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Fined for Nuclear Safet

Reactor Personnel Violate NRC Standards, Fail to Report Infraction Promptly

by Doug Thiese era tors at the Ford reactor were conductOn June 8, 1992, the staff of the Uniing several movements of nuclear fuel versity of Michigan's Ford Nuclear Reacelements in preparation for reactor extor, located on North Campus, violated periments to be conducted during the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) coming week. These movements entailed safety standards while conducting a removing fuel elements from one part of nuclear fuel move. Although the incithe reactor and reinserting them into dent was quickly resolved and was another spot in the same reactor. deemed by a subsequent NRC investigaAs the AIT report notes, Assistant tion not to have entailed any "safety conManager for Reactor Operations Gary M. sequences," a detailed review of the inciCook supervised the fuel movements, dent suggests that it may have hem sympwhich were performe(t~ ~enior reactor tomatic of serious procedural inadequaoperators (SROs). While the fuel was cies. being moved, the control roOm operator In March 1949, the U-M Board of (CRO) and an SRO served as the fuel Regents established the Michigan Mehandling team. During these fuel moves, morial-Phoenix Project as a research cenCook assumed the duties of the CRO. ter dedicated to the "beneficial applicaOnce each fuel movement was comtions ... of atomic energy." The project's pleted, the CRO or an SRO returned to two-megawatt reactor commenced opthe control panel to bring the reactor to eration in September of 1957. Since that the critical point in order to take reactor time, there "haven't been too many remeasurements. portable occurrences at the U-M," acThe AIT reports that during his ascording to Theodore Michaels, NRC sumptions of CRO duties, Cook never Project Manager for the Ford Reactor. received a "formal turnover" (which Documents detailing the June 8 inciwould include an update on the exact dent obtained The: continuance of the fuel status of the from the reactor and NRC, howmove'l7iolated a fundamental explicit stateever, reveal ments actenet of nuclear safety: know knowledging that reactor per so nn e I relief the exact status of the reactor. Cook's erred not only of the CRO). Such a loose procedurally but also in their reporting of the episode procedure is permitted by the Ford Reactor's Operating Procedure OP 103, to the NRC. , The incident occurred when an as"Reactor Operation, Maintenance, Systems, and Components," which allows sistant reactor manager and several senior reactor operators (who were not for "less formal turnovers during shifts adequately mOnitoring the reactor's stafor temporary reliefs." tus) removed fuel elements from the reThe shift had completed three fuel actor while it was still critical (i.e. able to movements by 2:26 p.m., according to the AIT report, at which time "it was not sustain a nuclear chain reaction). In vioclear who was in charge in the control lation of NRC procedures, these personroom." After the fuel handling team (the nel (along with the Phoenix laboratory's CRO and an SRO) completed the postdirector and its manager) decided not to move reactor measurements, Cook rereport the incident until eight days after viewed the results and decided that the it had transpired. After inspecting the team needed to perform a fourth fuel Ford reactor, the NRC fined the U-M movement. He then instructed the team $1,250 for operating the reactor in an unsafe manner. regarding the next move. According to the AIT report, Cook apparently gave unclear instructions, for The Incident in Detail the team thought that he had issued "dear directions to conduct the move," while According to a report by the NRC's Augmented Inspection Team (AIT), .opCook thought that he had only instructed

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event had previous knowledge of the them to "prepare to move fuel," but not reactor being critical." Continuance of to commence the movement. Even if Cook the fuel move violated one of the most only ordered the fuel handling team to fundamental tenets of nuclear safety: opprepare to move the fuel, however, he erators should never stopped know the exact the handling Documents detailing the June status of the team when they actually 8 incident ... reveal that reactor before making any started. the reactor personnel erred not changes to that fourth fuel move. only procedurally but also in status. By re)ustbefore their reporting of the episode. moving a fuel the fourth fuel move, the ..._ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _- - - 1 element while the reactor was CRO noted criticatCook and the fuel handling team that the control room log readings (which viofiited the Ford Reactor's Administraare taken every two hours) were due. tive Procedure (AP) 301, "Reactor Fuel," According to the AIT report, Cook stated which stipulates that all shim and conthat he "would take the log readings and trol rods must be fully inserted prior to again instructed the fuel handlers to move any movement of nuclear fuel to assure fue\." (Curiously, the report does not that the reactor is completely shut down. state that Cook again instructed the fuel Furthermore, the fuel-handling SRO handlers to prepare to move fuel.) used improper communications by yellDuring the first three fuel moveing the vague warning "Coming Out," ments, the CRO had handled the fuel instead of specifically warning Cook that while an SRO told the CRO how and the team was removing a fuel element. where to move the fuel. For the fourth According to Michaels, the phrase" commove, the CRO and the SRO switched ing out" was not poor communication duties. The CRO directed the move while and is a "normal standard procedure for the SRO served as the fuel handler. U-M." While preparing for the fourth fuel In any case, Cook did not hear this move, the fuel-handling SRO looked up shout. This failure to communicate could to the control room and noticed Cook taking log readings. The SRO could see Please See Page 10 Cook reading a meter tha~ depending on which scale Cook was reading, might have indicated that the reactor was critical. As noted by the AIT, however, "there was no positive check of the status of the reactor before the fuel was moved." Nuclear protocol dictates that since the SRO was unsure as to which scale 2 Serpent's Tooth Cook was reading (and therefore whether the reactor was critical), the SRO should 3 Brown v. Quayle have stopped to determine the exact staCode Referendum 4 tus of the reactor before continuing with the fuel move. 6 New Deans According to the AIT report, the SRO instead proceeded at 3:11 p.m. to remove 7 Show Previews the fuel element designated for the fourth fuel move. The reactor was indeed criti8 Po-Mo Babble cal, since no one had shut it down following the critical reactor measurements Culture "Pundits" 9 performed after the third movement of nuclear fuel. The report further states . Charlie Manson that, "All three operators involved in the

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September 23, 1992

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

2

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THE

Serpent's Tooth" Last week's top Tooth sought to make a simple point to Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford: Both the Daily and the Review oppose the University of Michigan's latest proposed student conduct code, the infamous Draft 101. Remember, Hartford is the one who is really bent on getting student input. Well, MSA's Students' Rights Commission has just published a pamphlet detailing nine serious problems with the Dr.aft. Sa at least three large groups of students agree that the code is a dangerous and wasteful project. Maureen Hartford, this should really tell you something.

Last Friday, researchers from Southern Illinois University and the College of William and Mary released the results of a study of college student drinking habits. The study reports that students wha;e grades are usually Os and Fs average 11 drinks per week, while students who get As average only 3.4 drinks per week; it also notes that 42 percent of students have gone on a drinking "binge" (defined as five drinks at a sitting). In a related study, it was discovered that nearly all students who drink do so with their mouths open. According to an informal study sponsored by Domino's pizza, U-M students rank lowest among campus tippers for pizza deliv~ry in the entire country. It's not that we're cheap, of course. It's just that our tips go down every year in proportion to how much our tuition goes up.

MICIDGAN REVIEW

Lafayette, California organizer of a new' group, the Childfree Network." But how does "child-free" sound? Is it positive or negative? Maybe it's similar to terms like sugar-free, fat-ttee, worry-free, diseasefree, duty-free, and tax-free. Not that it makes kids sound like lice or anything.

trCflJersy, "[T]he modernist practice of de-

fining things by what they are not" has been seized by postmodernists, who refer to things like "not architecture, not landscape," and "not sculpture" (all of which, admittedly, are valid labels for postmodem art). So does this make postmodernism "not thought?"

More from the Catharine MacKinnon quote collection: "Compare women's reports of rape with women's reports of sex. They look a lot alike." Huh?

Naive liberalism has invaded the Business School (of all places). This year's Marketing 300 textbook, co-authored by the U-M's own Thomas Kinnear, proclaims that "the ecolOgical problems of In a speech to the National Baptist Convention earlier this month, Bill Clinton energy shortages, pollution, and poor announced, "We need an economic plan planning ... are the result of years of that dominates our every waking mo- .j economic growth, affluent lifestyles, urment." Gulp. banization, and technological development without concern for ecological conThe Review's';post-mod" squad has unsequences. We are all responsible, becovered a·teiTifying fact: the sprea6l of cause we consume too much energy and that nagging n~ation known as "Not!" are polluters." We assume Mr. Kinnear is part of a poStmodernist plot to turn us supports his principles by living in a cave into pale, espresso-sipping, black-clad and clothing himself with leaves. Or cultural relativists. Says Charles Jencks maybe he's just another self-Ioa~~.llb-···'· in Zeitgeist in Babel: The Postmodernist Coneral hypocrite. Who knows?

