The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 16, 1983, Image 2

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By Jim Earle
American workers stay on toes
by Maxwell Glen
and Cody Shearer
The president’s son put his finger on
something the other day that has impor-
ant implications for America’s future.
In a parting shot in the pages of News
week, 24-year-old Ronald Prescott
Reagan explained that he was giving up
lis chosen profession, ballet, because
dancing was “much less and much more”
than fie’d imagined. The “glorious har
mony of mind and body” wasn’t worth
the hassle of constant travel, low pay and
poor treatment.
“Ten hours in a rehearsal room re
nder one incapable of anything more
energetic than sipping beet through a
straw and watching ‘I Love Lucy’ re
runs,” Reagan contended in a guest
We know what you’re thinking: A
aresident’s son, who dropped out of Yale
to pick up toe shoes, doesn’t need much
sympathy. His father could introduce
him to hundreds of employers and keep
him from re-seeking jobless benefits.
And who else, excepting perhaps
Bjorn Borg, could quit his job in the
depths of a recession and explain himself
to millions of readers? In times like these,
many people vent their frustration — by
missing work or getting high — but never
give up their jobs.
But young Reagan is rather typical of
an enormous worker class about which so
much has been said and written. He
doesn’t play by older rules of self-
fulfillment, partly because he can’t and
partly because he doesn’t want to.
Everybody at the first or middle rungs
of that Latter to Wherever understands
the first reason. The sheer size of
Reagan’s generation has greatly exacer-
And who else, excepting perhaps
Bjorn Borg, could quit his job in
the depths of a recession and ex
plain himself to millions of
bated the stifling effect of low growth.
Some fields, like ballet, pose more prob
lems than others, but even engineering
and business won’t offer guaranteed
promotional opportunities.
Meanwhile, as the first family’s
youngest explains, there’s more to life
than promotions. “I left (ballet) because I
want to make a home with my wife and
one day have a child,” he wrote. Not only
the finances of ballet but all “the prospect
of touring for months on end made these
goals distant, at best.” To be sure, the
“deprivation” and “humiliation” implicit
in the work only magnified his discon
The dancer-turned-writer evidently
wanted to warn us that such hardships
pose future problems for the ballet pro
fession. He mostly blames ballet mana
gers who bemoan cuts in National En
dowment for the Arts grants but stage
lavish productions on the backs of ac
quiescent performers. Unintentionally,
or inadvertently, he sidesteps his father’s
fiscal parsimony with the arts.
But young Ron’s job dissatisfaction has
wide-ranging implications. It plagues a
generation whose values, in the words of
public opinion analyst Matt Puleo of the
Yankelovich firm, have evolved from a
“psychology of affluence.” In the future,
it means that many more workers, de
sperate for fulfillment, will make occa
sional job changes a career in itself.
If it hasn’t already, the trend is likely to
drive employers crazy. Even efforts to
give workers a bigger piece of the rock or
an expanded role in decision-making
won’t solve the problem. As with the Holy
Grail, the precise nature and source of
job satisfaction could be less clear than
the search itself.
Perpetually restless workers, unfor
tunately, could undermine the chances
for a healthy economy. While technolo
gical advances and a shrinking overall
labor pool are likely to provide an enor
mous boost to America’s productivity,
the quality of the workforce will be a lin
chpin to economic strength. If workers
lack a basic interest and commitment in
their jobs, progress may be slow in
“First we put everything into the computer and when we arrive at a figure we
draw a number out of the hat. Then we average them and cross our fingers.”
Battalion/Page 2
February 16,11
Planned Parenthooi
parenting problems
by Art Buchwald
This column is about sex. Parental
discretion is advised.
The Reagan administration seems to
be going ahead with a rule requiring that
any organization receiving federal funds
for dispensing contraceptives to a minor
must notify the parents within 10 days of
the request.
The administration’s heart is in the
right place. But trying to put such a rule
into effect presents problems. Many pa
rents can’t talk with their teen-agers ab
out rock music, much less discuss with
them the subject of sex.
Let’s assume that the Wallingfords
have just received a letter from Planned
Parenthood, noting that their daughter
Sue Anne has requested a prescription
for the Pill.
Both are waiting for her when she
comes home from school.
“Where were you?” Wallingford de
“I was in school.”
“And what were you doing in school?”
“I don’t know. 1 just went to class, and
“What kind of stuff?” Wallingford
“You know, just stuff. What are you
guys all excited about?”
“Are you sure you didn’t sneak off in a
clothes closet and do it with some boy?”
“Do what? And with what boy?”
“Any boy,” Mrs. Wallingford says. “We
know everything,” she says waving the
letter from Planned Parenthood.
“So what do you have to say for your
“I knew if I asked you for permission
to buy the Pill you wouldn’t give it to me.”
“You’re damn right we wouldn’t give it
to you. What kind of parents do you
think we are?” Wallingford says.
“I know what kind of parents you are.
