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The Volume VI, Issue 13 November 26, 1996 STUDENTS CLEAN UP CROSLEY ESTATE by Sara Foley Fifteen students removed broken glass, cans, bottles, food wrappers, and bed frames from the Crosley Estate on the afternoon of Saturday, November 14. Agnes Farres, Robyn Smith, and Jessa Fisher organized the clean-up as the out reach portion of an Environmental Studies Research Seminar. "The part that we own is coastal scrub, the part that Manatee [County] owns a has the mansion on it. The Crosley Mansion rests on property owned by Manatee County; USF/New College owns a lot about 28.5 acres in area. "The estate attracts a lot of trash because it is along Route 41 and people just dump stuff there, Farres said. She thought the clean-up might encourage people to keep the area clean. "Hopefully transients will get the idea that it's not just a vacant lot." she contin ued. The Crosley Estate, located on the west side of U.S. 41, between the old drive-in theater and the Ramada Inn, is coastal xeric scrub, an ecosystem unique to Florida. Among the animals that comprise this ecosystem are gopher tortoises, which are often threatened by urban deSEE "CLEAN-UP" ON PAGE 3 INSIDE Ivory Tower .................. 3 Calendar ..................... .4 'Dad Steals Son's Bride!' ........ .4 Cybernetics ................... 5 SAC Minutes .................. 6 Thanksgiving .................. 7 I'm not sultry anymore UHURU LEADER SPEAKS TO STUDENTS by James Reffell Students interested in discussing the recent riots in St. Petersburg, sparked by the killing by police ofTyRon Lewis, and racial issues in general gathered last Friday to hear the President of the St. Petersburg chapter of the National People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (NPDUM), Kinara Zina, speak in Sudakoff Center. Zina had been invited as a result of last Monday's Working on Real Designs (WORD) meeting. According to founder Eric Piotrowski, WORD "thought it was a good idea to try and provide an alternate viewpoint from the mass media about the St. Pete riots." The discussion was orga nized by Mandy Odom and Corey Knoettgen, who arranged for the repre sentatives from the Uhuru group to speak and for Sarasota personality and political activist Macio to act as facilitator. "We were discussing the riots and what had been going on and we S<'W a larger picture of racial issues in general that go unaddressed at New College," said Odom. Odom and Knoettgen had also tried to arrange for another group from St. Petersburg, called Young Men Who Care, to join the discussion, but the time con straints did not allow for this. Under Macio's direction, Zina began the discussion by explaining the purpose of the Uhuru movement. She s:lld that it was "founded in 1991 by the African People's Socialist Party," and that it is an international movement with chapters in SEE "UHURV" ON PAGE 4 PCPS, SAC POLICY DISCUSSED AT TOWN MEETING by Mario Rodriguez An early Thanksgiving dinner lined the white tablecloths, offset by pizzas strategically placed to lure people to the proceedings. Jessica Falcone, NCSA pres ident, stood before the enclosure of diners, for once all facing her, save a group on the floor. "If the people having private conversations could move outside," said Falcone. I think it's really disrespectful to talk over us while we're having a dis cussion." Eric Piotrowski retorted, smiling as he rocked back and forth in his chair. "I think it's disrespectful for you to be talk ing over my conversation," he said. Thus went the most recent Town Meeting. For those of you who missed it, it was held last Thursday at 5:00 p.m in the cafeteria. Although it initially drew over I 00 people, and over 50 were prese nt the entire time, Falcone was disap pointed that the numbers dwindled as the meeting progressed. She was pleased, however, to see in terest in the three issues addressed, the first of which was the PCP. In light of complaints that 'townies' got too rowdy at the recent Halloween PCP, the Town Meeting considered non-student monitor ing techniques for PCPs ranging from bracelets to tickets to guest passes indicat ing the student who could be contacted in case the invitee got out of hand. Nick Napolitano suggested listing offenses at the entrance. That way, he said, gue ts will know New College "has these stan dards, and if you want to be here you have to respect them." "Do you think people on their way to a party are going to stop to read our sex ual harassment policy?" asked one SEE "MEETING" ON PAGE 2


