Hollywood giants DeVito and Scorsese share birthday today

by Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

Video Feast

Today, November 17, 1993, is an important day in Hollywood. Two of its own are celebrating their births.

On this day in 1942, Martin Scorsese was brought into the world.

And just a scant two years later a bubbly, bouncing bundle of joy named Danny DeVito followed along.

Now everyone has a chance to join in the fun with my appropriately named "Happy B'Day Marty & Danny" Film Festival.

First on this list is the film widely considered to be the best film of the decade that was the '80s.

<I>Raging Bull<P> is wrapped around an Academy Award-winning performance by Robert DeNiro as boxer Jake LaMotta.

You might also give special attention to, a then-unknown actor named, Joe Pesci as his brother. To this day I have never understood why this film was made in black-and-white, but as I'm constantly reminded, the best films are often in black-and-white. This one is no exception.

Danny DeVito broke into big-screen directing with the 1987 film <I>Throw Momma From the Train<P>. Starring DeVito and Billy Crystal, this is a wonderful homage to Hitchcockian suspense.

DeVito is devilishly innocent as the hen-pecked son with a very pushy mother. Crystal is the innocent man dragged into DeVito's twisted world and Anne Ramsey is brilliant as the Momma anyone would want to kill. Watch it with someone you love.

The third film on the list is director Scorsese’s second. <I>Goodfellas<P> is one of the two best gangster films made since <I>The Godfather Part II<P>, the other being <I>Miller's Crossing<P>.

Once again this film stars DeNiro this time with Ray Liotta as small-time hoods seeking the big-time. But the film belongs to Joe Pesci, who won an Oscar for his role as the brash, quick-tempered Tommy.

Unlike <I>The Godfather<P>, this film deals primarily with the lower orders of the Mafia rather than the heads of the families; the grunts who do the day-to-day work.

You'll enjoy the movie, but never accuse Tommy of being a "clown" who "amuses" you.

Last up is DeVito's <I>The War of the Roses<P>. This is his best film to date but it is the worst film to see with a date.

Never did a film spark such heated arguments between men and women over who was right and who was wrong.

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are excellent in the lead roles and DeVito is wonderfully slimy as Douglas' attorney friend.

When the movie is over about the only thing men and women will agree on is that dog-people should marry dog-people and cat-people should marry cat-people.

Happy Birthday Marty and Danny!

Wilson is a postbaccalaureate majoring in history and government.






by David Sikes

Daily Cougar Staff

The new crop of UH activists may not have the fiery convictions of the students who marched for political and social change during the '60s, but they have found a "cause" in their campaign to change David Letterman's Houston time slot.

Who says today's students are apathetic and lack the passion to protest injustice?

Two UH students recently kicked off a campaign to persuade station KHOU Channel 11 to change the air time of "The Late Show with David Letterman" to 10:35 p.m. from 11:05.

"We're really serious about this. I think UH could make a big impact," said Tandy Camberg, a campaign organizer and junior education major. "It's in the hands of the students to make a difference," she said about the move to get the show "live" instead of tape delayed.

So far, the campaign has consisted of posting flyers around campus asking students to contact station manager Allan Howard to voice support of the change. Camberg said she has 150 postcards to be sent to Channel 11 signed by students requesting the change in programming.

"We've been getting a lot of calls about it," said Garen VandeBeek, a self-described Letterman fan and director of Promotions and Advertising at KHOU, "but as far as I know, the UH campaign has not reached our office."

Camberg said student response has been good.

"Students are really excited when they realize that our campaign is about something that affects their lives day to day," Camberg said. "It's really important that we rally support for our cause immediately."

Camberg and Gail Rubin, the other campaign organizer, said they have plans to expand the movement to include throwing a "Move Dave Live" party Nov. 23. at the Outback Pub on Richmond Avenue with the help of radio station 106.9.

"We're one of only four states that have Dave on at 11 (p.m.)," Camberg said. "We're really angry that we have to watch <I>American Journal <P>; a big thing is the inconvenience of the time ... by 11 p.m. you're too exhausted to appreciate (Letterman's show)."

Outback manager Keith Beyer said it's his civic duty to his customers and to the people of Houston to do what he can to get the show aired live.

"It's embarrassing that people in lesser towns all over America can get Letterman live, but the fourth largest city in the country can't," Beyer said.

