Brian Ervin's recent article "Gender Fender Bender", (10-16 April, 2008) is a poorly researched and poorly penned piece, and I am disappointed to see such low-quality reporting in the UTW. I should have known better than to expect a serious consideration of the science behind homosexuality when I read the title, which not only confuses gender and sexuality in a mind-boggling fashion, but belittles a complex social issue that cuts to the core of what it means to be a democratic society.
As a media scholar, I am appalled at the liberties Mr. Ervin takes with the facts in order produce a false illusion of "balance." Unable to judge the worth or merits of scientific inquiry himself, and apparently unwilling to consult an authority on the matter, Mr. Ervin instead cynically dismisses all of the science cited by both sides of this debate as equally unworthy "junk." If he had bothered to read any of the articles referenced by Rep. Sally Kern (who borrows them verbatim from the far-right American Family Association), he would have learned how manipulative her characterization of the science on homosexuality actually is. A brief survey of even the titles of these reports would have demonstrated how Kern and her allies take scientific studies of gay men with HIV/AIDS and extend their conclusions about longevity and health to all gay men and lesbians. Would it be appropriate to determine the longevity of heterosexual men and women based on the longevity of straight people living with HIV/AIDS? Cancer? Hepatitis? Why does Mr. Ervin repeat Rep. Kern's press release verbatim and without comment? Did he bother to check any of her facts? Is this the best journalism the UTW can do? What is truly astounding about the piece, though, is how it ambushes Dr. Belmonte, a historian and political activist who, unlike Rep. Kern, is actually willing to discuss these matters with Mr. Ervin, and blames her for failing to explain the science to him. Sally Kern effectively lies to him, but it is Dr. Belmonte who gets criticized for redirecting the conversation away from the science she is not qualified to comment on and toward the political issues she is.
I suggest that the next time Mr. Ervin wants to learn about the "science behind each side's position" he actually consult a few scientific journals and, God forbid, a scientist or two. Or better yet, why not refuse to get distracted by the specter of "junk science" and focus instead on the legitimate political issues involved? Or is it that Mr. Ervin agrees with Sally Kern that political rights should only extend to certain human beings?
Editor's Note: Hey, thanks prof. But we've got our degree too, and we put it out there every week. Say, you mentioned you are a "media scholar". Need a job?
No Love, No Sex and W-T-F
This past Friday evening (4-4-08) I spent a very enjoyable and entertaining evening at the theatre.
I went to see Theatre Tulsa's production of 'Love, Sex and the IRS'. My friends that went with me called me to let me know that your paper had written a review on it. Cool, had to read it!! Not so cool!! I don't know what play your "critic" went to see but it definitely was not the production we saw.
This play was funny from the beginning to the end. The cast did a brilliant job. The audience roared with laughter and enjoyment. The whole thing flowed and no one seemed to be lost or disconnected from their character. Watching this performance, it was easy to tell that each of the cast really enjoyed working with each other and enjoyed their character. No one lost character they each were their characters. Ms. Downs as Kate didn't seem to have any odd emotional choices. Her choices in the performance were dead on! Her reaction seemed to be like any other woman's reaction. Another BIG question that I have is homosexual jokes? Where were they? "Tulsa needs more homophobia?" WHAT?! (Oh, by the way the friends that I went with are homosexual and support the gay community and advocacy for gay rights.) I really don't think you got it. This play is a farce, a comedy written for the stage or film which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant and improbable situations...
Now, you get it?
Also, there were not miscues of any sort. Basically, it seemed to me that your "critic" didn't go to one of the performances, but went to a dress rehearsal where this type of thing is gonna happen. This is why they call it REHEARSAL!! Spend $17.50, support your local theatre and go see an actual performance then be all the critic you want to be!
Lisa "Li" Rogers
Editor's Note: Everybody's a critic. That's why we are here and give you and your cast a chance to blather. Glad you enjoyed the show. We think your cousin wrote, below.
