Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on May 21, 1980 · 25
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · 25

Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 21, 1980
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I mm p mm- mm Chicago Tribune, Wednesday, May 21, 1980 Section 3 best Copy available LZ mm 'Empire' on sequel footing with the 'Star Wars' magic By Gene Siskel Movie critic O FAR, ALL of the critical comment on "The Empire Strikes Back," the new "Star Wars" I movie, has been excellent strong notices in Time. Variety, and The Chicago Tribune. But that may be cause for concern; concern that the advance buildup for the film may be too much, that people will walk in hypedup and walk out let down. After all, part of the charm of the original film is that it came upon us so unexpectedly. So, let's knock "The Empire Strikes Back" a very entertaining movie, down a peg or two. For one thing, it's hardly a seamless film, unlike the original "Star Wars" which was a flawless, if light-, weight, world unto itself. The new film has some poor special effects. You can see some blue lines around a couple of the fighter planes that strafe Luke Skywalker as he hides from the evil Darth Vader on the ice . planet1 of Hoth. And Hoth it- tririikip self' filmed in Norway, IKIDUIMC doesn't-look very special or MINI-REVIEW: ' cold. And the Cloud City Hello, Yoda where Vader and Luke ' square off at the end of the "THE EMPIRE STRIKES fil,n is a cheaP mat,e BACK" drawing. And Billy Dee Wil liams' new character, a ",?udb? !'Z"L Kt"h""j space sharpie named Lando aeraanplay by Lttgh Brackatt and J . . . Lawranca Kaadan; prwtograpnad by CalriSSlan, lsn t given &SNi?kSU. enogh time to de- clal vlaual attacta by Brian Johnaon velop into anyone special. mrtZ5Sr&!? And the much talked about-and oaorg Lucaa; a 2oth Canhiry- Tauntaun, the giant kan- Fox rataaaa at ttia Eaqulra and Outly- ... ' , mg ttwatara. naiad po. garoo-like creature that CA8T . Luke rides on Hoth, is not Luka skywaikar MarkNamM particularly well animated. : z.tSS5S! when it runs, it-s obviously Darth vadar David Prowaa due to herky-jerky, speeded- &:::it. up photography. AD KannyBaiw . Now, that-may seem like- UrKto'calriiiiiiariTeliirDaa Wllllama a' significant list, but it's BB K,, A0 Ou'nnaaa actually trivial compared . to the strengths of the film, which are considerable and sometimes even majestic. WE DO FEEL good when the movie begins it's fun to re-enter the "Star Wars" magic kingdom and there are moments throughout when we are knocked out by an effect that is truly special wait till you see the giant, armored camel-like walkers lassoed on Hoth by a Luke-piloted jet using miles of thick cable. The new film also exploits our familiarity with the original "Star Wars" crew, and pushes their relationships much further than you might expect. Luke is caught in the middle of a surprisingly hot love affair between Han Solo and Princess Leia; Chewbacca reveals his strong loyalty to Han; Han repeatedly gets ticked off at C3P0 for being a busybody-fussbudget; and Darth Vader has a very big surprise for Luke. (I can't Continued on page 7 ...... ?sfoA J J - ) nwimw rriniMwis. Jt. mUMtii- . Wa 'LaHaaiaMaaaaal Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill, left) and Darth Vader (David Prowse) battle with lightsabers in "The Empire Strikes Back": Good vs. evil as Luke becomes a man. by H. L. Mencken by by H. L. Mencken by by H. L. Mencken by by H. L. Mencken by by H. L. Mencken by by H. L. Mencken by by H. L. Mencken by bjHVtt Mencken by bjJ 'encken by I U - uy n. . by H. L. by H. L by en by H. L. n by H. L. by H. L. by H. L. y H. L. H. L. Mencken by H. L. tr V H. L. Mencken by H. LJSX nt H. L. Mencken by H. If A SI H.L. Mencken by HA . jm VP mm m mm a I . V F 1 . l I, n. l. iwencrien sr i x i a kjt H. L. Mencken S w ' H. L. Menckerf f . ve H. L. Menckel t -- P H.L.Menckel I V P aT y ft.. U fl MaTMMaVI P at b- w -mm. ?' mm r If Ay H.L. Menckel f if m Kii w i MonMrarv I m V V ...... V 7 Hr' 'V- H. L. Mencnen s iavk. a.. - -m m by Jr v-rrwM. l. Mencken i b mken by H.L. Mencken byl JH.L. f T I tken byB-Mencken by H - My H.L. I ' Skeniy jVfencken by H. A by H.L. 1 jTTAencken by H. L tby H. . 