VandeBeek said the students' campaign and Beyers are misguided on two counts.

"It's not shown live anywhere; it's taped about 8 p.m.," VandeBeek said. "In New York and L.A. the show doesn't air until 11:30 p.m., so we're still getting it before New York, L.A. and Philadelphia. The only way to see the show live is go to New York and buy a ticket."

Rick Keilty, general sales manager of KHOU said there are legal and economic reasons why Letterman is shown at 11:05 in Houston.

Before David Letterman came to CBS, Channel 11 had a contractual agreement to air <I>American Journal <P> at 10:30.

"<I> American Journal <P> is doing great," Keilty said. "Once this rating period is over on Dec. 1, we will examine the ratings and decide then (whether to continue airing the show). But right now we don't have a choice."

VandeBeek added that if it makes economic sense, Channel 11 will air the Letterman show at the earlier time.

Beyer said he sees the UH campaign as a "good thing" and a good idea because of Letterman's popularity among university students.

"I kind of view this as the students speaking their mind," Beyer said. It's good to have them stand for something. I'm just providing a place for them to do that. I understand Channel 11's position but it'll be fun either way."






by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Passage or defeat of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which proposes a lifting of tariffs and destruction of trade barriers, could lead to a closeness between Mexico and the United States or a weak image of President Bill Clinton.

Political Science Professor Richard Murray said passage of the agreement, which has caused a rift between some members of the House of Representatives and labor unions, could strengthen Clinton's ability to handle such non-partisan issues as the health care plan.

Murray also said the administration's strategic planning has or could potentially benefit the Clinton administration.

One example he cites is of Vice President Al Gore, wh debated billionaire businessman H. Ross Perot Nov. 9. "To the extent that a vice president's stock can go up, he had a good week," he said. Murray also said Clinton's acknowledgment of the Republican representatives' votes as absolutely essential is a sign the president has the ability to reach out across party lines (???????)

Murray said if the agreement is defeated this evening in the House, an "unusual alliance stretching from Ralph Nader to Jesse Jackson to Ross Perot to labor unions" could be one of the culprits. He predicts the agreement will either be passed by a few votes, possibly one or two, or defeated by many votes. The slim margin by which the agreement could be passed would be another example of how the legislature has evolved, he said.

"Fifty years ago, Congress was more insulated -- there were not as many interest groups," Murray said.

Economics Professor Roy Ruffin said passage of the agreement would open the door to a "fair exchange of goods and services" between Mexico, Canada and the United States. He opines it is "shortsighted to erect bariers between countries when it comes to international trade."

Free trade, he said, makes countries grow. Mexico could benefit from having "more contact with teh United States. More firms will go down there," he said.

He also cited the transfer of technology and information as possible advantages. Ruffin said although Texas will probably gain more jobs, the main benefit will be a rise in the general level of wages.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), before her election, said Texas stands to gain about 400,000 jobs if the agreement is passed.

Ruffin cited the case with which truck drivers from both the United States and Mexico will operate and their opportunity to pass through more freely as advantages.

However, teh UH chapter of United We Stand America (a party affiliated with Perot) produced a "NAFTA Fact Sheet" that critices the agreement.

"Three years after the agreement is ratified Mexican trucks will be allowed to operate in this country. They do not hae to meet the same regulations as American truckers. They do not have to submit to random drug tests," according to the sheet.

The group's fact sheet also lists a possible loophole that would, according to the group, make possible a foreign antion's tariff free trade with the United States: "The Rules of Origin section states that preferential treatment will be given to products who material originates in North America. To get around this, all foreign countries have to do is build a factory in Mexico and ship their materials and products through it."

Both professors said a defeat of NAFTA could make Clinton look as if he is icapable fo handling the tasks of bridging the gap between parties and getting major programs passed.

The bill needs 218 to pass. If rejected in the House tonight, it is unlikely the agreement will be approved by the Senate.






by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

The roof flew off Brennan's restaurant on Elgin, windows were blown out of the downtown Enron building and drivers left their damaged cars in the streets, but UH stayed relatively untouched.

It was 10 a.m., the peak parking hour, and UH lots were half empty Tuesday morning while Houston was under a severe tornado warning.