"I didn't inhale." -Bill Clinton "No new taxes." - George Bush

According to a recent Free Press article, ''The word 'childless' is out. Instead, please use the more sensitive term 'childfree.', 'Tlw word "childless" sounds for, lom,.as If rou ~are a'failure,' says Leslie '

We are the Establishment Editor-in-Chief Publisher

Adam DeVore Karen S. Brinkman

Executive Editors Andrew Bockelman Tony Ghecea Contributing Editors

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The straight dope, and tax-deductible too.

"Because they preserve life, condoms have become sacred," says Tony Botti, a Harvard Divinity School graduate. Guess that makes Ann Arbor's new prophylactic paradise, Condom Sense, the American version of st. Paul's Cathedral. Executive Director of Greenpeace Steve Sawyer recently lamented in a massmailed, tree-killing letter that "the worldwide economic recession has hurt Greenpeace." He later bragged, however, that "large corporations wish we would just shut up and go away!" Right! Maybe you should stop pushing for ineffective but economy-thwarting regulations that hurt everyone, including Greenpeace! Of course, that would mean abandoning your socialist agenda.

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September 23, 1992

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

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Brown et. al. v. Quayle by Joe Coletti Monday's season premiere of Murphy Brown focused (as usual) on Candice Bergan's on- air moralistic tirades. As expected, this week's target was Vice President Dan Quayle's speech in May, which contained the now famous attack on the popular television show. As one might also have expected, the counterattack by Diane English, creator of the show, as voiced through her fictional newscaster's mouthpiece, misrepresented the content of Quayle'S speech. In all fairness, the show dealt accurately with Quayle's infamous sound bite attack on Murphy Brown: "It doesn't help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown - a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, profes!,ional woman mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another 'lifestyle choice.'" The reason for this island of accuracy, of course, was that Monday's episode used a tape of Quayle's speech.

The fact that his comment came near the end of a seven page-long speech was nicely disregarded . Also disregarded were several sad truths that Quayle outlined. ·"In 1967, 68 percent of black families were headed by married couples. In 1991, only 48 percent of black families were headed by both a husband and a wife." • The unemployment rate for black youth between 16 and 19 in 1951 was 9.2 percent. In 1965 - 23 percent. In 1980 it was 35 percent. By 1989, it stood at 32 percent. • "In 1965, the illegitimacy rate among black families was 28 percent. In 1989, 65 percent of black children were born to never-married mothers." Corky, Murphy's ditzy co-worker, found it "so confu~og" that she "was raised to believe-that if you had a child out of wedlock yo':! were bad .. . a woman's place was in the home, segregation was good, and presidents never lie." One may feel sympathy for Corky

because of her inability to distingu ish family is a mother, a father and chilamong the good, the bad, and the padren," says Brown. According to the tently false. show, Quayle'S view does not and canOne may also excuse Corky for her not leave room for non-traditional familack of understanding, since she not only lies. Here again, Quayle's message is disworks in Washington but is also a memtorted. ber of the largely amoral news media That it is statistically better to raise a elite. The media's lavish coverage of child in a tw~parent home is evidenced Quayle's speech was rightly ridiculed by the figures that Quayle offered in his during the show, but again the central speech: "Among families headed by question of why Quayle used the Murphy married couples today, there is a poverty example went unaddressed. rate of 5.7 percent. But 33.4 percent of In her moralistic monologue, families headed by a single mother are in Murphy states that people can look for poverty today." The point is not that the cause of today's cultural distress in non-traditional family structures are the media, Congress (largely controlled doomed to fail; it is simply that they are by the Democrats for the past thirty years), less likely to avoid poverty and the problems associated with poverty, such as "ari..,administration that's been in power for twelve years," or "you can blame drugs, violence and gangs. me." What the writers failed to realize, or When children grow up in an envi'chose to ignore, is that they and Murphy ronment of desperation with little in the ... Brown are part of the same media which way of familial support, they often tum they criticize. to gangs. Quayle'S example of former The diatribe continued. "Unfortunately, it seems that for [the Vice PresiPlease see page 5 dent] the only acceptable definition of a ~/ -. -'~

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September 23, 1992

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW,

From Suite One: Editorial

...

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Why Hartford Must Back a Code Referendum It is probably fair to say that by now most of you have at least heard of Draft 10.2 of the University's Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities - the current version of the administration's proposed code of student conduct. It is also likely that you are familiar with the arguments in favor of it: University of Michigan President James Duderstadt and Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford coauthored a disgustingly one-sided letter which was sent home to all U-M students along with a copy of the Draft and a blatantly biased survey. Student response has been abysmal; less than 3,000 of the 38;'000 surveys which were mailed out have been returned. According to Hartford, however, nearly 90 percent of the returned surveys have supported the adoption of the Statement. Although the survey may be discredited simply on its own merit (or lack thereof), students who have not yet replied still have the power to turn the survey and the code on their heads. Whatever one thinks of Hartford's involvement in developing Draft 10.2. she afleast appears to'be genuinely interested in soliciting student opinion. In the letter accompanying the Draft and survey, she and Dqderstadt write, "We are making every effort to consult with students and hear their reaction to this proposal .... Please take the time to review the statement and procedures carefully ... Your opinion matters." It is for this reason that she has designated two public meeting times to discuss the proposal. The first of these was held Monday night in Chrysler Auditorium; the second is scheduled for tOnight, September 23, at 7:00 p.m. in Auditorium 3" of the Modem Languages Building. The Office of Student Affairs is alsowilling to plan meetings with groups of students to discuss the Draft. ';' ' Many of you, fortunately, are already farniliarWith the primary arguments against the "New and Improved" Code - many of which have been offered by the Michigan Daily, the Michigan Student Assembly's Studeil't Rights Commission, the American Civil Uberties Union, and the Review. A brief summary of those arguments consists of the following points: A casual reading of the Draft's Standards of Behavior [, J

You're Invited. â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ to jOin tfie 9vficfiigan ~view in a meeting witfi a f{1niversity-trained facilitator to provide feed6acf( to tfie aaministt:ation on t])raft 10.2 of tfie proposed ÂŤStatement ofStutfent !R..igfits and ~esponsi6ilities. II ~

%ursday, Septem6er 24, g{ineteen fiundred ninety-two at seven o'doc/(in tfie evening. ~