2 The Catal st "MEETING" FROM PAGE 1 skeptic. Students were especially reluc tant however, to forbid non students from attending PCPs. "That's not to turn a blind eye to the harassment that happen s at PCPs," s aid Amy Bunn. "I know that s real ... [but when] we start shutting off PCPs to out siders I think its a step toward isolationism. It's problematic Still 45 people supported limiting the attendance of the Valentine's Day PCP to students and alum s on a tri a l ba s is. Although this w asn't enough t o enact the motion, Noah Teitelbaum felt that it evinced the fact that people are not okay with the status quo, but there s disagree ment about how to deal with it." Few objected to SAC funding of Pillowbook, however. By the time the meeting wrapped up the issue of PCP, its ranks had dropped to 52. Of these, 26 agreed that the SAC should allocate $250 for 200 copies of the next Pillowbook. Two people voted against the motion and there were 18 abs tenti o n s. A Town Meeting has the power to fund anything with student money It can override an SAC deci ion but it needs 50 votes to do so Votes the Pillowbook lacked. We spend hours going over this so we can have a good publication for the campus, said Hutch. He felt it was unfair for the SAC to deny the Pillowbook funds without first polling the student body. .: Ciilalyst General Editor James Reffell Managing Editor Michelle Wolper Staff Writer Charles Choi Rachael? Layout Heather Oliver icole Ganzekaufer Busine s Managers Sara Foley Tom Heisler Contributors Jessica Chapman Rocky Swift News But according to SAC member Alice Solomon, the SAC did not deny Pillowbook an allocation for its upcoming issue Rather, the SAC directed the editors to the Town Meeting because it had heard complaints about its funding of the Pillowbook. She said that the SAC wanted a student referendum on the issue to take into account while deciding whether to continue to endorse the magazine. Bringing the issue before the Town Meeting "is not saying we don t want to fund [Pillowbook] We just heard mixed things," she said. So, even though Pillowbook didn t get a referendum during the Town Meeting, it can take the results to the SAC as justification for continued fund ing. Eric Piotrowski, however, felt that because Pillowbook is a student publication, it therefore justifies SAC funding. In his opinion, the SAC ought to fund every stu dent publication. "That gives a very basic form of freedom of expression on this campus," he said Adam Rains agreed. "The Catalyst has shitty content and we don t have a prob lem with them." On the other hand, the SAC has a problem with reimbursement. SAC denied Neil Lott a reimbursement for $20 in drinks which he purchased on his meal card in addition to the $60 already pro vided by the SAC for snacks served during the Sugar Debate. When Lott contested their decision, the SAC referred him to the Town Meeting. Solomon said that reimbursement places the SAC in an unfortunate position. "We're put in the position where we're funding something we didn't allocate," he said Falcone, who said that she tried to fa cilitate the proceedings by keeping her thoughts to herself, felt it necessary to in terject her opinion here. "I'm very wary of saying that if someone spends money then the SAC will reimburse it," she said, because [SAC funding] is not individual money, it's communal money." Some students, however, felt that the SAC places too much emphasis on proce dure, and that it ought to be more sensitive to the individual nature of cases. Teitelbaum half-agreed, saying that the SAC's decision in Lott's case is valid if it was based on policy, but that he doesn't think its going to set a precedent if someone just does something small." As the numbers dwindled, someone shouted "Fourth years count as two!" Whether that voting suggestion would have helped Lott remains to be seen. Of 52 people 27 voted for the SAC to reim burse his $20 12 voted against, and there were seven abstentions. Although Lott failed to get the 50 votes necessary for a referendum, Falcone reminded him that he could take the results to the SAC. The SAC, however, maintains that it will not fund reimbursements. The Catalyst is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.sar.usfedul-catalystl Direct submissions and inquiries to: The Catalyst 5700 N. Tamiami Tr. Box #75 Sarasota, FL 34243 catalyst@ vi rtu.sar. usf edu Submissions may also be placed in the Catalyst box marked "Letters to the Editor/Contributions" (in the student government boxes next to Barbara Berggren s office). Letters to the Editor should be no more than 250 words. Contributions may range in length from 250 to 500 words Submissions should be labeled as either letters to the editor or contributions and include names and contact information Online submissions should indicate in the subject line if they are letters to the editor or contributions. No anonymous submissions will be accepted Submissions should be received by 5:00p .m. Friday in order to appear in the following week's issue. The Catalyst reserves the right to edit submissions for reasons of space, grammar or style. Sponsored by Maria Vesperi and Dean Michalson


