Opinions from our editorial board and contributors.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bianca Van Babbles

Re: “Pop Rhetoric: Fist-pumping IQs away” by Bianca Van Bavel (02.02.10) Dear Bianca Van Bavel, I’m writing in response to your article on Jersey Shore, MTV’s newest reality show. You seem to be upset that, as “young impressionable intellectuals,” we (speaking on behalf of non-closet Shore fans) have decided to spend some of our free time being entertained.


Foucalt you, Ricky. Re: “Piñata Diplmacy: James McGill – Turning in my grave” by Ricky Kreitner (22.09.09) What up, James McGill, Michel Foucault here (also conveniently undead for the time being). I am writing to clear up certain misconceptions you seem to have regarding my personal area of expertise: cultural studies.

PIÑATA DIPLOMACY: Middle-class guilt

Social organization, for all its clumsiness and evil, has accomplished far more and embodies more good than I do, for at least it sometimes gives justice. I am a mess, and talk about justice. I owe the powers that created me a human life. And where is it! Where is that human life which is my only excuse for surviving! – Saul Bellow, Herzog I live in the Global North.

OFF THE BOARD: Trouble down under

Viewers of x-rated films should be able to appreciate the pornographic prowess of men and women of all shapes and sizes as they please, free from fear of censorship. It seems, to me at least, that this is the objective of porn. But members of the Australian Classification Board, however, disagree.

COMMENTARY: Communication breakdown

It’s amazing that in this advanced age we have yet to master the simple skill of communication. Communication is an ability that doesn’t rely on individual capabilities, but on the cooperation of the group, and on trust. Like paper money, words carry with them a meaning and value that is entirely derived from our trust that other people mean what we do when they say any given word.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Opting out of Brendan’s column

Re: “Opting out of QPIRG” by Brendan Steven (26.1.10) If the groups conducting the QPIRG: Opt Out campaign would like to stay atop their high horses, they should request that students be able to opt out of funding their activities as well. My student fees support many opportunities of which I do not take advantage (e.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Remembering nuances

Re: “Letter to the Editor: Gaza Remembrance Week” (26.1.10) Jamal Daoud rightly notes that the one year anniversary of the Israeli operation in Gaza has passed. I would like to see McGill remember this anniversary by remembering the purpose of this operation: to eliminate the terrorist threat stemming from within Israel’s borders.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Byron can’t let go

Re: “A disingenuous debate” by Max Silverman (26.1.10) Max Silverman is woefully misinformed as to the terms of the debate over health care here in the United States – as are most Canadians. While it might feel good to sneer about the American system of government being beholden to “corporate interests” (especially in the wake of the Citizens United case), can we all adopt a little nuance here and recognize that corporations have a spectrum of competing interests, not all of which align in perfect lockstep unison? The truth about the health care debate is that the insurance companies and HMOs were relatively cooperative early in the debate over health care reform.

THE SITUATION: Ready to make nice

I know a lot of things. Not that I’m trying to be immodest. I mean, I am immodest: I spend most of my Facebook hours stalking myself and am the star of most of my favourite conversations. But in this case, I’m really not being self-indulgent. After two and a half years of university education and campus media, not to mention a lifetime of reading the news, I know a ton of facts.

BLACK & WHITE: Be honest, then be right

I woke up, uncertain and lost, to a staccato burst of screams. I lay in bed for a few more seconds, staring into the darkness, and my heartbeat picked up as the screams rose in pitch. I didn’t want to move. I wanted to go back to sleep and pretend I hadn’t heard anything.

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