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July 03, 2014 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2014-07-03
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Thursday, July 3, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4 Midiigan Bai 1
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu

Thursday, July 3, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

'9

Four deaths

Al 0183DFIIIA

Klaxons blare
jarring me
my brief res
regretted nodding
off with the pager
so close to my
ear. Despite the
display's glowing
green backlight, the
words themselves
were impossible
to read, obscured
by ordinary 0300
eye-blur and the
myopic lens of
acute-on-ehronic

d in my skull,
violently from
pite; instantly I
MIKE YEE

IAN DILLINGHAM
EDITOR IN CHIEF

AARICA MARSH
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

STEPHANIE SHENOUDA
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
Drying out Detroit
DWSD must keep the citizens in mind when collecting funds
n Monday, the National Action Network Detroit Chapter
and several other community activists from Detroit
gathered in front of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's office
to protest the controversial water shut-offs in the city. Starting in
March, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department began sending
shut-off notices to 46,000 customers whose bills remained unpaid.
On June 25, the United Nations condemned DWSD's cutoffs as
an "affront to human rights." While it's important that DWSD
receives funds to make up for their deficit, the department must
also keep the lives of Detroit residents in mind when implementing
programs to collect water bills.

It's understandable that
DWSD needs to collect money
to continue funding water
services, and in light of $120
million in unpaid water bills,
the company must take action
to correct this problem.
However, shutting off
citizens' water, a basic human
need, isn't an appropriate
solution. Sue McCormick,
DWSD director, stated the
majority of unpaid water
bills stem from residents
who can afford to pay but
believe they can get away
without paying their bills.
McCormick also expressed
the company's willingness
to help anyone legitimately
unable to afford the cost.
Therefore, DWSD must take
an aggressive approach to
pursue contact with non-
paying customers to discover
each person's circumstances
and appropriately handle each
case accordingly. If contacting

each customer fails to help,
DWSD must take other actions
- like requesting mayoral or
governmental assistance - in
solving payment issues.
During DWSD's initiative
to shut off water, the Detroit
City Council recently passed
a bill to increase water bills
by nearly 9 percent. At $75 a
month, the average Detroit
water bill is nearly double
the U.S. average. Poverty-
stricken citizens shouldn't
face an unreasonable cost
for a basic human necessity,
especially given the council's
justification for the increase.
According to the Lansing
State Journal, the increase
stems from delinquent bills,
yet increasing a cost because
some can't pay causes a
repetitive cycle. Those
unable and unwilling to pay
their water bill will continue
avoiding payments while the
city will continue raising

water rates. This reality sets
a precedent that punishes
complying citizens, and
with higher bills come more
citizens unable to pay their
bills which increases the risk
of water being shut off.
While the nearly 9
percent increase fails to
correct delinquencies, it
also furthers the poverty
that struggling residents
experience. While five dollars
more a month towards water
may not be much for some
citizens, this increase is a
significant amount to lower
socioeconomic families -
particularlythose who already
can't pay their bills. Adding
the risk of water being shut off
only increases the stress that
citizens experience. While
programs are beginning to
help citizens, DWSD must
make sure all struggling
families receive assistance
and access to water.

sleep deprivation, but the message came
through loud and clear: trauma patient
en route to the hospital.
In the emergency
department, the team
of nurses, paramedics Ve did e
and physicians donned
protective equipment, we cou
talked idly and teased
one another about was all t
the quiet shift thus
far. The office water- tOO
cooler chatter died
abruptly as the doors
slammed open. In
rushed a stretcher bearing a shapeless
figure, whisked immediately into the
waiting trauma bay. A flurry of activity
ensued as each person set to his or her
assigned task, starting intravenous
lines and placing monitors toward the
woman's head, while at her feet we
began shredding clothing and searching
for pulses. Yet even an inexperienced
third-year medical student could see
it was all wrong, pressures too low,
wounds too many.
We did everything we could,
but ultimately it was too little, too
late. Eventually the order came to
halt chest compressions, signaling
the end of resuscitative efforts. It
was several more seconds before I
realized that this was the first time I
had ever witnessed someone's death.
The attending trauma surgeon must
have recognized the look on my face
- started my way, mouth hanging
halfway open as if to speak - but
just then a dozen pagers on a dozen
hips began to chirp in crazed, chaotic
cacophony: rollover accident, two
injured, estimated time of arrival...
At the Veterans of America hospital
months later, I was assigned to care
for a salty, middle-aged veteran with
terminal cancer. Agonized by constant
pain, bones riddled with tumors,
his sole remaining pleasure in life
seemed to be the daily haranguing of
his medical student. After weeks of
struggling, I finally managed to win his