1 H. Lv Mencken by H. L. . S i by H. L. I H.L. Mencken by H. L. MAJ 1 b Hm L' I f H.L. Mencken by H. L. Me J -rr--- -hvH. L. r X 1 b H.L. Mencken bv H. Uxl " CaL. hiV Jv H. L. Mencken bvj f f I I "VW hv As. bv H. L. Mencken vj by JA- by H. L. MencJ I J I jF?n by by H. L. Mep I T J N? bA by H.L. M! I MJ PfA S Ha' a Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken encken ncken ncken ncken ncken encken encken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken Mencken encken cken e y aRR v Tnbuna graphic A 1924 caricature of H. L Mencken: To many, his significance lies in his ability to force others to question. Centennial Reappraisal Could we use an H. L Mencken today? By Steven Morris DN THE NEWBERRY LIBRARY, a stone sanctuary in which old books and rare manuscripts serve as the last resort for serious researchers, you'll almost never fun ino a crowd, f Watching an unusually heavy stream of people enter the stately building across from Bughouse Square, a staff member wondered aloud, "Would he-approve of what we're doing here?" "If he's looking down on us tonight," mused a radio journalist, "what would he say .about the way we journalists are carrying on the business now?"' They were talking about H. L. Mencken, the journalistic Thor whose flashes and thunderbolts during the first half of the century battered at the nation's institutions and religions, lit up its feas, hatreds, and hypocrisies, and rocked its beliefs. . Several hundred idolators and skeptics gathered recently at the Newberry, where, 100 years after his birth, Mencken and his work were examined in a Centennial Reappraisal. Some of the pilgrims took three or four days , off to fly in from other states, others only an hour or so to drop by during lunch break. A few had known him before he died in 1956. Others, in their 20s and clad in jeans and jogging shoes, have only heard of him or read some of his writings. ( ALL WANTED TO know more about this curious man writer, editor, linguist, social and literary critic. Henry Louis Mencken was born Sept. 12, 1880, in Baltimore, the son of a prominent German-American cigar manufacturer. Because his father refused to pay to educate him for a career in journalism, an unsavory calling, Mencken went to work in the ' Mencken cigar factory after high '' :':-?'- WW :$'&- iSife ' H. L Mencken on religion: "Archbishop: A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained byChrist." school. Mencken's father died when the boy was 18. The burial was on a Sunday, and on the following day Mencken presented himself in the city room of the Baltimore Herald to ask for a job. Nothing was open. For a month he came back night after night until finally a harried night editor sent him off to find out how well a rural suburb had survived a blizzard. The result was an eight-line story about a horse theft, and the beginning of Mencken's career. Mencken, a journalistic prodigy, at age 24 became the Herald's managing editpr, the youngest person to hold such a position at a big-tity newspaper. At 25 he was editor-ifcchief. In 1906 he moved to the Baltimore Sun, where his furious, funny roller-coaster writing grew in fame. He worked there as a reporter, editorial writer, and columnist until he suffered a stroke in 1948 that left him disabled unable to read or write until his death. While working at the Sun, Mencken also edited Smart Set, a magazine aimed at an audience of social sophisticates, and later, beginning in 1924, the American Mercury, a literary monthly that Mencken gradually turned into a journal for political and social comment. THOUGH MENCKEN did not attend college, his treatise called "The American Language" remains a basic text for linguistic study. Mencken's notion that American English is not merely distinct from British English but rather is a language of its own, together with his treatment of non-English dialects spoken in the United States, influenced the course of American linguistic research. From 1924 to 1928 Mencken contrib-uted weekly columns to The Chicago Tribune. Fanny Butcher Bokum, literary editor of The Tribune at the time, is 90 years old now and lives on Astor Street. Though she did not attend the Centennial Reappraisal, some of the letters Mencken sent to her during their long friendship are on display in the Newberry. "I helped get him to write for The Tribune," says Mrs. Bokum. "At that time the paper published what we called a 'highbrow page' on Sundays. I did a little column for it. I admired Mencken's writing and his courage In Continued on page 14 Ancient technique brings relief at the point of a needle In this excerpt