Bone to Pick
I must say I was puzzled after reading the latest review of Theatre Tulsa's production "Love, Sex, and the IRS." It seems that the critic who reviewed this show went in with a chip on his shoulder, looking for something to be offended by. If this play was indeed brimming with slanderous homosexual jokes, I must have missed them. Nor do I recall any mention of H.I.V. anywhere in the show. It seems that he jumped to this conclusion. Based on what I have yet to understand. Your critic went in to see a farce. He basically sat down for "Dumb and Dumber" and expected "The Godfather" and wonders why it failed to meet his expectations. The synopsis alone should have clued him in that this wasn't exactly a Pulitzer winner. The play serves its purpose- to make people laugh. Not every play can be "Death of a Salesman". Some plays are meant to move, some to persuade, some to teach, this one simply serves to give an audience a good time, and it does a fine job if you ask me.
I also doubt the voracity of any critic that interjects his own opinions of social issues into what is supposed to be a simple review of a community theatre performance- especially when those interjections seem so stretched as they had nothing to do with the show's contents whatsoever. All in all I'd say the critic just plain didn't like how the play was written and took it out on the performers. This makes me question his credibility.
Editor's Note: By contrast, your credibility will always be safe with us. We're glad you support local theater.
Oh, boy! In May, thanks to the stimulus package, the federal government will be sending out checks to most Americans in the $300-$600 range, to be spent on whatever you want. Woo-hoo, free money! Or is it free? Just where is all this money going to come from?
Well, government gets its money from three sources: taxes, borrowing, and printing. If they're going to pay for it with taxes, and they're not taxing us now (that would defeat the point of the "stimulus" package), then they must be planning to take it out of future taxes. But if they don't cut government spending somewhere, the only way taxes can pay for it is by raising taxes. If they're going to borrow more money (through Treasury Bills, bonds, etc), they won't have to raise taxes.
But the federal government is already borrowed to the hilt. The national debt continues to increase every year, especially for our out-of-control military spending, and the debt is so massive that other countries are losing faith in the U.S. dollar, which is why the dollar is being devalued compared to other currencies. How much more can they borrow if fewer people believe that the government (and taxpayers) will pay it back?
Governments can't really go bankrupt, but they can sure do a lot of harm to the economy while trying to. Lastly, they can print more money. Or they could, except that under the current system, the Federal Reserve and not the government decides how much money should be added to the economy. The law could be changed, but that would be considered a rather drastic change to our financial system.
Since its creation in 1913, the Fed has had a nasty habit of increasing our money supply every year, and thus devaluing our earnings and savings, while trying to offer artificial and unsustainable "boosts" to the economy. In fact, what the Fed does is much like what the current administration is hoping to do with the stimulus package. Like eating a candy bar, the "sugar rush" of the extra money will help temporarily, but without the means to sustain it, there will necessarily be a corresponding fall or crash.
Sustainable economic growth requires balancing supply and demand. Production must be geared towards satisfying consumers' most urgent wants first, and to their less urgent wants secondarily. Consumers tell producers what to produce not only by what they're willing to buy, but by what they're not willing to buy, and by how much money they're willing to save and invest instead of spending right away. Prices are the means of conveying this information to producers, including the "prices" of interest rates.
Interventions in the economy in the form of easy credit, increased money supplies, or stimulus packages are unsustainable because they upset the balance between supply and demand, not improve it. Once the balance is upset, the economy necessarily has to reconfigure itself and find a new equilibrium, a new point of balance. The result of intervention is a zero sum game, with both net winners and net losers to make up the balance. The best thing Americans can do with their stimulus check is not to spend it, but to use it towards their debt.
Or, if you're one of the few Americans not in debt, invest the money. If we do that, the "boost" to the economy may not be as great, but the inevitable crash that follows won't be as great, either.
