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

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-opinion Slouch 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 column. 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 readers? 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 tent. 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 coming. “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 mands. “I was in school.” “And what were you doing in school?” “I don’t know. 1 just went to class, and stuff.” “What kind of stuff?” Wallingford yells. “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 self?” “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 phomaniac.” “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 go?” “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! game?” “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.” Wh Support your local generic politician by Dick West United Press International olvei block to plaster your auto with plactii the bearing the word “humpersticker, ttv of Consumer and groups seeking WASHINGTON 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 ' name. 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 bucks.” 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 tics. 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 graphics. 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 road. 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. Sine lave 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 Schulz Editorial Policy The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting news paper operated as a community service to Texas A&M University and Bryan-College Station. Opinions ex pressed in 'The Battalion arc those of the editored author, and do not necessarily represent ihcopii^ Texas A&M University administrators orfacul!) bers, or of the Board of Regents. The Battalion also serves as a laboratoryni for students in reporting, editing and photograj ses within the Department of Communications. Questions or comments concerning matter should be directed to the editor. eed> wai oing iccoi O' or tl n out ped . 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