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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



    Craig’s bathroom mess reeks of hypocrisy

    The story: Last week, Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was arrested for and pleaded guilty to lewd conduct after tapping his feet, sitting with a “”wide stance”” and peeking into a men’s room stall in a Minneapolis airport. He announced his intention to resign from the U.S. Senate effective Sept. 30.

    The response: I was in a restroom in LAX a couple of weeks ago when I started hearing a man’s foot tapping in the stall behind me. I started to wonder what was up until I heard him whistling the theme to “”The Andy Griffith Show.”” Really, what has this country come to when a person can’t tap his foot while getting his business done? The next time “”Bittersweet Symphony”” pops into my head and I feel the beat, should I just hum quietly to myself?

    Apparently, Sen. Craig was also peeking into a stall and then put his roller bag in front of his door. Maybe he was looking to see if the stall was empty? I know that when I have to visit the men’s room in an airport, I usually put my roller bag behind the door. Where else am I going to put it?

    In all honesty, if these allegations are true (and his guilty plea seems to indicate they are), then Sen. Craig is just another example of homophobic hypocrisy, since it was Craig who championed the “”don’t ask, don’t tell”” policy of the U.S. military, and fought consistently against equal protection for same-sex couples. All in all, though, I’m sure going to think twice before I enter an airport restroom from now on, just in case another “”family values”” politician is in the stall next to me.

    -Alex Gutierrez is a senior majoring in political science.

    A chicken in every pot, a gun in every hand

    The story: This week’s Time magazine reports that for every 100 citizens in the United States, there are 90 guns, making America the most gun-filled country in the world; India is in second place with a whopping four guns per 100 people.

    The response: Some may argue that the ratio of guns to people in this country is a reflection of our Second Amendment rights; that, if only they were as free as our glorious homeland, every other country would also have nearly as many firearms as inhabitants. But this statistic hasn’t got so much to do with the Second Amendment as it does with our culture’s obsession with violence and the fear-mongering of our government and TV news.

    We’re brought up to believe that our first line of defense is bravado, our second to hit or shoot whatever has threatened us; then, as adults, we turn on the news and are bombarded with often trumped-up threats to the all-important American way of life: terrorists, immigrants, identity thieves, sex offenders, gays, feminists and goodness knows what else. Small wonder that so many of us subsequently feel the need to stockpile weapons.

    – Alyson Hill is a senior majoring in classics, German studies and history.

    ‘Kid Nation’ catastrophe

    The story: CBS is preparing to air a controversial new reality show called “”Kid Nation,”” which documents the shenanigans of 40 kids left to govern and care for themselves for 40 days in a faux New Mexico ghost town. The kids range from 8-15 years old, averaging only 11 years of age.

    The response: Reality television is famous for shamelessly exploiting lewd, crude and tasteless themes, but the good folks at CBS have really scraped the bottom of the barrel. It’s one thing for adult morons to parade their personal lives on camera or eat beetle larvae for money. It’s another thing entirely to exploit children for “”entertainment.””

    CBS’ conduct has been thoroughly slimy throughout this controversy. The network circumvented New Mexico’s lax child-labor laws with some slick legal footwork, which allowed the producers to classify their show as a “”summer camp.”” Of course, real summer camps don’t expect children to work 14-hour days. And real summer camps happen during – surprise! – the summer. “”Kid Nation,”” in contrast, pulled kids out of school during April and May. These months should have been spent learning long division and civics, not satisfying the base impulses of a voyeuristic public.

    The biggest problem with “”Kid Nation,”” however, was the almost total lack of adult supervision. Although CBS claimed to have had “”a large adult safety net”” waiting in the wings, there is a fundamental conflict of interest between the network’s roles as a supervisor of children and as the producer of a television program. Conflict, drama and intrigue make good television. Safe, happy children don’t. The producers had absolutely no incentive to intervene on behalf of bullied or homesick children, or indeed in any situation that didn’t directly threaten the health or safety of the kids. In fact, the lack of supervision did lead to real and substantive harm: four children drank bleach from an unmarked bottle, and an 11-year-old was burned in a cooking accident.

    It’s appalling and shameful that the network, with parental complicity, placed this group of kids in such a dangerous situation. So this September, strike a blow against the child exploiters at CBS: tune out “”Kid Nation.””

    – Lauren Myers is a sophomore majoring in microbiology and mathematics.

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