I used to write for my school paper the Pharmakon. After reading a recent edition I wrote to them (below). Then I got a nasty email back from a friend who has been in charge since I was there. Last is my repsonse to her.
As a former columnist for the Pharmakon, I was curious to see how the paper, that meant so much to me during my schooling days, was doing. A member on the alumni committee was kind enough send me a copy from last November 3rd. I was disappointed to say the least, but not surprised.
I graduated in 2003, so by now the only folks who remember my columns are most likely staff and faculty. I tried to entice debate on important topics, stimulate discussion, and I suppose stir up some controversy. The Pharmakon as I see it now, and of no surprise to me by the way, looks like some sort vapid claptrap one would find at Bezerkley College in Cookyfornia.
First, I say let the Lambda Krappa Alpha Beta groups on campus start their own newsletters. The entire second page is nothing more than a promo for these organizations. Nothing personal, but why would anyone want to read
their self aggrandizing articles unless they were members themselves?
Then, two pages later, I get a promo for stem cell research. Nothing of substance here; no debate on the issue; just a political ad.
Two more pages later, I read about "pink pride," and the homeless of St. Louis. I have nothing but respect for people who have genuine concerns in these areas, and who wish to help raise awareness, etc., but at this point I begin to feel like I am reading the agendas of a radical left wing sect. I mean, "...make housing a civil right..?" Where is that written in the constitution? Can we have a referendum on this, or will the liberals just get their buddies in the court system (i.e., judges and lawyers) to legislate this gem of an idea against our will?
All that was missing was an interview with Hillary Clinton about the grandiose benefits of socialized medicine, a movie review on Al Gore's movie about global warming, and a petition protesting zoos sponsored by PETA. Where is David Horowitz with his Academic Bill of Rights when you need him?!
Calling all conservatives, libertines, and independents- do not sit silent while your school paper is being hijacked. Write in, and fight to get YOUR thoughts and ideas published. I took a stand, and a lot of heat I might add, and would not have had it any other way. If I may borrow a speech from Braveheart...'Lying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all of the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to go back to StLCoP and tell them there that they make take our school paper, but they will never take our independent minds!'
Jean-Marc Bovee, Pharm.D.
Shame on you! I thought age and experience might have brought you some
wisdom and (shall I dare) compassion!
You magnify your contribution to the Pharmakon considerably to call
yourself a former "editorialist" and to assume that faculty and staff
remember your columns at all, let alone with appreciation, but you might
have paused to think about the person who was on the receiving end of
your vituperative letter.
My compassion was expressed for the integrity of the paper and its readers. There are high school newpapers more thought provoking than the present day Pharmakon. Everyone I show it to, left or right, agrees. Show me the 'intellectual' diversity. Where is it? I know you despise bluntness, but I proudly proclaim not to have mastered the fine art of bs practiced by so many prominent Democrat politicians. Bill Clinton could grope a woman, tell her that he felt her pain, and make her feel like she really contributed to her country.
I love the typical liberal practice of decrying an attack while simultaneously insulting the person who, God forbid, may have had a legitimate complaint. Sorry for the hurt feelings but life outside of ivory towers, gated communities, and the soft, pie-in-the-sky protective world of academia can be rough. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it stipulate the right not to be offended. A 'wise' person ought to realize that, and rationally & logically joust with those who would challenge them. No, today we just cry foul and proclaim, "No fair," like a schoolchild.
If what I wrote was personal to you, then I confess it and I say that it should be. Shame? Where's the sense of shame expressed in turning what ought to be an enterprise for provoking debate and stimulating discussion on issues at an institution of 'higher learning' into a talking points memo for the far left? I wonder if the paper was composed of articles discussing the right to own guns, stricter enforcement on border security, a petition for English as the national language, and a promotion for pro-life if it would be YOU who was writing the same letter I did.
Vituperation? I don't think there was a single sentence in your letter to me that did not contain an insult. Ooh, how the thinly veiled mask of 'compassion' quickly vanishes when those who brag about it are challenged, even civily. Incidentally, on my graduation day more than a few professors came to me and told me how much they would miss my articles. I did write for 5 years, and received $3000 in scholarship money for doing so. I assume most of these people still work there, and judging by what I saw, I do not feel it is a stretch to think that my writing still stands out to this day.
You're in a position of responsibility. This is not the New York Times. This is a college paper, and ought to be open-minded. Isn't that what liberal used to mean?
P.S. As far as the authors of those articles- they're college students. I'd say welcome to the real world, but that would be harsh. Just tell them this will thicken their skin, which will be of benefit to them. Funny, I don't recall any sympathy aimed at me when McCall (physics) and Joshua came after me in their truly harsh manner. Of course, I was a big boy and could more than hold my own. How did I get that way? Not by being coddled, I can assure you of that.
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." T. Jefferson