Classes were half-filled and students who did arrive came late.

Morning radio stations said the storm would hit downtown Houston and the UH area by 10 a.m.. People were told to abandon their cars. KBXX 97.9, The Box, told people to lie on the ground as far away from trees as possible.

The only reported damage on campus were leaks in Agnes Arnold Hall's Auditorium One and in the E. Cullen underground tunnel, said Tom Wray, director of operations and maintenance for the Physical Plant

While UH buildings were barely touched, regular school processes were slightly delayed.

Registration for the Psychology Department is extended by one day until Wednesday at 5 p.m. and students will be able to take makeup exams.

Thunderstorms are expected to last the next two days, but no more tornados are expected.






Both laid-off workers and companies facing downsizing can qualify for assistance from the University of Houston's Center for Applied Technology, located in the College of Technology .

The Career Advancement and Management Program (CAMP) custom designs placement programs for companies involved in downsizing efforts and offers resources to laid-off employees beginning a job search.

For the laid-off worker, CAMP offers two areas of service. Phase one involves a concentrated career-transition workshop that provides an overview of the job-search process. Phase two is a Personalized Outplacement Service, which includes counseling and access to CAMP resources.

"CAMP becomes the headquarters for the person's new job which is searching for a job," says Bobby Squire, CAMP coordinator.

CAMP provides training designed to assist company managers with downsizing efforts, on-site assistance with the lay off, and it provides a follow-up service that informs the company of their former employees' progress.

CAMP was created in 1985 in response to the economic downturn in Houston spurred by falling oil prices. The program's primary focus is on small to mid-size companies with fewer than 500 employees or less than $3.5 million in annual revenues.

"Downsizing companies value this service because … how they respond to a lay off affects not only the laid-off workers, but the remaining employees as well," Squire says.

CAMP also offers its services to individuals who have already been through a lay off and are seeking jobs.

For more information, including information on fees, contact CAMP at 7480223.






by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

Betty Williams is no longer an ordinary housewife. In fact, according to Sandy Levine, a UH graduate student in social work, Nobel Peace Prize winner Williams is "ordinary and extraordinary all at the same time."

Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for her work promoting peace in Northern Ireland, lectured at the UH Cougar Den on Tuesday.

This program was presented by five social work graduate students as a project for a course on confronting oppression.

Without referring to a formal speech, Williams spoke about urban violence, the suffering of children across the globe and what people can do to ameliorate these situations.

"Every single one of you can make a difference," Williams said. "If you are not helping to solve those problems, you are part of the problem."

Williams mentioned the time she began her crusade to promote peace on Aug. 10, 1976, when an English soldier shot and killed a member of the Irish Republican Army whose car then went out of control, killing three young children.

After that incident, Williams asked women around Belfast to join her in a peaceful march protesting the murder of innocent people.

Eventually these marches spread throughout Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

From these rallies emerged the "Community of Peace People," an organization created by Williams and Mairead Corrigan, an aunt of the three children who were killed.

Both Williams and Corrigan received the Nobel Peace Prize for their peace-making efforts.

Williams used her money from the prize, as well as other money donated at the time, to create a trust fund for war orphans and to fund other community projects throughout Ireland.

Williams said that one of her primary influences had been Martin Luther King. She said King believed in soul force, which she too believes.

"I have seen soul force at work," Williams said. "It is powerful stuff."

"Degrees can get you far in this world, but soul force can get you a lot farther."

Williams spoke on how various religions and cultures use God as a reason for promoting war by saying that God is on their side.

"People take up guns for causes they believe in," Williams said. "Worst of all, they take up guns in the name of God."

Williams said guns cause problems throughout the world. She said that she cannot understand how more than 37,000 hungry children live in Houston, when the nation spends billions of dollars on arms and ammunitions.

"I do not believe that hungry children should live in a democratic society," Williams said.

Williams is currently a visiting lecturer at Sam Houston State University where she works with Gordon Pilshker, director of Sam Houston's Institute for Innovative Collaborative Programs.

Williams and Pilshker have begun a project called the Global Children's Studies Center which will try to develop solutions for childhood crisis by creating a global database.

"We are building a United Nations for children," Williams said.

"We have got to give the children a voice. Someday we will train the children to go to their own governments and say 'this is what you are doing to me.'"







by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Lilly Denoon doesn't want much.

