EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
Nurses not to blame
Re: "Some private health services would
help," Oct. 24, 2003
To The Editor:
I agree with Mr. Macfarlane when he notes the current health
care system in Ontario is in need of restructuring, but I believe
he misses the mark when he states that we do not need more "lazy,
useless" nurses, but instead more doctors. If Macfarlane were
a concerned consumer of health services in Ontario, he may
recognize that problems with our health care system are not
created, but instead alleviated by these so-called "lazy nurses."
The problem of over-consumption is the reason for the long
wait times for the coveted MRI machine. We must make an effort
to understand our own bodies and why they are ill instead of
running to the ER or family doctor for a runny nose.
With fewer unnecessary patients, Ontario's doctors will have
more time to spend on patients who really require their expertise.
Allowing nurses, dietitians and health educators to do their
jobs will also alleviate the strain on doctors from providing
services they are not actually trained for.
We do not need to privatize health services for more quality
service (this will not follow from privatization as we may
note from our current energy crisis), but a more well-informed
and frugal base of health consumers. I suggest everyone's medical
bills should outline what their casual use of the system costs
the taxpayers in this province.
Macfarlane is right: we need change. Ontarians must appreciate
the service they receive from hardworking health practitioners
and take responsibility for their own health without relying
on hospitals and doctors to do it for them. Otherwise, privatizing
health services will only separate the rich over-consumers
from the poor over-consumers.
Health Science IV
To the Editor:
I'm having my period, so what?
I am sick and tired of all the disgusted looks I get when
a guy (or sometimes another girl) gets a glimpse of the pink
present biology forces me to carry around. I have news for
all you grossed out guys: every healthy woman on the face of
the planet has done it, is doing it or will do it again. We
can't help it; it's a natural process of our bodies. I don't
need to be made to feel dirty, disgusting and embarrassed just
because it's that time of the month. Women have been menstruating
since the dawn of our species, so you guys have had at least
a couple million years to get used to it.
Here's another news flash, boys: unless you plan to be a hermit,
you'll have to deal with it wherever you go, for I guarantee
there's no place on Earth without a ragging woman around. It's
only a pad - it won't hurt you and women aren't going to stop
menstruating anytime soon.
Classical Studies II
When in Rome...
Re: "Media violence and the desensitized
masses," Oct. 24, 2003
To the Editor:
Although it could be argued the portrayal of violence in the
media is much more prevalent than it has been in previous decades
(although it could be said nothing today parallels the immense
human slaughter that took place during the World Wars), North
Americans today are hardly desensitized to violence.
But who among us would actually be able to stand at a murder
scene without losing the contents of their stomach? Not very
many compared to our contemporaries like the ancient Romans,
whose idea of a hot date was a day at the gladiatorial arenas
heckling the participants for more gore.
What about violence towards non-bipedal targets? Who could
actually stick a knife in a chicken to carve out enough flesh
for six McNuggets or slit the throat of a cow and watch it
bleed to death? How many of us are mid-chew while reading this,
mouth full of a masticated animal carcass?
Musicians, the more outspoken part of our society, clearly
show we are just full of smack talk and when it comes down
to it, no one actually has the guts to do any of it... unless
you're a serial killer, then hats off to you, oh desensitized
Classical Studies & Anthropology II
Series still worth
Re: "Damn you, baseball playoffs!," Oct.
To the Editor:
While strictly speaking, World Series TV ratings do matter
and are important, they're not the only thing that matters.
Of course FOX is upset, as nearly all baseball fans are, that
the Cubs aren't playing the Red Sox right now.
However, a true baseball fan might note it's not very often
we see an extra-inning walk-off home run in a Series game (Alex
Gonzalez in Game 4). Or it's not often one of the most accomplished
starting pitching staffs in recent memory (the Yankees) squares
off against a potential-filled, up-and-coming rotation (the
Marlins). Or it's even less often those fucking Yankees and
their spawn of Satan owner, George Steinbrenner, squirm in
Yes, there's plenty wrong with baseball, more than can be
fixed by this current match-up. But why not sit back, relax
and pay attention to a compelling World Series.
History, PhD Candidate
Homophobia by any
other name still stinks
Re: "Deep focus," Oct. 15, 2003
To the Editor:
Shona Black asserts that Focus on the Family is essentially "an
asset to society." On the contrary, organizations like FOTF
are absolutely insidious and do exactly what Ms. Black disputes:
they do indeed "repackage homophobia." However, they also go
far beyond this simple repackaging: they perpetuate and normalize
a vicious and destructive cycle of fear and hatred.
Essentially, FOTF equates homosexuality with all sorts of
miseries and explain their attempts to "convert" homosexuals
as motivated by love and the possibility of a better life.
While this might seem like a nice and loving little package,
by teaching that homosexuality is immoral and entails dire
personal consequences, FOTF and its ilk in fact open up the
conditions in which those consequences can manifest themselves.
They may talk love, but their rhetoric makes fear and hatred
OK, because, according to them, homosexuals are confused and
suffering anyway and are simply too stubborn or too stupid
to choose a better way. Through FOTF and the like, fear is
only reaffirmed and repackaged, normalized and institutionalized.