from "Free Yourself from Pain," Dr. David E. Bresler reports on his success in treating chronic pain patients with acupuncture at the Pain -Control Unit he heads at UCLA Hospital. . By Dr. David E. Bresler with Richard Trubo ' OU KNOW, DR. Bresler, maybe I'm just imagining this, but sometimes my pain seems to get better when I rub certain areas of my body, u s kind of weird, because although these areas are tender when I push them, they don't seem to be related to my pain problem. Yet after I massage them for a while, my pain really feels better." ( This patient was not imagining his pain relief. Like many other people with pain, he discovered perhaps accidentally that when pressure is applied to specific points Free yourself from a on the body, pain often decreases and, in some cases, even disappears. Although pressing these points often can be helpful, even better results can be obtained by stimulating the points by Inserting tiny needles into the skin. This technique, called acupuncture, is the oldest system of medicine known to contemporaryman. Acupuncture originated in China at least 5.000- years ago. That's about the same time that the Great Pyramid was being built in Egypt. Although some American physicians still consider acupuncture to be "experimental," more people probably have been treated with it than all other systems of medicine combined. MOST WESTERNERS HAD not even heard of acupuncture until 1971, when a . team of American table tennis players were invifed-to match strokes with their counter- parts in the People's Republic of China. When they returned, they told about a Chinese medical system in which needles are inserted to treat various illnesses, achieving similar or even better results than some of Western medicine's most sophisticated techniques. Everything from arthritis to headaches was reported to respond successfully to acupuncture treatment. It was hard to believe. Many American physicians still don't. The following year, the Acupuncture Research Project (now a division of the Pain ' Control Unit) was established at UCLA. Since then, we have administered nearly 80,000 acupuncture treatments. Our experi ence indicates that acupuncture is frequently very effective for a wide variety of ills including acute and chronic pain. Let's assume that you were to come to the UCLA Pain Control Unit for an acupuncture treatment. After undergoing a thorough medical workup, one of our staff acupuncturists would discuss with you the potential benefits and risks of this therapy. He or she would then determine which of the more than-500 points would be used for treatment, based on a variety of factors, including the results of specialized diagnostic techniques (such as pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis, and auricular diagnosis), the nature of the problem being treated, the duration of illness, and nutritional considerations. Typically, 10 to 15 needles are inserted during each treatment. MANY PEOPLE ARE unnecessarily frightened by the prospect of receiving acupuncture, for they incorrectly equate acupuncture Continued on following page -Bob Greens Quite a message in book on commercials ASTON SAYS: "All right, we have to resolve this situation. What kind of phone do we want?" Linda says: "Red." Steve says: "I think we should have a red desk phone." Gaston says: "I was thinking wall phone." Linda says: "You don't want a desk phone at a rodeo." Elliott says: "Wall or desk, I don't see it makes much difference." McClafferty says: "Maybe we want to use a Trim-line there?" Jerry says: "I like Trimlines, except we tested them and they really wipe out the face." Shyposh says: "I wonder if we don't want a more prominent telephone?" Gaston says: "For a while, I was thinking booths." McDaniel says: "Booths don't seem very friendly." Steve says: "What about rotary dial? Rotary diaf gives you that old-time feeling." Eversman says: "I don't know about rotary dial. I was thinking more Touch Tone." McClafferty says: "Touch Tone is definitely prominent." Jerry says: "We could go with a black Touch Tone. I mean, it's a stable situation." THE ABOVE DIALOG may seem like code language to you, but it's taken verbatim from "Thirty Seconds," the best book I have read in the new year. The people talking are involved in the making of a 30-second television commercial, and they are discussing what kind of telephone to use in a rodeo scene. The scene will take