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July 03, 2006 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-07-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Bread an
eing an
adult is
so total-
ly overrated.
In mid-Decem-
ber of last year,
when the race
to secure a
summer intern-
ship began, the
thought of an unpaid foray into
broadcast journalism seemed thrill-
ing. I imagined running around
New York City with a camera crew,
chasing corrupt city politicians and
sultry summer storms.
Now, of course, after my fourth
week of logging and dubbing tapes
other people have made, I real-
ize those images were terrifically
naive, and very possibly delusional.
The job is boring, the hours gruel-
ing. Deep within the confines of my
grey cubicle, I decided that summer
should be a time for silliness and
sun, for cherishing the long days
that seem to simply fade into the
thick heat we ache for all year long.
Friends, I thought, should come
home, and families should reunite.
Beach days should be plentiful and
bleed onto one another as though
the season was endless.
But the reality, of course, is that
most of us will need a summer job.
College is absurdly expensive and
few of us can afford to bum around
for four months. And those of us for-
tunate enough to be able to take on
an unpaid internship are urged to do
so, advised that it is our best chance
to get our foot in the door and start
climbing up the ladder early on.
But as I schmoozed with tome
of the top producers and corre-
spondents in an industry I thought
might one day be my own, I was
disgusted. I was disgusted with the
fluorescent lights and the cooped-up
cubicles, saddened by the substitu-
tion of fluff where fact should have
been, and sickened by the perver-
sion of journalism into corporate
complacency. Worse, I thought, I
bought into every last piece of it. It
scared me how quickly I abandoned
pt CA
1 n U0A

The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 3, 2006 - 5
ACoLENA tSSMR0F Ann Coulter, give back your degree
A s a proud stitute cause for having her Juris Doctorate All of this is, of course, complete non-
my true love - the written word - student of returned. Coulter is perceived as a celeb- sense. With few exceptions, scientists
for a high profile, high-fallutin' job . this univer- rity because of her crass, rude and often accept evolution. The idea that organisms
that offered little more than bread sity, my list of alum- offensive diatribes, which lead to large change over time in response to selection
and circuses. niI don't like is not book sales. But her law degree from the factors is well-supported by evidence.
I have come to believe that the very long. There is, University also allows her to be perceived How else does one explain the presence of
end of summer as we once knew and of course, the Una- as a scholar. In light of these facts, her independent circular DNA in mitochon-
loved it is the least of our problems. bomber - bomb- degree must be returned because her state- dria that's separate from the genome? Is
The internship I detest might ing universities and ments in the book and in the media make it really too complex to have just evolved
just be the best thing to happen airlines will do that her anything buta scholar. from the symbiotic relationship between
to me since the New York Times. to a person. There's John DeLorean, who, From what I hear, the chapter on evo- two different kinds of cells? That's logis-
It has likely saved me years in a after designing the car in "Back to the lution is easily reason enough for her to tical laziness. Imagine if Sir Isaac New-
job I would have surely hated, and Future," was hounded by the FBI because give back her degree. We all have differ- ton said that the apple is too complex to
helped me to accept that my hap- he decided cocaine was, in the words of ing opinions on the war against terrorism, have fallen from the tree on its own, so an
piness is unlikely to come dressed Rick James, "one helluva drug." affirmative action, capitalism, abortion, "intelligent designer" must have kicked it
in a six-figure salary with the full There are others on the list, your typical school vouchers, etc. All of these issues down to the ground.
benefits to match. blend of murderers and overall scumbags. have at least two sides and each is reason- Being educated at the University, Coul-
There area lot of us out there. We Now I'd like to add another person to this list able, depending on who you talk to. ter should have been able to read the arti-
are the engineering students who - Ann Coulter. I'm pretty sure Coulter isn't Evolution, however - regardless of cles and determine that currently there is
would rather be enrolled in the art a murderer. She hasn't raped anyone or even what the religious radicals in their ivory no better way to explain the diversity of
school, the lovers of women's stud- been arrested for heroin smuggling, but she towers say - does not have two legiti- life than evolution. She hasn't. Instead,
ies who hide in the safe confines of definitely is a scumbag. She has made this mate sides. There is the side that reads and she sticks to her own provincial religious
the English department. We are the listnot because she's aconservative, but sim- believes the vast amount of scientific data beliefs about the world and dismisses evo-
students who make a hobby out of ply because she's an idiot. In fact, her recent supporting evolution, and then there is the lution as just another liberal conspiracy.It's
our photography instead of a career, behavior now leads me to make a request on side that refuses to trust anything not writ- because of "ideas" like hers that concepts
the would-be African-American behalf of the entire University community: ten in the Book of Genesis. like evolution are framed in a liberal-con-
Studies majors who choose "more Ann,please give back your degree. You would assume someone who was servative or religious-atheist context. They
respected" instead. Coulter most recently stirred up a con- a member of the prestigious Order of the have no real reason to be viewed as such.
A good friend (and fellow politi- troversy with hernew book,"Godless: The Coif honor society in law school would It is because of her foolish and naive
cal science major) mentioned the Church of Liberalism." In it, she takes aim have enough sense to see through the reli- beliefs that I must ask her to return the
other day - in hushed tones, of at, among other things, four New Jersey gious dogma and malarkey that plagues the degree she received from the University.
course -- that it is his dream to widows who lost their husbands on Sept. anti-evolution movement. Assumptions, If Ann Coulter wants to be offensive, rac-
become a high school social stud- 11, and then criticized President George W. however, are the mother of all screw-ups. ist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and most of
ies teacher. Bush. Then, in an appearance on NBC's Ann rails against evolution as part of all, stupid, I wouldn't dream of stopping
He took his LSAT last month. "The Today Show," she told host Matt her war on liberalism, which she dubs a her. She just shouldn't do under the title of
At the University, we have oppor- Lauer that she's "never seen people enjoy- religion. Specifically, she views evolution "University of Michigan alum."
tunities handed to us of which few ing their husbands' deaths so much." as a myth because there's no evidence to
others could begin to even dream. As inflammatory and unnecessary as back it up, and because science continues Goldberg can be reached at
We are smart and impassioned, such statements are, they do not alone con- to disprove it. jaredgo@umich.edu.
privileged and well connected - n wa t
anmswe are young. If it sometimes0ne 'word at a ime
seems as though the very world is
at our feet, it's because it really is. THERESA KENNELLY THERE'S A R EASON
But some of the basics seem to be ast Decem- -widespreadusage oftermstraditionally cannot be detached from their original
lost on us: If you want to take pic- ber, North reserved for the LGBT community has definitions, and only when the language
lures, buy a camera. If you wanta oUniversity been growing as the words have become designated for the LBGT community is
school. If you want to write, write. Ave. became the divorced for their original meaning and respected and offensive slang is no longer
It might be a clich6, it might be hot spot of contro- lost their significance. used to refer to members of that commu-
oversimplified, it might even be versy in Ann Arbor The colloquial usage of words that are nitywill cultural acceptancegrow. Indeed,
wapessibd.But as my lunch hour when members of degrading to the LGBT community is the as time progresses, the gay rights move-
impossi e bthe Westboro Bap- result both of people forgetting the true ment has gained momentum - if not in
presence once again, it seems more tist Church showed definitions ofthe words aswell as express- Congress, then certainly in society. More
true than anything else. up to protest a per- ing discomfort with the LGBT commu- than 75 percent of American high school
formance of 'The Laramie Project." The nity. Both reasons are equally offensive to seniors support some formofgaymarriage,
Gay is afall/winter columnist picketers, ranging in age from five to 65, the LGBT community and equally hard to and we can expect this supportto increase
and member ofthe Daily's edito- represented the church notorious for hat- overcome. The English language has been as younger generations grow up. But this
rial board. She can be reached at ing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans- abused to a point where "gay" has become support must translate to more respectful
maracl@umich.edu. gender community and held signs with completely separated from its reference to language, too. Whether people may realize


