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January 08, 2002 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-08

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 8, 2001

OP/ED 0

ibe atIctigun jDaillj

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
Let us just reflect on
what happened ... 12 years
ago or so ... Afghanistan
became a failed state, living
on terror, finally exporting
terror and responsible for 90
percent of the heroin on
British streets."
-- British Prime Minister Tony Blair as
quoted by CNN at a news conference
yesterday in Islamabad, Pakistan on the
failure of the international community
to make a commitment to Afghanistan
"in terms of time, energy and cash."

- 4t(So~cA. e
~ LVi.c~*VOs COS
1,77-

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Controversy part II: 'm offended at your offense
DUSTIN J. SEIBERT THE MANIFESTO
ure, I can be an ass- battles. These days folks are so quick to blow It seems lately that every time a female gets
hole - I will never the proverbial whistle on things decidedly non- a glance of a Maxim magazine in my posses-
contest that, as it is politically correct, and I believe that it causes sion, I get all sorts of feminist banter about how
purely factual. The question people to lose sight of a rather important facet of such magazines "objectify" women. Of course,
is, how much of a bearing our country's freedoms that should not be as such responses are not limited to the magazine,
" does my being an asshole compromised as it appears to be as of late. I am and so I am forced to go into an explanation
have on your life? We all virtually incapable of being offended by any- about why they are so woefully misguided in
remember as children when thing; perhaps as a result of a mixture of early their opinions. First of all, men would not have
our elders explained to us exposure to adult issues and a childhood a chance to objectify women if they didn't
that our responses to the plagued with incessantly being fucked with by objectify themselves to begin with. These girls
actions of those trying to get our "goat" would other children. If I really should be offended by have to pos for these pictures, correct? No one
dictate whether or not they continue to do so. If anything, it is the fact that I can't speak as freely forces Tyra Banks into a thong with a gun to her
I am being an asshole and I get no response as I would like to. I do a pretty good job of it as head and a camera in her face. In addition, these
from my target, then, chances are I will leave it is, but the fact remains that I can't be as women make healthy sums of money posing for
them alone. The more you react in anger, how- expressive as I would like. Should I choose to said pictures! Forget the oft-argued concept of
ever, the more I get my jollies (largely depend- pursue journalistic writing as a career, I need to the women representing some sort of societal
ing on my designated target). Many people fail accept the fact that my dear college publication standard of physical desire - I will put it in the
to grasp this concept, so most of the pain that is as close as I will probably ever get to true words of a friend of mine who said it well:
they receive, they bring on themselves. When journalistic emancipation. Women are profiting off of the weakness of men,
you think about it, don't so many people just The male-female double standard is alive sweet and simple ... though many women still
make their own lives difficult by placing such and well in the world, despite our desires to have a problem with this. I imagine that most of
weight on the words of others? believe that things have changed. Women want the women who feel this way are the ones who
Indeed, we are all human, and most people the cross-gender equality that they do deserve, don't have that desirable body, and much of
get offended by something. While I cannot right- but many seem not to really want men to treat their animosity likely derives from pure jeal-
ly consider myself the foremost authority on them the same. When you consider the idea of ousy.
what should and should not offend everybody, I offending or disrespecting a woman in more tra- As I previously stated, the words and actions
look around and have come to the conclusion ditional aspects, you will find that much of it of man carry different weight for different peo-
that many people do not know how to pick their involves saying things that an average male ple; if your father kicked you down a flight of
battles. For every little thing that someone wouldn't take offense at. stairs when you were three and you never quite
deems somewhat offensive, there is some right- It appears to be a societal courtesy that men got over it, then perhaps your sensitivity is justi-
wing, conservative, Christian-based, moral try to watch their tongues in the presence of the fied in the matter. However, people who have a
majority organization dedicated to its eradica- fairer sex. I see it is a practice of gender discrimi- desire to jump on a cause that lacks relevance in
tion. You've got Jerry Falwell blaming homo- nation to bite one's tongue should a female wan- the long run, versus taking up something of
sexuals for the downfall of society. You've got der into earshot, but most of us view it simply as importance, are the ones who probably have
Gwyneth "The Toothpick" Paltrow on MTV a gesture of respect. The whole concept is ass- internal issues of their own. I'm no psychiatrist,
whining about the exploitation of women in the backwards, but it is so second nature to most but I look and listen at the people who get
"booty" videos. You've got Dionne Warwick people that they typically don't acknowledge it. offended by menial issues, and more often than
complaining to senators about the lyrical content I know what you all are thinking ... do I feel not, it makes perfect sense. As for me beingan
of rap music (the Psychic Friends should have obliged to speak harshly around my mother? Of asshole, well I suppose that's relative also.
told her sorry ass to focus on reviving her dead course not ... for obvious reasons. Indeed I do Knowledge.
career instead of on efforts done in vain). conform and watch my tongue (sometimes)
I believe that the problem lies in the fact that around the opposite sex, for the sake of saving Dustin Seibert can be reached via
people don't know how to effectively pick their myself undesired grief. e-mail at dseibert@umich.edu.
