Opinion Story

by Staff

Please let us know when you get a job as a journalist, so we canstay clear of your horrible work (“Student bitches about a normal dayat SDSU,” Ryan Albert, Nov. 16). I’ve disagreed with your work in thepast, but have since tried to find a good article from a so-calledjournalism major. Your work is very closed-minded and offers thereader nothing but your negative, ethnocentric view of the world.Save yourself the embarrassment you’ll feel in 10 years when you readthis crap. The bottom line is that nobody cares about your bad day.We’ve got our own to worry about.

–Jeffrey Abadiebusiness junior

Well, apparently someone cares

Hmmmm. And what would “normal” be? I thought it was just my oldage ! I am close to retiring after 24 years staff service here at SanDiego State University.

About the only pet peeves of mine that you missed (Student Bitchesabout a normal day at SDSU,” Ryan Albert, Nov. 16) are:

1. The hacky-sack players who daily interrupt the foot traffic infront of East Commons. Golly … aren’t there adequate lawnfacilities on campus for children’s games? And they call this aninstitution of higher learning!

2. The smokers or cell phone users who can’t seem to find time tosit down. Isn’t it always when you have a monumental headache thatthere are at least a half a dozen of these folks you are trying tododge on your way across campus?

Ryan, thanks for the wonderfully funny column. It was so great, Iplan on cutting it out of the newspaper and sharing it with myfuddy-duddy old husband! It is nice to know you have one moresemester to go. Hopefully you will continue to submit more articlesabout SDSU campus lifestyles!

–Marilynn FyffeAztec Shops, Ltd

Theater student breaks boycott, cries aboutit

Although I made the decision to boycott The Daily Aztec last year,I was implored by several of my friends to read last week’s review ofthe Theatre Department’s production of Yip Harburg’s “Somewhere OverThe Rainbow” (“There’s nothing at the end of this rainbow,” SarahParker, Nov. 14).

To begin with, Ms. Parker’s suggestion to stay at home and watch”The Wizard of Oz” is not a bad one, except for the fact that onlythree of the songs in the production are in that show. You would bemissing such beautiful songs as: “April in Paris,” “Brother can youSpare a Dime” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”

As far as her commentary on the stage configuration, if shedoesn’t want to “watch people act,” frankly she should steer clear ofthe theater altogether. Guess what? That’s what we do in the theater!Along the same lines, Ms. Parker’s dislike of the costumes is quitesurprising. Apparently, normal people wearing normal clothes are notto her liking. Next time we will do our best to put them in costumessuch as those found in “The Grinch.”

Now, on to more pressing matters involving her dislike of the”script.” Ms. Parker complains that the story isn’t clear. That’sodd! Perhaps that’s because there is no script. When “Somewhere OverThe Rainbow” was conceived, it was intended to be a combination ofpoems and songs which represented the social commentary made by YipHarburg. But I don’t expect her to get it — it requires someunderstanding of political theater, not just an understanding ofshows like “Oklahoma.”

The last item that stuck in my throat was that of the “Pianist.”The pianist (who happens to be the Musical Director, Dr. TerryO’Donnell), was included to offer a mature understanding of whatsongs like “April in Paris” really mean. Although he may not be RickyMartin, his perfect pitch certainly makes up for it.

In conclusion, what Ms. Parker failed to grasp was that “SomewhereOver The Rainbow” is a brilliant revival of a lyricist who not onlymade a statement about the world around him, but did so in such a waythat no one had ever done before. Oh, and If you don’t know who “J.Edgar Hoover” is, you should probably sign up for a history class.You may even be able to find a word or two about him in the library.However, I (unlike Ms. Parker) invite you to make up your own mindabout the production, instead of taking her uninformed opinion as thegospel.

–Ryan Weibletheatre major

Death penalty immoral, regardless ofcircumstance

Today I read Ben Abel’s editorial (“Gargoyles Wanted for HardyTower,” Nov. 20) and heard myself agreeing with you about the realmonsters that are being ignored. You mentioned kidnappers,pedophiles, rapists, and murderers. You are right. The unimaginable,bloody slayings they remorselessly commit and the despicable acts ofsexual torture they perform make anyone of us disgusted to the pointof repulsion.

You mentioned the unexplainable murder of Matthew Cecchi in thatOceanside bathroom last year. I remember that particular case,actually. Matthew was a little boy who was visiting the San Diegoarea and he stopped to use a restroom in a campground in Oceanside.

Everything changed — Brandon Wilson inexplicably murdered him.

I totally agree with you about your hesitation in spending timewith the insane Mr. Wilson. I, too, would never even think of turningmy back to him in a restroom, no matter how much we fixed hispsychosis.

Ben, if you said to me: “These people deserve to be executed,” Iwould not think that you were evil for saying such a thing. Not toexcuse ourselves, but I understand that you, like me, are only ahuman. Being so, sometimes you do have these feelings of vengeance.If someone killed my mother, daughter or girlfriend in my fit ofrage, I would definitely want to kill that person and I would try todo it.

However, that does not make it morally right. I don’t imagine thatyou have had a close relative murdered. Where do you get, and how canyou justify such rage?

You are right when you say the reality is some people are justmonsters. So true. Some people, no matter what you do, arepsychologically disturbed and dangerous people, and there isn’tanything that is going to change that. You are also right when yousay the evil they commit is not subjective either. There is somethingseriously wrong inside the heads of these people, no two ways aboutit. I don’t think any reasonable person would disagree with you aboutthat.

