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10rrhe Daily Tar HeelWednesday. January v 40Q?
With' id ei'mlaid:
Jim Hummkl. Uim
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Gi ohri y Mik:k. .i.vi..- ;..
Beth Burrlll, amu- i'J
Controversial cartoonist keeps those letters flowing
Edwin a Ralston. Vnm-nUy Ma
Rachel Perry, cay Mm
Clifton Barnes. Editor
By BETH BURRELL
Leah Talley. Ais Mm
Keith King, fwmn? Editor
Scott Sharpe. pkMphy Edit
Ann Peters. SptiiXia Editor
Chuck James, otJWm
89th year of editorial freedom
Trust and consequences
Preliminary analyses by economists on last week's consent decree bet
ween the Justice Department and American Telephone and Telegraph sug
gest that the decision may be the most significant economic reform carried
out so far by the Reagan administration. Beyond the overblown and idyllic
rhetoric about the free-enterprise system that accompanied the decree, the
agreement promises vast changes in one of the nation's most important in
dustries. For that reason, Congress must examine those changes to ensure
that they are in the nation's best interests.
The decree ended a seven-year government lawsuit against AT&T. It re
quires the company to divest itself of its local operating companies, but
rescinds an earlier decree preventing AT&T from entering computer, data
processing fields and certain other markets.
The immediate effect on consumers will be an increase in local phone
rates, which were often kept down by more profitable long distance rates.
Now stripped of those funds, local phone companies will undoubtedly seek
to replace lost revenue through higher rates. Further, local services will
come under sole jurisdiction of the states, which are notorious for their
lackadaisical regulation of public utilities.
The most far-reaching reforms from the agreement will come, however,
in markets now, open to AT&T's competition. The step from communica
tions to information processing in an easy one, and AT&T should be able
to provide stiff competition for such giants of the market as IBM, Xerox
Because of this, the federal government must start now to determine
how it will face the challenge of AT&T's entrance into these new and im
portant markets. Undoubtably it will accelerate the trend toward the in
creasing strength of the giants within these fields. While this trend is by no
means inevitable and competition will continue, the strength of these con
glomerates represents enough of an aberration of the free market to require
close government scrutiny.
For too long this nation's antitrust policies have focused on simply
reducing firms' sizes and have caused only long and expensive lawsuits like
the one against AT&T. Now the government must focus instead on a
managerial role that will tap the strengths of the giants while ensuring that
the nation's interests do not become overwhelmed by the firms' sizes.
Congress now has 60 days to consider amending the decree. It can pro
vide short-term help to consumers by ensuring that rates do not skyrocket
because of dislocation resulting from the decree. But more importantly,
long-range policies must establish how AT&T can best serve America's in
terests in the communications and information fields.
Just when you thought it was safe to venture outside your dorm or
apartment, a pervasive force has settled in on the UNC campus,
threatening to be with us for the next four weeks.
No, the frigid temperatures that have plagued Chapel Hill this week
are not likely to last into February. Rather, campus politicos armed
with an arsenal of posters, brochures and rhetoric are ready to
blanket the student body with carefully-planned platforms designed to
snare the vote of prospective constituents.
The fact of the matter is that campus politics at UNC have become in
creasingly professional over the past several years, as candidates for the
major races spend hundreds of dollars, enlist dozens of campaign
volunteers and mortgage their grade point averages for one hellacious
month so that they can get ulcers and flunk out of school once elected.
It will be impossible for the average student to escape totally from the
intensity that surrounds many of the races. By the end of the week,
students should be greeted in their classrooms, dorms and bathroom
stalls (is nothing sacred?) by the smiling faces of candidates running for
such offices as Student Body President, Daily Tar Heel Editor, Carolina
Athletic Association President and Residence Hall Association Presi
dent. And if you're fortunate (or unfortunate, as the case may be) you may
even have the pleasure of a candidate paying a personal visit to your
door, delivering a well-executed compliment about the color
coordinated bedspread and matching drapes. One poor Granville East,
resident last year met five candidates on a single evening the night she
was trying to study for a Chemistry 1 1 midterm.
But don't worry, four weeks can only last so long, even though it will
probably seem like an eternity to everyone involved. Our advice is either
to turn out the lights and go to bed early or to expect a penetrating gust
of hot air to drift your way. Who knows, maybe it will warm things up a
"l fail to see where this man's opinion
should cause such uproar. Anyone once
exposed to these cartoons should realize
that they have all been stolen from late
'60s underground newspapers. Only the
names are different. I would wager
Marlette has every underground paper
ever printed. The fact that he spent a year
at Harvard merely reinstates that the
man's mind is in the cellar. My argument
with Marlette is that he is not even a good
cartoon artist. I have seen better drawings
by four-year-old children. I would think a
newspaper as wealthy as The Observer
could afford better."
