SOUNDGARDEN BREAKS OUT

by Tom Turner

Local Music

 

What's the first thing that comes to mind when the words "Seattle" and "music" come up in the same sentence? Could it possibly be a field of flannel as far as the eye can see and a bunch of overplayed bands that pretend to be outcasts? I'll let these bands remain nameless, due to the sensitivity of some about "their" prized group.

Anyway, rumbling underneath all of the popular "Seattle sounds" is a band that we all may have heard of. It has been kicking out some of the most original and powerful music around today. This is Soundgarden, with its latest release, <I>Superunknown<P>, yet another strong progression for the group.

Before this year's release of <I>Superunknown<P>, the group released a number of previous albums. <I>Badmotofinger<P>, which sold over a million copies and earned the band three Grammy nominations, was the last work done by the group.

The list of some of the albums the band has released goes something like this: the '87 release of <I>Screamin' Life<P> EP and the '88 release of <I>Fopp<P>, both of which are on Sub-Pop, were then followed with <I>Ultramega OK<P> on SST Records, <I>Flower<P>, <I>Louder Than Love<P> on A&M, <I>Badmotofinger<P> and the latest release, <I>Superunknown<P>.

The influences mentioned by the group are nearly as large as the spectrum of music the band performs. Groups such as the Stooges and Killing Joke to Black Sabbath have played an influential role for the four members. Chris Cornell even sights author Sylvia Plath as a heavy influence on him.

Even the man who doesn't seem to die out of the media, Kurt Cobain, (and no, he's not similar to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison or anyone else) once cited Soundgarden's first Sub-Pop EPs as one of the reasons Nirvana originally signed with the label.

Soundgarden is headed by Chris Cornell, on vocals and guitar. Not enough can be said to accurately pin his powerful, but occasionally soothing, lyrical work. Kim Thayil is on guitar; Ben Sheperd is on bass; and Matt Cameron on drums fill out the rest of the musically sound group. Thayil is well known for his innovative guitar technique, providing a model for many other musicians. Sheperd and Cameron have their own side-project with the group Hater. Cornell has done solo work, as well as played with Cameron in Temple of the Dog.

The personalities of the four members are as unique as the music they produce. "I don't think I've ever really been happy, not more than a few moments," states front-man Cornell.

He went on to say, "I don't see life as being the pursuit of that anyway." Thayil continued on this subject to say, "I'd like to think that life isn't so much about the pursuit of happiness, but the avoidance of pain."

This philosophy then leads back to the latest album, <I>Superunknown<P>, which most of the members believe to be about life, possibly not affirming it, but yet rejoicing it. However, it may be hard for one to understand this with lyrics such as "Whatsoever I've feared has come to life/Whatsoever I've fought off, became my life," from "Fell on Black Days." Cornell accounts for this by saying he feels he is in a "darker frame of mind" more frequently than others.

Cameron commented on the latest album. "We made an album instead of a record that has a couple of good songs and filler. We made an album in the classic sense of the term which goes back to records we bought growing up in the 70s."

Cornell insists that the group doesn't sound like anyone else in the musical meat market of today. Tom Lanham, from Pulse! magazine put it best by saying that "other Seattle super-groups may have beaten Soundgarden to the multi-platinum goal line – Nirvana with its acidic punk; Pearl Jam with its common-man charisma; and Alice In Chains with its dour druggie depression – but this band's got the riffs, and the vocals."

Regardless of the other bands that have risen from Seattle, Soundgarden has truly created a sound and style that leaves hundreds of other major bands in its wake. Guitarist Gary Thorstense said, "Soundgarden is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the 'Seattle sound.' They <I>are<P> the Seattle sound."

On <I>Superunknown<P>, the band has put together over 70 minutes of music that travel from their "soulful metallic blues" to tracks that can be considered beautiful dirges. Sheperd stated, "We just let everything out. I don't see us having any boundaries at all. That's what modern music is all about anyway."

Of course, because we're talking about <I>Superunknown<P>, one can't leave out the big single from the album "Spoonman." The star of the video is not any of the four members of Soundgarden, but it is Artis the Spoonman. Cornell commented that "he's such a physical performer, and we knew he'd get into playing a song like this that it would have been insane not to film him."

Artis has performed in a variety of different ensembles ranging from the Seattle Philharmonic to Frank Zappa's final band. "I haven't slept in the same bed for five straight nights in years," Artis says. He went on to say that he feels he is "a troubadour, and a troubadour has to stay on the road or he'll die." The song itself is partly about Artis as well as about the spiritual nature of music, concerned with how it can save you.