The Catalyst News 'DAD STEALS SON'S BRIDE!' Two Novocollegians make a pretty picture for the Weekly World News, an international tabloid. by Charles Choi Novocollegians have been accused of doing some strange things in the past, but who would have imagined that two of them would be found in a tabloid center fold under assumed identities? Devin Coleman-Derr and Jessica Lee appeared in the November 19 issue of the Weekly World News under the names 'Jeremy' and 'Heather'. The article "re ports" that 'Jeremy' showed up to the wedding, howling at his father Roger' for marrying 'Heather', who was the former fiancee of 'Jeremy'. To quote from the article, "Now I'm stepson instead of hus band to the woman I love The centerfold picture, which is now hanging on Devin's door, s hows 'Jeremy' pulling back his fist, with the words, ... #@%@,I hope you both rot in HELL!" According to Jessica, Devin was grow ling at his 'father' during the photo shoot. The truth of the matter is that both were paid $50 each for playing their parts The photographer was Serena aCLEAN-UP" FROM PAGE 1 velopment. The tortoise is an umbrella species"; it houses from 80 to 300 other organisms in its burrows This habitat is threatened by encroachment by exotic species. The estate is a scrub area of open sand and grasses, a type of pine ecosys tem. Since the construction of the athletic field behind the Fitness Center, the prop erty has been used by USF as a dumping site for yard waste. The trash pile, about 85' x 100' in area, re ts in the middle of the property. Its presence causes many disturbances in that part of the estate, changing the water table and soil compo sition. Farres would like to see the pile moved to the Caples garden, where a mulch pile has already been established. Farres was surprised that so many people took interest in the clean-up. She hopes that students will get interested in Sabak, a Sarasota resident and former Ringling student who is also the niece of the owner of the Weekly World News. A picture of her is next to the paper's advice column entitled, "America's Sexiest PsychicSerena Sabak." However, she does not write any of the attributed sug gestions herself A pity. I thought it rather infom1ative that "space aliens have been implanting computer chips in humans for nearly 40 years." Sabak and Devin's dad's girlfriend are close friends, and the story which was given to Sabak needed a couple in their twenties as characters in the picture. The photo shoot took place at a Sarasota church in the beginning of October Devin borrowed a suit from his real fa ther, while Jessica borrowed her grandmothe r's wedding dress. When Devin was asked whether or not he thought any of the stories within true, he said, "I doubt it." Jessica replied, "I don't know. They might be true," with a roll of her eyes. maintaining the area so that it can be re turned to its natural state. "I was really excited about the response," she said. "We've owned it for quite a few years, and no one really knows its there." However, she does not want students to tart frequenting the property. Students aren't really su pposed to be there without authorization. Though the estate may seem to be wasted property, it is actually fairly well utilized by New College. According to the Master Plan, the Crosley Estate is sup posed to be a bio reserve for learning and teaching Professors Gilchrist and Morrill perform ecology and botany experiments there. Its a great place to Jearn ." contin ued Farres. She said that the estate offers plenty of opportunities for biology or en vironmental studies-related projects. "If anyone wants to do an ISP on the Crosley Estate, there's plenty of work to be done." November 26, 1996 3 I OUTSIDE THE IVORY TOWER International A new study by the United Nations found that population growth has slowed sooner than anticipated. Family planning programs of the I 960s and 1970s, along with programs that give women more economic power and social status, have contributed to declining fertility in every region of the world. From 1990 to 1995, population growth was at a rate of 1.48% down from 1.57% in 1984 National The U.S. Army began an internal in vestigation of a sex scandal that questions how responsible top officers were for the rape and harassment of fe male recruits by male drill instructors. At least 10 instructors and other trainers have been charged at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryl and and at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. 