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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Oh no, porno!

    Zach Nicolazzo’s letter about the dangerous effects of pornography (“”A pornographic challenge,”” 1/18) seems to me like the opinion of someone grasping for straws on a topic they don’t know much about. An informed opinion would take into account the studies examining the question of whether pornography leads to rape. The results are familiar. Studies have been carried out on similar topics: Do violent movies and video games lead to more violent people? These studies feature the same striking correlation: no correlation.

    If we want to figure out what’s going on, with why we have such a violent society, we should look at what makes America unique. Pornography and violent movies are not uniquely American. Other countries have them, too. When I studied abroad in the Czech Republic, my French roommate would delight in taking a porno mag out on the tram after a long night out, and acting eerily like he’d handled one before, turn straight to the centerfold and try to give unwitting Czechs some impromptu anatomy lessons. They weren’t too interested; they’d seen it before. They actually sell them on newsstands there! And it’s pretty interesting to hear “”lad mags”” described as an American phenomenon when the term is British slang. Whoops. People have been looking at pictures of other naked people since photographs came around. And who knows? Maybe after seeing the statue of Venus de Milo, some hairy-palmed kid in ancient Greece ran home to do … something.

    What I think makes America unique is that thing we all pride our history on: a rugged individualism that says “”Leave me alone to do what I want. You get yours, I’ve got mine, and I’ll be damned if I help you unless it helps me.”” It is important to try to better yourself. And I think it is that ethic of hard work and self-improvement that is in large part responsible for our great prosperity.

    But extreme individualism comes with a significant downside. It misses the point of who we are as creatures. We’re social animals. We evolved in tribes, our lives overlapping with one another. Our society tries to turn that on its head, leaving it easy for people to be left alone – and to feel alone even when people try reaching out. Perhaps even more alone, if they find they can’t properly communicate what they’re feeling. Extreme loneliness is tough on social creatures. It probably warps the way they think quite a bit and leads them to express their impulses in bizarre ways. We need to find a better way of striving for individual excellence, by living with and for each other.

    Matt Styer
    interdisciplinary studies senior


    Gaza fuel cutoff ‘brilliant’

    The European Union is voicing concern due to Israel’s reduction of petrol and diesel supplies, which Israel is doing in response to indiscriminate militant rocket attacks. Israel maintains that cutting fuel up to 15 percent is a non-violent way of increasing pressure on Hamas. It insists there will be enough power for hospitals and that supplies will continue to Gaza’s sole power station. As part of its sanctions, Israel envisages shutting down one of its power lines to Gaza for 15 minutes after a rocket attack, with the cut-off period gradually increasing to a two-hour limit if barrages continue.

    I think it’s a brilliant way to deal with it – don’t want your power shut off? It’s totally under your control. Stop sending bombs to kill innocent lives. Maybe that’s too much to ask? Don’t the EU and Palestinians count themselves lucky that the bombing isn’t reciprocated with big ol’ Israeli missiles? … Wait a second. Shouldn’t it be? Shouldn’t we send one big one for every little mortar shell they send over? I hardly think the United States would receive bombs from Cuba on a daily basis, and offer a sweet consequence like mild fuel and energy cuts. Would England play “”Time Out”” with Northern Ireland? Or Scotland with England? That said, Israel’s response is practically a gift to the West Bankers – the EU should recognize this, but of course who would expect them to – they’re the EU. I wonder how much effort they (or the U.N. for that matter) are putting into pressuring Hamas to stop bombing innocent civilians. Obviously, that does not “”concern”” them.

    Yoni Messing
    undeclared freshman

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