The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 23, 1987, Page 4, Image 4

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Nebraska n
University of Nebraska-LIncoln
Mike Reilley, Editor, 472-1766
Jeanne Bourne, Editorial Page Editor
Jann NyfTeler, Associate Neu's Editor
Scott Harrah, Night News Editor
Joan Rezac, Copy Desk Chief
Linda Hartmann, Wire Editor
Charles Lieurance, Asst. A & E Editor
An ugly precedent:
school book banning
1584: William Carter is sen
tenced to death for printing
Catholic pamphlets.
1987: Nebraska leads the
nation in book censorship at
tempts with 12. One book,
“When the Sky Began to Roar,”
is removed from Lincoln junior
high libraries because of pres
sure from parents.
In the last 400 years, journal
ists have fought against the li
censing of print. And now the
battle has moved from the
newsroom to the libraries.
With the recent bicentennial
celebration of the U.S.
Constitution, it seems only fit
ting that libraries and book
stores all over the nation are
promoting “Banned Books
Week — Celebrating the Free
dom to Read.”
Kathryn lotten, general
book manager at Nebraska
Bookstore, said the store has set
up a window display and several
posters listing banned books.
“We want to make people
aware of what books are banned
or trying to be banned” Totten
said. “I find it real scary. There
arc classics on that list.”
Parents groups, with support
form Citizens for Excellence in
Education and the Eagle Forum,
have pressured sch(x>l boards
across the country to remove
b(X)ks such its "Cujo,” “Pel
Sematary” and “An Indecent
Phyllis Schlally of The Eagle
Forum said, “Parents have ev
ery right to object to what they
find offensive and to express
their views. There are millions
of books out there, if a parent
objects to one, give them an
other fxx)k.”
Censors argue that the con
tent of some books is too strong
for children. The Lincoln par
ents opposed “When the Sky
Began to Roar” because the
book contained profane lan
guage, condoned sex outside
marriage, group sex, drug use
and encouraged children not to
respect their parents.
Censorship is ambiguous,
though. What may offend one
person might not offend some
one else.
Although some of the content
is strong in the banned book%,
it’s still the parents’ duty to
monitor what their children do,
whether it’s what they read or
what they watch on TV. By the
time children reach junior high
age, their parents should have
passed their morals along to
them. Therefore, the problem
lies at home, not in the library.
Instead of spending so much
time debating at school board
meetings, parents need to be at
home with their children, teach
ing them right from wrong.
Book banning sets a frighten
ing precedent. Parent groups
could use it to justify banning
cable TV and other sources of
information that touch their
children each day.
Book banners forget that they
live in a democracy. People are
free to choose where they live,
what they cal, say and yes, even
what they read.
‘it seems like a few groups
are out to make a decision for ev
eryone,” Totten said.
It needs to be a personal deci
sion one that William Carter
and his readers back in the 16th
century never had.
Privacy disregarded
by UNL administration
Although students were able
to get their names removed from
this fall’s buzz books, their
names, addresses and phone
numbers still arc available in the
administration building.
If students arc concerned
enough to get their names re
moved from the directory, it
should also be removed from the
desk book. By removing their
names from the buzz book, stu
dents arc stating that they don’t
want their private information
publicized. That’s their right.
But officials in the admini
stration building say it’s public
information. Apparently, they
have their wires crossed.
Some students need or want
to avoid harassment and prank,
obscene or threatening phone
calls, such as teacher’s assis
tants or editorial columnists.
This is a dangerous situation
and it should be rectified.
" T AM NJOT Afc>AIK> l PCM.F' ... X vJCO I Df\IW c^ dc*\ku
War realities not found m films
Movie moguls take taboo off war, don't encourage thought
In Hollywood and on other film
sets around the world, moviemakers
are re-inventing, recalling and, in
some cases, refighting the Vietnam
Just when the more progressive
minded among us thought a new gen
eration of filmmakers— Francis Ford
Coppola, Oliver Slone, Michael
Cimino — who attended college dur
ing the volatile years of the war, had
exorcised the war movie from the
American psyche, they seem to he
appearing again. Some arc appearing
with a more compassionate set of
ethics and a motif here and there sug
gesting that war might not just be hell,
it might be unnecessary.
And that was always the standard
cliche. No matter how many times
John Wayne said “1 hate this war,” the
audience knew he felt he had to be
there, that he would have swam to the
war if a troop carrier hadn’t delivered
him there.
The same ego that prompts a super
power to involve itself in a Third
World civil war for the sake of world
security, prompts directors to rc-in
venl wars. There is nothing on earth
that gives a filmmaker more thrills
than actually staging a war where no
one gets hurt, detail by detail, explo
sion by explosion.
It wouldn’t actually surprise me
much if, in some directors’ uncon
scious set of lenses, there aren’t
dreams of an aulcurist society where
some members of the populace arc
selected to give their lives for the
perfect shot in a war movie.
If you give a director a million
dollars, he or she will settle for some
ketchup and a few smoke bombs,
maybe he or she will even rent an
abandoned building and shoot some
plaster off the walls. If you give a
director $10 million he or she will find
a way to get some choppers, maybe go
out of his or her way for an accurate
location shooting.