Suite One 'lJiird 1'{oor, 9vficfiigan League 5tnn 5tr60r, 9vficfiigan ~~~

leaves one uncertain as to what kinds of behavior the Statement would cover; a critical reading of the proposal leaves one flabbergasted, frustrated, and \"ondering what kinds of behavior the Statement would not regulate. The policy fails to define numerous punishable behaviors, from harrassment to hazing; it inverts the traditional due process model (under which all of one's jurors must agree that one is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt) by permitting conviction by four of six jurors who agree that it is "more likely than not" that one is guilty; it threatens the accused with double jeopardy; it revels in its amorphous comprehensiveness, noting that its list of (undefined) punishable actions should not be interpreted as an exhaustive catalogue. Due to its ambiguity, the policy could have numerous unintended consequences with regard to First Amendment rights of assembly, free speech, and the freedOllll of the press. The Statement's goals are noble, yet its approach is pathetic. Despite Hartford's professed interest in student opinion, it is not clear that the collected student feedback will be allowed tosubstantially influence the administration's plans. The mere solicitation of student opinion does not guarantee an effective student voice, and Hartford's embracement of the survey data suggests that she is unwilling or unable to interpret the worth of such feedback objectively and in light of the survey's leading language and accompanying propaganda. If Hartford is really serious about giving students a voice, then she should advocate placing the New and Improved Code on this term's MSA ballot as a referendum. If students are as enthusiastic as some suggest, then the vote will be a landslide. What's more, if students vote for the code - whether that is wise or naive - the administration will be able to claim the ultimate moral high ground. In a recent op-ed piece in the Daily, Hartford asks, liDo you agree with such a policy? Do you want changes in the current draft? Would you rather see a different approach altogether?" If she is willing to let student opinion override administrative whim, then she should incorporate as much student feedback .~,possible, but then be willing to put the code on the ballot in order to give students a definitive say in the matter. A referendum offers other benefits as well. Most evidently, it provides a mechanism for the operation of a sunset clause in the policy - wherein students would vote each year on whether to m$tain the code - a feature it presently lacks but which Hartford must begin to advocate if we are to believe that she takes student opinion as seriously as she professes to. In her Daily op-ed essay, for instance, she writes, '1)0 you want the policy to include behavior that threatens the community such as physical violence ... Do you want students to decide on acceptable community standards? Do you prefer that faculty or administrators do it? Should the hearing panels be run by student[sl ... ? To me, the greatest strength of the policy is that it gives students themselves the opportunity to define what membership in the community should mean.... Students have rightly been asking for more voice in campus affairs. What better place to start than with a student run judiciary." Given Hartford's emphasis on student opinion, she can only act COnsistently over time if she advocates that each new group of students be allowed to express new opinions, i.e. to answer her list of questions as they see fit. Failure to do so commits Hartford to accepting the proposition that the only student opinions that matter are those of present students. Whichever way the first vote goes, the Zeitgeist may change after one or two years. If Hartford's concern for student opinion is sincere, then she should not only advocate making the code a ballot issue (to give students a real say in the matter) but also assure that future students' opinions will be taken into account by amending Draft 10.2 with a sunset clause. But back to Hartford and Duderstadt's letter, which is how most of you first carne into contact with Draft 10.2. It is instructive to compare the letter's sales pitch for the Statement with Hartford's op-ed piece. In her column, Hartford explains that the UM must have a code of some sort to address sexual harrassment and alcohol and drug abuse at the very least, for it is required by law in order to receive federal funding. According to Hartford, any other topics which the code will address are ostensibly to be determined by student input; even the manner in which the code will handle those topics which the U-M is legally bound to address is supposedly to be determined in large part by the students. Hartford and Duderstadt's letter, in contrast, does not justify the code on legal grounds. It paints the Statement as a Golden Rule-e;que honor code which has been necessitated by an increase in behavior that undermines the quality of life and learning for everyone." It is lamentable that the non-negotiaMe nature of the legally essential parts of the code was not presented forthrightly. Hartford has thus already given students ample reason to distrust her rhetoric. A display of strong commitment to student self-determination, per the preceding recommendations, might help to restore her credibility. /I


September 23, 1992

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

Brown et. al. v. Quayle Continued from Page 3

gang members in New Mexico who joined because the gangs were "like family" illustrates this point amazingly well. In May, Quayle's speech initiated a debate on the importance of family and morality. The media at that time chose to ignore the implications of this debate and instead focused on the seemingly comic attack on a television show buried near the end of his speech. Murphy Brawn's creators, however, committed the same error in their attempt to ridicule the Vice President. The writers for the television show forgot that their first objective is to be humorous. Diatribes are seldom funny; more often they are attempts to beat an unsuspecting audience into accepting of the proper Hollywood views. Surveys of members of the entertainment and news industries have demonstrated the divergence in the values of these" cultural elites" from mainstream America. When Dan Quayle first attacked the media elite, most people had the atti-

.~

which the culture-gods in New York and tude that Frank, one of the shows characters, had. "It's Dan Quayle," he told Los Angeles demonstrated their misunMurphy. "Forget about it." The news derstanding of the central element of his media tried to attack, which held that: paint Quayle ''[f]he lawless as a man with little grasp of social anarchy which we saw reality, one [in the Los Anwho, accordgeles riots] is ing to Frank, directly related has spent his to the breakterm in office down of famtrying to prove ily structure, how terrible it personal reis to lose one's s pon si bilit y mind. and social orThe media der in too and cultural many areas of elites who atour society." tacked the Vice The basic Pre si den t, realization inhowever, have herent in u nw it tingly Quay Ie's demonstrated fltt Medwed peddles his "Arwbody But Bush" bumper the validity of . stickers at this summer's art fair. HI dislike negative cam- speech is that his claims. The paigning, so I thought I'd do a little of my own," he says. ideas have consequences. To speed with Don't be surprised to see one soon on Murphy Brown.

LeffertotheEditor~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why Clinton's Draft Decision Matters When I consider Bill Clinton's qualifications for the presidency, it matters little to me whether or not he fought in Vietnam. But why h~made the decisions he did as a young man and how he has attempted to explain them 25 years later matter a great deal. We have now heard several different versions of the draft story from the governor, with critical details missing at different times - the draft induction notice, the intervention by his uncle and a member of Senator Fulbright's staff, the academic deferments, etc. Clinton has tried to reassure us that the whole is more important than the sum of these missing parts; his "bottom line" is that he found the Vietnam War morally repugnant and therefore did what he could to avoid it. This is a respectable position, but one that raises two critical questions. First, what kind of man would tum handsprings to avoid the war on moral grounds but then reverse himself in order to, in his own words, "maintain [his] political viability within the system?" As strong as his revulsion to the Vietnam War was, Clinton's political ambition apparently was stronger - he ultimately placed himself in the draft lottery volun-

5

tarily. The governor has addressed this triumph of ambition over morality by denying that he began running for the presidency the day he made himself a candidate for the draft. Not many would argue with that. But it seems indisputable that Clinton chose to enter the lottery because he envisioned a future in politics and realized with great prescience that a "draft dodger" label might one day frustrate his ambitions. If this is the case, Ointon comes to us now as a man who let his political yearnings subvert some of his most strongly-held principles. Is this a man we want as our president? Second, if Ointon was so vehemently opposed to the war, did he do anything to register his opposition other than avoiding service in Vietnam? Did Clinton bum his draft card, write an editorial, orchestrate a protest or meeting, send a letter to his Congressional representative, organize a teach-in or anything of the sort? If not, the best we can say about Clinton is that he let his laziness get the better of his convictions. The worst we can say is that Clinton's story about moral opposition to the war rings hollow. How could a man so outraged by America's presence in Vietnam, so obviously intel-

... . _ •• ·_ • •

ligent and articulate, so well-liked, so well-versed in the facts of the war, and so predisposed toward public service simply sit on his hands while the "great atrocity" took place? One possible explanation is that Bill Clinton's actions at the time were driven not by a sense of moral outrage, as he claims, but by the most basic of human instincts - self-preservation. If this is true, all it proves is that Clinton is human. And it may even indicate that a President Clinton would be particularly thoughtful in his deliberations over when and whether to commit American soldiers to combat. But it still leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth. A decision to avoid service in Vietnam on moral grounds would have been a defensible choice. But that does not seem to be the choice Bill Clinton made. Either he allowed political ambition to govern his actions despite his moral reservations, or he cooked up a story about moral outrage to disguise a less admirable motivation, fear. Whichever is the case, it makes me very uneasy about the prospect of a President Clinton.

David Dodenhoff graduate student, political science

say that all choices are equally valid is to deny the existence of such consequences and relinquish any claim to possessing a correct choice. In the absence of a correct choice, one has no reason to act so as to implement that choice; in short, one has no impetus with which to regain a foothold for action in a civil society. When the news media spend more time concerning themselves with spelling errors than with the subversion of morality, it is a sign of a depraved nation. The creators of Murphy Brown and their cohorts are actively working to undermine the moral basis of our culture. As an opening salvo in the latest battle of the cultural war, the Vice President's attack on the cultural elite represents a much needed assault. Joe Coletti is a senior in Asian studies and a contributing editor the Review.

. , ' 11

'I)lnesh D'Souza, author of the bestselling Illiberal Education: The Politics oj Race and Sex om Campus, told the September 12 Washington Post.