0 J. Simpson is in the media spot light yet again. Friday, Simpson took the witness stand for the first time to tell his side of the Simpson/Goldman wrongful death civil suit. Simpson is being called as a hostile witness by the plantiff in order to destroy his credibility before the jury. The defense will have an opportunity to undo the damage dur ing cross-examination. While the media has been ever-present in this series of trials, the frenzy has been subdued since cameras have been banned from the courtroom and the lawyers are under a strict "gag rule." State Florida plans to launch a new pro gram in January which would allow certain state jail inmates to receive com munity college scholarships upon completion of their sentences. Supporters say that the program is in tended to rehabilitate, but critics are appalled, claiming that the program re wards criminals while law-abiding citizens continue to struggle with rising college costs


4 The Catalyst A WEEI< IN PREVIEW Thesday, November 26 Michael Moore will speak at the Univer ity of Florida at 8:00p.m. A caravan is being planned to make the trip. For more details, contact Eric Piotrow ki at piotrows@ virtu.sar. usf edu. Thursday, November 28 Thanksgiving potluck at 2:00p.m. at 4616 Leeta Lane, Sarasota. Bring food and keep it vegetarian. S u nday, Decembe r 1 Tahia's Caberet, featuring live music and dance from around the world, will take place at 7:00p.m. at the Adult Recreation Center, 80 I N. Tamiami Trai 1, Sarasota. Call 349-3494 for details. The Black Crowe and Gov't Mule will perform at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Peter burg. Thursday, December 5 The New Col lege Chamber Singers, under the direction of Professor Steve Mile will per form Jo quin De prez's "Missa Pange Lingua," plus Gregorian chants on Thursday, December 5 at 8:00p.m. on the College Hall patio. OBITUARY Robert A Summers, 65, of Bradenton died November 21, 1996 in PersonaCare of Bradenton. A memorial service was held on Sunday at Veterans of Foreign Wras Palma Sola Post o. 10141. Mr. Summers was known at New College as the day manager of the C Store. He was born in Columbus Ohio, and moved to Manatee Cty. in 1971. He was a commander of VFW Palma Sola Post 10141. He served in the US Anny Air Corps during the Korean War. He is survived by his wife, Mary JoAnn, two daughters, four sons, two sis ters, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. News "UHURU" FROM PAGE 1 various states nationwide dedicated to "exposing and defeating the US govern ment war against the African community The Uhuru movement has roots in the Black Panther Party of the 1960s, and is currently working to release Fred Hampton, Jr., son of a prominent Black Panther leader and leader of the Chicago branch of NPDUM from jail in Illinois. St. Petersburg branch Secretary Wendy Snyder also explained the role of the African Peoples Solidarity Committee, of which she is a part, in the movement. "As a white member of the Uhuru move ment ... what is important is that there is a North American mentality that supports this government oppression of the African people and this movements allows people to make that break." The Committee, con sisting predominately of white members, acts in solidarity and support to the Uhuru movement. Snyder explained that she thinks that support is important becau e "rich or poor, we have had a history of at tacking the African community and benefiting from the African community." Students and other members of the au dience posed questions to Zina. Student Christie Guy inquired about the move ment's call for a release of all African-Americans jailed in the US. Zina explained that the Uhurus saw them as political prisoners, explaining that "every one that is put in prison is a prisoner of war." When asked about the movement's response to the violence during the St. Petersburg riots, Zina responded that ''we do see it as a courageous rebellion," and while maintaining that the movement had not advocated the violence, it sympa thized with the response. Zina further commented on the move ment's response to the killing, saying that "we had a people's tribunal where a lot of the witnesses [of the incident] came, we didn't allow media" and that the tribunal's decision that police officers James Knight and Sandra Minor were g u i l ty of murder, was based on evidence that conflicted with the grand jury's previous decisio n Zina also complained of police perse cution of the movement, citi n g the arrests of movement members just before the November 26, 1996 second night of rioting and an attempt to "burn our house down and murder us." She credited members of the local