You mentioned that “we’re mortified when some pubescent racistliving in his parents’ basement scatters six intolerant flierssomewhere.” Then you went on to say that “we’d rather send apedophile to rehab than say he’s ‘evil,’ because that’s just not athing sophisticated people say.”

In these two statements you seem to be downplaying the evil ofracism to be insignificant compared to the occasional psychopath. Theevil of racism, though, is much more destructive because it haspermeated the consciousness of all American minds and institutions,while a screwed-up psychology like that of Brandon Wilson is notnearly as common.

Ben, speaking on behalf of compassionate liberals I know, we don’twant to send the psychopath to a mental institution (not rehab, asyou so simplistically put it) because we want to sound sophisticated.How can you accuse us of such arrogance? We would rather send them toan institution because we believe that it is more morally right to dothan to just execute them.

I can’t speak for others, but I would want a person who is so sickcommitted to mental institution because killing a human being isfundamentally wrong. That is why I thank God that I am neither theperson who decides a criminal will be executed (like Bush has morethan 140 times) just as much as I am glad I’m not the defenseattorney defending him.

However, it seems the substance of your simple-minded attitude isone of vengeance more than one of compassion. The most sad part ofthis is so many in the American public agree with you.

If you say we must execute these people so that the victims of thefamilies feel better, then it makes me point the finger at oursociety in general and ask, “Why does avenging the death of yourloved one by killing someone the perpetrator make you feel better?”

Bill Cosby set such a good example for all of us in his forg
ivingattitude towards the killer of his son. We should follow his example.I’m not saying it’s uncommon to feel vengeful after such a brutalcrime — it is very common to have these feelings. Yet I do not thinkvengeance is something we should either view as a “good” thing to dofor the family, the criminal, or society itself. It will only createan even more unhealthy society if anyone of us get pleasure out thevengeance we experience through the death penalty.

–Cliff Stanglerintercultural and international communication studies

What Williams doesn’t get

It’s always interesting to me when people comment or “opinionize”on topics from which they are far removed. It’s even more interestingwhen the commentator does not understand that he could neverunderstand the issue.

Therefore, I found Jason Williams’ column (Reparations target thewrong Americans,” Nov. 16) extremely interesting. I’m sure Jasonbelieves that as an American, he has the right to decide whether thecurrent nationwide community of black Americans deserve reparations.I say Williams wouldn’t know what black Americans deserve if he wokeup tomorrow as a black man.

Convoluted logic aside, how dare Williams presume he knows thefirst thing about the impact of slavery on blacks in the past,present or future? I don’t presume to know what you need as a modernwhite man. That’s not my concern.

I also don’t appreciate the column’s implication that black peopleas a whole are not only in socio-economic peril but are dependent onthe government’s social welfare programs.

The column did make the generous admission that some sort ofreparation should have been given to those who actually suffered theimmediate damage of the slavery of America, but modern blacks deserve”zero reparations”.

If a debt was due at any point, it is now far overdue. Why shouldthe descendants of these people write this off? What has America donefor us that would nullify this debt? Just as we inherited the racismand forced attitude of inferiority from those who came before us, sowe inherit their due.

And the modern government therefore inherits the debt. I do notclaim to know in what manner we should receive what is due, but Irefuse to accept the assertion that it is no longer a valid debt.Considering how much the labor of black slaves contributed to thewealth and production of this country, it would appear obvious thatsomeone is deserving of retribution. To assume that this ends becausethe laborers have passed on is ridiculous. We refuse to “get past it”because it remains a part of our daily lives, something which youapparently do not (cannot?) understand.

Have you heard of “40 acres and a mule”? It’s more than the nameof Spike Lee’s film company. How about reparations for the millionsof people killed by slavery? Or the millions that died before evenreaching these shores? We’re not owed anything for the division offamilies, let alone the severing of people from culture andancestors?

We are owed much more than the government can afford, and the factthat this debt was not taken care of hundreds of years ago does notfall on the shoulders of black people.

Your audacity astounds me, Mr. Williams. Your column reminded meof something that I occasionally forget — that modern Americans arenot such a different caliber and quality of people after all.

–Candace MooreCopy Editor, The Daily Aztec

Letter writer questions Joe’sidealism

Is there anything at all that Joe Zarro likes about the punkscene, besides crowd surfing? “Psychotic leader,” “sinister plots,””mind control?” (“Manipulation Plagues Bad Religion Show,” Nov. 8)”As an idealist, I agree with Bad Religion on virtually nothing.” BadReligion? You’ve got to be kidding! This group is usually accused ofbeing too idealistic. They’ve even given cash endowments for rainforest research. Exactly what kind of “idealism” are we talking here?Born-again Republican? Mr. Zarro’s cautionary tone does read like aparental advisory warning.

Bad Religion is a band with great tunes and intelligent lyricsthat don’t talk down to its young audience. Its vision may not beyours, but then it’s hardly a “sinister plot” to express anon-mainstream point of view. Sure there’s danger. There’s alwaysdanger when you look at things as they are and call them as you seethem. “Mind control?” “Propaganda?” I believe the message is “get offyour ass, make up your own mind and do something!” That’s part ofgrowing up, part of the punk rites of passage. Like it or not,everyone has to come to terms with that themselves, in their own way.Life may suck, but people can rise above. That’s what makes lifeworth living. Or maybe that’s just being too idealistic.

–Virginia SchwarzEnglish sophomore

–The Daily Aztec welcomes letters on all subjects, sections andstories. Letters may be edited for brevity and libelous or overtlyoffensive content. The Aztec will not run unsigned letters. The Aztecoffices are located in the basement of the business administrationbuilding. Please send e-mail to daletter2000@hotmail.com