From a letter to the editor, The
Charlotte Observer. '
He has been accused of being insen
sitive, untalented and radically
outspoken. He has been described as
idealistic, ambitious, dedicated and ahead
of his time. But one thing is for cer
tain nationally-syndicated Doug
Marlette is a political cartoonist who
touches a nerve in almost every reader,
' arousing criticism and adulation, con
demnation and Draise.
At age 32, Marlette has been at The
Charlotte Observer 10 years, taking a
one-year leave of absence last year to go
to Harvard University on a Nieman Fel
lowship. He is the first editorial car
toonist to be honored with such a fellow
ship. Although he says the year at Har
vard had no direct or tangible effect on
his work, he considers the time spent
there one of the best years of his life.
Raised in North Carolina, Mississippi
and Florida, Marlette attended Florida
State University a haven for the politi
cally conscious at the time. He began
drawing editorial cartoons for his college
newspaper as a junior and senior. At a
time when Watergate and Vietnam were
haunting the media, Marlette had plenty
to satirize and criticize.
Six months after he graduated from
Florida State (where he majored in phi
losophytaking 36 hours of it his senior
year), he replaced Pulitzer Prize winner
Eugene Payne as editorial cartoonist for
The Charlotte Observer. He was only 22
years old. After two years he had caused
so many readers to become impassioned
letter writers, his cartoons were transfer
red to the Viewpoint page where they
were given full freedom to poke fun, in
sult and generally function as a signed
column. In this way, readers could no
longer . assume Marlette's opinion was
always the paper's opinion.
In the 10 years Marlette has spent at
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The Observer, his cartoons have ap
peared in Newsweek, Time, U.S. News
and World Report and other national
magazines. They are syndicated to 100
newspapers in the United States and
abroad. He draws five cartoons a week
(three for the syndicate) and does a comic
strip "Kudzu" daily. Though he was
spurred to begin drawing in a time of war
(he was a conscientious objector), protest
and a severe loss of confidence in the
government, his cartoon ideas did not die
with the politically turbulent times. '
Perhaps this is because Marlette has
never been short on opinions. Coming up
with ideas for cartoons is not a prob
lem it's putting them in concrete form
that sometimes frustrates him. Occa
sionally, a catchy idea in His head does
not have the same meaning when put on
paper. However, Marlette's cartoons
rarely seem to lose much in the trans-1
formation from the abstract to concrete.
They strike directly at the heart of the
issue, leaving little for the imagination.
"To create a cartoon that is good, fun
ny, original and realize no one else has
done it that's fun," Marlette said. Not
only fun but the driving force of his
work." He is able to transform his ideas in
to cartoons using insight, perception and
creativity whether the focus be the
Reagan administration, the Equal Rights
Amendment, the arms race or Sen. Jesse
Marlette said he thought the function
of his cartoons lay in stimulating readers
to think providing humor but more
importantly in stimulating discussion. He
does not sit down to draw a cartoon and
consciously try to stir up his readers. If an
idea affects and touches him, he expects it
to affect readers.
Marlette does not expect his cartoons
to sway reader's opinion. "My work con
firms what some people think and angers
some. Many interpret it to mean what
they already think." But if it inspires a
reader to think about an issue and occa
sionally to see it in a different light, then
his cartoons have fulfilled a basic func
tion. Marlette describes himself now as "less
obsessively searching for ideas. in other
people's work." He admires other car
toonists such as Mike Peters, but feels it is
useless to compare himself to other ar
tists. Some editorial cartoons he sees as lack
ing in original thought and .not saying
anything to the reader. To him, many
cartoons today look like those drawn by
Oliphant or MacNelly and he doesn't see
himself in that trend. He finds his own
cartoons interesting, lively setting him
self apart from his contemporaries.
As cartoonist, Marlette is independent
he is not told by the paper what car
toons to draw. However, the editorial
page editor does have final approval of
While many readers who write letters
lambasting Marlette's cartoons may hope
to have an effect on him, he remains
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undaunted by such response. He feels
criticism is expected and natural and con
siders it more important that he enjoy his
work, regardless of irate and insulted
readers. "Maybe I should have felt guilty
at times but I haven't," he said.
Although some readers may feel he
deals too harshly with issues or portrays
them inaccurately, Marlette says the issue
is usually much worse than how his car
toon portrays it. One student who work
ed with Marlette three summers ago said,
"He takes it upon himself to show a side
ignored by the media."
