UHPD OFFICER KEVIN MARMOR NAMED EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

by Nita Gonzales

Daily Cougar Staff

In the 17 months Officer Kevin Marmor has been with the UH Police Department, he has earned two Employee-of-the-Month awards, two certificates of merit and one letter of appreciation. Today he can add another award to the list -- UHPD 1994 Employee of the Year.

"We get phone calls from people, not just letters, on how he treated them," said George Hess, chief of police.

On Tuesday, Marmor was presented with a plaque and a uniform breast bar by Hess for his accomplishments this year, including the arrest of two suspects for unlawfully carrying a weapon and the arrest of two suspects for automobile theft.

Marmor was named Employee of the Month in May for the arrest of three suspects on two separate dates.

Traveling near Entrance 4 on May 6, Marmor witnessed two males riding bicycles near the bicycle racks. Then one suspect attempted to cut a bicycle lock with bolt cutters. When police units moved in, the suspects fled. One juvenile was caught and charged with bicycle theft and resisting arrest.

Another arrest in May began when Marmor stopped an automobile for not having its headlights on. A check of the driver revealed an outstanding warrant. Marmor then saw a handgun on the driver's-seat floorboard.

When Marmor removed the passenger and checked the floor, he found a handgun in a case and a small amount of marijuana.

Both suspects were arrested and charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon and marijuana possession.

An arrest of two suspects accused of automobile theft in Lot 1 made Marmor September's Employee of the Month.

The incident began when six individuals ran toward the Optometry College as Marmor approached them. Two suspects were apprehended, and an investigation revealed that two automobiles were stolen from Lot 1A.

One automobile was found, and the Houston Police Department was notified about the other stolen car. Eventually, HPD chased the second stolen automobile and arrested the last four suspects.

Marmor said the key to his success is luck and keeping his eyes open. He said he makes things happen for himself.

The most aggravating part of being a UHPD officer, he said, is that sometimes people think he is a security guard.

"When I tell someone they are under arrest and if they think we are security, they are going to fight us," he said.

When he is not taken seriously, Marmor said he explains how the arrest will go on a person's record and that the university is not going to tolerate any crime.

Seeing students jogging at 2 or 3 a.m. and not using common sense is another aggravating aspect of the job.

"Crime is not always planned," he said. People commit crimes when "the opportunity pops up," he said.

The role of a UH police officer is not always hard crime, he said. UHPD is also in charge of the campus escort service and for filing water leak or power outage reports.

Marmor remembered one outage when he spent four hours filling out reports when the campus lights went out for a few seconds.

Working at UH can be unpredictable. One call can end in a stressful arrest while the next call can be an escort call, he said.

Students don't realize that an officer's day can be like an emotional yo-yo, he added.

"(Police officers like working at UH because) they are not just a number in some big department," Hess said.

In general, UH is a good environment for the officers because they deal with educated and diverse people, he said.

Getting to know different people is a part of the job Marmor said he likes best.

"You just have to get experience with people, and everything will fall into place," he said.

 

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

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

 

SCHILT TO COMMAND PICKERING REVIEW, MEMO SAYS

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Although last semester's attempt to censure UH President James Pickering failed, UH Chancellor Alexander Schilt has reiterated his guarantee of a presidential review by Aug. 1.

"The review is one of those snapshots that allow you to learn what you ought to do in the future," Schilt said.

The pressure mounted at the Faculty Senate meeting Nov. 9, as Schilt was reminded of a promise he made to review Pickering.

However, the review process, which has some faculty members upset, is compounded by the two-year-old controversy surrounding the appointment of Pickering, done without a national search despite the UH System's and Schilt's promises.

"The bottom line is (the review) shows why the System administration has to be dismantled; it needs a wooden stake through its heart," said Kent Tedin, a political science professor and a member of the Coalition for Excellence, a 52-member group of faculty who are openly fighting with administrators over the role and purpose of the System.

The memo outlining the review process would give all responsibility and authority of the review to Schilt, with faculty and UH community input in the form of the Presidential Review Advisory Committee.

All members of the committee will be chosen by the chancellor.

