TH°E MICHIGAN DAILY
Sunday; April 29, 1956
Sunday, April Z9, 1956
THE MIC;4GAN DAILY
PageTenTHEMICIGA DALY undy, Aril29,195 anrlv Arul29 156 --I... _______________________________%F____14
in search of vice-...-
LIBERALS vs CONSER VA TI
REPORTER FINDS THE 'TOWNIE' BAR CAN BE A LONG WAY FROM
By ROBERT F. JONES
O N THE off-chance that Ann
Arbor might prove "Confiden-
tial" in the Lait and Mortimer
sense, this writer set out one
weekend in search of Vice.
He found: many small bars, a
hobo-jungle, three old Germans
playing Skat for pennies, a poker
game, no call-girls, an after-hours
coffee shop, a co-educational group
drinking beer in a bush beside the
Huron River-and no Vice.
"Vice," I recall remarking to
myself, "is a monster of such fear-
ful mien that, were there any kick-
ing about, I'd spot it pronto."
My search didn't pay off in
terms of its original goal, but it
did show me a new side to this fair
college town of ours.
Student drinkers stick to their
well-lighted, talk-packed beer
joints. They very rarely venture
into the dark, quiet little bars
which serve the local crowd. One
evening in a "townie" bar will tell
THE bartender grabs up a half-
dozen glasses which stand in
varying stages of emptiness on the
scarred brown wood. An elderly
gentleman coughs stickily.
"Whatta you want, fella?"
ours exclusively in An
"Gimme a beer." (I'm playing it
tough on the assumption that any
Vice-ridden folk are more likely
to approach a mean-type guy than
an obvious college student.))
My beer stands before me, pale
and sweating. I crouch. over it,
listening furtively. It is very quiet.
No one is saving anything. The
bartender lights a cigarette, faces
the bar-mirror for a moment,
scratches his chest, turns and
walks to the end of the bar.
He exchanges a quip or two with
grey little man who stands with
an elbow on the bar. The grey
man's voice blurs flatly through
the grey air. He sounds rather
drunk. The bar-man brings him
another glass of beer and rings
THE DOOR whips open, and five
sturdy types enter. They are
carrying bowling balls in shiny
leather bags and wear colorful
team-jackets with the name of a
local market in script across their
backs. They stand in a row along
"Hi, Albert," says one of the.
bowlers. "Let's have a round of
"Gentlemen," says Albert.
"Anyway, this guy keeps moan-
ing about this split he picked up
in the fourth frame," says one of
the bowlers. He's a thick man with
square, hard-looking hands. "I
felt like telling him . ."
"Yeah, you felt like."
"Well," says Hard-Hands, "the
thing is, he rolled over 500, and
he keeps moaning about this split."
The bowlers drink their beer,
then stand quietly, shuffling their
feet Albert brings them another
An elderly couple enters the
tavern. The man is tall and skinny
and wears a sailor straw hat. The
woman is soft looking, with skin
like a leaking balloon. She wears
a faded-blue print dress.
"A GLASS of port wine for the
lady," says the old man. "I'll
have a beer." Albert nods dutifully
and turn to his wine-bottles.
"We should go out like this more
Bob Jones, at one time the
unofficial Daily "Beer Editor,"
resumes his title to observe a
world of Ann Arbor far removed
from the student's circle.
often, Carter," says the withering
woman. "I get so cooped-up-feel-
"Yes," says the old man. He
watches Albert draw the beer with
a look of fascination. The bowlers
finish their beer and file past to
the door. One of them nods at the
"Wasn't that Norbert's son?"
asks the old woman.
"Looked like Pim," says Carter,
placing the beer glass to his lips.
"He's a good boy, Carter. Nor-
bert can well be proud of him. He's
got a good job at the market and
a good wife."
"All right," says Carter, tiredly,
"let's talk about Harry, then.
You've been edging around it all
day long." %
"Well, I just don't think he
should do it," the woman says. She
shakes her head snappily, and her
wattles bounce. "She's not that
hard a woman to live with, and
nobody in our family has ever been
"Harry's not a little boy any
more, Mother. He's almost not
even our son any more."
"I know. But he's been married
to her for ten years now, and he
should be able to tolerate her. I
mean, you have to be tolerant,
Carter." Carter gestures to Albert
and raises one finger. Albert nods
and draws another beer.