Michael A. Clem
Reflecting on the fact that Earth Day just passes, while at the same time considering Mayor Kathy Taylor's recent 'Million Miles Challenge,' I began wondering a few questions about this city. The first is probably not new to many people, but why is it that Tulsa has so few continuous sidewalks? I've never understood why I see well-worn dirt paths along stretches of major thoroughfares such as Memorial instead of sidewalks. I recall attempting to rollerblade from the TU campus downtown several times when I was in college to an internship and finding myself entirely frustrated by the inconsistency of the sidewalk system along 11th street, and where a sidewalk had been constructed, it was most usually in a state of major disrepair. I can think of few other decent-sized cities with such insufficient pedestrian walkways. Just consider how many intersections in town boast crosswalks that lead to a corner without sidewalks, and when they are equipped with a pedestrian ramp, does it actually continue in any direction with a completed sidewalk?
I would like to be able to walk to the store or to work, etc. but I am not encouraged when I have to trudge through mud, compete with sprinkler systems, or dodge traffic (which is generally pedestrian ignorant-but then I can't blame them when they have so little exposure to it). If we really want to focus on fitness in this town, as well as creating a far more eco-friendly city, we need to begin to think about one basic infrastructure necessity-the sidewalk. I would love to go on about the additional lack of and need for bike lanes-and why are so many of the streets so narrow anyhow, but that would have to be for another day. I would love to see you guys cover something about this or bring some attention to this issue. I would hope I am not the only person dealing with this frustration.
Another Lost Opportunity
An opportunity was lost to write a new chapter in the abortion debate when the State Legislature overturned Governor Henry's veto of Senate Bill 1878. The intent of this law to show the baby ultrasound to a woman of unwanted pregnancy is noble if it saves the life of the unborn. However, the tactic of shame alone will not have the full affect on reducing abortions; this debate needs both a clear message of Law and Love.
Law, in that abortion is morally reprehensible and any barrier to it is just. Love; in that if, one has an unwanted pregnancy society with help with adoption. Many women end up at an abortionist's exam room as the last step in a difficult life journey and feel lost and hopeless; they need the support, grace, and love of their community not additional judgment.
This law should have included a provision for expanding partnerships between government, private charities, churches, and businesses to coordinate their efforts to establish a fully funded prenatal through birth adoption program.
These women need to know that her fellow citizens will not tolerate abortion by showing her love through adoption assistance. If Oklahomans are really that concerned about saving the unborn then SB1878 should have greatly expanded adoption services to women with an unwanted pregnancy thus giving the baby the chance of life.
Phillip W. Smith
Gee, does the ease in which people can get married, i.e. common law marriage in which divorce from is identical to a traditional marriage, court lawyers...have anything to do with the issue? If its so easy to get married, meaning that sometimes it happens WITHOUT any forethought, planning, cognizance, then naturally divorces will increase in turn divorce cost will increase, since the solution to bad marriages seems to be divorce, and divorce only, this would indicate that divorce itself is not the culprit in this case, but marriage itself in its present form.
America has traditionally taken a backwards stance on many issues. Instead of anticipating problems and taking steps to counter them, the modus operandi has been to deal with problems after they present themselves, many times when it is too late. Want a separate example, Medicare's non-emphasis on preventative medicine. Word of warning, if I think what the study and the article seem to be hinting at, the argument's natural progression is state dictated population control. Hey, socialized utilitarianism may be the way to go... if we are measuring in dollars which the study and articles' emphasized.
Hi. Oh my God, when this issue came out, I chuckled...What was that? Isn't a swimsuit issue supposed to be "hot"? Just because one is a football player does not make ones body look good in a swimsuit...jeeezzz, even with the shades on...
But that is not why I was laughing so hard...I [sent] pics, so you'll see my point of view, I'm a photographer and been retouching images for a long time. I think you really might consider hiring people who know what they are doing:) or at least take a look at the pics before they are getting published. I normally wouldn't bother writing this, but this was just hilarious.
Thanks 4 the laugh.
Editor's Note: We get a lot of grief, but little praise, so we appreciate the views of serious photographers who remind us why we don't hire them. Especially as the job market tightens. By the way, your great courage in not signing your name is more revealing than you can imagine.
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