com munity involved in the rioting with protecting the movement. She also blamed the media for "helping to fabri cate and helping to target our organization," saying that they had quoted a chant at a movement protest as "Kill the killer cops," while Zina maintained that the chant had actually been "Jail the killer cops." She also cited the example of radio station WFLA-970, which she charged had been raising money to assist Knight and had held a contest to find the best car icature ofTyRon Lewis. Professor of Political Science Paul Buchanan inquired about the Uhuru movement's emphasis on race rather than class-based revolutionary socialism. Zina responded U1at while Omali Yeshitela, founder of the chapter, was familiar with Marxist-Leninist thought, he had founded it based on "his experience as an African American working class person." NCSA President Jessica Falcone asked Zina what New College students could do to assist the movement. Zina recom mended that they officially join the Uhmus, attend conferences, and assist with fundraising activities. Afterwards, Odom said of the discus sion, "I was ve r y satsified with the outcome and I was very impre sed with the que tions that were posed by the stu dents." Facilitator Macio agreed, but he added, "I feel very strongly that they [the Uhuru movement] are not they on l y peo ple who arc trying to do something both in St. Pete and the rest of the country." Zina suggested that "I believe maybe a study group could be formed here to get an understanding about our philosophy." She added, "I think the most impor tant thing was giving people insight int o the movement and explaining to them what really happened during these two weeks. The rebellion was a just rebellion and a response to the violence in our community that is perpetuated every day, and I think that we were heard all around the wor l d and that is not a bad thing." ''I'm g l ad they came here," said stu dent Nick Napolitano, "I just hope New College s t udents do more than just lis ten."


The Catalyst "CYBERNETICS MAKES POETS OF US by Rachael Morri s During the question and answer ses-Anthropologist Mary Catherine sion, Bateson reinforced her warning Bateson ended her visit to New College about public apathy in a discus ion about by providing students and faculty with a the Information Age. She explained that glimpse into the future. people today are suffering from an "infoBate on gave a lecture entitled overload," taking in more information at a "Cybernetics Makes Poets of Us" on faster pace than the human body is geared Monday, November 18 in Sainer for. Auditorium. The seminar attended by Realizing this point, Bateson shared professor and students marked an end to that her father, anthropologist Gregory Bateson's two-day visit to New College. Bateson, never opened his mail, an ex-Cybernetics is the study of control and tremc to which his daughter admitted she communication processes in living beings could n1H go. But Bateson did advise (humans and other anipeople to slow down and mals), machines, or both "A mind is not equivalent to make their interpersonal functioning together. As consciousness." contact more personal. such, it is a synthesis of Mary Cat h erine B ateson By the end of her a multitude of traditional ------------lecture, Bateson puzzled disciplines in the life, mathematical, phys ical and engineering sciences. The lecture focused mainly on percep tions of the object and systems within the world, both animate and inanimate. Bateson maintained that the key to under standing anything on an intimate level is to empathize with it and to compare its functionality with a human being's func tionality. A recurring example of the day was applying this theory to a toilet tank, how it reacts to changes within it elf just a human does through a process of "cor rective feedback ''A tank is flushed and then fills itself back up again. When people are hungry, they eat," said Bateson. "In this way, a person may better understand, better empathize with the systems of an object which is normally overlooked." In addition to Bateson's frequent "septic" example, she devoted much concern to people's growing 'apathy" and desensi tization to the world and other people. "A mind is not equivalent to con sciousness," she said, referring to those in the medical profession who "demystify" people, no longer seeing people a indi vidua l s but as cases. over what is meant by cybernetics making poets of people. With increasing technol ogy and increasing knowledge about the mechanics of life, Bateson suggested that maybe the return to a more primal prac tice of interpretation of the world might be in order. "Perhaps we should think of a tree as the ancient Greeks