"It is no longer P.C. [politically correct] to be P.C." Has the Politically Correct mind set fallen from grace, or is it just changing its face? Get in your 29 cents' worth! The Review is soliciting responSive essays from all angles. Send yours to:

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THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

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Campus Affairs

September 23, 1992

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Can More Bureaucracy Cut Red Tape? by Ken John8ton The University of Michigan bureaucracy never rests. In an effort to make the University more accessible to students, Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford has recently created four new upper-level positions, including an ceociate dean of students for c0unseling, an associate dean of students for programming and activities, an associate dean of students for multiculturalism, and a dean of stJ,ldents. The first three positions all fall under the supervision of the fourth. In actuality, the dean of students p0sition, which is being filled by former Associate Vice President of Student Services Eunice Royster Harper, is not an entirely new one. Hartford noted that, "There used to be a dean of men and a dean of women, and then it was changed to a dean of students." The dean of students position, however, disappeared in the mid-l96Os. "There are dean of students offices on most big university campuses," Hart-

ford explained, "with the concept that the dean of students is responsible for making life more smooth for students." This would apparently be accomplished by having an office to which students could come with a wide variety of complaints, comments and inquiries. Hartford felt it nece~ to re-create the position because she had been hearing complaints from the students about how "tough [it is) to get straight answers to questions - there's a lot of bureaucracy, a lot of red tape. Students frequently get caught in the middle of that," she said. Although there seems to be a contradiction in adding more offices with the intent of helping students wade through an already bloated bureaucracy, Hartford claimed that the additions will be helpful. She ~ that even though toe associate deans will have a considerable amount of resp9flsibilities in their respective offices, "One of their main responsibilities will be functioning ... as assistants to students." Despite numer-

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ous attempts to contact each of the ~ ciate deans, only Associate Dean for Programming and Activities Frank Cianciola could be reached for comment. The first of these new positions, the associate dean for counseling, is held by Delories Sloan. She was previously the director of counseling services at the UM. Her duties as an associate dean will apparently remain similar to those entailed by herformer job. Frank Cianciola is the new associate dean of students for programming and activities. Cianciola was previously employed by the University as the director of university unions. He will be involved in a wide variety of matters, from facih~tating communication between the University and the Greeksystem to helping run the Michigan League and the North Campus Commons. Both Sloan and Cianciola were working under Student Services previously. Hartford said that their former positions will remain unfilled. The associate dean of students fQr " multiculturalism, Richard Carter, ;as previously employed by the Alumni Association as its associate director. His responsibilities will involve serving as a liaison to residence hall Minority Peer Advisors and working with the Intemational Students Center, Minority Student ~rvices, Trotter House, and the Lesbian and Gay Male Programs Office (lGMPO). LGMPO Co-coordinator Billie Edwards gave the office's rational for choosing to reside under the associate dean for multiculturalism rather than counseling. "It seems to us that since lesbians, gay males and bisexuals form a community that multicultural affairs will be appropriate," said Edwards. "To be placed under counseling services would be to risk reinforcing the stigma associated by many people to counseling," she added. Cianciola agrees with Hartford that the new positions will make the University more accessible rather than creat~ more red tape. "One of our major goals is to make the [University) more responsive," he said. Cianciola added that the offices will be looking to solve "systematic problems" within the bureaucracy that students often encounter. In addition to the new dean positions, Hartford will also be involved in the creation of two new mid-level positions that will replace the one high-level position held by Associate Vice Presidentfor Student Affairs Virginia Nordby, who will be retiring in June,1993. Nordby was preViously involved in

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many areas, including residency appeals (which involves deciding whether a student qualifies as a Michigan resident), filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, administering the alcohol and drug policy, and advising the University on its behavior codes. Although the associate vice president of student affairs was previously under Hartford's jurisdiction, only one of the two new positions will be overseen by Hartford. Residency appeals and FOIA are technically not under the domain of Student Affairs, so this aspect of Nordby's job will be placed under the auspices of U-M Executive Director of Public Relations Walter Harrison, according to Hartford. The duties that fall under the jurisdiction of Student Affairs will be placed in an assistant position under Hartford. How the splitting of Nordby's former position will affect the overall payroll of the University' is still unclear. Hartford cannot set the salaries, since salaries for that category of positions are dictated by ·-'the Human Resources Department. The financial toll of the associate dean positions, however, is more clear. Hartford confided that there would be salary increases for the associate deans, but indicated that they would be, "small adjustment[sJ ... not much." ActuallYr the salary "adjustments" will be much larger than one might guess. The new salaries have not yet been approved, since the paperwork on the new positions is still pending, but the proposed salaries show a distinct rise. In this year of "shared sacrifice," Sloan's salary is slated to increase from $72,000 per year to $82,000 (12.2%), Cianciola's from $82,740 to $86,900 (4.8%), and Carter's from $61,500 to $75,000 (18.0%). In total, that is an increase from $221,240 to $243,900 per year, or a $22,660 (9.3%) increase for only three people. These increased salaries are presumably being justified on the grounds that Sloan, Cianciola and Carter have taken on different jobs. Still, according to Hartford, there will be no net effect upon the university payroll. "We're doing this without any money from the central administration." Instead, she said, the money would all come "from all kinds of reorganization within" Student Affairs. She added that ''Part of [the money) is from positions that have been frozen for a long time." Ken Johnston is a senior in political science and a staff writer for the Re-

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September 23, 1992

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

7

Arts: Performance Previews ,

U-M to Host World-Renowned Directors by Beth Martin With artistic influences ranging in origin from Hollywood to the former Soviet Union coming to campus, the University of Michigan's School of Music has plenty in store for audiences this season. The schedule is brimming with a variety of dramas, a musical, and an opera, all of which will provide challenging and novel theatrical opportunities for the students in the departments of Theatre and Drama, Musical Theatre, and Opera Theatre. Although the School of Music harbors an outstanding faculty along with its powerful actors, vocalists, musicians, and dancers, it frequently brings in renowned directors and choreographers from outside the University to contribute fresh ideas and new directioo. The School of Music is especially fortunate this season to receive a group rich in experience and success in the theatrical field. "The big story this season is our directors," said Public Relations Director of University Productions Tom Loewe. The renowned Armenian director Vladimir Mirzoev, for instance, will be visiting the U-M to direct Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party. Mirzoev graduated from the Faculty of Directing at the reputable Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatrical Arts in Moscow and went on to direct numerous plays in that city. He later became the founding Artistic Director of the Theatre Studio Domino - a training program for the repertory company Domino in M~ow. Mirzoev immigpated to Canada in 1989, where he has directed an abundance of plays in Toronto, including The Inspector General and Oscar Wilde's Salome. Mirzoev himself has written a number of pieces, including a novel, a play, and many critical essays, all of which went unpublished in the Soviet Union because they were coml'osed before the glasnost period. ' Mirzoev is known for his avantgarde "theatre of the absurd," as Loewe put it. In an interview with Rita Much of the New Theatre Quarterly in August,

Sullivan shows. MacDonald has received Mirzoev explained that his aim as a digraphed the U-M's recent productions rector is to "put on the stage the subconTony nominations for his direction and of Into the Woods and Pal Joey. scious level of the dramatic text and of choreography of The Pirates of Penzance A Resurrection of Lady Lester by Uthe actor's nature." Mirzoev explained and other plays, and is now the Resident M's own OyamO is also 00 the fall agenda. Choreographer of Montreal's Les Grands that his goal is not merely to "tap into OyarnO, a professor in the Department ordinary life energy, which you can find Ballets Canadiens. His other credits inof English, received his M.F.A. from the in a wrestling match or in a cafe, but to clude work with the National Arts CenYale School of Drama in 1981 and was a tap into the energy associated with relitre, the Paris Opera, and the National founding member of the Black Theatre gious feeling or the feeling we have in a Film Board. MacDonald will come to the Workshop in Harlem. He was the dream." University to direct and chorecepient of the Molly Kazan Playwriting Mirzoev's chosen style reograph Johann Strauss' Award in 1980 and has had three plays makes him a suitable direccomic opera Die Fledermaus. chosen for the Eugene O'Neill Theater tor for the distressing theme Sung in English, this crafty Center's National Playwrights Conferof The Birthday Party. The play story is one of pranks and ence. He has also Served as a screener for revenge. It witnesses the focuses on Stanley, the sole the National Endowment of the Arts. tenant of an oceanside boardframing of Einstein, a man Kate Mendeloff of the Residential Coling house, who is visited by led to flirt with a disguised lege will direct his Resurrection, which two secretive strangers seekwoman whom he later dishas been performed at the Yale Repering to alter his life. They pose covers is his wife. The opera tory Theatre and at the Manhattan Thea number of odd (yet seemis full of masks and moveatreClub. ingly ordinary) questions ment and features "light and Resurrection tells the story of the fathat eventually lead him into frothy" waltz music, said mous jazz saxophOnist Lester Young )C" ~ Brian Ma~nald Loewe. through a series of flashbacks that he their trap. The Musical Theatre Program will In contrast (0 Mirzoev, for whom experiences during his last twenty-four' realism on stage "haS>l'\o attraction," the also brings us a piece of Hollywood this hours of life in a New York hotel. He Department of Theatre and Drama will fall. A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the reflects on his childhood, his booming bring in John Neville-Andrews to direct Ukraine, by Dick V08burgh and Frank c~.in the 19305 and 408, and his work A.W. Pinero's Trelaumy of the "Wells." Lazarus, places the audience in the lobby •.. ·with Billie Holiday. In a playwright's note, OyamO states that he I/sought Neville-Andrew's style exhibits more of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the [Lester's} essence, not his obituary." The realism and naturalism on stage. He is 1930s. The ushering staff of the theatre play's casting is also unique in that it known for his plays Bullshot Crummond performs famous songs such as "Over requires each actor to portray several and El Grande de Coca-Coca, which won the Rainbow" and "Hooray for Hollycharacters in Lester's life. Jazz fans will the Drama Desk Award in 1972 for Best wood" that re-create the essence of early especially enjoy this tribute to Young Musical. He is perhaps better known, Hollywood. The cast ends the first act by and his era. however, for his previous work as Artissinging the preview to the second act, the Loewe warns that the shows regutic Producer for the Shakespeare Theatre movie which will be shown in the theatre larly sell out and recommends'that stuat the Folger library in Washington, D.C. - A Night in the Ukraine. This portion dents who are interested in a particular Trelawny of the "Wells," a famous Vicfollows a Marx Brothers plot which was performance reserve their tickets well in torian-era comedy written in 1898, fonever made into a movie. It is based on advance. Chekhov's 1888 one-act play, The Bear. cuses on Rose Trelawny, a promising young actress at the Bagnigge Wells TheThe plot focuses on an affluent Ukraiatre who is about to give up her developnian widow and the attempt of a nasty Beth Martin is a senior in English and lawyer to collect a debt owed by her ing career for marriage. She soon discovan assistant editor of the Review. ers, however, that her acting skills will be deceased husband. Directing this musical is Tim Millett, who also choreosupremely useful when she and her fiance must alter their lifestyle to please his backward family .. Another famous talent to visit the UM this season is Brian MacDonald, who has done fantastic work as an Associate Director at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival directing a number of Gilbert and

