The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 27, 1994, Page 4, Image 4

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Tuesday, September 27, 1994 Page 4
Editorial Board
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Jeff Zelenv.. .,.Editor, 472-1766
Kara Morrison...Opinion Page Editor
Angie Brunkow.;.Managing Editor
Jeffrey Robb..Associate News Editor
Rainbow Rowell .Columnist/Associate News Editor
Kiley Christian..'.. Photography Director
Mike Lewis..Copy Desk Chief
James Mehsling.Cartoonist
Rock the Vote
Students can lose lazy label in election
Students often are accused of being apathetic, uninterested
and uninformed. Our generation is made up of slackers, some
This year. Generation Xers have a chance to show the rest of
the nation the stereotype is wrong. Students can show they arc
interested by exercising their power to make an informed vote in
the upcoming November election.
This week, the Daily Nebraskan is running a four-part series
about the eight Board of Regents candidates. The scries will
explore the issues and questions facing the University of Ne
The regents govern NU, making important budgetary and
hiring decisions that affect every student on this campus.
Students should take the time to read the series and Icam more
about the candidates in their voting district.
Instead of accepting Generation X status, let's take a few
minutes to get informed.
Sober socializing
Nightclub idea is another brand of fun
Nine members of a steering committee hope to turn the Ne
braska Union s Crib into a student nightclub on weekends.
They'll need lots of luck.
The University Program Council in recent years has been
disappointed by turnout at some of its nonalcoholic events. And
members of the grcck system have done away with competitions
for the best nonalcoholic party, even though the events were
relatively well-attended
Let's face it, “nonalcoholic" is not the favorite word on college
But the idea of a student nightclub is a good one.
In the last couple of years, a crack-down on drinking on campus
and underage drinking at the bars has left minors feeling they have
no alternatives for congregating with friends
A nightclub certainly wouldn't solve the problem of underage
drinking and would be far from embraced by all minors, but it
would be one more entertainment option for all university stu
David Bower, drug education coordinator at the University
Health Center, said the nightclub could include everything from
stand-up comedy to live bands and disc jockeys — depending on
student support and interest.
Students have expressed an interest in such a club.
Bower said a spring survey of 200 students from grcck houses,
residence halls and academic classes indicated that 86 percent of
the students polled wanted the club.
With the expressed student interest and the positive focus, the
idea seems worth perusing, even though it will take a large effort.
SlafT editorials represent the official policy of the Fall 1994 Daily Nebraskan. Policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. Editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the
university, its employees, the students or the NU Board of Regents. Editorial columns represent
the opinion of the author. The regents publish the Daily Nebraskan. They establish the (JNL
Publications Board to supervise the daily production of the paper According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial content of the newspaper lies solely in the hands of
its students
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the editor from all readers and interested others,
letters will be selected for publication on the basis of clarity, originality, timeliness and space
available. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject all material submitted. Readers
also are welcome to submit material as guest opinions. The editor decides whether material
should run as a guest opinion, letters and guest opinions sent to the newspaper become the
property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be relumed. Anonymous submissions will not be
published letters should included the author's name, year in school, major and group
aflilialion. if any. Requests to withhold names will not be granted. Submit material to the Daily
Nebraskan. 34 Nebraska Union. 1400 R St.. Lincoln. Neb 68588-0448
"an me mi* m to »t b nwimi oj of & nouiti....^iL
Defining moments lose impact
I’m disappointed to learn that I
blindly missed a defining moment
in American history.
This has come to my attention in
the many gushing reviews of a new
movie called “Quiz Show.”
The movie is loosely based on
the true story of how a popular TV
quiz show from the 1950s called
‘Twenty-One” was rigged to
heighten suspense and increase
ratings and profits.
Most of the critics say the movie
is of great significance because the
quiz-show scandal marked the loss
of our national innocence.