hateful slogas like God Hates Fags" and
"Fags Doom Nations." While this group is
without a doubt an extreme version of the
anti-gay rights movement and likewise,
nowhere near an accurate representa-
tion of those who vote against legislation
against gay marriage, the language used
on the WBC signs is not far from that spo-
ken by an overwhelming percentage of the
American population.
Just a short walk around campus or
stop in a house party is enough to expose
anyone to language that is degrading and
offensive to the LBGT community. Terms
like "gay," "homo" and "faggot" are fre-
quently employed by students to refer to
members of the LBGT community, those
who appear to be members of that com-
munity and (my personal favorite) objects
or events completely disconnected from
the community. (I have yet to understand
how a song on the radio can have a sexual
orientation.) And college students are cer-
tainly not alone in using such language

a homosexual male. Worse, many hetero-
sexual males constantly feel the need to
refer to homosexual males as "fags" in an
attempt tosecure their manhood. (And we
all know that nobody younger than 85 uses
"gay" to refer to a joyous holiday party).
But last month, the British Broadcast-
ing Corporation came up with a solution.
It ruled that "gay now means 'rubbish' in
modernplayground speak and need not be
offensive to homosexuals" (as reported by
"The London Times"). This comes on the
heels of a morning radio-show host refer-
ring to a cell phone ring tone as "gay." It's
mind-blowing to even try to understand
why it is necessary to extend a word des-
ignated for the LGBT community to mean
something entirelyunrelatedtohomosexu-
ality. Isn't it common knowledge that when
a word intended to identify a homosexual
male is extended to mean "rubbish," that
society is practically taking a step back in
terms of gay rights?
Words like "gay" and "homosexual"

or not, colloquial usage of "homo" contin-
ues to keep LGBT members from becom-
ing equal members of society.
But fortunately, the future of the Eng-
lish language looks optimistic. A few
weeks ago, Chicago White Sox manager
Ozzie Guillen was fined and forced to
attend sensitivity training after calling a
Chicago newspaper writer a "fag" -and
rightfully so. Guillen's punishment is a
good start in ousting derogatory gay-
related vocabulary from- the insensitive
mouths of many Americans. But this is
only a small step towards the ultimate
goal of making "faggot" the truly objec-
tionable "f-word." Just as it would be
ludicrous for a white American to col-
loquially refer to a black person using
the n-word, sensitivity with our usage of
English terminology must extend to the
LGBT community.
Kennelly can be reached at

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