T.O.S. = S.O.S.

(The Other Section=Same Old Shit)


Fifth Estate # 89, October 2-15, 1969

The “Man” is a veritable packaging genius. He has just about mastered the art of packaging the same old shit so that it looks like different new shit.

This is all very nice, until the packages are unwrapped. The same old funky odor wafts up to our poor, exploited nostrils every time.

“The Other Section,” a Detroit News supplement, is an example of the way “special groups” are handled in Amerika.

Let us leave the Other Section, still untouched, and find out where it’s coming from, before we unwrap it.

It’s coming from a system that sells you a new car every year, and makes internal changes on those same cars every ten or fifteen years. Not content with offering you that same old shit in new packages, they force you to buy it through a mechanism known as planned obsolescence.

It’s coming from a system in which a tobacco company, oppressor of thousands of black people, would dare turn around and use a poster of a mean, black man in a dashiki to sell cigarettes, playing on overtones of racial violence and telling you (the creep on the sidewalk) “that’s where it’s at.”

It’s coming from a system in which you pay a nickel more for the same old smelly soap-powder every time they make the box brighter, and a dime more for a tube of toothpaste when they figure out a fancy name for some common abrasive that will whiten your teeth for a few months before it grinds them into oblivion.

Specifically, it’s coming from the same newspaper that published the stomp-down racist-ass “criiiime in da streets” column. The same newspaper that carries Dave Valler’s recantations. The very same newspaper that responded to the black revolution by publishing a magazine supplement with enough Toms on its pages to start a cotton plantation on Belle Isle.

That’s where it’s coming from.

And here it is!!!

Yessireee, Bob! Boys and girls! You can have your own Detroit News! Just like Mom and Dad’s! (really!)

The first issue, published September 25th, proclaimed that it was an experiment in journalism. Auschwitz must have been an experiment in family living.

Who but the Detroit News would come back from Ann Arbor the weekend of an anti-war rally and tell you that the real confrontation was between two rock bands!

Who but the Detroit News would give you a special section for the “kids” and then turn the editorship of it over to a 55 year old staff hack?

Mario Savio is non-interviewed in The Other Section. Conclusion: REVOLUTION IS AN ADOLESCENT PHASE. Remember that, kiddies.

Ted Lucas, Detroit folksinger, is quoted as saying, “love is revolutionary.” So’s your mama.

In a column of T.O.S. called “Threads” they conclude a description of all the bizarre fashions you can buy in the super-expensive glitzy boutiques by saying “At Detroit boutiques you can create a precious thing—yourself.” I wonder how much they charge for creation?

And on and on. The Other Section is the Detroit News, aimed slightly (having picked up a few “hip” words here and there) at today’s youth.

You have to read The Other Section. Once. Read it because it exists, and other people read it. Read it to check out one more trick the Man has up his empty sleeve.

BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE, DON’T BUY IT! Rip the motherfucker off!