February 10, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 72  

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Memories of the "Smoke"

Re: “Spoke to be renovated after profit plunge,” Feb. 5, 2004

To the Editor:
The Spoke now sucks because some brain child had the ingenious idea to make “The Smoke” a non-smoking bar 8 months prior to the enactment of London’s anti-smoking legislature. Good job, you officially killed The Spoke.

I’m leaving Western in April and have been a non-smoker for about 2 days now, so I could care less what you do to The Spoke. Having said that, however, you want success? Never mind making The Spoke like another University Community Centre food court or like the shitty little restaurant “The Maxx” from Saved by the Bell. Build a kick-ass heated patio which you can eat on, smoke on and even have a few pops on.

I don’t want to hear about non-smokers bitching or minors complaining they can’t drink yet. The fact of the matter here is that people do smoke and selling booze makes money. The two go hand-in-hand at every other bar in this city that has made some kind of effort to beat the system.

This is supposed to be a place of higher education, so smarten up. I, like a few others, came to Western to drink, smoke and have an all-around good time. Accommodate us!

Phil Muller

...and The Spoke

To the Editor:
I understand the need for The Spoke to stay viable by changing with the changing student population. However, I can’t help but take a moment to honour the bar that’s been the place of so many memories (or lack thereof) during my time at Western.

My fate as a Western student was sealed as I enjoyed my first legal beer as a high schooler visiting an older cousin and listening to Rick McGhie’s classic take on “American Pie.” The Spoke was the place where I learned that 10 beers and a touch of homesickness equals “TIMMINS RULES!” written on a bar table. Consequently, The Spoke was the first bar from which I got the boot.

Thanks Spoke for great memories and some agonizing hangovers!

Shannon Loader
Electrical Engineering IV

Bill Murray?

To the Editor:
Every year, Wiarton Willie willing emerges from his warm bed to grace us with his presence and prove his powers of prestidigitation. Yet every year, Western students seem oblivious to this groundhog’s momentous meteorological miracle. It wasn’t until the 6 o’clock news that I heard the official decree: Willie did in fact see his shadow, heralding six more weeks of winter.

All I request is a few decorations. Perhaps a sign. Old cardboard and crayon will be fine.

Patrick Leonard
Engineering II

Media overexposes Janet's boobs

Re: “Wardrobe malfunction at Super Bowl,” Feb. 5, 2004

To the Editor:
Whoever says women today are treated as equally as men are deluded. Or, maybe they think it’s empowering and emancipating to sexualize a woman’s body. Why is it that so many prominent women, who consider themselves strong and assertive, feel the need to take off their clothes to prove they are pushing the envelope and defying current gender inequalities? The hailed queen, Christina Aguilera, has started this new so-called women’s lib movement where a girl should not only be a whore, but also be proud of it.

Millions of viewers watched Justin Timberlake “accidentally” reveal Janet Jackson’s perky, nipple-ringed breast during the Super Bowl. And yes, it is only a breast, but socially, it sums up the way women are currently viewed: that men can have any girl “naked by the end of this song.”

Many of us know this was just a ridiculous publicity stunt to once again “shock and awe” the public. We’ve been there and done that so many times that if Janet had any more surgery, it would more likely be “disturb and traumatize.” Think of what this is continuing to teach prepubescent, raging hormone-filled boys. Furthermore, we wonder why guys in their 20s decide it’s no big deal to grab a girl’s butt at The Ceeps (accidentally of course).

Am I being too prudish? Well, let’s say we push the envelope in the other direction, girls! Next time you’re at Jim Bob’s, grab a guy’s crotch, squeeze and see what happens. Or better yet, let’s write in to see if Justin wants to prove to the world at the next Super Bowl that he measures up — in every aspect.
Sabrina Morelli
Kinesiology III

To the Editor:
Do we really care to know about Janet Jackson’s breasts? Maybe one small article and that is it. If this is some cheap stunt to publish porn using some media loophole, please spare us the incessant commentaries and fuzzy pictures. If one is lacking knowledge in anatomy, there is much more to find online and it is not newsprint that could be dirtying our hands.

It’s a breast, get over it. Perhaps Justin Timberlake was correct when he commented that they just want to give us something to talk about.

Jason Smith
Philosophy II

Democrats daring, Dubya drunk

Re: “Democrats: like Nazis and Stalin?”, Feb. 5, 2004

To the Editor:
If the Democrats need, as you say, a “credible ... action hero” such as George W. Bush, then America is truly in for a dismal future. Dubya is not only a liar, but also an irresponsible serviceman who skipped out on registered duty.

To call Bush a credible candidate is laughable at best. He clearly lied about Iraq having any weapons of mass destruction and was on a fixed agenda to invade Iraq, no matter what the context, from his first days in office. Just ask former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, or chief United States weapons inspector David Kay. According to Kay, Iraq never had WMDs, which means the Bush White House deliberately led America to war under false pretenses.

Bush the action hero? In 1968 Bush enlisted in the National Guard to fulfill his military responsibility while avoiding any actual combat. Even with this cushy spot back home in Houston, he went AWOL for upwards of a year and never finished his service. Meanwhile, leadership candidate John Kerry was overseas serving his country on a gunboat in Mekong and candidate Wesley Clark was well on his way to becoming a four-star general.

Yes, Kerry may have been mentored by Ted “Drunken Loudmouth” Kennedy, but at least he wasn’t arrested for DUI himself, like that fateful day in 1976 when George W. Bush drove his car into a hedge.

In the upcoming election, I hope Americans can see the Democratic candidates for what they are: dedicated soldiers and upstanding citizens who are accountable for their actions and truthful in dialogue. Only then will they have another leader with the commitment of a JFK or an FDR.

Jordan Stern
Biochemistry IV

Why settle for average?

Re: “Celebrity Dartboard,” Feb. 4, 2004

To the Editor:
Larissa from Average Joe II is a superficial bitch? Apparently smiling while eight hot men lined up to kiss her hand qualifies her for this title. Personally, I am impressed with the way she has given the “Average Joes” a chance. If you didn’t notice, she seems to prefer one of the original “Joes” named Tony to the new, more physically attractive men.

However, that’s not the point. The real issue here is why should she date anyone she is not attracted to? Would she have a huge group of men competing for her attention if she was not so beautiful? As far as I am concerned, being superficial is not a bad thing when it comes to dating, it is just reality. That’s life, get used to it.

Donna Wilson
Biology II

Courting democracy

Re: “Supreme Court needs a spanking,” Feb. 4, 2004

To the Editor:
I read with interest Emmett Macfarlane’s views on the Supreme Court of Canada and how they’ve “slowly eroded the level of democracy in Canada” by making rulings that should fall within the purview of Parliament.

I hate to break it to you, but had Parliament ever legislated on the subject, the Supreme Court would be bound by the legislation, assuming it was constitutional. The Constitution Act of 1982 (one of those “annoying” documents that the unelected judges use to interpret the laws of Canada) was enacted by the legislature and not the courts.

The next time you want to see the government debating an issue and not the courts, get your member of Paliament to work on it and make Parliament do their job, instead of complaining about the S.C.C. doing theirs. Perhaps you should spend some time living in a “democracy-eroded state” to learn just what freedoms we as Canadians enjoy? I would also love to hear your proof that Supreme Court decisions are based on the opinions of the justices.

Uninformed, unwilling to research and unaware of his own hypocrisy. Just the qualities I look for in an Editor...

Jon Richardson
BA honors Kinesiology 2002
Law I, University of New Brunswick



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