RECRUITMENT PROGRAM FOR HISPANICS EXPANDS

by Blanca Hernandez

Daily Cougar Staff

Henry Trueba, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, will deliver the keynote address at a luncheon today for students attending the Department of Mexican American Studies 1995 College Day at the University Center.

Participating will be about 250 students from Galena Park, Northshore, Pasadena ISD-Dobie High, Incarnate Word Academy, St. Pius, Lutheran High, plus schools from the Cy-Fair Independent School District: Jersey Village High, Cy-Creek, Cy-Fair and Cy-Falls.

"The future of this country depends to a great extent on the success that our youth, Hispanic youth, will have in pursuing professional and technical careers. As the U.S. population changes drastically from white, mainstream, to highly diversified ethnically, economically and linguistically, the significance of the Spanish-speaking and overall Hispanic population becomes more clear," Trueba said. "I feel confident that our youth will not disappoint us, educators. But we must be prepared to give youth our sincere and total support in the selection and pursuit of the career of their choice."

According to Lorenzo Cano, associate director of the Mexican American Studies Program, College Day has been in existence for 12 years and was started as a recruiting component for the Mexican American Studies Program.

"It has been successful, and we have now solidified with the schools that we have been dealing with. We are reaching more to the suburban high schools," said Cano, who says Latinos are moving outside more traditional inner schools.

According to Eduardo Elizondo, program coordinator for MAS, private schools and Cy-Fair ISD are participating for the first time this year. "We wanted to include other schools that have a Latino population," he said.

In the past, the MAS program sponsored two career days a year, but now is sponsoring five -- the next are scheduled for Feb. 22 and March 1.

"We did that so that we could have smaller groups, and so that we can provide more individualized attention to the students," Elizondo added.

The workshops run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will focus on admissions, financial aid and everything you want to know about UH. A campus tour will be administered by volunteer students and faculty from the MAS program.

"I just hope that it is successful in attracting students to UH," Elizondo said.

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STATE LEGISLATORS GRILL UH OFFICIALS ON FUNDING

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

AUSTIN -- Facing a $17 million rider reduction, University of Houston and UH System administrators' plea Wednesday for state funds met with some dissent as Rep. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, challenged UH for an explanation of the $14 million holds-harmless appropriation and followed with probing questions about the way UH funds athletics.

UH President James Pickering answered that the money was necessary to hold UH at level funding "while we turn around our internal dealings."

A rider reduction is a loss in funding that occurs because of a rider, or additional provision, tacked onto the end of an appropriations bill.

Pickering added that the university was trying to improve enrollments, which fell in fall 1994 to 31,298, down from 32,129 in fall 1993.

"The deans understand that enrollments count," he said, adding that UH, viewing the students as customers, will see an increase in the number of students.

Although enrollments have fallen steadily since fall 1990, which saw as many as 33,116 students, Pickering said that on a 20-year rolling average of 30,000 students, UH enrollments are still high.

"A 20-year rolling average?" questioned Ogden, chairman of

the House Subcommittee on Education.

Pickering said the average was actually based on the last 19 years, and he rounded the number to make it simpler.

Ogden also questioned why athletics was funded with a $3.1 million operating deficit.

"(It's) a concern for assessment of fees," he said. Ogden was concerned about where UH was getting the money to fund athletics.

Pickering responded that 35 percent of student fees go to athletics and that the rest of the money comes from either athletics donations or general donations.

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, defended UH, citing the "See Red" campaign as an effort to help the department.

Pickering said the "See Red" campaign doubled the number of tickets sold.

House Bill 1 showed a funding loss of $239,842, or 0.1 percent, keeping UH at level funding, but four riders dealing with retirement programs, reduced state employment, employee health insurance and special items, if passed, will result in a $17 million, or 5.8 percent, reduction.

After Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, opened the hearing by introducing UH with two words, "They're great," Beth Morian, chairwoman of the Board of Regents, and Alex Schilt, UH

System chancellor, remarked on the House bill and their vision for UH.

Morian gave a brief history of the school, then attempted to answer one of Ogden's pre-hearing questions concerning an ethics policy for the Board of Regents.

"Both the System administration and each of our universities have administrative memoranda in place that cover the ethical issue involved in handling institutional funds," she said.