It would take a good deal of time for me to even attempt to explain how powerful and solid the tracks on <I>Superunknown<P> really are, as well as much of the group's previous work. So instead of sitting here reading about it, go find out for yourself.

Turner is a sophomore psychology major.

 

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

FOOTBALL PLAYER'S F ALTERED TO A C

by Tiffany Vaughner

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite an Austin Community College professor's protestations, the ACC Board of Trustees allowed a UH football player's grade to be changed from an F to a C.

During the summer of 1993, UH student and football player David Roberts took an English composition class from English Professor Richard Manson at ACC.

According to Manson, Roberts deserved to fail the class, but after receiving an 'F' in the class, Roberts appealed to the ACC Board of Trustees to change the grade, without Manson's knowledge.

Manson said Roberts did poorly on the midterm and came to him for special help.

Manson said Roberts told him he couldn't fail the class or drop it without losing his football scholarship. He said he worked with Roberts after school to prepare him for the final exam. When that time came, he said, Roberts turned in only blank pages.

Manson said that two months later, the head of the English Department, Hazel Ward, told him Roberts had filed a letter of complaint against him, taken the test from Ward and passed.

Manson said he could not understand why Roberts did not take the test the first time and why his letter of complaint was dated Aug. 5, the day of the exam.

Manson has requested copies of the correspondence between the UH Athletics Department and AAC but has been denied access to that correspondence, pending the decision of the state attorney general as to whether or not that information must be released.

Manson, a tenured professor at ACC for 11 years, said that as a result of his persistence in trying to find answers to the incident, he has had his course load reduced and has been told to lower his standards so more students could pass his class.

UH head football coach Kim Helton said he was not aware of any correspondence between the Athletics Department and AAC, but stressed that athletes would never get special treatment.

"We're never gonna be involved in anything that has to do with changing grades. I think the problem is, there's a battle between the school, (AAC), the professor and the parents," Helton said.

Helton also said Roberts is no longer on the football team and is no longer enrolled in school, although Roberts is listed in the spring 1994 football lineup, and the registrar's office confirms that Roberts is enrolled in school full-time this semester.

Roberts declined to comment for publication, but said his side of the story is completely different from Manson's.

Roberts, an offensive line guard, started two games last year.

UH Athletic Director Bill Carr said he knew about Roberts, but did not recall the details of the incident. He said other members of his staff would know more about the incident and suggested they be reached.

Janice Hilliard, an assistant director in the Athletics Department, could not be reached for comment.

ACC policy allows an instructor's supervisors to change a student's grade without consulting that instructor. In March of 1994, there had been 15 grade changes at ACC in the previous three months, and three of those changes were made without the instructor being informed.

 

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

GOLF TOURNEY HELPS OUT BLACK STUDENTS

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

The African American Studies friends committee will hold its second annual Wilson Whitley celebrity golf tournament to benefit African American students.

The tournament will be held Monday at the Tour 18 golf course in the FM 1960 area.

"We picked up the ball (for Whitley)," said Alois Blackwell, honorary chairman of the tournament.

Whitley, a UH All-American football player and Lombardi Award winner, who went on to play with the Cincinnati Bengals, had proposed the idea in 1992 shortly before he unexpectedly died of a heart attack.

Directors of the tournament expect to raise over $50,000 in scholarships for African American students.

The money will be granted in three different forms: the Scholastic Excellence Scholarship, students must have a 3.2 grade point average and a minor in AAS; the Academic Support Grant, students must be in good standing with the university and in need of short-term aid, such as money for books; and the Debbie Haley Community Service Award, students must be in good academic standing and involved in the community.

"As an African American woman, I felt the need to be around other African American women who are successful," said Onedia Gage, a senior economics major, about the friends committee and the mentorship it fostered for her.

"They (the friends committee) put us in contact with the community," she said.

This is considered to be the major fund-raising event of the

AAS calender. This year marks its 25th anniversary.

Pervis Short and Mike Woodson, both former Houston Rockets, are among the celebrities participating in the tournament.

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

BOSNIAN DEBATE HEATS UP

Shouting match breaks out during recent speech

by Bridget Baulch

News Reporter

Women left the theater with their children as Omar Sacivbey, brother of United Nations Bosnian Representative Mohammed Sacivbey, tried to stop the shouting match that had broken out during his speech about Bosnia.