"I want you to talk to Harry
tomorrow. Be strict with him,
Carter. He's always been an obedi-
"All right, Mother. I'll talk to
THE GREY MAN from the end
of the bar began to sing some-
thing. His voice was very blurred,
and there were no distinct words
in the song. Albert put a nickle
in the juke-box and the grey man's
song slid quickly under a wave of
I looked at my watch. No 'vice
in this bar, I though. I might as
well give it up as a bad job. I left
the tavern and walked half a block,
turned onto Washington Street
and entered a college drinking
spot. It was loud and warm, and
there-was a scurrying of waitresses,
and in the corner, glowing with the
rashness of two pitchers too many,
a group of obvious fraternity men
were singing sickenly traditional
Two worlds within a block of one
another, I thought.
By PETER ECKSTEIN
Daily Staff Writer
POLITICS may be a corrupt-field
-no doubt it is. But nowhere
has the corruption extended furth-
er than in the field of language.
Terms which were once meaning-
ful tools of political classification
have been reduced to mere jargon.
This deterioration has been most
complete and most lamentable in
the terms liberal and conservative.
With the current return to favor
of the term conservative (however
its proponents may choose to be-
labor it with adjectives like "pro-
gressive" or "moderate") we are at
least hearing more of a defense of
both sides. Were he living today,
Robert Taft might not reply, as
he did a few years ago to a news-
man's question, that he guessed
every man considered himself a
liberal and that he included him-
self in the category too.
But if there is more defense of
both sides there is still little defi-
nition of either, accompanied by
much misuse of terms. The Presi-
dent of the United States recently
attempted to describe his own
philosophy by saying that "In all
those things which deal with
people, we must be liberal, be
human. In all those things which
deal with the people's money or
their economy or their form of
government, we must be conserva-
Presumably, then, conservative is
to be translated as "tight-fisted"
and liberal as "generous," but the
President's statement leaves us
completely in the dark on the very
relevant issue of using public
funds to meet public needs.
SUCH discussions may leave many
with a contempt for "semantics"
which is usually reserved for "met-
aphysics," both being considered
a sure way to haggle interminably
over arbitrary and meaningless
distinctions. Yet impatient as we
mnay be with the struggle for a de-
finition, we use th terms with a
reckless frequency that demands
definition as its only restraint.
There seems to be something
that binds together Jefferson,
Jackson, and Franklin Roosevelt
and that sets them off from Ham-
ilton and Hoover, something called
liberalism, something we can sense
and often agree upon, but have
A recent attempt at clarifying
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119 EAST LIBERTY
... Every centralization a threat
the liberal-conservative muddle
was made by Prof. Arthur Schles-
inger of Harvard University and
Author Russell Kirk in the New
York Times magazine.
After rejecting several of the
more vulnerable definitions, Prof.
Schlesinger settles on describing a
liberal as one who believes that
"society con and should be im-
proved and that the way to im-
prove it is to apply the human
intellect to social and economic
problems." Schlesinger later calls
the conservative-liberal dispute a
"contest . . . between the past and
the future," between those who
prefer courage and reason to those
who favor caution and reverefce.
SCHLESINGER'S definition, with
its emphasis on change and the
ambiguous term "improvement," is
open to serious qgiestion.
Anglo-American society has
evolved from a fundamentally il-
liberal beginning in absolute mon-
archy. Because the direction of
most change in that society has
.. , Every man a liberal
been liberal, many have falsely
associated the two concepts. What
is important, however, is the direc-
tion of change, not change itself.
In the liberal's Utopia it is the
conservative who would advocate
The so-called "radicals of the
right" certainly advocate change
to "improve" the status of society,
and liberals object, characterizing
the conservative proposals as at-
tempts a "turning back the clock."
The do so, however, only because
of the assumption that history is
on the side of the liberals, as gen-
erally it has been. But history
works, it is said, in terms of reac-
tions and cycles, and when con-
servativism is on the ascendancy
it is the liberal who begs-caution
After the Taft-Hartley law was
enacted, for example, many liberal
groups proposed to "turn back the
clock" to the New Deal's Wagner
Act. The clock is wedded to neither
side but is rather the hopelessly
capricious mistress of whoever
... Every demand an obligation
happens to be enjoying good for-
tune for the moment.
XAMINATION of a few trends
in the dispute between liberal-
ism and conservativism might
throw light on the essence of both.
The question of' control of the
state has been a traditional battle-
field, the liberals leading the way
in the evolution from monarchy
and theocracy to democracy as we
know it. Conservatives threw many
ideological obstacles in their way;
monarchy was defended as stem-
ming from James I's "divine right
of kings;" aristocracy was, in
Hamilton's words, the proper rule
of the "rich and well born;"'theo-
cracy drew its authority from the
"revealed word of god."
Boston clergyman John Cotton
put the theocratic case simply:
"The more any law smells of man
the more unprofitable" it is. Popu-
lar sovereignty ' was unthinkable;
the will of God, his chosen servants
or of the "well born" took prece-
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