did, where inside every tree lives a dryad who dies when the tree clies .... Applying this belief to the whole of the world, we may consider sys tems in nature a we consider ourselves." Batc:,on is an anthropology professor at George Mason University in Virginia and the daughter of celebrated anthropol ogists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Her career as a cultural anthro po l ogi t has led her to many fields such as linguistics, collegiate administration and literature. She has written many books, some of which include With a Daughter's Eye, Composing a Life, Our Own Metaphor and Peripheral Visions. Bateson's book have covered a vari ety of topics covering autobiographical experiences, AIDS awareness, women's equality and Pre-Islamic linguistics. INTERESTED IN BEING NC.SA VIC.E PRESIDENT NEXT SEMSTER? Attend an informational session on Monday December 2 at 5:00 p.m on the Ham Center couches. For more information, contact Martha A l ter at Box 364 or Matt Grieco at Box 234. W I ER BEST ACTRESS 1996 CANNE S FILM FESTIVAL secrets & lies A Film of Rare Heart and Soul Shines radiantly ... Unfolds beautifully" -Janet Maslin, New York Times **** Jamie Bernard, NY Daily News Mike Clark, USA Today \ \1'110\Y UOPKl\ S MrELIIO\"E Surviving Picasso H ELD OvER FOR THE 8TH WEEK! B; STARTS NovEMbE R 27 Ra l ph Fienne s in THE ENGLISH PATIENT STudENTS Free Popcorn w/Purchase of any Drink (just show student ID) Ask about Student Memberships


6 The Catalyst November 26, 1996 SAC MINUTES NEWS FROM THE SAC November 21, 1996 Members in anendance: Agne Alice, Meg, Pete. HalCn, Mano, Jennifer. All votes unanimous 'hannon Hamlett and Dana Byrd (Second Court RAs) I. Requested $75.34 for brushes, roller paint and paint thinner for the ccond Court Lounge mural. Allocated : $75,34. 2. Requested 130 93 for a V R and tape rewinder for the Second Court Lounge. Allocated: $130.93. 3. equested $165 00 for two Piz7a Study Breaks (30 pizzas.) Allocated: $] 10 00 (20 pizzas} 4. Reque ted $10.94 for Game G< lore asualties ($5.94 for a torn garden ho e and 5.00 for a missing basketball ) Allocatrtl : $10.94. Total allocated to Shannon and Dana:. 327.21. nnic onnell and Tra y Barlow ( lavic 1usic En. em ole) Reque t d 60 for food for their con cert !locates;!: $60. Anni onncl l ( chic Mus1c Presentation) Requested 0 for fo d for the precntaLJon n ov 2 Allocated: $30 rai g \ ill e (Gender 'tud1e lie uve) I. Requested for posters from Brigid Books to de orate th Gender tudi olle '11\c. (, ore: The po tcrs which had been donated last year were taken/de troyed during lust year' conflict between the library and the Gender Studies Collective.) Allocated: $50 2. Requested $30 for food for the Gender Studies Shindig. Allocated: ,uQ. Total allocated to Craig: $80. Note: Craig has the SAC's permission to purchase the filing cabinet for the collective which originally had been allocated to hrista Craven. Erin kelly (Alternative Menstrual Product Fair and Reproductive Health Talk) l. Requested $70.90 for copies of two zincs (from the Campus Copy Center-43 pages, 60 copies.) Allocated: 2 Requested $30 for food for this event. Allocated: $30. Trip Linnerooth requested $61.25 for copies from the Campus Copy Center to put a four-page handout in all tudent boxe about tutorial ideas and "How-tos." Allocated: $61.25. 1icha I Hut h (Pillowbook) Requested $110 for the printing of the third issue (20 pages, 200 copie $10 for the co t of cover .) Allocated: lliQ. Haz n Komrau (Kite Club) Requested I 0 for hippmg and han dling for the kites allocated Ia t week. Allocated 10. rap b 1 u The SAC has two new slogans. They are not very exciting, but we like them. The first is NO REIMBURSEMENTS! We are serious. Unless it's an emergency, expect us to be hard-asses. Reimbursements are a bad idea becau e if people do them it puts us in the most unfortu nate position of having to fund more money for some event than we would have or deciding to stick someone. This is not fair. SAC has a re spon ibility not to waste student money and can only do this if we can approve purchases ahead of time. Our second slogan is (plea e) don t come around here no more This means that if you have a money request, and it's more than twenty dollars, please, please do not go around getting signatures. Again, we at least try and prevent wasting student money by trimming expenses that we can't do that if someone just presents one per son with something to sign. If you need money, plan aheaad. We meet every Thursday, 8:00 p.m. in the CSA office. Oh, yes. and we didn't rund a dildo. About the tudent Life elf-tudy ornmittee If you have questions about this committee, you can contact Meg Moore at 359-8476. put a note in her box, or just find her and ask. The eneral Spaatz Award Having trouble filling up that graduate school application? TI1e SACha recently awarded to all in need of such an award the General Spaatz Award for General Excellence and Community Involvement. o nomination proce s is neces-ary, ir you are a fourth year applying t o some ort of graduate school you have been given this award. rock religious dance Posters T-shirts c t ew Releases 0 CD & Cassette Singles u e tiiJSJ(; for CDs n s t r U SED CD Trail P laza 41 & y 1 HEA DQ A RTER S 355-75 4 zz reggae s ows c assica