Tensions and eruptions were a constant companion to Sacivbey's speech as he pleaded for support of the besieged Bosnian Muslims.

Houston police officers provided security for his presentation at the University of St. Thomas recently in the Jones Theater.

Sacivbey said, "This is not a religious war or an ethnic war, but a war of two philosophies. One from Belgrade to establish an ethnically pure greater Serbia using genocide and one from Sarajevo to continue with ethnic co-existence.

"Bosnian Muslims are not interested in fundamentalism. If you don't believe me, then perhaps we can discuss it later over a couple of beers," Sacivbey said. This remark, which drew laughs, was the only light moment during the evening.

"Men flee from the fear of castration. Women flee from the fear of rape and humiliation. Everyone flees from the fear of murder. Right now, 'liticide,' the murder of academic people, is creating a leadership vacuum in the Bosnian community," he said.

Sacivbey advocated members of the audience to contact their representatives to press for the lifting of the arms embargo on Bosnia. He said, "The U.N. arms embargo has left us facing the fourth-largest army in Europe with nothing to defend ourselves. The Serbs inherited the former Yugoslavian army, but the Bosnians didn't have an army. We are not asking the U.N. to defend us. So far the U.N. has done a horrible job. We only ask that they allow us to defend ourselves." Sacivbey said the U.S. Senate had already voted for lifting the arms embargo by an 87-to-9 vote. "They have 87,000 misguided drunks," Sacivbey said, adding, "We don't just represent Bosnian Muslims. We represent everyone in Bosnia who wants to live in a democratic, free-market, multicultural community."

Sacivbey said the continued appeasement of the Serbs has seriously hurt the credibility of the United Nations and NATO.

He said everyone should be concerned about Bosnia-Herzegovina. "Failure to stop Serbian fascism increases fascism in other places. We need only look to Russia to see the rise in fascism, which is seriously threatening Boris Yeltsin. Fascism is a lot more dangerous ideology than communism. It is based on hate and racism. People are willing to kill for that philosophy."

He used the white extremist party in South Africa as another example.

Sacivbey said the attitude of the Western community to let the genocide continue unabated was caused by a conscious or subconscious mindset. He said people in the West find it hard to believe that people of their color and religion are engaged in a campaign of genocide. "The question is not who do we protect, but who do we go against," he said.

Sacivbey ended his speech with a quote from Martin Luther King. "The tragedy of the world lies not in the suffering of the thousands, but the silence of the millions."

 

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

A FREE SOUTH AFRICA

by Michael Chamberlain

Daily Cougar Staff

The elections are over, the returns are in: Nelson Mandela is the new president of South Africa by a landslide. So what's next? This question is on the minds and lips of millions of South Africans from all walks of life.

South Africa's blacks have high expectations. They have sacrificed and died over decades to win a new South Africa, a South Africa with greater freedom and greater democracy. Black people in South Africa are expecting dramatic advances in social justice.

One of the top concerns among black South Africans is housing according to Moses Tau, a resident of Soweto, which is a "township" of several million outside Johannesburg. South Africa's whites enjoy large, comfortable homes "in town." Blacks in South Africa live in shantytown suburbs, called townships, on the outskirts.

Blacks are now allowed by law to buy land and houses in white areas, but few have the money for this to be more than an empty dream.

Only a massive, government-organized and funded construction program can make a dent in the need. Mandela has promised government assistance, help in securing decent, low-cost housing for the majority.

Another concern for many black South Africans is jobs and unemployment. "I have a job now," said Victor, an election worker.

"After the elections, I don't know how I will feed my family." Millions are out of work. International aid and investments will begin to put many back to work. Greater confidence in South Africa's economic future will likely mean an increase in economic activity by South African business. But it is impossible to say how many and how soon.

While jobs and housing are great concerns, desire for farmland also weighs heavily for many. "Our forefathers had good land to farm. Now we have nothing," said Mathew, a black taxi driver. Whites have used their monopoly over political power to seize the best land. While whites constitute only 15 percent of the population, they own 87 percent of cultivatable land. Only deep-cutting land reform can alleviate this disparity.

Black farmers need land, but they also need low interest credit and a market at a fair price for their crops. They expect help from the Mandela government for these.

Black workers expect the new government to be supportive of expanding unionization and the winning of better wages and working conditions. The old white government beat and shot down workers to break their strikes. The new government is expected to be at least neutral in labor conflicts, or even to side with the unions.