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September 23, 1992

THE MICHIGAN REvIEW

8

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Book Review

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Babble in the Ivory Tower ZehgeI" In Babel: The Polltmodem/.,

pean studies at Indiana University. No longer does an author's intended Controverq message matter; no longer may an auIngeborg Hoesterey, editor Indl.,. University Preas thor have an original creative thought; Softcover, $12~95 no longer may a text embody a set of 269 pgs. timeless virtues. Instead, all textual meaning is determined by the reader, all writings are products of an "intertextual" by Tony Ghecea Zeitgeist in Babel: The Postmodernist world (where ideas are Controversy is, as the title suggests, an "stolen" from other texts), attempt to distill some sort of coherent and all works are inextritheme from the cacophony surrounding cably tied to petty, earthpresent-day postmodern thought. The bound ideals. need for, and trouble afflicting, such a In "The Originality of the Avant-Garde," by project is that postmodernism means different things to different people, even Rosalind Krauss, a prothose within a particular discipline. fessor of Art History at Zeitgeist nonetheless reveals a num- Hunter College, the ber of traits which characterize most reader finds that manifestations of postmodernism, postmodernist art is charamong which the destruction of tradiacterized by} ~lar distional interpretive, aesthetic, moral and belief iI\,ofiginality and philosophical principles rank highest. an obliteration of the line Postmodernist productions include between "l'I1gh" and works of art, texts, and other forms of "low" culture. The result is a "discourse communication which appear disorof the copy," where pieces of art are dered, irreverent and evoke a sense of regarded simply as derivations of previous works. Subjectivity permeates loss. Such traitsresult from a mindset that places postmodernism at odds with postmodernist art critiques, for if meanits theoretical predecessor, modernism. ing can be conveyed equally well by both Modernism sought to establish a cerkitsch and classics, the question then betain set of standards and beliefs, or what comes, "Why discriminate between the two?" Peter Collier and David Horowitz in Destructive Generatian call "the 'System' Moving on to a discussion of drama that collection of values that provide by Maureen Turim, an Associate Profesguidelines for societies as well as indisor of cinema and comparative literature viduals." Pbstmodernism, Like the 1960s at SUNY-Binghamton, the reader learns "counterculture" which served as its prethat postmodernist theater also "seems cursor, has "assaulted and mauled" (to to be motivated by a desire to move use Collier and Horowitz's observation beyond a high/low polarity in our thinkof the 60s) modernist thought, ing and evaluation of culture." unravelling its standards, eroding its Supplanting the apparent values and beliefs, and replacing them undesirability of cultural standards is with new (invariably leftist) cultural the "embracing of soap opera, situation norms. What has resulted is quite a theocomedy, game shows, music video, sciretical mess, as is evidenced by the theses ence fiction, and action films as the harseveral authors offer. bingers of a new irony" which, Turim Zeitgeist enters this fray with the goal assures the reader, is not nearly as shalof clarifying the issues involved in what low as its commercial culture medium it terms the "Postmodernist Controwould lead one to believe. By embracing versy." Composed of seventeen essays commercial culture, Turim asserts, we by authors from every part of the ideowill satisfy the need to submerge ourlogical spectrum, the book analyzes selves in the current cultural milieu, howpostmodernism in the fields of architecever distasteful that might be. ture, literature, art, philosophy, history, In "Habermas and Lyotard on music, theater and social activism. Postmodernity," Professor of the HuZeitgeist defines one hallmark of manities at the University of Virginia postmodernist thought as the breakdown Richard Rorty credits postmodemism of notions of value and origin. For literwith the abandonment of traditional ary theory this has meant the philosophical principles through deconstruction of our concepts of "' ori"incredul[ity] towards metanarratives." gins,' ... 'authority' (and] 'legitimacy,'" Simply put, postmodernism places no states Matei Calinescu, a professor of faith in the conventions of modern socicomparative literature and West Euroety, be they' the immanent goodness of'

democracy or the propriety of the scienany self-respecting academic would willtific method. By withholding such faith, ingly subscribe to it. Zeitgeist presents postmodernist scholars purport to have two main reasons for the contemporary brought about the end of philosophy: if appeal of postmodernism: self-gain and knowledge is hopelessly unstable, then social engineering. how is one to "love" what he cannot The first motivation stems from the grasp? desire of present-day scholars to ground Historical post-modernism espouses themselves and their work in a unique a similar disbelief in personal tradition. Artists, architects, "metanarratives" which, musicians and dramatists need to inhabit suggests Gianni V attimo, an era; postmodernism serves this pura professor of philosophy pose for them. Philosophers, historians at the University ofTorino, and literary theorists often seek freedom "have been confuted by from the past and recongition as the disdecisive events of our coverers of the "ends of philosophy and time." The "metanarhistory" and the re-creators of meaning of "classic" texts; postmodemism affords rative" of reality was confuted by Auschwitz, that them this chance. of a beneficent socialist The second form of postmodemism, revolution "Stalin and his the "social activist" variety, seeks to supplant Western culture with a new politigulags," and so on, claims Vattimo. "[I]n the cal agenda. To this end, the so-<alled postmodern condition "victims' revolution" has seized upon there is no longer a possitools such as "deconstruction" and lirebility of arguing and rationally 'proving' definition." conclusions," Vattimo asserts, since~ev--''''' In "Feminism and Postmodemism," erything we take for granted will' ~ltiHarvard Professor of Romance and Comparative Literatures Susan Rubin mately be viewed as wrong or nonexistSuleiman describes the dynamic of a femient. Thus postmodemism holds that hisnist/ postmodernist alliance: tory as we know it no longer exists. Zeitgeist also notes postmodemism's "[F]eminism brings to postmodernism the political guarantee that penchant for rendering aesthetic styles postmodernism needs. meaningless, thus creating an opportuPostmodemisI1\ in tum, brings feminism nity for the "redefini~ion" of artistic catinto a certain kind of 'high theoretical' egories. This ability has manifested itself discourse." According to Suleiman, in architecture, where Charles Jencks, an post modernism prOVides feminism, adjunct professor of architecture at "anti-imperialism, the ecology moveUCLA, defines postmodernism as ment, and ... non-European, non-West"double-coding - the combination of ern cultures" with the theoretical tools modern techniques with something else." necessary to undermine the norms of Through the random, often disorderly Western culture and replace them with combination of various architectural their own political standards. motifs, ostensibly in hopes of reconciling Zeitgeist ultimately refrains from art to nature by breaking down accepted forming any practical conclusions about aesthetic divisions, Jencks suggests that postmodemism, but even a casual readpostmodemism has created a style all its ing of the book reveals one troubling fact: own. if we have no stable norms and values to Postmodern music has followed a live by (let alone the norms and values to similar path, albeit in two distinct trends. which postmodernists would have us The first trend, known as "worldbeat," subscribe), we cannot hope to inhabit a takes what Jost Hermand, a Vilas remodern, civilized world. "Instead," as search professor of German at the UniProfessor of History at the University of versity of Wisconsin at Madison, refers California at Berkeley Martin Jay advises, to as "archaic, black African, or oriental "we should be more sensitive to the enforms of music," and shapes them into a lightening as well as obscuring implicapermutation of traditional European hartions of a much-maligned (modernism] monies. The second trend is a "ne owhose promise is still greater than is neoromantic" type of music which, like assumed by those who counsel a leap its architectural counterpart, borrows into the postmodernist dark. constructs from classical music and works them into neoromantic harmonies. If one understands postmodernism Tony Ghecea is a junior in English and as the theoretical mess which these auan executive e~tor of the Review. thors suggest, one wonder why