All she wants is for the Cougar volleyball team to win the Southwest Conference championship, then move on and win the NCAA championship, and if there is still time maybe she can win All-American honors.

Not much, right?

After her outstanding perform-ances against the Texas A&M Aggies, the No. 17 Georgia Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks, she was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Week, as well as the SWC Player of the Week for the third time this season.

"I was excited to win the SWC award, but I was really pumped about the AVCA award," Denoon said. "Awards like that are not only good for me but they are also good for the team as a whole."

Ah yes, the team. The team that at the beginning of the year dropped their first four games and at their worst point was 3-11. Then, led by Denoon, Ashley Mulkey and Wendy Munzel things started to turn around.

Now the team is set to head into the SWC Tournament in Lubbock after posting a 16-14 record, two games over .500.

Denoon, always anxious to talk about the team, downplays her own accomplishments.

"Ever since we got our new players I knew that we would get better," Denoon said. "We have height and the talent. The most important aspect of winning is for our team to work as a whole and win as a whole."

Coach Bill Walton knows the importance of teamwork, but he also recognizes individual players are crucial to the team's success. Lilly is no exception.

"She had an outstanding week," Walton said. "As basketball coaches say, she was a zone against Georgia. She had an All-American match against Georgia."

In the match against the Georgia Bulldogs, Denoon broke the previous kill record of any SWC player with 37. She also broke the Cougar kill record of 31 kills in a game.

Her fierce determination and competitiveness is not easily forgotten by those who have seen her play. With her six-foot frame and slicked back hair, Denoon seems to be a one woman killing, blocking and hitting wonder.

"When I go out on the court, I psych myself out and say that there is no one better than me on the court," Denoon said.

"I tell myself that I am not going to get blocked. I want to go crazy and yell back at the team and let loose."

Letting loose seems to be working for Denoon. In her three matches last week she hit .466, averaged 6.0 kills a game and 1.8 blocks a game.

At this point in her career, she has won more SWC Player of the Week awards this season than any other player.

It is fortunate for Denoon and the Cougars that she is only a junior. So, is the best yet to come for Denoon?

"Oh yes, I have not even reached my full potential. I am striving to make All-American and help the team any way I can."

If she keeps up her current style of play, there is no doubt that her dreams may someday become reality.






by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston basketball team tips off its season tonight in Hofheinz Pavillion as it goes up against the Latvia national team in a exhibition game.

Latvia will be making its second stop on a six-game national tour that began against the Oklahoma State Sooners Monday night.

The Latvian team consists of 12 players whose ages range from 21 to 32.

The Latvian team began play last season when the Soviet Union split into different regions and formed individual areas.

Some of the more interesting named players from the team include Agris Galvanovskis, a 6-2 21-year-old forward, Elchad Gadachev (6-9 center) and Ivars Zankovskis (6-5 guard).

On the more well-known side, the Cougars will counter with 1992-93 returning starters Anthony Goldwire and Jessie Drain.

A 6-1 senior guard, Goldwire comes into the season as a 1993 Southwest Conference performer and a 1993-94 All-America candidate.

"Anthony is the quarterback on this year's team," says head coach Alvin Brooks. "He needs to play well for us to operate at a top level."

Second year starter Drain comes into this season looking to improve on last year's numbers which made him the SWC's three-point champion.

"I feel real confident about this season," Drain says. "But I'm going to have to do my part if we plan to be successful."

The other remaining starters on the team will be Rafael Carrasco (6-9 senior center), Lloyd Wiles (6-2 junior guard) and either Hershel Wafer (6-8 junior forward) or Roderick Griggs (6-10 freshman forward).

Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.






by D.V.J. McAdams

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Been There<P> is a decent word by the self-proclaimed Best Kissers in the World.

Perhaps a more appropriate band name would be "four guys in some screwed-up romantic relationships."

These guys have <I>serious<P> problems in their love lives if their song titles and lyrics are indicative. Try "she won't get under me 'till I get over you" on for size. Or how about "Kick between the knees." Yowza!

And as for lyrics, try these from "Miss Teen USA": "we want to be inside your head when it explodes."

Then there are the lines from "Bad About the Fact": "I wish I had a list of all the funny things you said to me like, 'I can quit anytime I want to,' and, 'I guess you're gonna have to trust me.'"

