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Friday, April 21, 2006

Scheduling later. Now: diatribe. With swearing. I tried to ignore this guy at first but he keeps appearing in the freaking newspaper, which still has more readership than I do for some unknown reason.

Does this John Pollack guy run around calling newspapers or something? Pollack, who found himself in the New York Times for no discernible reason, managed to get the Detroit News to write another article on him and his very silly crusade. And what a terrible article it is: sloppy, anecdotal, and ridiculous. This is your reporting for you: quotes from Bill Martin and a couple of luxury-box critics and no sense whatsoever of the general opinion of Michigan fans. Check this header:

Opposition is on the rise

No justification whatsoever is provided for this. The closest thing to it:
In March, Pollack's group among others opposing private suites sent a letter to the regents stating their objections, including the "sad corruption" of the university's "defining traditions" and urging them to reject the idea.
First of all, anyone who uses the word "sad" as a tsk-tsk adjective is a holier-than-thou asshat. I'll give you ten to one that the letter also contains the word "laughable." Mostly, though: a letter does not consitute a grass-roots movement, especially when it's signed by a former University president.

Kupelain doesn't even bother to comment on this assertion from Pollack:
"This is absolutely a battle we're going to win because a majority of Michigan fans don't want private luxury boxes in Michigan Stadium," said Pollack, 40, a business consultant who was a speech writer for former Michigan Congressman David Bonior and President Clinton.

"Letters keep pouring into the Web site. The eloquence of people on this subject is truly impressive."

Emphasis mine, as that's a perfect example of quoting substituting for reporting. Kupelain listened to a bunch of unsupported talking from people, played stenographer, and we have this: a squeaky wheel and its unnecessary oiling. This would be a perfect opportunity for a resource-laden newspaper to call up a polling company and get some survey data. Instead, we have nothing but a bunch of quotes from people who make HULK SMASH. So angry am I that I must break out the fisk:
"What we wanted to do was make it convenient for people who cared about the issue to speak out and stay informed," Pollack said.
Aaaaargh. "Speak out." "Stay informed." The duplicitious words of a politician (which is no coincidence) designed to befuddle instead of clarify.

"Everybody wants to see the stadium renovated," Pollack said. "What we don't want to see is private luxury boxes."

The anti-suite forces argue that private seating would divide fans and establish a class mentality where, Pollack said, Michigan fans "have always stood together, cheered together and won together. Shoulder-to-shoulder, standing -- that's the game-day experience at Michigan."

You'll see that this grass-roots movement is so devoid of actual ideas that they resort to hilarious lies constantly. The idea that a football game with 50 dollar tickets and 500 dollar PSLs for the excellent seats which are doled out to people who write huge checks to the university is some sort of proletarian rally where all men are created equally patchouli- scented and be-dreadlocked is beyond inane. And standing? When I stand, I am crabbed at. What Pollack describes is Michigan Stadium in the mirror universe where Paris Hilton is a nuclear engineer, Dennis Dodd is competent, and Ohio State is a university. It's not just wrong: it's the exact opposite of reality.
Jonathan Stone, class of '94, said the intimacy is what makes the Ann Arbor experience special.

"Creating a separate seating area is contrary to one of the basic values the University of Michigan ensures its students learn to appreciate equality," said Stone, who lives in Alexandria, Va.

You. Fucking. Hippies. I do not remember an "appreciating equality" requirement as an undergraduate, and good fucking God, what is the point of going to Michigan if you can't lord it over MSU grads? More proletarian bullshit. These people are delusional.

Apparently this guy doesn't get the pamphlet from the University that details the dozen or so donation levels and the various perks you get at each one every year. Or he can't read.
"Why tamper with the appearance of one of America's true icons of architecture?" Schultz said in a letter to the regents. "The thought that changes are needed to Michigan Stadium so as to keep up with the Joneses is ludicrous."
Example #2 of the mirror universe. Good God. I love Michigan Stadium, but it's a hole in the ground. It's not exactly Solider Field. This man can't be serious. I'm really at a loss for words... where to start? The press box best described as "festering"? The insufficient bathrooms? The fact that I have to battle the fat guy in seat 7 for the inch that decides whether I walk out hale and hearty or crumpled like a submarine at the botom of the sea?

The hippies are on LSD, man.
Pollack said interest and support has been spiking since recent publish accounts of the campaign.

"I know everybody on both sides of this wants what they think is best for Michigan."

First of all... "recent publish accounts"? I thought they had copy editors at the News. And indeed, the people on both sides of the issue want what they think is best for Michigan. It's just that some people live in this universe, and others don't.

It seems that the issue here is less what Michigan Stadium is going forward but more what it is right now. Either it is an idyllic place that cannot be improved upon, or it is not. This has been a rather juvenile post, but what's more juvenile:
  • swearing and taunting in the service of a realistic portrayal of the class structure already imposed at Michigan Football games, or
  • pretty, dishonest language in service of a fairytale?
As the old commercials used to say, you make the call.