Columnist provides news overload of his own
To the Daily:
Zack Denfeld’s column (News that stays news, 11/04/2005) can essentially be summarized in his tag line: 500 or 600 words of shame. In the space carelessly allotted to him by the Daily, Denfeld fails to rise above the very information overload that he tries simultaneously to indict and characterize, losing any semblance of an argument in a mere wash of style and imagery, even committing a pointless typographical error along the way.
Denfeld’s point is not lost: Information and its media in this age are overwhelming, but he fails to acknowledge that it is only the self-selecting consumer of mass and diverse information that breaks down from this kind of overload. In short, if he narrowed his priorities and concentrated on the matter of his own life, he would find the abundant accounts of other people’s lives on this planet less troublesome. As it stands, however, the column fails to cohere into little more than a scared utterance of a human who would blame the media before looking to himself.
That is not a valid premise for a lingo-saturated column pushing to vilify the information superhighway. The Internet does bring people together, but it assumes only that the people on the other end of their computers are legitimate human beings with experiences, opinions, knowledge and perspectives. Although the Internet is stuffed with noise, for the most part it’s where useless thoughts go to die. One should not dwell in graveyards.
I suggest Denfeld ejaculate more poignantly in his future columns.
Daily fails at satire, hurts real progress in the process
To the Daily:
I hope that last Friday’s editorial (In the name of God, 11/04/2005) was nothing more than social satire; If so, it was a cleverly constructed, incisive and nuanced piece. If it expressed somebody’s real opinion, however, it was the worst thing I have ever read.
Not only was it plagued with weak analysis and logic – “by vaccinating all women against the potentially lethal (human papilloma virus), the government would imply that Saturday night ‘hookups,’ sins in the eyes of God, are costless,” – it goes on to imply that disabled, diseased or crippled individuals are inferior to the rest of society, especially the anonymous authors (who apparently “believe more than any liberal in the sanctity of life”): “Because we lost the battles against the polio and smallpox vaccines, millions of otherwise hideously scarred, immobile or dead individuals went on to use their lithe and unblemished limbs in ways God never intended.” This argument is eerily reminiscent of that Hitler used in promoting eugenics to preserve the “supreme Aryan race.”
Here we are at one of the country’s leading research universities, and dribble like this – which, through grand leaps of logic and arguments based on an assumed faith, seeks to discourage scientific progress in the name of some unnatural selection – gets printed in the Daily, from its very own editorial board, no less! I’m all for its editorial freedom, but I hope the Daily prints at least one of the slew of letters I expect its sensible readers to send in response to this nonsense.