If you go beyond that, the director
gels shaky. For just a little more, a
director could level Saigon and re
build it just as it looked in 1974. He or
she could hire the indigenous popula
tion of some verisimilitudinous lati
tude to flail, writhe and scream for a
powerful wide-shot of a napalmcd
landscape. Eventually the shaky di
rector will enter “Heaven’s Gate’’
territory and, with one eye developing
a nervous twitch and the other taking
on that special “Son of Sam’’ glaze, he
or she will ask if there isn’t some way
they could put a big tinted dome over
the whole island to repaint the sky.
r i *
“How could wc get the sun to set a
little earlier?” he or she will ask the
assistant director, a small catamite
just out of UCLA film school.
“Well, sire, I mean, sir, wc could,
uh, talk to someone....”
Many members of the crew that
worked on Coppola’s “Apocalypse
Now” commented that as the filming
progressed Coppola became more and
more like the film’s megalomaniac
king of Cambodia, Kurtz. He was no
longer filming Conrad’s “Heart of
Darkness,” he was recreating it and,
slowly but surely, the filmic illusion
was becoming the filmic delusion.
W i th the advent of budgets beyond the
midmillions and technological ad
vances in cinema that allow even the
most bizitrrely imagined nightmares
to be faithfully rendered on celluloid,
the nature of film illusion is becoming
a questionable thing.
Is there really much illusion to it
In Hollywood, the current thought
seems to be that a war is a terrible thing
to waste, and the moguls almost
wasted it, allowing it to fall into the
hands of poets instead of the hands of
hacks who could turn a profit from the
conflagration. “The Deer Hunter,”
“Apocalypse Now” and “Full Meial
Jacket” are intellectual/metaphysical
debates. “Platoon,” “Go Tel I the S par
tans” and “Hamburger Hill” are war
movies. The nature of gorxi and evil
enter into them only as melodrama, i
These are Hollywood films, full of
cheap thrills and paced for the average
The question is whether it’s better
to recreate the war with a Hollywood
mainstream director or leave n to a
megalomaniac maverick who loses
the war in an overstuffed bed of allu
sion and metaphor. From the intellec
tual standpoint, looking at war
through the poet’s eye is more cere
bral, but the historian may find more
in “Go Tell the Spartans” or “Platoon”
that rings faithful to the actual events.
The last straw is that Hollywood
has to film the war. Vietnam w ill be on
film for a very long time now because
the taboo is off the war movie. Thai’s
not such a bad thing really. The idea
that the genre war film somehow
caused the nation to be more apathetic
about war’s evils is absurd. Note that
while no studio would touch a Viet
nam War movie — while film’s like
“Apocalypse Now” and “The Deer
Hunter” were sinking in — America
was gearing up for Ronald Reagan.
Genre films do not encourage deep
thoughts and the regeneration of the
“war Film” is not likely to send us
reeling into a real war.
As for accuracy, you can find poets
in the film community and you can
find hacks and you can find moguls,
but you probably won’t find reality
And why would anyone even look lor
it there?
Lieurance is an English major
and I)N assistant artsand entertain
ment editor.
Reader says Iraq, not Iran, aggressor in war
This is in response to the guest opin
ion of Nawaf Soleman (DN, Sept. 12).
This country seems to have a bias
against the country of Iran. In the war
between Iran and Iraq, the United
States appears to be taking the position
that Iran is the aggressor. Unfortunately
this is not the case. Iraq has been the
instigator throughout this long and
deadly war.
Iraq was the one that invaded Iran.
They were also the ones to use chem
ical weapons, a violation of interna
tional law, against Iran.
They initiated the cowardly attacks
against the shipping within the “Ara
bian Gulf.” Attacking Iran’s only means
of support, while their own oil exports
were being shipped out via pipelines
through other nations.
As far as the cease fire goes, it was
Iraq that broke it by resuming its
attacks against shipping and civilian
population centers. -
As far as terrorism goes, Iraq was the
first to use it as a means of national
policy. They were supporting the likes
of Abul Nidal and the PLO long before
the current regime was in power.
Iraq is also the only one that in the
course of the war, and in the war zone
itself, to have taken American lives
when the U.S.S. Stark was attacked.
They (and the United States) have
excused this as an accident, but would
this have been so readily forgiven had it
been an Iranian aircraft? Would we
have said it was an accident?
With all these “accidents” of his
tory, it doesn’t appear that the Iraqis
are as peaceful and fun loving as Mr.
Soieman and the U.S. press would lead
us to believe.
With all that we’ve done to destroy
that regime in Iran, I believe that the
time has come to attempt a reconcilia
tion rather than threatening to go to
war because they don’t accede to our
Iraq deserves all the punishment
Iran can impose upon them.
Iran is not the aggressor and never
has been throughout this long war.
They have just been protecting what is
theirs. With all the destruction Iraq
has caused, no one can blame the Iran
ian’s if they demand reparations, even
if it requires the removal of the king.
The United States did no less when
they defeated the Japanese in World
War II.
Guy A. Brace II