March 12, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 85  

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Starting up a Passionate dialogue

Re: “Jesus lost in translation,” Mar. 9, 2004

To the Editor:
Ari Shomair’s assessment of the accuracy of The Passion of The Christ is saturated with falsehoods. First and foremost, Mel Gibson’s film is not an interpretation: it is a depiction of the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life as illustrated by John’s Gospel.

Secondly, comparing Mel Gibson to a blind man recreating the Mona Lisa is infantile. Understanding Aramaic is not a prerequisite for appreciating or creating such a film. In fact, the entire New Testament was originally scribed in Greek. The reason the characters speak Aramaic is to make the film more historically accurate — I can’t think of any Jew who spoke English in ancient Jerusalem, can you? The New Testament is the most heavily printed and translated piece of literature in history. A knowledge of ancient language was not conducive for understanding or creating the film, and as such has absolutely no bearing on the “accuracy of the interpretation.”

I’m sure Shomair is an intelligent individual; perhaps he should occupy his time by doing some research instead of wasting his time writing to The Gazette.

Dustin George
Biology II

To the Editor:
The hoopla around The Passion of the Christ is that it is a more accurate representation of the Four Gospels than any other movie about the life of Jesus. Saying the director has to read and/or speak the language of the New Testament is a weak argument.

Many things in the Old and New Testaments are interpreted differently by different faiths, but in the film and in scripture, there is an underlying surplus of phrases that exemplify the true purpose of the movie. One of the final flashbacks to the Mount of Olives and the Sermon on the Mount: Love one another as I have loved you (John. 13:34). But I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. No translation is necessary for a message that simply promotes peace and love.

Nobody is accepting the interpretation of Mel Gibson because people are focusing on Jesus Christ’s message of love, which involves no interpretation.

Andrew Selvam
Medical Science III

Engineers are the lords of the rings

To the Editor:
On Mar. 26, this year’s Western engineering graduates will gather to follow a tradition that has a history dating back to 1922. This tradition was established to exemplify to young engineers the importance of honour and commitment to the code of ethics by which all Canadian engineers live by.

While I am pleased to hear that the Ivey honours business administration program has chosen to celebrate its own excellence, they have chosen to establish a tradition disturbingly similar to that which is practiced by all graduating engineers across Canada.

This news saddens all of us who uphold and believe in the significance and importance of what our ceremony stands for. Our tradition, ceremony and symbol (the ring) are recognized and respected federally, and is of great pride to the engineering community. We do not ask that the HBA graduates stop their celebration, but we simply request they respect the integrity of our time-honoured ritual.

I would like to remind those of you who take the time to poke fun at the engineers that we are more than the stereotypical partiers or hardcore studiers you have come to know us as. We are those who will be responsible for designing and building the world around us to make a safer and better future for all. It is by influencing the youngest generation of engineers with a tradition that has carried on for the better part of a century that we uphold our ethics and honour the code engineers follow to keep our world safe and worry-free.

If you would like more information on the story of the iron ring and its ceremony, I encourage you to visit or better yet, ask an engineering student.

Denis Pitcher
Software Engineering IV

To the Editor:
One of the largest fallouts in the public’s faith in engineers resulted from the 1907 Pont de Québec Bridge collapse, resulting in the loss of 75 lives. For the past 79 years, engineering schools across Canada have awarded iron rings (said to be made from the steel of the collapsed bridge) to be worn on the engineer’s pinky finger, and to remind graduates of their responsibility to the public good.

The Richard Ivey School of Business is attempting to co-opt this tradition and award gold rings to its own graduates. While this is understandable considering the recent business scandals involving insider trading and accountancy fraud, the pinky ring is a symbol that is integral to the identity of a professional engineer. The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer (founded by Rudyard Kipling) in which the iron ring is awarded, is a ceremony filled with tradition and unique to engineering. It is the result of surviving four years of an intense education, not an achievement to be taken for granted.

Although I understand and appreciate the spirit behind what Ivey is attempting, appropriating this practice is not the right way to do it. Out of respect to not just Western’s faculty of engineering, but to all engineering faculties and students across Canada, leave this tradition alone.

Danyaal Raza
Chemical Engineering II

The Weed Man cometh

Re: “London looks to curb pesticide use; bugs rejoice,” Mar. 10, 2004

To the Editor:
I was a Weed Man last summer and I am a certified Integrated Pest Management technician, so I have applied a whole host of different pesticides. Landscape Ontario would have you believe that IPM will drastically reduce the quantity of pesticides that lawn care companies apply to yards in our community — this is false.

It is true that some lawns, meaning those houses with owners not demanding full-coverage spraying, will have less total weed killer products applied to their lawns. Lawn care companies generate much of their revenue through preventative applications: Diazinone for chinch bugs and Merit for grubs. These products are sold to as many homes as possible and are expensive. They are applied to lawns with full-coverage. Companies aggressively sell these products to their customers, claiming that if customers don’t order them, irreparable damage will be caused to their lawns.

Make no mistake about it, IPM or not, lawn care companies want to apply more pesticides to the lawns in our community. Mo’ pesticides equals mo’ money, and they really aren’t worried about the mo’ problems some academics and citizens feel pesticides create.

Anonymous former Weed Man

Hail to the bus/shuttle drivers

To the Editor:
I was making my run from King’s College to Brescia University College, and at the Richmond St. gates, after picking up the waiting students, I spotted an elderly lady walking through the large field on my right.

Every couple of steps she would fall down as the snow was too deep. I pulled over to the side of the road near the information booth and debated if I should go and help her. I turned to the students and asked if anyone was willing to go and give the lady a hand.

I was quite pleased to see one young man jump up and head right out the door to help the lady across the field and onto the bus. The young lady who was sitting in the front seat quickly got up and helped the elderly woman into the seat next to her.

I felt proud and pleased to have students of this calibre riding my bus. I did not get their names, but I thank them very much.

Lionel Maracle
Driver, King 1

Re: “Cars beware,” Mar. 3, 2004

To the Editor:
A note to Colin Edington: give your head a shake. There are so many things you have so wrong.

First, in Canada, every place licensed motorized vehicles go, all rules go with them. It is for your safety. You don’t get a ticket because it would grind the place to a halt, but you will if you do something stupid in front of a police cruiser.

Second, if you have more important things to think about than your own personal safety, I suggest a rethink (in a safe place, of course) because you seem to be in way over your head. Nothing is more important than your own health.

Third, on campus, there are a lot of good drivers but you forget the vast number whose experience behind the wheel seems to equal your grasp of reality.

Fourth, with the exception of your family and your close friends, no one in this world really gives a f*** what happens to you any more than you do them.

Self-absorbed arrogance can lead to bad things happening. Not looking means one day you will step off and end up under some wheels, and I really hope they aren’t mine. The paperwork’s a bitch.

A campus shuttle driver



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