"COSATU work stoppages forced DeKlerk to set an election date," insisted Keith Madousela, a leader of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, South Africa's principal trade union federation. "Our unions pitched in to educate people to vote; we supplied tens of thousands of election workers and we helped to get out the vote. So, yes, we expect the new government will side with the workers," Madousela concluded. These high expectations of the black majority will almost certainly run up against the resistance of the white minority. Many South African whites are anxious to express opposition to racism and their relief that apartheid has been abolished, but they want to hold onto every bit of the wealth and privilege they enjoyed under the old system. "We are happy about the change," a white businessman told me as he shopped at an upscale Johannesburg mall. "But I hope they don't go too far," he said.

Whites are apprehensive that the new ANC-led government will help the lower classes gain a bigger piece of the pie, reducing their share. And while the white economic elite have lost the electoral contest, they continue to wield great power.

They still hold the control levers of the economy. The massive government civil service, the army and the police force remain largely under the control of whites and unchanged from the apartheid past. International corporate and banking sectors, including those from the United States, can be expected to keep pressure on Mandela not to infringe on corporate business rights in South Africa. This will bolster the power of the white corporate sector of South Africa.

The South African elections, therefore, won't solve the fundamental social conflicts of that country. The contest will simply take place on a new playing field with new rules, a new playing field and new rules that are more advantageous to the black majority.

South African blacks will look to their unions and the ANC-led government to force social change. The wealthy, white elite will seek to manipulate the civil service, the army and the police to resist.

Navigating this treacherous course will demand great wisdom and savvy on the part of Mandela and the ANC.

Moving too slowly risks losing the allegiance of their support base to a less-patient leadership. Moving too fast could incur economic sabotage from the national and international business communities – and even a rebellion by the military.

International support has played a key role in winning the present victory in South Africa.

Solidarity from supporters of social justice around the world may be even more important in South Africa's future.

Photos

#1 South African army vehicles known as "Buffalos," armored personnel carriers, were used in the past to suppress protests and to attack neighboring black-ruled nations. Today they are escorting truckloads of ballot papers and equipment.

#2 More than a thousand people line up to vote April 27 outside Marange Primary School in the township of Buchabela. A festival mood permeates the crowd, though they have waited hours to vote.

3# Shanty housing in Soweto. Millions of Blacks live in this township that sprawls across the rolling hills south of Johannesburg. Many shacks lack indoor plumbing, running water or electricity. Rocks and bricks hold down the corrugated tin sheets that serve as roofs.

4# Main street of Taba Nchu, in the black "homeland" Bophuthatswana. Support for Nelson Mandela is especially strong in the homelands.

 

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

ANOTHER DISMAL SWC YEAR

Spotty pitching, untimely errors plagued Cougars

by Ryan Carssow

Contributing Writer

For the second consecutive year, the Cougars faded in Southwest Conference play after a strong showing against non-conference opponents.

Houston finished the 1994 season with an impressive 26-12 nonconference record, but concluded with a dismal 4-14 SWC mark.

The culprit again this season was a lack of quality pitching.

"Our nonconference record has been remarkable when you look at the lack of pitching we've had," said head coach Bragg Stockton.

The Cougars returned only three pitchers from the 1993 staff, but the newcomers fared no better on the mound than their predecessors. Only one Cougar pitcher with at least 10 innings of work (Darryl Renfrow) with an ERA less than 4.00.

"What keeps plaguing us is injuries to the pitching staff," Stockton said.

Starters Bo Hernandez (shoulder) and David Hamilton (elbow) were both sidelined with arm injuries.

Defensive errors were also directly related to the Cougars' collapse. They averaged 1.7 miscues a game and totalled 95 for the season, placing them fifth in the conference.

The irony is Houston led the league in fielding the first two-thirds of the season, but bombed down the stretch when it counted most.

One of the few highlights of the season for the pitching staff was senior Matt Beech's 6-0 perfect game victory over Louisiana Tech. The perfect game was the first in the SWC since 1972 and only the third in the 80-year history of the conference. Only 20 perfect games have been recorded in NCAA history.

Beech was not the Cougars' only star. Louisiana-born slugger and relief ace Shane Buteaux earned the nickname "Super Cajun" for single-handedly carrying the team to victory on more than one occasion.

He routinely hit the game-winning home run, then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record the save or the win.

Buteaux was twice named the SWC Player of the Week for his exploits and is a strong candidate for SWC Player of the Year and the Bob Smith Award for National Player of the Year.

