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September 26, 1995 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-26

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 26, 1995

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JEAN TWENGE

THE ERASABLE PEN

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

t .1

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMES M. NASH
Editorial Page Editors

Dogs humpbzg cars and other
thin'gs censors won 't let you see

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Extra month for old code not such a bad idea

t was almost anticlimatic, considering the
bumpy process of revising the Statement
of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Last
week, the University Board of Regents de-
cided to extend to November the deadline for
adopting a new code. While the current code

but a code that encompasses the ideas and
desires of the students.
As Regent Philip Power (D-Ann Arbor)
stated, the October deadline has served its
purpose - spurring progress. And limited
progress has been made, but an effective

After you awaken from your drunken
stupor, the truth comes out: Turning 21
is the biggest bummer in the world.
The problem is, you have no cool birth-
days left. At 16, you get to drive. At 17, you
get into R-rated movies. At 18 you're a legal
adult and can vote, get drafted and enter
contests to win things like power boats and
trips to Aruba. Nineteen is kinda nothing, at
20 you're no longer a teen-ager, and at 21 it's
Miller Time. So what's next? In this youth-
oriented society, who actually wants to turn
30? Unless you're really excited about your
car insurance going down after you turn 25,
turning 21 is the end of the line.
Turning 25 means that the insurance com-
panies are now convinced that you're past
the stage of doing Really Stupid Stuff, like
racing your friends around curvy suburban
streets or jumping the car over cliffs ("But
officer, they did it on The Dukes of Hazzard
... "). That's the real bummer here: The
world is done protecting you, and you're on
your own. People are actually expecting you
not to act stupid.
That's what these milestone birthdays
really are: the world protecting you less and
less, and trusting you more and more, whether
you deserve it or not. When you've reached
this stage and look back, sometimes it's
amazing to realizejusthowmuch you weren't
allowed to do and see when you were
younger.
Back in the 1950s and early 1960s, tele-
vision producers were convinced that just
about anything would warp children's minds
and turn them into sex-crazed little beasts.

On older TV shows, married couples -
even married couples with children - were
shown sleeping in separate single beds. The
K-Mart in TV land, apparently, didn't carry
queen-size sheets. Presumably seeing two
people in bed together would let kids know
too much about where babies come from.
Movies shown on TV are one of the most
blatant and annoying examples of the puri-
tan sensibility of whoever runs TV stations.
A few weeks ago Thelma and Louise, one of
my favorite movies, made its premiere on
network television. Between the cuts and the
dubbed language, it was barely recogniz-
able. I had this vision of someone sitting in
a recording booth saying "shoot" and
"freakin"'over andover. (My favorite, how-
ever, was "Judas Priest" instead of "Jesus
Christ." What's with this heavy-metal band
reference?)
The sad part was how much the movie
lost in the translation. Harvey Keitel no
longer uttered one of the movie's best lines
(he tells Brad Pitt that if he doesn't cooper-
ate, "I'll be all over you like a fly on shit for
the rest of your natural life.") In the original
version, the rapist says "Suck my cock"
right before Louise blows him away; here,
he says "Clean my clock." That's about
when I gave up.
Censorship and puritan morals raise their
ugly heads in newspapers as well. Cartoon-
ist Gary Larson, who drew The Far Side,
was not allowed to draw an outhouse in his
cartoon panel until 1984. Anything vaguely
scatological was usually questioned. In an-
other cartoon, Larson got in trouble because

a dog appears to be copulating with a car
(Larson claims it looks that way only be-
cause he drew in the bump of the transmis-
sion case, but several newspapers threat-
ened to yank the strip entirely. "Please tell
me that this dog isn't doing to this car what
the entire staff believes it is doing to this
car," wrote one newspaper editor.)
This example points to the subjective
and hypocritical nature of much censorship.
Thinking that a dog can hump a car requires
a certain amount of amorous imagination,
otherwise known as a dirty mind. Especially
in this case, the sexual connotation was
more in the reader's mind than in the original
cartoon. Then there's also the interesting
fact that censors get to watch all of the
censored material themselves -the arbiters
of the community's morals, in other words,
see more profanity and pornography than
anyone else. As the Church Lady would say,
"How conveeenient."
All of these safeguards are intended to
protect children, and it's odd to think back to
a time when you couldn't go to an R movie,
when four-letter words actually carried im-
pact, and when sexuality was a mysterious
thing.
After you don't have any cool birthdays
left, however, a lot of censorship seems silly
and misplaced. Most of us will probably
persist in that belief until we have our own
children to protect. At least then we'll be
able to enjoy their cool birthdays.
- Jean Twenge can be reached over e-
mail atjeant@umich.edu.

should be swept from
campus as soon as pos-
sible, the extra month
for rewriting the docu-

