways
he plays like the traditional Holly-
wood brute with a sensitive heart
lodged beneath a hard-edged exte-
rior. In the first episode we find him
shirtless in his apartment, working
on his carpentry - a profession he
describes as "honest." Between his
casual scorn for Hannah and her
inexplicable attraction to him, it's
hard not to be reminded of a young
Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowal-
ski in "A Streetcar Named Desire"
as he toys with a Vivien Leigh who
is simultaneously repulsed and
entranced by his charm. Adam
ignores Hannah's texts until she
arrives at his doorstep, offeringher-
self to him and his creepy bedroom
Is this how it goes? Possibly. Yet
I propose that Lena Dunham could
also have us fooled. By creating a

'I don't know how to break this to you, but there's a medical-grade scale in your living roon.'

look for her show that's just a bit he
grainy, and just a bit on the low- Bu
budget side - similar to Dunham's by
film "Tiny Furniture", which one my
critic called a serious film posing
as an amateur one; and by writing ser
dialogue that sounds just a bit more ho
natural than the canned aphorisms the
sometimes heard on television, she wb
has produced powerful realism. un
Except realism is still a type of fic- ho
tion, like the difference between a th
painted portrait and a candid photo- ha
graph - one is premeditated while so:
the other captures the moment as it go
truly happened.
In episode eight, when Adam
freaks out at a car that almost hits
him and Hannah after storming
out of his own play rehearsal, I
half expected him to yell, "I'm
walking here!" invoking Dustin
Hoffman and Al Pacino before
him in "Midnight Cowboy" and
"Scarface", respectively. It's
worth noting that both actors
were also playing the outcast in
their movies.
But the big difference between a
character like Adam and the clas-
sic Hollywood misfit is just how
explicit he happens to be about
his magnetism. "You don't know
me and you don't know yourself,"

yells at Hannah after a party in
ushwick shortly before getting hit
a car. "I'm a beautiful fucking
ystery to you!"
"Girls" dives deeplyinto the most
rsitive and squeamish moments,
lds there for a beat too long and
en lets its characters talk about
hat they're thinking, which is
comfortable, but probably very
nest about our times. So maybe
e reason Nick's parents claim to
Ite the show is because there's
me sort of generation-divide
ing on. Maybe when you're any

older than Generation Y you're
just accustomed to letting certain
things go unsaid.
Dunham's story of New York-
hipsterdom does in fact ring of
modernity - the characters' lives
are lived out loud, like the endless
stream of an instant feed gener-
ated from friends' computers. It
just so happens that the characters'
and the story's foundation can be
found in characters dating back to
our parents' and grandparents' gen-
erations; the real disparity between
then and now is only on the surface.

On Thursday, June 28, the
Supreme Court and Chief Justice
John Roberts Jr. ruled that the
individual mandate in the ACA
was unconstitutional under the
Commerce Clause but is constitu-
tional as a tax. His ruling proved
to be the key vote in a 5-4 major-
ity decision. Many of Obama's
reforms in health care can now
take place, including the require-
ment for insurance companies to
allow young adults up to the age
of 26 to be included on their par-
ents' health insurance policies.
Other provisions include increas-
ing access to Medicaid and pro-
hibiting discrimination based on
gender or pre-existing conditions.
Given the current state of
the job market, allowing young
adults to remain on their parents'
health insurance policies under
the age of 26is very beneficial for
many graduating students. Those

struggling to find work shouldn't
be punished by having their
health insurance taken away. In
such a tough economy, it's likely
that many students today find
themselves unemployed and
without health care - a terrify-
ing combination. In a country
that prides itself on its freedoms,
our young citizens shouldn't feel
trapped by inadequate health
coverage as soon as they leave
the safety of their university.
This provision will greatly help
to alleviate this problem.
The establishment of health
care exchanges within the state
of Michigan is crucial for stu-
dents whose parents don't have
health insurance. The ACA pro-
vides a more affordable insur-
ance option for individuals aged
19-25. Estimates report that 2.5
million young adults will gain
coverage because of this new

option. The only way citizens
can obtain this care, however,
is if the state sets up a program
through which we can purchase
the insurance. Though the dead-
line for the creation of the health
care exchanges isn't until 2014,
legislators in Lansing will be
shortchanging their constituen-
cies - and future workforce - if
they don't enact this reform as
soon as possible.
A strong and well-run govern-
ment is one that takes care of its
people. One of the best places
to start is making sure that its
citizens are physically healthy
enough to perform the tasks that
keep the country moving. The
Obama administration and the
Supreme Court have laid down
all the tools to create a health
care system that actually cares.
It's now time for the state gov-
ernments to put them to use.

According to producers,
the individual mandate is
NOT valid."
- CNN reporter, Kate Bolduan, speaking on CNN as the health care
decision was released. CNN later corrected itself.

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From Page 9
The same can be said of council-
man Tarrlok, whose role demands
total reevaluation after the back-
story revealed in the finale. The

rushed storytelling can be for-
given in his case, if only-because
the flashback was so utterly rivet-
ing. It humanized Amon, who, like
Ozai (Mark Hamill, "Star Wars")
in the original series, is made all
the more terrifying by his absence
and mystery.

But at its heart, "Korra" -is
everything it' promised to be and
more. It is an ambitious show that
succeeds on multiple levels, driven
by creators as dedicated as their
most devoted fans. If the first sea-
son is any indication, "Korra" is
poised to become a legend.



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