Senior first baseman Ricky Freeman became the team's leader and most consistent hitter. He led the SWC in hits and reached base in all but one of Houston's games.

The 1994 season also saw the end of Cougar Field. The 32-year-old ballpark was demolished after Houston's 9-5 victory over Lamar to make way for the $26 million athletic training facility. A new 5,000-seat stadium will be ready for the opening of the 1995 season.

The construction forced Houston to play the remainder of its schedule on the road. After starting the SWC season 3-3 in home series against Rice and Texas, the Cougars dropped 11 of their final 12 conference games on the road or at neutral sites.

Houston's hopes of making the SWC postseason tournament ended with a three-game sweep at the hands of eventual conference champion Texas Christian at Texas A&M's Olsen Field. The teams were forced to play at the neutral site after Cougar Field was razed.

 

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

CREATOR OF ERIN'S CLOSET SLIPS OFF TO NEW YORK AND BIGGER, BETTER THINGS

by Valerie Fouche

Campus Celebs

'Tis sad but true. <I>Erin's Closet<P> will be closing her door soon, and with its closing goes one of UH's most talented comic-strip creators, Travis Baker.

Travis, like Kurt Cobain, has spoken at times for our somewhat misguided generation. <I>Erin's Closet<P> has been a door I have walked through on occasion when I needed a break from reality. Like Ted (Travis' main character and alter-ego), we have all felt a little overwhelmed by life in general and have questioned our dull existence. Travis' (and Ted's) slant on life will be greatly missed. After all, Ted made our lives a little less boring and showed us inventive ways to get past our downfalls.

<I>Travis, are you a drama major? I guess most people assume you are an art major?<P>

Well, I went to art school for two years at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga. It's a good art school – it's just in the wrong city.

Savannah is about the size of Galveston and there is really no art scene. But I took a script-writing class while there, and we had a thing we called the Expressionist Cafe where we would have little skits, plays and poetry readings. So then I got into theater from there. I wanted to come back here (to Houston) and go to a school where I could do all those things.

<I>You are a student in Edward Albee's Playwrighter's Workshop. All of Albee's students are hand-picked. How did you get into his class? Did you write your play <P> Summerset Over Field <I>for that class?<P>

I took Albee's first class, a playwrighting class, and wrote a play for that class. But <I>Summerset<P>, the play produced in the workshop, I wrote for my grandfather. I finished it six months ago and Albee said he wanted to see it, so I sent it to him. Then after he read it, he decided he wanted me in the workshop.

<I>Why did you write this play for your grandfather?<P>

The play is a true story about my family, about my great, great aunt Emma. My grandfather sent me these stories about her, this crazy old woman out in the frontier, because he thought it would make a good story. And I said, "Yeah, I'd really like to write it, but with not having a job or money, it's going to be hard." So he sent me the money to write it. It took me about a year and a half to write it, and then about two weeks to type it.

<I>Were you happy with the staged production of it?<P>

Yes, very happy. It's just a nice play. Nobody that I've ever talked to has ever expected that play from me. But I wrote it for my grandfather, so it had to be sort of sweet and sentimental.

<I>Has your grandfather seen it performed and if so, what did he think?<P>

Yes, he has seen it both times. He quite enjoyed all of it, all of the attention that he got. He was also able to meet Albee.

<I>What are you planning to do next?<P>

I'm taking some time off from school for awhile. The only thing I need to graduate is a foreign language and a couple of theater classes. But I've just lost the patience to do that at this point. Artistically speaking, with what I want to do, I feel like I've reached the level of where I want to be. This year has been a year of breakthroughs in many areas for me. My acting for example ... I started off the year in the main stage production of <I>Picnic<P> and played Allen. I got a lot of good response from that.

Both of the movies I was in came this year also. <I>Flesh and Bone<P> with Meg Ryan was one. That was my breakthrough in acting. My other breakthrough was as a playwright and producer. And then in my comic strip this year, I feel that it's really come together better than ever.

Pretty much in almost every area I have pursued, I feel like I have reached the level I can reach on a nonprofessional basis. It's time for me to go out there and try to make a living for myself.

<I>What area do you plan on concentrating in as a professional: playwrighting, acting or your comic strip?<P>

I've been blessed with multi-talents. People have always told me to concentrate on one thing. I can't do that, though, because I can do so many things, I really feel the need to pursue them all. It may take me longer to develop different areas just because I'm not concentrating on them all the time. So if I get bored writing, then I can draw. If I'm not acting, then I can go write myself a piece to act.

