HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR WIESEL USES ORDEAL TO SPREAD HOPE

In his eyes, you could see the horror, but in his voice, you could hear the hope, the knowledge – and, of course, the warning.

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, author of more than 30 books, including <I>Night<P>, which details his year spent in the Auschwitz concentration camp, told a massive audience in Cullen Performance Hall Thursday night that indifference, silence and fanaticism were the main agents of destruction in Nazi Europe and are still the causes of ethnic wars that have killed hundreds of people in Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia and all over the world.

"The worst tragedy that ever happened could have been prevented in 1933 ... If the world would have spoken up, Hitler would have disappeared," Wiesel said.

Wiesel said he has asked every American president that he has met and many leaders of other nations why nobody moved to help the Jews while they were being killed by the dozen, and not one could give him an answer. We can not sit by and let tragedies happen and not stand up and take action, he said.

While he spoke, his manner was calm and his voice soft – almost grandfatherly, but his words hit the still audience like bullets. These were the words of a man who has seen the worst kind of fanatical hatred firsthand. From reading <I>Night<P>, one might think Wiesel would be left empty, finding himself homeless as a child after being freed from concentration camps, where he watched his family die and his community suffer.

Wiesel did not speak of his experiences for more than 10 years after the war ended, but he learned that the blind hatred that killed 6 million Jews was a problem that affected all of humanity, a hatred that could kill millions more people if it wasn't confronted and squashed in every nation.

"(Intolerance) stems from one's unshakeable thought that his beliefs remain better or higher than another's," Wiesel said.

This kind of ideology, he added, leads to blind idolatry. It is this fundamentalism that leads to racism, anti-Semitism and all kinds of ethnic intolerance, he said. A Muslim fundamentalist "speaks the same language" as that of a Jewish or Christian fundamentalist. They all believe their beliefs are the only beliefs and that others should be shunned. A fanatic is not happy with merely invading a community physically; he wants to "achieve oppression of the mind," Wiesel said. "(A fanatic) feels threatened by a mind or soul which is free." Wiesel's answer to the problem is education and action. People, he said, must understand that to hate one community of people is to hate all of humanity.

"I never liked Noah. He was too weak. He never took initiative. God told him to build the ark – he built the ark ... God told him to leave the ark, and he left. Why didn't he protest?"

Noah should have stood up to God for all of the people on his ark who he knew would suffer.

Students should get together and organize and fight against racism and anti-Semitism, Wiesel said.

If we remember what happened in the 20th century, and act out against it, the 21st century has a chance of being better.

"The answer is always in our hands. We have to choose between compassion and cruelty."

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UH HONESTY POLICY SCRUTINIZED TO FORTIFY CHEATING PREVENTION

by Michael P. Martin

News Reporter

Faculty, staff and students are taking a close look at the University of Houston's 10-year-old academic honesty policy to see if changes are needed, said Guadalupe Quintanilla, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs.

A committee has been formed, Quintanilla said, and input is being sought from all segments of the university community regarding the policy's structure and some of its provisions. Some of the time limitations on action under the policy are being scrutinized, as well as the amount of detail in which the policy is written.

"If the policy is too detailed or too cumbersome," Quintanilla said, "some of the faculty may not want to work with it."

The policy defines what constitutes academic dishonesty, the measures that should be taken to prevent it and the steps required to assess penalties once it has occurred. Although it is printed in full in both the student handbook and the undergraduate studies catalog, Quintanilla said many students are unaware of its provisions and may run afoul of it accidentally.

"I don't think students appreciate the seriousness of it," Quintanilla said. "Some don't understand that even sharing homework can be cheating. They may face very serious consequences."

Besides using unauthorized aids during examinations, the policy prohibits practices like falsifying laboratory results and using the lab results of others, with or without their permission. Even hiding library materials to reduce their access to other students is a violation. Penalties can range from a failing grade for the work in question to indefinite suspension from the university.

Under the current policy, cases must be brought up for action under the policy within five to 10 days of discovery. This can be difficult, Quintanilla says, if the apparent violation is discovered during the summer when the faculty member or representative of the dean may be away from the university for an extended period. It is one of the provisions being examined, she said.

Some of the faculty like to deal with a situation one-on-one with the student, but Quintanilla said this might cause a student to "give in" and accept a mild penalty when not guilty because of pressure from the instructor. Current policy requires a third person, usually a representative of the department chair, to be involved, although this is one of the aspects of the policy also under review.

The number of cases heard under the policy is quite small, Quintanilla says. Most are handled at the college level, with 16 per semester being the highest number handled by any college, she said. An average of only three per semester make it to the appeals level in the Office of Academic Affairs, and Quintanilla said this shows the policy is working.

"It's been tested at the local, state and federal levels and has been upheld," she said. "It works. It's not broken."

Some students say, however, that cheating does take place, especially in certain situations.

A pre-pharmacy student who requested anonymity said she saw the highest incidence of cheating during biology lab exams, when students are required to walk from exhibit to exhibit and record their answers. "Some students are not too careful about covering their papers, and considerable 'answer checking' goes on," she said.

The student said she was not aware that she was required to report the cheating under the academic honesty policy.

"We take cheating quite seriously," Quintanilla said. "If a student is in violation, we implement the penalties."