"Clearly, it's very important to me that (the review) be an inclusive-as-possible process," Schilt said. "I hope to meet with most of the deans, the Staff Council, the Students' Association, the Faculty Senate and the alumni."

The Board of Regents, however, and not Schilt, will make the final decision on any recommendation given to them by an outside firm that will be hired.

"The role of the consultant will be to assist the chancellor in developing and overseeing the implementation of a plan for review of the president's performance," the memo says.

Furthermore, the chancellor will communicate the findings in brief to the Board of Regents; however, according to the memo on the procedure, only the president and the chancellor will have access to the full findings.

"The written report will be regarded as a confidential personnel matter," it says.

The memo outlines six areas of evaluation: general administrative effectiveness; educational leadership; community/external relations; System-university relations; university achievements; and the personal characteristics of the president.

Pickering said the manner in which he was chosen to be president will have no effect on the evaluation. "It's based on performance, not on ancestry," he said.

Although Schilt defends his appointment of Pickering and said he feels he did not break any promises, he said the way Pickering was appointed might be a factor in the evaluation.

"I'd say in the long scheme of things, you wouldn't want to do that very often. It has had some adverse effects," he said.

"There are established ways of doing business, and whenever you depart, you know there will be liabilities.

"(The cause was) my concern about moving forward with legislative funding and with the limited partnerships and for the university to attain its full promise," Schilt said.

"With someone with a fine record of leadership, it was worth the liabilities to appoint him," he added.

Both Schilt and Pickering seemed to be looking forward to the review as a means to evaluate the university's progress.

"There's a process. That, I think, is one of the nice things about any evaluation -- it's like time-out to take the pulse of an institution to celebrate and make suggestions.

"It's part of institutional growth -- you always learn from an evaluation," Pickering said.

Schilt said, "I think it gives us a chance to see where we were successful, where we weren't. It's a review of institutional performance."

But Tedin stressed how the administration has shunned the faculty.

"It's high-handed tactics that make this campus so incensed with the System.

"Why even do this when the outcome is so predetermined?" Tedin said in reference to how the chancellor will choose and report all aspects of the review, according to the memorandum.

However, he added that the idea of a review is good if "it can be done by an impartial (group)."

 

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

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

 

JAPANESE EDUCATORS SEEK STUDENT CREATIVITY IN SCHOOL CURRICULA

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

While the United States is moving to unify its nationwide school curriculum, Japan is moving in the opposite direction and decentralizing to focus on individuality and creativity, according to a top Japanese educational official who spoke at the UH Hilton Monday night.

Kazuo Ishizaka, head of Curriculum Research at the National Institute for Educational Research in Tokyo, described current changes in Japan as "revolutionary change."

The changes began shortly after the publication of "A Nation at Risk," the 1983 study released by the U.S. Department of Education.

The next year, Japan began a bi-national study, comparing itself with the United States, to see where it could do better.

The main concerns of the Japanese, Ishizaka said, were increases in school violence and the dropout rate. He said the number of high school students who drop out before graduating had increased to 1.9 percent, and school violence had reached a peak in 1983.

The first report of the study, released in September 1985, recommended emphasizing individuality in the schools through optional subjects and student-centered teaching.

Ishizaka displayed a textbook for sixth-grade mathematics. "This is very thin, only 96 pages," he said. "The teacher will teach from the first page to the last. If she skips a page, she will get very upset."

Ishizaka described learning multiplication in second grade. "There is a song we use. Every school in Japan uses the same multiplication song.

"Some bright children master the table in one year, but he or she must repeat that table for the entire year," he said. "We have no gifted and talented program like you do."

He held up another thin book he said "describes all the course of study for grades one to six. If you pick one subject and one grade, there are about two pages on each, but there is no description of how to teach."

The result of that, he said, is that education in Japan is teacher-centered, rather than child-centered, with an emphasis on memorization.

While public education is uniform and regimented, parents often send their children to <I>juku<P>, private schools to help students prepare for rigorous college entrance exams, in the evenings and on weekends.

<I>Juku<P>, Ishizaka said, offer personalized education. Because they are private schools, they are forced to be effective, or parents will not send their students there.