She emphasized the importance of accountability, using the expected upcoming management audit as evidence.

"We are looking for the best ways to find cost-effective solutions," she said.

Schilt took a more technical approach, thanking the subcommittee for the generous Higher Education Assistance Fund increase. The UH System's share will increase to about $37 million from $16 million.

However, Schilt asked that members of the subcommittee "consider the cumulative effect" of the riders.

According to Skip Szilagyi, associate vice president for planning, and Grover Campbell, vice chancellor for Governmental Relations, the UH System's emphasis was to be placed on attacking the riders -- a statewide higher education dilemma -- and asking the state to consider pay raises.

However, when Schilt was asked by Turner what he would ask for with the exception of the riders, Schilt asked for a "modest item, $1.6 million for new facilities." Schilt then asked for an additional $60 million "that would really move us forward," but remained unspecific as to what it would be used for.

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PROF DEFENDS HIRING, INTERN POLICIES AT KUHT, KUHF

 

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

A heated debate occupied the attention of the Students' Association Senate Wednesday night as Robert Musburger, director of the School of Communication, clashed with SA Sen. Hunter Jackson about the university radio and television stations, KUHF and KUHT.

Musburger addressed the Senate about a resolution, introduced by Jackson at the last meeting, calling for KUHT and KUHF to lose university funding if they do not allow students to have jobs or internships at the stations. Musburger informed the Senate that the bill was factually wrong.

"KUHF and KUHT do not receive funding from the university," he said. "There are students working and interning at both."

Sen. Jennifer Zuber, chairwoman of the Student Life Committee, which considered the resolution in its last meeting, joined Musburger in chastising Jackson for failing to research the bill. "Sen. Jackson did not do his homework, and I resent that I had to do it for him," she said.

Jackson said he had heard from many RTV students that it was nearly impossible to get an internship at either station. "When 50 people tell me something, I believe them," he said. "They have told me that it takes an act of Congress to get in there."

Although Jackson offered to rewrite the resolution, a motion to table it so he could do so was defeated. The resolution was killed a few minutes later.

The Senate also approved a resolution proposing a sister-campus relationship between the University of Houston and the University of Havana in Cuba. Two students spoke in favor of the resolution, and it passed the Senate unanimously.

Michael Chamberlain, president of the Cuba Friendship Committee at UH, said the relationship was the brainchild of the Federation of University Students at the University of Havana. "This will create a lot of opportunities for students at both universities," he said.

Russell Contreras, president of the Hispanic Students' Association, also spoke in support of the resolution. "Students need this cultural exchange," he said.

Contreras also announced that HSA would participate in this year's Frontier Fiesta. The HSA had boycotted the event in the past, objecting to the theme of the celebration.

Contreras asked the Senate to consider changing the name of the event in the future. "We are a different university than we were in 1959," he said.

The issue of how the Honors College would elect its new senator, which was postponed from last meeting, was left unresolved. The issue was voted on by students last year, but all copies of the actual ballot were lost, and the amendment was never entered into the SA Constitution.

Several pieces of legislation were introduced and referred to committee, including a bill to make the lot opposite Entrance 1 wheelchair-accessible, and one to create a turn-only lane on Calhoun Road at Entrance 1. Both bills will be considered by the University Administration and Finance Committee.

 

 

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CERTAIN UH SERVICES FEEL DE-FEE-TED BY VIP

 

by Andy Alford

Daily Cougar Staff

 

UH Student Publications, the UH Health Center and UH Parking and Transportation Services don't hold VIP enrollment services in the same high regard as most UH students.

Audree Komorny, assistant director of Student Publications, said, "Yearbook sales are down quite a bit because of it."

Sales of the Houstonian have decreased about 60 percent when compared with this time last year, Komorny said. This means that while 1,056 students had ordered yearbooks by this time last year, only 390 people have done so this year.

Komorny and Richard Cigler, director of Student Publications, attributed the loss of sales to the script VIP enrollment services used in offering the option to buy the Houstonian.

The menu in the VIP enrollment script fails to explain that options to buy the yearbook, parking decals and student health insurance are offered under "optional fees."

Krista Forster, a junior theater major, said she went to the E. Cullen Building to obtain her parking decal.

