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March 30, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 30, 2004


tuU ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
opinion. michi gandaily .com

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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.

Kerry is the
most athletic, most
vigorous guy in the
- David Wade, Sen. John Kerry's
spokesman, on the senator's upcoming
elective shoulder surgery scheduled for
Wednesday, as reported yesterday
by The Seattle Times.

wE 'r ' s


U-1 . N.

- -wv - IRINNW-- -

Attn. FCC: Swearing is totally awesome
T he Federal Com- word simply because it's fun to say, or afraid I have some bad news: Your kids
munications Com- because it can elicit a wide range of dra- know the words already. They have heard
mission has had a matic response when deployed strategical- them in school or from you when you
tough year. Bono's casual ly. And that's OK too. Or it should be. The thought they weren't listening. And, horror
"fucking" at the Golden FCC certainly doesn't think it's OK. of horrors, they also know all about their
Globe Awards, Janet Like many other interesting four-letter sexual and excretory organs. They have
Jackson's flagrantly words, "fuck" almost always falls under at belched. They have farted. They have
naked right breast at the least one of the FCC's two major defini- poked and prodded themselves and figured
Super Bowl, everything tions of "indecency." To be considered things out, because that is what children
Howard Stern has ever "indecent," a word or phrase "must do. And they will not be horrified or cor-
said - the FCC must feel so helpless, so describe or depict sexual or excretory rupted by sex and/or "bad" words in books
violated. Accordingly, it's striking out, organs or activities," and also be "patently or on television, the radio or the Internet
issuing fines left and right, pressuring offensive as measured by contemporary unless you make a big deal out of it. If
huge media conglomerates to drop "offen- community standards." Simply put, I your kids grow up depraved, it's your fault
sive" shows. might get away with saying the FCC's pol- and no one else's. If they don't learn to
Who do these people think they are and icy toward the word is fucking ridiculous, respect the language they speak and the
why do we pay them money to make rules but I would not get away with observing bodies they inhabit: also your fault.
about what people can say over the air- that the FCC really fucked Howard Stern And anyway, your standards make very
waves? Personally, I would like to opt out in the ass with that $27,500 fine. little sense. You won't allow "fuck" when
- keep those tax dollars for myself, I am uncomfortable with this restric- it implies rough sex, but you will allow
thanks - and let people say whatever tion. I have no particular problems with "rape." Fucking can be fun for everyone
they'd like on the air. sex or shitting, and I certainly don't trust involved. Rape can't. You don't want to
Before you accuse me of being an the "community" to tell me what's "patent- hear the word "cock" when it refers to an
unrefined child with no respect for lan- ly offensive." In some communities, it is anatomical structure, but you won't ask to
guage, remember, I am a writer. I have a considered patently offensive for a woman have it bleeped out of a discussion about
large vocabulary. I understand the weight a to bare her ankles in public. It is part of guns and how they are fired.
single word can carry, the degree to which the public consciousness, the same part I do not appreciate these people - and
the wrong syllable uttered at the right that bristles at every public mention of their government-funded arm, the FCC -
moment can ruin a day or a life. But I like oral sex or masturbation. The difference is coming into my living room with their out-
"bad" words. I like them a lot. Sorry. I only in degree. rage and their bleepers and deciding
especially like "fuck" because it's the only But what about The Children? Should- what's good for me. I don't appreciate
established infix in the English language n't we filter everything at the source in their deciding what's good for anyone. The
- as in "unfuckingbelievable" - and case they see or hear it? Nothing sends the truth is, the FCC wouldn't know its ass
because it is simultaneously noun, verb, censors into a frenzy like a precious little from a hole in the ground, and even if it
adjective, adverb and interjection. It is virgin ear, and somehow they've managed did, it would be too priggish to articulate
concise and evocative - a word as valid to convince most people that censorship the difference.
as any other. doesn't count if it is done to protect the
Of course, not everyone is a lin- sanctity of childhood. Henrety can be reached at
guaphile like me. Lots of people like the If you are one of these people, I'm ahenrett@umich.edu.
C4ake's testimon offers up felt about domestic terrorist threats. So much for thoughtless, insensitive and hypocritical.
CYrstanding up for what you believe in and suffer- The Division of Student Affairs website
contradiCtions ing the consequences. claims to celebrate "diversity in a safe and con-
On a personal note, I found Clarke's siderate environment." That safe environment
To THE DAILY: demeanor in front of the Sept. 11 committee includes places like the Office of Multi-Ethnic
This letter is in response to Louie Meizlish's (I actually stayed up to watch his full testimo- Student Affairs, William Monroe Trotter House
column (Puncturing the silence, 0326/04). I ny on C-SPAN) disingenuous, pathetic, drip- and the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
think it's important to apply some logic and rea- ping with hubris and his Cheshire cat grin Transgender Affairs. These safe spaces for stu-
son to the Richard Clarke "media barrage." I use was unnerving and inappropriate for a subject dents are being threatened, and it is the job of
that term to illuminate the increasingly cynical as somber as the disaster in New York. I think students to fight these threatening changes.
practice of former civil servants to parlay their Meizlish's column should have addressed The University does not only provide
experiences into personal fortune and job adver- these issues, and I would encourage students safe spaces for marginalized groups. Young
tisement. The timing of Clarke's book publica- at Michigan to switch channels to C-SPAN Americans for Freedom is a safe space for
tion was exploitative and shameful. this week and form their own opinions. wealthy, white Republicans to gather and
Can anyone point to a single book, KENNETH LONGo spend time with like-minded people. Does
either from the right or left of the political Research scientist, the University fund YAF? Maybe this money
spectrum, that is a serious work of scholar- Medical School could be put to better use.
ly history, rather than self-indulgent revi- I found Davis's comments regarding the
sionism intended to cast the author in the S s e t m tSexual Assault Prevention and Awareness
best possible light? I certainly can't. Ye paces at U must be Center to be particularly offensive. Sexual-
Clarke's statements, past and present, are at m ntain d students ized violence happens on this campus, and
best contradictory. How can they be useful to the services that SAPAC gives to these sur-
the Sept. 11 committee? They are a worthless vivors are of too much importance to be
illustration of a typical Washington bureaucrat TO THE DAILY: referred to as a "nursery school" or
whose moral compass has lost its magnetism. Whenever I read an article from a Young "babysitter," and they are of too much
By Clarke's own admission, he withheld his true Americans for Freedom member, I find importance for the University to fragment
feelings from President Bush because of poli- myself forgetting whether the "F" stands for these services.
tics. Translation: My own future as a Washing- freedom or fascism. In Laura Davis's letter to JEFF REZMOVIC
ton insider, who gives interviews on news shows the editor ('U' should provide academic LSA junior
and obtains lucrative book contracts, out- instruction, not unrelated student services, Member, Student Voices in Action
weighed my civil obligation to say what I really 03/25/04) on the state of student affairs was and Our Voices Count
Picking Kerry's winning ticket



