Playboy-video game ad may promote violence

To the Daily:

“Nice” to see the “Playboy and Playstation” ad on (Wednesday’s) page 9 … “Conquer the Terrain”, indeed. This sort of association of 1. scantily-clad women with 2. “conquest” and 3. the cheap excitement of video games will really help all the young men at the University who may spend too much time playing with their joysticks (?) become more mature adults who care about gender equality. (Remember Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, murdered by slimy husband-pimp Paul Snider in 1980? (as portrayed by Muriel Hemingway and Eric Roberts in the film “Star 80”) Maybe pornography and its milieu can in fact tend to promote violence against women.

Perhaps the Daily can start running ads for prostitutes and customized crack pipes next. (Rhetorical statement; not a suggestion.)

When the Daily editorials on the same day complain about cheesy ads (Just plane ridiculous), and about “a state of perpetual election” (Double trouble), perhaps the paper should also look at the advertisements it itself elects to print, and at any nastiness perpetuated by certain unpleasant ads and attitudes.

David Boyle

Law School alumnus

Reader: Boondocks-weary

To the Daily:

I’m weary of the Daily’s solitary comic strip, “The Boondocks.” The strip has been featured in your publication since I can remember, and I think it’s reasonable to express desire for something refreshing – perhaps others feel similarly.

Tuesday’s strip included a joke on Winona Ryder: her crimes of theft and vandalism are, in short, pardoned because she is white. I understand entirely that it’s a joke, and that I should enjoy Mr. McGruder’s parodying my society, but I’m ready for something new.

How about a strip that doesn’t remind me each day that my identity is my race? Isn’t the fact that my life is governed by white privilege old news? The Daily quotes Raquel Fernandez today (“Students find it difficult to keep heritage”): “If you forget about where you’re from you become a fake person.” I’m from rural Arkansas – you know, the “boondocks.” Despite Mr. McGruder’s subtle portrayal of my supposedly provincial and prejudicial culture, I’m publicly opposed to racialism. I would love to see a new strip in the Daily, amusing all of us by other means than by generalizing the character of any demography, real or imagined.

Is there any possibility of rotating strips? “Doonesbury” is usually funny around election time and Wiley Miller’s comics are always refreshing among other media’s war, stock market, or political coverage. Obviousman might cheer up an otherwise pessimistic Op/Ed page (see Op/Ed, 11/19). Why not poll your readers – perhaps I’m a minority in disliking “The Boondocks” and (ironically) should defer to the desire of the majority?

Tom Chappell

LSA senior

Boot’s comments re Nolan’s e-mail ‘rather amusing’

To the Daily:

I find Sarah Boot’s comments in your article regarding Matt Nolan’s e-mail to students (E-mail questions effectiveness of MSA leadership 11/21/02), rather amusing. Boot claims that the e-mail was “in direct violation of the integrity of the election” and “he Nolan sent that e-mail with the malicious intent of ruining the election for our (Students First) candidates).”

First, violating the “Integrity of the Election” is actually clearly defined via a clause in the MSA Election Code. Nowhere in this clause does it state that sending an e-mail stating your opinion on the election is a violation. If such a rule did exist, I can say with some confidence that members of all parties, including Students First, would be in violation of it. There’d probably also be some issues with the First Amendment.

Second, how was Nolan trying to “ruin” the election of Students’ First candidates? Not once is the term “Students’ First” even used in the e-mail. Nor is there any mention of particular candidates or members of MSA. Rather, it seems to me that Nolan was simply doing an A to B comparison of the 2001-2002 Assembly vs. the current Assembly. I find it hard to believe that could “ruin” the election for any candidate.

Instead of accusing people of “malicious intent,” Boot’s time might be better spent attempting to fix the long standing problem that Nolan touched on in his e-mail – MSA’s campus-wide status as a joke without a punchline.

Alok Agrawal

Alumnus

University ruining aesthetic value of historic building with architectural ‘renovations’

To the Daily:

I read with dismay that another beautiful building on campus will be “renovated,” which really means destroyed. The College of Literature, Science and the Arts building, like so many other buildings on campus, represents unique trends within architecture and as such should be left alone. The LSA building has some of the most beautiful aluminum work representing the aesthetic trends of its time.

As soon as one leaves the elevator one encounters a created space that represents a bygone era with very important aesthetic qualities. Have any of the Daily’s readers sat in one of the lounge spaces and enjoyed the sunshine there while writing a paper? Even the bathrooms, with their green tile and beautiful faucets, or the drinking fountains, all represent trends that should be remembered. in many parts of the world, buildings are considered as testaments of art and beauty. In the last few years, this campus has undergone an alarming renovation trend that doesn’t respect the existing architecture of the affected buildings. maintaining the architectural integrity of a building should mean more than keeping the exterior facade.

Interior spaces represent historical, ideological, and aesthetic trends in architecture as well. For example, Lane Hall looks great on the outside, but inside is cookie cutter drywall office boxes. Mason Hall, on the first floor, has changed dramatically: The bathroom has been destroyed, transformed from a beautiful piece of history into a small box. Does anyone remember? One can go in to any building on campus that hasn’t been renovated and learn so much about the past just from observing the way interior space has been used. I hear Frieze is slated to be next. God knows what Rackham will look like. Will Hill Auditorium still have those elegant fixtures, coat-hangers and glorious spaces which show the beauty of the early twentieth century? i think not. these are works of art that should not be destroyed. these buildings can be renovated in smarter ways so as to not compromise their integrity. One could argue that University is trying to save money(hah!) or save resources, but I can tell you that new technology (like plumbing fixtures, heating/cooling units etc) all breaks and is often much shoddier that that which it has replaced. (Have you noticed that the new no hands sensor toilets still screw up? Or that the new doors and windows are harder to use than the old?)

The ideology behind the notion that the old must be replaced by the new is scary. We have seen the tragedy of this mentality historically, during the Mao revolution, during Hitler’s reign, etc. the old buildings on this campus should be left intact, not destroyed in order to satisfy the current administrations need to feel like they’ve actually done something. As I said before, most cultures in most countries tend to treat old buildings with respect, as representations of historical significance. Why doesn’t the University?

Scott Newell

LSA senior

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