Forster said that though she registered through VIP, she was unaware she could have ordered her decal under "optional fees."

"I thought that if they'd had (the option), it would have been (there) when you made your schedule," Forster said.

Gerald Hagan, director of Parking and Transportation, could not be reached for comment.

Cigler said, "They (VIP enrollment services) thought they had all their bases covered, and lo and behold, they didn't."

A proposed VIP menu offers an option that explains what is covered under "optional fees."

Floyd Robinson, interim director of the UH Health Center, said insurance sales declined by $200,000 from last school year -- about 686 students.

Robinson will meet Friday with Charles Shomper, associate vice president for Information Technology, to push for a change in the VIP enrollment menu that would force students to choose "yes" or "no" to health insurance and other optional fees before they could exit enrollment services, Robinson said.

Cigler added, "I hope that they get it straightened out by next year. I hope that the yearbook can survive this."

Yearbooks may still be purchased at $30 each from Student Publications, Room 151 of the Communications Building, and parking decals may be purchased from Parking and Transportation Services in E. Cullen, but the deadline for purchasing student health insurance was Wednesday.

 

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COUGARS HOLD OFF OWLS

UH SURVIVES RICE RUN TO WIN 4TH IN A ROW 73-67

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

The script was already written, it just took the Houston Cougars and Rice Owls to fill it.

After all, team on the rise vs. team on the downfall makes for a crossroads of sorts. The winner either continues its climb or pulls out of its fall.

Wednesday night at Autry Court, the Cougars played the part of upstarts, defeating the Owls 73-67 to move to 7-13 overall and extend their winning streak to four games.

"I think it does big things for us in the (conference) race," forward Jessie Drain said of the victory. "We're on a high right now, and if we come out and play hard against TCU, we'll be tied for third (at 5-4). That'll give us a good chance to be in the race."

Perhaps Cougars point guard Tommie Davis summed it up best, simply saying, "We're competing for first place."

Houston is now even in Southwest Conference play at 4-4, tied for fourth with Rice. The Owls fell to 9-10 overall after a 4-1 SWC start.

One of the lessons a young team such as the Cougars must learn is to hold leads on the road, and though the game was played only ten minutes away from the UH campus, Houston weakened a bit at the end.

After fighting deficits of seven or more most of the night, Rice finally cut the score to 65-61 with 1:35 left, on 3-pointers by Tommy McGhee, Eric Singletary and McGhee again. Houston matched the nine points with 5-of-6 free-throw shooting.

The next minute-and-a-half was filled with agonizing misses from the line, as Davis, forwards Kirk Ford and Jessie Drain and guard Damon Jones combined to go 4-for-10 on free-throws down the stretch.

Rice, though, could not put the ball in the basket, managing a McGhee free throw and three-point play from center Shaun Igo over the same span. Ford finally put the nail in the Owls' coffin with two freebies to give the Cougars a six-point lead with 19 ticks on the game clock.

In fact, Ford was Mr. Clutch at the stripe, hitting 5-of-6 after the "two-minute warning," 9-of-10 in the game. He finished with 19 points and 10 boards, both team highs.

Davis, who has struggled from the line this year (.514 coming in), had two big misses with the score 71-67 and slightly more than 20 seconds left.

"I've been shooting 100 (free-throws) in practice, I'll be shooting 500 now," Davis said.

The 5-8 sparkplug was definitely himself otherwise, hitting 5-of-11 shots for 13 points, seven assists and four rebounds. A 1-of-6 mark from the line was his only blemish.

"With the exception of the free throw shooting at the end, I thought he played very well," head coach Alvin Brooks said of Davis. "He helped establish us in our half-court offense."

Indeed, Houston beat Rice at its own game, that of the methodical half-court, after beating Texas at its heavy-pressure, run-and-gun strategy a week ago.

The Owls, led by McGhee's career-high 28 points, had offensive problems all night, hitting only 38.1 percent of their shots. Oddly enough, Rice was 11-of-25 on 3-pointers (.440), usually good enough to win, but was awful otherwise.

Counting the number of blown Rice chip-ins was quite a difficult activity. McGhee, who hit seven of 14 3s, was terrible inside the arc, going only 3-of-11. Rice hit only six of 25 shots from the paint.