 

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SA REMOVES STUDENT REGENT LILIE

by Shahida Amin

News Reporter

They may not have seen the last of her, if K.K. Lilie has her way. Removed by the SA Senate Wednesday night from her position as student regent for the Students' Association, Lilie says she still plans to run for vice president on the LEAD ticket in the upcoming elections.

"This is no reflection on myself or my capabilities," Lilie said. "I'm running because I care about the university."

The Senate, citing Title 10 of the SA Code, voted 11-2 to relieve her of her position as student regent this year, citing failure to carry out her duties.

Title 10 of the SA Code states that the student regent's primary duty is to attend all meetings of the Board of Regents and prepare a written report of the proceedings within three class days following the meeting. Copies of the report must be distributed to the Students' Association president, vice president, director of external affairs and senators.

SA President Angie Milner said she had only received one report from Lilie. However, Lilie said she has turned in three reports to Milner's box, two of which Milner never received.

At Wednesday's meeting, Senator-at-large Justin McMurtry charged Lilie with nonfeasance, which the code defines as nonattendance of two or more meetings of the Board of Regents and/or failure to file an equal number of reports.

"I feel compelled to do something about this," McMurtry said at the meeting, "not because I have a personal problem with Lilie, but because I believe whoever holds that position should take the responsibility of that position, too."

Lilie, who was not present at the Senate meeting when the vote was taken, claims she has attended some Board of Regents meetings this year, but was unable to attend the last two because she was not notified of their dates by SA.

"The messages sent from the president's office are not being put in my box," Lilie said. "I haven't been contacted for the last two meetings of the Board of Regents by the Students' Association. The secretary of the president's office said, 'I've contacted you. I've left messages.' Everything had been sent to the SA office."

Lilie, however, alleges she never received those messages. "I called (Senate Speaker) Jeff Fuller and spoke to him and said I was upset that someone was taking information from my box. Someone was doing their best to make it appear I wasn't doing my job, and it upsets me."

Milner said Lilie should have taken the proper steps at the time she suspected something was wrong.

"If she saw a problem a long time ago, why didn't she complain to Campus Activities or the Dean of Students?" Milner said. "If she knew someone was out to get her and taking things out of her box, why did she wait until elections to bring it up?"

Milner said she had made attempts to contact Lilie through phone and mail, but Lilie never responded and rarely came to the office during the year. Lilie claims she was never made to feel welcome by SA.

"I was not included," she said. "I felt more than a little excluded from the 'group.' Ever since I took office, it's been me against them. I just feel that I've been left in the shadows on any decision made – purposely."

Law Senator Jennifer Zuber emphasized that Lilie would have known what was going on if she had attended more meetings.

"She claims that she didn't do her job because she didn't feel like a part of the clan," Zuber said, "because when she came here, she felt left out. This has a circular argument because the bottom line is that the only way to gain respect in these offices down here is to work hard, and if you're asked to do something, and you get the job done, you're gonna get respect."

In the upcoming election, Lilie is running for vice president on the LEAD party ticket along with presidential candidate Hunter Jackson.

Jackson, who is also a business senator, was not present at the meeting when the vote was taken, but he questioned the reason why the Senate had waited until after Lilie had filed her application to remove her.

"I think it's awfully strange that on the same day the vice president of C.L.A.S.S. was removed for forgery charges, they would go in and try to drag up something on my candidate," Jackson said. "I think it's political."

Milner, however, said some senators had wanted to bring impeachment charges against Lilie last October, but they were afraid of Lilie's father (Glenn Lilie) who, according to Milner, sits on the Alumni Board and is a distinguished and prominent gentleman in the UH community.

"(The senators) couldn't get Senate support for it because they were afraid of her name and her dad," Milner said. "Because a lot of them were affiliated with her dad in other ways, they didn't want to bring down the Lilie name. So the case was dropped."

According to Zuber, the case was brought up now because they just recently learned of the article in the SA Code that deals with nonfeasance.

Because SA has combined the positions of director of personnel and vice president, for which Lilie is running, the vice presidential position will entail many more duties, Milner said.

"That office makes the vice president's job immensely important, probably one of the most important jobs in the SA office," Zuber said. "The vice president now is the person who puts the students on the committee who voice their opinion on how the university policy should go. These people who go on these committees are the voice of the students. In my opinion, that is the most important job."

Milner agrees that the position of vice president is now, more than ever, crucial to student government.

"That's the main function of SA – to put students on committees, to give the UH student body representation," Milner said. "And that's the position (Lilie's) running for."

 

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'OLD SCHOOL' FUNK GENRE INSPIRES RAP ARTISTS

 

by Lady Oliver

Daily Cougar Staff

Black History Month Logo

Part 4 of 4

If the river of rhythm flows over the plains of soul music, then it gushes like white water over a new and free "funk" style.

Still under the umbrella of rhythm and blues, funk music emerged. Once again, social settings and society’s negativism toward the black race made it necessary to find hope in the music. But this time, it was different. Instead of looking for the message in the music, blacks tried not to remember. Soul music was typically "message" music, and funk was "party" music.