<I>Have you ever actually done that, write a piece for yourself?<P>

Oh, yeah, all the time. I've been doing FATT (Friday Afternoon Theater Thing) for about three years now. I've written all my own pieces. That is where I was actually able to develop my comedic stuff. A lot of what I've done in <I>Erin's Closet<P>, I've been able to transfer to the stage there.

<I>Speaking of <P>Erin's Closet<I>, where did you get the actual idea for the strip?<P>

I started <I>Erin's Closet<P> sitting in my freshman college algebra class. I was bored silly! There was this awful comic strip, <I>Rock Meez<P>, that was in the Cougar at the time. And since I had just got back from art school, I thought I can do better than that. So I drew up Ted and this other character, Frothmore P. Wiggly, who has since gone, and the Scarecrow. I brought the strips here to the Cougar and the editor at the time loved them. So <I>Erin's Closet<P> replaced that <I>Rock Meez<P> thing. And it was an experience learning to do everything properly. I could draw back then but had to learn all the technical stuff. It's taken me a couple of years.

<I>Where did you get the idea and name for Erin's Closet?<P>

The name came from three different things: First, from my sister Erin, who is just now making her first appearance in the strip; she's been away in Europe. Second, my father used to own a clothing store called Erin's Closet; and third, from my favorite comic strip, <I>Bloom County<P>, where they have anxiety closets. So this became Erin's little anxiety closet.

I got some of the ideas for the setting from <I>Bloom County<P> also. It was weird because just as I was getting started, Berke Breathed was quitting and beginning his new strip, <I>Outland<P>. <I>Erin's Closet<P> and <I>Outland<P> are fairly similar, except for a long time there, mine was known as the depressed comic strip. But then I got happy.

<I>Are any of the other characters representative of people you know?<P>

Well, as you know, Erin is my sister; Ted is me; Michelle is my actual girlfriend, Michelle; the little guy in the corner is my side-kick, Noel; Ernie, the lovable psychotic serial killer, is another friend of mine, Dennis Draper; and Popo and Mortimer, the groundhog and mouse, aren't really anybody; they're just guys.

<I>Can you give us a little recap of what Ted and the gang have been through over the last four years?<P>

Um, well, he started out appearing on my 20th birthday. He's been turned into Jello, rejected by women and seduced by women. He had an arm removed for awhile, which was a symbolic thing for this girl I had a thing for. Let's see, he got turned into an eggplant for a while, then he was pregnant for awhile.

<I>What happened with that?<P>

He had a little baby cougar, a character that never really went anywhere. That was when I was going through the "I want to have a kid" phase. So I figured, if I couldn't have one, then Ted would. Ted wasn't real happy with that; he went into a psychotic phase for awhile and ran around threatening to kill people. Those where the really dark days!

Then he met Michelle and things started going better. After that, he lost his head (literally). Then he went off to fight the Rhubarb King. He's been through hell and back! As far as Ted's future, because <I>Erin's Closet<P> isn't really right for mainstream publication, I'll probably put the strips together in some sort of comic strip book. I also made a bet with my girlfriend that if <I>Erin's Closet<P> didn't make it into mainstream syndication, I would get a Ted tattoo so he'll live forever.

<I>Michelle seems to get a bit miffed at Ted and his antics sometimes; is that reflective of your relationship?<P>

I think it's a pretty accurate reflection of our relationship. Michelle, the real Michelle, is one of the most sane girls I've ever dated. So she occasionally gets miffed at me.

<I>Has she straightened you out at all?<P>

Well, she has pointed me in the right direction, which is New York. I'll be moving there in August.

<I>What do you plan to do with yourself when you get there?<P>

I guess I'll find myself a cheap, sleazy apartment. I don't know, I'd like to sit back and write for awhile, not really worry so much about where I'm going at this point. After being in school for the past 20-some years, I've always felt like I needed to get to the next level, to graduate. I'd like to live for awhile, work some crappy job and be happy.

<I>You have quite a large following here at UH; are you planning anything special for your fans before you leave?<P>

I'm going to have an <I>Erin's Closet<P> garage sale. I'll be selling most of my originals; there are hundreds of them. So anyone can come down and buy, beg, borrow or steal their favorite <I>Erin's Closet<P>.

<I>Even though you're leaving us soon, is there anything you would like to see changed about UH?<P>

Changes. They should somehow try to change the megalithic monstrosity that is the UH administrative branch and make it more responsive to the individual student's needs.