This normalization reaches right on to the front page of this
very paper. Reporting such absolute nonsense as "Lesbians and
blubber a package deal" (Sep. 11, 2003) and repackaging as
love what is essentially destructive and harmful fear, does
nothing but perpetuate the vicious circle. Archbishop Bruce
J. Simpson, from the Benedictine Order of St. John the Beloved,
speaking of the way in which gay and lesbian adolescents are
taught to hate themselves by anti-gay organizations wrote that
these institutions "need to be held accountable for the consequences
of their terrorism on impressionable young minds." Likewise,
we need to understand and recognize how this "terrorism" perpetuates
and propagates itself, if ever we hope to break its unimaginably
Faculty of Arts III
To talk or not to
Re: "Don't be a Twit," Oct. 22, 2003
To The Editor:
Kristen Isnor, I think we may just be soul-mates. I also hate
the incessant phone calls, off-topic questions and brainless
conversations happening around me.
As if all these distractions aren't enough to make you want
to transfer to Trent, I've got the question askers around me: "Did
you hear that?" Usually I did hear that, whatever that was,
but now I've missed the next thing and we're both screwed.
Worse than the question askers are the answerers. You know
them, they're the people who loudly "whisper" the concepts
back and forth and answer all the professor's rhetorical questions.
To these people, I kindly ask you to SHUT UP!
Teach your friends and whoever else wants to listen after
class; I already missed the last concept because of you and
now I can't hear this one. Please people, I'm begging you to
be considerate. If your tuition/education means nothing to
you, then don't come to class.
Kristen, if you ever need to rant to someone, I'm the girl
in the fourth row bubbling over with rage.
To the Editor:
I couldn't help but realize this letter was partially directed
towards myself. First off, I agree with everything Ms. Isnor
says about ringing cell phones. I too find it rather annoying.
Now, concerning the issue of conversation during class...
I personally love to chat whilst listening to a sub-par lecture.
If she cannot hear the lecture over our conversations, I do
not understand what exactly is keeping Ms. Isnor from moving
to the plethora of open seats at the front of the class. You
pay thousands of dollars to be here? Guess what? So do I.
And guess what else Kristin, you will not have to worry about
my friends and I chatting about Thanksgiving any longer. We
have moved on to bigger and more important issues like Christmas
and New Year's.
In poor taste...
Re: "Trent "Suicide Week" only of its kind in Ontario," Oct.
To the Editor:
When I realized what the picture was on the front page of
the paper, I was horrified. The picture that was altered and
placed on the front cover was in very poor taste. This photo
was simply not needed for the article's message. Suicide is
very prominent in young adults and so nonchalantly placing
this picture on the cover was disgusting and terribly inconsiderate.
I understand freedom of the press, but some consideration
should have been made when taking into account the appropriate
photo to present with the article. For those people on campus
who may have known someone who took their life or for those
Western students who may be considering suicide, the picture
presented a gross message. Suicide is not a laughing matter
and I simply felt the photo seemed to trivialize and humorize
a very touchy topic.
To the Editor:
I thought the picture of someone wearing a Trent University
T-shirt with slit wrists was in extremely poor taste. It was
insensitive to those with friends and family who have dealt
with suicide or self-mutilation and it added nothing to the
subsequent article on Trent's fall reading week.
It is ironic The Gazette would print a picture so obviously
taken for shock value in the same issue as an editorial criticizing
an art exhibit for "providing a juvenile attempt at shocking
the Western community, with no clear purpose and no redeeming
message." I understand The Gazette often pushes the envelope
in order to make a point or to try to be funny, but in this
case the paper went too far.
Biology & Environmental Science III
To the Editor:
As a habitual reader of your paper, I was disturbed by the
way you chose to represent your story about Trent University "Suicide
A close friend of mine attempted to take her life in the same
way you have so vividly displayed for us. She suffered from
depression resulting from a chemical imbalance in her brain.
Her pain was caused by an illness out of her control, not just
a bad choice for post-secondary education.
It's one thing to make fun of an institution, however it is
quite another to promote humor about a tragic reality such
as suicide. I respect your paper's right to publish uncensored
material, but I urge you in the future to fully consider the
consequences of such choices. I am compelled out of respect
for my friend and anyone else who may have the misfortune of
dealing with such a horrific experience to ask you to consider
the pain such an image could evoke.
You may deem it an embarrassment to go to Trent or Brock,
but Vol. 97 of The Gazette makes me ashamed to go to Western.
Social Science I
To the Editor:
It is clear I am a suicidal, yet blissfully ignorant student
a) manage my time
b) make objective assessments about anything
c) attain any level of education exceeding kindergarten
I am, after all, a graduate of Trent University.
If you'll pardon my impudence for a moment, however, I would
like to share my thoughts on The Gazette's response to The
Globe and Mail's survey. The first editorial I read, entitled "Trent?
What the fuck?" starts off by making the correct (though obvious)
point that The Globe survey is, stupid. But it's all downhill
OK, I thought, there's a journalist at The Gazette who didn't
do their research. No biggie. But this was followed by more
Trent bashing in the "Survey ranked non-existent schools" article.
And today? Today was the kicker. A nice picture of a "Trent
student" with slashed wrists and a caption reading "You'd commit
suicide too if you went to Trent... " This time, someone actually
bothered to call Trent and ask them about "Suicide Week." Kudos.
Unfortunately, the answer was completely ignored and the article
continued to suggest Trent had an extra reading week because
of a high suicide rate.
For the record: Suicide rates by university can be obtained
from "A Statistical Portrait of Canadian Universities... ," a
1996 report by Statistics Canada. Trent, it turns out, is about
halfway down the list for Canadian universities, with such
fine academic institutions as Queen's University and McMaster
University well above it. Strange that none of The Gazette
staff bothered to consult this report.
I tell you, it sure is hard being a Biochemistry PhD candidate
at Western with only the equivalent of kindergarten level education.
Biochemistry PhD Candidate II
Ed. Note: Writing Trent has a kindergarten-level education was
a joke. We're sure it's at least Grade 5.