Lost TV shows and lost concens
PETER CUNNIFFE ONE FOR THE RoAD
everal years ago I What I found most beneficial about cutting cares what happens to him? He's one guy whose
bought a large TV back on television was giving up cable news. importance is largely a product of commentators'
with the wages from I'm sure that's not the mindless crap most anti- ability to rile people up with the imagined impli-
a summer in retail hell and TV types seethe about, but it is surprisingly cations of his treatment. The world is-filled with
this September I brought it mindless and stupendously crappy. What I'm weirdos, injustice and lost souls. Walker's partic-
to my new apartment as I really pleased I've been doing without are the ular fate concerns me not in the least and hearing
had been doing since that pundit-based bitchathons that pass for news endless blather about it from the guardians of
summer. I don't know if it commentary and analysis. Ideological commen- morality or civil liberties or from random loud-
was the TV or the apart- tary became a staple of television news because mouths was a waste of time I'm glad I didn't sub-
ment, but no antenna-based it keeps the channels' limited audience of politi- ject myself to. Looking back on all the other
channels were coming in on the thing. Not a cally interested newsies glued to the set for drivel I spent my time listening to and being agi-
problem though. I intended, as always, to just get longer. It worked on me for a long time. I used to tated about, I'm much better off now, blissfully
cable anyway. I called to have it installed, but watch the various ever-proliferating pundit unconcerned by such matters as the proper level
unfortunately Comcast's "appointments" are shows daily. And once confined to their own of patriotism or what college professors and stu-
four-hour blocks of time in the middle of the shows, these fonts of wisdom, usually received dents are saying to anger pundits now. There are
day, anytime during which the cable guy may from other pundits, had even leached into regular undoubtedly real issues out there, but they can be
show up. With my class schedule, I couldn't news shows and you could now see armchair found in a newspaper and don't have to be filtered
possibly be there for nearly that long on any politicos interviewed as if they were real ones. through hours of partisan pontification.
given day. I'm not some kind of crazy anti-television I knew I had really given up cable news
The result was that I missed my first appoint- zealot and I was never cut off from TV or the when I went home for a couple weeks over
ment and a few weeks later, my second. This talking heads completely. I'd still watch at break and even in my most bored moments,
was, at first, disappointing since I was something friends' houses sometimes or read about some of didn't watch anything but old movies and music
of a news junkie and there were some pretty their more egregious behavior. But I consider videos. MTV was one of those things I wanted
interesting things going on at the beginning of myself lucky to be living through the most con- to steer clear of too, but late at night they actually
the semester. I wasn't totally cut off. I watched at troversial era of my life largely free from the play a lot of good music.
friends' houses and ate lunches in front of the endless daily (non)controversies whipped up for I suspected I'd miss a lot of things about not
continuous CNN screening set up in the Union. the cable news. having a TV, especially not watching The Simp-
But after hearing the same old stuff repeated for To get an idea of what they've been talking sons every day, but I never even think about it,
a couple days, I gave up. I began just reading about recently, yesterday I looked at the website or much else I used to watch. I hate to sound like
newspaper stories online in the morning to find of one of the more amusing pundits, Bill "I ask an annoying parent, but there are a lot better
out what was going on. the tough questions" O'Reilly. The first headline things you could be doing with your time than
At first I planned to make another try at get- on the site: "Are the Rolling Stones Evil?" watching TV. What I did with the time, largely
ting cable, but it had now been a few weeks with- Since O'Reilly had obviously lost it and I studied more, probably isn't what most would
out it. I felt strangely unbothered by my lack of had lost interest in searching further, I decided to do, but even doing things many might consider a
TV viewing and decided it might be a good idea just ask a friend what the hot topics have been. I waste of time, like having a couple beers with
to try to live without it for a little longer. At least was told the issue of what to do with John Walk- your friends, is undoubtedly a more fulfilling
it'd save me a couple bucks. Four months later, I er Lindh was big for a while and still popped up experience than a TV show. Probably the only
feel the same way. I've missed a lot of the cool now and then. reason I never started watching the same way I
stuff I had always watched and there have proba- Pre-September I'm sure I would've had all used to is that I couldn't, so I know it's hard. But
bly been things on I would have enjoyed greatly. kinds of opinions about such a subject that I I have to say, it'd be well worth the effort.
But having freed up untold hours over that time, I would justify as important because of what it

can't say anything I did would have been time meant for our legal system and messages that - Peter Cunniffe can be reached via
better spent on even my favorite shows. were being sent or whatever. But really, who e-mail atpcunnil@umich.edu.
V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

0

Haddad's hearings
resemble tribunal
To THE DAILY:
In her article "Local Muslim man may be deport-

Though Haddad is not facing a military tribunal,
it appears that the government is trying its best to
mimic one.
AMER ARDATI
Medical School

see the luggage of so many middle-aged white ladies
being turned inside out.)
My belt buckle tripped the metal detectors at
JFK and the Las Vegas airport, but not at Detroit
Metro or LAX. Everyone's shoes were searched in
Las Vegas, but not at JFK, although random searches
forced me to remove my shoes at both the security
chrbk,.-1 ndu-a t the. pateAt ILAY thev ,nniv madep

A

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