Volume 92, Issue 46

Wednesday, November 25, 1998



Lookin' it up in the books

Re: Pure hypocrisy, Nov. 10

To the Editor:

Lifestyle – "the typical way of life of an individual, group or culture."

That's a definition right out of a dictionary. Believe it or not, sometimes dictionaries are useful starting points. To Karl Makope, tell me: how typical is the "way" of your life, in terms of "your" own "group" or "culture?" This concept – "lifestyle" – entails a lot of assumptions and stereotypes, does it not? I thought we recognized the ambiguity and uselessness of that term a long time ago. Those of us leading an academic lifestyle, that is – oops! Now I'm saying it, too.

A couple of pointers, Mr. History. Let's stop comparing those with whom you disagree to the Nazis. I think I can safely assume that neither you nor I were around during World War II and thus we really should not draw such parallels. It's a tired metaphor.

Moreover, I'm a little confused about your reference to the "censorship" of those opinions that "oppose" homosexuality. Your letter was printed, was it not? And so was Patrick O'Neil's. Your implied definition of "censorship" as critical letters written in response to another letter just does not seem to work for me. But maybe that's one of my personal idiosyncrasies.

Here's another one: hate – "An intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury." It's also "an extreme dislike or antipathy." Fine. Maybe you have an "extreme dislike" for a particular "lifestyle."

Have you ever wondered why? Have you ever wondered what the source of your ideas, fear and dislike might be? Have you ever noticed what these kinds of sentiments are able to incite? Better check your history books, Karl. They have a lot to offer you.

Richard Telfer
MA Sociology I

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Copyright The Gazette 1998