That’s why I went somewhereelseto]
tect myself.”
“To protect yourself from what?
“Having a baby.”
“What do you know about
babies?” Mrs. Wallingford says.
“Well, when the male’s spermfei
the woman’s ovum ...”
“That’s enough of that kind of
talk,” Wallingford shouts.
“I don’t believe I’m hearing this,"ij
Wallingford says. “We’ve raised am
“You seem to know a lot about
young lady,” Wallingford says."You
tainly didn’t learn any of this at hoi
“I know. That’s why I wenttothf)
nic. Every time I brought u^nhesufj
you said it was none of my business
“It isn’t any of your business,!
Wallingford says. “You’re 17 years
and nice girls don’t discuss suchtlii
with their parents.”
“Well, if it isn’t any of my business!
come I can get pregnant?”
“You can’t get pregnant unlessyoi
it,” Wallingford shouts. “And i
mother and I forbid you to do it.
“Anything you say, folks. Nowa
“Where are you going?”
“To the basketball game withJatl
“So that’s where you’re goin
Wallingford cries.
“How am I going to do it at a basket!
“In the parking lot,” Wallingford
“That’s where I used to do it."
“I can’t take any more if
Goodbye.” i|
After Sue Anne leaves, Mrs. Wal le,) '
ford wipes the tears from her eyes! jT 1
know George, I think we both.woil ’ 1(
happier today if Planned Parentlt
had never let us know.”
Support your local
generic politician
by Dick West
United Press International
block to plaster your auto with plactii the
bearing the word “humpersticker, ttv of
Consumer and
groups seeking
other illness-prone
cheaper medication long have lobbied
for legislation to make it easier for doc
tors to prescribe drugs by generic, or che
mical, nomenclature rather than brand
Speaking of autos, a generic
vehicle might not be a bad idea;ei )U1 '
And now makers of generic, or no
name, cigarettes report a booming busi
ness. Filters, kings, lights and regulars
sold in packages labeled simply as
“cigarettes” captured nearly 1 percent of
the market in 1982. That, as one industry
spokesman commented, amounts to “big
There is more to their rising popular
ity than the fact that generic products
generally are cheaper than brand-name
goods. The phenomenon has been called
“reverse snob appeal” by some social cri
Injection of the ego element into un
branded merchandise makes me wonder
where the trend will strike next. Generic
T-shirts may be one possibility.
Everywhere you look these days you
see T-shirts imprinted with political mes
sages, personal statements of life style
preferences and myriad pictorial
What about skivvies with the word “T-
shirt” spelled out across the chest? Might
they not be heavy sellers? Particularly if
the price is right?
Also is brisk demand would be generic
bumper stickers. Be the first on your
Could run Japanese cars right
The greatest potential, however,pi
ably lies in the field of generic politic!
U.S. political archives fairly teem
jokes about “the best senator mone;
buy.” But buying a member of Conj
isn’t what it used to be.
Common Cause, the “citizen's
that keeps track of campaign funds
tributed by political action comni
has just isolated and identified
ale’s first “million-dollar PACman
It says one of the successfulcandii
in the 1982 campaign recti'
$1,191,951 in PAC contributions.
A prime reason the price is going!
the insistence on brand-name politicii
PAC contributors generally goforcai
dates who are affiliated with one
major parties, which, at twilight's
gleaming, were brand named Rep
can and Democrat.
Politicians might be labeled generic
liberal, generically conservativeorg® gp et
ically moderate. Whatever yourideol SSU{
some of them should be in tunewith®em;
brand of politics. Plus they ared
The next time you mark your
and none of the namebrand candi P 1Te
suits your fancy, try voting generic
could be the next best thing to"n
the above.”
The Battalion
USPS 045 360
Member ot
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Conference
Editor Diana Sultenfuss
Managing Editor . Gan Barker
Associate Editor Denise Richter
City Editor 1 lope E. Paasch
Assistant (iity Editor Beverly Hamilton
Sports Editor John Wagner
Entertainment’Editor Colette Hutchings
Assistant Entertainment Editor.. . . Diane Yount
News Editors Daran Bishop, Brian Boyer,
Jennifer Carr, Elaine Engstrom,
Johna Jo Maurer, Jan Werner,
Rebeca Zimmerniann
Staff Writers
Melissa Adair, Maureen Carmody,
Frank Christlieb, Connie Edelmon,
Patrice Koranek, John Lopez, Robert
McGlohon, Ann Ramsbottom, Kim
Schmidt. Patti Schwierzke, Kelle\
Smith. Angel Stokes, Tracey Taylor,
Joe Tindel
Copyeditors .... Shelley Hoekstra. Jan Swatter,
Chris Thayer
Cartoonist . Scott MeCullar
(iraphic Artists Pam Starasinic
Sergio Galvez.
Photographers David Fisher, Jorge Casari,
Ronald W. Emerson, Rob
Johnston, Irene Mees, William
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