Perhaps because Marlette attacks an
issue with passion, often interpreted as
anger, some readers are offendedand not
amused. When Marlette points out whatlie
sees as hypocrisies and absurdities, often
challenging government policies, it may
be interpreted as disloyalty or disrespect.
But Marlette sees no reason not to tell it
like he sees it if he has something to say,
then he says it. If some would rather dis
agree with his perceptions and criticize
Marlette for overstating the issue or being
grossly out of step, then Marlette would
say that's their right.
"The need to be in tune with the envi
ronment is strong in me, but rather
regressive," he said. Realizing there is
nothing wrong with being out of" sync
with- the environment is something he
says he is learning slowly.
Marlette said he had no desire to leave
the South for a region that may be more
politically progressive and perhaps more
receptive to his ideas. Possibly because
that place may not exist. Every region has
its own sacred cows and taboos and his
cartoons would be as likely to offend
readers somewhere ese, if only for dif
ferent reasons, he said.
He admits that there is a lot wrong with
his work that he would like to correct. He
sees himself as needing to become more
involved with his editorial cartoons, de
veloping his comic strip more fully and
spending his time more efficiently. He
said a wise man once told him his goal
was not to have any goals. But Marlette
. said he apparently hadn't become that
wise yet because he did have many goals.
He hopes to stay at The Observer, con
tinue to develop his talent as an artist and
perhaps one day be disciplined enough to
do some writing.
He considers himself fortunate that his
cartoons provide an outlet for his ideas,
however unconventional they may seem.
As. Observer editorial writer Ed
Williams says in Marlette's cartoon book
Drawing Blood: "Marlette is as unpredic
table as he is talented. His work ranges
from zany slapstick to compassion, but
there is one constant: it touches people.
Readers may love it or hate it, but believe
me, they don't ignore it."
Beth Burrell, a senior journalism and
political science major from Matthews is
associate editor for The Daily Tar Heel.
The Daily Tar Heel
News Editor: David Jarrett
Editorial Writers: Kerry DeRochi, Linda Robertson
Assistant Managing Editors: Mark Ancona, Cindy Cranford, Lynne'Thomson
News Desk: Melodi Adams, Chary 1 Anderson, Paul Boyce, Stacia Clawson, Lisa Evans, Martie
Hayworth, Reniece Henry, Ivy Hilliard, David McHugh, Melissa Moore, Sharon Moylan, Laura
Pfieiffer, Laura Seifert, Jan Sharpe, Louise Spieler, Steven Stock, Darryl Williams and Chip Wil
son. Ann Murphy and Lynn Peithman, assistant news editors.
News: Greg Batten, Scott Bolejack, Sherri Boles, Laurie Bradsher, Alan Chappie, Michelle Chris
tenbury, John Conway, David Curran, Tamara Davis, Pam Duncanj Lynn Earley, Dean Foust,
Jane Foy, Deborah Goodson, Louise Gurtter, Karen Haywood, Peter Judge, Frank Kennedy,
Dave Krinsky, Katherine Long, Dean Lowman, Elizabeth Lucas, Kyle Marshall, David McHugh,
Alexandra McMillan, Ken Mingis, Robert Montgomery, Jamee Osbom, Leisha Phillips, Scott
Phillips, Jeannie Reynolds, Suzette Roach, Nancy Rucker, Mark'Schoen, Laura Seifert, Frances
Silva, Ken Siman, Kelly Simmons, Jonathan Smylie, Anna Tate, Sonya Weakley, Lynn Worth,
Jim Wrinn and Kevin Kirk, wire editor. ,
Sports: Norman Cannada and John Royster, assistant sports editors. Kim Adams, Tom Berry,
Jackie Blackburn, R.L. Bynum, Stephanie Graham, Morris Haywood, Adam Kandell, Sharon
Kester, Draggan Mihailovich, Scott Price, Lee Sullivan, and Tracy Young.
Features: Jill Anderson, Ramona Brown, Shelley Block, Jane Calloway, Teresa Curry, Lorrie
. Douglas, Valeria Du Sold, Cindy Haga, Susan Hudson, Chip Karnes, Lisbeth Levine, Lucy
McCauley, Steve Moore, Mitzi Morris, Lisa Pullen, David Rome, Vince Steele, Lawrence Turner,
Rosemary Wagner, Randy Walker, Cathy Warren and Chip Wilson, assistant Spotlight editor.
