Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

The Daily's "urinals tract": what a waste

6. January 2006 • David Boyle
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     That’s “urinals tract”, not “urinal tract”; while I’ve been too busy to post about this until now, the Daily’s astounding page 12 back on December 13, a backpage “manifesto” or “tract” delivered against the background of 2 photographed urinals (which I refuse to scan in here), practically defies both description and decency.
     We’re not talking Marcel Duchamp’s artistic (?) use of urinals back in Paris, either, just modern Maynard Street squalor. Sigh.
     It’s titled, “for a good time, read The Michigan Daily”, and reads in part, “If you’ve been feeling lonely and in desperate need…then The Michigan Daily is the perfect fit for you. ...Best of all, the Daily is free and never looking for a commitment. Just use it for your enjoyment, then simply kick it to your recycling curb. With over 115 years under it’s [sic] belt, the…Daily has all the experience you need to satisfy your daily desires and make your wildest dreams come true.” Hustler Magazine would be proud, I guess; although in light of recent complaints about the Daily’s racially insensitive cartoons and anal rape “”humor””, their decision to issue their “urinals tract” is a little unusual, one thinks.
     Well, hopefully the Daily will improve, though it may take a leetle while… (I’ll post some other Daily iniquity and terrible taste over the next few days, too.) Maybe they can at least learn the correct use of “its/it’s”. Or maybe it’s too much to hope for.

  1. By the way: don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger of the bad news…
       —David Boyle    Jan. 6 '06 - 04:17AM    #
  2. U the Mess, Bess
       —Chub    Jan. 6 '06 - 04:50AM    #
  3. Some asshole was posting the word Halfass all over town, too. I’m offended.
       —Brandon    Jan. 6 '06 - 07:03AM    #
  4. brandon,

    isn’t that what it is called…

    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 6 '06 - 03:46PM    #
  5. Sounds to me like it was probably more of an ad for the paper, than a “tract” or “manifesto.”
       —RJ White    Jan. 6 '06 - 07:39PM    #
  6. Oddly enuf, see this news item in the Guardian at,11711,1681095,00.html :

    ”€3m urinal survives art attack

    Jon Henley in Paris
    Saturday January 7, 2006
    The Guardian

    An unrepentant 77-year-old French artist named Pierre Pinoncelli was in custody yesterday after taking a hammer to Marcel Duchamp’s celebrated porcelain urinal at an avant-garde art exhibition in Paris’s Pompidou Centre.

    The 1917 work, a bog-standard white urinal mounted upside down, was “not irreparably damaged”, said a spokesman for the museum, which is hosting a major exhibition of the Dada movement….

    It is not the first time Mr Pinoncelli has attacked the piece, titled Fountain and valued at more than €3m (£2m). During a 1993 exhibition in Nîmes, he relieved himself in it and then belaboured it with another blunt instrument.

    Defending the urinal’s status as art in 1961, Duchamp said he had “taken an everyday article, made its usual significance disappear with a new name, and – from that point of view – created a new and entirely aesthetic meaning for this object”.

    A poll of leading art world figures in 2004 apparently agreed, ranking Fountain as the most influential work of modern art, ahead of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Guernica, and Andy Warhol’s screen prints of Marilyn Monroe.

    Mr Pinoncelli, however, is plainly unimpressed. During his earlier trial, he declared he was “restoring dignity to this object, victim of an abuse of purpose if not of personality”.

    On that occasion, a judge decided Mr Pinoncelli had actually wanted only to “hijack the fame of the original artist” and fined him €45,000.”
       —David Boyle    Jan. 7 '06 - 03:35AM    #
  7. Perhaps you should spend your time copyediting your own pieces. Commas go inside quotation marks. Is that too much to hope for?
       —Mark    Jan. 8 '06 - 05:46AM    #
  8. I prefer the British style, which leaves commas out. Which is also more accurate, as the original may not have commas. “Thanks Mark”! ,,,,,
       —David Boyle    Jan. 8 '06 - 06:37PM    #
  9. GYOBFW.
       —js    Jan. 9 '06 - 10:32PM    #
  10. I’m already on it. Thanks!
       —David Boyle    Jan. 9 '06 - 11:42PM    #
  11. don’t let them get you down.

    yer purrrrfect in a george w. pussy way.
       —Chub    Jan. 10 '06 - 02:59AM    #
  12. “I’ll take that as a compliment!”
       —David Boyle    Jan. 10 '06 - 03:02AM    #
  13. give Duchamp credit for wanting art to give service to the mind, in a rejection of “retinal pleasure”

    chess sayin’
       —Chub    Jan. 10 '06 - 05:01AM    #
  14. OK, you prefer the British style. Fair enough. How do you justify the uncapitalized “H” after the colon in the sentence below from a recent post of yours?

    “Just a little reminder about life outside Ann Arbor impacting life in Ann Arbor: hearings started today for Samuel “Sc”Alito to be Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement on the Supreme Court; the same O’Connor who gave the U. of M. Law School its famous affirmative action victory in the Grutter case…”

    The point is that people can copyedit each other’s works, find small mistakes and post on blogs about them if they don’t have anything more productive to do with their time. But it really doesn’t serve any purpose. Would you agree that it’s more useful to make comments and criticisms with substance?
       —Mark    Jan. 14 '06 - 07:59AM    #
  15. There is some stylistic variation on that, I think. (Colon etc.) Of course, I agree that life is more than copyediting. However, a paper that copyedits badly may also have more substantive problems, and I believe we have seen details about some of that…
       —David Boyle    Jan. 14 '06 - 05:23PM    #
  16. So you’d agree that because you copyedit your entries on this blog poorly (not badly) there are significant substantive problems with them?
       —Mark    Jan. 14 '06 - 06:45PM    #
  17. I said MAY also have problems. Not all “”poorly-copyedited”” work MUST therefore have substantive problems. Logic.

    Also, the Daily has over a hundred years of experience, plus multiple layers of people (reporter, mid-level editor, editor-in-chief) who should catch/proofread stuff, while I edit all my stuff myself.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 14 '06 - 07:13PM    #
  18. You’re right. You did say it “may” be an indicator. So if it were an indicator at one media outlet, why wouldn’t it be at another? What makes the Daily’s case special? By the way, poorly copyedited is not hyphenated — even as an adjective preceding a verb.

    A newspaper also produces thousands of more words of print a day than you do. Wouldn’t it follow that there would be a few typos in the paper?

    You’re right, though, the excretemeny mistake was pretty horrific. So was the misspelling of Luke Massie’s name. After I read that in the morning paper, I wasn’t sure how I could go on with my life.

    But here’s the big question: Don’t you have anything better to do than find spelling errors in these students’s paper? You could do the same with The New York TImes or the Ann Arbor News. So why the Daily?
       —Mark    Jan. 14 '06 - 07:54PM    #
  19. Hm? The hyphen is at least acceptable, some might say even recommended.

    I did not say at any point that bad editing always causes more substantive errors. But it could be a indicator anywhere, of course. Or not.

    Ha about Massie joke.

    We’re not talking a few typos, we are talking some horrific and numerous ones, often on front page.

    Arbor Update was originally a UM student project (Rob Goodspeed), so don’t be surprised if there is some focus on the “main” UM student paper.

    Have a great weekend, by the way.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 14 '06 - 08:05PM    #