One improvement Ishizaka emphasized was the introduction of optional subjects at the elementary and secondary levels.

"We must emphasize basic knowledge while personalizing instruction," he said. "We must encourage kids to pursue individual talents. That's why we introduced optional subjects."

One of the most difficult problems faced by Japanese educational reformers lies in the importance their culture places on the college attended. As a result, the system of entrance examinations is extremely competitive. Educational stress causes such a high number of suicides each year that students are often compared to falling cherry blossoms, which bloom at the same time as the entrance-exam season.

Ishizaka said the study recommended that Japanese society should learn to "avoid undue reliance on background" and concentrate on an individual's skills instead. "This would reduce competition for the entrance exams," he said.

 

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

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

 

UH SYSTEM DINOSAUR NEEDS TO BE DECLAWED

by Joseph Slatthaar

In the last issue, I discussed inequitable campus facilities and derided the payroll scandal as an inexcusable misuse of money. Today, "Your Money" tackles several more areas in which the UH System sucks up resources from the campus.

Resources to support research have been scarce at UH for some time now. Researchers must devote a huge portion of their time for expensive research, and many of us dip into our own pockets for the lion's share of our research money.

Faculty travel on university funds is limited. Good computers, equipment and other research materials are in such short supply that it actually impairs the faculty's ability to research and teach. Our library rank has fallen from the top 60 to over 100. With fewer acquisitions and holdings, most of us depend on a badly understaffed and overworked Interlibrary Loan Office to obtain critical books and microforms, and the inevitable wait wastes valuable time.

Over at the System Administration Office, everything is top-of-the-line. I understand that 486-computers abound. Informed people tell me that most days, many of them are not even turned on. Friends claim Chancellor Schilt insists the UH System has state-of-the-art equipment to impress visitors, although that is just hearsay. Travel money, too, is plentiful. Last year, the chancellor took a nearly month-long trip to the Far East -- urgent UH business, no doubt. How that business could be more important than fundamental needs of faculty and students, like decent classrooms or basic research support, is a mystery to me. But, ... it's YOUR MONEY.

During the last few years, UH has undertaken a massive capital campaign to increase the endowment. Despite claims that $288 million was raised, very little of it went to where it is needed most, for chaired professorships. To place matters into context, the University of Texas, twice as large as UH, has almost 20 times more chaired professorships.

Meanwhile, the UH System has confiscated approximately $80 million for itself. Surely, when donors wrote those checks, they had better things in mind than to finance a giant bureaucracy. Allocated properly, that $80 million could create 160 chairs of $0.5 million each, enough to upgrade the faculty, enhance the research mission of the university and significantly improve the quality of a UH diploma. It's YOUR MONEY.

The solution to this absurd use of taxpayer dollars is a restructuring and massive reduction of the UH System. First, we need to combine the positions of chancellor and president and bring the System back to the main campus. That way, the head of the institution will be in touch with faculty and student needs and maintain a focus on the mission of a research university, and we can eliminate the considerable duplication of functions between the System and the administration of the main campus.

Second, we need to reorganize the branch campuses so that the presidents at Clear Lake, Victoria and Downtown report to the provost on the main campus. That ensures the elimination of unnecessary duplication of functions. Such a reconfiguration allows for the sharing of faculty and programs among the campuses to maximize resources and adapt quickly to changing societal demands.

It will strengthen the position of provost on the main campus, which has lost power steadily since the inauguration of the System, and it also will reduce the ability of the chancellor to play the three satellites off against the main campus, as he has done in the past. All savings must go toward the research and teaching mission of the university.

Not only will these structural changes benefit all campuses by providing them with more money, but they have added benefits. The satellite campuses will then be able to share courses and resources and even participate in programs (especially on the graduate level) with the main campus that the State Coordinating Board would never have authorized them to develop.

Write a member of the Board of Regents. Place it in an envelope and drop it into an inter-office mailbox. (Every department has one.)

Say you are sick and tired of the misuse of funds by the System and that you want an outside firm to conduct an independent management audit to restructure and downsize the System. Or just tear this article out, sign it and send it to the Board of Regents. Remember, it's YOUR MONEY!