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September 23, 1992

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

9

Book Review :-"/ ,

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Stupefying Sophistry, en masse Modernity and Mass Culture

a typical person's experience of that text. is so inherently hideous and unjust that When is the last time you went to a movie only an insidious program of brainwashso you could deconstruct it? A Freudian ing carried out by the shadowy defendinterpretation of archery as an expresers of the "power structure" has allowed sion of phallic dominance in Robin Hood it to go on as long as it has. may sound like an interHence, what one by Adam Garaglola esting paper topic to a might consider to be the One evening while visiting a friend, cultural studies major, logical point of focus for I took note of a most insidious mode of but Mall Rat in the chair a study of mass culture television ad vertising. It consisted of next to yours at the the- an analysis of what squeezing a commercial into the upper atre would probably just constitutes "the popuhalf of the screen, on the channel which tell you to shut up and lar aesthetic" - is all continually broadcasts program listings. watch the flick if you but ignored. Of more Hence, when a TV viewer switches to tried to explain it. relevance to these critthis channel to find out "what's on," he is As a formalist in my ics are the ominous s<>forced to endure a banal product plug; in critical approach to texts, cial implications <i Walt the age of remote control, this is one of and as a student of litDisney using television the rare instances where advertisers have to promote his theme erature as opposed to a truly" captive audience." cultural studies, I found park in the 1950s, I mention this little anecdote because myself objecting not only thereby helping to ceit is illustrative of the nature of mass to the book's intellectual ment a consumerist culculture's development, and as a touchture based on entertainpremises, but to its aesstone it is useful in measuring the real ment, advertising, and thetic qualities as well, The prose is dense with·'quotation marks significance of the products of the Hollythe futomobile, as explained in the essay wood/Madison Avenue synergy that cre"Hollywood in the Home." around words being empJ.oyed by the ates the bulk of America's mass culture. As another example, consider the essayists in some vaguely "particular" burning theoretical implications of "DiCall me simplistic, but it was always my way, obscure theoretical terms, and longgressions at the Cinema," an exploration impression that the people responsible winded constructions. Modernity and the intertextual awareness involved in for everything from sitCQIDS to blockMass Culture is certainly not a book aimed the viewer's interpretation of a film such busters were pandering to public taste in at enlightening the modem masses. the interest of making a buck. as, say, The Terminator; an awareness Again, pardon my naivete, but when a that results from its commodification in community of critics becomes so insular Tisk, tisk. Such a naive view I have <i the form of media promotional activity, (they would say "self-referential") and these things. Perhaps if, like the essayists which "fetishizes" the filmic product and obsessed with creating ever more arcane in Modernity and Mass Culture, I had spent thus creates a desire which translates more time in front of the babble box, I theoretical frameworks that the public at into demand both for the filmic product would have a deeper understanding of large - whose experiences of the art/ itself and commodities which spin off the patriarchal discourse which embodentertainment forms being critiqued may be less "academic," but no less validfrom it. Had the Politburo's propaganda ies the reproductive politics of Moonhad as much influence on the collective cannot make any use of the critics' work, lighting. It has become alPtost cliche to awareness of the Russian people as this cite the advent of mass communication doesn't that point to a level of detachmass culture brainwashing supposedly and electronic media as the most signifiment between critic and reality that makes has on ours, Stalin would now be the cant alteration of social dynamics that the critique useless? eternal undead overlord of a nation of the twentieth century has produced. Just The answer to that question, in my as tiresome, however, are the convoluted loyal socialist worker-heros. opinion, depends on whether one's goal Were Hollywood indeed in colluinterpretive theories that leftist academia is to educate the masses as to the effect sion with Washington to push a particuhas developed in order to analyze mass mass culture has on them, or to gamer lar brand of ideology, it would be a frightanother academic footnote by printing cultural phenomena. ening thing. It is true that entertainment One of the essayists, Robert B. Ray, a an essay that will make your like-minded can and often does have an ideological colleagues nod and say 'amen.' In the film studies professor from the Univercontent, but this is predominantly the name of structuralism, semiotics, psysity of Florida with a gift for noting the result of the "artistic vision" of the crechoanalytic theory, feminism and variabsurd, writes in his essay, "The Avantous other currently fashionable theoretiators of the work, or more practically, of garde Finds Andy Hardy," that "the typithe desire to cash in on the latest trendy cal title [of an academic paper] in film cal approaches, the essays in this book studies has become 'Barthes, Brecht, seek to expose the ideological abuse ramconcept. Like a thirsty man at a punch Bakhtin, Baudrillard, and all those other bowl, we partake in entertainment; the pant in the greedy culture-machine of people, and Robocop.'" He goes on to give Hollywood and create "oppositional fact that it might be Spiked with one readings" of the texts in question, in orbrand of ideology or the other is of seca list of actual titles of papers given by his der to subvert these would-be props of colleagues; each, I am sure, a gem of ondary importance. Hollywood is more post-everything scholarship. . "late capitalism." interested in making a buck than making Much the same can be said of many a point, a fact that cultural critics inflate At the risk of overgeneralizing to the of the essays included in this selection. point of rudeness, I characterize the with ideological Significance. book's diverse assembly of cultural critMy objection to the discourse of semiotics A minimal understanding of ecois that in its attempt to explain theoretiics as being from that predOminant genomic processes in a capitalist society is cally the interaction of text and receiver, nus of academia, radicaleftus sufficient to realize that the "ideological" it. (Nate.s .~ ~~tJ;aqiQh lar'rem,ov~ frotri~ iI1fatuo~v,$,,~~(j) p~Uex~',that~pitalism c~nt~nt of !l1ass t;n,ec;lifl..pr9Q.u~ can only

James Naremore and Brentlinger, editor. Indiana University Preas Softcover, $14.95

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be a reaction to, not a molding of, popular taste and sentiment. The public relates to entertainment media in the role of consumers with free will. Each individual is free to choose which movie he attends, which channel he watches, which music he listens to, etc. The goal of the filmmaker or entertainer is to appeal to these tastes, not attempt to mold them. The success or failure of their attempts measured in Mazerattis and gold records on the wall. To raise the example of Robin Hood again, one might observe how the portrayal of Maid Marian was developed in the most recent incarnation of the story. In response to changing social sentiment regarding the status of women, the Maid Marian of the 1990s becomes an active and aggressive figure, one more appealing to the contemporary audience. If your common sense tells you, as mine tells me, that most people are able to distinguish between reality and fiction better than the average Cultural studies critic, then you probably have a very real underst~w.ng of what the problem with these·srudies is: they "valorize" (a favorite semiotic moniker) the trivial ..On the cover of this book are two photographs: one is a still from the movie Metropolis, the other is a picture from Cindy Sherman's "Untitled Film Stills" collection; both are fictions of a kind. The media certainly has played a major role in shaping our perceptions of the world, but the portrayal of race relations on the Cosby Shaw, or family values on Murphy Brawn, pales in importance to a fact which scares the willies out of me, that "more Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source." Then again, an analysis of left-leaning bias in the American press probably isn't as much fun as deconstructing soap operas. Besides, as far as institutional politics go, left wing academia and the media are about as aligned as they can be - one need but consider the editorial pages of popular magazines, the themes of prime time programming and popular entertainment from movies to music. One could write a more worthwhile book on that topic entitled The Cozy Symbiosis of Academic and Cultural Elites. And as for those inescapable commercials I mentioned earlier? When TVs are built without "off" switches, that's when we need to worry. Adam Garagiola is a Residential College senior in comparative literature and creative writing, and the literary editor of the Review.

