Letters //

Letters – Week 2, Semester 2

All the letters from Week 2, Semester 2.

letters 1

Climbing the Laneway to heaven

Dear Honi,

We were shocked, simply shocked, by Peter Walsh’s review of Laneway in last week’s edition. Indeed, one of our number was hospitalised as a consequence of Walsh’s scathing attack on our shining new venture (there is some suggestion that the hospitalisation was in fact caused by a bug from a recent trip to Peru, but we know the truth of the matter).

Through 800 words of platitude and hyperbole, Walsh clumsily plunged his ageing quill into our collective USU heart. And at about 750 words into his scathing judgement of the jewel of Wentworth he delivered a delicious irony- which was reinterpreted as a bland contradiction- with the words “I am reluctant to pass judgement.”

All power to Walsh. We considered his opinion with interest. It was a somewhat refreshing reprieve from the near perpetual chorus of praise we have hitherto encountered. Indeed, most of us have yet to attend class because we have been consistently spending sixteen hours a day responding to our members’ compliments. They are generally thrilled that they can purchase cafe quality food at a much lower price than similar offerings in Newtown or Glebe.

On reflection, we can only presume that Walsh was biting too often on his pen, such that the ink obscured his ability to taste. Therefore we wish to offer him a free meal at Laneway (nah serious). Consider it a peace offering, a fresh start. We’ll even throw in some additional slithers of smoked salmon.

For everyone else, we know that some will like Laneway and others won’t. That’s why we offer such a diversity of food outlets on campus. Before passing judgement, though, we encourage you to drop by and give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.

The 2014-15 USU Board of Directors

The fantastic Mr Ferrell

Dear Honi Soit,

I write regarding your published article “Brisbane Legal”. I would first serve to point out that Mr Ferrell [sic] attacked not just Brisbane residents, but indeed all Australian law students, whom he described as the “herd of the most socially ungifted students Australia has to offer”. At this point of reading it dawned on me that perhaps Mr Ferrell has no friends. The remainder of the article went to explicitly prove this point, by pointing out firstly, that Mr Ferrell came with the express intention of people watching, and secondly that the highlight of the conference for this gentleman was “eating an egg”. I like eggs, but they are rarely a highlight.

But let’s be honest, Mr Ferrell was obviously alone. Which is fine, but don’t bitch to the competition about it. It is not the socials fault you didn’t get laid.* If law students of Australia were not interesting enough for Mr Ferrell, the fault lays with him. We can’t all be the obvious thrill seeker he undoubtedly must be. Although, if you can’t figure out why the only place open for food at 3am in a city offers steak options, then you have never been drunk at 3am.**

I would suggest that Mr Farrell’s woes are a result of both loneliness and resentment for his own failures. But I will offer this advice: If Mr Ferrell is worried about people not talking to him; or worried about Sydney Uni being seen as ‘too good’ for the rest of the country; or if he ever wants to maybe find a special friend one day so he doesn’t have to ride the Brisbane Ferris wheels and eat eggs alone, stop being such a goddamn douchebag.

Kind Regards,

Joshua Taylor

Griffith University Graduate and Brisbane Resident.

* Ed’s note: We have it on good authority this is incorrect.

** Ditto.

Convocation nation

I applaud you for giving such ample coverage in your last edition to the possible University Senate convocation. It is of course, the most attention the University Senate has managed to rustle up since the last convocation around 60 years ago.

Although the Vice Chancellor has declared his support for a wide consultation on the issue of fee deregulation, a convocation could potentially take the discussion from between 22 Senate members, to over 283,000 graduates and staff. To put matters in to perspective, this is a far greater number than the entire population of the Northern Territory.

I am at a loss as to how a “discussion/debate” is meant to be facilitated in any meaningful way among such an excessive number of people. This leads me to assume that a convocation is nothing more than an obstructionist ploy on the issue of fee deregulation, rather than any genuine desire to have the voices of graduates heard and valued.

The University of Sydney has treasured and deserted traditions at leisure over the course of it’s history, and a convocation is one we can do without.

Kind Regards,

Don Hewes
Arts III

Nuts and Bolts

Dear Honi,

Andrew Bolt said that universities are the last bastions of cultural Marxism – and I hope he is right. You see, the Left champion tolerance and diversity – they back themselves on pushing such an agenda. They protest with shirts that contain four letter expletives describing their Prime Minister. It seems nothing has changed from the flower children of the 1960s.

But there’s always been one massive flaw: the intolerance of the tolerant left. This is best described by example, so consider the Catholic Society stall at O-Day recently. I was minding my own business when a socialist scum, no doubt part of extreme left, approached our stall and licked our cardboard cut-out of Pope Francis and the rosaries on our stall desk. Next, consider the recent US Appeals Court Case dealing with a ‘cross’ at a 9/11 memorial – people on the left – secularists, took the public authority in charge to court over it (and thankfully lost). Sometimes the coercion is soft, taking the form of what John Stuart Mill called ‘the tyranny of custom’, where those who refuse to embrace gay marriage – the most speedily formed custom of modern times – will be branded phobic and hateful, if they choose to voice their moral opposition to same-sex marriage. What’s the common thread here? Tolerance is the rallying cry of the modern left, but in reality, tolerance only extends so far as you dare not disagree. Bigotry toward those who disagree with the mob has become almost routine.

The fate suffered at our stall wasn’t some abnormality – it was part of a pretty scary ‘new normal’, of a sweeping culture of intolerance that has been fostered by the left – evident in their coercive agenda of pushing gay marriage (refuse to genuflect at the altar of gay marriage – and you’re a bigot), secularising society (dare to practice your faith and risk being labelled a nutjob, or worse still, a victim of the diseased salvia of a harebrained trot).

I hope Bolt is right; for if he’s not, a new age of authoritarianism is dawning.

Kind regards,

Alessandro Cowley

Arts/Law III

President, Catholic Society

Vice President, Conservative Club

Sisters are skating for themselves

Dear Honi,

I read with a mixture of exasperation and bewildered amusement Mariana Podesta-Diverio’s article on the (apparently) extreme under-representation of women in skateboarding (‘She was a sk8r…girl?’, Week 1 Semester 2).  In order to allay the fears of any past, current, or future lady shredders who may have been disheartened by Podesta-Diverio’s assessment of skateboarding culture, I thought the following (and by no means exhaustive) list of female-centric skate media outlets and other organisations may provide some inspiration (and perhaps a less pessimistic view of where we’re at with women’s skate culture).  Worth checking out are: Girls Skate Network (US – check their YouTube channel especially), Girls Skate Australia, Girl Skate UK, Mahfia TV (US), Hoopla Skateboards (US), Meow Skateboards (US), Original Betty Skateboard Co. (US), Skate Like A Girl (US), Curl Magazine (NZ – mainly surfing, but other board sports are covered too), Cooler Magazine (UK – all board sports), and the Longboard Girls Crew (a multi-national collective which has official ‘crews’ on five continents), to name only a few.  I think it’s time to put the ‘girl skateboarders are so rare that people gawk at them as if they were some sort of mythical creature’ trope to bed – it’s getting tired.  While you might not see lady skaters dominating primetime news bulletins, we are far from under-represented – it’s simply a case of seek and ye shall find (and by ’seek’ I mean ‘do some very rudimentary Googling’).  We’re everywhere – so come skate!

Alexandra Pinkham, Arts II

Vice Chancellor Michael Spence.

Michael Spence

Michael Spence: the fair controller?

The Vice Chancellor has been in the role for almost a decade; his drive to reshape the University seems to have only grown.