Arts: Marc Routh assistant arts editor; Peter Cashwell, Dennis Goss, Vick Griffin, Julian
Karchmer, Ed Leitch, Christine Manuel, Dawn McDonald, Tim Mooney, Tom Moore; David
Nelson, Nissen Ritter, Karen Rosen, Bob Royalty, Guha Shankar, Charles Upchurch . and
Graphic Arts: Suzanne Conversano, Matt Cooper, Pan Corbett, Danny Harrell, Dane Huff
man, Janice Murphy, Vince Steele and Tom Westarp, artists; Jay Hyman, Faith Quintavell
and Al Steele, photographers.
Business: Rejeanne V. Caron, business manager; Linda A. Cooper, secretaryreceptionist;
Lisa Morrell and Anne Sink, bookkeepers; Dawn Welch, circulationdistribution manager;
Julie Jones and Angie Wolfe, classifieds. - .
.Advertising: Paula Brewer, advertising manager; Mike Tabor, advertising coordinator; Jeff
Glance, Julie Granberry, Keith Lee, Robin Matthews, Jeff McElhaney, Karen Newell and Betsy
Swartzbaugh, ad representatives.
Composition: Frank Porter Graham Composition Division, UNC-CH Printing Department.
Printing: Hinton Press, Inc., of Mebane.
Prophet Elmo propagates prognostications
By TODD DA VIS
January brings predictions for the new year except
in college. Strangely, the academic elite save their pre
dictions for graduation in May. What good are those
predictions? B that time half the year is gone and grad
uating seniors could care less.
So where does the college student turn to gain insight
into the future? You could turn the pages of -a sleazy
grocery store check-out tabloid but that would cost 40
cents and social disgrace.
Anway, why bother when The Daily Tar Star Snooper
sent this columnist on an exclusive investigative assign
ment to interview that Grand Fakir of the Future Elmo
I found Elmo The Prophetic in the Bell Tower Parking
Lot making sure people had locked their car doors.
Checking locked doors was Elmo's sideline when the
prediction biz was slow. . . .
With his head swathed in a CAT hat, Elmo had the
deep dark eyes of a psychic or maybe a psychopath. It
was hard to tell with Elmo wearing 3-D glasses.
Crouching from one car to the other, he refused to an
swer specific questions concerning the future. Instead,
Elmo offered me a package deal.
"So yuh wanna know what the future holds, huh?
Well, it's gonna cost yuh," Elmo said.
"How much?" I replied.
"How much yuh got?"
"One dollar,". I lied. '
"Nope. Now how much yuh really got there son?
Member yuh'r dealin' with a powerful psychic brain
right here." Elmo pointed to his CATTiat. ,
"OK, you win. I only have 10 bucks. But that's sup
posed to buy all my textbooks this semester." I wish I
"Reckon that'll have to do," Elmo said. "Yuh give
me 10 bucks I'll give yuh this list of muh top
predictions." Elmo handed me the top predictions.
"Okay, deal," I said. I handed Elmo the 10 bucks.
Maybe I didn't conduct a very investigative interview.
I bought Elmo The Prophetic's predictions. However, I
was in a rush. I really didn't want to be around Elmo
while he checked car locks.
Therefore, risking journalistic integrity and fat libel
suits, here are Elmo's Top Predictions for 1982.
Tight designer jeans, loose sweatsuits, and cute prep
are definitely out in 1982. The Windbreaker Look is in
with lots of nylon and polyester, plus hush puppies, and
starched flannel pants. Sears will be the fashion label of
Unfortunately, there will be no more beautiful people.
Nationally, People magazine will fold. Locally, there
will be no more sidewalk lines of students dressed to kill
on Franklin Street waiting to get in.
An earthquake will engulf Carrboro but nobody will
The weather this year might be real rainy but then
again it might be right sunny. Reckon it just depends.
"Still, I predict it'll give folks'a whole lot to talk about.
Despite problems of recession, unemployment and in
flation, people will still like money. Consequently,
economic advisers will be baffled as to what they did
that was right.
Carolina will win.
State will lose.
The space shuttle will make many happy landings this
year. Meanwhile on Earth it will still be hard to find a
good parking place.
The UNC administration will increase student fees to
only 20 percent of a student's lifetime income.
A joke candidate will win the Student Body President
race and for once will represent how students really
feel about Student Government.
Well, those are Elmo The Prophetic's predictions for
1982. Somehow 1 don't think the future's worth paying
10 bucks for. I even tried to get my money back but it
was too late. Elmo was arrested for unlocking the car
door of a campus cop. The D. A. predicts he'll get five to
Todd Davis, a junior RTVMP major from Around,
N.C., has no future worth predicting.