Glatthaar is a professor of history and a member of the Coalition for Excellence.

 

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

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

 

3-28-2

HORNS RUNNIN' OFFENSE, PRESSIN' DEFENSE WILL BE TOUGH FOR COUGARS

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

Last season, Nolan Richardson's Arkansas Razorbacks won the national championship with "40 Minutes of Hell." No one seems to be sure, though, what to call the Texas Longhorns' defense.

The Burnt-Orange Crush? The Texas Trap-Step? Lasso the Leather?

Even if it doesn't have a dumb moniker – and those could suffice – the Longhorns' defense definitely has a theme: pressure.

Texas (12-4, 4-1 in the Southwest Conference) has forced 23.9 turnovers a game this season, causing SWC coaches to intensely dread the full-court press Tom Penders applies.

"It's obviously one of our concerns," UH head coach Alvin Brooks said about the Longhorn trap. "We've just got to be able to play against it, try to score some points.

"They're going to come at you all day with it. That's just a fact when you play Texas."

Tonight at Hofheinz Pavilion, Brooks and the Cougars (5-13, 2-4) will get their chance to face the music. Houston is coming off wins over Baylor and Southern Methodist, gaining back-to-back SWC victories for the first time since last February, when it beat – well, Baylor and SMU.

The Cougars will be waltzing into this one a little banged up. Freshman guard Damon Jones will sport a protective mask to cover a broken nose suffered against the Mustangs Saturday, while junior forward Tim Moore is playing through the pain of a bad back.

"He struggled (Monday), but he's doing a little bit better today," Brooks said Tuesday of Jones, pointing to the trigger-happy freshman's new molded-to-fit mask as a reason. "(Monday) he had a regular mask on and it was a major distraction; he didn't shoot well at all."

Moore was quite a distraction against SMU, blocking a shot out of bounds on the Mustangs' final possession with less than two seconds on the shot clock, then tipping away the resulting inbounds lob.

With his 20 points and 14 rebounds in that game, Moore's season averages are at 19.4 points and 10.1 rebounds, along with an SWC-leading 2.6 blocks.

Moore's mate on the frontline, junior forward Kirk Ford, is pushing his numbers up at a rapid rate. After a 25-point, six-rebound effort against Baylor followed by a 22-point, seven-rebound effort at SMU, Ford has become the third Cougar averaging double figures in points (10.7).

His 11-of-12 day on free throws put him second in the SWC in free-throw percentage, at .797.

"For whatever reason, it takes (junior college) guys a while to get comfortable," Brooks said. "That's where Kirk is right now."

Texas would probably give quite a bit for Houston's frontcourt production, having suffered problems in that area all year. Last year's starters Rich McIver and Reggie Freeman are riding the pine, replaced by newcomers Nathion Gilmore and Carlton Dixon.

But talk of the Longhorns can't go on long without mention of the potential All-SWC backcourt of Roderick Anderson and Terrence Rencher. The senior tandem combines for a lethal 42.2 points per game, adding nearly 11 assists and six steals a contest between them.

And then there is the press.

Texas leads the conference in turnover margin with an unbelievable average of 9.1 more foul-ups caused than committed. Texas Christian and SMU are the only other teams with a positive ratio.

"They've got 11 guys they can play without missing much," Brooks said.

Of course, the Cougars have cut their turnovers in SWC play by an average of six a game.

"I think our freshman guards have matured a lot," Brooks said. "Willie Byrd, who plays a lot of minutes for us at guard, is only a sophomore, and he's finally kind of settling down."

For Cougar fans, the maturity can't come fast enough.

 

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

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

 

 

FANS SHOULD BOYCOTT OUT OF MLB

O.O.C. with Chris P.

This week, I've come to grips with something that I had been denying like an illegitimate offspring. I now accept that there hasn't been major league baseball since Aug. 12, 1994 and it looks like unless God himself joins the negotiations, we might be seeing the high school waterboy as the starting pitcher on Opening Day.

I think enough has been printed and said about the current labor action, so I don't want to O.J. the specifics.