They could stand to be more flexible and less stringently stupid when it comes to dealing with students. It is amazing to me the lack of flexibility on the school's part. There isn't anybody who will sit down with you to try to work things out, even if it is a problem that could be easily taken care of. I would like to see, in almost every area, a little more attention paid to the needs of the students. It would take less time, effort and money to occasionally find an alternative way to go about fixing student problems.

<I>Do you have a funniest campus story?<P>

Last summer, I was taking political science and there was this girl who sat in the left section, fourth row. She was one of the most incredibly striking creatures I had ever seen. The one occasion I had a chance to talk with her, I blew it – my throat clogged up, and I said something stupid. Anyway, I kept resolving to talk to her, and every day I chickened out. The final was coming up, and I figured it was now or never. So on Wednesday, while at Cecil's having a drink with my sister, I resolved to approach her after the test on Thursday. Erin, my sister, looked at me quite calmly and told me that the final was on Tuesday! I missed the girl, made a "C" for the course and met Michelle a week later. Whomever she is, I saw her in the art building during my golf tournament, but I still didn't talk to her. I drew her a couple of times in my strip, maybe if I see her, I'll give them to her.

<I>Are there any current issues of interest on your mind?<P>

Kurt Cobain. Poetically speaking, he had to die that way. And if we understood his music, we understand his death. He lived it, we only listened to it. He lived the life he had to live, whether that was a good life or bad life. In a way, I expected him to die tragically; it wasn't much of a shock to me. It was sad. What would we do with a 60-year-old Kurt Cobain?

<I>Do you have any words of wisdom you would like to leave us with?<P>

I came to a fork in the road and saw two paths, and I turned with a smile and slipped between the bushes and made my own.

 

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

HEISMAN WINNER WARD NO NFL GLAMOUR BOY

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

If you want an example of why the seven-round NFL draft is a bad idea, just look at what happened to Charlie Ward.

When pro training camp starts, the latest Heisman Trophy winner will be no better off than Jimmy Klingler after not being drafted by any NFL team.

Think about this for a minute.

Ward was not one of the highest-rated quarterbacks in the draft. Some scouts were of the opinion that he wasn't tall enough (5-11 3/4) to stand in the pocket and that he was too much of a scrambler to play in the NFL.

He may also be drafted by an NBA team. This could be problematic if he turns out to be a good hoops player as the two seasons overlap.

So he's not perfect. Funny thing is, you wouldn't know it by looking at any of his other accomplishments and characteristics.

Ward threw for 27 touchdowns in 1993, with four interceptions and a 69.5 completion percentage. His team lost once, a close game to Notre Dame.

He stated before the NFL draft began that if he wasn't taken in the first two rounds, he would enter the NBA draft too. Maybe a little cocky, but also reasonable. If you've got leverage, use it.

So what happened? Why didn't anybody want him? You're asking the wrong guy.

Oh, I know. He had scouts drooling at the Nike Desert Classic, a basketball "combine" of sorts. Nobody, of course, wants another Deion Sanders. One per millennium is enough.

But there's just got to be room. I'm sorry, but I really don't think Jim Everett is a realistic starting option, New Orleans.

And I'm not sure what you expect of Jim Harbaugh, Indianapolis, but it's probably out of line with reality.

Erik Kramer, Chicago? No, can't use any help at quarterback there. Stan Humphries in San Diego doesn't need any competition either, I'm sure.

I can understand Cleveland. They already have one failed Heisman winner on the team. They probably couldn't stand two at the same time.

The Rams, too. If they're dumb enough to pass on Trent Dilfer in the draft, I can understand why they wouldn't want to make it any harder on Chris Miller by taking someone like Ward.

As you can see, the quarterback situation in the NFL is giving off a foul odor. Without naming names, Minnesota traded for a 37-year-old quarterback that threw 21 interceptions last year and it was regarded as a <I>good<P> deal for them.

Maybe that wasn't Houstonian of me. I know that our own Heisman quarterback, Andre Ware, is out of a job too. Maybe some of you would like to see a column written on that.

Not here.

Ware won his award, basked in the glory, and got his huge contract. He had his chance to play, despite numerous reports to the contrary, and it didn't work out.

Ware will have other chances, if not in the NFL, then in Canada. Ward hasn't been tested and he's already failed.

Now, had this been a 12-round process as it has been in the past, there surely would have been some club willing to spend a pick on Ward. Doug Flutie was taken in the 11th round by the Rams in '85.