Funk was used to forget, not to remember. With lyrics like "party" and "let yourself go," one would be led to believe " ... the music had a therapeutic function. Rather than communicate political or intellectual messages, it encouraged blacks to release tension by simply being themselves," according to the book, <I>A Turbulent Voyage<P>.

Funk was fathered by George Clinton. His P-Funk army included people like bass guitarist Bootsy Collins, keyboardist Bernie Worrell and hornmen Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley. In the '70s, the band leader would descend from the stage in a full-size spaceship.

With the "old school" craze in full effect, the P-Funkers are back in business. "Stoked by years of sampling by new-school rappers and fresh radio exposure, old school -- the classic hard funk of the '70s and '80s -- is back," according to the October 1993 Billboard magazine.

Radio stations are responding to the high demand by programming "old school" music on certain days. At WGCI-FM in Chicago, "old school Sunday" is very successful. The station normally doesn’t do specialty shows, but it had to give the listeners what they wanted.

Record labels are re-releasing old-school music as well as re-mixes and best-of packages. Music volumes featuring artists like Funkadelic, Parliament, Brick and the Dazz Band are selling like crazy. Rap music was born on the shoulders of old school. Rappers would take the beats and the background of an old-school "jam" and add their own poetic style of expression.

Grandmaster Flash, Lovebug Starski and Kurtis Blow, along with others from the South Bronx, N.Y., started in the early '70s. Lovebug would mix records on two turntables at block parties. He was one of the first rapping disc jockeys. He would move the records while on the turntable, creating weird sounds with the needle.

DJ Afrika Bambaataa is another rap pioneer. He released "Planet Rock" in 1982 on a 12- inch single. Bam, as he’s called for short, reflects on the roots of this genre. "Cab Calloway’s 'signature chant' of 'Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-ho' was a form of rap," Bam said in the December 1993 Rolling Stone.

Bam also recalled the "call and response" style Calloway had with his audience just like artists have today.

To get the crowd "hyped," the DJ would mix records and talk over the music. The first "microphone controllers," or MCs, started shouting party rhymes. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five "riled up the crowd" with chants like "Throw your hands in the air and wave ‘em like ya just don’t care!"

In 1979, rap music caught on fire with the Sugarhill Gang’s "Rapper's Delight." People everywhere knew at least the beginning, if not every word, of this song. "A hip-hop/The hip-be/To the hi-be/The hip-hip-hop/You don’t stop rockin’/To the bang bang the boogie/Say up jump the boogie/To the rhythm/Of the boogie/The beat."

Rap is now recognized on the music charts and has its own category on music awards shows.

This expressive form of music has expanded to include rock 'n' roll, heavy metal and gospel. It has even created the sub-category of "gangsta rap." This rap music tells the hard, cold story of a gangster's street life.

One of the pioneers of gangsta rap is Too Short. Out of Oakland, Calif., he is known for reinventing the pimp mythology of the '70s.

His platinum album, <I>Life is ... Too Short<P>, stayed on Billboard's Top Pop Albums chart for 78 weeks.

Houston is the home of one of the most popular rappers today, Scarface.

This Fifth Ward "homeboy," who started with The Geto Boys, is working on his third album, "My Diary," which has sold 1.2 million copies so far, according to the Promotions Department of Rap-A-Lot Records.

Rappers now own their own record labels. Sir Mix-A-Lot, owner of Rhyme Cartel Records, sold 2.5 million copies of his single "Baby Got Back," and held the No. 1 slot on Billboard's Pop Singles Chart for five straight weeks.

This single earned Mix-A-Lot his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.

Rap music is a piece of history.

African American music genres have been the products of necessity: the need to express emotions, the need to express hope and the need to tell a story.

It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. African American music genres were built on the improvisations of the legends who gave birth to them.

Slave chants were born from the pain and suffering of African American forefathers and mothers. Spirituals were born from the hope of eternal rest and peace.

Gospel was fathered by Thomas A. Dorsey and mothered by the blues. Blues was mothered by "Ma" Rainey.

Jazz came from the improvisational skills of New Orleans men like Buddy Bolden. Rhythm and blues is a compilation of them all, with Aretha Franklin reigning as the "Queen of Soul" and James Brown the "Godfather of Soul."

Rap music turned out to be a chameleon, able to fit into each genre comfortably.

There’s a lesson to be learned. There’s a message in the music. There’s history to be remembered.

 

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ENGINEERING STUDENTS' PROJECTS GO TO REGIONAL COMPETITION FRIDAY

 

by Jennifer Smith

Daily Cougar Staff

Two industrial engineering projects from the University of Houston have been chosen to compete in a regional competition Friday.

St. Mary's University in San Antonio will host the Institute of Industrial Engineering's project paper competition.

Melissa Perret, 21, submitted a paper about a medical simulation model; Gary Tollar and George Voigt, both 30, together submitted a project about quality control in concrete forms for United Form Company, which manufactures concrete ties.

Perret said she entered college as a pre-business major. "My parents wanted me to be an accountant.

"The only math business majors have to take is calculus for business majors. Well, I like math. I'm better at math than that," she said.

Perret said that because she was attracted to engineering, her second semester adviser pressured her to change her major to engineering so she could take ENGI 1331, an introductory class. He suggested she choose industrial engineering because it was most similar to the business major.