 

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UH VOLLEYBALL SIGNS FOUR NEW PREP PLAYERS

 

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

Bill Walton said he can only hope his "Fab Four" can turn his volleyball team into a Final Four contender.

Following Tuesday's national signing day for high-school volleyball players, the Houston Cougars head coach received letters of intent from three top Texas prospects and one solid Illinois product.

Setter Bethany Hill makes her way to Houston from Kyle, Texas, while middle hitter Jill King (Rosenburg) and outside/middle hitter Crystal Kubena (East Bernard) round out the Lone Star State threesome.

Outside hitter Kristin Guidish played her high-school career in St. Charles, Ill.

"All will play," Walton said. "How much they play will be determined by how much they learn and how fast they learn."

The four new recruits are to take the place of graduating seniors Lilly Denoon-Chester, Carla Maul, Heidi Sticksel and Christi Drier.

All four departed players were instrumental in helping No. 5 Houston (26-7) reach the Elite Eight round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament before losing 3-0 to UCLA on Dec. 9.

But Walton said he plans to use Hill, a former 27-4A All-District selection, as a right-side or left-side hitter even though her primary position is as a setter.

"She should give us a lot of flexibility once she learns our offense," Walton said.

Walton also said that King's athleticism and dedication resemble former Southwest Conference Player of the Year Denoon-Chester, while Kubena was a former three-time All-State selection and led her team to the 2A state championship.

"I have (Kubena) projected to be an outside hitter for us," Walton said. "We don't have lots of depth there. Besides our freshmen (Guidish and Kubena), we've got three other outside hitters (Nashika Stokes, Emily Leffers and Debbie Vokes)."

Guidish was one of Greater Chicago's finest players, as her team also made an appearance in a state post-season tournament.

"We'd like her to be able to swing hit," Walton said. "That means we'd like her to be a left-to-right antennae hitter. She has an explosive arm and a good jump."

 

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ONLY GRAVITY CAN KEEP HOUSTON'S FIELDS DOWN

by M. S. Ameen

Daily Cougar Staff

With a child-like quality, Sheddric Fields is running and jumping his way into the track-and-field legacy of the Houston Cougars.

"I was always the fastest kid in school," said the 21-year-old junior from South Oak Cliff, near Dallas.

Fields works hard at running and jumping everyday. Although the emphasis is on the word "work," there can be no question that the taste of childhood exuberance fails to escape him.

Seemingly quiet and reserved, Fields' feet no doubt do much of his talking. Rarely have they failed him.

As a sophomore, Fields hopped to a third-place finish in the long jump at the 1994 NCAA outdoor championships.

This year, he has already qualified for the NCAA indoor championships in the long jump and provisionally qualified for the 55-meter dash. Both qualifications he accomplished at the spring season opener in Baton Rouge, La. on Jan. 21

"I've hit PR's (personal records) in both my indoor events this season. I feel more in tune," said Fields of his early success.

Assistant coach in charge of sprinters and hurdlers Mike Takaha said that Fields had exceptional talent coming out of high school.

He added, however, that the transition of both coaching and competition from the high-school level to collegiate level is tough.

Takaha said he feels that Fields overcame this transition and hit a groove midway through the 1994 season.

"Last year he had a great outdoor season. This year he's improved technically from last year," Takaha said.

Since the opener at Louisiana State University, Fields took first place in the long jump at the Purple Tiger Classic on Jan. 28, and placed second among an open field of international competition at the Milrose Games Saturday.

With more than a month of indoor meets left, he will attempt to improve upon his performances in his two events.

Once the outdoor season begins on March 4 with the Carl Lewis Relays in Robertson Stadium, Fields will compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints and probably the 4x100 relay.

The 55-meter dash is dropped from outdoor competition, but his strongest event, the long jump, is retained.

It is not hard to understand how the UH track-and-field teams continue to be graced with such superb athletes.

The tradition built by head coach Tom Tellez and his staff has undoubtedly aided in the continued success of Houston's teams.

Fields was obviously aware of this history when he decided to attend UH.

"To be the best, you have to train with the best. (The UH coaching staff) can guide you to compete at your best," he said.

The "best" for Fields could be the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, which are just around the corner.

Until then, Fields will attempt to fulfill the destiny that preceded him in such UH icons as Carl Lewis and Leroy Burrell.

