Volume 96, Issue 75
Thursday, February 12, 2003

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Stickers during wartime

To the Editor:

It's 3 a.m. and I'm studying Hitler. The funny thing about Hitler was that everyone knew what would happen: he would expand, there would be war, millions would die, he would lose and then kill himself.

While walking home from the bus stop I saw a sticker stamped on a mailbox which read "Attack-Iraq? No!" It hit me how years from now I would remember that mailbox – at that moment the realization set in that I was living in tumultuous times. I thought of how cowardly, useless and comical it was that someone was cavalier enough to attach stickers to public property, thinking it might change the world.

Perhaps, before my totalitarian course, I might have supported world peace; perhaps before I had leafed through some of Antoine de Exupery's Wartime Writings, in which he said, "There is the shame of war but there is also the shame of peace: you support peace at the expense of humanity." If people keep taking, they need to be stopped, because they will not stop on their own accord – if there is exploitation going on, the international community needs to step in. I am not saying to enlist in the reserves – but the French have proved that the enlightenment period was wrong.

We are not above war; Machiavelli lingers. To tell the truth, I am more concerned with why women universally hog the bathroom stalls, with remembering my Tupperware lunch tomorrow morning, with pangs of shame that my cat may feel abandonment when I leave her. I can take most of it – but not this. I value my stamp fetish too much for the mail industry to be drawn into this.

Please don't vandalize our mailboxes and walls in support of peace – think of your spouse, children, parents and friends, because I know that you would pick up a pitchfork in defense of them in a second. You support peace until your own existence is threatened and humiliated. It has nothing to do with Iraq; it is a question of humanity.

Bridget Burns
Comparative Literature I




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