Perret, now a senior who hopes to graduate this fall, said her project paper is a part of the doctoral dissertation of a student named Miguel Gonzales.

Gonzales' dissertation is about developing a training system for emergency medical technicians in advanced cardiac life support.

"My paper is a small but important part of his paper. Mine is about training of EMTs on a simulated patient cardiac arrhythmia model," said Perret.

"I think I have a good chance (of winning)," she said.

Voigt was a mechanical engineering major until last summer, when he decided to change to industrial engineering. He said,"The curriculum is more management-oriented. With my extensive work background, it was more appealing."

Voigt, a senior with a wife, Beth, and a two-year-old daughter, Victoria, said he works part-time at United Forms Company to get through school. He is taking 16 hours a week of classes, and works about 16 hours a week at the company.

"Basically, (the job) meets financial needs at this time," said Voigt.

He said he is filling in for the manager and performing a lot of accounting duties. He said that the industrial engineering major, because of its strong math base, helps train for accounting, too.

Voigt said the quality control project may be used in part by United Forms Company. He said, "(The project is) a compromise between cost and benefits. (The production) is low-margin, high-volume. To start up this quality control will be expensive, but it will be a starting point to reduce that cost in the future."

Tollar, a single parent of a 4-year-old boy named Garrett, said that he and Voigt chose to work together because they are the same age. "We both have families; we can work with each other's schedules. We potentially made good partners."

Tollar said the quality assurance project emphasizes an industrial engineering scheme, but he expects the competition to be fierce.

"(There are some) really bright people out there. The honor of even being there is more than enough," Tollar said.

Randall Sitton, visiting associate professor of industrial engineering, said he advised Tollar and Voigt. He taught a course called Engineering Statistics, which requires students to form groups and come up with a topic.

He said that the concrete form paper, which he gave an A, was one of several submitted to the department chair, Jen-Gwo Chen, and the undergraduate adviser, Charles Donaghey, who decided what to submit to the senior IIE adviser, John Hunsucker.

Hunsucker chose the two that advanced to the regional competition.

"I choose (a paper) on criteria of its maturity, its good engineering principles and practices, its clarity, its logical approach and the significance of the work," Hunsucker said.

He said,"I picked the two I think I could win Nationals with."

 

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5-30-1

UNDEFEATED AT THEIR NEW BALLPARK

3-18-1

Cougars rough up TSU 12-0 for fourth win in a row

by Jeff Holderfield

Daily Cougar Staff

The Texas Southern Tigers, started Thurday's game at the new Cougar Field with a double, and then were quickly tamed by the Houston baseball team.

The Cougars extended their winning streak to four games and are undefeated in their new stadium, as they shalacked the Tigers 12-0, in front of 333.

The Cougars improved on Wednesday's performance of six errors, allowing only one in Thursday's win.

Houston head coach Rayner Noble said, "(Wednesday) was an off day for us. I don't know if it was the playing surface or what. We were just too tight."

TSU was held to only five hits in Thursday's game. Only twice in nine innings did the Tigers even threaten to cross home plate.

TSU head coach Candy Robbins said, "We don't have very many good athletes starting for us right now. Several of our best players are out due to bad grades and injuries."

Brad Towns, a right-handed senior, started for the Cougars and got the win.

Towns (1-1, 3.24 ERA) went five innings, struck out four, walked one and only gave up three hits.

"I didn't have the control I wanted, but (the Tigers) just hit the ball right to the defense," Towns said. "We just played great defense."

The Cougars started their offensive assault in the second inning when Brad Gray was hit by a pitch. After Robert Hicks walked, designated hitter Brant Romero, who started the season 0-for-10, slapped a double, scoring Gray.

A Brandon Milam sacrifice bunt moved Hicks and Romero into scoring position. Geoffrey Tomlinson followed with a single to score Hicks, but Romero was thrown out at the plate on a questionable call, thwarting Tomlinson of two RBIs.

In the third inning, the Cougars sent 11 men to the plate and scored six runs on five hits.

Hicks, who is batting .250, hit a massive triple in the third, knocking in two runs.

TSU's pitchers had major control problems, allowing both Gray and Milam to tie a UH baseball record of being hit by pitches twice in a game.

"We had 22 walks against Rice. We just don't have very strong pitching right now," Robbins said.

The Cougars travel to Baton Rouge, La. this weekend for a two-game rematch with nationally ranked Louisiana State. Houston defeated then-No. 1 LSU 4-3 last weekend.

"The main thing we need against LSU is good defense and pitching. We have enough offense. It's all dependent on the pitching," Noble said.

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1-20-3

LOSS TO SMU COULD DROP UH TO FIFTH IN SWC

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

One game has indeed changed everything.

Before Wednesday's 93-77 disaster vs. Baylor in Hofheinz Pavilion, the Houston Lady Cougars were in sole possession of second place in the Southwest Conference.

But in just two short days, Houston (13-11, 7-5 in the SWC) has gone from holding a firm grip on second place to possibly falling all the way to fifth.

The Cougars host surging Southern Methodist (16-8, 7-5) at 7 p.m. in Hofheinz Pavilion Saturday. The two teams are tied for third place, and a UH loss combined with a Texas victory over Texas Tech could put Houston in fifth.

