Letters to the editor

Bob Jones U. stunt isn't journalism . Plus: A U.S.-Canadian war, eh? Oscar doesn't curse careers.


Salon Staff
March 27, 2000 10:00PM (UTC)

Makin' out at Bob Jones U.

BY DANIEL KRAUS
(03/22/00)

This isn't journalism, it's a high school prank. There is no serious attempt to understand the minds of Bob Jones University students, just another attempt to take on the easy targets in front of a like-minded audience.

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To be fair, BJU has barred journalists from freely roaming the campus. This is foolish of them. It's a wonderful opportunity for them to get their message to the world, by word and example. So it's
their own fault if writers infiltrate their campus undercover and portray
them unsympathetically.

I grew up under fundamentalism and have no love or patience for it today. But I do not doubt or disrespect the sincerity of the believers, and I know that the complexities and mysteries of any religion cannot be fairly reduced to a cartoon sketch.

I must also ask if the writer's inability to get a rise out of the BJU students
has more to do with the students' courtesy to not stare at a couple engaged in a public display, one that is a clear violation of their rules, than anything interracial. The students' behavior is right out of Miss
Manners 101. I applaud them.

-- Craig Spirko

Wow, Christian baiting. That's so original. As an atheist I don't disagree with the premise of the article, that the religious are a bunch of brain-dead boobs, but then so what? They should be allowed to practice their boobery in peace. Deliberately trying to provoke them reeks of juvenile attempts at "edginess."

-- Bill Clark

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There was nothing bizarre about the looks received by the writer and his girlfriend. In fact, if they are a couple in real life and not just posing for the sake of the story they should be used to it by now. My husband is black and I am white and we get those looks all the time. Interracial couples are still not a common site in the America of the 21st century.

-- Mari Miller-Lamb

Daniel Kraus is a funny guy! They're pretty freaky there, aren't they? They're not like us sophisticated people who read Salon and are embarrassed by those crazy religious people.

Aren't there targets that are a little more worthy of satire?

Let's try to tolerate some actual diversity. Diversity means more than different hair styles, or body piercing. It means tolerating people who have beliefs that you may fundamentally disagree with.

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-- Todd Ojala


Blame Canada? Hell, let's declare war!

BY LANCE GOULD
(03/23/00)

Greetings from the land of the lumberjack and odiferous fisherman! I was amused to read Lance Gould's article in today's Salon, mostly because, doubtless in true bumbling Canadian fashion, I failed to see his point. Then I reread the piece again -- Great Canadian back bacon, Batman! I saw what the problem was. Gould seems to believe that Canada ought to act more like the 51st state than as the sovereign nation it is. Certainly, I can't blame him for believing this; indeed, several generations of Canadian governments seem to have believed it as well. But, I wonder, what would Gould's reaction be if the roles were reversed? Imagine, another nation dictating the foreign policy, trade goals and travel destinations of American citizens. Or, for that matter, what kind of pajamas Americans are permitted to buy in their stores. Now there's a war-making scenario if ever I've seen one ...

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-- Andrea Kwan

Actually I'm a long-time advocate of invading Canada. Those water-hoarding "eh"-interjecting mediocrities don't deserve their national bounty. We'd be able to get the place really humming. Plus it could probably be done with a minimum of effort -- a couple weeks at most to dismantle the border posts, sack the Parliament, come up with new flags for the provinces, exile the French-speakers, etc.

But don't invade Canada if it detracts from the task that should be our most important national objective: the nuking of Florida. There is no good thing about Florida that its residents are not feverishly working to destroy. Manatees, the Everglades, the Keys, pristine shores. Other than these there is everything to hate about Florida. Here is a partial list:

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Disney Corp.,
Disney World/Epcot,
the Cuban community and the Elian Gonzalez story,
the sugar industry,
orange growers,
Miami,
Miami Heat,
Miami Dolphins,
Miami Vice,
Tampa,
Tampa Bay Bucaneers,
Ol' Sparky (I can't decide whether I hated it more when it was working or when they retired it),
Jeb Bush and
Lawton Chiles.

I'm sure we can come up with more. Nuke Florida today!

-- Steve Miller

Where's Canada?

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-- Jim Schoshinski


Belly wounds

BY CAROLINE LEAVITT
(03/23/00)

Leavitt should get credit for a well-written story. More importantly, she should be congratulated for an honest, courageous and wise outlook on life. She didn't do it alone, however. Much credit should go to her husband who had to endure and inspire. We can all learn from this. Thanks.

-- Drew Gesell

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While Caroline Leavitt's article was a positive tale of her coming to accept her "new" belly, and, as she says, "a reminder to me, too, about what appearance really is -- not something to be taken too seriously," it's too bad her article was spoiled by this line: "It took me more than a year to get back to normal -- or as normal as I'm going to get. I'm thin again ... "

Thin is not normal. I'm so tired of hearing this. How sad that even after all she went through, Leavitt resorts to this. By her standard, my lover is not normal. I guess not -- she's just a beautiful, healthy, not-thin woman who is loved and accepted for the incredible person she is.

Maybe someday Leavitt and others won't strive to conform to a false notion of normalcy, and learn to cherish and accept everyone based on who they really are, and not their size.

-- Charles Stephanian

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Den of thieves

BY MERRILL GOOZNER
(03/23/00)

Goozner fails to convince me that there is something to be gained by salary limits. Apparently the market supports those kind of expenditures for executive talent, much the same as professional athletes and entertainers can command astronomical salaries, like it or not. Besides, "wealth" is relative. I would hope those around the world living in poverty are generous enough not to begrudge us ordinary Americans our "riches."

-- Kyle Bozeman

I can tell you the outrage exists more among the workers than the stock holders. Those of us not in the stock-options elite are too busy struggling to stay employed to do anything else. The CEOs get wealthy, buy more visas for lower paid foreign workers and those of us who have been at the grindstone for decades are afraid to catch cold for fear of losing our jobs. Yes, there is a lot of outrage. But we're unable to express it.
Please don't post my name or e-mail address. I would like to stay employed as long as possible.

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-- Name withheld at writer's request

Winners and losers

BY DONNA FREYDKIN

(03/22/00)

Regarding Donna Freydkin's article on how winning an Oscar is bad for one's career, almost every instance she cites has nothing to do with the Oscar cursing the actor's career so much as it is about actors making bad career choices.

Marisa Tomei is a classic case of career self-destruction, and Mira Sorvino chose to do films she thought were more interesting than suddenly turning into Ellen Burstyn or Jodie Foster and deciding that everything she chose to do must be an important statement.

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Geena Davis was undone by love -- her two monster bombs were both directed by then-husband Renny Harlin. She could have made those mistakes without winning an Academy Award, though she probably could not have been paid nearly so handsomely for them.

Louise Fletcher was well into middle age when she won her Oscar, and we all know how the movie industry treats middle-aged women. F. Murray Abraham and Ben Kingsley were actors with no discernible movie careers before their awards, and the last time I looked, Hollywood isn't crying out for bald, not conventionally attractive leading men.

-- John Harkness

author, "The Academy Awards Handbook"


Salon Staff

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