For now, however, Fields sums up his abilities in one sentence: "I'm pretty decent at what I do."

 

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MIDDLE CLASS BILL OF RIGHTS- TUITION TAX BREAK FOR WEALTHY?

3-32-2

by Roslyn Lang

Daily Cougar Staff

The portrayal of President Clinton's proposed plan to make up to $10,000 of post-secondary education costs tax-deductible is misleading, said Robert Sheridan, director of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Making college tuition fully tax-deductible, phased up to $10,000 for taxpayers making up to $100,000 a year, is the first of four central ideas presented in President Clinton's Middle Class Bill of Rights.

The tax credit can be applied by taxpayers who are the parents of children in college or by taxpayers who are students themselves, said Laura Schwartz, media affairs staff assistant at the White House.

Sheridan said, "(A tax credit) is not a one-for-one implication as to what kind of tax benefit a person might have. It isn't a straight write-off. What most people think is that if I have a child in college and that college costs $10,000 -- and I owe the federal government $12,000 -- then I really only owe $2000.

"It potentially reduces a person's adjusted gross income by some factor and then the tax is calculated on the basis of that remaining adjusted gross income. It's real misleading in relation to how it's being portrayed and how it really works."

Professor Ira Shepard, who specializes in tax law, agrees. "Assume a full-time student at UH spends $2000-a-year on tuition. If that student also works making $40,000 a year and pays taxes at 28 percent, (that student) will save $560 in taxes," he said. "If a student is in the 15 percent tax bracket the savings is $300."

The same student at a private college, spending $10,000 a year on tuition, will see a benefit of $2800 at the 28 percent rate and $1500 at the 15 percent rate, he said.

"I see this bill helping primarily working students at private colleges and universities far more than it will help working people who are students at public universities," Shepard said.

Full-time, out-of-state UH students with a working spouse or those who work full-time themselves will benefit the most from the president's proposed plan, Shepard said. "(That type of student) is not the usual pattern of students," he said.

Sheridan said UH has a high percentage of non-traditional students. "If you are an economically disadvantaged family and you are paying minimal tax -- let's say $500 -- essentially the benefit that you're enjoying from that tax credit couldn't possible exceed $500, though the (actual cost of ) education may be much more than that.

"I don't want to say that it's rewarding the wealthy, but simply in terms of the mechanical way the tax credits operate a poorer person will enjoy less of a benefit than a more affluent person."

President Clinton's Bill of Rights, detailed in his Dec. 15 address to the nation, qualifies tuition (and fees) as a tax deduction for college, community college, graduate school, professional school, vocational education or worker training after high school.

"Just as we make mortgage interest tax-deductible because we want people to own their own homes, we should make college tuition deductible because we want people to go to college," a transcript of Clinton's speech said. "Education, after all, has a bigger impact on earnings and job security than ever before. So let's invest in the fruits of today's recovery into tomorrow's opportunity."

Further tax cuts designed to help middle-class families rear their children is the second idea in Clinton's proposal. Tax-free withdrawal of IRA funds to be used for education, medical expenses, the purchase of a first home and care of an elderly parent is the third key idea. The final idea is the transference of the "billions of dollars spent on different training programs directly to citizens who need training because they lost their job or want a better one."

Sheridan said, "In terms of the political arena itself -- there is a strong possibility that several federal, financial, student-aid programs really are at risk (of being cut to stick with the balanced budget amendment). In some ways those programs have continued only because you have one party in the White House and the other in Congress."

Shepard added, "(Clinton's proposal) is a nice thing for people who are going to school and it may convince some to return to school part time, but this plan will mainly encourage higher-cost education rather than lower-cost education."

 

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MEDICI CLAN ROYALLY DYSFUNCTIONAL IN <I>QUEEN<P>

by A. Colin Tangeman

Daily Cougar Staff

The quest for the most dysfunctional family in history has at long last been completed. Geraldo, Phil and Oprah can finally lay down their torches and bring their noble search to a close.

For, as the film <I>Queen Margot<P> will amply testify, the royal Medici family of 16th century France had a patent on depravity long before the advent of television or talk shows.