The Catalyst November26, 1996 7 THE TRUTH OF THANKSGIVING by Charles Choi Celebrations are curious things. Their origins are often a mix of fact and fiction. Take Thanksgiving, for example. It is an uniquely American cxpcnence, when families get together for a long weekend of feasting before winter comes. Popular culture has seeded us with images of Pilgrims and Indians; pioneers fled from religious persecution demonstrated the pirit of charity by haring their fruits with the native peoples of the fronlier. The truth of the matter is not quite as noble as the lie. are. The Puritan Pilgrims were victims of discrimination. but they them elves as the "Chosen Elect" mentioned in Revelations and trove to purify themsclvc!. and everyone who did not accept their interpretation of scripture. This fundamentahsm IS best illustrated in the first Thanksgiving ermon delivered at Plymouth in 1623 by Mather the Elder, who gave thanks to the Lord for the plague of smallpox which wiped out most of the Wampanoag tribe, the "young men and children, the very seed of increase, thus clearing the forests to make way for a better growth." The Pilgrims believed that the end was nigh and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse rode in with them. When the Pilgrim arrived in America in 1620, their fir t winter was hard and the sick outnumbered the healthy. As many as half the P1lgrims may have died from cold and hunger. A generation after !he Jirst Thanksg1vi ng there was the genoctdal conflict hetween the Indians and the Pllgnms known as King Phillip's War. So let us take a look at the very word Thanksgiving. What are we giving thanks for? Let us cons1der the turkey for a second. owadays, it's an overfed bird that's been injected with honnones for sale in a commercial franchise. But consider the meaning it must have had back then for those starving Pilgrims who had to wrap them-selves in layers of clothing made filthy by too much u em order to live. A plump bounty to fend ofT death, if only tor a while lt should be noted, then, that the true reason that the Warnpanoag tribe was invited to the Thanksgiving celebration was for the purpose of 11cgotiating a treaty that would ccure the lands of the Plymouth Plantation for the Pilgrims, in hopes for a common defense against the Iroquois. It was the Indians who brought the majority of the food for the feast, cnotJgh to last for week afterwards. Thanksgiving, then, gives thanks to the f

8 The Catalyst NoW}atbeel2!$, 1996 GUEST COLUMN: OLD ENGLISH CHURCHES, FLUFFY KITTIES, AND EAST COKER Contributed by Rocky Swift After breathing London air for two months, it was a welcome change to step in cow s hit. This oc c urred to me as I trudged down a very narrow, dirt road connecting the town of Yeovil in southwe t England to the small village of East Coker that lies a few miles south. I was coming from Yeovil where I had ar rived the night before via the surprisingly clean and efficient ational Expre s s coach line There's nothing special about Yeovil; it's the closest the ational Ex press could get me to East Coker, which all in all is five hours out of London But why is East Coker special, you may ask? I was looking for a particular church, and I made a couple of mistakes along the way, because every building in this area of England looks like it could be a church. I'd see a vaulted roof, stained glass windows, and be sure that I had found my quarry, but on closer inspection there would be a television antennae on top of the centuries old chimney so as to bring the wonder of British television home to the centuries old building. It was during one of these gaffes that I happened upon some interesting history of the quiet town I was about to invade. West Coker Road forked off to the dght to form an even smaller road and in which stood a very J1uffy, gray cat. The cat caught my fancy for some reason, so, as was my habit at the time, I pulled out my tacky, yellow tourist camera and took the kitty's picture. Not satisfied with the visua l experience of cat I walked up to it in order to give it a pet; but as she ran away in suspicion, I noticed that the road was driveway to a building that