With July approaching, it's open season
for political forecasting, and the national pun-
ditry has commenced the wave of chatter and
conjectures that inevitably precedes election
time. The prevalent question among these
commentators: Who will Kerry select as a
running mate? Thus far, analyst speculation
has complicated the matter, producing a
chaotic jumble of potential candidates rang-
ing from Hillary Clinton to John McCain.
Each expert uses the to-be-announced status
of the presidential ticket to expound his con-
victions on how to best tip the boatload of
swing voters into Democratic waters.
Initially, the bulk of the media pointed to
Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) as the frontrunner
for the slot. The Edwards camp maintains the
young and vibrant politician will aid Kerry in
the South, while simultaneously bringing a new

are those convinced that a reputed foreign
policy figurehead would comfort voters
disillusioned by the wealth of finger-point-
ing and uncertainty surrounding Sept. 11
and the arduous military campaigns that
followed. These pundits stand in the cor-
ners of Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, one of the
Democratic Party's more hawkish mem-
bers, and Gen. Wesley Clark, one of the
party's up-and-coming personalities. While
a pick like this is a convenient way to bol-
ster Kerry's defense against the Bush cam-
paign's onslaught of national security
rhetoric, its effectiveness at securing elec-
toral college votes remains suspect. There
is no evidence to suggest that a vice presi-
dent strong on defense issues would alter
state voting margins. More plausibly, a
national security pick would increase
Kerry's voting share, but at the same time,
diffuse it.

modating dispersed and divisive cleavages of
the voting public, it is essential to pick a run-
ningmate that will directly translate into elec-
toral college votes.
Enter Sen. Bob Graham of Florida. Aside
from his positive reputation as a key player in
the contentious deliberations over prewar
intelligence and a well-established luminary
on Capitol Hill, Bob Graham has spent four
decades as a civil servant in Florida, rising to
become one of the state's most esteemed pub-
lic icons. He has served two terms as a state
representative, two more as a state senator,
two terms as Florida's governor and is in the
process of completing his third term in the
U.S. Senate. If there is one person who can
swing Florida back to the Democrats, it's Gra-
Irrefutably, the magnitude of a victory
in the Sunshine State would be immense.
Florida holds 27 electoral college votes -

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