Although Patrice Chereau's film centers itself around the murderous and incestuous Medici clan, the focus of the story is the St. Bertholomew Day's Massacre. On this grim date in French history, thousands of Protestants were systematically murdered by the Catholic-dominated population.

Based on an Alexandre Dumas novel, this beautifully wrought historical drama chronicles the possible events that precipitate and follow the massacre.

The film opens with the wedding between the tormented heir to the Catholic queenship, Marguerite of Valois (played by Isabelle Adjani), and the ambitious Huguenot prince, Henry of Navarre (played by Daniel Auteuil). The marriage is one of convenience and is designed to quell the religious unrest that threatens to divide the country. However, political skulduggery soon dooms the partnership.

To complement the fascinating historical aspects of <I>Queen Margot<P>, Daniele Thompson and Patrice Chereau hinge their screenplay on a number of meaningful and well-elaborated themes. The motifs they explore range from the corruptive nature of power and the manipulation of religion by the elite, to the poignant frailty of Man thrust into positions of high authority.

However, the profundity of the film would not have been adequately felt, were it not for the full development of the characters and the superb acting of the cast. Most worthy of mention are Virna Lisi, who plays the cadaverous queen-mother Catherine de Medici, and Jean-Hugues Anglade, who portrays the cowardly and reticent King Charles IX.

What is so resoundingly pleasant about these performances is that they cannot be labeled by a one-word concept that ensures their two-dimensionality. In so many recent films, "bad" is as "bad" does. Fortunately, Chereau displays the intelligence and subtlety to flesh out his couple with actual compelling motivations.

<I>Queen Margot<P> is a meticulously elaborate and broadly enjoyable film that captures the sights, horrendous smells and brutal realities of life and politics in 16th century France.

As a film, <I> Queen Margot<P> succeeds on a number of personal and aesthetic levels, and as a period piece it works wonderfully to recreate a past that seems almost surreal to our "civilized" eyes. If the film falters in any way, it might be that the numerous subplots sometimes obscure the central action, but there is no doubting that <I>Queen Margot<P> soars in all the right places.

<I>Queen Margot<P>

Director: Patrice Chereau

Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil

***1/2

 

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MARILYN AND ELVIS STILL ALIVE

by Eric James

Daily Cougar Staff

The Contemporary Arts Museum recently opened an exhibit that celebrates two of our most overrated entertainers who ever lived. One stole his style of music from just about every pre-existing genre of song that had been created. The other was merely a mediocre actress, at best. Just guess who these two could have been.

Give up? The answers are Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

The exhibit, titled "Elvis + Marilyn: 2 X Immortal," manages to augment these two performers to higher elevations of god-like importance than ever before. However, the art is entertaining, amusing and effective.

Patty Carroll has a piece titled "Wall of Elvises." It is a huge mural of photographs taken of different Elvis impersonators. This simple piece displays how obsessed we are with him, and simultaneously states, "There was only one King."

Audrey Flack has a wonderful piece called "Marilyn: Golden Girl." The images of Marilyn are in black and white, yet color excites the rest of the painting, paralleling her films. The films were mainly black-and-white, yet she added a lot of color to those old films.

The exhibit includes many humorous pieces about the two stars, like Leonid Sokov's "Marilyn and Stalin," where the two are hugging, and David Gilhooly's "Frog Elvises," which is statues of frogs dressed in typical Elvis attire.

The exhibit includes many different shrines to the stars that are reminiscent of what you might find in a Catholic cathedral. In fact, the art in the show is blatant in equating Elvis with religion. Alexander Guy has a painting of an Elvis-jeweled jumpsuit in the crucifixion position, and even includes blood coming forth from the three positions where the nails would have been.

Jeff Hay has a wonderful Picasso-type painting of Marilyn, and there are many paintings reminiscent of Andy Warhol's works. There is even a painting of Barbara Streisand in <I>Yentl<P>, simply because it emulates the Warhol style.

The exhibit, however, seems to favor Elvis much more than Marilyn. There are three works that represent Elvis in the three ways that Elvis is often remembered.

Justen Ladda displays the overall thought of Elvis in his work "Elvis-Pelvis." On one side you have the portrait of Elvis, then a slash, and then a painting of blue jeans with a protruding pelvic bone and rays emitting. That's Elvis. That's why the camera never went down too far on him.