"We didn't take Baylor seriously enough," Houston head coach Jessie Kenlaw said. "That's pretty sad because we're at the point in our season where we shouldn't be taking anyone lightly."

Nevertheless, the matchup still pits two of the hottest teams in the conference.

The Lady Mustangs have won six of seven SWC games after getting off to a 1-4 start; Houston had won six of seven league games before Wednesday's defeat.

"We were pretty surprised to learn of Houston's loss," said SMU assistant coach Lisa Dark. "But Houston still does a good job of penetrating and playing the pressure defense."

 

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5-48-1

HANGIN' OUT IN HOUSTON

5-23-1

Davis aspires to solve problems of his hometown after graduation

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

Tommie Davis has a strange connection to McDonald's.

The Houston Cougars freshman point guard sensation was named an honorable mention McDonald's High School All-American as a senior last year after averaging 10 points, 12 assists and five steals to lead Los Angeles Crenshaw to a 30-2 record and a No. 2 national ranking.

On a Friday night after a basketball practice last season, Davis strolled into a McDonald's in South Central Los Angeles to grab a bite to eat before meeting up with some friends.

"This guy came in while I was ordering my food, and I thought he was just kidding, but he said for everybody to put their hands up," Davis says. "He walked up next to me and had a gun pointed to the girl at the register.

"That was one of the scariest moments of my life, because I backed up and I was like, if this guy shoots me, I'm done – my career might be over just like that."

Actually, Davis' career is just beginning. The 18-year-old's raw ability is easy to see – but it is raw. Second-year UH head coach Alvin Brooks shouts to Davis during a recent practice, "Watch your screen, Tank. Wait for your screen."

Davis, who stands only 5-8, is nicknamed Tank. It aptly describes the toughness necessary for a kid to make it in gang-ridden South Central Los Angeles.

"I might sound crazy, but I'm used to drive-by shootings. That's always around," Davis says. "Like if you're at a party, somebody always shoots. If you're hanging out, somebody always might get shot.

"That McDonald's thing, that was one reason why I had to get away. I was kinda ready to leave. That McDonald's thing basically scared the hell out of me."

Despite his spectacular basketball ability, Davis' short stature left many scouts and college coaches with the impression that he wouldn't make it in Division I basketball.

"When I finished my 10th- grade year, a scout told me I was too short, and I wasn't good enough to play with the top players in the nation," Davis says. "That just put fire in me.

"At the end of the summer, he laughed at what he'd said. He said he'd made a big mistake."

Davis' athletic ability got him out of Los Angeles, and, along with the strong guidance of his family, helped keep him away from the gangs and drugs prevalent in the region. The guidance came from his mother, Dorothy Bates, and his uncle, Ruben Smiley, a professional baseball player in the San Diego Padres organization.

"My mom, she always took care of me and watched out for me," Davis says. "When I was younger, my uncle used to go to the gym and I used to always be right along with him. And he'd make sure I was, instead of walking the streets.

"Playing sports really keeps you away from all that; it keeps your mind off of that."

Some of Davis' friends didn't stay away, however.

"I had friends that were athletes when they were younger, but when they got to high school, they didn't see their future," he says. "My mom always stressed to me, 'Don't worry about the fast money. It might excite you right now, but it's gonna wear off. It's against human nature for them to win.'

"I like nice things. They (his friends) always had nice things, but they always got stuff for me, so I never really worried about it. A real good friend was into that. He came to all my games last year. If I needed something, or he felt I played good, he would reward me. But everybody has a friend like that in L.A."

Davis says Houston is a nice change of pace from Los Angeles, where he says there would have been too many distractions for a college freshman.

"This city is cool, because there's not that much to do," he says. "There's nice-looking women all around campus; that's good too. It's so slow out here, though; I'll be going crazy. I've never had so much sleep in my life."

Ms. Bates had a big influence on Davis' coming to Houston, he says, just as she had when she decided her son would transfer to Crenshaw from Freemont High School following his junior year, because of a fight Davis had at Freemont.

"When coach Brooks came to my home, he left a good impression on my mom. She was a major part of my decision," Davis says.

During that visit and subsequent telephone conversations, Brooks developed an understanding for the way Ms. Bates looks after her son, and the reasons why.

"She's tough, to say the least," Brooks says. "She's a no-nonsense type, interested in the bottom line – that Tommie's taken care of.

"It's a tough neighborhood. They've got a nice place, he and his mom, but everything around them is burglar-barred. If not for a very strong family, (the problems) will pull you in."

Davis says he misses his family, especially his mother.

"It's so rough, because she only got to see me play one time," he says. "I talk to her almost every day. If I miss a day, she'll call me. She's always concerned."

Davis' nephew, Bobby Evans, 6, misses his uncle. Davis says little Bobby looks up to him the way he looks up to his uncle Smiley.

"The one (UH) game that was shown in Los Angeles, he'd seen me play and he called me," Davis says. "He was like, 'Tommie, I seen you play,' and it was like the sweetest thing. I'm his role model, like my uncle was my role model."

Davis' father died when he was 2, but unlike many kids, he still had his mother and his uncle to look up to. He is hoping to give that same kind of guidance to his nephew.

