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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 21, 1994)
Teary pookie bear cries truth
Rainy days and Mondays always
make me ciy.
I know the song is “rainy days
and Mondays always get me down,”
but they don’t get me down. They
make me cry.
So do sunny days and Thurs
(And snowflakes and weddings
and funerals. Spilt milk, sunshine
on my shoulders and old episodes
of “Little House on the Prairie.”
Even really old episodes of “Alf ’ if
I watch them at the right time of
The truth is ... I could cry on any
day, in any weather. Not that I cry
constantly. I'm-no Sally Field. But I
I’m a weeper.
Not that I’m weepy. Or weak,
thank you very mucn. Or incompe
tent or irrational.
When I was younger, my brother
and I liked to watch Hallmark
made-for-TV movies with my
mother. About midway through the
movie, we’d nudge each other and
say, “Look, she’s crying.” Giggle,
I don’t know what’s happened to
me since then. Was it the estrogen
and the other trappings of puberty?
All I know is sometimes — often
when I’m trying to be taken
seriously — I cry.
(“Don’t Cry Out Loud” by Linda
Ronstadt and the international page
of the newspaper. Greeting cards.
And the way my boyfriend’s nose
wrinkles up sometimes when he’s
thinking. And AT&T commercials.
Oh God, AT&T commercials...)
The sources of my tears usually
fall in one of two categories: things
that move me and things that upset
Sometimes I start crying when I'm
really angry, which has a strange
effect. The person who is making
me angry immediately softens,
offers me a Kleenex and starts
talking to me in an “it’s okay,
pookie bear” voice.
The latter category is the most
troublesome. When I get a bad
grade on a test, when I’m angry
with a co-worker, when I’m talking
to my adviser about what to do with
my life — I don’t want to cry.
Because when you cry, it’s like
writing “Don’t take me seriously”
smack dab in the middle of your
forehead with a big, purple magic
Hello, my name is Rainbow, and
I’m a big ol’ baby.
Non-criers might think criers
just do it to get attention. That's far
from the truth.
1 In fact, I would pay large sums
of money for a solution to my
watery eyes. I wish the pharmaceu
tical corporations could dry my eyes
as efficiently as they do my sinuses.
I have precious little control over
my tear ducts. They’re loose
cannons. I bite my lips. I squeeze
my eyes shut. I take deep breaths
and try to focus on my fingernails
or how many “p”s are in Missis
It starts in my stomach. And
then it’s in my throat. My eyes
burn. My lips jerk, my chin wobbles
(you know — in that cute way that
really isn’t that cute).
I don’t know where the tears
come from, but I never run out. On
any given day. I’m armed with
enough salt water to power a mid
sized tally plant.
Sometimes I start crying when
I’m really angry, which has a
strange effect. The person who is
making me angry immediately
softens, offers me a Kleenex and
starts talking to me in an “it’s okay,
pookie bear voice.
Don't call me pookie bear. I
want to sock you in the nose, and I
will if you don’t watch it.
Try looking mean when your
nose is running out of control. And
try making a point when all you can
think is “I will stop crying, I will
stop crying, I will stop crying.”
But I won’t stop crying.
No matter how much I fight it,
no matter how much Johnson’s
baby shampoo I use, I’ll never be
one of those cucumber cool people
who never shed a tear.
That’s just the way I am. There’s
no use crying about it.
Although I probably will.
Rowell la a senior news-editorial, adver
tising and English major and a Dally Nebras
kan associate news editor and columnist
‘Frontier justice’ may return
Seventy-five years ago, the city
of Omaha learned a lesson — the
On the night of Sunday, Sept.
28, 1919, Omaha was at the mercy
of a mob. A few days before, a 19
year-old woman reported she had
been raped in a wooded area near
what is now Henry Doorly Zoo. The
woman identified her assailant as
Will Brown, a man who lived near
the area. Police arrested Brown,
and he was jailed in the Court
In the days following the arrest,
anxiety spread throughout the city.
Enraged citizens demanded justice
and wanted it quickly. Omaha
Mayor Ed P. Smith tried to calm the
infuriated, telling them to be
Client. He should have known
On the night of the 28th, a mob
stormed the Courthouse and set it
ablaze. They seized Brown and
dragged him outside, where he was
beaten and hanged.
Mayor Smith tried to stop the
mob. But when he got in their way,
he, too, was captured by the mob.
The mayor was saved by two
policemen who had to fight through
the crowd to cut him down from a
By the time sunlight ended one
of the city’s darkest nights, Omaha
was in shambles But as far as the
mob was concerned, justice had
been carried out — the old
fashioned way. It was a display of
what some call “frontier justice ”
Times have changed; hearts have
not And despite the lessons of the
past, some folks never learn.
Last week, U S. District Court
Judge William Cambridge over
turned the death penalty sentence of
convicted killer John Joubert.
Joubert confessed to the 1983
kidnapping, torture and murder of
two Nebraska boys and the 1982
killing of a Maine youth. But
according to Cambridge, the use of
two words in Joubert’s sentencing
made it “unconstitutionally vague "
The original death sentence was
reduced to life in prison.
If people are continually denied
justice, they will eventually take the
law into their own hands—pun
ishing the perpetrators of heinous
crimes and those who try to stand
in their way.
This past week, the cries of
Nebraskans demanding justice have
been deafening. In the state’s
newspapers alone, hundreds of
letters expressing dismay for
Cambridge’s reversal have been
published, illustrating the frustra
tion of the citizens.
One Lincolnite wrote a letter
demanding the immediate resigna
tion of Judge Cambridge, calling
his decision “one of the gravest
miscarriages of justice” he had ever
Another writer, this one from
Omaha, expressed similar senti
ments, asking: “What in God’s
name has happened to our judicial
System? How can Judge Cambridge
eep at night? At least Joubert will
one day get his just due: eternity in
And yet another writer wrote:
“Judge Cambridge’s decision was a
slap in the face of the 81 percent of
Nebraskans who favor the death
penalty. Let me have iust three
hours with Joubert, alone.”
And so, reminiscent of the
September day 75 years ago,
tensions and tempers are rising.
Joubert’s death sentence reversal,
added to the compilation of past
judicial failures, has surely pro
duced some thoughts of old
fashioned, frontier justice in the
minds of those angry letter writers.
Because of these judicial
failures, Americans today have
come to believe that in the struggle
to create a decent, law-abiding
society, we arc losing ground and
losing the war. A feeling prevails
that life for muggers, rapists and
murderers is far more secure than it
is for us; it is a feeling that the
system works for them, but not for
What the defense lawyers and
natural sense of justice A law
degree is not necessary to see that
injustice has occurred.
More and more, the judicial
system fails to deliver justice. It is a
long, laborious process which, too
often, brings nothing but frustration
and disappointment. The question
is: How much longer will the
people put up with a failed system?
Of course, the power of lethal
force in our society should belong
to the government, not the indi
vidual. But when government,
itself, fails to use its force to defend
terrorized citizens, those individu
als are left no choice but to reclaim
their natural right to defend
themselves and their loved ones. If
people are continually denied
justice, they will eventually take the
law into their own hands —
punishing the perpetrators of
heinous crimes and those who try to
stand in their way.
So as the gap widens between
what the citizens demand — swift
and sure punishment — and what
the system delivers, we should be
prepared to see some of that old
fashioned, frontier justice. Just as
Omaha did, some 75 years ago.
Kart U • Junior news-editorial and po
litical science major, and a Daily Nebraskan
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Song of Napalm is a look at the emotional
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