Jwriti~#g

ment is a good idea.
Heeding the advice
of Michigan Student
Assembly President
Flint Wainess, the re-
gents quietly gave the
Division of Student Affairs an extra month to
smooth out the code draft. Wainess, marking
the first time a student representative has
addressed the regents as a regular part of the
meeting agenda, noted that much remains to
be done in rewriting the code. He correctly
emphasized student feedback and stressed
the need for students to see drafts before the
code is finalized.
The regents have made it clear to Vice
President for Student Affairs Maureen A.
Hartford that a code written without student
input would be unacceptable. To that end, a
student workgroup last summer solicited
opinions from students on the shape of the
new code. But the workgroup's methods
were fatally flawed, reducing the component
ofstudent input to little more than lip service.
The work group should capitalize on this
extension not only to create a code that is "a
little more eloquent" in Hartford's words,

the. 4

proposal will not be
possible until the stu-
dents have a chance to
comment on a draft of
the document. It is true
that Student Affairs of-
ficials have dragged
their feet on replacing
the old code, but one
month is worth the wait

if the final product proves durable and work-
able.
It is time to lift the veil of secrecy sur-
rounding the code draft. A student review of
the proposal will give students the opportu-
nity to voice their opinions about what the
code should and should not encompass. It
will give a much-needed foundation for stu-
dent feedback an essential ingredient to
drafting a code that will affect the lives of
everyone on campus.
If the new code is to be student-friendly, it
must be a product of student critique and
feedback. The best way for this to happen is
for drafts of the proposal to be seen by stu-
dents - and a forum set up for student
critiques to be incorporated - before it is
presented to the regents.
In the absence of such feedback the rights
and responsibilities of students will once
again be in peril.

MArr WIMsArr

MOOKiE' S DILEMMA

E...: "

i ~ VEGoT1 .'71

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'I'm still a
stranger to the e-
mail system. I sit
there sometimes
and say, "It's time
to beam me up".
-State Sen. Alma
Wheeler Smith
(D-South Lyon)

Wild paitch
State shouldn't dump funds into new ballpark

The city of Detroit and Gov. John Engler,
without the consent of the Legislature,
are pinning the hopes of Detroit's economic
revival on a new Tiger Stadium. While well-
intentioned, the state is wrongly giving money
to Detroit to help a business, not a city.
Public support is growing for a new Tiger
Stadium away from Michigan and Trumbull.
Aside from the nostalgic reasons for preserv-
ing the venerable ballpark, the proposal for a
new stadium doesn't float. Rather than in-
vest in the infrastructure of the city, the $35
million from the city of Detroit and $55
million from the state will be used to enhance
the area immediately surrounding the new
stadium site in Foxtown -a dubious invest-
ment at best.
It has never been proven that new stadi-
ums are saviors to communities. The success
story of Camden Yards in Baltimore repre-
sents a neighborhood revitalized before the
stadium was even proposed - one that al-
ready had a booming economy 365 days a
year. Likewise, Denver's new stadium, Coors
Field, is surrounded by an already vibrant
area with a strong team and fan support
currently unparalleled in the league. The
proposed plan for Tiger Stadium fails to
recognize Detroit is lacking in both these
areas. Urban renewal comes before stadi-
ums, not the other way around.
According to the Tigers report, the new
stadium would need to draw 3 million fans a
year to even turn a profit. But no team in
baseball has approached even 2 million fans
this year. That the Tigers couldn't fill halfthe
stands last week to see the shortstop and
How TO CONTACT THEM

second-baseman tandem of Alan Trammell
and Lou Whitaker play their final home game
together is testimony to waning fan support.
They are not about to sell out a new stadium
for more than 60 of the 81 games just because
the Tigers now play near Fox Theater. There
is no long-term growth if the novelty ofa new
stadium wears off in a few years and the state
gains nothing in return.
Mike Ilitch, owner of the Tigers, has had
the opportunity to revitalize the neighbor-
hood surrounding the current Tiger Stadium.
He has failed to do so. With his gleaming new
stadium rising around Foxtown, what will
happen to the old neighborhood? The sta-
dium will get torn down and the surrounding
community will deteriorate even further.
It is ironic that the money being used by
the state was generated by gambling rev-
enues, because the state is taking a high-
stakes gamble with the proposed plan. Base-
ball is a summer sport only, and thus the
economic surge is limited to that season.
America's pastime is losing much of its fan
appeal and attendance is plummeting across
the board. Furthermore, in the recent strike
owners and players alike demonstrated a
callous disregard for fans and the communi-
ties dependent on baseball.
With all baseball's labor problems and
shaky popularity, it is hard to pin economic
growth on the stability of restaurants, taverns
and sporting stores dependent on its popular-
ity in the summer to carry them through the
year. The future is all the new Tiger Stadium
has right now, and baseball's future is
anybody's guess.

