Come And Get It

Controversy does not belong in the workplace. It has no place among families or friends. Controversy does, however, have some place in The Phillipian. I write to incite. If I am going to take the time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys), I want something to come of it. I write because I want intelligent debate. I’m not trying to offend you. I know why I think what I do. Now tell me I am wrong and be prepared to defend that claim. As Voltaire once said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I am getting a little tired of articles about the Green Cup Challenge. Yes, while in the grand scheme of things eating without a tray is a very crucial and historically relevant topic, why not go out on a limb and write about something a little more… important? Tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Take a look at abortion or provide evidence as to why stem cell research should be funded by the government. Write about anything. Just, please, make it about something stirring and something you’re passionate about. Also, please include facts. And make sure your facts are actually facts. After my first article defending Israel, I was approached by at least one person who told me that my views were wrong. While I respect this person very much, he or she could not tell me exactly why I was wrong. I was simply “morally wrong.” Telling me that I am morally wrong is not very persuasive or educational for that matter. Read up on a topic, inform yourself about it and then tell me in what way, shape or form I am incorrect. These are the kind of things I wish to see from The Phillipian, not more about how inconvenient it is to simply unplug a TV when you’re not using it. I applaud the article written by Ben Talarico ’11 a few weeks ago about redefining the gay man. Gay rights are a polarizing issue, and it takes a certain amount of bravery to write about the topic. However, better than the content of the article itself was the letter from Dominic DeJesus ’10 the next week, criticizing Talarico’s piece. Clearly, Talarico hit upon a topic so important that it warranted a letter to The Phillipian. Both pieces expressed a distinct viewpoint, and both pieces were rational. We are a diverse society of scholars here at Andover, yet I do not always see that diversity represented. I find it especially lacking in the Commentary section of our school newspaper. This is why I enjoyed the DeJesus-Talarico bout. I could think about what each had to say and form my own views on the matter. I was learning. Let us work together to create a forum where important points of view are expressed and considered. Let no one be offended if corrected. This is why we are all at Phillips Academy: to learn. No man is an island, and I do not have all the world’s knowledge. I rely on the rest of you to provide me with it. Let me hear what you have to say. Every article should have some controversy to it. If everyone agrees with your viewpoints, why write about them? If you can read your article to five different people and they all agree with the viewpoint you express, you probably shouldn’t publish it. In case any of you would like a jumping point for next week, let me give you some. I don’t agree with affirmative action and I think that Israel is a victim. I believe in racial and gender equality. The Pittsburgh Penguins, although in a slump right now, are the greatest hockey team in the NHL. The bible is not fact. NAFTA is a good thing. I believe the stimulus bill was necessary, and I hate Jimmy Carter vehemently. Anyone disagree? Kenny Gould is a new Senior from Matthews, North Carolina.