was clearly too enormous and old to be private property as buildings of suchsize are ei ther colleges or orphanages in the U.S. "Yes it is private property," said the gentleman washing his car nearby. He wa in fact one of the tenants of North Coker House, as it was called, since it had been broken up into flats. He excused me intrusion and told me some of the history of the home. North Coker House (and why the Cokerites are so insistant on di rection, I don t know) was the manor home of the Maudsley family, a prominent family who had formerly lived in East Coker about three hundred years ago. Apparently, the Maudsley had a falling out with the other prominent family of the area the Halyers, so they picked up and moved north a piece, and even went so far as to build their own chapel close by. The Maudsley inhabited the house until the 1940's when it was sold off, explained the gentleman, but no one seems to know where they are now. The deep lane insisted on the direc tion and so I was led through North Coker and then a left to find Ea t Coker. As I came into town, I could see far ther up the incline the church I was looking for and there was no mistaking it this time I trudged up the hill and near the church. Next door was an enourmous old manor, to which signs now warned me of its private ownership. I looked about the churches graveyard for a time, but I was too wet and tired to search for much, and surely the church would be locked. I went down the hill into the village and turned right to find the pub that the North Coker gentlman had also told me about.The Halwyer Arms, named after that other prominent family that feuded with the Maudsleys. I went in and warmed by the fire while the pretty red headed barmaid poured my Caffreys. I sat down and a ked an older gentleman if he could tell me about the Halwyers. He told me that at one time they owned about all of East Coker and nearly everyone in the tOWJl was employed by them. They had owned the manor house, Coker Court, I had seen near the church. The Halwyers had actually owned a wing of the church that was fenced off from the other believ ers. Perhaps a good reason for the Maudsleys to build their own house of God He didn't know what they and Maudsleys feuded over, probably reli gious matters, but no one really knows. But the Halwyers had all died out or moved away, at least the male ones. He asked me why I was there, and I lied and said that I had picked East Coker by random I was in fact on a little quest, for my benefit and for someone elses, per haps Quests seem to be all the more dramatic and meaningful if their motivations are based in lost ideals and silly dreams. But my journey was not all so original as I was about to learn. "That's unusual he said, "most of our American tourists are here to see T.S. Eliot's memorial in the Church. A lot of Americans and Japanese for some reason. I don't know what they see in it, the Japanese, it's not my thing really; 'The Waste Land' and all that. I can't under stand it in English." Damn It's bad enough that your quest is pointless but unoriginality is a fatal blow. Oh well, there's always the beer, and Somerset is cider country. I sat in the pub for hours, drinking away, flirting with the barmaid and having nu merous conversations with locals to whom my accent was a novelty. It was only the late afternoon, but the pub was closing which is a common practice for pubs in England; they open again in the evening. I refused a kindly lift back to Yeovil, for it was a wet and long journey back, but I wanted to have another look at the church, St. Michaels. I went back up the hill to the church remembering something that the old gen tleman in the pub had said. The vicar refused to lock the door because "The house of God should never be locked." Sure enough, the door's enormous handle yielded to my hand and I entered the enourmous building. The sun was setting and it was difficult to see. I wasn't there for long before an old man came into the church He said something about locking up, but probably he wanted to check out what the snooping tourist was doing. He was nice enough though told me about the church. There the vestule owned by the extinct Halwyers, there was the original 800 year old door that I had wa l ked through, and there was T.S. Eliot's memo rial for the church was the resting place of his cremated remains. His family had emigrated to America from East Coker and he had written a poem abou t the vil l age. "In my beginning is my end," says the marb l e memorial, the first line of his poem "East Coker." Indeed it was. "Pray for the repose of Thomas Stearn Eliot." Yeah I bought two postcards, and I l eft. I

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