What is the chorus to this song? "Thanks a lot. Que sera, sera." Deeeep.

Lyrically, the Best Kissers are quite clever if not melancholy. And the music is solid power pop. The vocals are a little whiny but they grow on you (the guitars more than make up for the vocals).

Most of the tracks groove but better wait for somebody to buy this thing and sell it back to the record store.

It's worth spending money on them and you won't be terribly disappointed when you do (especially if you're suffering in a bad relationship).






by Laura Boggus

Contributing Writer

It's <I>Fefu and Her Friends<P>; that's Fefu (fay-foo), not Fefe or Fufu or some cheesy little poodle.

It's not for the meek. If women scare you, so will this. <I>Fefu and Her Friends<P> explores the mysteries of the female experience. It is a mystery because that is how women as a group are perceived by society; collectively, not by just one of the sexes.

This play deals with women coming into recognition of themselves through some spirit of adventure, as defined by the characters themselves, as a disregard for convention.

This play is definitely not of the conventional mode when it comes to exploring and portraying women's experience. It examines the ways in which women's thinking (realizing themselves independently of men) endangers their very lives. And for <I>Fefu and Her Friends<P>, thinking this way helps them master their lives, but it also causes tremendous internal/psychological struggle.

Fefu, seemingly demented, somewhat morbid, is the focal point for the gathering of women in the play. Andrea Birkman, as Fefu, is a bit too aware of the audience – or it could be a function of Fefu's eclecticism – but she is nonetheless dramatically real and very subjective. Fefu is superaware of herself and of the events of her life and their intrinsic meanings; compelling the motions of the play, gently winding through the complexities of the female experience in our society.

Julia, one of Fefu's friends, played by Melinda deKay, exemplifies the psychological battlefield on which women struggle in society. A place where women are made to acknowledge the superiority of men and accept themselves as evil; temptresses of life, those that would cause man to fall. Melinda deKay is nothing short of hyperbolic in her portrayal of Julia.

She dramatically reveals the atrocious burden women bear; crushed by a society that demands she play diabolical roles as (1) sweet, demure, quiet, innocent girl and (2) evil, unpredictable, mysterious woman. She takes the audience to the place where woman is punished for being independent and realizing that her life really is not defined by her relationship to man.

The relationship between Fefu and Julia then serves to ground the play, establish its motif. All other characters offer support and further insights into the makeup of female experience.

Nelly Fernandez, as Emma, one of Fefu's cohorts, echoes a suppressed reality of women's sexual experience. Emma talks passionately about genitals; how strange it is that everyone has them yet everybody pretends not to. She brings up a worthwhile point of how women are supposed to act sexually and what exactly our sexuality means.

Fernandez exudes a vibrancy in her character that arouses attention and urges one to listen to her rather humorous ideology.

Paula (Lora Flinn Cole), another sidekick of Fefu, reflects on love and relationships; the cornerstone of women's expertise.

The other excellent players are Jeanette Wiggins as Cindy, Vicki Bell as Cecilia, Lisa Marie Reichle as Christina, and Ruth Aguilar as Sue. All actresses were outstanding. Such talent!

Cleverly written by Maria Irene Fornes, <I>Fefu and Her Friends<P> is strangely reminiscent of a circus. Fefu, the ringmaster – and frighteningly humorous – showcases her friends as they gather together to discuss fund raising plans under her insightful big top.

Fornes, one of Broadway's most respected and beloved playwrights, focuses on the qualities of life – the essences of being. She brings about an understanding of existence through the drama of the characters' self-aware subjective dialogue.

Fornes is the recipient of six Obie Awards, which includes one for this play.

Theater LaB Houston, an intimate, nondescript building, provides the ultimate personal theater experience. The play's design, so adeptly executed by Victor Lefeve and Virginia Burkes, transports the audience to 1935 on an estate in New England.

Combined with the talented efforts of stage manager Lauren Lewis and lighting designer Daniel Hudock, the lifestyle of <I>Fefu and her Friends<P> encircles the audience, providing a more real theater experience.

Directed by Edith Pross, assisted by Nelda Pena and Produced by Gerald Blaise LaBita, <I>Fefu and her Friends<P> is well worth seeing.

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