Americans were supposedly
stunned to discover that they
couldn’t believe everything they
saw on their rabbit-eared television
sets. They were shattered by the
revelation that Charles Van Doren,
a bright, young college teacher and
a member of a prominent literary
family, had been slipped the correct
answers and really wasn’t as
brilliant as he appeared.
And that is when we lost our
national innocence, which is a
serious loss, indeed.
It just shows how alert you have
to be if you don’t want to miss
defining moments.
1 owned a TV during much of the
1950s, and I vaguely recall watch
ing a few segments of that tainted
quiz show. 1 also vaguely remember
the scandal.
But I stupidly failed to recognize
its great significance — namely the
loss of my innocence and that of my
fellow Americans.
Shortly after the quiz-show
scandal, I forgot about it com
pletely. In fact, I didn’t think much
about it even when the scandal was
unfolding. And I haven't given one
thought to Van Doren. the scandal
and the rest of it until I read the
scholarly movie critiques.
That’s because I was a Chica
goan. As such, I was familiar with
alderman, bagmen, juice men, hit
men and other exotic urban wildlife.
I had a naturally suspicious nature
and assumed most public activities
weren’t on the legit.
As for the honesty of TV, by the
late 1940s our family tavern had
one of the city’s early sets. Those
were the days when pro wrestling
And what about Watergate? If I had a
dollar for every> time someone said
that scandal shattered our national
innocence, I could afford a nose job.
was one of the biggest hits, and
everyone knew those outrageous
matches were fixed.
In fact, the wise men of the
tavern agreed that just about
everything they saw on the tube wa;
a fake. When bowling became
popular, fat Eddie would say: “The)
oil the lanes for higher scores.”
When roller derby became a hit,
shinny Chisel said: “If it wasn't
rigged, they’d all get killed.” When
somebody read the news. Birdie
said: “Hey, what’s he know, sitting
in front of the camera?”
But that is no excuse for any
alert person missing so significant a
defining moment as the loss of our
national innocence.
My only excuse is that it is
difficult for any American to keep
track of defining moments.
If anyone did a computer search
of the phrase “defining moment" in
the general press, we would find
that it has been used as estimated
1,286,543 times in the hast year or
In modern journalism's socio
jargon, the only phrase even
approaching “defining moment"
might be “sea change.”
I’m not completely clear on the
difference between “defining
moment” and “sea change.” I
suppose that if you have a sex
change operation, that is a “sea
change" in your life. Of course, it
might also be a “defining moment,”
if not for you, at least for the other
guys on your softball team. So I’m
still conftised.
If the forgettable Charles Van
Doren punctured America’s faith in
TV, why do millions of Americans
tune in every day to watch talk
shows on which transvestite
mothers-in-law describe their affairs
with their sons-in-law?
While I would never argue with
profound movie critics about
defining moments or the precise
time we lost our national innocence,
these are debatable points,
i Some might say that we lost our
national innocence during the
' terrible slaughter and hardship of
our Civil War. Or when tens of
thousands of young men went off to
die in World War I. And were there
any innocents left after the Great
Depression, World War II and the
dropping of the A-bomb on Japa
nese civilians?
There are national shrinks who
say we lost our national innocence
when the 1919 White Sox threw the
World Series for gambling bribes.
Cub fans might respond that they
lost their innocence in the fall of
Others will argue that national
virginity was violated by the
Korean War ending our winning
streak. Or it was plucked when John
F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King
and Bobby Kennedy were assassi
nated. Or the debacle of Vietnam.
And what about Watergate? If I
had a dollar for every time someone
said that scandal shattered our
national innocence, 1 could afford a
nose job.
That’s the tough thing about
being an American. In most
countries, defining moments and
loss of innocence are the result of
the collapse of governments,
invasions or revolutions.
But in our society, defining
moments are defined by movie and
TV scripts. And the loss of national
innocence is that poignant moment
when a movie critic twitches.
By the way, I went to see “Quiz
Show.** I fell asleep. It was not one
of my defining moments.