Volume 94, Issue 44

Thursday, November 16, 2000


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Man eagerly accepts smoking challenge

Re: Challenge to smokers, Nov 14.

To the Editor:

What oh what is this dude thinking? I'm not even a smoker, but good God, someone steal that boy's podium and microphone so he stops preaching. I have smoking friends and on their behalf (and on behalf of that hearty flavoured second-hand smoke I enjoy so much on a brisk autumn's day) I shall now point out why I am so damned smart.

How can so many people smoke?

Well, for one, it's addictive. I have no doubt that many of us non-smokers have an iron will and could easily abuse heroin for years at a time then stop cold turkey, for addiction means nothing to us. Nicotine addiction does mean something to some people.

As to how they got to be addicted, well, it's obvious. Sure, after school specials try to lie to us, cartoon rabbits tell us it's not so, but we all know the truth.

Smoking is cool.

The process of getting cancer is not cool and I bet a few, if any smokers will even admit it. But that's why you all start smoking; you look cool. Or you used to when you were 12, but now you're addicted so back to point number one.

People are all about that exterior image and I'll tell you, if I were a cowboy or a general I'd be chewing away on a big, fat stogie right now. And if I were an old English detective I wouldn't solve a damn crime without my pipe, because they look cool.

Now, let's talk guarantees.

Smoking is guaranteed to kill you or cause serious health problems. I see. EGADS! You're right! Look at poor George Burns, cut down in his prime, in his early 100s... if only he hadn't smoked cigars ever day of his short, short life. Such a waste. He could have made it big.

Not to take away from realistic health risks, but I had no idea that Western science programs had become so advanced as to allow students to determine with medical certainty that every single smoker on earth without a shadow of a doubt will be afflicted with, at the very least, "major health problems."

I tells ya, that's amazing (yes, I put the "s" on tells on purpose).

Now why is it smokers smoke if they know it's bad?

Hmmm... why do I drink until I laugh like a doped up monkey on weekends? In some small part, to dull the anguish of school, but mostly because I enjoy it. And my liver be damned! Why does my dad eat everything in sight? Why do people sky dive? Why do people listen to Oasis and N'SYNC? Why do people gamble? Why do my friends try to pick up unattractive people at bars?

Because we're all dumb and we like things that don't make sense in the long run – that's why. Perverse pleasure is funny that way. It's really a bad idea, but damn it, if it makes that one, sick indivdual happy, then why not? Everyone is responsible for their own actions and every smoker is already

well aware of the risks.

So there, for all of you who were struggling to think of a reason you keep smoking, enjoy. No need to thank me, just will me your belongings.

Ian Fortey
Arts II

Reader shocked by report on coming out

Re: Homophobia alive and well at Western and Coming out difficult at Western, Nov. 14.

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the articles "Coming out Difficult at Western" and "Homophobia alive and well in society." As a woman who believes strongly in all human rights, particularly the right to safety and comfort in public space, without the threat of violence or intimidation. I offer my complete support to all homosexual students who suffer discrimination at the hands of this University and its students.

I originally envisioned Western not only to be a place of higher learning, but also a place where knowledge transcended race, ethnicity, culture and yes, even sexuality.

But, could I have been more wrong?

The fact that Western would allow a group such as the Promise Keepers to visit here, a group which is admittedly sexist and homophobic, informs the student body of where their concerns lie.

To the many people who respond to a homosexual/bisexual lifestyle with dense and highly interpretative passages from the Bible, I remind you that not everyone is religious or believes in your God, or most importantly your interpretations.

There is absolutely no justifiable reason for Western not having a solid and recognizable support system for homosexuals. Other Universities, in particularly the University of Guelph, thrive because of their support groups established for gays and lesbians. Why is Western lacking a similar system?

To those of you who openly state your objections to a homosexual lifestyle, insisting that there is something unnatural or sinful about it, I challenge you to move beyond your own narrow minds and accept people for who they are.

After all, if you have a problem with someone else's sexuality – it is just that – your problem.

Theresa Lapensee
Women's Studies & English III

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