Naturally it all boils down to money and who will get most of the revenue generated by the huge MLB monopoly. But there are smaller, intangible details that both sides have forgotten, or refused to address.

I'm nauseated that the fans must stand by and watch as grown men butt heads over ridiculous amounts of money.

Both sides are out of control. They have forgotten where their money comes from. That's right, we, the invisible third party in this mess, hold the purse strings to this little game. There is no money for these babies unless we're willing to supply it. The fans need to show the millionaires where their loyalties should be.

So here's my proposal. If and when the two sides come to an agreement they deem suitable, let's show them who's boss and not watch their sniveling, greedy butts play.

Just stay away!

I'm kinda weak in the math department, but let me see if I can figure out how much the players and owners would stand to lose in the event of a fan action.

Let's take the local squad, the Astros, and their fearless leader Drayton Mclane.

Like all major league teams, the Astros play 81 home games each season. Assuming a conservative average of 20,000 fans per game, that adds up to 1,620,000 tickets sold.

Now, with an estimated average ticket price of $10, that comes out to $16.2 million in ticket revenue alone. That's quite a chunk of change that the voiceless ones give up.

I'm too lazy to calculate the amounts generated by each team from parking, concession and apparel revenue as well as the take of the MLB broadcast-rights agreement with NBC.

I hope it's clear that both players and owners would suffer immeasurably if the fans refused to go to the ballpark and support their extravagant lifestyles.

McLane was quoted recently as saying that you don't buy a baseball team to make a profit. He said you're lucky to keep your shirt.

Well, Drayton, if I can convince enough people to boycott your so-called money-drain, you'll get excited at the thought of wearing a white Beefy-T.

There's no need to go to the stadium anymore. Just watch the games on TV until you can't stand it anymore and you have to go watch grown men play with juiced baseballs on a large, fake putting green.

I am a lifelong New York Mets fan. Even when they were losing 20 games in a row in the early 1980s, I went to games with my friends all the time. That was until the Mets committed one of the worst crimes in baseball history.

By signing Bobby Bonilla to a 5-year, $29 million-plus contract the Mets committed a faux pas tantamount to the Red Sox trading away Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

So when the Mets made the whining Bonilla their future, I swore I would never buy a ticket to another Mets game. I'm proud to say that three years later my resolution is still intact.

Nobody in their right mind can say that any player is worth the money he currently receives or demands.

I hate that Players Union chief Donald Fehr has brainwashed major-leaguers into thinking that they're underpaid. I don't care if the market says that one player is worth $5 million, and another one is worth $1 million. Doctors and teachers are the ones worth all that money.

If you just can't stand missing your regular dose of stadium outings, I have the perfect solution.

The University of Houston is opening its new stadium in less than a month. Now this field beats the Astrodome any day.

There'll be real, mowable grass. The most expensive seat in the house will probably be $5. But most importantly, you'll get to watch real baseball players giving it all they've got because they want to win, not because they want to do well the last year of their contract in order to enhance their free-agent market value.

Boycott artificial baseball for good, and come and watch the game at its last pure level.

Peña is a junior RTV major and the UH baseball and women's basketball announcer.

 

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

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

 

<I>STAR TREK<P>KIN' ACROSS THE INTERNET

by Cmdr. Frank McGowan

and Capt. Frank Rossi

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Voyager<P> has arrived, and as die-hard Trekkers, we consider it our duty and right to offer our impressions of the new show.

However, we also want to know what our fellow <I>Trek<P> fans out there in the universe think. So here is your chance.

Please e-mail responses to Frank Rossi at st7ek@jetson.uh.edu (or leave a note in Frank McGowan's box at The Daily Cougar). The most colorful responses will be printed in an upcoming review/analysis. Be sure to include your name, rank, major and a phone number where you can be reached.

1. Do you like <I>Voyager<P>? Why or why not?

2. Is it better than classic <I>Trek<P>? <I>TNG<P>? <I>DS9<P>?

3. What do you think of the characters?

4. How do you rate the shows so far? What do you think of the premise?

We would especially appreciate hearing from the UH scientific community on the show's scientific accuracy. (Anyway, we know how much you sci-fi folk like to surf the Internet. :)

Thanks for your input. Live long and prosper.