"Role models are hard to find these days," he says. "I mean you always see the Michael Jordans on TV, and whoever else, but you really need somebody there with you, somebody there telling you right from wrong. I know I don't want my nephew to get involved in any gangs. I know I'm not gonna let him, period."

A business major, Davis says the only way to solve the problems of South Central L.A. is through community involvement and economic improvement. He worked last summer In Los Angeles for a man, Theodore Alexander, who owns several properties in the area and who invests heavily in the community.

"I'm just trying to make it (in sports) so at least I can earn a little bit (of money to start a business). I know if I start one business, it'll just be a matter of time," he says.

"I know for a fact it could (change things for somebody else). It helped me, definitely. When you're not out on the streets, and around that type of stuff, you have no interest.

"I don't think anything can really be done about it, but to stop the younger kids from joining (gangs). It's all about having the kids do something else with their time. It's always the young kids who get in and grow up in it. It breeds like that, so you have to stop it at the root."

Davis has noticed similar problems in the Third Ward area around the UH campus.

"I see a park over on (Calhoun), but I don't see no signs saying, 'Sign up for Little League, ages such and such.' I don't see none of that out here. I notice a lot of little kids running around, coming to the (UH) gym," he says.

"School only takes up so much of their time, and sometimes they don't even go to school."

After overcoming the preconceived notions about his size and the harsh realities of his neighborhood, Davis is going to school. And after graduation, he hopes to do his part to make sure no one else has to live through another McDonald's incident.

 

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HERE'S THE STORY

RELIVE THE SEVENTIES WITH <I>THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE<P>, A GROOVY REMAKE OF THE ORIGINAL TELEVISION SERIES

Pullquote: Marcia Brady is still a virgin, and yes, she's still hoping to go to the West Dale High School dance accompanied by that hot teen idol...Davy Jones

Photo by Elliott Marks/Paramount Pictures

The Brady kids, caught in a '70s time warp, perform in a talent contest in <I>The Brady Bunch Movie<P>.

by Vincent Barajas

Daily Cougar Staff

Here's the <I>retelling<P> of the story of a man named Brady...

Mike, Carol, Alice the housekeeper and the Brady kids are back. They're the latest travelers on the <I>old TV show<P> to <I>new feature film<P> path, a path previously beaten by the <I>Addams Family<P>, the <I>Beverly Hillbillies<P>, Bret Maverick, and Captain James T. Kirk.

Excavating dead television programs for movie script fodder is a fast-growing and profitable trend. But unlike the venerable characters just mentioned, <I>The Brady Bunch Movie<P> is accompanied by a bizarre concept, which makes it significantly dissimilar to its parent, the 1969-1974 ABC sitcom.

The year is 1995. The Bradys are still in the early '70s. Trapped in a decades-long state of arrested development, they remain perfectly preserved (like fossil ants encased in amber -- or, more appropriately, in a pet rock) in their plaid bell-bottoms and butterfly collars.

Mike Brady (<I>Midnight Caller's<P> Gary Cole) rounds up his "troops" and tells them to put on their "Sunday best" for a thrilling trip to Sears. Oldest son Greg (Christopher Daniel Barnes, voice of Fox's animated <I>Spiderman<P>) still proudly sports his perm; little Cindy Brady is still in pigtails; Peter Brady is still going through puberty; Jan Brady is still hopelessly dorky; Marcia Brady is still a virgin, and yes, she's still hoping to go to the West Dale High School dance accompanied by that hot teen idol...Davy Jones.

The world around the Bradys' astro-turf lawn has changed considerably, however. Greg is threatened by a carjacker. Marcia's best girlfriend is an "open minded" student who wants to do a little more than just sleep over. Worst of all, a greedy land developer (Spinal Tap's Michael McKean) wants to tear down the beloved Brady home to make way for a strip shopping center...and he just may have found a way to do it.

It seems Mike and Carol (Shelley Long) owe about $20,000 in back taxes, and unless they come up with the money pronto, it's goodbye to the one- bathroom(!) house.

In the end, it all rests on the shoulders of the six Brady kids, who stake everything on a musical talent competition with a $20,000 grand prize.

How can the Bradys (with their Donny-and-Marie-Osmond- inspired act) possibly hope to compete against a '90s grunge band and a rap duo? Well, the judges...Oh, go see it for yourself!

Original Brady bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz serves as co-producer of the film, and is undoubtedly the one to credit for the amazing re-casting of the Brady roles. From Cole and Long on down, every actor does a terrific job of acting Brady. Christine Taylor, who portrays Marcia, is the most frighteningly accurate, and looks like she could have been cloned from Maureen McCormick's (the <I>original<P> Marcia) DNA. She also has Marcia's slightly nasal voice down to a T ("skewl" instead of school).

Speaking of original Bradys, Barry Williams (Greg), Christopher Knight (Peter), Florence Henderson (Carol) and Ann B. Davis (Alice) from the old show all have cameo roles.

<I>The Brady Bunch Movie<P> operates on a one-joke premise, but there are enough variations of the joke to keep it interesting for the duration of the film's short running time. Some gags don't work (Marcia is described by a dude as being "harder to get into than a Pearl Jam concert," and we all know that Pearl Jam is working hard to make its concerts accessible to everyone), but this is just nit-picking. Packed with references to other TV shows we all grew up with (in the talent show scene, the Partridge family van is seen pulling into the parking lot), the film is nothing so much as a celebration of all those hours we spent damaging our eyesight and killing our boredom in front of the boob tube.

