Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Letter Home

Dear ACLU Mom,

Boy, I have to say, Mom, that college isn’t providing me the opportunities I had hoped I’d have when I arrived. So far there has been nothing for me to protest; no issue where I could flaunt my comparative moral superiority. You don’t know how lucky you were to have Kent State back in your day.

I mean, there’s just not a lot of potential out there these days. So far this school year, there are only two places lucky enough to have serious problems of social justice rearing their ugly heads. I just got a letter from my friend Hank, a freshman at UVa, bragging about how he’s been wearing a ribbon around campus to combat the recent racial incidences that have plagued their campus. He got to go to some big rally on campus, and he helped out printing up fliers to post around campus saying “Stop Racial Terrorism.” I know it’s a stretch – using terrorism to describe a few racial slurs being yelled from a car and some graffiti – but it’s something.

I do worry about the hyperbole of using terrorism in this context, though, because it seems to lessen the real racial terrorism perpetrated by Bush against the people of Iraq, the pacifists in Guantanamo Bay, and via the purposeful breaching of the levy to flood the poorest neighborhood in New Orleans. I heard about that last one when Louis Farrakhan came to campus and gave a great speech, welcomed by a standing ovation from the crowd, including the entire English department. Despite the lack of a galvanizing social cause, I do like the freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas that occurs on campus; and if a fascist like Ann Coulter ever comes to campus to try to threaten that freedom, you can bet I’ll be there with tomatoes in hand.

Anyway, even the UVa incidents aren’t all that great. Racial slurs being shouted from a car in a rural Southern town – is that the best we can do? Can you even trust that people heard these comments right given the Doppler effect (I learned about this in physics for poets – I wanted to take the real physics, but I know you think I should steer clear of mathematical formalism due to its oppressive effects on women and minorities)? Half of these incidents usually turn out to be hoaxes perpetrated by the victims, but I’d take it anyway over what I’ve got, which is a big zero.

The only other campus with any real social problem is Dartmouth, where some wacko Christian student gave a speech to the incoming freshmen, and referenced Jesus. I mean, who would think that someone who believes that religious malarkey could actually be smart enough to get into Dartmouth? Anyway, that truly does deserve the title “religious terrorism.” We had a long discussion about how wrong that speech was on so many levels in my mandatory “Understanding the Koran” class. I love that class.

Anyway, I don’t know if you can say anything to make me feel better. I guess I just expected more for the $30,000 tuition you are paying for my education. I mean, for $30K, I should have some issue that makes me feel like I am a really really caring and compassionate guy, more committed to social justice than people who go to lesser schools. Maybe you should write a letter with your next tuition check.

Thanks Mom! By the way, can you send me my allowance for the month in advance - $3000 doesn’t buy what it used to.




Blogger Pulvarizer said...

Dear Sonny,

Your card carrying father and I are very sorry to hear that you haven't found enough causes to stir your passion for the constant evolution of political and social justice. However, after your recent letter, we don't believe college has yet expanded your mind enough to see all the protest opportunities that exist. In today's environment, with George Bush as our, well, I guess out of respect for the office, we have to call him President, there's plenty to be upset about. Here's our list, but please feel free to add topics as they occur to you.

- Using the fear of terrorism after 9/11 to invade a relatively weak and hapless country.
- Incarcerating U.S. citizens for puported attempts to commit terrorist acts without charging those citizens, or offering proof of their crimes to a civilian court of law. The Constitution and the Dec. of Independence be damned!
- A Republican Executive and Legistative controlled branch adding a huge new beaurocracy, the Dept. of Homeland Security, which now oversees everything, but seems to accomplish nothing.
- Giving tax breaks to the wealthy (reducing dividend taxes) while shunning middle class and poor America.
- Dick Cheney, who scares small children, is our Vice President.
- The slow, but constant errosion, of the checks and balances between this President and this Congress.
- Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby betraying the name of a covert CIA agent, but still have jobs at the WH.
- Tom DeLay using the Dept. of Homeland Security as his own personal FBI (locating Texas Dems. boycotting a vote of Texas redistricting).

Now, these are just a few. Instead of your typical $3,000 allowance, we are getting you a subscription to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Economist. Reading these publications on a daily basis will help you to become better informed about important events, and how, despite that the U.S. is the greatest country on earth, it could be so much better, a fact that seems to escape most Republicans in office today.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Hatcher said...


I'm disappointed in you - isn't it rather bold to assume that our hypothetical student Sonny has an in-tact traditional parental structure. You're being very insensitive.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Pulvarizer said...

Ok, so instead of "father," insert "other lesbian, Hispanic hemp woven dress selling on EBay to make a living, doesn't believe in shaving, mother." Are you happy now?

8:29 AM  
Blogger Hatcher said...

Single mom would have sufficed

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed all the protests in college, I was too drunk on Chartreuse.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Tri-Cup said...

C’mon Hatcher, you’re avoiding the 500-pound gorillas in the room. I haven’t heard from you on the big topics floating out there today. Conservative commentary can’t always be mocking – sometimes it needs to be constructive. Conservative talk radio is adept at ripping apart its opponents, and bloggers (from all ideologies) have followed that model, too. But conservatives are the party of power. You can’t keep mocking ACLU moms and other groups whom the American people have divested of power, especially when the country is facing serious issues that deserve thought and commentary.

Are for the Miers nomination? If so, why do you believe that she is the best candidate for the position? Many conservatives, both the blogging variety and mainstream, don’t think that Bush made a good choice here. What’s your take? Conservatives have been leading the federal government for years, and this is the right’s big chance to reshape the court.

What about today’s arguments in the Supreme Court about Oregon’s assisted suicide law? It was opposed by Ashcroft and the Bush administration after Reno let it slide for years. Do you come down on the side of personal choice and states’ rights, or on the side of federal regulation of medical practices and the centralization of cultural norms?

Or, if you like, choose another topic: military or political progress in Iraq, America’s energy policies, the structure and purpose of FEMA, the use of the military in future emergencies, or the federal government’s deficit . . .You’re my go-to guy on the right. Let’s hear you weigh in on the national scene!

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Hatcher, weigh in on the national scene: Red Sox or White Sox? MORE SPORTS

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Sonny's uncle said...

Well I don't know about the sox one way or the other, but I would enjoy some commentary on the Supreme Court nominee -- in my view a sacrificial lamb offered by Bush. He won't get two in a row without a fight, so burn the fight on this non-judge and get your real guy (oops I mean person) through with less difficulty

6:40 AM  

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