To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, I knew Doug Flutie, Charlie Ward, and you are no Doug Flutie.

If he still wants to play in the NFL, Ward can try free agency. Another possibility, which I'm sure many eager front offices north of the border are looking into, is that he could wind up in Canada.

But why bother when the NBA is calling? Some of those teams I've mentioned have problems other than a lack of quarterbacks.

Ward has a chance to go late first round in the NBA draft, which means he might go to a good team. Surely the Rockets are a little interested.

If he turns into Dave Jamerson rather than Sam Cassell, though, he doesn't seem to have a ton of flexibility left. Next year will bring another batch of quarterbacks.

Like I said, nobody wants another Deion, but let's not destroy the next Bo.

 

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

SWC POSTSEASON TOURNEY BEGINS; COUGS AREN'T GOING

Cougar Sports Services

The Southwest Conference baseball tournament will begin May 12-15 in Austin at Disch-Faulk Field on the University of Texas campus.

No. 1 seed Texas Christian (14-4 in the SWC) and No. 4 Texas (9-9) will meet in the first round. No. 2 Rice (12-6) and No. 3 Texas Tech (12-6) also face off.

The Cougars will once again be missing the tournament after losing their last nine conference games, capped by a weekend sweep at the hands of Baylor.

Houston dropped a doubleheader on Saturday by scores of 6-2 and 6-5. Brian Hamilton fell to 3-2 after being knocked out in the third inning of the first game. Ryan Walter (1-1) took the loss in relief of Brad Towns and Jason Dixon in game two.

UH finished last in the SWC at 30-26 overall, 4-14 in the conference.

 

************************************************************

************************************************************

 

OLEANNA PACKS POWERFUL PUNCH

by Aaron Dishman

Contributing Writer

From the first stuttered sentence to the last vicious word, <I>Oleanna<P> packs a punch that hits close to home concerning the dangers of an all too politically correct society.

David Mamet's controversial new play about sexual power and the misgivings contained herein, progresses so smoothly that the audience wonders where the last couple of hours have gone.

With characters who are the embodiment of dysfunctional personalities, we begin in a professor's office at an unnamed university. An obviously insecure student waits anxiously for her teacher to get off of what becomes a very annoying personal call. It seems that Carol, played by Tiffany Fraser, is a storehouse of insecurities. When John, played by Jim Frangione, tries to help her grasp his class, she always spouts off the same whiny "I don't understand." Indeed, misunderstanding becomes a major theme in this play.

When next we see Carol, it is once again in John's office. Except only now, the tables are turned and she is obviously gaining power quickly. It seems that John has been announced for tenure. But since he made the grave mistake of speaking to Carol like a friend and even going as far as putting his hand on her shoulder, there is some question as to whether or not he is an adequate and honest teacher.

With accusations of sexual harassment and other such teaching no-no's, Carol feels the satisfaction of seeing the professor on the ropes for a change.

While the audience is left to decide whether or not a sexual advancement was made, it becomes unimportant. After trying to physically keep Carol in his office, John's problems have increased tremendously. Now instead of just losing tenure (which he already has at this point in the play), the increasingly disheveled John faces criminal charges as well.

As John battles his communication problems more and more, the scene eventually erupts into a violent confrontation which leaves Carol on the floor and John's professional life in shambles.

Jim Frangione's portrayal of John was as crisp and lucid as could be. His shifts were excellent and his frustration was played to the highest level of awareness. His stuttering speech and thought processes take a little getting used to (as do David Mamet's for that matter). But once the audience buys into his fragmented form of communication, sympathy is required. While almost everyone in the audience agreed that John was the victim of good intentions taken to ridiculous levels, Carol has her moments as well.

It is also quite conceivable that some people walked away on Carol's side. Thus is the beauty of David Mamet, this play and Tiffany Fraser's performance.

Considering the fact that Fraser was a substitute one week before opening, her performance was very believable. When asked how Fraser felt about her controversial character, she indicated that she, in part, agreed with Carol's actions. This agreement becomes an integral part of Fraser's sometimes halting performance.

<I>Oleanna<P> runs through May 8 and is a must-see for anyone who sat through the weeks of insane Clarence Thomas hearings that took place when the play was written.

David Mamet's <I>Oleanna<P>

When: through May 8

Where: Neuhaus Arena Stage, Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue

Telephone: 228-8421

Cost: $18-$35

 

 

Visit The Daily Cougar