Director Betty Thomas and Schwartz never allow the jokes to get too mean, and in the finale, our Brady friends win their cynical '90s neighbors over with their '70s sensibilities. Call me a '70s sentimentalist, but I enjoyed watching them do it.

Seeing the Bradys, unchanged after so long, we can objectively re-examine what our own tastes were like so long ago. We didn't see the Bradys as geeks back then. They were just like us.

(Note: the current Daily Cougar rating system defines a three-star movie as being "well worth the ticket price." Use your UH student ID for a discounted ticket, and it will be.)

<I>The Brady Bunch Movie<P>

Stars: Gary Cole, Shelley Long

Director: Betty Thomas

*** (3 out of 4 stars)

 

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TV SHOW CREATOR MAKES SATIRICAL BRADY BUNCH SEQUEL

by Vincent Barajas

Daily Cougar Staff

If you were stunned by how similar the new Brady Bunch is to the original, credit Brady creator Sherwood Schwartz.

At 78, Schwartz, who has a psychology degree and an Emmy for his comedy writing, is very animated when discussing Bradys -- new and old. Schwartz co-produced <I>The Brady Bunch Movie<P>.

"The new movie is self satire. It's affectionate satire. This is a concept film...it's comparing the '70s to the '90s. It's very similar, in a sense, to <I>A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court<P> or <I>Rip Van Winkle<P>, who wakes up 20 years later. It's not just taking an idea from a <I>Brady<P> episode and stretching it to two hours," Schwartz said.

So the bunch remains unchanged, as opposed to "updated." However, Schwartz is quick to point out that if the studio had gotten its way, the Bradys would've been nearly unrecognizable. "You can't believe what the original (screenplay) looked like. I can't even repeat some of the words that were in one of the drafts, which Paramount was perfectly happy with... but I wasn't. We had big battles over that."

The new, ageless Bradys raise an interesting question: What to make of all the sequels (i.e. "the Brady Brides") that have preceded the movie? Where do they fit in? Schwartz suggests that those productions are apocryphal, and shouldn't be considered "official" Brady Bunches.

The Brady Bunch was <B>the first<P> step-family on TV, and for his inspiration, Schwartz needed look no further than the L.A. Times. "... a statistic said that that year (1966), 30% of all marriages had a child or children from a previous marriage. It occurred to me that that's a sociological phenomenon that's occurring...and I thought, 'Gee, what a good idea for a show.' "

The multi-talented Schwartz also wrote the famous <I>Brady<P> theme song, as well as that of his other TV classic, <I>Gilligan's Island<P>. Both songs are similar in that they sum up the origins of their respective shows. "In 23 and a half minutes, the more you can take care of in a theme song, the less you have to worry about exposition. It's boring to hear (the origin) every week. But if you put it in a theme song, it's entertainment."

Finally, Schwartz is asked if Gilligan and friends will ever wash ashore on the silver screen. You can practically see his smile over the telephone. "John Goodman, I think, would make a wonderful Skipper."

 

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EDWARD ALBEE STANDS TALL AGAIN WITH LATEST PRODUCTION

by Eric James

Daily Cougar Staff

Allow me to be the first to remind everyone that we have a playwriting master teaching here at UH. Now, maybe I'm biased because Edward Albee is my favorite playwright, but The Alley Theatre's production of Albee's <I>Three Tall Women<P> is brilliant.

The play is witty, humorous and often frightfully honest. Albee won his third Pulitzer Prize for <I>Three Tall Women<P>, and deservedly so.

The play revolves around three women who are given no names, so are merely referred to as A, B and C. A, played wonderfully by Nan Martin, is a senile old woman reminiscent of Albee's Grandma in <I>The American Dream<P>. C (Tracy Sallows) is a 26-year-old lawyer who has been sent to clear up some missing checks and unpaid bills of A. Kathleen Butler is enthralling as B, A's nurse, who acts as an equilibrium between the clashing views of A and C.

A is the story teller. She sits with her broken arm and conveys stories of horseback riding and her husband, often forgetting what she's saying. Her nurse is supportive of her, but the lawyer is ignorant of the goings-on in the house and dismisses the old woman and her stories.

Act 1 beautifully sets the stage and characters of the three women. It ends in a horrifying climax that leads brilliantly into Act 2, a metaphysical portrait of the women, as well as a haunting portrait of life.

All the action takes place on a stage designed by James Noone. Noone has created a lovely bedroom with a nice playing space set in the middle of all the chairs and the bed. Muriel Stockdale designed costumes that are fitting to each character, especially in the second act when the characters show their true selves.

In Act 2, A tells the story of how they all broke, or will break, their backs. All three women live parallel lives, illustrating that all women may hope to be different, but all will suffer through the same experiences in life.

Throughout the story, all three women constantly consider themselves "tall and strong." But when they fall off the horse, everyone around them finally realizes that their height does not ensure their strength. They see the three tall women vulnerable for the first time.

The play analyzes the women as they come to terms with their weaknesses. They face the weaknesses in their characters, and in the way they have lived their lives.