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THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

10

September 23, 1992

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Nuclear Incident Continued from Page 1 have been avoided since, as the AIT noted, both Cook (currently in the control room) and the fuel handling team had ready access to the plant's intercom system. When the fuel element was removed from the reactor, the reactor became subcritical (i.e. no longer sustaining a nuclear chain reaction) and emitted an audible click upon this change in status. The AIr report states that upon hearing this click, another SRO who had been working on the reactor yelled, "stop," and then proceeded to the control room andmanuaUy drove in the reactor's shim and control rods, thus completely shutting down the reactor. According to the inspection report, Cook and the fuel handlers then evaluated the sequence of events surrounding the fuel element removal and "realized that they had violated AP 301"; but because the fuel element removal had effectively shut down the reactor, they concluded that their actions "did'not place the reactor in an unsafe condition." After reviewing the Technical Specification (1'5) definition for "Reportable Occurrences," Cook and the SROs determined that they did not have to report this incident to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission since they had not placed the reactor in an "unsafe condition." In reaching this decision, Cook and his operators failed to consider the TS Limiting Condition for Operation (LCO) 3.1.5. This U:=O Specifically stipulates that if the react()r was not sufficiently subcritical (i.e. at least 0.025 delta reactivity below the pOint of criticality) during nuclear fuel movements, then this violation must be reported by telephone to the NRC within 24 hours of the occurrence. While removal of the fuel element

brought the reactor subcritical, it was still not sufficiently subcritical until one of the SROs fully inserted all shim and control rods into the reactor. Moreover, the reactor was critical when the fuel handling team commenced the fourth fuel element removal. Thus, Cook and the fuel handling team violated LCO 3.15. At 3:20 p.m., just nine minutes after the improper removal of the fu~1 element, Cook instructed the fuel handling team to complete the fourth fuel move. ment by inserting the fuel element into its new location in the reactor. The fuel handling team then completed the fourth movement of the reactor's nuclear fuel. The AlT cites this as a "weakness" because "corrective actions" based on a "thorough review and full analysis" of. the event had not been developed bclo~ moving on to further movements. . When another SRO relieved COQ~ of assul!l"' eRO duties at 3:20e.m., his Cook left the reactor building in ord"er to discuss the inadent with Michigan Memorial-Phoenix Project Director Ronald F. Fleming. (Normally, Cook would have talked ~ith Reactor Manager Reed R. Bum at this point, but Bum was.on vacation.) Unable to locate Fleming, Cook returned to the control room. At 3:40 p.m. the reactor was brought critical for the post-fourth fuel move reactor measurements. The fuel handling team then conducted a fifth and final fuel move at 4:04 p.m. The Ford Reactor was brought critical at 4:08 p.m. for the final post-movement measurements, and the reactOr was thim shut down for the day at 4:26p.m. The U-M's Handling of the Incident The following day, June 9, Cook discussed the incident with Fleming. De-

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spite LCO 3.1.5's specific instructions, Fleming agreed that the plant did not have to report the incident to the NRC. On June 10, Cook conferred with Reactor Manager Bum, who also agreed that they did not have to report the incident to the NRC. According to the AIT report, Bum issued a memorandum to the operators about the incident, its safety implications, and proposed procedural changes to avoid repeating the incident in the future. The memo also "emphasized pr<r cedural compliance" although the plant mCUlagement had yet to fulfill the requirements of LCO 3.1.5. According to the AfT report, the plant's managers failed to report the incident to the NRC even after they became aware of LCO 3.1.5 because they incorrectly determined that the LCO "did not apply for regular fuel movements [like those of June 8]." It was only at a regularly scheduled meeting of the plant's Safety Review Committee on June 16, eight days after the incident, that the plant management "determined that the event was of enough interest" to necess.k_,~ tate reporting it to the NRC. " ..The following day, Bum notified the NRC via telephone and fax of the June 8 incident. Two days later, the NRC lirequested" by telephone that the U-M neither restart its reactor nor move any more nuclear fuel until an NRC AfT had completed an on-site evaiuation scheduled for June 22 to 24. The Aftermath In a June 26 letter to the NRC regarding "Startup of the Ford Nuclear Reactor," Fleming described procedural changes that he hopes will prevent a repeat of the June 8 incident. First, Administrative Procedure 301, called "Reactor Fuel," now requires the shim and control rods to be "fully inserted" before any nuclear fuel movement takes place. Second, a "sharp division between operator responsibility" will now be mandated, so that two reactor operators "whose sole responsibility is the safety of

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the reactor" will be "responsible for the specific authorization and supervision of all reactor evolutions and activities," which will be performed by other personnel. While Fleming noted that all Phoenix personnel would receive training on July 1 so that the staff understood "the modifications to facility procedures prior to operating the reactor," he requested "permission to resume [reactor] operations" four days before the staff would be trained about the above procedural changes. In its "Notice of Violation and Pr<r posed ImpoSition of Civil Penalty," the NRC noted that, although the "base value" for an incident like U-M's is $2,500, the Phoenix laboratory's fine was "mitigated" down to $1,250 for "past good performance." A Critical Analysis of the June 8 Inci~ent and its Handling

Professionals in the nuclear power field regard nuclear safety as a Callon which mustbe respected without qualificalion to assure that the public is not harmed by the peaceful use of the nudear power. The June 8 incident at the Ford Nuclear Reactor exposes the U-M as having a careless approach toward nuclear safety, especially when one considers the standards of other organizations such as the United States Naval Nuclear Power Program. The Navy's required practice of "repeat-backs" might have prevented the confusion that arose when Cook supposedly ordered the fuel handling team to move the fuel. Had the fuel handling team been operating under Navy guidelines,for example, they would have had to repeat back the order word-for- \ word so that Cook could have corrected the team immediately if the team had misheard the order. NRC Project Manager Theodore Michaels agreed, stating that the fuel

Continued on Page 11

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September 23, 1992

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

11

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Music

Charlie Manson, avant-garde John Moran The Manson Family: an Opera Various Artists Point MualcJPhllips Classics by Frank Grabowski The tenn avant- garde often conjures a vision of abstract art which becomes grossly confusing due to its preoccupation with surreal and one-sided subjectivity. Audiences, however, are often easily confused by avant-garde's excessive abstraction and distortion; too frequently they conclude that the avant- garde artist is without talent and that his genre itself is a farce. Although lay critics may possess insufficient knowledge of modern art and its messages to render an infonned opinion, artists are equally responsible for this confusion, for they are more likely to abandon rational, structured thought, and in so doinSt their artistic integrity. John Moran skillfully avoids this seductive pitfall in his most recent work, ! he Manson Family: an Opera. Rather than

subscribing to a subjective view of Manson, Moran gives his audience an objective description of Charlie Manson's mind, his "Family" of followers, and even the Beatles. The chaotic realm of sinister euphoria that Manson is so often associated with is stripped away, leaVing the reader with a human Charles instead of the devil incarnate. The Manson Family presents an insightful depiction of Manson and his followers in the famous murder spree of 1969. Moran instills in these characters a tangible quality, one to which we can readily relate: We are not to view Charles Manson as some hideous monster, but as a person. Moran wants his audience to look at the essence of Manson rather than his actions. This point is summarized in the liner notes: "Col)~nt-wise, it calls out Opera I criminal b~ffs on their fascination with villains by c<\Sting Manson in a touchable light, while reservinl' moral judgement on either the accused or the accusers." The cast is outstanding: Iggy Pop is

cast as Vincent Bugliosi, Terre Roche as Squeaky Fromme, Paige Snell as Susan D. Atkins, and John Moran (the composer himself) as Manson. Also of merit are the musicians, given no more than the name Ensemble, who portray the Beatles in an ironic fashion. Phiiip Glass is an executive producer of the disc. With this plethora of powerful players, if the whole of the work shows little promise, the same cannot be said of its parts. One may be easily misled by the work's self-proclaimed status as an opera. It is by no means a traditional opera, for although it contains aria and instrumental along with dialogue, it hardly resOO1bles Tosca or Fidelio. A more comfortable label would be "theatrical pro.~uction." The additional digital audio augmentation (sampling and sound ef-fects) gives this piece a less rigid facade and allows for more improvisation than the conservative, classical opera. Although the work is far from predictable, it is enjoyable, or at least it will catch your attention. Moran successfully

goes beyond the bounds of classical art and even, at times, beyond typical avantgarde. While the final product cannot be labeled a masterpiece, it is certainly very good, if not excellent. In defense of Moran, The Manson Family is a theatrical production intended for the stage. Any momentum which is lost in the course of the performance may be accredited to the lack of accompanying visual images. This is only a minor proble~ though. Even if the avant-garde is of little or no interest to you, I would certainlyrecommend that you at least take a listen to the disc. It may not appeal to many, but the experience is surely unforgettable. Frank Grabowski is a junior in philosophy and a staff writer for the Review.