Then you have Mike Hale's portrait titled "King," which is the way I always think of him. The picture shows the older, grotesquely obese Elvis in his outfit that he probably wore in Hawaii.

The most effective piece, however, is Jerry Kearns' "Earth Angel." It's a black-and-white painting with splashes of violent red. Two Elvises are standing before red photographs of such violent images as the shootings at Kent State. This painting best explains why people so much want to remember and praise Elvis and Marilyn.

We are at a time when we don't have many heroes, and we look back at people who entertained us, who thrilled us, and we say, "Hey, good can exist in this world." Then we hold on to them in hopes that we can find people like that again. People who make us scream, smile and feel safe.

"Elvis + Marilyn" will be displayed at the Contemporary Arts Museum through March 26. It will be well worth your time. Even if you cannot stand the two stars, you can laugh at the absurdity of the cult status they have gained.

Full-time students can get in for $1 with a current ID, and Thursdays are free. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

 

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<I>MIAMI RHAPSODY<P> REEKS OF ALLEN FILMS

by Eric James

Daily Cougar Staff

The movie begins and credits come up over a black screen with a jazzy Satch'mo piece in the background. The cast is listed in alphabetical order, and then the first scene comes on. A woman is talking into the camera as if she is addressing her psychologist. The movie then proceeds into a series of flashbacks and further flashbacks from those flashbacks.

Then I say to myself, "My God, I'm watching a Woody Allen film and nobody told me." But I could have sworn that the credits said David Frankel wrote and directed the movie. Then, as the movie goes on, I realize that the film is no Woody, but a weaker homage to the great director. (Yes, I said great. I think he's a genius, so shoot me.)

David Frankel must have known that he would have his film, <I>Miami Rhapsody<P>, compared to Woody Allen, because the similarities run long and deep. Only, he should also have known that he would never be able to compete.

The woman speaking to the psychiatrist is Gwyn (Sarah Jessica-Parker). She's a recently engaged woman who holds trepidation over the institution of marriage because it seems that everyone around her is having an affair with someone else.

Her father (Paul Mazursky) is sleeping with his travel agent, Zelda. Nina (Mia Farrow -- yes, even Mia Farrow is in this Allenesque film), Gwyn's mother, is sleeping with her mom's nurse from the old folks' home, Antonio Benderas.

The dialogue is quick and witty. They are discussing Gwyn's sex life in the psychologist's office, and when Gwyn tells the psychologist that she's hit a "dry spell," the doctor responds, "So you're married?"

Other lines I enjoyed include Gwyn's objection to Nina's lover, saying, "A nurse? Not even a doctor?" and her response to her sister's football-player husband's childishness, saying, "What do you expect? He rips people's heads off for not giving him the ball."

The dialogue is clearly the best part of the film, and even then some lines are taken straight out of a Woody film. "Why do you always assume the worst about people?" I know was in <I>Hannah and Her Sisters<P> or <I>Husbands and Wives<P>. There's even a token masturbation joke.

Sarah Jessica-Parker is great as the neurotic aspiring writer (sound familiar, Woody-philes?), and Antonio Benderas steals the movie as the caring nurse. Benderas is incredibly charming, and some of the best scenes in the film show him interacting with the older patients. He was born for comedy, and his facial expressions are hysterical enough on their own. Yes, even Mia Farrow is good (and it kills me to say that because I'm still bitter over that Woody affair).

The end is a bit preachy and a bit too neat for an Allen-style film, but it is inevitable and Woody-philes should be able to figure it out. If you love Woody, as you should, see this film. If you hold any aversions to the Allen films you might want to stay away, but <I>Miami Rhapsody<P> really is a very charming and witty film.

 

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TV SHOW MAKES GREAT MUSIC

 

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Romance, anger, hope and sadness. If you've ever been a teenager, these feelings were everyday occurrences on a regular day. If you're a fan of the brilliant television series <I>My So-Called Life<P>, you've probably experienced these emotions all over again. Now music from the show surfaces in the form of a soundtrack, and it too is brimming with emotion.

The soundtrack includes previously unreleased and popular songs from some of today's hottest alternative acts. Kicking off this delicious sampler of teen angst is "Make It Home," an astonishingly beautiful ballad by Juliana Hatfield, who performed the song on the series' special Christmas episode. Hatfield's quiet, waifish voice is accompanied only by a guitar and glides as hauntingly over the music as a faint echo.