 

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

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

 

LITTLE KIM SON, A LITTLE TASTE FROM THE ORIENT

Photo by Yvonne Dawson

(photo cutline on back of photo)

by Christen Hanlon

Daily Cougar Staff

Hungry for some excitement on the UH campus? Today, and today only, the La family, owners of the Kim Son restaurant, are bringing all of the festivities straight from the Orient right to your very own campus.

The popular Kim Son Restaurant is celebrating the opening of Little Kim Son in the newly-renovated Moody Towers Horizons Cafe.

To kick off this event, grand opening celebrations will include Chinese calligraphy, souvenirs, Vietnamese art, music, Vietnamese and Asian Specialty dishes, martial arts and even dragon dancing.

Dr. Elwyn Lee, vice president for Student Affairs at UH, will preside at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Kelli Emmons, a public relations representative for Kim Son, was very optimistic about the third Kim Son restaurant to open in Houston.

"The Grand Opening festivities should be very exciting. At 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., dragon dancing will take place in the food court. This is where people dance under a dragon to the beat of drums. In the Orient, this ritual is symbolic of celebrations and good-wishes," Emmons said.

Emmons also revealed that the restaurant got its name from a combination of the first names of the husband-and-wife team of owners Kim La and Son La.

The restaurant's menu will feature a number of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes that are among diners' favorites. The menu, an abridged version of the original Kim Son 250-item bill of fare, has an emphasis on fresh, nutritious ingredients.

"We want to offer students yet another healthy alternative in campus dining," said Tri La, family representative and University of Houston alumnus. "With the opening of Little Kim Son, students will find that fast food does not have to be bad food. Our restaurant will offer fresh, healthy items that are served quickly and at very reasonable prices."

The restaurant is also introducing a new category to their extensive list of Vietnamese dishes. The Vietnamese version of the American sandwich is offered, the 'Kim Son Sub.'

"We serve them on a long French roll, with fresh Vietnamese herbs, sliced cucumbers and marinated carrots," La said.

"The university and ARAMARK Campus Dining Services are delighted to welcome Kim Son as a new campus food vendor," said Ahmad Kashani, interim executive director of Residential Life and Housing for the University of Houston. "In addition to the fact that La is a University of Houston alumnus, his (family's) business also falls under the 'HUB' (Historically Underutilized Business) category."

"HUB" is used to designate enterprises owned and operated by minorities.

In addition to the new vendors, the Moody Towers Horizons cafe also has a new look. Renovated in 1993 with the help of architect Keith Carlson of Mitchell Carlson and Associates and interior designer Joan Terrell of IDC Designs, it has a new, trendy, '90s neon look.

Rich teal colors, crisp red accents and bright tile patterns make dining in the cafe an enjoyable experience for students, faculty, and staff. The facilities are also open to the general public during the regular dining hours Monday through Friday.

Kim Son is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and on weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Joining Kim Son in Moody Towers' remodeled food court are Blimpies, Dunkin' Donuts, Columbo Frozen Yogurt and Pizza Hut.

Other national food franchises on the UH main campus include Chick-Fil-A, Columbo Frozen Yogurt, Taco Bell and Whataburger, found in the UC and the Satellite.

 

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

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

 

BLAFFER GALLERY GOES ABSTRACT WITH LATEST EXHIBIT

by Eric James

Daily Cougar Staff

Even if you already have a great love of art, sometimes you look at abstract art and just say, "<I>Peesh<P>-Ahh..." I did that a lot at the new exhibition that opened at the Blaffer Gallery this weekend.

The exhibit is titled "Critiques of Pure Abstraction" and is organized by guest curator Mark Rosenthal, curator of Twentieth-Century Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and by Independent Curators Incorporated (ICI), New York.

The gallery is hosting the exhibition, which includes 31 works by such artists as David Row, Jonathon Borofsky and Annette Lemieux. The show is set up to fight against the critiques and renew the validity in the art of abstraction.