grudging respect only after discovering
that he had taken to hoarding pudding
cups in his room. By unspoken accord,
I ensured that any wayward desserts
found their way into his drawer, and
in return, he directed his ire towards
others on occasion.
On the penultimate morning of my
tenure at the VA, I went to restock
the secret stash of sweets only to
find the vet's bed strangely empty.
When I asked if the patient was in the
restroom, his nurse looked puzzled for
a moment before casually responding,
"Oh, he died."
Oh, he died. An offhand quip, but
words that sank into me, weighed
heavily on my chest, dense as lead,
inert as stone. This was neither the
time nor the place
for contemplation,
e rt n since there was
Verytingii~ much work to be
ld but it done, as always.
More importantly,
too little, I had a phone call
to make, because
late. the responsibility
of informing the
late vet's mother
fell to me. She had
been planning on visiting later in the
day - how could I ever tell her this
grim news now? Whatever I had to
say, it would be heartbreakingly too
little, too late.
On alate winter's morning, the "code"
team responded to an emergency in the
University Hospital. I followed the feet
of the senior resident ahead of me as he
flew down the stairs, two steps at a time,
while I awkwardly half-stumbled and
half-fell behind him. Despite our best
efforts, the patient did not survive the
resuscitation.
I had just witnessed my second
death of the week. As for total number
seen as a medical student, I had long
ago stopped counting. Somewhere
deep down, I thought that I might
have felt a slight stirring where my
heart once resided, but it passed
quickly enough.
One of the attending physicians took
notice of me, led me aside, away from
the commotion in the area of the now-
deceased individual. He threw his
arm around my shoulders, gave me the
old "You Can't Save Them All" speech
and encouraged me to contact him if
I needed to debrief or decompress.
It was a great talk, emphatically and
admirably delivered, from-the-heart
and perfect for the situation.
It was also too little, too late.
- Mike Yee can be reached
at mayee@engin.umich.edu.

Stellar new album
from genre-mixing
How To Dress Well
ByKEN SELANDER
DailyArts Writer
"What Is This Heart?" by How
to Dress Well challenged me. Man-
behind-the-moniker Tom Krell's
soulful, high pitch
voice issotranquil
that I just want to
sit back and listen How to
to each song with-
out actually pay- Dress Well
ing close attention "What Is This
to the lyrics or Heart?"
various instru-
ments that com- Weird World
pose the album's
twelve tracks. But
don't get me wrong, "What Is This
Heart?" is a lovely record that com-
bines various influences, namely
R&B, hip hop and indie, to create
an emotional, dreamy album that
avoids being dramatic.
Most every song on the record
has a very loose, serene feel to it and
"Repeat Pleasure," is no exception.
It starts off lightly, with acoustic
guitar strumming and keyboards
that could easily double as the
intro to a chick-flick. Krell's fragile
voice enters the track, and the song
transforms into a smooth stream of
music. Snare beats seem to line the
borders of the song, preventing its
peripheral elements from drifting
too far off from the centerpiece that
is Krell's singing.
If I didn't pay close attention
to the lyrics and instruments of

Tom Krell, the man behind How to Dress Well
"What Is This Heart?"

"Repeat Pleasure," as well as most
trackson "What Is ThisHeart?,"they
would all blend together, but not in a
forgettable way. "See You Fall" pos-
sessesvery calmingqualities for this
same reason. The violin intro gives
off a feeling of mourning, but the
accompanying strings counter this
sadness by providing an upbeat feel.
The tranquility of Krell's high pitch
vocals keep the song afloat, prevent-
ing "See You Fall" from drifting
away into sadness, creating a driv-
ing balance that sustains a blissful
feelingthroughout the track.
"A Power" is one of the album's
more sentimental songs. Krell dis-
cusses all sorts of emotions, finding
ways to discuss common themes of
being a good, loving person while
avoiding sappy, cookie-cutter
bullshit. Lyrics like "I want to be
sympathy, went to seek sympathy, I
want to die in peaceful quiet," seem
to procure real feelings from Krell,
and frantic piano notes are a nice
touch.
"Face Again," stands in direct
contrast to the fluffier "A Power."
Unlike most songs on the album, the
track has many lower tones that give
a haunting, eerie vibe to the song.
A demonic, low-pitch voice echoes
and responds Krell's vocals, possi-
bly delving into his inner conscious.
Powerful bass and feedback noises
pulse throughout the song, painting
a mental picture of a dim light flick-
ering on and off during the climax
of ahorror movie. Interjected sound
bites furtherthe trippynature of the
song.
The song finally lightens up when
Krell muses "I don't know what's
best for me," which seems to sup-
port the idea that the demonic voice

might represent some internal or
external voice pushing him away
from such a loving, optimistic exis-
tence.
In "What You Wanted," the use
of brass instruments in the back-
ground a strong snare and drum
beat in the foreground, in combi-
nation with Krell's smooth vocals,
work to showcase the R&B influ-
ences of "What Is This Heart?."
After a funny accordion sampled
intro, "Very Best Friend" develops
a steady clapping beat that seems
very true to hip hop, but maintains
a secondary electronic feel with the
accordion sample.
These two songs find their pri-
mary influences in R&B and Hip
Hop respectively, but that is not to
say that songs like "Precious Love,"
"Words I Don't Remember," and
many more don't take influence
from both. To be honest, "Words
I Don't Remember" is so smooth,
with a catchy, basic beat and some
fun samplings, thatIcould easilysee
it being played in a club setting. The
fact that Krell's voice is both high
pitch and smooth is definitely a tes-
tament to his vocal abilities.
In true indie spirit, Krell decid-
ed to release "What Is This Heart?"
on the album's website prior to its
release date (supposedly) without
getting permission from his label,
Weird World Releases. Whether
or not he had permission or not is
irrelevant to the album, because as
far as I'm concerned this master-
piece should sell. The far-reaching
influences of the songs make it eas-
ily enjoyable to fans of many genres
that surprisingly flow together
uninterrupted throughout the
record.

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