Also a highlight is "Soda Jerk," a folksy rock tune by Buffalo Tom, whose music is often featured on the show. The song unfolds as a tale of the undying love a boy has for a girl and reflects the feelings Brian has for Angela. Brian and Angela are two of the show's central characters, played by Devon Gummersall and the amazing Claire Danes.

Also regularly in Angela's tape player are "Dawn Can't Decide" by the Lemonheads and "The Book Song" by Frente! Both of these cuts are lighthearted distractions and reflect the hope and longing felt by Danes' character.

Just as <I>My So-Called Life<P> sometimes focuses on conflict and anger, the soundtrack also takes a turn toward the harder edge of the music spectrum. Songs by Sonic Youth, Madder Rose and Archers of Loaf rock with hard guitar riffs and aggressive vocals. "Drop a Bomb" by Madder Rose is notable because of its energy. The song rumbles with high intensity from start to finish and complements the slower tracks on the album.

Another great track is "Come See Me Tonight" by Daniel Johnston. Johnston's vocals have an underlying sadness to them; he sounds like he's just lost the love of his life. The musical arrangement has a folksy, country sound to it, and the song succeeds because of its simplicity. No tricky vocals or fancy keyboards here. It is a beautiful reflection of the romantic conflicts that are ever-present on the show.

The soundtrack ends on another high note, the theme to the television series. It is an upbeat (although short) instrumental number that reminds all you fans, including myself, what a wonderful show <I>My So-Called Life<P> is.

Hopefully the soundtrack will incite interest in the show, which is currently on "hiatus." Real meaning: it's in danger of getting cancelled. So if you like the songs, chances are you will love the show. Unless going through your teenage years all over again is just too depressing, take time out of your so-called busy schedule for <I>My So-Called Life<P>, the music and the series. You won't be sorry.

 

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HGO BRINGS PORGY AND BESS, A PERFECT LOVE STORY, TO STAGE

 

AIvana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

With Valentine's Day coming up next week, no story could capture the meaning of love better than <I>Porgy and Bess<P>. George Gershwin took the story of a crippled man who loved the wrong gal, set it to music and created an opera of love, lust and tragedy.

The Houston Grand Opera, with musical direction by John DeMain and staging by Hope Clarke, put the American classic on the Wortham Center's Brown Theater stage.

<I>Porgy and Bess<P> is an opera with the taste of a Broadway musical and is sung in English. Porgy's story of wheeling himself around in his goat cart is told through his meeting Bess, the woman from the wrong side of the tracks. Bess' love for "happy dust" and Crown, her lover, is her whole life until Crown kills a man and she is forced to hide out with Porgy. This leads to Porgy and Bess' happiest times, but also the most troublesome.

What makes <I>Porgy and Bess<P> so unique is its popularity. When American composers first began writing operas, they wrote about American Indians. Gershwin was the first to create an opera that touched so many Americans, and foreigners too. <I>Porgy and Bess<P> is the only American opera to achieve worldwide acceptance.

Bass-baritone Alvy Powell sings Porgy with such emotion that the audience lives through all the pain and happiness Porgy goes through. When Powell sings "I got plenty o' nuttin'" the auditorium rings with his joyous outlook on life and the power of his voice.

Marquita Lister sings the trampy, but confused and likeable, Bess. The soprano gives a fine vocal and acting performance. Powell and Lister seem to have the chemistry that makes a team of two into one.

Baritone Stacey Robinson dazzles the audience as Crown. Even though he's a bad guy you can't help but love him.

Set designer Ken Foy designed Catfish Row, placing the entire audience in this neighborhood. Foy continued this season's tradition of exquisite and superb scenery for HGO.

Music director DeMain conducts the HGO orchestra. The music is powerful and expressive -- maybe too powerful, because at times it seems to overpower the singers.

<I>Porgy and Bess<P> is an opera done Broadway style. Perhaps that is what makes it such an American classic that put American composers in with the Italian crowd.

<I>Porgy and Bess<P> will be at the Wortham Center's Brown Theater Thursday through Sunday. Discount tickets are available with student ID. Call 227-ARTS for more information.

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