In this exhibition works range from linear styles reminiscent of the art of Kenneth Martin to the simplicity found in the classic pieces of Newman and Mondrian. The artists also attempt to redefine abstraction using dramatic works as well as humor and irony.

David Reed embraces a flowing style in his works whereas Jonathon Lasker uses linear compositions in his "The Happiness of Cannibals" and David Row explores the possibilities in using the infinity symbol.

Andres Serrano uses a simple technique in his "Milk, Blood" piece where the canvas is simply half white and half red. Yet in this simple composition, Serrano brings to focus the two things that the body needs to grow and survive.

Mark Milloff has fun in his "Fallen Target" when he displays a circular target hanging on the wall with the bottom part of it having fallen to the floor of the gallery. Again, this is humor used in breaking the norm of abstraction.

John Baldessari has a piece that simply reads: "A Two-Dimensional Surface Without Any Articulation is a Dead Surface." This profound work states that if a piece does not speak to you, that if you cannot see the beauty, that it is an empty and depressing work.

Other works include pieces made from eye shadow, wood and knitted wool, perhaps showing that art can emerge from any facet, not just from the traditional sculptures and oil paintings.

The most effective piece in the exhibition is Annette Lemieux's "Black Mass." It is a mixed-media piece that shows a Chinese demonstration going on, yet all the flags and banners are blacked out so as not to allow the viewer to know what was once on those flags.

This allows the person studying the picture to incorporate their own demonstration in the picture, to imagine their own strife coming out and to incorporate a true contemporary idea into the work. Lemieux knows that everyone has something they would like to stand up to, and this work is an homage to everyone's desire to fight for something they believe in.

Abstraction is about the importance of the piece being measured in the affect and interpretation of the individual. Every piece will be interpreted differently by each critic. Some works will flabbergast you, some will deeply stimulate, but each will engage you in thought and interpretation. That is what makes abstraction so intriguing--the fact that you decide.

Go see this exhibition and broaden your mind. It is well worth it, and admission is free. The show runs through March 26, and a guest lecture will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in the Architecture Theatre with curator Mark Rosenthal.

The hours for the Blaffer Gallery are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

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

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

BEY CALLS FOR AN IMMEDIATE ANSWER TO ISOLATIONISM

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

One of the nation's least recognized philosophers and authors, Hakim Bey has gained much attention this year, even though his tracts address the most marginal topics.

Bey's most popular book, <I>Temporary Autonomous Zone<P>, was recently turned into a compact disc by Axiom/Island Records. His anti-authoritarian writings on society and the spectacle it makes have appeared in all sorts of journals, including Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed.

Bey is back with a new book that challenges how people view art, organization and politics in Western society.

<I>Immediatism<P> is the newest book from Bey via AK Press. While less than 60 pages, it surfs quite well the shark-infested waters of the consumer culture as Bey presents the seemingly impossible ways to break through it.

The most pressing problem of the world today may not be hunger or violence, but an even more pervasive social ill: alienation and solitude, according to Bey.

Every day, people walk among others like themselves without a word. These beings share our characteristics, similar wants, needs and desires and share our own designation as part of humankind, according to Bey.

Yet each person looks upon others with fear, suspicion and doubt, placing a psychological fence between one another. Why don't people sitting next to each other in a classroom, on a bus or at a restaurant simply speak to each other? questions Bey.

The answer, Bey argues, lies in humanity's own angst. People have alienated themselves from one another by thinking they have nothing in common with others of the species. As they feel the differences more and more, people isolate themselves in their homes -- out of fear, out of disgust, out of anger -- until the only joys in life become those done alone. Watching television, going to films or even reading are activities done alone, no matter what inane television marketing (e.g. "Be there!") tells you, Bey wrote. Renting a video game has replaced human interaction ( like talking, singing or playing games together) as a pastime.

And before anything will change or progress, there must be a large number of people to do it. Once isolated, Bey says, the mass becomes a fractured subdivision of televisions, Nintendos and videos afraid to leave their homes (due to "crime") and afraid of others. Humanity stops growing and people's unhappiness increases even more.

Society and its institutions, Bey argues, <I>want<P> people to be alone, to be isolated from one another, to be "a scrunched-up, blood-drained, pathetic, crippled little cog in the death machine of the human soul."

