IMAGE:  February 2003 GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
APRIL 2003
Volume 95, Issue 4
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Clouding the Issues


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…getting pleasure from reading the obituaries…

Archaeological Analog
Richard Mertens’s article, “Deep into the Landscape” (February/03), describing archaeological explorations in the Amuq Valley was fascinating. I was struck especially by one quotation from Jesse Casana, AM’00: “It’s fast and dirty and cheap. We can go out there and in a few weeks find stuff that challenges conventional wisdom. We find a ton of things that people never knew existed.”
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Minority Views
Amy Braverman’s article on the status of minorities on campus (“Minority Report,” February/03) rightly draws attention to several promising advances, but it also seems to recapitulate many of the University’s blindnesses and presuppositions in the recruitment of minorities, both in the content of the piece and its visual representation in the Magazine.
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e-letters: Cockroaches as heavy breathers

Re the February UCHICAGO.EDU e-bulletin’s link to the item on insect breath research (see “Citations,”): As a biopsychology student at the U of C I worked with cockroaches and had the enviable job of raising these creatures for research. One of these ancient, perfectly evolved insects was the Brazilian variant—very large and relatively inactive for reasons of energy conservation.
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“New” versus “Old” Chicago Seven
I missed the original Magazine story last year about “the new Chicago Seven” (“Chicago Seven: One Year Later,” February/03), so don’t know whether it included the U of C link to the original “Chicago Seven,” the famous radicals from in the late 1960s. During those turbulent years I was both a Ph.D. student in English and director of student activities, cutting my teeth in college administration. Through my assistant director I received a request that our offices, then on the second floor of Ida Noyes, be used in the evenings under her supervision by some people “working in the community.”
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Congratulations on President Randel’s superb essay, “Greater Than Zero Is What Justice Demands” (“From the President,” February/03). In one concisely written and tightly analyzed page, he lays out the parameters of the whole race problem in America without avoiding his own judgment as to ultimately virtuous arrangements. He does not, of course, nor need he in this essay, recite the encyclopedia of facts collected by other scholars concerning the myriad ways in which America has tried (and often succeeded, despite some conspicuous failures) to cope with ethnic, religious, color, and/or racial differences among our millions of citizens over several centuries. Every reader should be aware of (and, one hopes, familiar with) Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (New York, 1944).
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Defining diversity
Last October President Randel issued a statement on the conduct of campus debate of contentious public issues. Much that he urged is eminently sensible: the University should encourage debate, support a diversity of individual views, refrain from taking sides, bar violence and intimidation, oppose intolerance and prejudice, and promote mutual respect and trust.
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Going to bat for Pinocchio
I was astounded by the negative reactions (“Letters,” February/03) to Rebecca West’s “The Real Life Adventures of Pinocchio” (December/02). From my point of view, the article was perceptive and engaging.

Rebecca West comments: My article is a very condensed version of a longer essay footnoted to indicate its critical sources. The reading of Disney’s Stromboli as an offensively stereotypical representation of a Jewish gypsy that so displeased Dr. Brunemeier (“Letters,” February/03) is not due to my “own stereotypical thinking,” but is a view (with which I agree) expressed in several pieces of criticism. Robin Allan’s Walt Disney and Europe (Indiana University Press, 1999), for example, notes: “The ethnic reference with its implicit anti-Semitism cannot be ignored....
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Marriage, mores, and AIDS
“When Marriage Raises AIDS Rates” (“Investigations,” February/03) implies that the use of the condom is an answer to the AIDS epidemic sweeping sub-Saharan Africa. In the quality-control manufacture of condoms, voids of five microns in diameter are allowed, small enough to block the passage of human sperm. The AIDS virus is only one-tenth of a micron in diameter, 50 times smaller than the allowable void. Condom users may be lucky enough to have a condom with voids in the wrong places for transmission, but who wants to take that chance with a scourge like AIDS? Will they be that lucky with every condom?
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Which way to the revolution?
The heading in the December/02 “Chicago Journal” section—“Birthday Party for a Revolutionary”—should have read “Birthday Party for a Reactionary.” Milton Friedman’s ideas are retrograde, not revolutionary.

Eugene E. Badal, MBA’74
Skokie, Illinois

Dead Equal
Surely I sound morbid when I say that I have been getting pleasure from reading the obituaries in each issue of the Magazine. For threescore years I have been reading of the accomplishments of my classmates and those from nearby classes in the “Alumni News” section. It has made me feel a failure.
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Alumni Artists: FOTA awaits
How many alumni remember Festival of the Arts (FOTA)? For our 35th reunion in 1998 the College Class of 1963 revived FOTA with a photo gallery featuring exhibitors from several classes. The revival took, and with the help of Professor Herman Sinaiko, AB’47, PhD’61, there is now a FOTA student group sponsoring events on campus this spring. And once again, with help from the alumni office, the Class of 1963 is hosting an alumni FOTA exhibition at Reunion.
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Department of Corrections
In the February/03 issue the editors committed several errors that require correction. In both the cover story and the editor’s notes we referred to the late Robert Braidwood, PhD’43, as director emeritus of the Oriental Institute. Although Braidwood was for many decades a central figure in the life of the OI (see “Deaths,”), he never held that post.
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