DISSENTING OPINION

Stadium key to Detroit's economic future

By Jeffrey Keating, Keren
Kay Hahn and Naraj Kinatra
It looks like the Tigers are
buying a new den. Out ofan agree-
ment between the city ofaDetroit,
the state and Tigers owner Mike
Ilitch, plans to build a new sta-
dium in downtown Detroit have
received the go-ahead. The new
stadium, to be located adjacent to
Ilitch's "Foxtown" theater dis-
trict, is part of Ilitch's ongoing
"resuscitation" project for down-
town Detroit. The new stadium is
a good deal for the citizens of
Detroit and vital to the survival of
the downtown area.
Ilitch is in the business of
making money and is losing
Dissenting opinions represent a
minority of the Daily editorial
board and do not reflect the
opinion of the Daily.
LETTERS
Republicans
hostile to
student aid
To the Daily:
On the student aid issue, the
difference between the Demo-
cratic and the Republican parties
is easy to understand. Democrats
want to strengthen America by
increasing the amount of money
available for student loans. Re-
publican extremists want to give
a $20,000 tax break to the wealthi-
est 1 percent of Americans by
gutting education and student sup-
port programs.
It is that simple. Just take a

money on the old stadium. While
one can sympathize with the nos-
talgia of playing in the old sta-
dium, that does not translate into
profits. By forcing the Tigers to
continue to play in the old sta-
dium to remain downtown, there
was danger Ilitch would leave
Detroit. That would be fatal to
one of Detroit's last enduring tra-
ditions. Thankfully, Iitch iscom-
mitted to boosting profits with-
out leaving the city. By the Tigers
remaining downtown with a new
stadium, both parties can benefit
equally: Ilitch will return to profit
and the city will keep the Tigers
while gaining an important urban
renewal project.
The Tigers organization is
promising to put up or raise the
$135-155 million required for the
actual construction of the
ballpark, with the city and state
help educate disadvantaged chil-
dren. Ifthe current GOP budget is
enacted, 50,000 children will lose
the ability to receive help from
Head Start.
Also, the Republicans want to
cut 23 million students from the
Safe and Drug-Free Schools Pro-
gram. Apparently, the Radical
Right thinks that criminals should
be able to get assault weapons,
but that children should not be
able to live in a safe, drug free
environment.
But wait, the Republicans are
not done feasting on what's left
of America's student body. Now,
they are after you, your friends
and all college students.
Under the radical and heart-

funds going toward infrastructure
improvements and land acquisi-
tion. The agreement greatly sur-
passes the private contributions
made in the most recent baseball
stadium projectsmore than three
times the private contribution
made in the projects in Cleve-
land, Colorado, Chicago, Balti-
more and Texas. Cleveland re-
lied on 73 percent public financ-
ing to build its new ballpark. The
Tigers agreement is far more gen-
erous to the taxpayers of Detroit.
They end up footing only 15 per-
cent of the total stadium cost.
Because the funds are coming
from gambling profits (through
the Strategic Fund) no state tax-
payer support is required.
The old stadium is discon-
nected from other areas of vital-
ity in the city. Moving Tiger Sta-
dium in proximity to an area that
to accumulate immediately. Also,
students will have to start paying
loans off immediately after gradu-
ation.
At the University, thousands
of students need loans and grants
to stay in school. It is clear that at
least some of these people will
have to drop out due to the Re-
publican changes.
The Republicans are hoping
that America's students will roll
over and play dead. They are
hoping that students are too con-
cerned with other things to notice
that we are being attacked. We
must show them that they are
wrong.
There is something you can
do. Call 1-800-574-4AID. Just

has the Fox Theater, Greektown,
Trappers Alley and the mobility
of the People Mover will central-
ize downtown nightlife attrac-
tions. Creating one strong enter-
tainment district is more conve-
nient and beneficial than continu-
ing disconnected islands within a
sea of decay. A vital city center
acts as a magnet to draw visitors,
conventions and much-needed
dollars. This investment in hope
will serve as a catalyst to lure new
business and industry - which
will benefit the city as a whole.
The citizens of Detroit and the
state taxpayers are getting a good
deal. The public's $90 million
investment to bolster "Foxtown"
is one they can't afford to miss.
Ilitch is an enabler. This opportu-
nity can provide the needed push
for Detroit to recapture the lost
glory of its downtown.
It's time to
plant a tree
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
Nadir Alt-Laoussine's letter of 9/
21/95 ("U' vegetation shouldn't
suffer early demise"). It seems
the intent of my letter was not
clear. I do not support or disap-
prove of this tree being cut down.
I do not have adequate informa-
tion to make such a judgment. I
object when plants are treated as
equal to humans. This is not to
say the death of a tree is unimpor-
tant, but it is never as important as
the death of a person.
Ac fnr . in,,.nrirc+nniimnanof

University Regent Rebecca McGowan
(D-Ann Arbor)

University Regent Philip Power
(D-Ann Arbor)

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