Are You In or 00 You Know of an Upand-Coming Ann Arbor-Based Band the F3eMew Should Cover? Write to Crusty . Muncher, c/o the Michigan Review.

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Nuclear Incident Continued from Page 10 handling team "should have checked with the operator at the console" in order to verify that authoriration to move the fuel had been given. Operators "normally do that when moving fuel/' he said. The NRC, in its August 21"Notice of Violation and Proposed Imposition of Civil Penalty/' states that "the frequent informal turnover of control room responsibilities between [Cook) and the control room operator during the fuel movements made it unclear as to who had overall control of the reactor between the third and fourth fuel movements." Standard naval nuclear protocol would have prohibited both this switching of responsibilities and the switching of the fuel handlers' roles since it is imperative that participants in a complex evolution be familiar with the specific roles involved in each task. According to the AIT report, another factor contributing to the improper fuel element movement was that the operators were "very experienced/' a fact which apparently "Ied to complacency regarding the fuel movements." Seeing the fuel moves as "routine maneuvers/' Cook and the fuel handling team "did not use their procedures nOl'review them" be~0!'C conducti~th: r.n.oy:ment of nuclear

fuel. Modeling the reactor's procedures on Navy protocol might have assured that despite their confidence, Cook and the fuel handlers would have been more cautious. In its inspection report, the AIT states that a safety concern exists ... in that the movement of fuel while the reactor was critical was an unplanned event which violated the facility's procedures and Technical Specifications." Although the report states that "there were no safety consequences as a result of this event," it lists a number of "weaknesses" from which the June 8 incident arose, including: poor communications, the lack of formal turnovers, operators not reviewing or using written procedures, inadequate monitoring of reactor status, the lack of a thorough review and a full analysis of the event prior to further fuel moves, and failure to report the event to the NRC promptly. Although the incident did not result in any reactor damage or danger to the public, a repetition of the carelessness displayed on June 8 could quite possibly lead to a more serious nuclear incident or damage to the reactor . . Experience has shown, furthermore, that such careless practices are usually repeated on numerous other occasions and often speak to larger syst~mt(q)loNems. II

record is, anyone nuclear incident is significant enough to cast a shadow over past good performance, no matter how exemplary it may be. While some may conclude from these criticisms and evaluations that nuclear power is too unsafe to allow continued operation of the U-M reactor, it must be emphasized that the Ford Nuclear Reactor is not inherently unsafe. Rather, the U-M' s divergence from nuclear safety is

directly attributable to human error. We should continue to use nuclear power plants provided that that they are operated with nuclear safety foremost in mind.

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Doug Thiese is a senior in political science and an MTS Editor of the Review. He served in the United States Naval Nuclear Power Program from 1984 to 1990.

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THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

12

'V

Crusty's Corner

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'"

Drop Nineteens

~" ",

ix Sonic Youth, Swervedriver

Greg Ackell, the 21 year-old guitarbit like some of the British guitar stuff that's where the Van Halen thing comes ist, vocalist, and chief songwriter of the like My Bloody Valentine or Lush, but in. The fun rock n' roll cliches keep us Boston-based Drop Nineteens, grew up don't tell Greg. away from the 'we're so underground, listening to bands like The Cure, Echo & "} hate that drippy, pretentious Eninteresting, and artistic' attitudes. We try the Bunnymen and The to capture that in our Smiths. Today, some of music, even though we his favorites include Teenclearly don't sound anyage Fanclub, A fghan thing like them." Whigs, The Pixies, P.M. The Drop Nineteens Dawn and Van Halen. came together at Boston Van Halen? University a little over a "Yeah," says AckeJl. year ago, played the Bos"1' d like to say our sound ton scene with buddy is somewhere between bands like the Sonic Youth and Van Lemonheads and BufHaJen. The Sonic Youth falo Tom, and recorded thing is hard to get away some demos that caused from, but we're not as ,<;..; " quite a stink over in EuI /-,t'., I'>r; rope. Creation and other abrasive." Ah.l beg to differ. On Delaware, the t, , j ~., popular independent laband's debut, I'd say they bels expressed interest sound more like Sonic while the band was on Youth and Swervedriver, The Drop Ninelunts are (L~ Sieve Zimm~n, Greg Adell, Motohiro Yasue, Paula KeIlty am Chris Roof their first American tour with a tinge of the pop elements of Teenage Fanclub. At times the Drop Nineteens sound a

Due to

RAIN ...

glish bullshit," he says. "We've set up parameters for ourselves not to be selfindulgent like a lot of those bands. And

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LSA Student Government Representative LSA Curriculum Committee Member Inter ested students can apply at the LSA Student Government office, 4003 Michigan Union.

ing Impaired. Full of redneck humor, Chuck Berry-inspired progressions, and roadhouse sing-a-longs, Love Songs is Baird's attempt at reclaiming a spot on Casey Casem's Top 40 charts. Tom Petty keyboardist Benmont Tench and fonner Satellite drummer Mauro Magellan are a part of the band and "I Love You Period" . is the first Single. The honky tonk hit maker will hit the road in the very near future .... Over the years, saxophOnist Rastine has backed En Vogue, The Gap Band, and Marvin Gaye, to name only a few. He hooked up with Zoo Records and has put together a collection of reggae-infested jazz and new age numbers entitled Afrodisiac. Rastine does easy listening, department store/hold button renditions of John Coltrane, Bob Marley,

with Chapterhouse, a band that perfectly represents everything Ackell abhors ...Be.p,, ~ fore long, Caroline Records madc!lhem an offer they couldn't refuse. Interestingly, Delware also includes a Sonic Youth-molested version of Madonna's" Angel." "I remember listening to that song when I was in junior high," explains Ackell. '1 loved it then and still do. People miSinterpreted our version as making fun, but that's not the case at all." Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D) Catch the Drop Nineteens and labelrnates Revolver at Sl Andrews Hall and the Spartacus theme, along with tonight, Wednesday, September 23. Steely Dan's "Peg" and Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years." Rastine cheapBack in 1985, while Metallica were ens the classics, but his music does make honing their soon-to-be-influential for decent background music when shopsound, the Suicidal Tendencies were ping for underwear.... making bad skate rock, and Slayer were The Red House Painters are 4AD's sucking as hard as they always have, Cowboy Junkies. The Painters aren't as S.O.D. (Stormtroopers of Death) released country as the Junkies; they just put an their crucial fusion of hardcore-punk and earthy and folky twist on the music of thrash metal. Comedic, speedy, absent of other sluggish bands on the label's rosmelody, and monster-groove ridden, ter. Dawn Colorful Hill is their six song Speak English or Die has become an uncollection of demos... derground cult classic with gems like The Ritz in Roseville will host an "Fuck the Middle East," "March of the evening with Detroit's most promising 5.0.0.," and "Kill Yourself." new band, Majesty Crush, on WednesComprised of members of Anthrax, day, September 23. British techno-pop Nuclear Assault, and M.O.D., 5.0.0. rubbish, Carter the Unstoppable Sex reunited and recorded a live LP entitled Machine, will do Sl Andrew's this ThursLive at Budokan. Included are remarkable day, while just a mile or two away, Faith covers of Ministry's "Stigmata" and No More and Helmet will make a more "Thieves," Nirvana's "Territorial palatable kind of noise at the State ThePissings" and Fear's ''Iivin' in the City." ... atre. Remember the Georgia Satellites (''Keep Your Hands to Yourself," "Battleship Chains")? Well, next week fonner Crusty Muncher is Iowa's cow-tipping frontman Dan Baird will put out his cllampion. comeback album, Love Songs for the Hear-

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