approximately four seconds on the television screen; the above conversation is part of a series of lengthy meetings devoted to those few seconds. "Thirty Seconds" was written by Michael J. Arlen, " and is based upon a simple premise. Television commercials are a ubiquitous part of all our lives; they never go away from us. And yet we seldom give any thought to the world that has grown up around their manufacture and distribution. Volumes have been devoted to the making of movies, and of television shows; people have always been fascinated with that kind of subject. But we tend to think of the commercials as just the momentary interruptions in television entertainment. Arlen understood that, because of the way commercials bend our lives and affect our behavior, they are probably much more important than the shows that sandwich them. His book doesn't preach about it; instead it takes us inside the making of one commercial. The commercial is a 30-second spot for the American Telephone & Telegraph Co.; specifically, it is one of those "Reach out, reach out and touch someone" 'f. commercials promoting long-distance calls. You have almost surely seen the commercial. WISELY, ARLEN has chosen not to make any moral judgments about the lavish expenditure of tnoney, time, and' human energy that goes into the ? . . .the best service you can do your readers is. . . to show them the same things you saw and heard, in the hopes that their reaction will be the same as yours. production of one 30-second commercial. One senses that he is appalled by it; but one of the truest rules of journalism is that if something shocks you or sad-, dens you or makes you laugh, the best service, you can do your readers is not to tell them that you're shocked or saddened or tickled but to show them the same things you saw and heard, in the hopes that their reaction will be the same as yours. So Arlen accompanied the dozens of men and women involved in the making of the commercial, and wrote his book about exactly what he saw. It is difficult to turn more than two or three pages with-- out putting the book down and shaking your head. For example, we all make certain assumptions about the peculiar world that advertising people live in. But Arlen lets us hear one of the commercial producers say: "OK, I think now we ought to talk about grandmothers. I think we have some problem with grandmothers." And his associate says: "I don't see that we have any big problem." And the producer says: "Well, we've got film on every available grandmother in the country right here in this office." And another associate says: "The trouble is each grandmother has been used so many times." And the producer says: "So it seems to me we have three or four grandmothers that are interchangeable except, of course, for the black grandmother. I think the grandmother-and-grandfather situation needs to be worked out carefully " THERE IS SO MUCH HERE: the people who think they are celebrities because they rent their homes out to be used in national commercials; the man who specializes in making rain for commercials, because his rain "photographs more realistically than God's rain"; the AT&T man who tries to explain why $18 million is being spent to convince people ' they need a product that they already know they need. Like all brilliant reporting, "Thirty Seconds" is . about much more than it purports to be; it says that it is about the filming of a television commercial, but actually it is about the values and particulars of American life. The ironic thing Is, tens of millions of people have seen the "Reach out, reach out and touch someone" commercial, which tells us nothing about our society; probably only a few thousand people will read "Thirty Seconds," which tells us a great deal. But that's a part of American life, too. flVE PlSCOVEREI? VSONMA'AAy THE MORE I 5W, THE MORE I REALIZE HOW LITTLE I KN0U... UHICH HAS FORCE? ME TO COME TO A CONCLUSION... (l MM HOT SHO0i) 1 "Thursday in Tempo 'Vikings In Minnesota, Phoenicians in- Iowa, the lost tribe of Israel wandering along the West Coast. . . . Peter Gorner examines some not-so-. accepted theories of life in America B.C. (Before Columbus). Smile Sign . in bookstore: "Buy your gift books now so you can finish reading them all before Christmas." . Philntw insula m j,. m i ffV m .mj ml0ttiA.i.wm,i M iMmMM. i,il jBaMjTfcliMi

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