C desperately wants to know how her life will go. She asks the two older women what is in store for her. It is frightening when the young lawyer begins to use phrases that A uses and stands in a manner that A stands, with one hand on her hip and the other delicately outstretched to her cane. C hates the old woman, but she slowly sees how she is becoming her.

Martin is a breath of fresh air in the role of A, the senile old woman who can't remember the track of her stories. She is powerful, but never loses that wonderful, dark comic town that Albee is so good at creating.

The most intriguing character, however, is B, the nurse. She is the middle of the road for these three characters that represent life. She is bitter from her past experiences, and her anger is brilliantly handled by Butler. B becomes brutally honest in Act 2, and her language is as disturbing as her views on life. Her "live-and-let-live" attitude in Act 1 turns into bitter contempt in Act 2.

Albee has created these three women in a fresh new way, and brings them realistically together in a play that explores the good and bad times of life. <I>Three Tall Women<P> examines the irony of the human desire to be different while traveling an already trodden path.

This play is nothing short of brilliant (I can't stress that enough), and it will join Albee's long list of American masterpieces.

<I>Three Tall Women<P> is directed flawlessly by Lawrence Sacharow and it plays through March 11 at The Alley Theatre.

What: <I>Three Tall Women<P>

Where: Alley Theatre

When: through March 11

Phone: 228-8421

 

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HOOKED ON <I>CRACKED<P> WITH HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH

 

 

by Valérie C. Fouché

Daily Cougar Staff

For a band with a cracked mirror, Hootie and the Blowfish seem to be having pretty good luck these days.

The most notable bit of luck came from Hootie's appearance on <I>The Late Show with David Letterman<P> last September when he proclaimed it was his "favorite new band." Since then, Hootie's already widely praised <I>Cracked Rear View<P> has gone platinum.

Hootie and the Blowfish are no overnight success. The band has been perfecting its sound through years of touring the South and East. The quartet originally formed in the late '80s in Columbia, S.C. and consisted of students from the University of South Carolina.

Typical of most college students, the guys -- Darius Rucker (lead vocals); Jim "Soni" Sonefeld (drums); Dean Felber (bass); and Mark Bryan (guitarist) -- got together mostly "to make a bit of money, drink a few beers and meet a lot of girls," Rucker said.

That was some nine years ago, and while the band is still playing together, meeting girls seems to be secondary to making music. Rucker said in an interview in January that "touring and being in a relationship didn't work too well," adding that he was married to the band.

This attitude hasn't stopped Hootie from writing songs about relationships and life in general.

"The album's title is from a John Hiatt song about looking at life and the past from the perspective of a cracked rear-view mirror," Bryan said. "We felt that the description applied, since the album is the culmination of our last four years on the road -- a page ripped from our travelog, really, and put into song."

The band name is unusual -- not uncommon these days -- and humorous. Rucker said the name came from weird nicknames that he gave to his classmates and friends while studying at USC. "One guy was Hootie, because he had really big owl eyes and wore glasses, and another guy had huge Dizzy Gillespie cheeks, so he was the Blowfish," Rucker said.

So when it was time for the band to settle on a name, Rucker got a brainstorm and came up with "Hootie and The Blowfish."

"Hold My Hand," the album's first hit single, which the band jokingly refers to as its "save the world song," features supporting vocals by David Crosby and a very simple message. "It just says, 'stop whining about how bad things are, and get up and do something,' " Rucker said.

"It's about working with one another," author of the song, Sonefeld said. "It's a very optimistic song, which I guess is a terrible thing to be in the '90s. That's what I get for growing up in the '70s."

On the bittersweet "Let Her Cry," Rucker reversed gender roles as a means of shedding a harsh light on his own past behavior -- a song reflecting on a relationship ruined by drugs and alcohol.

One of the most emotional songs on the album, "I'm Goin' Home," was written in the wake of Rucker's mother's death.

"I needed some kind of emotional outlet," Rucker said. "It was a difficult period for me. I kept asking God why he would take somebody so young. It was really confusing for someone like me, who grew up with strong religious beliefs."

Hootie is busy beyond belief, doing some 300-plus gigs for the year, which, while very impressive, is just over its annual average of 25O.

One of Hootie's most talked about performances was for Letterman's audience in September of last year. David Letterman hand-picked Hootie after he heard "Hold My Hand" on a New York station. For Hootie, long-time Dave fans, this highly placed endorsement even topped their meeting with President Clinton.

"Still, meeting the president is a once-in-a-lifetime event," Bryan said. "Unless you're Forrest Gump," Rucker joked.

Hootie performed for last year's Young Democrats fund-raiser in Washington. The band slipped Clinton a copy of its latest release after performing with Paula Poundstone and Chaka Khan.

With all these performances, Sonefeld assured me that it has not been hard to keep the music and performance fresh. "It's the music that gets us through each night. We still enjoy playing it after all these years," Sonefeld said.

Hootie and the Blowfish will be performing tonight at Fitzgerald's. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Opening for Hootie and the Blowfish are Snowballs Chance, a local group, and The Edwin McCain Band. Continuing its tour throughout Texas, Hootie will be performing on Saturday at Liberty Lunch in Austin and on Sunday at Deep Ellum in Dallas.

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