A great act of resistance, of revolt, is to simply bond together with friends and just chat or engage in pleasurable acts -- acts which break away from the notions of all forms of work, including "political work," social work and chores which occupy our lives, Bey wrote.

The specter of work is actually part of the alienation process. This may be a hard pill to swallow for most people, but it is something worth pondering. Work ethic aside, Bey argues that work becomes humanity's drive and preoccupation, the basis by which people judge their success and happiness.

Rather than setting aspirations toward the pleasure they have or the richness of their interactions, people become consumed by consumerism and bought by capital. Bey's words are an offshoot of anarchist theorist Bob Black's "abolition of work" treatises but are quite provocative though not grounded in pragmatism, not unlike Black's verbiage.

Bey is more than willing to critique every structure of power and every group which helps to set the roadblocks to progression up or aid them by ignoring it.

His writing is astute, although often difficult to understand, as Bey seeks to foster an understanding of the liberating power of pleasure in the battle against systems.

The strongest criticism one could register against his or other philosophers of his ilk's work is his idealism and lack of solid practice. This hardly makes invalid the worth of what he wants to do, but it means that what he wants to do is no simple task to accomplish.

<I>Immediatism<P> is, fortunately enough, rooted in very elementary components -- person-to-person talk and camaraderie. Bey is an advocate of bonding-as-resistance.

<I>Immediatism<P> is a thoroughly thoughtful book.

<I>Immediatism<P> is available for $6 from AK Press at P.O. Box 40682, San Francisco, Calif. 94140-0682.

 

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

<I>HIGHER LEARNING<P> FAILS TO MAKE A PASSING GRADE

By Eric James

Daily Cougar Staff

John Singleton impressed critics and audiences alike with his film, <I>Boyz in the Hood<P>. Then he struck out bad with <I>Poetic Justice<P>. With <I>Higher Learning<P>, Singleton not only tries to save face after <I>Justice<P>, but tries to prove that <I>Boyz in the Hood<P> was not a mere fluke.

Unfortunately, he does not succeed.

<I>Higher Learning<P> focuses on the students and events of the fictitious campus of Columbus University. The plot is too muddled to give a real synopsis, but it basically entails the students of different races clashing over who has the right to be more angry.

In one corner is Omar Epps, a young African-American track star who believes he is too big to attend practice.

In the white corner, wearing the Nazi armband, is Michael Rapaport. Rapaport, one of the few saving graces in this picture, plays a student who is desperate to fit in at the college scene, but who, unfortunately, is ultimately accepted by the wrong group of people--the skinheads.

Singleton, after taking minor detours to visit rape, politics and financial aid, has the two races clash in a wonderful, frantically filmed climax. He then ends the movie the way I used to complete my high school research papers.

In order to give my paper that extra nudge, I'd end on a patriotic note in hopes of bringing my own and my teacher's one common bond to the surface to achieve a higher grade.

Well, Singleton's playing of the "Star-spangled Banner" (complete with marching band and baton twirlers) and display of the American flag merely achieves the same result my closing sentences would achieve: empty corn.

John Singleton's attempt deserves recognition. He confronts a topic that needs much addressing these days, that of diversity and the need to become tolerant of it. Singleton, however, presents a slanted telling of racial issues and suggests no real solutions.

His principal characters are to polar extremes, and the people in the film whom we should hope to become are given little screen time and merely passed over.

I can only suggest this film because of its message to end racial violence and to tolerate the wonderful diversity our society has to offer.

Michael Rapaport's portrayal of the Nazi "I need to be accepted" skinhead is also worth viewing. In a weaker year for supporting actors, perhaps Oscar would have noticed him.

See this film only if you're willing to accept all sides and are mature enough to sit through unorthodox scenes that audience members at my viewing were obviously not grown up enough to watch without giggling.

My only hope is that this movie does not ignite violence between people merely because they felt their race was poorly represented in this film.

<I>Higher Learning<P>

Starring: Omar Epps, Laurence Fishburne.

Directed by John Singleton

Rating: **1/2

Visit The Daily Cougar